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Everything posted by qwazse

  1. qwazse

    Suggest Councils that should be Combined

    Hey, @Cburkhardt, Laurel Highlands only has to cross the Potomac, and yours can become a district in our council. Shenandoah, you say? We are already council hoppers! Non-contiguous is where it's at! Different area, you say? You have no idea how crestfallen some of our venturing officers were when we BSA redrew our maps!
  2. qwazse

    To star or not to star?

    Sorry for the confusion. By "communal development," I was specifically referring to overnight camping, of which council, area, and regional officers did a good bit. Leaders who firmly believed in sex segregation on overnights would not be pleased with council officers. I suspect, top LDS scouters made a point of keeping your leaders in the dark about what Venturing was simply because of the potential of overnight camping with the opposite sex. Now that I think about it, the Venturing division might have been more successful if they produced two additional handbooks: Venturing for Young Men, and Venturing for Young Women. They would often market "your crew could be single-sex", but they never really provided material that would talk about how that would look, the advantages of setting it up that way, and objectives for leaders to pursue for single-sex crews. That's the weakness of venturing, it's extremely flexible. Venturers can do anything, but they could also do nothing. JTE and the current ALPS model, for all its faults, has changed that. I just hope it's not too little too late.
  3. qwazse

    To star or not to star?

    As you may know, TLS, I became a crew advisor because someone had filled out an adult application for me to sign explaining that I didn't have to do anything else, they were setting this up just so some girl scouts could go to Seabase (which my son and his buddies had blabbed about at the lunch table one day). I told her, "You know I hate paperwork so much that I won't sign anything I don't mean. You and I are going to learn what this program has to offer, present it to everyone, and give the youth right of first refusal." They didn't refuse. And I owe them a debt of gratitude for a wonderful, wild, ride. So, what someone put on paper -- if they didn't put any muscle behind it -- makes for great kindling. I suspect your ward did not fully deploy venturing because doing so would have required at least some communal development with girls. (At the very least, girls would be found in the venturing handbook.) They absolutley refused to deploy the program for Young Women in most stakes. Therefore, your crew's officers if they fulfilled their responsibilities according to the Venturing Leadership Guide would be spending quality time contributing to a council program with non-LDS women. Not a bad thing, really, but not something many bishops wanted to offer to their boys. Clearly, they didn't want to "drink the bug juice." I'm not judging them. There were plenty of folks in my troop who were bothered that I was letting scouts be venturers, not merely boy-scouts-plus. Most of them apologized to me after the fact when they saw the good it was doing for their sons and their friends. But unlike my community, yours really only had interest in an older boys Troop/Team. So "if it walks like a duck ..." I wouldn't discount those two "ambiguous" years. I might color them varsity, not venturing. But, at your age, I'd probably just get blue backing and put together the stars that reflect your total years of service including those two.
  4. qwazse

    To star or not to star?

    @The Latin Scot's friend may be thinking that if the youth is active in both programs, he/she should have a service star for each program, with the numbers on the star representing the years in each. Once an adult he/she can add another star representing the years serving as an adult -- or can consolidate the consecutive years of BSA membership into one star. So, by that logic it might be possible to see a 21 year-old with yellow-back 7, green-back 7, brown-back 7, red-back 7, and blue-back 3 stars who would have served as a youth in a pack, troop, team, and crew/ship, and was probably an ASM for the past three years. Or, that person could just have blue-backed 10 year + 5 year stars (the backs are sold separately, so a young scouter could simply recycle stars earned previously). However, the Insignia Guide, page 67, states: Primary registration is the pivotal term here. So, a youth cannot have a year counted more than once. @The Latin Scot would have to subtract the years off of his green-back star (and possibly his blue-back star if he was serving an adult role between age 18 and 20) so he could have a red-back star for the years someone had put him as "primary" with a crew that he barely knew existed! I'm assuming TLS' friend is saying that since he was on the books as venturer -- is knowledge about it is immaterial. Someone bore false witness about this scout, and now they are asking him to perpetuate the lie. This is truly a "take the BS out of the BSA" moment. If I were TLS, I would ask them to produce the registration form with my signature. Or, I would say, "That's it, I'm only wearing a blue-backed star from now on. Find somebody else to brag about your in-name-only crew."
  5. qwazse

    To star or not to star?

    How is it different? What activities did that LDS crew do? Did they elect officers according to the leadership manual? If so did their president attend venturing officers associations? Or did they have a modified leadership manual? Did they adhere to that? I'm sorry, but just because a CO has a peculiar interest in the program, they don't get a pass on being part of the problem that made a program seem to be booming when in fact getting crews that venturers were proud to be in was no slam dunk at all! Every paper crew existed at some point. Some club filled out paperwork for their youth members to get them in on BSA's insurance. They did one or two activities of whatever they did, and they kept up appearances without ever actually promoting venturing. No district official attempted to make them contribute any more than that. Then the chickens came home to roost in about '08 as those of us who wanted our officers to really know how great scouting was had lists that were 50-percent irrelevant. Then, when membership costed real money and real time to complete position specific training, those units dropped like flies.
  6. qwazse

    To star or not to star?

