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Everything posted by skeptic

  1. Okay, so the Council pays the ransom of their building. Does that not mean then that the basic maintenance of the grounds and structure are now the responsibility of the city? What might that cost the city; or will they be like too many landlords and simply ignore their responsibilities? Can see it now; "City of Brotherly Love" taken to court as slum lord due to refusal to care for property leased to the BSA.
  2. While there is a chance that Gore may have been blind sided, the fact remains that he, and his party ran an absolutely abysmal campaign. Even a slight effort in a number of areas by his party would likely have made the Florida fiasco mute. But, that is past, and hopefully we can move forward. He has apparently, whether you agree with him or not. I would agree with all the others who note that the documentary would have been stronger if the other side had been presented. Still, at least it has brought to fore the existence of large amounts of evidence that we, as a world population, are negatively affecting our enviroment. Whether the prognosis is as ill-fated as some would claim is still to be determined. We, on this board, will not live to see it (at least not in our present life form); but it is possible that ways will be found to mitigate the damage. In the meantime, we should be doing what we can to alleviate things we can effect, such as less use of certain fuels and finding cleaner ways to do things, and more efficient energy sources. The natural cycles in history seem to show that often global changes will self correct many problems; but we are not talking in human life spans here. Respect for the earth and environment is an extension of respect for ourselves and our future generations. What can be wrong with that? As an aside, coming from only very superficial understanding, but as a geographer (B.S. degree)and former weather observer in the Air Force; the polar icecaps are actually cold deserts, or have been. But, when the continental glaciation occurred, the climate was such that huge quantities of snow accumulated to cause the weight that evolved into the glaciers. If GW should change the physics of the atmosphere to once again allow large accumulations of snow in these northern climes, what will come from that? Just a thought. Back to scouting. Lets focus on what we can actually effect in bringing the program to the youth. Be open minded when questioned, but do not try to convert or be blind to other alternatives. We simply want these youth to have the skills to hopefully make their world a better place.
  3. The polarization of opinions on some of these issues continuously astounds me. It is a little scary to think that some posters have so little ability to evaluate possible other opinions. How does that affect their ability be fair when acting as counselor for challenges within their groups? Being able to listen and make reasoned decisions on things is one of the things I would hope we can demonstrate to our scouts. An obdurate inflexibility is not the best example we can give.
  4. Better one, I think Funscout would be to isolate ALL the world politicians for one week in a sealed chamber, cleaning all "their" emissions before releasing to the atmosphere. What do you think?
  5. Time to stand up for what is right and to what is PC. The leader, SM or advisor, determines the grey areas of Spirit, Leadership, and Active status. It is our responsibility to hold the scouts accountable to the highest expectation to which he is capable, with the bar being raised at each higher level of advancement. When and if the time comes that the COR or council chooses to override me, most likely that will be the last you see me in the program, unless they can show me a valid reason for their decision beyond overbearing, self indulgence on the part of parents. This nonsense of "suffering fools" because it is easy is not living up to the tenets to which the scout program supposedly stands. To be a leader is to not always take the easy path. Sometimes you make the tough decisions; but when you do, make it clear as to why, and make sure you are certain in your decision. (This message has been edited by skeptic)
  6. Well, let''s try rewriting the question. Is it just me, or do others wonder why we find ourselves constantly questioning things, that when reviewed, have simple, "Common Sense", answers? Guess I need to either figure out how to edit in this forum, or simply do outside, then cut and paste. Sorry about the poor original entry.
  7. Is it just me, or do find ourselves constantly questioning things that when reviewed have simple, "Common Sense", answers? Many of the issues that appear in these forums, and in the media in general, seem to me to fly in the face of logic in many cases. Along with this is the inability or unwillingness to make a decision on our own part based on basic review of material already available on which to base our decision. Why are we so afraid to do what "seems" right based on the guidelines in place. Why are there so many attempts to skew the meanings of straightforward logic? Is it just me, or have many people become too busy, or lazy, to make sincere effort to find answers and solutions to everyday challenges? Skeptical ramblings of a jaded betweener (not sure what I am considered having been born in 1944; not quite the boomer period). Am I simply getting too old to understand? (perhaps should be under politics, but not sure)
  8. Here is my take on the two. The traditional program is dependent on the sponsoring institution, the group that actually "owns" the unit. As such, it is under the auspices of the COR, as directed by his church, club, or whatever. The traditional foundation of BSA fits these institutions' needs, or they would not choose to use the program. They know up front the expectations of the BSA within this part of the organization. LFL is designed specifically for community based outreach which is focussed through government oversight of one sort or another. While it strives to impart certain elements of traditional scouting, it must be able to accomodate a far broader membership pool. And, since government related programs usually are strictured by PC ordinances, the program must allow for this, or it simply will not happen. Is it right to count the membership in LFL as part of the overall stats? Personally, I question that. Otherwise, I can see having two elements because it serves two distinct groups. I would however, really like National to let the CO determine leadership in their unit. From my observations and occasional probing, few would survive long if certain individuals were to become leaders. So any perceived problem would soon work itself out. But most CO's choose the program specifically because it still has a back bone. JMHO
  9. This last post made me remininse about my days in scouts as a youth. Our favorite game was British Bulldog. While it could get pretty rough on occasion, there was seldom anything more than an occasional bruise. We had a rule for bigger kids that required them to quick walk rather than run, so as to ease the of weight in motion at full throttle. The scout caught had to be completely off the ground for three BB's said outloud. I still remember laughing uncontrolably as a 15 or 16 year old under attack from a half dozen smaller boys. I would keep getting one limb to touch the floor, or it would be my butt. They would finally all control the limbs, then more than once, station another beneath me to keep the bottom from dragging. Now, I have trouble controlling the boys at times; and for the moment have had to ban the game. We also have to watch really close when they play dodge ball, as some boys seem to become way too aggressive. Still, taking all "rough and tumble" out of the games is overkill, in my opinion. But I do see a differnce in the boys response to following rules and a tendency toward over aggressive behaviour. I perceive this as a general reflection on our society and many of the examples seen in the sports world. Another opportunity to try to help them learn moderation and awareness of the total group, as well as following the rules. Requires a bit more supervision than before, but we do still play the games, once they have had time to think about why it has been taken away for a while.
