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Everything posted by Hunt

  1. I'm sorry, Bob, I thought you were indicating you had spoken to him about this. However, as I noted, I don't see any reason to ask anybody about it, because my position in this is consistent with what scouts have always done and are currently doing, and what BSA promotes. There's really not any need to do any more to demonstrate that your position on this is in error. If you think BSA needs to correct what you see as a problem, I suppose you could talk to them. I predict they will decline to instruct scouts to stop wearing their uniforms at the best PR photo-ops BSA has.
  2. "I have been mistaken a few times and have admitted the error, an attribute not widely practiced by some posters on this forum. I am not asking that posters agree with the contents of what I post, just to have the ability to debate the subject maturely and with actual documentation, rather than attack me personally for their lack of a knowledgeable response on the topic." I'm sorry, but this is simply not consistent with the discussion style you have typically exhibited here. Perhaps you are just unaware of how it reads, and perhaps it is different from your conversational style in person. Indeed, just look at the last phrase of the quote above from your post. This is hardly the way to mend fences with those who disagree with you. As an example, I just read your post in the "Wearing the Uniform" thread. Your advice there is OK by me. So why was it necessary for you to include a shot at me in that response? That's the kind of thing that annoys people, and it's just unfriendly.(This message has been edited by Hunt)
  3. Bob, read DanKroh's post very carefully, and ponder on it. This is not really about who literally gets the "last word" in a thread. It's about discussion style.
  4. "Hunt, contact the national director of Boy Scout Advancement and ask him what the phrase "outside the sphere of scouting" means regarding the Eagle project. Unless he has changed his mind I have provided you accurate information." I don't find it necessary to contact anybody, because the correct interpretation of the language is clear to me, and BSA's own publications confirm that I am correct, especially in regard to wearing the uniform. Did you contact the national director about this? I would be very curious to know what you asked him and what he said. Did you ask him specifically about the uniforming question? Thus far you have only referred to documents that don't really support your position. If you have something more, it is odd to me that you didn't mention it before.
  5. "That is not what it means Hunt. It means that the work is done by the scout as an individual not as a representative of the BSA and so the BSA has no authority of responsibility during the work. He is not there as a representative of his charter organization, council, or national BSA office. His work is outside the sphere of scouting." This your opinion of what it means, of course, as you have made abundantly clear. What I'm suggesting to you is that interpretation is not supported by the context or the facts, or by any BSA publication that I know of. It is simply untrue that the Scout is not a representative of Scouting when he is performing his project, no matter how many times you repeat it. It's certainly not true that BSA has no authority or responsibility during the work, because the work is subject to numerous BSA requirements and must be approved by BSA representatives both before and after completion. As I mentioned before, if BSA approves a plan with defective safety provisions, and an injury and lawsuit were to result, BSA would have liability. Perhaps this has never happened, and BSA has not had to rethink how it carries out the approval process.
  6. It is interesting. Could it be something about the way you make your points?
  7. The answer to your question is simple, and has been repeated several times. In context, "outside the sphere of Scouting" means that the project is to be performed for a non-Scouting organization, so the scout can demonstrate through helping others the leadership skills he has learned in Scouting. That's it. It has nothing to do with liability, uniforming, fund-raising, or anything like that. It is obvious to anyone looking at the BSA documents that the Eagle Service Project remains a scouting activity. It is a scouting activity that is performed "outside the sphere of Scouting." You seem to think that there is some contradition in terms there, but there really isn't. I hope this helped you understand better the gap in your reasoning here.
  8. Bob, you keep repeating the same fallacious argument in the face of clear evidence that you've simply made a mistake in this case. BSA does NOT say that an Eagle project is not a Scout activity. That's your erroneous interpretation of language that explains that it is to be performed by the Eagle candidate for the benefit of a non-Scouting organization. It is simply absurd to argue that an Eagle project is not a Scout activity. You insinuate that you've cited some "rule" that the uniform is not to be worn when performing an Eagle project, but you haven't, because there is no such rule. I am quite confident that BSA is well aware that Eagle projects are one of the best PR opportunities scouting has, which is why they obviously promote the wearing of the uniform while doing the work. Really, Bob, you of all people shouldn't be making up a rule that doesn't exist.
  9. "Hunt, I still say waiting for "a good time" is not a reasonable standard." I'm not sure now what I said, but what I mean to say is that you have to wait for a good case. If you want to win, and avoid making things worse, you need strong facts and, preferably, an appealing plaintiff who has obviously been wronged. As you suggest, the Summum people may not be very good plaintiffs in this respect.
