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NJCubScouter

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Everything posted by NJCubScouter

  1. NJCubScouter

    pledge

    As I said in my post, it depends what religious beliefs you have that prohibit you from saying the Pledge. If it is because you do not believe in God, you have a problem. If it is because you are a Quaker or some other faith that does not believe in taking a pledge or oath, then you probably want to have your parents or religious leader speak with your Scoutmaster and explain the issue. There may be "higher level" channels available as well. I believe Quakers have a religious award that can be worn on the Scout uniform, so there should be someone in the church who can help you. If indeed that is your religion. Oh, and forgive my snide remarks about the wording of your question, I thought you were an adult.(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  2. NJCubScouter

    Statement of Faith

    jmcquillan, I think yours is a reasonable approach as well. You use the prayers of different faiths as a learning experience, and everyone gets their "turn." In that context a specific prayer would certainly be appropriate, and just by default, the "generic prayer" will probably be in there as well. (What I really mean is that if spoken in English, most Jewish prayers will sound, to most Christians, like an acceptable, generic prayer: Blessed art thou, Lord our God, King of the Universe...)
  3. NJCubScouter

    Statement of Faith

    Quixote, I agree with you. The key phrase is "If asked to lead a prayer." If the person in charge of arranging a prayer at a Scout function asks you to lead a prayer, I have no problem with you doing so in accordance with your faith. But as I said: "if asked to lead a prayer." If I were the person doing the asking, my first step in deciding who to ask would be to determine the needs of the group, then determine the intentions of those who I might ask, and then ask someone who would lead a prayer in accordance with the needs of the group. To get specific here, Quixote, if my Cubmaster asked me to find someone to lead a prayer at the Blue and Gold dinner, and you were one of the parents in my pack, what I would do is this: I would notice that my pack has a diversity of religious beliefs, probably more than half Catholic, most of the rest other types of Christians, with a couple of Jews, an Indian kid who could be Hindu, two Chinese kids who could be Buddhist, and maybe a few more exotic beliefs that I don't know about. Also, I suspect, a few who are not being raised in any religion at all but whose parents don't make an issue about it. My determination of the needs of the group would be that a generic prayer would be appropriate; I know of nobody in the group who would object to a generic prayer, and at the same time a few boys or their parents might be made uncomfortable by a more specific prayer. Now we get to, who do I ask? Knowing of your belief that your faith requires you to mention Jesus Christ, in all likelihood I would not ask you to lead the prayer. In so doing, I have not begrudged you anything. In fact, I have not asked you to choose between your own beliefs and the needs of the group. I think I have served everyone's interests. I also do not begrudge anyone from using a different thought process in deciding who to ask, though I think my way is pretty logical. I also do not begrudge anyone using the same thought process from asking you, or someone like you, if that is what he/she thinks is required/permitted to serve the needs of the group. In plain English, if everyone in the troop is a Christian of the same variety as you, and prays the same way you do, the leader could logically ask you to lead the prayer, knowing that you will pray to Jesus Christ as everyone else in the troop does. Now, if there are just one or two kids who might be of a different faith or pray a different way, that's a decision the leader has to make. In all likelihood, the parents of those kids know the situation and have decided that's where they want to be for other reasons, regardless of the fact that the prayers may not always conform to their beliefs. Members of minority religions sometimes have to make that choice -- as I did, for example, when I decided I wanted to marry a member of the Catholic faith who insisted on getting married in the Church. As you might imagine, that involved some compromises on my part, one of which involved the religious content of my marriage ceremony. The priest actually bent over backwards to make the ceremony somewhat generic, but obviously Jesus was still in the building, so to speak. But my point is, that was something I chose.
  4. NJCubScouter

    More on the Pledge

    Sctmom, I am a bit baffled by that issue as well. I would have thought the answer to that question was generally No, but there this guy is, bringing the lawsuit. On the other hand, in this case it would be an issue under California law, which has its own peculiarities like every other state (only more so), and I don't know enough about California law to answer it. It also may be an issue of divorce law, which I do not really WANT to know much about.
  5. NJCubScouter

