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Rick_in_CA last won the day on June 30

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About Rick_in_CA

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  1. Rick_in_CA

    Boy Scouting in WW2

    Good point. But WW2 stands large in ways the WW1 didn't (though the US Civil War and the American Revolution arguably stand larger in their continuing impact on the USA). Did you know that in WW2, the United States had around 9 percent of it's population serving in uniform (around half of the military age , male population) and it shipped something like 6 percent of it's population overseas (out of a population of around 132 million)? Think about that. Also most people today don't have an understanding of how WW2 still shapes our society today. We have the UN (why do the USA, Russia, France, China and the UK have permanent seats on the Security Council, but not Germany, Spain, Italy or Japan?), IMF (and the whole Bretton Woods structure), the EU, NATO, the interstate highway system, etc. - all of which came out of WW2. Though the impact of both wars is extensive. WW1 saw the end of both the Austrian-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires. It led to the creation of the League of Nations, the Russian revolution, the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War (which itself helped create the east-west hostility of the following 70 years), much of which set the stage for WW2. So you are correct, the stories are ephemeral, and that is the case for all wars or events in history. But I feel WW2 is still having a great impact on our society, and I am still sorry that today's youth are loosing a living connection to those events.
  2. Rick_in_CA

    Thank You, Lord

    I cannot image what it must be like to be is such fear for your child. I'm am very glad to hear that everyone involved is going to be OK.
  3. Rick_in_CA

    Boy Scouting in WW2

    On this Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, I just wanted to revive this topic. I read an interesting note in my local paper today. This year is the first time in 70 years that there are no living survivors of the USS Arizona at the memorial ceremonies in Pearl Harbor. There are only five living survivors left, and none are able to attend this year. The WW2 generation is almost gone, and in a few years there will be no more living eye witnesses to the events of that war. I remember fondly the veterans and witnesses that I had the chance to speak to over the years and to hear their amazing stories, but grand and small. I feel sad that for most of our young people, that opportunity is gone. It's one thing to read about things in a book, or see it on the TV or film, but it is another thing to hear it from someone that was there. Whether it's hearing Erich Topp speak about the torpedoing of the USS Reuben James ("I hit what I was aiming at"); watching an old navy veteran, with tears running down his face, tell another about watching a bunch of US navy destroyers charging the cream of the Japanese battle line at the battle off Samar ("I knew they weren't making it home, but just maybe, they could give the rest of us the chance..."); hearing all the stories from my mother and her family of their experiences in Europe during the war; or a family friend telling his eyewitness account of the USS Mount Hood explosion on Manus Island ("We were almost a mile away and it was raining debris around us..."). I'm sorry for the current and future generations, they will only hear such stories second and third hand. And that so many stories have been lost forever with the loss of the witnesses.
  4. Rick_in_CA

    Why all the slap-stick in Cub Scouting?

    I kind of agree with you on this. I remember when I was a cub, I didn't like some of the more silly stuff that was done. As for training, at BALOO and OWLS, some of the advice actually made me angry. Take run-ons (this is where a scout or scouter is encourage to jump up and interrupt a skit, song or speaker with a quick one-liner), they are simply rude and unscout like. If one of my cubs did that, I would reprimand them and make them apologize for interrupting and being disrespectful. The rounds of applause, and stuff like that I find annoying. It can make a quick 20 second announcement into a 2 minute performance. One that was common in my pack for a short time: "The Announcement Song", which the cubs would sing whenever the word "announcement" was spoken. I disliked it because it was an interruption, and slowed the administration stuff down so it took longer (which took time away from the fun stuff).
  5. Rick_in_CA

    CHIN-BE-GOTA revisited 20 years later

    Thank you for sharing your story @seaoat. I share MattR's sentiments, that is what scouting is all about. God speed on your final journey.
  6. Rick_in_CA

    Son is at YMCA camp this week.

    This is what boy scout summer camp used to be (and should be again). When I was a scout, if we wanted to swim, we went swimming. If we wanted to shoot archery or 22s, off we went and did it (occasionally there was a brief line). Wanted to go canoeing? Off we went (unless they were being used by the canoeing merit badge class). Wanted to go hiking? Off we went. The camp was almost all free form.
  7. Rick_in_CA

    Is this the new normal?

