Jump to content

NJCubScouter

Moderators
  • Content count

    7215
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    67

Everything posted by NJCubScouter

  1. NJCubScouter

    2018 GUIDE TO SAFE SCOUTING

    It seems to me that what we have here is a lack of common understanding about what a "zero tolerance" policy actually is. As I have said in at least one past discussion of this subject (and there have been several over the years), many people who think they believe in "zero tolerance" actually don't. If you think that exceptions should be made (or that the penalty should be reduced) under appropriate circumstances, then you don't believe in a "zero tolerance" policy. It's only "zero tolerance" if there is no possibility of considering the circumstances.
  2. NJCubScouter

    2018 GUIDE TO SAFE SCOUTING

    If the administrators "bent" the policy, it was not really a "zero tolerance" policy. Or, to be more precise, either (1) the policy is worded as a zero tolerance policy, but the policy is not followed as a zero tolerance, because exceptions are made, or (2) the school district called the policy a "zero tolerance" policy, but the way it was worded allowed the exercise of judgment to alter (or eliminate) the penalty in appropriate cases, in which case it is not a zero tolerance policy regardless of what its name is. You can call an apple a banana, but its still an apple. (Credit to CNN.) Well, first of all, in my book it wouldn't have been just and fair to fire you for that, especially since you put it in a position where it was not visible from the outside. Some lesser penalty might be appropriate. If you had left it in a place where a passerby (such as a student) could see it, that would be a different story. Second of all, since you left the bottle in the trunk rather than the driver/passenger area, I have to ask, under what circumstances would it be appropriate for an administrator to look in your trunk? (I have some familiarity with disciplinary issues in a public school district, since I was once on the school board of one.)
  3. NJCubScouter

    2018 GUIDE TO SAFE SCOUTING

    Aside from a reference to the Borg on Star Trek, who and/or what are you referring to as the "hive mind," @RichardB?
  4. NJCubScouter

    2018 GUIDE TO SAFE SCOUTING

    Do you think the BSA has a zero tolerance policy? Meaning that they actually enforce such a policy? In any area? (Other than actual abuse or other criminality, or the payment of registration fees.)
  5. NJCubScouter

    2018 GUIDE TO SAFE SCOUTING

    This is just my opinion, but I doubt that the people at National believe that you are supposed to hang up on the Scout without saying a word, or flee silently from the campsite when you unexpectedly find yourself and a Scout being the only people there. (It is all well and good to ask where the Scout's buddy is, as some ask in these discussions, but the fact is that the buddy isn't there. Maybe the buddy had a bad fall on the trail and can't walk, and the Scout came to the closest place where he thought he might find help, which happened to be the campsite where one adult is sitting in a chair reading the Guide to Safe Scouting or some other scintillating literature.) The problem is that while National may believe it is ok to briefly tell the Scout on the phone that you cannot speak with him without his parent on the phone (or some other solution that does not violate no-1-on-1), or to briefly tell the Scout that he needs to be elsewhere where there are other Scouts, or with his buddy, or if the Scout is there to tell you that his buddy is laying on the ground with a broken leg a short distance away, you go to the injured Scout - and quite frankly I think you take the uninjured Scout with you, which means the 1-on-1 situation continues, but avoids a 1-on-1 situation with a injured Scout), National does not want to say that because they are afraid that once they allow judgment and common sense to enter the mix, they will be blamed for any misinterpretations by a local Scouter of the scope of that "exception." (Which would be a reasonable concern, but I think it is more important for National to make things clear so neither Tahawk nor me nor any of us other toilers in the field will have to wonder what we are supposed to do when we pick up the phone and it's a Scout who has not conferenced in his parent.)
  6. NJCubScouter

    BSA National and Change Management

    I hadn't heard of "change management" before. Is that really a thing?
  7. NJCubScouter

    Is this the new normal?

