Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by KC9DDI

  1. Let's pretend that you should actually "report" this to the police and the professional staff... What kind of response would you expect to get from them? What kind of action would you expect the police to take? How about your DE? Who would benefit from this report - and how would that individual benefit?


    It's OK to think beyond the "black and white" guidelines published by a private corporation when deciding whether to call in re-enforcements to deal with the relatively common occurance of a teenage boy looking at porn...

  2. To paraphrase Beavah: ya, hmmmm...


    I think we all occasionally need to step back and remember that Scouting is not a religion, and the Eagle award is not some kind of sacred relic or holy grail that teenagers need to spend years spiritually preparing themselves for. So this hypothetical kid honestly shares with you his goal and his motivation for his participation in Scouting. The fact that his goals and motivations don't fit into some overly romanticized version of a Norman Rockwell Scout aren't particularly relevant to whether or not he's qualified to advance.


    How does the Scout actually behave within the troop? Does he continually grumble and complain about having to participate? Or does he cheerfully try to make the best of it?


    Part of becoming a responsible adult is sometimes having to do things that you'd rather not do. Be honest: have you ever done something only because your parents, your spouse or your children have asked you to? I'll bet you have. And while you were doing whatever that thing was to the best of your ability, would you have appreciated a person in a position of authority criticizing you based on your motivations?


    Now, if the Scout starts to develop behavior or participation problems, or fails to uphold the Oath and Law, then maybe you'd have grounds for delaying advancement. But so far it doesn't seem like that's an issue.

  3. I should add that tent camping is only $0.50/person/night - maybe not the absolute cheapest around, but still very reasonable. Building rental is obviously more - depending on the building, could be anywhere from $50 to $300 for a weekend. Couldn't imagine paying $150 for two nights of tent camping, unless other facilities or program is included in that figure.

  4. My council has three properties with a variety of facilities, and all are used fairly heavily year round.


    Camp #1 is located within the council boundaries, in what is now a fairly suburban area that's an easy drive for the majority of the council. It also has several heated buildings with nice cooking facilities, a fire bowl, facilities for archery and BB guns, and tent camping areas. It's used very heavily for training programs, Cub camp programs, camporees, and other district and council events, as well units camping. The buildings mean that it's used year round, and it's usually booked pretty solid up to a year or more in advance.


    Camp #2 is located outside the council boundaries, probably a 1-2 hour drive from most of the council. Facilities are more primitive (but there's plans for some improvements), but there's a lot of acreage. It's probably less popular than Camp #1, but still fairly heavily used for camporees, training and unit camping.


    Camp #3 is the council's full-service summer camp. It's located well outside the council boundaries (3-4 hour drive), so it's not heavily used for weekend camping in the off season. It is, however, located within a short drive of several skiing/snowboarding facilities - so during the winter, it's used as a "base" for troops doing skiing/snowboarding. So it's packed pretty solid during the winter, but probably less so during the spring and fall.


    I don't think any of our camps are very heavily used by non-Scouting groups, though I know some do make use of some of the properties - mostly during the week, to keep them open for Scout camping on the weekends.

  5. Hmmm... Maybe we could try this: We take references to God out of the Oath and the Pledge. But then, if you want to, you could quietly, respectfully say those parts anyway?


    Forcing everyone who is already in the program to change, because the new comers are going to demand everyone adapt to their way of doing things, will not happen..


    This irrational fear sounds frighteningly similar to other historic "arguments" against allowing "newcomers" into our neighborhoods, churches, beaches, business establishments and schools.


    The fear that the atheist if given an inch will demand and lobby and fight in court for the BSA to change everything to remove God in everything to accomidate them, is the fear that will keep them out of being accepted in the BSA way longer then the Gays will be kept out.


    So basically it's just a slippery slope argument? We're not going to rationally look at a reasonable idea since someone else might come along later with an unreasonable idea?


    I do not understand, why you can not see forcing everyone who currently is in scouting to change deep seeded beliefs is not a slap in the face for them


    And I still don't see who is asking (sorry, forcing) you to change your beliefs. Is your faith really so weak that it would be damaged if the BSA became a truly secular organization? Surely it's based on something more than 3 letters in the Scout Oath, right?


