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Everything posted by Lisabob

  1. I get a little chuckle out of this every time somebody proposes it as an alternative to the BSA. Not to disparage Spiral Scouts or anything, but how many of us have ever heard of this organization, outside of this forum? How many of us can say "yep, there's a Spiral Scouts group in or near my town." This gets tossed out as if it were a viable option the same as taking little Johnny off to the Join Scouting night at the local elementary school, but in reality, I don't think this is an apt comparison or serious option for most people. According to the Spiral Scouts International website, there are only about 65 active groups in the entire country, operating in less than half of the states. There appear to be more de-chartered and inactive groups as active ones. And seriously, again not meaning to disparage anyone, but just because I happen to disagree with the BSA's stance on certain hot-button social issues does not mean I'd necessarily feel more at home in Hecate's Helpers or the Crystal Dragons Circle. Personally I think the "just go join Spiral Scouts" rejoinder is a convenient dodge of the real issues, more often than not.
  2. Lisabob

    scouts & drugs

    So we've veered off into the realm of hypotheticals in a few threads recently; why not one more. (This is a real one, FYI.) A scout of late high school age is known to smoke pot. His own mother, a troop committee member, openly acknowledges that the boy is doing this "too much" and is tearing her hair out. Dad is an ASM. Parents both seem to be throwing up their hands in search of what to do to help their boy & hope scouting will continue to offer the boy another path in life. The boy frequently brings pot to camp outs and several boys say he offers to share with (not sell to) other boys, both his own age and younger. Except for this, he's a nice kid who is well liked and seems to enjoy being in the troop. Advancement isn't a big deal for this boy, who is happy to stay at (say) 1st Class rank forever. Leadership positions are similarly not something the boy seems to care about. You, the Scoutmaster, find out. Some parents are hearing rumors about this, too, and start asking you about it. ------- OK. What do you do with this boy? What do you tell the other boys? Do you feel you have an obligation to disclose this matter to some/all parents? What do you tell parents who question you directly, about why a known drug dealer is being allowed to tent with their sons? Supposing you have a CO that isn't comatose, what (if anything) do you tell the CO? Should this boy continue to be welcome in your troop? Why or why not?
  3. Lisabob

    any value to these?

    I live in MI, where the local councils have been replaced by a nearly-statewide mega council. Since the new council doesn't yet have shoulder patches, the "old" council patches are still out there. My question: do those/will those old council patches be of much value, once the new council patches appear on the scene? Just curious mostly - I don't really trade, but my son does, occasionally, and he might want to stock up now, if folks think it's worth it.
  4. Lisabob

    Perversion files released

    I looked at a couple that got a lot of discussion in local media so far. In one, a leader admitted to police to raping a boy and molesting his brothers. In another, a leader admitted to police to molesting 10 boys at a camp. In both cases, strong pressure was brought to bear not to press charges in order to "save the good name" of scouting. In one, a former scouter who was convicted of molesting children says the local BSA kept calling him with volunteer requests for years after he was done serving his prison sentence, and he had to tell the BSA to stop contacting him. There are likely all kinds of less awful examples in the files, and examples where folks did the right thing. But there are evidently real cases of serious abuse and systematic cover ups in there, too. This is wrong now, was wrong then, and - like cover ups nearly always do - has the exact opposite impact of what the BSA desired. So I can't help but say, the BSA is now getting what's been coming to them for quite some time. And I agree with TwoCub, that they aren't handling this very well in terms of responding to the release of this damning information.
  5. I'm just curious. Does anybody here form, or change, their views on political issues on the basis of random banner ads on websites? I ask because there are some hotly contested ballot initiatives up for a vote in my state this year, and for whatever reason, I'm seeing banner ads for one side of one of the ballots on this site all the time, now (yes I realize you are not all seeing the same banner). Maybe I'm naive, but I can't imagine this is a highly effective method of persuasion. I'd think that in this highly commercial media age, people basically tune out such web banner ads, regardless of content. Am I wrong?
  6. Lisabob

    scout denied eagle

    Eagle732, I didn't say you wouldn't post it about your own scouts. I said I hoped you wouldn't. I do think it is unethical to do so and I do think it was unethical for you to have done so in this case. And now, to quote the great Forrest Gump, "that's all I have to say about that."
  7. Lisabob

    do political banner ads matter to you?

