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Posts posted by AltadenaCraig

  1. 11 hours ago, KublaiKen said:

    Both Chapter and Lodge Adviser seem to be missing from the list of adult positions approved for overnight camping. Are they just considered committee members, or are they prohibited from attending overnight OA events? ūü§Ē


    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."

  2. 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 capable scouts.¬† And when asked about "standards" Green-Bar-Bill replied "to a Scout's standard, of course!"¬† I've seen too many SM's & ASM's get in the way of scouts having fun in the name of "proficiency".
    • I'm kinda ambivalent about Lions & Tigers, but I get that so many organizations (YMCA "Guides") capture kids earlier and earlier that BSA feels the need to compete.

    my $.02

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  3. 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.

  4. On 12/21/2022 at 3:37 PM, Cburkhardt said:

      Any Other Thoughts on the Roll-Out? 

    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 Committee.  Our "Scoutmaster Corps" (SMs & ASMs) meet monthly offsite to discuss the recent PLC meetings and coordinate required support.  Accordingly, every one of our campouts has included girls & female scouters - including high-adventure trips to Philmont & Northern Tier - where the girls' "troop" camps separately, albeit close-by (think separate patrol campsites) and all adults share a separate nearby campsite.  Our girls' troop scouters are developing their high-adventure skillset (backpacking & rappelling) so they appreciate the close relationship with the boys' troop scouters.  Otherwise, I doubt our girls' troop would exist.

    Second - and this may suggest a marketing opportunity - while we're careful during "high intensity" events (hike-in, campsite setup, meal-prep, teardown, etc.) that our girls' & boys' troops operate separately, something wonderful happens during "down time" (e.g. cracker barrel) - our scouts come together such it resembles a youth group.  Our boys & girls are thus ensured their own scout experiences during strenuous events (and can suffer the usual meltdowns during without lasting embarrassment), but also accrue the benefits of interaction.

    The whole thing remains a work-in-progress IMHO, but I remain a strong supporter of our Linked Troop and am hopeful that as we emerge from Co-VID both our boys' and girls' troops will thrive.

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  5. 13 hours ago, Scouterlockport said:

    I agree that the nature section of scouting should have more eagle required badges. But to say there is none is not true. There is environmental science, which would cover that hole. I wish they would add a triple headed requirement for nature like (hiking/swimming/cycle)

    I didn't mean to suggest there's none, only that 'Nature' MB is no longer required for Eagle.

  6. 3 hours ago, Navybone said:

    So, CIS, which focuses on developing an understanding of the people in the community, is less useful than learning how the community works for a common good?   Are the concepts of understanding diversity, equity, and inclusion not all part of how to strengthen a community, or even a nation?  How to include your ethics in decison making -Not useful? 

    The four citizenship merit badges are all about the developing of our youth to be successful in their endeavors, to be leaders of this nation and the world.  

    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.

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  7. 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-galloway-america-adrift.cnn 

  8. On 7/6/2021 at 7:13 AM, fred8033 said:

    Well said.  I saw when "Leadership Development" was added as an aim and wondered.  Then, I forgot but I'm still uncomfortable with it there.  IMHO, it was added for marketing purposes ....

    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 fish to fry and they're throwing everything at the wall in hopes something sticks.  Meantime I'm just trying to keep focused on the Scout Oath & Law in hopes once we come out of all of this the program as I once understood it is still recognizable.

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  9. 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.

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  10. 8 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

    But part of the problem is Scouts BSA doctrine strongly favors presentations and skill training at the troop level or in groups based upon skill level, rather than by patrol.  See https://troopleader.scouting.org/troop-meetings/.

    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.

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  11.      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 available, this would appear to support in-person activities at the Den/Patrol level.

         What are your thoughts?  Might we be seeing a resurgence of emphasis on Patrols and the Patrol Method?  What impact might this have on Scouting long term, post COVID-19?

  12. 10 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

    Are X people allowed to imitate Y people?

    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 Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation."

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  13. 4 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    In reading qwaze's mention of the uniform, I was reminded of a girl who joined the BSA and commented that she couldn't wait to wear the Boy Scout uniform. Well I guess one person knew about it. I wonder if the girls are going to be tagged as traditionalist. 


    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.

  14. On 6/29/2020 at 8:21 AM, qwazse said:

    So, you are saying that more youth would enlist in the program if it we used something like "responsible, participating, citizen and unit leader"?

    That's testable. For a "nominal" consulting fee, I can arrange a marketing survey (from a rhetorician whose kids were never in scouting) to ask a randomly selected sample of citizens. If they'd be more or less inclined to enroll their kids in a program with an RPCaUL as opposed to one with an SM.

    If, on the other hand, your first proposition (to rid the scouter-verse of tyrannical adults) is the more important motive, the best we have is anecdotal evidence that the title does not mold the leader. Any better would require a massive sociological analysis.

    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 things have emerged from this thread:  1) There are Scouters who have expressed legitimate misgivings about the names 'Scoutmaster' & 'Cubmaster' (surprised me), and as you say that could be testable in the greater population (and likely should be for go-forward marketing surveys; and 2) there are Scouters who've also made legitimate points that "Advisor" would be a preferable alternative (which should also be tested).

    Any change would have to demonstrate a considerable benefit-to-cost.  At present I agree the kitchen isn't hot enough to make a change on cost avoidance alone.  Nevertheless the discussion has illuminated some things and I think made us better prepared.

