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Everything posted by mashmaster

  1. My friend who used to work for BSA until today posted this. My heart goes to those affected by this. Today, the BSA permanently laid off a large number of employees (I am told it is about 40% of the national office staff) as it tries to survive a number of unplanned events that affect the organization more severely than many can even imagine.
  2. Well every unit in my council goes by the national form so all checks are done by lifeguards or similarly qualified individuals. Having take SSD and SA multiple times online, it scares me to think that would be the minimum for evaluating swimming abilities.
  3. Maybe it is council based, our council only accepts the BSA form which clearly conflicts with the NCABSA form.
  4. Are you sure? per the form : https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/outdoor program/aquatics/pdf/430-122.pdf when I look at the form it wants much more than just an adult with SSD ADMINISTRATION OF SWIM CLASSIFICATION TEST (THE LOCAL COUNCIL CHOOSES ONE OF THESE OPTIONS): OPTION A (at camp): The swim classification test is completed the first day by camp aquatics personnel. OPTION B (Council conducted/council controlled): The council controls the swim classification process by predetermined dates, locations, and approved personnel to serve as test administrators. When the unit goes to summer camp, each individual will be issued a buddy tag under the direction of the camp aquatics director for use at the camp. OPTION C (At unit level with council-approved aquatics resource people): The swim classification test done at a unit level should be conducted by one of the following council approved resource people: Aquatics Instructor, BSA; Aquatics Cub Supervisor; BSA Lifeguard; BSA Swimming & Water Rescue; or other lifeguard, swimming instructor, etc. When the unit goes to summer camp, each individual will be issued a buddy tag under the direction of the camp aquatics director for use at the camp.
  5. We happen to have a lifeguard and master swim coach in my family, so yearly we conduct the test in a 25 yard pool. We are not looking for how fast they swim other than the fact that some of them we don't pass and tell them to get some more lessons or practice because they stuggle to maintain a reasonable forward pace and are a danger of drowning if they got in a potential distress situation. Same rule works for adults and children. We don't mark off because they did a flip turn because frankly, once they are doing that they can usually swim forever anyway. It is completely subjective, and I know many people that have passed the test at the Y that I wouldn't have passed. Summer camps are notorious for passing everyone. Swimming is a life skill that all should learn and know. As a Sea Scout, I promise to do my best: To guard against water accidents To know the location and proper use of the lifesaving devices on every boat I board To be prepared to render aid to those in need To seek to preserve the motto of the sea: Women and Children First. Wearing and proper fitting PFD is critical. If you don't know how to tell if it fits please research it. They make a huge difference in survival in a distress situation. If you aren't wearing it, it won't get on you in the time of need.
  6. Scoutmaster can't sign off I believe it is someone that has the proper aquatics certification. Most lifeguards at public pools can conduct and sign off on swim tests.
  7. Glad it worked out! Sounds like y'all took the correct precautions
  8. I know two people on the committee. Both of them are extremely active. One of which is involved as an ASM in a female troop. He is also active in venturing and OA. Both of them still work with scouts on a regular basis and spend a ton of time weekly with scouts including camping and treks. Have seen them both helping on Eagle projects currently along with working with the youth leadership for Venturing and Sea Scouts. They both use digital tools with our unit and others. So yes very currently aware.
  9. It is just 1 hour a week..... In all seriousness, I don't know if the Churchill group does or not. The committees that are formed to review and recommend the way forward from this report is made up of Scouting volunteers that have been donating their time for a long time so they are aware.
  10. I also agree on the lightweight synthetic shami style towels can't be beat for the lightness and compact size. After a few snaps they dry pretty quickly. I can't imagine taking a real towel backpacking, they take forever to dry.
  11. I'll ask when I see him next. I believe the number is in the high 3000's for registrations. Still a small number. I don't know the answers to everything else. He did explain to me how Sea Scouts were part of Exploring for many years and advancement worked the same. So that isn't an issue in my mind anymore.
  12. You can email pr@scouting.org, that is what I did
  13. How exactly is it backpedaling? The received a proposal and have formed committees to review the proposal.
  14. Note that "End all youth programs at age 18" has become "Evaluate program methods and age parameters to provide an engaging option that enables youth members to transition to adult leadership roles and remain active in Scouting with an ongoing commitment to safety." in this version
  15. I happened to have a discussion in the backyard of the commodore the day after the leaked document went live. It is a real document but it is only accepted as received. That is where the confusion is I think. They had already started the formation of a couple of committees at the national level to discuss all the options. So this isn't a backpedal just a communications problem. He stated that someone at National really botched the communication. You are counting only the primary units for the scouts. There are more Sea Scouts than 2000, but it is the lowest number for sure. Sea Scouts were part of exploring for years with advancement still happening, so that while a surprise doesn't seem to really be a blocking issue. I wasn't aware of that history and what changes that means. I am less worried about that part now. The 18+ rule is the hardest pill to swallow. Many of the Sea Scouts and Venturers turn 18 before leaving or even starting their senior year in high school. This is a huge part of their life and that is ripped away from them. Most of the VOA leadership and Sea Scout leadership comes from the 18+ scouts. Then there are those that want to reach the ranks/awards of Summit and Quartermaster. Very hard to do before 18. IMHO, much harder than attaining Eagle.
