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The Latin Scot

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Everything posted by The Latin Scot

  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. The Latin Scot

    BSA Museum at Philmont Scout Ranch

    Good merciful wilikers ... that things is WEIRD!!!
  11. That is EXACTLY the kind of attitude we want to promote! Thank you for this @RememberSchiff!
  12. The Latin Scot

    New Cub Scout Manuals

    So, the new manuals are in my local Scout Shop, and I spent a long time going though all of them. I actually think that, sans the explicit inclusion of girls in much of the new imagery, they are much better than the past edition - more pictures, simpler writing, more activity and less rambling ... I like them. I am not a fan of the spiral bound books though and it seems they aren't even bothering to produce perfect-bound copies now, which is frustrating as they were cheaper and lasted longer. But these new ones are bright, colorful, engaging and streamlined, so I have little to complain about concerning the changes themselves. Now my primary concern is that they will come out with the Spanish editions quickly so that I don't have to translate all my parent materials off the cuff; most of my families are either Spanish or Chinese speakers, so having materials in at least one of those languages makes things a lot easier. Hurry hurry BSA translation department!
  13. Ugh, mono is the WORST. I had it in college and it was AWFUL; I wouldn't wish that on anybody.
  14. The Latin Scot

    LDS Question

    What I imagine you are registering as hypocracy stems from a very real dichotomy of personal feelings. Allow me to help you understand my position better, as my feelings are very consistent, but obvious expressing them on an online forum makes it easy to be misunderstood. The reason why some of my posts reflect my dedication to supporting Scouting while others demonstrate more frustration than appreciation is that, frankly, I no longer consider "Scouting" and "The Boy Scouts of America" as synonymous terms. And for me that is indeed grievous to suggest, but that's the way it is. Scouting as an Ideal I feel that Scouting, as originally conceived by Baden-Powell, Beard, Seton, Hillcourt, and all the other founders, is an inspired, effective, wonderful program when executed correctly. Quite simply, IT WORKS. I believe in it with all my heart. It has been refined and improved over the past century to be one of the best programs there has ever been for raising young boys to be good, honest, capable men, fathers, husbands and citizens. It's ability to channel the inner nature of boys towards productive and character-building maturation has proven unparalleled, and I do indeed strive to do all I can to support it, encourage it, and use its methods, from uniforming to boy-led leadership to outdoor activities. I feel Cub Scouting has been the natural and exceptional preparatory program for Scouting. It comprehends who young boys are and how they grow, and I wish every boy could be part of it. This is the program I have dedicated myself to for the next 18 months and which I will also gladly support whole-heartedly until then. Because I prefer to be cheerful not only in person but in writing, most of my posts consciously reflect this portion of my sentiments regarding the changes wrought over the past year or two. However, there are elements of these changes which are difficult to accept as well. The Boy Scouts of America - specifically, Scouts BSA and the inclusion of girls in Cub Scouting I believe that Scouting is an effective, proven program that works. However, I no longer feel that the Boy Scouts of America will continue to support and provide a true Scouting experience for its youth members going forward. There have been too many compromises, too much fundamental change wrought to allow me to accept that they will deliver Scouting in its purest, most effective form to the young men in its organization. The most shocking change has been allowing girls into the program. BOYS AND GIRLS ARE FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT. I believe this is a difference not only of physicality, but also of nature, even a spiritual difference, and I do NOT believe that Scouting will work for girls as it does for boys because girls learn differently. Scouting has been refined for a century to work for boys, and while the aims of Scouting are certainly just as important for young women as they are for young men, I believe the methods of Scouting do not work as well for them. I also feel that by including girls in the same programs, the boys who remain are being robbed of their once-special place to act comfortably and freely as boys. BOYS DO NOT ACT THE SAME WHEN GIRLS PARTICIPATE IN THE SAME EXTENDED ACTIVITIES. They may be in different dens or troops, they may have different leaders - but they are now part of pack meetings, summer camp, Scout-O-Rama, Camporee - spaces and activities which were fundamentally created to be successful venues where boys could feel free to express their growing skills, talents and nature in arenas tailored to their specific dispositions. Now that is being taken from them, and yes, I am frustrated that the BSA has done this. I do not believe the Boy Scouts of America will appropriately be considered a "true" Scouting program after the integration has taken full effect. And that is heartbreaking to me. So - yes, I believe in Scouting. I will be as invested as I can for the next 18 months, and even after that I will continue to be friendly and supportive of it. After all, once an Eagle Scout, always and Eagle Scout. Same with my membership in the OA, and nobody will ever change the fact that I WAS AND AM A SCOUT. But The Boy Scouts of America is making changes to its program that I severely disapprove of. I do not oppose what they seek to accomplish, and I still believe in their ultimate aims. But I do not agree with how they seek to accomplish their objectives. I am not "anti-BSA." But as with any loved one who makes bad choices in life, I can only step back and encourage them to go back to their old ways. They have their agency, but I won't conceal that I am disappointed with their new direction. How can I not feel frustrated with a dear friend that, after 100 years of courage, has finally started to buckle under outside pressure? Quite frankly, I can only say that I feel you are wrong. The Lord DOES provide. He always has and He always will. Especially when an organization such as the BSA no longers seeks the same destination as the Church and we are compelled to forge a new road. I can't quite tell if you are a member of the Church or an outside observer; you seem to imply an insider's knowledge of how things operate, yet based on your skepticism and clear lack of confidence in the Church's revelatory process, I would be surprised to discover you were LDS. From what I read, it sounds as though you think everybody is failing, and I refuse to accept that as a possibility, much less a reality. You couch your language in terms of what's best for the youth, but I worry it is actually a vehicle for you to complain about the Church's decision. I will always side with the Church before anything else - Scouting taught me that - and honestly, I feel pessimism and doubt accomplish nothing. Besides, it's not the programs that save any of us anyway, is it? Unfortunately I cannot agree with anything you have said. I know that to the outside world it seems like a strange choice, even a foolish one, but for those of us within the Church, it makes sense, and we are moving forward, if not with a plan, at least with a lot of faith. And that seems to me like plenty to go on.
  15. The Latin Scot

