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Posts posted by TAHAWK

  1. 22 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Simple: the the claimant cannot even provide sufficient information to assert a claim, it is going to be dismissed.

    Again, there's this myth that you simply have to say "I was abused, pay me" and then suddenly the person is going to get cash.

    That's not the case. At all.

    We had a claim where the plaintiff supplies copious details.  We could find no information within the Telephone Company that the plaintiff existed, much less that one of our trucks hit him in a Cleveland street then left the alleged scene. It was late on the night of a storm, and we had nearly twenty trucks out working, some in that area.  All the trucks were carefully inspected - by us and the CPD, with no indication of an impact.  He also had a medical reports attesting to his injuries -  a fractured pelvis and broken arm included.  Fortunately, we could prove he was in jail in Toledo that night, following an automobile accident  If his claim was allowed fifty years later, it would have likely gone to a jury. 

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  2. Shortage of adult volunteers has been an increasingly severe problem over decades, and BSA has done little or nothing about it.  As a District Chairman,  tired of telling kids and want-to-be Co's that there could be no unit without X adults registered as Scouters,  I contacted Eagle Scouts not currently registered.  I got a 13% "take rate," including eight new Scoutmasters - well worth the effort.  I received a letter of reprimand from Region for violating the BSA policy that prohibited direct recruiting of adults: "Adults must come with the boys."  Well, that was not working well in Orange County in 1965 and is working far less well this century.  OK in Canada, Australia, UK, Philippines, India,  and Kenya.  Not OK in the BSA.  I read today that it's time to recruit "boys, girls [and]... families...."     Hanlon's Razor illustrated.  

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  3. Many Scouters taking WB in my council have not completed Scoutmaster Specific or IOLS.  This is supposedly not allowed, but "filling the course" rules over all else.  Naturally,  when you say to them "Knowing as you do the Aims of Scouting, let us now discuss how the Methods of Scouting meet those Aims," you get some strange looks. " But since you have a totally inadequate five minutes for Methods, there is no time to go back and reprise the inadequate fifteen minute session on Aims and Methods from Scoutmaster Specific.  Pretend training  completed on time is more important to some, like our Wood Badge Coordinator,  than  trustworthy training.  It is not that way in all councils, as I know from staffing elsewhere.


    (My solution was to offer my time off schedule and to supply disks or flash drives with the material- and other cool stuff, like an actual, coherent  explanation of the Patrol Method, and outdoor program information long gone from BSA literature.)



  4. 3 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    I've never done WB, but any program that is so poorly run that it results in grown adults being brought to tears should be evaluated and examined. That sounds horrible.

    Did you (or she?) leave any comment to review of the course? "Feedback is a gift".

    "results"?   Complex factors in her life got her to that state, most beyond the control of a training course staff.  Some people are simply more emotionally vulnerable than others.  Routine life is harder for them, and they need friends who can shelter them from day-to-day stress, like competitive candy throwing or singing in "public."   They find it hard to engage in unfamiliar activities amidst strangers.  She was possibly "talked into" attending against her instincts. The lady mentioned needed to just leave if her patrol mates and TG could not help her successfully cope.   I have never seen the gate locked. 

    Kids pushed into sports by parents or peers against their preferences are another population that often is miserable, and the joy of other participants only makes it worse for those who don't really want to be there.  As a "field" umpire in high school baseball, i have looked in towards the "plate" and seen kids at bat who close their eyes on each pitch.  Clearly, they didn't want to be there, but dad wanted them to "play."  i coached a little league team with one bright member who threw up before every game, and the parents knew it.  (But Bill Russell did the same before each Celtics game - or so he wrote.)

    The WB Course once had "The Game of Life" that, poorly managed by staff, caused anger and frustration.  Evaluations surfaced that problem and led to reform.

  5. One of the great failings of writers of bureaucratic practices is to lose sight of the goal(s).  (Another is that others must understand, not just the authors.)

    When I joined AT&T,  and its 1,000,000+  employees, it had many, many shelf feet of all-black ring binders of Bell System Practices ("BSPs"), including rules on how toilet paper would be installed in the holders (over, not under).  There was an entire department that made sure you did not have office furniture above your station in the bureaucracy .  They were informally called the "Furniture Police."  ("It does not matter if you bought that picture.  It's an oil, and you can only have a print.") These were the days of:  "Telephone sets come in black." 

