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Everything posted by skeptic

  1. And that may be the end of your honeymoon, even as he goes on one. Unless the spouse is already aware of the awful schedule and constant pressure, and they can keep the family income ahead of the game, you will lose him. I have seen many divorces over the years of struggling and really potentially excellent DE's. It destroys their marriages and often destroys their love of Scouting that led them there in the first place. Some do come back, and those areas are fortunate to get them as volunteers; but many simply disappear and even if they have kids eligible, do not have them in the program. Sad, but far too true. Or so it seems to me.
  2. skeptic


    I may have posted this observation before, but my old age is affecting my memory a bit. If I did, please nod and move on. I spent 15+ years substitute teaching, initially primarily in the middle grades. Later, I started leaning to the 3rd and below, joking that they were still smaller than me. But one thing I note looking back is that in middle school, if the groups are set up by the teacher, the girls tended to become the moderator of sorts if the group was balanced and it was left to them. Often there was a boy that seemed comfortable simply sort of feeding the leader ideas, but often the boys kept quiet and tried to veg a little. In the upper grades, there appeared to be more parity, with males tending to take charge more readily. And that seems to be a reflection on maturation speeds more than anything. Ironically, I also noticed that when the girl led groups were confronted by boy led groups, the girls tended to be less aggressive in the discussions and even giving in when they had strong opinions with good support. But, girls tended to ask more questions overall. How much this all has to do with family interactions and societal norms is a separate subject still evolving in our changed society. I personally would rather see a strong girl led coed patrol than a poorly led all male one. Again, evolution and adjustments. BP was forced to recognize that girls wanted to do Scouting too. And he moved within the confines of his time to make it happen. I personally feel we that we should allow coed troops, and possibly coed patrols. But the separation could be on the patrol level, just as it is on den level in Cubs. We have already seen that all girl patrols mostly held their own or outdid the boy patrols at the first camporee interactions. That challenge though is reflected in the real world as well. So it is another option to bringing our youth into the larger society. Just as I have observed and reasoned. Not the expert.
  3. So, would they stay longer if the second training was moved forward? Or is it more the realization soon afterward that they will have long hours and lots of frustration and little actual scouting? When I considered, briefly becoming a professional in the old Riverside council they had me register at large and then spend a few weeks accompanying a working exec as my time allowed. I very quickly understood that the Pro, especially new ones, had little direct interaction with the youth, but a lot of frustration with obdurate adults and difficult goals, all while spending long hours at meetings over weekends and at night. Then I knew that was not what I wanted.
  4. This video has been shared locally by our Church and attempts to answer or address much of this. Our particular church has long been more liberal and over the past decade or so has seen a slow migration of members to other Protestant groups that remain focused on narrow, established ideas regarding the issues. On the other hand, there is a great deal of quiet cooperation among these groups in areas of less controversy. Both sides seem wont to move in a more involved community outreach that is more hands on local problems and challenges. The image of the old Methodist circuit rider is being held up by many. Anyway, take a look if you choose. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZlFGjKjCXM
  5. This break has been in process for over a decade and has pretty much come to a head. Here are links to two resources, one the Church itself, the other the L.A. Times recent article. In our locality of So Cal, the issue with the sponsor and Scouting seems to be minimal. All of our council units sponsored by Methodists appear to be okay, though congregations have shrunk along with membership in units. Still, the oldest units in our council are mostly UMC; ours will be one hundred next year, and there are two or three others that are over 50. https://www.umnews.org/en/news/diverse-leaders-group-offers-separation-plan https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-01-03/united-methodist-church-lgbtq
  6. There is no point in posting, again, the reasons behind the LDS change of direction, the details that were shared directly from their highest levels. Some simply cannot accept the simple truth and have to add their own interpretation. That is not to say that there are not tangential reasons to the core decision "by the world LDS church". But the basic reasons cannot have been spelled out more clearly, or at least I do not see how. You can find them on this forum and also in other similar ones. As far as this thread goes, can we simply back off and live by the simple twelveth point of the Law?
