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Tampa Turtle

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Posts posted by Tampa Turtle

  1. (1) BSA National has made the announcement and cannot go back.

    (2) BSA has announced a "Separate but Equal' policy.

    (3) A few will try "Separate but Equal", some will ignore it and go "co-ed", and most will lack the manpower to pull it off.

    (4) Some units who try to stay "Boy Only" will face a PR disaster when some girl gets turned away. Only if a religious based National C.O. backs them up will this be tenable.

    (5) National will have no choice but to "relax" the policy on separate units. It is only a temporary tactic.

    (6) None of this will change the fundamental problems (program, culture, program, finances)  BSA is facing. In fact it is a distraction.

    • Thanks 1

  2. 10 hours ago, qwazse said:

    Thanks 'Skip. That cuts both ways. Being unisex is not what caused your boys to leave your program, but going co-ed didn't bring those boys back.

    Over here in the land of quick fixes, our P-R guys are trying to couch this move as a boon to membership (more family friendly, simplified for single parents, etc ...), when a real leader will admit that it is hazarding the loss of some seasoned leaders.

    That is what Scout Son #2 who is pretty wise in these matters thinks BSA is on the brink of disaster--not because of the girls (he really doesn't care except it will drive 2/3rd of his patrol away or that is what they say) he thinks it is the erosion of the traditional youth-led patrol method that is getting watered down by parents and BSA lets things like Merit Badge Academies turn scouting into an Eagle race. (He said some of those are nice guys but all they care about is their individual goal not the patrols) He said it is the old time old school 'real' scouters that made his experience worthwhile and too many of them have quietly announced they are leaving because of the policy change. These are exactly the people needed to push against the parents who want to take it from the boys. 

    I think he is having regrets from seeing the Troop that he has put so much work in degenerate so quickly. He is still helping out though he aged out.

    • Upvote 1

  3. We need a new term for the two separate but equal Troops with the same leadership-- are Troops that ignore the BSA guidance "Rosa Parks" Troops?

    Are you going to be doing the same meeting time? Will the "ghost girl" Troop have its own SPL, etc --that will speed up that POR requirements! Or will the boys and girls just rotate in and out of the meetings? Extra Committee meetings but sharing the same equipment? What happens when Troop 50(male) wants to go with propane lanterns and Troop 50(female) wants solar powered? I can see a female Troop doing better with shared tents than a male Troop with their own. What happens when some boys forget their tent and 'borrow' a shared tent from the girls side of the Scout Hut?

    What happens when both "Troops" camp at the same location and Troop 50(male) SPL and ASPL is absent because of a big game and instead of going to the senior most PL everyone defers to the Troop(female) SPL who did show up? What if one or the boys refuses to listen to her?...is he being insubordinate or following his chain of command? Anyone who had camped with a "fellow" Troop or a merged Troop at a Camp-o-ree has seen some of those issues (usually things sink to the lowest common denominator).

    I am coming around the opinion shared by some on this board that (and completely aside from the issue of Girls in Boy Scouting is a good or bad idea) that National has painted themselves into a corner again...folks wanting full-gendered integration will be very unhappy with any separate but equal policy and push hard to end it quickly. Traditionalists that thought they had room to maintain a Boys Only unit will feel betrayed when National and their CO's cave or they stick to their guns and find themselves isolated and surrounded on social media? I suspect a lot will just withdraw until the dust clears and then drift away.


  4. My concern about the reality not matching is when we parrot the BSA company line about being separate and not 'co-ed' Troops BUT what happens (because of either policy change, wink-wink on paper units, or the exhaustion of leaders) is when we get 'co-ed' Troops WE will face the significant loss of trust. 

    Some of the boys sitting in a "Life to Eagle" session recently I doubt they will finish before 2019 hits. They will have to make their decisions then....

    • Upvote 1

  5. 4 minutes ago, cocomax said:

    The real question is when the girls join the troops and we go co-ed, will the boys stick around?  Will the boys still find it fun?  As leaders we can do everything right, but if the boys are not having fun they will leave.   I don't talk to the boys in our troop about the girls joining, but they know from the news and guys at school teasing them about it and I have overheard them talking about it and they all have decided to walk away if it happens.  My other question is why do the boys feel this way?  I honestly do not know.  Are most boys fine with girls joining and the boys in our troop just strange, I don't know.

