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Everything posted by ASM59

  1. No, it truly is not that easy... As a National policy, the individual Units were insulated from any legal action with regard to the policy. BSA National took the heat and had to fight the fight. In walking away from the issue, National has left it to the individual Unit and/or CO; which could open up those units to law suits that they would never have faced if they were just following the National policy. The ACLU and the likes of them are relentless; there will be law suits (IMHO, keeping in mind that I am not a lawyer, judge, nor have I played one on TV). ASM59
  2. I've not been actively involved for about two years, but I am still on the membership role of our local Boy Scout Troop and still support them where I can (show up on one or two outings a year and give money, buy popcorn...). I had hoped that I would be able to become more active again at some point in the future. This week I'll be writing a letter to have my membership dropped. BSA National has taken the position of a coward; yet teaches that "a Scout is brave". They have walked away from the fight and left it to many smaller individual units and charter organizations, which opens these individual units up to lawsuits and you know most do not have the resources to fight the likes of the ACLU in a lawsuit. This will be the end of The Boy Scouts of America. So disappointed.
  3. Good Day, It's been a couple years since I've been actively involved in our Troop. It has been as long since posting here. I am currently working as a small group leader in our Church's youth program. One of the boys in my group has asked me to write an Eagle letter of recommendation for him. I am honored to be asked and can honestly write a great letter of recommendation for this candidate. My question is to whom does a letter of recommendation go? This Eagle candidate handed me two stamped envelopes and asked that I send a copy of the letter to both addresses. One is to the Council office (I'll probably write on the envelope to direct the letter to the district advancement committee). The other envelope is simply to an individual in the town where the Scout lives. I asked who this person is, and he responded that she is the Troop's Eagle Mentor; the person that helps guide the Scout through the process of getting his Eagle Rank. I have written recommendation letters before, but they always went directly to the Council office or to the District Advancement Chair. Any thoughts on this? Is this normal? Is there a normal? Thanks, ASM59
  4. ASM59

    Open toe shoes

    Good comments Twocub... While I am a believer in wearing close toed shoes at Council Camps, I am not for throwing out common sense. If it is truly a clear path (road) to the showers or waterfront, then I can see giving a Scout some wiggle room if he is only going to or from that facility. If however you see a first year Scout leaving for the First Year Program's 5 mile hike in flip flops, then you might want to say something. In all fairness, I think this could be mostly a self policing thing. If a Scoutmaster and/or SPL says something to Scouts and parents about the possibility of hurting themselves, then I think they'd be more careful about when and where they wear such footwear and possibly remind each other. Sounds like we may have the same local Council camp; we have the same over zealous Dining Hall Staff at our camp. However, sometimes (depending on who confiscates the hat) you will not see it till the end of the week. I've had two Scouts and one adult lose hats in the past because of this. Yes, even adults are subject to having their hats "snatched" off of their heads. Oh, and getting yelled at in front of the whole dining hall full of people. But that's another story. ASM59
  5. ASM59

