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Everything posted by jmcquillan

  1. If memory serves me correctly, in the time when the words "under God" were added to the Pledge, this country was not far removed from victory in war, and our President was Eisenhower. The addition of the words was originated by the Knights of Columbus, I believe, but the follow-up was by the leadership, Executive and Legislative, of a nation very thankful for having succeeded in their efforts during the war. Remember that during that time, the predominant religions of the country were Christian or Jewish, and the words were added, I think, in as generic fashion as was understood in that day, a
  2. Rooster7 said: "I don't think it would be appropriate if the Scoutmaster lectured the Scouts and their families as to the significance of those differences." Good point, and one that I always tried to keep right up front in my mind, for I knew no more than the rest of the crowd about the differences, and was always learning myself. I never pretended to minister to the troop. That was, as still is, beyond me.
  3. In Scouting we already have a method by which we, as Scout Leaders, should be teaching manners. It's known as "setting the example". That should be sufficient.
  4. If asked to lead a prayer... I usually found a way around it, for in my troop, the circumstances that NJCubScouter eluded to were real. We had Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, and two Chinese families (I admit to never really knowing what faith they held). I was never comfortable with a generic format with such a variety. My appreciation for the depth of belief and the differences between us all lead me to using that variety as a learning experience and tool for all in the troop. If asked to plan for a prayer at whatever troop function we had, I would always seek out members of each
  5. At the very least, have him clean up his own mess...i.e. consequences for ones actions. I might side with sctmom but for the thought that "punishment" might over-ride lesson learning by some degree. Knowing the boy and the circumstances would attend to that issue, though. Did he know right from wrong? Was this a prank? Was this done with malice? I assume he doesn't do this at home....
  6. From memory here, I don't have my book at the office... The SM is charged with performing that task, and no other, unless specifically charged by the SM due to extenuating circumstances (like illness and immediacy of need). That's why they call it the SM conference. Although I will say that in my time, I did have need to ask an ASM to fill in for me when circumstances prevented my attendance. But in each of those cases, the ASM asked had formerly been SM of the troop, and our philosophies were pretty much identical, so I felt quite at ease asking him. Again, just from memory...
  7. Bingo, OGE. You hit the nail squarely on the head. Controlling a troops growth can very much depend on whether your troop is the "only game in town". A troop really doesn't want that if there's a large pool of potential Scouts. We faced that years ago in our troop. There were, and still are, two troops in town. Ours was growing leaps and bounds. From what we heard from the in-coming parent corps, our troop had the structure and program that parents were hoping their kids would pick. Obviously, they did. Our numbers climbed while the other troop in town stayed stagnant for a while, and then sta
  8. I came home from my second tour in Vietnam with a few missing parts, and 2 Purple Hearts. That effort and sacrifice might have meant more, and might have been more tolerable, had the Commander in Chief had the slightest bit of sincerity in his concern for the troops he sent forth. eisely, you probably understand more than some. A deep sense of sincerity towards ones position and responsibilities shows forth without effort. And that's one thing that I like about GWB. There's no show there. It's real, and it's deep. He may be far more of a religious man than some who have occupied that office, a
  9. One of the visible trademarks of Scouting has always been that of self-sufficiency in the boy. The ability to survive in the wild using the skills he learned in Scouting. Although the ax and hatchet are only small tools that do only one job, it's kind of sad to see them being left on the wayside as not necessary any more. With all due respect to the leave no trace and environmental movements, I still like to see the boys learning the old ways, how to do things with their hands, without electricity, without buttons to push, without the things we take for granted as necessities today. Having to
  10. Woods tools all have their place, and as long as their use is taught, observed, and checked correctly and frequently, there should be no reason to eliminate any. Eliminating one is doing ourselves no favors. Teach it right and make sure it's being used correctly is the better way. With regard to fears that the blade may come in contact with the fingers of the other hand, I'd say that's a sign that they're not being used right. The fingers of the other hand should be nowhere near the point where the blade impacts the wood. And, unfortunately, there are no devices of protection for the
  11. That is incorrect information. See section I of the Guide to Safe Scouting under "Youth Protection and the Adult Leadership" Again...I stand corrected. Hey, give the guy the patch, and the credit due for a job well done, if, indeed, he's done the job well.
  12. If this fellow is serving as a Cubmaster, he's registered with his "primary" position being Cubmaster, not his "only" position. He should have dual-registration showing that he serves as the Tiger Den Leader, too. If he was registered as a Tiger Den Leader first, then he's probably dual registered. If so, that record should show his time in position. Use that argument, along with the other eloquent arguments you've stated here, and write a letter to, or call, the chairman of the "Council" Training Committee. Your District Chair sits on that committee, as do the other district chairs, and hopef
  13. "I guess the people of Boston (or at least some of them) are liberal in this respect." One must remember that the Greater Boston area is, indeed, a bastion of liberalism, and more Democrat than Republican in a big way...but we have a Republican Governor...go figure. If a conservative point of view or policy is to be taken to task, it will happen here...for better or worse.
