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Everything posted by NJCubScouter

  1. Rooster says: It is our responsibility to teach them about morality, consequences associated with behavioral choices, and what our faith says about it. Right -- but as parents, with our own children, not as Scouters, with other peoples' children. I interpreted the original post to be talking about Scouters exposing Scouts to these issues, not about parents talking to their children. Parents talking to their children is none of anybody else's business.
  2. I have never heard anyone discuss this issue with Scouts or say that they have done so. Admittedly I am in Cub Scouts where nobody would even think of discussing this issue with the boys. Most of them (except maybe for some of the older Webelos) wouldn't understand it anyway, but the main reason is that it is just not appropriate to discuss it with them at any age. It is, as you suggest, an "adult issue." I don't think that what you are talking about is a widespread thing, though I get the impression that a couple of Scouters in the troop of the Scouting-for-all kid in California were terminated for allegedly attempting to influence boys to protest against the policy.
  3. BubbaBear says: I keep reading of that most of us scouters think gays should be let in as leaders, NJ... I am enthrawled. Please tell me where you get that information from. I don't think I got it from anywhere, because I don't think I ever said it. If I did, please link to the post. What I have said is that I think that most Scouters don't care about the issue very strongly, and specifically, I think that if the BSA announced tomorrow that there was going to be local option, the vast majority of Scouters would accept it, or at least live with it. And I didn't get that from anywhere, it's just what I think. I also think that eventually, there will be a compromise, and if it takes removal of the current national leadership to accomplish it, that is what is going to happen.
  4. (This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  5. Ed Mori says: Morality can't be relative and change with the times. If that were the case, then morality would have no purpose. Whether "what is right and wrong" changes is a philosophical question that is, frankly, irrelevant. What is beyond dispute, however, is that society's understanding of what is right and wrong does change. I can guarantee you that you do not live by the "moral" standards that were accepted and enforced by society 1,000 years ago, or 200 years ago, and unless you are very unusual, probably not 50 years ago either. Our understanding of most values does not change. Murder and theft will always be wrong. Being trustworthy, loyal, helpful etc. will always be right. But 50 years ago, denying someone a job or the ability to drink at a public water fountain because of the color of his skin was not considered wrong by many, nor was it considered wrong by the law. Now it is universally understood to be wrong. On a more drastic level but going further back in time, slavery is specifically permitted under certain circumstances by the law handed down by God to Moses in the book of Leviticus. Now, again, we have a different understanding of what is right and wrong. Similarly, more and more people are accepting that to exclude people based on sexual orientation is wrong. Fifty years from now, this will not be an issue. (My God will be just fine with it, and if yours won't, that's your problem.) It would be best for society, and its premier male youth organization, if we could reach that point, and put this issue behind us, a lot sooner than that.
  6. slontwovvy says: This man is clearly why we do not allow openly homosexual men in the BSA. This is a truly amazing leap of logic, and would have consequences that I am sure you do not intend. If one gay man appearing in a gay porno film justifies the BSA banning ALL avowed homosexuals from leadership positions, then the many, many heterosexual people who appear in "straight" porno films must mean that the BSA should bar ALL heterosexuals from leadership as well. That means you and me, chief. I am sure your council's Exec would be very interested to read your letter of resignation explaining these grounds. Myself, I plan to stick around, because I know that the appearance in a porno film of someone who is of the same sexual orientation as me, does not make me unsuitable as a leader. Now, let's assume for a second that your statement is based on the fact that this man is not only a gay man, but a gay man who works with children as a profession, and that this somehow justifies the exclusion of all gay man from BSA leadership positions. Once again, you have just excluded yourself and all the rest of us straights as well. Now, I can't actually name for you any straight teachers who have appeared in pornos. But I could, if I checked the newspapers over the past 10 years, probably name you 50 or 100 or more straight male high school and middle-school teachers who have done something much worse, namely have sex with their under-age female students. I can even name you a straight female teacher who had sex with a young male student, and in fact became pregnant by him twice, once after she had already gotten out of jail (May Kay Letorneau, maybe you remember that name, it was all over tv and the papers.) So, if one gay teacher in a gay video justifies banning all gays from BSA leadership, then dozens or hundreds of straight teachers sexually abusing their students of the opposite gender must require that all of us straights be banned too. You can't escape the logic. Could it be that your logic is being blinded by something?
