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Everything posted by SemperParatus

  1. So Barry, are opinions now forbidden on this site? Are folks not allowed to express themselves without being castigated?
  2. Mama Llama, If you believe in the mission of scouting and want your son to participate, I am not here to change your mind. That is your and your son's decision. To be brutally honest, I personally would not want to associate with a youth organization that for decades has aided and abetted the sexual molestation of children by covering up such heinous criminal activity. If I had to do it all over again, I and my family would never have become involved with the BSA. Some may say, well that's just a national organization problem, ignoring the fact that virtually all the molestations occu
  3. When the BSA is no more...units will no longer exist. Heck, units are disbanding right and left around the country as CO's are compelled to disassociate themselves from the BSA. Why invest energy into an activity that has a very good chance of shutting down in the not too distant future? Fond memories of scouting will not save the BSA (and units).
  4. Nobody would buy the BSA. Its reputation has been destroyed. The only buyer will be real estate developers.
  5. Welcome. My advice would be find another activity for your son. Scouting is in a death spiral.
  6. At the last (elementary) school in which my wife taught, a teacher started a club called "Girls Run the Nation". There was (and probably still is) a huge banner in the lobby proclaiming Girls Run the Nation, they have special activities and events just for girls in the school and there has been a push to replicate the club in other schools as well. As 50% of the school's population (boys) walk under that banner every morning, I can't help but think what message they are taking away. Add to that the fact that the overwhelming majority of the teachers are young females that have no clue how to
  7. Our district has over 25 troops and probably 50 packs or so. Finding a venue would be challenging, but my bigger concern would be the potential of it turning into a chaotic situation with too many people and choices (I envision the same anxiety I feel when looking for my toothpaste in a supermarket). Maybe a better approach would be a district directory that includes pertinent and current information relating to each troop (location, leadership, size, age/rank distribution, etc.) to give webelos a quick snapshot of troops in the area to better focus what troops they may want to visit. Sort of
  8. I found that the simplest way to limit troop size is to limit the number of crossovers you accept each year. For many years, our troop limited crossovers from only our affiliated pack as a means to control growth. We would take older scout transfers on a limited basis after assessing the interest and fit. I fielded many calls from webelos leaders desiring to visit and had to explain our 'policy'. It kept us in a nice range of 50 - 75 scouts for a good long time. When crossover years were small, we took in more transfers to manage the numbers. There is nothing wrong with limiting the number of
  9. It sounds like your son is highly motivated when it comes to sports and girls, while scouting has become somewhat of a drag. You seem to blame the troop for this, but it could be that your son is just trying to prioritize his time to achieve the greatest happiness. It appears that scouting is not bringing him joy anymore. I would hope that becoming an Eagle scout is not simply the finish line for him, but it may very well be given the circumstances you have described. He does not sound like a quitter - perhaps an appeal to his pride is in order. Dealing with difficult people and seeing thing
  10. All good responses so far. I would suggest one additional question - how many crossovers did you have in the past 2 years and how many are still active with the troop. The transition from cub scout to boy scout can be a challenging one and a strong troop is defined, in part, by how well they address that transition and retain the interest of their youngest scouts.
  11. My advice...forgive, forget and move on. It sounds like things have reached the end with this CO. Nothing will be achieved by fighting with the pastor, hiring a lawyer to represent you, etc. For your mental health and more importantly, the health of your group of scouts, find another CO to sponsor a pack that has demonstrated its success. The hurt that you feel now will fade quickly as you focus your attention on scouting rather than politics.
  12. It sounds like you may be in this situation again this year because no expectations were set last year. If you want to avoid this being an annual discussion, then you should set some expectations for mom and the scouts. I would renew their registrations from pack funds and the committee chair should lay out with mom some kind of plan to make some kind of non-monetary contribution to the pack for the coming year.
  13. Flipping the channels last night and came across the documentary film - Boy Scouts of Harlem - on Maryland Public Television. It was the simple concept of following four boys from Troop 759 based in Harlem, NY on their week-long summer camp adventure at Ten Mile River Camp (Keowa). It was touching and incredibly well done. For the experienced scouter it is so familiar. For those outside our scouting community it offers a portrayal of the character development that is instrumental to the scouting movement. Anyone else seen it? http://www.harlemscouts.org/
  14. From Our Tent to Yours, Merry Christmas
  15. gwd - I know it must have been a hard decision for you, just as it was when you made that leap of faith six years ago. Have a great final year of scoutmastering.
  16. I'm with you Eamonn. For the past few years, my giving has been very local - to organizations that I know personally and trust the folks running it, and where I can see my money going directly to aid actual beneficiaries. I got tired of black hole giving to national groups that seem to support executive salaries and professional fundraisers at the expense of those in need. You can never go wrong leaving money to dogs.
  17. Great story with a happy ending. Me thinks this is the beginning of something new and exciting for your troop.
  18. Congrats, cheffy! Sounds like a great time was had. Here's to the grandkids carrying on the tradition.
  19. Yes, it is sad. I think a lot of camps have made excellent attempts over the past decade to expand their programs with more high adventure activities, many times offsite (BRMSR comes to mind). I can certainly understand a 16 year old not interested in sitting in merit badge classes or doing a cope course (for maybe the third or fourth time). Sounds like he (and the troop)needs an introduction to some of the other more exciting (nonadvancement oriented)opportunities available at other camps.
  20. Last night my wife and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary. I was quite surprised when she gave me this book as a gift. I'm no historian, but I do think the book is well done. The price is steep...but she tells me I'm worth it.
  21. I assume you will be camping at Rohrbach Campground. Here is the reservation process. http://www.nps.gov/archive/anti/camping.htm The 10-mile historical trail is well done and you will hit all the major areas of the battlefield...bloody lane...dunker church...burnside bridge. You can buy the pamphlet and patch at the visitor center. When we go, we usually stay 15 minutes away at this campground that provides a 'treehouse' camping experience. The kids love sleeping up in the trees and the camp owners are great folks. If you go this route, make sure you get the houses in the ba
  22. Poser and taker?? How sad. I think I am beginning to understand why this young man may have decided to disengage from this troop.
  23. I would never sit on a BOR for a scout, where I had already made my mind up that he is not worthy of the rank. You need to think less about being fair to a pretend boy in Iowa and more about being fair to the real boy in New York.
  24. I can say with near certainty that in our Troop, the Scout's membership would have been terminated.
  25. I had the pleasure of MC'ing an Eagle Court of Honor over the weekend. Near the end the Eagle Scout gave a short speech, thanking everyone for their support over the years...very typical stuff. Until he began to explain how his merit badge sash had become unwearable over the past two years due to his growing out of it. He went on to explain how one of the church parishioners, who he asked to join him in the spotlight, offered to alter it by sewing a piece of her own son's old sash into his in order to lengthen it. Holding up the altered sash with the extra back piece showing, he went on to
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