    More specifics on service stars: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2014/04/02/service-stars-for-scouts-and-scouters-pins-with-a-point/ I'm going to go the opposite direction. Paper venturers were the mechanism of choice for false inflation of program growth for DE's wanting an easy pat on the back. I wish you really were a venturer like the kids in my crew -- whose applications I would not accept if there was any hint that the parent filled out anything other than his/her signature. You would have made a great one! Do you really want a star because your good name was used to help some pro- get props on their evaluation for starting a unit? Your leaders were clueless because the pro- who approved them could have cared less if they were going to do anything for the program. Just something to think about from the perspective of the guy who sat in the room calling a DE on the carpet for giving me a list of crews whose contact info didn't even work.
  7. New this year, the latest uniform inspection sheet from national accords 15 points to a handbook: ... without any further specification as to where it might be placed on the uniform. Perhaps it can hang from one's belt -- opposite the rack for the MB sash. Suddenly, a patrol of scouts looking sharp for a parade or an honor guard at a memorial are only 85% uniformed if they each don't have a SBSAHB? How on did this tome become part of uniforming? A couple decades back, we had a UC turn scouts away from a BoR because they didn't have book in hand. That kinda makes sense. But, no that I think if it, we never went up (literally, my troop was housed the basement of a manse and our committee met in the parlor upstairs) for a BoR with BSHB in hand. Did any of you?
  8. qwazse

    Does mb counselor status expire?

    This is new territory for all of us. Never before in the history of scouting have MBC's been tracked so regularly, never before in the history of scouting has there been so many points of failure in the registration process, and never before as there been such a mass exodus of COs. So, if the first MBC signed the card, even with today's date, no scouter in their right mind would speak against the scout's completed application. But, supposing the MBC is still not comfortable signing ... any other MBC would probably accept the scout's previous work if the scout can explain and discuss everything. It will be an hour that you'll never get back, but meeting another caring adult will hopefully make up the difference.
  9. qwazse

    Chapter 11 announced

    That's not how the WOSM works ... I bet it will be concerned when sales of the world-crest drop. Organizations who don't have a congressional charter aren't obligated to report their membership statistics publicly. They have nice web pages, but are shy on stats. They do talk the YP talk. But, let's not be so optimistic. A sinking tide grounds all boats. The massive liners first, then the smaller ones, down to the last dingy. One claim against an independent scouting organization, just one, will make it as much a target for punitive damages ... more so because they should have "learned" from our supposedly failed practices. Eventually, as I said earlier, it will be reasonable to sue the institution of the family as a whole for not protecting our citizens completely.
  10. qwazse

    "Unofficial uniform"

    The friendship knot seems to be a pernicious "World Jamboree" style -- related to, but not all-inclusive of "international Scoutjng." The exchange/college student scouts who I've met who haven't gone to Jambo use the slide. How tight, and even the ritual they use to roll the necker, varies by country. In my WSJ swag, I had acquired as many slides as I did neckerchiefs.
  11. qwazse

    Scouts from other Troops

    For the AoL den, you might have to help them disentangle a rumor about the other troop. When Son #1 was a Webelos, we were fed a line from a disgruntled parent (that evidently stemmed from an O/A election result) of our CO's troop. Our DL actually reached to the SM for an explanation and it turned out that everything was proper and actually quite good about that troop. But you're right to wait until they you are in your sights to take any action. Although the only action might be to ask the WDL, "Have you talked to Mr. SM-of-your-CO's-troop in person about your concerns?"
  12. Like my Pakistani buddy tells me, "You Americans won't believe anything unless it's on a piece of paper." So, that youth-run troop needs to put something into the hands of those Webelos. So, that might mean: A calendar. Ideally, it would be one with the dates of the entire year printed on one side AND scheduled activity days and meetings circled or stamped, then the names of the activities, hand written, by the scouts on the other side. A follow-up card hand-written by a scout mailed to each prospect who visited the troop. It doesn't have to say much: "Thanks for visiting. I hope you had a good time. Please join us on our next campout." A picture post-card of everyone at the last event. (One of your scouts should know how to produce this.) But, @Liz, if you're talking from the perspective of a cub parent to other parents, you don't have much control. Either those girls in the troop are friendly, looking up your Webelos at school and on the bus, and taking a sincere interest in them, or they aren't. If they aren't, "polish" will win the day -- especially with most modern American females. Just look at the covers on the magazine racks and tell me it ain't so.
  13. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's troop, nor her Crossovers, nor her helicopter parents ....
  14. qwazse

