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Everything posted by jwest09

  1. Can't agree with this enough! In every council I've ever worked with, there's been a team of, usually elder, Scouters who might not be up for the day-to-day Scouting program, but make themselves available to provide food service for camporees, OA events, NYLT, Woodbadge, etc. In my current council, they have a reputation of being somewhat crotchety and grumpy, but also for having hearts of gold and a willingness to help out when asked. In my experience, camporees usually don't have a lot of staff, so it might only take the efforts of 2 or 3 people and some good planning to be able to feed y
  2. This is generally the approach I try to take. My theory is, I didn't drag you kids out to this camp ground / state park / forest / trail / river just for you to sit in the camp site and be baby sat. You should be out exploring, learning and problem solving with your patrol. We generally expect them to communicate their plan with the SPL prior to heading out - just something simple along the lines of, which area they'll be exploring, which route they'll hike, etc. They are expected to communicate any changes back to the SPL or adults. (We've sometimes used cheap FRS radios to let the pa
  3. For youth serving as camp staff (be it summer camp, NYLT, etc) our council began requiring that they attend YPT training... probably 10 years ago, if not more. When I conduct a YPT training for youth staff, I try to emphasize how they need to act like adults, despite being youth. I go into some examples of how behavior which might be acceptable around their friends in their patrol is no longer acceptable when serving as a staff member - for example, we expect the youth staff to use two-deep leadership, no roughhousing, appropriate topics of conversation, etc. To some extent, it is "30 minut
  4. Col. Flagg - While I'm not sure that it really matters whether the young lady is a registered Venturer (since this is a troop outing and not a Venturing outing) - I do agree that she could participate in certain troop activities. It obviously depends on the specific program the PLC has decided on. Parallel question - what if this were a non-registered 14 year old male sibling? Or perhaps a register scout visiting from another troop? (Perhaps a cousin or visiting friend of one of your troop's scouts?) Would that change the situation at all? @@qwazse, I read your comment as derog
  5. In most cases, "things which are not prohibited are permitted." Since the BSA has not expressly prohibited family members from visiting camp and other events, one must conclude it is permitted. Many troops do, in fact, organize regular family camp outs that are intended for Scout and non-Scout members of Scouting families to be able to participate in. That said, I would find it inappropriate if the young lady wanted to participate in patrol activities on a typical patrol-oriented camp out. I would probably consider the young lady a "visitor," and would have an expectation that she not di
  6. BSA rules? No. COs and thus troops may set their own rules, as may individual camp groups / events.
  7. T2Eagle - is it really any different from how recipes on food packaging will tell you to use a specific brand of pasta, soup, salad dressing, etc? Yes, its obviously an advertising thing, but anyone with common sense knows you can use whatever brand you want of 99% of these items, and you'll be just fine. I mean, I agree with you, its obvious what the BSA is doing, and money is changing hands. But it seems like such a trivial thing that's easily dealt with, assuming even a little common sense.
  8. My friend - none of that is at all unique to liberals (as is self-evident just in your one post). Its more a trait of people unwilling or unable to debate an argument on its fact and merits, and instead turn to emotionally-charged rhetoric. Probably because its easier and more fun to sling mud, trade insults, and "debate" in terms of memes and one-liners, than to actually dig into the meat of any given issue.
  9. Would they learn something? Yes, certainly. Would affect change in the program? Maybe, maybe not. The phrase, "confirmation bias" comes to mind. On my part, I don't really buy the argument that unit-level challenges have a significant cause in national-level executive decision. Blaming "National" or "Council" or whomever for failures in unit-level programming seems like a scapegoat, more often than not.
  10. Assuming a reasonable size of material (a golf ball size is plenty), and assuming you're not standing over the material and huffing the smoke, and assuming you're not starting hundreds of such fires a day every day for several months straight... there's pretty much no chance of any ill effects from the minuscule amount of toxins present in lint.