    If you don't think those beliefs are just as strong with people in scouting, you are blind.


    I see that there's strong beliefs. I just don't believe that there's a legitimate reason for the BSA to use these beliefs as a basis for it's program.


    And that's really what I'm getting at. It's really not enough to "welcome" atheists as long as they know when to sit down, shut up, and not "disrespect" good Christians like ourselves. If we truly want to welcome atheists into our program, as I feel we should, then we can't use our Scout Oath, a central component of our program, as a source of division. The Scout Oath should apply equally strongly to ALL Scouts who we welcome into our program - without needing to individually add or remove phrases.


    I don't know - my faith in God is strong enough that I don't feel I need to mention it at the weekly meetings of an outdoors-oriented youth group. And I don't feel threatened by those who haven't come to the same religious or philosophical conclusions that I have. I don't see how Scouting would be a weaker program by secularizing.

  6. moose - Those are valid points.


    Though I have to wonder if there's a better solution for the minority of COs you're referring to. Your solution is that people can basically say whatever they want and call it the Scout Oath, which I think creates a source of division in what should be an Oath common to all American Boy Scouts.


    Maybe something like this: The Boy Scout Oath (and it's counterparts in Cub Scouts and Venturing), remain "generic" and applicable to all who are qualified to be members of the organization. And, in this hypothetical world, that would involve removing the words "to God."


    Churches or other faith-based COs who wish to use Scouting as a vehicle to deliver their religious education programs can then optionally include their own religious declarations or rituals in their local Scouting program. So a Catholic troop might recite the Apostles' Creed along with the Oath and Law, if the CO decides that it would be a useful part of their Scouting program. To me that seems like the best of both worlds - the Scout Oath can be a common promise that unites all American Boy Scouts, while units with a strong religious background can incorporate other traditions and rituals into their own program.


    You seem to be worried that someone's going to "disrespect" you (and I still don't claim to know exactly what we mean by "respect" in this context) if the Scout Oath suddenly becomes applicable to all Scouts. As a Christian myself, I don't see it as disrespectful if an atheist doesn't want to participate in my religious traditions and beliefs just to have the privilege of participating in my (non-religious) unit.


    But, I can not see, forcing every BSA unit to give up anything pertaining to religion in order to welcome in the Atheists.. That is being disrespectful of the beliefs of alot of our current units.


    I still don't know where you're getting this idea of "anything pertaining to religion" being taken away BY FORCE.... But regarding people's beliefs: You're not going to find two people with the same set of beliefs (the pastor of my childhood parish liked to joke "You can't get two Catholics to agree on the time for the church picnic, much less on any matter of theology!") The question is how much should various "beliefs" affect a program of a generic youth group with a focus on the outdoors and (sorry Kudu) leadership development?


    Personally, I don't see why my belief in God needs to be part of the BSA's program. Now, if a religious group wants to use the BSA's program as a component of their religious programs, then Godspeed (no pun intended). But why does this "belief" need to apply to everyone?


    I don't care about my grocer, barber, mechanic or boss's belief (or lack thereof) in God. That doesn't affect whether I'll buy my groceries, cut my hair, fix my car, or post on Scouter.com instead of doing work. Same deal with the BSA - Religion isn't really on the list of factors that I use to evaluate my fellow Scouters.



  7. if all those who believe in the line "do my duty to God", are forced to change what they believe in to accomidate the atheists.


    Moose - How would removing two words from the Oath "force" you to change what you believe? You're saying that you'd no longer be able to believe in God unless He's mentioned in the man-made Oath of an American youth group?


    Maybe we differ on what we perceive the purpose of the Scout Oath to be? I don't feel that the Scout Oath should be a declaration or enumeration of the "beliefs" of anyone. There's all kinds of things I believe in - religious and otherwise - that aren't mentioned in the Scout Oath.


    But, the line should stay in for those who still wish to say it and believe in it...


    I happen to believe that A-frame tents are far superior to the domed variety. Is it OK if I include that somewhere when I recite the Scout Oath - after all, I wish to say it, and I believe in it. Maybe Kudu would like to toss in some beliefs about 300 feet and/or leadership skills? :-) I guess there's nothing stopping me from saying that, but that would be kind of silly, wouldn't it?


