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The Latin Scot

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Everything posted by The Latin Scot

  1. I feel like I would need to post something every week if I wanted to keep up with how many wonderful things go on in our den! But last week I did experience a truly wonderful display of Scout spirit and kindness. I have a boy who recently moved up to my Webelos den from Bears, and in my den we are very pro-uniform - we have inspections every week, I teach them about the history and significance of the uniform, and the boys love showing me the effort they put into looking good. Well, this boy comes from particularly indigent circumstances, and so the committee had been arranging for some kind of fund-raiser to help him get all the uniform parts he needs (which is most of it). I figured It would take a few months to save up enough, but that it would be worth it for him once he could look as sharp as all the other boys. His family is very poor, so I wanted to take the burden off of them while still giving him an opportunity to meet our dens standards. Well, I also have an assistant den leader who is consistent, involved, and great with the boys - but he does NOT go beyond that. He never wears a uniform, he doesn't attend any meetings besides the weekly den meetings (which he attends faithfully, bless his heart), and he doesn't go to the pack meetings either. When he was young, his father was a zealous Scouter, but so over-anxious for him to achieve and advance that he refused to get past Life Scout as a boy, and he has carried a touch of resentment towards the Boy Scout program ever since. He is a great assistant for the 90 minutes I have him each week, but it doesn't usually go much further that that. Anyway, while I was about to hold uniform inspections last week, he pulled me aside and discreetly asked if it was a good idea to hold them since the boy mentioned did not have much of a uniform. The boy had been a little sad that his "uniform" consisted of an old hat and neckerchief, even though I stressed the fact that a Scout is judged from his heart, not his outfit. I told my assistant that my hope was to maybe instill in him the willingness to work his own uniform, since it would probably be the only way, and he would need to be motivated to keep at it for a while. I admitted it was neither a perfect nor a complete plan, but I had been so concerned about giving this boy every advantage and opportunity possible that I didn't know what else to do. Knowing how poor his family is, and how rough his circumstances are, I had been losing a lot of sleep over this boy, but I KNEW that getting him into a new uniform would mean the WORLD to him. The boy deserved to wear the uniform, but how, I still didn't quite know. Well, he asked me if he could pitch in a little something. Naturally I said yes, and after the meeting he ran out to his car. He came back and handed me some cash, telling me this: "Get him whatever he needs, and give the rest to his family. I have been with you for more than a year, and I know how much you love these boys. You actually understand what Scouting is about, so I know this will be well-spent. And don't tell anybody who donated it." When he left, I counted out far over $100 in cash. It was enough to get the boy a completely new uniform big enough for him grow into after he becomes a Boy Scout, and there was enough left over to help out his family as well. But more than that, it bought me a new perspective on what it means to be a Scout. The excitement in the boy's face when he got his new uniform; the tears in his mother's eyes when we brought everything to their home; the empathy in my assistant's heart when he saw a need and lent a hand - if I may steal the phrase to use in more meaningful circumstances, "THIS is Scouting."
  2. The Latin Scot

    New merit badges "coming soon"

    Well, the signs were put up only yesterday morning. I was at the shop Saturday, and they weren't there. Then when I went over yesterday they were moving everything around, and I noticed the signs while lost in the mess. I asked about them, and the manager said they had just put them up. So the status change on these must be recent, although certainly surprising.
  3. The Latin Scot

    New merit badges "coming soon"

    Also, the cards did not look like something the shop printed out on its own; they were very official-looking. Maybe next time I stop by there I will try to grab a few pictures.
  4. The Latin Scot

    New merit badges "coming soon"

    I asked the manager of the shop about it and she told me both the badges and the books were on order, so I can only assume this is legitimate. However, she did not know when they would be coming in other than "within the next few months."
  5. The Latin Scot

    Are we really helping anyone?

    I have only been on this forum for a few months, and I have been a Cub Scout leader for only a little longer than that (not quite a year and a half) and I can honestly say that I have been HUGELY blessed by some of the counsel and advice and direction I have found here. Sure there are a lot of posts that I gloss over, and some things I flat-out disagree with, but really, I don't mind that when I consider the wealth of experience and knowledge that can be found here. A place where I can run ideas past others, ask questions, and get advace about hard questions is invaluable to somebody like me, who wants to run a great program but doesn't have experienced leaders nearby with whom I can confer and seek suggestions. So thank you everybody who has helped me as I have gotten used to my role as a Scouter! I am truly grateful to have come across these forums. So in answer to your query, MattR - yes. This forum is really helping ME. Very much so. And who knows? Maybe something I say will be helpful to somebody else someday too.
  6. The Latin Scot

    Culture Knot Insignia

    Wow ... $1000 per boy for over 100 Eagle Scouts? That is some bequest! Sheesh. I always did think the West Fellowship knot was kind of the desperate Scouter's means to excess-knot glory. Can't get enough recognition for a Silver Beaver of your own? Can't find anybody in danger whom you can save to earn an honor medal? No worries - Just BUY yourself another square knot for only $999.99! It's kind of the Scouting version of selling indulgences.
  7. The Latin Scot

    What constitutes a outdoor activity?

