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NJCubScouter

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Posts posted by NJCubScouter


  1. 5 minutes ago, David CO said:

    I wasn't expecting the Spanish inquisition!

    But what you probably were expecting was for me or someone else to say, NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition.

    What I will say instead, is:  Imagine, a Jewish person being an Inquisitor.  The shoe has certainly landed on the other foot. :)

    • Upvote 2

  2. On 5/23/2018 at 11:57 AM, Gwaihir said:

    I really wouldn't be surprised if the Lenni Lanape Lore that is at the foundation of the Order is dropped entirely in 5 years.  

    (Emphasis added.)

    I realize I am about to commit heresy in the eyes of some, but I don't think the Lenni Lenape lore is "at the foundation" of the OA.  What I think it "at the foundation" of the OA is service, camping, brotherhood (with a small b, but maybe it's going to be siblinghood now anyway), and perhaps other related attributes.  The LL lore is the trappings - important ones, but still trappings.  I think it is there to lend an aura of intrigue to the whole thing.  And maybe a sense that these guys are in their own league.  But take away the lore, the dancing, etc. and you still have a foundation based on service, camping, brother/sisterhood, etc.  But I guess that in the eyes of many, the lore HAS become the foundation, and that's the problem. 


  3. I am not excited about it.  I am accepting of it, and if asked to be the advancement chair for a troop of girls as well as the current troop of boys (whether "linked" or otherwise), I will accept that too.  It is starting to look like, if we have a sufficient number of girls in our town who are interested, we will probably end up with "linked" troops.  Or a linked troop. A linked troops?  They really need to get that terminology straightened out if they want me to use it correctly. 

    Grammar aside, I view the whole thing with a mixture of curiosity and concern.

    Anyway, I was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout, 1966-76, am a Life for Life, was SPL and JASM, was briefly an 18-year-old ASM, got my Ordeal sash but never really participated in OA after that.  After my son joined Scouting, I have been a Den Leader, Assistant Cubmaster and most recently Troop Committee Member for the past 15 years or so (and currently Advancement Chair), and MBC for the "Cits", Communications and Law.

    For whatever it's worth, my younger brother, who is an Eagle and stayed active as an ASM for a couple of years after turning 18, but has no children and has not been involved in the BSA since then, is dead-set against this.  Not that it matters that much, because he is not a Scouter.  What I find funny about this is that my brother is way, way more "liberal" than I am and was all for opening the BSA to gay people, so the average person would probably not expect my brother to have the opinion that he does on admitting girls.  I certainly did not expect it.  But there you go.

    • Upvote 2

  4. 45 minutes ago, ScoutMama43 said:

    Our first indication of an issue was a phone call several days later telling us that we would be receiving a Cease Participation letter via certified mail withing the next day or two. 

    Did you actually receive the letter?  Who was it from?  (Sorry, when you post on a forum you never know when another member might be a lawyer and start cross-examining you.  :D  )


  5. On 5/24/2018 at 12:35 PM, perdidochas said:

    So Scouts can only have BORs after requesting one at a committee meeting? Do your committees meet more than once a month? If not, they are doing a disservice to the Scouts, if arranged as described. 

    I don't know if that's what he meant, but it seems like an unnecessary bureaucratic step.  There is only one committee member that the Scouts in our troop have to see (or email) to get a BOR scheduled, and that's me, as Advancement Chair (or Advancement Coordinator for the purists.) If I am not at a troop meeting and the CC is, they can see him instead. Usually the Scouts will come to see us right after their SMC and we will schedule it for the next troop meeting, unless the Scout wants it scheduled for a later meeting. (Keep in mind that the Guide to Advancement now says that the Scout should not have to request a BOR at all, but that seems kind of silly to me.  I think what the BSA is really trying to stop is a situation where in practical terms, the request might be rejected even though the Scout has passed all the requirements, or a "process" for requesting and being "granted" a BOR that goes beyond just "scheduling" and is overly complex or bureaucratic.  In my troop, it is just a scheduling thing: You come to see me after finishing your SMC, you tell me you need a BOR, I ask if you want to do it next week, you say Yes, I say See you then, and I then make sure enough committee members can be at the next meeting.  That's it.  Sometimes the SM accompanies the Scout to see me and they both ask.  I suppose that probably satisfies the intent of the G2A.)

