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Posts posted by NWScouter

  1. Buddy system doesnt always work.

    Two stories An Eagle Scout and his girl friend, a neighbor of my kids' grandparents, went for a day hike up Mt Pilchuck. They were crossing a snow field. They took off their shoes to get a better grip in snow with bare feet. They were found dead a few hundred feet below the snow with the shoes on the snow.


    In August, just before my sons senior year, the cross country team from his high school was up at the school districts eco camp for a team retreat. They decided to hike up to the top of Mt. Dickerman. A boy and girl arrived at the top well behind the group. The leader told them to rest no more than 15 minutes and then head down as he took the rest down the trail. The couple did not show up back at camp. The weather got bad, rain, mist and low clouds for days till they could a helicopter search, the ground search turned up nothing. The found them dead 1000 feet down in the underbrush where they had fallen. The conclusion of the search and rescue experts. They had been running down the trail in the gathering gloom and mistook a side trail to a lookout over the valley for the main trail and ran right off it.


    Buddy system plus smart decisions is what gets you out safety, with out the buddy system it is smart decisions plus luck that gets you out alone.


  2. Here in Washington State, the State Constitution in Section 11 states in part: No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction, or the support of any religious establishment. This is a stronger separation of church and state than the US Constitution,


    While our state as well as other states give tax exceptions to church property it does the same for any non-profit be it the Little League Field, Hospital, Masonic Temple or animal welfare society. The reason that the state does so that it demeans that provide a public services that offsets the loss of revenue and is a net gain to the public welfare, but it is strong in it refusal to provide direct money or lose income due to rents or fees waived or lowered to religious groups.


    The real kicker to the argument is while weather you agree or not that the BSA is discriminates against atheists, the BSA is a religious organization by its own statements.


    Now I do not know what Pennsylvania law state, I would guess that if any organization would give the city a better deal than a $1 a year, then the fiduciary responsibility of the city council would in my mind be a no brainer.

    As for being a disparager, the goals and method of leadership development and civic responsibility has been and should be the lasting effect of Scouting which I agree with whole hardly. The issue of adult leadership, except for child safety, and religious belief should belong to the local charter partner as it is now unofficially in many council with the dont ask dont tell, wink, wink..

  3. I dont get the numbers. First off I will have to tell you hiking in the Northwest, especially backpacking tend to be in Wilderness Areas/ National Parks with a hard limit of 12 beating hearts, i.e. people and dogs/horses/llamas in a group. Many other low level hikes, which is all you get this time (too much snow) have this limit too. So if the interest is high for a hike only two adults go. By the way my reading of the rules is if you sending a scout out for medical care, you can send him out with the one adult and one other scout, no over night stay, no adult alone with a scout. Youre going have his parents meeting you at the medical facility, right?


    When I was a SM I would trusted most of the 14 to 18 year old scouts over a lot of my adults.


  4. I want to take the word clear out of this discussion, as it has turned into a loaded term.

    What Christian scholars have are varying interpretations of the passages.

    Let us take an other belief that Christian disagree on: baptism. Lutherans, Roman Catholics and others believe that infants can and should be baptized, but Baptists and others believe that baptism should happen only when there is ability to understand and agree with the baptism. Both look at the same passages and come to the opposite conclusions, they would both say the passages are clear but that the other is interpreting them wrong.


    That is what is happening to the passages that are used in the homosexual arguments, some say they are clear, some say they are not clear. There is no agreement between biblical scholars. There is no agreement among many in the same denomination.


    That is what think Merlyn was trying to say. While Ed is right in saying according to his interpretation the passages are clear, others may say that their interpretation is different than Eds.


  5. It comes to cost, to stock the Scout Stores around the country with badges and books. When it come time for a new batch of books or badges, especially if there has to happen just because of design change, reference or updating the material. If they havent moved then all the stock on the shelves is obsolete and the cost of the new stuff comes down to a business decision to keep or not.