  11. Wow, quite a bit going on here... Your argument is that, a hypothetical co-ed program will be less appealing to boys, and thus cause a further decline in membership. I'm suggesting that that isn't inherently true. Other countries have had great success with co-ed scouting programs. Its entirely possible to run a co-ed program that is appealing to boys, and maybe even moreso as they can include more of their friends and peers in the program. Your sarcastic remarks about "no place at all to meet girls in this culture." are neither relevant nor appreciated. "The old, "well, everyone el
  12. Col. Flagg - I obviously didn't mean that a co-ed program alone will solve the membership issue. Venturing is co-ed - but their success is based on the program they offer. Successful crews offer fun and interesting programs. Unsuccessful crews don't. Whether its co-ed is a secondary concern to the quality of the program. My point here is - co-ed doesn't hurt a unit, if they offer a compelling program. Note that's not the same as saying that a co-ed unit will make up for failing to offer a quality program. And I don't consider COs the "members" of the BSA. We are the members of the B
  13. You're perhaps forgetting that girls are appealing to boys ;-) And that the model has worked in pretty much every other country with a Scouting organization. Well, sounds like your mind is already made up. It's so easy to blame abstract (and usually fictional) ideology when the truth is rather hard to digest. Youth who are active in Scouting of their own free will are in Scouting because the like the program, they like participating in the program with their friends, they like the challenge and opportunity the program offers. And, most importantly, they have units in their a
  14. I'd challenge the suggestion that the LDS represents "key members." At least around here, the LDS represents numbers on paper, and probably some revenue. But these kids aren't the ones participating in the program, patronizing council properties and events, purchasing uniforms and such... If I told every committee chairman in my council that our Varsity Teams were shutting down, 99% of them would say, "huh? Who cares?" Now I get that this is a much bigger deal deeper in the heart of LDS territory... but I still think we're not really talking about the core target market here. And if
  15. Based on how I'm reading the original question, "other adults" are showing up, just not unit committee members. I don't see that as a problem.
  16. But seriously, while I recognize that my neighborhood isn't necessarily an accurate microcosm of the BSA as a whole, I'm pretty confident that loosing our LDS Venturing and Varsity units will have close to zero impact on the day-to-day of my unit and my district. I'm genuinely curious what the practical impact is that you expect to see on the scouts you directly serve.
  17. Honest question: how many of these "lost" youth are actively involved in the Scouting program as us non-LDS folk understand it, and how many of them will not have any other opportunities to stay active in Scouting due to this policy? Reason I ask - I'm located far from Utah, but in a large enough city that we have a pretty sizable LDS population in our council. The LDS units are nearly 100% what we'd call "paper-only units." They exist, technically. But they don't participate in the Scouting program in the same sense as a traditional unit. They don't buy uniforms, rank advancement, you
  18. Paramedic here, so I can offer a bit of insight. "Why is there a checkbox for genitalia on the Medical Part C exam?" Genitalia represent one of the major organ systems, examination is a component of a comprehensive physical. "what does it have to do with participating in summer camp" The physical serves two purposes from the BSA's standpoint: the first being assuring that each participant has a clean bill of health before participating in somewhat strenuous activity. The second being to provide a baseline assessment which a provider can refer to in the unlikely event that a scout
  19. I also agree - and have run into that problem on a few occasions. People who stick around long after their children have moved on, bring a wealth of experience, put in countless hours and generally do a good job... But are so toxic to work with, they drive away anyone new from contributing in that same area. Its easy for them to develop a martyr complex, too: "I've been doing this for 30 years, because no one else is willing to!" Well, yeah, but that's only because no one's willing to do the job with you stepping on their toes and jumping down their throat every time they handle something d
  20. So, a little longer reply here. Background: In my personal and professional life, I've had more than a few encounters with drug use. In my Scouting life, I've had more than a few encounters with drug use. Its easy to let your mind spiral out of control, and worry about a bunch of hypothetical long-term ancillary problems and solutions. I'd start by thinking only about this one kid. Is he invested in your troop and your program? Does he attend and participate in meetings and outings? Does he hold leadership positions, and execute them well? Ignore the drug issue for a second - jus
  21. What's his level of motivation in attempting to earn Eagle? I agree completely that his behavior is not compatible with becoming an Eagle Scout. I wonder if he actually cares?
  22. I see. Obviously splitting hairs over semantics isn't helpful here, but you're describing what I mean by an "unforgivable sin," in a colloquial sense. If you can't forgive the child, if there's literally nothing the young man can do to earn back your trust, if you choose to label him as a "druggie," and under no circumstances allow him to participate in the growth of the advancement method under your guidance and mentorship, that's quite serious. Its your business and your right to treat people that way, I just find it surprising. And, in my own opinion, its not necessary or helpful.
  23. David CO - I agree that it may not be a small transgression (but we still don't know the specifics surrounding this incident). The question I have is, what would the scout need to do to deserve forgiveness, to earn back your trust, and to qualify himself for rank advancement? And how can he do those things once you've expelled him from the troop?
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