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The Latin Scot

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Everything posted by The Latin Scot

  1. The Latin Scot

    LDS Question

    What I imagine you are registering as hypocracy stems from a very real dichotomy of personal feelings. Allow me to help you understand my position better, as my feelings are very consistent, but obvious expressing them on an online forum makes it easy to be misunderstood. The reason why some of my posts reflect my dedication to supporting Scouting while others demonstrate more frustration than appreciation is that, frankly, I no longer consider "Scouting" and "The Boy Scouts of America" as synonymous terms. And for me that is indeed grievous to suggest, but that's the way it is. Scouting as an Ideal I feel that Scouting, as originally conceived by Baden-Powell, Beard, Seton, Hillcourt, and all the other founders, is an inspired, effective, wonderful program when executed correctly. Quite simply, IT WORKS. I believe in it with all my heart. It has been refined and improved over the past century to be one of the best programs there has ever been for raising young boys to be good, honest, capable men, fathers, husbands and citizens. It's ability to channel the inner nature of boys towards productive and character-building maturation has proven unparalleled, and I do indeed strive to do all I can to support it, encourage it, and use its methods, from uniforming to boy-led leadership to outdoor activities. I feel Cub Scouting has been the natural and exceptional preparatory program for Scouting. It comprehends who young boys are and how they grow, and I wish every boy could be part of it. This is the program I have dedicated myself to for the next 18 months and which I will also gladly support whole-heartedly until then. Because I prefer to be cheerful not only in person but in writing, most of my posts consciously reflect this portion of my sentiments regarding the changes wrought over the past year or two. However, there are elements of these changes which are difficult to accept as well. The Boy Scouts of America - specifically, Scouts BSA and the inclusion of girls in Cub Scouting I believe that Scouting is an effective, proven program that works. However, I no longer feel that the Boy Scouts of America will continue to support and provide a true Scouting experience for its youth members going forward. There have been too many compromises, too much fundamental change wrought to allow me to accept that they will deliver Scouting in its purest, most effective form to the young men in its organization. The most shocking change has been allowing girls into the program. BOYS AND GIRLS ARE FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT. I believe this is a difference not only of physicality, but also of nature, even a spiritual difference, and I do NOT believe that Scouting will work for girls as it does for boys because girls learn differently. Scouting has been refined for a century to work for boys, and while the aims of Scouting are certainly just as important for young women as they are for young men, I believe the methods of Scouting do not work as well for them. I also feel that by including girls in the same programs, the boys who remain are being robbed of their once-special place to act comfortably and freely as boys. BOYS DO NOT ACT THE SAME WHEN GIRLS PARTICIPATE IN THE SAME EXTENDED ACTIVITIES. They may be in different dens or troops, they may have different leaders - but they are now part of pack meetings, summer camp, Scout-O-Rama, Camporee - spaces and activities which were fundamentally created to be successful venues where boys could feel free to express their growing skills, talents and nature in arenas tailored to their specific dispositions. Now that is being taken from them, and yes, I am frustrated that the BSA has done this. I do not believe the Boy Scouts of America will appropriately be considered a "true" Scouting program after the integration has taken full effect. And that is heartbreaking to me. So - yes, I believe in Scouting. I will be as invested as I can for the next 18 months, and even after that I will continue to be friendly and supportive of it. After all, once an Eagle Scout, always and Eagle Scout. Same with my membership in the OA, and nobody will ever change the fact that I WAS AND AM A SCOUT. But The Boy Scouts of America is making changes to its program that I severely disapprove of. I do not oppose what they seek to accomplish, and I still believe in their ultimate aims. But I do not agree with how they seek to accomplish their objectives. I am not "anti-BSA." But as with any loved one who makes bad choices in life, I can only step back and encourage them to go back to their old ways. They have their agency, but I won't conceal that I am disappointed with their new direction. How can I not feel frustrated with a dear friend that, after 100 years of courage, has finally started to buckle under outside pressure? Quite frankly, I can only say that I feel you are wrong. The Lord DOES provide. He always has and He always will. Especially when an organization such as the BSA no longers seeks the same destination as the Church and we are compelled to forge a new road. I can't quite tell if you are a member of the Church or an outside observer; you seem to imply an insider's knowledge of how things operate, yet based on your skepticism and clear lack of confidence in the Church's revelatory process, I would be surprised to discover you were LDS. From what I read, it sounds as though you think everybody is failing, and I refuse to accept that as a possibility, much less a reality. You couch your language in terms of what's best for the youth, but I worry it is actually a vehicle for you to complain about the Church's decision. I will always side with the Church before anything else - Scouting taught me that - and honestly, I feel pessimism and doubt accomplish nothing. Besides, it's not the programs that save any of us anyway, is it? Unfortunately I cannot agree with anything you have said. I know that to the outside world it seems like a strange choice, even a foolish one, but for those of us within the Church, it makes sense, and we are moving forward, if not with a plan, at least with a lot of faith. And that seems to me like plenty to go on.
  2. The Latin Scot

