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Beavah

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Everything posted by Beavah

  1. Beavah

    Pirate Bandanas as Troop Headgear for Camp

    Aaargh! Yeh need to go back to Sea Scouts, matey! (And seriously, was a KKK reference at all appropriate? ) Privateers are given letters of marque by a nation-state. The United States commissioned many privateers during the Revolution and the War of 1812. Those seamen were patriots, and were in many ways more effective at disrupting British commerce and supplies than the regular U.S. Navy. On this Fourth of July we owe a debt of gratitude, and perhaps even our Independence, to the courage of the American privateers. I reckon they're a fine example for our scouts, eh? They were the Minutemen of the sea. Beavah
  2. Yah, welcome to da forums, @@scouter957. Yeh haven't given many details to light our way, so I'm forced to echo what my colleagues have already said. The Organization owns the unit, not the BSA. The head of the Chartered Organization (pastor, principal, etc.) can hire/fire da COR/CC. You can approach that person. You are unlikely to be successful. Parents griping about a scoutmaster not followin' the program are like parents griping about a school teacher not followin' the curriculum. How often does such a teacher get replaced? Pastors and principals aren't typically very open to that sort of griping. There is no one on the BSA side to "escalate" to, eh? There is a fellow called a "Unit Commissioner" whose role it is to be a friend and advisor to the unit. That person can sometimes gently nudge and guide folks in a troop who are willing to be nudged and guided. Unless there's somethin' like child molestation or scouts in da 4th of July Parade carrying signs saying "Atheist Scouts", the BSA is goin' to defer to the chartered partner and its representative. So your options, I'm afraid, are either to go along to get along, or to move along to another troop. Fightin' adult wars in a unit does nothin' but harm kids with collateral damage no matter who is "right". If yeh can't sit back and accept da call, don't storm out and yell at the umpire. Go find a different game. Beavah
  3. Beavah

    How much is too much?

    Uh oh. Now that sounds like a story. Care to share? Beavah
  4. Beavah

    Not an Eagle

    Yah, I agree @jilash. I reckon this is da real issue @@Bingo is dealin' with. Their troop doesn't like the outcome, and they're disappointed with where the other troop left the lad, and they haven't seen enough of him to be able to work their own scouting magic on the boy. They're caught in da trap where what's really best for the boy, and what's the best example for the rest of the boys in their program, and what's best for Scouting may all be a grey zone on da line of what's allowable in G2A. This is the trap da National Advancement Team has created with the modern G2A. In tryin' to reduce their own appeals workload they created an overly regulatory approach too far from what real Scouting is and has been for 100 years. In da process of imagining "bad" unit leaders, they ignore da fact that the most common problem is kids and parents who want to "work the system" to get the award without ever learnin' our lessons of character, fitness, and citizenship. They're so remote from da field that they don't recognize that the "bad" unit leaders and camps are the ones who are givin' away the awards when the lads haven't really learned, robbing all of Scouting of the value of the Advancement Method. That's why I reckon @@Bingo is better just to let things take their course. If the boy had been participating well in the troop, he'd have learned skills to allow him to plan a project, and communicate with others, and he'd have friends and fellow scouts to draw on as workers, and he'd have adults who saw his commitment and were willing to go out of their way for him in return. He chose not to, so the proper lesson for the boy is to feel that, eh? @@Bingo shouldn't put up road blocks for the boy, but he should let the boy experience the full freight of the road blocks he's chosen to put up for himself. I reckon he should also check with da other troop, eh? In far too many of these cases that I've seen, the other troop was surprised by what they had supposedly "signed off". Beavah
  5. Beavah

