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Posts posted by NJCubScouter

  1. That sounds better than black robes.  I think some people would misunderstand the meaning of the black robes,  regardless of the fact that they were used all those years ago on Treasure Island.  (The actual island, Treasure Island, is in New Jersey.  It is one of two islands that makes up the ex-camp, the other one of which is in Pa.  Just thought I'd mention that.)

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  2. 21 hours ago, qwazse said:

    Thought experiment by way of example:

    A recent grad in our district had founded a "Do Something Club" into a service fraternity for young women.

    Strip away your arrowmen's homage to native tribes, then tell me what do you have that's any different than what they have? Lot's of groups claim to offer brotherhood. Many are cheerful. And, many others tout service. A few package that quite nicely. Why should a youth bother with O/A if they can't get a deeper understanding about what we admire the most from the native American mystique?

    I am curious, how would you answer your own question?

  3. 1 hour ago, Mich08212 said:

    it doesnt matter to me who speaks but the council member said I could not MC it. I can host it but, there needs to be a script for the ceremony.

    Well, someone has to invite people to speak, and it should be your son, or at least it should be people he wants to speak and you can do the inviting if that is what he prefers.  As for the MC, there is no absolute rule that says a parent cannot be the MC, but I have never seen it happen.  It would be kind of awkward, at least the way my troop does ECOH's, because during the presentation of the Eagle badge etc. the parents are called up to stand behind their son and he then pins the Mom's and Dad's pins on his parents.  Sometimes the MC will say something about all the support the Scout's parents gave him and he should be thankful to them, etc, etc.  So a parent as MC really would get awkward, kind of like the Woody Allen movie where he is both his own attorney and the witness, and he is physically hopping back and forth every time he changes roles.  Funny in a movie, not at a ceremony.

    In our troop there is a recent tendency for the Scout to choose one of his friends in the troop, or a recent alumnus from the troop, as the MC rather than one of the adult leaders.  Obviously it should be someone who is not afraid to get up in front of a group of people and speak, and who can read from a script in a reasonably articulate manner, and who if something unexpected happens (e.g. it is Mr. Smith's turn to come up and read the Eagle charge or whatever, and Mr. Smith has gone to the men's room) can think on his feet, switch the order of things on the spot or say a few words off the cuff or whatever, rather than falling into little pieces on the floor (which is what would happen with many kids and quite frankly many adults as well.)  Usually this means an older Scout, and it is nice if it is an Eagle but it does not have to be.  (The kids in our troop who have been MC have all done a great job.  One kid who has done it a few times also has some acting experience in high school, which is not a coincidence.)

    And yes, there should be a script.  There are some on the Internet.  If I had one handy I would send it to you, but I don't.  Good luck.

  4. If it were me, I would give up on getting a better explanation and move on.  Someone(s) has an issue with your son.  That's just the way it is.  Maybe you and/or your son have some idea what the issue is, maybe you don't.  I just don't see what can be done about it at this point.  Except that you and your son can organize and carry out his court of honor.  It sounds like there are people in the troop who would probably agree to participate (such as the SM, who can ceremonially award the Eagle pin, certificate etc. to your son and maybe say a few words) and maybe some who won't.  Good luck to your son.

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  5. Matt the Life Scout, are you a member of the PLC?  Does the PLC actually have meetings?  I ask this because the PLC can be an agent for change in the troop, more than the average 15-etc.-year-old may realize.  When I hear a discussion among the boys (or when one of them asks me at a BOR or elsewhere) about a change they would like to make in the troop, I always suggest that they talk about it in the PLC, and if a majority of the PLC thinks it's a good idea, they write it up and give it to the SM to give to the committee for consideration.  So far I don't think they have ever taken me up on it, and I have seen a few good ideas drift away because the boys could not devote say 30 minutes of their lives to bringing the issue to the committee's attention.  (In at least one case I brought the idea up at a committee meeting myself, but I thought the others were things that should come to the boys, if at all.)  Matt the Life Scout, if you read my post about what I did in ancient times when I was ASPL, you can do that, assuming you are a member of a functioning PLC.  You can point what the book says about elections.  If the other Scouts agree with you (perhaps over the vote of the current SPL, if he there), you type up the plan and give it to the SM.  And watch what he does with it.  If he takes it to the committee, maybe there will be a change.  If he throws it in the wastebasket, then you have other issues with your troop.

