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About Sniktaw

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  1. There is a movement now, a big movement, to accept statements of identity from kids at face value, without question. This movement expects ALL to comply--parents, doctors, teachers, anyone in contact with the kid. We are told that to not accept these statements, and to not encourage them along this path, is harmful. However, this is not "settled science." This movement is social in nature, and the evidence that accepting as fact a new self-identity is helpful, is not there. There is a call for more research. As Scouters, are we helping or harming these kids by encouraging them along this path, as this new social movement demands? Some feel that doing something is better than doing nothing--the child can always change back later, if he was wrong. Unless he goes too far, and biological changes are made before full maturity, self-realization, and the capacity to make huge, life-altering decisions are reached. Unless the social implications turn out to be too much for a child to deal with. As a person of responsibility in a child's life, I do not want to be complicit in encouraging a such a decision before maturity. So what, as Scouters, are we to do with these kids? How do we accept them for who they are, when they can't yet know, with certainty, who they are at this stage? How do we stand up for them, and their need for space and time to mature, when the social tide is pushing them to make decisions they are not ready for?
  2. "It's about keeping kids safe." What is about keeping kids safe? The Scouting program? The concept of free range kids is exactly not that--it's not about keeping kids safe. It's about giving kids the freedom to grow. Now, you can add some safety in there. But that's not what free range is about. Free range accepts risk as an inherent and necessary part of life. When safety becomes the foremost concern, you've lost free range.
  3. Diagnosis of "gender dysphoria." Looking at a bunch of self-reported psychological symptoms and proclaiming a medical? biological? diagnosis seems pretty unscientific. "Suffering from a condition"--the example I gave was of gluten intolerance. Many people claim to have this condition without ever having been diagnosed by a doctor. For many people, it is a fad, and their self-diagnosis is brought on by lots of media attention. The comparison I made is to people claiming to be gay, bi, transgender, etc, when they actually are not--for many, it's a fad, as evidenced by their later turning out to be heterosexual. I think a lot of that is brought on by media attention, social media interaction, the coolness factor (and believe me, for teenagers and 20-somethings, it's very cool right now), and their need to seek attention or turn attention from some other aspect of their lives. I mean, for years we've been told that being gay is not a choice and it's the way you're born--but it has turned into something that can just strike people temporarily, usually when they're young? That doesn't make any sense. And so it seems very possible that a lot of these cases are another example of kids doing the cool thing, or doing something that will get them the attention they seek. I don't think they're often fully cognizant of WHY they're doing it, just as the little kid who acts out for negative attention doesn't say, "I'm going to hit my sister so my mom yells at me, because yelling is better than her ignoring me."
  4. I don't think it's the internet causing this. It's the peer relationships, which for today's youth are largely held on and heightened by internet/social media sites. Times change. When I was in high school and college, it was not cool to be gay, but it was starting to be more accepted. When my brother's kids were in high school, "bi" was the thing to be. Eight years later, we've got a mother posting photos of her baby boy with bows on his head, proclaiming her wish that he grows up to be gay. Haven't heard from her in a while, so don't know if she's grown up or moved on to a more extreme vision for her son's future. Sure, some gay-to-straight people have been genuinely confused about their sexuality. But many of the temporarily gay, bi, dysphoric, etc are just seeking attention. The proliferation of "genders" and constant ramming-down-our-throats of unscientific diagnoses has made a wide array of socially acceptable, no, socially desirable, attention-seeking behaviors common among youth. In general, I think people who jump on the bandwagon of a diagnosis tend to hurt the cause for people actually suffering from a condition. But maybe this is good for the non-straight movement. Kind of like how soooo many people are gluten-free--they've created a market for food that is good for people with an actual diagnosis. Not sure that this is best for the merely temporary pioneers of these identities, though.
  5. Sniktaw

    New Cubmaster with a co-ed pack

    Have you asked the parents of the boys if they will want mixed dens? National has said that dens will be separate. I think you at least owe it to the boys' families to let them know that you are not following the guidelines they were told about. As a troop parent and Webelos leader myself, I understand that none of the decision makers wanted my input, but I would at least appreciate a heads up when changes are put into place. Please don't be one of those leaders that refuses to communicate with parents.
  6. Sniktaw

