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Everything posted by mds3d

  1. There is a lot of US History on the Citizenship test. I am not sure that is the aim of Citizenship in the Nation. I would be interested in the non-history questions. I also wonder about the methodology of this survey as there doesn't seem to be any information on how the questions were selected. The actual test randomly selects 10 questions from a bank of 100. For example, the actual test only asks you to name 3 of the original 13 colonies. There is also is a significant difference between someone who studies for that test and one who doesn't. I wonder what the pass rate would be if you allowed people to review the 100 questions for only 1 hr then asked them the same questions. If you are interested, here is the current list of 100 questions the test comes from - https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Office of Citizenship/Citizenship Resource Center Site/Publications/100q.pdf The questions do not change without notice though the answers might (who is president for example).
  2. mds3d

    Global Climate Change (AGW)

    Predictions are often wrong. They are also often predicated on nothing changing from current environment (not the case over the last 30 years). The news does all these things a disservice by always reporting on the extreme of whatever was said by the scientific community. Academia is rarely in agreement so well as it is on climate change, and that should tell you something. Richard Mueller might not be disingenuous but I think he is at least taking his stance in the way that will make him the most notable.
  3. I am curious. I see people here complain about JTE, but it is rarely about specific things. What are your complaints about the program? Is it the targets themselves? Is gold too easy or too hard? Are you still bitter it isn't silver at the top 😉?
  4. mds3d

    Your problems with JTE

    @DuctTape I didn't really mean to defend it. I was trying to give my thoughts after some others had responded without putting them all at the beginning. I help my units through JTE every year and don't get a lot of pushback so I don't have personal experience with the problems with it. @walk in the woodsI do wish that it was easier to track these things without a separate worksheet. Most of this stuff should be automatic. I like your idea for tracking camping and service hours. @ParkManTheoretically, Unit Commissioners are supposed to be the people working collaboratively with units to set goals and help them meet them. The Commissioner Corps is struggling at best in many districts however. The truth is that I should have the opportunity to talk with someone influential over JTE after the first of the year. I doubt my voice will mean much in that context but I wanted to see what issues people were having and realized I could ask here.
  5. mds3d

    Your problems with JTE

    That's the idea! Again, I don't think already great troops are the target for JTE. I think that the idea with the numbers is to put a measurable (because it is supposed to be consistent) score on good practices. Here is how I think these goals are supposed to be read: 1. Planning and Budget: Good troops will make a plan, involve the youth, and have an active committee to support that plan. 2. Building Scouting: Good troops will grow. 3. Retention: Scouts will stay in a good troop (and age out). 4. Webelos-to-Scout: Good troops will provide the next step for graduating cub scouts (I'll admit, I think the specific goals are off here). 5. Advancement: A good scout program provides most of its scouts the opportunity (which they will take) to advance each year. 6. Short-term camping: A Good scout program camps frequently 7. Long term camping: Long term camping provides a great opportunity for scouts and they should be encouraged to participate. 8. Service projects: A Good troop serves its community 9. Patrol Method: A good troop has patrols, leadership that is trained, and an active PLC 10: Leadership and family engagement: Good troops involve those outside the minimum required adults. (I actually don't agree with the numbers here either). 11: Trained leadership: Troop leadership should be trained and seeking higher training. I don't know how you assess "scout led" objectively. The problem with non-objective measures is who assess them. There is no way to be consistent with subjective things across the nation. How would you change JTE to help it assess the things you think it falls short on?
  6. mds3d

