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The Latin Scot

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Everything posted by The Latin Scot

  1. I appreciate this comment. I apologize, @WisconsinMomma, if you felt my words were unkind. They were not meant to be, and if a general statement I made was erroneously taken personally, I am sorry. But they were meant to be honest, which I cannot apologize for. I do believe that making too big an issue over a small thing is unwise, and a distraction - it takes our attention from the things that matter by focusing our energies on actions and behaviors instead of on people and individuals. We can focus all we want on whether handshakes or upside-down boys are right or wrong - but by so doing, we divert our attention from the boys themselves. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. Now, I will not bring up the matter again, as it would be ungentlemanly of me to do so, and I apologize if you mistakenly thought my comments were directed towards you, or were rude or insulting. But when others disagree about the issues with which you yourself take umbrage, I ask that you will treat them with the same respect that you have requested of me. To suggest that my words were inappropriately intoned, while at the same time manifesting an open hostility towards the comments of others who are in disagreement over the issue of Cub Scout ceremony traditions, is equally unfair. I hope we can proceed with this topic in a more civil manner, holding myself as first offender, for which I offer my most sincere apologies.
  2. The Latin Scot

    Snow - good or bad

    What is this "snow" of which you people speak? LOL nah I went to college in the Rocky Mountains and had to endure years of that awful stuff. Thank goodness I escaped back home to Orange County! It is currently 2:24 pm, and outside it is a balmy 83 degrees.
  3. The Latin Scot

    Would you wear unique council patches?

    I wear the patch my council put out for the BSA Centennial a few years ago; it's the same as our standard issue except with a gold trim and a snazzy "100 years" in the center. It's a nice reminder of the BSA's heritage, but the difference is also subtle enough not to be controversial. I do love seeing unique patches as big Scouting events though; I am always fascinated seeing how much variety and creativity is displayed in the designs some councils come up with.
  4. The Latin Scot

    New around here

    Welcome and Congratulations! Glad to see other young people getting involved!
  5. Wow ... I don't think I have EVER heard of shaking hands as being either "out-of-date" or problematic in any way. It can't be generational; I am barely 34 and most of my friends are much younger; shaking hands is as common as any other kind of greeting. At the university I went to (BYU), people shake hands ALL THE TIME, whether it's greeting a new person or an old friend. Now I live back home in California, and it's still just as commonplace here in South Orange County as it ever was. ALL of the boys in our Troop shake hands with leaders when they greet (and each other when they remember), and I make it a point to act shocked and appalled whenever one of my Webelos Scouts forgets to offer his hand when I welcome him to our weekly meetings. I have yet to have any parents act shocked and appalled when I have attempted the same towards them. I admit, I remember being turned upside down when I got my Bobcat badge in the early 90's. I was a pretty small and sensitive kid, and I very strongly remember disliking the whole thing, despite the fact that both of my older brothers had the same experience and LOVED it. I, however, hated being turned down in front of a big room of strangers; it was uncomfortable and embarrassing and I felt ridiculed and silly. Oh, and then I grew up and got over it. Because that's what Scouting teaches you to do! You learn from tough experiences, and you become a stronger adult! I attribute much of the ease and comfort I possess speaking to large crowds the the things I learned in Scouting. Would I ever flip any of my boys around if I had the chance? Goodness no. But neither would I be so petty, so melodramatic, that I would condemn what truly is a harmless activity. The trauma it inflicts on the boy is only the springboard from which he can learn and grow. But you have to give them the chance to do it.
  6. The Latin Scot

    LDS leaving BSA?

    Our Stake actually has one ward (not mine of course lol) that has a functioning Venturing unit with 8 or 9 active participants; they have a really dynamite leader who has been in it long enough to get the program off the ground and make it work. They run the whole Venturing program, with all the separate awards and activities and everything. Come January they'll continue as a privately-operated Venturing Crew, while still doing the new program for Priests, but as you can all imagine, their unit is the exception. Some wards in our area can't even get the 11 year-old Scout program right; my mother is actually the Unit Commissioner for all the Stake 11 year-old groups, and she tells me most of them don't even have a rudimentary grasp of what their program is supposed to accomplish. My ward has always registered the boys automatically into our Team and then Crew at 14 and 16, but they haven't run the programs as they should have been. I am in the Cub Scout program, so I am not directly involved with the older guys, but I know our leaders over those ages pretty much do high adventure activities all the time; not much will change for them except that their titles will change to Assistant Scoutmasters so they can continue to work with any boys over 14 who are still working towards their Eagle (which is most of them; boys are much lazier about the whole thing where I am than in a lot of other regions). For those non-LDS Scouters out there, mattsid is 100% right - not much is actually changing for LDS units. I know everybody outside the Church seems to think that the world is crashing down and that nothing will ever be the same, but within the Church, there really isn't going to be that much change at all. And I don't think Scouting is going to be all that heavily affected by the move. I do share however the concern that safety guidelines for older boys are going to be imperiled by the exit - without the BSA procedures as a buffer, a lot of activities could be taken too far if leaders are not careful. Hopefully people use their heads when planning activities under the new umbrella of programs.
  7. The Latin Scot

