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Everything posted by TAHAWK

  1. Perhaps if a "quality summer camp program" was not defined as fifty badges (including Citizenship badges, for Bill's sake) AND a Scout earning five, six, seven, or eight [!] badges in five days, it would be possible to deliver said "quality" at today's prices. I never earned more than two at a Summer camp, and thought that was pretty fast. Let's see. Two per week x 52 weeks. (And Kudu, I do think the Bill's are drafting badly. Oh. That would be off topic, yes?)
  2. A good many factors go into the decline in Scouting membership since I was a Scout and two of every three boys spent some time as a Scout. Adults are far less inclined to join any organization, from Scouting to bowling teams, to fraternal organizations. This strangles program. Scouting is no longer like Mom, apple pie and the Flag. We are "controversial." We don't have a unit in every school -- or very many schools at all. Still, when the proportion that made Eagle was 1% instead of 4%, Scouting was a program with mass appeal. Now it is not. My district twenty years ago - pe
  3. If Scouting is truly about values and about helping to build good people, then the general acceptance of systematic fraud is a symptom of the demise of Scouting. If Scouting is not about values, then who cares? We could simply auction off (or "Buy it now.") Eagle badges the way we auction off some adult awards. On my honor I will do my best, unless it's difficult or inconvenient.
  4. Brother, if you believe trying to turn a profit is neither fair nor competitive, you may need to reassess where you are on the political spectrum. In any event, I am not judging. Merely stating facts as I know them. My council wants the $$ for the camp to come from the fees paid to camp AND to have some of that $$ left for the General Fund. Private camps will want the same. In any case, I do not think this is a political discussion or will be helped by trying to put everything into particular political sorting baskets. For example, the most rabid guns-rights guy I know is a member of
  5. I never asserted that the price charged at any council camp, any sample of council camps, or council camps in general is fair or competitive. Maybe someone else did. I never asserted that councils are "skimming." I merely reported the facts as I know them to be in my council. To try to be clearer. our council camp camp is expected to turn a profit over an above all costs of operation. That would be, I suspect, an example of the free market business model: AKA "turning a profit." You attributed certain views to "you liberals." Not sure who you attach that label to, but I requested
  6. Please do not bring politics into what is already a difficult issue.
  7. I do appreciate the editing out of the personal attacks.
  8. I hoped this could stay civil. Obviously, that was a faint hope.
  9. As noted on p. 5 of this thread: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf
  10. "So does that mean that you arent going to accept anymore signed blue cards from any Scout camp by anyone involved with teaching or testing that is under 18 and not an expert in the area. Because to do otherwise is granting your approval of cheating. Correct?" First, I said nothing about "teaching," which is expressly open to Scouts. Testing - passing - is to be the exclusive realm of adults. Next, many camps have the "blue card" signed by an adult who neither taught nor tested. There is no provision for a unit Scouter to reject a "blue card" signed by an adult merit badge counselo
  11. "Of course, there is no practical way to take this up with BSA since they do not share their mailing address, telephone number, or mail address with mere volunteers." Shortridge: "TAHAWK, that's just false, and I suspect you know that. National's mailing address is printed on the back of the Boy Scout Handbook, even inside the front cover of the Wilderness Survival MBP you dislike so strongly. You can get the phone number by calling information or doing a simple Google search. I imagine it's not printed on the books to deter parents and Scouts calling with simple questio
  12. The council decides what resources to allocate to camp staff. It's the council buying food for 20 and inviting 100. The problem starts there and the responsibility is there. All councils are supposed to follow the mandatory requirements set out in BSA advancement policies, which include, without exception, individual testing by adults merit badge counselors. No council is entitled to change that. http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf Of course, there is no practical way to take this up with BSA since they do not share their mailing address, telephone number, or mail addre
  13. "I dont understand what you mean by expediency is a value. Theres only so many hours, so many dollars, so many resources to do so much and to some its still not enough. I cant go along with that perspective. Boys are constantly growing through the process every year, every week, as ugly as it may be. If you want perfection, youre not going to find it. Dont like it, dont participate. Roll your own camp, many units do that every year. Or keep looking for that perfect camp that is going to meet every expectation you want met. Good luck." I do not accept that the choice is between cheati
  14. So you agree that expediency is one of the values. Let's put it on the sign over the entrance to camp: "Scouting - the good outweighs the bad." There's a battle cry. I have hoped for more. And it's not the staff creating mills. It's councils.
