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The Latin Scot

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Everything posted by The Latin Scot

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. The Latin Scot

    Eagle Scout Rank Patch wear after age 18

    That's odd ... there was another post just before mine that I was responding to ... now it's gone.
  6. The Latin Scot

    Unit milestone anniversary - What to do?

    Well, isn't the definition of integrity what you do when nobody is watching? And following that logic, when nobody else cares?
  7. The Latin Scot

    Lion Guide / Den Leader Recognition?

    Always glad to help; I know it can always be tricky to think of just the right way to recognize leadership. I am sure you will find the right balance. And ask parents for input! They may have some excellent ideas you may not have thought of. I had an assistant who needed to leave the pack to focus on other responsibilities, and I wanted to recognize the tremendous service he had rendered to myself and to our program. Well, I had a parent with superb woodburning skills who offered to craft a plaque dedicated to him, stating his name, tenure of service, and a brief message of gratitude, along with an image taken from a drawing of a Scout saluting out of the original handbook. On the back were the names of all the boys he had ever worked with. The final product was absolutely beautiful; it meant the world to him, and it only cost us the price of the wooden plaque (bought at Michael's for about $4). Definitely consider those kind of options for leaders who have gone above and beyond, and whom you want to thank in meaningful ways.
  8. The Latin Scot

    Neckers back in the "news"

    I personally try to wear my Cub/Webelos leader neckerchiefs to all Cub Scouting events just to make my role as visible as possible to parents and visitors, but you should DEFINITELY feel free to wear your beads and woggle as tokens of your Woodbadge experience. If however you are going to be promoting Woodbadge to other leaders at a particular event, then sure, throw on the whole kit! I wear my NESA neckerchief to Courts of Honor, my OA necker to OA events, a generic Scout necker to committee meetings - I like to match whatever event I attend, and whatever role I will be playing there. The nice thing about this program having so many accompanying personal effects is that you can often pick and choose what elements of your expertise you want to display at any given time.
  9. The Latin Scot

    Lion Guide / Den Leader Recognition?

    Recognition should not be measured by knots or awards; if they stay with the program for the next few years, they will have plenty of opportunities for that. But please do not feel that they "need" something to wear on their uniforms, especially if they are new leaders. Otherwise it sets a pattern of seeking recognition, which is not something you want to engender in any leader. I think a nice card with notes from other Scouts and leaders, or a gift such as a nice book or framed print, can be just as meaningful. And besides all that, the Den Leader Training Award has not been authorized for Lion leaders at this time, so don't try and bend the rules for these leaders when there will be plenty of opportunities for them in the future if they so desire - but again, think ofthe pattern you are setting for the future, and think of other, lovely options that can carry the same emotional significance. I can guarantee there are many!
  10. The Latin Scot

    Eagle Scout Rank Patch wear after age 18

    1. No, I am not in favor of adult leaders wearing the Eagle rank badge. As I have stated before, there are so many other options available to "advertise" one's Eagle achievement that insisting on wearing the rank badge as well seems ostentatious to me and, to be blunt, tacky as all get out. 2. I am indeed an Eagle Scout.
  11. The Latin Scot

    Unit milestone anniversary - What to do?

    I have seen variations of those on many sites - boyscoutstore.com, classb.com, et cetera. I know you can get custom numerals with the veteran unit bar incorporated into the patch itself. The one above is nice too, but are they technically acceptable since they aren't standard issue?
  12. The Latin Scot

    Unit milestone anniversary - What to do?

    My unit is 55 years old this year; we haven't done much to celebrate it yet (and we did nothing for our 50th anniversary), but I am pushing to commemorate the milestone at the next Court of Honor or something at least. I already have my 55-year veteran unit bar sewn on to my uniform; my hope is to procure a bunch of them so we can distribute them to all the boys and leaders before the end of the summer.
  13. The Latin Scot

    Welcome new moderators!

    New moderators! Welcome to your new roles; I am deeply grateful for all the time and effort it takes to ensure we have safe, successful discussions, so please know that I am always rooting for you and happy to oblige whenever you have a request. Thanks for all you do!
  14. The Latin Scot

