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Everything posted by qwazse

  1. Getting back on my agism soabox ... how much worse would it have been to tell, the kid "Thanks for the 4 months leading our troop as a Life Scout. To round out your requirements Eagle, simply complete the requisite training for ASM and serve the remaining two months of your tenure serving our troop or one near your college."?
  2. Yes, it is an Eagle project. The requirement does not specify "while a Life Scout who has made rank by age 17.51..." Personally, I would not want to go through the hassle of the project workbook just to do a service project. However, for a scout with aspirations to be an engineer, it might be a worthwhile exercise. My kids (all chemical engineers -- not a creative bone in the lot of them) spend a lot of time filling out specs and tracking sheets and chasing approvals. The article seems to indicate that the scout did the math. But, anybody who gives $ to a scout because they think he'll get a medal out of it should be flogged. Either the project is worthy, and we should contribute to it, or it's just for bling, in which case we should give the kid a shovel and tell him to dig for silver.
  3. Any life scout who wants to do an Eagle project may do so. There is no reason deny him that privilege. I certainly would never say to a boy, "You can't do a project. You earned Life rank at age 17.51." I might say, "You know that no matter how awesome this project is, you will not qualify for Eagle rank. But, you'll have something awesome to be proud of. And, if this is a conservation project and you think you'd like to do four more of these, come talk to me about the Hornaday award." Nobody besides the scout needs to pay attention. Nobody should. Even if nobody else is paying attention, he should read his Handbook.
  4. Ageism raises its ugly head again. But, some pro's should grow a pair, and speak plainly with a sentence like, "He didn't meet the requirements for Eagle, but he's a fine Life scout." No passing the buck to National. Call a spade a spade and then give the reporter your FOS speech and a pledge card. Don't feel bad for any Life scout. Ever. This scout could proudly announce that on any resume or bio sketch. I disagree. Always encourage a boy at any rank to take on any service project he desires. It's a pity this fella didn't donate twice as much and take on two service projects in the spring. I hope that now that he doesn't have the burden of that ungainly Eagle workbook, he and his fellow freshmen will do another one this fall. A scout who holds a position of responsibility in his troop, for any period of time, should be respected. Especially when he is at the end of his tenure and it would get him any bling.
  5. qwazse

    Regulating Fall Risks and Nature

    Once again, we are losing sight of relative risk. Eight fatal accidents since 1992, a 10-fold increase in visitors. It sounds like the rate of visitor fatalities is plummeting. Kudos to the rangers' hard work. I think it is important for the public to know of fatalities that have occurred in a given area. High traffic areas need to be hardened. But, I think we need to soberly recognize that with more people comes more adverse events ... albeit fewer per person. For our scouts and scouters, I think there is something to "safe photography" training. We need to show them how Bear Grylls gets some of those cliffhanger shots without actually hanging from a cliff (at least not every time).
  6. qwazse

    Eagle Reference Letters

    One of the better references that I've read was from a scout's older sister!
  7. qwazse

    Religous observeance

    Yes! I personally have excused a friend and his daughter to go to a local Saturday PM mass. Normally, he'd be fine with scout's own, but a particular life circumstance made him feel the need to attend mass. At other large gatherings, friar or local priest is invited to come to camp and offer mass for any Catholics. Often times a protestant service and Jewish service are available. If folks ask and I hear about it, I will find a way. Fortunately for me, other scouters have had the same attitude and I never had to prepare much. That said, most priests who I've met give parishioners a pass if they are traveling and need to offer prayers at a scout camp.
  8. qwazse

    Eagle Reference Letters

    I come from the land where pink-slips were doled out without warning and entire industries were gutted behind closed doors far to many times for anyone's good. I only give open references. If someone wants me to write them something I don't like about you, I will have said to your face with zero regret and wouldn't mind you reading it again. For Eagle references, ideally, I will hand-deliver an original and a copy to the scout. If he needs the stamp to snail-mail the original, I'll dredge up a bunch of 2- and 3- cent-ers for him to combine. But, some circumstances have required E-mail. No E-BoR whom I've written has complained. If an E-BoR doesn't like it, they can call me and take notes.
  9. qwazse

    Can you not give it 100%?

