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skeptic last won the day on December 25 2018

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.

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  1. Sour grapes never make good wine.
  2. skeptic

    Wow! FAR beyond mere Eagle...

    There are parameters that are consistent, from what I have read over the years. It is not intended to be an easily achieved award, and even getting a bronze is a very high honor. Your son is to be commended for the award he has been afforded, and he can still do additional efforts towards a higher level of achievement. Be proud, and be happy that he is still in a very small group of scouts over the years.
  3. Why would anyone have an issue with this? It was restricted due to a number of issues, both related to habitat and more importantly physical concerns. Since that time, the physical requirements have been modified for participants and they have done major restorative and replacement trail work on the area of the tooth and its main route. It, being one of the symbols of the ranch, and a visible challenge, I see no problem as long as they have put needed qualifications into place and do not stress the land around it beyond normal recovery. Granted, I personally climbed the tooth from PTC twice, as well as a couple of other trails that were easily accommodating. I also trekked across it in 1979 returning to the ranch at the end of a ten-day hike. If all goes well, I will be there in June, but I will not try the hike, even if they were to allow it, as I am no longer physically qualified, and I realize that. Like anything, we need to take personal responsibility for what we attempt physically, and I am too old and have had serious issues. But, I am glad others may again have the opportunity, as it is part of the PTC/Ranch experience and the view is spectacular.
  4. Years ago now I subscribed to the actual Scouter Magazine connected to the Forum. Look what I found hidden in a box.
  5. skeptic

    Potential loss of COR

    Are we speaking of the COR or the CC? COR's are the link between the charter organization and the unit and would normally not be overly involved in much of what you note? You should be able to get the things you need, but that is not saying you will if she is stubborn or something. Good luck, either way.
  6. skeptic

    Most and Least Popular Merit Badges

    When scanning some of the historical graphs and data I noted that a number of badges show an almost immediate precipitous drop as soon as they were dropped from Eagle requirements or options. That includes the conservation badges that were options in the fifties from "group" choices. You needed at least one. I had two, but that was more to do with thinking I would work on the Hornaday award, but then we moved and I started high school and while staying in, kind of got dragged in other directions, including working. Until the late forties, early fifties (have to check the dates for changes) Bird Study was an Eagle badge. It then was replaced by Nature, and now Environmental Science or Sustainability. Swimming and Life Saving were for a long time pretty much non-optional as well. Safety held on for a long while, longer than Public Health, Firemanship, and Citizenship in the Home. Of course, it is obvious what happened to the farm-related badges; people left the farms. Similarly, some of the trade type badges were more common due to the need to simply know some of those skills. Today, most people will pay to have stuff done and do not care to learn to do it themselves. Home repairs was very common when I was a scout, but today, you almost need to twist their arms. Not sure what happened to the mainstay "gimme", Fingerprinting. Again, many of the more school related badges were popular until the late sixties, early seventies, as you often could arrange to have your teacher be the counselor. In the fifties, most credentialed teachers were accepted almost without question as counselors. As such, Reading and Scholarship were far more common, though reading was simply more of a youthful pastime then, as many of the detractions today did not exist. Thinking back a little, I think in some respects the needed merit badge system of the late forties and through the fifties, with the "groups" challenged more widespread sampling of what was offered. Every Eagle needed to have at least two or three badges they likely would not have considered other than needing one from that group. I wonder how much that was determined by the similar wider range of "general" subjects for college graduation. Today, the very basic college curriclum seems thin on classes that simply broaden your general knowledge. Change is always happening, and we very likely may see another major one once the Scouts BSA moves into full gear. Females may have interests in some subjects that prior to this were not broadly considered. Time will tell. Meanwhile, we just keep trying to focus on the basics and the end result of better youth and citizens.
  7. skeptic

