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The Latin Scot

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Everything posted by The Latin Scot

  1. The Latin Scot

    Eagle Scout neckerchief - quick question

    Wear can I obtain this? I searched the Scout supply site to no avail; do you have a link? I LOVE the idea!
  2. The Latin Scot

    Buzzfeed - CSE Surbaugh - Girls - Scouter.com

    This is absolutely correct; in fact, for many decades Scouts were supposed to wear the neckerchief over the collar with the collar tucked under. Allowing them to tuck the necker under is the more recent option, but as @HelpfulTracks has pointed out, both are entirely permitted.
  3. The Latin Scot

    Buzzfeed - CSE Surbaugh - Girls - Scouter.com

    I LOVE neckerchiefs! They add such a classic feel to the uniform, not to mention their little splash of color does a lot to brighten up the earth tones of the rest of its items. I admit I am starting to amass quite a little collection of neckers, all for different occassion - I have my Cub Scout Leader blue, and my Webelos plaid, not to mention the white NESA necker I just got a from a boy's parents to wear at his coming Eagle Court of Honor. I can easily see myself ending up with a whole plethora of colors to choose from; I love colors, and the neckerchief is the one part of the uniform where you can really add a bit of flair! Especially for somebody like me who otherwise tries to be an absolute stickler for proper uniforming, lol.
  4. The Latin Scot

    Mayor Give Pack Awards?

    @karunamom3 I would love to hear how this event turned out if you have a moment to share!
  5. The Latin Scot

    Coolest Scout Troop Location?

    Wow ... that house is bigger and nicer than the house I grew up in! Those boys had better appreciate it, lol.
  6. The Latin Scot

    Eagle Scout neckerchief - quick question

    Well fortunately the boy's mother dropped by and actually asked if the blue Eagle necker was something that I was comfortable wearing or if she should have gotten something else. We had a rather delightful conversation mostly centered on the over-eagerness of her son, and we opted to switch out the blue on for the white NESA necker instead. This way the boy still feels like he is sharing the moment with me (which is far too kind of him already), while I can still be distinguished as a leader and not as one of the Eagle recipients. The boy's mom joked that I should just go with it and pretend I was one of them just to see how much cake I could get out of it. I can't say I didn't think about it.
  7. The Latin Scot

    New YPT Launch

    I just took the new YPT out of curiousity, not because mine was going to expire, but I must say - I appreciate the tone of the new modules, even if they are a bit heavy handed. As a Child Development Professional, I am grateful they are committing themselves to keeping their information updated and the leadership informed. It's longer than the old one, but I am of the mind that when it comes to the safety of young people, any measure of my time is worth the effort.
  8. The Latin Scot

    Longest Family Line of Eagle Scouts

    I am sure there are many more cases than these floating around somewhere. I have a friend who is a third generation Eagle Scout, and he has kids of his own who will likely earn their Eagles within the next few years, so that's easily 4 generations. As for my family, we are slowly growing our own crop, lol. My father is a Life Scout, but all three of his sons earned their Eagles, and now I have a brother with four sons and another with two - that'll be nine Eagles within two generations (and if I can convince some nice girl to marry my someday, maybe I will have little Eagles of my own eventually too!).
  9. The Latin Scot

    Cub Girl Uniform

    My mom is actually trying to find one of the old blue Cub barets; she's the Wolf Den Leader in my Pack and it's the only hat she actually likes (she won't wear the ball caps and thinks the lady's Garrison hat makes her look like a stewardess). But they never show up on eBay or Etsy ... Anybody know where to find one? She insists it be official, no knock-offs, which makes it tricky. She actually doesn't know I am on the look out for one; I am hoping to surprise her for Mother's Day.
  10. The Latin Scot

    Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    As an LDS Webelos Leader myself, I confess I have indeed seen a few leaders who seem to shrug Boy Scout training off on to the shoulders of the 11 year-old leaders, but I don't subscribe to that kind of lazy mentality. I firmly believe that it is my duty as a Webelos Leader to ensure that every last one of my boys enters the Boy Scout Troop fully prepared with the knowledge and skills they need to start off successfully. As I have mentioned in other threads, my success is measured by each boy's ability to earn the Scout rank within 1 - 3 weeks of crossing over. If it takes him longer than a month, then it is probably my fault, and so it becomes my opportunity and duty to assess what I did wrong and to make the changes I need to ensure the next boy is more successful (I also meet next door to the 11 year-olds, and the boys are always free and eager to come to me for extra help even after they move on). It is, however, essential for Webelos to engage with a Troop at least a few times each year, not only to meet a number of their requirements, but because that is the nature of the Webelos program - facilitating the transition to Boy Scouting, and ensuring that they cross over to a welcoming and active troop. If a Webelos leader doesn't keep that near the top of his priorities, he doesn't understand his full duties.
  11. The Latin Scot

    Eliminate merit badges, advancement from Scouting

    As Tolkien wisely wrote, "he that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." The reason the advancement program is so vital to what Scouting is comes from the fact that, at it's core, it teaches boys how to make, and accomplish, worthwhile goals, in a manner which boys can understand. They learn planning, work, and preparation. When they fail or don't quite meet the requirements, they look back and learn from their initial attempt and keep trying till they succeed. It gives focus to their inborn energies and desires to achieve by giving healthy, stimulating and enlightening goals that let them stretch themselves in constructive, meaningful, and exciting ways. It replaces mindless entertainment with the more robust exhilaration of adventure and exploration, both geographical and cerebral. And when he earns the token signifying he has met the requirements for whatever badge or rank he has worked towards, well, what to some might seem just another "silly patch" (oh the naive innocence of the over-experienced!) is, to that boy who truly worked for it, a sign that he has learned how to develop certain skills or knowledge that he didn't have before, but in which he has now gained a proficiency. He wears on his sleeve what he feels in his heart - dignity and self-respect. With each merit badge he feels he has dipped his toes in a potential new interest, hobby, even career. With each rank he feels he has grown more in character and capacity and self-reliance. And while the Scout may not be able to articulate that sentiment, the emblems he sews on after each award are cues that help him turn those esoteric ideals into the reality of his character. Sure, the lazy, detached or burnt-out leader might brush it all off as useless bling, but I find these people have forgotten what it is like to be a young person just beginning to see what kind of man he can become, while for the boys and burgeoning young men who are Scouting itself, the colorful badges and ribbons and medals actually let them visualize what might otherwise be intangible concepts - accomplishment, inner strength, maturity, self-mastery, and self-respect. I believe it is only the inability to clearly see the vision of what Scouting should be that impedes us from appreciating the magnitude of Baden-Powell's genius and profound grasp of what growing boys want AND need. His simple methods - uniforms, the outdoors, the advancement program, all of them - they are all one needs to change lives. But cynical, tired skeptics who aren't seeing their own vision of Scouting try to place the blame any place they can to assuage the frustration they feel when they cannot get their program going - they will say boys are different these days, or that they can't run the program right because the committee/council/national/tooth fairy/parents make it impossible, or that the program has deteriorated, or whatever. And so they suggest - change the program! Lose advancement! Ditch uniforms! Toss the committee! To that I say, you are looking the wrong way. Don't tear it down, but build it back up - with the very materials we have always had. Outdoor learning. Patrol method. Advancement. Uniforms. Boy led. If you can get the boys to FEEL what you want them to LEARN, they will make their own program flourish, as it is supposed to happen. But to suggest shedding core elements of the program is simply giving up on the hope that it will work. In which case, beware lest your skepticism taint the minds of those under your guardianship as a Scout leader or parent. If the advancement program's purpose has been distorted or inflated by those who cannot see what it truly should be, do not fault the system, but those who abuse and misuse it for warped ambitions such as status, reputation, prestige or gain. They are the problem, not the program. My rule is never to tell a boy that Eagle Scout looks good on a college application or a resume. Only that it shows him what he is capable of doing, who he has been able to become, and what he will prove to give back in his future. Am I defensive of the advancement program? Of course, as I am of all the ideals at the core of Scouting. Though the world slides downward faster each year, I hold that the methods are just as effective and crucial now as they were on Brownsea over a century ago. And I mean that as much for the boys coming into the program now as for our more chronologically-enhanced Scouters, many of whom seem to have coldly given up on the future while looking towards a past that has passed them by, and because they fail to see the potential of the present, they have forgotten that, yes, one person can make a difference - and that person needs to be you. If the program isn't what it could and should be, don't start by looking for who or what is to blame. Start by making a change in yourself, and how YOU are going to make the difference.
  12. The Latin Scot

