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Everything posted by qwazse

  1. Speaking of universal values, all of Baden Powell’s published versions of the scout oath opened: On my honour I promise that I will do my duty to God …. In the context of his time, and with the role he played in the British empire, he chose a term that would not refer to the named deity of any particular religion. He might have also been familiar with “non-theistic” as a category that had begun to be first used in literature the previous century. The term “God” (yes, with a capital G) is not Christian. (Anyone who doubts that should invite their neihborhood Jehovah’s witness over f
  2. Here in Western PA one camp maintains the the pow-wow grounds for a tribe, who in turn provide cultural opportunities for the boys in camp. Members of the Lenni Lenape regularly provide guidance on regalia. I'll let Pennsylvanians on the other side of the Appalachians provide examples of their interactions.
  3. @KublaiKen non-theists and atheists do have different theologies. Non theism asserts that there are spiritual practices that benefit a person in some intangible sense without necessarily involving a deity. Atheists vary in this, but many assert that if the benefit is intangible, then the asserted effect does not exist. I.e., a person would be just as well off without it. This is why, in the first centuries, Christians were labeled atheists. They asserted that sacrifices to the pantheon (especially burning incense to Caesar) had no tangible benefit, and people were better off abandoning all s
  4. @AwakeEnergyScouter Note that part of your comfort with the way WOSM presents its awards may be because Scandinavian countries have a long track record of service at WOSM. They often set the tone. The BSA intentionally steps back from WOSM programming. That’s partly because the American scouters involved in WOSM did not want to have undo influence based on their position as the largest financial donor. Also, many of us in America see WOSM as a way to connect with our cultural heritage. (It’s very interesting to see my scouts at Jamboree seeking out scouts from the countries of their grandparen
  5. Sounds like you are about my Son #1’s age. I prefer the term “post-modern nomads” for your generation. Many people criticized it, but as I meet parents from this generation (and their children), I am very positively impressed. I’m sorry to hear about the internet grooming that you endured. I wish that scouting was a better solution for it, but I fear that we are a generation away from best practices in a world of high speed communications. I think BSA’s youth protection has it backwards. Youth need the presence of multiple adults online. Before leaders were restricted from being social me
  6. On the flip side, I have friends and relatives who fretted over my kids’ involvement in a program as secular as scouting. (Sending them to public school probably added to that drama.) I guess one of the reasons I am a scouter is to breath some air outside of the American Evanjellyfish bubble. I insisted to my kids that their Christianity didn’t mean squat if they couldn’t live it out among non-Christians. Such friends were welcome at our table. Now adults, they are in many ways less secular than I am. Their friendship groups have narrowed into predominantly Christian circles. That bothers
  7. @AwakeEnergyScouter, it depends on the social class of your neighborhood. Being able to monitor your child at all times has become a symbol of wealth. Even if you’re not rich enough for someone to kidnap your pre-teen, you’re supposed to act like you are. That said, there are forces that prey on children. Distributors of marijuana, for example, benefit from users starting in adolescence. Therefore, they recruit teen dealers. Nowadays they don’t have to entice youth on street corners because the information super highway takes them right to their potential candidates’ bedrooms. The child w
  8. I like @InquisitiveScouter’s proposition. The Rev. Rick Warren tapped into something similar with the very well received Purpose Driven Life. It seems that it’s not just young people facing this particular existential crisis. But the problem remains that, although it may be true of scouting, it might not be unique to scouting. I just had a SM conference for a scout who was up for 2nd class rank. I asked him what requirement he found to be the hardest. He said the ones about financial management. I later asked him about the one he enjoyed the most. He thought a moment and said the same one
  9. I would encourage all adults to phrase their childhood scouting experience in the positive. E.g. … ”I stayed in scouts until earning Arrow of Light (or maybe a while after that?); therefore … “ There are definitely knots that represent our proudest accomplishments and others that were more “picked up along the way.” This was my approach. It’s nice when someone reminds me of accomplishments, but I’d prefer a recognition card and the option to purchase the regalia should I want keep it. Personally, I’m not one for service stars because such pins have never stuck on my fiel
  10. Regarding fun ... scouting should be fun. But, that doesn't address "why scouting?" That's because lots of things are fun. But many things that are fun are either extremely hazardous or utterly trivial. Fun is a by-product of skill mastery. Skill mastery in an ethical framework is fun with a purpose. Thus fun is not an end in itself, but a means of reaching those ends.