    More on the Pledge

    Ed, although you were asking about a comment that someone else made, I will give my own answer. I think that for the ACLU to pursue a case, they have to believe it is a "fight worth fighting" AND that there is some chance of winning -- not a guarantee but at least some chance. I suspect that is true for just about every legal advocacy organization in the country, whether it be on the right, left, or center.
  6. NJCubScouter

    pledge

    Yes Ed, there's a whole other thread about that. This poll and thread really are not about that at all, as I explained. But since you brought it up here, I partially agree with you. I do have problems with this particular guy bring the lawsuit on behalf of his daughter if his daughter did not want to do so. From the limited amount I have read, it sounds to me like the man and his ex-wife went through a particularly nasty divorce and maybe he started this lawsuit on behalf of the daughter partly as an attack on his ex-wife. This is one of the reasons I don't do divorce law. I can't imagine that he will have much of a relationship with his daughter after this. Nevertheless, the constitutionality of a statute is not determined by whether I like the plaintiff who challenges it. The guy (and more importantly, two judges of the Ninth Circuit) do have a point about the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. I personally think the Pledge is "harmless" in a school setting, and that if you don't want to recite it, it isn't going to harm you to listen to it. (Which is the current state of the law, not counting this recent decision.) But if you believe that prayer has no place in public schools (and I'm not assuming that you do, Ed, but I do), then as a technical constitutional matter, it is difficult to to justify recitation of the current pledge in public schools. Not to worry, however. As I have said before, the current Supreme Court is not likely to uphold this decision, and it may not even get past the full Ninth Circuit. And none of this affects the place of the Pledge in Scouting. I guess potentially we could end up with two pledges of allegiance, one with "under God" and one without. I love the law.
  7. NJCubScouter

    More on the Pledge

    The ACLU is involved in many cases, but rarely are they actually a plaintiff. They usually finance representation of a plaintiff and/or file an "amicus curiae" ("friend of the court") brief. Usually the actual plaintiff is the child whose classroom schedule includes a "moment of silent meditation," a person who was thrown out of a mall for leafletting, a person who was denied a "permit" to speak on a street corner, and like that. On occasion, the ACLU does have standing and becomes a plaintiff in their own right. I know that this was true in the challenges to the Internet censorship statutes -- almost anyone with a Web site would have had standing in that case.
  8. NJCubScouter

    More on the Pledge

    Yeah, Ed, I think we get that you don't like the ACLU. They only say the nicest things about you, though. And they go to court to protect your right to say nasty things about them.(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  9. NJCubScouter

    pledge

    OK, I voted twice again, but this time I voted two different ways. By the time I looked at it from my work computer I had changed my mind. My initial answer was "yes," and I was so happy that I was going to get to agree with some of the people I usually disagree with with. Then this morning, I realized that the answer from both my perspective and a Scouting perspective had to be "No if against religious beliefs." (I would say it, Yes, unless against religious beliefs, but it works out the same.) To begin with, it's a somewhat odd question (even aside from the fact that it does not identify what "pledge" is involved, the pledge of sobriety, Lemon Pledge, or what, but we can assume from the context that it is the Pledge of Allegiance.) Unless they have changed the rank requirements more than I thought, I am not aware of any blanket nationwide requirement to say the Pledge to advance in rank. I also am not aware that every unit is required to do the pledge at every meeting. On the other hand, I doubt I have ever been to any Boy Scout or Cub Scout meeting at which the pledge was not said, so it's probably a moot point. If a unit says the pledge at every meeting and a Scout refuses to participate, I assume the Scout is going to have a problem passing the "Scout spirit" requirement for his next rank, if nothing else. (All of this is subject to the exception discussed below.) Because this question is being asked in the context of the recent Ninth Circuit decision, there may be an assumption by some (possibly including Ed with his emphatic response) that the reason why a boy would not say the Pledge is the phrase "under God." I don't think that's the real issue. If the boy won't say "under God" in the Pledge then he probably also will not promise to "do my duty to God" in the Scout Oath. My understanding of current BSA practice is that if a boy refuses to say the Oath and Law, and the reason is that he does not believe in God, he does not advance, and may be removed. I am not opposed to that, because belief in a higher power is one of the tenets of Scouting. OK, so if the BSA does not recognize the religious objections of atheists to saying the Pledge, whose religious objections does it recognize? Quakers, for one. Quakers do not believe in taking pledges or oaths except those directly to God. They will not "swear" in an oath of office. Whether the words "under God" or "God" are included is irrelevant. They do not say the Pledge of Allegiance and never have, regardless of the version. They do not swear to tell the truth on the witness stand. (They "affirm" instead.) They do not swear to fulfill the terms of an elective office. They are the primary reason why the U.S. Constitution allows a new president to "swear or affirm" in the oath of office, and at a much more pedestrian level, when I was "sworn in" as a local school board member last week, I had the option under state law of "affirming" and leaving off the words "I swear to God." (I chose to swear, and to swear to God.) And, although I don't know this as absolute fact, I strongly suspect that the reason the Scout Oath (or Promise) is called the Scout Oath (or Promise) is so that Quakers, and anyone else whose religion prohibits the saying of oaths, may say it as a promise instead of an oath. It's the same as "swear (or affirm)" in an oath. Therefore, it seems very likely to me that a boy whose religious beliefs prohibit the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance (for example, a Quaker) is not going to be penalized by Scouting for not saying the Pledge.(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  10. NJCubScouter