    Well since somebody asked: the banner I'm getting says that if you vote for a particular ballot proposal in my state, then sex offenders, drunk drivers, and felons will destroy your children's futures by molesting (or killing) them on school buses and in schools. The latest one says something like "when it ruins lives, it matters." Uh, no. There are honest reasons to be for or against the actual ballot initiative in question, but this ad (which is also running in other media forms like TV commercials) is such a transparent ooga-booga scare campaign, not grounded in reality, that I have a hard time imagining that it works. Especially as a random web banner ad. But then I thought, maybe I'm hopelessly naive and these things work. So far you are all restoring my faith in the power of reason. Thank you.
  8. Lisabob

    scout denied eagle

    Minors deserve more protection than adults. And I am not at all convinced that the "public figure" definition used by the courts in libel & slander cases (for example) would fit this situation, even if we were talking about legal adults. Honestly I am pretty discouraged by the fact that some scouters seem to be just fine with treating a boy who could just as easily be one of their own scouts in this way. This isn't some anonymous person on an internet forum spouting political views. This is a youth, who has grown up within our scouting program, who is now trying to handle difficult and vexing problems. Sure, he may be doing it in ways we don't all agree with, and we might even not like where he is ending up, but my goodness, that's no reason to throw him to the wolves and post links to the boy's facebook page.
  9. Lisabob

    scout denied eagle

    Eagle732, it does not matter that it is unprotected or how much time it took you to find. It does not matter what the boy posted on his facebook page or whether you agree or disagree with his actions. What I am saying to you is that it is unethical for you, as a Scouter, to intentionally post a child's information on a public forum in order to invite ridicule of that child.
  10. Lisabob

    scout denied eagle

    Eagle732, would you post the page of a scout and a minor from your troop on a public web forum? I hope not. So why are you posting that boy's page? Please take back your post.
  11. Lisabob

    Toy guns at scouting functions

    Well this doesn't happen that often, but I find I agree with JoeBob. Particularly this part: "If your DL is threatening to quit over this, you probably need a new DL anyway... "
  12. Sentinel, you are missing the point. It isn't about whether NBC conveys the minutia of what one does to become an Eagle. It is about whether the BSA is now attempting to apply its standards for adult leaders to youth members. But before we jump the gun on this, I wonder whether this is merely some goof ball SM interpreting things as he sees fit, rather than official BSA policy.
  13. Lisabob

    Thank god your here......

    Yes Barry, all puppies. I give no quarter, no matter how disgustingly cute a puppy face. In fact I am partial to puppy-fur coats.... Well pack, you've got me beat there. The only way I could have voted for (or against) Nixon would have been through some serious voter fraud, since I was still in diapers when he resigned. Not to blur the lines between threads too much, but you've now expressed remorse for your choices of both Nixon and GW. Been hoodwinked a couple of times, there, eh. Maybe in future you should vote against your own better judgment? I do believe that means you ought to abandon Romney and vote for Obama, this time around. (Or at least, Johnson or Stein.)
  14. Lisabob

    Thank god your here......

    Just so we can get it out of the way, I'll stipulate now that I'm probably also a terrible parent who has ruined her child's life, I'm a hater of PTA meetings, I failed to show sufficient school spirit at homecoming events in high school, and I'm most likely mean to kittens and puppies, too. As, of course, are all of us who are "pushing a gay agenda" here at scouter.com
  15. Lisabob

    Thank god your here......

    Well I got a good laugh, thanks. In the space of the last three or four days I've been called a bra-burning feminazi, a communist, a "GD SOCIALIST!, " a fat cat union boss who wants criminals and sex offenders to run public schools, a thug, a bleeding-heart, card-carrying, ACLU-loving liberal out to poison the minds of our young people, and a few other choice labels. Now apparently I push a gay agenda, on top of it all! I'm probably out to demolish marriage, too (you've been warned, people)! You all had better watch out because single-handedly, I am destroying society as we know it. Funny, how threatened people tend to get when you advocate in a level-headed and moderate tone for basic fairness and equal rights. Anyway, basement, the conclusions you are drawing from the lack of discussion on other websites is apparently flawed. Honestly, I don't have time to participate in more than one scouter forum so I will take you at your word that other scouter sites don't allow this sort of open discussion of the "gay issue." If that's the case, then you can hardly cite the lack of such discussion elsewhere as proof that the people on those other forums are all of one mind - in fact, you can't know if they support the current policy or not, if they're not allowed to post dissenting views on those other sites.
  16. Lisabob

