Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by NJCubScouter

  1. 25 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    First, you kind of suggest that this is the first time that we are speaking what we "think". Really?

    Second, I shouldn't have used the words "silly guidelines". I meant ""ridiculous guidelines"". I can see risk management for rappelling and climbing, but ""laser tag"" and ""water guns""? 


    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.

  2. 2 hours ago, shortridge said:

    I can tell you that’s not the experience at our council camps. The Scouts usually swarm the trading post sufficiently without any encouragement!

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

  3. 1 hour ago, DuctTape said:

    There is a body of research that suggests "tone" is often shifted negatively by the reader. A neutral tone is interpreted as generally negatively; a generally positive tone is interpreted as neutrail, etc... I believe this is due in part to lack of other cues such as body language and the actual tone of voice of a speaker. This is even more  common in digital communication, email, online forums, etc... Understanding this phenomenon, I givee deference to the writer.

    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.   :)

  4. 26 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

    I disagree. Nothing in the LNT statements, nor the author of that article state no one else can visit. Both suggest being mindful of how geo-tagging and posting specific locations especially with gps coordinates can (and have) led to a negative impact on the area. This ethic is common for fisherman who recommend not posting on social media specific locations. Again, it isn't saying you can't go there or not tell anyone about it, only recognize how posting certain information on social media will lead to the destruction of what made that spot special to begin with. Be mindful, and make ethical decisions.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 32 minutes ago, FireStone said:

    The one case we know of in Scouting, the NJ boy, my understanding of that case is that the only reason anyone found out is because the mother informed leaders, and word spread to a parent who took issue with it. On appearances, no one could tell he wasn’t born a girl. 

    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.

  7. Under the "new" rules, for palm purposes he had 50 palms (71 minus 21) at the time of his EBOR, entitling him to 10 "palms" at his ECOH, but what that really works out to (I think) is 3 silvers and 1 bronze.  (I think.)  From his EBOR he must then wait until he has BOTH 3 months' additional service and 5 additional MB's to get his next palm.  (That would be a gold replacing the bronze.)  And then from the date of that palm, another 3 months and another 5 MB's for his next palm (a silver replacing the gold), and so on, but the palms stop when he is 18.  (So for example if and when he earns a palm within 3 months before he turns his 18, that is the last palm.)  So he is limited both by time and number of merit badges on how many he will be able to earn beyond what he gets at the ECOH.  The 3-month rule no longer applies to the MB's he earned before the EBOR, but it still applies after that.

    Assuming there is enough time, there is no "max" other than the one created by the total number of merit badges being offered. 

    All of the above is subject to my math being wrong, which I am sure someone would point out.   :)

    • Upvote 1

  8. On the geotagging thing... I don't use Instagram and I have never geotagged anything so it is conceivable that I do not understand what is being discussed here... but the upshot seems to be that we shouldn't be telling people how to find things in the backcountry.  By that logic, shouldn't we eliminate all trail maps, too?  So we can just stumble around and find places on our own so they won't have too many visitors?  There also seems to be a certain amount of arrogance involved here... you found a great place, maybe even a "secret" place (an interesting concept, unless the spot is on your own property), but you don't want the great unwashed masses finding it and messing it up. (And maybe you didn't find it on your own, someone else told you where it was, but the secret goes no further because, after all, you're special?)

    Or am I misinterpreting this?

    • Upvote 3

  9. The BSA's trend lately seems to be toward removing some of the specific rules and telling us out here in the field to "use your best judgment" or, stated another way, "if something goes wrong, it's your fault because you decided what to do, not us."

    And, at the same time, in a number of ways, treating us like we are morons persons of deficient intellectual capabilities.

    What could go wrong?

  10. 12 minutes ago, JasonG172 said:

    If the CO is a church is there a gym that can be used to show a movie and have an overnighter ?

    That wouldn't work very well in our CO's gym in the summer.  Talk about hot-weather overnighters.   :)  

    Though I suppose they might let us camp at the edge of their cemetary across the street.   

  11. 1 hour ago, Treflienne said:

    According to the nbcnews article

          "Trained “playworkers” monitor the children, though they step in only if absolutely necessary — much like lifeguards."

    And according to https://govisland.com/things-to-do/activities/2018-playgroundnycs-yard

          "There are play:groundNYC playworkers in the Yard at all times."

    Not exactly free range.

    No, not exactly free range, and the video shows that too, with the parents crowded around on the outside of the fence.

    Despite the efforts to revive "free range parenting" (which my parents just called "being a parent"), I think it is coming back in only a limited form.  Witness the fact that the playground has an "executive director" (though admittedly she seems to be in charge of more than one playground) as well as the parents encircling the playground.

    I also would like to know more about the replicas of dismembered human body parts strewn throughout the place.   :)

    Added:  I also note that one of the kids was wearing an "It's Better in Canada" t-shirt.  And I did not know that one of G.W. Bush's daughters is a reporter on the Today Show, but that's because I don't watch tv on weekday mornings.

