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Everything posted by jwest09

  1. You know, you're shutting down a conversation among Scouters with differing views, and replacing it with a question which no one here has the answer to. Is there something wrong with exploring why military academies (historically male-only institutions that have fairly recently gone co-ed) do or do not offer pertinent insight as to how the BSA may approach the same kind of problem?
  2. My high school debate coach would call this a straw man argument.
  3. How would you characterize my position as disrespectful? I'm sure Latin Scout and lots of folks don't agree with the change, but have contributed heavily to the program in the past. And most continue to do so. Heck, about half of my Scouting friends and peers could be described this way. Its certainly not a lack of respect for contribution to the program. I am taking issue with the argument that "the program is dead!" The glib "Ha!" and dismissal of those of us who commit to continue to deliver the highest quality program we can. I find that attitude to be a self-fulfilling prophesy.
  4. I'm not talking. I'm actually doing. I'm doing my part to deliver the program. If it does die, it will not be because of those of us who remain committed to making the program run. I would suggest that if you're seeing things the rest of the world isn't seeing... Maybe the problem isn't the rest of the world.
  5. I'm sorry that you feel so grief stricken. Please know that, many many of us are still here, toiling away at delivering the same amazing program to all who wish to participate - along with millions of our brothers and sisters across the worldwide Scouting movement. Some may - that is their choice. Obviously they don't feel very strongly about their position if they fold so easily. I've seen plenty of cases where frivolous legal threats were dismissed rapidly and without concern - as it should be. Its a shame that "legal bullying" is viewed by some as an acceptable in our country.
  6. How do you figure? There's plenty of legal precedent confirming the validity of the local option.
  7. The "International Day of the Girl" seems to be a holiday observed mostly on Facebook, and few other places. I doubt the timing has any practical impact on the business of delivering the Scouting program.
  8. Everything you've mentioned here (including the parts you deleted after editing your post) have been well thought out. There's a lot of folks who'd be happy to offer advice, guidance and suggestions to alleviate your concerns. This forum has more than a decade's worth of history on the topic.
  9. "Whether You Think You Can…Or Whether You Think You Can’t…You’re Right!" -- Attributed to Henry Ford If you want to find a way to deliver the Scouting program to those who wish to participate, you'll find a way. If you don't want to, you'll find an excuse for not doing so. Same as it's always been.
  10. I don't understand why it would be difficult to implement this. You offer and deliver the program to those who want to participate. Same as you always have.
  11. Take a step back from all the legalese and what not. Wouldn't this lesson be much more powerful if the boys learned this on their own? Rather than having the adult leadership step in and arbitrarily prohibit it?
  12. The compromise I've struck is that, once a year, I'll pass along their FOS material to the parents in our unit. If or how much the parents choose to donate is up to them. The unit and the CO do not make separate donations. I think it is important for strong units to contribute back to the larger Scouting world in some capacity. FOS is one way to do that, but far from the only way.
  13. I disagree with some of the prevailing wisdom here. A patrol is the basic unit of Boy Scouting - a group of boys participating in the program together. I see no reason why they shouldn't be permitted to purchase their own gear. They are, in theory, a group of friends deciding what they wish to spend their own money on. They wish to spend it on gear which they will use to participate in the Scouting program. I can't possibly see how the troop can arbitrarily decide that the troop now owns that gear - any more than the troop could claim that they somehow own my own personal tent, hiking
  14. I'd consider the property to be jointly owned by the boys who pitched in to purchase it originally. I'd ask the boys in question simply what they want to do with it. Ideally the boys would reach a consensus, and that would be a decision. If there was disagreement, I'd probably encourage a vote with a simple majority deciding the outcome. If some of the boys have left the troop, or just don't care, they can abstain from discussion and voting. I disagree with presenting this specific case to the PLC - it's not their equipment, they have no say in what gets done with equipment that does n
  15. What I would have liked, and what I actually needed, are two different things. If you asked me at the time - yes, I'd have loved if another more experienced adult Scouters could have explained things on my behalf, told my SM the "right" way to do things, and "run interference" so that I could do it my way. But that's not the right thing to do, is it?
