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Everything posted by Sentinel947

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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?)
  5. @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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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."
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Sorry. I screwed up. I wrote DE, mean UC. Too many acronyms!
  13. If presenting the colors at a Methodist church meant handling the flag of the Methodist Church, I can see why the Archbishop would forbid it. If non Catholics want to carry our flag around, that's up to them. Catholics are also forbidden from participating in Communion at Churches that deny the real presence of Jesus Christ in communion. Non Catholics are not permitted to receive communion at a Catholic church. By all accounts, I'm an institutional BSA Scouter: Eagle Scout, OA Brotherhood member, Completed Wood Badge, NYLT Adult staff X 3, District Training Committee, Summer Camp Staff, Shooting Sports Committee. I've got no problem supporting and defending the rules, even if sometimes their application is detrimental. Changing Troops internal procedures is an exercise in change management. It has very little to with knots, beads, or experience. It has everything to do with the person initiating. Their ability to influence others and their ties to the unit. An outsider, experienced or not, who joins a unit and wants to change things (even if they are well intentioned and correct.) will hit a brick wall. It took me several years to make changes in my Troop, and that was after serving as a highly visible youth leader and then adult volunteer. After about 3 or 4 years of working with the youth and adults, I was able to achieve a breakthrough and win some progress towards a stronger Troop Program. An outsider would have stood no chance. And mind you, this is a unit that is frequently held up my our District as a "Gold Standard" unit that other Troops should emulate. Still many thorny unfixed problems, like utilization of the Patrol method, and having a consistently engaging program. Now I'm "retired" from the troop and still volunteer with NYLT and my District. Disestablishment folks have bad feelings about "institutional Scouters" (Wood Badge, Knots, DE's, Gold/Silver Tabs) because just like anything else, some people in those groups can be utterly annoying, and often wrong too. "Institutional Scouters" have built a bad reputation with many units, because they are frequently bossy, holier than thou, come around during FOS or Beading ceremonies, take up more time than they should and then disappear until they need something again. Not all of them mind you, but enough of them that it colors many people's perceptions. In my own Troop, our 3rd Scoutmaster went to Wood Badge back in the late 90's. We didn't have another leader go until the 5th Scoutmaster and I went in 2015. In between we had one adult who transferred into our unit who had attended Wood Badge. They were clueless about how Scouting was supposed to be done. We actually discussed some of the broad points of this institutional distrust between Scouters, through Wood Badge specifically in this topic: https://www.scouter.com/topic/30580-wood-badge-roses-and-thorns/ For my entire Scouting life, my troop never had a UC. We finally got one in early 2020. He attended one meeting, and sent the current (6th) Scoutmaster a long email of suggestions and improvements. He has many good suggestions, some things I've attempted to implement over the last 9 years, and some that were fresh ideas. Our current Scoutmaster was a little taken aback by it. To me it's the exact wrong approach to helping a unit improve. Get to know us for a few weeks, build some relationships. Get to know our past, our goals, and our challenges before dropping unsolicited advice on people. There are really two types of disestablishment units. 1A. There are those that run pretty good programs, but their leadership had bad experiences with "Institutional folks" and doesn't want to engage with them. Then there are units that are unmitigated dumpster fires, both from a rule compliance perspective and a program quality perspective. Sometimes it's intentional 2A, sometimes it's out of ignorance 2B. 2A is entirely unfixable. 1A and 2B can be fixed by being a friendly and helpful face, showing some humility, and being a good partner.
  14. There's also another statistical force at play here. Correlation does not equal causation. The BSA noticed that Scouts who earned first class in one year are more likely to continue in Scouting long term. Scout retention and First class rank in a year are probably correlated, but that doesn't mean earning first class in one year causes or influences Scout retention by itself. Without the BSA's data to run analysis on, I hypothesize that Scouts who earned first class in one year before Operation First Class are/were typically in very active troops with lots of opportunities to go on activities. Rather than push the Units to get Scouts to first class in a year, the key to scout retention is an active and engaging unit program. This isn't a surprise to any of us on this forum. Maybe pushing units to advance Scouts to first class in one year is easier than getting units to run a good program?
  15. Your council or National may be able to provide clarity. As written, my guess is that the issue has to effect more than one country, but the project only has to benefit one country. IE Deforestation is a problem in many countries.
