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Everything posted by SSScout

  1. SSScout

    New girls in Scouting

    The three words no Scoutmaster wants to hear.... "HEY ! WATCH THIS !" Would that be a male or female voice?
  2. Once upon a time, in the dim past, back when "Internet" meant "between fish catching equipment", we had an invention called a "telephone". It was attached with wires to the wall, often sat on a small table next to the front door of one's house, or next to a parent's bed. Or, it might have been hung on a wall, say in the room equipped for heating up our Mastodon steaks.... It involved an assigned number, which was encoded into the mechanism , and when done correctly, enabled one to verbally communicate with a friend or relative, or even a store or other merchantile establishment. Connected plastic coated copper wires enabled the electrically energized pulses to be transmitted to other similar mechanisms, thus enabling human to human verbal communication. Such communicative devices enabled properly trained Scouts to arrange gear assignments, camp food allocation, purchasing arrangements, transportation requests and such germane to Scout adventure necessities. Someone , in the dim past, realized that if one person telephonically communicated with two other similarly equipped people (Scouts), and those two duplicated that effort to two more similarly equipped folks, and so on, a quick way to disseminate information and organization could be accomplished. Appropriately, this technique was named a "phone tree" (not to be confused with the rare but useful "Oakey Doke" tree of Naval fame...). It is appropriate to use these lessons from the past to educate and govern our future. Now, it would seem, the "phone tree" has become a "phone fountain" where not just two, but umpteen folks can be advised of the next meeting date at the same time by only ONE person. This in no way eliminates the need to be responsible in our dissemination of information, or the need to READ the email/tweet/etc. in a reasonable time. The Scouts (and some Scouters) I deal with seem to be AGHAST (aghast) that I may only read my emails only once, maybe twice a day. And not while I'm driving. Tweets? Yes, but don't bet on it being RIGHT NOW. Maybe later..... "Ahoy, ahoy. No, this is one. You want two. Yes, two. "
  3. SSScout

    Oh Shoot, Worksheets in Cubs

    In 5th and 6th grade, we were taught how to outline. I remember Mr. Prentice talking about BIG things and littler things. I guess we made up our own "work sheets" for assignments. book reports, experiments, etc. Merit Badges, exercise records where the idea is gradually be able to do MORE chin ups, push ups, run a mile faster, etc. and be proud of seeing the improved record on paper ! Work sheets, per se, are not a bad thing, but if they take away the Scout's ability to "do for myself" then , yeah, bad thing. And it can take away somewhat, the ability of the MBCouselor/Den Leader to communicate with the Scout....
  4. SSScout

