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The Latin Scot

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Everything posted by The Latin Scot

  1. The Latin Scot

    Minimum time to achieve Eagle Scout rank

    I was a 13 year-old Eagle! Of course, that was all the way back in 1998, so it may not be viewed as relevant today, but I admit I mildly resent all the remarks about a 16 year old Eagle being "worth more" or "better prepared" than we who were a few years younger when we completed the requirements. And mind you, of all the boys who earned their Eagles in my Troop the same year as I, ALL of the rest were 16 or 17, yet I am the only one who went on to attend a good University, the only one with a clear career direction, and the only one still actively involved in Scouting. So be careful when you put down the little Eaglets! We may look small in the moment, but we take the things we've learned and treasure them deeply the rest of our lives. You can never judge an Eagle's worth by age alone! Funny side note: I was still in high school when this thread was started! Good grief this website is older than I realized, lol. 😄
  2. The Latin Scot

    National, Religion, Membership, Oath and Law

    My problem with this line of thought is that it presumes that girls think like boys, learn like boys, and respond to the same things boys do - and the simple fact is that they do not, because they are not the same. Sure, the benefits of Scouting are just as desireable for the one as they are for the other, but the paths by which they get there won't necessarily work as well for girls as they do for boys. Some may think differently, which is their right, but I know girls and boys are inherently different - thank Heaven for that. And frankly, I have never trusted public "trends." Too often, the sway of public opinion leads only to disappointment and regret. So I am more than happy to stand against trends that I feel are erroneous if it means I am still standing by my principles in the end.
  3. It is indeed from the French, I want to say mid-17th century but perhaps earlier. The roots are certainly Latin though, as are those of most French words. And I confess I do use it casually; technically, it should always be followed by of, but I tend to be generous in how I use prepositions with foreign terms. Sadly my French isn't as fluent as my Spanish these days, but I still try to color my dialogue with as much of it as I can without sounding too pretentious.
  4. The Latin Scot

    Scout BSA Uniform Survey (Girls)

    UGH! Those options are terrible! How are incoming ladies expected to correctly place their insignia when there are no standard pockets by which to judge placement? Are they going to re-write the guide to uniforms and insignia entirely? And on WHAT body are those hideous shirts supposed to be flattering? The BSA has a serious problem with sizing already, as all of you have already noted. I had to get my shirt custom tailored because my long wiry arms looked preposterous in the huge flapping sleeves of a YOUTH LARGE, which, mind you, was the only shirt with a torso size which fit decently on my trim shoulders. Luckily the re-fitting was a success and it looks okay on me now, but pants/shorts/whatever - those are all WAY too baggy on me, even with a waist size that fits. It's discrimination against slender folk like me I tell you! I am built like one of Tolkien's elves and there is no garment sold in the Scout Shops which appropriately accomodates my slim physique. It's a conspiracy I tell you!
  5. The Latin Scot

    When do the necker colors change?

