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About Smithgall

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  1. i would have handled it just as you did. if the alternative worked for you then just take the alternative site and go with it. Frustating as it may be. We had a very similar experience. We were doing a kayak trip and at our half way point was a camp with "cabins" (which were really just screened in 10x10 rooms) we had about 13 people with us, kids and adults. When we go to the site there was a troop that had about 50 people camping. They claimed they had the cabins (still not sure who screwed up) and we could use the primitive campsite. problem was we didnt bring any tents as we were kayaking and it was going to rain. Fortunately they "allowed" us to have one of the cabins for all of us. we werent very happy but it worked. however when we woke up in the morning we noticed that the other troop had tents all over the place and only 2-3 people in their cabins. so while we slept nearly on top of each other they were spread out everywhere and also took the entire pavillion. Not much scout spirit from them
  2. i defnitely would not want to wear knee high socks. I know they do serve a function but not only do they look silly (today they do. 25 years ago i wore knee high tube sock, go figure) but they are hot and my legs are hairy so its makes then itch.
  3. Le Voyageur, the organization you mentioned is where we started. One of our parents is retired navy and he was the first one to recognize some thing that were clearly wrong. we all suspected but none of us were in the navy so it was a suspicion. the other parent contacted the orginization and they gave him questions to ask like his swim buddy, class number, etc. It worked just like they said. He claimed classified for all of it and left the room. since then the orginization pulled his record and confirmed his job and rank as not a seal. whats really bad is that he needed no hype. No one cares. You are there for the boys. If you are there for right reasons then thats noble enough.
  4. Eagle- we thought the same thing. We assumed the council would be all over it. Since then we have learned that the council is relatively hands off. In some respects i see that they choose to allow the charter to handle it but at the same time, what if your charter doesnt really value what we are doing? Its seems some charters have good intentions but really dont know much about scouts or take to heart what we are all about. When something like a merit badge is forged they may not see it as an insult to all the boys who work hard to actually earn it. its been a learning process thats for sure. Lisa is right, the charter has the burden of policing the troop in that way. to update we did leave the troop. Its a shame because the advancement chair, two ASM's, the treasurer, 3 comitee member, and 5 boys including the ASPL all left. we did start a new troop and as luck would have the pastor of the new church is a former eagle so he gets what scoust is about and we can start with a good foundation. only problem is that we are currently a troop of 5 boys and one of them is really a part timer. so recruitment is a big focus. luckily the new church also has a newer pack and they need some den chiefs for their weblos so it gives us a feeder pack. wish us luck
  5. people such as the original poster and some of his more fervant supporters never cease to amaze me. I haver never understood this utter outrage towards gay people. i know so many gay people i could not even count them all. I probabaly no more than that because many people are closeted and would never let on that they were gay. even with such exposure I go to bed everynight with the same woman i started dating when we were 16 and never once think that my marriage or our worls is being threatened by two guys living sharing a life together. you may not like gays and that is your right. in fact i defend your right to have that opinion although i disagree with it. However you must atleast face the fact that the boys in our troops are going to go into a world that is far smaller and far more diverse than it was when we were kids and when our parents were kids. To set them up to hate or to be intolerant is to do a disservice to them. i never expect to change people mind on this issue. Its like abortion its so internalized that people have typically formed an opinion and they will not waiver. But again you should atleast refrain from silly commenst such as uniform being designed by gay people. How ridiculous is that? And incidently you dont have to be a "bleeding heart liberal" to believe that world is made up of many types and that we should be more tolerant
  6. WOW! thats incredible. I cant imagine anyone making much of a distinction between step and bio parent. I wish i had your problem. i went 6 months as the only father in the troop besides the scoutmaster who was a step father. No other fathers at all. i woudl have welcomes any father, step fathers, older brothers, uncles. Just some other men. Not that i dont like women but it would be nice to see some adults that know what its like to have been a boy. If you are truly interested in the wellbeing of this boy and you and he have a good relationship then to heck with what they think.