    Look at just the first nine words of the Scout Oath: "On my honor, I will do my best to..."


    We're not talking about what we believe in - we're talking about what Scouts are pledging to do.


    To be more clear, we're talking about what all American Boy Scouts are pledging to do. So, hypothetically, if the powers that be decide that our atheist friends are in fact capable of being good Scouts and Leaders - how can we possibly ask them to pledge to do something that they cannot do?


    It's not a matter of accommodating anyone or anything, or forcing people to believe one thing or another - it's a question of what we actions should be asking members of our organization to promise to carry out.


    (This message has been edited by KC9DDI)

  8. I think you're taking some liberties with the definitions of well-established words, jrush.


    Atheism is the belief that their is no God or other supreme being or beings (according to my dictionary). That doesn't preclude an atheist from "respecting" your belief in anything you want - just like a Christian isn't automatically unable to "respect" the beliefs of Jews or Muslims or atheists.


    In fact, many organized religions (definitely not atheists) don't necessarily "respect" the beliefs of others. (I'm putting "respect" in quotes as I'm not entirely sure what it's supposed to mean in this context.) For example, certain Christian denominations feel that their brand of Christianity is the only valid one, and that other's beliefs aren't "valid."


    This kind of ties in to one of my "issues" with the BSA's current policy on the matter: we work hard to come up with work-arounds to the problem: "Well, Duty To God doesn't actually mean Duty To God, it just means 'respecting' others." Or, "well, I know you're an atheist, but maybe if you just say that you think the Earth is a 'higher power', then that'll be good enough for our purposes."


    I'd rather just welcome our atheist friends into the program, rather than asking them to re-define their philosophy to fit into some loop hole or work-around that we've tried to devise.

  9. Awesome, thanks for the quick replies. I thought it was a Rockwell, but I wasn't sure. It seems like one of his less well-known works then (apparently he has another entitled "A Scout is Loyal" featuring Abe Lincoln and George Washington.) Also it looks like eBay has a few available.


    Thanks again!

  10. Hello All - Several years ago I noticed a particular Scouting-themed painting that I rather liked. I have no idea who the artist is, what it's called, or where/if I could find a print to purchase.


    I managed to find the image on a troop's website: http://bcn.boulder.co.us/community/scouts/troop61/t6197octthe.htm


    Does anyone happen to have any information on this particular piece of art? I'd like to potentially acquire a print, but don't know where to start looking...

    • Downvote 1
  11. I would like to know where I can find the official written policy.


    If your council has a written policy on the matter, it would be available through your council's professional staff.


    More likely, it's just a target, or a goal, that some councils or some districts have. Personally, I'm happy with the philosophy of one of our professional advisers: charge as reasonable a rate as possible, as that will increase attendance. Factor in a small amount of "cushion" in the price, to account for any unexpected expenses that may arise. Yes, council keeps to keep whatever's left over, but it's pretty much a win-win-win: participants are charged a fair, reasonable fee; volunteers running the event aren't forced to cut out program if expenses prove to be more than expected; and the council gets some financial support.


    Yes, I'm sure that there's some districts and councils who have less reasonable guidelines, but fortunately I don't have to deal with them :-)

  12. Units would want to purchase AOL for scouts not having Webelos recorded, ranks but no Bobcat, etc. The store staff really didn't have time to check everyone's record.


    So, why is this a problem? How is the Scout negatively affected if the council doesn't have a record of his Bobcat badge?

  13. What would you do, publicly smack him down for disrespecting the esteemed committee members? Give me a break.


    Nope, but I would probably privately remind him that it's impolite and inappropriate to address people in that tone.


    I have heard far worse and insulting comments from uniformed Scouters during committee meetings


    We all have. It's inappropriate for adults to act that way. But that doesn't excuse Scouts from acting that way, either.

  14. shortridge - Lets substitute just a few words in what he reportedly said:


    "If it takes a 12-year-old kid to come up here and tell you we don't need a new jail troop trailer and we need better education tents, then that's pretty sad. Here I am, an A, B student in my school, and I have to come up to," he said, pausing to count aloud, "nine people just to say we don't need this new jail trailer. Bye."