    just wondering

    Bear Dad, How did it work? Well, like I said, the big attention grabber was when I showed them the hours that the Adults volunteer outside of the normal program hours. When they understood how many hours are give up for free on top of paying the way for our own sons in the Troop, I think it did help to humble a few people. I never heard a complaint again from any of the parents who were complaining at that time; not even through the "grape vine". You are also correct that the parents who were complaining were not contributors to the Troop. I found that true in my days in the Cub Pack also. The loudest complainers were always the ones giving the least or no support to the Pack. I think that goes along with the old 80/20 rule; 20% of the people do 80% of the work... That's just the way it is in most cases. ASM59
  6. Just came across this from years ago... I Wish I Was That Brother Upon graduation from college, a few years back, a young man received a gift from his older brother. It was a shiny brand new Packard. The car of his dreams! One morning as he approached the car he saw a young lad of 12 peering through the windows into the car! Obviously enthralled with the car, the lad didn't hear the young man approach. "Is this your car?" the lad asked when he noticed the man. "Yes it is!" the man responded! "Wow! This is a nice car!" remarked the lad, "How much did it cost?" "I don't know!" answered the man. "It's your car, but you don't know how much it cost?" exclaimed the young lad. "No," stated the man, "you see, my brother bought it for me!" "I wish...I wish...I wish" stuttered the lad. The man thinking he's going to say, I wish I had a car like this. "I wish I was like that brother!" finished the boy! Amazed at the lads response he offered to drive him around the block! As they were driving, the lad requested if he would drive him home. Thinking he wanted to show off that he was riding in a new car to his friends, the man agreed! They drove more than a few blocks to where the boy lived and as he turned onto the street the man noticed that it wasn't the best kept neighborhood! The houses were dirty and broken. He pulled up in front of the boys house. "Please wait," the boy yelled as he ran into the house! "Oh, he's probably going to get his family to show off the new car", the man thought to himself. The door to the front door opened and out came the young lad. In his arms he carried a small boy, crippled from birth! The lad brought him out to the car and stated as he hugged his younger brother, "See just like I told you! It's a brand new car! And someday, I'm going to buy you one just like it!" How unselfish this boy was....to be the kind of brother that looked after the other first! What kind of Scout are you...Are you like the older brother?
  7. ASM59

    just wondering

    I had some complaints back in 2005 about how expensive Scouting is for the boys in our Troop. I put together some Power Point slides to show at a Court of Honor (the parent meeting portion of the evening). Basically, I showed how many programming hours are available to each Scout; 579 hours. Whether they take advantage of all the hours is up to them. I then showed the total of costs to the parents; dues, campout fees, summer camp fees, recharter fees. The total cost was $345 for the year. This means that it cost the parent 60 cents per available program hour. Where else can you get someone to take your child, make sure they are safe and entertained for that low of a cost? I then talked about the two fundraisers that we had during the year; where the boys could earn money for their accounts. Only half of the boys participated in these fundraisers. Of those that participated, the average earnings (in their personal account) was about $180 each. That means that the program cost was only about half for those boys, because they used their earnings to offset costs. This brings the program cost down to about 30 cents per hour. I then brought to their attention that the Troop does not charge for patches or equipment repair and upgrade. Also that the Troop helps to fund outing expenses to help make outings more affordable. So, some of the expense for their sons being in Scouting is offset by the Troop. The attention grabber was when I showed them that the Adult volunteers in the program give all this time freely. In fact, it does not stop at 579 hours per year for the Adult leaders; there are countless other hours spent in planning, phone calls, working with your Senior Patrol, and so on. One hour per week? NOT! The bottom line is that the cost per hour of programming could be as low as 30 cents per hour (at least in 2005). All made possible by caring leaders who donate their time because they believe in what they are doing. This was in a Troop; I expect that the cost could be lower for the boys in a Pack. It might be interesting to see the breakdown. ASM59
  8. ASM59

