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pohsuwed

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pohsuwed last won the day on March 1 2014

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About pohsuwed

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  1. Is there a "Troll" button anywhere on this site?
  2. I was visiting a scout shop the other day and took a look at the new Venturing Summit medal. I was taken back by the downgrade in quality in the construction of the medal. It is now just like the Varsity Denali award which is an emblem hanging from the ribbon which has the header bar glued to the top of the ribbon. I was quite sad to see this. Would it have cost BSA too much to keep it the same as the Silver or Ranger award quality?
  3. This is an interesting one. I think we would all agree that Boy Scouts in general has been suffering with its public perception for some time now which has led to a decrease in enrollment and retention. I think we would all love to see this reverse direction. HOWEVER, we are also a group of people who for some reason are prone to cannibalizing our own whenever anyone gets any attention for what they are doing. It's very evident on these message boards, and it is probably evident in most of our districts and councils as well. In my case, our Venturing Crew was recently highlighted in the local media for their work in cleaning up roadside trash which included over a hundred cans of "huffed" whipped topping in just one mile of road way. We asked the media to do a story on the dangers of huffing and they included our community service work in their story. One would think that this would be a great multi-benefit story including a public/youth safety story and a great story about young people working to help the community. While there were positive public comments in social media on this, word got back to me through the local scouter network that we were just looking for "atta boys". If we want to reverse the tide of scouting participation, we need to regain public support for the program by highlighting what we represent. We also need to show parents the type of program we follow and that we aren't just an after-school program.
  4. There is plenty of what could easily be considered bullying going on here on scouter.com by people who don't think twice about their own snide comments at other leaders.
  5. There is ALWAYS more to the story. For example, I recently participated in a discussion with a scout preparing his Eagle application where the scout's Life advancement date was in 2009 and his last leadership date was in 2008. (He thought he was ready for his EBOR!) This was not a surprise to me considering my knowledge of his virtually non-existent troop as well as his personal activity in this "troop". Luckily he had six months until his 18th birthday so I offered him the suggestion of either requesting a leadership position in his troop so he could work to bring it back to life or if that didn't work out to request the position of Den Chief with the local pack. After the conversation with the scout these ideas were also shared with his current Scoutmaster, his former Scoutmaster (from the 2008-2009 era) and his mother. Instead of this scout actually working to complete the requirement, this entire group of people ended up trying to push it up and through the council without the requirement being completed because the scout didn’t want to deal with doing any more than he has already completed. They are saying that what he has completed is enough. There is much more to this story than I'm sharing here, but this is enough to set up my point: In this case “Myboy†has presented, it seems to appear that the SM is adding requirements. The reality very well could be something completely different just as those involved in my local situation are currently suggesting that additional requirements are being heaped upon them. This situation has certainly made me a lot more skeptical about stories like this floating around. Frankly, I would think that the best assumption would be that the trained SM would have a better grip on what is proper over most parents. I can’t say that this would always hold true, but this may be the place to start working through a problem like this.
  6. Yes, I'm a little late to this party, but I do have a bit I would like to add to this discussion. Frankly, I get somewhat disgusted with some of the attitude that I find on these forums and this thread is no exception. It really appears as though a few people have latched onto and twisted a concept to make it something that it is not. The addition of quotes from Bill Evans doesn’t really answer the question either as it is evident that this is a poorly constructed award in the first place and even if Bill thought through it clearly he would probably not want to appear to contradict the documentation. And whoever feels important enough to be able to get Bill to answer his questions, maybe next time you should ask real questions that will get to the bottom of the issue. Consider this example: It is clear that the NOA Hiking requirements include miles hiked when earning the Hiking merit badge. Does the Hiking merit badge require scouts to work on the badge as a patrol or a troop? Nope. Do the NOA Hiking requirements specifically provide a disqualification on those miles from the Hiking merit badge that would make them ineligible for NOA purposes? Nope. There is the “auspices†thing, but does a scout who hikes the required hikes to earn the Hiking merit badge not do so with a scouting purpose? Or does Basementdweller really want to argue that the inclusion of the “auspices†wording negate the inclusion of the Hiking merit badge miles if done alone? It is only reasonable that if the writers of this award wanted to disqualify Hiking merit badge miles done individually and not as part of a patrol/troop activity that they would have stated that clearly. Then consider this example: For several awards in Boy Scouts and Venturing a scout needs to establish and follow through on a fitness plan. Let’s say a scout determines that as part of his fitness plan that he will mountain bike 10 miles each Saturday morning. This is definitely a scouting activity, and it makes perfect sense that this is done as an individual activity rather than as a patrol or troop activity. If given the opportunity, would Bill Evans state that this would not be considered under the auspices of scouting? In his questioning to Bill, Scouter99 referenced non patrol/troop activities as “individual pursuit†suggesting that they have no connection to scouting. Scouter99 also stated that Bill’s