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Everything posted by Oldscout448

  1. Oldscout448


    Good to have an older brother on the forum! I celebrated my 45th anniversary last weekend. I expected to be at our fall ordeal, but it was moved to a later date. (See the 6 month thread) I hope to live long enough to get to the 50 year mark too, but at this point, I'm not certain that the Order will.
  2. Oldscout448


    Sadly true
  3. Oldscout448

    gettysburg trail award

    I got it in 1970
  4. Oldscout448


    My expert patch goes on the temporary pocket, the RSO patch is on my blaze orange hat that I only wear at the range.
  5. Getting back to the original topic, it seems I was quite wrong . I was fairly certain that the 10 months to 6 months change would have little or no impact. Whoops! I had failed to consider that they might actually change to date of the fall ordeal from the first or second weekend in October, where it has been for decades, to the first weekend in November. So that the spring and fall Ordeals are exactly 6 months apart. So if we hold the Brotherhood ceremony at 12:01am Sunday morning, the arrowmen who went through their ordeal last spring can attend. Clearly a crafty and clever idea. But I'm not sure how I feel about it just yet. I'm all for scouts continuing on in the order, but is going from 12 to 15 ( or even 20) new brotherhood members worth the enormous drain this will be on the ceremonies team? They rarely get more than 6.hours sleep on Fri night, now they would get even less on Saturday night. But the big deal on my eyes, is the fact that November 'weather is a whole lot different from October weather. And we have gone on at length on this forum about how most younger scouts no longer have the skills to "rough it" anymore. It is not unreasonable to expect a greater number of ordeal candidates sleeping in dining halls or bunkhouses. Thus cheapening (no that's not the right word ) lessening the symbolism and the probable effect of their ordeal experience. And for what? A few more brotherhood members a bit faster? Is the OA about providing a scout with the most meaningful, hopefully life changing Ordeal possible? Or is it now about the numbers?
  6. Oldscout448


    I have a few guys who would take that challenge. Any part, any ceremony. That said, they would never ever want to hold anyone back if he truly could not memorize the song or the obligation. We had a similar situation a few years ago, and the only thing we required was the admonition and its meaning. The rest is just window dressing. Nice but not essential.
  7. Oldscout448

    I got brotherhood

    Well done Brother!
  8. Ah yes, I had failed to consider that he might be one the "special " people. Perhaps he deserves a special ceremony. Anyone else remember the Iroquois gauntlet? Out of respect to the guide to Safe scouting, we could forgo the rocks and tomahawks and just throw rotten squash and pumpkins and tomatoes.
  9. No he most certainly can not.
  10. Oldscout448

    Broken Arrow ceremony

    In addition to the ceremony, a few of us decided to keep a fire burning throughout the night in memory of all the brothers of the Vigil honor we lost in the last year. I sat and kept watch from 1:00-3:00am. Many of my brothers walked past and placed a stick or two into the flames. There was some flute playing by one brother. Another drummed and sang. Some talked softly to each other, remembering those they had loved and lost. Just before dawn we used a flame from the watch fire to light the "other" one. My Vigil brothers will understand. Probably the most moving "ceremony " I have ever seen it was a privilege and an honor to be a part of it.
  11. 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?
  12. Oldscout448

    Thoughts on "OA Legends" patch

    Let us know if you need bail money, or a cobbler with a file inside. They do make a "ghost patch" it's all in white and very hard to see from over 10 feet away.
  13. Oldscout448

    Eagle Project: Survival Kits

    The idea is to harden the entry or entries to the classroom to the point where a shooter would be unable to shoot the locking mechanism off the door and begin slaughtering the students. Who are presumably cowering under their desks. It's not difficult to make deadbolts that can only be placed in locking mode with a key, and can be unlocked without one. In an active shooter situation the teacher has to shut and lock the door anyway so he can turn the key and slam the bolt home, then get out of the line of fire. A pair of wedges aren't as strong, but far far better than nothing assuming that the door opens into the classroom. Better yet harden the entrance to the entire school. Although the Parklawn shooter reportedly entered through an open door during a fire drill.
  14. Oldscout448

    Eagle Project: Survival Kits

    When my daughter was teaching in a middle school just outside of Baltimore, I offered to deadbolt the classroom door top and bottom, or failing that build and install a new door with hidden kevlar panels. All for free. Nope, not allowed. Might cause the students to feel unsafe or worry that there might be bad people with guns in the world. It seems that in the mind of the admins, a false sense of safety is more important than actually providing it. This reasoning seems completely insane to me. This was (and sadly still is) a part of town where drugs are everywhere and gunfire can be heard almost every night. The students are not stupid, they know full well that anyone living there isn't safe. But don't point this out to the school board lest they be shocked and horrified. just passin by, Oldscout
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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 "
  18. 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.
  19. 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"
  20. Oldscout448

    back again

    afternoon folks, this log taken? no? then y'all mind if I set for a spell? my story? hmmm.well I was a cubscout, a boyscout,(eagle '76),an explorerscout,OA (6 years on the ceremonies team) a den leader, a asm, now I seem to by getting into scouts again with my fourth son. You know the hills seem a bit steeper and the ground a lot harder now days. but watching my boy say to scout oath for the first time just sent shivers down my spine, must have gotten something in my eyes that night too. everything got all blurry for a while. yours at 100 yards Oldscout
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. Darn onions, Where is this from?
  24. 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.
  25. Oldscout448

    Family Scouting Coming to You!

    ANOTHER rebranding?