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Posts posted by skeptic

  1. I just hope that those that would put someone to the grinding wheel due to their interpretation of something in the GTA or even what something means, would chill a bit.  Also hope that most rational Scouters will have the sense, maturity, and integrity to not embasrass a scout over something like this and instead, if that important to them seek out and discuss with the unit leader(s).  Even an aside meant to simply make a youth think a bit can come off wrong and cause issues.  I learned years ago to not chastize a youth for something that is not dangerous or likely to cause harm, especially uniform stuff.  I jokingly asked a Star Scout at camp what lodge the "tote-n-chip" was since he had that patch where the OA flap is in theory supposed to be placed.  He was upset, as I embarassed him, though I suspect he also knew what I meant.  At chow that evening I was taken to the woodshed by a very annoyed leader from that unit.  I did apologize to them as best I could, but it was really not worth the outcome.  Since then, I only correct or annoy my own youth.  

  2. It is apparently not of high importance to most councils.  Otherwise, every council would maintain at their office a used exchange department.  Far too many uniforms go to some form of thrift, and most of those end up in the market with little control and often excessive expectations.  IF each council were to keep such a resource, people could use it for exchanges as youth grow, and the supply issue might be partly mitigated.  But, that would mean they would likely lose a good percentage of "new" purchases.  The focus needs to not be on profit to sustain the council, but service to meet the "uniform" part of the program.  JMHO of course.  

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  3. 9 minutes ago, PACAN said:

    Clearly there are many many sponsors who are super supportive of scouting.

    My friend knows of three UMC units that are no more due to lack of scouts.  Their Packs folded amd without a Pack, the troops were gone in two years.

    Some of that is also due to the changes in the church memberships, especially with older units likeours.  In the thirties through early sixties, we had huge youth involvement in the church, and the units reflected that too.  As the population shifted away from our end of the city, the youth went with it, and now the largest units are on the opposite end of the town.  And the income levels also shifted that way so that our draw slowly became from the lowest income areas and oldest housing.  Now we struggle as was here noted, but we have managed barely to keep the pack.  We had a very large feeder for years at a school, but they moved to a church, then folded not long afterwards.  Getting the cubs to visit to transition is hard, especially with the numbers and struggle with progam due to barely enough leaders able to do outdoor even at the minimum.  Out history is a plus, as we are the oldest unit in the council by far, but that only goes so far, especially with the odd historical disintruest it seems in society in general.  Finally of course, the biggest problem now is the CYA fears in the larger Church with the CO attacks by the black feathered ones.  JMHO of course.  Just note that, depending on your spiritual beliefs, there has never been a perfect human, and since all groups are made of us, that is a challenge.  

  4. 1 hour ago, FormerCubmaster said:

    Sort of. ;) It’s had the same formal name since 1837-ish (“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”).  The issue has always been that the full name is kind of a mouthful and lends itself to shortening; and there’s been some back-and-forth from the church leadership over the years about whether “Mormon” was an appropriate short form since the term as an appellation both was coined by detractors of the church and tends to distract from what we see as our commitment to Jesus.  About every twenty or thirty years we get direction from church leaders saying “please, lay off the ‘Mormon’ thing”, and we spend a few years trying to change our ways, but we never quite pull ourselves out of the inertia,  

    The most recent initiative has had a bit more “oomph” as church institutions like the former “Mormon Tabernacle Choir” and “Mormon Youth Symphony” have been been officially renamed and members have been asked to avoid even the “LDS” acronym.  While the gesture of many on this forum (and the bankruptcy court) who have substituted “TCJC” for “LDS” is very much appreciated, I don’t see “TCJC” getting any traction within the church itself. 


