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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. FWIW We see all kinds of mistakes in Scouting - that's part of why we have Scouting. Usually we're seeing mistakes being a Scout, or being a Camper, or whatever outdoor skill is involved. Sometimes kids make mistakes at being a person. For whatever reason, a Scout starts going off the rails in terms of how he treats others. These kind of things can end up being really positive for the bully too. So, while it's human nature to be apprehensive about dealing with these kinds of issues, I'd be less confrontational and look at is as teaching yet another lesson to the Scout involved. This might be a lesson that the Scout carries with him for years, if not the rest of his life.
  2. The first thing I'd do is have a discussion about the concerns among the core leadership team - CC, SM (I think you said the position is in transition), key ASMs, etc. Everyone should get on the same page that there is a concern and should share what they know. After that, I'd do 3 three things: 1) talk with the scout(s) who may have been bullied. As what happened and listen. 2) talk with the scout that has been accused. Talk about bullying and that some people think he's being a bully. Discuss what has happened to date and what he thinks he has done. See if he thinks he's a bully. But, make clear that under no circumstances is bullying condoned.. 3) talk with the Scout's parents. They are your partners in this, talk to them that way. Let them know that concerns have been raised and that you're digging into them. As I see it, our job as Scout leaders is to create an environment where bullying does not occur. But, when it does occur, then we need to figure out what happened and work with the kids involved so that it stops. So, I think that how one handles bullying is just as important as trying to prevent it in the first place. I'm inclined to treat a first offense as a learning process for the scout involved. Of course, if the bullying was particularly awful or was harmful, there are limits to treating it as a learning experience. But the scout needs to know - there is no second conversation.
  3. I looked around your troop website and cannot seem to find a time for the meeting. Often they list this on the troop website, but they didn't here. Sorry.
  4. Good. However, from what you just described sounds like district level meetings. A roundtable is a training meeting for district leaders. They fellows you mention are district level people. A district is the city/county level organizational grouping within Scouting. There's usually about 50 troops and packs in a single district. You need to find the Troop Committee meeting. This is the leadership meeting for just your troop. It's different. Feel free to PM me your troop number and I'll see if I can find it for you. It seems counter-intuitive, but individual troops do not report to the district level people. The way the BSA is setup, a single troop is an autonomous entity. District staff are usually quite well connected in Scouting, but they don't hold much too sway over a given troop.
  5. Hi @Mich08212, I'm a Troop Committee Chair and have been for a while. Why not just go to the next committee meeting and ask what's up? They are all generally public meetings. If someone came to ours and had a question like this, we'd take the time to answer.
  6. I'm terribly sorry to hear about the frustration this has brought yoh. You've brought a lot to this forum. If this ends up being it - I wish you the very best.
  7. Barry, You don't know me. I did not start name calling. I think you started the self righteousness comments towards me. I've bent over backwards to make my point without criticizing anyone's beliefs. I simply said that I am concerned that given the consistent comments in this discussion about transgender kids not being normal it would become spill over into similar comments to this kids themselves. Is that such a stretch when we had a post from one of our members who didn't even want to even be in the same summer camp as transgender kids? In other places, I'd say that a number of the posts use "charged words" - language which is itself inflammatory. I am far from a progressive liberal. I've been a registered Republican all my life, generally vote conservative, listen to Fox news, frustrate my much more liberal family. Yet, I will admit that I struggle with this forum. I appreciate that we have this place to share experiences, but I find there is a very conservative tone that is very negative about these kinds of issues. If we were debating politics, I would take a very different tone. But, so many of these topics are about excluding groups of people from Scouting. Don't let in gays or transgender people - that's basically what we're talking about. I only spend my time on it here because this isn't a local forum. You want to sit around with your local friends and make comments about kids in Scouting - fine. But, this is a national forum. It is not local. So, please don't be surprised when people who live these issues make a counterpoint.
  8. Many kids who go through this do not change their biology. For them, they do not need to. They already feel that they are the other gender and so physical steps are not necessary. But, yes, some do. Again - all I'm asking is that we be mindful of the rhetoric around the Scouts - all the Scouts. You may not have yet met a transgender kid, but it is coming. These kids have hard enough life as it is. @Hedgehog's crew sounds like a great group. If you are some day faced with these kinds of decisions please simply do the same.
  9. I met the first kid I knew who was coming to terms with with gender identity questions about 5 years ago. The kid has not transitioned, but was clearly trying to figure things out. In the back of my mind I thought - it has to be easier if the parent stops this. Over time I got to know the kid and realized he was like every other kid - but his struggle was gender identity. About two years ago I found out that a kid that I have known for his whole life was going to counseling for gender identity issues. I've known this kid all his life. He's a wonderful kid - has the same struggles as others- school, friends, parents, etc. He has the added challenge of dealing with his gender identity. He's been in weekly counselling since then. His parents struggled with it and pushed back pretty hard. They talked to counsellor after counsellor. They eventually figured out that they needed to simply support him. What I've come to learn is that transgender kids are kids first. They want to be accepted and loved - it's just a whole lot harder for them because to them being normal means being accepted as having a gender they were not born with.
