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Everything posted by Sentinel947

  1. Thanks, My early Saturday AM ramblings. Today I was out at the Council camp doing some service. I ended up running into my Troop, who was out camping there. It's one of the only places they are allowed to camp. They had about 20 Scouts and 10 Webelos out camping with them. The Webelos are working on some of their AOL requirements. Surprising to me, COVID 19 seems to have galvanized the adult leadership of the Troop, and they seem determined to make things work the best they can with COVID 19. The Scouts seemed to be having fun, and were in their patrols, which I was glad to see. The Cub parents camping with them had some pretty dire news. Seems like Cub packs in my area are folding up left and right.
  2. @CynicalScouter That's a reason why I own firearms. Ultimately, the only person responsible for my safety is me. People are free to disagree, but that's a big part of my stance. @yknot: Finishing my time with my Troop made me come to terms with my "legacy" so to speak. I've not been happy with the Troops direction for about a year or so, which led me to step back before I overstayed my welcome. After 15 years total as a youth and adult member with that Troop this has been quite painful and discouraging, along with the constant stream of bad news about the BSA in general. I think about what have I accomplished in my roughly 9 years of adult volunteering. What impact did I make? Did any of it matter? I've realized only a small bit of my "legacy" is what happens with the Troop long term. Most of the things I've done over time with the Troop will be lost. People will stumble over the remains and be confused about where it came from. The documents and the guides I wrote will likely get deleted, trashed, lost or ignored. The materials I purchased for the troop will wear out and get thrown out. The programs I developed will decay or be abandoned. The troop will face again the challenges we've already solved, and the ones which we couldn't. The troop may eventually fail and close. Or new leaders will rise to the challenge, and maybe they'll exceed even what my fellow volunteers and I accomplished. I hope they do. Either way, that's fine. It's beyond my control. It's not my full "legacy". It's not my only contribution. You talked about famous figures involved in Scouting. It's hard to imagine them as young scouts. I'm still in touch with many of my former scouts. It makes me happy to see them starting families, graduating from school/university, launching careers or serving in the military. I'm proud I helped play a small part in their development, and that lessons I helped them learn will serve them the rest of their lives. I'm excited to see what else they get up to, and I hope I get to continue to play a small part in the lives of my former scouts. I hope they view me as a mentor, and a friend. They are my "legacy", the beneficiaries of my contributions to the Troop and to Scouting. That gives me hope and reminds me that my efforts and time spent were absolutely worth it. I'm still connected with many current and former leaders I've volunteered with. I like seeing what they're up doing in their current or post Scouting endeavors. It blows my mind when I see them in Facebook photos with their grandchildren, or starting their retirement lives. I count many of them as friends, mentors and role models. Sadly I've lost a few, as time will eventually claim us all. I'm part of the "legacy" and contributions the adult leaders of my youth made, and of the adults I served with as a volunteer. Yes, there were horrific abuses committed against youth by Scout leaders or other youth. The BSA, those individuals and maybe the CO's share responsibility for that. Certainly legally, and ethically. But I've seen firsthand the impact this program has had on me, and on the people around me. When we are on the other side of the bankruptcy, current Scouters, and new parents bringing their children into the program will move forward and build the best experience possible. We'll learn from the sins of the past, and from the best of Scouting's history and traditions. Hopefully I'll have my own children someday, and my Scouting journey will take on a new, different and challenging path with them.
  3. Yup. Sometimes a little time away helps out. I quietly log out and go away sometimes. Big reason I stopped being a moderator, I didn't want to be obligated to be reading the forum all the time. @ParkMan Focus on what you can control. You can control how your children and grandchildren's unit's perform. You have control over what experience they get, and what kind of young men and women they become. National, the bankruptcy and all the rest is out of our control. It's good to keep and eye on it, but it's just not worth worrying about. You and I can't change or influence it in any way.
  4. Correct. There are a few court cases that establish that Police officers literally do not need to intervene if they are witnessing a crime taking place. They have no legal duty to "protect." https://nypost.com/2013/01/27/city-says-cops-had-no-duty-to-protect-subway-hero-who-subdued-killer/
  5. Two recommendations: test out the pad to make sure it holds air still. Also, I'd recommend setting up your tent and hitting it with the hose. If it's 33 years old, it may not be quite as waterproof as you'd like it to be.... As for sleeping pad, the Big Angus pads are delightful. I personally use a Thermarest Xlite for backpacking, but it's a little small and is trading comfort for weight savings. I'm small in stature, so I can use it for normal trips too. True Air mattresses are always nice, but are limited to car camping. If you are mostly doing car camping, or want to bring a "non-camper"(Spouse?) sometime, going with one of those larger than twin size inflatable air mattresses might be the right play. Also good if you have a larger family and want to only rent one hotel room with two beds. Inflate that big air mattress on the floor and stick two more kids there. Also good for sleepovers if your kids have friends over. If you do that for your trip, you and your son could just share the inflatable air mattress. Have a good trip!
