Jump to content

ParkMan

Members
  • Content Count

    1600
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    25

Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. ParkMan

    United Methodist Church Schism

    Very good point. Given my Catholic roots I see a lot of value in this concept. The challenge in the Methodist church is that there's a sort of democratic character to the religion. There isn't a strong hierarchy like there is in the Catholic church led by a singular leader. As such, they all get together and vote on things. I get the sense that since these rules are decided by committees it's a little different than many are accustomed to in a religion. People are well aware that the decisions like whether a church can perform same sex marriage are driven by who is in the meeting more than it is by some deep analysis of faith. It's the literal definition of church politics. What this had led to practically in the Methodist church is that you've now got whole churches which are skirting the rules and in some cases discussing breaking with those that disagree on this topic. On this topic, there is a group within the Methodist Church which is called the Reconciling Ministries Network (https://rmnetwork.org). Today churches label themselves as a reconciling church. If you want to worship in a church that is supportive of LGBTQ issues, you can to their website and find a local reconciling church.
  2. ParkMan

    United Methodist Church Schism

    I was born and raised Catholic, but have attended a Methodist church for years now, so I'm familiar with the Apostle's Creed. This is a wonderful idea in concept, but life gets messy. The country (world?) is in the midst of reexamining our views on homosexuality. In 20 years, there will probably be a new consensus on homosexuality. But, today people are coming to their conclusions are differents speeds. This is a very natural process. It feels messy in the midst of it, but it's really not that unusual. In the Methodist church there at doctrinal reasons rooted in the faith. In Scouting, it was just opinions about the Scout Law. But, the net effect is really very similar. Those people who are on the progressive side of the shift in views are impatient. The base much of their beliefs on theory and interpretation of concepts. Those people who are on the conservative side of the shift and frustrated and can rightly point to numerous texts to defend their beliefs. Your label of "permissive sexual ethics" is a great example of this. I don't really see anything permissive about our ethics in the change. What I see is a change in understanding about how one thinks of attraction and love. I also see it as a change in how we think of gender. It sounds like you look at the same and think it's a losen of our morals and ethics. 30, 40 years ago it was unlikely we'd have had this discussion. Perhaps in another 30, 40 years from now it will be unlikely again. But, today we're looking at this and all reflecting on it. Today, there is pressure to explain and defend specific views. So, it puts institutions in a bind. How does an institution deal with a transition like this? I for one believe that the sanctity of the institution is more important than the specific issue. Having been born into a faith that's about 2,000 years old I have a sense of longevity. The Catholic Church weathered many storms. It seems a shame to blow up the Methodist Church over this one. Rather than constructing plans to split the church, I'd think the Methodist scholars would be better served with finding some doctrine that allows them to agree to disagree on issues of social upheaval. Let's agree that our common bonds and strength as Methodists is more important than this one issue.
  3. ParkMan

    United Methodist Church Schism

    I would think it would be in the church's best interest to simply let the LGBTQ issues be a local or regional choice. It reminds me of the similar BSA issues. Because the BSA took a stand on the question at a national level, it became a topic to argue over . But, if the BSA had simply said that it is a topic which can be decided locally, it would have saved years of arguing. So, here you have a social issue that the world is grappling with. If the church put the responsibilty on the individual churches to handle it as they believe best, it would allow the church to remain whole.
  4. ParkMan

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    Just seems to me that a part of the problem is that the DE role is ill defined. When they have to work 60 hours a week just to keep up, that's not good. Our council seems to want to treat the DE as a jack of all trades. Chasing money, membership, new units, supporting existing units, supporting the district committee, etc. I'd suggest the BSA figure out a job model that can be done in about 30-35 hours a week. Then, that gives the DE some breathing room to focus on new things that matter.
  5. ParkMan

    Award

    That's not my point on youth. I don't doubt that there are some gender differences. So what? My point is the we should stop worrying about whether girls are better leaders than boys. Just focus on developing those skills that individual scouts need and are keeping them from taking on a leadership role. If it turns out that you' have to focus more on a group of boys to do that than a group of girls, so be it. Your movie analogy is a very good one and one which I think shows some of these choices have more to do with upbringing than gender. I go to the movie's about 6 times a year. Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Ford. vs. Ferrari, Fast and Furious, etc... My wife couldn't care less about any of them and stay home. But, my daughters see just about every one. My daughters see and follow just about all of the same franchises as my son does. Now, if I were to infer that females like movies about feelings and males like action movies, my daughters would have missed out on all of this. But, I never inferred that and always invited them. So, there's very little difference in what my kids watch for movies. If you look at either my wife's or my upbringing you'll see parents who much more prominently favored traditional boy or girl roles. So, in my wife you see interests that reflect that upbringing. As times have evolved, you see fewer traditional boy or girl activities for my kids - so their interests are increasingly similar. Their friend groups are increasingly more mixed gender too.
  6. ParkMan

