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johnponz

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Everything posted by johnponz

  1. johnponz

    larger pants?

    Darn email (message board etc.), it always makes you seem more harsh than intended. LOL
  2. johnponz

    larger pants?

    I did not mean offense. It was more of a statement about our current membership policy than personal. If you allow those who do not meet the "ideals" (and believe me I am included here) in some categories such as physically strong why don't you allow those that you believe do not meet the ideals in other categories such as "morally straight." I was using it as an opportunity for all of us to take a look in the mirror and to stop casting stones. If I cast a stone of my own in the process, I am truly sorry (and I mean that). I did not mean to hurt anyone's feelings in the process. Although, we do that every day with our current policy.
  3. johnponz

    larger pants?

    I am a District Commissioner and have a 34 inch waist at 6 foot. Still too big but working on it.
  4. johnponz

    larger pants?

    Should someone with a 56 inch waist really be in Scouting? This person needs to look at the "physically strong" part of the Scout oath. Isn't this at least as important as "morally straight?"
  5. johnponz

    OA Election Question

    As usual no one has helped you. The information you are looking for is in this publication [url=http://www.oa-bsa.org/resources/pubs/GOA-2012.pdf]http://www.oa-bsa.org/resources/pubs/GOA-2012.pdf[/url=http://www.oa-bsa.org/resources/pubs/GOA-2012.pdf] This is the guide for OA Officers and advisors. Look at Page 20 (Unit Leader Approval). It states, "To become eligible for election, a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout must be registered with the Boy Scouts of America and have the approval of his Unit Leader prior (bolded in the original) to the election. The Unit Leader must certify his Scout spirit (i.e., hius adherance to the Scout Oath and Law and active participation in unit activities). The Unit Leader must also certify that the nominee meets all specified requirements at the time of this annual election. It is important to note that unlike advancement criteria there is no appeal process for this certification so what the Unit Leader decides goes, and you can tell the parents to pound sand if they do not agree, or better yet refer them to the CC as it is not the SMs job to deal with the parents. That being said further reference is made on page 22 #4 "...who meet all eligibility requirements including attitude and participation..." I believe BSA chose the word "attitude" carefully and the Unit leader has a lot of leeway as to who has the right attitude for OA and who does not. Again, ther eis no appeal process. This is definitely an area where the good Unit Leader needs a spine and needes to stand up to the parents. BSA and the OA give the Unit leader a lot of discretion in this area, and it is up to the Unit leader to maintain the integrity of the OA. If not you, who?
  6. Wood Badge was a great course to enhance management skills. I have been to many other courses like this as I work in Corporate HR in the real world. The fact is many people are not exposed to these kinds of issues and we still expect them to manage Scout units. Like it or not Scouts is pretty much run as a corporation these days and if you are going to succeed in that environment you need to know the rules. The ticket is a little hard to complete with everything else going on in life but that is part of the lesson. One has to stay on track and focused to finish it. I agree with Basement that Scouting should offer another type of course to emphasize camping skills and teaching those skills. The current Wood Badge does not do that. As far as the Game of Life, there is a lesson to be learned. We are in this together and should try to win for everyone instead of for ourselves. It is true that the delivery is important, and a skilled staff helps get the message out. The staff at my course did excellent in this regard. Finally, I will get my beads next Tuesday. All in all I am a better Scouter for the experience. I used to be a Beaver...
  7. johnponz

    Eagle Awards Through Apeeals

    Troop STANDARDS should have nothing to do with it as Eagle is a NATIONAl award. If a Scout met the requirements that is all that is needed to be awarded Eagle.
  8. johnponz

    DC at odds with Cubmaster

    A case of someone asking for advice, and then not liking the answers. How about this...You are doing GREAT Bluejacket. Keep up the good work. This is definitely the right path to go down. The Unit's leadership and you will get along just fine as long as you keep fanning the fires of conflict.(This message has been edited by johnponz)
  9. johnponz

    For The Youth ONLY

    double post.(This message has been edited by johnponz)
  10. johnponz

    For The Youth ONLY

    BSA 24 is one guy I do not understand. He says that he does not wear knots on his uniform but wants to be able to earn/wear rank badges. His positions seem just strange to me.
  11. johnponz

