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Everything posted by DuctTape

  1. The best SM I had as a scout was older. His son had aged out many many years before. When he eventually stepped down, my dad became SM. He was good, but not like Mr. Smith. My point is just because your kids aren't in the troop doesn't mean anything. You can always take some time off and enjoy the empty nest for a spell and then return.
  2. I have always looked at this alternative as a way to accomplish two things: 1. Provide the Scout with an opportunity to show leadership in a different position of responsibility than listed. 2. Help the adults step out of the way to have a scout do what the adults have been doing for them. Two examples come to mind: a. High Adventure trips (like Philmont) often are completely planned and coordinated by an adult with input from the scouts. A scout could take on that responsibility. As a senior scout he should already have planned multiple campouts, and dealt with the logistics so this is a natural step in the progression. b. Unit fundraiser. Many troops do popcorn sales, the "kernel" is almost always an adult. Have a scout be the "popcorn kernel", of course the troop treasurer should be involved very closely. Even if the troop does a different fundraiser like "christmas tree sales", have a scout in charge. Both of these are limited in scope which define the "project". Both involve significant responsibility in leadership, coordination, decision making which put them on par with other named PORs. It may not mean the scout does everything the adults usually do, as per the GTA, the SM and committee should develop the standards the scout must assume. I do not see service type projects as fitting within this alternative.
  3. The main problems with the "local option" argument are: 1.That is exactly what allowed segregation to exist in BSA troops until the 1970s. 2. Hypocritically, it was some outside COs, troops, councils,... who pushed the "no gay scouts & leaders" doctrine to disallow gay scouts and scouters in troops which were not theirs. The Dale case was the result. We know the rest. I understand some have significant personal objections regarding those who are gay. There were those who had significant objections to mixed race troops too. It took 50 years and we are mostly past the latter. Hopefully it won't take 50 more years to be mostly past the former too.
  4. I would not refer to Frogg Toggs as "semi-durable". They are slightly better than disposable, but not by much. Tje material will catch on any twig or branch and shred rather easily. Poncho vs Rain jacket + pants? My personal preference is the latter. I have found that doing almost everything with a poncho is miserable. The only thing it may be better at is squatting over a cat hole and even that is questionable. A poncho does make for a good emergency shelter. But a small tarp is better. With jacket + pants, one can use one or both as needed. Being more snug to the body, you can do things while wearing them without them getting in the way. They also work great at keeping you warm. Almost too well. Backpacking with them will get you wet from sweat, but you will be warm. Breathable is generally a myth. As far as cost, like all things there is a continuum. Cheap, light, quality... pick two.
  5. While BSA has had Black scouts since its founding; as an organization it also allowed COs to continue racist membership policies such as segregation as recently as the 1970s. Residual racism still exists even if it is not overt.
  6. You keep stating this in many threads. I fail to see how the Oath and Law have been set aside in regards to the membership changes. I understand some disagree with the changes, but that alone doesn't mean the Scout Oath and Law have been set aside.
  7. ultralight backpacking isn't something new or far-out. The old-timers preached it. Any of the authors I posted earlier were extremely weight conscious. And not because all their gear was heavy stuff, or they didn't take anything and were miserable. It was all about skills, knowledge, experience, and not taking extra stuff. In general folks carry heavier packs now than they did and that is with modern equipment.
  8. Perhaps there could be stages of experiences and adventures in which one could demonstrate advanced competency while also providing stewardship based service. They could take different tracks as well. hmmm....
  9. or maybe something like traditional woodcraft type outdoorsmen ala Sears, Kreps, Hastings, Kephart. Since Kephart is likely the most well known, call it "The Kephart Society." Keeping the OA as its roots, the acronym could be O.A.K.S. If OA is rebranded, perhaps return membership to a place of honor; reserved only for the "all -stars".
  10. It is interesting that so many of the solutions to obstacles are really just using the Patrol Method!
  11. Agreed. Also, high adventure opportunities would still exist. A patrol could still plan a canoe trip to the Boundary Waters, or a backpacking along the AT, PCT CDT, etc. One might argue it would be better as the decisions and planning necessary for a patrol to embark on a HA trip would help scouts grow. If they wanted to just "pay money for the services" like current BSA HA, there already exist many outfitters and guide services to fill that void. Though I would encourage all adults to steer scouts towards planning and executing their own adventures, even the high adventure ones.
  12. Might I suggest holding off on adults putting forth ideas and wait for the scouts to ask? A simple reminder from the SM to the SPL that "if they are stuck, he is willing to help with a suggestion or two". Even during these times, maintaining the Patrol Method, scout-led, and other structural devices is important. Knowing the different adult roles, and how to not over-step is key. Scouts and adults have different roles, and adults should be careful to not blur the lines.