    More on the Pledge

    Speaking of Aaarrgghh, in order to read this story I had to register for the LA Times web site and tell them my address, phone number and annual income. I hate that. But I had not heard about this previously. It is unfortunate that people on both sides of the issue are using this little girl to make their point. I am not even sure how she necessarily came into it at all. When the decision first came out, it appeared to me that the girl was the plaintiff in the case, with her father acting as "guardian." This is the routine way in which lawsuits are brought on behalf of children. (Just to get technical, the title of the case is usually "Father, as Guardian ad Litem for Daughter, vs. Whoever" or "Daughter, by Father, her Guardian ad Litem, vs. Whoever." The exact form depends on the state and the lawyer representing the plaintiff.) But this story states that the girl was not named in the lawsuit. Since the father is not the one being made to be in a school classroom while others are saying the pledge, I don't see how he could bring the lawsuit only in his own name. (This is the concept of "standing": You cannot just sue when you see something wrong, you have to be personally affected by it. I have still only read the beginning of the "Pledge" decision, but I did get to the part where the Court approved the dismissal of the case against one school district that the girl may attend in the future; the only district "she" could sue was the one she actually attended.) So now I'm just confused. As I think I said before, media reporting about legal events almost always leaves something to be desired from a lawyers' perspective, because the writers rarely know what they are writing about.
  11. NJCubScouter

    Troop hats

    What a sad commentary on our day and age that we feel a need to restrict access to even the names of our children. But it's absolutely true. Just yesterday I was preparing a short biography of myself for consideration by my local school board, which was appointing a new member. When I first typed it, I put in the names and ages of my children and what schools they had attended. The document also had my name, address and telephone number. Then I thought, oops, I know the people who I intend to see this paper and have no concerns about them, and some of them know my childrens' names anyway, but what if the media gets ahold of my bio? Or some citizen who I don't know? Or the custodian at the board meeting room? Or a board member throws the bio in the trash somewhere after the meeting, and Lord knows who could end up seeing it. Paranoid though it might be, I don't want such specific information about my children floating out in public any more than it already is, especially when I am embarking on a public position that has a tendency to generate some controversy. I decided to leave in the number of my children and where they are in school, but delete their names. Of course, the hypothetical evil-doer would still know the address of my house and the fact that some kids live there, but anyone who drove by my house would also know that when they see one or more children outside, and even if they are inside, the basketball hoop is a pretty good clue. I guess it is the combination of the full name and exact location that makes it too uncomfortable. (I did get appointed, by the way.)
  12. NJCubScouter

    Call to Ban Morman married fathers

    If we are talking about prayers at a Scouting function (camp, awards dinner, whatever), where a person is giving a spoken prayer in front of a group or leading the group in prayer, I think common sense and courtesy dictate the content. There is no rule that I know of against the leader giving a prayer specific to his religion, and I am not worried so much about a boy being evangelized by a single prayer. However, I think the general understanding within Scouting is that a group prayer should be inclusive rather than exclusive. If you are asked to perform such a function, you are not being asked to do it for your own benefit or as part of your own individual relationship with God, but for the benefit of the group. The needs of the group should therefore be taken into consideration. In such a situation, I would want everyone to feel included and comfortable. I think God would be happy with that. Rooster, if you feel that leading an inclusive prayer would offend God, then the place for you is probably in the "congregation," and not up at the podium. When the leader is finished, you can add whatever you want to yourself, as I am sure you do anyway. And yes, this thread sort of became a hodgepodge of stuff. The title was obviously intended to be a humorous, sarcastic comment anyway, so the thread never really had much of a sense of direction to begin with.
  13. NJCubScouter

    What is SCOTUS?

