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WilVick

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About WilVick

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  1. WilVick

    Current BSA Policy Vs local option poll

    Just a curiosity type question...let's say Tommy comes out at 15. He stays in and earns his Eagle Scout with palms. He's a respected leader in his troop and has been through NYLT. He's served on camp staff and is a member of the Order of the Arrow. He also maintains a membership in the camp staff venturing crew. He hits the magic 18 in Boy Scouts and is out, but maintains his membership in Venturing. Now he's 21 and has to kiss the whole thing good-bye. Just a question, BSA...you will not accept this man as a leader; will you solicit and accept his contributions through Friends of Scouting? If he hits the lotto, will his money be good enough for you when he isn't? Just being curious here.
  2. WilVick

    Sad news...OldGreyEagle has passed away

    Prayers and positive thoughts on John's behalf and to the entire family. I always looked forward to reading his well thought out responses. He was truly a great guide to all of us who came to know him here. May the Great Master of all Scouts be with us until we meet again. Happy trails, Old Grey Eagle.
  3. WilVick

    Threat of bodily harm and knife pulled

    I don't want to think back the roughly thirty years that have passed since something similar happened at a summer camp where I served as program director. It was one of those south central Ohio scorchers where temps hit 103 in the shade, and our first year camper program were doing knife safety in the relatively wide open spaces of our council ring. One of our first year campers was being exceptionally squirrely and not acknowledging the staff member's repeated request that he stop and be careful. The staff member grabbed that first year camper, putting his arm across his chest and pulling the boy into himself; he then placed the closed knife to the boy's neck and demanded that he be seated or leave. The staff member didn't make it to dinner that night. Threats of violence are not to be treated lightly or ignored. I have to go along with many others who have said the boy with the threats needs to be removed from the troop. The three involved may be best buds in spite of it all, but the fact of the matter is that there were others who witnessed the fracas. As a unit leader, the scoutmaster has to look at all who were involved as actors or as witnesses to the action, and he must act appropriately. It is not the role of the District Commissioner, the Unit Commissioner, the DE or the District Chair to deal with an internal issue such as this was.
  4. WilVick

    The transition between blue and tan uniforms...

    I have the privilege of working in one of our Scout Shops. When a new member comes in, the first question I ask is his grade in school or which program he has joined; that guides everything else. New Cub Scouts who are in fourth grade are led toward the tan uniform in a size that will carry him through his two years and into Boy Scouts. To quote myself, "He'll have a great time, and the tan is the uniform he'll wear for the rest of his career as a Boy Scout. I ask those parents of veterans if they plan to transfer patches - most want a memory shirt and start fresh. Most of the packs in the council where I serve present the oval, so many parents use the plastic patch holder (ew, ick) for the transition. The long and short of it...it's Mom and Dad's decision; but I like to include their son as a part of the whole uniforming thing.
  5. I don't do a lot of posting here, but this one caught my attention. I have sat on both sides of the table for the pre-camp meeting. Guy may remember when our Tecumseh Council Camp held a Thursday evening through Saturday morning SPL orientation the week before the troop checked in. I was the program director and the SPL's met all area directors, Commissary Director, DH Head Steward, and many more. We scheduled troop aquatic activities for the week, troop shoots on our ranges, and many more things important to the week. The Patrol Method worked for us. At this point in our camp's story, we served upwards of 1500 youth in a six week camp. The thing is, we never had huge adult pre-season meetings - with the exception of our Steak-A-Claim dinner and meeting that happened each fall. Well attended. Our key was a complete Leader's Guide with both administrative and program details for the season. If a change is not in the guide when it is published, it doesn't happen. I commend you, Fish, for attending the meeting especially with your distance travelled. As has been said by another before me...you are prepared for your week at camp. Enjoy it! My years on staff and as a camper are among the most memorable I have!
  6. I don't do a lot of posting here, but this one caught my attention. I have sat on both sides of the table for the pre-camp meeting. Guy may remember when our Tecumseh Council Camp held a Thursday evening through Saturday morning SPL orientation the week before the troop checked in. I was the program director and the SPL's met all area directors, Commissary Director, DH Head Steward, and many more. We scheduled troop aquatic activities for the week, troop shoots on our ranges, and many more things important to the week. The Patrol Method worked for us. At this point in our camp's story, we served upwards of 1500 youth in a six week camp. The thing is, we never had huge adult pre-season meetings - with the exception of our Steak-A-Claim dinner and meeting that happened each fall. Well attended. Our key was a complete Leader's Guide with both administrative and program details for the season. If a change is not in the guide when it is published, it doesn't happen. I commend you, Fish, for attending the meeting especially with your distance travelled. As has been said by another before me...you are prepared for your week at camp. Enjoy it! My years on staff and as a camper are among the most memorable I have!
  7. WilVick

