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Everything posted by HICO_Eagle

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. @@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.
  5. 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.
  6. Somehow I suspect there will be by the time the self-proclaimed "enlightened" ones are done changing the program.
  7. Stosh, I hear you but it used to actually be a Board of Review, not a Board of Kindly Discussion. For nearly my entire Scouting career, youth and adult, that meant a review of the Scout's progress, skills, and suitability for the next rank. The way modern "Scouts" want to treat it, you may as well not have it, just have a checklist and get the rank once you get everything checked since the Scoutmaster's Conference and Board of Review are no longer events to be passed but simply something to endure.
  8. I'm going to disagree here. I personally abhor the way National has watered down SMCs and BORs but what really matters is that the Scout doesn't get the rank until it's recorded on the advancement form. Rank advancements still have to be signed off by members of the BOR so much as I usually agree with Stosh, the Scout has not earned the rank by the time he reaches the BOR. He has been signed off on all the requirements except for the final signature of the BOR. Small but critical difference.
  9. This debate boggles my mind. 20 or so years ago, the only people I knew who claimed the Civil War wasn't about slavery were racist blacks or left-wingers who didn't want to give the North/Republicans/Lincoln/etc. any credit for going to war to free the slaves. Was slavery the only issue? Not by a long shot but it was the primary issue. What disturbs me today is the heavy emphasis on imagery over substance by the "social justice warriors" (e.g., removal of "Dukes of Hazard" episodes or items for sale while Che Guevara and Nazi memorabilia is allowed) and deliberate misinterpretations of law and Constitution that have taken hold in the legal system over the last 20-30 years.
  10. You think so, huh? I thought many of the presentations after Train the Trainer were even worse than the ones I had to endure from professional military education.
  11. That was exactly what I meant. I keep getting asked to take Wood Badge with an implication that it's "the thing" holding me back from a Silver Beaver nomination. Two problems with that: 1. I don't see that Wood Badge is anything other than a waste of time. Nothing anyone has shown or told me has demonstrated it will be anything other than yet another repeat of the various leadership/management classes I've had since college. 2. I really don't care about awards as an adult. I'm in this to help the boys. The best "award" I've ever gotten was meeting up with one of my former Scouts, finding out he is now a Scoutmaster, and that he models his program after what I did.
  12. True, there are no take-backs but a Scout is honest. This Scout wasn't. That calls for a Scoutmaster Conference and a note to the committee for any future BOR.
  13. What infuriated me the most about this is the way they have tried to sneak it by. Announced on a Friday with the vote scheduled in 2 weeks while most units are busy camping. This has got to be the most unScoutlike behavior I've ever seen from National and as far as I'm concerned, every member of the Committee and Board that chose to sneak this implementation through this way ought to be removed. If you believe in your cause so much, why try to sneak it past with no time for reaction or comment? My SE said he was told ONE HOUR before the public announcement was made.
  14. Some of this is a return to how things were 20-30 years ago. I don't mind that, in fact, I encourage it. Frankly, I'd be happy to toss out all changes in the program over the past 20 years and reinvoke the few that were positive. I don't understand people upset by Scout being a rank -- it's one the boys could earn at their first meeting and get a sense of accomplishment immediately. I don't like the requirements being shifted from Tenderfoot to Scout precisely because they make it harder to do Scout-on-the-first-night/month. I advised our new parents last night to photocopy or print the advancement pages from the new requirements and stick them in the books they just bought 3-6 months ago. They can get a new book when it's published if they want and use the current book for reference when the boys go camping (tying a square knot or round lash hasn't changed in decades/centuries), keeping the new book at home and undamaged for recordkeeping and meetings.
  15. Part of the problem Stosh is that many of the folks who preached tolerance really meant that everyone needed to accept THEIR point of view (and really beyond accept, EMBRACE). They have no tolerance for dissenting points of view once they get into positions of power or control.
  16. I like the fact they're using "NCC-1701, no bloody -A, -B, -C, or -D!" I'd trade you a set of our Pikes Peak Council Stargate Jamboree patches for a set of those. 2010: 2013: I have to check my inventory, think I only have the 2010s left for trading (I liked them best anyway).
