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skeptic last won the day on December 25 2018

skeptic had the most liked content!

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328 Excellent

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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859 profile views
  1. skeptic

    Proud of our ceremonies team

    "This is the generation of mediocrity." As aptly stated, this is a problem not just in Scouting. In relation to this discussion, there are fewer and fewer of us that even remember the "old" OA and how it had special mystique and actual Honor. Today, due to the "mediocrity" or dare we say it, tendency to overly "protect" them, our youth are being shortchanged. The meaning of WWW is known by most members, as it is told to them and they theoretically actually have review their handbook. The idea that kids would not choose to join because all they do is work, is hopefully a misunderstanding, though it is not as far fetched as it might be. But, as has been tossed back and forth in other discussions, it is a world where for some reason actually challenging a youth is looking on with suspicion or judged to be too harsh. Grades often are no longer actually given for quality of work, but just for doing something. The once dependable bell curve for grades is pretty much a thing of the past. Honors and AP classes somehow seem to automatically require A's and B's, rather than real weighted distribution. We give those "participation" trophies. As far as OA is concerned, if we went back to policing the ordeals "fairly" to avoid black balling, but actually held the candidates accountable, we might have a stronger Order. And while certainly allowing parents to understand the purpose and normal activity, removing the mystique has taken the heart out of it if you ask me. But what do I know as I often state? I am one of those old "red jackets" from an outdated time.
  2. I am not a CPA and certainly not proficient in Corporate Tax issues. So, perhaps someone can clarify for me if a corporation made a form of donation to charity issuing coupons of some type saving a customer money in their business, how would that have been handled prior to 2018 and how is it handled under the new codes? Our primary hook for our local Scouting "camp card promo" has dropped out, and it will be far more difficult to sell the cards now. I have to wonder if this may be due to the way the corporation is allowed to handle this as a donation to charity? If the withdrawal is directly relevant to their tax issues, it is a negative for charities in general it would seem. Input would be appreciated.
  3. skeptic

    Eagle Scout Extension for new 2019 Scouts

    So, here we are on the edge of history, in a position to move forward in postive ways with long existing challenges that have simmered for years, in reality. Do we put our best feet forward, or do we drag them while we kick and scream about how terrible changes are and how unfair to those in the past, and maybe even some in the future? If we go back and examine the specific example that is causing most of the uproar, we must, if we are honest with ourselves, admit that the young woman likely did far more than many young men in achieving the standards overall. From all that I have seen, she overreached on many of the requirements, either because that is her approach or she wanted to make "sure", or she was thinking it would strengthen her cause. So, reality says other than the time frame and so on, she DID do the requirements, and really surpassed many of them. Also, from what I have read over the past year or two, there may be a small number of others that did similar things, but with far less success and/or support. So, then the complaint now is that she seems to have been given credit by her new unit leader immediately, rather than making here go through all the time frames again. Aside from her, how many similar young people/women would actually have met that standard and have the verification? Few, I would think. So, how to respond? Nobody with an ax to grind will be satisfied most of us will recognize, and a few without axes too. But, on the other had, do we continue to push the image of fair versus unfair in the public view, or do we work through it as calmly and the best we are able? Two or three years hence, will it really matter? And, as far as Sydney being recognized as Eagle, I can honestly say that from what I have seen and read she may be far more qualified in many aspects than some of whom I know. Any of us around for a while have seen our share of "they met the requirements barely" candidates. So, can we work on bringing down the curtain on the over the top acting and simply make the best and fairest decisions and move on? We come back to our definition of Scout Spirit. From my perspective, some of us still struggle with it in some instances. Again, from what I have read in many and varied BSA and world related sources, BP would be likely standing on the side of young Sydney. So, let us go back to our unit and local trenches and work the program to the overall betterment of Scouts BSA and the young people for whom it is intended. ⚜️
  4. skeptic

    Eagle Scout Extension for new 2019 Scouts

    Well, they do have electricity, or possibly propane lanterns or candles still. 😉
  5. skeptic

    Girls in the BSA

    It is the "first" official day folks. I am with another poster in hoping this will not turn into more than it needs to and get "discussed" to death. We have continuing programs to deal with as well. This is just one more opportunity for some of us directly, and all of us indirectly. How we respond reflects on us as Scouter, and how we adhere to our basic foundational standards. YIS
  6. skeptic

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    And this has what application to BSA accepting girls? Unless they were to attempt to be added to the Guiding group, which is not likely, this should have no significance. What am I missing?
  7. skeptic

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    I have read and reread the article, and I do not see anything beyond a "loan" of the art. That is a very common thing between museums, especially art. What is the intent of this posting? Can we maybe reconsider perpetuating misleading stories and poorly constructed articles that "may" intentionally have ulterior motives? That is what this seems to me, but I may be missing something.
  8. skeptic

    Girls in the BSA

    Ahhhh; now we can move on and work out the kinks perhaps. Thanks.🤐
  9. And other than pointing out that some of the basic ideals of Scouting might be helpful, possibly on both sides of this contentious encounter, what is our reason for it being here? It is becoming a bit more likely that there was some attitude by both the kids and the elder and that calmer heads were not stepping in when they likely should. The look on the teen's face was disrespectful for sure, IMO, but could the native group have deviated slightly from the other protest? Could the pro-life group have let the indigenous group pass through? Probably yes on both counts, but for whatever reason, it turned into a poor display of civility by both groups and specific parties. And now back to trying to help build our youth into better and more respectful citizens. 🙉🙈🙊
  10. skeptic

    What's in a name?

