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Oldscout448 last won the day on March 31

Oldscout448 had the most liked content!

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About Oldscout448

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    Shooting, chess, ancient history, antique furniture, backpacking,
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    Cub, boyscout , explorer, Eagle ,Vigil, six years on OA Ceremonies Teams, eleven as an advisor. DL, ASM, in four troops (have four sons), two Eagle dad pins,

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  1. Matt, I am not sure I can agree with you here. The Order is about serving on that all agree. But it should be first in your own patrol, troop,district. Then council. What I have seen is the lodge having weekend after weekend putting tents up at the council camp, taking tents down at the council camp, building a new stage at the council camp, spreading much, shoveling gravel, clearing downed trees all at the council cubscout camp. Is there any weekend ( or even a hour or two) devoted to how to be a better patrol leader? SPL? QM? Den chief? Troop guide? Nope. Nothing. A long time ago some of our local chapters had a group of older scouts, mostly eagles,who would go camping with brand new troops showing them how to stay warm dry and well fed in the woods. The new Scoutmasters just loved it and it made quite an impression on the new scouts as well. Sadly that type of group no longer exists. A number of scouts and scoutmasters have bluntly asked seeing as they don't attend the council summer camp, what direct benefit the OA is to their troop. I wish I had a better ( read more local) answer.
  2. I don't perceive this change from 10 months to 6 months as having much impact. Around here the Brotherhood ceremony is only offered at Ordeals. The big one is in the spring, the fall ordeal is 5 months later. So 75% of our new members still have to wait a full year. I suppose there will be a slight uptick in the brotherhood conversation numbers nationally, So on paper things look better, but at the local level? Little and less. The other change seems good in my eyes, some lodges are on life support, and having the section giving them a helping hand seems to be no bad thing. Although I suspect many sections were already doing all they could.
  3. Oldscout448


    My bet would be that the scouts look back on those night hikes and say " That's gotta be the stupidest thing we have ever done at any summer camp "
  4. Oldscout448


    You have a valid point there, almost all of the summer camps around here do indeed have permanent structures. But as I read the rules, in the case of a 10pm thunderstorm, we are required to get the scouts up,dressed, then march them 400 yards to the mess hall (that was the distance at last years camp) in the pouring rain. Then back to camp in an hour or two. Then quite probably repeat the process in another hour. I lost a good friend to a wayward lighting bolt at Philmont years ago. I've been 50 yards from a massive ground strike, the resulting shockwave knocked me right off my feet. My ears rang for an hour. Believe me I have a huge respect for these sparks of Thor. But I wonder if we all would not be safer from the slings and arrows of outrageous lawsuits if we just sent the scouters camping and had the scouts follow on Skype from the safety of their basements at home. [Sarcasm off] Here is the bottom line, when rules or laws appear to be arbitrary and capricious to those who are told to follow them, they begin to hold those rules in contempt and disregard them. And by association eventually those who make or enforce such rules are soon held in the same contempt. Which invariably leads to a clash of egos between the rulers and subjects. especially among young adults who believe they know everything. The result is either rebellion be it covert or open, or the subjects simply leave if they can to seek better prospects elsewhere. I've been a lifeguard, a RSO, I've been the guy who has pulled the plug on scouting events when conditions got too dangerous. My worst nightmare has always been having to call a parent who trusted me to keep their son or daughter safe and tell them I somehow failed. This fear has kept me up into the wee hours keeping an eye on things on more campouts than I can now remember. But if we in scouting are letting the lawyers make every safety judgement on everything, we may as well fold our tents and flags and go home.
  5. Oldscout448


    Got a call from an ASM that I have known for many years. It seems that her troop was camping last weekend with a group of Weebs from their feeder pack. Everything was going fine untill just before dinner, a Gourmet affair cooked by the scouts in Dutch ovens, was just about about ready. Then one of the cub parents heard a distant rumble of thunder. All of the Webelos and their parents scurried for their cars, and they all piled in. They announced that according to the Guide they were required to stay in the cars or a building until half an hour after the last rumble of thunder was heard. When told that that would probably not be for two or three hours even though the storm seemed to be passing about 15-20 miles to the north, they remained adamant about following the rules. Dinner, dessert, cleanup, and the campfire program, would just have to be postponed until 8:00 or 9:00pm or whenever. The SM managed to find a large pavilion that wasn't being used, and the troop transported all the food up there. So dinner although quite cold was only 45 minutes late instead of two hours. Then the scouts took the dishes back down to the campsite for cleanup. Now I understand taking shelter in adverse conditions. A couple of million volts with several million amps is nothing to take lightly. More than once I've seen close up what that kind of power can do. But this is Maryland. We have thunderstorms near or far every third night all through June, July, and August. As well as quite a few in May and September. Some of them have multiple cells so you can hear the thunder rumble and grumble all night long. As my ASM friend said " I just wonder what on earth they will do at summer camp"
  6. Oldscout448