    My new boss, the General Counsel, asked me to never forget that "buried in there somewhere is a business that needs running to the end that the telephones work and revenue is earned."  Since I had not had time to become a "Bell Head," it sounded good to me.  I found it was a controversial attitude to many.  (The "Standards" folks launched a big "push" for a "Two-Million Cycle Set" -  a residential telephone set that could make 50 outward telephone calls a day for 109+ years.  It was designed, and prototyped, but rationality intervened.) 

    In due course, AT&T broke itself up, to the end that it would, it assumed,  replace IBM, and then it ceased to exist (The brand was purchased in 2005 by the current entity using "AT&T."). (I repurposed many of the black binders.  They were very high quality.  I especially liked the 4160-9 (246).)

  6. Alas, a training course for a minimum of thirty trainees on "leadership," is hard to limit  only to topics helpful to every single trainee.

    A training course is not better than the staff, end especially its leadership.  So not every Wood Badge course is the same experience, contrary to BSA's impossible goal of dead-level uniformity in experience.  (Not to mention that each trainee's experience is a lens through which he or she views that course,  making BSA's stated goal even more impossible.)

    I attended many "continuing legal education, " as well as Scouting training courses, and have taught at dozens in both fields.  My modest goal,  as a trainee, was to add something each time to my competency as an attorney or a Scouter, respectively.  You applied a more stringent standard, as is your right.  It's your time and your money.  More general training courses, on topics as wide as "leadership" would not seem to be a good match for you.  Perhaps self-guided instruction is your best route to add anything to what you already know.   Some have found it to be so.

    As a trainer, I hoped to teach and also to learn.  "My" last patrol of Wood Badge "participants " ( silly label)  included two ladies - never in any BSA program except for one year as a Den Leader; two men  who were never in any BSA program (one White and 27; one Black and 54); and two Eagle Scouts who had never been Cubs and had been out of Scouting for over a decade (one White and 60 ; one Black and 30).  As is my want, I asked them all to contribute what they could on the theory that the seven if us, collectively, had something to share.  (Pretty silly to try to present on rope work alone with a veteran firefighter who teaches rope work at an academy in the class.)  As a student, I think I have taken away something useful from every course I have taken and think that, as a teacher, I have learned some things from trainees in every course that I have staffed.



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  7. The first CO that that I mentioned was a Hindu congregation that had purchased the building that had housed a Protestant congregation.  In buying the building, they  very kindly agreed to take the exiting troop as a free tenant,  but they were stunned when they finally read what they had been signing.  They had no idea there was any undertaking other than supplying a meeting space.  I wondered if the paperwork went in unsigned, but I did not want to know if a signature was forged.  

    I recall that council was very much against combining troops.  Patrols masquerading as troops was just fine.  One district survey in 1990 revealed its average troop had ten active youth members and just under two active adult members,  whatever the paperwork said.  The "good old days."

  8. Last time i helped district with unit rechartering, one CO refused to sign because it saw it's role solely as supplying a meeting place.   The unit was allowed to recharter.

    A troop I was with in the early 80's had a  large Methodist congregation as a  "Charter Partner."  It  signed, but also saw its role  solely as supplying a meeting place.  Then, even that became a sometimes thing: "No place to meet tonight; try next week."   We combined with another troop, all theories aside.  

    So, in practice, in that council, not even a convenient lie was required.


  9. 3 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    Volunteers are just regular people with regular skills, quirks and bad habits. One of my ideas to reduce Webelos dropouts included using the UCs. I approached the District commissioner (a friend) about my idea and he loved it. But, he said he needed more UCs to accomplish my needs. I asked how many and he said eleven would do it. I handed him a list 3 days later of a eleven volunteers. He never called them. He is a really good guy and a hard working UC commissioner, but he is not a team leader and the idea of managing that many adults terrified him. So, I left him alone to do what he was comfortable doing. 

    Sadly, we have to work with what we got. Just have to keep trying. Folks can tell sincerity (authenticity) and will respond if they can.


    By and large, true. 


    There was the National Safety Chairman with his gold cap and BA in English arguing with a volunteer with two Phds  (microbiology and public health) about BSA's official and illegal dish-washing at Jambo 85.  But what would Dr. Horsfall know - a mere volunteer?  He was only the World's leading authority on E-coli but not "professional."  Guess where the VA. Dept of Health came down.  Of course, BSA had to make it worse first by telling the State it could not "tell BSA what to do" in the presence of an epidemic of E-coli dysentery in Virginia.  Faced with comply or close, the dish-washing was altered to comply with state law, and the Jamboree completed. Over a quarter of a century later, BSA officially changed it's dish-washing process - to what Virginia mandated in 1985, first notice being in Boys' Life.  We had all been given the word in our district long before the Jambo as we found Dr. Horsfall, our District Commissioner, rather convincing.  He went on to run a department at WHO.  He has the son of a President of American Association of Immunologists. A Colonel of an Armored Cavalry Regiment in the first line reserves.   Just a regular guy, if left-handed.  😉

  10. 2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    You and other parents take your kids to a highly politicized Pro-Life rally where adults call everybody names at these rallies all over the United Stand and you think the bias is because you're Catholics? You portray yourself as an activist who is using the youth to help push your cause. Something doesn't add up here. 