  16. FYI; the National Sea Scout Commodore posted this today. Hello all - I wanted to give you an update on what I know about the Churchill proposal progress. I am told that the National Key 3 are preparing a statement that will list all of the Churchill proposals along with a description of the process going forward. That will be going out on Scouting Wire, and probably in Bryan on Scouting, so keep an eye there, but we'll post a link here as soon as we see it. That was supposed to have gone out earlier this week, but consensus is hard and is taking some time to get right. Hopefully we will still see it this week - that should at least give us authoritative information on what's going on and how to interact with the process. Meanwhile, I want to thank all of you for speaking up with the petition, your letters to Scout Executives, board members and everyone. We have completely dispelled any notion that nobody cares about Sea Scouts. You have all been loud and prolific in your responses and it has gotten a lot of attention. I am especially proud of our youth members. Many of them have taken the time to speak from the heart about what this program means to them - I have found their stories inspiring and it has certainly renewed my resolve to do all I can to fight for the continuation of Sea Scouts as we know it. And I know from comments I have heard from all levels in Scouting that their voices are being heard. Please keep the stories coming - ultimately we really are a youth movement, and these eloquent voices from our Sea Scouts mean more than anything I could say. We will continue to keep you posted with whatever we find out.
  17. I have been looking forward for 3 years to experience this with my son. He has been fundraising for it delivering a lot of mulch. It is really a depressing time. I am so very happy he got to experience World Jamboree last year.
  18. I don't think they can force the unit to sell popcorn and camp cards. I don't know how much FOS is given, but the council needs funds to operate and maybe there needs to be a better fundraiser that the units help in to raise money for the council. Councils provide benefit to the youth in the units but that requires money. The employees at the district level don't make a ton of money. I don't think much of the rechartering fees goes to council. So it is a chicken and egg problem. I know our council is healthy financially and we provide money to other councils that are in need.
  19. Just posted: Dear Shipmates, This has been a stressful 48 hours since an unsigned “press release” was made public appearing to announce that all BSA programs would end at 18 and Sea Scouts BSA would be made part of Exploring as a maritime career program. These are NOT enacted policies. National Commodore TW Cook spent the weekend on the calls with Jenn Hancock, National Program Chair, and Dan Ownby, National Chairman. Other members of the National Sea Scout Support Committee contacted members of the BSA National Executive Board and BSA National Executive Committee over this press release. The two PROPOSALS are exactly that: Proposals. The process of reviewing any Churchill Proposal go to committees in the program group for study and implementation planning. None are done deals, and we have a say in the evaluation of them. These two topics are by no means decided. The National Key 3 is meeting tomorrow (July 13) to discuss this and we expect some sort of official clarification statement to happen shortly afterward. This statement will be shared once it is available. Scouting is a youth lead program. We have demonstrated Sea Scouts BSA strongly follows Scouting values with the over 2,000 signatures (so far) on the Change.org petition. The National Key 3 have seen this petition. Sea Scouts teaches that Scouts have a voice and this message has been sent loud, fast, and clear. We will post more when it is available. Until then, keep expressing your views on proposals for Sea Scouts, BSA, Venturing, and the Order of the Arrow. Yours in Sea Scouting, National Sea Scout Support Committee
  20. This is the petition to sign, BTW http://chng.it/gXpbggYCf7
  21. I have taken and staffed Sea Badge as Officer On Deck.... Let me know if you need help.
  22. OK, this morning I happened to talk to the National Sea Scout Commodore. He has been asked to be on the two committees to interpret the results of the report and help in the planning for moving forward. He says the acceptance is just an acceptance that BSA received the report, not an acceptance to follow the recommendations. He said the BSA top leadership is aware of the petitions going around and that they are a good thing to sign. So it appears this is the recommendation from the Churchill group but not from BSA and there is a lot to still be discussed and decisions to be decided on.
  23. In my son's crew most don't do advancement because they are tired of that grind. They practice the other methods of scouting and work together to plan and execute trips. reminder, Advancement is only one method of scouting.
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