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skeptic last won the day on December 26 2017

skeptic had the most liked content!

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About skeptic

  • Rank
    Senior Member

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    Southern California
  • Occupation
    Retired; Past substitute teacher. 25 years in retail management.
  • Interests
    Poetry, reading, Scouting history and memorabilia.
  • Biography
    Scout and Explorer: 1955-1962; Eagle<br /><br />
    Scouter: ASM 1966-67; Member at Large, NESA rep 1976; Unit Commissioner 1977; SM 1977-Present; RT staff off and on 1979-Present; Jamborees: Scout, 1960; ASM, 1985; Staff, 2010. Miscellaneous participation in training and so on since 1979; Woodbadge with 3 beads, including both old and new course material. <br /><br />
    Scouting Historian of Sorts; one of the larger accumulations of literature and related ephemera in So Cal focused on history and sociology of the program, as well as unusual connections such as comics and advertising. Mount 2-3 displays per year for council and/or district, and occasionally unit.<br /><br />
    OA; Ordeal 1959 at Camp Arataba summer camp; Brotherhood 1960 building Helendade (then Running Springs SR); Vigil 1987 VCC.<br /><br />
    SB; Youth Religious 1961, Adult 1980's; Miscellaneous "being around a long time awards".<br /><br />
    <br /><br />
    BA 1971 UCR; Teaching Credential 1975 CSULB.
  1. Interesting piece regarding some early historical records from the first course, including a copy of the schedule. Many of us that took our WB under some semblance of that earlier course likely feel much of it is sorely lacking today. Having taken it in 1981 or so, and then actually taught on the first edition of the 20th Century course, I am very aware of the differences. There is some positive material in the current versions, but from my perspective, we miss out on a lot in the modern course. It is like the difference between backpacking and car camping; you learn far more "responsibility" when you have to take care of yourself with what you carry. You are more likely to be self-sufficient if you have regularly backpacked, especially some real long terms. In the case of WB, learning and "using" basic core skills is far superior to just having them given to you on paper or in books as references. Still, the modern course does have some benefit, particularly if the course staff sort of add in a few things along the lines of what was just noted.
  2. Another reason, IMHO, that the Order has lost its interest. When it truly was not simply something you could get into by becoming First Class and doing a bit of camping, while staying on the good side of the adults, it actually was an honor. Now the mystique is gone, and it is simply something else to take up your time in too many lodges, and participation is generally sash and gone for the majority. There are still some lodges that have managed to keep some of the deeper interest, but not in our area. Ceremonies are not only no longer really semi-secret, but most of them are read from scripts, often obviously not even pre-read, and regalia is minimal. For the past few years, I have spoken to all the technically eligible scouts and point blank asked them if they really care to elected, and if so will actually go to the Ordeal and give it a try afterward. There is no point in calling them out if they are not going to follow through. But we still do elections, and have a few members occasionally get more involved for a time.
  3. Virtual Campfire