  6. Just now, NJCubScouter said:

    I agree with most of the advice above.  I would also ask you to consider whether there are things that you may not know about the situation.  But from what you say, it does sound like some things are amiss.

    As for the SPL being the son of the SM, I agree with Oldscout448's comments on this subject.  I can tell you from personal experience (as someone who was SPL while his father was SM) that although it is difficult, it can work.  Of course I can't be completely objective about my own situation, and 43 years' time does tend to sand off the bad parts in one's memory, but I think it did work in my case.  The SM has to treat the SPL as just another Scout, as much as possible, which is not easy.  I think my father succeeded in doing it.  I think it would be correct to say that he did expect a little more of me than he would have with another Scout, but that's ok as long as it doesn't go too far, which it didn't in my case. 

    On the other hand, the fact that your SM appointed his own son SPL is a problem, even beyond the lack of elections, and it is no doubt contributing to some of the problems you describe in the SPL's performance.  Prior to my showing an interest in being SPL, the SPL in my troop was appointed (by a combination of the SM and troop committee I believe), not elected.  Shortly after my father became SM, another Scout was appointed SPL and I was appointed ASPL (also by the SM/committee.)  At some point while I was ASPL, my father told me that when the other Scout's term (1 year) was up, he I would not be appointed SPL because of the position it would put him in, and that my other option was for the PLC to recommend a system of elections (term, qualifications, etc.) for consideration by the committee, and then I could run if I wanted to.  So I wrote up a proposal, the PLC agreed to it, the committee agreed to it, and at the end of my predecessor's term I was elected SPL.  So I guess I did have to work a little harder just to get the position than another Scout might have.  But that's ok.  It builds character.

    But enough about me...  :D



  7. 1 hour ago, malraux said:

    Now, by the time one gets to 10 knots they've either worked rather hard to get there, built up a fair amount of political capital to get there, and like some combination of both. Either way, I figure if you are too the point of needing your pocket dropped down to accommodate your knots, who am I to say anything.

    Well, the guy I am talking about has been a member of the BSA continuously since he joined the Cub Scouts at age 8, and I believe he is now 66 or 67, so he has had time to earn his 12 or whatever knots, and I am sure he earned them.  As for me, I have three:  Arrow of Light, Cub Scout Leader Award and Boy Scout Leader Award, and technically that would now be considered two knots, because the last two have been combined into one.

    And more to the point, since I did not start this thread, it sounds like Jillian has three as well, so it isn't an issue.   :)

  8. First of all Jillian, welcome to the forum!

    I agree with what the others have said.  This is what the knots are for.  You may be one of very few leaders in your pack wearing multiple Venturing knots, but that's because you earned them and the others didn't!

    @The Latin Scot, I never heard that "official recommendation" of no more than 9 knots.  I am fairly certain that our CC has never heard of it either.  :D   But I am so grateful to him for stepping up to be CC (in a difficult situation), and for the job he is doing, that as far as I am concerned he could plaster his entire shirt with knots if he wanted to.


  9. 13 hours ago, scoutldr said:

    I will be blunt...I don't think this is the Camp staff's problem.  As volunteers, we are not privy to custodial orders, nor are we in a position to enforce them.  This is something you need to work out with the boy's mother and the Court.  Perhaps a restraining order is called for.

    I think this is the right approach. Keithami,  I think your next step should be to contact your attorney - not about what the camp did, but what your ex did, and may try to do in the future.  In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I am an attorney.  But I think it’s good advice anyway, despite my possible predisposition to suggest a legal approach.

