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Posts posted by HICO_Eagle

  1. On 5/28/2021 at 2:58 PM, CynicalScouter said:

    During today's Fireside chat on "Governance" former CEO head honcho Bill Gates said that "LCs need BSA National. Without BSA National, there are no LCs. We are in this together." I wish, just wish, I could have seen the looks on some Council Key-3 faces. I'm sure there was a lot of teeth grinding.

    Did you mean Robert Gates?  He was a terrible DCI, worse SECDEF, and absolutely horrible President of Scouting.  I'm not surprised he delivered this bit of shinola.  Technically, he may be correct in that National owns the intellectual property of handbooks, uniforms, symbols, etc. and probably the loyalty of most of the SEs but it sure would be heartening for some of the LC boards to at least investigate their options in adhering to Scouting's ultimate purpose by separating from the disastrous decisions that have been coming out of Irving, TX for the past decade or two.  My impression is that the National Board is a paragon of incestuous relationships and will be dragged kicking and screaming into any kind of reform.

  2. When I first learned about the Ineligible Volunteer Files in the 1990s, I was given to understand that the cases of perversion were ones that Scouting couldn't prove (i.e., didn't go to trial) but that the local councils wanted to track to keep the alleged predator away from the boys.  Cases that could be proven were supposedly referred to law enforcement.

    I understand that some people, wanting to avoid negative publicity, may have used the files as an alternative to pursuing prosecution.  That was clearly wrong but it still hurts my head that something that was created as a tool for preventing sexual abuse is being used as evidence that it was being allowed.  The only people coming out of this in a better condition are the lawyers like Kosnoff.

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  3. I guess I've got a little different perspective. I saw little value in OA when I was a Scout in the late 70s/early 80s (Aloha Council). OA elections seemed to be a longevity or popularity award, in part because the new Scouts really didn't know who to vote for. The "Arrowmen" I saw were not necessarily the best at Scoutcraft and it was never the "Special Forces" of Scouting from what I could see. For that reason, I pulled my name from consideration as a Scout because I didn't want to take votes away from someone who did want to join the Lodge (I still seemed to get write-ins anyway).

    I agreed to have my name submitted for OA as an adult and went through Ordeal because the Lodge at Pikes Peak Council seemed different, more akin to what OA was supposed to be. Never went past that in part because I never got the handbook and in part because I was too busy to bother with tests just to get a different sash -- but then, I judge people by what they do, not what they wear or have on their walls.

    I supported OA at Pikes Peak and the other councils I went to and would never have refused to hold an election. Like most other things, you can get from OA only as much as you put into it. OTOH, I completely understand why some Scouts don't wish to join it.

  4. Bear in mind that many of the individuals causing the most harm and responsible for the most damage are people who will actively evade the protections put in place: in the past, now, and in the future.

    The US Department of Defense and intelligence community spend tens of millions of dollars per year to find and protect against bad actors and they still have ongoing problems.  The FAA and NTSB have extensive programs for protecting air travel against defects in design, manufacturing, and maintenance but none of their programs will do anything against the pilot who intentionally dives the aircraft into the ground (rare but it happens) or who is inadequately trained/experienced for his/her flight (not as rare).  Holding BSA or any other volunteer organization to a standard that assumes liability for not detecting and protecting against these bad actors is simply unrealistic.

    What BSA and other organizations can do is protect the youth against the unintentional/uninformed/insensitive actions -- similar to how DoD and the IC protect against inadvertent disclosures or the FAA may publish an Airworthiness Directive after an accident investigation.

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  5. On 4/22/2021 at 4:13 PM, Owls_are_cool said:

    If the end result is innocent scouts and scouters forced to pay into a victim fund to keep the program running for their scouts, my first reaction is not to complain. We'll move to another organization or quit scouting. Fixing one wrong with another wrong might be legal, but there is a point where scouts will not see the value in the program and cut their losses. 

    I don't blame you at all but when you do move, you will be accomplishing exactly what the individuals and organizations who've been trying to destroy Scouting for decades want.  Make no mistake -- some parties in these lawsuits are in it for justice, some are in it for revenge, some are in it for the money, and some are in it simply to destroy a pillar of traditional American culture and society.  That last segment has been trying to destroy churches, Scouting, the military, law enforcement, etc. for decades and use any convenient avenue they can find.  This doesn't diminish the very real hurt suffered in some of these cases but the general public really needs to keep the broader perspective of what's good for our society in the long run.

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  6. 5 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

    When did you quit?  I'm talking now, not 2014 and prior.  I would agree that during Dale it probably got rough.