  6. Im ELCA also, and hold the Lamb Award plus the Vigil Honor. If we were to go to a Missouri Synod more than likely we would be refused communion, at WELS we would. MS pastors have been disciplined for co-officiating in everything from weddings rites when their child married a child of an ELCA pastor to the most famous one of a District President participating in a multi-faith prayer service in New York after 9-11.


    This traces back to the founding of MS back in the 1840s by German Lutherans who fled the kingdom of Prussia when the king combined the Lutheran and Reformed Churches because he wanted only one Protestant Church. After numerous jailing of pastors they and their flocks picked up an moved to the American West (now Mid-West). They are very concerned that their faith be not compromised or muddied


    The quotes come from the official website of MS And WELS just put Mason and Scouts in the search. The Catholic quote comes from a Google search on Roman Catholic and Mason.


  7. Many Christian Denominations have issues with the Masons not just because they are secret.


    Lutheran Church Missouri Synod:


    Bylaw 3.925 of the Synod's Handbook summarizes the rationale for the Synod's longstanding position on the lodges: "Pastors and laypeople must avoid membership or participation in any organization that in its objectives, ceremonies, or practices is inimical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ or the faith and life of the Christian church." It is because tenets and practices of Freemasonry conflict with the biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ that our church from its very beginning has held that membership in this organization conflicts with a faithful confession of this Gospel.

    Many examples from the official rites and ceremonies of Freemasonry could be cited to illustrate the reasons for the Synod's position, but the following is one example. The second section of the Entered Apprentice degree reviews what has taken place in the initiation rite and closes with this definition of the Lambskin of White Leathern Apron given to the candidate: "The Lamb has, in all ages, been deemed an emblem of innocence. He, therefore, who wears the Lambskin as the badge of a Freemason, is constantly reminded of that purity of life and conduct which is so essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides." This statement holds out the promise that "purity of life and conduct" is "essentially necessary" for entry into life hereafter with the divine being called the "Supreme Architect." Such an assertion stands in direct conflict with the apostolic Gospel, and therefore endangers faith. St. Paul affirms in his epistle to the Galatians that "by works of the law shall no one be justified...for if justification were through the law, then Christ died to no purpose" (Gal. 2:16,21).

    The Wisconsin Evangelic Lutheran Synod says this about Masons :

    The Masonic Lodge and its affiliates are essentially deistic religious organizations. They strongly maintain that there is a Creator God who rewards good and punishes evil but do not formally acknowledge God as a gracious giver of salvation through the work of Jesus Christ. Nor do they acknowledge the Triune God as the only true God, but allow that most any "Supreme Being" embraced by any Mason may be seen as a legitimate deity. To them salvation is not by grace alone through faith in Christ alone, but based on good works. They also maintain that the supreme deity ("Architect of the Universe") may be and is worshiped in many forms and under many names by many religions aside from Christianity. Additionally, the oaths and rituals of the lodge have many features that consistent and conservative Bible students have long found incompatible with Christianity. There are many books and pamphlets available that give this kind of information in much greater detail. This negative appraisal of the Masonic Lodge is shared by a number of church bodies, and is not the conclusion of only a few like the WELS. You are invited to speak with any WELS pastor about this and to request more detailed information as desired.


    So although the Masons somewhat promote civic righteousness and undertake certain praiseworthy projects in society, we maintain that a Christian would compromise clear Bible teachings by becoming a member of that lodge. We are aware that people have joined such groups for the sake of business connections as well as a sense of social responsibility and say they really don't care for or think of the religious aspects of the organization. But we maintain that to do so is still a compromise of truth, easily or inevitably causes others to stumble spiritually, and links the person to a false religious group. The Bible often testifies against such an attitude and action.

    Bottom line: to be a WELS member with the public confession involved with that membership and to be a Mason with that public confession are incompatible. We owe members of masonry a loving and courteous reply that will not compromise truth. Refraining from membership in that network of organizations and providing patient but consistent testimony to the falsehood the Masons embrace or tolerate would be right and fitting

    And then about Scouts:


    We do warn against civil religion which treats all religions as one or interchangeable. If the Pledge (of Allegiance) is used to give that implication, we could not join in it. I do not know what percentage of WELS schools use the pledge. None of the ones I attended used it. Many people, religious or non-religious, have objections to the wording of the Pledge.