  10. It's covered in the interview. He makes it pretty clear it is up to the CO.
  11. It's the tone of the way people refer to it here. Such as: On the surface it seems innocuous enough. But, it leads me to be concerned that folks will treat transgender kids as an oddity or even . This topic is full of comments about how they don't think transgender kids are "normal". I'm an optimist, bu t it's hard to trust that all the folks who commented here are going to warmly embrace a transgender scout in their troops.
  12. My understanding is that each troop is to work with the scouts parent and the BSA professional staff to develop the processes that makes sense for that youth and the other Scouts. It could include sharing tents if everyone felt it was appropriate. I saw a doc from one of the councils with details - but cannot seem to find it now.
  13. I mean this in the nicest way possible - but it does not matter to me what your personal beliefs are on this topic. My point is that as Scouters we need to leave our personal feelings on this topic at home. If a transgender kid shows up in your troop you need to accept him and support his involvement in Scouting. The scout should never know that you disagree with the guidance of his family (and probably a healthy number of professionals) on his gender identity. Again - it's is not our place as Scouters to do discourage Scouts who are transgender. I'm making this point because it would be wrong for me to leave the impression that it's okay for Scouters to be offensive to transgender Scouts. Of course there is an exception is for units where the CO objects. But - that's not what we're talking about here.
  14. In my experience no parent wants the harder life the being transgender brings. If you really don't believe that a kid is transgender, then report it as abuse.
  15. I know two transgender youth. I am not an expert of the topic, but understand it well enough to know where we need to start advocating on their behalf. Yes - these boys face a difficult life. The last thing they need is a bunch of Scout leaders trying to tell them they are not normal. My point was - and continues to be - that you need to leave these beliefs at home. These kids need a little normalcy and the best thing you can do for them is to help them get it.
  16. The term is gender identity. @shortridge describes it a few posts up. In short - yes, if a person believes he is a boy, then his gender identity is that he is a boy. You may not personally believe that - and that's fine. But, in the context of Scouting - if a kid shows up and he and his parents say he is a boy - then yes, he's a boy. Outside of Scouting, feel free to challenge that. But, inside Scouting we support him.
  17. Actually saying they have a condition is offensive. You don't pretend they are a boy - you accept that they are a boy
  18. I do mean support. I'm not suggesting that you have talks with the scout about being transgender. In fact, if a Scout wants to talk about being transgender, you ought to suggest he talk with his parents. We need to support the Scouts as they progress through the program. If a transgender scout is having a tough time In the troop you help him. If the Scout needs coaching about being a Scout or getting along with others- you help him. In short, you show an interest in helping that Scout have a fantastic experience in Scouting. You go out of your way to help him be successful. If you call that something different than supporting the scout - that's fine.
  19. In Scouting - yes. We're here to support kids - not judge them because of how they or their family define gender. At home, at church, or other places no.
  20. Welcome to 2018. You may not want to have to deal with it, but it's just part of contemporary society. The BSA didn't get to decide if this would be a topic any more than you or I - they just got to decide how the group would respond. The BSA is pretty late to the game, but they've done what just about every other group that deals with kids has. In any issue like this - there are those out in front of it, those that follow along, and those that get dragged to it. The BSA was absolutely not a leader here - it is just following along. I am sympathetic that you're getting dragged in to it - but it's just the reality of today. At this point, continuing to rally against it just hurts those kids that need our support. BTW - shoot the messenger if you want (aka downvote this), but I'm just being honest here.
  21. It's not our place to decide that. It's up to a Scout and the Scouts family. This is a significantly more complex decision than anything Scouters need to be involved in. Whether you or I think the kid is getting good advice at home or not, the kids need our support. If they want to be treated as a boy, treat them as a boy and move on.
  22. It does seem like this is a place where youth really just need our support and for us to treat them as 100% normal and accepted - regardless of their gender identity.
  23. I'm not sure I agree. Yes, many things are more expensive - yes. But, many are not. I think it's a fundamental part of the law for a Scout to be thrifty. It's important for the Scouts to learn how to spend efficiently. I 100% agree. But, I find that as a whole, we offer a pretty cost effective offering for youth. Our summer camps are some of the least expensive. Monthly events are pretty reasonable. Dues at $100 a year are not that much. My cable bill is $100 a month. My cell phone $200. Scouts is pretty reasonable by comparison. I'm not pushing back on your point. It's just I've watched the troop committee be paralyzed over an $8 dollar a year dues increase. I've watched kids camp with old ratty equipment because folks were afraid to spend to replace it. I just think as Scouting units, we need to be thrifty and respectful, but we need to spend what we need to spend to run great programs.
  24. Respectfully, I think we're over thinking this. Girls will not like uniforms because they feel the need to be sexy? Girls won't like advancement because it's too militaristic? I don't think so. I've got a 9 year old and a 14 year old daughter. They are not too concerned with dressing sexy - actually it feel kinda odd even thinking about it. Both daughters are in Girl Scout troops. My older daughter's troop sets a high standard for uniforming. All 12 girls in that troop do a great job of uniforming and I've never heard more than grumbles from my daughter. My 9 year old's troop is much more lax and looks like a bunch of rag a muffins. If anything, I detect a sense of pride from the older girls that they look quite professional. I think they'll do just fine with all eight methods.
  25. We talk about the cost a lot on our troop. I was a scout in 1985. Campouts were $20. I put $20 into a inflation calculator and today it's the equivalent of $46. Our average troop monthly camping trip is about $30. I thought that was interesting.
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