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ParkMan last won the day on October 22

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  1. EDIT: @David CO - thanks for the comments. I'm happy to stipulate that you are correct and I am wrong. I was really just annoyed with the continual piling on of people on the BSA for the actions of 30+ years ago. I think abuse is reprehensible of course. I am just dismayed with how this has unfolded. My kids, my grandkids, and other get to suffer because of actions of those many years before. I had nothing to do with any of this and am confused why people who started well before me got to destroy and organization that I came to join many years later. That said - I really have no desire to continue this debate in a separate thread as I have seen the moderators have decided to move it. I'm happy to leave the debate to those who want to sit around and continue to pile on. I'd be happy for the moderators to remove my account.
  2. I do not doubt that the rules setup today shield the government from inaction here. I am sure you can quote me 1,000 legal cases the show members of the government have established laws to protect it from inaction. I'm not attempting to make a legal argument - I'm making a moral and ethical one. Our government does all kinds of things proactively to protect us - seat belt laws, approving drugs for use, working to prevent the abuse of drugs. There is a whole industry around federal rule making. Clearly government recognizes a role in being proactive. Why are set belt laws worth of government action but not child abuse? We have a FDA, SEC, NHTSA, FHA, and so forth. Yet, when claims are being made about the abuse of kids the government gets a pass from looking at the pattern and stopping it? You're right though, the government cannot stop all instances of abuse. But, they certainly should have stopped what was going on in the BSA & LA schools - and probably the Catholic church as well. Without doubt they should have shut down these youth organizations until we had an adequate safety program in place. Again, we regulate asprin but don't try to stop abuse in youth organizations? That the government did not do it's duty to regulate these industries shows it's implicit support of what was going on. Just as the BSA should have done more, so too should the government. No? Because the laws have unjustly been shielding the government from fulfilling it's ethical and moral responsibility here it will certainly require the government to enact new legislation to enable this. But, it needs to happen. Thanks for helping to refine the proposal. Latest: Proposal: As this in part was a country wide issue, in addition to shutting down the BSA and selling it to settle claims, I lobby for special tax funds to pay each victim of child abuse in organizations who serve youth $25,000,000 per incident. Funds need to be established at each level of government such that victims receive $25,000,000 payments at the local, state, and federal level - for a total of $75,000,000 per incident. Victims must be made whole and willfully negligent governments need to be held accountable.
  3. But these people are not solely victims of a private company. The state and federal governments were aware that more than zero adults participating in the programs of the BSA had abused children. Just as the BSA had developed lists to track those cases, so too the governments had legal proceedings and at least records of allegations of abuse. That the individual states and federal government did not launch aggressive investigations nor shutdown Scouting and other youth organizations clearly demonstrates a willingness to allow youth to be abused. That is reprehensible and the governments clearly need to be held responsible for their willful negligence. Of course people knew that youth were being abused. Perhaps not every instance and case, but we all knew about abuse - that is why parents taught their kids to be wary of strangers. I grew up in that time and remember well lessons from my parents about it. Further, it is only right and just that victims receive adequate compensation for all those who had some role in their abuse. The government, through the willful disregard for their responsibility in the role of protecting children, was clearly negligent and as such needs to provide compensation. In fact, I would further amend my proposal to now be: Proposal: As this in part was a country wide issue, in addition to shutting down the BSA and selling it to settle claims, I lobby for special tax funds to pay each victim of child abuse $25,000,000 per incident. Funds need to be established at each level of government such that victims receive $25,000,000 payments at the local, state, and federal level - for a total of $75,000,000 per incident. Victims must be made whole and willfully negligent governments need to be held accountable. The federal government in the FTCA has already permitted tort claims against the federal government. They clearly recognizes that concept of the federal government being held liable for the actions of their employees. It shows that they know they bear responsibility for their actions. Many states have extended the statue of limitations of abuse cases and so they recognize the severity of these crimes. It's time for the federal government to extend the concepts in the FTCA to acknowledge their errors here. It's time for the state governments to acknowledge the same. This is a distinction without a difference. Just because people work for the government, that should not enable them to allow the abuse of children. Just because the politicians have the money and influence to get elected doesn't mean that they should get to allow the abuse of children. Just because someone is a politician doesn't mean that they get to enable pedophiles. The government absolutely needs to be held accountable too.
