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jtswestark

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About jtswestark

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  1. jtswestark

    The little league model

    To add to Engs point LL is certainly not the only youth baseball game in town. Im not familiar with Pony, but I grew up playing in Hot Stove which has their own national tournies and is still very popular. My sons league was USSSA - which is becoming a national youth sports powerhouse along the lines of what AAU used to be (not sure if any AAU leagues exist anymore.) The non-LL leagues move the pitchers mound back a few feet at each age group so that you dont get a the equivalent of a 140mph fastball bearing down on you from an over aged kid. Much safer and better development for high school ball. So make sure you are looking at youth baseball as a whole and not just one segment of LL. I would bet that LL numbers are shrinking because of it's rules. We commonly lose boys for baseball season. Travel teams are killer for Scouts, except for those units that like to take the summers off. Rec soccer is in the fall in the north, unless they are playing travel/indoor/spring year round and youre probably going to lose that kid anyways.
  2. Ha... and that says it all right there!
  3. What would holding a BoR accomplish? Drag in a number of adults that may or may not even know the kid for the purpose of what? That would be no different outcome, maybe worse, than what was done to this young man. I have to 'mostly' agree with Papa and Twocub on both of their posts. The SM only added to the commotion by holding his closed door meeting and all the effects of it. Those waiting outside with nothing to do the angst of 5Ys son and many others. That just adds to the mishandling of all this. But if there was this much to do about it, I dont think you can ignore it. Yes, we have a duty to protect our youth, but there also is expected to have some judgment in not over reacting to youthful games. Maybe this SM doesnt have a good feel for that and wanted some witnesses for his inquiry. One other adult wouldve been plenty for that, but its easy to see how additional adults can force their way into situations. Preventing him from running for SPL was a ridiculous reaction if that was the reason. Summer Camp is apparently over and going back to the CD at this point wouldnt do much other than chalk it up to experience, unless there is more to the story. I truly cant see any beneficial punishments coming to the boys involved in this interaction. Youre kidding yourself if you think you can stop boys from accusing each other of being gay when no adults are around.
  4. jtswestark

    Dumbed down? Why the rush?

    After "passing the test", give them NEED to use it. Absolutely! The regular program is what is going to make the Scouts proficient in their knowledge, not a one and done approach. A PL can sign off on a skill, but the T-2-1 needs to utilize that skill on many campouts and games/events the Troop/Patrol should be taking part in throughout the year, year after year. When we were first working to get the troop out to do some hiking, when one of my PIA parents recognized the distance met Camping MB req #9B2. Almost instantly there was a rumbling in her sons patrol that half werent going as theyve already done that requirement. Thanks for that one, Mommy. Once you can get your Scouts and parents looking beyond that perspective, then your Scouts are becoming proficient in many ways without even realizing it. I dont really see a dumbing down of Scouting going on in the requirements, but I have seen a dumbing down in the lack of program. Initially, we as adults leaders can improve that by giving our boy-lead units some guidance on their planning. Eventually, they take over completely and determine their own program to do these things. If we let them, that is.
  5. jtswestark

    Summer Camp MB mill - as usual

    Thanks for reminding me... with school starting back up soon, need to read up on that water-boarding trick.
  6. Frankly, this inquisition, as described, borders on sexual harassment itself. I can't imagine what would make any leader that it is part of his job to inquire into the sexuality of a youth member. Fantastic comments, all, additional kudos on your son. I truly hope he gets no spin off effect for being a good friend. How dare these adults do this to a young man. Ill never understand why some adult leaders think they are trial judge and jury in areas they have no authority. Where was the accusation? What were they basing all this upon? Unless there was a solicitation/incident or outright statement from the young man, there is nothing to do here. And if there were, the YP training certainly specifies what they should have done in contrast to this. Im not a lawsuit kind of guy, but agree with Calico, there should be some serious heads rolling over this. This is bad for the unit, for Scouting, and certainly this young man. I might go to the CC first, but getting the SE involved would be a fast coming on my phone call list. And we wonder why we get bad press on the 3Gs.
  7. jtswestark

    Cell Phone at Summer Camp

    Last summer I was unable to attend camp and found it very interesting how many facebook posts that had nothing to do with Scouts from the guys in camp. They hadnt cut the strings loose and were still conversing with girlfriends, buddies, family, and people that had no idea they were even at camp. We gave the same rule to the boys that the adults had for a long period - we didnt want to see the phones, dont want to hear your conversations, and dont want your nose buried in it. The older guys seem to get it. Their batteries will die out if they go at it too much and we haven't seen the survival chargers, yet anyways... We too had a 2nd year Scout struggling with homesickness and was on the phone with Mom quite a bit at night. But he also had another weight on his shoulders - that of Dad just having left for a long tour in Afghanistan. Hes worked through it and is hopefully starting his Eagle project this fall yet. Doesn't appear to be any life long damage.
  8. jtswestark

    Dumbed down? Why the rush?