    Pirate Bandanas as Troop Headgear for Camp

    Yah, that's creative, eh? Are yeh really lookin' for a "rule" on this, @@Hedgehog? Good heavens, why? Scoutin' is a kids game, and this is a classic youth leader choice. I bet da use of pirate headscarfs in your troop will be more "uniform" than da use of the uniform. It will bring a sense of identity and teamwork that's exactly what we want to encourage, particularly at camp. It will be fun. It will make your troop stand out for its spirit. Your kids will talk about it for years. I'd let it be. It will be good fun for awhile, and good scouting. I reckon I'd actually join in and figure out what to bring to help the lads lash up some piratical camp gadgets. Or, if for some reason yeh really don't think it's a good idea or fits da image the Scoutmaster/Committee/CO wants, then just say "no". You don't need a "rule" to act like an adult. Yeh just do it. The boys will respect yeh a lot more if you stand on your own two feet and don't try to hide behind some remote BSA regulation. In that case though, given da camp theme, I reckon yeh need to put on your "fun" hat and be ready with an alternative. Maybe old school USN caps from da era of the Barbary Pirate Wars. Your troop could be da anti-piracy navy at the Pirate Camp, with a mission to win every contest/battle against all da other "pirate" troops! Beavah
  6. Beavah

    Bear Repellent Recommendation

    Yah, hmmm.... One wonders what happened to the "respect wildlife" part of Leave No Trace, eh? I don't reckon it's necessary for everyone to start shoutin' and wavin' when they happen to come across one of our ursine brethren. Just relax and give the bear some respectful space the way yeh want the bear to relax and give you some respectful space. I'm always amused by da notion of smelly ground monkeys trying to run away from a bear. Bears are fast. Faster than smelly ground-monkey children. Way faster than somewhat overweight ground-monkey adults. Beavah
  7. Beavah

    Harassed by SM

    Yah, @@Chagrined Chair, thanks for comin' back to da forums to post a follow up. So many people just go off and leave us wonderin' what happened. I am glad to hear that the Scoutmaster was removed and added to the Ineligible Volunteer Files, so that he will never be a registered adult leader in the BSA again. On behalf of Scouting, I'm grateful to you and the other CC for having the courage and fortitude to file complaints and see the matter through. Though it's hard, I'd try not to let it trouble you that some of the boys choose to offer nice words for the departed Scoutmaster. His boorish and harassing behavior is not likely something they know about or should know about, and even the worst of us humans sometimes does something good for other people. Acknowledging that the former SM did something good for them shows character and kindness on their part. Respect that for what it is; so many young people can be ungrateful and entitled, and these boys aren't. You've done your part to clean up a bleeding sore on Scouting in your area. You've set your troop on the path to great things ahead. Take pride in that. Scout Salute! Beavah
  8. Beavah

    Not an Eagle

    I reckon what @@Bingo is worried about is how the school/church will feel about their scout program if the lad doesn't follow through on the project, like he hasn't followed through on his Scoutin' life the past two years. Failed projects can be good (hard!) lessons for the boys, but they can also be really damaging to the community's view of Scouting. Yah, hmmm... I've always been of the mind that A Scout Learns means that he really learns, eh? Not that he crams for some artificial test. A boy who has really learned how to ride a bike can ride a bike years later, eh? Same with swimming, same with cooking, same with navigating. If yeh have really learned somethin', "retention" isn't an issue until decades later when brain cell start to die off as yeh grow old and feeble. After all, we celebrate boys who are able to use their First Aid or rescue skills years later to help a victim or save a life, right? We teach 'em Personal Management because we want 'em to use those skills for life, right? More importantly, we want boys to develop habits of the heart, eh? Not so much that they didn't lie, cheat, or steal in da 4 months they were working on Star, but that in the 4 months they were working on Star they demonstrated the personal character and commitment to always work against lying, cheating, or stealing. There's no "one and done" when it comes to real character. Back in the olden days, Baden Powell said that a boy who couldn't perform his skills on demand should surrender his badge. It is this notion of a personal duty to maintain skills and proficiency and honor that led to the statement "Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle!" in the U.S. It doesn't mean that once you get the patch you can call yourself an Eagle Scout for life; it means that in getting the badge yeh have accepted the duty to maintain your skills and honor and da Oath and Law for life. Granted, da failure is more on the troop program for signing a lad off who has not truly learned or become proficient, so it's best in these cases to fix the program rather than fix the boy, especially late in the game. I reckon we also have some duty to the boy, though... and some responsibility for da example we allow to be set for other boys and what we hold out to the broader community as our brightest and our best, eh? After all, if a lad gets accepted to college because of having Eagle Scout on his resume, that means someone else didn't get accepted to college. If we're not bein' honest about a boy's skills and character, then that's on us, eh? Beavah
  9. Beavah