    My ASM was clear when we discussed this recently .. it helps.  He has talked with Harvard, Yale interviewers ... it helps.  Notre Dame ... helps.  We have had Eagle Scouts do well at Ivy through mid tier colleges.  We have examples.  That said, it won't help if you can't answer questions.  He has said it show perseverance and achievement of a goal. 

    I think parents make the mistake thinking their son/daughter just needs to get Eagle Scout on the resume and they're golden.  If they go to an Eagle mill, I don't see the benefit.  (Yeah, its on the resume, but did they really learn anything?) Now, if while earning Eagle, your son/daughter got over a fear, learned new skills, took on a role they wouldn't have been comfortable with, lead a team, failed, succeeded, etc. ... that is the real value.  Then they  take that value and explain it during an interview and its a winner.  The rank on the app is really just a minor part of the story .. the value is what they did to earn that rank.

    I resigned from the Alumni Interview program in 2018, maybe 2017, due to increasingly regressive "woke" statements from the university in general and the Admissions Office in particular.  I didn't just talk with interviewers, I was an interviewer and listened to the Admissions Office and looked at the matriculation rates of the applicants I personally interviewed.

    If youth are looking at the program as I did, as a path to gaining experiences, skills, and self-confidence, they should by all means continue with it or whatever program succeeds it.  My point is that the value of the Eagle brand has -- in my experience -- diminished with elite universities and corporations.

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  7. 58 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

    I have a ASM who interviews for a top 10 school and talks with the interviewers from Harvard, Yale, etc.  Eagle Scout is a BENEFIT.  He is nudging his sons to get there as well.  It can vary how much of a benefit based on the interviewer, but it is a benefit.

    1 hour ago, Eagle1993 said:

    One my my ASMs is an interviewer for an elite college (top 5 school for business, journalism, etc.) top 10 overall.  Eagle Scout is a benefit on applications.  How much of a benefit probably depends on who interviews you.  I went to a state school, but apparently, elite colleges have one of their alumni interview you and they then tell the college what they think.   I have never heard or seen any evidence it is a strike against applicants.


    58 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

    I have a ASM who interviews for a top 10 school and talks with the interviewers from Harvard, Yale, etc.  Eagle Scout is a BENEFIT.  He is nudging his sons to get there as well.  It can vary how much of a benefit based on the interviewer, but it is a benefit.


    1 hour ago, MisterH said:

    I've spent enough time interacting with academia over the past 20 years to notice this, too. IMO most colleges view "Eagle Scout" as just another civic-oriented extra-curricular activity, but I've met more than a few professors who dismissed the Boy Scouts as "a right-wing, paramilitary hate group", particularly prior to 2014 when the BSA started lifting their official bans on homosexuality.


    I was an interviewer for an Ivy League university.  From listening to the PC speak from the Admissions Office (not just professors who aren't part of the admissions process) to looking at the matriculation rate of applicants I interviewed, I'm pretty confident that Eagle rank is no longer a benefit and may in fact be a detriment in applying to these self-ascribed elite universities.  It's one of the reasons I quit being an alumni interviewer.

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  8. On 3/12/2021 at 6:31 PM, MattR said:

    Besides, I think the eagle brand is taking a huge hit - what's it going to be worth if you're afraid to bring it up?

    IMO, the Eagle brand took a huge hit a long time ago for a variety of reasons.  PC culture in elite colleges appeared to be using it as a strike against instead of for the applicants.  Standards seemed to be lowered in merit badges, projects, etc. in order to increase the success rate.

    I personally would still be inclined to give an Eagle Scout the chance to prove him/herself to me even with otherwise marginal qualifications but that's just me and it's honestly a bit of sentiment.

    Outside forces have been attacking and attempting to dismember Scouting for their own reasons but I felt like National was diminishing the program for many years.

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  9. On 3/9/2021 at 10:38 AM, MattR said:

    Unfortunately, most councils are broke and all they see is money. That seems to be the root of all the problems.

    At least the councils have the excuse of being broke.  I've long had the opinion that the only thing National sees is money, hence needless changes like uniform changes that seem designed to just make boys spend money (like changing green to red), program changes that didn't improve the programs but made boys and units have to buy new MB pamphlets or fill out more paperwork (but hey, someone's ego got the boost of making major changes).

    Robert Gates showed just what he thought about local unit or even council autonomy when he decided to change membership rules without any discussion and in direct violation of what National had told the councils just a year before.

