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gumbymaster last won the day on February 9 2017

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About gumbymaster

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  1. @@HelpfulTracks I screwed up my click and accidentally down voted you.Mods, is there any way to un-downvote or change a vote?
  2. Ignoring, for the moment, if this is a good thing or not for the BOYS ... One of the things I really do like about the Girl Scout approach (and I understand that specifics are very leader dependent), is that it really is focused to try and encourage the Girls to believe that they can do anything they want to, including areas that at one time were not traditionally women's areas or roles. It is because of this, that I accept their reluctance for male leader role models to be involved in their program (as it may reinforce that a man has to teach me how to do this, rather than a woman teaching the same thing). In practice, it still means (again very leader dependent) that the girl scouts to activities that appeal to their leaders (mothers), and thus at the unit level there is still a strong 'traditional role' focus, at the service area levels there do tend to be more STEM and other women empowering activities. At least this is my experience with my Daughter's troop and others in this area. Opening up the BSA programs to girls gives the girls more choice, lets the girls (and their families) decide what they want to do. It is, by definition allowing the girls to do the same things that boys can do. This should also be a very empowering message for them. Clearly the GSUSA feels threatened, and they should. I don't think the BSA would take huge portions of their membership. Most of the Girl Scouts like the activities they do there. I would be surprised if even as much as 10% of current girl scouts moved over, and I expect that most of those that did, would likely already have BSA members in their family. That's not an insignificant loss to the GSUSA, and not an insignificant (potential) bump to the BSA membership. With a proper marketing spin by the BSA (yeah I know, fat chance), it would be hard for the GSUSA to make a public case that the BSA has to stay boys only and that only they can serve the like minded girls. The only real avenue for their attack, which appears to be the current approach, is to discredit the motivation - it's only for membership numbers, not because of the girls, etc. On the moral high ground front, I think the GSUSA already lost this argument when they began to admit the transgendered boys living as girls (I am not sure of the PC terms). They have, in essence already said that if GSUSA program is a better fit for them, come on and join. Likewise, with the BSA policy on transgender girls living as boys being able to join the BSA - it's probably just better all the way round for both organizations to drop pretense and accept all who think that their respective program is the better fit for the youth member's personality. My daughter has already said that given the opportunity, she would rather do the types of things her brother does. She doesn't dislike the girl scouts, and she has many friends there, she just likes the other types of activities more (or at least thinks she does based on her exposure so far). I dislike that the GSUSA has used terms like "sneek" and what not in their comments. Assuming that the decision has not already been made and that the solicitation for comments is sincere, then they have been fairly open about the process. Even if the decision has been made, looking for how the best implement it, how to make it work, and what to do (particularly for the 11-13 girls), has been relatively public for anyone paying attention. No, it hasn't been a press release, etc., but that wouldn't normally be the case until a transition plan had been developed. Is this whole process even necessary? That's a harder one. I like that the BSA currently has a place for boys to be boys (so to speak), but I also like the thought that my Daughter could get exposed to youth-run activities rather than adult leader run activities. I personally like that the BSA is being more inclusive, and removing opportunities for obvious progressive/SJW and similar attacks. The religion/atheist thing is still out there, and no doubt the next target.
  3. When adapting the requirements, that applies to the Rank, not to Merit Badges; and @@scoutldr is right the District/Council Committee must approve the changes. If a scout has a disability that prevents them from, say, camping overnight; the committee can approve alternate requirements for Tenderfoot through first class and can approve an alternative merit badge to replace earning the camping merit badge. They cannot change the requirements of the camping merit badge for the boy. A (trained) merit badge counselor should know that these are the rules, and work with the parent to either spend the extra necessary time that the scout can complete the requirements (as written), or point the family to the district or council resources to identify the alternative merit badge(s) that they can complete the requirements as written. A counselor should not be just signing the card because the parents are making a stink, and they are not empowered to change the requirements, even if that's what would work for the scout. A counselor who does not follow the rules can be reported to the district/council advancement committee or merit badge coordinator and be de-certified as a counselor.
