Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by T2Eagle

  1. I’ve been doing recharter now for 15 years, so I’m used to the inefficient, illogical, and kludgy systems that constitute BSA IT.  But the new and different ways that the systems manage to be inefficient, illogical, and kludgy will never cease to amaze me.

    As part of recharter this year I needed to register two adults who are currently MCs with the pack as MCs in the troop, I needed to register one new scout, and I needed to clean up the registration of one scout who crossed over earlier this year but for a variety of reasons never got registered in the troop.  Our unit opts in to online registration so I sent them all the instructions for how to do so.  But, it turns out that during recharter time when presumably lots of units are straightening out their membership, BSA in its infinite wisdom turns off online registration --- don’t ask me why. 

    OK, collect paper applications from everybody.  But, lo and behold, when I actually go into recharter there is a feature there that I’m pretty sure was not present in past years, where you can simply promote youths and adults from one unit to another without any paperwork at all.  This is a good thing, even if unadvertised, but I could have avoided getting the paper apps that I did if I had known about it.  And, it is worth noting that my need to promote these three individuals at this time is a bit unusual; back in the spring at the height of crossover when I had eight scouts and two other adults I needed to move from the pack to the troop this feature wasn’t available, and the online registration system also could not be used for transfers --- once again, don’t ask me why.

    Finally, my favorite trick of this year’s recharter.  I have a scout who turns 18 at the end of this month, he just had his EBOR and the last thing I want to do is mess with his registration status while his paperwork wends its way up to national and back.  So I renew his registration just like all the other scouts.  But the system says he’s too old he’ll need to be registered as an adult.  Anyone want to guess what happened when I tried to register him as an adult?  Of course he’s too young for that.  My registrar assures me she can work some magic if I give her a paper application for him.

    Year in and year out these aren’t the hardest challenges I encounter as a scouter, but they may be the silliest.

  2. 11 hours ago, David CO said:

    My thoughts exactly.  It sounds like "primitive camping" is out.  Hand sanitizer is in.  Welcome to modern scouting.


    That sounds cool and old school until you've got a troop full of kids with it coming out both ends because someone served or prepared food with dirty hands.  I've been there, and do not want to return.  

  3. 22 hours ago, MattR said:

     I've been told hand sanitizer is worthless unless you use a huge amount. 

    You want their hands clean before they eat.  So have an adult stand at the line right before they receive their food, and squirt a BIG dollop of hand sanitizer froma big bottle onto each kids hand as they approach the serving area.  

    Also, take a moment just before you start to have an adult demonstrate how they should use the sanitizer --- all over fronts and backs, in between fingers, etc.  It should take about 20-30 seconds for them to do thoroughly before it dries.

  4. 3 hours ago, elitts said:

    I'm fairly sure it would be unreasonable to expect that job to be a 40-hour a week job.  I'd expect it to start at about 55.

    Expectations like that are one of the reasons why I've never been willing to accept a cell phone paid for by my employer. 

    According to Linkedin the average salary for a DE is $40,000.  At 55 hours a week that's under $14 an hour, which is a tad more than my kid gets at Best Buy part time.

    • Upvote 2

  5. 5 hours ago, carebear3895 said:

    Looks like y'all may be getting your wish. The new CSE is expected to come from outside the Profession. 

    I have long thought that any organization where virtually everyone in it has been in that organization and that organization alone since they were in their twenties is going to be weaker as a result.  Every organization needs folks who have seen other challenges and other solutions, been exposed to different ideas, had to design and implement different organizational schema..  The BSA model's for selection of leaders is stuck in the seventies.  There's probably no organization of comparable size that uses this model.

    • Upvote 1

  6. Pick a small number of people who either know or will learn quickly what will work best.  If you really feel like the committee needs to vote make it an up or down vote on the proposed tents.

    After a lot of research and some missteps our troop has gone to ALPS Mountaineering 5 Person Outfitter tents.  Three scouts and gear comfortably for weekends.  One of the reasons we went with them was when were still researching and experimenting I had purchased a four man version, and after a wild thunderstorm mine was the only tent standing and dry .  The less fortunates included a couple Timberline Outfitters.

