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Everything posted by SlowDerbyRacer

  1. This is an interesting question with two very valid arguments. I suspect the intent of the requirement is to have kids do something actively in the ceremony beyond just being in the audience, yet I think I side with Stosh on this specific question and his comment about standing, saluting, etc. I liken it to going to a regular movie vs going to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. In both cases you are in the audience, but for a regular movie you are a mere observer or watcher. But if you go to the Rocky Horror Picture Show you are a participant if do you all the stuff the the audience normally does.
  2. All lot of thefts could be prevented if packs/troops would remove any scout & unit labeling. Instead paint the trailer with something like "Billy Bob's Manure Removal, Inc."
  3. Does a kid have to be a scout? No. Should a kid be a cub scout? Yes Note I changed scout to cub scout. I think boy scouting is different from cub scouting. At the BS level, a kid needs the interest and desire. Plus by the 5th/6th grade kids have begun to find their niche and it's possible scouting isn't it. But at the younger ages I believe scouting is an activity parents should expose their kids to. We all know the benefits so I won't rehash them. I think it's responsible parenting to expose kids to cub scouting. I put it on par with other must do activities or childhood prerequisites - learn to ride a bike, learn to swim, play on 1 or more organized sports teams, be exposed to a religion (I say this as a non religious person), travel and see different places, visit the zoo, go to a beach, learn proper manners, have some exposure to the arts, etc. To me it's not so much that cub scouting by itself is so great, it's that it helps hit so many of the must do things for young boys - even if just at a high level. In today's world of tight schedules & budgets, cub scouting is great at hitting so many things that otherwise might get lost in the shuffle of busy family life. We have family friends with 2 cub aged boys. Both parents work and without cub scouts, they would do virtually nothing with those kids due to (their own perceived) time and money constraints. If not for cub scouts, it would be 2 lost childhoods.
  4. Wait, I thought that was frowned upon by many on here?
  5. True, but on the other side of the coin, those younger scouts often become the leaders of their own dens when it's time. They know the drill and can lead the way. As with many things, it all depends on the kid.
  6. I don't doubt that, but that too could be an indirect function of parental apathy. At the cub level, scouting requires heavy parent involvement. Not many 1st-3rd graders are full of self motivated initiative. Often parent encouragement and a slight push is necessary. With an oldest kid, a "I don't want to go to the pack meeting tonight" is often rejected by mom & dad. But a few years later with kids 2,3, or 4, a parent is less likely to hold the line. And to clarify, I'm not advocating forcing a kid to do scouting. My example above is more about the sometimes necessary push of encouragement. I see a clear line between force and push/encourage.
  7. This is certainly an interesting take. Unless you're in one of the Lion pilot areas, you're really only advocating eliminating the Tiger for first graders. I don't think this is an issue confined to cub scouts. Parents go through fatigue with everything when they have multiple kids. You think parents are going to school open houses for the 3rd kid at the same rate they went for the first one? Heck, shafting the later kids starts right away. Go to any generic mommy and toddler activity and I'm sure it's all first time parents. If parents or a family bail on scouts because they are tired, then I say shame on the parents - not the program.
  8. Thanks. Moving it might be a good idea.
  9. Maybe it's just me, but it seems an increasing percentage topics have been going like so: OP: Question about xyz Reply 1: Answer Reply 2: Similar answer . . . Reply X: Similar answer OP: Oh, sorry, I should have mentioned our pack is LDS. We don't do what everyone above suggested. Anyone else see value in an LDS focused subforum to eliminate the confusion and to allow for better communication?
  10. That's a good approach. Make no commitments to anything formal and just help out when you see a project or need that appeals to you. Sooner or later something will probably re-light the fire for heavier involvement. It does no one any good to force it.
  11. (I imagine this has been discussed before, but I cursory search didn't turn up anything for me.) Part of what is great about Scouting is the history and ~100 years of tradition. But for a moment, assume that didn't exist. What would the program look like if it started in 2015? I'll take a stab at some things to kick this off. (And for the sake of avoiding a political derailment, less try to avoid arguments on the right/wrongness some of the more sensitive issues and just stick to the actual question of what scouting would look like.) -Scouting would not have any formal religious ties. For right or wrong, religion is something that is more avoided today than embraced. In a fresh program I would see no formal Duty to God requirements or religious emblems. -The gay scout/leader issue would not be a hot button topic. This is because there would be no history of excluding that class. It would get as much attention as soccer clubs today get when a coach is gay - which is negligible. -There's a good chance separate boy and girl scouts would not exist. Today we rarely see gender exclusive organizations. I bet we'd see a single Scouting organization which is either truly co-ed or has separate boy and girl divisions (again like a soccer club might do today). -Charter organizations would not exist. I don't think the need for a sponsoring organization is seen as necessary today. A fresh scouting program today would be much more independent. I have other thoughts, but will leave room for others to comment. (My only editorial comment will be this - As I think through the question, I'm pretty sure I like the current program more than what "new" scouting would be.)
  12. I agree with your entire post, but I'll argue in some cases that both types of Eagles have not met the requirements. And I will put most of the blame on what I'm about to say on adult leaders and not the scouts. Too often I think leaders rubber stamp awards and achievements. The Guide to Advancement is very clear on this - no one is permitted to add to, subtract from, or otherwise change requirements. Yet it happens all the time. And unfortunately I think the Guide also says once something is awarded, it can't be withdrwan, even if if it turns out it was improperly awarded. How often do scouts just sit through a class or presentation on a topic and then receive credit for "Demonstate <insert skill>"? It's the scout equivalent of a trophy for showing up. I could go on with examples of scouts just getting passed along with limited completion of the real requirements, but I think you all probably get what I'm saying.