    Well, looks like I won't have to worry about the new neckers after all! Which is fine by me since I love the classic blue and gold, and will be happy to simply pass on the old yellow ones, even if the red does make a little more sense what with the matching color schemes and all.
  6. I think J. R. R. Tolkien expressed my feelings best in regards to the coming changes, and my place during and after them: “It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.” I find these words touchingly a propos for me now.
  7. This sums up many of my own feelings, and I want to clarify a few things. First, we aren't here to please others, @gblotter - we're here to do what we think is right. As Gandalf observed, "all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." Next, I am not one to beat a dead horse, and I feel this topic is starting to circle in that direction. SO! A few brief thoughts of my own: 1. Many of you have expressed kind words on my behalf at this coming change. However, you aren't done with me yet! We have a solid year 1/2 to go in Scouting, and I intend to give my 100% right up to 11:59 PM, December 31st 2019. That's a lot of time to make a BIG difference with the boys in my care! I fully intend to be the single most involved Den Leader right up to the last minute of my tenure, so save your good-byes for next year - for now, you're all still stuck with me! And I love that phrase of yours @gblotter - There is life after Scouting. 2. I just experienced the most WONDERFUL weekend at our council's yearly Scout-O-Rama event. Such an amazing turn out! Hundreds of Scouts, parents, community members and volunteers all supporting the Scouting movement - I know Scouting may be struggling in many parts of the country, but here in Orange County, CA the movement is having a lot of success still! I had a blast running our booth (a giant chessboard - always popular!), and I made lots of wonderful connections that will continue long after our Church pulls out of Scouting. 3. Speaking of Scout-O-Rama, I was approached ALL THE DAY LONG by non-LDS unit representatives asking if I would be 1. their den leader (3 groups) 2. their cubmaster (2 groups) 3. a unit commissioner (1 group + a district executive) 4. a committee chair (2 groups) and 5. a roundtable commissioner (2 district executives). So clearly, if I want to continue Scouting after next year, I have options! I had no idea there were that many people who even noticed what I have been doing in my Den, but come to find out, my little program has been getting a lot of attention lately (too much perhaps if you ask me ) 4. I should be clear that I am a very traditional Scouter. I support a boy-only camp experience if possible, and a program run as closely to Baden-Powell's original vision as possible. I believe boys and girls are different, and that their gender is a part of their divine nature which has been a part of them, as with all of us, since before they were born. So I do not believe Scouting can fuction at its full potential if it is compelled to work for both boys AND girls using the same program. It won't work because they are different, and if Scouting is going to push in that direction, than an amicable separation is preferable to any attempt to compromise closely-held beliefs, whether mine or theirs. There needn't be contention; there needn't be conflict; their needn't be animosity - our organizations can continue to support and encourage one another, even if and when our core values diverge. THAT is the very essence of good citizenship and community.
  8. The Latin Scot

    Neckerchief history and size change

    No, just ..... no. You just made me a whole lot more comfortable with my Church pulling out of Scouting. And what is it with you guys and your huge necks? When I wear the standard issue neckers the ends are so long they plummet past my belly button! How big are you people?! I thought being 5'8 and 160 lbs. was average but I can't imaging how a necker as huge as the old ones would look on me! Although I do see how they would be far more useful. I could use one that big as a blanket, a tablecloth, a parachute ...
  9. I do want to share our church's official position of the family, gender roles and other beliefs that will help those here understand better why we cannot continue to support the new BSA program changes. Hopefully it will make it clear why we want boys and girls, young men and young women to have their own programs which will support and nurture their own identities; whether or not you believe as we do, I think it is well to make sure that the separation is amicable, and that the friendships we have established continue to the benefit of our communities and their youth. Understanding where we stand, just as understanding where the BSA now stands, is important. This proclamation of our doctrines on family and the nature of gender should help those who are confused by the Church's new direction: https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation?lang=eng&old=true I will try to monitor this thread as frequently as possible for the next few days in case anybody has questions that perhaps I can either answer or at least direct to where answers can be found. And again, I intend to be the most active, loving and engaged Den Leader I possibly can be until precisely 11:59 pm, December 31st, 2019!
  10. LDS units form a HUGE percentage of Scouting units in the Western region especially. States like Idaho, Arizona and Wyoming, and large portions of California and Oregon have exceptionally large numbers of LDS units. I am sorry to hear you have had those kind of experiences, but in all my time Scouting as both a youth and an adult, and having observed the MASSIVE size and rich dynamics of Scouting in thickly LDS areas like Utah and Idaho, I can say confidently that, in the majority of cases both historically and regionally, LDS units are powerhouses both in membership and advancement. The Utah National Parks Council is the largest in Scouting, and they do amazing things there. It's been pointed out already, but for over 100 years the Church has supported and enriched the Scouting program. Don't count on too much crossing over into non-LDS Troops. The new activity program will inevitably be as involving and fulfilling as Scouting has been for the past century, and there will be a huge, worldwide coordinated effort to implement it entirely without leaving much time for Scouting as well, and besides, this new direction will absolutely deliver the same benefits to our youth as Scouting has in the past, so the need to do both will become a redundancy. Now, I am of course looking at this with eyes looking towards a bright future and a heart filled with optimism. But make no mistake - I am also grieving in a way that I cannot even describe with words yet - not that the Church is leaving Scouting; no, we will be fine and carry on as ever - but I am heartbroken that with all these new changes, the Boy Scouts of America, as conceived by Lord Baden-Powell and nurtured and cultivated by the likes of Beard, Seton, West, and Hillcourt - is dead. It is a new, gender-neutral program which will continue to wither away with each concession to popular opinion. And its most powerful of all beliefs, the idea that boys need a program all their own to help them grow into better citizens, leaders, husbands and fathers, has now been made to look as old-fashioned - if not irrelevant - if not even "inequitable." And it's the boys who lose when the rights to their own program are taken from them to make way for the girls who do not learn as they do, and will by necessity bring with them changes to accomidate their unique natures. The BSA has now made a powerful statement - that girls learn just the same as boys, and so they should get to enjoy the same program, which should be made to teach both genders the same. The Church firmly stands by the belief that boys and girls, and men and women, are inherently different from each other, that gender is an eternal part of our divine nature, and that men and women have different needs and learn in different way in order to best fulfil their roles in the family. The Boy Scouts of America has now effectively moved away from this belief which for over a century it fought to protect, and as such, it no longer aligns with what we believe. It will be a bittersweet separation, to be sure. But the Church's doctrines and principles have never changed, while those of the BSA have. I personally am sorry to no end that these changes have been made, and that the program no longer offers the best options for out youth. But they have taken their stand, and now we have to take ours. Mind you - we have until the end of next year before the change, so you still have another 18 months with me! And unlike some others I know, I don't plan to drop off the face of the Scouting planet. It will always be a part of me, and I will always care about how the program continues, even my time and energies will be needed elsewhere.
  11. The Latin Scot