    LDS Question

    You forget one thing - Scouting is an imperfect organization. A great organization for many decades (far less so now), but still imperfect. There are better paths, as the Church has clearly realized. And I'm afraid the thought that the Church "couldn't make it work with the incredible resources available from BSA" is as far off from the truth as one could be. The Church was one of the most successful of all the BSA's Chartered Partners for almost the entirety of our century together. We DID make it work, and with incredible results at that! Regions with heavy concentrations of LDS Scouts such as Utah, Idaho and Arizona have historically yielded huge numbers of Eagle Scouts; the Utah National Parks Council is the largest and most successful in the nation, and the number of LDS Scouters who move on to earn such awards as the Silver Beaver, Antelope and Buffalo are proportionally enormous. It's the BSA, not the Church, that is changing our capacity to succeed together, and there is nothing the BSA can offer us now that we cannot replicate and improve upon ourselves. With all the past controversy, program changes, et cetera, the BSA is beginning to limp along at a distressing pace. It's far better for us not to keep ourselves hitched to a wagon that's falling apart.
  3. The Latin Scot

    I finished my last meritbadge!

  4. The Latin Scot


    Ah. Once again I stand corrected. Maybe I should just stop blabbing about things I clearly don't understand fully.
  5. The Latin Scot


    Thank you for the specification - I stand corrected; looking at the photo those are indeed leggings. They go up too high up to be spats, which somehow, manages to makes them look worse. What I find odd, even ironic, is that none of them wear the Honor Guard Emblem, a badge specifically created for events such as the parade in the photo above. The Honor Guard Emblem sets the boys apart in their role; it's a special, "extra" for those who want to dress things up; it's even accented with white, so it will go with their gloves and flag carriers! Why in heavens did they sacrifice money (and their dignity) on those awful leggings when there was a far better and official option already available to them that is both subtler and more appropriate? Oh, people.
  6. The Latin Scot


    Well, I will say, I finally got myself a new pair of shorts to replace the de la Renta pair I had inherited from our uniform exchange, and WOW do I like them better! It's a very durable canvas material, they're more comfortable, and a much more pleasant shade of green (I like the undertones of blue and gray far more than the brown and yellow undertones), AND as a young looking person in general, the simple cargo shorts are far more natural-looking on me than the odd pocket design of the 80's. I admit, I am a fan! As for spats - I think they look very odd in the photo above. From a color standpoint, I do see how it ties together the white of the gloves and flag supporters. I actually love my white NESA neckerchief because the white sets off the colors of the uniform very nicely. But what we see above are spats, and spats don't look at all natural on cargo pants. Spats are made for dress clothing, and are in part decorative in function. The Boy Scout uniform is essentially a practical uniform, and adding spats as an accessory is both aesthetically jarring and antithetical to our purposes. Gaiters, on the other hand, are an entirely different matter. In the earliest days of Scouting, those are what were worn, and the Boy Scouts wore olive khaki gaiters that matched their pants, which in those times were essentially jodhpurs - wide-thighed, flat-fronted pants. Because they were the same color, they didn't stand out against the rest of the uniform, and for the period it was a very normal thing to wear with outdoor/sporting clothing (this was the post-Edwardian era after all and the English outdoor aesthetic was as much an influence on the military as the military was on early Scoutwear). Gaiters were meant as more of a "heavy-duty" type of leg protection, and unlike spats, which are really meant to protect clothing, gaiters were more practical protection for shins, ankles, and the often-delicate leather shoes of the times. Gaiters were generally produced in thick canvas (such as with the Boy Scout uniforms) or from thicker, stronger leather than was used for shoes. As the Scout pant cut changed over the decades, they continued to produce gaiters to protect the boys' clothing - and they were always the same color because their purpose was not decorative, but practical (speaking for Boy Scouts, not Explorers). As shoe design improved and gaiters became less necessary, they were gradually phased out. Nowadays they are hard to find (I have actually wanted a vintage pair desperately for many months now). If they are worn though, they should be proper gaiters (not mamby-pamby spats), and they should be worn appropriately - with the correct period uniform, and in the same color. What I see above is somewhat akin to gilding the lilies to me - a properly worn uniform, well-fitted and properly sewn up with all the elements, is impressive enough. No need to fancy it up with useless footwear.
  7. The Latin Scot

