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Everything posted by skeptic

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. skeptic

    What's in a name?

    We can choose to make it difficult, or we can choose to call them generally Scouts and make secondary references as we feel fit, trying to not somehow get thrown into the PC and litigation conflagrations. They are our temporary wards under the auspices of the BSA, which is now SCOUTS BSA. Those that cannot deal with minor variants and still run with the program need to find a solution. Whatever they are called, if we are doing what we hopefully are, they will be offered the best program we, and our local group are able to do. We could get into some of the psych terms for this type of focus, but it is really not necessary, or at least I hope not.
  8. skeptic

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    So, really nothing new to report. We have local programs to work on and with for the betterment of our youth. We cannot change much with constant chest pounding about things over which we have little control. Be Prepared. That seems to be pretty much what is going on here, or at least to me. Got an outing to work on and charter to finish. Good Scouting.🤗
  9. So, on a FB group I had made a comment about the theoretical 13th point of the Law generally being accepted as Hungry, though Punctual was noted as well. One poster indicated, politely I must note, that there were 12 laws, not one. Now, I have always read it as "The Scout Law", singular, which seems to say it is one Law. The twelve points work in conjunction with each other to guide the Spirit of the Scout or Scouter in everyday life. Trustworthy and Reverent are like the bookends, tying it all together as one. So, while I have found no specific interpretation in literature, there may be some as there is much to review. Any comments or discussion?
  10. skeptic

    videos of scouts cooking

    . Hot dogs on skewers of some sort and marshmallows are camp staples. You cannot do that over a stove really or even charcoal. But, when possible, many units still learn and prefer it.
  11. skeptic

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

  12. skeptic

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    From my perspective, the answer to this is no. The damage is emotional and perhaps unremembered or hidden memory of physical trauma. I suggest that few if any, good psychologists would state monetary damages really achieve much for the victim, other than perhaps some kind of perceived payback. But, that monetary loss of the perpetrator cannot be equated to the loss suffered by the victim. Of course, I have no answer as to what might somehow make things right, as there likely is nothing. But dredging emotional trauma up after long periods of dormancy that at least tamped down the pain to a bearable level seems to be almost as bad as the original wrong, especially if the victims have learned to live with it and have moved on. What is not discussed in these cases, from what I have read, is how not only is the actual event reawakened and made raw again, but the victim may now also have to cope with the realization that family and those with power to confront the situation at the time it is still open and most information may be available chose, for whatever reasons, to not pursue it and bring at least some closure while it was fresh and most painful emotionally.
  13. In 2021 Ventura County Council, number 57, will celebrate its centennial, the date coming in June of that year. Related, Troop 102, originally Troop 2 of Ventura will also have their centennial, officially on December 21st. It is officially because they broke off from Troop 1 of Ventura, about a split down the middle, in Spring of 1921 and began meeting as Troop 2. But because they did not get their sponsor officially on paper until December 21st, they were sort of in limbo and I guess technically still part of Troop 1. I seem to have inherited the Historian hat, and as also SM of 102, I am constantly digging as my patience allows. Since the onset of the wide open Net, we have discovered a great amount of new information on our histories here, and also gotten a number of great historical pictures. I am posting this here to simply ask that if any of the readers may have had a connection to our council or my troop, that you consider putting together some short synopses of your experiences and recollections and contact me. Our local active camp here is still Camp Three Falls in the Lockwood Valley area. So we also are looking for material on it. Thank you for your time. Perhaps I may get lucky and find some new materials.
  14. skeptic

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    Likely the same, or connected ones that balk at paying disaster claims after fires and floods, or that control much of our medical insurance, making it so expensive. And that will only change if the mulish government so called leaders start doing their jobs as our representatives and not at the bidding of big money insurers and those with whom they interconnect. Yes, I am a bit cynical regarding these entities, having been burned myself within our condo associatiion.
  15. skeptic

