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About Narraticong

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    Senior Member

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    Warren, Michigan
  1. I am a glaring example of an Eagle run amok. I earned my Eagle in 1976 and then went away to college several months later. The next ten years are filled with questionable behavior. But then I grew up and went right back to what I knew was right. Back to my faith in God. Back to the Twelve Points. I am well known now for being very conservative. People don't believe I was ever that "wild child". So, I guess I am not overly concerned when a young Eagle strays, as most young men will tend to do. I am more concerned with what he becomes later on down the path. And I will contend that most, like myself, straighten up and fly right.
  2. Nice rant John! But I am pretty much in agreement. We have taken a very simple game and added far too many complicated rules. You really summed it up for me early on when you said "Scouting isn't school". I don't know if your remember when we met at PTC in 2008, but I had my then brand new Scout son with me. He is now a 16 year old Junior in High school and just earned Star last night. That took a long time, and I don't know if he will make Eagle. But I do know that he earned every badge he has worn, and knows his stuff. Of that I am proud. He finds the outdoors aspects of Scouting to be fun and that is probably the only reason he is still active. He finds most Merit Badges to be boring, too much like school. How many other boys are of the same mind? I will add to this by saying my son likes school and will likely be named a National Merit Scholar later this year. But once the school books are put away, he does not want to see worksheets. What was supposed to be a gang of boys having fun in the outdoors, but learning to be good citizens without hardly thinking about it has become much too complicated. The Eagle I wear is because I wanted to earn it, not because my parents thought it would look good on my resume. In fact, I earned it after being accepted to my college. If my son earns Eagle, it will be because he wants to, not because I am pushing him. We have diluted Scouting and lost our focus. And National seems to be OK with that. My motto will never be Be Prepared...for life. It will always be Be Prepared. And trust me, there is certainly an implied difference. Enough of my rant... Ken
  3. Totally agree with Skeptic and Beavah on this. Scouts are prepared to do whatever is needed, when it needs to get done. In days like today, when Scouts are often looked down upon, it is rewarding to know we are still the ones people count on to help out. The Inauguration team very well could have left us out due to our "politically incorrect" standards. I don't doubt some of the Scouts will hear some unfortunate comments from some folks in the crowd. But what other youth group could they assemble who could actually represent the youth of America and serve a genuine purpose at the same time?
  4. Obviously, accidents do occur with guns, as they do with automobiles and bannana peels. But we have banned neither cars nor fruit. My reference was to innocent people being shot by an armed citizen acting in defense of himself or others. I am not saying it has never happened, but I don't recall any cases. Living in Detroit, I often hear of unarmed innocents being killed by thugs with evil intent.
  5. Thankfully, we are not now anywhere near a need for insurrection. But we only need to look back to our Civil War to see where citizens took just such action. Obviously, the Confederacy was, in the end, unsuccessful. But it was surely a fair percentage of Americans saying "We don't like the way things are going, and we are going to do something about it". I think the Founders were brilliant to give such power to the everyday citizen over the federal and state governments. They saw a need for the government to have as little power as possible. Rights belong to the people and never to the government. The First and Second Amendments are very strong warnings to our elected officials that they need to be very careful about any actions they take. Unfortunately, Americans have grown fat and lazy as citizens. Most are happy to be sheep and be taken care of and told how to live. Such a life takes no thought, no consideration, and no responsibility.
  6. There is much evidence that the term "well regulated militia" does not refer to the rights of a state or federal government to form an armed militia. Instead, it refers to the need to control, or "regulate" any governmental militia. The founders were quite concerned about the potential possibilty of a need for another insurrection. We must remember the Revolution did not start with colonial militias. It was bands of citizens who decided thay had had enough. Remember the Boston Tea Party? So, the 2nd Amendment may actually refer to the right of the individual people to not have fear of any state or federal militia. They had the right to bear arms against any militia. And that would call for weapons of the same capability as the militia carried. Yes, the people have the right to forcibly overthrow their own government if need be. To me, that is a wonderful check and balance system you will find nowhere else in the world. The founders were warning themselves and future elected leaders that they had better pay mind to the will of the citizens, or some nasty things might happen. Alexander Hamilton wrote quite a bit regarding this in 1788. It is an interesting take on what the founders real intent might have been for the 2nd Amendment.
  7. I think you might be mistaken on several counts, WasE61. In general, state laws require a person to particpate in a class before being allowed to carry a gun. A very large part of the class time is spent learning when it is legal and ethical to use a weapon. Any instructor worth a darn will also impress upon the students the potential danger of a stray shot. When my son studied martial arts, his teacher spent much time on how to avoid or get out of trouble without resorting to violence. It is always better to run away, if possible, and live. Violence should always be the last chance option. I believe most permit holders understand this. I don't think it takes ruthlessness to pull the trigger, whatsoever. It takes courage, and a sense of knowing you are doing the right thing. I am a guy who does not hunt, loves my dog, and stops my car to save turtles in the middle of the road. Hardly ruthless. Would I use a weapon to save myself, my family, or another person? I have no doubt that I could and would. I also know I would be overcome with a terrible feeling of remorse at having taken a life, even justifiably. I believe the vast majority of permit holders are everyday, normal folks. You will never know they carry. I have yet to hear of a legally armed citizen who caused an innocent death due to an errant shot. Could it happen? Sure. But if that happens because some thug put that citizen in a position where his only hope is to defend himself, I for one know where I will place the blame.
  8. My red jacket is one of the new versions, so I know it is not the heavy duty all wool one. So, comparing it to the green jacket, I think the green one is actually heavier. Reinforced at the elbows, etc.
  9. I have always been very partial to my traditional red Jac-Shirt. I love to wear it to Scout functions. But Supply had those darn new green ones on sale recently at a very good price, so I went for it. I have to admit I really like the new one. I think the quality is better than my red one, considerably more sturdy. It is also a nice shade of green, such that I like to wear it out in public, not just at Scout events. It does have the Scout symbol on the pocket in black, so it still shows I am a Scouter. All in all, it was a goos purchase and I think I will keep wearing it. It will never feel as special as the red one with the Philmont Bull, but that's OK.
  10. I'm part of the same "Area 2" project. Hard to tell what will happen and when. Two years ago I was part of Detroit Area Council, and today I am part of Great Lakes Council. When Area 2 takes effect we will be something else. I'll have lots of extra patches. Oh boy! Ken
  11. As a veteran of nearly 45 years association with Scouting, I've never thought the goal of Scouting has been to create great men. I've always thought it was a goal to help boys become men who would be upstanding citizens and the kind of neighbor any family would like to have. You know, the kind of guy who is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful (you know the rest). But just like education and Faith, the foundation must be laid at home. That foundation work must be the labor of the parental units. No? Scouts, school, church can have little impact on the success of our children without involved parents. If your kid is unsuccesful in some manner, start looking for answers in the right place. Ken
  12. Congratulations!!!! And good luck... You have undertaken an adventure I started on five years ago. We started with five boys and have been as high as 25 and now sit at 20 in our troop. Sounds like you are going in the right direction. Let the boys learn how to lead on their own, with some "direction" from the SM. Our biggest challenge has been a lack of older "role models" for the leaders to pattern themselves after. Developing leaders will take you longer than an established troop. Make use of any and all available training. Another challenge has been a lack of knowledgeable adult leaders. We have them all go through training, but unfortunately have few with any actual Scout experience. What I wouldn't give for another adult Eagle Scout! Our CC started the troop with me and had no Scouting experience. After five years, he is now one of the best CC's I know and has also distinguished himself in the District. Stick with it. Good things will happen.
  13. Glad to see he is an Eagle Scout. That in itself does not make him qualified, but at least he has walked the path to the end. I'm all for giving him a chance. Ken
  14. Narraticong

