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About Lem

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  1. I'll take that as my queue to skedaddle. Thanks for the converation fellas. Jeff
  2. It sounds like you got things pretty squared away in Warren Michigan. I think that your experience, the way you describe, is pretty impressive. And I wouldn't argue against what you do and how you do it. The Eagle Scout kid sounds pretty terrific. Kudos to you both! But I don't think that you are arguing that the exception refutes the rule? Do you think that BSA is a corrective for the Lunk-heads? Maybe you do. And maybe you're right. But I don't see how. And I really don't want to give up too much information about me and what I do or don't do for kids. I don't feel it is as germane to this argument as you do. But the whole- You dont get us because you are not us. argument is pretty lame. The comments and criticisms are either valid or they are not- based on themselves and not on the messenger. What is the difference if I am a scouter or not. The words either are off the mark or they are on target. I still think that BSAs got room for improvement and thinned skinned scouters who take criticism as personal attacks dont add much to forwarding conversation. Jeff
  3. I guess it is my own personal thing then. I just like standards. I think that kids these days are not taught enough how to respond appropriately to adults because our culture is pretty confused about what is appropriate. The idea of authority has been changed since the sixties. The natural authority I believe that should be reflected in cultural norms of speech and behavior and station are going away- and this is troubling because I believe it is un-natural and upsetting to a positive and pedagogically fertile culture. There is and was a correspondence between language and customs and natural order. God is above man. The teacher is above the student. The parent is Lord of the house. These authorities stem from nature and are reflected in the Christian and Judaic traditions and probably Buddhism and every -other tradition. I think some of the scouters embrace of a relativistic out-look on cultural norms is always going to be to our culture's detriment because BSA should, I think, be trying to buttress a conservative and traditional cultural perspective that emphasizes the best traditions and habits in human conduct. (So we grow and progress as a culture by adding what is best about the new while preserving what is best about the old). The scout laws, if they are to be influential, need a system of authority to back them up. Pretending that this system is the people's choice is stupid because natural order does not flow from just a democratic source. The populous expects its elites and learned classes to share with them the knowledge of the past- this includes the best ways and attitudes of mind and outlook that have been in evidence in recorded history. (Then they can best make up their own mind about what it is right conduct.)To just tolerate the behavior of the NOW as the accepted custom and normalize and thus justify it is bordering on reprobate. BSA was supposed to serve as a curative power in society by adult mentoring and published guides (by moral and competent adult leaders) and a standardized code of conduct. They didnt say- just make up your own code- did they? But you go ahead and let the long haired mumbling inarticulate kid feel ok about that. That seems to be todays accepted model of youth. Jeff (This message has been edited by Lem)
  4. My tangential points being?? I thought I was being very congruent! It seems you just tried to suggest that it is everybodies fault but BSA- when I was actually discussing that BSA scouters on this site can't even agree what the scout laws should really mean or how they should be manifested concretely. You didn't address the quesions I asked or the points I made- you just said that I am disqualified from making cogent assumptions about scouting. If that is true- why comment at all to my posts? Jeff
  5. It is funny, but the only thing that stuck in my crawl about Lem in the movie was that he was called Lem by the kids. It just didn't sit right for me and the Mrs... Again. How do the 12 laws get uniformly applied? Are their guidelines as to what are the common courtesies? Should a scout's fingernails be untrimmed and filthy? What about hair length, or body art and piercings? What about body odor? What about foul language? What about the standardized method of speaking to adults? You would think that that would be the first thing- wouldnt you? This is what we mean by courteous- and give an example of how an adult should be addressed. But it seems here that the scouters are not in agreement as to what is the courtesy of speech. OK. What is the standard of clean? Or the standard of bravery? Or helpful. And good golly Miss Molly- it seems that you guys really got a problem with obedience. If you cant get an animal like a horse to obey a command, then it is considered worthy of the petting zoo or the glue factory- it is a feral beast. If you cant come up with a standard of what obedience is, then why include it in the scout law. From the sound of it, it seems that BSA has done an end run around the laws and obedience by insisting that the highest law is the patrol method and the will of the patrol. A standard is just that- standardized. If you have a system where we can all agree on nice words like leadership, and the 12 laws and the oath, but are hard pressed to find common goals and outcomes as to what a clean scout is, or what common courtesies are, then what the heck is a uniformed organization supposed to do? I guess I really do have a problem with the idea of youth lead if the youth are in charge as to the theme, the standards of appropriate conduct, the interpretation of the scout law, etc.. Jeff
