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Everything posted by Hunt

  1. My understanding of the reason for the electoral college is not that it gives more power to the small states, but rather that it prevents a person from becoming President as a result of overwhelming support in one part of the country. In a direct, nation-wide election this can happen. With winner-take-all electoral votes, it is much less likely. I think this made more sense when there were clearer differences in interests between different sections of the country.
  2. You should probably take a look at the Personal Fitness MB to see if that will work or not. Also, it sounds like he will need to take the "land route" to Eagle (hiking/cycling and emergency preparedness vs. swimming and lifesaving). If his problem is upper body strength, I can''t think of other Eagle-required MBs that might be a problem--he may not be able to do all of the options in Camping, but it seems there a probably enough he could do.
  3. I''ve thought that the reason for this is to do background checks on the leaders through the "new" leadership applications. I think there are unit leaders who have been around long enough that background checks weren''t done when they first signed up. I certainly agree that it would be a disaster to try to "match up" MBCs with MBs on the Eagle application.
  4. "Why document it?" So you have a record of how long he was in the POR for advancement purposes.
  5. It seems to me that those who are concerned about this should just forget about whether a scout is "active" for purposes of advancement, and focus instead on the POR. Don''t let a scout who doesn''t show up have a POR, and if a scout stops showing up, remove him from the POR. The unit has that power. Aside from advancement, I personally have no problem with a scout who only shows up occasionally--he may still get something out of it.
  6. "By the time a boy has earned the first 3 ranks, he should have some good idea about what it means to be a participating member of his group. If he has not yet grown enough in wisdom to understand, will an adult-written rule help him learn?" Of course, he should have learned this..but some boys don''t learn, and unfortunately, some are opportunists, and a clear rule can prevent such persons from unfairly working the system to their advantage. Of course, you always have to balance the inconvenience of such rules to the well-intentioned against their benefits in restraining the ill-intentioned.
  7. Perhaps a solution would be to include requirements in Star, Life, and Eagle that are more like those for Second and First class--i.e., require a certain number of campouts, etc, while in the rank. If you did that, you wouldn''t have to worry about percentages, and you would ensure at least a certain amount of activity.
  8. I would disagree with Beavah a little bit--while I agree that if the goal is "getting Eagle" because it''s a resume-builder, then I think it''s reasonable to resist going the extra mile for the boy. However, I can imagine a boy who returns with a consciousness that he has left undone something that is important to him, and that he wants to make it right before it''s too late. I would support a boy if I believed that was really his motivation. I think the idea of a really in-depth discussion with the boy before allowing him to rejoin is a pretty good idea.
  9. I think I personally would draw the line between the fire pit and the shed. I think a structure that will only be used by the Scouts is not quite enough of a service outside Scouting. Sure, it will belong to the COR, and will continue to belong to the COR if the charter is dropped--but that same logic would apply to renovating canoes that the troop "owns"--because the COR owns those, too. But this is just my gut reaction, not an analysis of the rules.
  10. I think the key point was made earlier--if you want to uphold firm standards of service, leadership, etc., you must do it BEFORE the boy has achieved all the requirements on paper. So, if he''s not active, don''t recharter him. If he''s not active, don''t let him have a POR, or remove him from the POR he has. If he doesn''t perform well in his POR, remove him. As far as I know, there is no appeal process from such decisions.
  11. I think communication is the key here--sometimes a leader really doesn''t know or understand the rules--or is remembering what the rules used to be in the past. Or, as others have suggested, the leader may have some other good reason for not wanting to recognize a POR or approve an Eagle project. A private, friendly talk can often clear this up.
  12. I asked earlier what troops did that increased the wearing of full uniforms. Unless I missed something, the answers were that adults told the boys to wear full uniforms, and they did so. I have to question whether this is much of a testimonial for the uniform method as currently delivered. Does anybody have an account of how improved uniforming was a byproduct of other forces in the troop, such as improved esprit among the boys, a boy leader who was committed to the uniform method, etc.?
  13. The requirement says "serve actively for a period of 6 months in one or more" of the listed PORs. If you had to serve for six months in one position, the "or more" would be pointless verbiage. Therefore, it is clear (to me) that they just have to add up to six months.
  14. "Well, when he was initially assigned to command the troops after the disaster as Kasserine Pass one of the first things he did was institute correct uniforming. " Of course, Patton didn''t wear the correct uniform himself, so I''m not sure that''s a good analogy. Personally, I think full uniforming is good, but I don''t think it is as important as the other methods, just as I don''t think all laws are equally important. Let me ask this question: for those who have seen uniforming improve over time in a troop, what was the cause? Adult leadership, youth leadership, improvement in other elements leading to more esprit? I''d be curious to know.