    OA membership as a Cub Leader

    Ha! This is exactly what happened to me during my Brotherhood ordeal last weekend; I am a Webelos Den Leader, and as it turned out I was the only Cub leader at the entire event, so "Blue Loops" quickly became my common nickname for the duration. And you know what? I felt might happy that I was able to represent the Cub program there! I am the only leader promoting the OA to our CO's Troop, despite the fact that my time is spent with the Cubs as a Webelos Den Leader, so I have plenty of opportunities to support the lodge/chapter by encouraging unit elections, exciting the boys for the program, and attending OA events with them. As for incorporating the OA into my role as a den leader, well, since my Webelos are always asking (then forgetting, then asking again x 100) what all my patches are for, I have many chances to talk about my OA flap and what the organization both means and does. It's something I encourage them to look for and look forward to as I prepare them to become Boy Scouts and animate them towards increasing their "Scout Spirit." When they move up to Boy Scouts, it's something they already know about and are anxious to join. It's never too early; it's never too late! And mind you - I am still single, so I don't have children that I "follow" up through the programs. I am in Scouts because I love young people and will take any opportunity I have to advocate their safe and loving development. So as far as my OA membership goes, it's plainly something that can benefit the curious Scouts with whom I work, at all levels, so I think it's better to simply move forward with it rather than wait for the "right time." The right time is whenever you decide to be better today than you were yesterday!
  15. The Latin Scot

    Neckers back in the "news"

    So, you may be happy to know that ALL of the Boy Scout neckerchiefs are now made in the same larger size as the Cub Leader neckerchief you picked up, and there is a large variety of colors available too that have a nice trim along the edge, as well as a neatly embroidered BSA logo. They've been available to Boy Scouts and leaders for a while now, though I can't say when the size upgrade took place - before I started as a leader two years ago, that's all I can say for sure. The Cub Scouts themselves, however, still wear the really little ones which, I grant you, fit small guys better, but are little more than pocket handkerchiefs and have no practical use at that scale. It has been nice to see the patrols in our Troop all wearing neckers lately, and even using them extensively to practice first-aid skills and even in pioneering activities! The patrols even coordinated their neckerchief colors to go with their patrol emblems - the older boys, or "Knights of Light" patrol, wear black neckers with silver trim to go with their black and white, medieval-looking patrol flag, which again goes with their patrol emblem which features a knight in silver armor. The younger patrol are the "Savage Vikings;" their patrol patch features a flaxen-haired viking wearing a brown fur cloak, so their flag is a pale 'fur cloak' (cleverly crafted out of a shag bath rug) decorated in brown and gold, while their neckers are brown with gold trim. And I cannot convey how much Scout spirit and patrol pride this has generated in our Troop! The boys have taken their emblems and "patrol colors" and run with them far beyond what I ever could have forseen - they use their patrol colors on equipment, activity t-shirts, troop records, decorations - I would even say our supply closet is more organized than it's ever been thanks to our "color coding." And ALL OF IT started just by getting the boys to wear neckerchiefs, and to select colors that would be meaningful to them. I have made it a point to procure a neckerchief in each patrol's colors for myself as well, just so that I have something to remember them by when I'm old and gray. Neckers can tell great stories if you let them!
  16. The Latin Scot

    COs without meeting space

    I have talked to a number of troops with similar problems. Some have found success talking to local churches, country clubs, and recreational centers. You may want to canvas your neighborhood and look for places that have space, then approach them either in person or by letter and ask if they would be willing to donate their space for meetings now and then and perhaps a small area for storage. It never hurts to try! Many units have had good fortune doing just that here in Orange County.
  17. The Latin Scot

    Neckers back in the "news"

    The necker may be my favorite part of the uniform after my trusy campaign hat. They really are SO useful, and being a smaller guy, even the modern versions are plenty large enough to suit my needs. And I am somebody who LOVES color, so having a host of neckerchief options in a variety of colors keeps the artist in me perpetually happy. I even have one with a black-and-white checkerboard pattern on it that I wear for Cub Scout derbies! We were instructed not to wear our neckers during my Brotherhood ordeal last weekend, and I will be totally honest - I felt half-naked without it! When I attend a Scouting event, of any kind, I wear my neckerchief. And I have seen those old lists with dozens of (often ridiculous but always amusing!) uses for them, and shared them with the Scouts I work with. Now you're hard-pressed to find a Scout in our units who doesn't wear his necker - these days, when they come to meetings late from sporting events, they may not have time to change into their uniforms, but they ALWAYS take the time to throw on their neckers. And I find that unendingly satisfying!
  18. Ugh, this is just going to make things even more difficult for an organization with enough problems on its plate already. And what of the new Scouting Museum? That place just barely opened, and now it's going to be all but devoid of visitors for almost two months ... it's like the BSA has been cursed!
  19. The Latin Scot

