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The Latin Scot

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Everything posted by The Latin Scot

  1. LDS units form a HUGE percentage of Scouting units in the Western region especially. States like Idaho, Arizona and Wyoming, and large portions of California and Oregon have exceptionally large numbers of LDS units. I am sorry to hear you have had those kind of experiences, but in all my time Scouting as both a youth and an adult, and having observed the MASSIVE size and rich dynamics of Scouting in thickly LDS areas like Utah and Idaho, I can say confidently that, in the majority of cases both historically and regionally, LDS units are powerhouses both in membership and advancement. The Utah National Parks Council is the largest in Scouting, and they do amazing things there. It's been pointed out already, but for over 100 years the Church has supported and enriched the Scouting program. Don't count on too much crossing over into non-LDS Troops. The new activity program will inevitably be as involving and fulfilling as Scouting has been for the past century, and there will be a huge, worldwide coordinated effort to implement it entirely without leaving much time for Scouting as well, and besides, this new direction will absolutely deliver the same benefits to our youth as Scouting has in the past, so the need to do both will become a redundancy. Now, I am of course looking at this with eyes looking towards a bright future and a heart filled with optimism. But make no mistake - I am also grieving in a way that I cannot even describe with words yet - not that the Church is leaving Scouting; no, we will be fine and carry on as ever - but I am heartbroken that with all these new changes, the Boy Scouts of America, as conceived by Lord Baden-Powell and nurtured and cultivated by the likes of Beard, Seton, West, and Hillcourt - is dead. It is a new, gender-neutral program which will continue to wither away with each concession to popular opinion. And its most powerful of all beliefs, the idea that boys need a program all their own to help them grow into better citizens, leaders, husbands and fathers, has now been made to look as old-fashioned - if not irrelevant - if not even "inequitable." And it's the boys who lose when the rights to their own program are taken from them to make way for the girls who do not learn as they do, and will by necessity bring with them changes to accomidate their unique natures. The BSA has now made a powerful statement - that girls learn just the same as boys, and so they should get to enjoy the same program, which should be made to teach both genders the same. The Church firmly stands by the belief that boys and girls, and men and women, are inherently different from each other, that gender is an eternal part of our divine nature, and that men and women have different needs and learn in different way in order to best fulfil their roles in the family. The Boy Scouts of America has now effectively moved away from this belief which for over a century it fought to protect, and as such, it no longer aligns with what we believe. It will be a bittersweet separation, to be sure. But the Church's doctrines and principles have never changed, while those of the BSA have. I personally am sorry to no end that these changes have been made, and that the program no longer offers the best options for out youth. But they have taken their stand, and now we have to take ours. Mind you - we have until the end of next year before the change, so you still have another 18 months with me! And unlike some others I know, I don't plan to drop off the face of the Scouting planet. It will always be a part of me, and I will always care about how the program continues, even my time and energies will be needed elsewhere.
  2. The Latin Scot

    From National: Official Name

    Ugh, this is all getting absurd. They wouldn't dare force co-ed Troops here though. Nor would they insist that CO's which charter all-boy units also charter girl units as well. That would instantly alienate the entire LDS Church, which forms a HUGE part of the BSA population. My hope is that the Church can exercise enough clout to protect smaller conservative bodies who still want to run only the traditional all-male BSA model, but don't have a voice large enough to be heard. If other units want to bring in girls, FINE, but that is where the Church's line is going to be drawn, and I can't imagine National would dare challenge a demographic as large as the Church's by forcing girls on its volunteers who don't want to follow the new model.
  3. The Latin Scot

    From National: Official Name

    I imagine that is precisely how it will go. Which is why I am glad I will have no part in it; thank goodness CO's are allowed to choose how they will proceed so that those who don't want to get involved in this mess can at least continue on their merry way largely unaffected. I will never have to deal with girls in our program. But again and certainly, my heart goes out to those who feel similarly, but don't have the guaranteed protection of their CO's preserving their interests as I know mine will. Such a mess ...
  4. The Latin Scot


