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The Latin Scot

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Everything posted by The Latin Scot

  1. The Latin Scot

    Uniforms and saluting the flag

    Thank you all for your input. It wasn't merely the extra, non-standard issue items flowing off their hats and shirts, but Scout shirts with bermuda shorts, frilly blue skirts on the ladies, long beaded belts with silly designs - I have all the love in the world for a hand-carved neckerchief slide or even a hand-tooled leather belt, but this motley crew included flamingo socks, silly hats, et cetera. Honestly if they had just stayed in their camp t's I wouldn't have minded as much, but they exchanged those for what seemed like a step down in uniforming. Mind you, not all of them were that bad, and most were clearly being respectful. But those who went off the deep end were down-right distracting, and while I am all for having fun at Day Camp (heaven forbid!), I didn't feel a solemn flag retiring ceremony was the right time for games. Maybe I am wrong; it wouldn't be the first time. But for myself, and for the Scouts around me I could tell, it was a bag of mixed messages which caused no small degree of confusion.
  2. But to intentionally dress TODAY in a manner that conveys the identity of the opposite sex, as I see it, wrong. It's the intent, not the technicalities of what is done to accomplish it. So I don't see how this argument relates at all to the subject at hand. If a person dresses in a style that people associate as pertaining to that of the opposite gender, specifically to bend one's perception of their actual sex, is wrong. It demeans who they really are, and who they are meant to be.
  3. I agree. When we begin our discussions on common ground, it's easier to be compassionate and understanding when our paths do diverge.
  4. Thank goodness that wasn't the reason I was homeschooled!
  5. Aaahhhh ... but you see, I'm not. Almost the entire strength of your argument lies in that idea though - that gender is a choice, something you can pick and choose and create on your own. If that assumption were correct, then what you say might be true. But it isn't. I am perfectly cognizant of the difference between gender and sex which you are trying to impose on my opinions. But I do not believe in that differentiation, not in the way you promote it. Gender is NOT fluid, it is not a choice - it's an essential part of who we are. And it is possible for a person to behave and act according to the nature of the wrong gender. This is a nearly incendiary platform to assume when compared to the bent of today's shifting worldviews, but I firmly and clearly recognize that there is a right and a wrong to the way we live up to our sex AND GENDER. It is NOT RIGHT for a man to try to act, dress, or try to be identified as a woman. It is NOT RIGHT for a woman to try to act, dress, or try to be identified as a man. Now, some of you have wrongly assumed that this perspective is hateful, and that if I ever were to meet such a person, that I would somehow treat them unkindly, that I would be so utterly callous that I would speak down to them, insult them, or otherwise treat them as less than those who follow more closely the beliefs that I hold dear. Just wait until you meet them, you say. But I have met such a person. I have met many of them! (I live in Southern California for pity's sake, we have EVERYTHING here) And my understanding of their behavior is totally unrelated to my love for them as people - and as I look at them, as children of God. My brothers and sisters. Children who had a gender and a sex that was part of their nature even before they were born. Why should a person's actions affect how I treat them? I have my own flaws and failings; it would be preposterous for me to treat them with any less love and respect than that which I hope to receive myself. I love them, with all my heart. Which is all the more reason for me to try and share what I believe is true - that sex and gender are one, and that happiness only comes when we can truly say that we are doing what is right, not what we want to be right. But our job is to do what we can to help EVERYBODY feel loved, appreciated, and safe. The way the live their life is irrelevant. It is, frankly, silly and immature to asert that those who do not believe in gender fluidity are somehow therefore unkind or prejudiced against those who subscribe to that lifestyle. Those two are not related, however much useful their connection would be to the argument of those who try to support it; if they could make those who oppose gender fluidity into villians, it would certainly garner them an emotional edge. But those of use who want these people to recognize who they really are, not who they think they want to be, must remember always the beautiful counsel given by Thomas S. Monson: Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.
  6. The Latin Scot

    New Brotherhood Member

    Congratulations! I went through my Brotherhood induction a few weeks ago; well done!
  7. I just have to say I feel this ideology is egregiously false. Gender is an inherent, essential part of who we are. It is not at all fluid - a girl cannot become a man, nor can a boy become a woman. Those who disfigure their bodies in a desperate attempt to change from one to the other will only reap misery and regret. I refuse to accept that a boy who alters his biology to become, physically, a "woman," is a woman - he is still male inside, and nothing he does will ever change that. And vice versa. This, of course, is strongly related to my beliefs, which hold powerfully that we existed before we came to Earth, that we have s purpose for being here, and that we have an eternal destiny after this life. The deceit which claims we can change our sex or gender, just because we don't feel like we fit current societal perceptions of gender, is false. A male has always been and always will be male. A female has always been and always will be female. I am not fooled by modern suggestions that try to dis-establish the permanence of our sex - just because a child feels he doesn't fit the way the world personifies a man, doesn't mean he isn't one. The same for girls. I find the fact that this discussion is even current I find a sad commentary on the way the world perceives who it thinks we are.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. The Latin Scot

    Linked troops won't work

    Yeesh. That's terrible to hear, especially from a CE.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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?
  19. 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?
  20. 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?
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. The Latin Scot

    Eagle Scout Rank Patch wear after age 18

    At least you people have adult-sized heads. I still have to wear youth-sized hats, and I'm in my 30's.
  24. The Latin Scot

    New troop, big problems

    Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out There is NOTHING to excuse the behavior of abusive leadership, and your FIRST priority is getting your child away from them. The fun activities he may miss, the cost of the trip for which you paid - none of that matters more than his security. Discontinue your relationship with that troop immediately upon his return. I am grateful you know of other troops nearby; many families don't have that easy an option. But that troop is a TRAINWRECK. Uniforms cannot be required at Boards of Review. No leader has a right to justify foul language to children. No adult has any right to degrade, insult, or demean a child, nor his parents for that matter. The catastrophe that is that troop needs to end immediately. Make the calls, take action, and get your son out. Learning from our trials is essential, but learning how to get out of them when we can is just as important.
  25. The Latin Scot

    Eagle Scout Rank Patch wear after age 18

    That inspection sheet is both cheaply and poorly made. The diagram is obviously copied-and-pasted right off the youth form; if you read the form on the left though, you get more correct information for a leader's inspection. I never use pre-made inspection sheets; the most important source is the Guide to Awards and Insignia. I make my own inspection sheets based off that; anything else, even if published by the BSA as with these forms, could be in error. As for incentives or disincentives - well, wearing the uniform correctly to the best of one's knowledge is ultimately a matter of personal honor. Much as may like to wear this badge or that emblem, I must personally remember that if it is not appropriate to the BSA's official rules and guidelines, it would be dishonorable of me to wear it. That applies to every member, whether others know or even care. Honor is a fading virtue in circles, but not my own, and that's what each boy and leader needs to consider first in a matter such as this