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Posts posted by MattR

  1. 1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Getting back on the OP would be welcome. 

    It seems that threads that wander either discuss what went wrong or how to make it right. Lots of existential angst these days. That's why I'd really like some honest historical analysis. Sometimes I wonder if we're not just a bunch of blind men trying to understand an elephant.

  2. Entomologists are all kids at heart. I visited the local ag school's dept. when my son was a cub scout and they were just so into it. They were bragging about how you hadn't been stung until you've been stung by this one insect that had a 5" long stinger and they only knew it existed in this one remote corner of the state that few people ever went (hence why it wasn't extinct). Anyway, if they want to change the name of the MB, it's the kid in them and I'd let them change it to whatever they wanted because it would be a great MB.

    • Haha 1

  3. Is placing blame really doing anything?

    While a lot of politicians may be lawyers (I don't know if that's true anymore), all judges are lawyers and it's those lawyers that are keeping our democracy together right now. It's also a lawyer, the judge in this chapter 11 case, that will decide the BSA's fate.

  4. 1 hour ago, mrjohns2 said:

    You do understand that the BSA has people of different political persuasions as members? 


    31 minutes ago, David CO said:

    As members, yes.  At the national level, no.  At the national level, they are all of one mind, and it is not conservative.

    Hey all, let's get back to Chapter 11.

    • Thanks 2

  5. 51 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

    I believe the correct term is "useful idiots." 

    You're leaving yourself open for a really nasty insult and I want to stop that from happening right now. Let's all stop the name calling. It's time for everyone to start thinking about what they're thankful for.

    • Thanks 1
    • Upvote 2

  6. Okay everyone, I smell panic in the air. You are, however, being very polite. So thank you for that.

    I have no doubt there will be change. We just don't know what that change will entail. Isn't change one of the topics covered in Wood Badge? Things are unsure and that causes stress. That's all I remember. I probably got bored after that. I don't even remember what the syllabus said about dealing with change. What I do know is there's a fundamental idea of scouting and that won't change. I don't care if the camp I went to as a kid gets sold off, I'm done using it. The absolute best fun my scouts ever had, and myself when I was their age, was finding fun in new places. Mud, water, snow, rocks, sticks, fire, ice, sunsets, stars, friends, and in my case a WWI cemetery. New scouts will find new places but the basics will still be there. Talk to the UK scouts, they go hiking through and camping in farm fields and I'm sure they have as much fun as we do. People don't like the idea of after school scouting but maybe after school is a perfect time for patrols to meet and the troop only meets once a month for a night of competition. Change might not be so bad. It's not that we will lose donors because the donors are long gone. Figure out how to include kids from lower income families and a lot more charity funds will become available. This isn't the end of the world, it's just the end of how we used to do things.

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  7. I'd be more interested in knowing how many of the cases where after 2000. Just my opinion but the only hope the BSA has is to prove that they've solved this problem. If the number is substantially lower than, say, at schools, then maybe the judge will be able to look at what good the BSA has done.

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  8. These metrics are not very well thought out. Units are struggling to increase membership in any unit. Asking for an increase in some demographic without the skills needed just reminds me of old Soviet 5 year plans. It's a great source of corruption.

    If they want to increase minority membership I think a better approach would be to encourage SE's to create a relationship with community leaders of minorities. And, rather than ask them to volunteer to create scout units they should ask them what parents want for their kids. Assume that scouting is not it and just be helpful and friendly. Just a hunch but my guess is parents are more worried about their jobs and help with schooling/day care. The reason I say that is that just about every parent I know has that issue right now. Creating a relationship will create trust and that will do more for creating units than just asking for units. Of course, it's hard to create a metric for friendly and helpful, so, never mind.

  9. 1 hour ago, SSScout said:

    Smile and wave as you stand in line, waiting to take your turn 

    I smiled to myself. I voted last week. Yet there are still polling places to drop off the ballots. They smiled. It was like passing someone on a trail. They don't get nearly the rush of voters of having them all in 12 hours. 

  10. On 10/28/2020 at 11:40 AM, 5thGenTexan said:

    Recipe for that is the top of this thread.  :)

    I did use black eyed peas instead of the kidney beans and pintos.  Also... I think it probably needs a bit more "heat" .  I used a can of Rotel, but it didnt add much to it.

    You did not post a valid url. It would help if you included the part in front that has "https://www. ...." so at least the domain name shows up.