  7. we have about 5 troops in our middle school area and one is a "no women" troop. We joke with them that they are the "he man - women haters club". I dont agree with it and think its bit out dated. If this were leave it to beaver and everyone had a mom and dad at home that would be one thing but there are simply too many single moms that have a right to experience scouting with their sons. As for the younger sister. no way. Its a boyscout campout. If its family weekend sure but of not then its only scouts. One of our local SM's makes all attending adults be registered and fully trained including IOLS before they can come on a campout. his thinking is that he wants leaders not parents on a campout. I really like that and to me if she understands boy lead, patrol method, pitch their own tents, etc. she will be less likely to try and help her baby.
  8. i dont think the uniform itself drives kids away. however what it stands for may not appeal to them. I have never known a kid that dropped out of little league or pop warner because of the uniform. They are usually quite proud to wear their jersey because it tells the world they are ball players. Unfortunately the squeaky clean image of the boyscout just doesnt fit what many kids think is cool so they avoid it. That being said, i do think the new looser, longer cargo style shorts is more appealing to the kids that are in today.
  9. we lawys do. The boys typically dont complain. I have been to truck stops an the like when i have traveled and run across a bunch of boyscouts. There is something neat about seeing boyscouts in their uniform. Assuming they are acting like scouts its a great way to show the world that we are proud to be scouts. When we get where we are going the shirts normally come off and the class b's are what we wear all weekend. thats not bad either because if you had a particularly grubby camp that weekend you can throw on the class A that was hanging up nice and clean.
  10. I like the new one especially the new material. We live in florida where we joke that we have two seasons, summer and february. the heat and humidity makes the new material ideal. it also dries very quickly. I do however that the material doesnt look as neat. you can pull it out of the dryer, throw it on and within 5 minutes it looks like you have been wearing all weekend. its a more rugged look than the old one. I also like the muted color scheme and the baseball hat. however i do know that nearly every woman i have spoken to hates the chest pockets. My only realy complaint is the fit of the shirt sleeves. Im an average size guy about 190. Not huge muscled arms but the long sleeves have that loop thing that is supposed to keep them roled up. I can get the sleeves rolled up that far without them being way to tight. Could have been cut a little looser in the sleever. That my only real complaint. all in all it seems a little more functional as a working uniform and not just a "show" uniform. if that makes sense.
  11. have been a mortgage broker for the past many years but thinking its time for a change. Is it too late to be a rock star?
  12. I ran across the site for patchtown.com and they have all sorts of fun patrol patches. they state that they are not official patches. are there "official" patrol patches or can we use some of these fun ones. I think we have about 12 boys on the roster but really only 5 show up on any regular basis and they are all between 11-13. Thought these young guys might like to consider some of these fun patrol names and patches but didnt want to present it if its not allowed. cant find anything in the handbook on this one way or another
  13. ScoutNut. thank you for finally stating what i have been asking all along "Trust that if a person was denied membership for any extremely serious reason, your CO would have also taken steps to restrict this person's contact with their youth. If you have any questions about that, once again, CONTACT YOUR CO." This is exactly what i have been asking. If the problem is serious would we be notified. Short of notification having the persons contact be limited is a fine solution. that is all i have ever asked. I will assume because of the nature of your responses that you are a long time scouter and this know how these thing must be handled. By stating upfront that someone with a serious problem would be limited you could have answered this question. as for your other point. I do not think you understand the situation well enough. The SM became the scoutmaster the month that we joined the troop. Until then he has been a merit badge counselor for about 6 months. When my wife and I joined there were three active comitee members. our troop on average has only about 5 boys show up. For the first 6 months i was in the troop i was the only father that attended anything, even meetings. So you see i may be new and would gladly defer to the scoutmaster and all the other leadership that you assume exists but its simply not there. My year and half makes me an old timer with the troop. maybe i am way off. But if you had a troop this size with no parental involvment and a brand new scoutmaster with no scouting experience (less than us in fact since he had not gone through cubscouts with his stepson) what would you do? I know I know contact the CO.. I really dont beleive that is the cureall that you think it is but we can agree to disagree.
