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Posts posted by Pselb

  1. If an organization doesn't have the resources to run the program, why does it think it has the right to continue?  Businesses go out of business every day.  Organizations close down all the time.  Churches stand vacant all around the country.  It's the cycle of life.  Things come and go.  Why in the world does BSA think it is exempt from such things anymore than General Motors thought itself to be too big to fail at one time.  Maybe with the emphasis on adult involvement, adult volunteerism, etc. the boys think it's dorky and not fun and too expensive, could it be said that the organization is really not in a position any longer to sustain itself?

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  2. Okay, time for a dumb question.  I've been lurking for some time now and recently gotten a bit active,   I notice I get that little bell at the top of the forum page that lets me know of things going on that are focused at me.  If I get quoted, no problem.  When I quote others, I'm sure they get the same bell notification, but how does one get those highlighted names to make notifications appear to just that person.  I noticed my name gets highlighted and I get notified, but how do I do it the other way and someone else gets highlighted and notified?  I know this should be under the technical section, but this campfire seems to be a bit friendlier of a place to ask dumb questions.

  3. I will not jump the gun, but my son might. :) 

    If there is an all-male option on the table it will be taken into consideration.  If not, the choice will be made for him.  As parents, we offered up the Cub Scout program to him because WE thought the idea of a boys' group would be a good thing for him.  At least it got him away from his two sisters for a while.  He's enjoyed it and continues to want to go back for each meeting and some of the other activities.  As the program changes and he matures, that might change.  I have no crystal ball at this point.  As parents, we will support him in whatever he decides. 

  4. If given a choice between multiple options, I believe that my son's choices would be all-male scout camps, co-ed church, and co-ed YMCA type camps.  As the only all-male alternative has gone away, it no longer provides a different experience than the other two.  At this point, I'm thinking my son would opt for the church's Bible camp.  It's outdoors, program focused and all-male off the table and all-male is no longer a choice issue and drops off the options list as it has in all other aspects in today's society.  If there were other all-male options out there and it was important to him, it would be a strong consideration.  Yes, he's only one boy, but I would assume there are others out there like him, too small in numbers to have any voice in the matter.  But as I said, if it's important to him, he'll find his way to find it.

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  5. While my son is only at the Cub Scout level, he is enjoying the program as it has been for the past 3 years he has attended.  It is a good opportunity for him to build social skills outside of home-schooling.  However, with that being said, the co-ed option might be a bit of a problem in that he is out-numbered 2 to 1 with his siblings at home.  Now much of that can be easily chalked up to sibling rivalry, but I don't think it is a big draw to continue that experience outside the home.  While my wife and I draw the line at blood and bruises, it is still a struggle at times.  While it is good for him to socialize in a co-educational environment, it may not be something that he is going to seek out as an activity option.  I don't know when or if that will ever change.  I'm sure it will, but the timing will be his choice in the long run.

  6. I see it every day in my classroom.  In class it's co-ed, but the guys have his strange tendency to migrate to the sports world of all-male teams because it's "cool" to be a guy.    Students who have issues of boy/girl (co-ed) outside of class who don't get involved in sports have a tendency to do the old LAN-Gamer gatherings type of activities.  The gals who don't do the segregated sports get more involved in the shopping and sleepover types of activities.  And for most of the others, they continue to do the co-ed activities outside of class. 

    Taking that one step further beyond the reach of the schools, there's always gang related activity which for the most part are gender segregated, but mostly it's a male issue.  With the breakdown of the traditional family, the options for youth are becoming a confusing time for these kids.

    Nothing scientific about those observations, just a few years of teaching at a high school level.

  7. "Adventure" is what you make out of any life experience.  Most aren't planned and not many of them expensive.  On our family trip to Yellowstone, it was quite an adventure.  They had warned us about the bears and such.  But what they didn't say was that at night in certain campgrounds, the buffalo like to bed down for the night among the campsites.  We didn't put 2 and 2 together when we felt lucky to find an open campsite.  As a matter of fact the campground still had plenty of sites later in the afternoon.  I guess that meant there was that much more room for the buffalo.  It is unfortunate that my kids are home-schooled, because they would have had a great "show-and-tell" opportunity the next fall.  Instead they had settle for taking a ton of pictures and have a story to tell their grandchildren.