    Off and on through the years I have tried to point out the inclusion of the name of Jesus Christ in their longer name, which I understood to be the official one.  Am fairly certain the usage of Mormon comes from the Book of Mormon, and that book has seemed to me to be the reason so many "Christians" have refused to recognize them as "Christians".  For me, it has always been what verifies to me that they are one of the many off shoots of the larger family of Christians.  While the extra book has never been something I have found acceptible for my own Christian belief, it also does not remove the "fact" they also include the more accepted other two books of the Bible.  It is in many ways similar to my views of Jehovah's Witnesses and to some extent Christian Scientists.   And there are a few more that are pretty restrictive form my mind.  Perhaps I am too simplistic in my personal definition of what a Christian is.  As I see it; if someone believes in Christ, no matter what the variants attached, they still are part of the Christian family.  Not a debate for me, so please refrain.  Just as most of us have little knowledge or understanding of other world wide beliefs, or simply do not feel they are real, those that have them have that right.  And, I also believe it will all get sorted out in some manner at a future time in our spiritual existences.  

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  5. 4 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

    The only benefits I see of a council CO vs paper only CO:

    - We spend about 8 hours a year volunteering for our CO fundraisers.  We could do our own fundraiser or even something else during that time.

    - Easier to track down adult leader and charter approval signatures

    Our CO raises thousands of dollars a year off of our scouts labor and gives us nothing.  There are worse COs than councils out there.  


    In the case of the Methodist Church, I suspect you will find any of the established units have a long history of a safe and free meeting space, and often much storage as well.  We have been our church basement since the building was dedicated in the thirties.  With the slow deteriorization of the congregation, we have been allowed more storage options as well.  Most importantly, almost 100 percent of the actual church membership loves the Scouts and when we interact, they show it both in financial sharing and more importantly simple friendliness.  Since it is top heavy with elderly, though slowly getting a bit younger, the kids often experience the "grandparent" experience.  Good for everyone.

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  6. Today there is a fairly extensive piece on the LDS in Bisbee and so on.  This is only conjecture or poking for clarity, but I find myself wondering if the BSA officials that appareently made the under the carpet choice ordeflected were mostly LDS, since at the time they were huge influences on the National Council?  No accusation, only curiosity.

  7. 58 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

    I just double checked, and as near as I can tell scout leaders in my state, Ohio, are not mandatory reporters.  I know the YP training says we are, and maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see scout leaders on this list.


    I'd report anyway, AND I fall under one the other categories not related to scouting.  

    Why would we need a state law to mandate what is obviously needed?  And that can apply to the distant past too.  Why was the general public attitude so misdirected?  Protection of the innocent should not need to be a point of legal law, only moral law.  And, that too is part of the basic foundation of real Scouting, as well as most belief systems.


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  8. 4 minutes ago, Muttsy said:

    This is no small issue. Start tugging on this little piece of yarn and the entire sweater unravels. It’s likely what happens. Why would LDS stay in for a release of exclusively scouting related abuse only to face an onslaught of lawsuits for abuse not occurring at a camp or activity. Many scenarios involve grooming in scouting leading to abuse outside of scouting, etc. LDS would be better off making a clean break with BSA, becoming an Opt-out charter, keeping its 250M AND its BSA insurance rights. 

    Now, what do the settling insurers do with their settlements when all current and future claims involving LDS are not fully released and channeled? 

    LDS is the tail that wags the dog here. 

    Other than the history of the LDS with BSA, this is mute.  LDS completely dropped scouting as a church sponsored program and have gone out on their own.  While it became mostly finalized prior to the bankruptcy, it was in the works for almost a decade prior.  So, the conjectures about LDS somehow becoming a different CO type is mute.  