    Mayor Give Pack Awards?

    Just out of curiosity, what are the two special awards? Judging by your mayor, it sounds like your pack is full of achievers. I hope your B&G goes wonderfully tomorrow!
  13. The Latin Scot

    Mayor Give Pack Awards?

    Are you KIDDING ME?!? Any pack in this country would give their right arm (right den?) to have a community leader as generous and loyal to Scouting as that man! I dare say the fact that he is a former pack member himself makes the whole thing sound too good to possibly be true; what a FABULOUS friend and opportunity you have - wow I am already envious (forgive me!). There is no rule whatsoever that states only pack leaders can hand out awards - in fact this kind of community involvement should be the ideal of every Scouting unit. As it turns out, hosting community and civic leaders at Scouting ceremonies seems to have been a common occurrence in the first half of the last century, though in the latter decades Scouting units unfortunately became more insular and less bold in getting local leaders involved. But think of the benefits! It gets the community involved in Scouting and their young people's lives, it makes local leaders aware of the program and more likely to involve it in its growth and development, and it gives the boys a well-earned and legitimate understanding that, even as youth, they are important players in their community and their nation. You go to your committee and tell them this kind of opportunity is absolutely heaven-sent and can only do good for your program. And besides even all that - your mayor sounds like one ardent supporter of the pack who more than deserves to participate in your ceremonies, at any level. You are extraordinarily fortunate to have him.
  14. The thing is, statistically and technically, you are incorrect. If you check the national averages, the majority of boys who are in Cub Scouts do in fact continue on to Boy Scouts. No it isn't 100%, but it is more than half, so ... that is the definition of MOST. A majority. The larger portion. The bigger slice of the pie. Trying to push the idea that "most kids who like cub scouts end up not liking boy scouts" is an unfortunate commentary on your experiences for which I am indeed sorry, but it does your position no good to try and force an idea that objectively isn't so. I understand both your point and your sentiments, but you cannot factually claim that "most of them won't" move on. Perhaps explaining the factors which influence those who do not progress, rather than basing your argument on the quantity of boys who do not, might be a more effective way to illustrate your point.
  15. LOL that's nice of you to say, though one would need to be a bit more attractive than I am to get that kind of attention. Not with that kind of an attitude, no. But if you cultivate a close partnership with a local troop and simply assume from the start that Webelos in your den will move on to Boy Scouts when they are old enough, you can ensure that the majority of them do. I don't even talk to my parents about the possibility of the boys not moving on; I simply gear all conversations towards the eventual advancement to Boy Scouts, and treat it as being as expected and natural as the transition from Wolves to Bears. If you prepare them for the transition early enough, and have a good troop in the wings waiting to welcome the boys even before they actually advance, they will more than likely continue on to Boy Scouting when the time is right.
  16. From blog.scoutingmagazine.org: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2018/02/14/after-roaring-success-lions-will-move-from-pilot-to-full-time-part-of-cub-scouting/
  17. The Latin Scot

    Coolest Scout Troop Location?