    New Necker Colors

    The Lions program will become an official part of Cub Scouting next year; the pilot was a success, so it is being fully implemented. It seems the Tiger uniforms are being refitted to work in more closely with the other Cub Scout ranks as well; they have been wearing the blue uniforms for a while, but beyond that, I noticed yesterday at the Scout Store that they have recently redesigned all Tiger patches and materials; instead of Tiger Cubs, they are simply Tigers, and their emblem is now a much more realistic Tiger visage than the cartoon cub they have been using since their inception. All the Tiger rank patches, leader position emblems, neckerchiefs, et cetera, have been redesigned. It's actually really nice looking I might add; I hope they think about updating the Lion emblem too so it isn't the silly looking character they have used throughout the pilot program's run. That gets me wondering about the pic at the beginning of this thread ... it may be that what we are seeing is not a new red color scheme for the Wolf dens, but simply a photo of a Tiger den that comes off as being dressed in red due to the photo quality, but is actually dressed in orange - the color used by Tigers. The photo is admittedly cropped strategically enough that we can't see any evidence of the claims made about it - no girls, no clear Wolf emblems, nothing yet to support that this was "leaked" from a photoshoot for new Cub materials. Since we have had nothing to authenticate the validity of the photo's credit so far, I think this may actually be what we are seeing.
  8. The Latin Scot

    Scout Related Secret Santa Gifts

    The Scout Store has a bunch of random stuff for under $10. I got a multi-function little doohicky there that had binoculars, a compass, mirror, magnifying glass, et cetera for only $8 there. It was cheap and poor quality but WOW the boys fought for that little thing!
  9. The Latin Scot

    LDS leaving BSA?

    This is correct; the Church paid a lump sum for 2018 so that all boys 14 - 18 who would have been registered into the old Varsity and Venturing units are instead going to be automatically registered back into their Troops for 2018. This is supposed to be Church-wide, so if any units are not complying (such as those mentioned by @Col. Flagg), it's either because they don't understand how this is supposed to work or simply that they don't even know that this is the Church's intent. In my area, all boys are simply re-registering as Troop members, with the Varsity and Venturing Teams and Crews being cancelled at the end of this year (with some exceptions; there are a few units that have good programs that are deciding to continue operating through private means). After 2018, all Church Packs and Troops will continue to operate as they always have. But unlike before, when boys would have been automatically moved up into Varsity and then Venturing units when they aged 14 and 16 respectively (and most likely into Teams and Crews that were more or less inert due to lack of program understanding), young men will now have the option of simply staying registered in the Troop as long as they wish to continue Scouting. It really is simply - before, the Church ran the Varsity and Venturing programs for all boys 14+, but most Church leaders didn't have any experience with those programs, and so they basically did their own thing once the boys reached the older age groups. Now, the Church won't bother running programs that the local leaders couldn't run correctly anyway, and so it will simply stick with the Boy Scout Troops, which they have been able to run well, and instead of kicking boys up a program once they reach 14, boys will have the option of remaining in the Troop for as long as they wish to continue Scouting, with a separate, Church-organized activity program operating for boys who decide they don't want to continue with Scouting after they are 14.
  10. The Latin Scot

    How to Deal With Custom Shoulder Loops

    I much prefer the new olive green to the red though; its a more streamlined look, much classier. As for confusing the two shades of green, well, I suppose getting the wrong hue of one color is far more forgivable than blatantly ignoring the intention of the colored loops just to indicate achievements for which there are already insignia. Really, what could you show with different colored loops that can't already be shown by other means? Rank is shown by patches or knots; patrols are identified by their medallions, troops by number and neckerchief color, achievements with their own patches - resorting to the misappropriation of loop colors is just looking to stand out. Which is, in effect, a form of vanity, which is something from which we want to steer our kids as far away as possible I should hope. Too oft, Vanity, thy name is Scouting.
  11. The Latin Scot

    LDS leaving BSA?