    Dealing with a paradox

    As one who has worn silver loops for most of the time I have been a scouter, let me say that I both understand and am saddened by your frustration. Many of us at the district level are trying to help units provide a good, safe, consistent scouting program to as many young people as possible. This means that our priorities are sometimes different but they should not be at odds. I was a Roundtable commissioner for a little while and I tried to make sure that the program was useful to the unit leaders that came. Maybe they were just nice, and maybe the ones who didn't approve just didn't come but I never got any bad feedback. If you have a problem with Roundtable, then maybe no one has expressed to the district that there is a problem. I get that JTE is frustrating to many, but like the Quality Unit award, it isn't meant to differentiate between the great and the excellent troops. It is meant to give struggling units goals to improve their program. After all, a gold award only requires 55% of the possible points. I haven't done wood badge, but I don't think it is a bad program. I think the problem with wood badge is more about the "cult of wood badge" than it is the program. In my experience, the problem woodbadgers are unit leaders not at the district or council level
  7. This is a significant misapplication of that verse. Jesus is not telling us that social judgement cannot be applied by the sinful. The verse is in context of a situation manufactured to trap Jesus in conflict with either Jewish or Roman law (because the laws themselves conflicted). We can certainly discuss if this man should continue to be a BSA leader or how we believe the justice system should act. We are not the ones administering judgement here so no one is actually casting stones. Don't water down that analogy. Jesus didn't mean figurative stones. The men in that story were trying to get Jesus to say that the woman should be stoned to death.
  8. The justice system assumes innocence in the absence of contrary evidence presented beyond a reasonable doubt. That does not mean that we act as if the accused was actually innocent. After all, they are accused of a crime and if we acted as if they were innocent no trial would be held. Society can make whatever judgement they feel is reasonable about this guy as we are not a jury of his peers or a judge dispensing justice.
  9. I watched the video. If you pause it as he goes by, I don't think there is any way his hand is at the level of her lower back. She isn't that much shorter than him. Her back should be mostly within the frame of the video and his hand is clearly below it. We have no reason not to believe her. We have several reasons to believe him (he is facing a year in jail for one). We can discuss his guilt/innocence until we are blue in the face but that is for a court to decide. As for the BSA, they don't have to wait until he is proven guilty or not. They can look at the video and decide. They may also decide it doesn't matter as this guy clearly thought in the moment that there wasn't something wrong with unwanted contact with a stranger. That would be enough for me if I was in charge. Now, lets reflect on how we are discussing this topic. Would you react differently if this was your wife or your daughter? How would you react if this was one of your son's/daughter's leaders and they saw the video?
  10. You have misinterpreted this law. Only a second "sexual battery" offense requires offender registration. Aggravated sexual battery is a different charge.
  11. This wasn't a "lapse in judgement." This is Sexual Battery under Georgia law. Kick him out. Send him to a judge. @qwazse : I dont think this is an impertinent moment. It was a crime. I also don't think she was slow to react. She was attempting to continue to perform her job without making a scene. She understood that she wasn't in immediate danger and this doofus was on TV. If I were the IH of his church he would be fired immediately from both scouts and his job. Men who think it is appropriate to touch a woman's butt without permission don't have any business in the BSA or being youth ministers. The only break the BSA is getting here is that most of the news stories are focusing on him being a youth minister.
  12. mds3d

    Stonewall Jackson Area Council Changes Name

    Your comments on Hitler seem to be colored by a desire to consider socialism wrong. https://www.britannica.com/story/were-the-nazis-socialists
  13. mds3d

    Stonewall Jackson Area Council Changes Name

    This article assigns the quality of "purity" and "loyalty" to a man who betrayed his country to fight to defend the institution of slavery. This is surely not an unbiased article.
  14. mds3d

    Stonewall Jackson Area Council Changes Name

    I'm sorry... Your interest is about the horses they rode? That's fine, be interested. There is still no reason for us to celebrate these men. These statues, monuments, parks, schools, buildings, etc are not legacies of these men's great horses. They are not celebrating these men's great military prowess or their leadership of people. They are monuments created by people who refuse to accept the idea that all men are created equal decades after we fought a war about it. They celebrate a time when certain people were considered property and others felt the need to kill fellow Americans to try to keep it that way. There is nothing to celebrate in that idea. There is nothing to honor in that idea. Prince Charles Stewart and Culloden represent Scottish independence and individual identity (an idea that is not gone and not foul). Napoleon, while controversial, still represents a part of history where France was great and powerful. Change every name and tear all the statues down. If the DCV or the KKK wants to pay to have the statues on their property, so be it but it shouldn't be on anything my tax dollars pay for.
  15. mds3d

    Stonewall Jackson Area Council Changes Name

    You still haven't given any reason that these people deserved to have monuments, parks, or buildings named after them in the first place. We look past many of the negative things about the people you mentioned because of their positive legacy. Lee and Jackson and Forrest didn't leave positive legacies. They left a legacy of rebelling against their country in favor of defending the practice of slavery.
  16. mds3d

    Stonewall Jackson Area Council Changes Name

    For not being a southern apologist, you sure talk like one. I was born and raised in the south. The problem is why most of these things are even there. Most of these named things came in the 1920s to 1970s, long after the Civil War was fought. All that did come in an era of Jim Crow laws, the KKK, and the Civil Rights movement. We can acknowledge these men in ways that don't involve building them statues. We can learn from the things they did right without putting their names on buildings. Sherman is hated by many in the south, but naming a school in the north after him (PS 87 in NYC), doesn't have the same effect as things like Nathan Bedford Forrest High School in the south. How do you think African American scouts and parents felt about having a confederate general's name on their son's scout shirt? General Lee fought to keep people as property. No amount of gentlemanly tactics makes up for that.
  17. mds3d

    Stonewall Jackson Area Council Changes Name

    Acknowledging history and honoring historical figures are different things. There is no reason that anything should be named after the leader of a traitor army. Yes, the people themselves are always flawed, but if their well known deeds and legacy are honorable then it seems appropriate they be honored.
  18. mds3d