  9. Government recognized the benefits of the BSA in the first up until around the sixties when so much began to change.  That may well have been connected to disallusionment brought on by JFK and Civil Rights.  Certainly for me, that was a huge pivot point for me.  And I now see my generation as mostly jaded or just tired and having abandoned all the positive energy of the Kennedy enthusiam.  Interactions with BSA were shared and often cooperative endeavors to improve society, not only with the military interactions where we could camp on bases and work with them at times, but also shared resources, such as happened with A.P:. Hill's jambo use.  That was a screaming point for some of the radicals against anything positive with BSA at the time.  They did not care about the symbiotic benefits of the connection.  The Army's AP Hill assistance allowed them to train with large groups for many possibilities with large group gatherings, and also practicing skills only really viable with large groups.  Meanwhile the BSA paid considerable for much of the materials and so on, even though the nay sayers tried to suggest it was all given to them.  Narrow mindedness and bias.  Today, we no longer can interact well with military bases, and visits are so restrictive that they are like looking through a glass case.  Our unit used to camp on base at Edwards next to the old rocket sled track, and we had tours, used the dining halls, the pool and so on.  Air shows were special and huge.  At Vandenburg, we saw dog traiining, looked into silos, and saw the then being constructed launch structures, as well as the site of the huge naval disaster along the coarst near there.  While security is important, I cannot help but wonder how much is lost with this blindered approach to public interactions.  

         Of course, many of us have heard the stories of veterans that note their Scouting training as helping them survive, even up to the modern day, but especially in WWII, Korea, and Nam.  Joe Price told me that it was his assignment to find as many scout handbooks and manuals as possible for military training that got him into collecting.  They used them for training of the troops, as they felt they were some of the best resources at the time.

        And, being a Skeptic, I find myself feeling that the idea that somehow the Government can be dragged into the lawsuit and bankruptcy, due to perceived deep pockets I fear, is just that; an effort to find more money at the expense of others, the tax payers.  JMHO of course.  

  10. 42 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    I remember when you could be told to leave the Ordeal if you were not following directions. Now it is considered "hazing" if you tell them to leave. That blew my mind when I first was told this.

    Sadly I have seen folks talking the entire time, and when asked if they think they deserve to be members, said yes. I have seen an adult be placed in a work party of one, because he was extremely negative, would not stop talking or complaining, and it was affecting the rest of the work party. He got in. Worse was I saw an entire work part stop and refuse to do another thing. Again when I asked why we don't send them home, I was told it would be considered "hazing," and they have to make the decision. IMHO, if they do not follow the rules, they made their decision. Sadly national disagrees.

    We need to face the larger elephant.  BSA, and far too many other groups of similar nature are in constant fear of law suits over what fifty years or more ago would have been thrown out immediately.  Same discussion that makes the lawsuit issues so difficult in the bankruptcy.  Our legal system is really poorly designed today in that it will not simply ban foolishness that is obvious.  JMHO of course.

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  11. On 7/22/2022 at 2:32 PM, Eagledad said:

    This was our troop. And, I think it was because this was how the SM wanted it because some scoutmasters push the scouts to pick everyone eligible. 

    Yes, that is what I mean the Scoutmaster's idealism of the program can sway the scouts expectations of other scouts.

    I agree, scouts don't connect with character. They find Aims and Methods a language from another planet. They do, however,  connect with brotherhood and as you pointed out, an early name, good or bad sticks for a long time. Young scouts learn quickly which older scouts to approach for help.

    But, the problem I see today is a new scout can, and is expected to vote, with the same power as the scout with 3 years experience. Add a SM who wants all the scouts to get a sash and you get a lot of scouts who don't really want to be there.

    From the perspective of outside looking in, the Arrowmen in my troop as a youth were big time campers. They were experts. The Arrowmen in the Troop that I was a SM were good campers and backpackers, but their expertise in both the Troop and OA was leadership.


    Ever since the changes that pretty much make anyone that is First Class and has the other minimum requirements I have made it a point to talk to every likely candidate to determine IF he desired to even be in OA, and explain to him the expectation he needs to meet the intent of the honor.  And, I have had a few scouts tell me that it really is not something they feel the need to do.  Along with my own Spirit evaluation, tht has on occasion removed a few.  Sadly, still too many still become "sash and dash".  Part of that may be the lack of real intensity and meaning in the Ordeal ceremonies too much of the time.  Too often it is obvious that little effort has been made to learn the ceremonial parts, and some candidates are really still too immature to fulfill the honor yet.  It is sad that so much of the Order mystique is no longer in place.  Still, it does serve a purpose, and at times they do a really fine job.  It depends on theose in the leadership over time.  