    Not an Eagle

    Hiya @@Bingo, welcome to da Forums, eh! What yeh describe is sadly not that uncommon. Generally speakin', other Scoutmasters don't "pick on" kids, especially not 16 year olds who have been in their troop for years. Odds are that they are just expressin' high expectations for the boy, and he (or his family) is resisting. In the future as a CC, I recommend that yeh drop boys who are not participating actively in your troop from the roster at recharter time. Boys can always opt to come back, but that requires a Scoutmaster conference and approval of a new application, with some expectations clearly laid out. It also makes expectations of membership clear without any ties to advancement. I'd also take an application from an older scout transfer as an application, eh? Yeh don't need to accept it, and should at least make inquiries and have a solid SM Conference about expectations. In terms of the current lad, I think you as Committee Chair should not be takin' a stand at all at this point. Your job is to be the chair, eh? To be fair and impartial. The emails are unfortunate and you should walk 'em back by apologizing for them. Goin' forward, there are several decision points, eh? The boy's plan will have to be approved. If the plan has some serious concerns, then that's the right spot to deal with it, in terms of not approving the plan (but also trying to help the boy with ideas and suggestions). The boy will need to get people to work his Eagle project. If he hasn't been attending the troop's functions and he hasn't helped out on anyone else's Eagle project, then he might find that he finds it hard to get people to work his. Them's the breaks, eh? You and da SM should not bail him out, and yeh should make sure his parent doesn't bail him out. Yeh might even quietly talk to the SPL/PLC and let 'em know that they don't have an obligation to bail the boy out, either. The boy will have to do the work and the paperwork. He can request that you meet on nights that are convenient to him, but that's a request eh? He can request two adults from the troop (includin' one who has to be a registered adult over 21) to attend his work sessions, but that's a request as well, eh? Ultimately it's up to you and the Scoutmaster and your own schedules and willingness. I wouldn't sabotage the lad, but I wouldn't give him any special treatment or breaks, either. The Scoutmaster and the beneficiary have to sign off on his project completion, and may choose not to. The boy will need to meet all da requirements for Eagle. It's unclear whether he has a POR requirement completed in his old troop, but yeh should check on that, eh? Sometimes book signatures mysteriously appear for transfer scouts. He needs to meet Scout Spirit. Da Scoutmaster has to sign off on these things, and can choose not to. You as Committee Chair have to sign off on his application as well, on behalf of the unit committee. You and the committee can choose not to. And, if yeh conduct Eagle BORs at the unit level, yeh can have your committee members have a direct say in da final decision. Yeh seem to be taking a principled stand, but I'd encourage yeh to reserve judgment at this point. Let it play out. Odds are a boy like this won't make it without special treatment or his parent(s) doin' it all. If yeh can avoid those two things, you'll either get the outcome you expect or yeh may be re-evaluating what you think of the boy. Be open to that. Good luck with it and keep us posted. Beavah
  10. Beavah

    How much is too much?

    Yah, hmmm.... I like the not-a-distraction rule. I reckon that's about where I'm at with it. If yeh use it as a proper tool, bring the tech. If you're texting your girlfriend all night, then no. I personally never bring anything with batteries except my flashlight. Even then I reckon I replace the batteries about every year and a half or so... averagin' at least 50 nights out a year in da Dark North. GPS just annoys an old map-and-compass fellow like myself, and readin' a paper book while sittin' on a stump by da campfire is one of life's pleasures. Still, I try not to be a curmudgeon. A modern cell phone ain't a phone, it's a pocket computer and library and multi-purpose tool. It's less a phone than a Swiss Army Knife is a knife. As for da other questions... stump over chair, campfire vs stove (but depends on where yeh are), and definitely hike in. Leave da trailer at home and learn how to camp. Beavah
  11. Yah, some of us old and feeble remember that revision, eh? I reckon there were lots of scouters beatin' their heads against the local deciduous or conifer tree muttering "correlation does not mean causation". Most boys in Boy Scouting dropped in their first year (still true). Most boys who made First Class stay in scouting through Life/Eagle/Age 18 (less true now, I believe, but very true back then). Solution: If every boy makes First Class in the first year, we'll fix the dropout issue! Fail. As everyone who has ever led a group of lads into the field knows, boys who made FC were the lads "into" scouting. Boys that drop in their first year are boys who usually aren't that committed to begin with, or who are strugglin' socially/physically with da transition. Shovin' FC emphasis at 'em doesn't help a lick, and dumbing down FC makes the program less appealing to the lads who are into it. Beavah
  12. Beavah