  11. 1 hour ago, DuctTape said:

    Rarely people step up. Pleas for volunteers being ignored is common in most organizations and systems. Recruiting adults (and scouts) effectively requires personal invitations. All recruitment is Cheap, Easy, Effective... choose only 2.

    While that may be true, I've noticed that the best volunteers are self motivated. For the position of SM I think this is more critical than other positions. SM's that don't really want to be there shouldn't. People, when asked and respond with no, should be left alone. Now, if someone says they're not sure, that starts a conversation.

    The next issue is what environment is needed for someone to see themselves as a future SM before anyone asks? I think that's the harder problem to solve.

  12. On 10/15/2020 at 1:03 PM, Oldscout448 said:

    Find a site, clear a ring (BIG fallen trees to move) figure out where the trails go, clear and mark them.  Read all the new safety protocols, come up with some ideas how to implement them. At the first rehearsal realize that half of them aren't going to work.  Back to the drawing board.  Realize the ring isn't big enough to keep everyone apart, enlarge it.  Find out a lot more candidates registered than you guesstimated, enlarge it again.  

    All with 75% of the numbers we had pre pandemic.

    But some of the scouts are just extraordinary!  They just keep showing up, working like beavers two, three, even four times a week. Sometimes all afternoon by they can only stay for an hour.  Practicing ceremonies after dark. Pushing each other to excel.  I tell you brethren they are a true inspiration!

    I just read this. Thank you for the inspiration. Sounds like these scouts have created a great memory for themselves. I hope the ceremony is (was?) a success.

    • Thanks 1

  13. 1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

    I was really just annoyed with the continual piling on of people on the BSA for the actions of 30+ years ago.  I think abuse is reprehensible of course.  I am just dismayed with how this has unfolded.  My kids, my grandkids, and other get to suffer because of actions of those many years before.  I had nothing to do with any of this and am confused why people who started well before me got to destroy and organization that I came to join many years later.

    That said - I really have no desire to continue this debate in a separate thread as I have seen the moderators have decided to move it.  I'm happy to leave the debate to those who want to sit around and continue to pile on.  I'd be happy for the moderators to remove my account.

    I certainly understand why you're unhappy with how this bankruptcy is going. Any time anything gets into the court system rules take precedent over ethics. The only reason it makes sense to me is that, given our society is based on a system of rules then we have to follow them. I think the ethics comes in to play when the rules are created and this is where the failure is, just as you have mentioned. I'm not sure how much freedom the judge has to handle this in a balanced way.

    However, all is not lost. Your grandkids will still be able to create some great memories in the outdoors with their friends in a program called scouting. It's one of the reasons I've posted about finding joy in scouting and simplifying the program. Make the program simpler with less requirements for large infrastructure and it becomes much more resilient. What we have now is very fragile and complicated. It's time for a change. I'm fairly sure the joy of watching kids grow, learn and create great memories will far out weigh the loss of camps and huge org charts.

    • Thanks 1

  14. 16 hours ago, ParkMan said:

    Are you saying that because adults are discussing the policy implications of Scouting programming that those same people don't want Scouting to be fun for youth?

    Discussing policy implications? Sometimes it seems a bit more intense than that.

    Either way, it seems that just about every thread on this forum that goes on for more than a few pages follows a similar pattern. Start with a random topic. Talk about that for a page or two. Move off onto iterating between what was done wrong years ago and what should be done in the future until there are just a few people left and hope the thread dies before it gets personal. As long as people try and stay away from it getting personal it's fine with me but it just makes me wonder.

    My son had a soccer coach that coached a U18 women's team that went to national level competitions and did well. I'd never have known it if he hadn't told me. he just wanted the 8 year olds he was coaching to have fun and improve, to find a life long joy in a simple but really challenging game. What he wanted for the kids was very simple and everyone could get behind it. He never worried about the last game played or any past the next one. Good clergy are the same. To them it's all about the joy of life.

