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The Latin Scot

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Everything posted by The Latin Scot

  1. The Latin Scot

    Identifying a Mystery Patch

    Does the back of the patch have any special markings? I would imagine it comes from Spain; the colors, symbols, and use of Cervantes' themes and imagery almost certainly indicate it originates from there. The World Scouting emblem is placed in a 50, so perhaps it is related to Spain's 50th anniversary of Scouting, or another 50th anniversary event in Spain's Scouting history. At least with those clues you have a start; you could start googling information of that kind and see what you can dig up.
  2. The Latin Scot

    Adult going to residential summer camp

    So, I have taught preschool for many years, and since mine was a federal Head Start program, we had federal inspectors and Child Development Specialists come to our classrooms often. I was told, on many occassions, that my working in preschool was becoming more and more an anomaly. It seemed that at the federal level, they are seeing sharp declines in the numbers of men teaching young children. One inspector told me "you are one brave man to be teaching preschool these days." And I have many more guidelines and protocols than female teachers do. Among other things, when working for a federally funded preschool program: - I cannot change diapers - I cannot accompany children to the bathroom nor help them clean up if they need it - I cannot help a child change their clothing after an accident - I cannot clean up a child's lap if they spill food on themselves at meals - I cannot help children zip their flies, button their pants, or even pull their pants up if they are falling to the ground - Children cannot sit on my lap - I cannot hug children - I cannot pick up a child except in cases of extreme emergency - I cannot touch a child below the shoulders without extreme cause, and even then, it is discouraged for me to have any physical contact with children Female teachers are allowed, even encouraged, to do ALL of these things. Fortunately for me, I have had exceptionally high ratings in my classroom, to the point that I was once asked to speak on the difficulties of being a male teacher at the annual conference of the National Association for the Education of Young People a few years back in Washington D.C. Being successful as a young male educator who works with young children is FAR more difficult in today's climate than it has ever been. Much of what I discussed was obviously how it is possible to gain the trust of families, show genuine affection and love for little children AND STILL stay within the safety of established educational parameters and protocols, but much was also a Q. and A. about challenges I have faces and trends I have seen. Mind you, my session had most of the men in attendance present, and it was still hardly a tithe of the entire conference population. And talking with these few male preschool teachers from around the country, it became overwhelmingly clear that, when committed and cautious to the utmost, a young man can have an incredibly powerful influence for good in the lives of young people - BUT ALSO THAT IT IS HARD to establish oneself enough to gain the trust and respect of one's community. There was even a state representative present, and he mentioned how difficult it is protect male teachers in today's society. Is it worth it? Of course. I love my career, I love Scouting, I love children, and I love being with my little friends who teach me so much and help me in so many ways. But In order for me to continue enjoying these blessings throughout my life, I must ALWAYS be vigilant in ways many people don't even consider. I have to watch my hands, my actions, my tone, my words, my body language, everything I do at all times - it only takes one misunderstanding from one alarmist parent to put an end to a career in child development forever.
  3. The Latin Scot

    Adult going to residential summer camp

    I don't wanna be a pariah.
  4. The Latin Scot

    Badge Magic is THE DEVIL!!!

    Yes, I tried Goo Gone ... 3 times over. It got a lot of the gunk and residue out, but I notice it leaves its own stain that is just as hard to remove, without removing the dark marks which the Black Magic left in the first place. Sigh ..... thank you the suggestion though; it's much appreciated.
  5. The Latin Scot

    Adult going to residential summer camp

    I think that guest gets around a lot these days. I feel I have been trained by just such a person many, many times.
  6. The Latin Scot

    Adult going to residential summer camp

    You are correct in that we are called - we don't volunteer for assignments, we are given them, and expected to accept them based on faith. That said, while there are certainly many leaders who have no children in the unit, generally because they are not old enough or they are grown, calling young single adults to such positions is uncommon since, first of all, many attend congregations made up entirely of students or other young single adults, and second of all, the often transient lifestyles of young people often means that leaders are hesitant to put them in positions such as Scouting that require time, training, and tenure in order to be really effective in their callings. The fact that I attend a normal family congregation and am relatively settled depsite being pretty young and very unattached is not unusual per se, but neither is it common. In my Ward (which is what we call our local congregations), I am extremely well-known - I grew up here, in fact, so many people have known me since I was knee-high to a grasshopper and think it's great that I am now working with the next generation. HOWEVER - at Camporee, Roundtable, Scout-O-Rama, Scouting For Food, and other broader Scouting events, even at Pack Meetings where we are combined with other dens outside my Ward - I am an unknown quantity, as it were. So when people ask the question "which kid is yours?" I have to be diplomatic in how I respond. I have have encountered some rather skeptical, even cynical, leaders and parents in the past, but over the past while I have made enough of a mark in the District and in the Council that most people either know me or recognize me, so that's been nice. But working with parents and children for a living, I can say the climate is often not agreeable these days towards men who want to work with children - married or not, as @David CO notes. One treads with caution sometimes.
  7. The Latin Scot

