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Posts posted by NJCubScouter

  1. 25 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

    But for advancement purposes, Scouts must not be held to those which are so demanding as to be impractical for today’s youth (and families) to achieve. Ultimately, a board of review shall decide what is reasonable and what is not. In doing so, the board members must use common sense and must take into account that youth should be allowed to balance their lives with positive activities outside of Scouting.

    Not exactly inspiring, is it?  It makes it sound like the standard is "Oh well, good enough", to be accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders.  But that's what the book says.

  2. 1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

    Since rank advancement only requires four months but the service award requires a full year of service, how do you handle those that meet the former but not the later?

    I don't think I have ever seen the question come up.  As far as I know all Scouts in our troop who have been den chief (and there have been many) have done it for at least one full Cub Scout program year (basically the school year) and often for more than one year.  It is generally considered to be a one-year-at-a-time job.  We have had Scouts who have had another position for at least part of the time that they were also a den chief (leaving one to wonder how good a job they did at either, but as far as I know nobody has ever been refused a signoff for a POR in my troop.)

    To Eagle94-A1's point, I did not mean to suggest that one can earn the Den Chief Service Award just for showing up for a year.  I do not know how many other Scouts in our troop have earned that award.  I know my son did.  He did do the Den Chief training (in person, because I drove him there along with a few other Scouts from the troop; it was not "online" back in the antedeluvian days of 2006 or so.)  I have a suspicion that some of those other requirements may not have been there 12-ish years ago, but whatever the requirements were, the den leader determined that my son did them.


  3. On 8/15/2018 at 12:34 PM, T2Eagle said:

    I have to strongly disagree with this assessment RS.  He broke no rules and missed no deadlines.  You imply he did something wrong or did something late that he committed to doing sooner.  But neither of those are the case.   Sounds to me like he conducted a good service project for his community and achieved a notable rank in scouting.

    He then apparently followed all the rules in appealing the decision, and in fact the local Council supported his appeal.  And in the end he seems to have accepted the final decision with maturity and magnanimity.  

    Well, but... yes, he broke no rules and didn't do anything wrong, and he conducted a good service project and achieved a notable rank in Scouting.  But he had also set a goal for himself of making Eagle and tried to make it, so based on HIS OWN goals and efforts, he did "miss a deadline" and he "did something late that he committed to doing sooner."  Nobody imposed that deadline on him other than himself, when he decided he was going to complete all the requirements for Eagle.  We don't know why he didn't make Life until after his 17.5 birthday, but he didn't make it.  There is no shame in it.  He seems like a great kid. But I don't see how you say he didn't miss a deadline.

  4. On 8/15/2018 at 12:37 PM, SSScout said:

    Then a young boy joined, whose dad was career Navy, an officer. This dad came to meetings in dress whites.  The Scout announced (announced!) that he would be Eagle in so many years. He had done the math (so many months in each rank).   WELL....

    Us older Scouts ( I counted myself such by then) realized that might make him the first Eagle in the Troop!  We decided we couldn't let that happen,  nice as he was.  So we got together and worked together. Merit Badges. Time in Leadership.   I became my Troop's first Eagle,  my buddy Don the second, our young challenger was third,  late (by his original schedule) about a year.  Calendars are important.  

    There was a Scout in my son's troop (and I'm still there) who had been in Cubs with my son, who came into the troop with the goal of making Eagle before his 14th birthday.  I think he had an uncle who had done that and was trying to follow his example.  This kid was a great Scout and a great all-around person.  Statistically, he was SPL for 2 years and then again for about half a year to fill a vacancy, earned 70+ MB's, went to Philmont twice as a Scout (and I think a third time as a Venturer and maybe a fourth time as an Associate Advisor), was on NYLT staff, but beyond that he was an exemplary Scout in all kinds of intangible ways.  When he did his Eagle project (for his own church, not the CO) he went way above and beyond the call of duty, because he wanted to give extra service to his church.  (I remember telling him at the time he got committee approval, "Just so you know, this is really like three projects," but that was fine with him.)  If one were to get together all the people who have been leaders and committee members in the troop over the past 15 years (the time in which I have been there), and took a vote on who has been the "Best Scout" in those 15 years, it would be this kid, probably unanimously.  And yet he did not make Eagle when he was 13.  I think he made Eagle when he was almost 17.  I think that if all he was interested in was making Eagle at 13, he could have done it, but he realized along the way that he would have a better experience if he also took advantage of the other things Scouting has to offer and make Eagle at a more reasonable pace.

