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Oldscout448

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Posts posted by Oldscout448

  1. During my years as a scout there was one year we went to a summer camp that didn't have a dining hall.  We had to split the wood, build the fire, cook, and clean up ourselves.  Did it take time? Yes.  Did we earn one less merit badge? Probably.  But it forced us to spend time together, figure things out together, and discover how to work together.  Learn about each others skills and characters.  We stormed, we normed.  Looking back that was when we truly became a patrol, not just a bunch of guys who happened to wear the same patrol patch on their sleeve.

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  2. On 7/27/2022 at 2:18 PM, mrjohns2 said:

    How would anyone else really know without camping with them for 15 nights? Their worthiness was determined by their peers.

    As nearly as I can remember this is what Allowat Sakima said to me, and all the candidates, just before the Ordeal started.

    "That  you my fellow campers have been chosen by your companions to become members of our band reflects great credit upon your and I congratulate you upon your  election.

     You have impressed upon those who have lived closest to you, the sincerity of your purpose to live in accordance with the high ideals of the Scout Oath..  The judgment of your fellows can hardly have been mistaken. 

    Yet, so solemn and so serious is the purpose of our Brotherhood, that it is but right that before we admit you to our circle, that we should  put you to the test, and that you should submit yourselves freely and willingly to the Ordeal by which we shall make trial of your sincerity."  

    Sure sounded like a test to me at the time.  Still does.  

    And it most certainly still should be.

    Because the true value of any award is directly proportional to the effort expended in earning it.  

     

  3. 9 minutes ago, scoutldr said:

    Yep, we all knew what the plan was...(wink, wink).  Now that the LDS and others have left, they are free to execute.  I was a member of one of the first co-ed Explorer Posts in the early 70s.  I won't say it was unpleasant, as we were all in high school at the time.  There was definitely a lot of "Exploring" going on after Taps.

    and in my explorer post as well.  ' 75-'78.

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  4. 3 hours ago, seattlecyclone said:

    Thanks for the helpful notes everyone! I'm definitely open to being a den leader, though if there's another willing parent in the den who has been a Cub Scout parent before I'd be happy to defer that responsibility to them because they'll probably have a better sense of what to do. The pack's new parent orientation is in a couple of weeks and we'll see what comes of it. I like FireStone's viewpoint of uniform and insignia as a conversation starter. I'm not interested in being ostentatious with it or anything; it's all about the kids, and if I can use my experience as a positive example all the better.

    If you do become a den leader, I would recommend purchasing two POR patches and sewing them securely to the knee area of your pants, so when you are crawling  around cleaning up after the  circus   meeting your pants will last much longer.  

    Seriously,  wear a little something on your shirt.  Not to brag as you so rightly pointed out,  but the cubs have a right to know that you have 'been there- done that'.

  5. On 7/22/2022 at 7:29 AM, MikeS72 said:

    I have been both an Arrowman and an Eagle for more than half a century.  Both were more rare back then than they are now, but I can honestly say that I have never known anyone who felt that being an Arrowman was a greater honor than being an Eagle.

     

    I'm getting alarmingly close to the 50 year mark and I agree with you that both were pretty rare in the '70s and '80's. My little troop  of 35 had two Eagles and seven Arrowman over a six year period.  Some years we didn't elect anyone. As to which honor was prized more highly?  Obviously depends  upon the individual, looking  back I'd have to say I valued my Eagle just a little more than my Ordeal sash,  but certainly less than my Vigil sash.

  6. A few weeks ago at an out of council summer camp one of the scouters discovered the outline of a huge arrow  at a fairly remote part of camp. The head, with a fire ring at its center, was an equilateral  triangle with 60 ft sides.  Everything was overgrown with weeds and tall grass. Clearly it had not been used for some time.   The road to it was in very poor condition it would take a lot of work and truck loads of gravel to make it driveable again..  I guess the camp just doesn't have the money and emergency vehicles must have access to all active camp areas so they just abandoned it.  My heart goes out to the arrowmen who spent years and decades  building and maintaining this magnificent ceremonies ring.  