  7. So I guess we should just accept it and not be concerned? What happened to "do my best"?
  8. Not pretty: https://www.wyliecomm.com/2019/03/us-literacy-rate/ https://www.wyliecomm.com/2019/03/us-literacy-rate/
  9. Just based on personal observation and some interactions with related services, I would suggest that some of these areas need to do a better job in developing their areas to be efficient and focused properly. Technology has gotten overall much better, but there are still huge problems with many of its tools and their interface with the core Scouters and even councils. Still, I also see similar issues within our own council; the difference is that they are generally volunteer jobs, so we have less room for complaining. Supply is also another area that is being left in the dust because it is not efficient much of the time. It too is better in many respects, but is not using the best methods much of the time. Marketing simply seems to be almost non-existent; at least it seems to me. Human resources again seems to not be doing what its title suggests, at least not on the council level. That of course bounces back to the salary discussion and where thos dollars might be better used and more directly reach the trench level. I really think the technology branch should be working to have some kind of direct connection, perhaps in an open source type of function, with the council volunteer "experts"; there are a number in our area that are truly frustrated with what they see as simplistic responses to issues and ignored by higher level "experts". How it could be developed to better utilize the ignored or lost resources that want to help is what National should be focused on; broaden the development to vet ideas from the ranks and use the best. Supply, besides simply getting stuff to the ranks, should have a serious, again volunteer integrated section to find the best and also most economic, but not "cheap" methods and materials. An example I could see in this regard would be publications. Much of it might be redirected to become "print on demand" with perhaps a very small segment of more traditional publication methods. Meanwhile, core material should be kept in easily edited files and regularly updated without actual paper printing; and most could be available directly to the volunteer levels. The cost of maintaining this type of setup might be a simply annual fee that is included in the registration costs. I know if I had to add $5 a year to that for keeping updated forms and requirements easily available on line I would not have a problem. Obviously, some still would not play well with that, but reality is that is the kind of fee that should make sense to most. And, very possibly, it could be absorbed if the effort was successful to make these annual costs more stable and directly understood. As a bibliophile and long term book scouting related paper collector, I would still enjoy having a well designed basic manual and pamphlet design for primary material, but even that might be under print on demand, just with a higher cost. There is something special about well designed in hand books, and good graphics are in demand, no matter the subject. Uniforming needs serious work, but mostly in the cost to make. We have to be missing the boat on this, period. It should not be as expensive as it is, and I am still naive enough to even think we could find a way to bring our basic uniform manufacture back to our own country. Related to this should be a National level exchange program that is focused in each council. Encourage outgrown uniforms to be brought in for someone else to use. Include a basic cleaning and repair element for them. Connected to this might be a historical uniform bank as well, since these are also official. As part of the method of supporting such a service, you might inlcude a old patch offering, made up from what may be stripped from donated uniforms. Unless these patches are really true collector pieces, they could be ths basis for scouts to start their own collection, as they would be no more than a few dollars, or even less for some. But that small amount would all go to support the larger service/program. It also migh actually include camping and hiking gear as well. Again, volunteers could help in sorting and making sure what is offered is still actually viable. Really old items might go to a museum of some kind, or be offered similar to the patches. The worst would be discarded, but as often as possible recycled. Who knows, there might even be a resource for council funding with some items optioned to the public in some manner. Much of this, of course, would require serious restructuring of the wasteful elements of all levels of professional people. As I have often suggested, nobody should not be able to NOT live comfortably on a half million dollars, plus generous, but valid benefits. After all, at least in BSA, "thriftiness" is supposed to be a focus. And maybe screening for professionals needs to include their acknowledgment that they DO have a ceiling on pay and its related benefits. Much of this is simply finding a way to refocus and reinvolve the volunteer elements from the ground up. That of course would be NOT simply ignoring them or insulting them. What do I know. I am old and thought Kennedy was going to take our country to a new level of prominence and honor.
  10. If I understand the bankruptcy type spoken of, those assets would be off-limits if done correctly. Just the way I understand it. Also, it seems to me that Philmont, because it's listing on the line of credit that has so many consumed, would not be touchable for that reason as well. But, I am not a specialist, just as I have understood the petulant noise that has arisen.
  11. Thanks. For those that knew/know, that is pretty high praise, and I am not sure I meet that level. Still, I appreciate it.
  12. A new thread is developing on "Talk About Scouting" authored and offered by Mike Walton, the developer of the site. It is sort of a wish list or if I could list; If I were in charge. While it is focussed on the BSA, it leaves an option to include other youth-serving groups, such as GSA or Royal Rangers. It promises to be a good discussion I think.
  13. Wow, there is a connection of this thread clear back to "Beavah" in 2013. I often wonder what happened to him. I always found his often tongue in cheek method of comment refreshing, yet also very direct and on point. In relation to the current discussion, it occurs to me that this may be a good place to simply "let go, and let God".
  14. I do not know if there are any actual noted National board members that read these forums. But I would personally think we should invite them to do so and to even on occasion help with clarifications and correct details if needed at times. Of course, we might need to try and keep the more irrational posters to not then attack them and not be scout like. Just a thought.