  6. Yeh, I guess BSA is going the way of a lot of "movements". But letting a kid call you by your first name? Buddy, you can count me out. It is democracy run afoul of reason and experience. A kid should not be your "friend", or your "brother", or your "uncle". He should be a "kid" and you should be an "adult". The problem becomes that you as the adult have to pretend that you are less then you are in respect to the child, and the kid gets to pretend that he is more than he deserves. It is totally whacked. Jeff
  7. I gotta disagree with you Old Grey Eagle. No 11 year old boy is an equal with any adult. He is their inferior in nearly every sense. There are natural stations whether you are living in a republic, and oligarchy, or a tribe. Respect manifested by courtesy in speech and action is the hallmark of civility. Children who do not know their place are obnoxious. Tolerance and a blind eye to bad or no manners is a disservice perpetuated against children every day in schools, BSA and at home. Special respect shown towards the elderly, the veterans, doctors and other professionals like judges and the police, current men and woman in the military, politicians, all warrant special treatment and a higher degree of courtesy. I think the BSA gives short shrift to this and lip service to its laws and oath. Jeff (This message has been edited by Lem)
  8. So what are the numbers like know? Are there any trends? Have there been real comparative studies of the habits of boys joining organizations across the board- and why? Should BSA hire a Zogby to poll Americans to get some intelligence? Personally, I'm kind of an upbeat guy. I didn't vote for Obama- and I still think he has and had leftist leanings- but I am wishing him and us the best. Maybe MY name is mud. From all my limited experiences with the scouts and scouters from childhood and today, I have to say I see a pretty weak program. But then again, I think I just might not "get it". My boys were thinking about looking into Civil Air Patrol or Young Marines in our area. They have an interest in military things and technology. Our daughter has a friend who is a Young Marine Master sergeant. Pretty impressive girl. Who knows, maybe all of our kids might end up in the same program. I don't know how you judge success in a program without actually having measures. GoldWinger said that the kids he sees at troop meetings don't want to be there but would rather be playing video games. My question is, after 4 or 5 years of cub scouting and a few years of Boy Scouting, how come so many scouts still have piss poor manners, don't want to wear the uniform, and bully kids? Could it be that real education is not happening? Could it be that the program of scouting doesnt really value follow through? Could it be that holding out camping and outdoor adventures as the promise of scouting is not good enough? Why dont scouts enforce manners and courtesies- especially since it is embedded in Scout law? Are yes mam and no sir odd old fashion conventions? Should scouts say excuse me to scoutmasters when they want their attention? How are the scout laws actually enforced- or are they not really laws- but more or less suggestions- ask Captain Jack Sparrow would say. Why are there no protocols for customs and courtesies for how scouts should speak and behave in relation to superiors and inferiors? And if the scoutmaster is not seen as a superior- what does that say about the pedagogy of this program? If BSA could actually provide Americans with hard cold statistics and show results from scout training and experience- maybe they would be a persuasive voice in youth issues. But as I see it, it is all window trimming and a bunch of middle aged guys who want an excuse to get out of the house for a weekend and justify it by saying it is all for the boys , honey. I don't buy the osmosis argument. Hitler Jungen camped too. Heck, most aboriginal cultures technically are camping as a way of life. Being outdoors and camping and hiking is not enough to instill the scout oath and law in boys. Boys need to have a structure of authority they can count on. They need to demonstrate obedience and a willingness to follow before they are capable of being leaders. I still think that the model of scouting is flawed because no one takes seriously the structure of rank and chain of command. It is a silly committee run club with no tangible mission. And why do I attend this forum? Because I care deeply about the issues that BSA espouses to specialize in. Jeff