    @Terasec what's the Plan B? The boy looks forward to meeting with his buddies and playing on scout night. How will you make sure he gets that same time to run around? Does your church or some other ministry have a regular recreational time for kids his age? Does he like Y sports? Martial arts? Do you all have a bunch of cousins and neighbors and a nearby sand lot while you cook dinner? Or, does the boy actually think some structured time (let's hope it's not always a craft) is a fair trade for the amount of time he gets to play with his mates? By your tone, you're not gonna want to back out of your Plan A until you and your son can lean into Plan B.
  10. @ParkMan, hope my "like " bandages your perplexity over a down-vote. Frankly, I appreciate the occasional "-1". I read this thing to understand people whose ideas differ from mine. If I want a bubble, I go to council venturing committees. I think you captured the sense of what's happened over the past few years. We've heard about troops going rogue over a number of issues. Folks like me (who care about the promise of scouting being delivered to girls ... not about laser tag), talked to tag-along girls and leaders who sanctioned them, and GS/USA moms who created close collaborations with BSA leaders to make fun things happen. Finding mostly smiles (and not white-washing potential downsides), we leaned heavily on the leadership to find a path. We didn't do that because we thought it would help our own units. We did it because the young women in those rogue troops appeared to be first class scouts (concept, not patch) and worthy of recognition as such.
  11. qwazse

    10,000 Girl Cub Scouts

    Someone can go through the trouble of finding my quotes from a couple years ago, but I posited that 10K girls would be a sufficiently critical mass for BSA to open up its program to girls.
  12. qwazse

    Swimming Requirements for Rank

    I know about that "worn down" feeling. And I get it. Around here, there's a lot of pressure from one camp (Seven Ranges, in Ohio, I'm calling you out) on SMs to have all scouts attending to return to camp having advanced one rank every year. I have seen this lead to a scouts skating by on the land navigation requirement. Now, at camp, the training seems to be good, but not great. Scouts are coming back with some skills, but not enough to find 80% of the markers on a "white" orienteering course. As a result, they don't take on those challenges. So, I feel like I'm swatting at windmills. Except, when I get the thank-you from the marine who said it all came back to him at boot camp on the night course in The Crucible. Here's where you are mistaken: You talk about those entities as though they are merely professional staff. They are not. The advancement progam is implemented by volunteers. Professionals are not on advancement committees. If something's not happening, find a mirror. That's why I suggested starting at the District Advancement Chair. The worse consequence to your action is you might find yourself on a district committee. At which point, you may organize a district camporee. If you think swimming is a deficit ... Partner with the YMCA or some high school to coordinate swimming lessons in the winter. (This was a true gift for Son #1 and Daughter when they were in grade school.) Then you organize a swimming challenge among first class scouts of every troop. Troops/patrols with the highest percentage of scouts at that rank or above (on their roster, not necessarily in attendance at the challenge) who can pass swim tests and demonstrate line rescues get a scouts-shop discount. Or maybe fees waived for the next year. If this is a troop at camp, with the permission of the aquatics director, one SPL could call out another troop's SPL for a test of skills among champions. Is this a tremendous hassle? Yes it is! Is it worth it? I think so. It certainly beats telling your scouts all they can do is settle for "attaboys".
  13. qwazse

    Swimming Requirements for Rank

    I would argue that you didn't invest spend money for a requirement. You invested in your scout learning to swim. This is also a break-down of the patrol method. The PL, with guidance of leaders in the troop should have made it a priority to help their buddy master those skills. But back to the OP ... it astounds me that someone thinks it's more important to placate parents by saying falsely that his scouts are first class. There's no shame in having a troop full of tenderfoot scouts. @ScoutTrainer, get in touch with your district advancement chair. I disagree with @walk in the woods. It is demoralizing to boys in neighboring troops (and they will get to know one another) when they hear that other scouts are skating by. Word should make it to the SM that future Eagle boards of review will be held at a local pool.
  14. qwazse

    Properly wearing the OA sash on the uniform

    Thanks @Longhaired_Mac! Some machinations from my spin factory: Stay friends with those larger scouts who might have a spare sash or two. Out of deference to uniform purists, I no longer call them belts (from which one should not hang a sash). I call them sash-racks. Steeler's country ... we don't countenance duplicity... the pastor may take the pulpit in suit and tie if he wears his suit to his game. (E.g., I was brought up that it was disrespectful to wear a jersey unless you were on the team.) Otherwise, the plate might be a little light if gives a sermon without the jersey, especially if afterwards he's dashing to the mustard palace for a home game. Of course there's a price to pay. Our city has been nominated worst dressed! So, if you're pleasing national, uniform precisely. If you want to tell me what kind of scout or arrowman you are, improvise a little. Love the bead graphic! Thanks for digging it up!
  15. Just wondering, has O/A been invited to present anything at the world jamboree?
  16. Capitalizing on indulgence? How strange. https://beerandbrewing.com/beer-pairings-for-girl-scout-cookies-2016-update/
  17. qwazse