    New YPT: How to get people trained

    I actually got myself certified to conduct in-person trainings myself at the Cub Scout level, so now I am qualified to teach leader specific training for Den Leaders, Cubmasters, and all committee positions (Chair, Pack Trainer, et cetera). During each training pass around a roll of everybody who is there, and then I submit that list to my local District Executive and District Commissioner over Training. They enter it in and bam - the training is listed as complete. Getting certified to do these wasn't hard either. I simply approached the DE and DC and explained that I am an educator who wanted to have a larger role in the Scouting community through training, and they got me cleared to conduct them whenever I wish. It makes things SO MUCH EASIER when I can invite new leaders to my home to get them trained instead of waiting/hoping they will eventually get it done on their own time online. In my experience, that rarely happens.
  8. The Latin Scot

    Adult going to residential summer camp

    I've always kind of wondered about these scenarios since, frankly, I am an odd duck in the Scouting community. I am not married and have no children, but I am a Den Leader over the Pack's largest Den, I am the most active member of our Cub Committee, and I am at all activities - Day Camp, Scout-O-Rama, et cetera, - as a youngish single guy with no actual relation to any of the boys I work with. It would be far too easy to assume that as a professional educator and child development specialist, I could go about my Scouting business without raising too many eyebrows, but I have to be careful since, in today's climate, every action I take and every comment I make could be taken the wrong way by some parent who doesn't know my background or training. I have to bear in mind that these parents are trusting their children with me, a single man, sometimes for hours at a time. So I am meticulous in ensuring that I ALWAYS have my assistant or another parent near me at all times, and I have trained my boys to know that I cannot be in a room alone with them EVER. So much so that they often use it to taunt me; I arrive early to Den Meetings to set up, and if a boy shows up and I am the only adult in the room, he WILL yell at me to get out until another grown up is present. They then have free access to whatever treats are in my bag, or they may play with my hat if I forget to grab it, or whatever mischief they feel like getting into at the time - but at least they know to protect themselves, and I know that I am protecting myself from any potentially awkward or untoward situations. Total transparency has long been one of my most valuable shields against misperceptions. Today's society makes it incredibly difficult for men to make a difference in the lives of young people. But as long as you take the right precautions, it can be done.
  9. The Latin Scot

    Scouting Rediscovered

    Ah, gotcha. Yeah, I am kind of surprised they got me back into the movement, seeing as I am still unmarried and have no children of my own. I suppose the fact that I am very involved in my Church's congregation, and the fact that I work with children professionally, meant that getting me would make some sense, but yeah, I can see how there would be some distance right after getting married AND going to school. He has some remarkable insights though, and the right perspective on what makes Scouting work. I hope he gets back into the program when the time is right for him and his family!
  10. The Latin Scot

    potentially the stupidest GTSS rule?

    Uh oh. Time to confess ... At Day Camp the other week there were literally DOZENS of wagons; parents and leaders were encouraged to bring them to carry water bottles, backpacks, et cetera. But in my ignorance, I ... I let the boys pull the wagon for me! Had I but known the DANGER they were in, I never would have allowed it, but they asked so nicely and were trying so hard to be helpful that I ... I ... I LET THEM DO IT! The shame! The recklessness of my foolish decisions! My choices could have left that campground littered with little Cub Scout bodies! What was I thinking?!?!? Anyways, I thought I would come clean to all of you. I had no idea this was a BSA policy, but now that I know, well, things are going to be different. No crushed little Cubbies on my watch, that's for sure! There. That should have vented about a month's worth of sarcasm from me. Anyway this policy is ridiculous. Is there anything boys CAN do anymore?
  11. The Latin Scot

    OA member as youth

    I guess I figure anything that happened before 2000 is 'way back' for me, LOL. I was only 13 or 14 at the time, so it seems forever ago now. But if I had a nickle for every time a seasoned Scouter called me a young whippersnapper, I could retire early!
  12. The Latin Scot