  7. This seems to be a 2-person conversation, come on everybody, I'd especially like to see if Rooster is going to criticize the school district for firing a teacher for appearing in a gay video. Anyhoo, fboisseau says: So my question is what makes Broward Counties morals more valid then the Boy Scouts morals? First of all, this discussion is a bit difficult because the newspaper story (which is 100 percent of what I know about this case) contains very little in the way of explanation for the board's rationale and motivation. Three-quarters of the story is the guy's own lawyer giving his own position, and doing a good job of representing his client, in the court of public opinion at least. From what I can see, not a single voting board member is quoted. There is one "student adviser" who says something about character, and a political candidate who says something about morality and ethics. Elsewhere there is a mention of school policies, but no specifics about what those policies are. But let's assume that morality is the issue here, and that the board wants to fire the guy because he violated moral principles by intentionally appearing in public, having sex with another person. And he's a teacher, setting the example for his kids that you should put sex acts on public display. How in the world can you equate this with the BSA policy that says that every single person in the world who says he is gay, regardless of his actual behavior, is immoral and unfit for leadership? They are not even close to being the same. I think the problem here is that when some people say "immoral," they seem to treat it as one big immoral thing, with no levels. There are degrees of wrong-doing. Murder is a greater transgression against morality than petty larceny is, and the punishments embodied in our laws reflect this. Then there is sexual morality. Something that almost everybody would see as a problem (porno-teacher) obviously creates more difficulty than something that only a portion of people regard as being immoral at all (like the mere fact of being gay.) Let's put it another way. Say there are 2 guys. One appears in pornographic videos (with men or women or both, I don't care.) The other is an Eagle Scout who is now an adult, has discovered he is gay, and lives openly in a monogamous relationship with another man. The first guy has sex in public. The second guy doesn't even talk about sex in public. Whatever he does with his partner, he does it out of view of the public, like any married person, except that the state won't let him actually get married. He lives like any suburban home-dwelling, lawn-mowing, work-going, taxpaying guy, with the exception of who his companion is. (This is not just a hypothetical, I have personally known gay couples who are exactly like this, except I don't know if any of them had been Eagle Scouts.) So how does the Broward County School board, the BSA and me react to these two guys? Porno-teacher: The school board, quite legitimately, does not want him to be a teacher. The BSA would not, and should not, allow him to be a leader. I personally don't want to know him. We're all in agreement, porno-teacher is not a good role model for kids. Now for the quiet suburban gay-guy: Broward County will gladly accept him as a teacher. I would gladly have him as a friend (and in fact have), and would not fear that he would teach my children to "turn gay" or anything. But, oops, the BSA is not following along with the rest of us on this one. The BSA (or more accurately, the current national leaders of the BSA) say that this fine person cannot be a leader merely because he makes no attempt to hide his sexual orientation -- a trait he shares with the vast majority of heterosexuals. So that's the difference. One is not a good role model, and one is -- despite what it may say in one religious book that only a portion of people in Scouting, probably not even half, interpret to literally mean that gays cannot be good role models for children.
  8. First of all, fboisseau, I'm assuming by your "double standard" remark that Broward County is one of the Florida school systems that attempted to ban BSA units or charge higher fees for use of schools because the BSA excludes openly gay leaders. I do not know that for sure; when that story was going on, I just knew it was some school district(s) in Florida. Assuming that is the case, I do not see any double standard here. The story says the board wants to fire the teacher for appearing in a pornographic gay video, but the key word appears to be pornographic, not gay. They are not firing him because he is gay. They are firing him because he was in a pornographic video. Presumably they would take the same action if he was in a "straight" pornographic video.
