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Posts posted by Sentinel947

  1. 42 minutes ago, gpurlee said:

    Jameson76 - In our community in 1976, there were six very active Scouting units. Five years later, all but one had ended. The new Scouting program was a disaster for the Boy Scouting program overall and helped to bring the Golden Age of Scouting to a close.  There were elements that worked well in our troop such as the Leadership Corps and the skill awards but honestly, we just continued a very strong and active outdoor program. Trips to the National Jamboree, Washington DC and Chicago helped.  And we saw significant growth from a combination of transfers and new Scouts.  

    My dad and uncles Troop was like your troop. They accepted the new requirements, but otherwise just kept doing their usual outdoor program. 

    • Like 1

  2. 59 minutes ago, David CO said:

    I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting that we abolish public education.  I'm not worried about that happening.  I am a little concerned that distance education may become seen by many public school districts as a practical alternative to face-to-face learning.


    I was being facetious. Since commenters on the Wapo article were calling for the BSA to be abolished. If every organization that failed to handle sexual abuse of minors historically was abolished, there would be no youth serving organizations left. 

  3. 2 hours ago, SSScout said:

    It hits the same fan . . . 

    Opinion | After a jaw-dropping abuse scandal, should the Boy Scouts survive? - The Washington Post

    "" It is notable that the alleged abuse spans the better part of a century: One claim was filed by an 8-year-old boy; another by a 93-year-old man. Most of the claims arose from cases alleged to have occurred decades ago.""

    Due to the commenters on the website suggest we abolish public education too? https://abc7.com/child-sex-abuse-sexual-misconduct-lausd-los-angeles-unified-school-district/5855667/. Hold organizations, leaders and administrators accountable, yes. 

  4. 14 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    I put this MB in the same category as the Citizenship ones.  This provides concepts that helps prepare scouts to be effective members of society.  While I'd wouldn't complain if all the Citizenship MBs went away, I also won't complain about this one given our nation's history.

    While I an sure that we can find examples where diversity and inclusion do not work as intended, this is one of those areas where we need to stay positive and keep trying.  Our kids will all benefit from living in am increasingly diverse country and will thank is for that at least.

    I think diversity and inclusion is important, but I don't think this should be a standalone badge. It should be rolled into a combined citizenship badge. There are now effectively 4 Eagle required badges on the topic of citizenship. Scouts by their nature as young people don't take a whole lot away from classroom style badges. 

    26 minutes ago, TMSM said:

    Actually diversity and inclusion have been proven to not be effective with many global studies disproving this theory. 

    I think the reason is that that these terms are too high level and allow someone to play with the meaning of diversity. Its easy to point to a specific use case where it does or does not work.


    Can you cite any of those studies? One of the issues with diversity and inclusion is that it means different things in different places. That's a function of societal make up and culture. For the purposes of this forum, and the BSA's badge, I'd imagine we are discussing diversity and inclusion in an American context. 

    • Upvote 1

  5. 32 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    I don't know about corporate donors, I know a lot of them left years ago before BSA changed the gay membership policy when the BSA was being painted as a conservative organization. Would they come back?

    Most private donors are alumni with strong memories. Would they want to continue giving to an after school program under a different name? 

    I personally believe more harm would come from a name change because I don't think Boy Scouts of American is very damaged. I could be wrong, but I've not heard much negative chit chat of the BSA. If this forum is evidence of the population, most folks who speak negatively have a personal vendetta against the organization. And that is a small group with a personal experience in the program. 


    That's my thought too. Changing the name of the program would hurt more than it helps. My experience has been most people view the program either positively or neutrally, unless they have some sort of political disagreement with the former or current membership policies, or they were mistreated or abused by a BSA volunteer or pro. 

    If the BSA changes it's name, removes more traditional elements of the program, and becomes an after school camping club or family camping club, this individual donor has other worthy organizations to donate to. I don't think the corporate donors are coming back regardless. 

  6. 21 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

    NPR now reporting that over 88,500 have filed claims.  Deadline in 1 hour.

    Sounds like the next step is a 3rd party will review all of these claims to see which are valid.  

    A plaintiff lawyer is warning other youth organizations they better get ready and use the BSA as a warning message.

    This is going to get messy. Looking at the Catholic Church, the Scouts, the Schools, I don't think any other youth organizations were doing any better. I can only hope by blind luck they might have done better. 

