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Everything posted by AltadenaCraig

  1. More often than not it's worthwhile to seek the guidance of the man, himself, Robert Baden-Powell (it's surprising how much of his insight remains relevant - it's timeless). Here are a few of his thoughts regarding "Drill" in "Aids to Scoutmastership": Note the term "in excess". Baden-Powell suggests "a few minutes silent drill at the beginning of a meeting or an occasional game of "O'Grady [Simon] says." "Silent drill" being as simple as falling-in for opening ceremony, attendance, or uniform inspection. To be sure, while he felt "Occasional drills are necessary", he was quick to
  2. Excellent points made by @yknot & @fred8033. YIS - -Craig
  3. I won't disagree that 5.5 has been too long of an expansion; however, the alternative allows youngsters to be captured by alternative programs (Y-guides, AYSO soccer, etc.), which all have programs for small-fry. Without a BSA small-fry program, a youngster's life would already be full with alternatives before a BSA program ever gets a chance at him/her.
  4. If I'm welcome, I'd like to add my $.02. I find myself of two minds on this topic. On the one hand, between the Unitarians, Scientologists, Buddhists, and Humanistic Jews (among other sects) - all of which are welcome in Scouting (and have their own BSA-Approved Religious Emblems) though none observes a deity resembling the God of Abraham - if one can't find a spiritual home in that landscape then I expect it's not the BSA that's being exclusionary. On the other hand, the "Duty to God" program has somewhat puzzled me since it's introduction about the same time the BSA allowed for gay sc
  5. So for my first crack at "Bard" (Google's Artificial Intelligence experiment) I asked "Please write a three-paragraph essay on the importance of The Patrol Method in Scouting." It delivered this answer in less than five seconds: A few more than three paragraphs, but clearly three sections (background, bulleted benefits, conclusion). All in all, not bad.
  6. The GSS wording states "All adults staying overnight in connection with a Scouting activity must be currently registered in an adult fee required position as listed or as an adult program participant". I'd expect both Chapter & Lodge Adviser would be covered as "an adult program participant."
  7. Random reactions (in no particular order): Changes to Cub Program: so this explains it. I've had a devil of a time relating to the current program since the demise of "Program Helps". That was a huge help to me when I was Cubmaster. Hopefully they can resurrect something like that when they finalize a new program. TOTALLY agree with those troops which funnel volunteering adults through the Committee their first year. Gotta unlearn the DL mode. "Proficiency"? When has it ever been about "proficiency"? Even B-P himself emphasized relative merit between capable and less c
  8. When promoting OA in my unit I've likened it to the "Scout version of All Stars". I expect there will always be a role for OA to fill the All-Star needs of our committed scouts. What it looks like going forward is unclear, but I hope it always retains its "All Star" cache.
  9. In all candor I have to admit our Linked Troop resembles several of the flaws @Cburkhardt has enumerated (undersized, resembles a 'patrol' more than 'troop'). And I wholeheartedly agree with @DuctTape that the Linked Troop rollout was less than ideal. Nevertheless I feel compelled to share a couple of our Linked Troop's successes if only to ensure we don't mistakenly "throw the baby out with the bathwater" in our collective search for improvement. First, our Girls' Troop scouters benefit greatly from the camaraderie & experience among the scouters of the Boys' Troop and Linked Troop
  10. I didn't mean to suggest there's none, only that 'Nature' MB is no longer required for Eagle.
  11. I worry we're running afoul fo B-P's admonition not to "trench the role of schools" with four(4) out of 21 merit badges emphasizing ... to use your words "concepts of understanding diversity, equity, etc". IMHO we've not only muddled those civics concepts with our overkill we've foregone other, more important lessons for which Scouting is uniquely suited. "Nature" MB, for example, used to be an Eagle Required MB - but no more - and I'm sure other Scouters could list even better examples.