  6. This is the way. It's really not rocket science, but it takes a Scoutmaster or Committee Chair to take ownership of it and develop the succession plan, and the leaders in it. I'll add one more thing: It's ok to tag a "Transition/emergency Scoutmaster" and then the heir apparent. For example: Current Scoutmaster gets a great new job and relocates. Troop has the most senior and experienced ASM take over as Scoutmaster for a year (their son is 17, and they don't want to be Scoutmaster long term), while the recently joined parent who is a new ASM gets a year to observe the experienced ASM in action, get their feet wet, and get their training done. After the transition year, the experienced ASM ages out with their son, the new ASM becomes Scoutmaster, and a new "transition/emergency Scoutmaster" is recruited.
  7. @Eagle94-A1 is a the Scoutmaster I would have killed for (metaphorically) when I was a Scout. Just gets it. @ParkMan you've described the problem really well, many adults don't understand it, and they either waffle between two extremes, stepping in and "fixing" things just so the Scouts have something to do and then never stop "fixing" and start developing or teaching the youth how to do it themselves. Or they take a hands off approach and it's Lord of the Flies, 21st century addition. Ideally the patrol method allows the Scouts to "make their own fun." This fufills both the purpose of teaching leadership and good citizenship, while also being fun. In theory, the BSA Scoutmaster training and Wood Badge is supposed to teach this balance, but it fails to. My own experience with implementing the "fun" patrol method is mostly from my experiences as a Scout, my involvement in this forum, and devouring as many books and blogs that I could get my hands on. I often thing of EDGE/Stages of Team development from NYLT/ Wood Badge. The Scouts won't just start operating the patrol method when we say, "You're in patrols, now decide what you want to do!" They need it to demonstrated and guided for them either by senior youth or the adults. NYLT is an OK start, but NYLT does not teach a Scout how to implement the patrol method in their own troops. It assumes that their troop already has the structure in place. If it's in place already NYLT can be powerful in sustaining it, but my own experience tells me that Scouts cannot build the patrol method without the willing guidance and permission of the adults. If left to their own devices outside of Scouting, youth naturally form gangs or patrols. The biggest oversight of BSA training as a whole: It does not allow for imperfect structure or conditions, nor does it help a Troop get to the ideal. Having a few older Scouts or Patrol leaders NYLT trained is a big help for actually operating patrols once your unit has them. When I went to NYLT, I came back to my Troop, and my troop adults were clueless in helping me apply what I had learned and what my vision was. When I stayed on with the Troop as an ASM, that launched my patrol method/youth leadership crusade, which is well documented on this forum. I'm going to do my best to elaborate, but it will never be perfect: Senior Scouts or Scoutmasters have to help the Scouts see what is possible, expand their horizons and assist them putting together plans. This where I think EDGE/Stages of Team development is appropriate. As the patrol goes from being a new group to an experienced patrol, what they need from the SPL or the Adults will diminish over time. It's very cool to see patrols with self sustaining cultures, but it takes time and effort to get there. Scouts should pick their own patrols. New Scouts can be in new Scout patrols, but I think its better to seed them into established patrols as appropriate. I'd leave that up to your Scouts to decide. Scouts will typically form patrols around mutual friends and mutual interests. That's ok. The role of Troop level officers like Guides, Instructors, Quartermasters and SPL's are to facilitate the needs of patrols. Ideally a SPL or ASPL will help a new patrol leader get started with putting together patrol activities and outings. The patrol leader will also solicit ideas from the patrol about Troop outings and take them to the PLC. It's ok to have the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster available as a resource when the patrol leader or (A)SPL calls for it. Part of how we built the patrol method in my troop was with the weekly meetings. The PLC would select weekly/monthly meeting themes, sometimes outing themes, and the meetings would be tailored around that. For example, pioneering might have been the theme, and the patrol activity/ game would be a lashing relay or a stretcher run. This gives the patrol leader a target on what to work with his patrol on during patrol corners, and the competition builds patrol spirit. We'd typically hand out ribbons or dollar store trinkets as rewards for patrol winners of competitions, and they'd display that nonsense on their patrol flags. For added responsibility, patrols can rotate responsibility for creating and running the patrol challenge activities. On Outings, it's important for there to be time for patrols to do their own thing. We had an outing where some of the younger Scouts wanted to work on their totin chit, while the older Scout patrol wanted to go hike in the State park. It's perfectly fine for the patrols to do their own thing, but many Troops won't allow that. Happy to answer questions, elaborate further, or get my opinion torn to shreds. This is possibly one of my favorite topics. I could probably write a book.
