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The Latin Scot

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The Latin Scot last won the day on June 16

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About The Latin Scot

  • Rank
    part Latino, part Scottish ... get it?
  • Birthday 12/05/1983

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Mission Viejo, CA
  • Occupation
    Elementary School Teacher
  • Interests
    Arts and literature, heraldry, history, music, anything that can be done in the great indoors. Tolkien expert, Star Wars geek, history buff, music lover, hobby naturalist, and more.
  • Biography
    Young single fellow, teaching school and currently serving as a Webelos Den Leader. Eagle Scout and LDS Scouter who plans to offer the best Webelos program there is - right up until the last second of LDS involvement!

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  1. The Latin Scot

    Unit milestone anniversary - What to do?

    What a FABULOUS idea!!! Our Pack and Troop turned 55 this year, and we haven't really done anything to commemorate that yet - I hadn't even considered putting the Scouting Heritage merit badge forward as a way to recognize our units' longevity, which is all the more embarrassing since I am the merit badge counselor for Scouting Heritage. I am so glad you posted this, haha!
  2. The Latin Scot

    What's your best Scouting memory?

    Most of my memories of Scouting as a youth are largely negative; I was bullied mercilously by the other boys, but since they were part of the same congregation that paid for me to be in Scouting in the first place, looking for another troop was not an option, so I had to get by on nothing but patience and forgiveness. But there was one camp-out that stands out to me, for many, many reasons. First of all, it was the most grueling, miserable hike of my life. Now, understand, I was tiny for my age; at 13 I was 4'11 and not even 100 lbs. And I never did any kind of sports, so I was not accustomed to any strenuous physical effort, yet to complete my camping merit badge I had to go on the troop's planned 4 mile hike up a trecherous trail in the mountains near Yosemite. My leaders were, to say the least, incompetent - we had had no training hikes, no warnings of what the trail was like, not preparation whatsoever - just "stuff your pack and we'll go hiking!" The trail, we found, was nothing but steep slopes and switchbacks all the way up. And I had to carry a 20 lbs load on one of those gosh-awful metal-framed backpacks. And of course, it was night, and raining. The trail was so rough, the rain was so heavy, that we all marched up in total silence and misery as we trudged up a slick muddy path to a destination we could hardly hope to find. I, being so small, could hardly have made half the way up even in mild weather and no pack - but under the conditions, it was just too much. After about 2 hours, I slipped in the mud and couldn't go any further. I was done. Embarrassingly, the "leaders" (if they could ever really have been called that) had to take turns either carrying me or dragging helping me along as I doggedly tried to get there on my own feet. The others took my pack and went on ahead. I and the leaders who had to help me ended up being an hour behind the majority of the troop. When we finally reached the campsite, it was past midnight, pouring rain, and ice cold. But to my surprise, my tent had been set up, and my things quite lovingly placed inside, where they had clearly been dried by the fire and made ready for me to quickly change and get to sleep. Everybody else had gone to bed, so I naturally assumed the other leaders had taken the time to get things ready for me out of pity. The next morning when I awoke, the rain had stopped, the sun was not quite risen, and only one other Scout was up. I was (still am) always the first person up on camp-outs, so seeing somebody else awake was surprising.. As it so happened, it was the boy who consistently gave me the most grief, from the time we were 8 and lasting well into high school. He had a rough life, and a rougher attitude, and he was one of those kids that had to either laugh at everything or mock it. At me he always did both, whether at church, Scouts, school, whatever. I knew he had a difficult life and never held it against him, but his presence was always enervating. Yet this morning as I walked over to the ridge and the view he was taking in, it was a different feeling. He was watching the sun rise from a beautiful mountain ledge, and it was, frankly, heaven to witness. I asked if he minded that I stood there for a minute. When he turned I was shocked to see his eyes red with tears. I wrote down our conversation in my journal minutes after this encounter so I would always remember it; here is it exactly: "Did you set up my tent and my things last night?" "Yeah. I guess." "Thank you." A long pause while we watch the sun rise. "I don't mean all the things I say about you. It's like ... sometimes I just can't help it. I'm not trying to be mean." "I know." "I'm sorry when I hurt your feelings. I don't want to, but I just ... do." "I know. And I forgive you. I always do. I always will." Another long pause. "Thanks." "Don't mention it." After that, we had breakfast, explored, did the usual camping things. The way down was, mercifully, a thousand times easier than the way up. But that conversation was everything to me. It let me understand my friend all the times he would make fun of me or laugh at me, which he continued to do all the way until we (well, I) finished high school. It made it easy to forgive him when he was insulting or degrading or verbally abusive, and it saved me from carrying a grudge against him and the other boys when I finally went to college, grew a few inches, and built enough confidence to make lasting friends. And when I ran into him a few years ago, after I had been to college and he had been to ... other places, I was genuinely happy to see him, which surprised him. But it didn't surprise me, not after that experience 21 years ago.
  3. Mercy. It's that kind of ideology that breaks my heart; gender is NOT "fluid" yet society is becoming increasingly hostile towards those who still recognize this, while trying to force this suggestion on increasingly younger age groups. I was told at one preschool - preschool, mind you! - that as a teacher I could not "assume that all boys will grow up to be men, nor that all girls would grow up to be women," and my language in the classroom was supposed to reflect what they called a "non-gender bias." Of course I totally ignored that policy, and spoke against it whenever I could and to whomever's attention I could get. Luckily enough parents were on board that we were able to over-turn that mandate, but who knows when the tide will turn against us? I don't believe gender is a choice, nor that it is randomly factored into our birth. I think it's something that has always been an essential part of us, and it's not something we can change, whatever we may do to our bodies to convince us otherwise. But the fact that the BSA now holds that a child can participate in Scouting as whichever gender they choose is one of the BIGGEST frustrations I have with the direction this organization is heading.
  4. No. My primary objection is that, while I believe the aims of Scouting are important goals for both boys and girls, I do not believe that the methods of Scouting are best suited to the learning and development of young women. I continue to object to the idea that Scouting will work for girls as it does for boys, as unpopular as that moral position may be these days. Plus, as a single guy in his early 30's, the very idea of my joining an all-girl troop of minors as a leader is inappropriate. I wouldn't even countenance the thought.
  5. Hey, I was homeschool for many years! Good for you. I highly recommend it; I got accepted into some of the best universities thanks to my time at home, and I was able to escape much of the social anguish that I suffered during the years that I was in the public school system.
  6. The Latin Scot