  4. My Camp did this 25+ years ago. All members (usually) and especially those who were not already registered with a Troop or Post (both youth and adults - including our Military "volunteers") at the time were registered in a specific Explorer Post whose mission was support of the Camp. Technically, however, I do not think the Council was the Chartering Org for that post, a Church or Volunteer FD (near the camp) were the technical charter. The council may have paid the registration fee for those not dual registered. As for payment (to the staff), I don't think it creates an issue any more that paying any other member of a troop or post to be a member of the staff - it just happens that all of them were "members" of the same unit.
  5. While there are (as demonstrated above) many answers to the question, I think one of the larger answers (from the Scout's perspective) is more than just having fun, but looking at what other options are there. If they don't play sports, and they don't have a neighborhood with lots of other kids their age; then just being able to socialize may be a big part of what keeps them there. When my son first joined his troop, I think they all would have been happy if they could just get together once a week, and hang out and play magic the gathering or some such. Camping just gave them a reason to get together, and get rid of the electronic (and less social) distractions. It let them stay up late without parents hovering. For the first couple of months he was in the troop (the critical time period for long term retention), I think most of them were the same way. It just happened that some scouting got done along the way.
  6. Thank you for the more elaborate background to the situation. Personally, I am bothered that the SE would agree with a non-advancement punishment, that person should know better. A more common punishment for the scout (which may or may not have a similar effect) would be an TBD month suspension from Troop activities. Based on your SM's policies of what is allowable service hours (again, this is against the rules of the Guide to Advancement), this further reinforces my opinion that the SM is a petty dictator looking to have control regardless of rules. Even if not removed from authority, I still would have expected at least some rebuke of how the SM handled the situation. Anything less will just reinforce to the SM that their actions were appropriate and justified. Unfortunately, for better or worse, if the CSE was involved, then you technically had your review of the situation, and the resolution did not go your way. Within scouting, there is not much more that can be done - unless an outside report from law enforcement or child welfare (or a lawsuit or the press - which I do NOT recommend) forces them to address the issue more formally. Keep in mind that CSEs have very little restrictions on their power and authority. They too can be petty, and it is within their power to deny Scouting membership (in ANY troop) to you and both your sons if you raise too much grief for them - especially for a buddy. I have seen this done to other Scouters before. A Scout is BRAVE and should do the right thing, but although not a scout law, a Scout should also not be stupid and charge off without understanding potential consequences of their fight. Your children and their well being come first, but don't join the Don Quixote patrol unnecessarily. A new troop is probably your best option, but if your council or district manages the Eagle boards of review, then look carefully at the makeup of that board for potential conflicts of interests (other "buddies" of the SM or CSE) as your boys advance to that point. Voting with your feet (and whoever goes with you) will probably be the most effective way to express your position that this is a poorly operated troop. If there were enough other parents, you could try to load the troop committee, but in reality the SM serves at the privilege of the the Chartered Organization, not the Troop Committee. If the Chartered Org. doesn't see a problem, nothing will change. As to the report with the Sheriff ... Even knowing that nothing will be done about it, since you have already talked with them, it may be best to at least have the report filed. It will create an official document, which may not help you, but may help the next family when a similar instance occurs in the future (and by all sounds of it, that will eventually happen). We all understand tired scouts, and scouts who are bitter or angry about perceived unfairness. It is easy to armchair quarterback, but I expect that a more appropriate response would have been for the SM to tell the Scout that they can either go to where he was asked to go, or he can explain to his parents why they had to come and pick him up from the event; the SM could also have warned that an additional consequence would be a period of time suspension from troop activities to your son, to better consider his choices. Everything else (both the incident and the post incident response) does not sound like the spirit of the scout oath and laws or the conduct guidance of the BSA were followed. Best wishes, best of luck.