  8. That's not at all what Tahawk was saying. His example was only to illustrate the effect lapsing time can have on claims. Giving feedback, and I mean it with respect. This is the second thread in about a week where you are jumping down people's throats and assuming the worst about what other people say. You're clearly very smart, and specifically on this topic, very well informed. I appreciate the knowledge you bring to these topics. Just relax a little bit. You are ending up arguing against positions that people don't actually hold.
  9. That's the whole point of statue of limitations. As other posters have noted, there are claimants who cannot remember basic details about the alleged abuse: when, where, who? I hate being in a position where I'm casting doubt on abuse claims, but how can the BSA or any organization defend itself against 30, 40, 50 year old claims, particularly when the victim cannot remember any of the details either?
  10. Exactly, the same logic would have gotten the Catholic Church off scot free on abuse cases. After all, we run hospitals, schools, universities, clinics, food pantries. That doesn't matter. An agent of the Church or the BSA committed a tort, the organization is liable for the behavior of its agents. The only question is, how much does the organization owe for the torts in question? There are most certainly compelling reasons to not entirely liquidate the BSA, the Catholic Church, or the LA Public School district after sex abuse torts, but if those organizations aren't responsible for the harm they caused, then who would be?
  11. William Hornaday has some controversy in his background. Given current events today, it makes sense that the BSA would rename the award.
  12. I'm not part of that Facebook group. As a District Training Chair, thus far we've received specific instructions that IOLs and Baloo be in person.
  13. Isn't a combination of IOLs and Scoutmaster Specific the Troop Training course? What outdoor skills a Scoutmaster needs, and then the philosophy and how to behind the job?
  14. Hopefully the new 5 year on staff rule will break up the insularity of many Wood Badge Staff groups. Ultimately Wood Badge suffers from trying to be too many things for too many people. A talent staff can overcome it, if they are focused on the right things. Easier said than done. OA and Wood Badge can suffer from almost the same issues. I think you hit the nail on the head. The element of impenetrability of what those programs actually do, leaves people feeling miffed when they encounter bad apples who are over evangelizing about the program. Both programs have also undergone significant shifts in their operations and organizational missions in the last 20 years or so, watering things down. Personally I don't wear anything related to Wood Badge unless the situation calls for it, but I that's the same for any of my regalia. I don't wear my OA sash unless it's relevant, I don't wear my Eagle stuff unless it's relevant. I only wear the knots I earned while a youth member. I don't mind if other people do wear all that stuff, but that's the philosophy I've adopted. It's not to say I'm not proud of those things, but I don't need them to demonstrate my credibility. As people spend time around me in Scouting, they'll find out why I'm credible.