    On 5/24/2018 at 12:55 PM, gblotter said:

    For efficiency, we try to batch up our rank advancements and hold a BOR once every three months or so for any Scout who is ready, but of course we will do it more frequently if there is a pressing need.

    I think that may have been the norm in the past, but we do them "on demand."  Three months seems kind of unfair to me if it is for a rank where the NEXT rank has a time requirement (in other words, First Class/Star, Star/Life and Life/Eagle, and I suppose Eagle because it delays the date for a palm BOR, but that's a different story anyway.)  You are delaying the Scout being able to complete the next rank as well, and when they do, they might have to wait almost ANOTHER three months.  For example, we have Scouts sit for a Star BOR who already have (or almost have) enough MB's for Life.  I can see doing BOR's once a month, but not less often than that.

    On 5/24/2018 at 1:13 PM, David CO said:

    I didn't get invited to the lunch meetings. They want to enjoy their lunch.

    :D

    2 hours ago, JustAScoutMom said:

    So many simply do NOT know what their role is.  They think its to vet the appropriateness of the scout for the new rank.  This is exactly what it is NOT to do.  Far too many scouts are humiliated when they "fail" a BOR than should be.

    All true.  We do not even use the word "fail."  If it is determined that the Scout has not passed all the requirements (which happens occasionally), he is asked to come back when he has, and then questions are asked of the appropriate people to find out how the Scout ended up in front of us without having passed all the requirements.

    1 hour ago, Buggie said:

    When I switched over to a volunteer role I took all the training for SM, CO, and the Committee Member and of course, read the guide to advancement you posted. I discovered from that training that people really have no idea what a BOR is supposed to do. I plan to talk with some folks about that when I can get a nice one on one, to see if I can nudge it towards what the program states and not a retest or uniform inspection etc. 

    Be careful or you'll come out of that meeting as the new Advancement Chair.  :D  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  I think that if one is not interested in being Scoutmaster, Advancement Chair is the best job for an adult in the troop.


  6. 16 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

    I would encourage the folks who believe the most recent change in the BSA is a good thing to offer me their vision of the future of the BSA.  I can't see it from where I sit.  Change my mind!

    Well, I don't know whether it's going to turn out to be a good thing or not.  I do know that the departure of the LDS church is not good for at least the short-term health of the organization.  And readers of this forum know that when the situation is right, I can be almost as gloomy as the next guy.  I have made my own predictions about things, some of which have turned out to be correct, and some of which have not. But I just don't think it's productive to go from making a gloomy prediction to being in continuous red-alert panic mode over a possible future situation that may or may not turn out to be as negative as you may have predicted - UNLESS there is something you can do to change the underlying situation in the first place.  I think the only thing that can possibly change the decision on girls is if the number who join in the next few years is much fewer than they expect. Nothing that anyone says here, no matter how loud and long they say it, is going to make a difference on that front.  It's also my opinion that there are two reasonable alternatives for those who are very unhappy: (1) Quit, or (2) don't quit, by which I mean, stay and make the best of it.  Staying, but at the same time wailing and gnashing ones teeth for months or years on end, when there is no prospect of getting one's way, seems like a very unhappy way to spend one's life.


  7. 29 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

    The alternatives are tough.  It probably involves harshly punishing the perpetrators of bad deeds while not restricting the rights of innocent actors.

    Well, that was really the pre-1980s/90s approach - not necessarily in BSA exactly, but generally.   But now the general consensus is that you don't know who is an innocent actor or a guilty actor in advance, and prevention (or at least reduction in occurrences) is better than punishment anyway.  A kid who has been abused is not really going to be helped by the fact that his abuser received punishment, but if you could have made it so difficult for the abuser to be alone with the abused that it never happened in the first place, that really does help.  Obviously you punish an offender after he/she is caught, but actual punishment (beyond expulsion from BSA) is really the job of the state, not the BSA, anyway


  8. 5 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

    My last year of summer camp (between my Jr. and Sr. years of HS) my SM asked me to tent with and generally buddy with a first year camper.  He was our only first year and his parents were concerned about home sickness.  I was in camp to hang with my Tribal brothers so no big deal to me.  For that week I was his big brother and he was my little brother.  If there had been a two-year age differential tenting restriction at the time that relationship wouldn't have been a beneficial for him or me.