    LDS Question

    You forget one thing - Scouting is an imperfect organization. A great organization for many decades (far less so now), but still imperfect. There are better paths, as the Church has clearly realized. And I'm afraid the thought that the Church "couldn't make it work with the incredible resources available from BSA" is as far off from the truth as one could be. The Church was one of the most successful of all the BSA's Chartered Partners for almost the entirety of our century together. We DID make it work, and with incredible results at that! Regions with heavy concentrations of LDS Scouts such as Utah, Idaho and Arizona have historically yielded huge numbers of Eagle Scouts; the Utah National Parks Council is the largest and most successful in the nation, and the number of LDS Scouters who move on to earn such awards as the Silver Beaver, Antelope and Buffalo are proportionally enormous. It's the BSA, not the Church, that is changing our capacity to succeed together, and there is nothing the BSA can offer us now that we cannot replicate and improve upon ourselves. With all the past controversy, program changes, et cetera, the BSA is beginning to limp along at a distressing pace. It's far better for us not to keep ourselves hitched to a wagon that's falling apart.
  16. The Latin Scot

    I finished my last meritbadge!

    Congratulations!
  17. The Latin Scot

    Spats

    Ah. Once again I stand corrected. Maybe I should just stop blabbing about things I clearly don't understand fully.
  18. The Latin Scot

    Spats

    Thank you for the specification - I stand corrected; looking at the photo those are indeed leggings. They go up too high up to be spats, which somehow, manages to makes them look worse. What I find odd, even ironic, is that none of them wear the Honor Guard Emblem, a badge specifically created for events such as the parade in the photo above. The Honor Guard Emblem sets the boys apart in their role; it's a special, "extra" for those who want to dress things up; it's even accented with white, so it will go with their gloves and flag carriers! Why in heavens did they sacrifice money (and their dignity) on those awful leggings when there was a far better and official option already available to them that is both subtler and more appropriate? Oh, people.
  19. The Latin Scot

    Spats

    Well, I will say, I finally got myself a new pair of shorts to replace the de la Renta pair I had inherited from our uniform exchange, and WOW do I like them better! It's a very durable canvas material, they're more comfortable, and a much more pleasant shade of green (I like the undertones of blue and gray far more than the brown and yellow undertones), AND as a young looking person in general, the simple cargo shorts are far more natural-looking on me than the odd pocket design of the 80's. I admit, I am a fan! As for spats - I think they look very odd in the photo above. From a color standpoint, I do see how it ties together the white of the gloves and flag supporters. I actually love my white NESA neckerchief because the white sets off the colors of the uniform very nicely. But what we see above are spats, and spats don't look at all natural on cargo pants. Spats are made for dress clothing, and are in part decorative in function. The Boy Scout uniform is essentially a practical uniform, and adding spats as an accessory is both aesthetically jarring and antithetical to our purposes. Gaiters, on the other hand, are an entirely different matter. In the earliest days of Scouting, those are what were worn, and the Boy Scouts wore olive khaki gaiters that matched their pants, which in those times were essentially jodhpurs - wide-thighed, flat-fronted pants. Because they were the same color, they didn't stand out against the rest of the uniform, and for the period it was a very normal thing to wear with outdoor/sporting clothing (this was the post-Edwardian era after all and the English outdoor aesthetic was as much an influence on the military as the military was on early Scoutwear). Gaiters were meant as more of a "heavy-duty" type of leg protection, and unlike spats, which are really meant to protect clothing, gaiters were more practical protection for shins, ankles, and the often-delicate leather shoes of the times. Gaiters were generally produced in thick canvas (such as with the Boy Scout uniforms) or from thicker, stronger leather than was used for shoes. As the Scout pant cut changed over the decades, they continued to produce gaiters to protect the boys' clothing - and they were always the same color because their purpose was not decorative, but practical (speaking for Boy Scouts, not Explorers). As shoe design improved and gaiters became less necessary, they were gradually phased out. Nowadays they are hard to find (I have actually wanted a vintage pair desperately for many months now). If they are worn though, they should be proper gaiters (not mamby-pamby spats), and they should be worn appropriately - with the correct period uniform, and in the same color. What I see above is somewhat akin to gilding the lilies to me - a properly worn uniform, well-fitted and properly sewn up with all the elements, is impressive enough. No need to fancy it up with useless footwear.
  20. The Latin Scot

