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The Latin Scot

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Everything posted by The Latin Scot

  1. The Latin Scot

    Girl Scout Camp/Organization Better than BSA?

    Our district charges $170 for the week, or $150 if you register at least 30 days before the event. Having attended with my Den for the past two years, I can't say it's entirely worth the cost.
  2. The Latin Scot

    Derby Car

    That's just what we do; my assistant has all the woodworking tools, and one of my Webelos who lives up the street from my has a nice big garage and a father who is ready to open it up for us to use. In two weeks it will be open for a few hours on a Saturday so that any boys in the pack can come work on their car, and there will be one more Saturday closer to our derby in April when they can come in if they missed or didn't finish during the first week. If you don't have people with the tools and space readily on hand, you could talk to local shops or hardware stores and see if any of them are willing to open up their resources to families in advance of your derby. And then invite them to the races when you have them! Some recognition for them in honor of their help would be a great way to involve your community and get your program out their. Always look outside the box when you feel stuck. ;-)
  3. The Latin Scot

    Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    The thing is, that kind of natural separation is entirely normal at that age. It's simply the way most pre-teen kids think, and so it would be unhealthy to force any legitimately co-ed program on these ages. That's why I hope National is true to it's word and creates a separate program for girls that steers as far away from the boys program as is possibly. No girl/boy patrols, no sharing troops - a total separation of boys and girls in their own programs, even if the girls are working on the same requirements. As far apart as they can be is best for these ages, developmentally speaking.
  4. The Latin Scot

    Buzzfeed - CSE Surbaugh - Girls - Scouter.com

    I don't have a copy of Scouting with a Neckerchief, although I know the item you are referring to. I haven't seen a copy in print but only know it from multiple references online. I would imagine somebody here would have it, right? Anybody? In any case, they didn't have as much published supplementary material in the early days as they have now, when we are practically drowning in new material being published almost monthly. As for collarless shirts, yes I have seen many, many examples of those. But for certain, in the very latest Guide to Awards and Insignia, the official policy states on page 13 under "Special Regulations:" The unit has a choice of wearing the neckerchief over the collar (with the collar tucked in) or under the collar. So at the very least, as of the past few years both options are 100% authorized by the BSA.
  5. The Latin Scot

    Buzzfeed - CSE Surbaugh - Girls - Scouter.com

    Actually it was! I am looking at the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th editions of the Handbook which I have in front of me right now (it's good to have a solid library), and in the uniform illustrations, all of them have uniform diagrams featuring the neckerchief being worn over the collar. In fact, let's not overlook the fact that on the very cover of the 3rd edition, there is an illustration of a Scout in profile - with the neckerchief over the collar! And just about every early painting by Norman Rockwell shows Scouts wearing the neckers old school style - with the neckerchief over the collar. And with all due respect, they are pretty darn authoritative if you ask me. Rockwell was a stickler for accuracy and his paintings almost never deviate from the proper way to wear the uniform at the time of their execution, and during his long tenure as Chief Scout Executive James E. West demanded complete uniform accuracy in all offcial BSA illustrations and publications. So, yes, it was not only authorized, but in fact it was the norm to wear the necker over the collar for many, many years.
  6. The Latin Scot

    Buzzfeed - CSE Surbaugh - Girls - Scouter.com

    Yes, if you look at materials from the 20's and 30's, it was expected of boys to wear their neckerchiefs over the collar, a look I very much enjoy. When I take my boys on service projects or especially rigorous outdoor activities, I only require them to wear the necker so that they can be recognized as Scouts. At this point I have emphasized the appropriateness of this option so often that most of the boys in our pack and troop can quote with a degree of precision the exeprt from the guide to uniforms and insignia regarding the appropriate wearing of the neckerchief without the rest of the uniform. EDIT: I am including this link to a webpage I found extremely educational regarding neckerchief wear; it isn't official BSA material, but I found it authoritative enough in its own right. http://inquiry.net/uniforms/neckerchief/swn1.htm
  7. The Latin Scot