  4. I'm terribly sorry to hear about the loss of the troop. Just reminds us all of how important developing a strong troop leadership team really is.
  5. I was wondering about that too. After two reads, I found the quote: Sounds like their council shooting sports committee approved it.
  6. I agree! I found a similar strategy has worked for us too. Well written. A few comments: On delegation - we've found that a good strategy is in someone's first year as a volunteer recruit them to do specifics tasks or own a small role in the troop. Year two, give them larger role to take on - ASM of new scouts or ASM of troop guides - something like that. Then 1st assistant ASM. Then, a year or two later SM. The same is true for Committee positions. Don't recruit the new parent to be Pack Committee Chair or Troop Advancement Chair. I've also learned never try to recruit someone who isn't already a leader in the troop or pack to be SM or CM. That is a recipe for disaster. We've found that it helps to make den leaders, Cubmasters, etc. ASMs as soon as their child bridges. Why? Since you should never give the reins of the troop to a new leader, leaders need time to learn your troop's culture. The best way for them to learn the culture is to be a part of the leadership team. They'll see how the team works, what the troop's goals are, how they interact. Along the way they'll bring fresh ideas and perspective. Of course you are not going to put a Cub Scout leader in the position of Scoutmaster or ASM of Troop Guides or New Scouts - they just don't have the experience yet. But find them a role, get them engaged, and get them learning your troop's culture. Also, often leaders are at their most recruitable when their son or daughter first joins. This is a great time to get them a small role to help out on. EDIT: One more point... For the SM selection - I would second that the Key 3 should drive the selection of Scoutmaster. However, for other new leaders it should be everyone's responsibility to recruit new leaders.
  7. DISLAIMER: abuse is a horrible, reprehensible act and those people who abuse kids should be punished to the furthest extent of the law. Proposal: As this in part was a country wide issue, in addition to shutting down the BSA and selling it to settle claims, I lobby for a special tax fund to pay each victim of child abuse $25,000,000 per incident. Everyone in the country knew that child abuse was happening. That the government did not shut down all youth serving organizations that reported an incidence of abuse was clearly a sign that we were not doing enough as a country. Our country clearly was at fault here. We all need to recognize our culpability for this. Just because we have come along later in history doesn't mean that we are any less responsible as a country for the actions of those we predated us. The more I look at this, the more I come to the same conclusion. So it's OK not to sue schools systems or the government, but it is the BSA? I'm not following the logic. The same arguments that apply to why you hold the BSA responsible apply to the government. The same arguments that apply to why you don't hold the government responsible apply to the BSA. You don't get to argue one without the other.
  8. In my experience the biggest obstacles to succession planning are: Scoutmasters/Cubmasters who do too much - they don't delegate which makes the job appear huge. Someone who isn't looking for a 20 hour a week job isn't going to sign-up when the current SM/CM is doing that much. Delegate, delegate, delegate. Make sure you don't need a Scoutmaster to keep functioning before you go find a new one. Troops/Packs without sufficient adult support - similar reason. When the SM/CM realizes that other adults are not their to support them, they don't want to take the job on. Lack of suitable candidates - you don't promote a new person to be President of the company. Similarly don't attempt to take a parent and make them Scoutmaster. If you don't have ASMs/ACMs doing significant work already, then succession planning is not going to occur. To get an ASM doing significant work, you first have to have ASMs doing small projects. In short, you need a farm team. To me this is a core structure problem - fix the structure and succession planning is easier to address.
  9. OK - wasn't sure what you meant. Yes, these threads do often get to be more than discussing policy implications. For certain. For what it's worth, I think you've skipped a stop between: "Start with a random topic. Talk about that for a page or two." and "Move off onto iterating between what was done wrong years ago and what should be done in the future". That step is start complaining about various groups and Scouting as a whole today. If I look at this thread, we started with a pretty normal set of questions about Wood Badge. Then, after the course it turned into complaints about the course. Then about why Wood Badge isn't a good course. The about how Scouting messed up when they created the most recent course. Then why did Scouting mess up the course. As they say, the rest is history... I like your positive vision for the future. I do wonder if some of this is just natural team dynamics. As I read your comment, I couldn't help but think of the stages of team development from Wood Badge - forming, storming, norming, performing. I wonder how much of this is the Scouter community working through something that. We discuss a topic and after the pleasantries, people's real opinions start to come out. The thread can then spiral for a few days while people battle a bit. After a bit people either get frustrated and walk away or they realize that those they are battling with are not so awful. Then some more deep down discussions happen. I'm probably overthinking that one. For what it's worth - I enjoy topics here that get me thinking. I'm really OK with the debates. To me, impact is that a topic that might have 5 posts now has 100. I can skip them if I really don't want to participate so I really don't have an issue with them. In fact, I've appreciated lately that no-one is shutting these down. I'll admit that I get disappointed when people start to debate and then a moderator locks the thread.
