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Rick_in_CA last won the day on June 30 2018

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About Rick_in_CA

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  1. One problem with all this background checking is that many of these checks are done on the cheap. I have a friend that was given a copy of his background check when he started a new job. There wasn't anything bad in the check, but it clearly wasn't him (he never lived in Nevada for example, but he did live in Boston for years which wasn't mentioned) even though his name was on it. That is why most states require potential employers to provide a copy of any background check too you so you can check it for errors. I have another friend that used to carry a laminated letter from the local sheriff because he was repeatedly accosted by bounty hunters. He had the same name and DOB as a skipped felon from another state. The letter explained that he wasn't the individual they were looking for. He had a couple of very scary encounters with a few armed clowns, including a night spent in jail because one of the clowns refused to call the phone number on the letter because "he knows that trick!".
  2. Rick_in_CA

    GPS usage may cause dementia

    It turns out navigating through the environment changes the brain, and depending on GPS changes it in different ways (parts shrink). https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14652
  3. Actually it does. Adults change the dynamics, no mater how quiet they are. Which is why the old BSA requirements and the modern Duke of Edinburgh Award require the trek be without adults.
  4. Rick_in_CA

    Protect Yourself Rules - New Training

    But sometimes the correct thing to do is go with the stranger - the child might be in a dangerous area or situation. The reality is that the classic kid snatched off the street by a pervert is really rare (some thing like 100 a year in the US. Most kidnappings of children are by family members involved in custody disputes). Kids are much more likely to be abused or killed by their parents or other relatives, hurt in car accidents, or even to suffer from a heart attack than becoming the next Elizabeth Smart. So why do we spend so much time and energy "teaching" kids about it (ok - because parents have a completely overblown fear about it)? Aren't we giving them an overblown sense of danger? There are unfortunately too many examples of fear of strangers leading to poor or even tragic results. Kids not going for help in emergencies or when they were in trouble because that would require talking to strangers. What young kids should be taught is, when they need help, go to the first person you see and ask for help. As I wrote earlier, it's all about context. We want to give our kids useful tools to function in a world that isn't always safe, without instilling unreasonable fears that will handicap them. Not always easy to do.
  5. Rick_in_CA

    Protect Yourself Rules - New Training

    Wow. I don't really know what to say about this. I agree with your point about more simulated real-world exercises, but practicing for such an incredibly rare occurrence such as stranger kidnapping? The amount of fear of strangers that is drilled into kids now days is not healthy. They are much more likely to need the help of a stranger than to be ever threatened by one. So how to do we teach them appropriate caution with strangers without instilling in them a constant fear? If it was my kids that and an event like that was scheduled, I think I wouldn't let them go (of course, context is everything).
  6. It can be found here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-04-17/boy-scouts-are-just-scouts-now-and-that-s-making-girl-scouts-mad And I agree, it's a really good article.
  7. A good point. One of the issues I see with many scouts (and non-scouts) is that they have no idea of their home surroundings (the have no mental map). They have no idea which way is north ("try the north side of the building." "Huh, which way is that?"), they can't navigate on their own from their school (or soccer practice, scout meeting) to their home, even when it's not very far (such as a 20 minute walk). They have no idea of where things are in relation to each other ("can you point toward the general direction of your house from here?"). And unfortunately, the same can often be said of their parents. And most of this is because of overuse of GPS (I have one friend that automatically uses the car GPS to basically go everywhere. His mental map has deteriorated a lot since we were kids. He often has no idea where he is. If the GPS tells him to go in the wrong direction, I don't think he would be able to tell.) - and the fact that these kids are driven everywhere by their parents, so they don't have a chance to learn a mental map (when I was a kid, and in a car, I was looking out the windows watching, subconsciously learning the route. Now kids have their face buried in some electronic device instead). Being able to navigate from places we commonly go (school, church, meetings, best friends house, etc.) to home, grandma's house, Dad's work, etc. is an important survival skill. All kids should be able to navigate (walk, bike, give directions to a driver) these common routes in an emergency - and without access to electronic devices or even a map. They should KNOW it. It's right up there with knowing Mom and Dad's names, home phone number, address, etc. I wish there was a greater emphases placed on learning these important skills.
  8. Rick_in_CA

    YP bungled, 60 year old troop disbands

    There is also the problem that the registry has errors in it (people that should be one the list are not, people that should never have been on the list are, bad names, bad addresses, etc.). Not to mention, in some states if you are registered sex offender, getting your conviction overturned may not get you off the registry (I don't know how that works in California with the Megan's List). So yes, it can be a real mess. I remember reading about a case several years ago where some local guy was found shot to death in his home and it was discovered that he was listed as a child molester in the database, even though he wasn't. His case was unsolved and it is assumed that the incorrect listing may have been the motive.
  9. Rick_in_CA

    Merry Christmas! (I&P Version)

    May whatever religious, cultural and/or societal activities or observances you and your families celebrate this season be happy ones! Now how is that for inclusive!
  10. Rick_in_CA

    And so it begins

    Not to nitpick to much, but if you really mean non-sectarian instead of non-denominational, creating a truly non-sectarian prayer is impossible. And claiming that a prayer is non-sectarian when it isn't, can be offensive.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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).
  15. 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.