    I keep monitoring this forum because I hope I'm wrong and Scouting will rise again but I fear the combination of the hate-mongers who've been targeting Scouting for decades and the ineptitude and corruption at National may be the last hurdle.

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  10. On 3/8/2021 at 2:52 PM, yknot said:

    True. But that is ancient history. Some version of two deep has been around since the 1980s. It predates me.

    FWIW, two deep was not required in the late 70s/early 80s when I was a Scout.  Our troop went to summer camp with just one adult, the SM, at check in and in fact the SM was off-camp most of the week.  We (the boys) in fact knew that was illicit but wouldn't have been able to go to camp had we not participated in the scheme because we had no other options.  No other adult signed up to go with us and the SM (who didn't even have a boy in the troop) had a shop to run.  The rules in the Aloha Council at the time required one adult, period.

    It absolutely was a thing by the time I joined a troop as an ASM in 1988 and the troop I joined was greatly relieved I was able to go to summer camp as the second adult.

    The idea that 20% of volunteers were non-compliant seems a bit exaggerated unless it includes new volunteers who haven't got around to it yet and veteran volunteers whose training expires before they retake it.  We absolutely had to have 100% compliance with anyone registered at recharter (when I was still active with Scouting).

    All of this disregards the fact that predators -- like most criminals -- don't obey the rules.  The fact that we have any significant number of cases since 1990 demonstrates something that should be intuitively obvious.  I regarded YPT and the G2SS as tools to help me -- the innocent volunteer -- steer clear of situations that could be litigious.  In today's age, that ought to be sufficient incentive for volunteers to take the training and abide by the guidelines.

  11. I sort of went through this topic about YPT not being effective when the wife of one of my cousins claimed Boy Scouts has fostered a rape culture.  The fact of the matter is that youth groups are viewed as target rich environments by sexual predators.  It's not a lot different from the cases of men preying on teenage girls in high school athletic teams.  These predators are not going to pay attention to guidelines in YPT.  What YPT does help with is awareness so NON-predators can avoid situations that might look bad.

  12. On 2/15/2021 at 2:10 PM, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Not everyone who does not want the vaccine is a denier. A lot of folks in the medical field have reservations about the vaccines. One of them stated that they had serious questions about one company's study methodology after reading a peer reviewed  medical journal article on the vaccine. Others have questions about the efficacy of the vaccine, and whether it will really make a difference or not based upon their reading of the ongoing research of the virus. I have read of hospitals offer bonuses in the form of cash and extra days off as an incentive for their staff to get the vaccine.


    Trust me they know it's real. They know they have to be cautious. But they have legitimate concerns because these vaccine have been fast tracked. They do not know what long term effects the vaccines will have.

    I am not a doctor but I am an engineer and used to dealing with tests and data analysis.  I took the flu vaccine every year when I was on active duty because I was required to.  I probably caught the flu every 2 or 3 years despite that.  When I retired over 10 years ago, I stopped taking the flu vaccine because I'd read how it's created and was appalled -- haven't had the flu since.  My clinic asks me about it every year and every year I tell them I'd be happy to take it if someone has a study showing it's more effective now.

    I intend to take the CV-19 vaccine when offered but there are very real reasons to have qualms about various products or procedures without being a "denier".

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  13. My mother, sister, and 2 nephews all received the Pfizer vaccine with no ill effects.  My brother-in-law was laid low for a day or two after each shot.  The brother-in-law is probably the fittest person in the family (he's a physical therapist and physical conditioning counselor by trade) with about 3% body fat but the vaccine just hammered him.

  14. On 2/11/2021 at 4:50 AM, scoutldr said:

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the time intervals for T-2-1 can all run concurrently, right?  (Meaning, you can be working on the First Class Fitness, while still a Tenderfood) Back in my day, you could not start work on a rank requirements until you had been awarded the previous rank.  The "First Class First Year" push changed all that...not in a good way, in my opinion.

    You must be much older than me.  We were able to work on T-2-1 requirements simultaneously in 1978.  What you COULDN'T do was earn Second Class before achieving Tenderfoot or First Class before achieving Tenderfoot.

    While I keep an open mind that SOME 12 year old might be mature enough with natural leadership abilities and work hard enough to get Eagle in 2 years, it would be extremely rare and I am rather skeptical about earning 71 merit badges in 2 years.

  15. The troops I've been involved in have always been small and therefore always ran on the cash model for activities anyway. Our charter organizations provided a place to meet and (sometimes) to store equipment but that was about it so the new model would work for those troops (if they still exist). Liability insurance is the real kicker. I would not trust Council with my unit's money (if it had any worth speaking of) and I *like* my local Council. I've just seen too many broken promises and shenanigans as execs and directors change out.

