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Posts posted by HiLo

  1. While it doesn't have much to do with polls, I agree with a lot of that, but just have to remind the writer that Scouting is a lot bigger than America. (It wasn't even invented there, nor in my country.) I would say....


    Scouting is one of the very few institutions in the world that is still trying to instil the core human values.

  2. Statisticians claim that meaningful results can be obtained by polling a number of people equal to the square root of the total population you're interested in. For the whole US population, that means polling around 17,500 people. Obviously much fewer if you're only interested in existing or potential Scouts.

  3. No, it's not true to say that "any poll in reality is really meaningless". A simple poll of Scouts who have recently left asking "Why did you leave Scouts?" is going to give you some simple, useful information.


    And we all know that polling even the most successful (numerically?) units still excludes some people and some options, eg. girls.

  4. Yes HICO_Eagle, there's a lot of truth in your last paragraph. But there can be some useful results from polling those who leave.


    A letter gets sent to every youth member who leaves Scouting in my Australian state (computer generated of course) asking why they left. A lot of the responses (apart from the obvious valid reasons) are then sent back to the relevant local leaders to respond to the reasons. We do see some interesting perspectives, like the boy who claimed he was bullied, but was, we knew, the subject of a serious crackdown by the leaders on his own bullying behaviour, and didn't like it. But such feedback can help identify where programs are weak, etc.


    And yes, I guess the decision, if it ever comes, to stop worrying about gays and/or atheists and/or girls, will be have to be an internal organizational one, and not poll driven. As you say, poll results would be fairly predictable depending on who you asked.(This message has been edited by hilo)

  5. You've done it again. Gone back to that majority thing in "... there are those on this board who seem to think that a large majority of scouters would like major changes, I think they might be surprised."


    Scouters are there now because they presumably broadly agree with current policy and practice, so I wouldn't expect a lot of them to seek major change. But Scouting is not for the "majority of current Scouters". It's for current and future kids. You need to look long term and broadly. As other threads have hinted, change may have some negative short term effect. Probably will. But if it's the right change, it will eventually bring in a whole new generation of kids AND Scouters. Scouters who like the new approach.


    Some of them may be atheists, gay or female, but I can assure you that if they follow the rest of Scouting's philosophies, they will still be great people.(This message has been edited by hilo)

  6. Skeptic, the problem with your "benefit to the majority" view is that it explicitly excludes some minorities. I would love to see a Scouting program that is inclusive of all.


    To an outsider looking at BSA, the biggest difference from most of the rest of the world's Scouting is BSA's total dependence on and subservience to the Chartering Organisations.


    If I was being asked what I think BSA needs to do to move forward, I would be saying "Free yourselves from those other bodies. Let Scouting be Scouting, not a church youth club with a Scouting flavour."


    Back to the topic, my answer is above. The question should be "What should BSA do to move forward?", obviously adapted to the audience, whether it's people inside or outside Scouting.

  7. The next generation is always looking for ways to prove how different they are by doing exactly the same thing all their friends are doing.


    Tattoos are very in around these parts right now. I wouldn't be surprised to see large slabs of very bright colours in very obvious places, like on the face.

  8. Closing threads after a predetermined number of pages can be a good way to keep a forum under control. Closing threads because one or more posters has gone out of line is less useful. It doesn't identify those posters the mod thinks have misbehaved. It doesn't tell them THEY were the problem. It won't lead to improved behaviour from the miscreants in future.


    If certain posters are seen to be a problem, the need to be censured, not necessarily publicly, but in a way that ensures they try to change their ways, or move on. For all I know, I may have been seen by OGE as one of the guilty parties, but I don't know that, do I? I'll just carry on, doing what I do, just like everybody else.

  9. SSScout - That link is not to any statistics about cycling and helmets. It's to a letter to the Financial Times of London, plus a blog of responses. The letter refers to an alleged unpublished report, but doesn't publish it. We don't see the statistics. Just the conclusions the writer claims he can draw from it. Worth a read, but not conclusive.


    The rest of the blog contains many posts defending helmets. Also worth a read.

  10. Yes GaHB, I was thinking of you, among others, when I spoke of bigotry here. You convinced me of that when you posted your totally irrelevant story about gays cruising.


    As for Internet bullying, I've been playing on the web for a long time, and I know it happens. I can do it, and have done so (rarely) when I felt that another bully deserved some of his own back. You're very good with words, and you're quite capable of doing it too. In my humble opinion, you have already done it several times in this thread. Threats to "out" people (for being associated with something you don't like) is bullying.


    And thank you for drawing my attention to the existence of Scouting for All. Its goals seem excellent to me. It seems to want to bring BSA part of the way along the road towards what my Scouting organization (also a member of WOSM) is.


    (PS: I edited this post after I realised that I had done a little Internet bullying towards the end.)(This message has been edited by HiLo)

  11. Don't waste time and effort on a vote. Most kids will only vote for a movie they have already seen, or the one that's currently being promoted the most.


    Jungle Book is good, and relevant.

  12. With the younger kids I think they have to be aspirational goals, and probably always were, just to different degrees. At the time they join Scouts most kids haven't really sorted out the God thing for themselves. They are still learning about lying, or not, and the care for other people and things aspects of the law.


    I like to see those tools used as reminders of what is expected. The kids know they have made a commitment to be something that many non-Scouts are not, but they need a bit of guidance on the details as they go along.


    By the time they reach anything like Eagle standard though, this stuff needs to be pretty much cast in concrete.

  13. This thread has turned into one about the posters rather than the topic.


    In Australian politics there's an old saying. (Not sure if it's common in the US.) It's about what you do with dissident party members.....


    "It's better to have your opponent inside the tent with you, p|ssing out, than outside the tent, p|ssing in."


    A good discussion can handle all sorts of opinions. Someone who only wants contributions from people who already agree with him is ultimately likely to get his spirits (and other bits) dampened. I think we would all like to see Scouting continue to succeed. Let's share the tent nicely.


    And GaHB, there's a difference between lying and misunderstanding. The latter is guaranteed with long posts on the Internet. (As you have already acknowledged.) I've already apologised for doing that, and hereby apologise for all future incidences.


    There, do reckon that covers me?

  14. Oak Tree - Asking "drop outs" why they left is an excellent idea. It happens where I come from.


    You don't always get the absolute truth, and certainly get some interesting perspectives, but it can be very valuable.

  15. Eamonn - I really like the fact that you're considering polling those not in Scouts. If the only people you survey are those already involved, it stands to reason that you will find they don't want it to change much. Otherwise, tey wouldn't be mebers now, would they?


    As for what to ask, as someone who is unlikely to ever be a member, I'd go beyond the specific discriminatory areas like gays and atheists, and look into the whole concept of chartering organizations. You can't change the gays and God thing while the CO situation is like it is.


    I would ask if Scouting should be able to make policy decisions completely independently of other organizations such as churches.



  16. brodiew tells us - "Seeing as we are from Fl, these boys and girls are not into speed, but into staying on their skis in an upright position."


    For starters, yes. However, I've taken many groups of kids to the snow for first visits. By the second day I almost always find two or three out of every dozen wants to try straight down the fall line, and not just on the bunny slopes. Sometimes that even includes the girls. There was one who definitely terrified me. But she ended up working as an instructor and insists all the kids in her classes wear helmets. She has had a few injuries, and almost never skis without a helmet herself now. Oh, she's my daughter.


    Look after those kids. Safety doesn't take away the fun.

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