    A half-hour north of me, there is one of the oldest Troop cabins in the country. Huntington Beach Troop 1 has been meeting in the same place for a century, and it's a treasure trove of Scouting artifacts. Here is a link to their website's images: https://sites.google.com/site/troop1hb/about-us/inside-the-cabin
  18. The Latin Scot

    Sunday Morning segment on the BSA

    Everybody knows that the official socks are the plushiest, most delightful socks in the world, and that it's the ONE part of the uniform that's worth every penny of the cost. And this from a Californian who prefers to wear sandals whenever humanly possible!
  19. The Latin Scot

    Derby Car

    Our pack has simplified the PWD as much as humanly possible, and it has turned out GREAT for us. Here are some of the changes we made that have made things easier AND much more fun: 1. We don't have a 1st, 2nd or 3rd - instead, every boy received a participation medal, but then there are extra medals that encourage effort and success of all kinds. Our categories are Fastest Car, Slowest Car (what we call the "Marathon Winner"), Most Creative Car, Scout's Choice Award (the boys all vote on this one), and two other awards that change from year to year. This way, some cars are given prizes based on performance, others by specially chosen judges for effort put into them, and of course a car that the boys themselves get to choose as their favorite. Everybody gets a prize, but there is still the incentive to work hard for whichever award catches a boy's interest. 2. We have totally eliminated all electronics from our PWD. We simply bring in three "Celebrity Judges" (usually from our CO leadership, which is nice to get them involved), and their final choice for each round is considered ABSOLUTELY FINAL. We make this expressly clear beforehand. And after each race they have only 60 seconds to decide who won that round (I have a Den Chief with a timer sitting right by them). This way we don't waste time deliberating over the winner, and we move through each round very quickly. 3. Our track has 4 lanes, so for each round of 4 cars, we have them race 4 times. We know that sometimes the speed of the car depends on which lane it runs on, so by running each set of 4 cars 4 times, switching lanes each time, we get the best idea which car from that set is the fastest. We go through the whole Pack by simply starting them all off in brackets of 4, and then racing the fastest cars from each group in sets of 4 in a simple process of elimination that eventually brings us to the final 4, out of which the Fastest Car is declared. We ALSO take the slowest cars from each set, and race them in rounds to determine who is our slowest, "Marathon Winner" (the only stipulation for these is that it has to make it all the way to the finish line to count - many of our boys consider this category even more desirable than the Fastest Car!). 4. Before the races even begin, we have a short talk about sportsmanship - with the parents! I like to talk about all the worst parents I have seen at these events, exaggerating their antics and then, of course, letting them know that naturally I know THEY would NEVER act so childishly, and that SURELY our parents will be good sports and not contest the decisions made, since of course that would be RIDICULOUS and a TERRIBLE example to our judges (sure it's passive-aggressive, but they get the point). Hopefully some of these ideas will help make your next PWD a better event for you. Until then take advantage of the lessons your Scout can learn from this kind of an experience, and don't let it get you down!
  20. The Latin Scot

    New merit badge idea?