    I wonder if a trust arrangement could be made to sponsor a unit, "hold" its money, and provide a liability shield for the church or other organization agreeing to provide a place to meet and store equipment. Maybe paying a nominal fee to the church or organization for the meeting place and storage so it's clear they are separated from the trust and the unit.

    Sadly, I don't think this will be the end of it. The powers that have been attacking Scouting as a pillar of society for decades have the upper hand in the entertainment and news industries right now and some of them will NOT stop until they have obliterated Scouting. Period.

  16. Extremely disturbing and disappointing. I have been going through extended discussions with the wife of one of my cousins who accused BSA of having a "rape culture" and homophobia. Nothing but redirects when I pointed out the assaults over the years were almost exclusively man-on-boy. I just *love* discussing these things with people who think 2+2=9 because that's what they've been told in the newspaper, on TV, on Facebook, etc.

  17. I understand your friend not wanting to donate the land unencumbered.  I've seen too many shenanigans at the council level trying to get around encumbrances in order to turn land donations into cash even when the land donation paid for itself in terms of cash flow (i.e. program fees to use the land were enough to pay taxes, utilities, fees, and improvements).  An enduring trust that gives your local unit first right of refusal to use the land for activities or something like that might be the way to go but it does require finding a trustee willing to do all of the work.

  18. There have always been girls who have been interested in the same things as boys.  We used to call them tom-boys.  BSA's insistence on staying focused on single-sex operations was not to deny these girls outdoor experiences.  It was because there weren't enough of them to justify taking on the additional costs and logistical burdens of incorporating them into the program.  A lot of camps were built with little to no privacy in hygienic facilities.  I remember the back-to-back latrines at Black Mountain Camp down in Philmont -- being back-to-back was the only privacy you got.

    The more variables you add (adult/youth, male/female, etc.) in terms of privacy/youth protection factors, the more complex the logistical planning.

    I still maintain that instructing the boys, whether it was for safety briefings or must merit badges, was more effective without girls around.  This isn't the girls' fault, it's just a fact of life.  Teenage boys are easily distracted.  A lot of males, particularly in the teenage and 20-something years, are focused on one of two things and you know which of the two it is if they just ate.

    I remember hiking through a Girl Scout camp on our way uphill to the Boy Scout camp.  We took them up on their offer of a tour of the camp.  They showed us the standard tent and then the one they called "roughing it".  We laughed a little since it had cots with mattresses and pillows and even electric outlets and lighting!  As I recall, one of the girls also laughed and said she would prefer camping like we did but that's what the GSA offered.  Later, as an adult Scouter, I dug into this more with some moms who volunteered in both programs and was told that GSA didn't really allow the youth-led program like BSA did so while modern girls were more into the outdoors, the troops offered the same handicrafts and other programs the mothers had grown up with and wouldn't consider incorporating the outdoor programs.  Water under the bridge but I felt this was a wasted opportunity for a number of reasons -- seems like the Girl Rangers are another example of a wasted opportunity.

  19. As with many class action torts, the lawyers are incentivized to get (or create) as many presumed victims as possible.  Some of the abuse was real but how many of the supposed 90,000 cases are mixing things like teasing by other boys in group showers with pedophile cases?  How many of them are a result of the lawyers getting the now-men to attribute their current problems to "abuse"?  If the count vastly exceeds the so-called secret files (at least some of which were unproveable and maybe even innocent people), just what were BSA or the adukts involved supposed to do with cases they didn't even know about?

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    15 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    HICO, you are fighting physiology there...the point is, that part of the brain isn't done growing in yet...they do not have the physical structures needed for that kind of "adult" thinking.  But, what we can do, is train them in the processes and form the habits of planning, forecasting, and leading.

    I'm going to disagree with the premise that the fact the brain is still growing means they don't have the physical structures necessary to start thinking like adults.  If we want youth to start thinking like adults, we have to start treating them like adults.  Yes, you make allowances for their age and inexperience but you don't coddle them.  They aren't infants.  Heck, the term "young adult" USED to refer to this particular age group (as opposed to 18-25 year olds) -- and I think still does in the book publishing world.


    1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

    This is in many ways the question that we are all struggling to answer.

    And in this I think we see that even millennials are looking around for an answer.  I'm also reminded that we are not even really marketing to millennials any more - we're targeting Gen-Z and increasingly Gen-A youth.  