  14. i have always wondered where the sheath knife got such a bad rap. I really dont know the safety difference between a 3 inch lock blade and a 3 inch fixed blade. When being used its just as safe or dangerous as the user handling it. The only thing i can see is that its some holdover from boys trying to bring rambo knives so the sheath knife got labeled as bad and not the length as it should have been. although you could argue that a long fixed blade is still not dangerous in and of itself as for the banning of the any knives dont be suprised if that does come up some day. We live in a society that has tried to remove all risk. Unfortunately people get injured and die doing things everyday. As tragic as these things are, sometimes they are simply accidents. Trying to regulate accidents away is a fools mission. Boyscouts represents so many "dangers". we camp outside in the heat or the cold, we eat food that kids prepare, we walk in the woods with animals, we handle knives, axes, fire, bb guns, rifles, shotguns, motor boats, Oh my gosh we must be nuts. to think my son does all that and yet he couldnt bring a compass to school (the kind with a pencil on one end and a pint on the other for drawing circles) I mean really how many kids get killed by a compass. Its the mamby pambying of America.
  15. Scoutnut. im have reread your post a few times as i do not want to make the mistake you seem to have made and jump to conclusions that are not supported by what was written. you ask why i am trying to set policy since i am relatively new (1.5 years as an ASM. Exactly how many years does one need to put in before their opinion is warranted. How many years do i need to be involved before i am allowed to pose a hypothetical question? thats kind of asinine logic isnt it? If you do in fact beleive that i should have more years experience before i should be allowed to ask questions then how far do you take that logic? Based on that way of thinking the only members on a commitee should be old time scouters. Not new parents because they do not yet have the required time to be able to have an opinion. Should new fathers not be involved as assistants? Im just looking for a number of how many years you think would be good. Additionally when you imply 1.5 years is not enough could you also break that down to the level of involvement. Do you believe a parent that comes to every campout, is an ASM, has been fully trained, goes to University of Scouting, and has attended all the events but has ONLY been doing this for 1.5 years is less qualified than the parent that drives by, tosses the kid out and picks them up a few hours later..but has been doing that for 5 years? Whenever I hear someone say that time has anything to do with quality, ability or value i have to laugh. I will be 40 next year. When I was about 3 my dad gave me a golf club. So for 37 years I have been a terrible golfer. i suck at it. never took lessons, just play maybe three times a year and really dont care if i ever play again. However i do have 37 years in so at this point i guess i am qualified to give Tiger some advice, if we are simply counting years of involvment. Ok all sarcasm aside i am not sure why you think that I am trying to set policy for the troop. Please go back and read my original post. I was asking the forum a hypothetical question. I stated very clearly we do not have a problem with the woman that was denied but it brings up the question of when is it appropriate to let people know. as for spreading rumors, what rumors were spread? Again if you read what i actually wrote you will not in anyway determine that I have spread any rumors about this woman. In fact i state very clearly i do not wish to air her dirty laundry. i did not determine the reason for her denial, as i said i was not even aware she had been denied. The CC let it slip at a meeting and that brought us to the question of when would council warn you or not. that is all i am asking. I am not trying to make any policy, I am not even addressing this particular incident. we discussed the question and i thought maybe someone here would have an answer. What i was trying to determine is where is the line drawn or is it ever. You have a jane Doe parent that got busted with a joint years ago at a rock concert..not abig deal (to me)... Then you have another potential comitee member that just got paroled after 15 years for rape and now is now married and wants to bring his stepson.. that seems like a problem (again to me). Obviously these are the two extremes but somewhere in the middle lies the line that gets crossed. please recognize that haveing an academic discussion is a way to bring to light potential areas for improvment and prevention. however the effort is wasted if the premise is misread and not understood.
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