  16. So, one question: how did the SPL come to discuss this with you? Did he seek you out based on your role as UC? Did you know each other through prior Scouting contact? I think that's an important to establish which "hat" you're wearing in this situation - a Unit Commissioner, or a Scouter counseling a Scout. If the SPL sought you out as a sounding board, or simply looking for advice from an experienced Scouter, then I think your role should be limited to allowing the SPL to talk through his concerns, and provide some suggestions and guidance. And, I think your guidance should be in th
  17. If the SM is the type of person who might benefit by seeing the patrol method in action - maybe arrange for him to "audit" a day of NYLT (assuming, of course, a well-run NYLT program and a willing NYLT Scoutmaster). I've seen some powerful lightbulb moments from adults at NYLT who see that a youth led, patrol method troop can in fact work. Its a lot more powerful to see something in action than it is to just talk about it. Woodbadge has been brought up - the difference between WB and NYLT is that NYLT gives you the opportunity to actually observe the youth doing real life, patrol metho
  18. You know, I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "run interference" - but I'd strongly encourage you to think twice before doing so. The way I read it, it implies that you're looking to distract and deceive the SM while his SPL does things which he does not approve of, or is unaware of. That is widely inappropriate. You paint the picture of an SM who is a good guy, doing his best, and on the verge of having his troop double in size. He's likely a little intimidated and overwhelmed. He needs to feel that his UC is looking out for him, and willing to help him learn and improve. He should no
  19. As an aside - if you're anticipating the troop may soon have a membership of between 80 and 90, you may want to consider if your efforts should be directed towards getting a second, or even a third troop chartered? As a single troop, you'd be talking at least 10 patrols? Its hard enough to run a troop of that size and just keep your head above water. I'm assuming the SM sees the writing on the wall as well as you do, and it thinking ahead to how tough his job is going to get over the next couple years. He may also have a better read on some of the personalities involved - are there some "d
  20. Paramedic here. Back Pack is correct. There's a lot of different types of doctors and nurses. Many doctors and nurses practice little, if any, emergency medicine in their day to day life.
  21. This certainly sounds like one of those situations where there is far more going on than meets the eye. Presumably this happened at summer camp - over a month ago? There are rare occasions when yelling is appropriate for communication. There are far more occasions where it is inappropriate - but, as a parent, I'm sure you can appreciate how it can be a gut reaction to being angry, scared or disappointed. I'm sure you can also appreciate how, after a long week of camping, one can be exhausted and be a little more prone to rude communication. I can think of several occasions where I'v
  22. Sounds tricky. You need to acquire the goat, care and feed for the goat prior to said raffle, pickup and dispose of goat droppings... Plus, I think the BSA has some rule about raffles.
  23. My troop has stopped participating in door to door sales. Instead, we'll do roughly four fundraisers a year. The first is an annual spaghetti dinner. A number of parents and "emeritus" parents put that on every year, as their way of giving back and supporting the troop, so I wouldn't count it as an "easy" fund raiser. The PLC votes on remaining fund raisers each year, but the three we do pretty consistently are: 1. Helping with ticket and soft drink sales at the town's big summer festival. Nets us several hundred dollars, which goes into the general fund. No work for us other than
  24. Undoubtedly, that's what the poor SM is concerned about. I think each troop has its own culture. I'm fortunate that work with a group that resists the "helicoptering" instinct. When new parents approach the troop, we're pretty upfront about our culture and philosophy - and we're pretty frank that, as their boys journey through Scouting, some lessons may be learned the hard way. And, you know, some families opt to join a different troop, and I'm totally OK with that. Each family should join a troop with a culture they feel comfortable with. My personal opinion is that we're current
  25. I think you might be jumping to conclusions - why would they need to run IOLS as an entire council? I'd expect they'd continue to offer multiple courses in different geographic areas throughout the council, and folks could attend whichever is most convenient to them. I mean, districts are just am arbitrary administrative division intended to make life more manageable by dividing the council along geographic boundaries. Their impact, quite frankly, is effectively invisible to the overwhelming majority of scouts and scouters in our program. They're intended to be a useful, helpful way to d
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