    SCOTUS = Supreme Court of the United States. It is one of those annoyingly "hip" abbreviations that I think is used more by journalists than by lawyers. (I've been both, something I probably shouldn't admit to around here.) "SCOTUS" is not sufficiently "respectful" for use in formal legal writing. I always write out "Supreme Court," and in a brief to a state court, I precede that with "U.S." to distinguish it from the state supreme court. SCOTUS, by the way, rhymes with POTUS, a somewhat rarer but still annoying abbreviation for President of the United States. As opposed to The Presidents of the United States of America, which, my children tell me, is a current rock group. (Though my kids would probably snicker at the dated term "rock group," like I used to snicker when my parents called the Beatles a "singing group.") Let's hope that SCOTUS and POTUS don't have any cousins that I don't know about. It's all too cute for me.
  14. NJCubScouter

    Pass the Knot

    By the way, Bubba, with this whole "knot thing," I think you are confusing "having the gavel" (or "passing the gavel") with "having the floor." The guy with the gavel around here is SCOUTER-Terry (and his staff of moderators, though I have only ever seen one other, SCOUTER-Luke.) The rest of us just have the floor, when we behave properly, and only until the next post.
  15. NJCubScouter

    Pass the Knot

    Rooster, I don't want to spend much time on your liberal vs. conservative post because I can't find anything in it that relates to Scouting... unless you are suggesting that only conservatives have a place in Scouting, in which case I will have some comments! I will say that I find your definitions to be overly simplistic and in some cases laughably so. People do not fall neatly into two camps, rather they define a broad spectrum, including moderates who pick and choose from the "menus" offered by both sides (a category in which I include myself, though I do partake of more of the "liberal" items than the conservative.) I have also observed that those who are on the "far ends" on either side tend to lump almost everybody else on the side opposite themselves. I have to laugh, for example, at far-right conservatives who call John McCain a liberal. He isn't one, believe me. The funniest part of your post is about about how "conservatives" do not believe in big government. Give me a break, please. Take a look at every round of Congressional budgeting and appropriations and you will see all of the most conservative Republican names lining up at the trough along with everybody else. "Big government" is a favorite whipping boy of these folks, until they get a chance to have a courthouse, military base, or big highway in their district, or big "research grants" to one of the big businesses in their state. Then big government ain't so bad, I guess. Some of your other comments are like a cartoon version of reality. I don't know many self-proclaimed liberals who favor "third and fourth chances for violent criminals" these days. As for "celebrating sexual perversity," well, just give me a break. I also don't see liberals as believing in the essential goodness of man while conservatives believe man is essentially bad. Maybe you were just kidding about that. I think if you had taken a poll 30 years ago, you would have found most liberals saying man was essentially bad while conservatives would say that man was essentially good. How, or why, or even whether this has changed might make an interesting book, and probably has. But it hardly one of the "timeless verities" as you seem to suggest. As you say, there are conservative atheists. There are also conservatives who are pro-choice on abortion. I know liberals who favor the death penalty. And it goes on. It does not surprise me, of course, that you think the side you are on has God on its side. Pretty convenient if you ask me. As for songs, I sort of go back and forth. Let's see what works for today. I am sitting at work at the end of a long day. I spent the morning on the phone fighting with the council office, because when my son showed up for the first day of Cub Scout Day Camp, they decided he was not registered for camp. (On about the fourth phone call, I finally got, "Oh yes, we did get your check, sorry about that." Meanwhile my son spent almost half the day sitting with the camp director instead of doing archery and nature-walk, mainly because his health form was sitting in the council office (about a half-mile away) in a temporarily lost folder, and they didn't think to fax me a new one that I could fax back until he had been there almost 2 hours.) After that gets straightened out, my wife's car battery turns up dead, and she just barely makes it it to pick my son up from his (as it turns out) half-day of day camp. So let's see, how about one by the Allman Brothers: "Sometimes I feel like I been tied to the whippin' post." Or in other words, sometimes a broad philosophy of life gives way to just getting through the day.(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  16. NJCubScouter

    Stop this Debate in this Forum?