    Uniforms and saluting the flag

    I am sure there is some thread in here started back when I was in Scouts, but I figured I would start a fresh one so that I can get the input of the currect membership. With the 4th of July fast approaching, I figure this is a timely subject in any case. I was at our Cub Day Camp closing ceremonies last week, and they had a lovely flag retiring ceremony at the end which I found rather lovely. All the camp staff traded in their camp t-shirt for "full" uniforms (which I will address in a moment), and they conducted a solemn retiring ceremony while also handing out a number of awards and some recognition for parents and leaders. Well, a number of the uniforms paraded in front of us were embarrassingly, if not defiantly incorrect. There were medals and ribbons and sashes and ornamentation to a degree of ostentation and attention-grabbing I hadn't thought possible before. These people go to my district table, and I never this this kind of panoply there, so my hope is that they were simply trying to be silly for the last day of Day Camp (I really hope that was the goal). As we were saluting the flag in the embers, however, one of my Scouts asked me a few questions that rather stumped me. I pose them before you all for your thoughts. For the sake of internet privacy, I will say this Scout addressed me as Brother Latin-Scot. Scout: "Brother Latin-Scot, don't you have to wear the complete uniform to be considered 'in uniform?'" Me: "Yes, that's correct." Scout: "So, most of these leaders wouldn't officially be 'in uniform,' would they?" Me: "Not properly, no." Scout: "So then since they aren't officially in uniform, shouldn't they have to put their right hands over their hearts? You know, like they say 'those not in uniform place your right hand over your heart?' Isn't it incorrect for them to salute since they aren't really in uniform?" Me: "Um. Er ....... ?" After some hesitation, I suggested to him that I would need to find a more definitive answer before stating anything catagorically, but that, personally, I feel that those who aren't fully in uniform should indeed place their hands over their hearts - but also that it was important not to allow propriety to interfere with patriotism, and that it is something people should be taught at appropriate times and places, without resorting to correcting them in public during such a ceremony. But since he and I knew better, it would be our duty to model correct behavior and teach it to others whenever we could. Any other thoughts on this while as I study the matter more fully?
  13. The Latin Scot

    OA member as youth

    I went through this exact process just under two years ago. I went through the Ordeal as a kid way back in '97, but never had any contact with the OA after that. So when I approached my chapter to get my membership caught up, all they asked for were my dues for the year and the date of my Ordeal ceremony. Fast-forward two years now and I am a brand-new Brotherhood member with all kinds of new duties in the lodge. Hopefully the process is as quick for you as it was for me!
  14. Our Pack will be answering all the letters you sent us at our Pack Meeting tonight, and you will get our responses tomorrow morning (well, California morning at any rate). Thank you so much for reaching out to us!
  15. The Latin Scot