    The reason we say more about scouting is that the topic involves voluntarily joining an organization with false religious priniciples. You hit the nail on the head with your statement "Scouts promotes religion to God as the most important thing. No matter what religion it is." That is exactly why we can't participate.

    People in this world work for rewards at their jobs, at school, in athletics, and many other endeavors, but these rewards are earthly not spiritual. We have no objection to organizations that give earthly rewards for earthly achievements. Scouting is talking about doing your duty to God by your achievements. That is a very different matter. Believing in God or a god is not the same as believing in the one true God.

    We can associate with people from outside our faith in every way except joiining them in evil or false worship. We can't win people by joining them in false worship.



    Someone told me that the Wisconsin Synod does not allow its members to be Boy Scouts. Is that true and if so, what is the basis for it?


    There is a question that must precede the one you asked. Does God want Christians to belong to organizations that requires its members to accept religious principles that are contrary to the First Commandment? Or putting it another way, can a Lutheran who on his confirmation day promised that he would suffer everything rather than deny the teachings of the Bible subsequently take another promise that is based on the premise that anyone of any religion can do his duty to God? The obvious answer to both questions is "no."

    Then the next question is, what organizations fit this description. The Scouts require all members to take the Scout promise, even atheists. A few years ago a Scout who was an atheist was allowed to become an Eagle Scout, but had to take the Scout promise to do his duty to God, although he could qualify that by saying that he did not believe God was a personal being. The promise cannot be omitted. Such a promise a Christian cannot make in good conscience.

    Getting to your question. WELS does not have a list of organizations that its members cannot join. Many congregations have a statement in their constitution which says that members cannot belong to organizations that require religious principles that contradict the Bible. The Boy Scouts fall into that category. The question really is not what does WELS allow or not allow. It is what does the First Commandment allow or not allow.



    Roman Catholics about Masons:


    Why is Freemasonry incompatible with Christianity?

    Freemasonry is incompatible with Christianity because it promotes indifferentism. Indifferentism is the heretical belief that all religions are equally legitimate attempts to explain the truth about God which, but for the truth of His existence, are unexplainable. Such a view makes all truths relative and holds that God can be equally pleased with truth and error. Because Christians believe that God has definitively revealed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ, and desires that all men come to the knowledge of this truth, indifferentism is incompatible with Christian faith. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." (John 14:6).

    Freemasonry's teachings and practices also result in syncretism which is the blending of different religious beliefs into a unified whole. This is evidenced most especially by Masonry's religious rituals which gather men of all faiths around a common altar, and place all religious writings along side the Bible on the Masonic altar. This is also demonstrated by the Lodge's prayers and its unique names and symbols for God and heaven. Syncretism is the logical consequence of indifferentism.

    The Lodge's practice of requiring its members to swear immoral oaths is also incompatible with Christianity. These oaths require a Christian to swear on the Holy Bible that he will uphold a code of moral conduct that prefers Masons over non-Masons, and to preserve secret passwords and handshakes. Such oaths are gravely immoral because their subject matter is trivial or does not give rise to the necessity of an oath. These oaths are also sworn under symbolic, blood-curdling penalties of physical torture and death called self-curses (e.g., having my throat cut across, and my tongue torn out by its roots). These penalties show a lack of respect for God and amount to blasphemy which is a serious sin.




    What is the Catholic Church's position on Freemasonry?

    The Church, through its Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has formally declared that Catholics who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion. This declaration, which is the most recent teaching of the Church, has affirmed nearly 300 years of papal pronouncements against Freemasonry on the grounds that the teachings of the Lodge are contrary to Catholic faith and morals.