    Membership Removal Procedures Booklet

    Fight tooth and nail to block any attempt at banning. Do not get his name put in any list without substantial accusation of an actionable offence. Go on record with a written (hard copy) letter to your council's director of field service and scout executive stating the accusations and evidence as you understand it. State your conclusion that this scout continues to remain worthy of BSA membership, and that lacking any evidence to the contrary, the accused will remain a welcome member/guest at any of your unit's activities. Give the scout a copy. That's the best you can do.
  18. qwazse

    Advancement question

    I love this kid! Can we please clone him? When will we scouters learn that our job is provisioning lunch/tent/ignition/construction/craft/soldering/chemistry kits in the process of making good on the promise of scouting, and the scout's job is cashing in on that promise and chasing blue cards and signatures in his/her own good time?
  19. qwazse

    Advancement question

    I think the changes came with venturing. They were integral to my first VLST instruction. I agree and disagree. My real-world experience is with venturers who, because they had PoRs in both units, spent consecutive years in leadership positions and took their good old time with rank advancement. With youth that dedicated, there's nothing to argue about. Something less esoteric would (e.g., too busy having fun to wrap up one requirement) slow the earning of awards concurrently. In the cases where there could be overlap, I would rather those ambitious youth get both awards and then spend the rest of their career as marked men and women in both Boy Scout and Sea Scout circles.
  20. qwazse

    Advancement question

    Actually, please do double dip on everything except the service project! Thus, his time as media specialist counts as PoR toward Life Rank, and if he plans activities as a result of that position, that same time can be applied toward the leadership requirements of a Sea Scout rank. He doesn't have to serve six months as media specialist for Life or Eagle and then serve as an activity chair for Ordinary just because those positions overlap. He can certainly have his Skipper fill the role of SM. Depending on the Ship's experience, he might find himself more responsible for the administration of his own advancement. (For example, he might have to explain blue cards to the skipper!) But, that's not a bad thing.
  21. qwazse

    Troop Meeting Spaces

    We switch back to our old CO (be it ever so humble) for precisely this reason.
  22. The Discovery award and First Class rank are like apples and oranges. Although they may be useful benchmarks when finding out which members should be honored, neither in itself would automatically confer the other. Case in point, boy scouts of any rank (even Eagle), have to go through Pathfinder before they could earn Discovery as there's very little on the trail to first class that would count toward those requirements. Now, there may be female venturers who have demonstrated mastery of First Class skills. However, she may not have bothered to earn Discovery. Could her experience (including positions of responsibility held) in her crew count in a newly adopted troop? National advancement team has been tight-lipped on that one. It's not on any syllabus that I know of. Therefore, I would say no boots-on-the-ground are prepared to handle that one.
  23. It's a sad state of affairs when our first instinct is to think that it's all about controlling the scout. The MB application is about the scout maintaining control of his advancement. This bit is about making sure the troop is accountable when a scout completes a MB. If he never gets awarded a badge, he has, in his section of the blue card, proof that the unit received the record of his advancement. Scoutmasters go AWOL never to return and their shoe-box of unit copies of blue go with them (as my brother's did in the 50s). Councils loose records. Foreign agents hack electronic storage. If the scout has done all his work, and doesn't have the counselor's signature, then that's his next-to-last step ... making sure the counselor has a record of his accomplishment (the right half of the card). Then the scout may stash the card in his vault until one day (hopefully soon after that final exchange with the counselor) as he mulls over his collections of other cards and memorabilia he notices, "Oh, the SM's signature is not on that card. The unit doesn't know I earned that badge! No wonder my bling bag at the last court of honor felt a little light!" The boy, shows the SM the card -- never letting it out of his sight. SM sings that he received it, returns the scout's section to the boy, and takes the unit portion to the advancement chair for prompt ordering. Standard triplicate record-keeping. Just follow the instructions on the card!
  24. There is language in the GTA about the exceptional case when the SM has evidence that the counselor approved the badge without confirming the scout had demonstrable skills.
  25. Read the MB application. The 2nd signature on the scout's portion (i.e. the portion that should never leave his possession) is to attest that the scout "... has given me his completed application ..." for the badge. The scout's section of the the blue card is his reciept that The counselor has a record of the boy completing the badge (one that says the SM did talk to the boy before working with the counselor), and The troop has a record (attested to by the SM's second signature) of the boy turning in his paperwork. THERE IS NO LANGUAGE ANYWHERE ON THE BLUE CARD THAT AN SM MAY DENY A BLUE CARD.