    DC at odds with Cubmaster

    I have to agree with Beavah here. Any Commissioner's #1 job is to be friends of the Unit, and that means the unit's leadership. Scouting is not about individuals making individual choices to attend events. It is about units choosing what their program will be and attending those events as a unit. When a Unit Leader asks a Commissioner to back off, said Commissioner should back off, and then work diligently on reestablishing the relationship. Be the unit and Unit Leader's friend, do not be an enemy. You need that Unit Leader's help especially during recharter. As an ADC I have 4 units that I support directly because the district does not have enough UCs and the DC supports several units as well. That may be what's going on here, but not for sure.(This message has been edited by johnponz)
  12. I am very excited. I will be attending WB weekend 1 this coming weekend starting Friday, August 24.
  13. johnponz

    WB Weekend 1 coming up

    I am back from weekend 1 as well. The course is very good. I have seen a lot of the material before in management training courses, but it is nice to see it presented with a Scouting flare. They do pack your day though. I am pretty exhausted and have lots of homework.
  14. The leadership is probably doing what the chartered organizations with the most authority want them to do. These COs are LDS, and the Catholic Church among other religious groups. This policy provides cover for the COs. They do not have to exclude gays as the "local option" would allow. Instead they can point to a National Policy. This is part of what a National organization does. It provides cover for those on the ground. These organizations have a lot of power within BSA. Indeed more than the volunteers and that is the reason the Executive Board will not overturn the policy. They are reflecting the wishes of the COs. You could try to change the mind of the COs, but that will not happen because their stance is faith based, and any attempt to change it based on reason (this is not saying that faith based groups are not reasonable. It is only saying that secular arguments based on reason will not change their minds) will not work. As long as the majority of COs (by majority I mean each unit's individual CO), believe that gays should be prohibited by policy they will be.
  15. The leadership is probably doing what the chartered organizations with the most authority want them to do. These COs are LDS, and the Catholic Church among other religious groups. This policy provides cover for the COs. They do not have to exclude gays as the "local option" would allow. Instead they can point to a National Policy. This is part of what a National organization does. It provides cover for those on the ground. These organizations have a lot of power within BSA. Indeed more than the volunteers and that is the reason the Executive Board will not overturn the policy. They are reflecting the wishes of the COs. You could try to change the mind of the COs, but that will not happen because their stance is faith based, and any attempt to change it based on reason (this is not saying that faith based groups are not reasonable. It is only saying that secular arguments based on reason will not change their minds) will not work. As long as the majority of COs (by majority I mean each unit's individual CO), believe that gays should be prohibited by policy they will be.
  16. johnponz

    Rules, shmules...

    Beav, You are 100% correct (I would say 110% but that really is not possible-LOL). There is no excuse to stand by and let a fellow human being die if you can possibly help the person. No rule should supercede this one. Everyone has to be able to live with their decsions so ultimately this is a personal decsion, but if my son is the human that is in this much trouble, I hope and pray the person helps.(This message has been edited by johnponz)
  17. johnponz

    Rules, shmules...

    I was a medic in the Army many moons ago so I would be pretty comfortable giving an Epi injection in the situation. As Beavah said the chances of an unfavorable outcome are not that great. However a bee sting for someone that is allergic can be quite fatal quite quickly. This is definitely an emergency case. Some people do not realize how dire this can be and how quickly. It is no joke. I guess it is the same with imminent program failure. I too would throw the book away in that case, but then work to get back to normal. It is not normal and very stressful to always be working as if it is an emergency. In the case of the allergic kid, how would you feel if after this incident, he failed to bring his epi pen ever again knowing that the allergic adult had one he could use. This is analogous to the Unit leader, District or Council who continue to use Unit Leaders as commissioners when the emergency is over. They do this because it is easier than recruiting non-unit leaders. Those leaders need to stop taking the easy way out and find non-unit leaders who can do just as good of a job. (This message has been edited by johnponz)
  18. johnponz

    Rules, shmules...

    And the answer is...it depends. In the situation you describe you save the kid. In a less dire situation such as a football game, you follow the rules. The relative consequence of following the rule matters and that is where judgment comes into play. It is hard to contemplate all of this on a message board when you are trying to make an argument one way or the other, but shades of gray always exist. Life is a continuum.(This message has been edited by johnponz)
  19. johnponz

    Rules, shmules...

    First rule is no one dies on my watch and it supersedes all other rules. In this case you give the kid the epi and deal with the fallout later assuming the situation is dire enough that it is too late for a cell phone to help. The epi pen is probably the last resort but at least the Scout will be alive to sue me.
  20. johnponz

    Rules, shmules...