    Award

    We did have one - yes. A quick google search shows the industry getting behind this too: https://www.chainsawjournal.com/best-chainsaws-for-women/ https://splitwoodclub.com/the-best-chainsaws-for-women https://sawedfish.com/best-chainsaw-woman-top-3-choices/ https://sawingpros.com/best-chainsaws-for-women/ https://www.mechanicalcaveman.com/best-chainsaw-for-women-review-smallest/
  7. ParkMan

    Headline news again...

    This is the key point. The BSA doesn't need a "marketing" strategy with glossy TV ads, it needs a public relations strategy. Today, the BSA is letting others define it - lawyers, the news media, etc. The BSA should not simply respond to articles and send out press releases. The BSA needs to get ahead of this story and define itself. The BSA should create news that tells the story of Scouting and it's values. Instead of simply telling people about the great YPT program the BSA has, the BSA ought to be convening summits in Washington or New York of national leaders on the prevention of child abuse. The BSA should be embracing victims of child abuse and helping them to tell their story. Create some kind of significant fund to compensate victims of abuse and assist victims in getting access to it. The BSA PR head should be on the speed dial of every media person originating stories in this area. Be open and transparent with the media about what happened and what needs to be done. Be THE expert on past abuse in youth organizations. But, in short - the BSA needs to learn the first rule of crisis management. You have to be proactive and get out in front of the crisis. This is why I made my earlier suggestion. Instead of promoting some mid-level marketing professional from some big council to the national role, the BSA ought to open the checkbook and go out and hire someone who really understands this stuff. Perhaps a professional spokesperson from a major politician.
  8. ParkMan

    Award

    Agreed. As volunteers, we should be mindful that as we're giving all these kids equal opportunities to grow. It's most certainly not about creating a culture in Scouting that promotes one gender over another. My suggestion is that we simply worry less about gender. Try to strike it from your vocabulary. If you find that you're starting to say "we need a dad to ..." or "we need a mom to ..." or "the boys in the Crew ..." or "the girls in the Crew ..." ask yourself what you're really trying to say and simply say that. We had a recent example where we needed some adults to clear a small area at our CO. One of the female leaders said "we need some dads with chainsaws to come clear the space." What we really wanted to say was "we need some people who have and are experienced with chainsaws to come clear the space." The second is really what we wanted anyways - we just were conditioned to make that connection with dads. It takes a little practice at first, but over time it's very easy. A similar concept exists with female and male youth. If you're looking at a crew and notice that girls are doing all the organizing the issue really isn't that girls are naturally better organizers than boys. The issue is that in your crew you've got a significant part of the team that isn't engaged in or leading the Crew planning. Take a look at changing that without getting too hung up on whether it's a boy thing or girl thing. Of course, any parent or leader who starts to talk about how great it is that the girls in the crew are leading everything sets themselves up for the same comments I've made above. Again, none of this is about social justice or fighting nature. It's simply about letting kids be kids, to explore their interests, and to develop their skills.
  9. ParkMan

    Award

    There are certainly differences between men & women. As a parent with both sons and daughters I've seen that clearly. The point is that there are a lot fewer differences in capability between the genders than we often think. Woman clearly have the ability to lead a group of kids, to haul a log, fix the plumbing, to change the oil. I work in a STEM related field that has historically been primarily male. Today there are many women in my field. Contributors, leaders, managers, executives - they are very successfully filling all kinds of roles. 20, 30 years ago this was rare - today, it's very common. Locally, I see more and more women in skilled trades roles - construction, electrical work, landscaping, etc. It has become so commonplace in my area today that you almost don't even think about it anymore. When dealing with kids, regardless of our geography or background, I would suggest that we be mindful how we portray a woman's ability to succeed. @jsychk - since you mentioned hauling a log, I was reminded of the "Inspire Her Mind" video that impacted me and which I've posted a few times here. I've included a link to that below. The point is that we need to watch the subtle things we do that suggest that women cannot be every bit as successful as men. I would specifically suggest that whenever you feel the instinct to insert the phrase "we need a male leader" or "we need a dad to do", you really ask yourself - is this really true or is this simply what I'm accustomed to saying?
  10. ParkMan