  15. On 6/27/2020 at 9:11 AM, Eagledad said:

    It doesn‚Äôt matter, if¬†we don‚Äôt have the maturity to take a down as disagreeing,¬†no words that will work either. For some here, All comments that disagree are ‚Äúhate‚ÄĚ. An arrow is just shorthand I guess.¬†


    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?

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  16. 32 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

    I personally don't care if people down vote my posts, but I would prefer them to post in addition to that so their opinion is out there. Down voting posts with out an explanation doesn't do much to further a conversation or change anybody's mind. 

    To @qwazse's credit, his downvotes were accompanied by comments.

  17. 7 minutes ago, qwazse said:

    My best suggestion: get your leadership trainees to crack open a reference (Bible or Oxford English Dictionary). Show how the term "master" has been used as titles for both landlords and rabbis. Ask them which one they think the folks in their care need.

    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".

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  18. 3 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    If a down vote is mean spirited, why is it on a scouting forum? I thought we all agreed to disagree agreeably.

    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 ...

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  19. 27 minutes ago, qwazse said:


    • Scoutchieftan
    • Scouter Superior
    • Scout Commandant
    • Scoutherd


    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 ‚Äúworld‚Äôs oldest Patrol Leaders‚ÄĚ masquerading as Scoutmasters" we need to eschew. ¬†And no, I'm not so mean-spirited as to downvote your post.

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  20. 4 hours ago, skeptic said:

    Nonsense.  Push the hype and try to panic weak minded Chicken Littles.  That is not what we teach the youth, or it should not be.

    One man's hype to panic weak minded Chicken Littles is another man's Being Prepared, which we do teach the youth.

    I'm keeping my powder dry as I lean toward Nonsense, but I'm also contemplating alternatives just in case.  #1 on my list: "Scoutguider".

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  21. When a Texas realty group abandons the term "Master Bedroom", how long before references to "Scoutmaster" meet the same fate?  https://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/texas/article243816787.html

    Truth be told, Clarke Green and 'Ask Andy' have long observed that the B-P coined "Scoutmaster" as it related to "Schoolmaster", emphasizing the "teacher" aspect rather than "master" in the day.  An important distinction if you're adhering to Scout-led-troop principles:  the true 'master' is the SPL, with SM's & ASM's as "teachers".  https://scoutmastercg.com/just-what-does-scoutmaster-mean/.

    To be sure, I find myself occasionally using the redundant "Adult Scouter" simply to avoid using "Adult Leader", a term which frosts me because I want the leaders in my troops to be the scouts, not the adults.  Nevertheless, I'd prefer any changes in titles to be on OUR terms and not because we're kowtowing to unreasonable demands of PC run amok.

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  22. I like the idea of Rovers and I like the idea of proficiency for Rovers.  I even like the idea of a Scout proficiency award (perhaps mandatory for the "Instructor" position), requiring some form of re-testing to maintain currency.

    Yet I'm hesitant to require currency of all scouts.  The reason is Baden-Powell's attitude toward proficiency as described in his "Aids to Scoutmastership":


    [Badges are] merely intended as an encouragement to a boy to take up a hobby or occupation and to make some sort of progress in it; they are a sign to an outsider that he has done so; they are not intended to signify that he is a master in the craft he is tested in. If once we make Scouting into a formal scheme of serious instruction in efficiency, we miss the whole point and value of Scout training, and we trench on the work of the schools without the trained experts for carrying it out. We want to get all our boys along through cheery self-development from within and not through the imposition of formal instruction from without.

    ‚Ķ The object of the Badge System in Scouting is also to give the Scoutmaster an instrument by which he can stimulate keenness on the part of every and any boy to take up hobbies that can be helpful in forming his character or developing his skill. It is an instrument which ‚ÄĒ if applied with understanding and sympathy ‚ÄĒ is designed to give hope and ambition even to the dullest and most backward, who would otherwise be quickly outdistanced and so rendered hopeless in the race of life. It is for this reason that the standard of proficiency is purposely left undefined. Our standard for Badge earning is not the attainment of a certain level of quality of knowledge or skill, but the amount of effort the boy has put into acquiting such knowledge or skill. This brings the most hopeless case on to a footing of equal possibility with his more brilliant or better-off brother.

    That's from The Boss, himself.

  23. On 5/26/2020 at 3:15 PM, desertrat77 said:

    2.  Dignified burial with honors:

    - OA (45 years an Arrowman too, ouch)

    Don't fetch your mourning armband just yet, @desertrat77, at least not for OA.

    Every other youth program I've been associated with - Little League & AYSO - each had an All Star component.  Some All Star program will naturally accompany Scouting, in whatever form survives, to meet the needs of those who just can't get enough as well as serve as a beacon for others.  We need an All Star program, and for better or worse OA is ours.

    I do believe there are Sacred Cows within the OA.  Any traditions that smack of "Cultural Appropriation" (dancing, regalia, etc.) even now are being hustled out the back door so fast they won't even get the dignified burial.  That doesn't mean all of OA has to be sacrificed, however.  The honor a scout finds in performing cheerful service to others is worth preserving.

    If not direct Native American heritage, what else could serve as an alternative OA touchstone?  Returning to the All Star concept, combining its mission of Camping promotion with "minimalist" theme of leave-no-trace and what do you have?  Highly mobile backpackers devoted to Ultralight principles.  There's enough skills and equipment adjustments in Ultrilight to more than make up for the loss of beadwork, leggings, & chokers.  And its traditions still harken indirectly to Native American roots.

    Retain cheerful service, break out the Ultralight handbook, and cancel the wake for the OA.

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