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  12. 53 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    I don't know. Is any Pre-Twentieth Century ancestry imitated accurately? Many African Americans travel to Africa to see the place and learn more of their ancestry only to find little to their knowledge is left to  explain more of the history than they already know. Does anyone really disrespect the movie Braveheart when they learn William Wallace didn't really wear a kilt? My ancestors were Vikings and rarely are Vikings portrayed to the accuracy you are demanding. Does that inaccurately takeaway from the costumes and customs in Viking dramas. Most people don't portray inaccuracies purposely to be offensive. Any many have pure intentions of bringing respect to the culture.

    We live in a strange time when everyone is given permission to be offended by anything. Scouting, better than any other youth organization I know of, teaches respect to all others and they do it through the guidelines of the Scout Law and Oath. If they find they are unintentionally  being offensive, they should in their humility change  immediately. But, everyone should, at the very least, acknowledge their attempt to respect others.

    I'm not a fan on the focus of OA master scouts mainly earning their respect by their ability to act out the Indian pre-20th Century culture. I must admit to this perspective by adults. OA is not the Arts division of scouting. I personally would much rather Arrowmen be respected by the community for their Cheerful Service and Outdoors skills expertise. I don't mind them being experts of the Native American culture, but it's the cheerful Service and Expertise to survive in the woods of the Arrowmen I want every scout to take into their adulthood. 


    While the service element is the main strength, the honor of selection is also a factor, though much less imporstant with thw watered down process where there is generally no limit on admittance if the basic requirements are met.  I have held one or two back due to scout spirit issues; that is my job as the leader.  But today there is basiclally no real limitation on elegibility in respect to the SM evaluation and rank and camping minimums.  As I have noted in the past, in my view, we have taken the strength of becoming a member away by removing the element of intregue.  And few lodges do real Native American cultural things like regalia and dancing, partly due to the issue under discussion.  What does remain could be far better presented by teams that do not have to have a crib sheet or simply an actual page with the ceremony details to read.  JMO of course.  

  13. 5 hours ago, Armymutt said:

    I'm not sure how this will work for Scouts in TAC and FEC.

    That is where the counselor steps in and suggests they choose a tribe from where they are from in the U.S.  They almost all have a familial connect to the States in some manner.

  14. Scouting has a long tradition of borrowing symbolic things from others, often indiginous groups.  Not just here in the U.S., but elsewhere too.  Woodbadge beads are connected to the Zulu tribe of Africa and Dinizulu.  "

    Early in the history of the Scout Movement, the founder, Robert Baden-Powell, ran the first residential adult leader training course for Scouters. At the completion of the course, the participants asked him if he could give them some token to indicate that they had been trained. He had not given this any thought, but on receiving the request he improvised by taking two little beads from a string of such beads he had; he threaded them on a bootlace, and hung them around the neck of each Scouter.

    Ever since, each Scouter who has successfully completed the advanced training course receives two similar beads on a leather thong. Known as the Wood Badge beads, they are proudly worn by Scouters to indicate that they are continuing in a tradition handed down from Baden-Powell.


    In June 1888 Dinuzulu lead an attack against the Mandlakazi, who in 1883 had burnt down his father’s kraal at Ulundi, and defeated them at Nongoma. The British sent a force to capture Dinuzula lead by Robert Baden Powell, who in later years was to found the Boy Scouts movement. Although Baden Powell was unable to catch up with Dinuzulu he did manage to acquire his ‘iziQu’ - his long necklace of wooden beads. Writing about the campaign Baden Powell said..

    “Eventually Dinuzulu took refuge in his stronghold, I had been sent forward on a Scouting expedition into his stronghold. He nipped out as we got in. In his haste he left his necklace behind - a very long chain of little wooden beads.”

    So, it goes to the founder in this respect.