    Award

    Respectfully - this is simply not true. Any differences that we bring to Scouting because of gender are far outweighed by differences in upbringing, family influence, schooling, and career. Some of the absolute toughest, practical, most no-nonsense leaders I know are women. I don't doubt that you mean no disrespect to either gender by your comments. I am not looking to turn this into a political correctness discussion either. If it had not come up in the topic, I probably would have not commented myself. But, since it has come up, I would suggest that as adult leaders in a development program now open to both genders, we really should think twice before ever inserting "male" or "female" into descriptive phrases like "a strong male leader". When kids hear statements like "the den is lacking a strong male leader", they remember the word "male". You telegraph to female kids that there are things they need males to help with. You telegraph to male kids that it's OK to not fully respect a female leader. I know this isn't what you intend, but it's what happens. Anyways - please pardon the soapbox comments here. I'm not looking to lecture - you came here with a problem and we're here to help out Again, with these comments out there, I thought it important that the other side be presented.
  11. ParkMan

    Headline news again...

    Fully concur. There are countless examples of more proactive marketing than the BSA does. It's like we're not even trying. If I were the BSA leadership, I'd be looking for every opportunity to get our message out there. We need to be making the case that for youth protection, there's no better champion than the BSA. I'd even consider taking 75% of the money we spend on executive salaries and hiring one really good PR person. Pay that person 2 million dollars a year if you have to - but we've got to change the conversation here.
  12. ParkMan

    Award

    HI @jsychk I'd recommend that someone just have an honest conversation with the guy - sort of like what you've done here. "Hi Bob, It's been great having your son in the pack. He's an awesome kid. I noticed that you put him in for 17 adventure badges last month. As you can imagine that many badges all at once was unusual and raised the question of if he really earned them. If he did, no problem - but you can imagine how this seems like something we should check on. What do you think?" Then let the guy explain. If he's sticking to his story - then move on. Part of the risk you take with letting parents enter awards is that this happens. It's not worth blowing things up over some Webelos adventure loops. Of course, if others start doing the same, then you've got to rethink the practice of parents entering them. For what it's worth. I get the impression that people are a little too busy in your pack and it would probably benefit to bring in some more parent help. CC in the Middle East, CM with demanding job. Truthfully it doesn't matter if these people have 0 assistants or 10 assistants as long as stuff gets done. Conversely, it's fine for the person in the role to be busy - but you've got to offload smaller tasks for them. The CC is responsible for making sure that recharter gets done, but doesn't have to do it themself. Same with many CM tasks. These senior people absolutely have to provide the leadership - but the manpower can be done by others.
  13. ParkMan

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    I don't mean to make light of it. But, taking a step back to where this started. I think this is a place where the CSE could choose to get involved. We all hear these horror stories of bad councils. Frankly, these are the kinds of problems that are killing Scouting. The CSE could by all means start an effort to fix the professional/volunteer chaos.
  14. ParkMan

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    I think many SEs are clearly in over their heads. I think we've had this discussion before. But, if a professional overrules a volunteer and the volunteer has the ability to do so, the volunteer should nicely tell the professional to back off. That's Bob for the input, but I've got this. We've met for months and made decisions about the plan for the event. Of course, it strikes me as off that you've got a situation where the professional isn't in the loop on the event planning. If the volunteer can't stand up to the DE for whatever reason - then the volunteer need to go to the district chair. The district chair can deal with the politics of the professional service.
  15. ParkMan

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    This all seems very probable from a system which has grown a out of control. It's too simplistic to say that "they can't or won't care about unit level scouting." We volunteers throw phrases like this around, but it can mean so many different things. To me, a DEs job is to provide professional support such that a district functions at maximum potential. That's where their focus should be. A typical DE has something like 50 units in their district. That gives them time for what - 30-45 minutes a week per unit? I think that we've all been abusing the DE role for a very long time now. I have district volunteers who want the DE to make photocopies. Unit leaders want the DE to drop equipment off at their house. etc. A DE should be focused on making the district more effective.
  16. ParkMan