    That is all great information (leaving aside any disputes about whether particular activities should be restricted or not), but it brings me back to a point I have made before. Right there on that page are 19 unauthorized/restricted activities and the Sweet 16 of safety. That's 35 things right there, and then there are the links to other publications, web pages, checklists, etc. Quite frankly, how is the average person with a full-time paying occupation supposed to keep up with all that? At what point does a volunteer start to say, this is just too much, I am not going to bet my house on whether I can remember and do everything that the BSA expects me to do to keep the kids safe? I don't know what the answer is. Obviously I want the kids to be safe. But we are doing this as us service to our community and/or religious organization and/or whatever else - for which we get to pay a membership fee - and at the same time the risk and complexity of doing that volunteer service keeps increasing. Where does it all end?
  8. If the Scouts want mountains and if you don't care whether you are on BSA property, you can look in the other direction and do a couple of weeks on the Appalachian trail. Parts of it are closer to you than Philmont is. It would create different transportation challenges, and the mountains are not the Rocky Mountains, and it's not the time of year when I personally would want to be hiking on most of the AT, but it is an option.
  9. I don't know, I find myself using basic algebra on a regular basis. Seriously. Even when using a calculator or computer, you need to know which numbers to multiply or divide by which other numbers. I don't need to remember how to do it on a slide rule, which I did learn in Algebra class and was getting pretty good at in later math classes when slide rules suddenly disappeared. But the basic skills are still helpful.
  10. NJCubScouter

    Adult going to residential summer camp

    I think you can take some comfort in the fact that most people don’t think you are. A few people in this forum do. i am going to see my son (age 26) later today, I will ask him if he feels like a pariah.
  11. NJCubScouter

    Adult going to residential summer camp

    In my son's pack, the CO was the PTO, the IH and COR were both officers of the PTO who usually had one or more sons in the pack. So the CO and the parents were the same people. And as we know, even in the case of a "real" CO, often the CO abdicates most or all of their authority and responsibilities (except to provide a space for meetings), and they just sign on the dotted line when asked to, to the point where the current and former parents of the Scouts are really running the show anyway. That is true for my troop.
  12. NJCubScouter

    Adult going to residential summer camp

    Okay, so, we have a male president (and always have), the majority of members of Congress are men, most governors are men, the majority of CEO's of large companies are still men, with judges it is probably somewhere around 50-50, there is still a "wage gap," etc. On a much more micro level, when my son got his first job a few years ago, there were about five just-graduated engineers competing for the same position, some of whom were women, but he got the job. (Just one example, I realize.) So how exactly are we being discriminated against again?
  13. NJCubScouter

    Adult going to residential summer camp

    I can see that. I think that if, when I was a Cub Scout parent and leader, a man with no children (or other close relative) in the pack had shown up and volunteered to be a leader, eyebrows would have been raised, at least. In my direct experience, it has never happened. Boy Scouts is a little different, but even there, a childless man showing up to volunteer is almost always an alumnus of the troop, so there is some connection. In some cases they still have a younger brother in the troop. There have been a couple of cases of a volunteer with no connection at all to the troop, but they didn't stay around for very long. I do remember a couple of instances of this from when I was a Boy Scout. But it isn't very common, even on the Boy Scout level.
  14. NJCubScouter

    Adult going to residential summer camp

    @The Latin Scot, please forgive me if this is an ignorant question, but it was my understanding (mostly from this forum) that in LDS-chartered units, leaders are "called" (which I assume means the same as "assigned") to specific roles in units. That being the case, wouldn't there be a large number of leaders with no children in their unit, and also a large number of "younger adults" such as yourself, with no children at all? Meaning that your role wouldn't be unusual and therefore not attract any undue "attention" from parents?
  15. NJCubScouter

    Is this the new normal?

    Please let us know of your findings.
  16. NJCubScouter

    Is this the new normal?

    It's not in the shape of a gun? National hasn't heard about it yet? Place your theory here...
  17. NJCubScouter

    Is this the new normal?