answer came back very quickly during Jamboree weekâ€â€is it reasonable that Bill actually took the time to consider anything other than Scouter99’s slanted question when he responded with his fourteen word response? And sure, there are select individuals who will say that boys will manipulate the requirements to include something as simple as ride their bikes to get ice cream. Their response is to then add to the requirements to require a percentage of a scout’s patrol to participate before the scout can count the activity. Is this about a scout getting into the outdoors or about a scout maintaining a high level of activity by scouts in the troop? There are other awards for thatâ€â€let this award be about getting into the outdoors. With this said, I’m a proponent of being consistent and reasonable for this award. Camping nights have always been based on patrol/troop activities and this should continue to apply. Hiking miles have never excluded individual hikes and this should continue to apply. Riding miles have also never excluded individual miles (Cycling merit badge states “BSA Buddy System†which is an obvious statement about scout safety and not about doing this as a patrol/troop). And none of the aquatics merit badges require patrol/troop participation. Adventure activities are pretty much described as patrol/troop activities which makes sense that these follow this guidance. It’s really not that difficult. (By the way, I find it interesting that those types of folks who argue against groups working on merit badges together are trying to suggest just that.) And finally how about this: Would BSA really want to create an individual award but require them to be part of a highly active troop to be able to qualify for it? Nope. Obviously, some troops have things going on a bit better than others. But does a proactive scout in a less-than-ideal troop have to suffer if they have personal goals? And should that scout be criticized that doing so is what is causing the troop to be less-than-ideal? Nope. Certainly not by people who would have absolutely no idea about the difficulties in that troop. After all, we all know that running a good program is always a challenge even for well-seasoned troops.
  7. Thanks charmoc! I may be wrong, but these boards have at least few conversations about the program being "boy led". It is interesting to find that Beaverrr and Mad Max take the different approach of controlling progression and constraining advancement, putting the control of the program into the pages of some unwritten book. Wouldn't "boy led" include the fact that if some boys run with the program faster than others and that we should let them run? Clearly each boy is unique and responds to motivation differently. The scout leaders should always emphasize the eight methods to create the environment where boys can build themselves, but why would anyone suggest that they shouldn't advance at whatever speed they choose? And where the heck is the "maturity" requirement? I have looked for it before, and I still can't find it anywhere. Frankly I get so tired of leaders thinking that they know the program so well that they have the perfect application for it--when it means treating them all alike and running them through a constrained course of advancement like they were robots. Does Mad Max prescribe to this so when the next boy he has never met before comes in for the 301st Eagle board of review he has a good feeling about the maturity of that boy solely based on that conversation? That would be quite a mistake as eloquence is also not a requirement for any rank advancement either. It is inappropriate to add requirements to an Eagle Scout. And we are all aware that there is no such thing as a maturity requirement in scouting. My personal opinion is that more respect for the program can be found in younger scouts than older ones anyway. And Beaver still alludes to the idea that (without any personal knowledge) this scout listed in this post has only participated in one of the methods of scouting. I think a positive person would only assume that any Eagle scout has benefited from all of the methods of scouting, until maybe proven otherwise. And I'm sorry, but what is the "Promise of Scouting" Mad Max refers to? I have searched for this as well, and have found nothing about the bestowal or delivery of something like this. Is this another made up requirement? My point here is that why not simply congratulate the scout and have hopes that he, just like every other boy in scouting, gets out of it what he can to prepare him for the rest of his life. The idea of tearing them down based on silly assumptions is rediculous. And Beaverrrr, while you may have congratulated him at first, taking a slap at assumed deficiencies in his development so far negates the congratulations. And one note about speedy advancement is that Eagle is certainly not the "end" in scouting. So if anyone is thinking that these scouts then have nothing to do therefore they will drop out, you may want to look again. Some scouts will simply reach for Eagle, and it may take them years to do it. But for others, Eagle may just be a few steps into the journey.(This message has been edited by pohsuwed)
  8. Thank you, NJCubScouter. I seriously don't understand why Beaverrrr tends to jump to the most negative possible conclusions. In this case it is to attempt to discredit a scout he knows absolutely nothing about but his age. Really? Why can't the conclusion that he jumped to be positive such that the scout has done a great job grasping the learning opportunities of scouting. Heck, why can't it even be a neutral response and at least provide a congratulation? How many scouters are out there who don't realize that all scouts are different and work on advancement at different speeds. So why not just accept them for how they are rather than discredit them? Frankly, it smells of redistribution of wealth discussions. A discussion I had with a person just last week at WashJam was somewhat similar. For some reason the person started criticizing scouts who achieve quickly and how scouting isn't about passing off requirements, but it is a journey. My opinion is that if it wasn't about checking off requirements the program should simply pass out Eagle participation badges. Requirements are the foundation of the journey--we based our various and diversified activities around opportunities to learn and earn badges and rank advancements. Some focus on the journey, and others don't. I support all journeys, fast or slow. The type who neglect the journey and then come back at the last minute to journey a bit more bug me, but I still support them.