  5. 8 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

    We had a scout do his eagle project a week before his 18th birthday.  He has a mild learning disability, but he did complete everything just in time.  I hope that he'll get better about not procrastinating...

    That is an exact description of what my son did, except that he does not have a learning disability.  He just procrastinated in spectacular fashion.  Literally, if it had rained on the last non-school-day before his birthday, his project would not have been completed in time, and the issue would have been whether it was "complete enough," which would not have been a good place to be.   But he made it by the skin of his teeth.  Has he improved in the past eight years?  Well, he graduated from a 4-year engineering program in 4 years, and now he has had a job with the same company for almost 4 years, and he's still there, and has apparently gotten steady raises and has paid off his student loans and is living under his own roof (well, someone else owns the roof, the point is, it's not MY roof), so the available evidence would suggest, yes, probably.  :D

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  6. I am not sure whether this is a "substantive" question or a "procedural" question.  (Sorry, I can't turn off being a lawyer.)  If substantive, as in, what is a den chief supposed to do, I think AVTech has it covered.  If procedural, as in, what evidence do I need that the den chief has done his work in the den (which is what I think you were asking), we usually get a letter from the den leader.  I am not sure whether that is generated by the den leader or requested by the troop.  I know in my son's case the den leader put in the paperwork for my son to get the den chief "merit award" or whatever it is called, so when the award came in from council I think that was taken as sufficient evidence that he had done his job.

  7. 5 minutes ago, CherokeeScouter said:

    Is he right? Snail mail only?

    I didn't realize it, but section of the Guide to Advancement does say:

    "For reasons of privacy and confidentiality, electronic submissions are discouraged."

    I have never been quite sure what the BSA means when it says something is "discouraged."  Personally, I think that with most unit Scouters, the effect is the same as if the BSA had said nothing about it at all.  I also think that there are more ways that a physical letter can be waylaid, mislaid, lost, etc. etc. than an email, so if privacy and confidentiality are the key concerns, I am not sure this "discouragement" is a good thing.

  8. 15 minutes ago, Terasec said:

    we do try to schedule about 5-6 weekend camp outs a year, plus summer camp

    In the Cub Scouts?  As a Bear?  I know there have been numerous changes in the Cub Scout program since I left it when my son crossed over (2003) but is that what the Cub Scout program is now?  We had 2 family camping trips a year plus the kids could go to the council-run summer day camp.

  9. On 8/11/2018 at 5:17 PM, Zebra132 said:

    Attornies have said the BSA, as a private organization, can do as they damn well please!

    It has been my experience (during my 32 years as an attorney) that when a lawyer makes an absolute statement like that (BSA can do as they please), which isn't really true, what they are really saying is that they don't think you have a good case, and/or they don't think they can make a profit from your case.  But they don't want to tell you they don't think you have a good case, and/or they don't think they can make a profit from your case, so they tell you the BSA can do whatever it wants.  I have seen attorneys tell potential clients all kinds of not-quite-right things (and occasionally just plain wrong things) in order to get the person off their back.  I don't know if this is what happened to you, but when I hear about something like this I do get suspicious.

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  10. I can't tell you about the buttons, but the "Cubs B.S.A." over the pocket appears to match this:


    The page says the shirt is from 1940.  And notice the "angling" of the letters on the shirt, matching that on the neckerchief and the button.  I don't think I have ever seen that on a shirt before.  I am going to guess that it didn't look like that by the time I became a Cub Scout in 1966.

  11. It sounds like they were lucky your friend was there, "a little inebriated" or not.  Of course, if her rescue attempt had been unsuccessful, and it became known that she was "a little inebriated," she would currently be going through a nightmare on several levels.  If the GSUSA policy seems a little lax as to drinking "in secret," well, guess what, the current version of the BSA policy on alcohol is no better.  It was a good policy until they re-worded it into a big nothing.

  12. 2 hours ago, Thunderbird said:

    I thought there might be something in The Chartered Organization Representative Guidebook, but it just says that Chartered Org. Reps. have the authority and responsibility to "hire and fire" - it doesn't have any information on the procedures to follow when doing so.

    Internally, I think the CO would just do whatever they do when terminating any other volunteer associated with their organization. The BSA does not impose specific procedures on the CO's for that.  Externally, it would be logical for the CO, having removed a volunteer, to direct the CC to write a letter to Council informing them that the person is no longer affiliated with the unit and should be removed from the charter.  (I don't think you get a refund though.)