    New from ny

    Welcome! Glad to have you here!
  21. The Latin Scot

    Arrow of Light Scouts Crossing Over

    That is a good idea. Funny, the more I hear about these School-based calendars, the less I like them. And taking the summer off just sounds like lunacy to me. Summer is the season for Scouting! No School to compete with, the boys have time, the weather is great - I accomplish more in the summer months than I ever can during the rest of the time. I think inviting the Webelos to your Troop meetings is the EXACT answer to your situation. Just make SURE to have activities planned that will engage them and that their parents can observe if they wish. Not having Scouts is a catastrophe for that pack, but hey, you might as well turn it into a goldmine for your recruitment efforts!
  22. My boys would LOVE that, and it passes of requirements that they need to complete as well! I am sending you a private message now!
  23. I am now a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow

    1. prof

      prof

      Congratulations!!!!!

    2. NJCubScouter

      NJCubScouter

      Mazel tov, as we say in my religion.  :)

    3. The Latin Scot

      The Latin Scot

      Thanks everybody!

    4. Show next comments  15 more
  24. The Latin Scot

    Arrow of Light Scouts Crossing Over

    That's why I dislike the idea of a program "year" starting in June or September or whatever. My program is ongoing, with no "beginning or end." The way my CO runs it, boys become Webelos Scouts when they turn 10 and cross over to Boy Scouts at 11. So I don't wait for any specific times to award them any rank - once they complete the requirements, they advance in rank. SO usually, that means 3 - 4 months after their birthday they earn their Webelos rank, and 6 - 8 months after they earn their Arrow of Light. This results in boys earning these ranks throughout the year, and usually there are only a few boys earning rank at any given pack meeting. It makes it much less of a bother to "get it done," because the boys are moving at their own pack, and never feel left out if they don't earn a rank "with all the other boys" because they all earn it at different times anyway. Sometimes there are unusual cases. I have had boy join my group a few months after they have turned 10 already, which may mean making choices. If possible, I have them work solely on the Arrow of Light, but if they won't have 6 months to complete the tenure requirement, we just focus on the Webelos rank, and we don't make a big deal about his not being able to complete the AofL. Fortunately, since there isn't any "end of the program year," there are no overwrought Arrow of Light/Crossing-over bonanzas for him to feel left out of, so I never have any boys or parents complaining if the AofL isn't earned. There's also a lot of communication going from the beginning so that it's never a last-minute shock if it doesn't happen - I make plans with families as soon as boys enter the den, so if certain awards can't reasonably be earned, it's something we are all prepared to deal with. It's a very nice, stress-free way to deal with rank advancement in Webelos, and as a result I have never had to deal with any serious parental complaints in the 2 1/2 years I have been doing this. I recommend it to anybody looking for ways to help Cub Scout families - if not the calendar changes, at least the communication part.
  25. The Latin Scot

    From National Annual Meeting: OA Eligibility Updates

    That's right, I forgot you are in OC too! I am doubly lucky since I live only 10 minutes down Los Alisos from Oso Lake, so it is incredibly convenient. Yet somehos this was that first time I have ever been to that campsite despite living in this neighborhood my entire life! And yes, it was a LONG, back-breaking day; my allergies went bananas, I got burned, starved, smoke and dust every where , dozens of whiny tired boys who coudn't keep silent for 10 minutes much less 24 hours - and I love every minute of it. I made friends, I got a fresh perspective on service and leadership, and after 21 years, I have finally become a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow. Now I am off to Chuch for a few hours before I come home to die, LOL.
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