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About TNScoutTroop

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  1. My Scout son is doing really well rising to the challenge of being an SPL of a new troop, with 2/3 of the Scouts NOT native English speakers. But, he & I have an ongoing if good natured dispute over whether I'm excessively enthusiastic about Scouting. This note -- which he read first -- was attached to his gift to me this morning: "'A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.' This present is a testimony to my personal Scout spirit. I have showed my trustworthiness by not getting this gift for myself; my loyalness, kindness, obedience, and friendliness by actually giving you a gift; my helpfulness by wrapping it myself, instead of having mom do it; my courteousness by wrappting it at all; my cheerfulness by smiling while I did it, and even right now; my thriftiness by wrapping it in the bag it came in; my bravery by doing this at all, instead of chickening out like I would have a year ago; my cleanliness by washing my hands before wrapping it; and my reverence by praying that God would give me ideas to make this scheme work! Merry Christmas" . . . and the ribbon was, he pointed out, tied with a taut-line hitch. May God's grace be upon you all this day, even those of you who don't believe in Him! Merry Christmas TN Scout Troop PS. It was a bottle of wine, which his older brother helped him buy.(This message has been edited by tnscouttroop)
  2. "Scouting changed and Wood Badge changed with it" There are plausible arguments for the position that the modified Wood Badge was a stealth hijacking of Scouting, and was used to change Scouting. The evidence that the no-woods Wood Badge *reflected* change already present in Scouting seems pretty thin. The evidence that those pushing the White Stag quasi-religion (adopted in the early 'leadership' Wood Badge) intended to use it to produce NEW change in Scouting seems substantial. It's worth noting that when an ORGANIZATION changes as a whole, and publicly, they often name the 'new' program something different and distinctive. On the other hand, when a minority within an organization hijacks an organization, they often KEEP the old names while gradually morphing existing programs into something new. This approach is used to prevent rank and file from noticing the hijack. This latter approach is precisely what happened in the Southern Presbyterian Church, and was successful in redirecting the denomination from Christian orthodoxy to religious modernism. Several smaller orthodox denominations (including ours) were formed when some frogs noticed that the pot was boiling and hopped out. There are many other interesting parallels. For example, Scouting's national leadership gives the impression that they don't actually believe in anything except organizational continuity and financial growth. If there are any Scouting principles which they treat as genuinely foundational and fundamental, we've missed those news reports. It seems plausible that Wood Badge represents an *on-going* hijacking of Scouting principles, and that the continuing 'progress' in WB is actually continuing progress toward the final emasculation of Scouting . TN Scout Troop
  3. Scoutbox wrote, "The older courses were labor intensive (patrol cooking) and outdoor intensive - so we were essentially eliminating those who were less outdoor prone from participating, and we were taking too much time in teaching outdoor skills rather than leadership skills. Both are needed, but there are other venues for the outdoor piece." Yep, that's precisely the attitude we've found here in our Council -- outdoor skills can be taught in "some other venue". Unfortunately, that venue is IOLS, where those skills are taught by the WB'rs who are "less outdoor prone" . . . but well trained in leadership. TN Scout Troop
  4. TNScoutTroop

    LA Times On Scout Safety

    Does anyone else, besides us, see this article, and these type of incidents, as an argument for re-focusing WoodBadge on actual outdoor leadership skills, rather than on corporate training? TN Scout Troop
  5. TNScoutTroop

    Where do you go for balanced news?

