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Everything posted by SCOUTER-Terry

  1. Hi folks! Please welcome @desertrat77 and @MattR as the newest members of the moderator team at SCOUTER.com! As a reminder, these moderators are volunteering their cheerful service for a quality experience around our virtual campfire. They aren't forfeiting their roles as members of the forum, they are just stepping up to help keep the area clean, and remind us all to remain Scoutlike in our interactions. Be kind, be friendly... and thankful to the full team!
  2. SCOUTER-Terry

    Decorum And Acting Scoutlike

    The volunteer moderators of this forum do cheerful service, usually just keeping SCOUTER.com organized and enjoyable. The policy and standard of decorum for participation here has always included (1) acting Scoutlike and (2) behaving as you would standing around a campfire where Scouts and Scouters could gather. The Issues and Politics Forum have always had greater leeway, because important and interesting issues deserved to be discussed. The expected change in policy by BSA is a major inflection point (one long overdue in my opinion, though I respect that some may disagree based on their religious beliefs). It's certainly roused activity in this forum, and the Moderators are busy trying to maintain some semblance of decorum. Here's the standard and direction I will give to Moderators: Scouting already decided that every unit must not discriminate, exclude or otherwise harm gay kids. Period. No exceptions. And there very well may be one of those kids in your unit, or certainly reading this forum. Scouting seems poised to decide that only religiously-chartered units may choose to not select gay parents or leaders as mentors, and that would take effect immediately (like, next week). It is impossible to honor point #1 above while standing around a campfire (or this virtual campfire we call SCOUTER.com) denigrating or shouting angrily into the wind your personal distaste for gay people. It's impossible to honor point #1 while disparaging an entire group of people that may include one of those kids. As such, I encourage moderators to simply delete posts they feel could violate point #1 above. If excluding gay adults is something your church sponsored unit decides to do, and a message they want to send to gay kids that might be growing up in that unit, that is up to the sponsor to decide. Similarly, it's now up to the parents and Scouts to decide if they want to stay a part of that unit, or walk across to the street to join or start a new unit. As for THIS public "campfire", we welcome discussion, and we welcome sincerely held, politely-stated personal beliefs. But we will not be used as a platform that sends denigrating messages to gay kids who may be within earshot. Scouting has moved past that, thank God. TERRY Publisher, SCOUTER.com PS - If you dislike my position above, feel free to move on to a different forum (or start one of your own!). If you refuse to follow this standard, be prepared to be blocked from future participation in the forum. PPS - Thank you, thank you, thank you to the volunteer Moderators, who 99% of the time are doing the thankless task of deleting spam, organizing topics and chasing down bug reports, and for their incredible "moderation", patience and service to our community in just keeping the cheerful spark burning.
  3. Hi folks! Today, we have upgraded the forum software from the outdated version to the latest stable release. Unlike the old forum version, this new version is feature-rich, security hardened with automated anti-spam, more professional, with the ability to integrate numerous add-ons/services, and is built on the contemporary HTML5/CSS3 framework. It is also fully responsive to media devices (PC/Tablet/Mobile). Please be patient, but explore the new software and let us know how you like (or dislike) new features. Some of these things may just take some getting used to, other items we can continue to improve (or change). Please use this thread to post your feedback and/or any bugs or errors detect - we'll have developers monitoring this thread. Thanks!
  4. SCOUTER-Terry

    HTTP 500 Internal Server Error

    Forums were upgraded today, and errors were during the upgrade time. Problems should be resolved now, or in the next couple of hours.
  5. SCOUTER-Terry

    Forum Updated - Feedback/Bugs/Errors?