    Watch the news?  Name-calling is bilaterally inflicted.  Want examples?

  11. 2 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

    If presenting the colors at a Methodist church meant handling the flag of the Methodist Church, I can see why the Archbishop would forbid it. If non Catholics want to carry our flag around, that's up to them. Catholics are also forbidden from participating in Communion at Churches that deny the real presence of Jesus Christ in communion. Non Catholics are not permitted to receive communion at a Catholic church. 

    By all accounts, I'm an institutional BSA Scouter:  Eagle Scout, OA Brotherhood member, Completed Wood Badge, NYLT Adult staff X 3, District Training Committee, Summer Camp Staff, Shooting Sports Committee. I've got no problem supporting and defending the rules, even if sometimes their application is detrimental.

    Changing Troops internal procedures is an exercise in change management. It has very little to with knots, beads, or experience. It has everything to do with the person initiating.  Their ability to influence others and their ties to the unit. An outsider, experienced or not, who joins a unit and wants to change things (even if they are well intentioned and correct.) will hit a brick wall. It took me several years to make changes in my Troop, and that was after serving as a highly visible youth leader and then adult volunteer. After about 3 or 4 years of working with the youth and adults, I was able to achieve a breakthrough and win some progress towards a stronger Troop Program. An outsider would have stood no chance. And mind you, this is a unit that is frequently held up my our District as a "Gold Standard" unit that other Troops should emulate. Still many thorny unfixed problems, like utilization of the Patrol method, and having a consistently engaging program. Now I'm "retired" from the troop and still volunteer with NYLT and my District.

    Disestablishment folks have bad feelings about "institutional Scouters" (Wood Badge, Knots, DE's, Gold/Silver Tabs) because just like anything else, some people in those groups can be utterly annoying, and often wrong too. "Institutional Scouters" have built a bad reputation with many units, because they are frequently bossy, holier than thou, come around during FOS or Beading ceremonies, take up more time than they should and then disappear until they need something again. Not all of them mind you, but enough of them that it colors many people's perceptions.  In my own Troop, our 3rd Scoutmaster went to Wood Badge back in the late 90's. We didn't have another leader go until the 5th Scoutmaster and I went in 2015. In between we had one adult who transferred into our unit who had attended Wood Badge. They were clueless about how Scouting was supposed to be done. We actually discussed some of the broad points of this institutional distrust between Scouters, through Wood Badge specifically in this topic: https://www.scouter.com/topic/30580-wood-badge-roses-and-thorns/


    For my entire Scouting life, my troop never had a UC. We finally got one in early 2020. He attended one meeting, and sent the current (6th) Scoutmaster a long email of suggestions and improvements. He has many good suggestions, some things I've attempted to implement over the last 9 years, and some that were fresh ideas. Our current Scoutmaster was a little taken aback by it. To me it's the exact wrong approach to helping a unit improve. Get to know us for a few weeks, build some relationships. Get to know our past, our goals, and our challenges before dropping unsolicited advice on people. 

    There are really two types of disestablishment units. 1A. There are those that run pretty good programs, but their leadership had bad experiences with "Institutional folks" and doesn't want to engage with them. Then there are units that are unmitigated dumpster fires, both from a rule compliance perspective and a program quality perspective. Sometimes it's intentional 2A, sometimes it's out of ignorance 2B. 2A is entirely unfixable. 1A and 2B can be fixed by being a friendly and helpful face, showing some humility, and being a good partner. 


    Let me try being even more clear.  "Presenting the colors" meant a color guard of uniformed Scouts walking down the center aisle carrying the national and respective religious flags, posting them on command, and leaving the room..  Not a wafer to be seen during that process.  Same at either Catholic or Methodist churches.  That Archbishop went away and his rule with him.  The new Archbishop did not "see" what the former Archbishop and you "see."

