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Everything posted by qwazse

  1. @FirstClass, welcome to the forums! As you can tell, scouters have no stomach for playing identity politics with religious awards. Having made the effort, a scout should proudly wear the awards for each faith he held at the time.
  2. Setting aside that I thought turning Scout into a rank was pointless, now that it is a rank ... We had several AoL crossovers who were still struggling with square knots. That's not to disrespect the program. We had a dozen crossovers, about half of them knew their knots well enough to quickly demonstrate them. I think the pandemic was part of the problem. But, also, it's not in the nature of 10-year-olds to retain those kinds of motor skills. Scouts who are camping every month have greater odds of actually needing those skills. No rubber stamps. It's a good life lesson to know
  3. First pass: A number of Audubon sites were recommending the use of higher powered lasers for dispersal. (Better than shotguns, I guess.) None were discouraging the use of pointers. I can’t find a Leave No Trace guideline regarding lasers of any kind, let alone pointers. Pilots don’t like them, but typically they are referring to higher powered lasers. Not pointers. I can’t find peer reviewed articles on the subject of lasers and migratory bird harm. I suspect that if a dead snot rocket by a stack of rocks could get accepted in the literature, a flock of laser pointer ad
  4. It's a big country. So check with your location about laser pointers. Myself, I'm not a fan. But ... sticking with reference as one of the fundamental steps in teaching any skill ... bring that star chart. In daylight, use it to show the scouts what they should be able to find once it gets dark. Have a light with a red or green gel (or diffuser for that laser) so you can read the chart without disturbing your eyes once in a field. If it's planets you're looking for, have everyone sit on an east-west line in your observation field facing south. (Which they should be able to do once they've
  5. The "holy grail" app would be one that converts pictures of a signed and dated requirements into scout book entries.
  6. For reasons other than what you’re thinking. We’re no longer allowed to award bobcat (or any other pin, I presume) while the scout is upside down. Good luck trying to get junior to rotate head-up before his/her birthday!
  7. You just hit on the solution. BSA’s liability (past and future) is a very large fixed cost. Lower membership equals higher cost per member. Increase membership, and costs will lower. However, the training mandates have drastically driven down adult membership. Background checks of MBCs is fairly new. Even asking them to take YPT is a hurdle. If Cub parents would be willing and able counselors, we’d welcome them.
  8. There is a necessary balance between @fred8033 and @5thGenTexan. We need to realize that any MC could have a chilling effect on the direct contact leaders’ creativity and dedication, but also that direct contact leaders do need mentoring and feedback.
  9. I will not hazard the well-being of the youth in my community by stepping back from scouting due to the prejudices of 30-somethings who, having a fraction of my training, make flawed ecological hypotheses. The worst thing that a parent can do is assume that fellow parents will have their child’s best interest at heart.
  10. The leaders contact their DE. Sometimes exceptions can be made.
  11. Agreed. One of your ASM’s should serve as acting SM while the CO (maybe with input from the committee decides who should permanently fill this position. How they make that decision is up to you all. But be sure to call your DC or DE. I’m sure that folks in your district would want to be involved in paying respects and helping your troop.
  12. @curious_scouter, my only advice: don’t suffer fools. Training should be commensurate with the needs. For example, I don’t care how good my counselors are at shooting sports, their of no use to my scouts on land navigation challenges unless I know that they keep sharp in that skill. Regarding mentoring youth … like you said, I need adults who can take a step back. For example, I am a very good cook, as are a couple of other dads. But if the boys are doing their own meals, we make our own adult cooking area. If we aren’t cooking and will be guests of a patrol, we sit apart waiting for them
  13. I love it when my committee members camp with us!
  14. I might also add: check with the scout. Every now and then you come across one who doesn’t want to be on the ballot. I personally think SM approval includes identifying candidates and letting them know that they may be up for election.
  15. WV weather: note that many of us in lowlands go to places like Glenn Jean to cool off in the summer. A good summer rains every day and blazing sun every day. Enjoy the blackberries before the bears do!