    Open toe shoes

    I have seen several comments about the ban on "open toe shoes" lately on the forums. Our local Council, as well as neighboring Councils, has officially "banned" any open toe shoes at least while at Summer Camp and presumably while on Council property for weekend campouts. Most of the comments that I have seen are negative with regard to banning such footwear, but I have seen the result of what can happen when wearing open toe shoes in areas that are not well groomed. About 5 years ago, I witnessed an adult walking across an area that was cut grass with many trees. Because of the trees, there were small sticks (twigs) lying about. As he was walking, he kicked up a stick which got lodged between two of his toes. As he moved his foot forward, the stick impaled his foot between the toes. Because of this experience, I personally believe it is a good idea to avoid wearing open toe shoes at most Council Camps. Most have many trees and as a result have many sticks lying around which could cause a similar accident. Now, I realize that the chances of this happening are probably not that high, but certainly the chances are higher in places with many sticks lying around. I have no problem with sandals with closed toes which have come out in recent years and I have even worn these at camp. I dont really have a problem with open heel shoes either as there is much less likelihood of such an accident occurring at the heel. I also am not an advocate of hiking boots being worn on all outings all the time. Good hiking shoes/boots are great if you are hiking for some distance, but for around Summer Camp a good pair of tennis shoes is just fine. What footwear do you suggest to your Scouts when heading off to Summer Camp? Does your local Council camp forbid open toe shoes? What about open heel shoes? ASM59
  9. The Patrol Leaders were to have called their Patrol members to let them know the meeting location had moved. When I spoke to Mom, who is actually the one who picked Jr up from the meeting, she is the one who received the phone call from the Patrol Leader. The Patrol Leader explained that we are changing locations to Mom, who forgot to tell Jr and Dad. Mom was late getting home that evening, so Dad had to take Jr to the meeting. Not knowing of the change, Dad took Jr to the Scout Shelter. The other thing causing a problem was the fact that I was in the Scout Shelter with the door open. Dad could see that the Shelter door was open from down the street, so he figured it was OK to let Jr walk to the Shelter. So we have the circumstances leading up to this Scout being dropped of in the wrong location. ASM59
  10. Here's something that happened at last week's Scout meeting that is related to the thread this is spun from. Our Troop meets at a city provided cabin in the city park. The cabin is known as the "Scout Shelter" because the Scouts have exclusive use of it. On our meeting nights during baseball season, the park is so full that there is no parking available. Because of this, we meet at a pavillion in another park across town during baseball season. This past meeting night, I was at the shelter picking up some paperwork and doing some organizing of medical forms. As I was getting ready to leave to go across town to the meeting, one of our first year Scouts walked into the shelter. Dad had just dropped him off down the street because the city blocks off the street during baseball games. He had no clue that the meetings have been moved. I was alone at the Shelter with a Scout. We went outside and tried calling Dad on his cell phone but could not reach him. We called his house phone, and no one answered there either. I had to decide whether to stay with him at the shelter or to give him a ride to the correct meeting place. We waited just about as long as we could, when Dad finally called back. He was 15 minutes out of town, running some errands. He asked me to take his son on to the correct meeting place and that he'd pick him up there. I did take this Scout on to the correct meeting place with me (about a 5 minute car ride). I certainly couldn't leave him alone at the Shelter. What would you have done? Was it OK with Dad's permission to take this Scout on to the correct meeting place? ASM59
  11. I have spoken to our CC who says that she wasn't sure about the whole thing, but wasn't confident enough to speak up at the meeting. I said that if the Committee wants to make this a "Troop rule" then I'd abide by it, but that I needed to know so we can plan for seat space on outings. She said that as far as she is concerned that we will follow the G2SS and if it doesn't say anything, then we're OK to allow the front seat to be occupied. ASM59
  12. And then there's the old, "you are not covered by the Troop insurance if you are traveling with Scouts that are not in uniform". Now our Troop has a policy that we travel in uniform, but in the odd case that a Scout cannot, it's not the end of the world. ASM59
  13. Hey, I looked before I posted the above, but only just now found a previous thread (2005) that discusses the same thing: http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=104083#id_104319 The general concensus was that this is just a rule someone made up. I cannot find it in G2SS either and the text John posted above is the same area I looked in. I also have looked over most of the rest of the G2SS also. I don't believe it's in there. I know that you have to be careful because of air bags and weight limits that are sometimes imposed by state laws, but if I have a 14 year old Scout who meets the weight limit to safely ride in the front seat I would think that's OK. Of course there would be other Scouts in the car as well. Any comments? Anyone else heard of this? Thanks, ASM59