  9. TwoXforr wrote::"But I have not heard how (scouts are failing). Are we not teaching the Oath and Law. Are we not creating individuals who are self reliant and can stand on thier own. What exactly in your opinion are we doing wrong." I think since the oath and law are usually only words to memorize and not necessarily applied in the actual methods of scouting- as is clearly evidenced in the Lisabob affair (bullying breaks about half of the scout laws and the oath), then really what the oath and law serve to do is sell scouting to mom and dad and the CO which is now usually a church. Scouting has clearly abdicated its place in society as the premiere moral authority for youth organizations. But maybe you guys are right: scouting is the best organization for boys available. From my point of view scouting does more harm than hurt to the greater scouting outdoors movement by enforcing its monopoly on the name "scouting" and suing any association that wants to say what they are doing is scout-craft or scouting. I DO believe BSA has strayed too far from the Baden Powell reservation, and that they are light years from the Daniel Beards and Setons. You can protect your little scouter-priest-class all you want- but the orthodoxy of scouting you adhere to is stilted and boring and prescriptive and talent-proof. I compared it to the educational establishment that has also gone down hill by also following trends in modern psychology, political correctness, and entrenched mediocrity. Education and scouting both lost focus on their primary missions and they both have suffered accordingly. I agree that scouters, like educators, should be commended for the hours of work they do to mentor boys. But scouting the way it was demonstrated in the Disney film shows a model of the joy of scouting that is all too lacking today. And what is also missing in scouting is an espirit de corps that would arise naturally if the boys in scouts knew what they were doing was truly excellent, and not merely good enough. And lastly, - scouting today, like education all too often, is missing a sense of customer service and a marked disregard for the non-scouting public. By the way- how ARE your numbers lately? Is attendance up? Is BSA delivering the Promise of scouting?? How many scout camps have closed and opened in the last five years? It is becoming a kind of sad joke out here. And no one should blame the kids. Scouting was devised by warriors because they knew that you should be on a war footing when you are under attack. Our youth are always under attack. And only a militant and focused movement can hope to counter it. BSA is not that. It tried to be was for a while. Now it is a soft, unfocused meandering lout that doesnt know the world moved on without them. Jeff
  10. Hey Narraticong, I don't have to tell you that the program is broken, flawed, or in need of a heck of a lot new blood. It is patently obvious to most honest folks who have seen the scouts in their communities in action (most of whom don't care enogh to comment on it). And just becasue you think you have check-mated me somehow by discovering that I am disqualified from commenting on an organization I refuse to belong to doen'st mean that the organization is any less screwy. You can believe what you want about my shoe size buddy. And you can cry in your dutch oven about all the millions of boys that have done good by scouting. It won't change the fact that BSA is a shadow of its former self- and that is a rotten shame. But maybe our country is also a shadow of its former self. BSA is sliding into total irrelevancy to American youth and adults. And that is the plain truth - no matter who is the one saying it. But good luck with living up the Norman Rockwell ideal- I can relate. Jeff
  11. I don't want to be a scoutmaster for the reason that I have indeed found this organization to be way too flawed and strange for me or my boys. And I probably wouldn't make a very good scoutmaster anyways. I am one of those guys that just doesn't get scouting as it is today. Jeff
  12. I don't remember CUb or Weblos being very fun actually. But I was more of the Huck Finn type, and me and my buddies would go off on our own adventures. Scouts as far as I can remember it was house-wives giving boys crafts to do. Maybe the scouting I imagine, that ideal, is impossible. Jeff
  13. Yes Bob, Your answering machine is working fine. Jeff
  14. I have stated that I won't put my boys into scouting, but I do try and provide them with the opportunities and support of their own initiatives. My daughter's experiences with scouting will soon be coming to an end as we are considering other local options. But I have been attracted to an idea of scouting that from my real life experiences with scouters and scout groups seems mostly fictional. I have as a hobby developed a reading habit that involves devouring the old scout manuals and literature written by men like Powell and Beard and Seton. I have an interest in the issue of child raising historically and how different cultures approached the same problem. I have a background in education, public relations, and small business. My wife and I have worked on many committees involved in education and community organizing. And the idea of working with youth on a larger scale than the local church group or football team is one that interests us. So I am someone looking from