  9. This discussion confirms some conclusions that I have reached about my own "knot" situation -- (1) The Cub Scout leader awards program needs to be more flexible, and (2) the BSA should give more recognition to the fact that Cub Scout unit leadership exists on 2 levels, the pack and the den. The no-dual registration rule makes perfect sense in a troop, where there is only one "level," and also within "levels" of Cub Scouting. The CC, CR and CM (and CA) all must be different people (except I think the CR can be the CC.) But what harm would result from the CM or CA being officially recognized as a den leader as well? The CM and CA do not approve leadership applications for den leaders, and I don't think "monopolization" of a unit is threatened by this combination, because the CC and CR are still there, above the fray. And CM's and CA's are den leaders in many units now, not because people don't care about the rule, but because it just isn't realistic in many units. You do have to do some adjusting at charter time. If there is only one Tiger den and the actual leader is registered as CM, someone else needs to be registered as Tiger DL or the charter will be kicked back. (If there is more than one den it is not an issue, because the charter identifies boys, not dens. Council (mine at least) does not care if there are 16 registered Tigers and one Tiger DL registered, as long as there is one. They probably realize that there is another leader lurking somewhere, but apparently they don't care, and they shouldn't. The same thing works at the Wolf/Bear level -- you could have 16 second-graders and 16 third-graders and the registrar is satisfied as long as there is at least 1 DL, though everyone knows you probably have 4 dens. (Though in a perfect world you would have a UC who would take a look at the charter and call and ask what the story is.) Where was I? Oh. Back to the awards, I would not change the rule that one time period cannot count for 2 awards, therefore in the situation that started this thread, the CM/Tiger DL should be able to choose whether that time counts for the Tiger DL Award or the Cubmaster Award. Then there is the "catchall" award, the Cub Scouter Award. This is still a 2-year award, unlike the den leader awards which have been reduced to 1 year. This is going to be my second knot (the first is the Arrow of Light, which I earned 33 years ago.) It is the only Cub Scout leader award that can be earned for a combination of positions (during different time periods, not overlapping.) This might work for your CM/TDL, though only after he has been registered as a leader for 2 years. The requirements are a bit odd, though. The performance requirements are sort of a conglomeration of duties of different positions (including different committee roles), and you have to do 5 (I think) of the 10. Ironically, I will earn this award not because of things that are part of the job of Assistant Cubmaster (or before that, DL), but because we do not have enough volunteers to run things like pinewood derby, the sports and academic program, etc., and I have ended up doing them myself. As you might have guessed from my discussion of charters, I also did our recharter this year, though that doesn't give you credit for any award. Likewise, a Cub CC who has a fully functioning committee, with different people doing advancement, membership, events chairs, etc. would have a tough time earning the Cub Scouter Award and would not qualify for any other award. They should do something about that. Not that we should care too much about knots. In my opinion we should not invent things to do, or manipulate our registrations just to earn a knot. On the other hand, it is nice to get some recognition for volunteer work that you are doing anyway.
  10. Rooster, thank you for insulting and attacking my religion and its beliefs. As far as I am concerned, you have destroyed the force of your own arguments better than any counter-argument I could make. It is obvious that you are the one who does not believe in the true principles of Scouting.
  11. Wow, this discussion did get heated up again. In no way do I have time to respond to it all, so let me just say the following in response to this and all the other threads, just so you don't think I went away: First, I agree with tjhammer on the issue of whether homosexuality is moral or immoral, and on how the dispute should be resolved. Second, I disagree with everything Rooster says about the subject of homosexuality, except that I agree that the issue of what primates do or don't do is irrelevant. It is, however, worth noting that primates, unlike humans, do not pass their days judging and condemning the behavior of their species-mates, with the probable exception of that very important commandment, "thou shalt not steal my food." Third, my religion, one of the major Western religions (Reform Judaism), does not teach that God condemns homosexuals or that homosexuality is immoral. It instead teaches that exclusion of gays is wrong. It has permitted the ordination of gay clergy. The passages in my religion's bible that have been interpreted by some to condemn homosexuality, can be explained by differences in translation and by the fact that ancient social mores do not necessarily command our obediance today. That is not me talking, that is what my religion teaches. When the BSA says homosexuality is immoral and that gays cannot be leaders, and that this is a "faith-based value," it is saying that my religion is a second-class religion and that my religion's beliefs will be ignored. That is a violation of the Declaration of Religious Principles. Fourth, Rooster, you still never answered my point in response to your comments that gay behavior is perverse because of "biology." I see now that tjammer has picked up that banner as well. If what you mean by "biology" is that sexual activity is "perverse" if it cannot lead to procreation, then a whole range of activity engaged in by many heterosexual couples, including married couples, is "perverse" in your view. I suppose it is also "perverse" if a married couple engages in even "traditional" sexual behavior if one of them is unable to reproduce, whether because of disease, elective surgery, non-elective surgery, or whatever. And even if these married folks are able to procreate, I guess in your view they are also "perverse" if they are using any sort of birth control. The point is, ask not for whom the perversion tolls, it apparently tolls for many straight people as well as gay, perhaps including thee. Fifth, all of this is besides the point anyway. Being "gay" is a status that, in and of itself, will get you barred from leadership in the BSA. It has nothing to do with behavior, except what the BSA (and folks like Rooster) assume based on someone saying they are gay. James Dale never disclosed what type of behavior he engages in behind closed doors, and I suspect this is true for virtually all of the people who have been booted out based on the "gay policy." Let me be clear on this: I do not want someone in a leadership position who reveals to all he meets, what he does in the bedroom, whether it be a man talking about how many women he has slept with, or a man talking about how many men he has slept with, or a man talking about what he puts where and with who. It goes without saying that such talk may not take place while on Scouting activities, but I don't even want to hear about it anywhere. This is not what the policy addresses -- it addresses status, not behavior.
