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About AZOwl

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  1. Folks, Thanks for the input... Pack...Our Pack and Troop are very tightly linked...and at our last Pack/Troop family camp, we had 37 people...so numbers I suspect will be somewhere between 30-50 people attending. Heading to the backcountry with cubbies is a no-go, so we're front-country bound...The plan is to take the Boy Scouts on an overnight backpacking trip to get them some space and separation, and give them a different experience from the cubbies... Old Guy...This is for next summer, not this summer. They don't even open up reservations until 5 months out. I did talk to Heather and its an option, but not sure if we want to spend what is really limited time doing a service project.
  2. Looking for advice from our California brethren, or those that have been to Yosemite recently. My Pack and Troop are planning a Family Camp/High Adventure next summer. At this point, I figure there will somewhere between 30-50 people, which puts us squarely into a group campsite. I've been researching such campsites, and it looks like YNP has several, but they book only 5 months in advance, and because there are limited sites, I suspect that they are booked in a matter of seconds by people hovering over the 'enter' key. So I am looking for strategies for making sure we have somewhere to stay for 2-3 days, near or in the Yosemite Valley. Traveling 2 hours from the campsite to the points of interest in the Park would not be a good option, with younger kids along, as well as the older kids. Any fallback campsites near the Valley that would have group sites? Thanks!
  3. Seeing as how I am from AZ, and right in the middle of the Mormon Corridor, you'd think that religion would come up a lot. But really, it doesn't. Our Pack and Troop is wildly diverse, from very conservative Christians, to a Jewish family, to bordering on pagan or shamanic traditions...And we embrace that diversity. When I went to Woodbadge, they pounded diversity into us (and this was a 95% LDS staff)...And when I was on staff, with a different 95% mostly LDS staff, I never 'prayed' so much in my life. But that was ok, because it made me expand my own thoughts on religion. In practical terms, as far as rank advancement and the religious requirements, we intentionally leave it to the parents to complete with their children, and just ask them to report back when they have completed that requirement. We might open with a nice generic prayer, but we intentionally keep it generic. For boards of review, we might talk about reverence and duty to God, but its always in the context of the boy's own beliefs, and how reverence pertains not only to their own faith, but to the faiths of others as well. Do the boys talk about their religious beliefs? I don't think I've ever overheard a conversation like that. Doesn't mean that it doesn't happen, but I've just never heard one that goes for more than a couple of minutes.
  4. And that is exactly what I am hoping must churches do...Focus on the boys, and the advantages of Scouting, instead of obsessing about one thing...Hats off to that church for being so accepting of all, regardless of faith!
  5. In the spirit of qwazse's thread about how to talk to the youth about their objections, I'd like to offer this up. This was prompted by a video I saw on CNN about a First Baptist Church in Alabama who is refusing to let their local troop meet there anymore. There was no mention as to whether they were chartered there, or just meet there. But over the past week, I've been doing a lot of thinking about how this all works out, and I put together the following letter to the Pastor, which I will be sending today. Its respectful, doesn't flame him or his beliefs, but does ask him to reconsider his position along biblical lines. Pastor Walker, I recently viewed a video on CNN featuring your response to the decision of the Boy Scouts of America to no longer disenroll youth because they have been ‘outed’ as having a homosexual orientation. I would ask that you reconsider your decision based on the biblical teaching of Jesus. Jesus himself was never recorded as being against homosexuality. Nowhere in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is homosexuality even mentioned in any form. And according to traditional interpretations of Jesus, his coming and teaching replaced the teachings of the Old Testament, where homosexuality was addressed. In Matthew 22:37-39 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.†I understand that Paul himself wrote a few times about homosexuality, however, I have serious concerns about Paul. One, he was a convert (in a really dramatic fashion) and self-proclaimed Apostle. He also was not a contemporary companion of Jesus, and while possibly inspired by the Spirit, there is no guarantee that that is truly the case. He could have been a man who was atoning for his previous persecution of Christians by dealing with his guilt through conversion. I’m just not convinced that he is a credible source for teachings of the Spirit. If in fact we are to follow Jesus’s commandments, in his own words, then your decision to no longer allow the troop to use your church goes against his second commandment. You yourself pointed out that it would be harming the youth by no longer allowing them to meet there. And all of this because of the possibility that a gay youth might be part of the troop. Homosexual persons constitute a very small minority of the population, and the odds that a youth might openly show his sexuality in this setting are really low anyway, given the hostile environment. You are punishing all of these youth for the so-called sins of what likely is an imaginary youth. If you are committed to a strict biblical interpretation, then I suspect that you yourself, as well as your congregation, follow all of the rules laid out in Leviticus. Either Jesus replaced everything that came before, or he didn’t. Paul states that some of those rules still apply, and some don’t. But who do you believe, Jesus? Or someone that came after him, didn’t associate with him, proclaimed himself an Apostle, and possibly had an unstable personality. Pastor Walker, Scouting is not about sex, and never has been. Youth and adults don’t go around having sex on campouts and outings because that’s not what Scouting is about. It is about young men learning their path in life, and learning to do their best, according to what they believe. My final question to you is this. If Jesus were here in person today, and was the pastor of a church that allowed young men to meet, would he kick them out because of a single youth? If you can say ‘Yes’ to that, then I think we are reading two vastly different bibles.