  14. Good Day, I was at a Committee Meeting tonight and we were discussing number of seats available to take Scouts to Summer Camp. It was brought up that no Scout can ride in the front passenger seat unless it is the son of the driver. This is a youth protection issue and only your own son or another adult should occupy the other front seat. When asked about this, it was said that it is in the G2SS. So, in order to verify this, I am looking though the G2SS and cannot find any such wording. I may be missing it, so I am coming to you all to see if you know the source of this "rule". Is it a real G2SS rule? If so, what section is it in? Is it a rule/suggestion found in another location? Is it just one of those mythical rules that really doesn't exist? I'm not saying that I necessarily disagree with the rule if indeed it is real. The problem we have is that I do not have a son going to camp and was counting on the "shotgun" seat for one of the Scouts. Without that seat available, we may have to ask another person to make the drive to deliver the extra Scout. I do not recall having ever seen such verbage in the G2SS. Can anyone help? ASM59
  15. Karen, Thanks for the update. Nothing wrong with acknowledging your own hard work. I've been there, and it's hard work to convince the adults and boys that this is the right way to do it, and it doesn't happen overnight. It can take quite a while to get a Troop on the right track; in boy led patrols. It can take even longer to convince adults to be "hands off". I understand your stepping down from the SM position, but do you have to totally leave the Troop? If your health concerns prohibit much activity, you could be a Committee Member at-large with no specific function other than giving your experienced input into the committee. If you're able, you could be on the Committee with a job, perhaps Advancement Chair. This would allow you to keep up with the boys advancements and let you be there when they "get to Eagle". Thanks for your service to the boys! ASM59
  16. Hello, As a Swimming MB Counselor, I always make sure that a Scout can do all of the above mentioned requirements (Second Class-7a, 7b, 7c and First class-9a,9b and 9c). Before continuing on to requirements beyond requirement #3. In doing so, I am sure that they can really do it, whether they have done it previously or not, whether it's signed off in their book or not. Now as an ASM (with the OK of our SM), we do sign off on the Second & First Class requirements of any of our boys that complete the Swimming MB. This is because every Swimming MB Counselor that works with our boys also makes sure that the boys know these requirements. This is OK as the requirement says "Before doing the following requirements, successfully complete Second Class rank requirements 7a-7c and First Class rank requirements 9a-9c". It does not say that the requirements must be completed before starting the MB. And it does not indicate that the requirements cannot be completed as a part of the MB. To answer your question directly, I think that's up to your SM if you can sign off on these requirements just because a Scout finished the Swimming MB. In my experience, most SM's do allow this. ASM59
  17. Let me take a moment to brag on our newest Scouts. Nine boys who crossed over from Webelos to Boy Scouts about a month and a half ago. I have been impressed to hear them as they not only all know the Motto, Slogan, Oath and Law, but they understand the meaning of them all. They can all describe every part of the Scout Badge without missing anything (OK one of the boys needed to be reminded that he missed the scroll at the bottom). The truth of the matter is that their Webelos Den Leader took the time to make sure that they knew this information. Far too often it happenes as GWD mentioned. This year is a first with all the boys knowing this infomation so well... refreshing ASM59(This message has been edited by ASM59)
  18. Chafing... We traditionally keep Gold Bond Medicated Powder in camp, but last summer found that one of our boys had chafing just below his arm pits where his arms were rubbing against his side. He was in so much pain. Tried the Gold Bond, didn't work, tried several other kinds of powder over the next day and a half, but that did not seem to work either. This 12 year old wanted to stick it out but finally asked if he could go home. We mentioned the problem at an adult leader's meeting and one of the Scoutmasters donated some Johnson's Cooling Cucumber Melon Powder. It gave him immediate relief and the young man finished out the week. It can be found at Walmart: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=10293867 No, I do not work for Johnson or Walmart... :-) Showers... I find in our area that newer Junior High Schools are either retrofitted with individual shower stalls (curtains) or are newly constructed with shower stalls (walls). In Junior High Schools that are older without retrofitted stalls, they tend not to make the kids shower. In a couple of schools, they use the shower area as storeage; they don't even turn on the showers. That just sounds gross, but that's the way it is around here. Older High Schools still have the open showers, but newer High Schools tend to have shower stalls (but not all). ASM59
  19. Brent... That doesn't suprise me. I have not received a single e-mail notification from this site for months; despite the fact that I have requested e-mail notification on several threads. I saw that someone posted that they were having the same problem a while ago, but I don't recall seeing an answer (of course I wouldn't have receive an e-mail notification to tell me if there was an answer). There must be a problem somewhere with the site and the owner/operator probably doesn't have the time to address it. Just my 2 cents... ASM59
  20. ASM59