    @Urbanredneck welcome to the boards! Mind sharing what your idea might be? :-)
  21. These are interesting demographics! I know that here in Orange County CA, Den Leaders are overwhelmingly female. I do new Den Leader trainings for the council all over the County, and generally there are 25-40 new den leaders at each event, held every quarter or so. And I am usually one of the only men in the room. Looking at my roster from a training I did in October (conveniently at hand right at the moment!), there are 27 names listed, and 23 of them are women. Male Den Leaders here are simply uncommon, though they are certainly sought after. And I being a young single male with no kids of my own, I am regarded as a valued but extraordinarily atypical commodity by my district.
  22. I think the question parents need to consider is - why are their boys in Scouts at all? If they are in it to build character, become good husbands and fathers, and take active, positive roles in their communities, then advancement will reflect that and the effort, time and personal expenses will all be worth it. But if we don't have a clear vision of the end goals, what good is all the work we put into it? Considering these things, I don't believe the tired old adage about "the journey mattering more than the destination." Quite the opposite. Sure, you should get the most out of the journey as you can, but what does the journey matter if you don't know where you're going? For example, advancement is a compass that points the boys learning experiences in a productive direction. It allows them to make measurable goals that they can plan, follow through with, and accomplish through hard-work and careful record-keeping, all vital life skills. By using advancement as a way to plot specific goals - destinations, really - you allow the boys to see clearly their own progress and recognize their diligent effort. That's the whole point of the advancement program. But if you are advancing just to advance and collect badges, what will you get when there is no more rank to achieve? To that end I say the journey won't matter at all if it doesn't lead you someplace better than where you were before. It's just like in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, when Alice finds herself at a crossroads splitting off into two paths. While she ponders her choices, the Cheshire Cat appears, of whom Alice asks, “Which path shall I follow?” The Cat replies, “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you take.”
  23. I checked my copy of the 1979 Handbook and it does not include the waiver, though the 1988 handbook does. But nowadays there is no such "head start," though as a Webelos leader I wish I could give my boys a boost like that. All I can do is train them and prepare them! Which I guess is the best I can do. :-)
  24. The Latin Scot

    Why do you need 50% of troop there for an election??

    I think the motto of the Cub Scouts is still an essential element for any Boy Scout, or adult for that matter - DO YOUR BEST. No true Scout will accept anything less than his very best effort in all things, whether it's advancement, personal effort, individual integrity, or whatever. Mediocrity is never acceptable to the boy with Scouting in his heart. As leaders we model that ideal in the expectations we have for the young men we work with, and in the expectations we have for ourselves. Requiring 50% attendance at OA elections is a reflection of that principle. The purpose of the OA is to recognize Scouts who perpetually do their best and are willing to participate in a program that extends their opportunities to do good by offering extra service outings and camp experiences. But to successfully determine the Scouts that merit that kind of opportunity, there must be a viable portion of the Troop present who can accurately determine who those people are - the broader the demographic of voters, the more accurate the results will be. 50% is actually quite a low standard when you consider the point of the election. We want to know who the Troop really thinks is ready for the experiences the OA has to offer, so by requiring a large percentage of Troop members to be present, you are getting a better idea of just who those people really should be.
  25. When I offer Den Leader Training courses for new Cub leaders in my council, that's actually a large part of what I try to convey. As a Webelos Den Leader, I think it's important to be aware of the local Boy Scout program so that I can sufficiently prepare my boys, not only for the program, but for the leaders and Troops up to which they will be advancing. My den feeds in to the Troop sponsored by our shared CO, so I always make it a point to attend their committee meetings and to know the SM and his assistants personally. That way I can give them information about the boys moving up soon, any special needs, et cetera, and I in turn can prepare my boys for the program and group they will be entering and the leaders with whom they will be working. I view the WDL as a bridging character between the world of Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, so I try to be deeply invested in both programs so that I can provide the best Webelos program I can now, while making sure my boys move up to a solid Boy Scout program later. I don't have any kids of my own - I am not even married yet - so I don't know if I will ever be asked to serve as a leader in the Boy Scout Troop. But any Webelos Leader worth his salt will have Boy Scout preparation foremost in his mind as he prepares his activities and works with the boys under his care. This is the last year they get to enjoy to Cub program, so it should be geared towards the transition they are going to face when they move on to the boy-led programs coming up. My personal barometer of success as a Webelos Leader is this - any boy who fails to earn the rank of Scout within his first month in the Boy Scout program isn't entirely to blame. That responsibility lies with me - if I really do my job, they should have it done within the first week or two. When I first started, there were one or two boys who took a long while before making it to Scout. I took that to heart and made the necessary changes to my program and my leadership style. Since then (fingers crossed) none of my boys have taken longer than three weeks to get it done.
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