    I just talked to a scout for 2 hours about his experience as a scout so I could talk about it at his ECOH. At the end of the 2 hours I asked him what he got out of scouting. He said scouting reminded him of a quote which he kind of muddled through. I went and looked it up:


    Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.    -Aristotle

    He said scouting built his character because it was always there. If you had a problem to solve the oath and law were right there and you had to consider them. As a young scout he would ask himself what was the right thing for a scout to do, and then he'd try to do that. Years later he didn't need to ask himself anymore, he just knew. Then he asked me what I thought scouts was about and I told him he pretty much nailed it. That's the joy of scouting - watching a kid grow up. This scout also mentioned that there were a group of scouts that had a big impact on him, each in their own way. From my perspective, all of those scouts started off as really difficult. But they all grew up, just in time to influence this one scout to be a better person. My troop is by no means perfect. It has plenty of issues but for this scout and several others it worked well.

    Do any of the policy implications we argue about have anything important to do with what scouting is at it's core? Is the arguing about the trees pulling us away from the joy of the forest? People have different experiences and different opinions on what works. I understand that and it's great to hear from everyone. But maybe we go too far when we assume someone else should do things the way we do. Maybe we should just leave it at different people have different experiences based on trying different things, and just encourage everyone to have fun and find a life long joy in a simple but challenging game.

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  15. So how is woodbadge doing these days?

    No, I don't really care. I've been blissfully away from scouts for a few days.

    If I stand back from all these arguments all I can think of is that scouts is supposed to be based on fun. Apparently not. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. With all the really big challenges of character, motivation and developing society's next generation it's easy to get hung up in the weeds and lose sight of the fun. Maybe that paradox is worth cogitating on.

  16. 23 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    Concur, but that is why they call it the "Introduction to..."

    But we all got signed off on all the requirements when we took IOLS. My understanding is that it was supposed to be enough for an adult to teach a scout the skills. After having swung the axe half a dozen times before teaching someone else how to swing it this sounds like guaranteed frustration for everyone involved - the new leader, the IOLS instructor and the scout.

    This thread is all about online training being a mistake. My only point is that solving this problem won't solve the bigger issue of accepting that all of the skills take time to learn. Online training could be part of the solution, I wouldn't rule it out. But in person training isn't sufficient.

    • Upvote 2

  17. 21 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

    Nor have they mastered teaching outdoor skills on line.  Not nearly.  More pretend accomplishment.

    They haven't even gotten close to mastering outdoor skills in the few hours that are allotted together, in the outdoors. I had to teach knife and axe in an hour at IOLS. I won't do it again. I suppose, if there were enough axe yards for two people in each one along with an instructor and enough wood so each student could spend 20 minutes splitting wood then it would be helpful. But that's just using an axe. I could spend as much time teaching how to sharpen a knife. Give everyone a dull knife and a stone. So, online or in person isn't enough of a distinction. I think an online video on how to sharpen these things combined with coming together and doing it would be ideal. The issue is how much time is spent on the skills and whether it's hands on. Honestly, 4 hours of videos along with a kit and time alone to practice might be better than our outdoor version. But then there are safety issues. I don't have an answer.

  18. In this situation there were only 3 things the cat was thinking about. Are my babies food, are you food and am I food? I didn't see the babies but if they were there then that was the cat's first thought, kill was the second, but we don't know. A cat going after a person in the middle of the day is really unusual. The other options are who is the food here? Rule one, don't look at the cat. That makes the cat feel like food and that is a problem. But this guy was just trying to figure things out. Rule two is don't run away. While backing up and looking at the cat this guy was projecting that he's an all you can eat buffet. If there were babies near by then this is kind of a no win situation. So, at least for a bit, backing up was okay. But he was clearly afraid, and I can't blame him, but he kept backing up hoping the cat would lose interest. The cat kept a constant distance nearly the whole time. When the guy would crouch down trying to get a rock the cat did a weird thing waving his claws around. I think the cat might have been trying to convince this guy to turn and run. He would have been an easy kill if he had. At that point, facing the cat was likely the right thing to do. Rule 3 is look big. This guy knew that. He kept saying that between the beeped out comments. Rule 4 is, if attacked, fight back. Cats know they can't afford to get hurt in a fight, and that's why it never got too close. As soon as the guy could pick up a rock and throw it the cat changed from you're food to I'm food and took off. The cat realized this guy was not going to go down without a fight.

    Other than going out by himself I think he did a good job. As for the original question, if there had been a group of scouts then I think the cat would not have gotten close. But all the rules still apply. Don't run. Don't challenge or look at the cat. Look big. Fight if attacked. It sure gives me a better appreciation for having a hiking pole. I went backpacking with a guy that had a .44 with him in a holster.  Nothing was going to bother him.

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