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The Latin Scot

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The Latin Scot last won the day on February 11

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About The Latin Scot

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

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Mission Viejo, CA
  • Occupation
    Educator
  • 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
    New Unit Commissioner, former Webelos Den Leader, Eagle Scout and LDS Scouter who tries to support the best Scouting program we can make - right up until the last second of LDS involvement!

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  1. The Latin Scot

    Blue & Gold cost

    Charging people to attend B&G?!? We have always had very lovely B&G events, but they have never been so expensive as to require additional costs from the family. For example, in our pack, the committee buys a dozen big lasagnas from Costco, and the leaders and a few willing parents each take one or two to cook and bring to the venue just before the dinner. A few bags of rolls and some easily thrown-together salads complete a filling, pleasant, affordable meal that boys this age enjoy as much as their parents do. Decorations are simple - blue and yellow tablecloths and eating ware, boy-made centerpieces, some pictures on the walls, etc. The entire cost to feed about 130 people last night was under $200, well within our modest budget without needing to charge families. If you can find any way to cut costs and make it easier for all of your families to attend, I recommend it with all my heart. The point of the Blue and Gold is to celebrate the history and purpose of Scouting, not just to put on a show. Make your presentations meaningful and your program relevant, and even the humblest meal can be better than a feast for the families who enjoy it.
  2. The Latin Scot

    Principal Name Amendments - ?

    I think it would be imperative of National to make these changes in regards to proper pronoun gender. To ignore the differentiation between men and women as understood by these cultures would be disrespectful at the least, highly offensive at the worst. The language has to be changed if the OA's intention to respect and promote the traditions of native peoples is to be sincere.
  3. Hey all! With my time cleared up now and my health more or less restored, I have been asked to serve as a commissioner by my district committee leaders. They told me to register as a unit commissioner, but they specifically want me to help with training new Cub Scout leaders, facilitating Cub breakout sessions at Roundtable, and above all being on-hand to support Cub Scouting at the district level. I am taking every training course I can find online and doing everything possible to make sure I am as well-versed in Scout policies and procedures as possible (luckily my mom was a commissioner for a decade so I have ready access to most of the primary materials). However, I know there is a lot that I don't know, and so I come before the wisdom of those on these boards to ask: Does anybody have any advice, suggestions, or encouragement to help me get off on the right foot in this new position? I want my service as a commissioner to be meaningful to all those with whom I interact, so any help or counsel will be most appreciated. Thanks everybody!
  4. My doctors say I have made a complete recovery, and I have just been made a Unit Commissioner! Excited to start a new chapter in my Scouting career!

  5. The Latin Scot

    On making a graceful transition ...

    So, first of all - I LOVE Laurel and Hardy, and reading your post @SSScout made me go back and watch a bunch of their old films again - thanks for the idea! Secondly, I have just been made a Unit Commissioner! Specifically, my District Commissioner wants me to help with training Cub Scout leaders in the area both at roundtable and at their committee meetings. My health is almost totally recovered, and I have gained back all the weight I lost, so I am ready to get back into things with a position that will let me stay involved without needing to over-strain myself with weekly den meetings and germ-ridden kiddos or anything like that. So I am super excited! My mom was a commissioner for over a decade, so I already have the uniform items I need, and there is a HUGE area-wide commissioner college for all of Southern California happening up north in LA next month, so I'll be able to start my Bachelor's in Commissioner Science work right away! I am reading through all the training materials now, and I am excited for this new chapter in my Scouting career. Thanks all for your kind thoughts and generous wisdom; to those who sent me PM's, I am working on answering all those too. The doctors have given me a clean bill of health, so it's all systems go now!
  6. The Latin Scot

    Help clarify a position question!

    Thanks everybody for the clarification! I think I understand it all now. You've all been super helpful, as always!
  7. The Latin Scot

    Help clarify a position question!

    Hey everybody, a question I would love some help answering: are all chapter advisers considered "associate chapter advisers," or is that a separate, specific position? For instance, is the adviser to the chapter vice-chief considered an "associate chapter adviser?" Any clarification would be much appreciated. Thanks all!
  8. The Latin Scot

    2018 Guide to Insignia and Awards

    Ah, it's finally been updated! Lots of interesting changes in this new edition too. Thank goodness the square knots have been officially limited to nine; the ambiguity of the previous guideline made rationalizing excessive patches too easy. Now it reads specifically "the number of knots is limited to three rows of three." As for the rest of the Guide, it's very nice and much improved over the last edition. There are plenty of new images, and as a whole this new edition is far more detailed than the last. CSP's have a whole new detailed re-write with images. There is a whole new set of guidelines for custom patches and emblems, and Lion Scouts now have guidelines for their awards. There are changes to the Webelos insignia (the blue diamond rank patch is gone, as are specific Webelos Den and Assistant Den Leader patches), and Venturing uniform placement guidelines have been enhanced. The section on adult awards and recognition has been greatly improved and expanded as well. I recommend everybody check it out!
  9. The Latin Scot

    World Crest

    The World Scouting Organization website has a number of neckers at their store: http://www.worldscoutshops.com/PBSCCatalog.asp?CatID=2004601
  10. The Latin Scot

    Who signs off partial MBs?