    How would you respond to a Scout that used that tone and those words towards your troop committee?

  15. Well, as I bet this Scout is learning, there's more to the democratic process than just "speaking your mind." So while I too applaud the Scout for wanting to participate in the democratic process in his community, there's still appropriate and inappropriate ways to do that. Scouting is, of course, supposed to teach appropriate ways to participate in government.


    Part of it is being informed and knowledgeable about the issues at hand prior to sharing opinions.


    Another part is being Friendly, Courteous and Kind, which it certainly sounds like these Scouts were not. The fact the other adults have on occasion shown worse behavior does not excuse these Scouts' behavior. Honestly, is that the standard we want to use to replace the Scout Law?: "A Scout is... not any worse than some adults"? Just because a Scout is addressing politicians is not a license to act disrespectfully. Scouting, and Scouts, are better than that.


    Perhaps the SE could have worded his comments on the uniform a bit better - but other than that, his response seems entirely reasonable: apologizing for the un-Scoutlike behavior of these Scouts, and thanking the committee for continuing to allow Scouts to attend these meetings and participate in local government. And for an opportunity for Scouts to learn from their mistakes along the way.


    And I'm also not sure what the Freedom of Speech has to do with anything. The government was not limiting these Scouts' First Amendment rights.

  16. it is right around where you just assume it to be the same-old-same old and don't go into deep word for word reading, but rather skim it..


    Sounds like a tough call, but I don't know: It's the most important, highest rank in Scouting, that you spend several years working towards. It represents an enormous investment of time and effort. It (should) represent a great deal of personal leadership, development and attention to detail. And you're only going to "skim" the requirements? I don't know if I would find that to be an acceptable response.


    Fabs5342 - obviously you don't need to prove or convince us of anything, but if you'd like to use the forum as a sounding board to help prepare for a future conversation with your district or council advancement committees, it may be helpful to share a bit more information. If I were on the committee to review your appeal, I'd be interested to know:


    1) Why didn't you serve in a troop leadership position?

    2) Can you describe the summer camp project in a bit more detail? How long did it last for? How many hours per week or per month did you devote to it? What exactly was your role and responsibilities?

    3) What were the circumstances of the conversation with your SM that led you to do this summer camp project in place of an official POR?

    4) How much time elapsed between becoming a life scout and your 18th birthday.


    Again, don't feel compelled to answer, but it may be useful to help prepare for the "real" conversation with your district/council committee.


  17. To be honest, I have mixed feelings. I think since you were given misinformation by your Scoutmaster, you wouldn't be out of line to approach the district and/or council advancement committees for advice. You may be able to apply for an extension, as Tampa noted.


    My mixed feelings come from the fact that the Eagle Scout rank requirements aren't exactly a secret, and it should be pretty clear to the Eagle candidate which PORs do and do not meet the requirement.

  18. You're not asking too much. You're setting an expectation of how scouts will need to Be Prepared to work with you on completing the requirements. They can, of course, choose to not prepare themselves adequately, but that may make it difficult to earn the merit badge in their intended time frame.

  19. It sounds like we all might have different ideas of what "discipline" means. I think I tend to agree with TAHAWK's interpretation. I would except a skilled leader in the PL and SPL positions to have some responsibility over discipline and behavior of the other scouts. And discipline is not the same thing as just dishing out punishments, either.


    And obviously there do need to be limits as to what the youth leaders should be expected to address on their own; what will require some input and oversight by adults; and the (very few) situations that should be handled only by adults. Speaking only for myself, my expectation in this type of situation would be for youth leaders (PL and SPL) to take a first pass at addressing the situation, and then consult with the SM. The SM and youth leadership would then work together to come up with an action plan.

  20. What's not appropriate, in cases like this, is sending it to the SPL/PLC. We're now talking about hazing, something that, had it actually occurred, would possibly have been reportable to the SE


    Ermmm... So what? What's so special about a conversation with the SE that would preclude youth leaders from exercising leadership in situations where there's a possibility of someone maybe needing to communicate with the SE at some time in the future.


    but any issues that might just end up being reportable [...] should be dealt with by the adults. Boy-led does not mean that adults get to be laissez-faire about discipline and their responsibilities.