    Lawnmower Parents

    I am the Lawn Mower parent, but that's only because Scoutson is now 24 and there is no one else to mow the lawn.....
  5. Oh good, an entry on the "Faith and Chaplaincy" forum.... Very appropriate. (maybe I'll make up a piece of tape to put over the wrong title...) It is appropriate to have the Scout think about who/what gave him/her their faith in a "higher power". Faith leader? Pastor? Clerk? Minister? Priest? Rabbi? Imam? Dad? Mom? Neighbor (Mr. Rogers was a Presbyterian minister)? I often come to think of the Hebrew National hot dog commercial.... Very often, the young person (and many older ones of my acquaintance) only consider their spiritual place in the universe if confronted with such a requirement. I have often needed to converse with folks who are aghast (aghast !) to be told that the BS of A is NOT an ipso facto Christian organization. But there you are. Many types of faith are exhibited at the Nat Jam and soon the World Jam. One of the most popular desks was the Sikh table, where Scouts could try on a turban, and talk about this exotic (to most Americans) faith. To be Australian about it, ItsBrian, "Good onya, mate...." and , no, I'm not Australian, but I like the sentiment.
  6. I recently had a Scout email me (copied to his parents !) asking me to counsel him for a faith award. Since I was not of his faith, I emailed back, including the District Religious Awards Co-ordinator, the District Chair, and my faith committee's clerk. (more than two deep !) to suggest he should consult with his local minister/priest. We went back and forth a few more times, much multiple addresses included....
  7. Concerning Social Media (so called)…. If it were my Troop, all I would do is congratulate the Scouts on taking "Scout Led" seriously, and remind them that the Scout Promise and Scout Law applies even in virtual space.... And if they ever need some counsel, I am here. Two deep.
  8. "How Bear Lost His Tail” (and why the Big Bear in the heavens still has his ). (As told by the Iroquois) (( **Practice with appropriate motions and sounds and voices**....)) If you look up in the night sky, you will see pictures of the Great Bear, and his Cub. They both have fine, long tails. But if you go to the zoo, or walk thru the woods, you may see a REAL bear. How long is his tail? Not very ! Why this difference? Here is the truth of the matter…. Oh, my beloved:: Hear now the story as was told to me by one much wiser than I. Long ago, when the animal people would speak as you and I , Bear had a long and beautiful tail. He knew that, but set no store by it, being not as vain as some. Fox, on the other hand, also had a tail of some beauty and was not shy in telling of it. Indeed, Fox grew jealous of Bear's tail and decided he must rid himself of ( what seemed to him) unfair competition. And so this is what happened.... In the late fall of the year, when Fox knew Bear would be always hungry, before his long winter nap, Fox caught a nice fat Trout and sat himself by the trail where he knew Bear must travel. Sure enough , along comes Bear. "Hello, brother Fox", said Bear. " What is that you have there? A fine dinner, I see !" "Yes" Fox replied between bites, "It is my dinner." "And where did you catch such a fish? I might like to catch such for myself !" said Bear. "Over on the lake shore" said Fox. Now Bear knew such Trout were usually caught in a fast, cold stream, and not in a lake, so he was doubtful, and said: "Oh, I find that hard to believe. What bait did you use?" "My TAIL !" munched Fox. "Tail?? How so tail? " said Bear. "Why, I can show you. Follow me to the Lake." so the two walked off down the trail to the lake shore. Fox indicated a rock by the water's edge and said to Bear " See? This is where you sit. Stick your tail into the water and swish it around. When the fish bite on to it, pull out your tail and there you are ! Fish Dinner !" Bear was eager to have such a fine trout to eat, so he sat down and stuck his tail in the water and swished it around. "Like this?" He asked. "Exactly !" said Fox, who started to walk away. "But how long do I sit here?" asked the trusting Bear. "Until you catch the fish, silly!" said Fox, who smiled and ran off, very pleased with himself. Well, Bear became very pleased with himself that he would soon have a fine fish for eating. But the sun was setting and soon Bear grew drowsy. It was not long before Bear was fast asleep. Just as Fox had expected….. When Bear woke up, it was next morning, and lo ! The lake had frozen over in the night. Bear found his tail was frozen solid in the lake ice, and he realized the cruel trick Fox had played on him. There was nothing he could do, but tear his tail off as he sat up and go down the trail , painfully sad at this turn of events. Now, the Great Spirit Manitou had seen all this and took pity on Bear. In his dream that night, the Great Spirit came to Bear and said, " I cannot give you back your tail, but here is what I will do: I will make a picture in the sky so that all may see how long and beautiful your tail was, you and your cub. And henceforth, Fox will never again wave his tail high and proud in the air, but will carry it low to the ground. So shall it be. " And so it has been. So the Bear in the sky has the long, wavy tail; the Bear you may see in the woods or in the zoo, has a short stubby tail, and the Fox you see along the trail will not wave his tail in the air. Remember, and tell your Cubs , so they may be as wise as YOU !
  9. SSScout

    "Classic" Scout Socks are now a thing?

    Camouflage ! Oh, wait, not allowed in Scout uniform... Even so, with all the above comments about "official", "hiking" , "vintage", "Merino", ,,, I am surprised cotton (bad!) and plain wool rag (better!) hasn't been mentioned. My buddy from Scouts and I walked 600 km on the Camino de Santiago a few years back. I wore my 100% wool rag and he his silk liner/theromax(?) socks. I had no blisters a-tall, he had one on his big toe the last 50 km.
  10. SSScout

    "Classic" Scout Socks are now a thing?

    Did they also offer the Official BSA (c) elastic garter? I had them, BSA logo and all. Nicely made, elastic, leather, metal hooks, AND the red tab. Needed to keep those hose mos'ly over the tall Scout's (whose) calf. Soak'em in 6-12, keep the ticks away. Maybe. What percent cotton?
  11. I would like to ask the moderators to transfer this thread/discussion to the "Faith and Chaplaincy" Forum. Oh, wait....
  12. SSScout

    "Classic" Scout Socks are now a thing?