    From National: Official Name

    Ugh, this is all getting absurd. They wouldn't dare force co-ed Troops here though. Nor would they insist that CO's which charter all-boy units also charter girl units as well. That would instantly alienate the entire LDS Church, which forms a HUGE part of the BSA population. My hope is that the Church can exercise enough clout to protect smaller conservative bodies who still want to run only the traditional all-male BSA model, but don't have a voice large enough to be heard. If other units want to bring in girls, FINE, but that is where the Church's line is going to be drawn, and I can't imagine National would dare challenge a demographic as large as the Church's by forcing girls on its volunteers who don't want to follow the new model.
  12. The Latin Scot

    From National: Official Name

    I imagine that is precisely how it will go. Which is why I am glad I will have no part in it; thank goodness CO's are allowed to choose how they will proceed so that those who don't want to get involved in this mess can at least continue on their merry way largely unaffected. I will never have to deal with girls in our program. But again and certainly, my heart goes out to those who feel similarly, but don't have the guaranteed protection of their CO's preserving their interests as I know mine will. Such a mess ...
  13. The Latin Scot


    Our chapter has a huge, authentic war drum donated by a local tribe; the thing is a BEAST and can be heard from over a mile and a half away on a clear night. When the OA does tap-outs at Camporee, the drum is placed at the top of a hill and when the time is right, it begins a slow, steady beat which is heard through the entire camp, down into the very earth itself. Every campsite goes quiet as the OA begins its procession through the Troop campgrounds, tapping out new members, its ranks growing larger and larger with the new Scouts and those who are already members now in their sashes, slowly joining the throng and moving through the grounds until all the Troops have been visited and all the new candidates have been called out, the drum still pounding out its slow, steady rhythm. The boys then hike a distance away from the Camporee grounds into the wilderness a short ways, where they create a large circle and there receive their welcome packets and a greeting from their new OA leadership team. Only after they leave sight of the general grounds however does the beating of the drum stop. It's pretty impressive, I must confess. That instrument has a voice like you wouldn't believe.
  14. The Latin Scot

