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Hedgehog

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Posts posted by Hedgehog


  1. The videos are dated.  It actually serves to release any tension about the discussions.  We focus the discussion on the Scout Law.  That makes it personal.  What does it mean to be cheerful to someone who going through a rough time?  What does it mean to be friendly to someone who tells you they are contemplating suicide?  What does it mean to be courteous in a relationship?  What does it mean to kind and helpful when you see someone really intoxicated?  What does it mean to be obedient regading underage drinking? What does it mean to be brave when you see someone taking advantage of another person?

     

    Ultimately, the Crew needs to know that they are there for each other and that the adults are there for them NO MATTER WHAT.

    • Upvote 2

  2. Plan it well ahead of time, get the families to make a commitment, and then purchase tickets when they become available. Don't try to guess how many.

     

     

     

    You forgot to have them pay for the cost when they committ.  For things like that, our policy was if you say you are going, you make a deposit which you don't get back if you decide to not go unless you find a replacement.


  3. My Plan Outline:

     

    1. Create an 'Every Parent Helps' culture. The resources I've seen posted here are great. I'll use them to set this expectation with new scout families coming into the pack, and to get more parents to step up. I know I'll experience some pushback and will lose some folks. But den leaders are burning out. This is a top priority.

     

    2. The Journey To Excellence scorecard drives everything we do. I don't mean we'll actually win ribbons and patches and stuff... But that we focus on those areas. And by focusing intensely on those areas, we start to rebuild the pack and set it up for future success. We may be smaller, we may not have big events (we're not pulling them off successfully anyway right now), but we'll deliver a good quality program again with people who enjoy doing it.

     

    3. KISMIF becomes are watchword, our benchmark for all decisions for the foreseeable future. If it's not going to be fun for scouts, families, and leaders, we don't do it. If it's not simple enough to hand off to a few parents, or to convince a few parents they can put it together, we don't do it. If we can't get parents to sign up for cleanup duty after a B&G banquet, we don't do it.

     

    4. Everything we do decide to do gets simplified and systematized... Notes, contacts, money spent, ideas, after action reports... It all goes in a binder or file for the next year, so new folks aren't starting from scratch again. I guess the pack used to do this, but it's been lost to the sands of time or something. Each event this year has been a scramble making it so much harder than it had to be to pull off.

     

     

    1.  Shoot for an "Every Parent Helps" culture but ASK certain people to do specific tasks.  If you ask a group, you ask nobody.  Very few parents will say no if you ask them to do a specific task.  "Denise, can you call a couple of caters and get estimates for Blue and Gold?"  "Bob, can you get a couple of guys together to set up the Pinewood Derby Track."  "Alice, can you make the trip to the Scout Shop to pick up awards onece a month?"

     

    2.  Ignore JTE.  Design a program that is fun and easy and that works.

     

    3.  Do keep it simple and make it fun -- but think about what that means.  Assign groups of parents WITH THEIR SCOUTS to tasks "Bears do set up" "Wolves do clean-up."  We had each den be responsible for cooking the food and set-up at an outing (Wolves for Fall Campout, Webelos 1 for Pancake Breakfast, Webelos II for B&G and Bears for Summer Campout.  That avoids asking for volunteers.  Also, don't be afraid to do some stuff yourself -- I got really good at making runs to Sams or Costco to get the food for the Campouts.

     

    4.  Simplify.  Yes.  After action reports? That doesn't sound simple.  I had the outline for the year on two pages with phone numbers and everything else needed to run the program.

     

    Our program (for a Pack of around 50) was as follows on a budget of $125 per Scout (including all awards):

     

    September* - First Meeting of the Year.  We hired entertainment including the Snake Guy, the Science Guy, the Knight Guys, the Animal Guy, etc.  The adults had a separate meeting in two groups - returning families and new families.  The Den leader for the Tigers usually stepped up at that first meeting.

     

    October - Fall Barbeque and Campout (Friday night into Saturday Morning)

     

    November* - Service project in decorating lunch bags for local soup kitchen, popcorn awards and watching It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.