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  10. 10 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

    The Guide to Advancement is 100 pages long and it doesn't include the Eagle workbook or application.  Gak.  No wonder everybody's lawyered up all the time (no offense @NJCubScouter)

    None taken.  I have mentioned a few times that the Guide to Advancement (first published around say 2010-2012) was clearly written as a legal document, by lawyers, and is clearly based on real situations that have reached the National (some of which were probably initiated by parents' lawyers, or parents who are also lawyers.)  Legal fingerprints are all over the thing.  It is probably necessary, but it is disappointing that it is necessary.  The previous incarnation (Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures, or something like that) was much simpler, and more simply written.

  11. Mich, first of all, welcome to the forum!  

    I realize that you said your son passed his Eagle BOR and is an Eagle, but I just want to button down that procedural issue.  Do you know for certain that your son's Eagle application was submitted to National after the EBOR?  Do you know for certain that it was approved?  Does your son (or anyone else) have the certificate from National that says your son is an Eagle?

    If the answers are all "yes," then I guess I am still left with the same questions as those who have posted previously.  I think your son has a right to know why he is not being treated the same as everybody else in the troop who has ever made Eagle.  The fact that you can have your own ceremony is somewhat beside the point, at least to me.  There is a great variety in how troops handle ECOH's.  If a troop always organizes an ECOH for its Scouts, and suddenly for your son they are not doing so because "there's a lot that has gone on," whatever that means, I think your son has a right to an explanation.

  12. 9 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    I would agree and disagree that we are customers.  Challenge is we (collective we the volunteers / youth / etc) likely do not view ourselves as customers, anymore than members of a political party may view themselves as customers.  Many of us see ourselves as part of Scouting and thus not so much customer but owners/shareholders of the legacy and history of scouting.

    I agree, I think.  We are a hybrid of customers and members.  We are not "members" in the legal sense.  Perhaps the CO's are, I haven't looked into it that deeply.  And some in this forum would argue that the CO's are truly the customers, but I'm not one of them.

    Or maybe it is just the kids and their parents who are really the customers, making those of us who no longer have a son in the program... what?  Just volunteers, I guess.

  13. 1 hour ago, RichardB said:

    Couple of questions for deliberation:  

    How many of you that want to be "in the know" are signed up for a weekly Scoutingwire feed?   https://scoutingwire.org/ Are you promoting that?  

    Does you council have a newsletter?  Do you get that?   Any articles in there on changes?   

    Do you get Scouting Magazine 6 times a year?   Do you read it?    

    Do you subscribe to Bryan's Blog?  

    Do you really want an email and a dead tree letter?  @Hawkwin

    I receive Scoutingwire, and a council newsletter and a district newsletter.  I read most of most of them.  I read at least the first parts of Scouting magazine, where the "news" is.  I do not subscribe to Bryan's Blog, but since the articles are often referenced on this forum, I probably read 30-40% of them.

    But I don't think I am the issue.  I consider myself reasonably well-informed.* And I don't think most of the members of this forum are the issue.  The issue is the people who most of us encounter on a regular basis in Scouting, who are not members of this forum.

    *I do think (and have said as much) that National could communicate better with the field (including me) on changes in advancement.  The rollout of the changes accompanying the current handbook was pretty sloppy.  And while National (in the person of yourself), did let us know about the issuance of the current edition of the Guide to Safe Scouting, I think National should have been more up-front about the fact that they were changing a clear, strongly-worded policy about alcohol use into a meaningless pile of mush, and should have explained why they were doing it.  If these two issues sound like pet peeves of mine, well, yes, and I mentioned them in this forum at the time.

  14. 16 hours ago, CalicoPenn said:

    I know its popular to blame National for any and everything but in defense of National on this so-called failure of management - the BSA issued a press release that was covered by just about everyone in the media - ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, NPR, Fox, MSNBC, CNN - and pretty much every newspaper - large and small - covered this   Time magazine covered this .  Conservative blogs covered this.  Liberal blogs covered this.  Progressive blogs covered this.  Short of the BSA sending out some kind of campaign style postcard to every house in the USA, the news was pretty much all over the place.  It's not National's failure that so many people apparently don't pay attention to news coverage.