    Hikerdirect.com (ALPS) sells to scouts at a deep discount.


  7. There are very good reasons for Statutes of Limitations.  Some of them were previously too short regarding this issue.   It's a close call to me whether a "window" law like NJ's is a good or bad idea.  But, and I say this as a Catholic serving a Catholic unit, what's really going on here is all of us paying for the sins of the Church. 

    For decades, and as near as we can tell universally throughout the Church, the leaders of the Church actively protected members of the clergy who they knew had raped and abused children.  This isn't some modern view retroactively applied to past acts.  These things were serious crimes when they happened, and people caught and convicted of them then, even 20, 30, 40 years ago, rightfully served decades in prison as punishment.  And it wasn't a matter of ignorance, unless you want to call it some kind of willful ignorance, because not everyone was protected by the Church.  The Church files that are coming to light aren't full of records of abuse by non priests.  If you were a CYO coach, or a lay teacher, or a scout leader, and you committed these acts you were tossed out, and no one stood in the way of your being turned in to the authorities.    They didn't cover it up, they didn't use the magistry of the faith to pressure victims and their parents to remain silent, and most of all they didn't transfer the perpetrators to another parish and assign them to be lay teachers, or CYO coaches, or scout leaders across town at St. Mike's instead of St. Pat's, where the parishioners didn't know and weren't told about your history.

    Maybe it's a bit unfair that some people today will share in the price paid by organizations we belong to now for misdeeds committed by people who belonged to our organizations then.  But a lot of victims will have paid an even heavier price even if they are able to recover something today.  I can't find it in me to begrudge them that.  And I know for fact it was just luck and timing that I dodged that bullet back when i was a vulnerable adolescent.

    BSA, and the Church, will survive this, and come out the other side, maybe a bit poorer, but hopefully the message will be clear to anyone granted the privilege of caring for children that nothing like this can be tolerated, and we all have an affirmative obligation to make sure of that.

    • Like 1

  8. 11 hours ago, SSScout said:

    Here in the NCAC, White Oak District,  MBCounselors must be registered with the District MBDean, who lists them with the Council.  Council has taken to checking MBC names and dates on Eagle Applications before the Scout may proceed to the Eagle BoR . There has been gnashing of teeth, to be Biblical,  about this.  


    There's nowhere on an Eagle Scout application for the MBC names, how do they check?  And if the council's official records which are in scoutnet show the merit badge what argument would they have to change it?

  9. Lazarus is located in the heart of the Columbus suburbs, and one of those camps where the area around it has become completely developed.  If they have 60 acres that they really don't use it's likely they could get a very good price for that property, and stabilize the finances for Lazarus for the future.

    Our council did this with a very similar piece of one of our camps, and the endowment set up from the proceeds of that sale was a big part of what allowed us to opt out of the Michigan Mess.

    I've never been to CLR, but 1100 scouts at summer camp seems like a low number considering how big the council is.  I doubt that a camp used only for weekend camping can bring in enough revenue to cover even its most basic operating costs.  If you don't have enough summer camp revenue to cover the cost of summer camp, plus facilities, you're going to face some very hard choices.

    • Upvote 1

  10. 1 minute ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    While it is not as bad as it could have been, I still have concerns.  I hope Nstional does not pull this stunt next year, i.e. waiting until the last minute to announce the change.

    Hopefully the will announce e the 2021 price hike tonite.

    I doubt they can know the 2021 numbers yet.  The big unknown is how many LDS scouts and scouters will stick around.  It probably won't be a lot, but it doesn't have to be a really high percentage to make a significant difference.

    Does anyone know if councils are making any concerted effort to get those folks to rejoin?  Of all the recruiting that could be done they would seem to be the most fruitful group to target.

  11. 1 hour ago, Treflienne said:

    P.S.  I expect that by age 11 kids ought to have learned at home not to do "cutting tomatoes right after cutting raw chicken" and the importance of handwashing after using the facilities.   However, since most of our families have dishwashers that do the sanitizing for you,  they may not have learned how to wash dishes by hand.