    Buzzfeed - CSE Surbaugh - Girls - Scouter.com

    Personally, I think a lot of packs could stand to tone down their "elaborate events" - they become almost like wedding receptions what with all the pomp and money thrown into them. I think that learning to simplify things and creating a more modest approach to rank advancement at the Cub level is an important lesson for many packs. Yes, we should be celebrating achievement and advancement - I always do with my den - but it should be to a degree that's appropriate to their age and accomplishment. The grand advancement ceremonies and Blue and Gold banquets with the huge costs and extravagant decorations are too much if you ask me. In my opinion, being compelled to simplify can only be a good thing.
  8. The Latin Scot

    Eagle Scout neckerchief - quick question

    I definitely pull out whatever I have when I teach the Scouting Heritage merit badge. My stuff generally isn't that old, but the boys are pretty motivated when they see that a youngher guy like my can still be interested in all the old stuff, and they get excited when I find little odds and ends to add to my collection. Maybe someday I will acquire enough to have a really legitimate collection! Aside from my collection of Handbooks (I have one each of every single edition now), most of my stuff is pretty recent.
  9. The Latin Scot

    Buzzfeed - CSE Surbaugh - Girls - Scouter.com

    Aw ... I am 34 years old and I still wear a small. Now I feel ridiculous. My Dad wears a garrison hat though; he's a Wolf Den Leader and the boys love it. Between his garrison and my campaign hat, we're pretty well covered in my home! Now we just need to find my mom a good lady's hat that doesn't make her "look like an airline stewardess."
  10. The Latin Scot

    Eagle Scout neckerchief - quick question

    Perfect; thank you so much! This is just the thing I have been looking for.
  11. The Latin Scot

    Eagle Scout neckerchief - quick question

    Wear can I obtain this? I searched the Scout supply site to no avail; do you have a link? I LOVE the idea!
  12. The Latin Scot

    Buzzfeed - CSE Surbaugh - Girls - Scouter.com

    This is absolutely correct; in fact, for many decades Scouts were supposed to wear the neckerchief over the collar with the collar tucked under. Allowing them to tuck the necker under is the more recent option, but as @HelpfulTracks has pointed out, both are entirely permitted.
  13. The Latin Scot

    Buzzfeed - CSE Surbaugh - Girls - Scouter.com

    I LOVE neckerchiefs! They add such a classic feel to the uniform, not to mention their little splash of color does a lot to brighten up the earth tones of the rest of its items. I admit I am starting to amass quite a little collection of neckers, all for different occassion - I have my Cub Scout Leader blue, and my Webelos plaid, not to mention the white NESA necker I just got a from a boy's parents to wear at his coming Eagle Court of Honor. I can easily see myself ending up with a whole plethora of colors to choose from; I love colors, and the neckerchief is the one part of the uniform where you can really add a bit of flair! Especially for somebody like me who otherwise tries to be an absolute stickler for proper uniforming, lol.
  14. The Latin Scot

    Mayor Give Pack Awards?

    @karunamom3 I would love to hear how this event turned out if you have a moment to share!
  15. The Latin Scot

    Coolest Scout Troop Location?

    Wow ... that house is bigger and nicer than the house I grew up in! Those boys had better appreciate it, lol.
  16. The Latin Scot

    Eagle Scout neckerchief - quick question

    Well fortunately the boy's mother dropped by and actually asked if the blue Eagle necker was something that I was comfortable wearing or if she should have gotten something else. We had a rather delightful conversation mostly centered on the over-eagerness of her son, and we opted to switch out the blue on for the white NESA necker instead. This way the boy still feels like he is sharing the moment with me (which is far too kind of him already), while I can still be distinguished as a leader and not as one of the Eagle recipients. The boy's mom joked that I should just go with it and pretend I was one of them just to see how much cake I could get out of it. I can't say I didn't think about it.
  17. The Latin Scot

    New YPT Launch

    I just took the new YPT out of curiousity, not because mine was going to expire, but I must say - I appreciate the tone of the new modules, even if they are a bit heavy handed. As a Child Development Professional, I am grateful they are committing themselves to keeping their information updated and the leadership informed. It's longer than the old one, but I am of the mind that when it comes to the safety of young people, any measure of my time is worth the effort.
  18. The Latin Scot