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    I continue to feel that if they were to redirect professional staff dollars for the highest echelons into improving district exec pay and in some area stipends to offset high cost of living issues they would have far less turnover. Even 10 to 20 percent redirect of the highest paid exec on the National level would go a long way to stop the bleeding in many councils. But, I am simply a highly paid volunteer with a number of hats. Each year my pay increase, yet I see nothing monetarily, just emotionally.
  16. While I really like most of the Smithsonian articles, this one is lacking any real meat. And, the comment with the American Heritage badge is clearly, if one knows what has been in requirements for decades, makes it sound as if that was when the history of the country became important to the program. Of course, that is far from the case with knowledge of the flag history and founding fathers needed for advancement almost from the beginning, and of course , the Civics and the related badges also covered that and still do with Nation especially. Still,it is an interesting attempt, though as noted, very thin.
  17. Barry; I appreciate your calm response with what seems to me to be the simple truth. As our society and perspectives within it change, established groups may need to adjust or evolve. But the key is the latter, rather than to be pushed and shoved by political entities or selfish and obdurate egos or power mongers. JMHO of course.
  18. skeptic

    New girls in Scouting

    Good early report, but far too early to make any real judgments on the results. On the other hand, this does not surprise me personally, as I was one of those that had heard a chorus of why not my daughter or sister for years. Maybe I just have a better ear, or maybe it will fade out with time. But, locally, we are having a lot of early discussion about the next group next year, and it is mostly positive for the moment, other than those for whom change is simply not acceptable..
  19. skeptic

    some people have some nerve

    If she was the SM at the time of the election, then she had to approve his nomination. That is part of the process. If she did not approve it, but someone from the unit did so in her stead, then it is still an approval at this point. Any contesting should have occurred at the time of the election. Now as noted, if she approved him for being a candidate for election and since something might have occurred to be of concern, she should have gone to the OA leadership. I am simply curious as to what we are not hearing in this situation.
  20. skeptic

    Membership card signed by Roy Rogers

    Years ago, I visited the Roy Rogers Museum that was in Victorville, CA at one time. In one of the display cases was Dusty Rogers' Eagle medal. and related items. While only getting a nod, I did see Roy Rodgers there that day giving a personal tour to a family. I was told that it was a regular part of his routine at the time. It is too bad that the museum was moved to the Bronson and then, I believe, recently closed. Today, you can watch old episodes of the Roy Rodgers show with Dale, the animals, the old jeep, Nellie Belle and various B or lower stories. Not sure why it was actually popular then, as it really seems a bit lame now; yet I watched a couple of episodes on the western cable channel the other day. Must have really been bored or nostalgic.
  21. skeptic

    Tough Times in a Troop

    Related would be death for other reasons as well. I know that when we lost one of our Eagles years ago to an Air Force training accident, and we were asked to be honor guards, it was really hard for many of his friends from his time in the unit. For me, it was more so, in that he and I had been friends beyond his youth time and his mother asked me to do a eulogy. Still probably the hardest thing I have ever done as a leader.
  22. There was another shared piece relating to a parent allowing her son to have more latitude in his play time and location. It occurred to me that BP would very likely be square on the side of this basic idea. Afterall, he spoke often about how as a youth he spent a lot of time alone wandering in peripheral forest and fields, learning and coping with challenges encountered. Even though a different era and possibly less, if any, kickback from the society of the period, there are a lot of similarities to this current discussion I feel. Afterall, isn't the basic idea of the "patrol method" just that? And I would agree that too often we do not allow that space and time for the scouts to discover this, stepping in to avoid disappointment or possible failure, which in reality is the most important learning they will glean. Just a thought.
  23. Enough mewling and crying and ooohing and awwwing. I will revisit this in six months to a year for Cubs and late in 2019 after some time has passed. Far too early to make any serious judgements for most of it, though perhaps some of the early head knocking can push for adjustments.
  24. Perhaps I am; one of the drawbacks of getting old and cantankerous. Or as Winnie the Pooh says, "Oh bother".