  12. There are two things at work here, policy and common sense. The policy prohibits a fairly narrow range of conduct, limited to monopolizing a unit and approving your own leadership position, as BobWhite says. When different "levels" are involved, we are into the real of common sense. There is only so much time in the day, and even beyond that, the more you divide your focus and attention, the greater the chance something will "slide" or slip through the cracks. An SM being a DC strikes me as a bad idea just as a matter of common sense. Except for an extraordinary person, each job is just too important and attention-consuming to do a good job at both. However, a DC being an ASM, an SM being a member of the district or council camping committee, an ADC being a SM, these would probably be ok (though I would be hesitant about the latter.) A separate discussion probably could be had about Cub Scouts, where there is an "extra" layer of leadership, the den leaders. Under the policy, a den leader cannot be registered in any other position in the pack. I can tell you that in my pack, and I suspect many others, the situation on paper does not always match the situation in reality. I also am not sure that the reasons for the policy, recited by BobWhite, necessarily justify prohibiting a Cubmaster from also being registered as a den leader. Common sense would limit this, but necessity often overwhelms common sense.(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  13. The policy is indeed a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. That means very little in and of itself. Practice and experience, including the cases mentioned in this thread, and the James Dale case, have indicated what the policy actually does mean. It is that if anyone reveals a gay orientation (without revealing any behavior) to anyone, and a BSA council or national finds out about it, the person is out. No trial, no hearing, no inquiry to find out if the person actually said it, no inquiry into what "gay" means in terms of actual behavior, just a letter of termination. It doesn't have to have been said to anyone in a Scouting context, nobody in the person's unit needs to have heard about it (as in the Dale case, apparently nobody in the unit even noticed the mention of Dale in the newspaper), nobody in the unit needs to care. Council hears about it, that's it. As for the various activities in favor of "diversity" by the BSA, they need to be taken at face value. If the BSA gives an award to a gay person or promotes tolerance of gays in general, it does not mean that any BSA council is going to permit a gay leader in the BSA. On this score I agree (in part) with BobWhite -- they are trying to please both sides, or in my interpretation, they are trying to confuse the issue as far as funding sources are concerned. However, within the BSA there should be no confusion about the policy -- it has not changed, it is a national policy, councils have no authority to change it within their area, and none of them have. Some may see the BSA's behavior on this subject as inconsistent, however I see it as a clever means of preserving the present policy.
  14. Well, your local council will sign you up and help you find a unit. It is a council function, not a national function. If you go on the BSA national web site and go to "Sign up for Scouting" you will eventually be led to a "Council locator," then you contact the council about finding a unit.
  15. yaworski said: We all discriminate. Plain and simple. Your wife discriminated by marrying you and not the other guy. All those girls that I knew in college discriminated by not jumping into the sack with me. The VFW discriminates against non-veterans. Discrimination is part of life. That is true. Does that mean you think all discrimination is acceptable? And if not, if some is ok and some is not, what is your standard for determining which is which?