    Ach du lieber…..
  13. SSScout

    Parent in need of advice

    It has been discussed here and elsewhere for a Scout unit to have a "Behavior Contract" or a "Troop Constitution" or some such. The de facto Scout Behavior contract is the one each Scout is asked to renew at every meeting. The Scout Promise and the Scout Law. Each and every adult Scout Leader and Scout needs to measure their response to your son by those standards. Review those with your son, and allow him to discuss how they apply to his Scout buds and to him. How do these ideals help to create a desired atmosphere or world even? Yes, you and your Scout need to speak to the SPL and his Patrol Leaders Council. If they are not in this conversation, what duty do they have to react to your Scoutson's response to the perceived teasing and harassment and, yes , bullying, no matter how mild it may appear ? The Scoutmaster is missing a bet by not turning this opportunity into a "Scoutmaster's Minute". No names should ever be mentioned, but the Scouts and the adult leaders (Scouters) should get the message if it is presented right. If Mr. Scoutmaster is uncomfortable, or unable to see his role here, perhaps the school Counselor might be brought in, if possible to lend another perspective. Every Scout should be brought to the realization that the "Golden Rule" applies here and to everyone in this Troop. Should your Scout be made to "own" his behavior, his reactions ? Absolutely. Should the other Scouts be made to realize and "own" their behavior that triggers your Scout's reaction? Even more 'absolutely'. This is how the first world war got started, by people not realizing the triggers, and the reactions that can escalate ("But it was only a joke !" " I was just kidding !") into much worse. One man's hatred led to the deaths of 40 million (give or take....) young and old lives. Tell your Scoutson, I am sympathetic to his plight. Tell him for me, it will get better, and he can help others to make it better, with your help. See you on the trail.
  14. Merlyn, I am in no way claiming you or your actions are immoral ! I did say that your previous education/experience had some effect on you AND that your thoughtful consideration led you to either accept or reject it. It is not logical (!) to claim religion as the basis of your present atheistic beliefs and I did not , so far as I can see, claim such for you. . People of faith do the same thing and obviously reach a different conclusion. They also went thru previous education and experience and (hopefully) thru thoughtful consideration, came to accept or reject or modify as they see appropriate to reach their present state of belief. Or disbelief. Even that great logician and deductionist Hercule Poirot finds worth in his inherited faith. Such is the blessing of an independent mind. And you, mon ami Merlyn, certainly have that !
  15. SSScout

    Whittling chip policy - dealing with infractions

    Yep. Too dangerous. Gotta hire a specialist, trained professional to handle the pocket knife for the Cub...,. ((sarcasm app disabled)) If the DL thinks the real blade is too dangerous, then the Cub will pick up on that. Again, fortunate is the Pack that has an experienced craftsperson to teach safe handling and good tool useage. Respect the edge. Work SLOWLY (what is this about "let the kids work faster " ? ), carefully, SAFELY. Skill first, speed much later. Sharp edge? Yep, that's why we invented bandaids (c) . and mercurichrome. Or iodine. Or Bactine. If the "Safety Circle" is respected (arms length all around? That would mean about two meters between Cubs, that's a lot of space. So be it. I agree with GBB, and E94, one must train and trust. The Cubs pick up on THAT too. Do you trust them to "do the right thing"? And if they don't , what happens? Somebody gets hurt, and/or the privilege gets removed. That being said, I once supervised a Whitlin' Chip session at a Webelos Weekend. My Boy Scout crew did a great job, working with the Cubs, one on one. They used my collection of different pocket knives, folding, lockback, many different types. Handed around, learned to sharpen, open, close safely, etc. One Cub came up and said he wanted to earn the WC, but (he was very honest about this) expressed concern about handling such a sharp item. My Scout went and found a stick out in the adjacent woods that was the approximate shape of a knife, whitled it to good shape (what a neat demo!) , and used that with the Cub until he was ready to handle the real thing. result: proud Cub with a certificate to show his Cubmaster. (! that Scout earned his Eagle two years later. Deserved it).
  16. BUT that's not what I said ! That's your defensive assumption ! You are making what I said about previous education and experience come to make "religion" claim responsibility for your present condition. If, after all your previous education and experience, "Religion" gets the "credit", how did that come about? Mr. Merlyn decided, NOT "religion", what Mr. Merlyn wishes to espouse. I am merely (merely) observing that even Mr. Merlyn had previous education and experience and came to EITHER reject or accept or (dare I say) adapt those previous experiences and education/training/brainwashing as individually seen fit. Religion takes no credit for YOUR present condition. Merlyn takes credit for Merlyn's condition, as each human must. If the "faith of our father's" speaks to thy condition, so be it. If not, as the carny operator said, "Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer choice." Karma not withstanding.....
  17. Merlyn, Merlyn. Shame on you for such over reaching. My comment never implied such. I am pointing out that EVERYONE gets some behavior/cultural preference/moral training from their upbringing, which , as they grow up, either accept or reject . Modifications are allowed in this declaration. Even thou, must have had SOME education, no matter what, by example or teaching, that you ultimately reacted to. Cultural sources, parental sources, logical reduction, personal reflection, it is your results , not mine that you declare.
  18. SSScout