the outside in- and I prefer to keep it that way. I made it through weblos in the seventies and dropped out. My wife was a girl scout. I served in the air force R.O.T.C. for a few years and studied a little engineering, design, and a lot of history and art. If you think my questions and observations don't hit the mark, then I would just say that I guess my contributions werent salient and leave it at that. I have found that many of the contributors to this site are some extraordinary people giving a lot of their time and energies in the cause of boys. I think they deserve, IMHO, a better run and better overall organization than what BSA is providing. I am a critic of BSA because I think BSA has lost its efficacy, its standing as a premier youth organization, and its reputation in communities around the nation. And I don't blame society- even though there is always blame to go around- I put the blame squarely on the old guard who don't seem to have the imagination, the willingness to think for themselves, and the chutzpah to lead a once great youth movement back into the center stage of the American boy's life. BSA shouldnt be lame, or wimpy, or overweight, or bookish, or bureaucratic, and especially not scared of running afoul of every little rule handed down by national. But it has become just that. I dont buy the litigiousness argument. You can get NRA certified as a rifle instructor and get millions of dollars in coverage for just hundreds of dollars. Why? Because if you are following NRA guidelines the insurance companies know that what you are doing is safe. But just avoiding the activities because you are afraid of litigation is not always necessary. BSA should figure out a better way to pass on liability onto the scoutmasters and COs so they can run a more interesting local program that is less dependent on summer council events. BSA has made scouting less fun, more work, and defiantly more retarded than it used to be. Jeff (This message has been edited by Lem)
  15. This has been spun from the Follow ME Boys Thread. Do you think that BSA's current training films, and efforts to reach out into the general adult communities across America, are attracting the Lem-types of individuals? Can we say there is a LEM- TYPE?? I am not insinuating that I am a Lem-type. But I am a man who was repelled by my brief experiences with the scouters and programs I witnessed. And from my friends who have been in scouting, I have learned that scouting is a very unadventurous and "parlory" version compared to the example in the Disney film. Should Follow Me Boys be more of an Exemplar for current BSA? Can we learn from it and the Norman Rockwell version of scouting and even the scouting of the Old time scouting that was more like the stuff in DANGEROUS BOOK FOR BOYS than the Boys current handbook? Has the current BSA made itself Lem-resistant or Lem-proof, much like the current educational establishment has repelled many fine individuals and natural teachers from going into teaching?? I think the answer is OBVIOUSLY! My background is in teaching. And I have witnessed that the teaching-training establishment has become a haven for left-wing radicals teaching very much the same radical bile as Bill Ayers is in Chicago. In fact I studied right up the road from Bill Ayers, and his colleagues in the teaching department at DePaul loved him and his way of doing things. My point is that teaching as most civilians think about it is actually much different today in reality. It has been hijacked by a technocratic elite that speaks in nearly incomprehensible vernacular. Their basic assumptions and world outlook are radically askew from the greater publics. And there programme for teaching teachers is NOT in the interest of teaching children to be the kinds of literate and interested American citizens we would hope for, but instead they are using the classroom as a kind of political theatre or left-wing madrass to instill in children the bilge of global warming, anti-gun politics, anti-American an anti-colonialism blather, and the pro gay agenda. Again- I have firsthand knowledge of this in over twenty years of teaching in both public and private urbamn and rural schools. I would guess that a vociferous NO-WAY-JOSE will erupt from the scouter glee-club and condemn this thread premise as whacky and out-of-step. But I think BSA has become both whacky and out of step with the Lems of the world. BSA doesnt seem to exude a common sense and a sense of inevitability in its wisdom. It seems to have turned into an odd little club for middle-aged folks who are more pre-occupied with dutch ovens and tying knots than what boys want-need- and how they operate. (As Lem seemed to get implicitly). But for those who suspect that BSA has presented a scouting that is kind of creepy- strange, bureaucratic, and un-robust, what do you think could be done to resuscitate its presentation and message to attract citizens to form troops and packs and be Lems in their communities. Is America making Lems and Whiteys anymore? I think yes. America always has. Just like it continues to make boys in the mold of Johnny Tremains and Huck Finns and Sergeant Yorks Jeff )(This message has been edited by Lem)
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