     

    December* - Pancake Breakfast followed by Den skits, scout jokes and a scout talent show.  Pinewood Derby cars handed out.

     

    January - Winter Cabin Camping (additional charge for Scouts and Adults)

     

    February* - Pinewood Derby Beauty Contest (Friday night) and Race (Saturday)

     

    March* - Blue and Gold Banquet - Catered with Cake Baking Contest

     

    April* - Model Rocket Handout at Meeting with Launch later in the month

     

    May - No Meeting Because of Marching in Memorial Day Parade

     

    June* - Spring / Summer Campout*

     

    July - Campout at local baseball stadium on Scout Night (additional charge)

     

    August - Scout Family trip to nearby (1 hour drive) amusement park with discount tickets (additional charge)

     

    July / August - Individual Scouts attend Cub Scout day camp (additional charge)

     

    *  Awards Given Out at Meetings

     

    We did it with a Cubmaster (and my wife), a group of Den Leaders, two Awards Chairpeople (they alternated picking up awards) and a Treasurer.

    • Upvote 1

  4. My pitch line is "Every boy needs scouting for a different reason."

     

    I also tell parents and Scouts, "Scouting is about leadership.  Leadership is about being responsible for others.  The first step of learning how to be responsible for others is learning to be responsible for yourself."

     

    Talking to a bunch of parents, I told them, "We'll teach your sons to do dishes and clean toilets."

     

    All of our Scouts would get this one... "We teach them to fish."


  5. The program offers many paths.  It is up to you to decide what path your Troop takes.  As leaders, the question we have to ask is what is OUR goal for the Troop.

    • To get guys to Eagle Scout?
    • To teach life skills?
    • To develop indoor leadership skills?
    • To create true citizens?
    • To teach boys to lead in the outdoors?
    • To create and encourage independence?
    • Have scouting be fun for the boys?

    What the goal is defines how you implement the program.

     

    For me, the goal is to teach skills, independence and leadership using fun activities in the outdoors.  For me, Scouting is a game with a purpose played in the outdoors.  I can lament what I think other Troops are doing, I can itch and moan about "the Program", I can react to BSA pronouncements or I can focus on my goals for my Troop and Crew.

     

    Looking forward, between now and when school starts in September, I've got 4 Troop camping trips (Klondike, camping and hiking, beach camping and bicycling based) , 2 Troop backpacking treks, 1 Troop week at summer camp, 1 Troop High Adventure trip to Sebase, 2 Crew backpacking treks, 1 Crew camporee (that we are backpacking into), 1 Crew campout (hiking among waterfalls) and 1 Crew whitewater rafting or canoeing trip.  On each of these trips, the Scouts are in charge - leading, teaching and having fun.  

     

    My hope is that when they go off to college and beyond, they will decide with a group of friends to go camping or backpacking and without thinking take the lead in planning and doing the trip.  More importantly, I hope the skills, confidence and leadership they learn helps them lead in whatever path the choose in this world.


  6. Yeah I'm not a fan of things that take away from guy's doing all this during troop events. Sounds nice and all but seems another way for guys to avoid going camping outdoors. I'd prefer our guys do it while camping.

     

     

    Just because they spend a day cooking in the outdoors, doesn't mean they don't cook as patrols on outings.  We don't have a problem with guys going camping.  We have 20 guys over 25 nights in the last three years and 5 guys over 45 nights.  In fact, I think it helps doing the Cooking MB ouside the camping context, because that makes camping something you do for fun, not for advancement.

     

    Further, most of the cooking done on our outings are for the 2nd and 1st Class advancement.  The guys who have taken the Cooking MB now mentor the younger scouts in the menu planning and in showing them how to cook.  When there isn't a younger guy who needs advancement, these guys take charge and go beyond the ususal cooking.  Even at Summer Camp where there was a full menu including dessert, they wanted to make dump cakes in Dutch Ovens and pies in the pie iron.  How about hot pretzels after setting up on Friday night or hot freshly fried donuts in the morning for Klondike?