    The new mobile interface is generally much easier to navigate. However, if you prefer to view standard web page interface while on your mobile device, you can achieve by "requesting desktop version" as a setting in your browser (this is a standard checkbox in the settings of Chrome and most browsers).
  6. As we work to remove known bugs and enable features, let's use this thread to track issues and requests. Known Issues: - Some users are having trouble seeing threads when logged in (blank page), but not after logging out.
  7. SCOUTER-Terry

    Decorum And Acting Scoutlike

    Folks... (and really this is directed at just two or three of you)... Give it a rest on the moderators. They are all volunteers, and they make this place better for us all. They also aren't immune to their own opinions and passions, nor did they volunteer to give up their ability to participate in the forums. I picked a balanced team of very reasonable, moderate folks and begged them to provide this cheerful service. It's unseemly to whine about them. They are doing the job I've asked them to do. If you have concerns, feel free to PM me directly, but please stop complaining publicly about what you see as slight to you.
  8. SCOUTER-Terry

    Decorum And Acting Scoutlike

    @@MattR, fair enough... Though my comment was meant more to align with the wonderful news that soon all families will be able to find or start a Scout troop and join the Movement. This here little website may have been around since November of 1995 (20 year celebration needs to start planning soon!), but folks can easily walk across the Internet tubes and launch their own. Happy weekend to y'all.
  9. Happy 100th Anniversary to the Order of the Arrow! July 15, 1915 on Treasure Island I had the honor of living, traveling and working with William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt when I was young. I met Bill Hillcourt much the way countless other kids did: I waited in a long line at the National Jamboree to get a handbook signed (as a gift for my Scoutmaster back home). But then, in the lead up to the 75th anniversary NOAC the next year, I reached out to Bill and asked if he wouldn't mind sharing his memories of Urner Goodman for the NOAC newspaper. He agreed, and the back and forth around the article led to a friendship, which then led to one of the great mentoring experiences of my life. On this, the 100th anniversary of the Order, I went diving into the dusty, old footlocker and fetched out that article: My Life With Urner Goodman BY WILLIAM "GREEN BAR BILL" HILLCOURT VIGIL MEMBER, UNAMI LODGE JULY, 1990 Monday, August 22, 1927. That was the first time I met E. Urner Goodman. He was there to meet me at the main railroad station in Chicago where I had just come off the train from Culver, Indiana, Dan Beard's old stamping ground. He was a slim, rather short man — 5 feet 7. He was in the full uniform of the professional Scouter, even to the broad-brimmed hat. Urner told me about the kind of life he had led in Pennsylvania: born on May 15, 1891, into a deeply religious family, he was baptized into the Presbyterian faith. When he was growing into boyhood, he had a fortunate experience: he found out that his church had a Boys Brotherhood for more than half a century. He joined it. As he grew older, he eventually became the superintendent of that Brotherhood. These experiences convinced him that he should throw his life into the teaching of youth. So, he entered the Philadelphia School of Pedagogy to learn the teaching profession. He was firmly convicted that this was IT — teaching was to be his life work. He was the commencement speaker at his graduation from the school. His topic was "The Call to Teach”. At that time, a friend of Urner's, Robert Talmage, Scoutmaster of Troop One of the Tioga District of the Philadelphia Council, was being transferred by his company, to another city. He asked Urner to take over the Scoutmastership. Urner agreed. He soon picked up the ideas and skills of Scouting and threw all his best efforts into turning the troop into a model for other troops. In 1913, a great event was coming up that would involve Boy Scout participation: the Fiftieth Anniversary Encampment of the veterans of the Civil War —- both the Blue and the Grey — at Gettysburg on July 4, 1913. Urner signed up his whole troop for participation and set out to train his Scouts in the best way of helping the greyhaired old men they would be called upon to assist. Two of his patrols served in the Encampment headquarters under the supervision of the State of Pennsylvania; the third was on duty at the headquarters of the Confederate veterans. The president of the Philadelphia Council, Dr. D. C. Hart, was a distinguished M.D. He had found out that there was a Scoutmaster in North Philadelphia who was doing all kinds of "outlandish" things with his Scouts. Cowing called in the Scoutmaster, E. Urner Goodman, and had a long talk with him about his troop activities and about Scouting in general. After Urner had left, Cowing called and told Dr. Hart about the long conversation he had had. He finished by saying,"We need more Scoutmasters with vigor like Urner's. He is my kind of man. In early 1915, Cowing called in the Scoutmaster of Troop One for another reason: he asked Urner to take on the job of Camp Director for the Treasure Island camp for the summer. He would have for his assistant Carroll A. Edson, already