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Everything posted by Narraticong

  1. Narraticong

    ?? behavior - how common?

    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. Narraticong

    New Advancement Presentations

    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. Narraticong

    Scouts to serve at Presidential Inauguration

    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. Narraticong

    Need more guns. Is it local?

    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. Narraticong

    NRA -are they Serious?!?

    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. Narraticong

    NRA -are they Serious?!?

    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. Narraticong

    Need more guns. Is it local?

    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. Narraticong

    Green Jac-Shirt

    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.
  9. Narraticong

    Green Jac-Shirt

    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.
  10. Narraticong

    any value to these?

    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. Narraticong

    Well lookie what Scout found.

    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. Narraticong

    Introducing new skills to New Young Troop

    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. Narraticong

    Introducing your new Chief Scout

    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
  16. Narraticong

    Programs That Build Character

    I think character is taught, mentored, or passed along by those adults our kids associate with. A youth program which emphasizes character, as does Scouting, strengthens it. The character of the Scoutmaster will set the tone for the troop. If the Scoutmaster lives the Oath and Law, he will surely pass on those habits to his boys. A Scoutmaster who runs a great outdoors program but does not live the Oath and Law will grow some great campers, but not solid citizens. It's really pretty simple if we parents pay attention to the adults our kids associate with.
  17. NESA is an interesting topic. My experience is that NESA is sorely underutilized as a resource to gain volunteer adult leaders. I was a member for many years when I moved to the Detroit area, but never was approached by anyone to see if I might be interested in helping out. When my son was born I tried calling the Council office to find out about adult volunteer opportunities and could not get a response. When my son became a Tiger I jumped right in and have been an active leader since. Along the way I have tried numerous times to get a NESA chapter started locally. Although I get a lot of lip service, the Council takes no action. Others have told me they have also tried with the same result. So here we have a resource sitting out there and the professionals do nothing to get Eagles involved. It's almost as though they really don't want us other than to write a check.
  18. Narraticong

    Scouts Own

    We have lots of discussion amongst ourselves concerning what is the best way to observe the Twelfth Point of the Scout Oath when out camping with our boys. Interdenominational, non-denominational, or specific to a particular Faith, there is much to consider. And it seems there are variations for whatever side of the fence you come down on. While participating in a particularly well run (read "Scout run") Scouts Own this past weeekend, God whispered an idea in my ear. Usually I am quite thick headed and he has to get his point across to me in a much less subtle manner. But thankfully, I must have been paying attention the first time Sunday. In any case, I am thinking of gathering both generic Scouts Own programs and Scouting religious services geared toward particular Faiths or denominations. Programs for both large scale Camporees and small group "on the trail" situations. If I can get enough together, I would like to put them into appropriate sections and form a pamphlet or small book. It would be a resource for those tasked with observation of the Twelfth Point on Scout Outings. If you have ideas to help me with this endeavor please feel free to share. If you have programs you can share electronically, I would welcome all. If you have only hard copies, perhaps you can PM me and we can work out details of sending them via snail mail. I think this might be a worthwhile project and I don't recall seeing anything of this nature published nationally. Thanks to all who can contribute. Ken
  19. Narraticong

    Scouts Own

    I would also be OK with a separate forum. But I do believe "A Scout is Reverent" discussion is a major part of program. Ken
  20. Sounds like your idea of a "Scouts Own" is much like a generic "Thanksgiving Day". Taking an opportunity to reflect on all those wonderful things and the people who have an impact on our lives. It is a chance to remind ourselves of how we need to treat each other and our world. Such a get together is fine and useful. But is not an example of "A Scout is Reverent". But then leave out any reference to any Creator. By thanking God (whose version?) we either disrespect others beliefs, stray from our own, or dilute meaningful worship to a lowest common denominator.
  21. Narraticong

    Comparison of Offical Handbook to most recent

    Outstanding article. I just forwarded it to the other leaders in my troop. I have always loved the old handbooks and have shared them with adults and boys many times. My contention is that boys today crave adventure and will respond to a challenge just as boys did 100 years ago. But Scouting today never really challenges them. The Eagle Award has become more important as another notch on a college application. Most boys could not care less about many of the "schoolwork" merit badges. But turn a gang of boys loose in the woods and it won't take five minutes for them to be off on their own adventure. And just as BP knew, that will head them toward leadership. It is really much simpler than EDGE. Ken
  22. Narraticong

    Board of reviews and facebook

    I always go back to how "Mac", my Scoutmaster during the 1970's would handle these issues. Modern technology aside, it's about being aware of a Scout using inappropriate language or un-Scoutlike actions. From my own experience as a boy, I know Mac would sit the Scout down and have a chat. He'd confront the boy with what he had heard and ask him if it was true. No Scout dared lie to Mac because Mac was the most honest and honorable man we knew. After a few minutes discussion about why it was wrong, the issue was done. Mac and the boy would get up and walk away, often with Mac's arm around the boys shoulder. The boy knew Mac's love for his Scouts was greater than any offense they might commit. The boy also was very unlikely to make the same mistake again, for fear of ever disappointing his Scoutmaster. No need for an inquisition, no need for discussion at BOR. If your Scoutmaster is living up to his responisibilty, he already knows the heart of each and every boy. If the Scoutmaster signs off on Scout Spirit, it should be a done deal.
  23. Narraticong

    Video Game Night

    The boys in our troop have a "game night" several times a year. Some of the boys play video games while others may play cards or board games. Everyone brings snacks. Generally they are all-nighters. Had some advice from a wise old veteran Scoutmaster when we started the troop. He suggested once a month or so having a function for the troop which was strictly social in nature. No uniforms, no Scout skills, etc. Just get together as friends and enjoy each others company. In my mind, this was great advice. It reinforces to the boys that Scouts can be normal kids, too. Video games are not evil, but should be enjoyed in moderation. Everything in its own due time.
  24. Narraticong

    Kids, sticks,and the outdoors

    We stopped taking the boys camping altogether. Instead we hike around the outside of our meeting place six times (being sure to stay on the sidewalk). Then we have an overnighter in the basement with a parent in attendance for each boys. The boys have home made brocolli S'mores as they sit in front of a virtual campfire playing on a plasma TV. Then we tuck the boys in at 9:30.
  25. Narraticong

    Camping requirements

    I am as much aware of the "rules" as anyone. It seems many are guilty of looking at OA membership as a "reward" more than as a challenge. Once again, the requirements are intended to determine those who will be an asset to the Order. If extenuating circumstances would keep a Scout from being eligible by a narrow margin, and if he would clearly be an asset, I would have no problem adhering to the spirit of the requirement rather than the letter. OA membership is not a rank or merit badge. In those cases I agree the requirements must be met as written. In the end, it is all no more than a game. Ken