     

    Also, doing it this way has the advantage that the boys can do more complicated cooking.  During the Cooking MB, they generally start cooking dinner at 3:00 to have it served by 5:30.  It is hard to have them spend two and a half hours cooking on a campout.  Plus, it is really cool to see 4 cooking stations set up and 8 scouts cooking.  It really becomes "Outdoor Stadium" for the Cast Iron Chef.  Not to mention the 8 dutch ovens stacked up (stacks of 3, 3 and 2) cooking dinners and desserts.  

     

    Does what we do meet the letter of the requirements?  Yes.  Does it meet my goals of:  1) challenging the Scouts to cook something more challenging than typical camp food; 2) giving the Scouts a sense of accomplishments for cooking a camp dinner and serving it to their parents; 3) encourage Scouts to cook more often and more difficult meals at home; 4) teach the Scouts skills they can apply on campouts and teach to other scouts; and 5) share my love of cooking with the Scouts?  All yes.

     

    How does your Troop do it and what are your results?


  7. While a nice idea, where's the eating as patrol? To me this sounds like shoe horning the requirements to fit a one day session n

     

    The requirement is your patrol or "a group of youth."

     

    "In the outdoors, using your menu plans for this requirement, cook two of the ve meals you planned using either a light- weight stove or a low-impact re. Use a different cooking method from requirement 3 for each meal. You must also cook a third meal using either a Dutch oven OR a foil pack OR kabobs. Serve all of these meals to your patrol or a group of youth."

     

    The 8 boys that participate are "a group of youth."  For the dinner, the rest of the Scouts families (parents and siblings) are invited.  So they are actually serving the meals to a whole lot of youth and their parents.  

     

    The bottom line is that the Scouts actually learn to cook.  That knowledge is evident on campouts, where the guys who have done the merit badge are working with the younger scouts to plan menus and teaching them how to cook with the Dutch ovens.  Plus, I've had several parents tell me that their children have started cooking stuff at home.  

     

    I'll put the difficulty meals they cook and the amount of skills they earn at the one day session against what anyone else does for the merit badge.


  8. I dont see how with this course being so extensive can be offered and completed in one day via a merit badge day regardless of the scouts coming in with certain requirments done. 

     

     

    The way I run the Merit Badge is to have an hour preparation session where they plan the "outdoor" menus and develop their shopping lists, a one-day session that runs from 8:00 until 5:30 where they cook three meals in the outdoors.  For breakfast, we cover knife skills and make bacon and egg omlets / scrambles.  Between breakfast and lunch we discuss and demonstrate.  For lunch, we grill sausages over a fire.  After lunch, they start cooking dinner.  The dinners involve a dutch oven main course and a dutch oven dessert.  Selections have been chicken pot pie, Italian short ribs, barbeque spare ribs, vegan chili, lasagna, beef stew, chicken caccatori and more.  Desserts have been apple pies, brownies, chocolate layer cakes, cheesecakes and cobblers.  The sides have included home make cole slaw, apple sauce made from apples, caesar salad with homemade dressing (including anchovie paste), cornbread, biscuits, noodles and linguini.  We then have an hour follow-up meeting to cover the career requirement (and anything else we didn't cover).

     

    I give credit for any backpacking cooking they have done previously -- they just need to do the menu.  If they haven't gone backpacking yet, they have at least two opportunities a year in the Troop.  They also need to cook for their parents and turn in that menu.  At that point, they are done.


  9. For 1(a) - Some of the hazards are not injury or illness related.  For example, how to prevent and mitigate a grease fire in a kitchen (Cover or ABC Extinguisher) or a fire in an oven (Close Door).  How to avoid melting plastic utensils on cast iron, what to do with a hot pan (don't put it on Formica or a wood table), etc.  Also, some of the prevention ideas are more suited here than 1(b) --  I talk about where to position frying pan handles (toward the side of the stove so there is no chance of knocking it over), turning a flame or burner off before removing a pot (sleeve on fire anyone?), using pot holders or mitts, using proper tools when grilling (not kitchen flippers which may be too short), etc.