    May the memory of it live long in the hearts of those who took the Obligation of our Order there.

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  7. 4 hours ago, FireStone said:

    Adults are there to step in when something is unsafe. Not just physically unsafe but also socially, emotionally, culturally, etc. We're not supposed to stand aside and say "scout-led" to everything the scouts want to do. Certainly if something crosses into territory that is possibly harmful to people of a specific heritage, we are supposed to intervene.

     

    Please don't take this as  a challenge or an attack,  can you define " socially unsafe" and " culturally unsafe"?  I'm trying to think of actions that scouts could take that would be considered threatening to our culture or society and am not coming up with anything.  Antifa or other groups that promote or utilize violence perhaps, but not scouts. 

    Secondly, my little brain is confused by the phrase " possibly  harmful to people of a specific heritage".  Can  I assume  given the history of  this thread that you refer to Native Americans or Indians as they generally call themselves?   If so, how are the scouts in my troop even capable of possibly harming someone who isn't even there?  

    Let us say that a half dozen young scouts in my troop decide the pretend they are Indians  and do so in a most disrespectful fashion.  It's never happened but let's pretend it does.  This is definitely what I would consider a 'teaching moment''where some instruction would certainly be in order, but would it actually  harm the descendants of the closest tribe over a hundred miles away?  No.  No more than it harms me when someone makes a joke about stupid perpetually drunk Irishmen out of my hearing.  

     

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  8. Personally  I think it's a shame we scrapped the face paint.  We did a fair bit of research and study to insure that the patterns  we used didn't resemble  anything religious or tribe specific.   But  I do understand that every Lodge may not have  been so conscientious.  I hoped that perhaps national would come up with some pre-approved , non offending templates that we could all use, but no dice.

    I too have shot the flaming arrow.  

  9. On 6/22/2022 at 10:25 AM, SSScout said:

       No  Morse Code or signaling required for First Class, among other things.....   

    Umm, that was taken out near 50 years ago, my friend.  

    -  .  - -  .- -.  . .-  . . .     . .-.  . .-  --.  ..  -

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  10. On 6/22/2022 at 8:05 AM, Eagle390 said:

     Seems at lot has changed in the last 25 yrs. 

    Oh aye, that it has laddie.   We bid ye a fair welcome to our little gathering.  Dinna be shy about speaking your mind, we're  all nice gentlefolk here . Well mostly.

  11. As a cub the first thing I read in Boys Life was always the Scouts in Action strip.  To get a gold medal would be the absolute height of coolness. So during my boyscouting years I took every first aid and lifesaving class I could find.  But people simply would not cooperate and have  some sort of emergency right in front of me so  I could rescue them and get my medal.

    Then in my  late 20s on a lonely country road, a convertible flipped over pinning the driver.  I did all the right things and he survived, but  I wasn't in Scouting  anymore.   There was another time when to save a friend I had to do something crazy enough it just might have warranted crossed palms. I was a Den Leader but no witnesses.  So ....

    I  found I didn't really care.  They got to go home to their families and that's all that really matters.

    Cub or Scouter, unregistered or active, we be Scouts.

    Always.

     

     

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  12. I wrote a long post then deleted it for a number of reasons.  But here's the conclusion.

    I would tell the scouts " A gun is a tool and like any other tool it can be used for good or for ill.  It depends upon the skill and intent of the user.  The one difference is that a gun makes killing fast and easy.  So be very slow and very judicious  in your decision to use one,  for a life taken can never be called back."

    • Like 1
  13. 1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Don't I know it. In 1994 I was a YMCA Lifeguard Instructor, who also worked and trained with ARC Lifeguards, and a 3rd national organization's lifeguards that I cannot remember, at the college pool.  I took BSA Lifegaurd in 1994, and it was the hardest, most demanding lifeguard course because it not only covered pools, but also lakes , rivers, and open water.

    It started before 2013. One reason why I never went for BSA Lifeguard  as a youth was because A) I did not have Rowing MB, which was a prerequisite along with Swimming, Lifesaving, and Canoeing MBs and B) I was working summers as a YMCA Lifeguard and needed to earn money. When I first became a BSA Lifeguard in 1994, those merit badges were no longer perquisites, although you still had to demonstrate the skills in the requirements.