    valentine blush.bmp valentine blush.bmp
  4. This was posted by one of my long ago scouts, one who has just retired from the Army as a Lt. Col and that served in Bosnia and all the other challenging locations of the era. He now has a boy in Cubs and a girl in GS. He never went beyond First Class, but was one of the avid outdoor youth with some family challenges that stayed the course until junior college. Anyway, this analogy of his seems to me to be on point. Francis Moss 1 hr · How you step on the brakes. To slow a speeding car to a stop smoothly, a driver must apply greater and greater pressure to the hydronic brake pedal until the car’s speed slows to a particular point where continued heavy pressure would lock-up the brakes and either cause the car to skid (or activate the anti-lock braking system in newer cars) or stop with a lurch, compressing the front suspension as the car’s mass suddenly stops, then harshly rocking the car backward as the suspension rebounds. Instead, a driver must let up on the brake pedal as the car slows, but not so much to release the brakes entirely, thus stopping the car smoothly and not spilling the drink they are holding that really should instead by in the cup holder or scaring passengers, other drivers, or pedestrians with a screeching stop, or smash into something in front of them. It is the same problem with the accelerator pedal, which requires greater pressure when starting from zero and much less while at cruise. It takes a while for new drivers (and experienced drivers operating unfamiliar vehicles) to get the hang of this, but most seem to get the hang of it. The added advantage to this activity is if the car does not have to come to a complete stop, such as when a light changes from red to green just as the car is stopping, there is still some stored momentum available to help the car gain speed just as smoothly as it would have stopped. “Smooth is fast and fast is smooth,” is what they say in the car racing world. I think a similar technique applies with social change activities, where pressure must be lifted sometime as the change occurs to facilitate a smooth transition. Continue with too much pressure and other things get disrupted and energy is waisted, lift too soon and you miss the limit line. The problem is judging when to do so. With learning to drive, there’s the pesky problem with judging what the car is capable of, what environmental conditions will allow, what other drivers will do, and what you can get away with. Although most can handle the pedal work, few get really, really good at dealing with all the variables and certainly not all of the time. So I see continued pushes for lots of social change that I am not sure need so much added pressure anymore and that are actually pushing so hard, they may be creating problems of their own. Could be that I’m just a backseat driver, but one in particular is girls and education. For instance, the Girl Scouts of America has the “Raise Your Hand program,” encouraging girls to speak up in class, because statistics show that boys are more aggressive with raising their hands in school. Now, that may be the case, but girls out perform boys in school and the proof of that is the statistic showing more women getting college degrees than men these days. Maybe instead of “Raise Your Hand” for girls, the Girl Scouts could team up with the Boy Scouts of America to have a “Shut Up and Listen” campaign for boys. It seems to me that the boys may be raising their hands more and speaking up, but it isn’t paying off for them, so they should be a little more like the girls, be a bit more quiet and listen before they speak. That may not be the right solution, but the disparity has shifted from women to men as far as education, which makes me think we’re past the point where we should lift up on the pedal and we have ourselves a fender bender. If the point is equality... Unfortunately, there are lots and lots of organizations whose existence depends on continuing their advocacy, even when the tipping point for the need may be past, not necessarily the GSUSA, but I hope you can see my point. It is very hard to get an advocate to quit advocating, just as it is very hard to get a general to stop trying to kill the enemy when it might be the time for diplomacy. People who have built their lives smashing one pedal have a hard time lifting and an even harder time learning how to use the other pedal. And just like being in traffic, there isn’t much you can do to teach such people, but get out of their way, hope they don’t hit you, insure yourself for the likelihood that they one day will, and sue them when they do. If they only learned how to drive.
  5. Admittedly, I did not go back to earlier pages, but to me, this is just amusing. I immediately thought about the effect of pot on many, that is the munchies.
  6. Super cool find (at least to me)

    It is always exciting to find something new or different in the unexpected place. The best deal on eBay was buying 5 pre1920 Boys Life as a group for $12, I guess because they were in rough condition. But three are Rockwell covers as well, and all the pages are there. Found first edition and printing of the Burnham book, Scouting on Two Continents at a local Friends of the Library sale in Camarillo; it has a letter from him to the original owner tipped into the back of the book. You sometimes just get lucky. Good hunting to those that still search.
  7. You need to take baby steps initially in most cases and be open to adjustments and downright stops to begin again. We all know the old saws about pleasing everybody. Take a deep breath and work with what you are comfortable and be always cognizant of YP issues. We know the vulture lawyers will be watching for any opportunity to stretch simple error into a huge issue for legal challenges and money. Tough issues will never be solved with only one attempt at getting it right. In some ways, we are still struggling with the Black issue in Scouting, and it was on the table in the earliest days and in the forefront of National by the late 20's if notes from early conferences are to be read. Society, and our views as a populace nationally are in huge flux, and Scouting is not likely to not get caught up in it even more than it has been the last couple of decades. Simple questions. Why do we feel Scouting is important? How do we keep it working as well as we can within the parameters of the rapid changes in society? Is it still worth our time and effort, or are the frustrations at the "throw in the towel" point? The answer will be different for each of us, but hopefully, it will evolve and get on course again. Meanwhile, if you choose, Do Your Best.
  8. Private Council Security Guard

    Somebody got kicked by a mule I guess. After all, it is Missouri it seems.
  9. Sunday Morning segment on the BSA