    I would be surprised if the percentage of 11 year olds who have EVER cut raw chicken at home exceeded the mid teens; I would not assume at all that they have any knowledge of how to handle raw chicken or any other fresh meat.  Most of our younger scouts have never cooked anything more challenging than pancakes.

  12. 8 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Ditto PA and Colorado.

    ...because BSA was headquartered in New Jersey for roughly 30 years, scouts who were abused in that time can sue, regardless of where the abuse occurred. 



    I continue to research if plaintiffs can "double dip" child abuse claims.

    You can't sue the same defendant for the same tort covering the same facts in two courts.  Or I suppose you could but the defendant would be able to have the suits consolidated.  If you could, people would have been doing that all along suing in both their home state and Texas.  So, no, you couldn't sue the BSA in both PA and NJ for instance.  You could sue the local Council in PA and also sue the national BSA in NJ, but you would be doubling your costs of litigation without changing what you could recover so there's no incentive to do that.  If you can bring suit in your home state because the Statute of Limitations hasn't run out there's probably little reason to bring the suit anywhere besides your home state.

    • Thanks 1

  13. We do cold weather layering training by having one scout put on very oversized clothing in the wrong order and then have the other scouts have to tell him to transfer the clothing in proper order: (wicking, insulating, shell) to another scout.  I use the most outlandish but still appropriate clothing I can find (I have a pair of neon purple ski pants from the 80s that I keep just for this purpose).  Remember to include gloves/mittens and glove liners,  hats and hoods, and insulated boots to show that the same layering technique works for every part of your clothing..  

    We use the same training to explain that the tent,  sleeping bag, pad, and what you wear are also the same layering system: you wear wicking long underwear as the wicking layer, your sleeping bag and pad are the insulating, and the tent is the shell.

    If you want to include the tent and sleeping in the hands on-portion, start with the ridiculously dressed scout outside the tent under his bag.

    ETA: We also include in the initial dress things you shouldn't wear in the winter like cotton jeans and cotton socks, so the scouts also have to identify what articles to discard entirely.

    • Upvote 3

  14. 1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

    Building a disciplined culture is exactly correct, but what is zero tolerance? There are adults who believe selfless act of singing happy birthday is a type of bullying. Ductape's post shows bullying aS multiple acts of hurting someone purposefully.  So, how do we draw the line of zero tolerance between innocent unintentional actions and real hurt?

    Let's also keep the patrol method in perspective, it's a program where scouts learn about themselves from their good and bad (mostly bad) decisions. Humans aren't born giving respect, our nature is to learn the boundaries of respect and disrespect by observation and practice of social actions. That is what the troop experience is all about. The Scout Oath and Law are self-less guidelines where disrespect doesn't exist. 


    I would say it's zero tolerance of being unkind.  One way we've helped scouts think about it is to say you don't have to be friends with everybody, but you do have to be friendly or nice to everybody.

    I'm not sure I agree that there is a line between innocent unintentional actions and real hurt.  Rather it is a continuum.  We want to prevent bullying, but as a component of that we want to stop other hurtful behavior.  The lack of intent doesn't mean something didn't hurt.  In the case you cite, it is possible for singing happy birthday to be embarrassing to someone because they don't want attention drawn to them in that way.  If you're not sure, ask.  If a scout is shy and has in other ways indicated that this might make him uncomfortable, ask first before you announce it's his birthday or ask everyone to sing.  Just because most people would be OK with it doesn't mean everybody will be OK with it.  It doesn't hurt you to ask or be more careful, but it might hurt someone else because you weren't.

    In our troop, the reason we have mixed age patrols is so we transmit this culture through succeeding years of scouts.  If at the simplest level, something is said or done that falls into the poster's rude category, unintentional but nevertheless hurtful, we expect the older scouts especially to recognize this and speak up on behalf of the person and correct gently and appropriately the person who was rude.  if an adult sees this kind of interaction they reward through some sort of attaboy the scout who speaks up, or again gently and discreetly, point out the missed opportunity if that's what occurred.