    Arrow of Light Scouts Crossing Over

    I must confess, I find the comparing the job of a Webelos leader to a sales job equally unsettling. As a Webelos leader, I have NEVER looked at my boys in that light, nor my duties in that way. I am not a salesman. I am a teacher, a mentor, and a guardian to these boys. My job is to help them become better people, and I need to do it with my example, my encouragement, and my training. And I have to love them enough to accept the fact that not everything we do may be fun, but it all matters - and I have to let them know that. I have to be 100% transparent with them; my job is to prepare them for Scouting by teaching them how to develop essential skills and supplying them with the important knowledge they will need to succeed. Getting a boy to join a Troop right after Cub Scouts is no issue. But getting them to STAY, that's where many founder. Boys don't remain with anything they aren't succeeding in, and if a Webelos leader hasn't prepared his boys sufficiently, their first few weeks will not be worth their time. HOWEVER, if they have been well prepared, trained for what's coming, so that they know how to start earning merit badges, are prepared to recite the oath, law and outdoor code - if they know how patrols function, and are ready to follow their youth leaders because they were taught how by adult Cub leaders - those first few weeks will be a resounding success, and the boy will stay, not because he has been convinced to stay in Scouting, but because he has been PREPARED for it. And THAT is what gets boys excited! When they realize that they will soon be part of a new patrol, and that they will go in with a HUGE head start, knowing the program, the duties, the knots, the badges, the requirements - the more they know, the more excited they are to get started! A Webelos leader gives boys that first taste of what Scouting entails by teaching what Scouting is, showing them how it works (first by observation then by practice), and by simply talking with them about what is coming. My boys have heard all about my Scouting experiences - what I wish I had done better, what my patrols did well, what they didn't do well - everything. My Den Chief is always talking to them about how Boy Scouts is different than what they are currently doing, and what he is doing with his patrol and troop every month. And every half year, we switch from my leadership to that of the boys for a month as they practice the patrol method. I also prepare the parents, not by selling them on Boy Scouting, but by helping prepare them with what to expect. I invite and accompany them to their first committee meetings with the troop. I introduce them to the boys' future leaders and fellow Scouts. I guess I simply treat every family as though all of my boys will of course go straight from my den to a new patrol, and that their parents will be prepared to get involved. And of course, I expect them to walk into their first meeting ready to earn their Scout rank right then and there. If they can't do that, what have I been doing with my time? The first job of a Webelos leader is to prepare his boys for Scouting by inspiring them to want to learn more, do more, and be more. It's not about sales; it's about learning.
  7. The Latin Scot

    Linked troops won't work

    Yeesh. That's terrible to hear, especially from a CE.
  8. The Latin Scot

    OA sash lengths

    So, I was given a "long" sash when I received my Brotherhood honor last week. I am a smaller guy, and that thing went to my knees! Luckily the Scout Shop was understanding when I took it back and let me exchange it for the normal, smaller size, which fits perfectly.
  9. The Latin Scot

    Unit milestone anniversary - What to do?