    Our chapter has a huge, authentic war drum donated by a local tribe; the thing is a BEAST and can be heard from over a mile and a half away on a clear night. When the OA does tap-outs at Camporee, the drum is placed at the top of a hill and when the time is right, it begins a slow, steady beat which is heard through the entire camp, down into the very earth itself. Every campsite goes quiet as the OA begins its procession through the Troop campgrounds, tapping out new members, its ranks growing larger and larger with the new Scouts and those who are already members now in their sashes, slowly joining the throng and moving through the grounds until all the Troops have been visited and all the new candidates have been called out, the drum still pounding out its slow, steady rhythm. The boys then hike a distance away from the Camporee grounds into the wilderness a short ways, where they create a large circle and there receive their welcome packets and a greeting from their new OA leadership team. Only after they leave sight of the general grounds however does the beating of the drum stop. It's pretty impressive, I must confess. That instrument has a voice like you wouldn't believe.
  5. The Latin Scot

    From National: Official Name

    That's exactly what I THOUGHT we were going to offer, which I would have actually supported much more willingly! But as Viceroy Gunray remarked at the Battle of Theed, "this is too close." To waltz in, change the name of the 108 year-old Boy Scout program, and just drop in the ladyfolk, instead of the "new, separate girl's program" that was initially promised, is frankly an affront to all of the volunteers that have been holding out for a sensible initiative that would have protected their interests while still making room for expansion. They have reached the point where they are openly ignoring what the volunteers they have want, just to curry favor with a demographic of volunteers they clearly prefer but don't yet have. I am appalled by this change, but it is going to come back to bite them. Which is an awful shame, because the program itself has proven time and again that it WORKS - if you let it. They just can't seem to stop meddling with Baden-Powell's vision, and eventually, those who can no longer recognize the vision in the program will abandon it.
  6. The Latin Scot

    From National: Official Name

    Actually that would have been worse in my eyes; at least by using the term Scout BSA, the word "boy" is still there, even if in abbreviated form. But it's a bend to public opinion that may well break the spine of our principles the further we extend it.
  7. The Latin Scot

    From National: Official Name

    Well, luckily I have been working with kids long enough to be able to take an inordinate amount of chiding and chastisement without any ill effects, lol. Simple - give the girl program an entirely separate name, and don't touch the boys program. Or better yet! - forget including the ladies at all, as per the past 108 years of Boy Scouting. I certainly will not allow thrashing public opinion to compell me to bend to their agenda; girls and boys are different, and I will not be cowed into offering up my assent. I think the entire thing is a bad move, from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts, and I will continue to refer to the program as Boy Scouts, since fortunately my CO will not be accepting girls into its programming. But I pity the CO's, councils, districts and units that are going to feel so inordinately pressured to do so.
  8. The Latin Scot

    From National: Official Name

    "Scout Me In" .... UGH. Resorting to PUNS now, are we? Could this slogan be any more unimaginative? I frankly despise this name change. I had anticipated the girl's program getting their own name and materials, not that we would be forced to change our name and then share a bnunch of watered down materials. This is disheartening in the extreme.
  9. The Latin Scot

    Family Scouting Update

    1. Skorts 2. A cub scarf 3. New roll-up capris for the lady-folk 4. Cub scout leggings (ugh) 5. New color options for derby car tires
  10. The Latin Scot

    Family Scouting Update

    Here is a picture of some new girl-oriented items
  11. The Latin Scot

    Motivation Quote of the Day

    Well, "it's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish." - Tolkien
  12. The Latin Scot

    Last SM minute

    I used this at our last Blue and Gold at the very end; I found it to be a powerful way to focus the boys on what really matters at the end of a memorable night:
  13. The Latin Scot

    Motivation Quote of the Day

    Well, since we are at Tolkien anyway now, “It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.” John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, The Return of the King
  14. The Latin Scot

    More gems from Baloo...

    A part of me keeps hoping to wake up and discover this was all just a big joke.
  15. The Latin Scot

    More gems from Baloo...

    Wha ..... ?!?!? But then ... who's supposed to carry all the water?! What if I take my 7 boys out hiking, am I supposed to carry it? My poor assistant? A mule? A llama? Who's supposed to carry it? Am I supposed to carry it? I don't wanna carry it.
  16. The Latin Scot

    Concerned About an Incident Last Night

    I am led to think of President Abraham Lincoln, who largely composed his cabinet of men whom he knew would disagree with him, and with each other, but who had sound and important virtues nonetheless. He learned to use their differences to his advantage, allowing them to offer up differing perspectives that made his final decisions much more informed and broad-minded than they could otherwise have been. Granted, it takes a mighty fine leader to work that kind of contrast into a valuable asset, but Scouting is all about making boys into just that kind of leader. Obviously, that's a lot to ask of one so young, but it's worth considering perhaps. It's usually the hardest things that make us into our best selves, and as I always tell my Webelos Scouts when they are most frustrated, "you can do hard things."
  17. The Latin Scot