    Uniform Inspection By Commissioners

    When I was a Cub Scout back in 1966-1969, we had an annual uniform inspection set up by the pack and done as a part of our pack meeting. That inspection was conducted by a couple members of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. I remember feeling a little pride at these guys in their uniforms complimenting us on ours. But the years have passed, and times have changed. I have served as a Unit Commissioner and a District Commissioner and was never asked to perform a uniform inspection. I would have advised my district commissioner staff against it, most vehemently. Somewhere, though, I remember a checkpoint on the recharter application that called for uniform inspection and member inventory. This is a process that can be accomplished in a den meeting as easily as anywhere else. It can be accomplished by the den leader or, better yet, by den chiefs or other members of the brother troop if there is one. Done well, it could be a great retention and bridging tool. Likewise, though, the essential part is the inventory...verifying that the boys and adults are still members, verifying or updating advancement, etc. If you can do the inventory without the inspection, go for it! I place tremendous importance on the uniform but recognize that, in our current economy, parents may not have the money for a complete (BSA definition) uniform. Setting the kids to compare what they have against what others have is wrong on all bases. I know that most wouldn't think about going onto the basebal diamond or football field in jeans, a cap, tennis shoes, and the team shirt, but I also know that many local (not international) leagues issue uniforms or use t-shirts with caps provided by sponsors with little or no out of pocket expense to the family save for registration. As to why the membership and recharter chair taking care of inspection...that would probably be because of that little check box on the charter renewal application.
  8. WilVick

    Uniform Prices going up.....

    What was said earlier is true, once official always official. If I could still fit into the uniform that I wore in 1977 as a first year Camp Chaplain, it would still be okay...it is a uniform of the BSA. The fact that Scout Shops no longer carry the item does not deny the official nature of the uniform. I understand the angst over four different CS caps. A pack in Simon Kenton Council has created their own pack cap. It's navy blue with the pack number and Cub Scouts embroidered in CS gold. It looks good and brings the boys through all phases of the program in that pack. Not at all a bad idea. As for the cost of a pair of pants. I find it best to remind myself that these trousers serve a dual purpose with their switchback legs. I may spend $40.00 at my Scout Shop on a pair of cotton canvas pants, but they become shorts. I might find the identical color (or close enough for government work) at American Eagle, but by the time I add a pair of shorts, I've spent substantially more than $40.00. Just my 2 cents. Wil
  9. WilVick

    Eagle Problems....BIG

    I love that you and your son are so considerate of the DAC (congatulations, you're getting the ScoutSpeak down so well! hehe), but I think a call the next morning is late and giving the committee opportunity to make the same call that evening. This individual is accustomed to being at district meetings, trainings, and other events that will keep him up late. The committee will think nothing of a 10:00 call if need be. If this meeting runs beyond an hour and a half, it's gone too long. I'm going to make a suggestion that I fear others will disagree with, but here goes...if your council has a NESA Chapter, check the roles. Perhaps, there is an Eagle Scout who is an attorney willing to do a little pro bono work on behalf of a hopeful brother. We do live in a litigious society, and in no way do I condone frivolous action, but might the letter with deadline demands have more teeth from that intermediary? Not sure...just a thought. At the very least, if the DAC is sympathetic to the situation, perhaps a letter from him citing the necessary passages in ACP&P and reminding them that they must adhere to this policy would bolster your son's requests. Regardless of what you and your son decide, I have to agree that a well placed phone call in the presence of this august body will let them know how serious your son is taking this all. Just my 2 cents... Wil
  10. WilVick

    Eagle Problems....BIG

    Wow, Mdsummer, I have just spent an hour reading this forum and your post on the other that was linked in an earlier posting. May I first say, "Congratulations and thank you for being a mom who is concerned but is willing to let her son work this through." I am extremely impressed. As an educator, let me tell you how much you have allowed your son to learn about people, about himself, and about a desire to see things through. Bravo! As I have read your responses on both forums, one thing has struck me over and over. Your son has shown a tremendous amount of leadership skill in this whole ordeal - good for him!. He has shown an amazing level of maturity for a teenager in many situations where most would have flown off the handle by maintaining his cool with some truly hard-headed individuals - good for him! He has demonstrated a loyalty to the Scout Oath and Law that those who should be modelling it for him are lacking - good for him! He has shown more Scout Spirit in his little finger than most of his leaders seem to have in their entire bodies - good for him! Were I still in the Summer Camp Administration game, your son is one I would be after to sign a staff contract. Wish him well and express my hope that he will, one day, join the ranks of Eagle Scout that many of us on this forum share. He strikes me, on the basis of reading, as one who is truly deserving. Wil
  11. WilVick