    Rooster says: I don't WANT to spend hours debating this issue over and over again. It is tiresome. It is especially so when those on the other side chose to ignore logic and force the argument into a never-ending circle. Or maybe "those on the other side" just don't believe in the Bible you believe, or choose to interpret it differently. As for who forces the argument into a never-ending circle, well, apparently that depends on which side of the circle you are on. (I have seen the same never-ending argument, though mostly in other forums, about "who started" the "gay issue," "gay activists" or the gay-banners. I am sure that was debated here before I got here. Not that I want to start it again. "Who started it" is an argument best left to children, and generally takes on the same childish quality in relation to this subject.) So, why do we debate this topic? Personally, I do so out of conviction. Really, did you list that conviction on your application to be a Scout leader? That was a joke. I do crack myself up sometimes. I'm not going to sit on the sidelines as certain individuals attempt to brain wash folks into believing that BSA is doing something wrong or immoral. Ooooooh, brainwashing. Brainwashing? I did not know I had that power. Believe me, if I did, I would use it for more constructive pursuits than an Internet forum. And why is it that you think you are stating facts, while the other side is doing brainwashing? Could it be that we are all just stating our opinion? (No, I guess, to you that's not possible. But that's why I think you do more harm than good to your cause among the non-posting readers. I do miss DedicatedDad, because I think he was even "better" at that than you are.) I have not started the threads on the homosexual debate. Well, I looked down the list and you did start one, "Disturbing News from NY," which started out as a repost of a news article, but in your first post you included some anti-gay comments. I will let you go on the second one, "What Really Matters?" because that one is really about how you weren't going to post about this issue anymore. (That was in February, and I am not picking on you about it, because I have almost posted about 10 times how I am not going to discuss this issue anymore, but held back because I figured I wouldn't be any more successful than you have been at "resigning.")
  17. NJCubScouter

    Stop this Debate in this Forum?

    BubbaBear, with all due respect, I think we do know what the "general consensus" of readers of this forum is as to whether "this debate" should continue. And your poll has confirmed that result. Let's look at the votes: As of a few minutes ago, 4 people had voted, yes, stop the debate, and 14 had voted, no, don't stop it. (In the interest of full disclosure, I think I just accidentally voted for a second time, while trying to see the results on a computer other than the one I first voted from. "Cookies" only know from computers, not account names. So it may actually be 4 to 13.) Much more interesting, however, is the fact that 86 people had read this thread. (I realize that this may include multiple readings by some of the same people, but I choose to assume that most of these 86 are different people.) So even if you assume that the voters are also people who post regularly, I think the answer is clear. Those who do not post also do not care enough to vote. They will read whatever is here. They don't seek to control the content of what they read. Maybe we who do post should charge them an entertainment fee or something. But the point is, they are not "tired" of the debate to the point where they will actually click a form to indicate that they are tired. That is known as an "abstention," or in other words, "whatever the majority of everybody else says is ok with me." In other words, those who wish to post, post, and those who wish to read, read, and those who wish to do neither, do neither. Is this a great country, or what?(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  18. NJCubScouter

    Adult Merit Badge

    I have noticed that in the troop that is the leading contender for my son to join next spring, the adult leaders wear a customized patrol patch (in the patrol patch position) reading "Old Goat Patrol." Technically proper? Clearly not, but it seems harmless. I have not asked about it, but my guess is that the "old goats" hanging out together became a joke within the troop, and they decided to wear the joke on their uniforms. (By the way, this may be a clue that this troop uses the patrol method, as the "old goats" are keeping to themselves on campouts rather than hanging out with the patrols. It may also indicate why all the leaders from this troop who I have met are men, as I have never met a woman who would refer to herself as an "old goat." ) Obviously I will recommend a unit to my son based on other considerations, such as do they use first class - first year (this one seems to, I have to have a more detailed talk with the scoutmaster), is it boy-run (apparently yes), do they have an active outdoor program (apparently yes), and does my son know other boys in the troop (yes, 9 boys from my pack crossed over to that troop this past spring.)(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  19. NJCubScouter

    Stop this Debate in this Forum?