    At my last summer camp as a scout, I remember wanting to get the BSA lifeguard too.  It was a  relatively rare cool looking patch that  would look really good between the 50 miler patches on my denim patch jacket.  How hard could it be anyway?  I already had the four prerequisite merit badges and was a ARC Lifeguard.  Then I discovered I would need to spend 3 hours per day at the waterfront, and even worse the patch could only be worn on swimming trunks.   I decided to spend my last hours as a scout at camp with my friends, Snipe hunting,  winning  the camp shooting contest,  etc.

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  14. 1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Tell me about it. I remember the first time I was eligible, and I didn't vote for myself because the other three candidates were better Scouts than me, AND I HAD A DIFFICULT TIME PICKING THE 2 I DID! It was rough.

    Under the old rules, it was possible to get everyone elected under the right circumstances, i.e. odd number of eligible Scouts. I had a SM tell his Scouts how to vote so that the three scouts had 2/3s of the ballots each. Found this out after the fact and it infuriated me. Now it is common.

    "and when everyone is special, no one will be."

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  15. 9 hours ago, satl8 said:

    2017 and 2021 we were issued a Crew flag, certainly wasn't a cotton 3'X5' flag by any means but our Crew Leader was issued one and told to take it on the trail with them both times.

    As a crew leader in ''76 I was given a small bicentennial flag.   Although somewhat stained and faded it occupies an honored place in my 'scout box'.

    • Like 1
  16. On 5/18/2022 at 9:05 PM, jscouter1 said:

    Hello, some of you may now know me as the kid who really wants to join the OA. Well I am here to tell you guys that my journey has come to a sad end. I have tried all chances to join but none of them have turned out. My SM denied an election, surrounding troops wouldnt do dual enrollment, and even the lodge in the council neighboring has "ghosted' me. So I wish you all the best of luck with your journeys and you are truly all lucky to be involved in such a great organization and brotherhood.

    - A friend in scouting, 

    Truly sorry to read that.  If by any chance you end up in upper Maryland,  give me a shout.  We have a good sized law enforcement Explorer Post and some very pro OA advisors and SMs.  You sound like the kind of guy who would fit right in. Please don't let this decision  by a foolish SM sour the rest of your scouting journey.  OA is just a part of it.  

    Hope to see you on the trail sometime, somewhere,

    Oldscout 

  17. On 4/30/2022 at 5:40 PM, SiouxRanger said:

     

    So, to you OA oriented folks, I humbly suggest that Scoutmasters be allowed to ADD names of worthy scouts to the list of "elected" scouts.

     

    I too have seen Eagle scouts in my troop that I thought would be a shoo-in, fail to be selected year after year. But as someone who has been the OA adult in many an election in other troops, I can see some potential problems with this.   

    I'll never forget the sight of a red faced SM shouting in the face of the OA youths who had conducted the election that he had to do it over again after the SM talked to the troop, because the SM's son, the "best scout in the troop"  hadn't been elected.  I had watched the votes being counted and his son was nowhere close to the 50%  mark needed.  Perhaps he was one way in front of dad and another when with his peers.  Maybe some scouts didn't like the SM and were using the election as a way of telling him so. Or just parental blindness.  It wasn't my troop of course so I had no way of knowing.  What I did know was that nobody was going to scream undeservedly at "my" boys while I was around. Nor were we going to hold another election after he told the scouts how to vote "right".   I edged myself between them and he started in on me while the election crew beat a hasty retreat for the door.  

    Admittedly, this was an extreme case.  One out of a hundred. But I believe it showcases some of the potential  pitfalls.

  18. 17 hours ago, MattR said:

    As we all are. Election doesn't make you an OA member, completing the ordeal does.

    As said before  the term election isn't very accurate.

    Agreed.

    Permit me to add that not everyone elected even attempts to complete the ordeal.

      Last weekend we had 36 candidates at the ordeal,  out of 49 that were elected.  Which is the usual percentage.

    Always wondered why roughly a quarter of those selected never come.

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