    Does the conservation project take place outdoors? Then it's an outdoor activity. In the Cub Scout program, the requirements really are pretty broad; if it fits the description, it qualifies. However, I do understand the desire to help the boys complete the requirements to earn their rank badge. True, it's not about the badge, but at this age little things like badges can play a big role in motivating them to continue in the program, the same as in Boy Scouts. They do have a part in the program, and they can be important in focusing a boys energies, which is why we use them. So it's natural to want to do your part to help these two boys advance. Boys at this age are tangible learners; they benefit from physical markers of ideas and concepts. So when they earn their badge of rank, it makes the things they've learned in their den meetings and program activities concrete - they can see the results of their hard work. So no, don't make the awards the goal - but do work hard to help them achieve, making sure that they connect each award to the effort and new skills it took to earn it. And good on you for wanting to make sure these two advance along with their den mates. That's a mark of a caring leader.
  8. The Latin Scot

    Culture Knot Insignia

    Um ... Yes, the Scouting Service Award knot. I think I may have mentioned it, lol. ;-)
  9. The Latin Scot

    Culture Knot Insignia

    The name of the award AND that knot is the Asian American Spirit of Scouting Service Award ... which pretty much sums up the whole nature of the award right there, lol. And as was mentioned, that knot isn't even being distributed anymore. The Scouting Service knot, which sums up nicely the real nature of these awards, is being phased in to replace all the other community-specific knots. So, if they really want to align their program with the BSA, they should start by switching to the more broadly-encompassing Scouting Service Award knot.
  10. The Latin Scot

    Culture Knot Insignia

    Wow ... this represents a gross misunderstanding of both the BSA uniform and the awards mentioned. The BSA offers no awards or insignia based on a boys heritage or ethnicity. The "Asian American Award" does not exist. Rather, the items referred to are knots representing larger awards given for outstanding service to, and promotion of the BSA among, certain communities. There is one for serving predominantly Asian communities, one for inner city groups, one for Latin American/Hispanic communities ... even one for serving Native American youth. And even more to the point, the BSA just recently created one single square knot representing all such awards together, so Scouters wearing a knot for service to Latin communities wear the same knot as those recognized for service to inner-city youth or disabled groups. These awards are not given in recognition of heritage, but rather for adults who have done service for specific communities amongst whom Scouting is less prevalent yet could be of positive impact. They are not worn by Scouts because they are not awarded to them. They are given to Scouters who work through the BSA in service to communities in need. Also they are not earned, they are awarded, with the exception of those who work with disabled communities, in the which case it is again for adults, and again, in recognition of service and meeting stringent requirements. The creation of this "award" seems like a very reactionary move in response to a problem that ...... never existed. And as has been noted, they cannot implement official uniform items without the approval of National. Unless it goes on the right pocket, with "temporary insignia," of course.
  11. The Latin Scot

    Powder Horn Award

    No button? Which uniform was it? Even the new centennials have a button under the flap specifically for pocket dangler awards. Is it an older uniform? Am I too curious? Lol. Oh and @@MMEZest1997 I should correct myself; the pin version of the Powder Horn medal would be worn centered, at the BOTTOM of the flap, so that it lies on about the same spot as it would have if it were a dangler (I spend a lot of time looking this stuff up, lol). But your son should consider himself lucky to have the older version; I think it's superior myself. ;-)
  12. The Latin Scot

    Powder Horn Award

    They said no because they have never had Den Chiefs?!?!?! Are they out their minds? I have had a young man serving as Den Chief for the Webelos Den I am over for 6 months now, and I will say this straight up - he is one of the greatest assets I have in training these young boys. He is a helpful, cheerful, sober-minded young man who helps me out with virtually all our activities; he sets a solid example of good behavior and uniforming; he is a friend to the younger boys, and a model to the older ones. If they are unsure about letting him assume this responsibility, have them read this post! The BSA has a booklet specifically designed for the Den Chief (called The Den Chief Handbook obviously enough). If the Cub leaders and your son read through it, they will get an idea of how fulfilling a job it can be. Any den leader worth his salt would be crazy to turn down the chance to have a good Den Chief working by his side! And for his leaders to say no just because it hasn't been done - well, you just tell them that kind of attitude goes against the very spirit of Scouting! Here are some links that you may want to pass off to his leaders which highlight how effective a Den Chief can be. I might be slightly biased, but I think to deny a group of Cub Scouts the benefits of having an enthusiastic Scout like your son in their den is nothing less than shameful. Here are the links: http://scoutingmagazine.org/2016/12/meet-den-leaders-best-friends-denners-den-chiefs/ http://scoutingmagazine.org/2010/09/hail-to-the-chief/ http://scoutingmagazine.org/2006/11/scouters-speak-making-better-use-of-den-chiefs/
  13. The Latin Scot

    Powder Horn Award

    Congratulations to your son! I assume the award he received is the newer version, which is a pin. This should be pinned centered and near the top of his left pocket flap; it will hang down a bit over the flap, but that's perfectly fine. If he in fact received the old version of the award (which is still distributed at some Scout Stores), then it is a "pocket dangler," and you should hang it from the left pocket button (but under the flap which you close over the button) and it will indeed hang completely over his rank badge - it looks a little busy, true, but it is perfectly appropriate and correct! Again, congratulations to him for earning this award!
  14. The Latin Scot