    You are mistaken in that you interpret the Church's new activity program as a replacement for Scouting, as though the Church was secretly preparing to leave Scouting as soon as the members looked away. That's not how the Church operates. Neither is the Church "looking at a new youth program to be implemented worldwide." It already has such a program - but it does not use it within the U.S. and Canada because it continues to choose Scouting as the activity arm of their youth programs in these nations. The statement of October 11th made absolutely no reference to any kind of "replacement program" for Cub Scouting nor Boy Scouting. To infer that it did is to create false rumors among non-LDS Scouters which does little good for anybody. Remember, the executive board which made the unanimous decision to include girls also includes two Apostles, a number of Seventies, and members of the Primary General Board of our Church. They voted in favor of including girls, and the Church came out with an official statement acknowledging the benefits Scouting can provide to girls. It also emphasized that the Church's involvement in Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting will remain the same. That not only means it will continue, but that it will continue as it has before - meaning single-gender troops and packs, in our case, for boys only. The nature of the decision to include girls makes it possible for chartered organizations to continue to run Scouting just as they have before; they will not be "forced" to include girls, nor will any units if they don't wish to. I want all the members of this board to note that the "bitterness" observed by the estimable @gblotter is not general within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In most of the nation, Scouting continues to be a beloved and honored part of the Church's programs for its young men. The LDS Church remains the largest Chartered Organization in Scouting - and that statistic will not change even once the Church pulls out of the Varsity/Venturing programs at the end of this year to continue operating exclusively through the Boy Scout program in their places. The lack of involvement in those programs was due to a misunderstanding of what they were, and not from ill feelings towards the Scouting program in general. Otherwise, those older boys wouldn't have been involved in Scouting in the first place. I see no value in pretending to "see the writing on the walls," nor in trying to predict what has not been expressly stated by Church leaders, whether in the LDS faith or in any other for that matter. We would do far better to simply improve our own local programs as best we can as though they will continue for generations more, than we would in predicting the end is coming and wasting time trying to interpret things that haven't been said or events that haven't taken place. I'm a Webelos leader. Right not I have boys whose progress I need to oversee and whose character I need to help develop. Speculating as to how long I will be responsible for doing so avails me nothing.
  12. The Latin Scot

    New Necker Colors

    Wait, do we have a source for this "leaked image?" Where does this come from? I don't want to start worrying unless there is a legitimate basis for this rumor; one cropped photo isn't exactly hard evidence yet.
  13. The Latin Scot

    How to Deal With Custom Shoulder Loops

    Ugh ... the loops are actually one of the easiest parts of the uniform to get right; messing it up like this only seems intentional. Is it SO HARD to conform to a standard of uniformity? Alas, I think I already know the answer, lol.
  14. The Latin Scot

    How to Deal With Custom Shoulder Loops

    They may have told you as much, but that doesn't make it so. No such loops exist; the only distinctive loops produced by the BSA in the past few years have been the special Jamboree loops, which are NOT to be worn once the event has ended. It seems people just can't bear the thought of looking united as an organization; they just HAVE to find some way to stand out. And they lose something in that desire I feel ...
  15. The Latin Scot

    Does your Troop have dues?

    No dues. Our chartered organization pays for all the boys' membership fees and for all awards and program costs, so almost nothing comes from out of pocket except for uniforms and books. We are technically allowed one fundraiser a year, but we usually don't need to resort to that.
  16. The Latin Scot

    Reptile and Amphibian Study merit badge

    When I completed this MB, that's just what I did - I borrowed a pet frog that belonged to a family friend and took care of him for a month while making the requisite observations. I am not a "pet person," but I was absolutely in love with the little guy - it was a red-eyed tree frog, and it was ADORABLE. Reptile & Amphibian Study was one of my favorite MB's to earn, so much so that I still counsel the badge today. I suggest either a "loan" of a pet somebody already owns, or regular visits to the same - if you know anybody with an iguana, turtle, frog, whatever, ask if you can make daily/every-other-day visits to check up on the creature, perhaps feed it now and then, or whatever is most convenient for you and the pet owner. It says "maintain" the animal - not necessarily own, nor even keep in your house. As long as you are allowed to feed it (which for larger reptiles isn't very often) and observe it over a month, you should be fine.
  17. The Latin Scot

    AOL Scout - No Camping!