    Other than the metal awards that slid onto the web belt making some older boys feel like they were still in cubs, the award requirements were well thought out for the most part and made some skills easier for many scouts, maybe because of the way they were presented. It is only an opinion, but I think it is not the SA itself that turns people off, but rather that it represented a very disappointing period of Scout here. Not only did they fool with much of the outdoor requirements, but they also changed Eagle around, more MB's, put a MB requirement in First Class, first aid and removed cooking from the Eagle list. Would have to go back and look at the specifics, but there were some other odd changes implemented both for lower ranks and Eagle. They also discouraged MB work for younger scouts. Other elements of the time were the berets, designer uniform, and smaller neckerchiefs or even the option of none. I know I was startled by the changes as I returned as a commissioner in 1977 after not being able to get attention from the OCC for volunteering there. GWC, now WLAC grabbed me quickly though. I had been ASM in Germany on a base troop in 66-67 but then got out and went back to school and so on. Anyway, it was an odd introduction.
  11. skeptic

    What's in a name?

    Actually, I would suggest that the skill award requirements could make some decent modern troop meetings. One of the best I still believe was the "city hike", either in the Hiking SA or possibly the Citizenship one. Have to look it up. If you did the hike as noted, you had a better grasp of your town or city.
  12. skeptic

    What's in a name?

    Most likely there are a number of major factors that have caused and are still causing membership challenges. Obviously, the ill-conceived move away from the outdoor element of scouting was a factor in the seventies and eighties particularly. But, other likely reasons are wrapped up in the redirection of society related to the Vietnam era and the political issues going on, especially Civil Rights. Many elements of Civil Rights are still connected to some of the current issues. During the Vietnam era there began to be a pushback against uniformed groups that some saw mirroring the military which was being viewed far more negatively than just recent decades. Most of us that were in Scouting then had few if any qualms about the uniform in public, even wearing it to school during Scout Week. There also was the "escape to the suburbs" which often upended established institutions in older cities and towns. Add to that the rise of far more youth directed groups, especially sports connected, and suddenly there were many more choices. When I was a boy in the fifties Little League was new and very limited. We lived in a county of L.A. enclave in Azusa, surrounded by the city. I was not even allowed to play in the league because it was a City League. Now of course, I likely could have found a team. YMCA was my only outlet besides Scouts and school, even though I was "latch-key" once I turned eleven; prior I stayed with grandparents during the day after school, having been dropped there by my parents on their way to jobs in the L.A. area. There also was a major upswing in two-earner families which sometimes affected juvenile dynamics. Where "latch-key" kids were not the norm, by the late seventies they had become far more common. There likely can be many additional bits and pieces that relate to the changes added, as surely I am overlooking a lot. And I really have not touched on the slow movement in society away from strict respect for those "in charge", brought on by many things I am sure sociologists could discuss. The Scouting public image change can be partly noted by the disappearance of Scouting on many periodical covers and advertising. The real irony I see today is that the reasons Scouting took hold when B.P. began to develop it are just as serious, if not more so. But while public response then was along similar views, today it is far broader and erratic even. Still, the compass point of Scouting continues to indicate the way, and the foundation is still relatively sound, though may have some crack to be mended. Every time I sit on an Eagle board, or visit with young adults of recent Eagle vintage, I am encouraged. Many of them are truly exceptional, and most at least well-grounded and goal oriented.
  13. skeptic

    What's in a name?

    Eagledad: "Shesh, ever since you joined this forum, your angry posts have the appearance of an immature 25 year old without any of life's experiences." Surely you have me confused with someone else. Not sure about since I joined the forum, since I have been on it from day one almost. I am sorry you apparently find me immature and strident, though that is not the general impression I believe I share or how most see me; granting that I do lose patience with some recurring complaints and loss of focus on the important real elements of the program. Thank you for enlightening me to my irrationalities and seeming reversion to my less seasoned thought patterns. Now, back to the important subject of this forum as a whole, the improvement and continuation of Scouting in whatever form it works best.
  14. skeptic

    What's in a name?

    Okay, while I apologize for what you feel was a juvenile response, though I would say it just reflects my screen name, I will make an effort to give you a sense of my opinion. I have spent over fifty years working within the Scouting family and have witnessed boys being challenged by girls in venture groups and on a number of camp staffs, and on one or two occasions unexpected intermixing with Girl Scouts on an outing. But, most of the observation of which I speak come from working in middle schools and a few high schools where there were mixed gender groups for projects and such. There were a few instances even at the fourth and fifth-grade levels. Since I subbed for twenty years in many schools and three districts I had a fairly broad experience. I have also spent many years reading various discussions and studies related to these kinds of interactions just for interest sake and a broadening of my perspectives. I guess I am simply getting jaded in regard to the over the top responses being proffered in regard to this current issue, but also every issue that suggests moving in new directions within the BSA and Scouting in general. It should be obvious by other posts that I believe change is a constant and necessary and should be run with to the best of our abilities. At the same time, I have noted that any changes come with the need to be flexible and find the best paths forward. Change is inevitable in whatever arena we are in. So, I hope this post may be cleared now and I have been able to reenter my dotage.
  15. skeptic

    What's in a name?

    Now why do you want to throw such a logical and true comment into the mix? Don't you know that young adolescent males are threatened by intelligent, focused females that may add broader ideas and challenge them? The real irony is that when you look at inter-gender activities that do challenge boys with new direction and willingness to take on responsibility and leadership you see overall more success within those activities. And, in many cases, you still see boys rise to the challenge. And it is sometimes the boy that seldom had risen beyond the group before. As one of my Scouter friends said a day or two ago when we were discussing "issues"; "If we could just get rid of the adults, the youth would be fine!" Or, something to that effect. More and more often this is exactly where the real problem lies. JMHO of course.