    The unintentionality deserves more discussion than I can give it here, other than to say that people sometimes mistakenly believe that because something was unintentional it means it was acceptable.  My best example is if you accidentally step on someone's foot you apologize, even if you didn't mean to step on their foot and even if it didn't actually injure the person.  The same applies to words and other actions, it's the affect of your actions on other people that governs whether your own behavior was OK.

  15. 1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

    At the troop level, it's not hard to teach the scouts to nip disrespect in the bud. My experience is If there are continued instances in a unit, then there is an adult, or adults, knowingly allowing it. 

    Building a long term explicit culture of zero tolerance, practiced by everyone adult and scout alike, is the best preventative.

  16. I think the worry is justified.  One of the differences between now and a decade or two ago is that we better understand both the severity and longitudinal harm that bullying causes.  It didn't happen to everyone, but we understand now how deeply affected were the folks it did happen to; that's the reason to take it seriously. 

    Social media and electronic communications are force multipliers and accelerants that can make the bullying experience take off faster and be even more devastating, and so they add a level of both danger and complexity to a preexisting problem.

    It is possible mrk, although I don't know if there's any data to support this, that what you're seeing is the fruit of antibullying efforts.  On the other hand, my understanding is that the greatest propensity for bullying is roughly the 6th to 9th grade cohort, so you may just be seeing a snapshot right before the scouts enter the densest part of the minefield.

    • Like 1

  17. A couple years ago I had a conversation with one of our senior pros about a related issue.  Our diocese requires that we get a new background check every five years.  I asked if scouts ever reran background checks and he said no.  I've been registered as a scout for just about two decades, I've had a number of positions within our pack and Troop.  I forgot to ask whether they do a new check each time I've filled out an app for a new position, but I know there are scouters in our unit who haven't changed positions and filled out new applications for 20 years at least.  We have no idea for sure what a background check might reveal for folks like them.

    This is a pain in the neck, but really just that, like chasing people to redo their YPT.

  18. 28 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    The COH should be planned, developed, and executed by the Scouts. 

    This is the key.  This is a scout led function not an adult led function.  There are as many variations on how to do it as there are scouts. 

    There are plenty of scripts available to be found online to get ideas from.   Most commonly for our troop a scout who is working on Communications Mb will do the heavy lifting in order to fulfill requirement 8).  "Plan a troop or crew court of honor, ...  Have the patrol leaders’ council approve it, then write the script and prepare the program. Serve as master of ceremonies."

    For refreshments we sometimes but not always have something simple like cookies and bug juice.

    • Upvote 2

  19. Hmm.  I would put the pocketknife, or more accurately a multitool, back in the pack; if you don't need it yourself it can be good for doing a good turn for someone else.  I would also put back a small flashlight, they're almost no weight and can be handy for finding things and other uses not just walking in the dark. The rain jacket is a close call, it rained here the other day when there was only a 15% chance of rain forecast, on the other hand, in Austin in September getting wet would be a bit annoying, but there's no chance of hypothermia or anything like that so the cost of not having one is really small.

    I think hiking in an urban environment the most expected unexpected thing you'll encounter as a scout is the opportunity to help somebody else.  Think about what events those might be and pack accordingly.

  20. In our troop, one member of the patrol acts as "grubmaster" and picks up the food for the menu the patrol decided upon.  Usually this person is working on either rank or Mb requirements, if no one in the patrol is then it's just a volunteer.  

    We reimburse the costs from the fee for the campout.  We don't have a specific budget for the weekend, but it averages out across the year.

    We used to have the scouts get reimbursement direct from their fellow scouts, but it was very uneven in its success rate so we switched to the current system.

  21. The answer to your question is kick this up to your Chartering Organization.

    Concerning the rest of the discussion, FGM is illegal in Michigan (and 34 other states). The law making it illegal passed prior to the Federal case being thrown out.  It was never clear to me why the feds rather than the state brought the prosecution, but it's possible most or even all the conduct occurred before MI's law went into effect.  

    So, you have someone credibly accused of having committed a crime.  This is not sufficient to convict someone in a court of law, but it's generally sufficient for other folks to make rational decisions to not allow that person to be around their children.  If forced to make this decision myself, I would allow this parent to observe meetings,  but I would not allow him to participate as a leader or in any other supervisory capacity.

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1