  12. As a Scout, my troop, sponsored by a Methodist congregation, had about 20% Catholic Scouts, scattered amongst our patrols and two crews.  By instruction of the Archbishop of Los Angeles, they could not present the colors on Sunday at the CO's services. Those of us who were not Catholic could present the colors at Mass at our local Catholic congregations, which I, at least, found interesting.  We put it all down to that strange species - adults.   

    Those of us who ended up in high school sports, did think it unfair that the Catholic schools like Mater Dei could recruit from wherever, including out of state.  Funnily, the Monarch's best player, back then and probably ever (not that Matt Leinart was chopped liver ) was a local  kid, John Huarte, later of Notre Dame Heisman fame. Sadly, he threw sidearm, and mostly rolling out, a real limitation in the pros.  

  13. 20 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    Although, they will only be disbanding the corporation known as the Boy Scouts of America.  Scouting is a movement that must be intellectually separated from the BSA.  Scouting will go on, and I intend to be one who keeps it going, with or without the BSA.  Hence my moniker...

    Scouting was in the U.S., coast-to-coast (and Canada),  in 1908.   Ninety-nine troops greeted BSA when it arrived in Cleveland in 1912.

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  14. 15 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    It's not good for the BSA to add COs to this lawsuit.  But, in a way isn't it the correct thing to do?  If you were the CO of a unit 30 years ago that had abuse going on, isn't it their responsibility too?  


    The purely political act of virtually eliminating periods of limitations for these claims means that defense is impracticable or literally impossible,  Many of the accused and all other adults around at the time died years ago.  Thus, accusation equals guilt.  Indeed, it makes perfectly good sense is accusation equals guilt.

    "The statute of limitations is a statute of repose, enacted as a matter of public policy to fix a limit within which an action must be brought, or the obligation is presumed to have been paid, and is intended to run against those who are neglectful of their rights, and who fail to use reasonable and proper diligence in the enforcement thereof .... These statutes are declared to be 'among the most beneficial to be found in our books.' 'They rest upon sound policy, and tend to the peace and welfare of society;' ... The underlying purpose of statutes of limitation is to prevent the unexpected enforcement of stale claims concerning which persons interested have been thrown off their guard by want of prosecution."

    Pashley v. Pacific Elec. Co., 25 Cal. 2d 226, 228-29. 153 P.2d 325, 326 (1944) (quoting 1 HORACE G. WOOD. A TREATISE ON  LIMITATION OF ACTIONS 8-9 (4th ed. 1916»; accord Neff v. New York Life Ins. Co .• 30 Cal. 2d 165, 169. 180 P.2d 900. 903 (1947).

    "Statutes of limitation ... are designed to promote justice by preventing surprises through the revival of claims that have been allowed to slumber until evidence has been lost, memories have faded, and witnesses have disappeared. The theory is that even if one has a just claim it is unjust not to put the adversary on notice to defend within the period of limitation and the right to be free of stale claims in time comes to prevail over the right to prosecute them.

    Wood v. Elling Corp., 20 Cal. 3d 353, 362, 572 P.2d 755, 760,142 Cal. Rptr. 696, 701 (1977) (quoting Order of R.R. Telegraphers v. Railway Express Agency, Inc., 321 U.S. 342, 348 (1944»; accord Lackner v. LaCroix, 25 Cal. 3d 747, 751, 602 P.2d 393,395, 159 Cal. Rptr. 693, 695 (1979)

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  15. Europeans truly regarded the inhabitants of the New World as scarcely better than wild animals - if that, entitled to own nothing.  our diseases slaughtered indiginous peoples. 

    I wonder what the Kalapuya thought of the peoples they drove out of the area  or the slaves that they "owned." They must have regarded them as fellow beings as they allowed for intermarriage and adoption.   Thus, their form of slavery seems to have been far, far less oppressive than American chattel slavery.

    https://libraryguides.lanecc.edu/kalapuyaRobert H. Ruby and John A. Brown, A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992): at p. 10.

    After 1829, the Klickitat Tribe invaded the Kalapuya lands and conquered much of it.

    "The numerically lessened Kalapuyans were by 1840 a trivial annoyance to settlers who took their lands and employed them as laborers but did not preserve for them any of their traditional homelands for their villages or for their resources needs. By 1851 there was no land in the Willamette Valley unclaimed by American settlers, who also called for the removal or genocide of all Indian peoples."  https://ndnhistoryresearch.com/tribal-regions/kalapuyan-ethnohistory/


    Also of interest:  https://www.willametteheritage.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/What-Price-Eden-PDF.pdf



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