    Whatever you do, do NOT "just pass him anyway." No boy should earn an award he has not merited, and you would be teaching both him and his parents the wrong principles. NEVER "forget about the requirements and pass (a boy) anyway." That's just not how things are done. I would do both a. and b. Talk to his parents and explain that if he does not participate in some kind of outdoor activity, he won't be able to meet the requirement and will thus be disqualified from receiving his Arrow of Light. Remind them that it does not have to be an overnight camp-out. The second set of requirements for the Outdoorsman adventure are specifically designed to service boys who are not allowed to go overnight camping yet. He could join the boys either for the first few hours of the camp-out, or for the next day's activities; he does not have to be there the whole time nor overnight to meet the requirement. If you present a number of outdoor activity options to the family and they still do not bend, then you will just have to let the situation be. It's unfortunate for the boy, but it will at least allow you to maintain the integrity of the program while giving the boy the desire to work harder so that he won't be left out as he grows older and, hopefully, into a Boy Scout troop. But DO NOT give in to pressure to just award the AofL to him anyway. That makes a mockery of the program and is a slap in the face to all the boys who DID fulfill the requirements and worked hard to get that award. Hope this helps!
  18. The Latin Scot

    Temporary patch placement!

    Hey friends! SO my mom is re-working her uniform for her new position as Wolf Den Leader - she has been a Unit Commissioner for the past 6 years, so there's a lot of little things she has to change (loops, patches, et cetera). As she has been doing so, she has wanted to add a few patches she has received over the past year, and so whilst looking up patch placement on the official Uniform Inspection Sheet, she found this little clause in the section on "Right Pocket": "Temporary insignia, including one current world Scout jamboree patch, centered on pocket. Only one temporary insignia may be worn at a time, and they are not required for correct uniforming. Cub Scout leaders and female leaders wearing the official uniform shirt or blouse may wear one temporary insignia centered above the Boy Scouts of America strip." So first of all, I had never realized that Cub and female leaders could put one temporary insignia over the right pocket! I thought that space was ONLY reserved for Jamboree patches, so to suddenly find out that that isn't always the case is kind of cool! But this little tidbit of uniforming minutia raised an issue my mom then asked about which the official writing doesn't make entirely clear. It's obvious that a temporary insignia may be worn on the right pocket, and that ONLY ONE may be worn. But it's ALSO clear that a temporary insignia can be worn above the right pocket. So, is this to be read as: 1. you may only wear ONE temporary insignia, and that it must EITHER be placed on OR over the right pocket, OR, that 2. Cub/female leaders may only wear ONE patch on the pocket, AND only ONE patch over the pocket, in addition to the one on it? Any insight would be great; we are of course looking for the official stance on this matter; we want to do this up right, and while we aren't looking to be "uniform police," we don't look down on them as much as some people seem to (I think the hostility is usually an excuse to get away with uniform violations anyway, lol). So yes please - anybody who can clarify would be much appreciated!
  19. The Latin Scot

    Scouts + School = ?

    Brian, the ultimate measure of maturity is your willingness to do what is right when you know your actions will be opposed or ridiculed. Persecution is the furnace in which great character is forged, and this is a chance for you to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong. Before you is an opportunity to serve those who served their country against real enemies, people who would take their very lives if they could. They sacrificed their comfort and personal safety, their time, and often their lives, to stand against foes who wanted to destroy the things most dear to them. These were men and women who did the right thing because it was right - not because it was easy. To do them the small honor of lending dignity to their ceremony, at a small sacrifice of your time and comfort, would be a large step in building the character of the man you want to become. I understand what it is to be looked down on by others. When I was in high school lo these many years ago (I graduated in 2002 so I exaggerate a bit), I was bullied and made fun of for all kinds of things - I was small, awkward-looking, and shy. So I had a choice to make - would I let the actions of others determine my right to create a positive experience for myself, or would I take command of myself and choose to have positive experiences despite their attempts to bring me down? And I chose the latter. I ignored their attempts to insult or offend me, I took pleasure in the activities I loved that they mocked, and I was kind to people that were mean to me. I forgave whatever they said or did to me, and continued on with my life. By the time I was a Senior, nobody made fun of me anymore, people started treating me better, and some people even told me as we prepared to graduate that they felt bad about how they had treated me, and wished me success as I went off to college. I made the experience a positive one, even if the circumstances that couched them were not. Can you make Scouting "cool" in their eyes? No. But can you follow your passion to gain their respect? Yes. A thousand times yes. It will take time. It will be hard. But your ability to find the joy in your choices is stronger than their ability to put them down. You are doing something to serve people who gave up far more, went through much worse, and deserve something much better. Be the man you aspire to be now, and it will be much easier to maintain that dignity of character later. I pray your efforts will be strengthened as you make the choice you feel is right. Because, as you well know, you have more than enough wisdom to know what the right choice is, and more than enough courage to make it happen.
  20. The Latin Scot