  17. Troops don't own packs. IMO, one of the reasons Scouting is declining is that we don't encourage boys to find a troop that meets their particular needs or modus operandi. Webelos crosses over the troop he has been told his den always goes to and then finds he doesn't like it -- maybe the Scoutmaster is old-school like me, maybe he's new school and the Webelos or his parents want old school, maybe the troop is too big or too small. Not knowing any better, he probably quits Scouting altogether rather than figuring out there's another troop a mile or two away that he'd enjoy. I tell boys (and their parents) who visit that we'd love to have them but to go look at 3 or 4 troops (or more) and get a feel for what each troop is like and how each troop fits in with what they want out of Scouting. Inviting Webelos from another pack isn't raiding, it's giving the Webelos options to find the Scouting they want. The troop that complained needs to 1) grow up and 2) think about what they're doing to service the Scouts.
  18. https://www.ar-15.co/threads/149525-Big-Weekend-In-Colfax-County-Floods FYSA.
  19. I wouldn't ban or limit parents. Heck, our problems are usually not having enough adults participate. What I would do is make them understand any adults on the trip will effectively be an Old Goats patrol and adults will not work with their own children. "You want to come along? Great! I've already got Bob set up to work with your boy so can you and Henry take Jimmy and Tommy and work with them on first aid? Thanks alot!"
  20. @@imachristian13 -- First off, sorry for the gender confusion. For some reason, I thought you were the mother. In any event, the words I see that keep coming through are "we worked to develop" and "they agreed to". In other words, it wasn't their plan, it was yours. What would I have done differently? In your place, rather than develop plans that the SM/ASMs "agree to", I'd have asked how they thought it should be handled, what I could do to assist, and then follow up to get feedback as THEIR plans were tried out. Perhaps they felt railroaded into agreeing to your plan, perhaps they're just jerks ... I don't know, I'm not a telepath. Question: how does the ASM/commissioner who is a family friend and whose son invited your son to the troop feel about this? What did he see or hear? I am somewhat incredulous that the ASMs didn't discuss the situation amongst themselves. The SM/ASMs have discussed all sorts of things regarding troop operations in all three troops, all three councils that I've participated in as an adult Scouter. Why didn't he perceive an issue earlier and tell you about it earlier or intervene to change their plans? As I said, I think you'll be better off at another troop anyway, I am just leery about all the judgments and statements being passed with only having one side of the story.
  21. This isn't new and it isn't related to the belt loop changes. RichardB is correct about no unit-level shooting activities for Cubs. No need to call National for clarification on this one. The National Shooting Sports Manual (http://www.scouting.org/filestore/Outdoor%20Program/pdf/30931_WB.pdf) is quite explicit on page 42: As far as archery at a professional facility goes, the NSSM requires the following for "qualified range master" (page 10): As long as the professional facility has properly certified instructors (and I'd question their viability if they're running a facility without proper certifications), there is no problem here for Boy Scouts (again, no unit-level shooting for cubs). Bad Wolf's shooting sports committee is wrong if they are allowing this for cubs but the reality is there are unlikely to be any repercussions as the chances of an accident at the professional facility are probably lower than at day camp. To quote Willy Wonka, "It's all there! Black and white, clear as crystal!" (Note: To my knowledge, there is no Section 37B in the NSSM.) As far as Troop185's day camp experience goes, the NSSM actually changed this year to allow use of the magazine in BB guns (and .22s for Boy Scouts!) so they no longer have to fire BBs one at a time. His council may be relying on the checklist for the Basic Shooting Activity for BB guns (starting on page 90) which has cubs loading BBs into chamber and therefore implies single-shot operation but page 86 says the following: I know it says "Scouts" not "Cub Scouts" but the context of the entire page is about BB shooting for Cubs -- the only time we have Boy Scouts shoot BBs is when we have joint Boy Scout/Webelos activities and have to have all activities open to Webelos or in the cases where we are unable to use .22s or the air rifles we purchased from CMP (e.g., rifle merit badge classes at Bass Pro). Our council still runs our cub shootarees in single shot mode for the safety of participants (and sanity of the range officers!) but we make extra effort to make the events fun and enjoyable. All the cubs look like they're having fun and I've never received any complaints about shooting one BB at a time -- to the contrary, I still get comments from parents weeks and even months later about how much fun their boys had.