    Merit badge requirements must only be signed off by approved merit badge counselors. The committee chair is not authorized to sign them off unless he or she is also an approved counselor for the badge cited on the application. Finding the original counselor is not a problem; just make sure a new counselor is found ASAP, and that that individual is district-approved.
  11. The Latin Scot

    Updated uniforms?

    I believe it would be more correct to say that the Field Uniform is sometimes referred to as "Class A," though this is a misapplication of military terminology which we generally try to avoid. And I have to say, I know many women who hike and hunt and climb and camp in skirts, dresses, jumpers, et cetera. They would just need to use patterns that allow freedom of movement. I do agree with the need for more fabric options for girls. I imagine that with time, National will start rolling out new options periodically just as they always have for the boys. But with the program being so new, one can only expect the options to be somewhat limited for a while. It goes with the territory.
  12. I concur 100%. This is the Scout's chance to spend a week doing what he wants to do. Parents need to keep their loving, sticky paws off for the sake of their child's growth as an individual. In some ways, I feel like enjoying summer is becoming a dying art. Completely off topic, it tickles me pink to see the expression "heavens to Betsy" still being used. That just put me in a great mood somehow.
  13. The Latin Scot

    On making a graceful transition ...

    Thanks all for your kind words. I have been working with the new leader, and while there are a few pack issues that he will have to overcome, he has been well-prepared to keep the flame going. Meanwhile I need to keep my personal flame lit, and you have all been very kind with your thoughts. Thank you!
  14. The Latin Scot

    Updated uniforms?

    Well, I trained a bunch of Cub Scout leaders yesterday, and as always, I got a lot of initial frustration from the women leaders when I stressed the importance of wearing the full uniform (not just the shirt as is usual around these parts). They always express their (quite legitimate) complaints about the fit, or lack thereof, of the Scout uniform for ladies. But I showed them a few of these images and related to them the options coming out with the insertion of girls into the programs, and many of them were very encouraged to go check out the new selections. I hope they really do flatter the female figure better in the future, because I know many ladies who get frustrated trying to wear a uniform designed for gentlemen but in a feminine way. My mother actually had a pair of uniform slacks re-tailored into a skirt, and it's the envy of all the ladies in the pack who haven't the skill or means to do likewise. I know that in the 80's, de la Renta had designs for women's uniforms that, I opine, could actually have made for an infinitely better selection of options for girls. They should have put the girls in uniforms like these, with yellow blouses/shirts or olive dresses and all the other options shown here. That would have given their program its own distinctive yet historically rich look that would preserve tradition while simultaneously giving something new. These are clearly Scout uniforms, and on all of these options they could have followed the exact same rules for award and insignia placement, but they are also clearly designed for girls - and they work! If anything, de la Renta's designs for female leaders were far superior to his designs for the menfolk (outdoor-formal was a strange direction I admit), but the program didn't have enough women back then to make these designs relevant, and here the program isn't taking advantage of designs like these now that it has the chance. We should have looked more to the past to find better options for the future. Anyway, I have strong sartorial opinions if you couldn't tell, but man - I wish they would re-introduce designs like these instead of just changing buttons and rolling up pants. If you're going to run a program for girls, do it all the way! Sheesh.
  15. The Latin Scot

    PW Derby Car from past year

    Honestly, I think some packs allow their derbys to become excessively race-oriented rather than family-oriented. If at any point you allow regulations on the cars to become restrictions on involvement, you have a problem. Obviously, you need rules and guidelines to make an event like this manageable, but your goal should be getting the boys and their families to participate. Winning a race should be peripheral to spending time with the pack and providing an enjoyable time for all involved. Shaving fractions of a second (which sounds almost fanatically obsessive to me) off of a boy's time reiterates the idea that your event is about winning, when in fact, it's about building unity within families - and within your pack. I suggest making moves to simplify your event. For example, our pack make a lot of "reformations" if you will while my older brother was Cubmaster. First we simplified the awards - every boy received a participation medal, but there were five "prize" medals - Fastest Car (no 2nd or 3rd place), slowest car (it has to make it all the way to the finish line to count though - we call it the "Marathon Winner"), Cub Scout's Choice (chosen by votes from all the boys), Most Creative and Best Craftsmanship (selected by the Key 3). This leveled the playing field a bit, giving boys a chance to win a prize for more than just a fast car. In fact, the Marathon Winner has become a highly coveted car lately, with some boys aiming specifically to get the slowest car they can make! It also decreases negative parental involvement dramatically since the "esteem" of the fastest car is no longer the central focal point of the event. We trashed all the fancy-shmancy electrical timers and whatnot that just made things more complicated, and instead started bringing in three community and congregational leaders each year to act as judges. The car they say wins the round, wins the round. Simple. We have established that what they say goes, and as they are very respected, impartial guests, we haven't had any problems from parents taking umbrage with their decisions. Now, you obviously have to find what works for your group, but making changes like these help reestablish the Pinewood Derby as an exciting, friendly night that celebrates the hard work and creativity of the boys and their families through the simple game of racing cars with friends. The simpler, the better. If a boy wants to refurbish an old car, what of it? If it still meets the prescribed dimensions of weight and size, there's no harm in that. The boy can do as he wishes if he follows the basic parameters. I will however agree that if a boy isn't there, you have no need to race his car. At these ages, they won't care all that much about an event they didn't attend. But for those who are there - do what you can to include for the boy's sake, not exclude for the rule's sake.
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