    New from ny

    Welcome! Glad to have you here!
  8. The Latin Scot

    Arrow of Light Scouts Crossing Over

    That is a good idea. Funny, the more I hear about these School-based calendars, the less I like them. And taking the summer off just sounds like lunacy to me. Summer is the season for Scouting! No School to compete with, the boys have time, the weather is great - I accomplish more in the summer months than I ever can during the rest of the time. I think inviting the Webelos to your Troop meetings is the EXACT answer to your situation. Just make SURE to have activities planned that will engage them and that their parents can observe if they wish. Not having Scouts is a catastrophe for that pack, but hey, you might as well turn it into a goldmine for your recruitment efforts!
  9. My boys would LOVE that, and it passes of requirements that they need to complete as well! I am sending you a private message now!
  10. I am now a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow

    1. prof



    2. NJCubScouter


      Mazel tov, as we say in my religion.  :)

    3. The Latin Scot

      The Latin Scot

      Thanks everybody!

    4. Show next comments  24 more
  11. The Latin Scot

    Arrow of Light Scouts Crossing Over

    That's why I dislike the idea of a program "year" starting in June or September or whatever. My program is ongoing, with no "beginning or end." The way my CO runs it, boys become Webelos Scouts when they turn 10 and cross over to Boy Scouts at 11. So I don't wait for any specific times to award them any rank - once they complete the requirements, they advance in rank. SO usually, that means 3 - 4 months after their birthday they earn their Webelos rank, and 6 - 8 months after they earn their Arrow of Light. This results in boys earning these ranks throughout the year, and usually there are only a few boys earning rank at any given pack meeting. It makes it much less of a bother to "get it done," because the boys are moving at their own pack, and never feel left out if they don't earn a rank "with all the other boys" because they all earn it at different times anyway. Sometimes there are unusual cases. I have had boy join my group a few months after they have turned 10 already, which may mean making choices. If possible, I have them work solely on the Arrow of Light, but if they won't have 6 months to complete the tenure requirement, we just focus on the Webelos rank, and we don't make a big deal about his not being able to complete the AofL. Fortunately, since there isn't any "end of the program year," there are no overwrought Arrow of Light/Crossing-over bonanzas for him to feel left out of, so I never have any boys or parents complaining if the AofL isn't earned. There's also a lot of communication going from the beginning so that it's never a last-minute shock if it doesn't happen - I make plans with families as soon as boys enter the den, so if certain awards can't reasonably be earned, it's something we are all prepared to deal with. It's a very nice, stress-free way to deal with rank advancement in Webelos, and as a result I have never had to deal with any serious parental complaints in the 2 1/2 years I have been doing this. I recommend it to anybody looking for ways to help Cub Scout families - if not the calendar changes, at least the communication part.
  12. The Latin Scot

    From National Annual Meeting: OA Eligibility Updates

    That's right, I forgot you are in OC too! I am doubly lucky since I live only 10 minutes down Los Alisos from Oso Lake, so it is incredibly convenient. Yet somehos this was that first time I have ever been to that campsite despite living in this neighborhood my entire life! And yes, it was a LONG, back-breaking day; my allergies went bananas, I got burned, starved, smoke and dust every where , dozens of whiny tired boys who coudn't keep silent for 10 minutes much less 24 hours - and I love every minute of it. I made friends, I got a fresh perspective on service and leadership, and after 21 years, I have finally become a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow. Now I am off to Chuch for a few hours before I come home to die, LOL.
  13. The Latin Scot

    Neckers back in the "news"

    Well, I never point out people's errors unless they ask me for specific help, which I always offer in a mild, it's-no-big-deal kind of way. But I will admit, all of my boys know that my favorite game to play at large Scouting events is "Spot the Error!" It's amazing the breadth and variety of mistakes (or flagrant violations) made on the uniforms of some people. In fact at my OA Brotherhood induction ceremony last night, there was a gentleman with what seemed like a half-dozen OA event patches sewn all over his shirt - both pockets, over the shoulders, one on the back, pins on every epaulet, and four neckerchiefs. It was a mess, lol.
  14. The Latin Scot