    Temporary patch placement!

    Well after all folks, a Scout is courteous, and that naturally implies a measure of discretion when discussing certain things. Infusing young men with a sense of chivalry has long been one of the lovelier by-products of Scouting.
  21. The Latin Scot

    New Troop/Pack Flags from Supply

    Well THAT'S annoying to hear! We just ordered a new Pack flag last week; I hope the quality isn't quite as awful as you suggest, but now I am not keeping my hopes up. Oh national supply ... thou art such a cruel master.
  22. The Latin Scot

    POR review

    What on Earth does the committee have to do with a boy's performance in his duties? They have no place in the internal affairs of the Troop; if somebody is going to monitor their progress, it's the Patrol Leaders, and they in turn are supervised by the Senior Patrol Leader. and if he isn't doing a good job, the boys themselves make the choice to choose a new one. The committee has no place in any part of this process, and assigning "mentors" is a form of intervention, a sign that they don't trust the boys to be able to learn their responsibilities well enough on their own. The boys deserve better than that - they deserve more trust. As soon as your committee takes it upon themselves to intervene in this system, the spirit of Scouting is lost, and the boys lose the opportunity to fully develop their leadership potential because the right to accountability among their peers has been taken from them. My suggestion is to gracefully tell your fellow committee member to check the impulse to manage how the boys run their patrol, and trust that the patrol method works. Because if you let it run its course, it does.
  23. The Latin Scot

    Temporary patch placement!

    Granted, although I am not talking about Cub Scout uniforms, NOR the yellow female uniform. The citation I quoted is actually in reference to Cub Scout and female leaders in the general tan/olive uniform. It seems that Cub Scout leaders AND female leaders in the tan/olive uniforms both have the option of putting temporary insignia over the right pocket above the BSA lettering in lieu of what would normally be a space reserved for Jamboree patches. My question was more in regards to whether an item placed in that location replaces what would normally be sewn centered on the right pocket, or if they can be placed there in addition to the same. And to be 100% honest @qwazse, that very thought had crossed my mind as I considered what could be a very awkward visual effect when putting certain patches in certain locations. I think for the time being, I will have Mother place her patch over the right pocket, while putting mine centered right on it with nothing added above. If more light is shed on the issue I can consider further alterations. Thanks all!
  24. The Latin Scot

    Excited to join this forum

  25. The Latin Scot

    Sam Browne belt (leather duty belt) with uniform ?

    I have a few pouched items on my belt at all times - my multi-tool, compass, phone case, flashlight, and key fob. I haven't needed to get any special kind of belt system to hold them in place; all of their pouches have belt loops already so they stay just fine on my normal Scout belts. I do have a question about what belts may or may not be okay regarding the program one serves in. My mother, bless her heart, just agreed to be our new Wolf Den Leader. It's really a huge coup for our Pack to have her serving now; two of my nephews are brand new Wolves this year, and as she has more than 30 years experience Scouting, she figured she couldn't say no! But she wants to know if it's okay for her to wear the blue Cub Scout belt in lieu of the green Boy Scout one - she feels it's more flattering on her figure, and that it ties in the colors from her shoulder loops/neckerchief/position patch. Trusting that her feminine sensibilities are sharper than my own sartorial sense, but unsure of the official policy, I ask you friends for your opinions: can a lady Scouter wear the blue Cub Scout belt with her uniform? Is there even policy regarding such a thing? Considering the official and bureaucratic nature of uniforming, I would imagine there is. Any help would be great; thanks!