  16. People always have choices, regardless of their life circumstances.
  17. It's a quote of a comment from 2010. Where ever @Beavah is, I hope he's well.
  18. Actually wrote a article for my district newsletter about this topic. Encouraging Troops to get out, use the patrol method, and follow council and local guidelines. I've copied it here: "As our units start up fall programing during COVID 19, we are faced with a great opportunity to embrace a core aspect of the Scouting program: The Patrol Method. Robert Baden Powell was once quoted “The patrol method is not a way to operate a Boy Scout Troop, it is the only way. Unless the patrol method is in operation you don’t really have a Boy Scout Troop.” A patrol, a group of eight or so Scouts, is not just a method for organizing our Scouts. It is a place where youth can learn new skills, practice leadership, and make new friendships. Dan Beard Council has outlined COVID 19 safety guidelines for Ohio and Kentucky under the “Restart Scouting Safely Plan.” For the full document please visit http://www.danbeard.org/scouting-restart-safely-guide-now-available/. It details what restrictions are in place for Scouting activities based on Ohio and Kentucky Health Department regulations. At present, Scouting activities are to be limited to groups of no more than 10 people, including two-deep adult leadership. Scouts and leaders should also social distance and wear face masks when unable to maintain distancing. This may make meeting as a whole Troop challenging, but is the perfect number for patrols to meet. The patrol method is even more useful if your traditional meeting location is still closed to groups or has occupancy limits. Patrols can meet independently of the Troop at different locations or different days for activities, assuming proper two-deep leadership can be maintained. Meeting by patrol has the benefit of pushing decision making and planning down from Troop level youth leadership down to the Patrol leaders. For some Troops, this level of responsibility for Patrol Leaders is normal. For other Troops, this would be a new developmental challenge. Troop level youth leaders such as Senior Patrol Leaders or Troop Guides still have a role in assisting Patrol leaders to prepare their patrol activities and make sure each patrol has the necessary resources available. When your unit camps this fall, the Patrol method helps ensure your Scouts maintain groups of 10 or less and keeps them from congregating under common spaces like dining flies or picnic pavilions. Smaller cooking groups also have the added bonus of giving Scouts more opportunities to practice their cooking skills. It’s important for adults attending Troop or Patrol campouts to ensure safe dining practices are practiced such as eliminating self-serve buffet style meals and common water coolers. For a complete list of suggestions for dining, food prep, camping and transportation, please reference the “Restart Scouting Safely Plan.” As we enter the middle of the fall camping season, each Scouts BSA unit has a chance to utilize the Patrol method, not just to keep Scouts and Scouters safe, but also to provide a great small group program for our Scouts."
  19. @SemperParatus you've got quite the tenure here! Thanks for your service to Scouting, past or present. That being said, you clearly aren't happy with the BSA for untold reasons. So why are you still participating here? Don't you have something better to do?
  20. My understanding is that family members are always ok in regards to the one on one rule. So siblings or parent-child are fine. The rule is not terribly new. No one on one contact is at least as old as my time as a youth member 2005-2011. Sometime around 2012-2013 I became aware of the application of the one on one rules to outside of Scouting, but it probably predates that. My question, what in the Guide to Safe Scouting/ YPT training has you convinced it applies between family members?
  21. De facto vs de jure. De facto discrimination is alive and well. De jure discrimination is mostly gone, although there are some places where laws are passed because they disproportionately effect people in one group or another. Discrimination today is typically much more subtle and less overt than in the 1960's, making it easier for people to pretend it doesn't exist.
  22. It's the same way in the Corporate Sector. Lots of people sitting on multiple boards, whether it's for profit or non-profit orgs.
  23. I mean, yea. I paid $17.5 for one night at Pickett State park in Tennessee, + $5 for a backcountry permit in the Big South Fork National Park. Overall it was $21.50 for 4 people for 4 nights. Monthly BSA dues are starting to become as expensive as the outing itself.
  24. I could see youth packs having issues fitting bear canisters, but I have a 55 liter adult pack (Osprey Exos) and I can fit a bear canister inside of it with 4-5 days of food and gear. I've gone pretty far down the ultralight, minimalist rabbit hole, so that may not be everybody's experience. I included a picture from my 2019 Lost Creek Wilderness Trip. I'm the one with the black and green pack. Certainly in late spring, summer, and early fall when extra clothing needs are limited, fitting a bear canister in a pack has a higher chance of success. I'm not an expert on bears, but in late fall, winter, early spring, depending on local bear hibernation patterns, going back to a sub optimal food hang is probably just fine. Another option for the canister is that while hiking it can be emptied out and lashed to the outside of the pack, and the food can be carried in stuff sacks inside the pack. That helps work around the dead zones inside the pack that the inflexible canister creates.
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