  12. To me the irony is the BSA already has the answer with Citizenship in the Community in particular and community service projects in general. Lurching for popular remedies like "Citizenship in Society" just introduces more boring adult "requirements" while taking our eyes off the ball where focus needs to be: in our local communities. Indeed author Scott Galloway literally cites BSA membership as a metric in his book "A Nation Adrift" where he makes the point that what's needed is "Participation on a Community Level" at 6:40 in this clip: https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2022/10/01/smr-gal
  13. I agree that was the most likely motivation. In our hyper-competitive world, what parent doesn't want their kid to acquire skills to "be the boss"? I find it easier to swallow "Leadership Development" when it's defined non-traditionally. "Servant Leadership" comes to mind. Same with disaggregating leadership into its constituent parts: first learn to lead oneself, then how to lead oneself within a team, then within the leadership of that team, before finally learning the responsibilities of being "the leader". Of course, this is just me & my $.02. BSA has got much bigger f
  14. I wish the BSA had left well enough alone and kept "Leadership" as one of the Methods of Scouting rather than slipping it in as an additional "Aim of Scouting" as they did a few years ago. With "Leadership" now as both an Aim and a Method, not only has the BSA confused the concept of Leadership they've also muddled the foundational principles of the organization. Inexcusable.
  15. If the GSUSA had marketed their Gold Award half as effectively as they've promoted 'Thin Mints' and 'Do-Si-Do's' we wouldn't be in this mess.
  16. Agreed. Scoutbook is particularly guilty of troop-centric approvals/permissions. I'm hoping COVID-19 will spur changes to Scoutbook to allow for (perhaps even promote) Patrol-level management.
  17. Our Troop-level virtual meetings tend toward top-down "presentations" with very little scout interaction even when invited to virtually "raise hands". Our ASM's, on the other hand, report much more interactive and enjoyable virtual Patrol Meetings. Even a Community meeting I recently participated in was much more effective during the breakout session than during the "please raise your hand" plenary session. Our Council is now hinting at tentatively re-opening "in person scouting" at the small-group level (no more than 10 scouts with exactly 2 adults). Until further details are ava
  18. While imitating people's cultures might be confused with mimicry or mocking, imitating people's worthy actions should be safe & heralded. I love the opportunity to quote Gen. Washington, especially in prayer: "... that God would have you ... in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the Citizens ... to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, ... and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Char
  19. In 1980, Claremont Men's College graduated the first class of 4-year women. Years later the name was changed to Claremont McKenna College, but not before many women objected to the change. They liked the "rebel" image the name implied.
  20. We're less in disagreement and more in violent agreement, it seems to me. I'm not advocating changing 'Scoutmaster' - I agree with those who say its not a priority. And I don't believe "the patch makes the leader (or tyrant)". What I do believe is in the current climate anything can become a target for the cancel-culture (heck, this weekend some were castigating old broadcast jokes in an attempt to shade Vin Scully - even Giants fans have been coming to his defense!), and consequently we should Be Prepared. To be sure, in the vein of "never let a crises go to waste" a couple of thi
  21. I disagree with you. I've been thinking all day about your post. I'll risk hijacking my own thread and reply as it allows a point I feel is important. I'm happy to post "I disagree with you" - and I'm thankful you posted your disagreement with me, without a downvote. Words move the ball forward. But there's nothing courteous or kind about a red down-arrow on one's post. How many of our fellow Scouters are turned-off from contributing their opinions because they'd feel a downvote is unfriendly? Isn't that a legitimate consideration?
  22. To @qwazse's credit, his downvotes were accompanied by comments.
  23. This EXACTLY makes the point. Sisyphus had more success rolling his rock than we should expect to have attempting to justify 'master' because the audience is not our leadership trainees but rather all the others we wish to attract. Among ourselves questioning "Scoutmaster" sounds silly, I completely agree. But to expect showing others "how the term 'master' has been used as titles" is preposterous. I'm on board with scoutldr's suggestion to appropriate "Advisor".
  24. Well, since you asked, I don't think it should be on the forum. There's a reason it's not an option on Facebook, for example. A downvote is aggressive, IMHO, and has no place except perhaps in outrageous posts; and even then the better option is to "report". Ditch the downvote. Now back to the topic at hand ...
  25. You would do well to familiarize yourself with the article referenced in the OP. References such as those smack exactly of the kind of "tyrants and tin gods, renegades and recalcitrants, bullies and belligerents, dictators, martinets, and “world’s oldest Patrol Leaders” masquerading as Scoutmasters" we need to eschew. And no, I'm not so mean-spirited as to downvote your post.
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