         In our area the primary tribe is Chumash, and our local O.A. lodge workes with them to honor their traditions.  At times an elder from the tribe has attended O.A. ceremonies and blessed the gathering with valid Chumash lore.  

         From what I have read over time, this is more the norm than what the crazies that talk about cultural assimilation claim.  And, I am sure with a bit of digging we can find examples where local BSA groups have stopped some type of ceremony when actually approached by local tribe leaders.  If you have read the actual history of the Koshare Indians.  You will discover that from almost day one, there was a cultural review by the local tribes of what the dancers did, and also the ceremonial items and backdrops.  That is the normal approach from those units and OA lodges that choose to study the local tribes, or even those that are more broadly recoginzed from old movies and stories.  In that regard, I would like to see the Indian Lore merit badge modified to require some type of local cultural interchange as a requirement so as to assure the youth learn about their local tribes.  



  15. 47 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

    HA non-profits

    • Separating is smart to legally split resources to avoid having deep, deep pockets that bait lawsuits.  Creating targeted non-profits would be fine.
    • My ideal would be that National Parks create the idea of Adventure Bases that schedule, outfit and support non-profit youth organizations that teach outdoor skills and provide outdoor experiences. 
      • Philmont National Park.  Summit National Park.  Each would have trek paths.  Each would have outfitting.  Each would have specialty sub-camps.  
      • Northern Tier is already surrounded by massive national parks with many outfitters that can easily support scout-sized groups.  
      • Sea Base ... I hate saying it as I love Sea Base, but Sea Base could be either a dedicated non-profit or it's role could be absorbed by existing for-profit outfitters.  ... The last time we sent a crew down ... Sea Base contracted with a private ship to sail the scouts.  Sea Base provided the food, some gear, showers and a bed the night before the trek started.  So, the "Sea Base" experience was very limited.

    Replace BSA with LC association

    A strong argument can be made here, but replacements would need to be found.  It's not just about standards.

    • Associations staffed by LC volunteers
      • We have previous good examples here such as how the 2011 GTA was created.
      • LCs could recommend volunteers that participate in national standards and associations targeting:  uniform, advancement, etc
    • Program and standards
      • Perfectly setup for group authoring via volunteer associations 
    • Supply
      • Patches would need approved / designed suppliers
        • We used classb.com for years.  There are others.
      • Provide standard artwork for official patches.
      • Provide standards and recommended vendors.  Recommend units buy from the same vendor.  
        • Google:  tan tactical shirt short sleeve   ... or tan explorer short sleeve shirt
        • Google:  olive green canvas tactical shorts ... or olive green canvas tactical pants
    • Hard infrastructure ... Some things do need more than just associations.  Examples
      • Records database
      • Background checks ... potentially could be done by each LC now
      • Insurance ... potentially could be done by each LC now

    BSA Membership

    Perhaps we need to re-think being a registered BSA member.  Rather, BSA is really a records-keeping organization (and has always been) .  ... yeah, we have a record of this volunteer.  Yep, they submitted an application.  Yep, they had a background check.  Yep, they are associated with this city / charter org / scouting unit.  Yep, this scout earned XXX rank and these badges.  Here's a report on the years of their involvement.

    The legal documents really need to reflect reality, as there is no way BSA has ever or could ever effectively treat their massive volunteer base as employees.  BSA needs to re-think the structure to get the legal structure to match reality.

    ... side note ... It still baffles me.  BSA has liability as the volunteers are viewed as acting agents (employees).  But, the agents pay to be members inside BSA.  So, BSA really has no employment role with them.  It's really strange.  


    The volunteer "as employee" is I think the result of the legal system skewing the actual status and having the courts agree.  It is, as pointed out, not reality.  Are the coaches of youth sports and their helpers employees of the leagues?  Are the volunteers at the Y or BGC and so on employees if they do not get paid?  Lots of room for some actual common judgment on these things, and too often we let the slick tongues lawyer corrupt the real meaning and picture.

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  16. 2 hours ago, 1980Scouter said:

    Why do we need a National Council? It takes so much money and you do not see much at the local level.