     

    Honestly, #1(a) through (e) becomes a big discussion followed by a first aid demonstration and looking at food labels (which actually leads into a discussion of 2(e)).


  10. Things seem good.  Going to my third election this Friday with our Troop's election the following week.  Several Troops have not had elections in the past.  Our chapter meetings have a handful of kids, but they have a lot of fun.  Our Lodge numbers are good and finances are great.  


  11. I think you have missed the point here.  The new BSA policy says their identity is based on what they say on their application NOT Birth Certificate.  You will never see the Birth Certificate.  When little Johnny walks through the door he/she is Johnny not Jane.  When you are assigning tents, you are not suppose to know Johnny is Jane.  If you do make tenting decisions based on Johnny being Jane, you will face a lawsuit tor treating Johnny/Jane different.  This is the problem many of us are having with this as we are not suppose to know that Johnny is really Jane. 

     

     

    First off, the BSA policy is for membership, not YPT or other purposes.  As stated above, unless I hear differently, I'm defering to state law definitions of gender for YPT.  Second, I don't think that someone being transgender is required to be a secret.  Even in the articles about the Scout from New Jersey, it was made clear that everyone was aware that he was transgender.  Third, I don't think there is a basis for a lawsuit for treating transgendered youth differently if their birth certificate identifies them differently than their gender identity.  Again, state law controls.  

     

    In my limited dealings with parents of transgendered youth, they are only looking for reasonable accommodations.  They recognize that their child is different -- they aren't in a state of denial.  They realize that their child's gender identity makes their child's life so much more difficult and sets their child up for a host of potential problems.  But they are like any other parent, they love their child and they want to protect them from life's cruelties as best they can.  If they know that you understand their situation and are living the Scout Law in respect to their child ("Trustworthy"  "Friendly" "Courteous" and especially "Kind") they will understand your situation and work with you to make sure that there is a Middle Way (reflecting the Buddhist concept of a path that takes neither extreme but focuses and values our shared humanity).  

     

    In our Crew, the transgender members tent with other scouts that have the same gender identified on their birth certificate as opposed to the scouts having the same gender identity (with the scouts and their parents fully aware and comfortable with this situation).  This isn't because of some adult rule, it is what the Scouts figured out on their own.

    • Upvote 2

  12. I would not make that assumption, fellow counselor.  The BSA is regarding this child (using the example of the Cub Scout in New Jersey) as a boy and accepting him as a boy, even though his birth certificate says he is a girl and he presumably has the physical characteristics of a girl.  There is nothing in the BSA's statement that indicates he is going to be regarded as a boy for some purposes (like membership) and a girl for other purposes (like YP.)  If that is going to be the case, I think the BSA had better say so pretty quickly, or else inadvertent YP violations are inevitable.

     

    Perhaps @@RichardB could educate us on this subject?

     

     

    "Required" wasn't the best word for that sentence.  I wasn't speaking specifically to YPT but more so to common sense practices.  I think it would be better to have said, "Having one adult of each gender would be advisable because under state law, you have a co-ed situation since (absent specific legislation to the contrary) gender under state law is controlled by what is on the birth certificate."  Couple that with the maxim that nobody ever got in trouble for exceeding the minimum requirements and you get a better sense of what I'm suggesting.


  13. Until it comes to YPT issues.  Boy Scouts may be male identified, but unlike Venturing (apples) which is co-ed, Boy Scouts (oranges) is not.  There is no requirement for male/female SM/ASM's on an activity, but the can of worms has been opened.  The girl may identify herself as male, but the reality of YPT doesn't change.  That means special considerations, singling her out, imposing different rules for her latrine showering, and tenting issues all run counter to her sensitivities of her situation.  One can run aground in a boy-only organization that has females on-sight and everyone is being politically correct until the lawyers step in and throws a penalty flag.

     

     

    @@Stosh, if the Boy Scout's identified gender of male is different than what is listed on their birth certificate, I think it is required to have a female adult along on the trip.  If the gender listed is the same based on state law, no female adult is required.  First problem solved.