    I mean read this article, then tell me what the BSA would have done to prevent this abuse to Frank Spinelli? https://www.npr.org/2020/11/13/933924470/boy-scouts-of-america-sexual-abuse-victims-seek-justice-in-bankruptcy-court Given how trusting his parents were, I don't think even todays BSA YPT protection would have prevented this, unless Frank told another Scout or leader and they reported it. Some of the abuse probably happened at Scouting events, but the perpetrator had easy access to victims outside of Scouting too. Even if somebody did, reporting a NYPD officer the 1970's? Do you really think it would have been vigorously investigated? 

    If parents were this trusting with their kids to adults from other youth organizations, they're all going down. 

  7. It's sad, and deeply ironic, that by coming forth and trying to create a settlement fund to compensate victims, the BSA will actually be destroyed by it. This seems like it'll be a total liquidation of national and council assets. 

    • Sad 1

  8. 1 hour ago, qwazse said:

    That’s a definite disadvantage. Our previous SM was just hitting his stride when his job promoted and relocated him. It’s time consuming for the rest of us to train new SMs. I don’t really know how rough it is on the scouts, though.

    It depends on the Scouts. My first Scoutmaster handed things over when I was 12. While I remember him fondly, I wasn't super upset that he was stepping down because I hadn't known him very long. On the other hand, during the last Scoutmaster transition, I noticed how much Scouts (and their parents) would still seek out the Scoutmaster or I for things that were really the purview of the New Scoutmaster. It was mostly older Scouts and their parents who had grown comfortable with who they should go to.  

  9. 12 minutes ago, qwazse said:

    That was roughly the case for our last three. I’m hoping this third one can stick it out a little longer. Getting him onboard has been rough due to scheduling conflicts with training. But, being an Eagle Scout and having already raised two Eagle Scouts kinda helps.

    His job is pretty demanding, so he’s not at every meeting and activity. But, that’s not the disadvantage that you’d think. Our ASMs can get occasional practice being “the guy”, and our SPLs have a good sense that it’s on them to keep everyone on task. Basically there’s less room to take everyone for granted.

    It's only an issue if the SM does not communicate or delegate. I spent about 3-4 years being "the backup" to two different Scoutmasters. One always made sure I was in the loop and prepared. The other would tell me 30 minutes before a meeting he wouldn't be there. 

  10. My Troop's Scoutmasters have typically served for 5-7 years. I think that's a good amount of time to gain proficiency, provide stability but also turn over often enough to give others an opportunity and the Troop a fresh perspective. 

  11. 19 hours ago, BAJ said:

    Though I don’t tend to come to a scouting board for the politics, if this is the discussion of the hour, I would submit for balance that there were apparently calls to boycott the Girl Scouts because Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez had been a past member.  Let’s at least appreciate that we have diversity in rage stoking mobs, even just in the niche market of “rage aimed at scouting organizations.” 


    The same people would ban air because their political opponents breath it. 😄

  12. 1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Some other new, interesting claimants against BSA. Lots of of National and Council Executives filing claims. "National Council Restoration Plan Claim"


    C443    10/21/2020    John H. Mosby
    C434    10/20/2020    Michael B Surbaugh
    C435    10/20/2020    Jason Stein
    C424    10/18/2020    Randall Kopsa
    C422    10/17/2020    Raymond E Gallison Jr
    C423    10/17/2020    Kohl, Dennis J
    C418    10/15/2020    John M. Primrose
    C17    10/13/2020    Joseph S. Coco
    C400    10/13/2020    Joseph S Coco
    C192    10/12/2020    Holmes, Ronald W
    C191    10/08/2020    Cabeza, John
    C391    10/08/2020    Gary Butler
    C396    10/07/2020    Estate of Richard J Mathews
    C387    10/06/2020    Foster Selman, Jr
    C16    10/05/2020    John E Marden Jr
    C383    10/05/2020    David L Campbell
    C395    10/05/2020    Blackwell, Raymond L
    C397    10/05/2020    Moore, Paul R

    Why are they filing? 

    30 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Once upon a time (March?) I think there was some notion that this would be limited to National and the Councils.

    Now, it has become clear that the plaintiffs are not going to stop with National and the Councils, the COs would be, as you imply, utter morons NOT to at least put in the claim (they all either list a price of $0 or simply leave it blank) in order to preserve their rights.

    Yup. This liability to the CO's is going to be the real driver behind whether the BSA survives or not. If CO's drop their units in mass to avoid future liability, this will be the end of the BSA in it's current structure. I'm already steeling myself that National and the Council's will lose everything. If they don't I'll be pleasantly surprised. 

  13. 20 hours ago, yknot said:

    Very sweet essay. Thanks for sharing. We're all in it for our kids but many of us are also in it because someone else was also good to us along the way and we want to share and repay it. Or, we want to leave the world a better place because we have a passion for something  or because we believe in something we think is bigger than ourselves.  Despite our vastly different perspectives and experiences and our adamant beliefs, which sometimes create some very heated discussions, I think we can all share in our grief that scouting is in trouble and none of us really knows how to save it.