a member of the Philadelphia Council Staff. Urner accepted. The two Scouters sat down to prepare for the camping season, Goodman the program-oriented member of the team, Edson the organizer. When camping with Troop One, Goodman had used many of the camp activities that were so vividly and humorously described in The Boys Book of Camping by Edward Cave, the editor of Boy's Life, a new magazine for boys that had just begun to appear. Urner had been particularly struck by Cave's description of a contest in which the winners would join a"clan" -- a contest with so much appeal and tradition"that half of the troop would strive for membership in the clan for the ensuing year. That would be a goal worth striving for. Edson had taken off in another direction. He had been under the influence of Ernest Thompson Seton's booklets, the Birch Bark Rolls. He was fascinated by the way Seton had used age-old Indian handicrafts and traditions to develop his boy program of “Woodcraft Indians”. Edson set out to find out more about the lore and crafts and traditions of the indians who had inhabited the area in which Treasure Island was located — "The Land of the Lenni Lenapes”. He had help from Harace W."Shorty" Rolston, an old time Philadelphia Scouter who had joined in the planning and had located an old Lenni Lenape--English Dictionary put together by Moravian missionaries who had worked with with the Indians of the Unami sub-tribe. The two Scouters searched through the volume for a suitable name for Urner's "clan." They found it :"Wimachtendienk”— Lenni Lenape word for "Brotherhood”.
  10. Newsletter - Recent Topics body,div,dl,dt,dd,ul,ol,li,h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6,pre,form,fieldset,input,textarea,p,blockquote,th,td { margin:0; padding:0; } table { border-collapse:collapse; border-spacing:0; } fieldset,img { border:0; } address,caption,cite,code,dfn,th,var { font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; } ol,ul { list-style:none; } caption,th { text-align:left; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6 { font-size:100%; font-weight:normal; } q:before,q:after { content:''; } abbr,acronym { border:0; } address{ display: inline; } html, body { background-color: #d8dde8; color: #5a5a5a; } body { font: normal 13px helvetica, arial, sans-serif; position: relative; } h3, strong { font-weight: bold; } em { font-style: italic; } img, .input_check, .input_radio { vertical-align: middle; } legend { display: none; } table { width: 100%; } td { padding: 3px; } a { color: #225985; text-decoration: none; } a:hover { color: #328586; } div.outer { margin: 0 auto; padding: 14px; } table.wrap { max-width: 800px; margin: 0 auto; } td.logo { background-color: #0f3854; padding: 8px; } td.content { background-color: #fff; font-size: 14px !important; color: black !important; line-height: 150% !important; padding: 8px; } Latest Topics Where Do Knots Come From, Daddy? not your average birds and the bees talk. Just wondering: who generally fills out the paperwork for Knots/adult awards? My logical guess would be the committee chair, but are committ... Resillience Or Taking It On The Chin A couple of things I’ve read recently have got me thinking about the “character building” side of scouts and what we do to deve... 2015 National Disability Services Newsletter http://scouter.com/index.php/topic/27127-may-2015-national-disability-se... May 2015 National Disability Services Newsletter From a good friend, a retired SE, who has a son with significant physical disability From Scouting Magazine: New Cub Program 1/world Advancement belt loops. See also Boy Scouting in the 70s. What can possibly go wrong? http://scout...
  11. Latest Topics 2015 National Disability Services Newsletter http://scouter.com/index.php/topic/27127-may-2015-national-disability-se... Crisis Of Faith I'm having a sort of crisis of faith in the BSA right now. It just seems like the BSA is continually moving away from the adventure of outdoors and trying to just disallow anything that MIGHT ha... Scout Led/run Vs: Scouters Teaching This has been hashed over and over I know, but I'm still struggling with the last campout campfire. I know that's criptic so allow me to give a thumbnail sketch. Ever Meet A Scout Mattman578's comments about his AT trip with his daughter got me thinking.... What's your greatest memory of the "Unknown Scout" story from your life. O... Scout Hut? I was just looking at Baloo's Bugle for inspiration for my next pack meeting. There's a little blurb pointing to this blog post http://blog.scoutin...
  12. Please try the email request again... we've updated to repair (hopefully).
  13. Hopefully you've seen several of the improvements and bug fixes that you've been reporting over the past couple of days. After our first major software upgrade in more than 10 years, there's been a few bumps, and I appreciate your patience. This thread is being created as a single, public forum where I encourage you to post any remaining issues or suggestions you want us to address, or helpful usability advice you can share with others based on your experience so far. Even if you've previously suggested something.... if it doesn't yet appear to be fixed, please post it again here. And if you agree with a suggestion that gets posted, you can Like or comment on that post to help bring it to our attention.
  14. Time stamp issue should now be resolved...
  15. SCOUTER-Terry

