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About mikemayer67

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    Gaithersburg, MD
  1. "We have 15 boys and the guys try to spend this campout time working on Rank requirements with them. But if they keep leaving, they won't finish the requirement yet are expecting to be signed off! We just don't have the time or manpower to keep repeating the things these boys have missed" One of the key points I make with all scouts at every scoutmaster conference I have with them (and when I meet with them in their Webelos dens before they even join the troop) is that it is the scouts' responsiblity to move through the advancement process. It is the troop's responsibility to provide opp
  2. I find it interesting that those of us willing to take the time to do careful soul searching and to carefully examine all sides of an issue are called "intellectual cowards" while those who take up one side of an issue and refuse to see that there is any ambiguity to it are somehow brave. By definition, "intellect" is the use of those cells between your ears. So, I'll take being called "intellectual" as a complement. By definition "coward" is someone who doesn't take action out of fear. Yep the fits me all right. I'm refusing to make my opinion known and refusing to stick with it out
  3. This will be my last post on this thread unless it takes a new turn. Clearly nuance, subtlety, and gradation (the opposite of absolutism) is lost on some people and I do not wish to waste any more of my time. My original purpose in joining this thread was a response to E61's statement, "Wasn't the crux of the OP's question whether or not his son could advance in Scouting if he was an atheist? If so, then I think the answer is, no...he can't. So at that point, I should think they should go ahead and leaving Scouting." It does not matter what God (or god) I believe applies to sco
  4. Fortunately, there is not a financial element to this. The scout was given the troop bugle (after we sanitized it).
  5. acco40, AMEN to EVERYTHING you said. It's taken me over 18 months to come to this point, but I almost heard myself speaking while reading your post.
  6. Engineer61, I'll give you credit for doing your homework... but your logic does not hold up. The text you cited was under the section of religious emblems. We can probably all agree that the OP probably is not going to be terribly upset if his son does not pursue one of these. And I would agree with your logic IF religious emblems were the only part of the scout program. The flaw in your logic that made me actually laugh out loud was your use of Webster's to bolster your case. You actually gave the OP all the ammo he needed to prove that his son honestly satisfies the scout i
  7. Are you looking in MD or VA? I have not been to all of the state parks, but have always had good success with both the MD and VA state parks that I have attended. (In addition to nice facilities, the online reservation systems are very user friendly.) Little Bennett is a GREAT place to take cubs... but it is probably too late to get reservations for a May weekend (unless you're talking 2011). Give them a call NOW and cross your fingers. P64 out of Gaithersburg, MD routinely goes to Gambril State Park in MD because that works well for them as well. I just checked their reserv
  8. I am just about to complete my 2nd year as SM (and will jump at the chance for a 2nd 2 year term when it is offered to me---I see no reason that it won't be). I must say that my reaction to this thread is very different now than it would have been 2 years ago. This change reflects my change as SM. When I started, I felt very overwhelmed and turned very heavily to the committee, the ASMs, and the unit commissioner for guidance in making decisions. Not so much any more. No because I now know so much more how to be a SM, but because I now realize that I have known all along how to
  9. KnoxDad, I truly hope you are able to find a pack and troop that is willing to not shut the door in your face. I know that when I was a den leader and then cubmaster in P64 and now as scoutmaster of T207, you would not have/be been turned away from scouting. In addition, I would have taken the time to explain to you much of what many of the responders to this thread have said. I can say this, because I HAVE had conversations like this with a couple of families concerned about the tie between scouting and religion. Scouting clearly recognizes the importance of spirituality in the de
  10. Engineer61, Please site which requirement is going to be the road block to advancement... I just did a quick re-read to make sure I wasn't missing anything. If you choose to cite "Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life," I would ask you if we start blocking every scout who spends money foolishly (antithesis of thrifty) from advancement... And yes, I recognise the difference between "slipping up" on following each point the law and choosing to actively defy a point of the law.... BUT... The word "reverent" is very slipper
  11. Wow... I was torn on this one, having seen both sides of the fence. I'm not going to offer any practical advise, but hopefully my experience will help paint a background for you as you proceed (or not). 1) I absolutely despise when any scouter (at the den, pack, troop, district, or council level) espouses their personal opinions or rules as "official policy." [i have seen it in leader training... and when confronted they will either continue to hold the line even as I hold out G2SS and ask them to show me or will admit that it really is more of a "good idea" than a policy.] If a rule
  12. Editorial correction... I was just informed by the scouts BOR chair that he was not asked to play for the troop, just for the BOR itself.
  13. Thank you to all the replies. (I'm sure more will trickle in... thanks to you as well.) Thanks especially to BrentAllen. Sometimes the right approach is so obvious you overlook it. Asking the scout to take responsibilty for his future and not just his past empowers him to have some control over the outcome of this mess and removes him from the status of "victim of circumstance." Because his father is also (apprently) a little torqued about the situation, I will proceed by having a SMC with scout and dad so that we can come to a positive path forward. Thanks again
  14. Ok... First and foremost, before I describe the dilemma that I am facing, I fully acknowledge that I screwed up as SM. I do not need feedback informing me of that fact. I am looking for suggestions on how to move forward in the best interest in the scout while maintaining the integrity of the advancement process. For as long as I have been associated with this troop, it has not had a bugler. So, when one of our 1st class scouts approached me about taking on the role, I very happily appointed him to that role. He told me up front that he had never played a bugle, but had played a trump
  15. Not to beat a dead horse, but I do want to weigh in on the side of those defending the notion that scouting pride is not dead. The issues/concerns raised in this thread are neither new nor universal. When I was going through the program in the mid-1980s, my troop had a lot of pride (some individual scouts more/less than others). But we camped alongside many troops that clearly lacked pride. Today when I interact with other adult leaders at round tables, it is clear that some troops exude pride and others cannot seem to find it. I am fortunate that I found a good troop as a boy (
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