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Everything posted by HICO_Eagle

  1. That is precisely WHY they need help forming that brain early as teens and the coddling needs to stop. I would argue the skill set needed for a 15 year old to succeed in 1865, 1929, or 1941 was greater and more complex than today. We've been dumbing everything down for the last 30 years. Teens today don't even try to remember simple things, thinking they can just Google it if they need info. Youth in the past needed to know a wide variety of details and tasks (examples: how to handle and care for animals, grow crops, make their own clothes and footgear, fix a broken wagon wheel, etc.).
  2. Yeah, it was late last night when I wrote that and I held off posting but yknot's post brought it back to mind and I neglected to QC. I do recall we had an issue once where we couldn't put a newly graduated 18-year-old in as ASM, I think we had to put him in as the Advancement Chair or something like that until he turned 21. Regardless, the point I was trying to get to is that we as a society (not necessarily Scouting as an organization) need to stop prolonging childhood. The youth often don't grow and mature until it's demanded of them. I just read a news story about staffers at Pengu
  3. I hate to detract from the OP's excellent historical review but I see no real reason to extend the membership age to 21. One of the biggest problems I had was keeping promising older teens in the program after they got a taste of car fumes and perfumes. At 18, a Scout who still wants to be a part of the program can become a Junior ASM -- and I've had a few of them (even was one when I got home from my first year in college). As a JASM, s/he is a useful bridge between the generally older Scouters and the Scouts themselves without losing the respect of being an "adult". Extending the mem
  4. In my experience as a Scout, we changed SMs pretty regularly, probably due to overwork although it was invisible to the Scouts. We just kept on keeping on. The SM who formed the first troop I hooked up with as an adult Scouter only left because of a job in another state. Another father stepped in for him for a little over a year but had to resign because he was working an hour north and it was just too rough on him to get back down in time for meetings, much less everything else a SM has to do. The third SM lasted about 4 or 5 months -- he took it personally when members of the committ
  5. That right there should have disqualified her from any position of responsibility if National wasn't so disconnected from reality. I know some excellent PhDs but no one I've met with a PhD in "education" has seemed to know a dang thing about teaching. Field experience should be the first and foremost thing they look for at National. When you look at who gets selected for the Board or President positions in the past 15 or 20 years, it's almost like the organization wanted to destroy itself.
  6. BSA as a group didn't molest children nor did it protect child molesters as a group. Some individuals feared publicity would harm the organization but the organization in general tried to keep people with that predilection out. You can certainly argue that it was too sweeping with the bans but just what guidelines would you propose absent criminal records (which WERE immediate disqualifiers depending on the crimes)? Unfortunately, BSA is on a course toward settlement. IMO, settlement will not end this because ultimately, it's not what the activists want. This has been a decades-long f
  7. The problem is that many people/organizations -- including the Washington Post -- have been trying to destroy Scouting and other societal institutions for decades as part of their agenda for change. Looking to WaPo for constructive ideas to preserve the program would be like looking to Karl Marx for ideas to preserve capitalism or Cortez for ideas to preserve the Incas. Nothing we suggest to preserve the program will be sufficient for them because destruction of the program is their ultimate goal. BSA would have been pilloried for publicly "outing" people it suspected but had no hard ev
  8. So does National expect councils to go DRAFTING "youth of color" and girls to get their percentages up? These kinds of mandates are what drive phony registrations -- something that should be a warning sign. I am so glad I've retired from Scouting because National gets dumber and dumber every year, just like the mainstream media, public education, and Hollywood. Quotas are inherently unAmerican. When I was in the National Capitol Region, one of the best-behaved, most disciplined troops I'd see at Goshen was an inner city troop from DC but we rarely saw "youth of color" express any int
  9. Just what do you think they need? Not want, NEED; these are not synonymous. The answers being delivered up are observations that some of us think they need. One of the reasons so many of us think traditional training and organizational structure are the answer is because they worked. Do you honestly think families today are more broken than families in the 1920s and 30s? Scouting got its reputation because it provided not just outdoor skills but genuine leadership training, the ability to plan and deal with the unexpected, etc. The growth of companies like REI, EMS, etc. tells us
  10. Agreed. A lot of us predicted overall loss of membership due to parent burnout when Tigers were announced. One of the points I tried to make at bridging ceremonies was that we were maturing the boys and while we wanted parent participation, they shouldn't feel they needed to be at every activity or every meeting. I would close with a recollection that in my time as a Scout, some of the best campouts and hikes were ones where the parents were as far away as possible (usually got a laugh). Okay, I don't regard patches and t-shirts as "bling" -- they're simply recognition and so
  11. Um, no. Yes, Scouting has a lot of bling but no, it's NOT part of "the culture" -- or wasn't IMO. There are always people who want to show off but elements like knots instead of letting adults wear the Eagle badge itself were an effort to tone down the bling. Skill award belt loops weren't so much bling as a display of credentials. For the most part, the only things I put on my uniform as an adult were the Eagle and AOL knots and the Trained badge -- and those were just to show my experience and credentials. Anyone who knew me already knew my background and experience and those who di