  16. Extrapolating membership results nationwide from one enthusiastic scoutmaster’s troop is even less predictive of the nation’s circumstances. I was once that enthusiastic crew advisor, but I realized that irrational exuberance does nothing to prepare one for the future. Ignoring the experience of other scout associations around the world is the height of arrogance. That’s okay. We’re American and need to maintain that exceptionalist swagger. But one needs to own the at-home facts in evidence. This forum holds posts from scouters who’ve lost interest in BSA once it proposed BSA4G. I’v
  17. Quite right. Scouting movements were banned in many Eastern Block European countries, so they had no where to go but up as the few available adults waited for their youth to mature into competent leaders. Those programs were notably anti-fascist and over time their use of neckerchiefs began to be understood in opposition to (in contrast to allied with) red brigades. So, in contrast to Scouts CA, they had a trajectory of increasing growth that harmonized with prevailing political sentiment. Scouts UK had to do a lot of hard work. In the 90’s, a large part of its new enrollment were girls,
  18. Based on my review of census of European scout associations (posted elsewhere, too lazy to find links now): Scout associations tend to have a decline in total membership for about a decade after admitting girls to their membership. Gains in female youth are more than offset by losses in male youth. Some associations then begin to increase membership slowly. Based on anecdotes, growth in membership is due to a lack of trainable volunteers to lead the program, which in turn is a result from the dip in scouting alumni from the previous decade of decline. A decade later, male member
  19. I'm not so sure why this is terrible. If you can't produce a program that girls enjoy and a CO loves to host, why should council bother? Meanwhile, there are a lot of young (and young at heart) men who've benefited from that 60+ year-old troop. Some of them probably call their council to see what can be done to keep it from dissolving. The bitter truth: it now rests squarely on the young women who've benefited from the program to promote it. If they conclude that they would have been better off with 100% of their time spent in GS/USA, their BSA4G troop will rightfully lose its footho
  20. Yes the funds belong to the CO for the purpose of implementing scouting. That means that if someone pilfers those funds to enhance their bass boat, the church (in your case) has every right to take legal action. If it really matters to them, provide projected income and expenses and end-of-year balance, and they can add it to their financial statement. Persons wanting to more details can get trained and registered on the troop committee.
  21. Life in the ‘80s: I once met a Greek young woman, recently converted to Evangelical Christianity, who patiently explained to me that she would retain her communist party membership because the party insisted that there was no conflict between their philosophy and any religion. I said, “OKay.” It was hardly a week later that she burned her membership card due to how viciously they excoriated her for her newfound faith. Kudos to GS/USA units who tune this stuff out. I encourage them to not violate my Rule #1 (Don’t ask for a rule, you’ll live to regret it.) and engage whatever communit
  22. @Casper72 thanks for the additional context. As you can tell, we are divided as to the leadership needed for a small troop. Everyone agrees that an SPL is essential for coordinating three patrols. A troop that down to eight scouts only needs one youth leader and an assistant, and it doesn't make much difference if that pair is SPL/PL or PL/APL. Naturally, among 8 people there will usually only arise one or two leaders. What that means, is that as a troop size decreases, SPL is a less essential position, and any discussion over how elections for such a position are run become superfluous.
  23. I think, here, we need to distinguish between legend and culture. The legend of Delaware tribes uniting to fend off rivals is centers on Lenni Lenapi history -- as recorded by 18th century settlers and popularized by James Fennimore Cooper. The O/A adopted that legend to adopt an ethos of brotherhood. (The word "brother", in Lenni-Lenapi was especially confusing to Europeans trying to make -- or break -- land contracts. It had a much wider meaning than nuclear family.) The dress, dances, etc ... should honor local tribes. Over the decades I have seen our lodges dress move from that of pla
  24. Apologies, I didn’t track the tangent. Here’s one thumbnail of Scouts South Africa https://histclo.com/youth/youth/org/sco/country/sa/scoutsa.htm It seems that black, colored, Indian, and white South African troops arose independently and early in the organization’s history, much the way troops in US communities under polices of segregation arose. What’s notable about Scouts SA, is that — with “encouragement” from the Nordic Countries of WOSM they integrated in 1977 — in direct defiance of apartheid.
  25. @johnsch322 paints with a discriminating broad brush. African Americans were advancing in European American troops from the early years of BSA … https://aaregistry.org/story/first-black-eagle-scout-awarded/ They we’re also advancing in segregated troops, Martin Luther King, Jr’s troop being one of them. I would suggest that it is harmful to one’s soul to conflate evils. There is a big difference in troops being founded by black leaders in segregated communities and the nation’s black scouts being “very segregated” from the nation’s white scouts.
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