  7. Keep in mind, as with all these types of disputes, we are only getting one side of the story. Now, given that, the ONLY reason to man-handle a youth in any way is for the immediate health and safety of that youth or others. Willful disobeying a directive (with good reason or not) is not such a reason. That said, the alternative option available to the SM would have been to call you to pick up your son from camp because he will not follow adult leader directions. As described, this is at least a Physical Assault (the pickup and carry - harm, if any, is irrelevant to the charge) and likely verbal abuse (with other scout/staff witnesses), and potentially bullying behavior. As per the YPT, such behavior should be reported to and discussed with the Council's Scout Executive directly. I am less sure on involving law enforcement ... with no harm, they are unlikely to prosecute, but it may be something that you at least want an official report taken, that will also force the council to address it. Escalating this situation has much more consequence to the SM. If he is a doctor, an assault charge on his record (if law enforcement is involved) could endanger his medical license. As you have already discovered, it is very difficult to report and get traction on the wrongdoings of prominent or well liked people. Now having finished with hardball options... Have you had a frank discussion with the SM? Why did he feel the need to act in this way, in retrospect does he really feel that your son's actions rose to a magnitude where this was necessary? Further discuss with him, that the Guide to Advancement (GTA) provides NO option for him to categorically delay your son's advancement. He can dismiss your son from the troop outright however. He can also use the SM conference and the "show scout spirit" requirement as a means to interfere with advancement, but as others have said, the GTA provides a mechanism for disputed circumstances (it is not unusual for an SM and scout to have a standing conflict). A good SM might recognize their own bias and assign an ASM to conduct the conference. Now, days or weeks later, and with cooler heads, maybe the SM and your son can work out the differences, maybe not. Small towns don't usually have many options for other Troops, but it sounds like you are looking into that. If there are enough unhappy parents, are they willing to step up, join the committee and oust the guy? - is there a willing replacement? Another option may be to start a new troop with the other disaffected scouts and parents. Best of luck, and please keep us updated on how it all eventually works out. (We need the closure to the story).
  8. The Marriott Family are supporters of the Scouting Movement, with at least some of their family having been very involved as youth members. Ross Perot was a scout (before wealth), I am not sure if his sons were.
  9. While I generally agree that the BOR requirement in this case was more of an impediment, slowing down scouts who wanted to earn the palms, I think I disagree with your reasoning here. If, as a committee member, I want to get a good idea of how well the unit program is functioning, the two people I want to hear from the most are: the newest scout who just joined (having fun, learning what you need to, understand the process, etc), and the most experienced scouts (i.e. Eagles that stay), because they have a good idea of how the program has evolved (better/worse), are effectively beyond politics and personality conflicts because they already have their eagle and can be more honest in their assessments, and they can tell me if the troop program is able to keep and retain the interest of the older boys that we need to keep to teach the younger ones, and if not, what might be done about it. Now, given that, I really don't have to wait for a BOR to have that discussion with the Scout, so I'm still good.
  10. When my son earned his karate black belt, he had reached his goal, but he decided to stay in the program until he completed his first degree. He wanted to demonstrate that he was in it for more than just that initial goal. Most people, when you say black belt, don't really care or understand about what goes into degrees after that. I kind of look at the (old method) eagle palms like that. If I saw someone with Eagle palms, I knew that they didn't just get their Eagle and immediately leave. They stuck around and presumably gave back to their unit. With the new method, I wouldn't be sure - I guess I'll just have to talk to them. In all seriousness, I do like that it rewards scouts who really did more than the minimum, and we've had that discussion on this forum before. Even if they were a late bloomer and didn't get the Eagle until close to their 18th, they are recognized for the additional work they did. What I don't like is that it reduces the motivation to stay in the unit and continue to contribute. Either way, that's the policy, and that's what we'll do.
  11. From the perspective of ownership of the name of the prior council. If the Council's merged, then the new Council (if a new name was formed) or the surviving Council (if the old council was just absorbed), would "own" the name of the old council (all assets including intellectual property such as names, historic artwork, etc.).
  12. This can probably help get you started. https://www.ncacbsa.org/council-committees/membership/lions/ (for some reason, the resources links don't seem to be working) https://newbirthoffreedom.org/lion-guide-and-parent-orientation-video/ http://www.scouting.org/filestore/ppt/LionGuide_ParentOrientation.pptx In general, the Lion scouts will only attend a couple of the pack meetings, not all of them. The most important thing is to have an experienced Scouter serve as a Lion Guide (not Den Leader) to help the parents coordinate activities and taking turns leading Lion meetings.