    Eagle Project Nightmare

    Wow, Momof7Scouts, you have your hands full with this one. With due respect, Dad, as SM should probably stand back as he will probably only be seen as pushy parent in a neckerchief. You should do the same for much the same reason. Don't leave Number 2 Son out to dry, but depend on other leaders in the unit. If the Eagle Adviser is a troop position, it is probably a committee appointment. The CC can deal with it; if he can't, go to the COR. His/her role as liaison to the Council Board and District Committee allows him/her the ability to act on behalf of the Executive Officer of the sponsoring organization to remove from the troop rolls any volunteer who can not work on behalf of the troop. Beavah, I love the accent...I'm sure I've heard it before from my mother who was raised in Waterville, ME. Thanks for the memories of her time as a den mother and of the family I don't see nearly enough....but I digress. I have to agree that this young man needs to help in his own defense. The Eagle Project is, in my humble opinion, more a test of leadership skills than it is a proof of community service. Your thought of copying all material to date is perfect. In my current role of classroom teacher, I am expected to document discipline as well as grades, etc. to cover myself. When I was a camp director, it was my job to deal with issues that could arise among staff members...copies of every letter and report were put into my "cover yourself" file to have on hand in case it was necessary. These are skill that this young man will use in the future. Everyone else who saw the obvious overstep that this individual is taking with BSA Advancement Requirements and Policy, Bravo! This guy is way out of line. We do not have the authority to add any requirements. I've twice had to reprimand staff members at camp who had added requirements to merit badges they were counselling. In one of those cases, Emergency Preparedness, the member had declared that no Scout under age 13 could work on the merit badge. There were, at the time, no age requirements on any merit badge, including the newly developed Climbing Merit Badge. The second was wilderness survival when a staff member informed Scouts that they could not carry a sleeping bag with them as they wouldn't have one in a "real situation." Both staff lost their battles. We don't add. This man needs to step down. He sounds like he has determined to keep the Eagle from one who is not deserving in his eyes. Let the action be taken by those who should do it. A wise friend once told me that volunteers can be fired and should be if they are hurting the program. He is. As for organization, grammar, spelling, etc...you're right, none of this is in the requirements. That doesn't make it unimportant. Let one of the first things your son does be a revision of his paper taking into account the information that must be there. Take some of the "adviser's" advice (if indeed any was given), and repair the paper. Hopefully he did this on a word processor and saved the files as each was revised. Do a final revision, ask a Langauge Arts teacher to review it...he can even send it to me if he'd like...make the changes for grammar, etc., then declare it the product. The final product should be a publishable piece. I would be honored to help another Eagle Candidate on his way...HE only needs to ask. Tell him not to lose heart. I dealt with the same with a Scoutmaster when I was 16 and pursuing my Eagle. This particular individual made life so difficult that I nearly gave it up until I decided I wanted it more than he didn't want me to have it. Good luck to you and to your son. I'm sure he is a young man all of will be proud to call brother. Wil Vickery
  12. WilVick

    Sleeping Arrangements

    OK....so, I'm ready now for someone to jump me big on this one. BSA has, for years, gotten by with ousting Scouts and Scouters who are willing to be honest and upfront about being gay in this organization. The ongoing reason for this is that homosexuality violates the basic moral principles of the organization. The Courts have stood behind this argument pretty consistently. How are the actions of this Professional Scouter, a man trained in the goal and ideals of Scouting, regarding this any different? Leviticus may condemn one man for laying with another, but the Ten Commandments condemn the act of adultery which society pretty well accepts as premarital activity. Do I know that anything happened that weekend? No. What is the perception, though? As a camp director, I had two staff members who were a couple...yes, they were a guy and a girl...I knew that when they wandered across the land bridge to the chapel after camp had quieted down, they were going to pray...but why not encourage other staff to join you? It's a matter of perception, and a lot of people perceived a lot...fellow staff, campers, and adult leaders. The point is if there is any doubt, don't do it. If it can possibly be a cause of scandal to the organization, don't do it. An engagement is not a marriage in any dictionary. They are not "just about the same." Both are commitments of a sort, but one can be more easily broken than the other. Let's get everything on the same page. If we are going to claim morality is the reason for some decisions, shouldn't that same rule apply in all cases? Just my thoughts....
  13. WilVick