  12. I used to have the opposite issue with medications roughly 25 years ago. This was a period when it seemed boys who didn't act like docile little lambs were diagnosed with ADHD and Ritalin was handed out like M&Ms (from what I could see). In the 2 or 3 cases I can recall, I think the parents tried to be "buddies" with their sons rather than invoke any kind of discipline. In contrast, I made it pretty clear with the boys as both ASM and SM that having fun was great, jokes were fine as long as they didn't result in injuries or property damage, but that I wasn't going to put up with misbeh
  13. TL;DR The value of Wood Badge varies based on your background and experience, primarily with leadership/management skills and techniques but also with Scoutcraft and the Patrol Method Before I retired from Scouting, I saw a vast change in the adults involved in the program. When I first became a Scouter (after graduation from college, commissioning in the USAF, and completing initial job training), most of the adults I saw had prior experience with Scouting (in many cases, LONG prior experience as Scouts and Scouters). By the time I left, I would say over half the adults involved had lit
  14. FWIW, I fully supported and encouraged troop shopping when I was still Scouting. I told prospective new parents that each unit had its own persona and style and that different boys would fit in with different units. IMO, it shouldn't set up an "Us vs. Them" mentality if the troops are participating in Roundtables -- the goal is to get the boys (and now girls) situated in an environment that best develops their skills and meets their needs to be productive members of society with a healthy appreciation for the values and heritage that Scouting brings (or used to). In addition, I very muc
  15. To some extent, I think a lot of this has been part of a long game to destroy the pillars of Western society and that while the aim of individual lawyers may have been money (for them or for the victims), the ultimate and primary aim of a growing segment of activists for decades has been to tear down "the Church", the BSA, the military, the police, etc. Tearing down the organizations does nothing positive for the current and future generations who could have benefited from the programs and teaching. All it does is leave a vacuum that various nefarious powers are just drooling to fill (and al
  16. @Oldscout448 I don't blame you. I agonized over my decision to retire from Scouting. Nowhere near 50 years -- about 26 years as an adult Scouter, 5 as a Scout, 3 as a Cub -- although I would have liked to have ended the way the SMs I admired did, going to the grave with a Scout uniform. I told my fellow members on the Shooting Sports Committee that I'd help them with anything that didn't involve registering or sending money to National again (and I have). It just got to the point where I no longer trusted National. Robert Gates and his successors have been an abomination. I won't bot
  17. I don't know why people are so amazed by things like this. Some people -- even kids -- can do a great job organizing things they want to do when they figure out no one else will do it for them. The pandemic gave them the opportunity -- what the TC needs to do is take advantage of it as an example of the patrol method for the other patrols and support the boys. Bravo Zulu for those boys. The troop I grew up in was so small we nicknamed it "the Fun Patrol" -- yeah, the whole troop was basically a large patrol. All our parents were busy so we had no choice but to organize everything ours
  18. @CynicalScouter Congratulations on the patrols that are being active and let the jaw-struck ASM know that this is how things are supposed to work. The senior patrol that isn't doing anything will either get embarrassed and pick things up or not -- if not, it may be the "fumes" that affect so many senior Scouts. I lost a lot of good Scouts to "fumes" over the years but that's not necessarily a bad thing either; not every Scout has to be an Eagle and there are other ways to be useful contributors to society than working on Scoutcraft.
  19. A lot depends on the SE. One of the former SEs in my former council kept bringing up an idea to sell property that had been specifically bequeathed to the council under condition it not be sold. If the council ever decides the property is too much to maintain, it reverts to the previous owner. Said SE also kept wanting to sell the land the current camp -- just 45-75 minutes from town) is on (prime real estate!) and replace it by buying land about 3-4 hours further west. It's hard enough to get units to use the camp facilities outside summer camp -- add a 4 hour drive to that? No thank you
  20. I'm talking about the cancel culture whiners who are really the ones spawning these kinds of proposals. Most of them aren't even in Scouting (then again, neither am I anymore) but most of the changes to Scouting that I observed before retiring were coming from outside or from new people who had no background. Something like changing the term "Scoutmaster" is absolutely symptomatic of outsiders making "suggestions" with an inadequate uninformed understanding of history, etymology, context, etc. Trying to accommodate these kinds of people is what I consider inappropriate and unproductive.
  21. Instead of submitting to cancel culture by changing titles, why not take it as an opportunity to teach them proper English and etymology? I fear there are more educated idiots per capita these days than any time in human history. People with degrees that still can't seem to construct a logical line of reasoning, who don't want to let facts or history get in the way of how they feel about something. If we change these titles today, how are these same people (or, God forbid, their children) react when reading Dickens or Doyle when they reference the schoolmaster or headmaster? Oh no, we'
  22. 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
  23. 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 peripher
  24. @ 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
  25. 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.
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