    OA Brotherhood requirements

    That is a good start, thank you, though after so many years (20 this June) since my ordeal, I feel that I am very unprepared for the coming ceremonies.
  18. The Latin Scot

    Cub Girl Uniform

    Wow, the girl in the last pic looks exactly like my niece! Frankly though, I still prefer the yellow neckerchief with the Cub Scout uniform, although I do understand the convenience of establishing uniformity with all the color schemes.
  19. The Latin Scot

    OA Brotherhood requirements

    I have also been wondering about Brotherhood stuff lately; I am going through the Brotherhood ceremony next month but have received precious little information to help me prepare. If anybody can help me with whatever I need to know while still maintaining the protocols of privacy, I would be deeply obliged.
  20. The Latin Scot

    Neckerchief history and size change

    I have more files on my computer at home, but this image is an old order form that has some of the specs for older standard-issue neckerchiefs. I am becoming a bit of a neckerchief nut, so I collect any old images and files I can find with them. I am performing all the rest of today, and our Pinewood Derby is tomorrow, but at some point over the weekend I will post everything else that I have!
  21. Actually I was grateful they changed it from Camper to Outdoorsman because LDS units like mine don't take Cub Scouts camping (we wait until they are 11 before we get into any program-organized camp outs). Many of my boys before felt odd getting a Camper award for participating in our day-long activities, so Outdoorsman fit the bill better. HOWEVER, "Outdoor Adventurer" is just getting absurd, and it runs into the same silly issue the Scouting Adventure activities encounter - the actual titles are ridiculous to say out-loud! "Hey there, what adventure are your boys working on this month?" "Why, the Scouting Adventure adventure!" "Is there an echo in here?" "And after that we are starting the Outdoor Adventurer adventure!" "There is is again!" Honestly I feel like an idiot repeating myself like this, and as a Webelos leader it happens constantly. They really needed to have an editor come in and look over the names of these adventures before putting out their ridiculous names.
  22. The Latin Scot

    DL creates new Nova math award - Fearful Symmetry

    Seems a waste of a good literary allusion not to have used "Fearful Symmetry" as the name of a Tiger adventure. Or should it be "Tyger?"
  23. The Latin Scot

    The Most Interesting Scouter

    I guess some of them are pretty funny, although some of the quips are beyond me. Maybe because I don't drink? Or maybe I'm just not funny enough.
  24. The Latin Scot

    History of Eagles per patrol

    True, and I apologize if my fanatical obsession with proper grammar blinded me to that fact. It's a heavy burdon to a logophile, LOL.
  25. The Latin Scot

    District meetings - what's the point?

    Wow, no districts?! How does your council function? Our council has 11 districts, all of which are more or less autonomous - each runs its own camporees, day camps, Scout-o-Ramas, et cetera. Roundtables in my district (which is admittedly the largest and probably the most active) usually have an attendance of 50 - 60 Scouters, sometimes many more, not to mention the Boy Scouts who come to get their Eagle Scout books looked over, OA members who help generally help make the evening work, and interested parents there to conduct various matters with local leadership. The first 20 minutes are usually announcements and district business, and all hand-outs, flyers, pamphlets, and notifications for upcoming events are available at a table there to take to our units. Adult awards are handed out, Council representatives share the latest news, and general district activities are detailed and briefly discussed. We meet in one of the children's buildings of a large superchurch in the area; the OA is always there to help set up tables and chairs in the various rooms and act as general messengers/assistants during the opening exercises. After that we then have break-out sessions for Cubs, Scouts, Varsity and Venturing (which are flexible in composition depending on whether or not there are special events coming up), while the OA then has its chapter meeting. These break-out sessions function as trainings/brainstorming sessions where program updates are discussed, questions are asked and answers, presentors share ideas and offer counsel, and all the local leadership can simply talk together about challenges and successes - in fact, very much like what goes on here! I couldn't imagine NOT having functioning districts - how does Scouting function beyond the Troop? How are fundraising events organized? Scouting for Food? Camporees? I am curious to know how things operate without the typical district structure!