    Whittling chip policy - dealing with infractions

    Please note that the Whitlin' Chip and Totin Chip have no specific requirements. There is no BSA list of "do this this way", not like tying knots or cooking or fire building. The teaching of "safe handling" and "good tool useage" is a ultimately a local culture thing. If you are fortunate to have a skilled craftsman to teach your Cubs and Scouts, count yourself lucky. Kids will want to "experiment" . I was at a B&G banquet one evening, helping to hand out the PopCorn Prizes. One young Cub, sold umpteen dollars worth of Popcorn, was awarded a multi blade pocket knife. As the event went on, I saw him pry open ALL the blades, and Presto ! An X-Wing Fighter began zooming around his table ! I paused the festivities, went to his table, asked him directly, "Wow, that's a neat knife. May I see it? " The Cub put the knife down, I picked it up and carefully showed him how to close it , open palm, and then handed it to the dad sitting next to the Cub, saying, "perhaps this can wait until you earn the Whitlin' Chip, eh?" and then went back to the podium and more prizes....
  19. Bizarre. Something as non gender related as computer programming (a gender neutral electric plug is next? Can there be a neutral, non directional electric current? ) How can you possibly gender identify a program? Unless the program HAS to have a name, gender ID attachment? I have no connection with Linux or Windows or.... COBAL, FORTRAN, WITRAN, maybe. The striving for Power and Authority seems to be s a prime example of human emotional desire. Even in computer stuff. Oh, and Merlyn? Slavery has been a "social norm" in almost every past culture , sometime. Same as warfare, unfortunately. War prisoners? Make'm work for little or nothing. Criminals? Same. Immigrants? Indenture. Build up a debt that can't be paid ? Work houses. Profit motive ? Somebody's organizational skills seeking wealth (Morgan, Carnegie, Ford, Firestone, Rothschild, Krupp, don't know any Chinese names) often depended on near slave arrangements. Ego engrandizement? Make someone do stuff "just because". The elimination of slavery has been a goal of many faiths, many good people without religious faith. And the convincement has often come with bloodshed. Logic and faith often work together to win that goal of freedom for all humanity. By their fruits shall ye know them? "Some of the best Christians I know are athiests". What was the original topic of this thread? Pass the pie, please.
  20. #1: Even logic can get things wrong. Logically, slavery can be seen as "good", because it enhances one's cotton/sugar cane finances. Until you become a grain farmer, at least.... Why , logically, should the Master manumit his enslaved people, if not for moral reasons? Either the slave is a human, equal in worth to the Master of the plantation, or he/she is an animal, not worth more than a plow horse (if a bit more intelligent and trainable)? #2: Jesus didn't, but he wanted folks to treat their slaves well, slavery being a social norm back then. The idea that not all "Christians" follow Christ is inherent in the diversity of the denominations and claims. Which are the least hypocritical? #3: Yep. UK Scouting is now more inclusive, but the Scout Promise there still includes a sentence about Duty to God..... perhaps one's duty to God is perceived as NOT believing in him/her/it ? #4: Now Merlyn, you know what I meant. Somewhere in your dim past, you were given some moral teachings, some religious teaching (even that religion is wrong or unteneble). You accepted or rejected it, by your own experience and/or reasoning. Atheism is a religious teaching. It is included in the category "religion", even if it denies the existence of a "Higher Power". I welcome good wishes from anyone. Even agnostics and settled atheists. It does me no harm to welcome such and to offer such. I will ask God's blessings on anyone. My bumper sticker reads "Please God, Bless Everyone, no exceptions." Even you, Merlyn, my internet debating partner.
  21. Merlyn ! Welcome back, old curmudgeonly friend. Nice to see some new debate here in the "Faith and Chaplaincy" forum, oh, wait... None the less, let's get some things straight, not to say agreed between us: 1) Faith is not based on logic. (some) God either touches you or not. Us Quakers say one is "convinced" , even if one is a birthright Friend. The proof of existence of a "Higher Authority" can never be totally logical. There is a reason to call it "faith". One person's coincidence (or evolution?) is another's personal small miracle (or evidence of intended design ?). 2) Jesus was not a Christian. Gandhi started out as Hindu, but he liked to say he was "irreligious". Martin Luther King Jr. certainly based most , if not all his leadings on Biblical principle, to the consternation of many other religious leaders (again, see the SBC). 3) Not all "Christians" follow Christ, as evidenced by Merlyn's example of the Southern Baptist Convention. (how is it other people seem to know more about our history than we do?) . If Jesus is your example, how to reconcile certain churches' political stance (another discussion) ? 4) If one is pressed to give a reason for an action (or inaction), often religious faith is quoted/blamed/mentioned/used. If it is time to be Drafted into military service, a "higher authority " and social history is needed to claim Conscientious Objector status. No draft board in my ken would accept "I just don't want to kill " (see Arlo Guthrie) as a reason not to serve in the army. Buy and sell human slaves? Yep, justification is found in the Bible and Koran. Equality under God's eyes also available for reference. 5) The Sabbath was made for man. Any congregation is populated with fallible humans. Even the Humanist Association. The ideals espoused by any given faith (was Nazisim more a faith than a political system?) can be ignored or subverted by the proponents of it. Catholic Bishops? United Methodist Circuit absorbing failed (by their definition) church property? 6) The BSA is both a product of tradition and the times. The fact that the Scout Promise (similar in every country if not identical) has remained the same for a hundred years means something. That is the ideal, perhaps not the reality. Now the Scout Law HAS been redefined slightly over the years, but the "ideals" are the same. 7) Every person is left with some religious teachings from their upbringing. Even Merlyn. The parents/guardians teach by lesson, example and discipline. The children are left , whether the parents realize it or not, with something to accept or reject. As William Penn once observed, ""It is a sad Reflection, that many Men hardly have any Religion at all; and most Men have none of their own: For that which is the Religion of their Education, and not of their Judgment, is the Religion of Another, and not Theirs."" We do have to make our own way in the world, no matter how it got here. See you on the trail....
  22. SSScout