    Scoutmaster Emeritus patch

    I don't understand the purpose of this item. If the individual is still wearing his uniform, doesn't such imply that he is a currently registered Scouter? And would that not mean he has some other position which would then, naturally, call for a new position patch? It's not as though Scoutmaster is such a revered position that it has to be memorialized while the wearer is still serving in some capacity. I dunno, it seem rather superfluous to me. And if he isn't a registered Scouter anymore, why is he in uniform in the first place? This seems to me like a poorly thought-out idea. No wonder the BSA does not recognize this as a legitimate insignia - it makes little to no sense.
  15. The Latin Scot

    Region XII Song - for posterity

    LOL oops! How remiss of me to write that wrong; I meant regions of course. But still I appreciate the information; I hadn't known how many there once were. And I am surprised by how few there are today; from 12 to 6 to 4 ... Is that a reflection of shrinking numbers or a more streamlined administration system? I wouldn't mind leading a crowd of boys in song if it was something halfway respectable, but if I had to lead this particular diddy I would be nervous too! As well as slightly embarrassed, since one would think a region with as many great places as Region XII had would have a much cooler song than that.
  16. The Latin Scot

    Hello from England

    Welcome! My Den is down to 2 boys right now, but by November I will have 8 and that is when I have planned to do our "Building a Better World" adventure, which requires the boys to reach out to another Scouting unit from another country - we would love to reach out to you then! My boys are 10 years old, but that shouldn't be too big an age difference. Still, we are open to making connections even before that if you like. Our units here are pretty multi-cultural too; we have large Mexican and Taiwanese populations here, and so we have a nice spread of diversity in our ranks. Feel free to reach out if you would like, and I could possibly even put you in touch with our younger 8 or 9 year-old groups. Welcome to the forum!
  17. The Latin Scot

    Region XII Song - for posterity

    Ah okay, so this is an old song then. I was wondering why I hadn't heard of the "12 districts." I put on my first Cub Scout uniform ... in 1992. So by then "Region XII" was long gone. Wow this make me feel young, lol.
  18. The Latin Scot

    Region XII Song - for posterity

    Please tell me this is not our official regional song. Otherwise I might have to move back East. 😉
  19. The Latin Scot

    Who Among Us Wears a Smokey Bear/Campaign hat?

    I have thought of this very problem actually; I know that my hatband enjoys flying off the hat when I am running around with the Den and I am considering sewing or gluing it in place so that I don't lose it. I was wondering if they sold spares through supply; sadly now I know. I will say that if you add the first-class emblem to the front (the large golden pin still sold in Scout Stores), then even without the hatband it keeps the hat from looking boring at least. I personally use the round universal emblem pin; I like it a lot. I will say this for sure - those are DARN LUCKY SCOUTS who receive campaign hats as gifts!
  20. The Latin Scot

    Ditch the Neckerchief

    I can't imagine anybody looking at a 12 year-old boy and thinking he is a chef. And if they do think that, well ... I worry about that person.
  21. The Latin Scot

    Ditch the Neckerchief

    Luckily nothing really depends on whether or not you buy it. Where you are, maybe it's not "cool" in the which case I pity any kids growing up there. It sounds like you never have any contact or exposure to international troops either, which is also too bad since we see them fairly frequently in our national parks and amusement parks here in Southern California; it's not uncommon for Scouts here to camp with troops from Canada or Mexico, and sometimes various countries from Asia. Also the BSA is not "going out of the neckerchief business." That is really just a rumor it seems, though I am sure some would be happy to propagate it. But honestly, if these kids have such "issues" with uniforms that something as little as a neckerchief is keeping them from camping and the outdoors ... well, let's just say the problem has nothing to do with the neckerchief.
  22. The Latin Scot

    Ditch the Neckerchief

    Wait what part of California? Because people from the Northern half might as well be from another country if you ask me, lol.
  23. The Latin Scot

    Ditch the Neckerchief

    I don't perceive your thoughts and mine as being mutually exclusive. We can certainly teach, inform, and encourage the boys in regards to the history and usefulness of the neckerchief, and then teach, inform, and encourage the boys to make their own decision as per the patrol method, which of course we should treat as all but sacrosanct. We aren't making the decision for them, but we are giving them a solid context for the issue which they can weigh and consider in discussion. ALSO: I have a question; do your fellows' units choose their neckerchiefs by patrol or by troop? In our local unit each patrol uses a different neckerchief , usually in their patrol colors, so each patrol is distinguished by their necker, their flag, and their patrol medallion.
  24. The Latin Scot

    Ditch the Neckerchief

    Oops! Double-post, delete this one please!
  25. The Latin Scot

    Ditch the Neckerchief

    Not a fan of the somewhat vulgar title, but a great article otherwise. We should be encouraging both the history and the wearing of neckerchiefs in our Troops. They really are one of the most visible emblems of Scouting.
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