    Unsupervised Youth Rescued

    The American equivalent of the Duke of Edinburgh is the Congressional Award. I know a few troops that use it as part of their program. The D of E has permutations in other Commonwealth countries. Happily, most of the rest of the world is not as anal about having adults hovering over teens 24/7/365. Adult-free travel is more normative, even adult-free international travel. Beavah
  13. Yah, hmmm.... @@F-P... Holy Smoke! An entire school curriculum book, replete with Learning Objectives and lesson plans. I reckon that's the most amazin' effort to turn scouts into school that I've ever seen. @, welcome! Congrats on takin' on the fun task of a new startup troop. From a few previous posts, I take it yeh just crossed over with you son's webelos den and the den is the core of the new troop? Let me take a step back and ask what you're hopin' to accomplish for the lads through scouting? And what kind of boys do yeh currently have (and do you expect to get lookin' at your troop in future years)? Do yeh have any other (semi-) local troops that can be a "big brother" troop for yeh your first year or two? It's really hard for parents to switch from Cub Scout Mode to Boy Scouting without some wisdom and guidance. One of the easiest things in the world to do is to turn NSP into Webelos III, complete with adult den leaders and a program everyone does together so that all the lads advance at the same time and pace. Problem is, that really isn't Boy Scoutin', and yeh aren't likely to get the results yeh want in terms of buildin' capable young men. It's how we built inquisitive and confident 9 year-olds, eh? Older boys are different. Beavah
  14. Yah, hiya @@Im5kidsmom . Welcome to da forums. The age-appropriate guidance is just guidance, eh? It's hard to help yeh out without knowin' where you are and what your kids are like. Farm kids? I reckon they've grown up around tools and can handle most of 'em. Pampered city kids? Might be dangerous with a hammer. If yeh find the adults in a troop are havin' arguments like this, I think yeh have to get 'em to stop focusing on the BSA guidebooks and arguments over wording, and focus instead on the boys. If the adults are reasonably experienced in tool use, they can tell pretty easily where the boys are at. Yeh should let the adults who are handy observe and talk to the kids and make determinations on that basis. To my mind there are two things to really avoid, eh? Da first is to assume the lads (or other adults) have more capability than they do, eh? Yeh want to see 'em handle a tool in a controlled circumstance, not rely on what a fellow says, or what you assume a boy or adult that age should be able to do. It takes more than just instruction to have da judgment to handle tools well, eh? It takes some time and experience. The second mistake is to infantilize kids. We should be helpin' lads Be Prepared for life, eh? That means knowin' how to take care of themselves and their families, includin' how to use tools responsibly. Most Boy Scout aged youth are capable of handling ordinary power tools, and most high-school aged youth are capable of handling anything with instruction and some practice. So help 'em learn, and help 'em build good safety habits when they are young that will protect them (and others) for the rest of their lives. We let lads use firearms, after all. Da shotgun a lad uses for Shotgun Sports MB is more of an objective hazard than a drill press. Beavah
  15. Yah, hmmm... Why is that sad, @@Stosh? I'm delighted when other organizations are out doin' good things with kids. Just the same way I hope they'd be delighted to see scouts out doin' great things! We can't reach all kids and neither can they, but hopefully if enough good people and good programs are out there, every boy and girl will be reached by something fun that helps 'em learn and grow, and by someone who really cares. B
  16. Yah, sure, we need emergency contact information and relevant health history. I'm not convinced it helps EMS or ER staff that much, because their protocols are to take a history themselves, eh? Most folks comin' into an ER don't have forms stapled to their jackets, and yeh have to set treatment and intake protocols for da norm, eh? For kids, they're goin' to call family fairly early on. In what circumstances do yeh imagine the form will substantively affect treatment and outcome? Yah, sure, we've got a whole mess of us adults who are growin' old and feeble, and some young lads who are obese. Everyone in da outdoor industry deals with this at some level, eh? Yet they manage to take folks whitewater raftin' and skydivin' and whatnot without demandin' full health histories and physicals. Besides, for da 1% of the time, we aren't even sure we're gettin' an accurate report, eh? I know I've been on trips or at camp where