  22. 1. I agree with the others that you should finish whatever rank you're working on and look at other troops for a transfer. I always advocate Scouts look at multiple units before locking in to join one because every troop has its own personality. 2. While you're considering other troops, you might want to reflect on whether you're missing anything that makes your troop seem like it's so adult-led. Is the SPL competent and leading like he should? When are the ASMs telling the boys to tuck their shirts in and pull their hands out of their pockets? Is it during a ceremony when they're supposed to be respectful like flags at camp? Is the SPL around when they're doing that? I usually work through the SPL when I can and try to get the Scouts used to levels of leadership but realize they are still learning how to lead and in many cases, they are still learning to observe what they should even after a year of leadership. Very very few people are born with an instinct toward leadership, most have to be molded. 3. If these ASMs are so bad, why aren't other boys leaving the troop? What makes you think other ASMs are afraid of being kicked out? In every troop I've been in, the SM and ASMs talk to each other -- a LOT. We talk about what's going on, what we've seen, who needs more development, etc. I've never worried about being kicked out of the troop -- the SM couldn't do that on his own even if he wanted to (and if we weren't friends anyway). As you look at other troops, you might want to ask the other boys in the troop why they stick around.
  23. At risk of reviving a zombie thread, I finally made it all the way through all three threads. I've seen a lot of people jumping off to pass judgment immediately based on a single point of view and one person observing that only one side of the story has been told. I have no doubt imachristian13's son will be better off in another unit and I hope they've been able to find the right unit for him. On the other hand, all of her posts convey (to me) a strong sense of "they (the troop) will change to accommodate my son" even when she says they agreed (at her insistence) to guidelines or rules about how or when to give up. I have no doubt she was trying to be reasonable but as was pointed out earlier, they had no obligation to accommodate her or him. I have no idea what motivated the ASMs in question to take the actions they did but I can think of analogous situations where I'd feel obliged to let a prospective future troop know what they were in for, not to blacklist the boy but to ensure the troop entered the relationship with full knowledge. My troop has a "boy" with Asperger's who just made Eagle. We're immensely proud of him and the progress he made in the troop but I can also say his first couple of years were very difficult. His first year, he would literally explode unexpectedly, lashing out physically when he exceeded some unknown level of frustration. After a week at summer camp where I found myself having to literally watch him 1-on-1 for the safety of other campers, we (the SM, all 3 ASMs, the TCC, and COR) had a meeting with his parents. We recounted the difficulties at summer camp and other weekends and then told them we were NOT asking them to leave -- he was precisely the kind of boy who needed Scouting the most -- but advising them we might have to ask for more assistance from them in the future as it wasn't fair to the other boys to have half the adult leadership devoted to one boy. He mellowed somewhat after 2-3 years and we breathed a sigh of relief until his youngest brother (with a milder case) lashed out at another Scout at summer camp. He lashed out so quickly that I don't think it registered to him that he had an arrow in his hand (from Archery class) but the other Scout was lucky to have jumped away as quickly as he did and I think I was as pale as he was. I separated them and walked off with the brother (in view of the rest of the troop so we were still IAW YPT) to let him talk about what was frustrating him. Situation handled -- but it was not easy and we constantly had to think about the safety of and fairness to the rest of the troop. We have yet another slightly autistic Scout in the troop who also just attained Eagle. Never an issue of safety with him but again he would frequently monopolize the time and attention of the SM or ASMs and getting him through advancement and merit badges was a constant chore. I'd have advocated for taking him on if he was transferring from another troop but I also would have appreciated the other troop telling us what we were in for as a heads up. I'm not a telepath so I don't know if the ASMs in question were being mean and spiteful or trying to be considerate of other troops by giving them full knowledge of the difficulties they were about to take on. I hope imachristian13 has found or quickly finds the right troop for her son and that he grows in Scouting as the boys in my troop have but I also think people need to be a little slower before passing judgment on the ASMs.
  24. First, what are you intending Wood Badge to be? Tell me that and I'll tell you what I think the course should encompass. To answer the question myself, I'd prefer Wood Badge to be an advanced skills course instead of the poster child for ineffectual feel good "leadership" management philosophies. Get rid of the "Game of Life" socially/politically-correct mumbo-jumbo and provide instuction on: - advanced woodsmanship/Scout skills, - Patrol Method and the G2SS, It would also be nice if it covered - secondary but important factors in running a troop (expenses, sources of income, CO relationship, etc.), - what you have to do to affect policy or create change at the council and national levels (i.e., how we get rid of the stupidity that has crept into the program over the past 15-20 years).
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