  10. "Again, we have all scene photos in Boys' Life that are not correct. The purpose of photos in Boys' Life is not to establish or share BSA policies or procedures." To paraphrase Groucho Marx, who are you going to believe, Bob White or your own eyes? The picture I mentioned was not a photo, but artwork in Boys Life's regular feature on Eagle projects. My son has recycled most of his old Boys Lifes, but I found one from October, 2006. On page 51, again the "On the Trail to Eagle Scout" depicts, in artwork obviously created for the magazine, boys, including the kid who is obviously the candidate, performing an Eagle project in activity uniforms. It appears to me that BSA, far from prohibiting the wearing of the uniform in this situation, actually promotes it. I've given examples froom 30 years ago, from two years ago, and from last week. On the other side, there is simply an argument extrapolated from various documents, that is based on the nonsensical claim that an Eagle Project is not a Scouting activity. On the subject of liability (really a red herring), no court in the land would find that an Eagle project is not a Scouting activity, since it is planned according to BSA rules, approved by BSA authorities (including the unit and the district), carried out according to BSA rules, approved again by BSA authorities after it is performed, and is a required element in BSA's advancement scheme. Scouts, wear your uniform to do your Eagle project if you like. There is no rule against it.
  11. Bob, this isn't about feelings. It is about the fact that your argument does not logically follow from your references. It is patently obvious that BSA considers Eagle projects to be Boy Scout activities, and thus the uniform is entirely appropriate. Look at page 57 of the most recent (May 2008) Boys Life. What are the boys wearing in that picture? Sure looks like a BSA Activity Uniform. And what are they doing? An Eagle Service Project. Since BSA itself obviously does not agree with your interpretation, you should really think it over.
  12. Perhaps the problem here is the misperception that "outside the sphere of Scouting" is some kind of legal term. It really isn't. There is simply no evidence that it means anything other than the obvious meaning, which is that the Eagle Project is to be done for a non-Scouting organization. To try to stretch it into some more global, pseudolegal term is just unwarranted, and places restrictions on boys that BSA has not made. Bob, do you honestly think that if BSA wanted to prohibit boys from wearing their uniforms while doing Eagle projects, this is all they would say about it? Boys have been wearing uniforms to perform Eagle projects for decades, and BSA has published photos and even paintings of them doing it. It's just nonsensical to think that BSA intends to prohibit this practice. I'm sorry you feel outnumbered, but in this case it's because you have made an extreme and erroneous interpretation.
  13. "But using that standard leads to no challenges. It's never a "good time."" Not at all. There are good times--they are when you have an attractive plaintiff, a strong fact pattern, and real-world impacts that will impress the judge. For example, if somebody wants to put up a new monument of this kind in front of City Hall, that's a good case. A 50-year-old one, not so much. As an example, it appears that the ACLU decided not to appeal the Winkler decision to the Supreme Court--I have to assume that's because they feared the risk of an even broader standing ruling, and they saw the weakness of their case on the merits as well.
  14. I don't really see this as a fight. I'm trying to be as polite as possible, but because this is a public forum, I think it's important that scouts and scouters who might read it get accurate information. In this case, there simply is no published rule that scouts may not wear their uniforms while performing Eagle projects. Rather, BSA has published materials actually depicting scouts doing this. Certainly BSA points to Eagle projects as a major part of the BSA program, and often reprints articles and press releases about projects. All there is is the opinion of one or two people, based on a misreading of BSA materials, that this is somehow forbidden. As I said before, it would be really sad if a boy read this and wrongly believed that he had violated some rule by wearing his uniform to perform his project. It just isn't so.
  15. "If they don't complain, the 10 commandments stay up anyway; with a complaint, at least there's a chance for a ruling that the 10 commandments really are religious and shouldn't be there." But the downside risk is that they create a bad precedent for a later case where it matters more, and that's what happened here. That's always the danger in cases like this--for example, with Newdow's challenge to "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, there was the danger that the Supreme Court would find that not only was it permissible, but that even broader prayers, etc., were permissible.
  16. I think you misunderstood me. I'm not saying that the monument is legal. Indeed, I think the proper legal decision would probably have been that the monument has an obvious religious purpose and was illegally placed on public land. My point is that opponents of such monuments should use some common sense in deciding what cases to bring. When they sue over a monument in a remote location which nobody has complained about in 50 years, they run the risk that a court will decide that their claims are petty and a waste of court time, and the result will be bad law. That's what happened in this case.