    Our boys have really clammed up on this but I have seen a big, big push on boys getting Star and Life and straining about wrapping up Eagle and bailing out by December of this year. About 3x the normal activity. Some of the adults are concerned that this will rip out much of the leader and upcoming leader class out of the Troop. 

  6. 20 minutes ago, CalicoPenn said:

    You're kidding, right?  Please tell me you're kidding.

    Riddle me this CSE Surbaugh: "What's fast, wood, and powered by gravity?" Answer: A Girl Scout Girls Fast Track Race!

    This is the kind of STEM (or is it STEAM or STEEM or STEAMER) activity that BSA should have started like in the 1950's or something. Why can't our boys (or girls now) carve blocks of wood and race them? Why can't OUR kids learn science while having fun?

    The gloves are off...start selling Boy Scout Cookies...just make sure they are marketed correctly (Boy Scout Cookies "Macho Mocha Mints with extra Transfats! Nothing-but-Gluten Do-see-don'ts, Bacon wrapped lardettos!" 

    • Haha 1

  7. For whatever reason the families I had in the Tiger-Wolf ages had a lot of separation/divorce drama (I have seen it again about Webelos II-Scout transition) for reasons I have no idea. So I think there is a valuable role to play as that steady adult influence where things are changing. If you have one of those scouts try to see if they need a little extra support especially around pinewood derby time. YMMV

  8. 15 hours ago, SSScout said:

    Virtual Campfire . . . What would B - P say about this?  No dancing flames to gaze into....  No warm radiance to utilize ...  What to do with the "Campfire Ash Tradition"?  

    We reuse electrons from the first virtual campfire in 1991 when we still called it the World Wide Web.

  9. 10 hours ago, Pselb said:

    I've been around enough fires to know that "Smoke follows ugliness".  That shouldn't be that hard to find either.

    So that is my problem. That and I refuse to say "White Rabbit, White Rabbit, White Rabbit" to keep the smoke away.

  10. Scout Sunday good turn out. Both sons (18, 19) showed up in uniform as well. One of their old ASM's said we should call them "Cling-ons" and they could use a Klingon design for a patrol patch. I wish BSA would have a better option for 18-21 who want to stay in Scouting other than venturing. Not a lot but they can use the numbers.

  11. 18 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

    When, when IS National planning to have the new program in place?  They originally said "sometime in 2019" but I thought that had been moved up for the purpose of the new units accepting female crossovers.  Has an actual date been announced?  And, they have not actually "announced" this new program yet at all.  It has to have a name, they need to start lining up CO's, they have to manufacture the green skorts, etc. etc.  (Ha ha on that last one.)  Has anyone heard when that announcement is planned?  (It's sort of like a presidential candidate, announcing when they are going to announce.)

    I heard President Trump is going to tweet monday that the new BSA Skort factory will be based in a brand new factory in Mt. Hope, West Virginia employing over 500 former coal miners. BSA Chief Scout Executive Michael B. Surbaugh is expected to announce that the new 100% american made Skorts will be available first in the $100 million Scout Store USA following the consolidating of all other council scout stores to a location somewhere in Wright County, Missouri the approximate center of the U.S. population.  The new skorts will retail for $159 a pair and offer a lifetime guarantee making them an exceptional value.

    • Haha 1

  12. 15 minutes ago, Pselb said:

    Just a couple of ideas to float by you.  Take these Merit Badge counselors I have been reading about.  It would seem that I'm right back to just working with kids like I do every day of the week.  Not a strong point to be considering.

    Also if I were to promote the already existing courses the Conservancy, state park, library, etc. offers would it not appear I'm promoting those programs rather than scouting?  If I give promotional materials to my son,  isn't that a bit much to use him as the conduit?  Just a lot of things to think about on my part.  I get enough politics at school (professional) and church (volunteer), and one of the nice things about the other areas is someone else sets them up and all I do is teach and someone else can deal with the hassles.  It's not that I can't handle it, the question is whether or not I want to. :)

    I use to teach but stopped when it became too much of a drag. What I like about Scouts is, if you do it right, you can do most of the fun part of teaching. Merit Badges can be a hassle but teaching one part of one with somebody or just bringing a speaker is a big help. I'd say just giving promotional materials via your son is not likely to be successful and I have seen hundreds of boys.

