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About JMHawkins

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  1. Ha. Yes, good point. Just like BSA prohibiting laser tag. Nothing to stop a bunch of guys - who happen to also be members of Troop 123 - from playing laser tag on their own, so long as their parents agree. Shoot, after laser tag, they might even go camping with sheath knives and home-made alcohol stoves. Or maybe help out around the house by using a cordless drill or wheelbarrow. The sad thing is, BSA could have fought against the overlawyering that's at the heart of the risk-aversion in society. "How are kids ever supposed to learn to do anything if people get sued for letting th
  2. I'm pretty much with Stosh on this. The whole point of the program is to give the scouts experience being responsible for themselves and their fellow "citizens." Adults carry so much inherent authority in a boy's routine world, our very presence can cause them to go passive and wait for an adult to tell them what to do. By the time a boy joins a troop, he's had five years of Elementary School to learn how to do what he's told in a group setting, and another 7 years of Middle+High School if he needs extra practice. He doesn't need Scouts to learn how to follow someone else's rules. He nee
  3. ~~Or does your statement assume adults are around and just in the background?/b> Or possibly it assumes BSA could change some of its rules?
  4. Kudu, is this course for the Adults or for the Scou...er, ha, Trailmen?
  5. The SPL should run the PLC. The PLC "runs the troop" and "running the troop" should mostly consist of coordinating between Patrols. Which are run by the PLs. I'm partial to the idea of an ASPL being the PLs primary "coach" for helping them learn their job. That's the ideal anyway. Usually it falls short, maybe by a little, maybe by a lot, depending. But the more we can push things in that direction, the better the results. As to "Rules", I'm not partial to them. Sure, there need to be some, but the fewer arbitrary "Adults said..." rules, the better. We struggle with thi
  6. Iron Chef is one of our troop's favorite outings. We use an off-season council camp and get a building with some table space - something like a craft lodge. Friday night, Scouts arrive, set up camp, have a campfire, etc. Saturday we have volunteers from the families show up to teach various culinary skills. It's one of the few adult-led instruction activities we have. Patrols rotate through three stations in the morning (about a half hour to 45 minutes each), learning things like proper knife skills, preparing a whole chicken, mixing sauces, making stocks, spices, baking, etc. (all the
  7. Well guys, it's been fun. Thanks for all the advice I've gotten over the years. Keep doing your best to do your duty, all of you are making a difference in young men's lives.
  8. Oh dear. Not that I should be complaining about the free ice cream, but I am not a fan of the new website.
  9. I'm just thinking that A Scout is Courteous has taken it's hits over the past 20 years and probably will continue to do so for a few more. Toleration is based heavily on respecting others, their beliefs, their choices, and their privacy. I give that courtesy and expect it in return from others. This is one of th most worthy comment made on this thread, or perhaps any recent thread. Thank you. Courteous is underappreciated today.
  10. Does anybody think its units like this that drive kids out of scouting less than anything that comes out of Irving? Scoutdaddy21- Its really your sons battle, you should talk to the scoutmaster about advancement, on a troop level, not just about your son. You should be ready to take over as Advancement Chair as the reason the jerk is such a jerk is because he doesnt think anyone else would do what he does Surprise him I agree with this, though Standard Disclaimer #1 applies, namely: parents should give unit leaders the benefit of doubt and not leap to conclusions about motiv
  11. I think the local option will not be satisfactory. Parties on both sides want the BSA to be a conduit for disseminating their practice of morality qwazse is absolutely right about this. Now, on the one hand, there's an argument to be made that's exactly what you should be doing if you have a the proper morailty, since BSA is in the business of disseminating proper morality. But I disagree a bit there. I think BSA technically isn't in the business of disseminating morality. It's in the business of "preparing youth to make good ethical and moral choices." It's hard to prepare someone t
  12. Because he's not confident, he's also apt to avoid da task. Not good at firebuilding? Fall back and let another boy do it. Not good at compass work? Follow along with a patrol mate and fake it. Yeh never can be retested, eh? So yeh aren't likely to be put in a spot where yeh individually have to perform da skill on your own. I see this all the time. The same handful of truly proficient scouts build the fire, cook the meal, etc., for the guys who don't have the skills. I mean, after all, we teach them to be helpful, right? Now, as SMs, we hold up those proficient scouts as great guys, b
  13. I can hardly complain if National does with membership decisions exactly what I think they should do with Advancement and Saftey, namely leave it up to the units. They've done a terrible job centralizing everything else, so I say let the COs make the call.
  14. For these near misses, can we just send in a photo and general description of each boy in the troop? Proactive reporting would save so much time! Just mention you drove to the trailhead on a public road. The near miss there probably dwarfs anything that (almost) happened on the trail. Seriously though, I think structured interviews of a stratified random simple of unit's across the nation will be more effective and accurate. If the objective is getting information out to other unit leaders about things that can go wrong, this would be great. My insurance company sends me a q
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