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    I think we have a different view of professionals in Scouting. Professionals do not run Scouting - volunteers do. We hire professionals because we recognize there are roles that benefit from having someone there full time to do them. For example - if there are issues with the camporee - it should not be a professional's job to fix it. That's the job of the district program chair or district chair. Of course the professional should want to see it fixed - but that's why we have a Key 3. The professional can sit down with the district chair and district commissioner and bring it up as a concern. But, like in any organization, the person who's responsibility it is should be the one to address it. I recognize that this seems idealistic. To an extent it is. But, our structure in the BSA is a mess. Professionals who are doing too much, volunteers who are quitting because they are not empowered, unit volunteers who are frustrated because they expect professionals to fix things or care about things. You want to empower volunteers - then you can't make them simply the job do-er for the professionals.
  17. ParkMan

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    Your list is somewhat making my point: "Camporees, timely processing of paperwork at the council office, training schedules, the quality of food at the council camp." Camporees & training schedules are volunteer responsibilities. Timely processing of paperwork (registrar) & food at the council camp (summer camp director) are professional responsibilities. Getting unit volunteers talking to district/council volunteers would be a good thing. It would help unit volunteers to understand the path to having an impact on things like camporees and training. I think the CSE could guide the organization to sort this out.
  18. ParkMan

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    I'll admit - I don't see quite the same thing. In our council, our professional staff is quite busy. But, for the most part, the things they worry about are things that most volunteers don't care that much about (fundraising, membership, etc...). The bigger issue I see is that ownership at the council level really isn't clear. We don't do a really good job of letting folks know who is responsible for specific things. So, we have lots of volunteers with ideas that get given to the professionals. Yet, many of those ideas have little to do with professionals and are really volunteer functions. Our professionals don't do a great job of making that clear. For example - a volunteer will take to the DE about some change that needs to happen with training - that we should hold a specific class at a specific time, etc. But, professionals really have little to do with training. It should be much clearer who a recommendation goes to - but it's not because most of us don't know or understand the structure of how things work in a council. I'd think this is the kind of thing the CSE could instruct his program & HR teams to deal with. More clearly define professional & volunteer responsibilities.
  19. ParkMan

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    If it's this - I'm not impressed. National needs to be more aggressive. As the new leader, now's the time to set the tone. "Staff, I want a message out tomorrow."
  20. ParkMan

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    Does someone have a national org chart they can share? EDIT: still looking, but found that the BSA hosts the 990s at: https://www.scouting.org/about/annual-report/
  21. ParkMan

    Rumblings of Time Ahead

    Thank you very much @4CouncilsScouter for following your convictions and making the tough choice. Thank you for the many years of service and attempting to fight the good fight and the politics that do exist. I have no idea where we'll end up nationally, but thank you for sharing with us some of your observations of what is happening within the national organization. It really does help us to be more informed volunteers.
  22. ParkMan

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    What problems do you think they need to solve that they are not? Why do you think that they are inefficient? Why do they need a shake up?
  23. ParkMan

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    Again - my suggestion is that we focus on the problems that we they need to solve. To help, here are the positions on that list: Chief Scout Executive Chief Financial Officer Chief Technology Officer General Counsel Deputy Chief Scout Executive Asst. Chief Scout Executive of Development Asst. Chief Scout Executive of Outdoor Adventures Director of Human Resources Director of Information Technology Director of Marketing Director of Outdoor Adventures Director of Supply Director of Support Services Director of the National Jamboree Director of the Summit Director of Philanthropy Director of Government and Community Relations 2 Regional Directors (not sure where the other two are) Many of these I can see would have little to no impact on unit serving people. (i.e., General Counsel, Human Resources, Development, and Philanthropy). But for the others, what do you think that their departments need to be doing that is not being done?
  24. ParkMan

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    Maybe it's just me - but continuing to criticize the national salaries like this feels good, but isn't really bringing constructive ideas to the table. I don't even see how this impacts just about anything I do either. Say we reduce all the above salaries and then pass all the savings on the Scouts. That does what - reduce the national budget by 5 million a year? While that's a lot - it's not going to fundamentally change anything for us. I think if we really want to engage with the CSE in a constructive way, we've got to focus on issues that are either a) painful to us as Scouters, or b) things that can bring impact to the program and achievable.
  25. ParkMan

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    I'd suggest that one thing we could do to encourage Mr. Mosby's involvement (directly or indirectly) is to tone down some of the national/council/<whatever group> criticisms. I'm not for a moment suggesting that we lessen the critiques of what is happening. There is a very high level of competence and accomplishment within the volunteers in this forum - we are capabale of having frank conversations. However, I am suggesting that we can be more careful in reaching conclusions about their motivations. It's been my experience that pretty often the people we criticize are much like us - folks who came to Scouting for good reasons. They have kids and families. They are doing what they believe to be right for Scouting - just as we all do.
×