  14. I always encouraged the PLC to set election guidelines that did not permit on Scout to serve consecutive terms. They've gone along with that, because they all would like a shot at the position themselves someday. They do, however, allow for a Scout to be re-elected to a second term after he's sat out for one term.
  15. OGE, Don't let the secrecy thing become a discouragement to the course. Look at it this way... No matter how much education or experience we've had in our private, public, and professional lives, the experience of Woodbadge is one that wants you to enter fresh and ready to go, with no preconceived notions about agendas or skills. If you enter the course with an open mind, ready to learn new things, ready to let things you might already know be put into a new order for you, ready to see how many things you've always taken for granted as a skill you know can be put to new use, in a new
  16. Most Scout Shops, or the BSA catalog, offer a "board" to slide the hat into by its brim, thereby keeping the shape and protecting the edges. I'm not sure if the same folks offer the rain protector, which is basically a clear "raincoat" for the hat, but you might look. I had one left over from the military, and was able to get more at my local Army/Navy store. You might try that. As to it getting tossed into a locker....well, that's a discussion you'll have to have with your Scout....good luck.
  17. ScouterPaul, That really depends on what the camp offers for program. I'd say that what your Scouts are signed up for is about as much as they should be, no more, perhaps one badge less. But...check the daily camp program and see what other activities the Scouts might be able to involve themselves in as a "troop". The work part of camp is important, to be sure. But it should not take away from the opportunity to have fun. My experience is that it's always easier to drop a MB session than to add one, so you might leave things as they are for now, and check out the program at the first SMs
  18. You might be able to obtain them directly from Gilwell in England. Having worn the one presented at receiving my beads years ago, it felt pretty small and I'm pretty tall (large), and I really wanted a larger one. A friend happened to be making one of his regular pilgrimages across the pond, supposedly on business, but we knew better, and asked if I'd like him to get one at Gilwell. The one he brought home was larger, and made of a finer fabric...quite nice actaully...and it fits!! You might seek their website and see if they offer it for sale.
  19. As drhannon said, "...I have stood in front of the pack with "Signs up" and will stand there until everyone is quiet." This is an especially good tactic. It works even better if you can add a little factor of "shame" into it. Years ago we did this by asking the den leaders to participate, too. When the Cubmaster (me) found himself standing in front of the crowd with his "sign up", the den leaders would quietly get the boys into standing formation, also with "signs up". It took only a little bit for the parents to realize that their own sons were asking them to behave. And it only took a few ti
  20. Two to three hours, not more. And start as early as you can. After three hours, and after 9:00 PM, you'll begin to have problems. Rememmber, these are still very young boys, and usually their siblings (if in attendance) are younger and harder for Mom & Dad to control at that late time. It was years ago for me, (1980's), but we pretty much followed a program similar to sctmom, but with no guest speaker. I think the notion of a guest speaker was, for us, just a little beyond the age of the kids. The exception was those few times we had a local and well known story-teller ply his trade a
  21. Quixote Understanding that you directed your question to Bob White, let me take a stab at explanation from my point of view... Part A requires that the Scout discuss the "how to" part of planning and carrying out a family discussion. No discussion of sex with the counselor is necessary. Part B requires that the Scout actually plan and carry out that family discussion, as a family exercise, without the counselor attending. I would suppose that any feedback and reporting between the Scout and the counselor, after the fact, would be an area where the counselor would ask how things
  22. When my own sons joined Scouting, that was the time I got involved. Almost immediately I was "offered" the opportunity to become the SM, but that's another whole thread. Knowing that the boys would be subject to ideas and words they might have not heard before, my wife and I decided that even at their young age, starting "the talk" at that age might prove worthwhile. We discussed concepts of foul language, sex, and inappropriate behavior. We discussed our own views on the subjects, how others might see these things differently, how we hoped our boys would treat the subjects, and, most of all,
  23. While not thought of as "illegal" in the same way pot is, fireworks of any sort are illegal here in Massachusetts. My only experience with this type of situation is with possession of fireworks...at summer camp. While not a member of the troop who had this problem, I was directly involved. A Scout came to summer camp with fireworks in his possession. It seems his family had just returned from a visit to North Carolina, where the stuff is quite legal, and brought home a supply, knowing all the while that it was illegal at home. (What kind of example is that?) The stuff was stacked on the d
  24. Our PLC always planned, and still plans, the trips. I should note here that the PLC is always attended by the SM, and the SPL works with him to make sure that the plans being proposed are plans that the SM feels the Troop Committee will support. The SM will give the SPL advice and counsel on dates and acceptability of the boys plans, and once a proposed calendar is set, the SM and SPL present it to the full Committee for consideration, which in our troop takes about an hour or so, just to be sure the dates can be accomodated, and/or changes can be given back to the SM and SPL, ASAP, for PLC co
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