    Gender Identity Issue

    Names do matter, and they can matter to parents. When teaching second grade, I once got an angry phone call from a parent who noticed her daughter had been writing a nickname on her papers instead of her given name (she was using the first three letters of her 8-letter name). She was only allowed to use her given name. I thought it was ridiculous, but there it was. As a parent, if I found out by accident that my kid had chosen a name meant to change his identity and adults were going along with it without mentioning it to me, I'd be pretty upset. Deciding that you have no gender (what does that even mean??) and telling everyone but your parents points to either some pretty serious issues or some pretty ridiculous shenanigans. I would hope that adults who are supposed to care about my kid would clue me in. I would hope that adults who are supposed to care about my kid don't assume that I will abuse my kid and shouldn't know things that he is making public.
  7. No matter how generous my intentions, trying to read and follow "the Church" (which church, now?)'s written instructions regarding nomenclature seems entirely too cumbersome. I've had enough friends, acquaintances, sworn enemies, and family members who are Mormon that I feel pretty comfortable diving into this rather off-topic topic. Still lamenting the upcoming loss of our local awesome Mormon day camp.
  8. Hmmm, those instructions come from Mormonnewsroom.org. I'm not sure they're going to be very successful with this change.
  9. Wait...Did Mormon just become a bad word in general, or only in connection to Boy Scouts?
  10. Sniktaw

    Thinking I am Going to Step Down

    I have a chronic medical condition that sidelines me a lot. Although I am being treated, I have had to accept over the years that there are certain things that I just can't do (or might not be able to do, therefore I can't plan to do them and have people count on me) and someone else has to take up that slack. I know what I can do and I do those things well. Everything else, I expect someone else to step up, and they do, because I work with a great group of leaders who are willing to do their part. And I have no problem asking them to do things. Sometimes I get ahead of myself, thinking I'm getting better, then realize it was just one of my good times. Sometimes I make plans I shouldn't. So even though I work at managing this I'm not perfect. I get frustrated with myself. I hope you are asking for help. Professional help, for all aspects of your life that are affected, and in Scouts. Sounds to me like you need a good partner leader who can do the things you are unsure of. Working with other leaders has been one of the most enjoyable parts of being a den leader, for me, and it's good that the boys to have more than one leader to rely on. If you're fine doing den meetings and planning your own outings for your den as needed, all those other trainings are not necessary or even helpful for a den leader. Heck, depending on the quality, most of the leaders may be better off skipping them entirely. You don't have to do it all, do it perfectly, or do it by yourself. Just do what you can and let others to do the rest of it. If you need to step back for a while that's okay too. I always look at volunteer opportunities as year-long commitments, then it's time to re-evaluate what I can handle and what I want to do. I would just suggest that you not miss out on something you want to do because you've set the expectations higher than they should be.
  11. Sniktaw

    From National: Official Name

    This makes me think back to when my son was a a tiger...a boy joined his den a week before Crossover. At the ceremony, the leader made a big deal about how he'd just joined and he completed all his requirements in ONE WEEK! Wow! What a great Scout! My thoughts were, He must've missed some school to fit in all those Go See Its, and What the hell were we doing, attending the meetings all year long when you could get the whole program done in a week?
  12. Thanks everyone, I knew I would get a lot of ideas here! We are already doing some of the things mentioned but can definitely use many of the other ideas.
  13. Hi everyone. I am a Webelos I den leader and would like advice on helping the boys transition to Boy Scouts. The requirements for the next year and a half are different enough from Cubs, and we have plans for visiting troops, but I need concrete ideas for how to introduce the Boy Scout mindset to my Webelos. As far as activities, one obstacle I feel stuck on is that we meet for an hour during the week when it is dark, so our outdoor activity possibilities are limited, and an hour isn't a lot of time to get bigger things accomplished. We are shooting for one weekend outdoor activity a month, but of course many Scouts only come to weeknight meetings. But I digress--what I'm really looking for is that mindset change. My ultimate goal is to get these boys to stay in Scouting so I want their transition to be as smooth as possible. What should I be doing to help them?
  14. I think it depends on why the boy is joining--if they are gung-ho for doing all the requirements, sure, do it at home. If they are just joining to have fun with the experience, let them have the experience that everyone else is having now. Earn the Bobcat plus whatever the rest of the den is working on. My big worry is encouraging the new Bear to buy a blue shirt they're only going to wear for a few months before they go with tan in Webelos.
  15. Sniktaw

    Personal Sleepovers/Scout Functions? When is it not ok?

    The idea that you are worrying about this makes me sad. You shouldn't stop your family from having normal activities nor stop yourself from being a normal mother because you volunteer in an organization that works with children. I have thought about the reverse--At Scouts, the rules say I can't be trusted to be in a room with 6 second graders without another adult present, but when I was a teacher, I could be in a room alone with 23 second graders all day, every day. And now I can pick up one of the second graders from school and drive him home with my son so they can play together. And amazingly. . . I can be completely alone with either one of my sons and be absolutely sure that I won't hurt them. Follow the rules of the organization when you're there. But don't start doubting yourself. You know you're not going to harm the kids at your kid's sleepover. If the other parents don't trust you, they won't let the kids go to your house, nothing to do with Scouts. If we tried to live our personal lives by the rules imposed by schools, Scouts, church, etc., we would be incredibly isolated because we couldn't ever trust anybody.