  10. Sorry about the odd extra formatting. I tried to set off the part from the National related website by putting it in html; but looks as if some of the coding came with it somehow. Hope all can read it.
  11. "It isn't so!" It is so? According to the local executive, LFL is a completely separate program, but is administered through the BSA. United Way generally appears to be willing to include it in their funding when they will not include the traditional program. If you look it up, it has the Irving address, but is not listed directly under the National Council. But they seem to include the membership as part of their stats; so you decide. Learning for Life offers seven programs designed to support schools and community-based organizations in their efforts to prepare youth to successfully handle the complexities of contemporary society and to enhance their self-confidence, motivation, and self-esteem. The seven programs focus on character development and career education. Learning for Life programs help youth develop social and life skills, assist in character and career development, and help youth formulate positive personal values. It prepares youth to make ethical decisions that will help them achieve their full potential. Learning for Life programs are delivered in two methods: Instructional setting that utilize curriculum for grade K-12 as well as a component for Special Needs. o Seekers (K-grade 2) o Discoverers (grades 3 and 4) o Challengers (grades 5-6) o Champions (special needs) o Builders (7th and 8th Grade) o Navigators (High school grades) Work site based program (Exploring) that give high school aged youth hands on career experiences. o Exploring
  12. LFL has had different membership requirements since its inception, mainly to stay within the schools. The change Explorers to LFL was done specifically to allow government sponsored posts, such as police and fire, to retain their sponsorships. They do not have the same leadership requirements and therefore can slide by the PC flags that were set to destroy them. So, I guess we can say they buckled; or we can say that they have two separate programs run by one umbrella organization.
  13. Oh, the boy who followed through was also reinstated in the OA a year and a half later.
  14. My take on this is that council may have felt that the unit's response was inadequate for some reason. We had a similar, but not drug related, episode a number of years ago. Our SPL and ASPL were sent home from an OA event due to theft of a large amount of cds. Calling the police was considered, but since one of the staffers was off duty police, they decided to hold off and simply contact the troop and see how we approached it. I received a call from the camp personally to let me know the situation. One of the boy's father came to get them in the middle of the night, but when they got home, that boy called me very early that morning to let me know his side, and apologize. My response was to contact the committee for an immediate BOR the next night. I spoke to both boys and told them they were to be there, in complete uniform. When they both were there the next evening, I took them aside and let them know how I felt, and my opinion on how they had let down themselves, families, the troop, and me. I then unceremoniously cut the leadership patches off their shirts before they went before the board. They met with the board briefly together, then they interviewed each separately. While I had to meet with the committee first to clarify details, I was not in the room for the review. Their decision was NOT to expell the boys; but it was a minimum six month freeze of all advancement, very specific strictures on activities (basically nothing fun, only service related), a magnifying glass on their actions, specific approved personal community service of 50 hours, and letters of apology to the youth from whom they stole, the OA leadership, and their parents. They had to bring me the letters for review. Once I read them, discussed their content, asked for emphasis on certain things, they rewrote them on the computer or type writer and submitted them for final approval. They finally signed them, and they were sent. They knew that I would be checking to make sure they actually were mailed. They also each had to give a short presentation to the troop about the importance and meaning of the Oath and Law. These decisions were relayed to the boys and their parents in separate meetings that night. Frankly, the council seemed pleased, but surprised at the troop's response. I think that if they had not felt the troop was dealing properly, they very well would have expelled them from the program. They did withdraw their OA membership for a year, and would consider reinstatement only if all the troop committee requirements were met. One set of parents immediately started making excuses, and was luke warm at best in helping their son with the follow through. Ironically, he was obviously the ringleader of the episode. His letters took him weeks to complete, and they were barely acceptable even then. He never did the service, was contentious when challenged at the troop level, and never did the troop presentation. He ended up dropping out, dropping out of high school, doing serious drugs and alcohol, got arrested, and spent time in jail just past his 18th birthday. The other boy had his letters done within a week with obvious contrition showing, finished his service within two months, and fulfilled all the other requirements beyond expectation. When this all began, he was just coming up for Life. At the end of the six months, the BOR met with him, and discussed the entire episode and what he might have learned. They felt unanimously that he had surpassed the intent of the probation, and approved his rank. He ended up making Eagle, just short of his 18th birthday. As an aside, his school work also improved during this period, and he found a part time job. He personally brought up the situation at his Eagle BOR, and they were impressed by his sincerity and response to the whole thing. Sorry this is so long, but it seems that much depends on how the unit responds to things, and how serious they take it. If the council people feel they are only giving a slap on the hand for something obviously so serious, then they may feel they need to respond more draconically.