  13. Question 1. Did you ever fill out an adult leader application, and if you did, was it ever turned in and processed. If so, you should be able to inquire with the Council office or your District Executive what your "official role" in the unit is. If the Cubmaster made you the Church Liasion, as Stosh says, this may mean you were registered as the Chartering Organization Representative (COR). If so, this could be good news for you, depending on who much work you want to do. As COR, you have the authority to "fire" the cubmaster, the committee chair, or any other adult leader in the unit, you do not have to even have a reason to do so. You should also have the authority to go to the bank and have the Cubmaster's authority to use the account removed immediately. Work with the Church to determine if you want to try to recover the inappropriately spent funds (police report and/or small claims court). If you can do these things, it is, unfortunately, now also your job to put the unit back together and "hire" new leaders for the critical positions. Your District Executive and Unit Commissioner can help you do this. If you do not know these people, call your Council Office. If you are not officially the COR, there is not a lot you can do, sorry. Best of Luck. People on this forum will generally help you as much as we can through a keyboard.
  14. Clearly, you don't know me, and I don't know you. That is one of the greatest limitations with communicating over a method like this forum vs. had we been able to meet in person. In fact, this is one of the general issues with communication in the modern era, is the lack to nuance a response or to adapt the vehemence of the response to the body language of the intended recipient. If I read your message correctly, and after my read of the last one I grant that I may not be, but you may be the first person to ever imply that I was a snowflake, or that I was dismissing your argument because it was contrary to my own. Come visit over and I&P and you will find that I have quite a few disagreements on the 'how' with other scouters, but I do not think that I would normally have been accused of outright dismissing the other's points simply because they are a contrary view. In my defense, the term "silly rules" was yours. I did not adequately address that you expressing that you wanted the rules to be different verses you were (or advocating for) breaking the rules, I grant that my response did not communicate that well. I also should have better fully interpreted that balance as you described it in your post. For this lack of adequate communication on my part, I apologize. That said, my concern was truly with the way your position was expressed. I am all for your advocating for a change in the policy and I would personally take no position in favor or against it should I be asked. I can understand, I lived, on both sides of the issue. But clearly, this forum is good for feedback, but we are a very narrow selection of the Scouting community. We tend to always have those that are passionate about a position (regardless of the subject) and are often on opposing sides of the issue. Those in the middle of most issues, but the ones that in numbers are most effected, don't tend to gravitate to places like here. If you think the policy should change, if you have not already does so, start advocating the process. Start talking to the key three of your Council to convince them, because only they are in a decent position to really bring the issue up to the national level. Finally, please leave the throwbacks to membership decisions of the BSA off this thread of the forum, lest the entire conversation find itself in I&P. It had nothing to do with either your original post or my original response. I left this response public, because you deserved a public apology for my reading more into your comments that I probably should have when I made my public post. Anything more on this is probably best addressed in PMs which you are welcome to send.
  15. Other than some self-appointed individuals, there are no "uniform police" in Scouting. I will admit that I kept my eagle badge on some of my my uniforms until I was no longer serving a Summer Camp Staff, at about 23. While I am sure my attitude was I earned it, I should be able to display it, I also justified it as helping to inspire the Scouts I was teaching at Camp. At the same time, I was in a co-ed explorer post, and on that uniform I never put on the eagle badge and instead went to the knot when I was 18, because I did not consider it fair to be so in their face to the women in the unit who were at least as skilled as I was, but could not earn the eagle. When I came back to a leadership role as a Scouter/Parent, I removed the badges that were still on some old uniforms and replaced with with the knots. One of our other Den leaders still had his eagle badge on his uniform, and even as a cub master, I felt that was his decision to make. Again, I justified my not joining the uniform police force as that the parents and boys in his den would much more readily identify with the badge than a knot, and it provided a sense of he knows what he is doing. Now, all that said ... @The Black Eagle, I am concerned that the way you have expressed your distaste with the "silly rules" and all. You are right that it does not rise to the magnitude of a speeding ticket, or anything else with the risk of life or injury to self or others. But is an award bestowed by the BSA, and it is their right to dictate the proper way to wear it, or not, as the case may be. Think about the intent of the rule before you dismiss it entirely. Advocate for a policy change if you think that is appropriate. To simply disregard the rule because you think it is silly or don't like that it diminishes your ability to tout your achievement goes against much of what that award represents.
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