    Discussing LDS beliefs in relation to Scouting

    I think we are tracking here. This is a forum about scouting. However, up until the statement by your leader this was publicly a matter of practicality for scouts and the LDS church. After that statement, the LDS church is now faulting the BSA with some implication that it has to do with recent changes. These recent changes inspire passion for many but are a point of belief for your church. I think it makes sense that people would be riled up. Absolutely it is. Not all of us believe in the eventual salvation of all those who are good (I don't know, do you?). For other faiths yours may represent the other side in a battle for souls. You need to understand that that fact underlies many opinions about your church. Even if we believe that other religions may be leading people away from eternal salvation? Goodwill between faiths is a struggle in person and it is so much worse online. It would be better if this were just not a subject discussed in a scouting forum. Of course, I think many are trying to make that point - That specific religion should have never been a part of the scouting discussion. The has been for a really long time and it has gotten the BSA in trouble in more ways than one. You are free to believe what you want. I am free to believe what I want. Most importantly, the moderators are free to keep us from discussing it here. From someone who also rarely reads positive things about my church online, don't take it personally.
  19. mds3d

    Did BSA "Abandon" LDS?

    It seems clear that this church leader's statement is a reversal of the all the previous reasoning provided by the LDS church regarding the split. I wonder a couple of things. First, I wonder why someone would make this statement when an effort to portray the opposite seems to have been the plan before now. Second, I wonder what actually changed that they think it mattered. The LDS troops around here didn't really participate with the rest of us in a way that we would have had much influence on them. I hope that this move is good for the BSA in the long run. While I continue to believe that "morally straight" is important for scouts. I don't think it should have ever been the role of National to define what that meant. I am also glad that there are many girls getting the opportunities not provided by other US scouting organizations. What I think about the LDS or their program doesn't matter. This is a scouting place and they have decided that their church isn't part of scouts anymore.
  20. I am not sure which end of the "gay issue" you mean. Around here Dale caused packs previously sponsored by parent-teacher organizations and meeting in elementary schools to have to find new accommodations. In our district alone, the reversal of stance caused no less than 4 churches to decided scouting no longer aligned with their values. One of these churches sponsored a pack, troop, and crew. Granted, only one openly told the BSA that it was why they were leaving, but the leadership was pretty clear with their congregations that it was the reason.
  21. I think there we are feeling the effects of both sides of this argument. First people left (or didn't join) because we were discriminatory. Then another group left because we "abandoned traditional values" without the first group really coming back. The statement of religious principle still prevents many others from viewing us as non-discriminatory. Admitting girls should have set us up for a bit of revival by putting us in the news in a good light. The problem is that it has come as the exact same time as the abuse scandals. I still don't view this as a program problem. We mostly have a PR problem.
  22. You have no evidence for any of this. You are making assumptions about a kid you have never met. You have no idea what his motivation is (you offer a single possibility). It is possible that his parent's would have come to his defense no matter what. He could have been 100% truthful with his parents and they could have still reacted like this, some parents do this with teachers no matter how bad their kid is. You don't think scout age kids learn language from friends at school? I certainly did. I went through a similar stage around my early years in scouts. I had a wake up moment during an interaction with some good friends and a good teacher who called me out. Assumptions without evidence is 90% of what is wrong with the discussion on the internet.
  23. mds3d


    This sounds like a good opportunity to have your Scout Executive come and talk to your unit (or the unit commissioner if you have one) about everyone's roles and how to get reorganized.
  24. mds3d

    Parent Reaction to Fee Increase

    The feedback I got is that most parents aren't happy about the late notice but I don't think any of the troops are loosing scouts over it. I had a chat with the COR's trying to get them to help out. One CO covered the difference entirely, one covered half. The other troop is pretty well-to-do and will be fine I think.
  25. mds3d

    What are the BSA priorities??

    I am going to try to answer both posts without quoting both. I am glad our experiences differ and I am sorry yours has been frustrating. None of the troops I work with have had a lock-in used on JTE (two did have one last year that was part of a service project for their CO). I do think "indoor" scouting experiences are valid. Many merit badges are indoor focused and I don't think there is anything wrong with having a variety of experiences available to scouts. I acknowledged my mistake about the 2016 requirements when correct by another poster. I still don't think that a single year of requiring 6 outings is indicative of a crash (return to 2015 requirements) in 2017. I think you are wrong about what is causing scouts to struggle. I think first scouts started to be very uncool. Then it was no longer aligned with the average morals of the nation (right or wrong, and it still really isn't). We now sit in this place where we are too conservative for some and too liberal/inclusive for others. Many CO's in our area dropped scouts for being too restrictive (back during the full restriction on the 3 G's). Now many others have dropped scouts for "abandoning their moral compass" without us having picked up any of the ones we lost before. Now we struggle with the abuse scandals that (again, right or wrong) are really coming to light today. I talk with so many potential CO's that are just worried about the "risk" of having a scout troop because of what they see on the news. They aren't anti-BSA (many are Eagles or Alumni) they just think it would be better if someone else took care of supporting scouts. I'll ask a positive question. As a UC, what can I help my troops do that will improve scouting given what I have to work with today? As far as I can tell, they practice the patrol method and have a good outdoor program (8ish activities outside of camp). I understand that national has to focus on YPT and G2SS issues right now, and I can't change that. So, what do you suggest that Unit focused leaders do?