    Of course, it was staged. It is a national TV program. Take the positive vibe and work with it, rather than look for reasons to lessen its possible impact and forward moving hope. Each unit, as they accept the challenge, will have a lot to work through. We do not need a constant drum-roll of negative "chicken littles".
  10. This book specifically, and many others from earlier times are easily available on the NET, particularly through book dealers such as Amazon, or through a search here: http://www.bookfinder.com/. This link is good for a very broad search for almost any subject or specific title or author. The breadth of responses can be overwhelming for common stuff, and the BSA books from the early days are fairly common, especially from the peak period, now that so many are popping up from estates or attic/basement cleansings of "parental stuff" by children and grandchildren. EBay of course does have it too, though there are still people posting them that seem to think they are rare, which they are not. Now, as with any of these things, the best copies or ones that are signed will be premium, but sometimes not as bad as you might think if you look a little. Good searching.
  11. Yep, and it is that very file that no other organization had anything like for protection that caused much of the legal issues when the courts decided to open them up to the legal scavengers so they could drag stuff into "the light". It mattered not that it was a different time and most of the cases had been put away at the request of families who did not want to put their kids in the public theater of the time. Yes, there were some that today would have immediately been prosecuted, but it was not up to the BSA to make that decision, and most of the cases in the files had gone to authorities who chose, for whatever reason to bury them. As I have reminded the forum previously, have we so easily forgotten the MacMartin cases and the related paranoia that ruined so many lives twenty years or so ago? Hopefully YP will do what it is intended to do in most cases; but reality is that there are always mistakes and things that go out of bounds.
  12. Adopted sites in Council Camp?

    Is anyone on here familiar with camps that may have units adopt a site or two in a council camp and make sure it is maintained as needed? I could see, with the right parameters, a win-win arrangement. Units would get reduced fees, depending on the level of their involvement, and the camp would possibly have more consistently maintained sites. Years ago, when our camp was new, our unit was involved in a major way in its development, and they had their own spot when they went there. That has long since gone away, but some variable of this might be an incentive, not only for camp upkeep, but also a guaranteed spot to camp a couple times a year at low or no expense. I am sure this idea is ripe for a tug of war of opinions.
  13. Virtual Campfire

    I was stationed on a small NATO bombing range north of Munich in the late 60's. We were remote, so we had our own little clubhouse where we had fussbol, a pinball machine, small jukebox, and where we showed our own movies from a reel machine. There were only 9 of us stationed there, and we had local German workers for building target stuff on the range and even keeping up the little house we used for a barrack and office. When we showed movies, which we would get from Munich fifty miles south, we opened the clubhouse to the locals if they wanted. They also would play bingo with us once a week. Always at least two cases of beer, usually double, half chilled and half warm. We got the Battle of the Bulge in one time, and we had locals begging to see it. Few of them had any animosity towards us. One worker even spent most of the war in a camp in the states. The funny comment that was common though from those that had been in the War was that they fought on the Russian front. The veteran NCO that ran the site (officers were sent TDY to talk to pilots, but not permanent) had actually bombed the area we were in as a crew chief on a large bomber. It was an interesting experience. b
  14. Virtual Campfire

    I have just finished reading my copy of HE-WHO-SEES-IN-THE-DARK, the story of Frederick Burnham written in 1932 by James E. West. Burnham was an American frontier scout who scouted with the British in Africa and worked with Baden Powell. The name in the title was given him by African natives with whom he intermixed while in Africa. Interesting work, and clarified much of my vague awareness of Burnham's place in Scouting lore. West writes in chapter 19, "The Sign of the Knot", how learning what seemingly are minor things, like basic knots, are far more important than one might think and how BP thought about it. "Baden-Powell, who had pondered long and delved deeply into the secret that lay beneath the miracles that the great scouts could perform (referring to those like Burnham, Boone, Carson, and Bridger, among others) found that their excellence, unromantic though it may seem, came from learning to do the simple everyday things in the most efficient and speediest way possible. There was a patient toughness in the preparations they made. Their dexterity came from reasoning and experiment to find the best method, and the constant practice to give them speed and sureness." West suggests that B.P. considered this of paramount importance in the later development from his military writing to material for his Scouting program. The Scouting connection aside, Frederick Burnham was a fascinating man. He apparently lived in Santa Barbara late in his life.