  6. The same way I would address this with a family that was thinking about walking away... Pointing out that this really changes nothing, except that National is no longer forced to kick a boy out because of his orientation. That gay youth and adults have been here all along, and that they might even be friends with them, but don't know that they are gay. It sets things back to the way they were before the 1990's, when sexual orientation wasn't even part of Scouting. This really has no affect on the straight youth and families whatsoever, but keeps Scouting open for all youth that need what Scouting has to offer. They are not being asked to become gay (which might be against their religious beliefs), but to allow another youth to follow THEIR own beliefs. Its a matter of fairness, and who are we to say that these youth don't deserve Scouting. They are free to follow their own conscience with regards to their own beliefs, but that Reverence goes both ways. They need to respect other people's beliefs, as they would want their own to be respected.
  7. My thoughts are simple...If I can't have sex on a campout or an activity with the Mrs...Then they shouldn't be having sex with anyone either. We also just covered the Family Life MB in our weekly meetings. And while my unit is wildly diverse along religious lines, and I had to tiptoe through the parts about what it means to be a man, and a father, I definitely got the point across about sex being intended for reproduction, and that if they aren't ready to be a dad, then they should wait, because the only 100% foolproof method is not to do it. Having said that, do I really think that they will wait? Probably not, most don't...But if I can get them to postpone it even once, or remember to think with the head on their shoulders about it, then it was worth it.
  8. Nick... How is it a compromise with the world's view...Most WOSM organizations do not discriminate against LGBT members.
  9. Relapse... Its an incremental step...Not a perfect solution, and in my opinion just extends the surgery and healing process, but in time I see it passing for the adults as well.
  10. Hey,it wants a message more than 10 character, but the new topic works
  11. So you're telling me that homemaking skills are not valid? Cooking, cleaning, sewing, but most of all BEING INDEPENDENT isn''t something worthwhile? Let me tell you, my mother, bless her, taught all of her sons how to cook, clean, do laundry, sew, iron, and in general take care of themselves...None of us had to rely on anyone else to do these things...And not an alternative lifestyle badge, but how about a Diversity badge? Learning and accepting (maybe not condoning, but at least accepting) how other people live would be a bad thing how?
  12. My wife was looking through our set of Promo Jambo patches for Grand Canyon Council. These are double-sided patches, featuring Warner Bros cartoon characters, and she found one that was inverted...the front is upside down, and the back is right side up. Can someone give me some feedback on how collectible this might be? No way to do images here, but if you go to the patch collectors page on Facebook, I was able to post pics of the normal, and the error patch there.
  13. Thanks, Dean...I did talk to Grand Canyon Council and they said I needed to do the National Tour Permit for both, which I've done for the past two years for the Troop for our High Adventure trips, so that's not an issue. The biggest hurdle was just making sure the Pack could do it. And I agree, the med forms could be a pain, but that's a requirement for going, so folks will just have to do it. My Pack is really outdoors-oriented...We have three campouts scheduled between now and June...Fortunately, the Pack and Troop are linked very closely, so we just end up doing some joint activities, with breakouts for the Boy Scouts to give them some opportunities that they can do, that the Cubs can't... Thanks for the feedback. Bruce
  14. So thought I'd run this past you folks... I have a Pack and Troop that are tightly linked. We meet at the same time, and the same place, and participate in many of the same activities, where appropriate. Our troop is considering doing an extended trip in 2014, 10 days to Yosemite and Sequoia and that area. Since several of the families have youth that are in both Pack and Troop, we would like to invite families from the Pack to join with us on this trip as a Family Camp. I've just looked at the Guide to Safe Scouting, and there is no mention of a time limit to a family camp for Cubs, and we are BALOO trained. Each Cub would be required to have a parent with them, and we would have different, age-appropriate activities at the various stops, but would share common meals and campsites etc. Naturally, I will check with my local council, but wanted to find out if anyone had done something like this before.
  15. Eagle92...I LOVE that Guidebook...You know the old joke about Cub Scout R&D, right? Its not Research and Development...Its Ripoff and Duplicate! SctDad...Send you that PM...I'm really looking forward to doing this. I've always been a huge proponent of Cubs Camping as a way of preparing them for bigger and better things when they move up to Boy Scouts, and I can think of no better way to retain kids than to appeal to their sense of adventure. Keep it coming folks!
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