    rule question

    Basement... I believe it is "Protecting God's Children" (a course for volunteers working with children) from (or at) the Catholic Church. ASM59
  21. Kenk, I have been active on these forums for sometime now although recently I haven't been actively posting. Mainly because of the comments of others that were (IMHO) direct attacks against me. I simply did not have the time to deal with what I thought were necessary defenses of myself. I realize that it is only a few that do that, but a few rotten apples will spoil the whole lot. I guess I say this only to let you know that indeed it is only a few or maybe one; I don't know the details in your case. I suspect that most of the people on these forums are the kind of people you'd want to have as a friend. I have learned a lot from these forums which is why I still hang around. Thanks for your time as a Scouter and the difference you make in the lives of Scouts here with me in Northern Illinois. ASM59
  22. Hello, We have an "Advancement Chairperson" on our Committee who tracks the Adult Training as well as the boys' advancement. I noticed this year that on our re-charter paperwork from Council, that the current training level of all the adults is noted. I don't know if that is normal, or maybe something new this year. At any rate if the adults who have been trained did so in your local council, there should be a record of it at the Council office. This might be a good place to start to help you put together a list for your own unit level tracking of adult training. Most people (including in our Troop) are resistant to putting in the time for training, but are willing to get it done for the good of the Unit and the program. I have found that since the YP training is on the Internet, that it is even easier. A simple e-mail with a link to the training site is all it takes to get most of them trained. Those who are not so Internet savy are invited over for coffee and are helped through the training; not given the answers to the test, but shown how to navigate the site. Offering to show some how to use the training site has helped eliminate the last hold-outs. We have everyone (Committee, Scoutmaster, and Assistant Scoutmasters) at least YP trained. Almost 80% of our 19 registered adults are trained also for their positions. The few that are not trained for their positions are great volunteers, but cannot take the time from their families and/or jobs to complete the Scoutmaster specific portions of the training. If training becomes a requirement, we will lose these adults as registered volunteers. ASM59
  23. GKlose, While our local YMCA only has two locker rooms, I have been to YMCA's that have the 4 locker rooms too. While it's nice, it also worries me that I am not allowed in the youth locker room while other adults are (parents of youth). If I were to take Scouts to a facility with such a locker room, I'd recruit a trusted older Scout to attend and ask him to make sure everything in the locker room goes OK. ASM59
  24. Happens a couple of time per year with us. I am a Swimming MB Counselor and will typically offer the opportunity once per year for boys to take the MB. We do one session at our Scout Shelter and two or three sessions at the local HS or YMCA pool (The YMCA will not let us do clothes inflation, so we definately schedule the HS for this part although the HS is more expensive). I have never had an issue with the problem noted. The boys never change in the open locker room. They always go into the toilet stalls to change. To respect the G2SS guidelines ("Adults must protect their own privacy..."), I always duck into a stall to change also. The only other thing to worry about are the other YMCA members. There may be Y members showering or changing, but I do my best to keep the boys in an isolated part of the locker room. The most I've ever heard were some snickers from the boys. I should also point out that I only go to the pool with at least one other parent and/or leader. This is easy to do as this is not really run as a Troop outing, but rather a MB opportunity and I make it the parents responsibility to get their Scout to the pool. Most parents stay at the pool for the couple of hours that we are there. ASM59
  25. I really find it disheartening that we continue to have these discussions. There is right and wrong, good and bad. It seems that we want the best of both worlds; I dont like cussing but Ill do it at the right time/place Oh, and if you happen to believe differently, youre just self-righteous and judgmental. The word integrity has been used in this thread. Im still involved in Scouting because it is one of the few places in our society (outside of the Church) where a boy (young man) can learn what personal integrity and responsibility is. Now, just because I believe thats important, Im labeled self-righteous and judgmental. You want to quote scripture to prove that some of us are judgmental, well please remember the rest of the story. After the accusers left after being told he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone, Jesus asked where are your accusers. The woman said theyre gone and Jesus said, Neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more. My point is that she was told to go, and sin no more. Jesus thought it important enough to tell her to stop doing what she was doing. Elsewhere in scripture we are admonished to instruct children and to call our brothers on wrong that they are doing. Jesus even gave specific instruction on how to handle it if they dont want to listen. Just trying to give another point of view on this ASM59
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