    Eagle Scout neckerchief - quick question

    Okay, this isn't as much a policy question (as there isn't one on this issue) as much as a protocol question. Another boy in my neighborhood is holding his Eagle Court of Honor next Saturday. All is well and good, and then he comes to my home this morning to present me with ... an Eagle Scout neckerchief to wear. You know, the bright blue embroidered one they sell at the Scout Store, very bright and very pretty. Now, his reasoning was that he noticed I didn't wear one at the last Eagle CofH, and so he wanted me to have one to wear at his next week (he's doing an "Eagle's Nest, gol' darn it (I hate those)). I have never purchased one for myself because I thought it was more something a youth member would wear, not a leader. I earned my Eagle almost 20 years ago myself, but I get mistaken for a youth member often enough as it is, and I am mildly concerned this will exacerbate that misperception. I will of course wear it to this Court of Honor, as it was after all a gift from an eager young friend (and since I am sure his parents were all too happy to fork over the cash for it and who-knows-how-many-other unnecessary luxuries); however, I am not sure about making this my regular fashion choice at future C'sofH. So my question is: Is it normal for an adult such as myself to wear the Eagle Scout neckerchief? Shouldn't it be worn more by youth members themselves? I feel like it calls undue attention my way, so other opinions would be appreciated. Thanks all.
  15. Off to receive my Brotherhood Honor! My OA weekend is officially beginning!

  16. The Latin Scot

    From National Annual Meeting: OA Eligibility Updates

    Well, I am off to my Brotherhood honor ordeal ceremony induction camp-out outing whatever on Earth this whole thing is called, lol. I am not sure what to expect but I am excited and eager to serve! Wish me luck!
  17. The Latin Scot

    LDS Question

    Of course! But our church has been built on hard roads and challenges. This is a mountain we are happy and ready to climb. And we have a Chief Scout already - it's our Prophet. He has all the skills, tools and authority needed to guide us to success.
  18. The Latin Scot

    Neckers back in the "news"

    I am not sure what the confusion is ... Troops can vote on and then go with one of three options: no neckers, neckers over the collar, or neckers under the collar. That's incredibly simple.
  19. The Latin Scot

    LDS Question

    LOL. My ward went through that phase (heck, it was like that the entirety of my childhood and youth - I got my Eagle despite my leaders, not because of them). But that's one of the things the new program will inevitably work to change. I am sure that whatever we get will make great differences in the habits so many units have developed over the years.
  20. The Latin Scot

    LDS Question

    I can comfortably say that, as the entire focus of the Church's young men's program is to raise its youth to become strong leaders in their homes, their communities, and in the Church, it is absolutely guaranteed that the new program will center on leadership and character development. Raising moral young men who will someday lead the Church is paramount to our beliefs, and having been raised in the Church, I can tell you that those values are at the very core of what we expect our young men to be. If anything, I can't think of what else the new program could possibly focus on. And the Church has all the means and resources to create a superb program that will be equal, if not superior, to the Scouting program. As for outdoor skills, well, I am sure we will camp and go on high adventure activities and all that, but I don't think that element will be as strongly emphasized as it was before. But who knows? We'll have to wait and see. But I have full confidence that what's coming will be even better than what was.
  21. The Latin Scot

    New Cub Scout Manuals

    Well, I have just told my boys to get whichever book they wish. I will have all of them for reference, but I am not going to be picky about which one they use, and I have made sure all the parents know it. Same with the new total switch to the tan/olive uniforms for Webelos Scouts; if my boys want to stick with the blue that's fine by me.
  22. The Latin Scot

    National Scouting Museum moving to Philmont

    Hmm. An interesting proposition? I think Family Life is still essential for any boy, but I do think Scouting Heritage needs to be required, especially with all the new kids that will be coming in. They need to know what Scouting was, versus what Scouting has become.
  23. The Latin Scot

    National Annual Meeting 2018 - May 23-25, Dallas

    Ah, that's what everybody is talking about. Thanks!
  24. The Latin Scot

    LDS Question

    Simply put: 1. It's not a doctrinal questions, but a policy question. And the answer is that after December 31st, 2019, no, individual LDS units will NOT be authorized to sponsor Scouting units. We will have our own program to implement that will replace Scouting, and so to act as the CO of Scouting units will be redundant after that date. There will be no more LDS-sponsored Scouting units after next year. 2. LDS units can absolutely include both non-member youth and leadership in its Scouting units! On the Church's official webpage on Scouting, it states "worthy adults, whether members of the Church or not, may be called to serve as Scouting leaders." It also states "Young men and boys of other faiths who agree to abide by Church standards should be welcomed and encouraged to participate in Scouting activitites. Expenses for their participation are pain in the same manner as for other youth. Voluntary contributions from their families may be accepted and handled according to Church policy." I went to Scouts with a couple of young men who were not LDS, but they were good kids who eventually earned their Eagles right alongside us. There was never an issue with their not being members of the Church, and as far as we were concerned they were as much members of the group as any one of us who were in the Church. That will be the same policy with the new program; while it will be a Church-run, LDS-centered program, it will of course be open to anybody who it not a member of our faith. ALSO: moderators, how do I get rid of this darn quote box below?