  15. So in a values-oriented program, what are the values being demonstrated at these MB mills? Expediency would seem to be one.
  16. Hope we can keep this civil. I will communicate with the Council that operates the camp in question, but my experience is that they are not doing anything unusual. I was told today that my Council's camp was doing the same thing. In fact, so many MBC's quit that all CIT's were "promoted" to MBC's - some as young as 14. AND ">> They started at a zero knowledge base ... Why? Did none of the Scouts read the MBP? Read the relevant sections in the Handbook and Fieldbook? Did their SPL or SM encourage them to do so before signing up for the program to make sure they'd en
  17. No reason why Camping is a Summer Camp badge since no special facilities are needed to meet the requirements and the "do" requirements come out of patrol camping. At best, the candidate is finishing up, relying on notes from the SM for most of the "do." On the other paw, some of the other MB's done at Summer Camp (e.g. Computers; Citizenship; Personal management)seem even more out-of-place than "001." The key (and I was told this explicitly by one SM) is that all badges in Summer Camp are "easier than at home." But at least the average SC counselor is less competent. 0___0 ("A 'Be
  18. packsaddle, the goal of a good many Councils is to turn a profit on Summer Camp. I don't know of any that have a goal of subsidizing Summer Camp, except in the case of camperships. The last annual budget I saw for our Council (2008) allocated 93% of all funds to salaries. That left 7% for all other items, including maintenance and operation of the Council's camps and offices.
  19. As I noted, "wilderness survival" today is generally survive until rescued. What was BSA Wilderness Survival for the first decade or so is "Bushcraft." Really, how many Scouts, in a survival situation, are going to make clothes from hides, tools from stone, fire-by-friction, boil water in bark, and trap enough food to survive? Animals optimized as hunters still starve. Flint is found in a single location in all of Ohio. Few edible plants supply calories. Ohio's No. 1 expert on mushrooms almost killed himself by making a mistake in ID'ing a fungus. Trappers set dozens and dozens of tra
  20. At one camp, to top off the "lecture" passing of requirements, the overnighter was cancelled due to rain (NOT a storm), but all candidates were given credit for "passing" that requirement as well. By "all" I mean everyone on the list, including the Scout who had stopped attending the lectures on Wednesday to switch to another MB (for which he had a partial). (The same camp gave Pioneering to a Scout who literally could not tie a single knot or lashing required for that MB and had no idea that a "project" was required.) A PM points out that a number of camps deny they are MB mills - in i
  21. It was once about primitive living and well-written by THE man, Professor Olsen of BYU. It changed to "modern survival" - staying alive until rescued. That topic is what most, but not all, "wilderness survival" is about these days. The primitive living topic is often labeled "bushcraft." The current pamphlet is now written by a secret committee and is a mess - disorganized, internally inconsistent, inconsistent with other BSA literature, and full of silly and dangerous errors and omissions. But BSA does not want to communicate about it under any circumstances. The Vatican i
  22. Depending on when you took WSMB, you may not recognize the requirements of today's badge: 1. Show that you know first aid for and how to prevent injuries or illnesses likely to occur in backcountry settings, including hypothermia, heat reactions, frostbite, dehydration, blisters, insect stings, tick bites, and snakebites. 2. From memory, list the seven priorities for survival in a backcountry or wilderness location. Explain the importance of each one with your counselor. 3. Describe ways to avoid panic and maintain a high level of morale when lost, and explain why this is import
  23. I forgot to mention that the two MBC's for Wilderness Survival, who were MBC's for other MB's in Scoutcraft, were 15 and 17.
  24. TT, they did the fires. That is a "do" requirement. So it could be called the "Light Three Fires and Show Up at Lectures Every Day Merit Badge." The shelters were made by teams of candidates, not individuals, and were uniformly inadequate for any purpose (You could see through them from side to side.). Nor were they taught to properly make an expedient shelter. However, that requirement is so vague as to be nonexistent -- no standard for acceptable. Given LNT and the practicalities, the requirement might better read: "x) Using a tarp, poncho or other similar gear that you coul
  25. Thirty candidates for Wilderness Survival MB - many first-year campers. Not a one with the MB pamphlet. Candidates in three sessions sit and listen. Some answer questions - or sit and say not a single word in five days. Not one takes notes. Thirty given the MB - without a single individual examination on any requirement. Not one passed the MB. Trustworthy?
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