    Most and Least Popular Merit Badges

    While backpacking for me is pretty much no longer likely, unless I have a lot of time and it is very short, it is because of age and health. But, I wonder how much of an effect the fire issues have had on it, especially in the West. Half of our local trails have been off limits for most of the past five+ years, or only available for a few weeks if we are lucky. Even drive-in sites have been restricted. Add the increased cost factors, as most sites that we could go to that were free, or really inexpensive, are now being "run" by vendors, and the cost is often restrictive, as well as the number that can use it. Then add in charges for extra vehicles, and it is even worse. It will be interesting to see if locally this spring and summer we have more units out, assuming the rain damage does not perpetuate the fire danger issues with a new face. I do know that there are a number of trails reported basically gone or so badly damaged that they are not going to be viable. We do have some option if we can arrange to actually go in on some of these and work with the FS to repair them. But, often the work is limited to the older, more experienced scouts and scouters. I wonder if similr issues apply in other areas of the wilder country.
  8. Since I have not seen any indication in a while that Terry Howerton is actually still involved with this forum, I am simply curious as to if he is. I tried making a direct contact through another lite/email related to entrepreneurship, but the mail was bounced. Thanks for any update.
  9. Once again I wonder if we may soon see an in depth biography of William "Greenbar Bill" Hillcourt? Now that it appears that whatever prejudices might have taken his importance off the front page of National, it would seem time.
  10. skeptic

    Archery Lawsuit Against BSA

    This is heavy on the "deep pockets" theme. Is the family suing the vendor? Are they suing the family of the youth that is alleged to have shot the arrow? As long as we allow our society to be one of uncontrolled lawsuits and lack of personal responsibility we will see this. Every day almost I see lawyers advertising on TV about this or that; "did you have an accident? You have rights, and we can help you." "There is a class action lawsuit and you may be able to get some of the action. Call us now before you miss out." Papers and magazines very often have ads for "legal" representation for the unfair or awful thing that happened to you, even if the responsible party took responsibility or insurance covered it without a fight. Unless we, as a country, have the backbone to put on the brakes, it will simply continue to get worse. But I would not hold your breath, as ego and money are stronger much of the time than personal ethics and responsibility for our own actions.
  11. This is from an auction listing for an upcoming auction through Heritage Auction House. I find the comments in the shared part of the letter from the auction site to be reflective of how often B.P. offered specific, well-reasoned comments on youth issues during his era. Robert Baden-Powell Typed Letter Signed "Robert Baden-Powell". Two pages, 8" x 10" (sight), London; May 30, 1921. Printed on Boy Scouts Association letterhead and addressed to an unknown recipient, the letter graciously declines an invitation to write an article about films, but offers an opinion on the future of cinema. His letter reads in part: "...the selection of the character of the films really rests neither with the proprietors, nor with the Public Censor, but with the public. If the public shows its preference for good dramas and interesting instructive pictures, instead of the silly films that are found to play in certain countries, the manufacturers will naturally be guided by its taste. When educationalists and other people complain of the nature of the films they should direct some of the blame on those who are responsible for the character training of the young people – and there you have a problem!...it is in order to do something in this direction that the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guide Movements have been started and are already making headway." The letter is framed with a portrait of Baden-Powell to the overall size of 37" x 21.5".
  12. skeptic