  13. Sometimes I think there should be some type of field final exam for some or all ranks. Just look at all the paper Eagles who don't know a fraction of what is supposedly mastered. I was not heavily involved in scouting as a kid - got more involved as an adult - so I don't say this by saying my experience was more real. But I always held Eagles in high esteem. I thought they could do anything and would be the people I'd want to be with in real survival situation. I propose a new scouting rank - Real Eagle. The only difference between it and the current Eagle is a final exam. To pass, the scout gets dropped off in the woods 50 miles from civilization with only a pack he packed completely himself and is given 1 week to make it home. I wonder how many "Eagles" would even be willing to take the test? Only partially joking suggestion over
  14. I see two issues at play here: 1) The current troop doesn't sound very strong for a number of reasons - limited youth leadership, poor programming, discouragement of merit badges**, etc. If feasible, exploring other troops might not be a bad option. 2) An overly ambitious and too award-focused scout & family. "Minimum time required" is even more race-like language than saying as quickly as possible. The language strongly implies this is a race. The scout doesn't want to camp because he wants to camp - he wants to do it to check boxes. I'd have more sympathy if the OP said her son camps with friends or family on the weekends, but is struggling because he can't get "designated Scouting" credit. The way I read it is the scout doesn't want to camp, he wants a requirement met. Additionally mom says the quest for Eagle is scout driven, yet she needs to hound him to get his scout camping pre-reqs done? That tells me the kid isn't ready. He's 12 years old. Let him learn the lesson of what happens when he didn't prepare. I think missing the requirements and not being able to camp is a great lesson. To me, if you look at the whole range of scouting from Tiger to Eagle, there's a scale of parent involvement. At the cub level there's heavy parent involvement - tapering off at the Webelos level. At the early BS level, there's probably still a little guidance and less direct involvement. But for an Eagle scout, it needs to be 100% the kid. Mom should not be constantly reminding the kid to do things and/or doing all the gathering of camp supplies. And mom should NOT be going to the store to buy the stuff he needs. At most she should drive him to the store because he can't do it. I love how in explaining her need to shop, she says dad might do it because she's tired. Uhh - How about the kid do it? Perhaps BSA needs two different Eagle ranks: Eagle & Eagle-H. The H standing for helicopter parent. **Maybe the blue cards & merit badges are being discouraged because the SM is sensing a scout just racing through the requirements and he wants the kid to stop and smell the roses along the way?
  15. OK, before we get too far into this, my comments on this topic so far and below are in the interest of debate only. I am not arguing a side. I find the topic interesting because of the many ways either side can justify their stance. Barry, to your comment, what if a scout was gay? To the degree any leader's marriage rolls into scouting, wouldn't it be good for him to have a model? *This question assumes one believes orientation is not a choice. If one believes it is a choice, this question won't get anywhere.
  16. Bad Wolf you are only looking at 2/3 of the examples I gave to justify your position - effectively saying "BSA can exclude girls so that justifies excluding gays." Would you use the same logic to say it would be ok to exclude blacks? If this forum existed in 1974 would you be arguing BSA policy says segregation is ok so let's keep segregating the troops? I ask all these questions to demonstrate complexity of the issues. I suspect in the current world we live in, we are generally ok excluding girls, not ok excluding blacks, and are hotly divided on excluding gays. What explains why we are ok excluding some groups, but not others?
  17. This is an interesting analogy and argument that Bad Wolf raises. On the surface we'd probably blow off the idea of girls in BSA, but look at it completely objectively. BSA says no to _______ in scouts. Now insert in that space blacks, gays, or girls. All three are equally protected classes. If all you knew about the terms blacks, gays, or whites was that they represented a protected class and were in many ways analogous, how would you answer? I ask this not because I have an angle, but rather because I think it's a legitimate perplexing question.
  18. Don't be so quick to dismiss the parallels. BSA didn't accept black scouts in all areas until 1942. And segregating black and white troops was not dropped as an official policy until 1974. No matter what one believes, social change happens - it's not overnight, and it's never clean or without debate and controversy.
  19. Doesn't mean they shouldn't be. I think there should be some integrity to the process. I'm not saying there isn't value in the things you and others supplement with, but the award requirements should be done. You can't disclaim your approach by saying "outside of Eagle awards" because in one way or another everything filters up to those Eagle awards. What are we teaching kids if we gloss over the foundations and model to them that some rules don't and requirements don't really count? We disagree, but I do applaud you for recognizing your own conflict with the new requirements and choosing to step away. I mean that as a true compliment as it's never good for anyone when a leader isn't fully on board with a program. I've been there myself.
  20. Actually they do. According to the Guide to Advancement, no one can add, subject, or otherwise change the requirements. You might be able to physically get badges and give them to the kids, but I'd be royally pissed if I was a parent of one of those kids.
  21. This is great. Need to file it away for future use.
  22. Hopefully those associated with the troop see these 2 people the same way we do on here. I don't care how bad the kid is, unless he's being intentionally disruptive, it's up to the adult leaders to find a way to make it work. If a kid is doing his best (to borrow the cub motto), the adult leaders need to find a way. I recognize it isn't always easy, but that's the responsibility adults assume when they sign up to lead youth (be it in scouts, sports, teaching, or anything else).
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