    Beavah, I have said all that I can say on this topic. I know that there is no enforcement mechanism, and I am really not advocating for one. It would be a waste of BSA's time to try to police these policies. You are correct regarding the actual on paper reporting relationship. I know that the SE and rest of the Council staff works for the Council Executive Board with a dotted line to BSA. However as was pointed out on a different thread the reality is a little different. The leadership of individual Council's should do their best to implement the major policies of BSA, the "have tos", "musts," must nots" etc. That is part of their jobs and is why we have a quality system (JTE) in place. It is a shame that unit leaders are serving as Commissioners no matter how good of a job they are doing. It is the Council leadership's (Council Commissioner, District Commissioners, and ADCs) duty to find people who can do just as good of a job who are not unit leaders. I do not include the professional staff in this because I believe they should be working on professional things and leave the volunteer stuff to the volunteers (for the most part-the world is not perfect). As to the small rules, it is up to the individual's conscience whether or not to follow them. I choose to try up to and including the Insignia Guide. However, I usually do not directly confront those who choose not to unless I believe they do not know the rule in which case I will gently advise them of the rule. If they choose to keep violating the rule, that is their choice. As Commissioners we have to rely on diplomacy and tact which is easier done in person than on a chat board. Also admittedly, some of these solutions do not comply 100% with all of the stated rules. I guess what I have been talking about is an ideal of trying to follow the rules. The reality is it cannot be done all of the time so judgment is needed. That is why humans do these jobs instead of computers. (This message has been edited by johnponz)
  21. johnponz

    Rules, shmules...

    Of course there are some small rules that people ignore and are not a big deal. I recognize this and use common sense. Those are rules and not policies. However, I am not really talking about the small rules here. The mandate that Commissioners "must" not be unit leaders seems to be a big deal to National, and frankly is a big deal to me as a District Leader. If you look back through the threads on this topic, you will see that my position is it is too easy for the leadership simply to say...hey this guy does a good job with his Unit let's use him as a UC, SRTC, etc. in addition to his job as Unit leader then when he does a good job as UC adds membership chair to the mix, and it goes on and on. The district uses this guy up because he does everything that he is asked. The outcome is wrong. The district leadership needs to step up and do their job of recruiting the right people so Unit leaders do not have to be commissioners. The rule that started this debate is a good one and is one that should not be ignored. Ignoring this rule is really a failure of leadership and the leaders wanting to take the easy way out.
  22. johnponz

    Rules, shmules...

    I disagree with Beavahs characterization. If what he is suggesting was the truth then the famous quote (paraphrased), Councils and Units cannot add or take away from the advancement requirements would be seen as advice and not policy. I really do not believe BSA intends this mandate to be advice. It is the same with the mandate that unit leaders "must" not be commissioners. If BSA was only giving advice, why is there an Area Director who pretty much everyone agrees in the "boss" of the Council SE? As was pointed out to me on another thread National has more control of the Council program than the official organization acknowledges. I believe my characterization of the organization is more accurate and complete than Beavah's. If BSA was simply a book publisher and a licensing organization, the existing support structure would not be needed. It is kind of funny that in a previous thread Beavah said that my characterization was basically correct. (This message has been edited by johnponz)
  23. johnponz

    WB Weekend 1 coming up

    Eastern PA for me
  24. johnponz

    Should a Commissioner be a SM?

    SP, I checked in the new Fieldbook, and you are correct that the bit about serving in one commissioner role was removed since the last version. However, the more important part about commissioners not serving as Unit Leaders is still there. Ghermanno is correct that it is still mentioned in the Administration of Commissioner Service Manual which is intended for the "administrative commissioners." This is probably the correct place for it as it is the DC and Council Commissioners" role to make sure that these requirements are followed. It would not be in the individual commissioner position training because it is not the individual commissioners job to follow it rather it is the administrative commissioners job. I think you are taking me a little wrong. I do not begrudge the individual Scouter who is fulfilling all of these roles. They are serving admirably and doing more than they should. I am really saying that all of the DCs and Council Commissioners out there should not be letting this happen. They need to do their job and recruit a proper staff in accordance with the requirements. They are taking the easy way out by taking advantage of a core group of over worked volunteers. These key leaders need to step up to the plate and do their job. SP, I think it is wonderful that you have stretched yourself so much.
  25. johnponz

    Should a Commissioner be a SM?

    I am really less concerned about commissioners doing 2 commissioner jobs that I am about Unit Leaders serving as commissioners. Took my family to the boardwalk, but I will look up the fieldbook reference when I get the chance
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