  9. Beavah - I catch your fine-tuning, but it's really not relevant to the primary issue at hand. With that being said, this part of the thread has drifted a bit anyway, so why not a little more drift? Thanks.
  10. Here's my rub. Life, and BSA, is what you make of it. As BSA is largely a volunteer organization the training is largely a function of our own efforts. If we choose to be trained and hence turn and train others (scouters and scouts) because we want the program to improve it will happen. If we would rather just criticize the program and the efforts of the organization to get people more involved it will not survive. Thank goodness for those who want it to survive.
  11. Maybe we were typing at the same time. But once again, how does the uniform dictate a person's indoor/outdoor emphasis? I show no correlation. However, pushing for more outdoor emphasis in leaders would help out a lot. I have told local leaders here that if they were to structure their programs around activities around scouts qualifying for the National Outdoor Award their programs would improve greatly and I think it would attract a lot more dedicated participation by scouts and more support from scout parents. This wouldn't ignore advancement to Eagle as this would happen more naturally in the process. Greater outdoor emphasis, in my opinion, would have a direct correlation to the improving the overall program and bringing it out of mediocrity.
  12. MC - Once again, completely ill-conceived correlations created between factors that are not close to having any direct correlation. Unless I am mistaken, it appears as though if /some/ adults give up their uniforms the program will come out of mediocrity? In my opinion, the rubber meets the road at the troop level. If the program is not well presented and managed by the troop committee and the scoutmaster the troop will be mediocre. (Please nobody jump in and say that it must be boy-led for sake of this discussion.) If MC's correlation were true, then what he is saying is that this group of individuals would begin to act differently because the committee wouldn't be able to wear uniforms, nor would most of the council staff. How would this have any impact on their efforts? I would say that the uniform is one additional thing that would tie them all together in a common cause in unity that they could receive visual feedback of this common cause every time they met together. If anything, stripping them of uniform wear would cause a detraction in their purpose. I don't recall ever seeing a photo of Baden Powell in anything but his uniform. Sure, some may say that he was a "scoutmaster", therefore he fit into MC's concept. Most would say because he represents everything about boy scouts. I feel that if everyone wore their uniforms with pride setting the example for the boys and did their best to do a better job in providing the program to the boys without exerting their energy into jealous attachs about how other scouters have more knots than them we stand a better chance of pulling this program out of mediocrity.
  13. Great comments, especially the final comment by SeattlePioneer. I also have never seen any mud flung by a "have knot" at a "have not knot", but I have seen it the other way around plenty. (Pun intended, yet absolutely serious.) And the rest of my experience is similar to ScoutFish. It is the often the egos who first target those with knots as those who surely must have the ego when all they are doing is getting on with the program and doing their best. After all, isn't part of our creed to do our best?(This message has been edited by pohsuwed)
  14. What drives me crazy about these forums is that you have a bunch of adults who suggest using the book to provide direction as to what to do. They then make up their own rules and suggest correlations between ideas that really have no direct correlation. For example, not having knots does not mean a scoutmaster is a better scoutmaster than others. He very well may be a better scoutmaster than others, but it is not due to his lack of knots (whether he has never earned one or just choose not to wear them, it doesn't matter). Likewise, having a rack of knots also doesn't automatically make a scoutmaster better than one who doesn't have them. However, I would venture to bet that the one with knots has a higher probability to be more in tune with the program to be better able to provide a better program to the boys. You can inspire your boys by providing a great program to the boys, even without knots on your shirt. However, why not provide the additional inspiration to your boys by showing them your dedication to the program through the wearing of your knots on top of that? You don't have to choose between a quality program with no knots and a poor program with knots. This is a scouting myth that is perpetuated by the same dynamics found in schoolyards across the country. Those who call knots "bling" are teaching scouts to underplay the importance of achievement and the uniform. Frankly, those same individuals might as well tell their boys to just quit or stay at Tenderfoot their entire career so they can avoid the "bling trap" called advancement.
  15. I wear a CO patch under my flag on my right shoulder. I think it's an important thing to represent my CO with my scouts.
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