     

    Latrines - Most latrines have doors.  The one's that don't the scouts always impose their own "one person at a time rule" and the buddy stands outside.   For public bathrooms, state law applies.  Second problem solved.

     

    Showering - Typically, scouts don't shower on weekend trips.  At out summer camp, any scout under 14 might shower once and the showers are individual.  You only have issues when you have State Park like facilities where the showers are in the bathroom.  Then state law applies, whatever that may be.  Three down.

     

    Tenting - Again, birth certiicate controls and then individual preferences (scouts have to be comfortable with who they tent with).  Honestly, on most weekend campouts, the Boy Scouts don't change their clothes at all during the weekend.  If they do change, they take turns being alone inside the tent or change in their sleeping bag.  Most of my Scouts want to tent by themselves anyway.  Four.

     

    Our Cub Scout pack has one boy with Downs Syndrome and one confined to a motorized wheelchair.  We are looking forward to welcoming them into the Troop and willing to make any accomodations necessary.  We currently have Scouts on the autism spectrum that we make accomodations for on campouts and at summer camp.  We have kids who do sports that come late or leave early on campouts.  I don't think this would be any different - we make accomodations based on the needs of individual scouts.  My experience is that transgender youth and their parents understand that this is a difficult situation and are easy to work with when they see people treating their children as human beings and not an "issue" or "agenda."  

     

    I can and do understand objections to the decision based on someone's religious, moral, political and scientific views, but I think that arguing the practicalities of implemeting the decision are red herrings.  

    • Upvote 2

  14.  Taking way Cubs/Boy Scouts takes away the boy-only option.  I don't think it's wrong to have a boy-only option.  Is that out of line?

     

     

    I agree that Boy Scouts should remain boy-only (and have said so in other posts).  Allowing transgendered youths who identify as boys into Boy Scouts doesn't automatically results in Boy Scouts becoming open to any female youth.  Even with the most supportive parents, friends and adults, announcing to the world that you are transgender is a difficult task and one that kids don't take lightly.  As others have pointed out, abuse of the check-the-box-you-identify-with rule can easily be addressed.


  15. Maybe they can all go to NYLT together. We have had several scouts do that and they really enjoyed it. 

     

    My son did NYLT last summer and it was transformational.

     

    Isn't there an age requirement for NYLT?  I think our council has an age requirement of 14, or 13 and completed grade whatever, but maybe that is just in my council. 

     

    I know in our council as well as the neighboring council where my son did NYLT (which I think may be @@NJCubScouter's council) it is age 13.  


  16. I remember reading somewhere that Baden-Powell wasn't happy about the BSA when it used the term "Scoutmaster" for it's adult leader.  He saw the negative in the term "Master". 

     

     

    I like the Venturing term "Advisor."  At summer camp when the staff would say "Adult Leaders" I'd inform them that the term is an oxymoron.


  17. If the IRS went after athletic booster clubs for stretching the limits on such fundraising for individuals, what's to stop them from going after BSA units especially those associated with private for-profits?  With the raising money for individual members, doesn't that also jeopardize a non-profit's exemption?  One might not see it a big deal for a single unit, but with the amounts of $$'s on the table, it could be a rather lucrative audit situation.

     

     

    So our Troop of around 50 scouts makes $3,000 in income from popcorn.  At 35% tax rate that would be a whopping $1,050 in tax a year for say four years (three prior plus current) if we were not chartered by a tax-exempt church.  If you hit all the 10 scout units in the area (assuming they were all for-profit entities), that total around $40,000.  More likely, they will have to audit 500 scout units to find 10 that are for profit.

     

    The booster clubs (especially the independent sports teams) often raise around $5,000 per member with a team of 20 members that is $100,000 per year which would generate $35,000 in additional tax per year and $140,000 for four years.  Do ten of those audits a month and the additional tax is $1.400,000.  Since the understatement would be more than 25% of income, the statute would be six years brining in $245,000 per entity or $2,450,000 for 10 similar entities.