    Another extreme helicopter issue

    I agree with Eagledad that the kids want to know if the adults get it. It becomes a bit of a trust issue - if they don't think you get it, they won't trust your evaluation of their efforts, either. One of my son's former SMs used to praise the heck out of every kid all the time no matter what heinous thing the little darlings had just gotten caught (red handed) doing. Yeah, I know, praise in public, scold in private, but he also never did the latter. Every kid seemed to have endless chances with no repercussions for screwing up (no matter how seriously). Got to a point where some of the boys just completely discounted anything the guy said, especially compliments or anything about the value of the rank they'd just been awarded, because they didn't trust him to be honest with them about how they were doing. They wanted real recognition for genuine achievement, not spun sugar and vacuous "you're special!" back-patting. Some of the boys were of the opinion that he was spineless in the face of bullies or standards, too. In truth, I think the guy was just a very optimistic person who wanted to build people up and give chances to some kids who came from the school of hard knocks. But it is real easy to lose credibility with middle schoolers and high schoolers, if the kids don't believe you aren't honest with them or that you don't know when you're being buffaloed.
  17. Lisabob

    Thank god your here......

    Barry, perhaps we're talking past each other. What I got from your post was that you felt somebody's freedom of religion or speech was under threat. For that to be true, there would necessarily have to be a governmental actor involved since, by definition, the freedoms of religion & speech as described in the 1st amendment are protected from governmental threat. In this situation, I don't see any government action going on, so I don't see how it makes sense for you to invoke the 1st amendment by referencing freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
  18. Lisabob

    Thank god your here......

    Barry, I certainly hope you aren't suggesting that people keeping their thoughts on controversial issues to themselves, as opposed to taking out their political anger on cub scouts, has anything to do with the first amendment? Because THAT would be ignorant. The first amendment guarantees people the right to be free from GOVERNMENT impingement on speech and religion (within certain widely drawn boundaries, as identified by the courts). In the situation BD describes, there is no indication that GOVERNMENT is involved. In this situation we are talking about private (non-government) individuals deciding whether or not they wish to participate in a fund raiser held by a private (non-government) group, on private (non-government) property. The first amendment has nothing to do with being a decent human being and choosing not to rant at children about some policy issue over which they have no control. That's just manners and emotional maturity, there.
  19. Lisabob

    Thank god your here......

    You know, I find it as objectionable for people to use youth as pawns FOR their political views, as for people to use youth as pawns AGAINST their political views. You support the BSA's policy on some issue? Great. You don't? Fine. Buy popcorn or don't, but don't use it as an opportunity to make children into actors in your political drama. Unless they have a sign posted saying something like "keep gays out of scouts! buy popcorn!", show&sell just isn't the right time and place to have the policy debate. That's not why the kids are out there selling the popcorn. (As for me: I do support the boys but I don't agree with the BSA's policy on this issue. And I know well, how much work the boys & their families/leaders put into the sales, so that they can have a good unit-level program. So yeah I'll buy some popcorn or give them a couple of dollars to support their pack or troop or whatever, because wolf cubs aren't the people we need to be talking to about national-level leadership issues.)
  20. Lisabob

    Political trends

    "As a fiscal conservative Bush was a fraud. But then, most of the country drank that Flavor Aid as well. " Yes he was a fraud. But then, he was elected by a minority of voters the first time and only a slim majority the second time, so I don't think you can accurately say that "most of the country" agreed with or supported him, even at the time of his election.
  21. Lisabob