    Opinions on Alcohol stoves

    So what about my reliable Optimus 8R ? White Gas? Alcohol? Any comparison as to safety/efficiency/supply problems? I still can't take it on an airplane....
  23. SSScout

    Boy Scouts of America Recalls Neckerchief Slides

    This is not so surprising. The Feds have a regulation that ANYTHING that a child might conceivably put in their mouth MUST be tested and certified "Lead Free" . This necessitates the definition of "Children's Jewelry". Our Faith Awards ( Friends Committee on Scouting) are such, and some years ago, when this regulation became more widely enforced, our entire stock of Faith Awards had to be either tested and certified by an independent lab (each piece individually !) or destroyed. We opted to order a new batch (which the manufacturer tested and certified as part of the price) and parceled out a few of the old stock to some collectors and destroyed the rest. The Adult Awards were not test worthy, because they were not "Children Jewelry". Necker slides, Webelos Dangles, faith awards, hat pins, Eagle Awards, year pins, Summer Activity Awards, I surmise if BSA is obeying the regulation, all of them must be tested and certified. Chew on THAT for awhile.....
  24. If you are in the neighborhood, First Annual Native American Festival at Sandy Spring Friends School, 16923 Norwood Rd. Sandy Spring MD 20860, noon to 5pm. OA ceremony teams , take note. Piscataway and Pamunkey tribes featured. See the poster notice: https://www.dropbox.com/s/fbqcpyi37wmv125/NativeAmericanFest2018.pdf?dl=0
  25. Things this Commisher has heard and discussed...... "We can't join Scouts, we're not Christian". "We won't join Boy Scouts, they're not Christian." " Boy Scouts is too expensive, Johnny can't afford to go to summer camp " (they say with Disneyworld stickers all over their car). "" What do you mean we can't (hold a rifle target shoot, go hunting, cut down the trees in the park, hold a raffle, drop our kid off and come back in five days without previously registering....)….. ""