    There is an additional aspect to the ban. My understanding that the original ban dates back to the early 70s. It was a reaction to the protests against the Vietnam War, and the growing anti-military attitude of the country. The BSA was trying too make a big deal out of the fact that it wasn't the military, especially trying to eliminate anything that could look like specific training for war. At the time, most of the scout leaders were veterans, and many of them ran their troops like military units. I remember learning how to march and dress ranks when I was a boy scout. When our troop marched in parades, we (tried at least) to look military (we marched in formation to a called cadence). To a layman, the scouts looked military (we wore green uniforms, saluted, had ranks, marched, organized in patrols, learned to shoot guns, the military offered lots of support to the scouts, etc.). One of the reasons for the switch to the Oscar de la Renta uniform was to make scouts less military looking.
  8. Rick_in_CA

    Patrol Method - Best Practices

    Weird duplicate post.
  9. Rick_in_CA

    Patrol Method - Best Practices

    You can also find all the old Boy's Life magazines in Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=HEFsdunJeZMC&dq=boys+life+magazine&source=gbs_navlinks_s
  10. Rick_in_CA

    Patrol Method and new G2SS rules

    Does having adults around on a patrol hike change things? Yes, no mater how quiet they are, and how much in the background they stay. It hurts the scouts. Multiple studies have shown the benefits of unsupervised time for child development. The kids need time without any adults around to grow. Youth Protection is important, but not at the expense of the kids.
  11. Rick_in_CA

    LNT says stop geotagging

    Correct. But the author is correct that Leave No Trace does recommend against geotagged in social media: http://lnt.org/blog/new-social-media-guidance
  12. Which was Mike Rowe's point in his recent rant. I agree with both of you and Mike Rowe. But I'm afraid Eagledad is correct, the BSA is too afraid.
  13. I think you bring up an excellent point about scout maturity and merit badges. I sometimes wish some of the badges had age restrictions or prerequisites. Something to help postpone some of the badges until the scouts are mature enough to get the most out of them. But I am leery of age restrictions, as I am afraid we would get the merit badge equivalent of "must be 14 to use a wagon". I wonder if the UK scouts have it right to split the boy scouts into two age groups. What works for a 12 year old is going to be different than what works for a 16 year old.
  14. Rick_in_CA

    Boys' needs

    I agree about camp fires. To me, sitting around the camp fire in the evening is one of the best parts of camping. The fire bans make me sad. Though here in California, after years of drought, things are so dry in some places a fire ban makes complete sense.
  15. Rick_in_CA

    What's your best Scouting memory?

    It's hard to pick just one, but here are a few that stand out. My boy scout troop was camping at the Pinnacles and visited the Bear Gulch Cave. This cave is a large talus cave (made by large boulders) that climbs up following a water course. The cave was partly flooded in that it had water running in it, and the only way through was to go wading (in about thigh high water at it's deepest). But it was a hot day (the Pinnacles can get really hot), so we didn't care that we were getting wet. The upper two thirds of the cave is completely dark (I mean pitch black, no light at all), so we were all carrying flashlights. We had a couple of hours to explore the cave, and we quickly split up into groups (patrols mostly if I remember correctly). We climbed through the cave up the top, stopping along the way to stick our head into every crevice we could find. And then went back down to the bottom. I then had the idea to do it without flashlights. It was a whole other experience in the pitch black. The sound and feel of the rushing water, the texture of the rocks, our voices and the dark. We relied on our memories of the path and the water current as a guide. It was a great feeling of accomplishment when we got to the top and sunlight again. We had done the whole thing without turning on the flashlights once! There were other groups from our troop already at the top. We told them what we had done, and turned around to go down in the dark again. This time leading two other patrols. We did a total of five passes through the cave without lights before it was time to move on. In 1976, I was a webelos. My local council was holding a special week-long event in celebration of the Bicentennial called something like the Bicenteree. It was in a dry valley somewhere in the Diablo Range. The valley wasn't a normal campground as it had no facilities and just a dirt road running into it. The National Guard trucked in all the water and there were big banks of porta-potties. My older brother, along with my Dad (he was an ASM) stayed there all week with the troop. Us webelos were only going to be there the final weekend (we were hosted by the troop). It was to be my first time camping with real boy scouts, so I was excited. The den leader drove all of us in his huge station wagon (remember those?) and parked the car in a huge field of vehicles, grabbed our gear and hiked in (it wasn't far as the "parking lot" was next to the camping area). We could see on the hill above the camp a large black and pink scar on the hillside. It turned out that the day before, there had been a grass fire. The whole camp was mustered to be ready to fight the fire. All the scouts were ordered too return too their troop area and prepare to do fire duty. The fire was actually put out by a plane dropping fire retardant on the fire (hence the pink) with some actual firemen and national guardsmen. The scouts just stood and watched. My Dad managed to get a great photograph of the plane doing the drop. It was my first scouting camp out (though we had done family camping many times before), and it made a big impression on me. It was a big event, with well over a hundred boy scout troops attending. I remember wandering around and seeing giant pioneering projects (signal towers, bridges, fences), a few foreign troops, a troop playing bag pipes, buglers, games, competitions, archery, activity everywhere. To a webelos, it was an amazing introduction to the world of boy scouts! I couldn't wait!