    Red Berets

    I have been immortalized in a red beret! As a kid I lived less than a mile form National Headquarters in NJ. My neighbor worked in the art department for BSA and would often use us local Scouts as models for various publications. The last time I was used was for the 1973 (I think) edition of the Fieldbook. Four or five of us from my troop were in the First Aid section. There is a great head shot of me (with early 70's long hair) showing how to remove a foreign object from the eye. On top of my head is one of those blasted red berets! You would never have caught any Scout I knew then wearing one, but apparently that is what BSA wanted because that is what they made us wear.In my middle age I have since purchased one just for kicks. But every time I put it on, I just shake my head and say "Not today..." Ken
  15. I made the donation some years ago and received the James West knot. A good friend was FOS chairman and was looking for donors. Scouting had been a major influence on my life and I was more than willing to contribute whatever I could. It's no different than being willing to give my time. The uniform I normally wear has only my Arrow of Light and Eagle knots. I do have another shirt with all of them. I wear it "sometimes". Knots are not why I am a Scouter, but I am not ashamed of my accomplishments, either. Maybe seeing the depth of my involvement might encourage another Dad to get involved. Maybe it will encourage another Scouter to get a little MORE involved. Maybe seeing the James West knot will get someone to thinking that not only rich guys can make donations. When I make FOS presentaions, wearing the West knot shows I personally believe in what I am asking others to do. So, there are many reasons to wear the West knot which don't involve bragging. Ken
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