    BSA Museum at Philmont Scout Ranch

    I concur. For those many of us who love Scouting but don't do high adventure often (or in my case, ever if I can help it), there's almost nothing that would ever bring us all the way out to NM. Putting it in a major metro center would not only make it more accessible to the general public; it would give Scouting a good, independent center of visibility that would help as it struggles to build its membership and restore its former numbers.
  20. The Latin Scot

    Decorum And Acting Scoutlike

    Well, I for one am always grateful to those who are generous enough with their time to help guide and tame the discussions that go on here, and compared to some other forums I have been a part of, I have found the conversations here to be predominantly civil and considerate. Thank you, moderators, for all that you do to provide a safe place for learning and discussion. I know I have benefited HUGELY from it as I have used this forum to expand my understanding of Scouting and connected with people of similar purpose!
  21. The Latin Scot

    Arrow of Light Scouts Crossing Over

    There are a number of factors; they range from liability and supervision concerns to simply wanting children to spend as much time with their families as possible (hence why family camping is okay, but den-organized camping is discouraged). We wean them into it a little more slowly as well, which is why our 11 year-old Scouts only go on three camping trips before they are 12. But after that it seems they do nothing BUT camp; honestly sometimes I feel I never see the 12 year-olds anymore! So maybe that's another reason we wait until they are older - once they are old enough we hardly see them any more! But that of course depends on the local units too. Wow that long?! With the new requirements my boys usually finish their Webelos rank in 4 months, and in my group very few have been with me longer than 8 or 9 months before they get their Arrow of Light. I make sure the boys do at least a few adventures at home with their parents, which makes a difference. Not only does it get the family involved with the boys' advancement and success, but it also means I can cover more material in my den meetings since I know I am not cramming EVERYTHING they need to advance into my activities. Sure, some boys may take a little longer, but I have been lucky to have wonderful families who genuinely want to be involved, so when I send a request to complete an adventure in my monthly newsletter, I can almost count on them getting it done by the next month. A typical boy in my den joins on his tenth birthday, earns his Webelos rank after about 4 months, and achieves his Arrow of light after about 8 or 9 months. Depending on when birthdays fall, some may take longer so that younger ones can catch up, or they might get them a month or two earlier since they are keeping pace with a few older boys. But almost always, a boy will have a few months after earning his AofL to earn a few extra awards (they LOVE the World Conservation Award) and of course to spend extra time preparing to join the Boy Scout troop. Since we don't take summers off and I RARELY cancel our weekly meetings, we usually have plenty of time to get everything done, and to be honest I don't often use the simplified requirements. There's normally plenty of time to work on the full adventure.
  22. The Latin Scot

    Arrow of Light Scouts Crossing Over

    A lot of it is for our LDS packs as well. We don't endorse overnight camping in the Cub Scout programs, so making it required would have meant that no LDS children could have advanced. Having an alternative was very important to us, so I imagine that's one reason it isn't necessary in the program requirements. But hey, maybe after we leave next year they can make it a requirement after all!
  23. The Latin Scot

    Arrow of Light Scouts Crossing Over

    This is 100% right. As a Webelos leader, it's on me to make sure boys are totally prepared for what they are going to encounter in the Boy Scout program. If they haven't earned the rank of Scout within a few weeks of moving on, I can only assume I failed to prepare them somehow. Whenever my boys get close to turning 11, I spend the last few weeks with them preparing for the Scout rank by reviewing the Scouting Adventure adventure and making sure they are comfortable with the requirements. We also visit the 11 year-old patrol frequently so that the boys are familiar with how their meetings are run. Our den has a "patrol" name, flag, patch and shout, and our monthly denner has a number of supervised duties to help the boys gain leadership experience. The whole POINT of Webelos is preparing boys to get a head start with their Boy Scout experience! Oh good! Because I really like what you have been saying about Webelos programs, as you can see.
  24. The Latin Scot

    Arrow of Light Scouts Crossing Over

    Well then it's important for you to know that I AM in an LDS pack, and that's how we do things - standard LDS policy is that boys advance by age, so from 10 to 11 they are Webelos Scouts. The BSA has always been very accomodating to us in that regard; it fits how we run our children's programs, and the BSA has long granted us the right to operate our program in that way. And I never tamper with advancement criteria; if anything I am known for being determinedly orthodox in my expectations. So I would be happy to know what other things "concern" you, as I am confident that I run my program as close to policy as it can possibly be run. But do share if you have questions.
  25. The Latin Scot

    BSA Museum at Philmont Scout Ranch

    Wait ... I don't remember starting a whole new thread on this. Was this me, or is this some moderator wizardry? Not that I mind! It makes more than enough sense as its own topic. I just want to make sure I haven't lost my mind.
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