    I think it would be a mistake for us to infer this.  The risk of death is certainly lower today.  However, the challenges to succeed are as great as they've been.  The skills kids have evolved for certain, but that doesn't mean that there are fewer skills needed.  If I look at my profession, we are as far from a hands on profession as you can get.  But, the skills needed by our young adults are high.  Further, the skills that are most needed are the same as they have always been - a sense of drive, confidence, resourcefulness, problem solving, team work, willingness to try, willingness to take risk.  There are the kind of skills that Scouting excels at helping a youth develop.  

    The outdoors is our game and it's a good one.  Getting kids outdoors is a great way for them to adventure, have fun, and build skills.  Perhaps in BP's day those skills were part of the purpose as they could keep you from dying.  But today, those outdoor skils are less necessary.  However, the other skills that Scouting excels at developing are indeed needed.  


    One of the reasons I said that the skills needed in years past were at least as great as today is that the challenges kids face today are ones of convenience or desire or entertainment, not literal survival like in the years I cited.  Having to do something in order to ensure you eat or live for tomorrow tends to force concentration in a way that deciding whether to use TikTok or Instagram or Snapchat don't.


    2 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    My point is that going back to some "golden age" (Pick a date here. 1960?) and replicating that program won't work because that was a program for a different time.

    You literally cannot (legally) do some of the things that were permitted in 1960.

    In other words, if you simply took the Fifth Edition of the Scoutmaster's Handbook (1960) and the Sixth Edition of Boy Scout Handbook (also 1960) and said "do this" it wouldn't work.

    We aren't the nation we were in 1960. Offering up that 1960 program today would not work.

    I am NOT saying to resurrect the exact program of the 1950s and 1960s.  I don't want to teach Scouts to chop off living tree branches to build their wilderness beds.  However, teaching them self-reliance and skills for dealing with the outdoors and each other will go further than all the touchy-feely SJW emotionalism that they're being indoctrinated with today.  The wilderness skills aren't just to enjoy the outdoors, it's to teach them to plan and think without relying on a smartphone or tablet to tell them exactly what to do.  My experience has been that youth generally enjoy being able to do things themselves and realizing they are capable of doing more than they thought.  THAT is exactly what the Patrol Method is all about (IMO).


    30 minutes ago, vol_scouter said:

    4-H made a big push in STEM programming and grew by a couple of million.  It has been very successful and is meeting a large demand for STEM activities.  Both youth and their parents want more STEM programs.

    11 hours ago, yknot said:

    Those are exactly the kinds of questions BSA needs to be asking and researching. I would say 4H has survived because it hasn't been afraid to change and because it has remained relevant to an evolving youth market. It's much more elastic. You can say the same of youth sports and other youth organizations. BSA is pretty moribund.

    13 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    4-H was in freefall for years, starting in 1974 when it peaked at 7.4 million. It dropped to around 5.5 million by the 1990s but is back up to 6 million or so now. Why did they come back (or at least remain stable) while BSA dropped like a stone?

    BSA has had STEM merit badges for decades and has even updated the qualifications to keep up with technology.  I got the computer merit badge nearly 40 years ago.  I was a registered counselor for it until my retirement from Scouting 4 years ago.  One factor you all are missing is that Scouting has had a target on its back for decades from various factions of society.  4-H has never been targeted that way (to my knowledge).  This wasn't a factor in the first 2 crises the OP mentioned but it has been an ever-growing factor in the third crisis -- and it's been given a boost recently by the way social media, the entertainment industry, "journalism", "education", etc. have dealt more in influence (particularly in social trends) than in actually connecting, entertaining, or informing.

    BSA can't fight all of that by itself but it doesn't need to.  My contention is that the older program of teaching youth self-reliance, enjoyment of the outdoors, planning, leadership, etc. will do more than kowtowing to the social activists.  At the very least, it could have stanched the loss of members from the politically correct changes made or led by Robert Gates and Randall Stephenson.  Why is it we can teach triage techniques like "stop the blood loss" in First Aid (well, we stopped being able to teach the use of tourniquets in the FA merit badge but we still taught the concept of dealing with the most dangerous conditions like blood loss first) but National takes policy steps to INCREASE the loss of critical resources in order to appease adult political activists?

    I would really like a continuation of the OP's essay but IMO Scouting will not get past this latest crisis unless or until it is willing to ditch the top-level leadership that sacrifices membership and resources to political activism and prioritizes PhDs over real concrete field experience in shaping the program.

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