    Uniforms and saluting the flag

    Thank you all for your input. It wasn't merely the extra, non-standard issue items flowing off their hats and shirts, but Scout shirts with bermuda shorts, frilly blue skirts on the ladies, long beaded belts with silly designs - I have all the love in the world for a hand-carved neckerchief slide or even a hand-tooled leather belt, but this motley crew included flamingo socks, silly hats, et cetera. Honestly if they had just stayed in their camp t's I wouldn't have minded as much, but they exchanged those for what seemed like a step down in uniforming. Mind you, not all of them were that bad, and most were clearly being respectful. But those who went off the deep end were down-right distracting, and while I am all for having fun at Day Camp (heaven forbid!), I didn't feel a solemn flag retiring ceremony was the right time for games. Maybe I am wrong; it wouldn't be the first time. But for myself, and for the Scouts around me I could tell, it was a bag of mixed messages which caused no small degree of confusion.
  16. But to intentionally dress TODAY in a manner that conveys the identity of the opposite sex, as I see it, wrong. It's the intent, not the technicalities of what is done to accomplish it. So I don't see how this argument relates at all to the subject at hand. If a person dresses in a style that people associate as pertaining to that of the opposite gender, specifically to bend one's perception of their actual sex, is wrong. It demeans who they really are, and who they are meant to be.
  17. I agree. When we begin our discussions on common ground, it's easier to be compassionate and understanding when our paths do diverge.
  18. Thank goodness that wasn't the reason I was homeschooled!
  19. Aaahhhh ... but you see, I'm not. Almost the entire strength of your argument lies in that idea though - that gender is a choice, something you can pick and choose and create on your own. If that assumption were correct, then what you say might be true. But it isn't. I am perfectly cognizant of the difference between gender and sex which you are trying to impose on my opinions. But I do not believe in that differentiation, not in the way you promote it. Gender is NOT fluid, it is not a choice - it's an essential part of who we are. And it is possible for a person to behave and act according to the nature of the wrong gender. This is a nearly incendiary platform to assume when compared to the bent of today's shifting worldviews, but I firmly and clearly recognize that there is a right and a wrong to the way we live up to our sex AND GENDER. It is NOT RIGHT for a man to try to act, dress, or try to be identified as a woman. It is NOT RIGHT for a woman to try to act, dress, or try to be identified as a man. Now, some of you have wrongly assumed that this perspective is hateful, and that if I ever were to meet such a person, that I would somehow treat them unkindly, that I would be so utterly callous that I would speak down to them, insult them, or otherwise treat them as less than those who follow more closely the beliefs that I hold dear. Just wait until you meet them, you say. But I have met such a person. I have met many of them! (I live in Southern California for pity's sake, we have EVERYTHING here) And my understanding of their behavior is totally unrelated to my love for them as people - and as I look at them, as children of God. My brothers and sisters. Children who had a gender and a sex that was part of their nature even before they were born. Why should a person's actions affect how I treat them? I have my own flaws and failings; it would be preposterous for me to treat them with any less love and respect than that which I hope to receive myself. I love them, with all my heart. Which is all the more reason for me to try and share what I believe is true - that sex and gender are one, and that happiness only comes when we can truly say that we are doing what is right, not what we want to be right. But our job is to do what we can to help EVERYBODY feel loved, appreciated, and safe. The way the live their life is irrelevant. It is, frankly, silly and immature to asert that those who do not believe in gender fluidity are somehow therefore unkind or prejudiced against those who subscribe to that lifestyle. Those two are not related, however much useful their connection would be to the argument of those who try to support it; if they could make those who oppose gender fluidity into villians, it would certainly garner them an emotional edge. But those of use who want these people to recognize who they really are, not who they think they want to be, must remember always the beautiful counsel given by Thomas S. Monson: Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.
  20. The Latin Scot

    New Brotherhood Member

    Congratulations! I went through my Brotherhood induction a few weeks ago; well done!
  21. I just have to say I feel this ideology is egregiously false. Gender is an inherent, essential part of who we are. It is not at all fluid - a girl cannot become a man, nor can a boy become a woman. Those who disfigure their bodies in a desperate attempt to change from one to the other will only reap misery and regret. I refuse to accept that a boy who alters his biology to become, physically, a "woman," is a woman - he is still male inside, and nothing he does will ever change that. And vice versa. This, of course, is strongly related to my beliefs, which hold powerfully that we existed before we came to Earth, that we have s purpose for being here, and that we have an eternal destiny after this life. The deceit which claims we can change our sex or gender, just because we don't feel like we fit current societal perceptions of gender, is false. A male has always been and always will be male. A female has always been and always will be female. I am not fooled by modern suggestions that try to dis-establish the permanence of our sex - just because a child feels he doesn't fit the way the world personifies a man, doesn't mean he isn't one. The same for girls. I find the fact that this discussion is even current I find a sad commentary on the way the world perceives who it thinks we are.
  22. The Latin Scot

    Unit milestone anniversary - What to do?

    What a FABULOUS idea!!! Our Pack and Troop turned 55 this year, and we haven't really done anything to commemorate that yet - I hadn't even considered putting the Scouting Heritage merit badge forward as a way to recognize our units' longevity, which is all the more embarrassing since I am the merit badge counselor for Scouting Heritage. I am so glad you posted this, haha!
  23. The Latin Scot

    What's your best Scouting memory?