    Again, what's the rationale from excluding youth from these scenarios? And why do we think adults are being "laissez-faire" about discipline? I'd say the best way to handle this particular situation would be for the youth and adult leadership to work together to address the issue. That way the youth leadership still have the responsibility to provide leadership, and adults still are able to provide coaching, oversight and feedback to further help verify that the issue is handled properly.


    What I'm most disturbed about is that we should consider turning away a youth with a directive to go see your SPL about this first and then your SM when they come to you with an issue like this


    I think whether or not this is appropriate depends a lot on the context of the situation, which we really don't have access to through these forums. I'd say that in a case where there's an immediate safety risk that the youth leadership, for whatever reason, is unable to address adequately: then yes, it's absolutely appropriate for an adult (any adult) to step in and head off the immediate threat. But in cases where the youth leadership is sufficiently skilled and empowered, there's no reason that they should not be allowed to address it, with the input and oversight of adult leaders. A potential that someone may at some point think about "reporting" the issue to a professional scouter is no reason to hinder youth leadership.

  21. Ardie - Thanks for the additional clarification.


    I mean no disrespect, but why is this something that you need to handle, rather than leaving it in the hands of the SM and SPL? I don't blame you for being concerned about the situation, and keeping an eye on the resolution - but a well-running troop already has a framework for dealing with these types of issues, and the key players are the youth leaders, with the support of the SM. It really shouldn't fall on parents to "handle discipline" in these types of situations, with the exception of their own children.


    Maybe it's time to have him sit down with the SM & SPL and recite and explain the Scout Oath line by line.


    I admire what you're trying to do, but at the same time I can't think of a single occasion when this type of approach was successful :-). Even in a case like this, an SM conference should be more of a conversation - not a lecture, and not an arbitrary exercise in reciting lines.

  22. I like Beavah's suggestion: a grocery store within walking distance? Then it's time for a hike!


    Now, in the event where the kids do in fact need raw caloric intake - in my troop anyway the trailer is usually stocked with some amount of non-perishable goods that are available to patrols on an "as-needed" basis. So, at the very least, cornbread mix or a can of soup or two could be provided, if absolutely necessary.


    But it sounds like just one meal was missed (lunch). It sounds like dinner was provided, sans french fries (which doesn't seem like a huge problem, really...) I'd say it's a good learning opportunity.

  23. Raisin - I know that there is a non-negligible occurance of false positives for food allergy tests, but I'm not familiar with the particular study you're referring to (and a cursory Google search didn't turn up anything) - can you point me to a reference to that study? Most of the studies I've found cite a "false positive" statistic much lower than the 90% you refer to.


    I think there's a good point to be made: That severity of peanut allergies can vary widely between mild to life-threatening. And mild allergies are far more common than the life-threatening variety.


    My advice in this type of situation is for the parents, the Scout and the troop's adult leadership to have a frank conversation about the severity of that particular Scout's allergy; the Scout's dietary needs and restrictions; and how to handle emergency situations. If the Scout has an EpiPen, he should have it with him at all troop outings, and the other scouts in his patrol should be familiar with how to use it.


    I think you'll find that it's pretty easy to make accommodations for weekend "plop and drop" camping, as well as summer camp. For troop outings, the patrol needs to determine what meals are appropriate for the whole patrol. It may be that your son will need to bring or prepare food for just himself, if it's not feasible or fair to the patrol to make a whole-patrol meal that can accommodate him. At summer camp, if food is provided by the camp, the camp shouldn't have any problem providing special food for your son, provided you share accurate information with the camp staff in advance.


    Backpacking and other high adventure activities may prove to be more of a challenge. It depends on the types of food your son can eat, and whether the nutritional value is adequate for the types of activities on the trip. If more than a "normal" amount of food is required, or if your son requires separate food from the rest of the group, you may have a problem. But that type of situation is probably a little ways off for a brand new Scout, so you should have some time to see how his patrol does with menu planning at "normal" camp outs, and see how much creativity will be needed for high adventure.



  • Create New...