    Nothing wrong with promoting local programs. Our Troop has recurring relationships on education and service projects with the local Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful and the local Estuary program. Those folks work with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts all the time. 

    It's just that the adult leaders working with the kids are so swamped with the meeting preparation and working with individual personalities that it is hard to get there heads above water to do the simple work to make those connections. So that kind of thing is appreciated. And you kinda kill too birds with one stone.

    • Thanks 1

  13. 3 minutes ago, David CO said:

    My world isn't scouting either.

    I don't blame you, or any parent who is lukewarm on scouting, for not volunteering. The more gung-ho volunteers in scouting are often less than kind to those who show less support,  enthusiasm, and loyalty to BSA. If you were to volunteer, you would encounter many die-hard scouters who will tell you that you should get out because you aren't dedicated enough to scouting.

    You don't need that. More importantly, your son doesn't need that. 


    I'd just pick out an easy area that overlaps with something you are doing anyway and offer that once in a while. Gives you some cover and isn't much of a commitment. I know a few parents whose main contribution was wheeling and dealing to hook us up for field trips; they didn't actually ever go camping or meetings much.

  14. 12 minutes ago, Pselb said:

    No offense taken, you need to be at a parent/teacher conference.  Your comments weren't even on the chart when you compare them to what parents say when you're flunking their child. :)  I've learned to be quite bullet-proof when it comes to people's comments.  

    From what I'm gleaning from the forum, it would seem that no two units are alike in operation.  I get enough of kids during my everyday job, so I'm thinking more of a upper level position, but without any experience it would be difficult to position in.  I have no background in scouting as a youth so I'm coming in as a true green-horn.  I'm curious just because my son seems to be quite pleased with his involvement.  

    Oh I have been on the other side of that conference! I've had some pretty mad Scout parents too.

    One of my hats as a government person is permit review. No one likes to be regulated. I have to sometimes disapprove permits, I've had personal threats, calls from lawyers, etc. While I try hard to be a helpful public servant I have a thicker skin now too. 

    • Like 1

  15. 1 minute ago, Pselb said:

    LOL!  You want a kid?  I'll send you one!  Catch me on a good day and I'll even cover the cost of shipping. :)  Yes, I have a son in the program.  Apology accepted.

    As I mentioned:

    My church takes a lot of my "free" time, but the wife and kids are also involved as a family.  The wife teaches at the grade school level and I teach at the high school/adult level Sunday School.  All our kids are old enough to be enrolled at that time.

    I volunteer for the local historical society and genealogy club because of my interest in history.  One of my daughters volunteers at the historical society along with me, a chip off the old block, I guess.  I also do a tad bit of volunteering at the local library archives section.

    Occasionally one of the school clubs asks me to do some presentations, so that counts I assume.

    My wife and I (and sometimes the kids) are involved with volunteering at the area Nature Conservancy with their special programming for school, church and community groups of all ages.

    The same for the local state park that does special nature programming on topics that interest us.

    I am considering doing a bit of volunteering for the local archaeology society, get my hands dirty for a change.  There's not much recently that calls for their expertise.

    I am a member (not a volunteer) at the local Conservation Club just to get out of the house at least once a month just for myself. 

    The summers are limited for us in that it is the time we focus on home-schooling field trips for our kids on outings that take us out of the area more than an hours drive or so.

    A lot of my volunteering is on the instructional adult level in that it gives me an opportunity to interact with adults outside of school and church.  It's a lot more fun teaching people who want to learn and I don't have to grade their efforts.  A lot more relaxed and fun.

    The fanfare in the national news about all the changes in the BSA has peaked my "interest" so as to look into it a bit.  It hasn't affected my son in any way, or at least he hasn't mentioned anything, but if I were to get involved, it would probably be in a position that wouldn't affect my son directly.  I don't want him thinking I'm only in it because he is.  That way it doesn't show partisanship against the daughters.  It would be me volunteering because I have a separate personal interest in it.

    I thought as a start, and as I learn more about the scouts, I would try the forum.  If there were other nature programs out there with similar forums, I'd be on them too as I explore my options. 


    OK K I'll buy that. If I was offensive I apologize. :)

    No more kids. I got one ready to launch and another one moving into position once the deck clears.

    I think you'd learn more by visiting actual units...and I mean the plural. They are so different. Or read the manual.

    Some groups like church or scouts will make an unlimited demand on your time if you let them. So I get that.

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