    And I need to add that the wife's adventure was all the beautiful fields of wild flowers.  She and the kids insisted I stop every so often so they could go out and identify them because they were different than the ones back home.  Whenever someone sees wild animals in the park, a huge temporary parking lot appears along side the road and the question asked is: "What do you see?"  Here the wife and kids are knee deep in the beauty of a mountain meadow in full bloom and these people couldn't see it.   As I said, adventure is what you make out of any life experience.

  8. When it comes to safety, it is assumed that it falls under the category of common sense. 

    The problem with that statement is that it is based on an assumption and that sense is common.

    And we all know what the true meaning of the word "assume" means. 

    if safety was not an issue, why do organizations like OSHA even exist?

    How in the world do people who do motivational safety seminars make a living at it?

    For those who don't think safety is worth knowing as much as possible about it, make sure your insurance policy is up-to-date, have a good lawyer on retention, and keep your cell phone handy with 911 programed at the top of your contacts list.

  9. Wouldn't a girl with any sense, who wants to go to this thing World Jamboree, just join the older co-ed program and avoid the hassle of breaking the glass sealing of an all boys' program first?  Sounds a bit weak as an excuse for all the maladies that seem to be going around lately.  But then I'm not savvy to all the fine points of how all this works.  

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  10. Well, they could have done it at the Centennial year, they could have done it at any time regardless of what is going on at the time and the reaction would be the same, but the coincidental excuse would be the only thing different.  And no, they could have probably picked a better time to do it "worse".  There's been just about any time from inception until now that the could have done worse.  If you were going on a long trip, when would be the best time to have an accident?  :)  Well, everyone I've ever talked to never planned on even having one, but it happens.

    ...and when it does it does it at the worst possible time.

  11. Or maybe a couple of camps work together to alternate so the kids get more variety of camps to pick from depending on which week they can go. Or the camps alternate boy weeks with girl weeks.  I for one don't go back to the same state parks and camp in the same campsite every summer on the same week, (but alas, it's the same family that tags along.)  It never occurred to me to even do that.  There's got to be alternatives that deviate a bit from the same old story that might be interesting for the kids. 

    A teacher that teaches one grade and does the same field trip every year for 15 years is not the same experience that a student would have if he were to go on the same field trip from first grade through high school even if it was the Smithsonian.

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  12. 2 minutes ago, SSF said:

    Sounds like censorship and thougt policing; i.e. the only views and opinions that are accepted are those of the ruling party, the all powerful BSA in this case

    Feel free to downvote me

    But that's the way it has been for every other step in human history.  The strong and powerful makes up the rules as they go along.  Name one point in time that that wasn't the case.  So why would BSA be any different than the rest of the world?

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  13. Okay,  I'm a history teacher and let's try this on to see if it fits.  At one point sports was an all-male activity.  The first Olympics didn't have any females.  So over the past "few" years, that has changed.  And it did so incrementally.  I suppose there was some hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth when women first began to compete in a "few" more genteel competitions.  Then some crept in even before the BC/AD timeline.  Over time more and more were added on an ever increasing pace until we reach today.   But then along with women's sports, women's involvement in technology, industry and a ton of other advancements took off in the past 300 years.

    So Scouts starts out all-boy at a snail's pace, then we break the ice with Den MOTHERS in Cubs, then high school aged gals in the co-ed program, sprinkle in the female Boy scout leaders, time marches on.  Whether it be sports, education, business, or the professional world, it's all the same "slippery slope."   It hasn't been that long in our own history women have gone from land-owning to voting, etc.  The same holds true for cultural and social "advancements". 

    So when viewing the grand scheme of things, why does this whole situation of girls in scouting come along as any big surprise?  People may not like it, but they have never been able to stop it's progression through time.

    Kicking and screaming, though it be, the one redeeming factor in this whole issue is: human kind has been able to adapt to the changes and eventually accepted them.  We in our own little timeline of existence only see a very small fraction of the change, the last few seconds of an age-old timeline and for some reason seemed so surprised that it is happening as if it were a brand new event in the course of human history.   Or even in this case scouting history.  A quick cursory look at scouting, I think Mrs. Powell had already started the ball rolling right from the beginning with a "parallel" program of Girl Guides. 

    This internet research is a lot easier than doing it with old encyclopedias and dusty libraries.... :)


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  14. A few years back when I was in college, my roommate was gay.  I am a conservative Christian.  Major worlds apart.  It was a rocky start, but we both worked it out to the point where we actually became good friends in spite of our differences.  The time we finally realized it was when we were going on some trip someplace.  He was driving and I was navigating.   This was before GPS and Google Maps, so I had the old paper map out trying to figure out how to get to where we needed to be.  We came to an intersection that was not clearly marked on the map and he yelled, "Which way?  Which way?"  I in my panic and at the last minute I yelled back at him, "Go straight! Go Straight!".  After the dust settled and he smiled and said, "My Dad's been telling me that for years."