    Chapter 11 announced

    This stat is small comfort. There were more than twice as many scouts more than thirty years ago, maybe more than 4x as many. All of these measures, and we've reduced the probability of actionable abuse by 1/2?
  15. qwazse

    Cub Scout Cooking

    Our pie irons are not standing the tests of time that our frying pans and Dutch ovens are. Better to teach Cubs about durable kitchen tools.
  16. qwazse

    Facebook Use

    I have a love-hate relationship with the page I made for our jamboree troop. I wound up being the only one posting to it, and some people were upset when they didn't see a picture of their kid. The whole 5G wired camping experience kinda weirded me out. I would talk to some of the other community leaders you're thinking of. See if they want to try putting themselves out there at the same time you do.
  17. qwazse

    Duplicate Troop numbers

    This is one of those quirky things that can be filed under "Oh, what a tangled web ..." If you think you have to ask the girls, why do you think you wouldn't have to ask the boys under the same roof? If you could ask the girls who would join the troop 7 years from now, what would their opinion be? My bet? They won't be bothered as long as their SM takes them hiking and camping every month of the year! Sometimes, when you get nods from your CO and the other troop's committee for your gut, and the council makes it work for them, you just go with it. I'm not trying to say the unit numbers aren't important to youth. They often are, and in situations like this someone isn't going to like whatever is decided. Part of scoutmastering is helping youth look past these sorts of things. The most important part of the uniform is not the number, it's the smile!
  18. qwazse

    Commissioner role

    Or, it's possible that that most UCs are unobtrusive and helpful to the point that their good deeds never make it on the Internet.
  19. Yeah, I don't recall getting signatures in my BSHB for SMCs and BORs. We did a lot on a handshake. So, I looked at my handbook (9th edition, published bout three years into my scouting career), and I saw that I had back-dated my T2F requirements ... copying from my pocket-size requirements record. About halfway through 2nd class there were checks. No leader's signatures. I remember at my Star SMC, my SM pulled out a shoebox with typewritten pages for each upper rank for each scout. I guess you could call that box our "troopmaster" software. It's nice to have a scout's book at the BOR, it helps the conversation along. But lacking it, I wouldn't suspend the BOR. I'd just tell the scout to make sure to record the date in his book when he got home.
  20. qwazse

    Commissioner role

    Don't worry about being ageist, the organization opened that door 60 years ago when they decided that Eagle Scout was a boy's award. We had a UC who was a bit meddlesome. About half his advice was useless. It might have worked for his troop when he was SM, but made a lot of worrying about nothing for our troop. The other half, however, was useful So, UC's are kinda like handbooks. They don't open to the right chapter automatically. In fact, a lot of times they're fine left on the shelf 'cause sometimes you just need to go out with your uniform and a smile.
  21. Also note that the Cub Scout inspection sheet does not mention a 15 point handbook. It does mention the 5-point registration card.
  22. But, do they? Are they to them bring their book to: Pinewood derby? Parades? When they visit the fire house or police department? The Pack campout? The Blue and Gold banquet? Crossover? It makes perfect sense to have your handbook at a troop meeting or summer camp. Other occasions, it makes sense that the standard-issue cloth, plus your smile, are the only things needed to identify you as a uniformed scout. Even the membership card, if I recall, counted for no more than 5 points.
  23. One theory: after 10 years of EDGE method -- without "reference" in the acronym -- reading the HB is no longer seen as an essential step in teaching a scout skill. Therefore, it's place in Personal Growth or Leadership Development is merely implicit. Well, there's still books to sell, so it's got to go somewhere!!!
  24. Of course, one upstream reason for camp sell-offs is the increasing cost to hire qualified youth staff. So, any such deal would require hefty contributions from a local Leadership Foundation. Most such foundations might at least buy into covering registration fees of qualified applicants. If you've paid to be a member of BSA until you're 13, why not pay only $5/year from age 14-18? But, @David CO, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Compensating youth for an intrinsically rewarding program might be inappropriate, but compensating young adults who put their careers on hold by saying "no" to an overwhelming work schedule may be quite appropriate. Let's dream of doing one better. Pay 1.5*interest on student loans while every qualified 20-something serves as an ASM or SM. Qualifications would include First Class rank, at least 2 years of college or trade school, and full time employment or part-time employment and part-time enrollment in trade school or college.
  25. qwazse

    BSA's business model

    And this is where scouting must catch up with the locally sourced attitude of the 21st century. A guy in my hometown makes custom backpacks ... for profit! I bet he'd gladly have a troop visit and learn to assemble their gear. I bet he's not the only one. No offense to the hardworking Vietnamese laborers who assembled our USA Contingent packs for Osprey, but there is something to be said for "patrol built, patrol carried." Metalwork, welding, textile, and backpacking in one fell swoop.