    BobWhite, your comment about a "parallel to Scouting" is very cute and clever, but I see a different parallel between this forum and Scouting. The owner of this forum and BSA National set up a "program" and have issued certain rules and guidelines within which participants may operate. The participants in the forum are individuals who may say whatever they wish, subject to those rules and guidelines. The participants in the BSA are CO's and their units who may select their leaders within the BSA's rules and guidelines. Within the wide range of those guidelines, participants may make their choices. The actual rules for selection of leaders basically prohibit appointing leaders who have shown a propensity to harm others or seriously disobey the law, and the rest is left to local option. Except on the gay issue. And contrary to what you have said or implied, Bob, there is no rule or policy against a gay person being a leader. It is a current practice of the current leadership, as reflected in press releases and legal briefs. It is not a rule or policy. If you can cite a book or page reference to the policy, please do. In fact, in order to not further offend BubbaBear's delicate sensibilities, I suggest you start a new thread with the book and page number. I'll be waiting. Sorry, BubbaBear, but I thought it was important to dispel this fallacy, for the benefit of those whose minds are open to the truth.
  20. NJCubScouter

    Compromise: Good or Evil

    BubbaBear, I have observed that different people can stand to debate this subject for different lengths of time. If you only had a few weeks in you, I hope you don't begreduge those of us who prefer to keep batting it back and forth for a longer period. In my case, I did get tired of the first forum on which I was debating this issue (for about a year, in AOL's Scouting forum), so I switched to this one. Changing the minds of the people on the other side is not the main goal; as you say, that is probably impossible. But there are dozens or hundreds of "lurkers" out there at any given time, whose minds may not have been made up so solidly as ours. And maybe some of us find it fun, in some odd way. Posting in this forum is recreation for me. There are worse things I could do in my spare time. Unfortunately, I too will probably stop posting on this subject in the near future. The time required by my "real life" often prevents me from posting for a day or 2, and by that time so much material has gone by that I want to respond to, that I cannot possibly respond to it. And it does get tiresome to keep repeating things I have said in the past, in response to the same things said by the same people. And I am about to take on a new time-consuming challenge in my life, as I expect to be appointed this coming week to a vacancy on my local school board. That may be the thing that forces me to stop spending time doing this.
  21. NJCubScouter

    Pass the Knot

    I disagree with the "glacier" or "flowing lava" analogy for matters of social change. Regardless of what your religious beliefs are, individual human beings are beings of free will. We have both the physical ability to make choices and the intellectual ability to gather and evaluate information to make the right choice. (We don't always make the right choice.) Combining all these free wills into a collective decision-making process is a tricky thing, and sometimes the "collective will" can be difficult to determine, but what we do as a society is nevertheless the product of our individual choices. So things like social change don't just happen to us; some person, or usually a group of people, get the changes started and the rest of us either accept or reject them. This process works more "cleanly" in a democracy (or representative republic, if you like) than in a dictatorship, but recent history has shown that "free will" can topple even the seemingly strongest dictatorship. Why is it important whether the analogy is correct or not? Because I think the analogy makes us forget that we and not forces beyond our control, determine our future while we are alive. (I suppose there are some who may disagree with this point on religious grounds, but oh well.) Again, individuals may find it difficult to have their individual wills translated into group action, but somewhere in the process, human beings are bringing about whatever change occurs. The post about "holding back the lava" also implies that in the gay-policy debate (which is what we are really discussing here), the "lava" is the trend in society toward accepting immorality, while those with the water-hose are trying to protect morality. I reject this as well. What we have here are two competing moralities: The morality of those who believe the Bible, or whatever, justifies discrimination against gays, and the morality of those who believe that it is the discrimination that is immoral. There is a definite trend away from the former, toward the latter. But it is not a mindless force such as a glacier or lava; it is the collective result of people making different choices about how other people should be treated. I don't get the whole knot thing, so I don't know whether I am passing it or not.
  22. NJCubScouter

    Got any advice on this?

    scoutmaster says: I seem to have a bit of trouble dealing with conflict. Probably because I just don't like it and hope things can work out without it, but also because I am just not too good at it. Don't sell yourself short, it seems to me that in this case at least, you handled it just fine. Admittedly, conflict is most difficult to deal with when you are one of the adversaries. But when you are "in the middle," as you found yourself in this case, the best route often is to try to get the combatants to see reason, and otherwise just stay out of it. Often after "cooling off," one or both will realize that their conflict is costing more than whatever satisfaction they derive from being mad at each other. In this case, the father finally came to the obvious conclusion that, number one, the troop was not going to fire its CC just for him, and that second, if he didn't calm down and tolerate the CC, the one who would suffer would be his son. All but the most stubborn and childish folks will back down when the alternative is to cause harm to their own child.
  23. NJCubScouter