  18. Good question.  Perhaps @@Hedgehog might be able to shed some light on this.

     

    Somebody need a woodland creature who impersonates at tax attorney?

     

    However, for-profit organizations are not tax exempt from moneys coming in and must therefore declare their profits for tax purposes.  So when the boys go out selling popcorn, is that not a profit activity for the for-profit CO?  And doesn't that income need to be reported?  This may be why we have so few for-profit CO's. 

     

    I've never encountered this situation, so all I can do is provide some educated speculation.  

     

    I think the answer as to the profits is clear - you sell popcorn that is a gross receipt, you pay for the popcorn that is a cost of good sold, the difference between gross receipts and the cost of good sold is income.  Same answer if you are the local grocery store selling popcorn out of your inventory or the local freight company selling Boy Scout popcorn.  

     

    From a technical perspective, I doubt most of the amounts paid for Scouting expenses could be properly deducted for tax purposes. Some expenses could be considered advertising or marketing such as painting "Troop 247 Sponsored by Bob's Shipping" on the side of the trailer (similar if they purchased uniforms with their name on it for a Little League team).  The general test for a deduction is if it is "ordinary, necessary and reasonable."  For example, It is hard to say that paying for a campout is an ordinary, necessary and reasonable expense incurred by a trucking company.  The amounts spent on Scouting also wouldn't be charitable deductions because amounts paid on behalf of a specific person cannot be a charitable deduction.

     

    Additionally, the Scouts selling popcorn could be considered employees and scout accounts could be considered compensation.

     

    However, my sense is that most auditors would nonetheless allow the popcorn "profits" to be reduced by any scout related expenses - if they even bothered to look at it.  Probably would just tell them to fix the problem by forming a 501(c )(3) entity and running it thorugh that.

     

    And it gets even messier because of these "sales" even if for non-profits should be collected sales tax in many cases.

     

    Correct.  Only certain sales by non-profit entities are exempt from sales tax (e.g. sales by a non-profit hospital's gift shop are typically taxable).  However, most states do not tax food, so popcorn wouldn't be taxable anyway.

     

    I'm betting a unit chartered by a for-profit business still has a bank account with a non-profit EIN.

     

    Although it is easy to get an EIN, it is much more difficult to get federal 501(c )(3) tax exempt treatment.  To get the 501(c )(3) designation you need to provide the appropriate formation and governance documents.


  19. When my son realized we were going the wrong way on a trail and turned the patrol around to backtrack despite another adult insisting that we were going the right direction.  Followed by my son being respectful to the adult who insisted we were going in the wrong direction when my son was proven right.

     

    The smile of a new scout after his first campout when his worried mom asked him if he had fun.

     

    My son addressing the parents and telling them about our week as SPL at the end of summer camp rather than the adult leaders doing the talking.

     

    Our last Court of Honor which was (with the exception of handing out awards) entirely run by the boys.

     

    The SPL announcing at the Court of Honor that the TLT weekend that I organized was a lot of fun.

     

    Being named a Eagle Scout mentor by a scout based on what he learned from the Troop's adventures in the outdoors.

     

    My son getting selected for NYLT staff two days ago.

     

    The inside jokes that I share with scouts in the troops because I've been there.

     

    The comradarie of scouts and leaders around a campfire.


  20. Scouts pay $125 for registration.  That covers 3 CoHs, rank and advancement badges and a holiday party.  We maybe raise $1,000 through popcorn.  

     

    Scouts and Adults pay per outing - the cost of the campsite divided by 15 (average number of scouts going), $14 for food ($3 breakfast, $3 lunch, $5 dinner, $3 breakfast) and $1 for supplies (propane and paper towels) plus the actual cost of any activity.

     

    Scouts pay for summer camp, the camp lets 4 adults go for free and the troop pays for the additional adult that goes to camp.