    Longest Family Line of Eagle Scouts

    I am sure there are many more cases than these floating around somewhere. I have a friend who is a third generation Eagle Scout, and he has kids of his own who will likely earn their Eagles within the next few years, so that's easily 4 generations. As for my family, we are slowly growing our own crop, lol. My father is a Life Scout, but all three of his sons earned their Eagles, and now I have a brother with four sons and another with two - that'll be nine Eagles within two generations (and if I can convince some nice girl to marry my someday, maybe I will have little Eagles of my own eventually too!).
  19. The Latin Scot

    Cub Girl Uniform

    My mom is actually trying to find one of the old blue Cub barets; she's the Wolf Den Leader in my Pack and it's the only hat she actually likes (she won't wear the ball caps and thinks the lady's Garrison hat makes her look like a stewardess). But they never show up on eBay or Etsy ... Anybody know where to find one? She insists it be official, no knock-offs, which makes it tricky. She actually doesn't know I am on the look out for one; I am hoping to surprise her for Mother's Day.
  20. The Latin Scot

    Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    As an LDS Webelos Leader myself, I confess I have indeed seen a few leaders who seem to shrug Boy Scout training off on to the shoulders of the 11 year-old leaders, but I don't subscribe to that kind of lazy mentality. I firmly believe that it is my duty as a Webelos Leader to ensure that every last one of my boys enters the Boy Scout Troop fully prepared with the knowledge and skills they need to start off successfully. As I have mentioned in other threads, my success is measured by each boy's ability to earn the Scout rank within 1 - 3 weeks of crossing over. If it takes him longer than a month, then it is probably my fault, and so it becomes my opportunity and duty to assess what I did wrong and to make the changes I need to ensure the next boy is more successful (I also meet next door to the 11 year-olds, and the boys are always free and eager to come to me for extra help even after they move on). It is, however, essential for Webelos to engage with a Troop at least a few times each year, not only to meet a number of their requirements, but because that is the nature of the Webelos program - facilitating the transition to Boy Scouting, and ensuring that they cross over to a welcoming and active troop. If a Webelos leader doesn't keep that near the top of his priorities, he doesn't understand his full duties.
  21. The Latin Scot

    Eliminate merit badges, advancement from Scouting

    As Tolkien wisely wrote, "he that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." The reason the advancement program is so vital to what Scouting is comes from the fact that, at it's core, it teaches boys how to make, and accomplish, worthwhile goals, in a manner which boys can understand. They learn planning, work, and preparation. When they fail or don't quite meet the requirements, they look back and learn from their initial attempt and keep trying till they succeed. It gives focus to their inborn energies and desires to achieve by giving healthy, stimulating and enlightening goals that let them stretch themselves in constructive, meaningful, and exciting ways. It replaces mindless entertainment with the more robust exhilaration of adventure and exploration, both geographical and cerebral. And when he earns the token signifying he has met the requirements for whatever badge or rank he has worked towards, well, what to some might seem just another "silly patch" (oh the naive innocence of the over-experienced!) is, to that boy who truly worked for it, a sign that he has learned how to develop certain skills or knowledge that he didn't have before, but in which he has now gained a proficiency. He wears on his sleeve what he feels in his heart - dignity and self-respect. With each merit badge he feels he has dipped his toes in a potential new interest, hobby, even career. With each rank he feels he has grown more in character and capacity and self-reliance. And while the Scout may not be able to articulate that sentiment, the emblems he sews on after each award are cues that help him turn those esoteric ideals into the reality of his character. Sure, the lazy, detached or burnt-out leader might brush it all off as useless bling, but I find these people have forgotten what it is like to be a young person just beginning to see what kind of man he can become, while for the boys and burgeoning young men who are Scouting itself, the colorful badges and ribbons and medals actually let them visualize what might otherwise be intangible concepts - accomplishment, inner strength, maturity, self-mastery, and self-respect. I believe it is only the inability to clearly see the vision of what Scouting should be that impedes us from appreciating the magnitude of Baden-Powell's genius and profound grasp of what growing boys want AND need. His simple methods - uniforms, the outdoors, the advancement program, all of them - they are all one needs to change lives. But cynical, tired skeptics who aren't seeing their own vision of Scouting try to place the blame any place they can to assuage the frustration they feel when they cannot get their program going - they will say boys are different these days, or that they can't run the program right because the committee/council/national/tooth fairy/parents make it impossible, or that the program has deteriorated, or whatever. And so they suggest - change the program! Lose advancement! Ditch uniforms! Toss the committee! To that I say, you are looking the wrong way. Don't tear it down, but build it back up - with the very materials we have always had. Outdoor learning. Patrol method. Advancement. Uniforms. Boy led. If you can get the boys to FEEL what you want them to LEARN, they will make their own program flourish, as it is supposed to happen. But to suggest shedding core elements of the program is simply giving up on the hope that it will work. In which case, beware lest your skepticism taint the minds of those under your guardianship as a Scout leader or parent. If the advancement program's purpose has been distorted or inflated by those who cannot see what it truly should be, do not fault the system, but those who abuse and misuse it for warped ambitions such as status, reputation, prestige or gain. They are the problem, not the program. My rule is never to tell a boy that Eagle Scout looks good on a college application or a resume. Only that it shows him what he is capable of doing, who he has been able to become, and what he will prove to give back in his future. Am I defensive of the advancement program? Of course, as I am of all the ideals at the core of Scouting. Though the world slides downward faster each year, I hold that the methods are just as effective and crucial now as they were on Brownsea over a century ago. And I mean that as much for the boys coming into the program now as for our more chronologically-enhanced Scouters, many of whom seem to have coldly given up on the future while looking towards a past that has passed them by, and because they fail to see the potential of the present, they have forgotten that, yes, one person can make a difference - and that person needs to be you. If the program isn't what it could and should be, don't start by looking for who or what is to blame. Start by making a change in yourself, and how YOU are going to make the difference.
  22. The Latin Scot

