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HICO_Eagle last won the day on December 12 2015

HICO_Eagle had the most liked content!

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About HICO_Eagle

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    Colorado, USA
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  1. I would say "produced" fits right in with how National views rank these days. The program seems far more focused on rank advancement and getting merit badges versus learning and doing than it was some years ago. In some ways, it's good for the boys, their path to advancement is a lot clearer and seems pretty structured. On the other hand, the requirements in merit badges seems a lot looser -- more of an orientation than a learning level of exposure - and the program is more of a mill than an institution for teaching and molding youth. A lot of the new Eagles are great boys and I'm proud to welcome them to the ranks. A lot of the new Eagles ... well, okay ...
  2. After decades of military training and leadership as well as unit-level adult Scouter leadership, the first thing I do when encountering quotes from business school "leadership experts" is skip to something more productive like a toenail fungus commercial . Between another "leadership manifesto" and week-old fish, I'll take the week-old fish (preferably quadruple-wrapped in plastic) because I can at least bait crab traps with the fish (I'd take the manifesto if I had a bird cage but I don't). I don't blame the new Wood Badge program for everything but from what I've seen on the periphery, it has as much value as an essay from Karl Marx on capitalism's virtues. In our council, WB hasn't been some super-elite society -- at least, it didn't stop them from asking me to teach at University of Scouting, participate on council-level committees, or providing advice to the SE on restructuring some of the program. The curriculum I saw led me to believe WB had as much value for me as IOLS would have after 3 decades of camping and leading in Scouts at multiple levels. I don't pretend to know-it-all and eagerly take classes that will extend my knowledge or understanding but I'm just not enthused about wasting 2 weekends or 2 days or 2 hours of my life on something whose major benefit seemed to be to make me "more eligible for a Silver Beaver nomination". I joined Scouting as an adult for the kids, not for me. In my experience, it was taught by getting the kids to do things. We had mixed age patrols so older Scouts instructed the younger Scouts and younger Scouts observed the older Scouts. In some key activities, adults might review the Scout plans for adequacy (less likely after Scouts had proven themselves) and offer constructive critiques but it was up to the Scouts to plan the campouts or activities, do the leg work, organize menus and transportation and budget, etc. Adults met in committee but I couldn't tell you much of what they did beyond drive the vehicles, buy the camp fuel or propane, and file the paperwork (when I was a Scout). When I first got involved as an adult, it was much of the same except we did some of the legwork for the Scouts in terms of researching costs and facilities for activities. The boys who were Scouts while I was an ASM and SM learned to lead by DOing. They followed and they led and they learned along the way. Most boys (and girls) aren't stupid -- they can see who gets things done and they'll even watch to see HOW they get things done if they know there won't be any crutches.
  3. @ maryread, I know some of the international co-ed scouting programs are touted to be "successful" but successful at what? I think in many cases, the agenda is more important than the result to the people claiming success. Society has changed so many girls are much more interested in vigorous outdoor activities than was the case 40 or 60 years ago. That suggests there is room for co-ed activities. On the other hand, biology hasn't changed much -- holding a 15 or 16 year-old boy's attention when there's a cute girl sitting next to him or even across from him is a lot more difficult than when it's just a group of guys. That's pretty important when I'm going over safety instructions for the more rigorous outdoor activities that are common with older Scouts. I'm open to the idea of co-ed Scouting but to my mind, the best of all worlds would be for Girl Scouts to actually adopt an outdoor program that did what girls wanted today and then for the Boy Scout and Girl Scout units to have select joint activities but still retain individual programs. BSA could certainly give GSUSA pointers on how to set up successful programs that would meet the interests and needs of the modern girl. Where I draw the line and get obstreperous is when individual ram their desires down the throats of entire organizations.
  4. It may be somewhat heretical here but I think British Bulldog has more value than most of the "training" advocated by National over the past decade or so. I tend to fall in Stosh's camp about letting the boys learn by doing; as an adult, I can give them lessons I've learned over the years and will if requested but the boys are the ones who have to learn to lead and part of that is seeing what works for them as situations and personalities differ.
  5. The troop I was involved with used to run TLT twice a year as an invited campout shortly after elections. We would go through the normal BSA TLT instruction supplemented with some confidence/team-building games outside and I added some video clips from various movies for discussion. I think I still have the PowerPoint with the video clips on DropBox -- PM or email me for a link.
  6. All of these "innovations" occurred in the last 25 years. IMO, they -- like most of National's changes to the program in the last 25 years -- were irrelevant at best and most likely contributed to the degradation of the program over the years.