    From National: Official Name

    That's exactly what I THOUGHT we were going to offer, which I would have actually supported much more willingly! But as Viceroy Gunray remarked at the Battle of Theed, "this is too close." To waltz in, change the name of the 108 year-old Boy Scout program, and just drop in the ladyfolk, instead of the "new, separate girl's program" that was initially promised, is frankly an affront to all of the volunteers that have been holding out for a sensible initiative that would have protected their interests while still making room for expansion. They have reached the point where they are openly ignoring what the volunteers they have want, just to curry favor with a demographic of volunteers they clearly prefer but don't yet have. I am appalled by this change, but it is going to come back to bite them. Which is an awful shame, because the program itself has proven time and again that it WORKS - if you let it. They just can't seem to stop meddling with Baden-Powell's vision, and eventually, those who can no longer recognize the vision in the program will abandon it.
  15. The Latin Scot

    From National: Official Name

    Actually that would have been worse in my eyes; at least by using the term Scout BSA, the word "boy" is still there, even if in abbreviated form. But it's a bend to public opinion that may well break the spine of our principles the further we extend it.
  16. The Latin Scot

    From National: Official Name

    Well, luckily I have been working with kids long enough to be able to take an inordinate amount of chiding and chastisement without any ill effects, lol. Simple - give the girl program an entirely separate name, and don't touch the boys program. Or better yet! - forget including the ladies at all, as per the past 108 years of Boy Scouting. I certainly will not allow thrashing public opinion to compell me to bend to their agenda; girls and boys are different, and I will not be cowed into offering up my assent. I think the entire thing is a bad move, from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts, and I will continue to refer to the program as Boy Scouts, since fortunately my CO will not be accepting girls into its programming. But I pity the CO's, councils, districts and units that are going to feel so inordinately pressured to do so.
  17. The Latin Scot

    From National: Official Name

    "Scout Me In" .... UGH. Resorting to PUNS now, are we? Could this slogan be any more unimaginative? I frankly despise this name change. I had anticipated the girl's program getting their own name and materials, not that we would be forced to change our name and then share a bnunch of watered down materials. This is disheartening in the extreme.
  18. The Latin Scot

    Family Scouting Update

    1. Skorts 2. A cub scarf 3. New roll-up capris for the lady-folk 4. Cub scout leggings (ugh) 5. New color options for derby car tires
  19. The Latin Scot

    Family Scouting Update

    Here is a picture of some new girl-oriented items
  20. The Latin Scot

    Motivation Quote of the Day

    Well, "it's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish." - Tolkien
  21. The Latin Scot

    Last SM minute

    I used this at our last Blue and Gold at the very end; I found it to be a powerful way to focus the boys on what really matters at the end of a memorable night:
  22. The Latin Scot

    Motivation Quote of the Day

    Well, since we are at Tolkien anyway now, “It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.” John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, The Return of the King
  23. The Latin Scot

    More gems from Baloo...

    A part of me keeps hoping to wake up and discover this was all just a big joke.
  24. The Latin Scot

    More gems from Baloo...

    Wha ..... ?!?!? But then ... who's supposed to carry all the water?! What if I take my 7 boys out hiking, am I supposed to carry it? My poor assistant? A mule? A llama? Who's supposed to carry it? Am I supposed to carry it? I don't wanna carry it.
  25. The Latin Scot

    Concerned About an Incident Last Night

    I am led to think of President Abraham Lincoln, who largely composed his cabinet of men whom he knew would disagree with him, and with each other, but who had sound and important virtues nonetheless. He learned to use their differences to his advantage, allowing them to offer up differing perspectives that made his final decisions much more informed and broad-minded than they could otherwise have been. Granted, it takes a mighty fine leader to work that kind of contrast into a valuable asset, but Scouting is all about making boys into just that kind of leader. Obviously, that's a lot to ask of one so young, but it's worth considering perhaps. It's usually the hardest things that make us into our best selves, and as I always tell my Webelos Scouts when they are most frustrated, "you can do hard things."