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Ankylus

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About Ankylus

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    Texas Gulf Coast
  1. So, you want to decrease the quality of my sons' experience in scouting because GSA failed your daughter? Really, I am so tired of "girls in boy scouting" I could puke. And if you think "those people" are going to stop with just having girls join you're crazy. I'm out. It's been good knowing y'all.
  2. Ankylus

    More BSA changes before World Jambo 2019

    I find it amusing because I disagree with everything in it! (Except the epaulets...somebody must have had a last minute delusion.) And that amuses me because I think it highlights difficulty with the uniform. I can't imagine how hard it would be to get any kind of real consensus on uniforming issues. Please note that I don['t oppose any of that. I just disagree. As I always tell my children, there's no accounting for taste. Different people just like different things. Just don't go back to the berets and the garters with red tabs. Please, please, please, don't to that.
  3. Ankylus

    More BSA changes before World Jambo 2019

    There are two kinds of countries in the world...those that use the metric system and those who put a man on the moon.
  4. Some more on the sale: https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2017/08/18/boy-scouts-selling-longtime-campgrounds-for-nearly.html
  5. (1) Scouts know when they have earned something and when they haven't. This includes scouts on the autism spectrum. This scout's mother is not doing him any favors by hollowing out his achievements and depriving him of the opportunity to genuinely earn something. (2) If the scout has a disability that needs to be accommodated, that is one thing. You do not indicate that this one does. So what the scout's mother is doing is wrong. (3) You should be proud of your sons, for they are showing true compassion. No scout is more proud of an achievement than a scout that has overcome more than your average challenge. Our scouts on the autism spectrum are always the proudest, and it is always a great thing to see. (4) All that having been said, you are not in a real position to do anything about this. From what I understand, the scout is not in your troop, and you are not in a position of authority at these activities. You can make a big fuss, but you wouldn't fix the problem and would only make the scout's problems worse by emphasizing how things are being given him. (5) This is an excellent opportunity to teach your sons about misplaced or misguided compassion, how well intentioned people are really cheating this scout, and how life is not necessarily fair (on several levels).
  6. Ankylus

    Girl Scouts react to Boy Scouts considering girls

    If you are “luckyâ€, I suspect it is the kind of luck one makes through hard work and preparation. But I offer the following observations. “Two mixed gender teams of 5, aged 16-21.†It is not unusual for my troop to have anywhere between 40 and 60 boys on any given campout. We average 50-60 scouts at summer camp every summer. My experience is that the difficulties in supervision at any level vary exponentially with the number youth involved. 10 youth vs. 50 youth are worlds apart. Also, a high proportion of those 50 or so scouts are aged 11-14. There is also a world of difference in the maturity level of 11-14 year olds and 16-21 year olds. Not to mention, those 18-21 are legally adults, which greatly relieves your liability and responsibility for a great many things. Still further, we have a number of scouts with behavioral issues because of conditions like Asperger’s, autism, ADD, ADHD, ADD/ADHD, and a number of other things. I don’t know how much of that you are around, but it complicates everything. “They were described by the assessor as two of the best teams they've ever had.†Then they are hardly typical, then, are they? Which makes them of limited usefulness for this type of example. “I'm not really sure what there is to keep you up at night. But reality is a often a lot more boring than the imagination.†My reality is exciting enough, thank you. What keeps me up at night now are things like scouts wandering off into the woods away from camp when they aren’t supposed to and without adequate supervision. Scouts who don’t get to bed at lights out. Oh, and not to mention the illicit substance issue we had at a summer camp. Scouts who don’t follow safety precautions like they should. I don’t want to make it sound like our scouts are a bunch of juvenile delinquents, but as a matter of statistics when you have that many young people together you are going to have issues. And these things don’t happen all the time, but it might only take one incident to create a problem nobody ever gets over. Throw girls in there, and the parents of those girls…how is that going to make any of that any better? I am not concerned about the periods at all. Most girls learn how to handle that quite quickly when they come of age. As for the sex issue, I understand the Scout Law etc., but apparently you missed all the threads on this board discussing how various people in the program fail to live up to it. Did you miss the last half of the thread on the sexual harassment behavior at the National Jamboree? Yes, sexual harassment would be a nice addition to other misbehavior that we have to occasionally deal with. And, while sex would be a concern, that’s not necessarily all that there is, I suppose you know. What happens when a boy and a girl just wander off to smooch for a while? Somebody has to go find them, that’s what. And, again, 8 or 10 vs. 50…well, statistically speaking, chances are just that much higher that something happens, especially with the younger people. “That said, I've never, as a leader, moved from a single sex section to a mixed sex section, but I know leaders that have, and have found it difficult to adjust, so I'm not saying it'll be a walk in the park, but if you're enjoying your scouting, why not carry on and give it a go, instead of stopping?†It amazes me how much people on the “pro†side just can’t seem to understand this—I would stop because it is no longer the program that I signed up for and it won’t accomplish the things that are the reasons I joined. If I had wanted to be in some coed variant of BSA I would be in Venturing. I am not. It’s just not the same program and Boy Scouts won’t be the same program after they introduce girls.
  7. Ankylus