  17. Fscouter, you're right about that. It would be nice if we could read something that really spelled it out. But this has only tangential relevance to this issue being discussed here, which is whether BSA prohibits the wearing of the uniform while performing an Eagle project. I think it would be news to BSA that there is any such prohibition, and it would also be news to them that the Eagle candidate doesn't represent the BSA Program through his Eagle project--BSA's own PR makes it clear that they don't share that view.
  18. Note that the work plan, including planned safety precautions, is reviewed and approved by the BSA District. If somebody is injured because those plans were inadequate, BSA could certainly be sued--BSA itself, not just the chartering organization of the candidate. If BSA wanted to avoid liability and disclaim insurance coverage for Eagle Projects, they would handle the process in a completely different way.
  19. But Bob, you haven't begun to show that BSA has "said" that boys can't wear uniforms to perform Eagle Projects. As I've tried to explain, you've extrapolated that idea from statements that have nothing to do with uniforming. The insurance point is also a red herring (clearly, if BSA thought that it would be subjected to additional liability if boys wore uniforms to Eagle projects, the prohibition would be explicit). I would really hate for a boy to read this thread and think that he can't wear his uniform while replacing flags on graves, or presenting his final project to the benefiting organization. While you're free to promote whatever contorted interpretation of BSA rules you like, when you clain that BSA has clearly prohibited boys from wearing uniforms to do Eagle project work, that's just misinformation.
  20. This is an example of how weak cases can distort the law. Here, it was very poor strategy to go after a 50-year-old monument that nobody had complained about. It seems petty and ridiculous to do that, but the court isn't going to decide (overtly) on that basis. Instead, the court will make some half-hearted argument about how it isn't a "sacred space," etc., which will just muddle up the next case where there really is a contemporary effort to give state support to religion.
  21. I'll just add that if you search "Eagle Project" on www.scouting.org, the first thing that comes up is an article with a picture showing a boy working on his project in uniform. Also, Csatari's 1978 painting "Eagle Service Project" shows boys rushing off to do the project in uniform; the leading boy is rolling up his uniform sleeves.
  22. But Bob, your interpretation is really pieced together and extrapolated from all those things. But we have reams of info about how to do Eagle Projects, and not one word, as far as I know, stating that it is forbidden to wear the uniform while doing this work. You're putting a lot of emphasis on the idea that the Project is "outside the sphere of Scouting." What that language means to a reasonable interpreter is that the project is supposed to be done for a non-Scouting entity. There is no reason to assume that it means that the project must somehow be totally divorced from Scouting to the extent that the uniform is forbidden. While you may think that you have quoted a definite rule on this, you haven't. What you've done is set out your interpretation of how some rules should be extrapolated to answer this question. You are certainly entitled to your interpretation, unless and until BSA contradicts it. But your interpretation is not definitive, and I, for one, don't even find it to be persuasive.
  23. "Hunt the BSA advancement policies amd procedures says that the project is doen "outside the sphere of scouting". Can you think of of why you would wear the uniform when working at a job that was outside of the scouting program?" I don't know about a job, but I can certainly understand why one might wear the uniform while carrying out a Boy Scout Eagle Project, that was planned and approved according to BSA requirements. Bob, your interpretation is an extrapolation from language that doesn't really have anything to do with uniforming, and it's really not required by the language. Surely, if BSA really didn't think boys should wear uniforms while doing Eagle Project work, this point would be mentioned in the many pages of information about Eagle Projects they have published? I mean, your interpretation is, apparently, that uniform wear is actually forbidden while doing Eagle work. Is that right? And you feel that this prohibition is sufficiently stated in language that describes the Eagle Project as being for the benefit of a non-Scouting organization? In my opinion, your interpretation, although not impossible, is quite far-fetched, and would, I believe, be quite surprising to the vast majority of Scouters.
  24. While's it's true that an active scout will have no problem meeting the 20 nights requirement, there are some eager scouts who want to know how soon they will have fulfilled this requirement, so it's a reasonable question to ask. My picayune question is this: if you go to summer camp for six nights, can you count one night of camp the next summer?
  25. In my son's troop, there is a boy who hasn't been attending regularly. However, we noticed that the few times he showed up included all the times heavy work was to be done, including helping at Eagle projects, and participating in our fundraiser, which involves a lot of labor. After thinking about this, we have trouble criticizing him very much.
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