    Most of my memories of Scouting as a youth are largely negative; I was bullied mercilously by the other boys, but since they were part of the same congregation that paid for me to be in Scouting in the first place, looking for another troop was not an option, so I had to get by on nothing but patience and forgiveness. But there was one camp-out that stands out to me, for many, many reasons. First of all, it was the most grueling, miserable hike of my life. Now, understand, I was tiny for my age; at 13 I was 4'11 and not even 100 lbs. And I never did any kind of sports, so I was not accustomed to any strenuous physical effort, yet to complete my camping merit badge I had to go on the troop's planned 4 mile hike up a trecherous trail in the mountains near Yosemite. My leaders were, to say the least, incompetent - we had had no training hikes, no warnings of what the trail was like, not preparation whatsoever - just "stuff your pack and we'll go hiking!" The trail, we found, was nothing but steep slopes and switchbacks all the way up. And I had to carry a 20 lbs load on one of those gosh-awful metal-framed backpacks. And of course, it was night, and raining. The trail was so rough, the rain was so heavy, that we all marched up in total silence and misery as we trudged up a slick muddy path to a destination we could hardly hope to find. I, being so small, could hardly have made half the way up even in mild weather and no pack - but under the conditions, it was just too much. After about 2 hours, I slipped in the mud and couldn't go any further. I was done. Embarrassingly, the "leaders" (if they could ever really have been called that) had to take turns either carrying me or dragging helping me along as I doggedly tried to get there on my own feet. The others took my pack and went on ahead. I and the leaders who had to help me ended up being an hour behind the majority of the troop. When we finally reached the campsite, it was past midnight, pouring rain, and ice cold. But to my surprise, my tent had been set up, and my things quite lovingly placed inside, where they had clearly been dried by the fire and made ready for me to quickly change and get to sleep. Everybody else had gone to bed, so I naturally assumed the other leaders had taken the time to get things ready for me out of pity. The next morning when I awoke, the rain had stopped, the sun was not quite risen, and only one other Scout was up. I was (still am) always the first person up on camp-outs, so seeing somebody else awake was surprising.. As it so happened, it was the boy who consistently gave me the most grief, from the time we were 8 and lasting well into high school. He had a rough life, and a rougher attitude, and he was one of those kids that had to either laugh at everything or mock it. At me he always did both, whether at church, Scouts, school, whatever. I knew he had a difficult life and never held it against him, but his presence was always enervating. Yet this morning as I walked over to the ridge and the view he was taking in, it was a different feeling. He was watching the sun rise from a beautiful mountain ledge, and it was, frankly, heaven to witness. I asked if he minded that I stood there for a minute. When he turned I was shocked to see his eyes red with tears. I wrote down our conversation in my journal minutes after this encounter so I would always remember it; here is it exactly: "Did you set up my tent and my things last night?" "Yeah. I guess." "Thank you." A long pause while we watch the sun rise. "I don't mean all the things I say about you. It's like ... sometimes I just can't help it. I'm not trying to be mean." "I know." "I'm sorry when I hurt your feelings. I don't want to, but I just ... do." "I know. And I forgive you. I always do. I always will." Another long pause. "Thanks." "Don't mention it." After that, we had breakfast, explored, did the usual camping things. The way down was, mercifully, a thousand times easier than the way up. But that conversation was everything to me. It let me understand my friend all the times he would make fun of me or laugh at me, which he continued to do all the way until we (well, I) finished high school. It made it easy to forgive him when he was insulting or degrading or verbally abusive, and it saved me from carrying a grudge against him and the other boys when I finally went to college, grew a few inches, and built enough confidence to make lasting friends. And when I ran into him a few years ago, after I had been to college and he had been to ... other places, I was genuinely happy to see him, which surprised him. But it didn't surprise me, not after that experience 21 years ago.
  24. Mercy. It's that kind of ideology that breaks my heart; gender is NOT "fluid" yet society is becoming increasingly hostile towards those who still recognize this, while trying to force this suggestion on increasingly younger age groups. I was told at one preschool - preschool, mind you! - that as a teacher I could not "assume that all boys will grow up to be men, nor that all girls would grow up to be women," and my language in the classroom was supposed to reflect what they called a "non-gender bias." Of course I totally ignored that policy, and spoke against it whenever I could and to whomever's attention I could get. Luckily enough parents were on board that we were able to over-turn that mandate, but who knows when the tide will turn against us? I don't believe gender is a choice, nor that it is randomly factored into our birth. I think it's something that has always been an essential part of us, and it's not something we can change, whatever we may do to our bodies to convince us otherwise. But the fact that the BSA now holds that a child can participate in Scouting as whichever gender they choose is one of the BIGGEST frustrations I have with the direction this organization is heading.
  25. No. My primary objection is that, while I believe the aims of Scouting are important goals for both boys and girls, I do not believe that the methods of Scouting are best suited to the learning and development of young women. I continue to object to the idea that Scouting will work for girls as it does for boys, as unpopular as that moral position may be these days. Plus, as a single guy in his early 30's, the very idea of my joining an all-girl troop of minors as a leader is inappropriate. I wouldn't even countenance the thought.