    Internal Server Error

    Ken... please monitor... This may have been temporary issue...
  16. SCOUTER-Terry

    Buck Carson and Green Bar Bill

    BTW, it was Carson and Martha Buck... and yes, Bill (and me, for a while) lived in a basement apartment of their farm house (after decades at Schiff). It was great to talk with you tonight LeCastor, and walk down fond memories of Bill Hillcourt. Looking forward to continuing the discussion in person in the coming weeks!
  17. It is with sadness that I convey to all of you that John Arno, known to all of us as OldGreyEagle, has passed away. John's son Ryan shared details with me this morning of his dad's sudden passing while on a trip to Colorado. John was an exceptional man, and wonderful contributor to this virtual campfire for a decade. Much of that time John spent as our moderator, and his cheerful voice, service and thoughts often came when needed most. This forum, and many of us personally, are better because we had the chance to know John. I only met John in person one time. He was traveling through Chicago, and stopped in for a very long cup of coffee, and though we had never met, it was as if I was greeting an old friend. John's service to our community leaves an indelible mark, and his passing a terrible void. The first eulogy I ever delivered was for Green Bar Bill Hillcourt... as I searched for words to share with thousands gathered at his funeral and following the proceedings from afar, I came across a poem in Bill's private papers. It spoke to me... and I hope to many of the people that cherished a friendship with Bill, many of whom had only met him once or twice, or knew him more from his writings. Many of us knew the nom de plume OldGreyEagle and considered him a friend... A few photos of the man, to help you all put a face to a friend we've lost... The services are being handled by Downing Funeral Home in Bethlehem, PA, and Ryan tells me anyone so inclined may make donations to Minsi Trails Boy Scout Council.
  18. SCOUTER-Terry