  11. @JSL3300 it may be appropriate to consider other troops. Or, even other youth programs. I admire your son trying to turn the tide, and it is often possible for a scout to reset his patrol/troop culture. But, that depends on the SMs and ASMs intentionally supporting the scout's endeavors. There could be a back-story as to why this troop seems to be joyless. I am told that a scout is cheerful. If one is not leading cheerfully, then what is one doing? You might not be in troop leadership, but maybe you could find some time to chat with an SM/ASM about the troop culture. I personally really a
  12. @Double Eagle because the attendance is much different than previous Jamborees, things will likely be configured differently. In any case, guests will have limited access to the facilities. (I'm assuming you're not a guest coming with a seven figure donation check.) So your "must see" will be limited to what you "may see." If the SBR staff have provided you with a list of the areas that guests will be able to visit, others here may be able to tell you what you should make priority. My impressions (comparing my youth at AP Hill vs. four years ago at SBR): whatever elevation change you reca
  13. @AwakeEnergyScouter, search YouTube for “Swedish Jamboree” to see what they are about nowadays. But, indeed, USA National Jamborees traditionally drew a lot of big names — including the King of Sweden! When I was a scout in the ‘81 Jamboree pioneering area, he visited, and we launched a catapult for him.
  14. Rise up, oh insignia dorks! Here’s the official on Messenger of Peace: https://www.scouting.org/international/messengers-of-peace/
  15. Let’s be very clear. Reasons don’t have to be empirically based (although it helps when they are). Wether the policy was the result of speculation from experts in child development or risk-averse lawyers, it would be very nice to relay to parents when a policy was spelled out and by whom.
  16. God be with he family as they mourn.
  17. All of the above is why I advocate “forestalling death” vs. “having fun” or even “be prepared.” The latter are are scout-facing goals. Preparedness is a path to saving life. Fun is much more probable when survival is maximized. Mastering preparedness is its own kind of fun. But, that’s still an inward-facing answer to “why scouts.” If we want someone to sponsor a troop over many decades, that sponsor needs to know that what it’s doing is bigger than the sum of its parts.
  18. First ain't always best. There are other terse scouters out there. Let's look forward to their offerings.
  19. Forestalling death.
  20. @Benjamincook, welcome to the forums. Sorry it's on such challenging circumstance for your troop. Nothing personal with the SM, but somehow he violated parents' trust. We've now learned from history that for every 999 people who had one-on-one encounters with youth with no ill intent (and with many favorable results), there was someone who took advantage of that situation to prey on multiple scouts. Now, when adults in my troop "accidentally" find ourselves one-on-one with a scout, we promptly inform a scouter or parent of the encounter. Failing to do so sews mistrust in the troop. I
  21. I would register the participant as an assistant scoutmaster. I had an ASM with special needs when I was a scout (long before that term was used), and he was great! Going from youth to adult positions of responsibility at age 18 used to be the default trajectory just a decade or two ago. And in the 50s and 60s, a few ASMs could complete their work for Eagle — often after their scouting career was interrupted by a deployment. This “unit participant” is new to everyone, and is used so that BSA can continue its half-century ageist policy of maintaining Eagle as a youth award. I take that to
  22. I’m confused at the first line … A fella can be the first one, the other two, but not all three. Now, we do have an ASM who logs advancement for us and chases Scoutbook bugs to ground, but in doing so frees up MC’s interested in advancement to catch when things fall through cracks. Like others said, you may have latitude to act, but doing so can foster hard feelings. Not just with the guy who you’re dismissing but with others who will not be as ready to fulfill roles because you might treat them the same way. Also, you’re not Teflon. The troop can ask the CO’s institution head to
  23. As with all of my qwazseisms, you all may quote with the citation “Stranger on the Internet”
  24. @InquisitiveScouter some councils and units have produced their own ILST. It’s a little more work to pick your flavor, but you might find a YouTube that suits you. But, not every scout needs ILST. Get a critical mass to do it over a weekend of games, and they will infect the others if you are an active troop. Also, video instruction might not suit the personality of the scouts who miss it. Don’t hesitate to share the syllabus with them. When my daughter had to read the ILSC syllabus because she was going to teach it, she asked, “Why didn’t you teach us this?” I bit my lip to avoid sa
  25. The really good news is, if you do this long enough, you also meet people who will throw down a couple of Ben Franklins for no particular reason other than to help out your scouts. Keep those folks on your mind, and forget about finding salt for the slugs.
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