    Replace it with a board of SE from each council who make and vote on standards. That is really all that matters is minimum standards across the county. With technology meetings could be zoom with a yearly in person. 

    Have separate sub committees for projects. All LC would have a say in the BSA and its future.

    HAB could be turned over to LC or form a separate non profit for each. They make money and can be self sustained. 

    We could make Scouting much more affordable for all.


    The idea of making HA bases into NP orgs actually seems to me a viable thought.  As long as the focus is, well, focussed.  Opening them up to more non-scout groups could likely lower the costs to Scouting groups who would get priority.  And that also might include working out opening them to other World groups.  


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  17. 5 minutes ago, johnsch322 said:

    I do not find my comment misguided at all. You have been in multiple discussions where you downplay Child Sexual Abuse, the reporting of, the handling by authorities and families and now you are trying to make case for teasing and sticking bobby pins into electrical outlets to being equivalent to the effects of Child Sexual Abuse. I can assure as someone who was teased by a sibling and was told by my parents of charring electrical outlets by various means that the trauma of my sexual abuse has left far bigger scars and caused much issues in my life than a compulsion to tell people about kid proofing homes. 

    That is your opinion, though it is wrong.  Good luck with dealing with your personal issues.

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  18. 9 minutes ago, johnsch322 said:

    I hope with all my heart that you are not comparing being raped by another human being to putting a bobby pin into a socket or that understanding what happened will make the trauma go away like yours did from a teasing brother. 

    Sorry, but I think you are asking a truly misquided question.  I am simply pointing out that trauma, either physical or mental, especially if repressed for decades for some reason, causes problems that can torment, especially if something happens to trigger it again.  You surely can understand that without implying what you seem to be implying.  There are NO traumas that do not leave some type of hidden scars mentally.  And often they are put into our emotionally padded rooms to stay unless triggered.  Many are worse than others, but they are all real and leave their own scars.  And none of them should be trivialized because ours is "worse"; they all require us to find a way to adjust and with luck keep them locked down.

  19. Our problem is that none of us see things exactly the same, and certainly do not intelectually and emotionally respond the same to various issues.  And, it depends on the age of those experiencing a trauma.  Very young emotional or physical trauma may be so buried that few ever really undrstand what that small discomfort or awful fear is that comes to them in dreams or with some trigger.  Until if connected my brother's teasing me about his sunlamp being a wolf's red yee, I could not sleep without some light.  Once I figured it out, it no longer was a problem.  Similarly, I understand why electricity frightens me because my parents told me about my putting a bobbye pin in a wall socket when still in diapers, and the result.  I can sort of laugh, since I survived, but that is still scary to me, and I find myself telling young parents to make sure they child proof things.  Maybe why the title ofthe movie Fifty Shades of Gray is so powerful when you think about it.

  20. Say it like it is.  Greed has made this entire process into fiasco, with as noted just now again, only the lawyers actually winning anything.  If not for the presssure to try to magnify the pot at the expense of currrent youth and really the expense of the verified survivors/victims, more has likely been lost than might have been availible with reasonable and balanced efforts by people not looking for a big payoff, but rather a fair and viable offer that recognizes the errors of the past and makes a legitimate monetary payment and also sets into motion additional safeguards to be added to the many BSA already had put in place.  Agree or not, there is NO absolute monetary payment that will take away the emotional and physical damage done to the victims/surviors.  As heinous as a few cases were, and as unsavory the lesser ones, it is almost just another slaop in the face of Survivors/victims to take drag this out at their expense, as well as the expense of the youth and the program that still roffer and receive benefit, and also return so much to our society.  

    But, nothing much will change in relation to how this has gone off the rails, or how many others have similarly done, until we fix our out of waxk legal system and take the landslide profits out of the hands of the worst of the legal predators and scavengers.  JMO, and as noted, a few will suggest I am not empathatic or worse.  But I like my see/saw to actually go both ways.  

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