    Sometimes our differences are what makes us better. 

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  15. Wow, I step away for a few minutes to do my day job and a ton of stuff happens.

    Okay, I'm going to put my outside observer glasses on an pose a few ideas.

    1) This thing called national has made changes to the program.  It is ASSUMED that this was to make things better, either in numbers of scouts or cash flow, take your pick.  Both sides have speculated for either, or, or both.

    2) This is followed closely by the rank and file with a whole ton of ASSUMPTIONS as to what is going to happen and who's going to quit, what all the problems are going to be, how the structure of the program will look like, right down to the number of toilets at summer camp.

    3) So those ASSUMING the change is inevitable and all the myriad of problems are merely bumps in the road,  take the high ground and those that don't like it are told to leave.

    4) I'm going to ASSUME that no one really knows what's going on from the top to the bottom but it is bringing out the worst in everybody in most cases.  The scout law (I had to borrow my son's book) where it refers to such things as idealized courteous, kind,  helpful,  cheerful are put on a back burner for the moment while we discuss the real nature of the issues.  We can get back to them after the dust has settled.

    As a school teacher, one must have a set of lesson plans that take quite a bit of time to set up based on the textbook used in class.  After a while the job gets pretty easy doing the copy/paste routine each year until the school board changes textbooks.  Back to square one.  So what's it going to be?  Rally the troops in protest? Complain to somebody?  Go for viral status on Facebook? move to a school where they haven't changed textbooks since 1909? or are you going to start all over and do the best you can with the new situation?  And surprisingly enough, you can't do a dang thing about it until you get the new book.  I don't think that with all the assumptions floating around, the boy scout playbook has been made available yet.

    Yep, there will be new people coming in and old people going out.  There will be those who dump their development in the program and Eagle Mill marathon to an early exit.  The Old Guard will throw up their hands in disgust and leave unless they have grandchildren they want to push through quickly for the Gran Prix Eagle, thus maintaining the family tradition of Eagles.

    And the list goes on and on ad nauseum.

    I sure hope this all quiets down in the next couple of years when my son gets to Boy Scouts because he seems to be enjoying what he has at the moment.  I don't think (and I'm assuming, yes) that it probably make a bit of difference to him because he doesn't have a long-standing tradition of anything in the program having been in it for now the third year.    It seriously concerns me that he might become disillusioned with Cub Scouts, and Boy Scouts and join something like 4-H and I have to put up with a pig in the back yard he's raising for competition at the state fair.

  16. 44 minutes ago, MattR said:

    He should go over to Bryan and get us a smoke shifter

    I've been around enough fires to know that "Smoke follows ugliness".  That shouldn't be that hard to find either.

  17. 45 minutes ago, Oldscout448 said:

    Hmm, If we follow tradition you are supposed to go find a snipe in the woods not logs.  But as you seem a decent fellow I suggest you just roast another marshmallow 

    Well, I'm not a scout, but I do know that snipe are indigenous to swampy areas not woods.  I think you would be sending me on a wild goose chase, but we all know wild geese hang out at rivers and lakes unless they are migrating and then will rest at night in open fields, again, not woods.  However, if you would like, I could possibly look around the fire here and maybe find an old coot or two for you.


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  18. I probably won''t go back to lurking.  Some of the people here have given me some worthwhile ideas to kick around.  I don't ignore my kid one iota, but sometimes one is made to feel like as "just a parent" that somehow I'm letting my kid down.  But he comes back home each week and seems to be having a good time with it. 

    I do see the toll it takes on the scout leadership and am concerned that by becoming involved, it will detract from my other responsibilities.  No I don't hang out at bars, don't play golf, and pretty much am a stay-at-home dad that spends as much time as I can with the kids.  It's important that they take on some independence and I don't ever want to feel like I'm tagging along or worse yet interfering with him and the social contacts he's making.  When I do see the other boys, they seem like nice kids, so I'm not worried about the crowd he hangs out with when it comes to his Cub Scout activities.

    This virtual campfire is a comforting place to hang out and ask dumb questions. 

    Am I supposed to throw on a log now? or as the newbie I'm supposed to go find some more logs in the woods?

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