    back again

    Alas, it's not just one troop, it's every troop in the district. I will go further: its the movement. Driven by the damned " stop any activities that have any possibility however remote, of resulting in a lawsuit" mentality that seems to have swept the nation. It's hard to blame National in all honesty, when you are bleeding millions in payouts and legal fees, you just have to do something to stop it. I am just not ok with turning Boyscouts into Webelos III, IV, and V.
  7. Oldscout448

    back again

    Been sitting here a mite over 7 years now, lots of different folks have come and gone, but seems to me the talk around this campfire has changed quite a lot. It figures I guess since Boy Scouts has changed so much as well. I came home from a campout recently and realized there wasn't one thing that still remained from the days when I was a scout. No patrol flags or sites, no patrols at all really, (they exist just on paper) no scout leadership (the adults do that now), no axes, or saws needed. the adults cut everything up with chainsaws last weekend. No interpatrol competition. Almost as many parents and siblings as scouts. Oh right "Family Scouting" whatever THAT is... But the biggest difference is that scouting used to be billed as an adventure. An exciting way to grow up. Scouts went hiking, camping, exploring on their own. That's WHY we studied woodcraft so intently. So the SM could trust us to not get lost, build a fire in the rain, not cut ourselves with a knife, cook a meal, stay out of the poison ivy, etc. It wasn't for the badges. They were merely the recognition of what we had learned NOT the underlying motivation. Now it's just " one and done" and you get the badge. No real testing allowed. it seems as this Scouts BSA thing is totally different from my experiences or preferences, that I have very little to add to the conversation here. So heartfelt thanks to the many who I'll never meet, for all the coffee, s'mores, and sage advice over the years. { Hoists old faded yucca pack, picks up maple hiking stick} The woods and rivers are still calling, i just might find another adventure or two out there. OldScout 448
  8. Oldscout448

    Broken Arrow ceremony

    A highly respected brother in our lodge passed away recently after 6 decades of continuous service mentoring ceremony teams. There is talk of honouring his memory with a broken arrow ceremony, but I have zero experience with such. Anyone here ever done/ seen one? What was it like?
  9. Darn onions, Where is this from?
  10. Oldscout448

    Ad Altare Dei Counseling

    I'm afraid I can't help much. I wanted to get this back in the day and was very active in my parish. But the good Father would only sign off on the application if you were an alter boy for two full years. In addition to all the other requirements. What with Boyscouts, explorers, OA, and a rifle team, I just couldn't devote a Sunday every three weeks for two years.
  11. Oldscout448

    Family Scouting Coming to You!

    ANOTHER rebranding?
  12. Oldscout448

    Son invited to OA. What does it all mean?

    WWW means work, work, work! Lol When I joined the ceremonies team I was told " If you think you worked hard a a candidate, you ain't seen nothin yet" I thought it had to be an exaggeration. I soon found out otherwise, but the OA was the highlight of my scouting life. Even more inspiring than watching the sunrise while standing on the Tooth of Time. I too still keep the Vigil. We seen to have gone far afield from the OP here. Sorry W.M. passions run a bit high for a lot of us.
  13. Oldscout448

    Son invited to OA. What does it all mean?

    Not quite yet it aint. At least not everywhere. I aim to keep feeding it as long as I can find sticks.
  14. Oldscout448

    Son invited to OA. What does it all mean?

    Is it more work? Yes. Is it worth it? IMHO Absolutely. In my neck o the woods the white sash with a red Arrow is considered to be quite an honor. It means that the one who wears it is looked up to by the scouts in his troop, as an example of what a scout should be. Three of my son's were elected to the order, and went to their ordeal. Two of them loved it, made many new friends, went to lots of chapter and lodge events, some just for fun, some for training, and took a great deal of new found enthusiasm back to their troop. Their brother didn't really like the Order, and dropped out after a few months. I guess I'm saying it will depend on your son, as well as the lodge/chapter into which he is inducted. Some are great full of cheerful scouts who find great satisfaction in serving others. Who enjoy the company of other older scouts who are likewise dedicated to improving their respective troops. It's not an uncommon sight to see 3 or 4 SPLs sitting at a table, talking over some common problem. Sadly a few lodges are just awful. Some are just ok. Hmm,sounds like scout troops. I would encourage him to go for it. its not like he is signing a binding contract. Oldscout Ps. I see that Barry makes a very good point. Does your son see this as an honor and a privilege ? Or just another patch?
  15. I think the critical question is why the older scouts don't care. If they have grown past the " gotta have more bling" stage and care more about having fun and teaching the younger scouts then yes that's a good thing. Bur we had a district camporee that the same troops patrols" won" year after year. Even when it was very clear that they didn't. Somehow the numbers always got tweaked just enough for them to win. After a while the older scouts just stopped competing. Sometimes they are smarter than we think.