adults revealed things like a heart condition (and meds) that weren't on his health history or physical. Do yeh have any data on whether da effort has meaningfully improved annual Philmont medical evacuations and fatalities? Or across all da national HA bases? Yah, this is a real issue, eh? The morass of law and regulation across the land for long-term resident camps is a mess. Sometime we have to live with that, eh? Other times it would be nice to see us lobbyin' to make those statutes a bit more sane. We're also caught up a bit by da fact that activity physicals have become a pseudo standard of care in some ways, driven by da industry. I'm not sure I'm convinced, though, that it makes sense for da entire country to do somethin' because one state's camping regulations require it. Havin' a "standardized mechanism" across all 50 states strikes me as a bug, rather than a feature. Medical systems, insurance, regulation all vary by state, and we'd be offerin' better service to our councils and our units if we were to tailor things sometimes. At least allowin' camps in more permissive regulatory environments to be more permissive would help 'em compete with da other camps in their area. [furry critter now runnin' for cover as @@RichardB imagines tryin' to deal with helpin' 50 states with customized approaches... It's fun to be gleefully trollin' H&S!] Beavah
  17. Yah, hmmm.... Not all troops. I can point to some that don't seem to have any difficulty. Da necessary ingredient seems to be an active PLC and genuine responsibility and leadership for the older scouts. Often, but not always, accompanied by an older scouts "high adventure" type program of some sort. The real key seems to be real responsibility. IMO mixed-age patrols have a slight advantage here, because then the PLC becomes the home of responsible older scouts, rather than a weird mix of capable boys and newbie PLs. Your point about the "age problem" for public schools as partners is a good one, though. Kids don't often want to go back to participate in their middle school. That's somethin' worth thinkin' about carefully. Yeh could do a dumbed-down middle school Boy Scout program and then HS Venturing, but I'm not sure I'm a fan. Yeh could have da HS charter troops, and then use 'em as outreach for middle schoolers. That might make for a really robust program, eh? Sorta like how talented middle schoolers can take HS classes. Might really ease the HS transition for a lot of kids, which is a big one. Beavah
  18. Any doc or EMS provider is goin' to recognize and respond to da signs of anaphylaxis without waiting for a med form, eh? I wasn't really talkin' about da part B medical history, though. I was talkin' about the physician exam. If the parents provide us with allergies, medications, and chronic conditions on a simplified part B, what do we get from da physician that really is of any value? Not sure we really get anything of value from da adult physicals for that matter. Seems like da whole process could be reduced to a quick list of allergies, medications, and current conditions. If we did this, we might even get folks to pay a bit more attention and give us a bit more information, like the severity of a listed allergy. Havin' lots of pages I think reduces the level of thoughtful response we get. Just curious. I know when I'm siftin' through the forms, a page full of conditions with "no" checked just makes it harder to find what is really relevant. Beavah
  19. @@shaner, I think yeh have it right, it's a combination of things. Good communication and reasonable availability on the part of the troop Paperwork Maven, parent responsibility, and scout responsibility to pester his parents . The scout responsibility I reckon changes with the age of the scout. Best yeh can do is the best you can do to make the process as easy as yeh can for as many families as yeh can. Yah, I reckon we all have, eh? I confess a furry long-toothed critter might even have done that once, just because his AME was out of town. @@fred johnson raises a good point here, eh? A parent who pencil-whips a physician report is essentially sayin' "I think this is a useless exercise unrelated to safety for my kid". No parent would do that if they really felt it affected da safety of their child. I wonder if those parents are right, eh? Policy-wise, a policy that costs a million scout families an hour or more of their time, plus physician exam fees that add up to over $100 million, plus somethin' like 50,000 volunteers and pros spendin' hours trackin' paperwork is a very expensive policy. Can we identify benefits that come anywhere near justifyin' that cost? Can we identify any benefits at all? Given how indoors and sedentary kids have become, we should be doin' our best to make it easier for kids to get outdoors Scoutin', eh? Beavah
  20. Beavah