    The Churchs declaration on Freemasonry exposes Catholic Masons to a number of penalties under canon law. For example, a Catholic who is aware that the Church authoritatively judges membership in Freemasonry to be gravely sinful must not approach Holy Communion (c. 916). The Church imposes the duty upon all grave sinners not to make a sacrilegious communion. Such a Catholic Mason who is aware of the grave sin must receive absolution in a sacramental confession before being able to receive communion again, unless there is a grave reason and no opportunity to confess (c. 916). This confession, in order to be valid, also requires the Catholic Mason to renounce his Masonic membership.

    Further, because membership in Freemasonry is an external or public condition, the Catholic Mason can be refused Holy Communion by the pastors of the Church for obstinately persevering in his Masonic membership (c. 915). Such a Catholic Mason would also be forbidden from receiving the Anointing of the Sick (c. 1007) as well as ecclesiastical funeral rites if public scandal were to result (c. 1184, 1, 3).

    Canon 1364 also imposes an automatic excommunication upon apostates, heretics, or schismatics. This canon could also apply to Catholic Masons. If, for example, a Catholic Mason embraced the theological teachings of Freemasonry that the Church has condemned (indifferentism, syncretism), he would be in heresy by virtue of his belief in these teachings. Further, if a Catholic Mason knew the Church opposes membership in Freemasonry, and yet adamantly and persistently refused to submit to the popes authority in precluding his membership in the Lodge, he may also find himself in schism. Catholic Masons could also be subject to canon 1374 which imposes an interdict or just penalty upon those who join associations that plot against the Church.

    For the canonical penalties to apply, the Catholic Mason would have to act in a gravely imputable way (that is, the Catholic would have to be aware of the Churchs teaching on Freemasonry and, after being warned about it, choose to disregard it). In my personal experience, a fair number of Catholic Masons do act in a gravely imputable way in regard to their Masonic membership. In these cases, the canonical penalties, including excommunication, apply. The Church's penalties are not meant to alienate the person on whom the penalty is levied. Instead, the penalties are meant to communicate to the person the gravity of his conduct, encourage his repentance and reconciliation with the Church, and bring him back into the one fold of Christ. After all, the mission of the Church is the salvation of souls.



  8. The major thing you need to do is inform everyone of the rules when they join and when you update them with the amounts of their scout account. In the ten years I was scoutmaster we never had a problem with the rule that if he went to another troop the money went with him. Didnt have many do that though. We even kept scouts money separate after they dropped out in case they came back. In a few cases I had to remind the treasurer that Billy wasnt going to rejoin because he was 20 now.

  9. Any flap issued by a lodge is official and may be worn by a lodge member in good standing in that lodge. The lodge needs to meet some requirements on design and elements but be it one color or 200 it can be worn on the uniform.

  10. When I was a scoutmaster, a scout at his first meeting, during the steal the bacon game, did a header into the pin on a door hinge. Mom hauled him off to the ER for stiches while we cleaned up the blood. Thought that was the last we would see of him.

    Boy did I have a great story for his Eagle COH five years later.


    Do a good little cubmaster minute praising him for his actions while hurt and don't forget to inclued all thoses who helped. Thank the other cubs for just being good scouts for all they did to help situation, i.e being good, staying out of the way

  11. What is with the big deal to have all the advancement in one meeting. Cubs advance when they are ready. Cross over at the Blue and Gold, that is a special time for the Webelos why mix it into a celebration of the birthday of Scouting give them their own special night. Cubbing is to be for young boys with short attention span, plus many Cubs have even younger siblings. Get some reality into the meeting planning,

  12. Just a little hint for those of you dont want to be called by campaigns. If they know how youre are going to vote they will stop.

    If the democrats know if you are voting republican they will stop calling and if the republicans know you are voting democratic they will stop calling. If you are undecided you are red meat and they both will call.


    In the primary season they will call people who are have indentified with their party to find out if you are voting for their party candidate in the primary, if you are a state that allows independents to vote in party primary you will get called by both parties. This will go on till you state one way or the other about their candidate.