    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. 

    • Upvote 1

  14. 4 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    DeShaney v. Winnebago County

    Supreme Court held that a state government agency's failure to prevent child abuse by a custodial parent does not violate the child's right to liberty for the purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales

    A town and its police department could not be sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for failing to enforce a restraining order, which had led to the murder of a woman's three children by her estranged husband

    @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.  

    1 hour ago, yknot said:

    I also check out sometimes. I come here for hope but often leave depressed. 

    However,  just to share some uplifting info I just discovered: 

    We all know about Bear Grylls but famous U.K. scouts also include John Lennon, Paul McCartney, David Beckham, David Bowie, Richard Branson, Tony Blair, Keith Richards (!!!!) and, my favorite, Sir David Attenborough. You have to laugh. Could you imagine having a young Keith Richards in your Pack or Troop?  

    @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. 

    • Upvote 2

  15. 18 minutes ago, David CO said:

    Me too.  I took a break from the forum a couple times.  Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in.  

    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. 

    • Thanks 1

  16. 25 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    BSA is a voluntary organization. When it has a child turned over to it, it takes on certain legal liabilities/responsibilities to that child ("duty to care"). When agrees to make use of volunteers, it takes on certain legal liabilities/responsibilities to to supervise, properly select, properly train, and properly remove that person.

    State and federal government has no such similar "duty to care". It has no duty/obligation to ensure anyone (other than a government employee or someone acting on behalf of the government like a contractor) doesn't abuse someone else.


    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/

  17. 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!

    • Upvote 1

  18. 26 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    In my experience the biggest obstacles to succession planning are:

    1. Scoutmasters/Cubmasters who do too much - they don't delegate which makes the job appear huge.  Someone who isn't looking for a 20 hour a week job isn't going to sign-up when the current SM/CM is doing that much.  Delegate, delegate, delegate.  Make sure you don't need a Scoutmaster to keep functioning before you go find a new one.
    2. Troops/Packs without sufficient adult support - similar reason.  When the SM/CM realizes that other adults are not their to support them, they don't want to take the job on.
    3. Lack of suitable candidates - you don't promote a new person to be President of the company.  Similarly don't attempt to take a parent and make them Scoutmaster.  If you don't have ASMs/ACMs doing significant work already, then succession planning is not going to occur.  To get an ASM doing significant work, you first have to have ASMs doing small projects.  In short, you need a farm team.

    To me this is a core structure problem - fix the structure and succession planning is easier to address.

    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. 

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
    • Upvote 1

  19. 1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

    First - just gotta say that I loved your post.  Great explanation.

    Isn't a big part of the issue in Scouting today that youth led is so vaguely defined and it's benefits are so difficult to comprehend?  Scouters are often quick to criticize adults for jumping in - but it's hard for them not to.  It's not that adults really want neat and clean - it's that they see the messy and recognize that there are 30 scouts all milling about because of it.  They see boring troop meetings because the PLC doesn't know how to make them engaging.  They see lackluster campouts that may or may not happen because they don't get organized.  

    In the context of this discussion on fun, isn't the issue that bad patrol method is simply not fun and so many units cobble together something akin to patrol method that's not a lot of fun either?

    How does a troop see a clear path with some concrete steps that they can follow to get to a "fun" patrol method model?

    @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. 

    • Upvote 3

  20. 21 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    One person lied, therefore all the victims claiming abuse against the BSA are liars.

    Got it.

    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. 

    • Upvote 1
    • Downvote 2

  21. 1 minute ago, ParkMan said:

    I never claimed that.  I simply said that at some point there should be a limit on how long we let lawsuits continue to linger.  There comes a point in time where history is history.

    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? 

    • Upvote 1

  22. 8 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    What you are proposing is that any not-for-profit or charity becomes lawsuit proof because any claim against the not-for-profit or charity "penalizes the hungry people today" or "penalizes the homeless people today".


    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? 

    • Upvote 1

  23. 11 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    I would say no.

    The SM is required to take

    1) IOLS which barely scratches the surface of the skills needed (AND guess what? Is being converted into an online course next week).

    2) Hazardous Weather: Online

    3) Scoutmaster Training: Online

    And the online scoutmaster training is not even mandatory in many councils. I know some are moving to a "100% position trained" policy but I believe they remain the exception, not the rule.

    So we now or will in the next week or so people who can be 100% "position trained" Scoutmasters entirely online without having to demonstrate a single step of outdoor skill or interaction with youth.

    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. 

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