    Tent fire buckets

    Here, from the on-line copy of Camp Standards from which all resident camps are judged each summer is the fire section. Note: both the Fireguard Plan and No Fire In Tents wording is mentioned. So, at least in BSA accredited camps these things should be in effect. And some of the general info might be good for non BSA property, especially in much of the Southwest. STANDARD: Adequate provision is made for fire detection and protection. Camp properties Day camp Family camp Resident camp Trek camp Specialtyadventure camp Highadventure camp FIRE DETECTION AND PROTECTION Specific Requirements of the Standard: All subparts must be met, except as indicated. A. Campwide. A camp fire protection plan is in effect that addresses campsite, building, and area fires. Camp staff training includes specific instructions related to the staff’s roles during a fire emergency. Campers and leaders are oriented in the fireguard plan, and a campwide drill is held within 24 hours of arrival in camp. Central firefighting equipment is neatly placed and is in good condition, ready for immediate use if included in the fire plan. Examples of such equipment include hoses, back pumps, rakes, shovels, and mattocks. B. Buildings. 1. Fire extinguishers of an approved size and type commensurate with the hazard are required. Extinguishers should be mounted near a doorway or adjacent to specific hazards and at approximately shoulder level. Current inspection tags will be evident on each extinguisher and inspection will be performed by a professional trained in their maintenance in accordance with the requirements of local codes. Refer to the current edition of NFPA 10 and OSHA 1910.157 for required placement, type, and size of extinguishers. 2. All doors on buildings comply with local codes. Generally, code requires doors in buildings that serve 50 people or more to open in the direction of escape travel. 3. Operating smoke detection is required in every enclosed permanent structure where people work, gather, or sleep. The quantity and location of detectors shall be in accordance with recognized national and local codes (NFPA, local fire codes, etc.). 4. Carbon monoxide detection is required in every enclosed permanent structure where people sleep and there is a device fueled by an energy source that produces carbon monoxide. The quantity and location of detectors shall be in accordance with recognized national and local codes. C. Kitchens. Kitchens will have approved fire extinguishers commensurate with the hazard. If a fire-suppression system is used for cooking hood(s), these systems along with extinguishers will have current inspection tags evident, and inspection will be performed by a professional trained in their maintenance in accordance with the requirements of local codes. FA-703 FA-703-2 Applies to: (Revised January 1, 2015) Camp properties Day camp Family camp Resident camp Trek camp Specialtyadventure camp Highadventure camp FIRE DETECTION AND PROTECTION D. Tents. 1. All camp-provided tentage used in the camp meets or exceeds fireretardant specifications by the manufacturer (CPAI-84). 2. At resident camps, “No Flames in Tents” is marked on, or adjacent to, each camp-provided tent. Where unit- or personally-supplied tents are used, the campsite displays a prominent “No Flames in Tents” sign. E. Bulk flammable storage. Bulk containers of flammable liquids are properly located, vented, secured, and connected in accordance with the supplier’s recommendation and local codes. Fuel pumps are locked; all flammable fuels are safely stored in approved containers that are locked or located in a controlled locker area or facility. Fire extinguishers will be provided in accordance with Section B.1 above. F. Signage. “Danger—No Smoking” signs are posted at fuel storage locations where required by code or established by council policy. INTERPRETATION: The primary requirement is that the camp conduct a risk assessment for fire and carbon monoxide risks and develop an appropriate fireguard plan. The camp fire protection plan should be coordinated with the emergency plans addressed in Standard AO-805 Emergency Procedures. Where smoke detection is a problem due to hot work such as welding, local codes may provide for alternatives such as heat detection. Backpacking-type fuel bottles and consumer-use propane and LPG cylinders up to 30 pounds used for grills and lanterns are not considered to be bulk containers for purposes of this standard. VERIFICATION: • Visual inspection and check of inspection tags and signs
  13. skeptic

    Tent fire buckets

    Camp tents usually have the stencils on the tents. And we are required to have the Fire Guard System in place in camp. That is water and sand at the two corners, and in our camp critter sticks in the water. Also every camp has a long hose which is supposed to hooked up and coiled for immediate use if necessary.
  14. skeptic

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    We not longer have a legal snipe season. Snipe hunting is hazing and we simply cannot have what might actually be a fun and growing experience, even if it is well supervised and all participants are protected from actual danger. Modern emotional membranes have become too flimsy it seems.
  15. skeptic

    What happened in 1973?

    Please, can we simply move on. This will never go away for those of us closest to it, and few would question that it absolutely pushed every limit and bent every rule, to the point of local protests and National actually being involved. It overwhelmed unit leaders and district volunteers, to the point of some throwing in the towel, and touched at least 6 units counting cubs. Far too many mistakes and "just make it go away" issues, always with the subtle threat of a parent who is a lawyer and lived vicariously through his kids. The Scout actually had lots of promise, and I am not sure that even he today, entering full adulthood very soon, will want to have a serious discussion of how badly this went down. Even at the time, I know that he would not look me in the eye when it finally came to the end where the video shows. I still harbor a little hope that he will at some point face this personal demon and find a way to feel actually good about it. Just about the classic example of adults taking the Scouting experience away from their children and then setting a very poor example as to how to circumvent or bend by ploys and threats. I can assure you that those of us near, or peripheral to this not only took a lot of deep breaths, But, as I said, let us not again beat this horse. Thank you.