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  1. Scouting ties in the Trump Administration

    Maybe the Eagle Scouts in Trump's administration should take him camping. Get the President out in the woods, away from the TV and Twitter. Have a nice campfire with lots of coffee and dutch oven munchies. Around a campfire you can give each other crap and laugh about it. You can also have some really deep conversations that may transform you into being person with empathy and humility. And, if the President causes too much trouble out in the woods, they could always take him on a nice snipe hunt.
  2. Linked Troops - What are these?

    By Jove, I think he's got it!
  3. Personal Scouting Goals

    I think it's really great that you are taking up the challenge to pass the swim test. Your experience will really help you to be a coach and cheerleader to the Scouts who will need a boost to complete their own test.
  4. This post brought back some memories of poking around the Scout stuff at J.C.Penney's when I was a little fellow. When I finally joined a Troop, it was there that I or my Mom purchased everything I needed to participate. They had it all. I didn't set foot in a Council "Scout Shop" until many years later as an adult. We still have one locally owned clothing store out in the suburbs of our Metro area that carries uniforms, books and many other items. They are pretty proud about the fact that they have a long history as a Scout stuff distributor. I have no clue as to the nature of their arrangement with BSA to carry the brand, but it works and it's a go-to place for many Scout families in the area.
  5. Integration and Ceremonies

    Sounds like you are acquainted with Mic-O-Say. I've been very involved with that for over 40 years. Suffice it to say, we have some work to do in the years ahead...
  6. Integration and Ceremonies

    Currently in our Lodge, the 4 principles are fully attired including a ribbon shirt. We have other Arrowmen at ceremony that tend fires, beat the drum, escort inductees, etc. They are in some type of regalia. I've seen some shirtless, but that would be an easy fix. All inductees, for Ordeal and Brotherhood, appear in Class A for ceremony. So...really, not a big deal. Just make sure the relatively few guys serving a ceremonial role are not topless, and all is well.
  7. I'm coming into this party really, really late, but since @@John-in-KC tagged me, I figure I would chime in. Not much too say....it is what it is. National drops a load and we deal with it. I am a fairly optimistic guy and think that it will work out. Forty years down the road, Scouting will still be around doing what it's doing today, pretty much like it was doing forty years ago . I understand all the concerns and complaints. Honestly, I could rant about it louder and longer than anyone, but at the end of the day it would be sound and fury, signifying nothing. BSA is a business. It will always make decisions to increase it's market share and improve it's bottom line. For me the key to enjoying Scouting and doing the best for the youth I serve, is to try to put aside the previous two sentences. I consciously make an effort to put that whole "BSA is a business" thing into the same brain compartment that I would put thoughts of a root canal, or a case of hemorrhoids, because if I dwell on it, it just makes me pissed-off. I find that my better nature in relation to the program comes out when I take interest in what the kids are doing and try to look at it through their eyes. They are experiencing so many of the things that I loved about Scouts when I was their age. The cold and snowy campouts, the great times at summer camp, the pride of a Court of Honor. etc, etc, etc... It has been obvious for many years that girls have been underserved by other organizations tailored to them. I've heard it a thousand times. So have most of you folks. While it raises a lot of questions and concerns, including girls into our adventure program is a logical step. While I'm not nearly at the place where I'm doing enthusiastic back flips about this change in membership policy and programming, I'm willing to approach it in a kind and supportive way. In the end I hope to see young ladies truly getting into adventure and leadership development, positive adult mentoring, and discovering the right path of duty to God, Country, and Others.
  8. "Old Codgers Die in Bed."

    Hi Eamonn! I've wondered what you have been up to. I'm pretty much on the same point on my Scouting path as you. Keeping my nose in it, but not nearly as involved as I was in the 2000-2010 time frame. I have a number of lifetime friends that are very active and I get pulled into a few service opportunities now and then and it's always a great time. Congrats on the new grandson!! It currently appears that I'm not very close to arriving at that milestone yet, but I'm looking forward to that same sense of joy that is very apparent in your post. God Bless you and your growing family!!
  9. LDS Dropping Senior Youth Scouting

    LDS has officially stated on several occasions during the last few years that it is continuing to seek and evaluate programs that meet the needs of their youth. I think the main reason they continue to be on board with the BSA Troop and Pack programs is the name-brand recognition and the access it provides to events and properties. So, although they may surprise me, I think LDS will stick with the brands that offer those benefits. We all know that "Eagle" has become a brand unto itself. I'm sure many in the LDS community still see it as an important trophy and bullet-point on a resume. If, one day, that church feels the BSA brands are no longer important or meaningful or heavily supported by the volunteers in their community, they will either adopt the Trail Life program or cook up one of their own.
  10. Push for Coed Scouting

    That thing I highlighted in red seems like crazy-talk but stranger things have happened, I suppose.
  11. Push for Coed Scouting

    I think they want to make this change slow and agonizing . A fully coed Scouting program has been cussed and discussed amongst Scouters for at least the 45 years I have been connected with the program, so why rush it now, right? For some reason, National seems much more hesitant to flip on this like they did on other membership issues. Also, I kind of detect more resistance to it in my contacts with other Scouters than I ever did with the more recent changes. Just my observation. So, we wait....
  12. I think being Responsible is a natural outcome of following all 12 points of the Scout Law. Most folks that I would consider responsible people are those that demonstrate most of those 12 characteristics most of the time. In the context of Scouting, I think our emphasis on Obedient is simply aimed at encouraging the youth to follow directions from those in formal authority over you. To be a good leader, one must first be a good follower.
  13. Transgender policy change

    I guess part of this was a rapid-response to a lawsuit recently filed. Maybe it will be easier to do damage control with charter relationships than deal with the hot mess of publicity the suit would cause. http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Cub-Scouts-Sued-Transgender-Boy-New-Jersey-Secaucus--412068393.html
  14. Transgender policy change

    Was there really any direct input at all from charter organizations leading up to this? I'm pretty sure there was little. Sure, this had to be confronted sooner or later. However this seems like a decision made solely at the professional level, with not even a pretense of building a consensus.
  15. Speak to me of this STEM Scouts program...

    I can't speak from any personal experiences, and I've never heard of members of our troop attending the council STEM events that have been going on the last few years. I personally don't think it's that great of a departure from the Scout program in general. STEM stuff has been a part of the Merit Badge progam forever. I don't think the intent is to somehow use it as a replacement for other activities we associate with Scouting. While not that detailed or informative, the link I'm sharing does show the types of activities our council provides for several STEM camps that are held during the year. These are held at our council camping facilities. https://www.hoac-bsa.org/stem