  16. Yaworski, I'm wondering a few things. First, do you think your use of vulgar language helps you make your points more effectively? Do you think it impresses people? Is this how you teach your Scouts (if any) to communicate? Or is it something that only grownups do? (By the way, I do not claim to be a candidate for sainthood, and the stray epithet does escape my lips now and then, more often than it should. However, the written word is different. I assume your keyboard has a backspace key, something that my mouth lacks.) Second, as I said earlier in either this or one of the related threads: What is this, the Marines? Boot camp? Are we trying to break down the individuality of our boys, as they do in the military? That is not what Scouting is about. Are we trying to make them "tougher"? In a way, yes. But not by humiliating them or putting random annoyances in their way that they have to bear or get around. Scouting makes boys grow, and "toughens" them if you will, by giving them specific challenges that have been established as part of the program, based on study and experience, and changed when appropriate. Some of the challenges are discrete -- learn to tie a knot, pitch a tent, follow a compass course -- and then at a camporee or other such event, apply your skills in a timed competition. Other challenges are more open-ended and multifaceted: lead a patrol, lead a troop, plan a program, maintain the equipment, maintain the records, 50 miles afoot/afloat, and so on. Now, mixed in with these challenges are things that are supposed to be fun: Sing a song, do a skit, tell a joke. But the songs, skits and jokes are not supposed to be challenges, they are supposed to be fun. If they are used as punishment, or used to make someone feel badly, they are not fun -- at least not fun for the target. They then become challenges, and are not the type of challenges Scouting is all about.
  17. I didn't think yaworski was DedicatedDad. DedicatedDad's writing exhibited more class. Wow. Did I really write that? But I think it's true. Not much more, just more. As far as I am concerned, the writings of people like DedicatedDad and yaworski ultimately advance the cause of change in the policy, by making the pro-policy position look ridiculous. For every one of us who posts on this topic, there are maybe 30, 40 or more people who read the forum regularly but do not post on this subject. Our minds are not going to be changed by reading a post from the "other side," but those of the "silent majority" may be changed. (This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  18. Rooster, I think most gays stopped calling being gay a "lifestyle" about 15-20 years ago. Try to keep up. (No insult intended.) As for this: In short, we're talking about a sexual perversion, not a preference. This fact should be plain for everyone to see; simply pick up a book on biology (no insult intended). Well, what I assume you are getting at, is the biological fact that certain sexual acts can lead to reproduction, and certain other acts cannot. (I am going to try not to get too clinical here, but Parental Advisory is in effect.) Is every act in the "cannot" category a "perversion?" Before you answer that, consider that the sexual acts engaged in by homosexuals also are engaged in by heterosexuals, including married couples. (Though not, er, mutually, as it were.) Before the 60's/70's, most states had "sodomy" statutes that basically banned all acts in the "cannot" category, regardless of the gender and marital status (including to each other) of the participants. Some still do. But do you really believe that married couples performing these acts are "perverted?" Maybe you do, I don't know. But if you do, maybe you should be consistent and advocate that the BSA install a camera in everybody's bedroom to keep an eye on things. No? Fine. So stay out of the bedroom, literally and figuratively, of everybody -- not just the orientation that you happen to be a member of. And then there is yaworski, who says: I never knew a homosexual who could keep his pants zipped. Even those that were in so called "long term relationships" jumped from bed to bed so often that my head spun. The homosexual lifestyle appears to be one built around excess and bad choices. Assuming that what you say is true, your atypical experience is irrelevant. BSA policy should not be built on anecdote. I have known gay people who were faithfully married, every way except legally. I have known straight people who engaged in the same antics you describe, probably to an even greater degree. It's all irrelevant. We should be looking at the individual, not the group. The current leadership of the BSA does the opposite, and says that at an openly gay person can never be a good role model. It's just wrong. Finally, as to yaworski's comments about men and 16-year-old girls, and gay men and 16-year-old boys: I have been on Cub Scout family camping trips where there were 1 or 2 teenaged girls and 20, 25, 30 men (and a lot of boys and a few mothers too, of course.) That, and the combinations you describe, are all ok because BSA youth protection policy does not depend on segregation of the genders (or sexual orientations) -- except in tents, where the no-gender-mixing rule and the no adult-child-sharing rule serve the same purpose. In fact the BSA disclaims any linkage between sexual orientation and child abuse.