  10. Wonderfully said. I was writing a post, hit reply and saw yours. You said it much more artfully than I did. I feel like this is exactly the kind of issues we faced. Your post reminded me of a period where we have two Webelos dens of the same age in our pack. One run by a very organized set of parents. The other by a parent with a ton of outdoor experience. My son was in this fellow's den. One month we decided to hold a joint den camp out for the boys at that level. In preparation the other den had all kinds of plans and schedules. The den leader surveyed the site and was very well prepared. My son's den leader (who had a lot of camping experience) instead focused on getting the boys to practice camp cooking in den meetings. When we all got ot camp, both dens were starting breakfast meal prep - pancakes. The other, super organized, den leader had her den up and going. Yet, every parent was there with the boys at every step. All the boys got to do was mix some batter and flip the pancakes. In my son's den, the den leader said - OK boys, here's the box of pancake mix, some eggs, and milk. Have fun. The boys in his den jumped into action and did a fantastic job doing the whole thing. I share that story because nowhere, other than experience, would those den leaders have known how far to push the Scouts and make it work. I'll guarantee you that my son's den had more fun. But, this goes back to the problem of leaders just have no idea how to deal with the day to day decisions that make this all work. How can Scouting effectively help prepare leaders so that they even begin to approach the boys correctly so that it stays fun and engaging?
  11. Thank you for the wonderfully constructed thoughts on this. How much do you think this is about Scouters simply not having something that they can emulate? What I noticed in our Troop was a general lack of understanding of how patrol method and a youth led troop functions. This is saying a lot in a troop with 30+ volunteers and 75+ Scouts. I like to think we were not adult led, but yet as I as Committee Chair looked around I could tell there was too much adult decision making and interference. I think in our case it really was lack of knowledge. What, for example, should a PLC do to organize a troop meeting? What does a fun troop meeting even look like? What does a well run, Scout led camping trip look like? What do you do with the group of 11 year old new Scouts while the SPL is busy focused on sorting out the night's plan with the PLC? How do you really organize a weekend camping trip for 40 Scouts and have it be anywhere close to youth led? How do you plan for a year when the PLC can't plan the next troop meeting? etc... What I saw in our case was adults who were happy to embrace youth led - but none of us really knew what it looked like. At best, we could point to vague ideas and concepts about letting Scouts make mistakes and sort things out. However, it always seemed like youth led was some sort of vague panacea that everyone wanted to achieve, but no one had any idea what it really looked like.
  12. First - just gotta say that I loved your post. Great explanation. Isn't a big part of the issue in Scouting today that youth led is so vaguely defined and it's benefits are so difficult to comprehend? Scouters are often quick to criticize adults for jumping in - but it's hard for them not to. It's not that adults really want neat and clean - it's that they see the messy and recognize that there are 30 scouts all milling about because of it. They see boring troop meetings because the PLC doesn't know how to make them engaging. They see lackluster campouts that may or may not happen because they don't get organized. In the context of this discussion on fun, isn't the issue that bad patrol method is simply not fun and so many units cobble together something akin to patrol method that's not a lot of fun either? How does a troop see a clear path with some concrete steps that they can follow to get to a "fun" patrol method model?
  13. I believe you're hitting on some core questions about what is Scouting and why is it the program that it is. If we go back the core idea "game with a purpose", then we need to define what our purpose is. Today the purpose is captured in the aims of Scouting and the game is captured in the methods of Scouting. I think it's fine to take a big step back and ask ourselves: is our purpose correct for today? is our game still correct to best achieve the purpose today? Where I think you have to be careful is when you start thinking of just the fun and focusing only on the fun out of context. In Scouting terms, focusing on the game without looking at the purpose. Maybe it's the right thing to bail on the purpose - but I would suggest doing that deliberately.
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