  19. Folks - I apologize for the site instability over the past month, and especially during the past week. The hardware this site runs on experienced some failures, and we had to migrate to a new set of servers. Much of the code for SCOUTER.com is more than ten years old (wow, this site has been around since the dark ages of the Internet!), so migrating to new hardware is wrought with peril. I believe everything is now stable, and working as expected. If you experience any trouble, please post in this thread, or use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page. TERRY HOWERTON
  20. I just published my thoughts on Scouting's policy change to Forbes.com: http://bit.ly/VNAETb'>http://bit.ly/VNAETb I've maintained SCOUTER.com since 1994, and for many years it has been my remaining connection to a life that once had room for little more than Scouting. I haven't shown a heavy hand on this controversial issue, instead preferring to let good Scouters gather around this online roundtable to voice their own opinions. There have been many times when I felt my lack of public force on this issue wasn't courageous enough. But for more than a decade, this forum was one of the few places that people felt free to express their opinions and debate this issue, and I didn't want to discourage that by coming down from the top and squelching any voice. Years ago, in the early days of this forum, there were very few voices that opposed Scouting's policy. But over time, over the years, we've all witnessed more and more of the forum membership come forward to try, in some small way, to affect change. I decided - rightly or wrongly, that the best thing I could do was just create and keep this open forum active. And frankly I have often gotten busy with life, and only been able to check in on the forums from time to time. A long time ago I asked a handful of people to serve as moderators, and in choosing those people I tried to pick a diversity of perspectives. All have been wonderful, cheerful servants for these discussions, and their participation allowed me to step back from active participation. I never wanted this site (or the magazine that was its genesis) to be about me. More than 100,000 users are registered on this forum, and more than 50,000 people visit the site each month. It may seem like only a relative few that join this debate, but far, far more are nonetheless participating. I don't begrudge anyone on this forum their beliefs or opinions... one universal truth remains: we all love Scouting, and the potential it has for positively changing the world, one life at a time. I will tell you that your voices here have made an impact... for years this forum was very closely (if begrudgingly) monitored by key decision makers. And more than that, it served to organize and flush out some of most reasoned, articulate arguments for all sides of the debate. There were plenty of times when I wanted to step in and "go on record", but often others were already passionately representing my point of view. Years ago I had the chance to meet one of our moderators face to face, and I shared with him my most basic observation about how this debate (and opinion) played out on SCOUTER.com: the more we allowed the most ardent supporters of the BSA's anti-gay position to speak, the more likely it was for people without a strong opinion on this matter to be repelled by that point of view. I can say without doubt, my own personal politics on a variety of topics have been shaped significantly over the nearly 20 years of reading this forum, and usually by recognizing just which side of any argument I found myself relating to less. I recognize good, well meaning people believe differently than I do. I also realize that hearts and minds have changed so much on this issue, and it's long past time for BSA to become more inclusive. So, there it is... I'm thrilled that Scouting seems close to finally embracing the only obvious solution that's been before us for decades. As I argued in Forbes, the real moral high ground (and, coincidentally the best business decision) in my opinion would have been 13 years ago for the BSA to have immediately announced local option after prevailing in the Supreme Court, and leaving the matter of qualified leaders to local parents. That being said... I don't want to discourage any discourse or make anyone feel unwelcome in this, our little virtual campfire, and encourage you all to throw another log into the embers. I don't plan on joining back into this discussion much... carry on. :-) The Business Of Scouting And A Crisis Of Our Own Making http://bit.ly/VNAETb FORBES: - For twenty years following the Supreme Court case, the only obvious answer for Scouting has been to allow local chartering partners and parents to make these morality decisions. Now only time will tell if the business of Boy Scouting will rebound from a two decade old bad business decision.
  21. The point is, ALL families, regardless of how they define good character, will now be able to find that in Scouting. Simple, fair and honest.
  22. Are you addicted to reading SCOUTER.com forums? Could you summarize the discussions and resources here in a weekly blog post of a few paragraphs? Would you like to earn a few extra bucks each month for helping produce a compelling summary? There are dozens of great discussions and contributions to the forum going on, and sometimes it can be hard to quickly find the best stuff. And -- believe it or not -- not everyone sits on the site 14 hours a day scouring Scouting stuff. So, we're looking for a talented editor that can craft compelling content to highlight new topics, point out particularly poignant posts, and can provide a couple of cogent, fun paragraphs with links back to SCOUTER.com threads and posts worth checking out. If you're interested in this gig, how about sending a sample to publisher@SCOUTER.com?
  23. SCOUTER-Terry

    Update to Forum

    Hi folks... thanks for all the suggestions! Here's the scoop... This site was first put on the Internet during the dark ages... way back in November 1995... hard to believe it's older than most of the Scouts in your troop! I agree that the code for the Forums (and many other parts of the site, which includes about 200,000 pages of non-Forum content) is dated. A few weeks ago, I took some rare downtime, and started a project to deploy a completely updated version of SCOUTER.com... replacement code for the Forums and the entire site. Fifteen years ago, working on the code for this site was how I spent ALL of my downtime, so it was fun taking a little time to do that again this past month. There is a "dev area" already setup, but it's raw and there are many kinks still remaining. Part of the site will use VBulletin code, but we've had to modify it and develop some plugins to accommodate features needed for the full site. I'm not able to spend much time project managing the effort (there are developers usually waiting on my feedback and guidance), so I'm happy to accept help from those of you that might be interested. Maybe together we'll complete and launch a new version of the site in the coming weeks/months, and everyone can enjoy.
  24. SCOUTER-Terry

    Looking for some help with SCOUTER.COM?