  19. Quixote says: NJ, you say Personally I would rather not know or hear about the religious beliefs of others I'm just a little surprised to read this statement. I would have thought that you would be a little more liberal on this point. Well, I don't think liberal or non-liberal comes into play, because I didn't say people shouldn't be free to express their religious beliefs. They should, and they are. I do realize that what I said, taken literally, contradicts the fact that I am interested in religion as a matter of knowing my fellow human beings. When I read religious arguments in this forum and elsewhere, I often search the Internet for information about particular religions and beliefs so I can better understand (or criticize) what is being said. I even sometimes look up things about my own religion. What I meant by the above comment, in the context of what I was responding to, was that I sometimes feel inundated by people's expressions of religious belief, arguments over religion, wars motivated by religion, terroristic murderous acts motivated by religion, persecutions motivated by religion, and (you get the idea). While I think everyone should believe in whatever God, gods, the Creative Force, the Great Spirit of the Mountains, or whatever that they believe in, I do think that people take these differences too seriously. And I don't really want people asking me or telling me to believe something different than what I believe. I don't think I am alone, or that this is a unique feeling. It is similar to the dislike that many people have for political ads; their vote is a personal thing and they don't want someone else initiating a conversation about it. It doesn't mean you don't have the right to evangelize, or witness, or whatever it is you do, but it also doesn't mean I have to listen. I have the God-given right to be annoyed sometimes. Another factor, perhaps, is that I was raised not to talk about religion with strangers. Perhaps the reason for this will be evident in my response to Quixote's next comment: On a side note, I think most Christian faiths as well as Islam teach that spreading the Word of God is a fundamental charge given to believers. Does the Jewish faith not have this charge? It does not. All branches of Judaism, all major schools of rabbis, agree that Jews should not prostlytize (sp?), evangelize, seek converts, etc. from outside the faith. (Trying to get Jewish people to practice their own faith is an entirely different story, and there is at least one major Jewish organization devoted to this.) There may be a few rabbis or others out there who do this, but they are outside of mainstream Jewish thought and practice. At the same time, most Jews believe that people of other faiths should not try to convert Jews to other religions. Some Jewish organizations engage in efforts to provide Jews with information to assist them in resisting conversion campaigns; for example to allow Jews to understand that such groups as "Jews for Jesus" and "Messianic Judaism" are in fact Christian evangelical groups that target Jews through (in my opinion) deceptive means. The reasons for this attitude among Jews go back, as far as I know, to ancient times, and specifically to the Christianization of the Roman Empire. At that time, and at many times over the next few hundred years, the dominant Christian rulers prohibited Jews from trying to spread their religion. This principle was often enforced through mass murder, burning down of villages, and other subtle means. Ultimately the rabbis got the message and basically said, fine, we will never try to turn a Christian Jewish, now would you please stop slaughtering us? Obviously the period of official Christian persecution of Jews has fizzled out over the past 400 years or so, to where it is now just a bad memory. But the Jewish tradition of non-prostlytizing has continued through this day, in part due to tradition and in part due to fear of renewed persecution. Another factor is the fear that with Jews being only 2 percent of the U.S. population, and having been devastated in the Holocaust, and with most Jews being secular in outlook, the whole religion could eventually dwindle away. In more recent times the position has been made a little bolder, rather than just "we'll leave you alone so you won't kill us," many Jews have added "and stop trying to convert us, too."
  20. Just to add a bit -- of the few people in my district who hold the title of Unit Commissioner, I am not sure how many (if any) actually have particular units assigned to them. One guy who wears a UC patch is actually the district FOS coordinator as well as the "acting" Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner, and probably a few lesser things as well. (I put quotes around "acting" because he has been doing the job for at least six months.) He does a lot of important work for the district and does it well, but he is not a Unit Commissioner as far as I can see. A few others with that patch seem to act more as Assistant District Commissioners, assisting the units directly when there is a need. It's not that there aren't people around to help when requested, it's just that the prescribed structure is not being followed. And the reason is clear -- 1 UC for every 3 units would mean that my district would have 21 UC's. The volunteers just aren't there to fill anywhere near that number of positions.