    The latest Ask Andy

    There are two questions I never asked as a unit serving leader or as a district/council serving volunteer..."What is your religion?" and "Are you gay or straight?" Neither of these is actually any of my business. I have neither the right nor the responsibility to verify this information for BSA because I will not be their membership police. When we are looking at CS or BS youth applications, we are looking at young people who are basically following a faith system based upon their parents and their expectations. As those same youth reach their teen years, they are starting to experience the influences of others as well as those family members. Are we then to take the bull by the horns and ask youth who have been with our organization for six or seven years, "Do you you still believe in God?" If the boy says no, do we then tell the boy he can no longer belong? It really is not that cut and dry. Don't make it so, please.
  14. I had the privilege to serve the campers of Camp Avery Hand as Camp Director during the 1997-2000 seasons. In the last two, I served as Council Camp Director managing one staff to serve both camps. In 1998, our Council Program Director and Scout Executive took me for a walk into our COPE Woods on the afternoon following National Visitation. On that walk, we discussed a switch to make Camp Avery Hand (CAH) a Cub Scout World and Firelands Scout Reservation (FSR) the council Boy Scout camp. On paper, a very good idea. Each camp is sized perfectly for the proposed purposes. I recommended that they have Fireside Chats with the Scouters involved to get input. Rather, we had meetings to tell people what would be happening the following season. We learned at that meeting that we stood to lose nearly 100 campers if we did this. Almost all of those were from out of council and all were regulars at the camp. Scheduling was the issue as was the homey atmosphere of CAH. That season, we went from a two camp/two staff council to a two camp/one staff council. It took a tremendous toll on staff and, as a result, on program. The final week of camp at CAH had between 45 and 60 campers per season. Through all this, the camp was financially helped by a group of individuals who were called Stewards of Camp Avery Hand. The members of this group each contributed $100 annually to the camp via council. From our charter year to the last year, 2008, we had anywhere from 85 members to 150. At $100 a piece, there was a nice chunk of change. The members decided how the money would be spent based upon needs presented by the Ranger, the Camp Director, and the council leadership. Nothin went to waste, and all of it benefitted the camper. Additionally, the camp ranger was assisted by the Apple Corps, a small but mighty group of volunteers who refurbished cabins as well as rebuilding or building new one. They cleared trails, maintained sand volleyball pits, installed a beautiful grilling area for Parents' Night meals, built new tent platforms and helped with the simple task of mowing and building an addition to the dining hall. This camp had support. I will be seen forever as a traitor for my next comment...I have long held that the best thing this council could have done when it was established was to set a sell by date and to have sold all three properties at the time. They needed to build one unifier for the council, a camp to serve all of their youth. Instead, they sold Camp Wyandot in 1998...that money is gone. Now they are selling Camp Avery Hand...I saw the asking price of 1.4 million....how long will that last? The only remaining camp is Firelands Scout Reservation. In doing this they have lost a lot more than the 100 or so campers from out of council. They have lost campers from half of their council. The council has thrown a bone to leaders whose history is going or has gone to developers. The old front section of FSR where the dining hall and pool are...where Cub Scout Camp happens...will now be called Camp Avery Hand. The rear portion of FSR...where program areas and campsites are...will be called Camp Wyandot. Both of these camps will be on the property named Firelands Scout Reservation, forever reminding Scouts and Scouters in this council that the Firelands Area Council and its facilities are the survivors in the merger. The Firelands Reservation swallowed up two other camps to assimilate them into one. The traditions of the past are of the past.
  15. WilVick

    I can not stay quiet ...

    These are tremendous thoughts, and I truly appreciate them. I, too, am a practicing Catholic and consider myself to be very pro-life. I do not favor abortion, nor do I agree with the act of Capital Punishment. Respect life to its natural end. In addition to my Catholicism, I am a registered, proud Democrat. While I can not say that I vote the party line in all instances, I do find myself agreeing more with the overall picture. I can not vote one issue because every candidate brings more than one issue to the table. I am a teacher, and I want to see my students prepared to go into the world. They will never prove their ability by regurritating a set of memorized facts. They have learned when they are able to apply them. An "education leader" is an essential to prepare an American youth who need to learn to think beyond the books.
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