  15. "I won''''t come knocking on Gern''''s door when we need a new car; we''''ve made our choice -- the children over the $. And we live with it." So I take you that you wouldn''t deduct mortgage payments from your taxes? If you do, you''re knocking on my door for help paying for your house. I just don''t agree with this everyman for himself attitude toward schooling--as I said before, I think there are societal benefits to public schooling that go beyond financing. (Just as most people think that there is a societal benefit to home ownership, which is why the mortgage deduction exists.)
  16. It appears to me that Richardson did this to make up for his prior statement that homosexuality is a "choice"--if he hadn''t made that gaffe (if it really was a gaffe), he probably would have dodged the question. I''ll bet you that none of the top Democratic candidates will give any answer to that question--why lose any votes over a hypothetical question about a symbolic position? And when it comes to actually deciding whether to accept BSA''s honorary presidency, they''ll make a similar calculation about which decision will likely hurt them in future votes--and then, I predict, they''ll accept the presidency while making some statements about how they hope BSA will move toward broader inclusion.
  17. In my son''s troop, the Advancement Coordinator (me) also assists with paperwork involving MBCs--such as getting people to agree to serve, sending in the required documentation to the district MB "dean," and also assisting the SM with identifying available MBCs. The boy still goes to the SM to get his blue card signed. For the MBs I counsel, I would use a rule of reason as to whether I would accept something done before the blue card was signed. Sometimes it''s obvious that you should accept it (serve in a school band, for instance). Sometimes it''s pretty obvious you shouldn''t (I wouldn''t accept a letter written in second grade). In between, you have to use your discretion, and remember that it''s for the boy''s benefit, not to hold him back.
  18. I think there is a significant distinction between "requiring" a uniform at a BOR and "expecting" it. In my son''s troop, a boy''s level of uniforming will be noted and commented on at a BOR, but he won''t be refused a board or "fail" because of it. I can''t recall a boy ever having his sash however--not a bad idea, especially for Star and Life.
  19. Well, he was an altar boy, so he may have been a Boy Scout. But I suspect that it did come from a thrift shop or something--I notice that the BSA emblem is not there. P.S. Jack White is an excellent guitar player. I really dig his stuff. P.P.S. Is there anything improper about wearing the jac-shirt with non-uniform clothes? Can it only be worn as part of a uniform?
  20. There are lots of pros and cons, but think of it this way: you have an opportunity to do something that will be a benefit to both of your sons, as well as a host of other boys, for 10 years, or maybe even longer.
  21. I''m a bit put off by this talk of "government schooling" or "welfare schooling" or "mass schooling." These are loaded terms--akin to refering to homeschooling as "amateur schooling" or "isolationist schooling." I think that there are virtues to public education that go beyond the financial support mechanism. I think a good public school helps build civic unity and sense of common identity as Americans. I don''t think that can be achieved in an evironment in which children are taught that others are "tainted," just as it couldn''t be achieved in the "white flight" private schools like the one in my hometown.
  22. One suggestion on yells: I think the patrol is more likely to use the yell if it creates its own, as opposed to inheriting a traditional old yell that may be "lame." This may result in a goofy yell, but it can still contribute to esprit.
  23. "I always love da argument, though... that "those people" aren''''t smart enough/involved enough/caring enough about their children to be entrusted with choice. Only wealthy folk can handle that." Call me cynical, but yeah, I think there are a substantial number of parents like that. There are plenty of poor families that are dysfunctional in various ways, and I just don''t believe the parents in those families are going to participate in a choice program. So, I think that any choice program will leave a core of extremely difficult-to-educate students in the very worst schools--of course, that''s where they are now, so maybe the end result--for them--isn''t much different.
  24. Well, I can agree that the history of BSA''s membership requirements is muddled and inconsistent. But if you assume that the current leaders of BSA really do believe that the DRP is important--what should they do about LFL? Obviously, they can''t require the DRP for LFL groups, because they are in schools. I suppose they could drop the program entirely, but who benefits from that? Here''s a thought experiment: Church Group is shipping care packages to victims of Katrina. The packages include food, toiletries, and a Bible. They ship some directly, and some through a government agency. The government agency tells them they can''t include the Bibles in the government shipments. What should Church Group do? If they think the Bibles are important, they''ll certainly keep including them in the packages they ship themselves. But they may think that the ability to ship food alone is important enough to take the Bibles out of the government packages and continue the program. Since I prefer not to think that BSA has some nefarious purpose behind everything they do, this may be the kind of calculation they''ve made: "Well, LFL is not as good as regular BSA units, because we can''t promote all our values, but it''s still better than nothing for the people we serve."
  25. Units don''t have the authority to alter the uniform, but they have the power to do so, because there are no official consequences. Use of the Uniform method is not even mentioned on the 2007 Centennial Quality Unit form--from looking at that, you would conclude that 100% subscription to Boys'' Life is more important than the uniform.
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