    Well, is there any policy stating you have to use the Scout Shop-issued inspection sheets to conduct a "correct" inspection? If I have the Guide to Awards and Insignia on hand to check all the parts of a uniform during my inspection, do I need that paper at all, or do I not have all the material I need right there? Proper inspections are conducted based on following the established uniform guidelines and policies. You don't need the form to do that. Back to the topic, if your meeting location allows for it, you could perhaps look into getting a plaque or certificate made that commemorates your unit's achievement. They needn't be expensive either; if anybody has good wood-burning skills or access to a high-quality printer, you can have something lovely produced quite inexpensively.
  10. The Latin Scot

    New troop, big problems

    My apologies to all for getting so excited by this subject; I have let my zeal over-rule my discretion, and I am sorry for making a scene on this thread. I will do my best to exercise more restraint in the future, and will not badger this thread anymore with my crusade-parade. I apologize especially to @Scoutinglife - I hope this didn't scare you off the forum! This is NOT a normal incident, and the fault is mine. I hope you stay with us! EDIT: Also, thank you @MattR for the kind reminder to keep my thoughts in check. I am grateful to have moderators here who are so diligent in keeping this forum civil and on-topic.
  11. The Latin Scot

    New troop, big problems

    I note, @David CO, that you have chosen to express your opposition with a downvote. Honestly though, I am just glad to know you have read and considered my thoughts. I am sorry you seem to disagree so strongly with my feelings, but a Scout is brave, so I as a Scout have to stand up for what I believe is right even in the face of opposition - or downvotes. I hope this does not cause you to resent my presence here, and please know that I have nothing but respect for you and your opinions insofar as they protect the safety of others. But there exists the possibility that a child's well-being is at risk here - isn't that more important than the petty disagreements of two online forum members?
  12. The Latin Scot

    New troop, big problems

    I note as I reread this discussion that, in the entirety of this thread as of the moment I write this, you have not asked a single question until now (and these appear rhetorical), nor have you offered a single suggestion or word of "advice." You have only disclosed your allegations and suspicions. I would ask then, what would you like me to make of this? Should I then simply follow your counsel, counsel that you yourself have not adhered to nor demonstrated to any degree? Should I feel embarrassed by my comments? First you make strong suggestions insinuating that there must be ulterior motives behind what is going on, now you seem to backtrack and claim we "don't know who is at fault." You flip your position, or if you don't, you have not conveyed it well enough to represent your true feelings here. But I will not be vague with mine. If there is even a chance, even the most remote possibility in the world that a young person is being harmed, is it really over the top to try and do whatever it takes to see that it stops? And if so, does that matter in light of what could be at stake? This I DO know - it is worth it to me to take that chance and say what I can if it means it might somehow, some way help a child. You can claim I don't know what's best, but I already know I don't. I find that is unimportant. I do know that the emotional well-being of a child is more important than the semantics of a discussion like this, so if I risk coming off as extreme or reactionary or alarmist, I am okay with that. I don't lose sleep over what anonymous online forum members may think of me. But I will tell you this - I do lose sleep when I don't speak up for something that matters. So maybe we don't have all the facts. Maybe this whole thing was made up - maybe it's all one fabricated story. Does that matter? If there exists even the slimmest fraction of a possibility that that child may be in any kind of risk of being emotionally abused by an adult, I will take a stand. Make of it what you will, but please don't expect me to sit back and read about a child being mistreated and not say or suggest anything. That would be an affront to the very sanctity of youth that this entire organization exists to protect. And if it all turns out that this whole thing wasn't even a big deal, I will continue to stand by every comment I have made. Maybe this time it won't turn into something more serious. Can we be sure it won't be the next?
  13. The Latin Scot

    North Face to develop GS outdoor adventure program

    Oh, I know I know! Because they are urgently and increasingly desperate to portray their program as equal or superior to those coming from the BSA, and are grasping at whatever straws they can to preserve their membership?
  14. The Latin Scot

    New troop, big problems

    Thank you for the clarification. There are many aspects of this issue that we don't know, however, the simple fact that a child is being mistreated seems to me more than enough reason to cut all ties with that unit immediately. I cannot imagine any reason possibly justifying the choice to keep the boy in what seems to be a hostile, if not downright abusive, situation. You may "suspect" that the original poster is partially responsible, but you cannot presume to know that. Such allegations are meaningless when we remember that a child's emotional safety is currently in danger; the FIRST act in ANY situation like this is to remove the child from harm, and THEN worry ourselves with making sense of how it all came about - if ever, and only if appropriate. And who are we, as online readers, to try and determine who is at fault in a situation beyond our right or ability to fully comprehend, and which the OP has no obligation to disclose? If there are other issues to sort out, they are done AFTER THE CHILD'S WELL-BEING IS ENSURED. We have been given more than enough information anyway in regards to this issue; the child was demeaned, insulted, mocked and disrespected. Get him out, period. Then deal with the rest. But nothing justifies hesitation in a case like this. I apologize if I am coming across as forceful, self-righteous, patronizing or haughty, but after reading something like this, taking what little action I can over an online forum matters more to me than how my words may be taken by others or how others may perceive me. First protect the child. Everything else is secondary.
  15. The Latin Scot

    New troop, big problems

    So, you believe we should point some blame at the original poster. Might I ask what that will accomplish? I am sure they have enough problems to worry about at the moment without needing anybody to remind them of mistakes that may have been made in the past (the which we can only surmise based on suspicion). Right now, the focus is on how to help the child, not where to place the blame. That is what the OP both wants and needs. I think the most honorable thing to do would be to concentrate on suggestions that will help the family, not expose them. If it's counsel they want, compassion will serve far better than calumny. A scout is helpful, and courteous, and kind. I fail to see what your suggestions are meant to achieve, but I hope they are intended to provide resources for the family and not unearth anything untoward which we have no right to pursue.
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