    I don't know when that was, but I was a Boy Scout 1969-76, before YP even existed, and there are MANY differences between what you could do then and what you can do now.  The two examples that strike me as the most glaring at the moment are (1) When I went to Philmont (1974) the majority of crews had ONE adult leader.  There was a ranger (who as I recall was probably barely an adult, but he was an adult) who was with us part of the time, but I don't think he was with us most of the time.  And (2) if there was a communal shower facility somewhere, it was the adult leaders (men) and Scouts at the same time.  None of this "respect for privacy" stuff.  And, just as in your era (which may be the same era, I don't know), the idea of an 17-year-old sharing a tent with an 11-year-old would not even have raised an eyebrow.  Nobody at the unit level thought about this stuff at all - and yet at various places in the country, bad things were happening and the BSA was basically covering it up. 

    Yes, complying with YP sometimes does affect program, and we can debate about particular aspects of YP that might seem a little unnecessary, and, some of it is driven by insurance, but what is the alternative?  If YP hadn't been adopted the BSA when it was, I don't think there would be a BSA now, so the program wouldn't matter.

    • Upvote 1

  9. 5 hours ago, FireStone said:

    Putting aside the doom-and-gloom ideas for a moment, let's think about what this all looks like in a few years, or maybe a decade, if all of the changes don't sink the BSA.

    What I have quoted above is the first sentence of this thread.  FireStone asked that in this discussion, we PUT ASIDE the doom and gloom.  I see later posts here where the doom and gloom has not remained off to the side, but is front-and-center. There are many, many other threads where doom and gloom is the order of the day.  (Just as an aside, don't people get tired of that?  Day after day, week after week of the sky is falling?  Even if I thought the sky were falling, at some point I would get tired of saying it.  Of course, I know that a couple of people are already thinking, See, there he goes again, the jackbooted moderator trying to stifle discussion, so for the record, I am not trying to stifle discussion, and I never have.  I am mainly expressing puzzlement.)

    Where was I?  Oh yes, I was about to strongly suggest that we honor our fellow forum member's request and keep the discussion within the bounds that he has suggested.  We don't have a specific rule in this forum that you have to honor such a request.*  But I think it is the Friendly and Courteous thing to do.  As I said, there are many other threads that have the dark rain clouds hovering over them.  No need to bring the stormy weather in here as well.

    *Over the years there have been a few "experiments" in keeping a particular thread very narrowly focused, in which the person who wanted to start the thread made advance arrangements with the moderators, and the moderators enforced those limitations.  But it would be very difficult to make that an everyday thing.

    • Thanks 1
    • Upvote 2

  10. 19 hours ago, JoeBob said:

    If you are equating dispensing condoms to a minor to having sex with a minor, I think we have identified the problem right there.

    If you walk into any drug store in New Jersey, the condoms are on a rack right out there in the open, unlike "restricted products" such as cigarettes, which are behind the counter, unless it is one of the chains that have stopped selling tobacco products anyway.  And unlike cold medicines with pseudoephedrine (a.k.a the kind the actually work), which are not only behind the pharmacy counter, but you have to sign your name on the credit card machine so that if it turns out that you are buying the maximum number of boxes at every drug store in the area, the police can come knocking down the door of your house looking for the meth lab.

    • Upvote 1

  11. 15 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

    Well, that and they were sued by the ACLU and others because of their support for the BSA Jamboree.

    I am not sure whether there was an actual lawsuit or not, and whether it actually reached a conclusion.  I think that when directly confronted with the issue (however that was accomplished), both the government and the BSA realized that the government was not going to win in court with the argument that the government can provide significant free services to an organization that discriminates on the basis of religion (i.e exclusion of atheists.)  The BSA is legally able to exclude atheists from receiving its services.  The government is not.


  12. 25 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

    The G2SS very clearly says, No Alcohol, No Sexual Activity allowed at scout events.  There's no asterisk.   "WOSM made me do it" is weak tea.