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  13. 9 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

    No, the guy states that in February 2019, girls will be able to join "Boy Scouts" (his words).

    He goes on to state that "sometime in 2019" we will have our first female Eagle Scouts.

    He clearly implies that girls will be able to join in February and earn their Eagle by the end of the year.

    I think it is just one of a series of misunderstandings, in some cases by people who are paid to know better.

    If the first girls join Scouts USA in Feb. 2019, there is no way any of them can make Eagle in 2019.  Unless time travel is invented between now and then. I know Iowa always wants to be the "first" in everything, but they are going to have to settle for a "tie" this time.

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  14. 21 hours ago, thrifty said:

    Unfortunately, if it is not stated clearly and precisely somewhere that SM cannot refuse a request for a BC, there is no point in discussing anything further.

    I think it's clear enough.  It is also the case that the decision about whether to accept work previously done is up to the counselor, not the Scoutmaster.  An SM has no say at all in whether a Scout has successfully completed a merit badge, with that one fairly new exception for cases where it is clear that the counselor signed the card but the Scout did not actually complete the requirements.  But that is not what is going on here.

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  15. I think the answer is stated clearly enough in the sentence I have bolded below from section of the BSA's Legal Code on Advancement Guide to Advancement 2017.  I have included exerpts of other parts of that section to provide context:

    Quote The Scout, the Blue Card, and the Unit Leader

    A few merit badges have certain restrictions, but otherwise any registered Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or qualified Venturer or Sea Scout may work on any of them at any time. Before he begins working with a merit badge counselor, however, he is to have a discussion with his unit leader. That a discussion has been held is indicated by the unit leader’s signature on the Application for Merit Badge, No. 34124, commonly called the “blue card.” Although it is the unit leader’s responsibility to see that at least one merit badge counselor is identified from those approved and made available, the Scout may have one in mind with whom he would like to work. The unit leader and Scout should come to agreement as to who the counselor will be. Lacking agreement, the Scout must be allowed to work with the counselor of his choice, so long as the counselor is registered and has been approved by the council advancement committee. However, see “Counselor Approvals and Limitations,”, for circumstances when a unit leader may place limits on the number of merit badges that may be earned from one counselor.

    [Paragraph omitted]

    A unit leader should consider making more of the process than just providing a signature. The opportunity exists to provide inspiration and direction in a young man’s life. Preliminary merit badge discussions can lead to conversations about talents and interests, goal setting, and the concept of “challenge by choice.” The benefits can be much like those of a well-done Scoutmaster conference.

    The discussion a Scout is to have with the unit leader is meant to be a growth-oriented and positive conversation. The unit leader should discuss any concerns related to working on the merit badge and provide appropriate counseling. It is then the Scout’s decision whether or not to proceed with the merit badge. The process is intended to inform the Scout about what he may encounter along the way, and perhaps to give him suggestions on how the work might be approached. It also has the purpose of keeping the unit leader up to date with what the members of the unit are doing.

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  16. 16 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Black robes won't work in my area as we tried once before. Got complaints about the black robes being satanic as well as too reminiscent of the KKK robes.

    Forest green robes?  But that might be too close to the Spiral Scouts, if they still exist.   :)

  17. 4 hours ago, CalicoPenn said:

    I call shenanigans - something just doesn't make any sense about this story at all - this is a single tenant building - just houses the BSA - it would be pretty odd for some random person off the street to park in a random office parking lot, enter the building, and then pretty calmly leave while "eating a cupcake".  Something is fishy about this whole story.

    It does seem strange.  To make it more strange, the video says the woman entered the building at 7:35 p.m. and left an hour later.  Were they really having a staff meeting at that hour?

  18. 2 hours ago, MattR said:

    I had a scout turn 18 on a campout and he asked if had to move out of his tent that night. I asked him if he felt any different than the day before, he said no, I told him there's your answer.

    That may be the common-sense answer, but I don't think its the BSA answer.

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  19. 13 minutes ago, MattR said:

    Regalia can also mean ceremonial clothing.

    It's also part of the title of a Frank Zappa song, "Peaches en Regalia," but we'll probably never know what he meant by it, since it's an instrumental and he gave mostly random titles to his instrumentals.

  20. I changed the title of this thread so it was a little clearer what it is about

    On a substantive note, I found this interesting:

    Turley noted that when the girls-allowed policy was announced, “we could have done a better job” explaining the changes.

    A bit of an understatement, but at least he made the effort.

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