    Because, you know, there have been a few forum members over the years who seemed like they wanted to throw things heavier than flour, at me.
  18. NJCubScouter

    Is this the new normal?

    None of my posts, I hope.
  19. NJCubScouter

    Is this the new normal?

    I did not suggest it is the first time. Obviously, it isn't. However, I just don't comment on it most of the time. I thought it was appropriate in this case on the theory that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." As I said above, the prohibitions on laser tag (and paintball) are not based on a risk of injury. This has been discussed in this forum several times over the years. What they are based on is a perception that pointing a weapon (paintball gun) or simulated weapon (laser tag gun) at another human being and pulling the trigger is not an appropriate Scouting activity, regardless of the absence of any risk of injury. I happen to agree with that. (In past discussions, most members of this forum have not agreed.) I do not feel the same way about water guns, and if given enough time to think of an explanation of why they are different, I'm sure I could come up with something. I do agree that situations in which there is a significant risk of falling from a significant height justify safety precautions beyond what was thought to be appropriate in the 70's. But I think we have a new prototype for the silly/ridiculous guideline, and that is the ban on patrols going on a day hike (assuming they're not doing rock climbing, etc.) or having a patrol meeting without adults being present.
  20. NJCubScouter

    Is this the new normal?

    That's my experience as well. The trading post needs no advertising, beyond telling the kids where it is.
  21. NJCubScouter

    Is this the new normal?

    As long as we are just saying what we "think", with no need for evidence or anything, what I think is that the "silly guidelines" (whatever someone might define them to be, for example, I have no problem with banning laser tag and paintball, and those aren't really safety issues anyway) are driven by "risk management" considerations. Those decisions are driven by both what has happened in the past and what is predicted to happen in the future. Whoever is in charge of these decisions at National looked at the risk and predicted risk and decided that, for example, patrol day hikes with no adults represents too much of a risk. The fact that BSA is "self-insured" doesn't change this. It just means that as the perceived risk increases, the amount that must be set aside for payment of claims increases, and that has a "cost" that either partially or fully replaces the cost of insurance premiums. I don't know whether the people who make the risk management decisions at National are male or female, but I "think" (since that seems to be good enough) that they are mostly male. And in any event, these are financial decisions, and they are made at National, and mostly by professionals. I don't "think" that what unit Scouters (male or female) think is really part of the decision. I have also noticed that for the past year or so, it has become increasingly rare for this forum to get through any discussion, on any subject, without gender being mentioned sooner or later.
  22. NJCubScouter

    LNT says stop geotagging

    What you are saying may be generally true, but in this case, look at the headline of the article: "Leave No Trace Says Stop Geotagging, for Pete’s Sake." (Bold-face italics added.) What's the "for Pete's sake" there for? To me it suggests a "tone" of exasperation, which is negative. It is really just a slightly more polite was of saying "Leave No Trace Says Stop Geotagging, You Idiots." No shifting necessary.
  23. NJCubScouter

    LNT says stop geotagging

    I think the "tone" of the article goes beyond your reasonable approach.
  24. NJCubScouter

    Louisville (KY) - Explorer Post Abuse Scandal

    That's bad, obviously. According to this, 163 youth participants in Exploring have been abused over the past 40 years, nationwide. (Which goes back to when Exploring included what is now Venturing.) Leaving aside how they got that number, I wonder how many children have been abused in school, at home or in other settings - including Boy Scouts, for that matter - over the past 40 years. Not that this excuses anything, and I do understand the reaction of course, but if people are going to shut down Explorer posts because of this, then a lot of other things would have to be shut down as well.
  25. I don't think the articles at the time were very clear on how people found out, but I remember they did say that in the first grade the child switched from "presenting" as a girl to presenting as a boy. He then joined the pack in third grade. Presumably kids in the pack also knew him from school, so everybody knew anyway. It may well be that the parent who complained was one of the few parents who did not already know about it.
×