  21. I did take the poll, only to find out the results so far. There probably is a way to view the results without voting, but I don't know what it is. I think polls like this are basically worthless. The first post I ever read in this forum was a poll that OGE had started, I believe it was about whether you would leave the BSA if it changed its policy. The relatively few voters who are actually involved in the BSA were soon overwhelmed by a particular group of outsiders who had been "invited" to participate by a member with a particular point of view. I think a poll in this forum might be worth something if it is something like "What do you think of the new Webelos hat" or "Do you agree with the elimination of the unit waiver of the Second and First Class swimming requirement." Anything more controversial than that, forget it.
  22. I only ever see commissioners at roundtable. (An ADC did come to one of our pack meetings this year but that was just to do an FOS presentation so it doesn't count.) I saw a district roster once and it had 5 UC's, and the last I heard, our district has 27 troops and 37 packs, if that's any indication. If we have a Unit Commissioner, I sure don't know who it is. On the other hand, when our unit has asked for advice, we get it (usually from the DE.)
  23. littlebillie, Rooster seems to believe that belief in God is a "cure" for being gay -- something that I suspect would come as a surprise to the Episcopal priests who are openly gay, Reform Jewish rabbis who are openly gay, etc.
  24. Hmmm, BobWhite and Rooster agreeing with each other on an issue outside of the "politics" folder, maybe we should stop this before the Earth and Moon break free from their orbits and go crashing into each other. Maybe this is all semantics, I don't know. I just see a difference between "get more boys" and "get more boys by the end of the month so I can put them on my spreadsheet." After tonight's meeting, I'll have to tell you how many boys we actually get. I'm hoping to register at least one full den of new Tigers tonight, and that the woman who told me that she and her husband would consider being a Tiger den leader(s) actually comes through. I do need to comment on this statement by Rooster: We need to ensure that in our attempts "to offer the program to as many boys as possible", we don't change the program simply to increase those numbers. The BSA is constantly changing the "program," not the ideals and principles behind the program, but the program itself, and part of the motivation is to increase numbers. And there's nothing wrong with that. You can say that many of the changes are to "make Scouting more in keeping with changes in society" or that they are "based on research regarding the development of boys," but it really all amounts to the same thing. Scouting updates and improves its program so that those now a part of it will benefit, and will stay, and so that those not a part of it will be more likely to join, and will benefit from the changes when they do. It all works together, but numbers are part of it -- or all of it, depending on how you look at it. Just look at the list of merit badges over the years. When I first looked at the Boy Scout requirements when I was 11 (in 1969), there were a number of merit badges related to farming, and relatively few related to industry, service trades and the modern economy. The first number has gone down, while the second number has gone up. Isn't that a change to conform to changes in society and the economy, and to build the numbers? Now, I agree that changes can sometimes go too far. The BSA did that in the early 70s and took some of the "outing" of Scouting, as they say. (This was the era of what my father still calls the "rat bite handbook.") I think those changes are exaggerated when people look back today; I am sure most troops with a strong outdoor program (like mine) were not really affected because they continued doing what they were doing anyway; but such things as removing Camping and Cooking from the Eagle required list did not send the right message. There was carelessness in making the changes, many of which were changed back in less than a decade.
  25. BobWhite says: You are right NJ, what is uppermost on the minds of scouters outside of unit scouting is the growth of the program. You surprise me, BobWhite, by twisting my words and meaning. You know that is not what I meant. I expect such gamesmanship from some in this forum, but not from you. What this particular commissioner had uppermost in his mind at the moment in question was not the growth of the program -- it was getting credit for numbers. The boys in question (who are still hypothetical for another 18 hours as I write this) will get the program regardless of whether they are registered before June 30, but whoever gets credit will not get credit for this year unless they do. That is what the commissioner was concerned about, and I can't imagine that he is the only person who thinks that way. As I said before, I am happy to accomodate my DE and commissioners, they are a good group of guys and have been nothing but helpful to my pack, which has undergone a rocky transition from one group of leaders to another. I also see the benefit of signing these boys up as soon as possible. None of this changes the fact that it has been confirmed to me that there is a motivation at work here other than (or in addition to) the growth of the program.
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