  12. On the showers thing, this has been raised before.  Personally I think a parent of a transgender child is not going to put their child in that kind of situation, up to and including putting the child in a school that is going to make accommodations.  (Of course, the request for accommodations itself is going to notify at least the principal of the school that the student is transgender.  I also suspect that if I were the parent of a transgender youth, I might want his/her teachers to know.)  Unless I have misunderstood his posts, DavidCO is a teacher at a Catholic school, and it seems likely to me that most parents would probably choose a different educational setting for their transgender child.  (No disparagement of Catholic schools here, my wife graduated from a Catholic high school, and a good school it was, and is.  But she is not transgender.  :)  )

  13. 10 hours ago, MattR said:

    More doing seems to be a common thread. And yet, the BSA is filling up on requirements the boys just don't care about.

    It is the result of what I call the "good idea syndrome."  Everything that is considered a "good idea" is included in the advancement requirements, even though the combined end result of all the "good ideas" is a set of advancement requirements that is too heavily weighted toward "homework" merit badges and (in my opinion) a bloated set of requirements for the lower ranks.  It is a good idea to have Family Life as an Eagle-required MB.  Same for Cit in the World.  Same for Communications.  Same for (insert your own choice here.)  They're all good ideas.  But when you look at the whole thing, it's not so good.

    • Upvote 3

  14. robhixkg, welcome to the forum!

    Your math is correct, except that some might say the Eagle requirements have to be completed by the day before the 18th birthday, so subtract one day from all the deadlines.  But ignoring that for sake of simplicity, the Scout should keep this in mind:  If, hypothetically, he were to have his First Class Board of Review when he is exactly 16 years 8 months old, then there is one day on which he can have his Star BOR:  His 17th birthday, not the day before and not the day after.  Same thing for life when he is exactly 17.5.  It's a big mistake to cut things that close.

    • Upvote 1

  15. 7 hours ago, ianwilkins said:

    Naa mate, don't you all worry about it. We Jonny Foreigners are all interlopers anyway. Life's too short to worry about whether people are unintentionally insulting, I have enough fun with the intentional insults (not from you lot, as far as I remember).

    I enjoy having people from the UK in our forum, where else would I go to find myself part of a group being referred to as "you lot"?  :D

    • Haha 1

  16. What is a "visiting Unit Commissioner" doing serving on, much less chairing, a unit BOR for Life?  Regardless of whether they are properly understanding the situation with this Scout or the troop or not, I don't see how it is th eir role.  They are not a member of the troop committee.  It sounds to me like the UC is acting like some kind of roving "boss" who gets to take over the unit when he is visiting.  He's supposed to be helping and supporting and advising, not commanding. 

    I am the Advancement Chair for our troop, and I chair the BOR's, and if I am absent, the CC does.  I don't think either of us would react kindly to a UC coming in and trying to do our jobs.  I would have no objection to the UC sitting in on a BOR as an observer.  A silent observer.  He can talk when the candidate is out of the room, but he doesn't get a vote.  We did once have a new DE attend one of our committee meetings, but she did not try to run the meeting or issue "orders."

    Not that we have to worry about seeing a UC at one of our meetings.  I don't think it has happened in the 15 years I have been involved.  I wouldn't mind one being around if they are there to help, but they have to stay within their role.

    Or am I missing something?


    • Like 1
    • Upvote 2

  17. 20 hours ago, bearess said:

    After reading through the whoooole thread, the question I’m left with is why people feel confident they would know if a transgendered kid joined their troop.  Honestly, you might not.  We live in a rural area— my son’s Troop pulls from, I believe, seven different towns.  Add in private schools, and you have kids coming from over ten different schools.  My son— and the leaders— only know the kids as the gender they present as.  If the parent checks “male” on the form, well, that’s that.  Nobody would know to question it.  Now, yes, if the kid had been a Cub and changed genders, that would be known.  But a transgender boy who joins Boy Scouts as a boy?  There’s a good chance nobody would even know.

    I guess it depends on the area.  I live in the most densely populated state in the country.  My specific area is less densely populated than the average for NJ.  It is mostly a mixture of suburban developments and small industrial (or formerly industrial) towns, with various kinds of multi-family housing scattered here and there.  I think chances are pretty high that at least one kid in a troop or pack is going to have known little Johnny back when he was little Janey.  And if they didn't know him directly, they will have heard about it.  Unfortunately it is something people like to gossip about.  So once one person knows, everybody knows.  Yes, there is a chance that someone could move into the area and nobody would know, but I think that would be the unusal case.  (Not that I think it matters, because I support the current BSA policy of accepting the parents' word on what gender their child is.  I do not like the talk I have heard in this thread of people planning to switch back and forth to game the advancement system, and I hope that isn't really happening.)

    I will add, it was probably not by complete coincidence that the case that prompted the BSA to change its policy happened in New Jersey.  The "test" cases always seem to start here.

  • Create New...