    Excluding the unchurched

    Yah, hmmm.... I'm confused about what da question is again. As @@fred johnson suggests, there are at least two different questions out there. More, in fact. I guess I'm goin' to respond to this invitation: I want to discuss. in the context of Scouting, whether it's a good idea to exclude youth on the basis that they are not adherents to a particular faith. I'm goin' to flip it around and ask "A good idea for whom?" A good idea for the Chartered Partner? I have no idea. Depends on what they're tryin' to accomplish and who they're serving. If they're Catholics and their version of Duty to God and Reverence is that not goin' to mass on Sunday is a grave sin, then maybe the unchurched family that never obligates their kids to worship on the Sabbath is workin' against the values they want to teach. If they're UUA, then maybe welcomin' all comers to get them to come together in as much mutual support and prayerfulness as each is willing is the right thing. Not for me to say. A good idea for the BSA? I think da Corporation is interested in reachin' as many kids/families as it can. I reckon it'd be a bad idea for da BSA. A good idea for Scouting? Nah, Scouting as a movement is all about buildin' bridges of growth and respect. We're where (hopefully) da Catholic kids and da Muslim kids and da UUA kids and the U.S. kids and the German kids and the Nigerian kids can all come together as brother (and sister) scouts. Beavah
  21. Beavah

    Issues...CO or Council route?

    Yah, I think a lot of unit and even district volunteers don't really understand da relationships sometimes. They think of da BSA like it's one big hierarchy, where folks in the units report to the district, and on up the chain. They don't grok da CO thing. Some of our partners (LDS, Catholics, Methodists, and other large partners) definitely do understand the relationship and use it well; other smaller partners (PTAs come to mind) really don't. I expect a CO like @@David CO 's school would be swift and sure in removin' the offending cubmaster. Where it gets weird is when yeh have Parents Of charters or PTAs like @@King Ding Dong's. They often don't understand their role / responsibility / liabilities. Sometimes DEs keep 'em in the dark in order to get a unit up and runnin', though da charter and COR training are becomin' more and more explicit. Problem is there really aren't (m)any mechanisms for council to intervene in the CO's backyard, eh? Unit volunteers work for da CO, not the BSA. It's da CO that hires and fires 'em, and it's the CO that's liable for their behavior. Aside from things like accusations of sexual battery against a kid we're not removin' volunteers; even in those cases we would work in concert with da Chartered Organization. If the fellow crosses the line in terms of a felony conviction, OK, but otherwise it's da CO's volunteer and da CO's show. That's where da Commissioner Corps and sometimes a unit-serving DE come in as friends and advisors. It's still a morass, because odds are neither really understands the actual unit dynamic, and like as not adult disputes in units have long histories and lots of he-said, she-said. Beavah
  22. Yah, hmmm... I'm not sure why you're worryin' this to death, @@TAHAWK? @DavidCO has said that he's the AD and COR for Catholic school, if I'm rememberin' right. His troop is an extracurricular activity of da school. As COR he's got the authority to set da CO's rules for their Scouting program, but he's make it clear that this is comin' from above... meaning the IH and da school youth ministry team. The rule is that no school extracurricular service projects are to conflict with da confirmation service time. That applies to da scout troop, da band, the National Honor Society, etc. Even I as an unrepentant Protestant fellow know that confirmation class in Catholic schools and Sunday schools is a one-academic-year program. Around here da service requirements are pretty hefty, eh? More service hours on an individual basis than we require of some full Eagle projects. So from where I sit, this is an effort by da school to protect the kids as much as anything. It gives 'em some space to really work their confirmation service hours without other school programs piling on and makin' it hard for a lad to get confirmed. As BSA council volunteers and commissioners and whatnot, we would never presume to interfere in da management of the Chartered Partner in the way yeh seem to want. We'd be skewered and shishkabobbed on da front lawn by our SE if nuthin' else. I'd be gettin' da charcoal ready if it was one of our commissioners. I did once hear of an SE who decided to get meddlesome in our region. Da pastor called up his friend and co-religionist on da Relationships Committee, and shortly thereafter da SE was skewered and shishkabobbed on da front lawn. If some 17 year old lad comes to us and there's no way for him to earn Eagle, we might proceed under Disputed Circumstances, but that's a BSA decision about our award, not a decision about da merits of the CO's religious education position. There's a difference, eh? Da BSA is the final arbiter for who it gives its awards to, but the CO is da final arbiter for their program. They are our customer, eh? And da customer is always right. Beavah
  23. Beavah