    Mayor Give Pack Awards?

    Just out of curiosity, what are the two special awards? Judging by your mayor, it sounds like your pack is full of achievers. I hope your B&G goes wonderfully tomorrow!
  23. The Latin Scot

    Mayor Give Pack Awards?

    Are you KIDDING ME?!? Any pack in this country would give their right arm (right den?) to have a community leader as generous and loyal to Scouting as that man! I dare say the fact that he is a former pack member himself makes the whole thing sound too good to possibly be true; what a FABULOUS friend and opportunity you have - wow I am already envious (forgive me!). There is no rule whatsoever that states only pack leaders can hand out awards - in fact this kind of community involvement should be the ideal of every Scouting unit. As it turns out, hosting community and civic leaders at Scouting ceremonies seems to have been a common occurrence in the first half of the last century, though in the latter decades Scouting units unfortunately became more insular and less bold in getting local leaders involved. But think of the benefits! It gets the community involved in Scouting and their young people's lives, it makes local leaders aware of the program and more likely to involve it in its growth and development, and it gives the boys a well-earned and legitimate understanding that, even as youth, they are important players in their community and their nation. You go to your committee and tell them this kind of opportunity is absolutely heaven-sent and can only do good for your program. And besides even all that - your mayor sounds like one ardent supporter of the pack who more than deserves to participate in your ceremonies, at any level. You are extraordinarily fortunate to have him.
  24. The thing is, statistically and technically, you are incorrect. If you check the national averages, the majority of boys who are in Cub Scouts do in fact continue on to Boy Scouts. No it isn't 100%, but it is more than half, so ... that is the definition of MOST. A majority. The larger portion. The bigger slice of the pie. Trying to push the idea that "most kids who like cub scouts end up not liking boy scouts" is an unfortunate commentary on your experiences for which I am indeed sorry, but it does your position no good to try and force an idea that objectively isn't so. I understand both your point and your sentiments, but you cannot factually claim that "most of them won't" move on. Perhaps explaining the factors which influence those who do not progress, rather than basing your argument on the quantity of boys who do not, might be a more effective way to illustrate your point.
  25. LOL that's nice of you to say, though one would need to be a bit more attractive than I am to get that kind of attention. Not with that kind of an attitude, no. But if you cultivate a close partnership with a local troop and simply assume from the start that Webelos in your den will move on to Boy Scouts when they are old enough, you can ensure that the majority of them do. I don't even talk to my parents about the possibility of the boys not moving on; I simply gear all conversations towards the eventual advancement to Boy Scouts, and treat it as being as expected and natural as the transition from Wolves to Bears. If you prepare them for the transition early enough, and have a good troop in the wings waiting to welcome the boys even before they actually advance, they will more than likely continue on to Boy Scouting when the time is right.