  21. Our Troop teaches and uses the EDGE method consistently.  When the patrols are planning to run an activity for the Troop, the older guys teach the younger guys the skills they need to know using EDGE.  Then when they run the activitiy, the younger scouts used EDGE to teach other scouts.  After doing this for a while it becomes natural:

     

    We're going to do this by going through these steps

    Let me show you how to do it.

    OK, I'll say each step as you do it.

    Great, put it all together and do it yourself.

     

    I agree with @@qwazse that there are other ways to learn skills.  I think the Research, Understand,  Memorize and Practice (the "RUMP" method) works well when you don't have a teacher available.


  22. Hedgehog, why let the state (think NC) determine this? Why not just go all the way to local option?

     

     

    The local option on sexual orientation was for adult leaders and not youth membership.  The youth membership rules have always been national whilce CO's have always been able to approve adult leaders.  The local option really removed any BSA rule regarding adult leaders and recognized that the COs have the final decision regarding adult leadership.

     

    My goal is to get BSA out of the social policy morass and shift the issue to a more appropriate forum - politics.  It is not up to the BSA to define what a "male" is.  That is determined under the various state laws and is the job of the elected officials of the state legislature to change it if they see fit.  If those elected officials act in a way that is inconsistent with the views of their constitutants (by making a change or by not making a change) they can be voted out and replaced by someone who reflects the views of their constituents.

    • Upvote 3

  23. Wouldn't it be easiest if BSA said that what is on your birh certificate controls?  Then it is up to each state to determine what is necessary to have a birth certificate changed.  Then BSA could easily say, we go by state law and if you want a change in how that law is applied, go to your state legislature.

     

    So that means if you have a person who is listed as a male on the birth certificate but who identifies as a female, they can be in Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts.  If you have a person who is listed as a female on the birth certificate but identfies as a male, they can not.  If someone is born female but has their birth certificate changed to male by meeting their states requriements, they are welcomed.

     

    This isn't the BSA's issue, it is society's issue.  Let society resolve it and let the BSA avoid the distractions by being another test case.  I'm just tired of all the controversy and just want Scouting to be about camping, cooking and leadership.  Nonetheless, if BSA follows the birth certificate rule, I think they will easily prevail in court.

     

    With all the other issues, the answer really is somewhere in between the extremes.  There are those people who truly feel that they were born the wrong gender.  I would think that is the less than one percent of the population figure quoted earlier in the thread.  There are those that having a different gender identity is a response to the adolescent process of determing who you will be in that there now seems to be one more "decision" that you can make (e.g. I view adolescence as making a series of choices along a continuum -- tough guy or commpasionate, athletic or sloth like, honorable or do what i can get away with, self-interested or caring, etc.).  I suspect that some of those identities may change over time.  The problem if figuring out the difference especially if you add the additional layers of publicity the issue has been getting, the potential of parental influence at the younger ages and the potential "trendy" factor in being "trans."

     

    With that in mind, I see a difference between rules and behaviors.  A rule, like the birth-certificate rule I mention above, provides clear guidance and consistent treatment.  Any other test is arbitrary - if the youth identifies, if one parent agrees with identification, if both parents agree with identification, if both parents and a physician or psychologist agree, if both parents, a physician, a psychologist and the Cub Master agree, etc.  Without a rule, it becomes subjective.  Behaviors is how we act toward youth that identify with a different gender than the one on their birth certificate.  My sense is that we give them the space they need to figure things out for themselves - one way or another.  We don't judge, we just listen and support them in figuring out who they are and who they will be.

     

    nstead of challenging women to accept a female who prefers to express masculinity, and maybe "up their game" by encouraging girls to do a few "boy activities" for the youth's sake (and ultimately, the sake of equal rights), the child is being tossed "into the other court." 

     

     

    That is one thing that leaves me wondering the most.  It seems that today there are so few true non-biological distinctions between genders.  The only hard and fast ones that I can come up with are that boys "don't" typically wear dresses or skirts and don't typically wear makeup and nail polish. Out of all the factors that determine who you can be, I see gender being the least restrictive and thing like family, intelligence, education and income being so much more determinative.

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