  15. Double speak is a wonderful skill, but it still does not answer the simple question. Of course I realize that you will never actually face the fact that you speak out of both sides of your mouth; it just depends on whether or not it something you want to push. Sorry, it is a bit cruel of me, especially since I suggested that others quit baiting you. No more on this from me.
  16. There is no doubt that there has been poor decisions made in this Idaho situation, assuming the details given are moderately accurate. But, it appears that at least some afterthought has focussed on this not happening again, if possible. Personally, I would hope that perhaps National might consider keeping a very close eye on the Seatle area professional oversight; but hopefully the man has learned a valuable lesson and will be much more vigilent and err on the side of caution and youth protection. Of course, what sort of confuses me here is that this seems to be something Merlyn finds indicative of BSA being generally negligent. Yet, all the reports indicate that, though slower than probably should have occurred, the procedures did work; and the consensus appears to come down on the side of BSA as still having one of the best protection programs possible for such a large organization. What do you want Merlyn? Do you want BSA to filter out as many suspicious leader applicants as possible or only those that meet PC definitions? This individual had a propensity toward abuse, but had been deemed to have grown out of it and was not a threat. Obviously, that determination was inaccurate. Yet, you would have other individuals with possibly dangerous inclinations be allowed as leaders. Should not the erring on the side of safety extend to this as well? Just wonder.
  17. John: I would surmise that a very large percentage of troops do not follow the National program for myriad reasons. If the boys plan the program, as is supposed to happen, then they will be far less likely to stay with the often "lame" (boys' description) program. The important thing is that the program is planned and involves scout related subjects that focus on the overall mission.
  18. While I am never quite certain I know God, I am certain that I sense he/she regularly. There have been a few times when the sense was overwhelming, and in the "outing in scouting" environment, little doubt as I generally lie beneath the stars the weather permitting. I try to simply watch for falling or shooting stars, fighting to stay awake long enough to do so. But the still watching of a dark, infinite space reinforces the awe of "something greater" that cannot quite be described, only felt in my own quiet self.
  19. Cowpies catch the wind better though, kind of like frizbees. But horse droppings, of the right consistency, are easier to throw accurately. Good luck.
  20. The solution for the few who go on ad nauseum with no end in site. Everyone else can ignore or read for personal amusement or agravation.
  21. And so we have moved the ricocheting comments to another board. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!
  22. This whole tangent is ridiculous. Ed, you seem to not understand that Merlyn will never agree with anything that you say, and he will continue to bait you with his inflamatory comments as long as you respond. On the other hand, at times it seems as if you too are baiting him, as he tends to rant to the extent it is almost comical at times. Eventually though, it just gets old. Perhaps it is time to simply block each other so that neither of you will feel the need to be overboard at opposite ends of the spectrum. Just MHO. To me, the point is that there are a few individuals who feel that they have the license to provoke trouble over things that are really not worth worrying about. And, the fact that the PC environment that we live in bows to their threats and pettiness is simply sad. If our legal system would be changed to make foolish or nonsensical lawsuits cost the person bringing them, we would see far fewer threats by unreasonable or devious people working the system. Please do not respond here to flame me, or do so privately either. I will not respond.
  23. Glad to see someone else mention the "substitute" words. The past couple of years this has become a real problem as well. We have discussed the fact that a different version of an unacceptable word is the same as using it, as everyone pretty much understands that it is a substitute. It does not help that we are bombarded with constant bleeps on tv and radio programs, and even astericks in paper media. Another element that really grates on me of late is the constant immediate response of "I'm sorry", when the error is brought to their attention. I find myself recently telling the group that saying you are sorry, then constantly repeating the error, indicates to me that you are really not sorry at all. I usually get another "I'm sorry". Very frustrating; and it happens in the classroom a lot as well.
  24. Yes, there are scouters in Congress, even some Eagles. And, I am afraid that some appear to have forgotten the meaning of the Oath and Law, based on their actions, or inactions in some cases. Here in the South of California we had one State rep who is an Eagle, and he stepped down due to a major scandal. Just a couple years prior, he had been the featured speaker at an Eagle dinner. How sad. But, there are some who "do their best" still, or at least I hope so. Just tend to be a bit suspicious now adays I am afraid.
  25. John-KC; I like your comment about exercising our right to vote. Unfortunately, choosing he best candidate is a lose, lose situation in too many instances. It comes down to choosing the lesser of two poor choices. And integrity in politics seems to be almost extinct in my observation. Another reason to try to keep the values and citizenship elements in the scouting program.
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