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About shortridge

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  1. I’m in search of examples of top-quality innovative and creative Council or District-organized Cub program events and activities, such as - STEM science days at museums or observatories - Day hikes and nature programs at state parks or council camps - Cub family camping weekends at council camps with organized programs - Fishing derbies What does your council or district do a great job at?
  2. shortridge

    Monthly camping

    Like anything else, a camporee should have some clear value. Klondikes are (supposed to be) different from the usual. But I've been to far too many camporees that are just round-robin Scout skill contests - start a fire, tie knots, set up a tent, load a pack, do first aid. They have to appeal to both younger patrols and experienced Scouts, and so fail at doing both. I'd love to see a camporee that had a single clear focus or special program - like kayaking, reflector oven cooking, orienteering, woodcarving. The outlay in getting qualified program staff and equipment for a district full of Scouts would be a significant challenge, however.
  3. Bigotry? Sorry, this ain't that. To use your YMCA example: Men can still have their good ol' boy clubs. Christians can still have their churches. Young people can still associate with other young people. As society changes, so do organizations like the BSA and the YMCA. It isn't bigoted against men or Christians to open up an organization to women and Jews and Muslims. It's simply a change in values of an organization and its members. The same applies to the BSA. There's no bigotry in any of the recent decisions against straights, cisgender folk, or boys. What's changed have been the values. Anti-gay and anti-women values have fallen by the wayside. America is open to all. It's taken Scouting a while, but it's followed. I look forward to seeing how our new Scouts are going to lead. The kids are all right. But to claim that you are a victim of bigotry because your views are suddenly in the minority? That's simply bad logic.
  4. Just a few years ago? I know it's such a pain to have to associate with women, old folk and pagans. But that's the world.
  5. shortridge

    Will you poach our crew's women?

    It will ultimately be abandoned. Just my prediction. It'll stick around for a few years during the transition, but in five more years, it'll be gone. Scouts will be for ages 10-18 and the OA will be open to all youth up to 20 years and 364 days.
  6. I'm glad the board made this decision. It is the right one, for our youth and for the future of Scouting. If some COs and leaders can't adjust to modern life, so be it. The Scouts will be just fine, regardless of the bellyaching of adults. The decisions the National Executive Board have made over the last few years have made me more proud, not less, to be involved in Scouting.
  7. shortridge

    Who's running the show?

    I believe what you are describing is a Venturing Crew.
  8. shortridge

    Merit Badges and Summer/Winter Camp

    As a former 14-year-old instructor (and again at 15, 16 and 17, before finally being a real MBC at 18), I'd like to represent the camp staff perspective. I agree the system is flawed. I was certainly not qualified to teach some of my badges that young (but for others, I was, and did a solid job if I do say so). There are two solutions, both of which will run up against local unit opposition. 1. Most camps can't afford to hire all 18+ staff as instructors. It's difficult enough in some cases to hire the required 18 and 21s for area director roles. The fix is to pay more money and recruit more heavily among that population, particularly college students. When you're competing against career-oriented internships or jobs that pay five times more, there is no contest. That will lead to higher camp costs. 2. Many camps don't limit the number of Scouts who can take a certain class, leading to 30+ Scouts in a Pioneering or Cooking session under one instructor. The solution is to limit session size to 5-8 - a standard patrol size, same as if the patrol had signed up for lessons from an expert outfitter or guide on a trek. This will lead to Scouts not able to get in to their desired badges. My personal favorite solution is to go the Cub Scout camp route and offer activities rather than formal classes. On Cub camp staff, we didn't sign off on anything, as that was Akela's job. We just ran fun stuff. Boy Scout camps could do the same thing. Instead of Cooking MB class, they do sessions on various types of cooking - Dutch oven, backpacking stove, freezer bag. Instead of Kayaking and Rowing and Canoeing, there's instructional boating and open boating periods. Instead of Environmental Science, there are structured observation hikes and guided experiments on certain subjects. The bigger question is whether anyone would go for this approach. Would units and parents pay for a camp where their Scouts learned rather than earned?
  9. shortridge

    Youth Required to Take YPT?

    I first did YPT at age 14, working on summer camp staff. Why not encourage youth leaders to take it? In modern form, it's a half-hour of common sense.
  10. shortridge

    Camp, boys, ticks, lymes and YTP

    Just have the boys check as best they can, making sure they know to check everywhere. Small mirrors are a great idea; lighting has to be good, so during nighttime showers doesn't work. Once when I was staffing a wilderness survival outpost overnight, quite a distance from main camp, I had a youth come up to me and report a tick on a very sensitive portion of his anatomy. He grabbed a buddy and we paddled back to main camp, where I deposited him on the doorstep of the first-aider. The first-aider in turn gave him a mirror and sent him into his private bathroom to try to take care of it. Thankfully, that worked.
  11. shortridge

    Jambo Hype !

    "Not one Scout should get turned away from an activity because of a lack of capacity at that event." As much as I share the skepticism, that scenario happens weekly at summer camps around the U.S. Resources and time are both limited. Jambo is no different.
  12. shortridge

    American Heritage Girls question

    "This is some local AHG leaders not understanding what the MOU grants them. Don't blame the national AGH people for this. The local leaders don't understand that they can't just show up at a BSA event an expect to be allowed to attend." And yet the national AHG people are the ones who deliberately create the impression of tight bonds between the two organizations ...
  13. shortridge

    49 years ago...

    All Warren Commission records are now public, except for those dealing with confidential tax return information.
  14. shortridge

    Toy guns at scouting functions

    They told me that it should be discussed in P&L and those that didn't agree that they should not be allowed could either accept it or leave. What is P&L?
  15. shortridge

    Home schooled scouts

    [sorry, double post](This message has been edited by shortridge)