  15. ***UPDATE***** For those of use who have been following the long-drawn-out conversation regarding the background check.... After one of our fellow users revealed to me who the BSA was contracting. ( Incidentally nobody in Irving would give me that information)... I reached out and have a nice conversation with 2 different employees of the company and was directed to several valuable pieces of information that have satisfied my concerns regarding the background check....... I will summarize to keep it simple and post a link to their website where you can read the.... 1st....First advantage, enterprise. Is primarily a screening agency for new and existing employees of organizations in over 200 countries. 2nd. I confirmed By reading their declared policies and by conversations with 2 separate employees that they are limited to accessing the data that the client requests. 3rd. I discovered that in their own writing and through the same conversation that their organization does not in any way shape or form sell personal data to any other organization that is not an authorized customer or client and does not have a need to know that information..... In other words if Google tried to contract them for personal data you would have to have a separate authorization and you can opt out. Furthermore creditors and debt collectors are not allowed access to the information without your consent for those of you who were concerned about that part of it. 4th When I press them about mode of living... They are able to ascertain if somebody is for example living in a homeless shelter or has significant socio economic disadvantages..... And yes they are able to identify marriage records for people who Are gay and have legally registered a marriage..... However since the BSA has stated they will only be requesting information that is related to somebody is criminal and driving record.... The BSA will not be granted access to any mode of living information. 5th 1st advantage States very clearly that if any client is found to be using the background information for unauthorized or even nefarious purposes they will be scrutinized and terminated as clients from 1st..... In other words if the BSA goes back on its word and starts looking into people's personal financial information they can be held both legally and financially responsible for the damage as well as being terminated from 1st advantage. So the final general understanding is that 1st advantage is a world recognized... Has top echelon security in place for data.... Limits itself by contract with its client to what data will be accessed and released to the client..... And does everything in its power to maintain security and privacy over the information to prevent 3rd party or 4th party tertiary sources from having access to it..... I was able to get all that information in less than 30 minutes of research.... I strongly feel that had Irving release the same information when they 1st came out with this background check we would have avoided the last 3 months of heated and often crazy conspiracy level discourse...... As I said above I am now comfortable and confident in the nature of this background check and him happily signing it..... For those of you that still Unease..... I strongly encourage you to call 1st advantage and have a conversation and look through their website they are very very open about disclosing. Thank you for your time in reading and I wish you all the very best and 2020 Read First Advantage Corporation's Privacy Policy. First Advantage is committed to the responsible use of information and protecting privacy rights. FADV.COM Privacy Policy | First Advantage Read First Advantage Corporation's Privacy Policy. First Advantage is committed to the responsible use of information and protecting privacy rights. Read First Advantage Corporation's Privacy Policy. First Advantage is committed to the responsible use of information and protecting privacy rights. 88
  16. I have felt for years that the highest paid people in National, and even in larger councils, could absorb as much as 50% (or more) and still be able to have a comfortable income. The savings could be partly pushed to the lower levels, mostly in the councils where they beg for qualified people, but cannot pay them enough. Benefits could be frozen or held to increase only at the cost of living, at least over a certain pay level. Lower end employees might actually deserve an upward change. Lower-level jobs in the councils might need a cost of living addendum, but only to a point. They all should learn, so to speak, the Personal Management merit badge. Part of the adjustment should also be channeled into local councils, but only to be used for the benefit of local camps. Keeping the remaining local camps open and properly maintained is a critical issue, from my perspective, and it should partly fall the larger organization, as those properties "can" be used by other members of the group, and are paramount to success at the local levels. Frankly, anyone with basic income above a quarter million, plus valid benefits, should be able to maintain a very descent living and family support. That might need a slight adjustment for the very highest COL areas, though I live in one of the most expensive parts of the country, and if I made even a quarter million and benefits, I would be in pretty good shape. Need and want and perspective on the world.🤔
  17. Where was the breakfast; I am always up for that. Do I need a red coat? Have one "official" and two event lights.
  18. On the other hand, unless there is something particularly concerning in the school, or on occasion a job, you would think the references would be chosen with care. Our biggest issue is usually the religious reference, especially since so many scouts are no longer family based in a belief or established church. We accept even a parental letter supporting that point of reference, though ask that they try to get beyond if possible, with connected family member or familiar adult that may have an ability to weigh in on it. But, in the end, we cannot hold a candidate back based on the lack of a suggested refernce or comments therein, though they can possibly in a rare instance cause a more in depth evaluation. Back to common sense and a bit of flexibility when needed.