    You're right, MooseTracker... we want someone that can summarize the forums in a interesting and positive way to share with people that might not be reading them thoroughly. The right candidate(s) will be helping me behind the scenes, though, and not necessarily known to the public.
  25. In 1991, I was 19 years old and William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt was 91. He used to get a kick out of the symmetry of those numbers, and the fact that we spent nearly every day of that year together as unlikely friends. I had come to know Bill Hillcourt not unlike thousands of others he met each year... I waited in line at the 1989 National Jamboree to have a couple of books signed for my Scoutmaster back home. I really didn't know or think much about who Bill was, I just knew the recipients of those books would appreciate that I had gotten his signature on one of more than 30 books Bill had written on Scouting and the outdoors. We had a brief conversation that hot summer day of the Jamboree, but it resonated. The following year in organizing for the 75th anniversary NOAC, I reached out to Bill and asked him to write a memoir of his friend Urner Goodman for the event publicity material. The friendship took hold, as we swapped drafts and edits over several months. Soon Bill invited me along to travel with him as he toured the country visiting Scouting events each weekend, speaking to thousands who were enchanted by his passion and zeal for the Movement of Scouting. We spent the summer of 1991 in Seoul as honored guests of the World Jamboree. It was there, when we stepped off the plane and were greeted by Korean Scouts who clamored for Bill's attention that I first began to appreciate the worldwide impact Hillcourt had on Scouting. Later that year, I left my home and moved across the country to live with Bill in New York, helping him publish new editions of his Baden-Powell biography. As a young man Bill had a special relationship with Baden-Powell, who was in the twilight of his life. He admired and learned much from his friend. Bill and I conducted interviews for hours each day, talking about the history of Scouting and the history of the world, all from a firsthand perspective. In retrospect, I missed so much of an opportunity to learn more from him, and I was so unprepared of the opportunity or responsibility, but it was an amazing gift nonetheless. We spent most of 1992 traveling and writing and talking. Late that summer, Bill left for an around the world trip for Scouting (I stayed behind to coordinate a book release that was coming off the press, and was to meet up with him in his native Denmark in a few weeks). His trip began in Japan, where a new translation of one of his Scouting books was being released, and on to Moscow. This was just after the fall of the Soviet Union, and Bill had been asked to come to Russia and help draft Scoutmaster training materials for an emerging program that had been hidden for decades in the shadows. He went on to Sweden, where he spent some time with his friends at the Silva Compass Company... Bill and his friend Bjorn Kjellstrom had collaborated many decades before to make orienteering and the liquid filled compass a sport. He was to leave Sweden, and meet up with me in Denmark, where we planned to spend a few weeks, away from the crowds and the busy travel schedule, focused on Bill's own autobiography. On November 9, 1992, fifteen years ago today, Bill Hillcourt shockingly, surprisingly passed away. It's a good thing, I think, to die at 92 years old and have it be a surprise to everyone you knew. He was as mentally awake and physically strong as could be, all the way to his final day. I was a kid, chasing him around the globe, and often I couldn't keep up. Bill Hillcourt was my friend. That's a funny thing about him... when he died, I wrote to notify a few thousand people listed in his address book. Many of these people were just contacts that had coordinated some weekend Scouting event that he might have attended, probably only meeting Bill once or twice. But the boxes of reply cards and letters I received told a much different story... for years I encountered thousands of people who would tell of what a special relationship they had with Bill. It didn't matter if you were a young Scout waiting in line for a signature, or if you were some Scouter coordinating an event somewhere for Bill to visit. It didn't matter if he had stayed in your home one night, or you had swapped letters to discuss Scouting. Bill had an amazing gift for making people he encountered feel special, for letting people know how important the relationship was to him. Bill didn't always agree with the direction BSA followed, and throughout a nearly 75 year career, he was brought in several times to "right the ship" of Scouting when others drove it off course. I'm sure he'd find plenty about today's organization that could and should be better. But I also know that the Movement of Scouting, which Bill believed thrived in the spirit of the Patrol, the challenge of the outdoors, and the mentoring of leadership, would continue to make him proud. I learned so much from Bill Hillcourt... there's so much more I could have learned, and our time together was fleeting. He had incredible confidence in me, but even higher expectations. Bill showed me, through his trust, that expectations are what raise a child. I will spend my life, often falling short, but always reaching for the expectations and example he set. This site is dedicated to Bill Hillcourt. I encourage you to read more about his impact on Scouting and the world at http://www.scouter.com/features/0290.asp TERRY HOWERTON