    Boys "Eagle Out" of troop

    I was wrong...it took 2.5 hours. Fortunately, I am the last signature so that will be rather quick.
  8. Ankylus

    Girl Scouts react to Boy Scouts considering girls

    "Bailing out"...you use a pejorative to describe your opposition and then try to bind them to the Oath and Law. Well played, well played. My advice is to be careful where you set the bar. As to "bailing out": A coed boy scout program is not what I signed up for...if I were to use a pejorative, I would call it a "bait and switch". If they choose to change the program under me and it is no longer what I signed up for, why should I hang around? There is simply no reason if the program no longer does those things that are the reason for my being there. (2) It's hard enough to take a bunch of teenage boys out into the wilderness. Mix in a bunch of teenage girls? No thanks, I like to sleep at night. I know that these are already present in Venturing, but I am not in Venturing. There is a reason for that...if you think it is such a good thing, then I hope you are in Venturing. If you are not, then I hope you stop casting stones at those of us who are also already not in Venturing. Which raises another point...those of you in Venturing, what happens to the Venturing program? I know there are substantial differences, but do you think it will retain its vitality and popularity? Do you think they will fundamentally change Venturing too? I don't have any idea about these questions. But they might be worth pondering. The rest of the post is pablum and nonsense. We already live in a matriarchal society. And what kind of misogyny are you appealing to when you hope being bested "by a girl will light a fire under some of them". "Work with change, decry the change, or simply give up." So now those of us who choose to leave a program that has so fundamentally changed are quitters and Luddites? Well played, yes indeed. Very well played.
  9. I agree with @@Chisos...it was my favorite camp growing up. Still is. One reason usage is down is that they never rebuilt River Camp after the 2015 floods. Not many people really ever went to Horseshoe Bend or Hammond. River Camp was the big draw. If they did't rebuild the most popular camp, what did they expect would happen? Also, some of this was just penny pinching and making decisions centered on the council rather than the boys. When I went as a youth in the late 70s, early 80s, the tents in every campsite were up on the hillsides in the shade. They were 8-man tents so you could put your whole patrol in them and they were set up on the raised platforms that were 5' to 6' off the ground in the front. Really fun and really different. Then, over the years, they did away with all that and ended up with two-man tents set up on wooden pallets in the flat areas in the sun. Not nearly as much fun and the difference between being in the shade and in the sun is substantial. Like much in scouting, they just made decisions that gradually degraded the experience so that it just wasn't what it could have been or should have been. EagleSchiff, the cost of the old Camp Strake was supposed to cover the cost of the new one but something went wrong and they didn't have enough. I don't know if they overestimated the worth of the old one or if they underestimated the cost of the new one. So, they figured rather than putting money back into River Camp (again), they would sell it and use the proceeds to cover the shortfall for the new Strake. I would like to put a trace on all that money to see what they really spend it for, because my guess is a lot of it won't actually be spent on the youth or their program.
  10. Ankylus