    Speaking personally, I try not to trust the news much . . . except for the aforementioned "what, when, where". Without exception, every nationally reported event of which I've had personal knowledge was significantly distorted, even before political bias was added in. Likewise, I've never seen dependably accurate and useful analysis of current cultural issues where I have expertise and personal knowledge. Here, the problem has been that the writers simply did not have enough expertise in the realm they were covering to do any valid analysis. Particularly, it appears that there are virtually no journalists with significant personal knowledge of math and 'hard' science or engineering. So, what I've taught my sons is a pretty radical skepticism regarding news and 'accepted wisdom' in all areas of life. A few things are known and trustworthy, but not that many. History seems to support the reasonableness of such skepticism. For example, it appears that there was nowhere on earth where one could have gotten "news" that would have enabled either Allied or Axis citizens to reach in 1914, or even 1917, an informed and reasoned judgment regarding WWI. The same appears to have been true regarding US citizens in 1860. A positive value of the current Wikileaks mess is, I think, that it reveals how little public statements, and ordinary 'leaks', by US politicians and bureaucrats reveal of what's actually going on, either in their minds or international events. Our troop is too new for me to have addressed such issues with our Scouts. But I know that our ASM -- once an aspiring professional historian -- has similar views, so that's what we'll probably teach there, too. SM TN Scout Troop
  6. Sort of like a constitutional amendment requiring all new laws & regulations apply to legislators for 12 months before they apply to anyone else? Works for us!
  7. Moosetracker, a THREE hour test that sampled Scout skills (which is what tests typically do) rather than requiring testing of each and every skill would be way above 100% more than what's required of IOLS . . . INFINITELY more, since there is no testing at IOLS. If you can convince National to introduce "WoodBadge 1900 - the REAL version", staff it with instructors genuinely competent in Scoutcraft, and offer it to our leaders at an affordable price . . . we'll plan to attend AND pass your test. But, right now, what we want is something that's a step up from "IOLS - the butt-chair version" to "IOLS - the DIY version". We want a real test, but not an exhaustive one. To exhaustively and comprehensively test a group of 4 Scouters in each and every skill through 1st Class is going to be an impractical task. In our Council, you couldn't find people to GIVE that test competently. The people we know of who could do the test, aren't Wood Badge, and aren't active at the Council or District level. Tell you what . . . why don't you profile your test against your committee members. Tell them you need to do it, to calibrate the test, and to identify test proctors and judges. Once they find that they can't pass it maybe they'll go along with your easing up a bit.
  8. Moosetracker, it's our understanding Wood Badge (the week of Scoutcraft training) was replaced by Wood Badge (the weekends of corporate management training) . . . not IOLS. As we understand it, the old Wood Badge DID take Scouter to the point of POSSESSING First Class skills, but we're not aware of any other class that has done so. You seem to be coming up with a test that would be valid after a week long Scoutcraft Wood Badge. IOLS (in our Council) is a "butt credit" course (if your butt's in the chair at the right place and time, you get credit) taught by people who often don't have the skill they are teaching. THERE IS NO TEST WHATSOEVER. We want our new leaders to be taught by people who have the skill taught, and we want them to 'pass' only after they've learned the basics of those skills themselves. But -- as desirable as it might be -- we aren't deluding ourselves into thinking that new and unskilled Scouters can acquire full First Class skills in one or two weekends. We don't think a test that requires them to do so is reasonable, especially since the test you describe could not be passed by 75% of the IOLS instructors or 95% of the IOLS graduates we've seen. It's reasonable for test-out to require more skill than IOLS, which in our Council requires none. But it's not reasonable for test-out to require what only a 'real' Wood Badge class could provide. The OTHER issue with the test you describe is that it's so comprehensive that setting it up would be nearly as difficult and time-consuming as setting up an IOLS course. Of course, that may be the goal of your committee. If so, it would parallel the classic bureaucratic approach of sandbagging a proposal that's disliked, without actually opposing it publicly. TN Scout Troop
  9. "My only requirement will be that to be a tester, they have completed the IOLS test themselves." Entirely reasonable. But, the problem is that in our Council at least, not one of the 20 - 25 Scouters we know well enough to judge could themselves pass the IOLS test. No doubt there are some Scouters in the Council who could. Several rural troops who keep to themselves apparently have high skills, which suggests that their leaders do, too. But, among the highly visible active leaders, none could pass. Oops. Backing up -- there's a retired Marine who's started a new backpacking only troop who possibly could. Dunno for sure. TN Scout Troop
  10. Moosetracker, it's not clear what your Council is like. But, the testing requirements you suggest are a HUGE step up from what's required (or demonstrated) at IOLS here. In our Council at least, there would be several problems. 1) Who could test that way? Given that our Council cannot assemble a team of of Wood Badgers who can do things like sharpen a knife correctly or use a compass competently . . . where could they find competent skill judges? One of us has already had a son turned down for advancement by one of these instructors because he "incorrectly identified 'boxwood' as the invasive 'privet hedge'". (It was privet hedge; neither plant is native.) 2) What justifies the HUGE increase from what's required at IOLS (attendance) to test-out (full blown demonstration of every skill)? Since mere attendance is good enough for the preferred instructional method, it's not clear what -- except envy -- would make 100% field competence the standard for 'test-out'. 3) Won't setting the bar so high, simply function as a way Council's can avoid test-out? If our Council follows your plan, the net result would simply be no 'test-out'. Your approach -- done right -- would take as long as IOLS, and would require MORE competent instructors than any IOLS here has had in the last decade. 4) Isn't what you suggest *really* what should be accomplished at Wood Badge (at least, old style Wood Badge)? TN Scout Troop
  11. TNScoutTroop

    Night Hike

    "Teach the Scouts to look at all the spiders in the leaves and pinestraw, by seeing their eyes reflecting light. I have found using a headlight works well." Cool. We'll have to try that. We've already scheduled a hike with a local amateur herpetologist for this spring to look for snakes. But, looking for spiders systematically is a new idea!
  12. TNScoutTroop

    National website down?

    Clear evidence of National's clear vision and competent follow-through. . . TN Scout Troop
  13. TNScoutTroop

    Night Hike

    We're looking at doing at least one of the Hiking MB 10-milers at night . . . partly because it's cool, and partly to generate 'bragging rights' for our new Scouts and partly to develop a practical awareness of what it takes to move around at night. Had anyone else done this? Some of us have hiked 5+ miles at night with no lights, but none of us have done it with boys before. TN Scout Troop
  14. TNScoutTroop


    Zero clue how this happened -- was posting in the "trainers" thread.
  15. TNScoutTroop


    "At the risk of being labeled a heretic... If I was in Mazzuca's place, and I was serious about these training requirements, I'd order all Wood Badge courses suspended until no units failed recharter because of a lack of training." Hear! hear! . . . and perhaps . . . "until no unit failed to offer EFFECTIVE IOLS courses, staffed by trainers SKILLED in Scoutcraft"! Tn Scout Troop (In our opinion, Scouting needs Wood badge just about exactly as much as it needs a MB in video games.)