    Making items available to deal with a situation that you know is going to occur, does not amount to endorsing, condoning or allowing sexual activity at Scouting events.  Maybe the condoms they hand out should have wrappers that say, "Don't use this until you get home, and (assuming you are of the proper age) get married, and even then, only if the precepts of your religion permit."  Then everybody's conscience can be clear.

    • Confused 1
    • Upvote 3

  13. 56 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    Then as we talked while he said he was atheist, as I peeled that onion back it wasn't that he was an so much an atheist, he just didn't like or believe in organized religion.  He did sort of feel that there was likely a higher power of some sort that he could not fully define.  I explained that was probably within the broad definition of religious principle

    I can relate to that personally.  And yes, his belief that "there was likely a higher power of some sort that he could not fully define" does meet BSA requirements for leaders, perhaps just barely, but it does.


  14. 11 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    That is an interesting response. Was he ever planning to be active as an adult leader? Could he consider allowing his daughter to make that choice? Is he just making a political statement?

    You probably don't know the answer and I understand it doesn't matter because it isn't any of your business. I only wonder about it because we had several scouts with atheist and gay parents. And even thought they couldn't join he BSA officially, they still actively supported the program.

    You are correct, I don't know and it isn't any of my business.  In fact, if I had not at that point changed the subject to something else (how about those Yankees?), the next thing out of his mouth probably would have been "It's none of your business."


  15. 1 hour ago, gblotter said:

    This sounds about like what I would expect.

    BSA attempts to conform to liberal social values will not halt membership declines. Activists will always have another ax to grind. Any gains from liberal/progressive families (who generally have fewer kids) will not be enough to replace the losses from conservative/traditionalist families who quit the movement.

    Interesting how you can extrapolate a conclusion about large groups of people from what I say about TWO people (my daughter and my other daughter's husband), neither of whom you know, and about whom you know only the very small amount of information I have provided.  Here's a little bit more, in about four months my daughter who has the step-daughter is going to have a daughter of her own, and the demographic statistics would suggest that she is going to grow up to be one of nasty progressive liberals too.  :)


  16. 5 minutes ago, gblotter said:

    His LDS granddaughter could always be a Scout. It's called Girl Scouts USA.

    And presumably he knows that, and has apparently decided that his granddaughter would be better off in the BSA than the GSUSA.

    I have a step-granddaughter who is of Cub Scout age and I have mentioned to my son-in-law (the girl's father) that she is (or soon will be) eligible to join the Cub Scouts, but his reply was basically that he is an atheist and is not interested in having his daughter in an organization that would not have him as a member.  He doesn't seem very interested in having her being a Girl Scout either.  I think it's kind of a shame, but she is not my child, nor my child's child, for that matter.  (I do have a grandson living 3,000 miles away from me, whose mother apparently still has not forgiven the BSA for banning gay people, even though they don't anymore.  I do still have hope for having a grandchild(ren) in Scouting through my son the Eagle Scout, who is married but is showing no signs of rushing into parenthood.) 


  17.  

    19 minutes ago, Saltface said:

    What if 90% of each boy comes home?

    After two weeks maybe, as David says.  But if its a two-day camping trip, losing 10% of your body weight sounds like a problem, no matter how overweight you are.  Even over two weeks, it's probably not a great idea.


  18. 36 minutes ago, Oldscout448 said:

    True, but its better than " Hold mah beer"

    Actually, I think I would rather hear that one.  Someone(s) might be getting kicked out of the troop (or not), but at least everyone is going home in one piece.  I have sometimes half-jokingly said that the main role of the adult leaders on a camping trip is to make sure that when we arrive back at the church parking lot on Sunday, we have the same number of kids as when we left.

    • Like 1

  19. 42 minutes ago, Oldscout448 said:

    I was very much tempted to buy a giant roll of bubble wrap from Costco and hand it to the SM.    

    Reminds me of the tv commercial that's out now for a low-cost life insurance company.  The guy is wrapped in bubble-wrap and explains that he is wrapped in bubble wrap because he can't afford life insurance.  It is somewhat funnier the way he says it than how I am describing it.

    • Upvote 1
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