  19. In our districts and council they are destroyed after the completion of the board. I know that the letters I write, as SM, on occasion have contained straightforward evaluations of certain elements, some of which might be seen as less than totally positive. From my perspective, that is the point of the letter. I also know, having sat on dozens of boards, that most SM letters are two lines or so, rather than the two to three paragraphs I generally share. I can also state that 99% about of the letters I have read over the last 30 years sitting on boards have been pretty straight forward positive. A few give some new direction to review on the board itself. And some simply just reinforce the reason the young person is there in the first place. Reality would suggest that the candidate should not be going before a board if there is something truly alarming or questionable in the run up to completion. And that is where the functioning unit should play a part. We have had a few discussions here about SM or CC refusals to sign apps. Most likely, that would be where the issues should be dealt. JMHO of course.
  20. Another instance where possible lack of proper supervision could end up with some kind of injury. People get overly exuberant, especially kids, and at times do stupid things. Most of us may have suffered the pain of a hit of snowball in a sensitive place on our bodies. We likely know or have heard stories of frozen snowballs and ones with "thing" inside. But, with proper supervision, most of this can be avoided and if it does occur, be dealt with. Then that means adults and older youth may need to take some responsibility for the safety, and that is where the modern problem lies. Lawsuits smolder in the background, their prosecutors just waiting for the opportunity and right scenario. And that puts us into the GtSS's content on projectiles. So we are back to the constant modern conundrum. Do we react responsibly, but still allow actual snow fun, or do we simply ban it all and sit in a cabin or house wasting away, but theoretically safe. The question may then be, are we emotionally safe when we allow such overkill to hinder simple fun and common sense? I do not have the answer, just the thoughts. The constant balancing act to stay rational and not perpetuate the bubble worlds too many people, especially kids, live in.
  21. These old files can be great. Did anyone else smile a little at the article about pistol registration not going well?
  22. While it is not the norm, I would suggest that there may be a few youth that earn a multitude of merit badges and yet never go beyond the lower ranks. Eagle IS NOT the goal of the program, as has been noted over and over. How much are we disenchanting a boy from simply enjoying the breadth of options in the merit badge program if we push too hard for rank? Most of us that have been around a while likely have stories of very successful young people that stayed with us through high school, and maybe even beyond. Yet they never became Eagle. When you have the privilege of simply visiting with them twenty plus years later, they all still talk about how this or that skill or merit badge had a particular impact. A few will say that their adult work started with the introduction of a lesser earned merit badge. Of course, the history of the program shows vignettes of First Class Scout as being the pinnacle, especially in England. Even the BSA early merit badge books focused differently with their titles; "Be Prepared for"
  23. I find myself torn a bit on this general subject of merit badges and how the scout approached it or is approached. First, it really should be the scout doing the approaching in some manner. Whether he/she does that through a formal "class" setup, or does it independently is often contingent on the badge itself, as well as the scout's true interest in it. If it is one of the "required ones", chances are that the view of the scout is different than his doing, say stamp collecting because he like stamps and enjoys learning more about them. Or, it a scout has from an early age made it his focus to eventually become a specific type of scientist or scholar, their approach is going to be different than one that comes to it as part of the troop group approach, summer camp goo often gimmes, or introduction through a fair. How does the counselor approach the badge and the scout? Is there an interaction, give and take, and a challenge to reach slight beyond the mere basics? Is there actual discussion of the pertinent points, for example, what makes a library a place of learning when discussing the scholarship merit badge. What does the scout think about what is actually written in the Declaration of Independence, and have they actually read it? We are called counselors for a reason, and not simply signers of copied information. Work sheets are wonderful as a base, but we still need to review them with the candidate and discuss where it, especially where that is what the requirement actually says. So what if the scout might need a followup or two. Of course, that reputation is likely one of the reasons I seldom get scouts for Citizenship badges anymore, as I DO challenge them beyond the regurgitated form in their hot hands. All this thrown against the wall, we really are closer to the same basic issues when compared to the past. Counselors were often not really screened to determine if they even should be working with some subjects. It was assumed in the fifties, at least where I was, that most school teachers were good to go for many badges, as long as they had the requirements in hand. Was that assumption good or bad; it is hard to say. I know when I did reading, my teacher insisted on my doing it properly, even though I was the star reader in his class. Similarly, even though at the time I was an A student, I still had to write the essay and actually meet with the principal before I could be finalized. Even Automobiling, my very last one, was more than passing the written test and doing hands on driver training. My high school DE teacher made me discuss certain parts of the code, and even change a tire for him. But none of those people bach then were necessarily specialists, it was accepted that they were interested and would be honest in their approach. We can beat this to death, as is the wont on these forums. Ultimately it is still how the various players view the badge and the guidelines, and how willing we are to actually expect those guides to be used.
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