    Boys "Eagle Out" of troop

    1, The two primary reasons I hear is so that "someone can pick up and complete the project" and to "get a taste of the real world". First, is it really that hard to "pick up and complete the project" is somebody puts their mind to it? There may be a project here or there, but I have yet to see one. Second, "the real world"? Perhaps some parts of it, but not all of it. In my profession you would bankrupt yourself proceeding along these lines. 2. A "good learning experience for doing projects as adults". Again, I haven't seen anything in the real world approaching the kind of crap going on in the Eagle project and application process. Perhaps some people do, but I haven't either when I was an engineer nor now as a lawyer. 3. How many Eagles do you know who can even find their Eagle project book. I know I couldn't if my life depended on it. Perhaps a poll would be interesting. Can we do polls on this forum? 4. Even if all that is true, those are all justifications from the adults' and the organization's perspective. No matter how justified, what if we are burning the scouts on scouting? Is it worth the price?
  11. Ankylus

    Boys "Eagle Out" of troop

    To the extent this thread is dead, I am resurrecting. Just to take ownership of that fact. I am watching my second son go through the Eagle application process, ad got to thinking about the phenomenon of "eagling out". So I searched out the forum and found this thread. Like the OP, the term "Eagle out" bothers me. But what prompted my wandering was watching the futility and frustration of the Eagle project and Eagle application process. Between those two events, my son has probably had to schedule 15 to 20 meetings with adults for various planning, approval, and signature requirements. All of these meetings are with adults who have no compulsion to meet with him and over whom he has no influence and control. Many of these meetings were follow-ups for truly trivial things. LIke, not enough pictures in your project notebook and then later insufficient captions on the pictures. Silly stuff like that. Many of the meetings consisted largely of sitting and listening to adults expound on scouting for hours when he has homework or college applications or other things that need doing. For example, to get the Committee Chairman's signature on the Eagle application will take a meeting of at least a couple hours. As another example, when he came home from his approval meeting with the guy at district, he knew all about that guy's Eagle project, the guy's opinion that it wouldn't pass muster today, where he works, all the things he has done in scouting...you name it. I know it's supposed to be hard. As my son said, "It's supposed to be hard. If it was easy anybody could do it." But I can really see how after finishing that Eagle scout project a scout might want to get to the things he has been putting off to do tham and won't be all that anxious to head back to the meetings again. Are we in fact burning out some of these scouts by making it arbitrarily hard? By occupying so much of their time with things that are really trivial? Or are these things not so arbitrary and trivial? Would love to hear if anybody has any thoughts on these points.
  12. Ankylus

    What makes them stay with Scouting?

    We are fortunate that our CO has provided us with a "scout house". And it eases some of your concerns like storage space and such. But we still have many of the problems you do for our CO does not reserve it solely for our use. Sometimes they even kick us out of it for some special function the church is having. Even now we are having to fend off a dance program in there that will severely restrict its availability to us. My oldest son's troop's CO did the same exact thing to them. Don't get me wrong, it's an improvement over what you describe. But it's not a cure all. I hope the commiseration helps some.
  13. Ankylus

    What makes them stay with Scouting?

    I think the single greatest factor is experiencing good program with a group of friends. I think it is more likely that they will stay in scouts if their friends are also there and I think they are more likely to stay if they find the program fun and interesting. Put the two together and I think you have a real winning hand. One huge problem is, of course, that individual scouts will find different things fun and interesting. I also think it helps a great deal if the scout's personality and the troop's personality are a good match. For example, there is a very large, very successful troop very close to our home. (Lots of "very" there, but it's the right word.) But it was highly regimented and not boy led. (At least within my definition.) Neither of my sons would have been happy in that troop. And fortunately neither would their friends have been. And, of course, parents, leaders and such are integral parts of all this. It takes the package to make it work for any boy. But I think the best bet is the scout experiencing fun and interesting program with his friends.
  14. Ankylus

    Scouts rescue troop leader during backpack

    Nice story, and a nice testament to the scouting program. Also a good experience that will serve the boys well as they grow and move on in their lives. Nothing prepares one for a tight situation as well as past success in tight situations.
  15. Ankylus

    Just got word....

    This much I understood already. But thank you for the effort.
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