  13. Have you asked the PLC what they are planning? It is their Court after all.
  14. I have never heard that distinction before. I thought Lone Scouts was developed for those scouts who were unable to find a local troop due to geographical isolation. My grandfather grew up dirt poor in Maine (his father was peddler too) he was involved in a Boy Scout troop in his town. I wonder if your dad's experience was a local phenomenon. I have never heard that distinction before. I thought Lone Scouts was developed for those scouts who were unable to find a local troop due to geographical isolation. My grandfather grew up dirt poor in Maine (his father was peddler too) he was involved in a Boy Scout troop in his town. I wonder if your dad's experience was a local phenomenon. I have never heard that distinction before. I thought Lone Scouts was developed for those scouts who were unable to find a local troop due to geographical isolation. My grandfather grew up dirt poor in Maine (his father was peddler too) he was involved in a Boy Scout troop in his town. I wonder if your dad's experience was a local phenomenon.
  15. Considering that camping is an integral part of scouting, one wonders why they are in scouting to begin with? Why join little league if one doesn't like baseball. Sure scouts is much more than a camping club, but camping is a fundamental part of the program. I also wonder how many of those adults who made those statements enjoy camping. My guess, is they do not and it rubs off on the scouts. They probably also don't know how to have fun camping.
  16. Just because something is popular doesn't make it right. mB factories are popular b/c it makes it too easy. Not necessarily the requirements (although this is true in many cases) but the process being circumvented. The process is as much a part of providing scouts growth opportunities not to mention the loss of adult association as a result of large groups. How often do we say, "don't do for a scout that which they can do for themselves"; doing all the planning, communicating, logistics of a mB session for a scout is a denial of opportunity. Yes it may be popular, but so would be cooking for them and hauling all their gear straight to the campsite. Oh wait, sadly these are done all the time as well.
  17. Maybe COs are not "sacred cows" in the strictest sense. They are, however, a historical part of our structure which brings its own problems. COs who do not provide any guidance/direction whereby units are so independent that they make it up as they go along and do not provide anything resembling the BSA program. The flip side is those COs who provide too much guidance/control and directs the units to do "their program" and not BSA. With zero oversight by BSA units and their leaders often have scouting, but not BSA Scouting. The contrast to the GSUSA model which has its own problems (as no structure is perfect) allows the future decision makers to construct the right balance. In the end (IMO) the question of COs and/or Council authority structure needs to answer the question... "How do we ensure the units and leaders are fulfilling the promise to scouts of a high quality BSA Scouting program"?
  18. I see this a lot, but IMO is a symptom of failure to use the Patrol Method. The idea that a patrol cannot do a specific activity unless the rest of the troop is able to attend is the antithesis of the patrol method. The future of Scouts should be Patrols. A lot of discussion has been about structural changes. Start with patrols and design the rest of "next-generation-scouting" with the primary (sole?) purpose of engaging scouts in their patrols. I would even consider tossing "troops" and "packs" out the window. All scouting is done at the patrol and den level first. Maybe once/twice a year patrols/dens have combined activities like summer camp or pinewood derby. But bring back the primary unit... patrols/dens.
  19. I think one of the sacred cows will need to be the Chartering Organization concept as the "middle man" in the bureaucracy. Authority of Scouting units will need to be controlled by BSA and not outsourced to a CO. There could still be a relationship of some sort with these other organizations but final authority and control will need to lie with BSA. edit: as far as recharter, the problem was an amalgamation of re-charter and membership. These are two separate items and need not exist together as paperwork. The Charter (if it continues) is an agreement between a CO and the BSA and does not include any membership info.
  20. This will require significant training of parents to not interfere by "stopping by to visit" or "bringing treats", etc... As it stands, parents are allowed to view all program, so nothing bars them from interference except training them to not interfere. But I suspect, that is truly what many parents want (b/c they do not understand the real purpose of Scouts) so to suggest program will not change is folly.
  21. According to this, troops have been out of compliance whenever they invite webelos dens (from another CO) to visit, or camp. IMO whomever wrote the Q/A, had a pre-determined answer and then just tried to justify it without realizing the implications. The easiest answer would have been: "Yes, however each of the units is still responsible to their own CO. A unit may invite individual members to visit, and participate in the unit's activities."
  22. Maybe the lack of mBs and no dining halls will allow scouts to have a real summer camp as described by BP instead of simply "living under canvas".
  23. Great article. I followed an embedded link to the other article about UVaS Scoutmaster training. Reading the content summary of that course should shame anyone who considers current scoutmaster training adequate.
  24. From my experience, the saturation of those with adult-led scouting experience happened a long long time ago. With them it is even more difficult (impossible) to break them of that habit/belief. Most do not even realize it and will just respond with " well that's how my old troop did it." While I agree with Barry that an excellent patrol method, scout-led, scouting program will manifest as adults who are better able to provide a quality scouting program compared to those with little/no experience; those with a adult-led scouting experience are much much worse than those with little/no experience. At least the latter can be trained.
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