    Are we expecting more from that adults than we train? Should we expect more from the adults than we train? Many of us that were involved as kids in Scouting have taken a nice long break in between that time and before our own sons were ready to join. Many of those skills were long lost and had to be relearned. I wasnt out doing lashings or working a compass while I was busy building a family and profession. So even those of us that have come back still take some time to brush off the rust. And yes, there were things we werent proficient in that need to be learned better to teach and make sure our Scouts know better. Especially if were supposed to be experts on all topics. How difficult has it proven to get leaders to come out for the SM specific training? How difficult is it to get a full roster for Woodbadge? How much are we expecting from an adult that are also trying to keep a balance life with other respects on top of the multiple hours a week and 11 months of camping? We can have the highest proficiency requirements in the world in all areas of the Scoutcraft we want, but who is going to teach it to that level and who is going to test them? Its not going to be us part timers.
  9. jtswestark

    Summer Camp MB mill - as usual

    It should follow Camping MB I completely agree with that being a pre-req. I am surprised to read here of so many first year Scouts taking Wilderness Survival. I would not allow younger guys to take this before Camping MB and certainly not first year Scouts. Because of that, it ends up being at least 3rd or 4th year Scouts taking it on.
  10. jtswestark

    Dumbed down? Why the rush?

    Eng is right. The two battles I see with a kids time that kills Scouts: sports and school. Sports: every program a kid gets involved in today has to give 110% of his time to that one program. The days of a three sport athlete are gone in the school districts Im familiar with since the coaches expect (and get if the kid wants to actually play) a year round commitment to their sport. Band is a close second, we would lose half our troop each fall during football season to marching band requirements. School: challenges and demands of more school work being done at home than before. Competitions for class rankings, home work in advance placement classes.
  11. jtswestark

    Summer Camp MB mill - as usual

    Sad to read. I visited a camp here in Western NY this summer, arriving about 6:30pm on a Tuesday. It was just plain awesome to see the waterfront PACKED with boys canoeing, kayaking, fishing, swimming at that hour! (granted, it was 90 degrees, which is pretty rugged to the locals up here). Why would you want to restrict open program time at a Scout camp!? Makes no sense.
  12. jtswestark

    What are the causes of the Eagle Mill?

    I don't understand this sniping at jtswestark, and I find this lack of decorum embarrassing. A scout is courteous, for Pete's sake. Thank you Garrison. Sadly, it happens because people can hide anonymously behind handles and aren't held accountable for what they say. Small minded people only see their own way and any other way MUST be wrong. If we were sitting around a real campfire where we could look each other in the eye a fraction of the insults would be tossed that are. Anyone thats been in Scouting for any period of time will have their share of real disagreements. But theres always a point at the end of the conversation where we can agree to disagree and shake hands as fellow Scouters. Wish that would happen here more than it does. I don't know how long you've been on this forum. I've come and gone a number of times over the years mainly because I get tired of this kind of garbage. Its easy to recognize that I have better things to do with my time with my family, Scouting, and my work than defend myself and my track record to such moronic statements. That is what kills the resource pool of a forum and drives away much of the breadth of input from so many different and valuable posters. That said, it used to be worse on here than it seems to be today. A couple of the worst offenders dont appear to be active anymore, thankfully. When I feel myself getting sucked into this kind of crap, I know its time to go camping with some boys and get back to why I love Scouting. Youd think a Scouting forum, of all places, would be somewhere we could constructively discuss different points of view and perspectives without having to even reference the Law and Oath.
  13. jtswestark

    Board of reviews and facebook

    All great points, Scoutfish. But also note that back in the day, we got away with many more things than kids can today. Those days are over. Nobody wants to be that person that looked the other way and couldve stopped or corrected in some way an unacceptable behavior. It was posted earlier on this thread. We all have seen young people raked over the coals for mistakes that back in the day wouldve been written off as boys will be boys. Nobody is looking the other way anymore. In fact, they look very closely. They recall when reading a newspaper article about a new Eagle they once knew and unapologetically post on an internet forum how much they still despise him. *Thats* what the kids need to understand today, that there are people out there that are going to nail them not because its the right thing to do, but because they feel its their duty. Kids today arent going to get the chance we did to learn from our mistakes and turn out just fine.
  14. jtswestark

    What are the causes of the Eagle Mill?

    BP, this is the last time Im going to bother responding to your childish statements. The stat was 95% of Scouts that reach First Class make Eagle. That means, the bulk we lose are lost before they get to First class, the balance of the 5% have decided for whatever reasons that it wasnt for them. I dont really care how that filters down to you as an eagle mill. As usual, you love spouting out national stats with no documentation. Care to provide one now for your statements? Come spend a weekend camping with my unit. Come spend a month at meetings. Come sit through a PLC. Meet my Scouts and challenge them all you want. Until you put up, please shut up.
  15. jtswestark

    What are the causes of the Eagle Mill?

    jts The fact you state that 95% of your 1st Class boys makes Eagle, IMO, is a serious indicator your troop is indeed an Eagle mill, that percentage is way too high above the National average. Or it means we have an incredible quality troop. As usual, you jump to conclusions you know nothing about.
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