  7. When I've made donations (nothing in that ballpark!), I've requested specific wishlists on concrete unfundeds. My annual payraises or bonuses (as well as an unexpected windfall) went toward a new Mule for the camp, new rifles, fixing some sliding wall partitions and shelves at the council office, etc. I asked for no recognition although the camp director asked for permission to put a small plaque on the Mule indicating my donation (I told him I didn't want it but he could do it if he thought it would spur other donations). Our council was pretty bad about the mandatory FOS participation years ago but I have to say it's been much better in recent years. The SE who took over 3-4 years ago has been very good about making activities pay for themselves through a nominal add-on tax but not pressing the "Fund Our Salaries" approach that turns so many people off. I will say, having been privy to some resource discussions here and there, that most people underestimate what it costs to put on the council- and district-level activities they seem to want. I've seen plenty of penny-pinching in order to keep activities at a reasonable price and still have units complain about the cost; I've also heard lots of Cub parents whine about the waits to participate in the Cub shooting events but very few of them ever show up to help out with the events or get the training that would enable them to help reduce the wait times. This is a side of Scouting that I won't miss ...
  8. Sorry ghjim but THESE are the dark days of Scouting. Most of what you talk about since Dale vs. BSA is mythology being perpetrated by adults who seek to validate their own lifestyle or political philosophies. Scouting's stance since before Dale vs. BSA until very recently was holding to age old traditions and values. The liberal wing that has hijacked Scouting has been trying to push out social conservatives which is why their reaction to Trail Life USA and other groups was what it was: instead of seeing the long-term threat to Scouting in general, they rejoiced in their departure because it enhances their hijacking. Scouting didn't need to bar open homosexuals and atheists when they weren't pushing their agenda through society. It became an issue because the homosexuals and atheists tried to force acceptance and endorsement of their lifestyle choices on "pillars" of American society. I'm not a mind reader so don't know for sure but I believe they chose this route instead of forming their own groups because it's been about forcing society to validate and endorse their choices rather than actually providing opportunities to kids. Time will tell how much or long my departure from Scouting will last -- and therefore how long and frequently I return to this forum. If I don't, these are advance good wishes for those of you continuing with the program regardless of where you reside on this issue.
  9. They were disappointed but said they understood and supported my decision but we've been talking about this since Gates made his announcement. Pretty much the same reaction from my SE and the council shooting sports committee. I suspect the COR will be more disappointed as I didn't tell her directly (she was talking with some parents and I didn't want to break it to them just yet). I've been a Scout leader for more than half my life but I will find other ways to help kids and the community -- and in fact I told the shooting sportsl committee and Scoutmasters that I was willing to help out in ways that didn't involve registering with BSA (e.g., as a rifle instructor or RSO). My issue is with Gates and the Board of Directors, not with the council or troop or the kids.
  10. Heck, I think they helped craft it. This language is exactly the kind of thing I expect from DC-type politicrats like Gates. They will use it as a hammer against those who don't conform to their new definition of appropriate activities and overlook those who support causes they like.
  11. I wasn't a member of the denomination or church that sponsored my troop but that wouldn't keep me from helping them if they went the independent route. As it stands, I informed the Scoutmaster corps and committee members that were at the meeting this week that I will not be registering for 2016. Robert Gates made it an issue and did so in the most devious totalitarian (i.e., unScoutlike) way possible. I don't blame the COs that have thought about this if they no longer have any trust in National.
  12. This is laughable considering how Bob Gates and activist members of the Board of Directors unnecessarily inserted themselves into social issues. BSA has been a focal point of the culture wars precisely because it was a pillar of traditional values.
  13. @@Stosh ... and this is an example of why I have a problem with the contemporary definition from National. Since when is asking someone to demonstrate they still know something that is supposed to be a core skill the equivalent of an Inquisition? That attitude is right up there with Bryan on Scouting whining that having a boy sing or do something else to reclaim the handbook or other item he continually leaves laying around is "unkind" or that waterguns are to only be used on targets as if they were BB guns or .22s. You'd think National was headquartered in California rather than Texas with all the idiocy emanating from there.
  14. Personally, I am becoming more and more convinced that the only way to save BSA is to vacate the entire Executive Board and terminate the "professionals" that have pushed the changes in the program for the last 20+ years. That's clearly not going to happen so I'm doing a lot of thinking about whether I will renew in January.
  15. Somehow I suspect there will be by the time the self-proclaimed "enlightened" ones are done changing the program.
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