    Then comes the Get Out the Vote (GOTV) stage, they will call those voters who support their candidate and make sure they have voted.


    Between the primary and the general there will be another identification and GOTV drive. The parties have databases built up over years based on your responses that grade you from strong Democrat, leans Democrats, Independent/unknown, leans Republican, strong Republican. So in this phase they identify the voters who are again for their candidate. Then GOTV their supporters. In my state all but two counties are vote by mail, and the two still with polling places have absentee voters of well over 50%. So when the ballots are mailed out is when the calls start coming asking if you have voted. Now my party explained who was getting calls from them. As my state is pretty blue, they were going to call only people who were voting for both our candidates for president and governor and were new or sporadic voters. A sporadic voter is one based on the information from the elections departments that have voted 1 or 2 times out of the last four (primaries and general elections). So base on this criteria, I met the first (right candidates) but Im four out of four s they know most likely I will mail in my ballot. The other criterion that they use is if you have mailed in your ballot. The election departments publish list of voters whose ballots are processed almost daily (public records) not of course how they voted, so the campaigns will not waste a call to them, it does take a few days for the ballot to get to the office and then processed. So I would have been off the list sometime the week of October 19th.


  13. Found this in the uniform regs online at the BSA site referring to drill teams and such:

    The wearing of special helmets, scarves, gloves, unofficial leggings, and the carrying of ceremonial guns or swords by members of such organizations using the uniforms of the Boy Scouts of America is in violation of the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America.


    Guns real or not are against the rules.


  14. I have seen this happen, a Cub Den (made up of Tigers, Wolves or Bears) picks a den totem and then refers to themselves as the Eagle Den rather than Den 1. That is not permitted, they are Den 1 but I suppose that they in their den yell could say were the eagles from den one rah, rah, rah (I know it's a lame yell). They are numbers until they become Webelos.

  15. Now to get confusing, there were (not sure if they really officially gone) both Venture and Varsity patrols available to Scout Troops. The idea was these were for senior boys (no girls) to specialize in sports or high adventure in order to retain the older scouts. They were established before Exploring went to Learning for Life. Then Varsity Teams as a stand alone program was formed for boys fourteen to eighteen.


    Now we had four BSA units types Cubs (boys ~8 to ~ 10.5), Boy Scouts (boys ~10.5 to 18), Varsity (boys 14 to 18), Explorers (co-ed 14 to 21). In the nineties in became untenable for Exploring units sponsored by government groups (fire, police, etc.) to be chartered under the BSA membership and leadership standards. We could not excluded atheists and gays and fit under the rules of the government groups, so the BSA started another organization called Learning for Life, moving to it the school based programs and those Exploring groups. The high adventure type and traditional sponsoring groups, i.e. church, community organizations Explorer groups were changed over into a new coed program, with new ranks and leadership plan called Venturing. Sea Scouts are lumped into the Explorer now Venturing.


    Now for those of us who serve in councils where we have a significant Latter Days Saints (Mormon) presence will know that they are the primary charterer of Varsity Teams. It has to do with grouping of the boys in their wards. Not remembering the exact name of the ward grouping, but know they a hard rules about ages, here is how they organized their boys. Cubs start at 8 no Tigers, Boy Scouts start at 11 with restrictions on their activities, full scouting at 12, Varsity 14 and Venturing at 16 and done by 18 with no girls.


  16. Just a suggestion, it might be a fitting symbol to the merger of the units to make the troop neckerchief to be combination of the old troops ones and if neither of the units has a long veteran status to combine the numbers. If one troop neckerchief was blue and the other red make up a blue/red one with a lightening blot linking the numbers or something.

  17. I first saw the James E. West knot shortly after it was introduced. I was helping out as a commissioner at summer camp in the craft lodge. A new scout was there and had a knot on that I had never seen before.

    So I asked what it was for?

    O, my grandpa got it for by giving money to the Scouts.

    So ever since I jokingly refer to West knot as my grandpa got it for me knot


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