    Political trends

    Packsaddle, maybe this is an indication of the depth of the problem for team Romney - even their own likely supporters (ex: BSA types, who tend to lean heavily to the right) don't care enough for the guy to get their hackles up when he's taking a hit. Anyway, whether Romney is personally a decent guy, or a good business man, isn't really the question. Sure, he MIGHT be a moderate (hard to tell, with all the flip flopping he's done in the last 4 years, but maybe...). But suppose he wins, will he end up being hijacked by the more extremist tea party fringes of his own party? Will he be dragged to the right, to satisfy them? Given his behaviors in the primaries, I'd put money on it, except I'm reasonably sure he'll lose the election and so we'll never find out. I do know a lot of "independents" who are not so much voting FOR Obama, as AGAINST what the current Republican party seems to stand for - an issue much bigger than Mr. Romney. Oh and by the way, the demographic transition we as a country are undergoing is going to be interesting, if the Republicans continue to ignore and diss the concerns of women and Latinos (and African Americans, but that's a group that typically votes Democratic already). Some day, and soon, the Republicans are going to discover that their core constituency consists of a handful of angry old white guys somewhere in the plains states, and the rest of us have just moved on.
  22. Lisabob

    "Uppity" Parents?

    As the den leader this isn't your issue. Do you have a good committee chair? If so, they could have a nice (in-person) conversation with the lady about her expectations. Here's my spiel: "This isn't school or a business. It is a volunteer club that tries to put on good, fun, safe programs for kids. Sometimes it is a little rough around the edges because Mr. CM works 80 hours a week at his day job, and Ms. DL over there is juggling too many things too, and Mr. Advancement Chair has the same trouble getting to the scout shop during normal business hours that you do. And you might like to know that Mr/Ms/Mrs A almost single-handedly brought this pack back from the brink just two years ago and has been working over-drive to rebuild long-term leadership, ever since. So we're all in it together and we're not perfect but the kids do have fun. Around here, we like to highlight the positive and show our appreciation for the work our volunteers have already done. Now, I understand you want to become involved and that you share our goal of a fun program for the boys. What specific, positive, role do you envision yourself playing in this organization?" Make it clear that the position of naysayer and scoffer is already taken. Oh and as for the boy - somebody needs to have a different conversation with the parent about the consequences of continued name calling and other inappropriate behavior. If your policy is that he'll have to miss the next meeting, etc., put it on the table with him AND his mother right away. That's a DL issue, to my way of thinking (with the backing of your CM and CC).
  23. Lisabob

    Attending District Committee Meetings

    In general, I agree with others that the "fix" SP is leaning toward, fails to address the actual underlying problem he describes. However, I felt that this statement required response: BSA24 writes: "I don't think strong units have any obligation to help the district at all. If people working in the district can't pull together the people they need to lead things, then they need to accept that as feedback that not many people want them to provide the services in the first place. " For a while I was on the district team. I got a reasonably good look at how the district worked and why it often did not. In terms of recruiting other folks so that the district could provide a service to units, my experience and perception was that recruiting other volunteers might have very little to do with how units perceive the work the district is attempting to do to support the units. It might have more to do with the personal networks of scouters in the district positions. This privileges "good old boys and gals" and their ideas, which may, indeed, be disconnected from what units actually care about. It also makes change at the district level extremely difficult. For these reasons, I don't think BSA24's approach of leaving it on the district volunteers' shoulders to find people from their personal networks is useful, if the desired result is a district that is in touch with and responsive to the units. But then, I think SP's approach of strong-arming live bodies into attending district meetings, won't work, either. I am sure that if I felt coerced into attending, I'd be less than willing to volunteer when I got there.
  24. Lisabob

    Bullying Professors

    Well sailingpj, as I'm sure you know, cake is a lie. As for university advisers, I think they're universally reviled. Kind of like every campus I've ever taught at has "the worst" parking problems on earth. I don't pretend to understand why this should be the case, but it does appear to be true. The maxim "trust, but verify" comes to mind when dealing with "advice" from "advisers." Oh, and "bullying," ha! There's a story this week about a student who chose to fall asleep, ostentatiously (legs outstretched, hat over the face, nearly horizontal in chair), in class. The Prof woke him up by standing nearby and speaking loudly. Rather than apologize for being rude and for distracting the class, the student made a scene before leaving the class and then reported the prof to the local police for alleged assault. Seriously. Oh, those bullying professors!
  25. There's been lots of grumpy conversation around here lately and good news seems in order. So I thought I'd share with you all that my son successfully completed his Eagle BOR last night! He said he had a really good conversation with the board members and he's been walking a few feet off the ground all day. Thanks to all the scouters who have helped him along the way.