  15. For Scouting Leadership, there is no better book I've found than Working the Patrol Method. https://www.scoutleadership.com/ Professionally I found Crucial Conversations to be very helpful. https://smile.amazon.com/Crucial-Conversations-Talking-Stakes-Second/dp/0071771328/ref=sr_1_3?crid=LS2Z9G35VUHQ&dchild=1&keywords=crucial+conversations&qid=1602512439&sprefix=Crucial+Co%2Caps%2C170&sr=8-3
  16. That was my experience with Wood Badge. I had attended NYLT in 2009. Went to Wood Badge in 2015. I had fun, because I enjoyed the time spent with some great people, but the material was still fairly fresh from NYLT. It was helpful in reorienting to "I'm seeing this material from an adult volunteer's perspective, and not an youth's leader perspective. I went into the course with the knowledge that would be the outcome of the course for me, and so I wasn't disappointed by the experience. Wood Badge for me wasn't "life changing", but I had fun and I'm glad I took it. IOL was a "waste" of time for me. I ended up helping the instructor teach the skills. Scoutmaster fundamentals was bit more useful, as my Troop was lacking in some key program areas. I took both in 2012. BSA training is one size fits all. Depending on Scouting experience, and professional, academic, or military experience, Wood Badge can end up as just 5 days of social time, some low key camping, and the ticket items. That's ok when the course is advertised in it's proper context, and not hyped up as the best thing ever. Wood Badge's sweet spot is Scouters who have been away from the program for a long time, had a substandard or poorly done Scouting experience as a youth (and the roleplaying of a model program has a ton of value here), or are in their first few years of Cub or Boy Scout volunteering. For experienced Scouters who have a solid foundation in the program and "get" the core principles of the program, Wood Badge can only really offer some helpful training and some social engagement with other volunteers. If that experienced Scouter also has a strong background in military leadership, academic study of leadership or corporate management, then Wood Badge's value further diminishes. Not "useless" but not super valuable. One of the best Scouters I ever volunteered with never attended Wood Badge. He was my cubmaster growing up, was an ASM in my Troop when I was a Scout, and my tenure as a new ASM overlapped with his for several years. He was an Eagle Scout, had been an ASM as a young adult, then Cubmaster with his sons and friends, then ASM (and basically backup Scoutmaster for about 6 years) for his sons and our troop. He knew the program inside out. He never attended Wood Badge because he rightfully knew it offered little new knowledge for him, and some of the holy wearers of the beads had been snotty to him about him declining to go. "It wasn't meant for him" aptly describes it.
  17. Yes. In the Guide to Safe Scouting, regarding the two year rule for tenting now says "Youth sharing tents must be no more than two years apart in age." When it was first rolled out, the language was much less clear, and made it sound like a suggestion... Another good one is in the NYLT Syllabus, where it suggests a Troop Guide (youth) and an ASM(adult) can go inspect participant campsites... (No one on one contact anyone?)
  18. @Eagledad @ParkMan I requested it be locked because people were reading DavidCos vague posts and assuming he was taking his Troop to Rally for Life events. That is not the case. They were continuing to pile on, even after he finally clarified. Locking the thread lets people read all the posts and get things back on topic.
  19. Maybe DavidCo's last comment can clarify that he's not using his troop to attend Pro Life Marches... It's part of the school he teaches at. Maybe this thread could use a couple hours being locked so people can read through all the posts and we can get back on topic, myself included....if there is even a topic to get back to.
  20. I think your first comment was perfectly clear. It's a prudential judgment and it's well within the bounds of the Archbishop to allow, or not. Catholics are free to agree or disagree on whether it actually matters(I don't think it does), but A Scout is obedient, and a Catholic is obedient to the Archbishop when it's something within the Archbishops authority. Maybe his logic in not carrying the flag of a Church not in Communion with the Catholic church, is it's an endorsement or agreement of the Methodist church to carry their flag. I don't necessarily agree, but I wouldn't and don't worry about it that much. I'm surprised it even came up. I'd hope Archbishops have more pressing things to worry about. I brought up communion because many people( not you specifically) are confused why Catholics aren't to take communion at Churches not in communion with Rome, and why non-Catholics cannot receive the Eucharist at Catholic Churches. Figured it's good context.
  21. Even a "How are things going?" "What are some of the challenges you are struggling with?" "How can I help you?" Is better than doing what the UC did for my unit this February. Come in, observe one meeting, and then send a recommendation list. I thought I was able to smooth things over, but the other day the UC emailed me, I guess he's having a hard time reaching our CC and SM. I told him I'd do my best to help, but I'm "retired."
  22. There's a reason I gave Scouter Terry back his Pink Letters. God bless all of the Mods for the thankless task of constantly monitoring this forum. Now I get to browse on my free time.
  23. Just because you interpret it that way doesn't make you right. We is a general word. It could apply to David CO and his Scouts, OR more likely, it could be David CO and his Students from the school that he's a teacher at. Maybe they are his Scouts, but that doesn't make it a Scout activity. Attending those Pro Life rallies are that's pretty common at Catholic schools. @David CO participates in this forum because he likes to wind people like you up. I recommend you stop engaging with him, but you're free to keep rolling in the metaphorical mud with him.
  24. Nowhere in his posts did he directly mention his Scouting unit going to Pro Life Events. If he and his Scouts go, (probably organized by the school he works for) as a school and not as a Scout Troop it has nothing to do with Scouting. Tons of potential risk there for personal safety, but not a BSA issue.
  25. Sorry. I screwed up. I wrote DE, mean UC. Too many acronyms!
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