    I don't think "blame" is the issue here.  The issue is success or failure.  Despite my reservations about this decision (before it was made), and my concerns about how the decision was made and how it has been "rolled out," now that it is upon us, I want it to succeed. 

    Yes, there was news coverage... for a few days.  And in this constant news cycle we are now living in, within a couple of days after the announcement there were probably about 20 other "big stories" that captured peoples' attention.  This might be a heretical statement in this forum, but there are things going on in the country and the world right now that are more important than whether there are girls in the Cub Scouts and "Boy Scouts" and how the transition is being handled.  Not to mention the things that go on in peoples' lives that often drown out what is happening in the outside world.  The parents of a Cub Scout who has a younger sister, or the parents of a 10-year-old girl with no current attachment to the BSA, could be excused if they heard about this a couple of times but it didn't really "register" because their attentions were distracted elsewhere.  Obviously I am not talking about people who read this forum.  I am talking about the much larger number of Scouters who do not.

    Businesses who want to get their message across have a time-honored (or dis-honored) method of doing so:  Advertising.  The BSA used to advertise too.  I remember a couple of them from when I was in Cub Scouts/early Boy Scouts (so I'm talking say 1966-73 or so.)  One had a "Follow the Rugged Road" theme.  Another had (as far as I recall) a couple walking down a dark alley in a city when they see a person, obscured by shadows, walking toward them.  They are fearful that they are being approached by an evil-doer.  But then the shadowy figure walks under a street light or something and it turns out be an older teenager in a Boy Scout uniform.  Everybody relaxes.  A Boy Scout isn't going to mug you.  And they lived happily ever after.

    As much as I hate most of the advertising I see, and the constant repetition of commercials both good and bad, that repetition is what gets the advertiser's message to "register" with the consuming public.  Wouldn't that be appropriate in this situation?  Even though National would have to spend some money on it?  This is probably the biggest change in the BSA in any of our lifetimes.  Isn't it worth more than a few press releases to make sure the word is getting out?

  15. Based on past BSA practice, my prediction is that sometime later this year (quite likely much later) the BSA will come out with a new scoresheet for 2019 that not only takes the "doubling" of TAY into account, but includes specific goals for adding girl dens and girl troops (on the district and council level.)  This will happen before 2019 begins - but not nearly in time for you to do your planning in July of the previous year.  Just a prediction.

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  16. 1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

    My daughter is at day camp this week (I chaperoned yesterday) and I have been struck by two things:

    1. The number of people that were not aware that Scouts was going coed in any capacity (a failure of management - it seems Nationals relied on Boys Life and packs/troops to tell this story and Nationals should never let someone else tell your story or you lose the narrative).

    2. The number of parents that expressed excitement at the idea (I know, completely anecdotal).

    I get that some parents will remain clueless up and through any changes but I think it fair to assume that any parent that is involved enough to not only send their scout to summer camp but also attend, might have a higher level of involvement that would facilitate them being informed of the membership changes. Nationals could have certainly exercised change management better as it pertains to communication of the change.

    This is something I have been wondering about:  Were they going to depend on the existing Scouting community to get the word out about this, or were they going to have an all-out publicity campaign so that everybody, inside and outside of Scouting, would know about it.  From your post, which has been confirmed by the fact that I have not heard much discussion about this outside of Roundtables and this forum, it appears they have chosen the former.  I think that is a big mistake.  I think the population of families that have been clamoring for their daughters to be able to join Cub Scouts and "Boy Scouts" is much smaller than the population of families that haven't even thought about it because they don't know it's available.  Kind of like a new high-tech vacuum cleaner that sings, dances and plays the Star-Spangled Banner.  You don't know you "need" it until you see an ad for it.

  17. 1 hour ago, carebear3895 said:

    I mean I met the guy in charge of BSA IT. Never worked in IT in his life, but he was a professional scouter and former SE. The guys who are BSA HR....never spent a day in HR but were again professional scouters and former SE's. It's a bad pattern

    Sounds pretty bad to me.

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