    Excluding the unchurched

    Yah, in da words of Ronald Reagan, "there you go again!". I know I'm not at all knowledgeable about da Catholic Church. A confusin' morass as far as I'm concerned! Much easier to go by personal conscience and faith alone, eh? But even I recognize that a set of decontextualized quotes isn't the same thing as bein' knowledgeable in an area. It takes effort and study to do that, eh? The parish priest and da professional Catholic school principal and school chaplain and da folks who are trained and selected to teach in their confirmation program and their COR are goin' to be far better at understandin' and interpreting their church's own documents than we are, eh? If I remember right, all their priests have at least a Master's Degree in their theology as part of somethin' like a 5-year postgraduate education. Five years of post-grad work would be the equivalent of a Ph.D. in many fields. I reckon they can judge their own church's teachings better than we can, eh? Better than I can, certainly. Point is, if we're volunteerin' with da BSA it's not our job to argue with 'em. It's our job to respect and support them, and help 'em run a good Scouting program consistent with their mission and values. Even if we think they're doin' it wrong, we should be doin' our job, not theirs. Otherwise we're doin' it wrong. Beavah
  24. Beavah

    Excluding the unchurched

    Yah, hmmm... I'm not takin' anything personally, mate. I'm just givin' yeh feedback. Of course now you're speakin' for da NCCS and USCCB as well as for da BSA, eh? As their spokesman I'm sure yeh must be right. One wonders if yeh ever get time to sleep. @@David CO and some other Catholics on da list can speak to it better than me, but as far as I know Catholic confirmation programs are one year things. More to the point, I'm not aware of any Scouting programs that are designed to be evangelical in da way you describe. LDS might be closest, but not really. Churches offer Scouting as part of their youth ministry, sure, but not generally as part of their evangelical ministry. It strikes me that da BSA would be a poor partner for evangelical work. For a church's youth ministry, they mostly minister to their own youth, eh? Or at least to youth who are interested. Beavah
  25. Yah, hmmm.... I was settlin' in with my bag of popcorn but then I completely lost da plot of this particular train wreck. @@Stosh, I think what you're missin' is that (as I understand it) Catholic confirmation programs are one-year programs, eh? And by one year, what they mean is one academic year that sort of gets goin' by October and ends in da spring whenever they are able to schedule confirmation. So I expect what @@David CO is talkin' about is a restriction for 4-6 months out of a scout's 7+ years. Da age 13-18 (really 13-dead) is the range in time when yeh are eligible to start your 4-6 month stretch. Unless @@David CO is runnin' a rapid-advancement Eagle Mill, I don't reckon he's got a lot of 13-year-old simultaneous confirmation and Eagle candidates among his 8th graders, eh? So what we're really talkin' is maybe a brief delay on FC or Star. If a lad is up for Life (or Eagle) he has to put in 6 months anyway, so I'm not seein' how this is holdin' a kid back. He serves his POR while he's doin' Confirmation class and schedules his service for da weekend after he's confirmed. Maybe he helps clean up after da confirmation ceremony. I've got a friend who is a Jesuit attorney and canon lawyer. We've worked together on a few things. There's a quote from da Spiritual Exercises that is perhaps apropos here:
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