    elaine whalley

    Do Tiger Cubs still have a separate promise and motto, or do they now start learning the Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack right away, since we now have Tiger Cub dens and den leaders? The answer to the first question is definitely yes, Tigers still have their Promise (I Promise to love God, my Family, and my Country, and to Learn about the World) and motto (Search, Discover, Share.) The answer to the second question is that while they do NOT learn the Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack "right away," they CAN do so toward the end of the "Tiger year," which is a change from the past. The Cub Scout Promise, Law of the Pack and Motto are introduced as part of the Bobcat requirements, just as previously. The change is that previously, the boys did not work on Bobcat until they were into their "Wolf year" (for most boys, at the beginning of second grade.) Now, the Bobcat requirements are also at the end of the Tiger Book, and the den leaders can (I don't think they are required to) have the boys earn Bobcat while they are still in first grade. I have not gone over the book with a fine-toothed comb, but it is my understanding that after the boys earn the Tiger badge, they then do electives to earn beads, and at the same time as the electives, they can (either as a group or individually) do the Bobcat requirements. Our pack had previously had a "Tiger graduation" either at the last or next-to-last pack meeting in the spring. It had no real official meaning as far as I knew, and no badges were given out, it was just a nice ceremony to recognize the boys and what they had accomplished during their first year with the pack. With the change this year, as Assistant Cubmaster, I encouraged the den leaders to have the boys earn Bobcat in time for the last meeting of the year and award that as part of the "Tiger graduation." That is what they did, and for their last meeting of first grade, all the boys recited their newly-learned Cub Scout Promise in front of the pack. Somewhat haltingly in some cases, but some of these boys are still 6 years old. I don't think you would get a very good result introducing the Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack "right away," that is, at the beginning of first grade -- when some of the boys may still be age 5. I think the BSA has done a good job with the progression of "promises," "laws" and "mottos," increasing both the number, length and complexity of the things the boys have to memorize and recite as they get older and better able to learn and repeat information verbatim. On the other had, I myself get confused sometimes. As a den leader and now ACM I have never been able to memorize the Cub Scout Promise because it is so close to, and yet different from, the Scout Oath, so when I need it I read it from a book or paper. I cannot keep both in my head at the same time, and I have no desire to un-learn the Scout Oath which I have known since I was almost 11. In fact, a few weeks ago I was "flying solo" running a pack meeting for the first time because the CM was away, and when it came time in the opening ceremony to ask the boys to recite the Cub Scout Promise, I had to think for a second whether it was called an "oath" or "promise." I did get it right, and I hope my momentary fumbling wasn't noticeable to the boys. Of course, I had forgotten to bring anything with the Promise to the podium, so it was really "led" by the boys, which was not a problem since the flag ceremony was being done by an incoming Webelos den, and they can do it in their sleep.(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  24. NJCubScouter

    Call to Ban Morman married fathers

    Weekender says: Sounds like his problem lies with being a homosexual pedophile rather than a married Mormon. But not an avowed homosexual. The BSA's anti-gay policy would not have affected him at all. In all the cases I have read of in which a male Scouter (or other youth group leader) molested boys, the perpetrator always seems to be "in the closet." It isn't healthy in there. I myself would worry much less about my son being led by an openly gay person than someone who seems on the surface to be happily married but has all this conflict going on in their mind about whether to live their real life or not, until one day they "snap" and start hurting innocent children. Problem is, you don't know who that person is until it's too late, if not for your own child then for somebody else's. We just need to be clear on what actions we want to exclude. The BSA anti-gay policy does not exclude any actions. It excludes talking about what one's sexual orientation is, if one is gay.(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)
  25. NJCubScouter

    Compromise: Good or Evil

    KoreaScouter says: Allowing COs or even councils to set their own policy regarding this would turn into a real briar patch. As opposed to what the BSA is in now, you mean? Wherever a "briar patch" may fall on the scale of good-to-bad, I would say that where the BSA is now is worse. Maybe then Scouting could again be mostly known for what we are trying to accomplish, and not for needless controversies, lawsuits and funding disputes. Local option would work if people want to make it work. You have no need to ask the sexual orientation of the Scoutmaster from the next town who happens to be running the orienteering station at the next camporee. Maybe his troop knows he's gay and doesn't care. It's really none of your business. And the vast majority of units that have a non-discrimination policy would not have gay leaders anyway. So it wouldn't be a problem. It's just an excuse that some people use for keeping the current noncompromising, counterproductive policy. (Oh, and it's not actually even a policy, it's just a bunch of press releases.)
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