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The Latin Scot

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  1. It would certainly be a valid topic if you ask me - what point would you add or subtract from the Scout law if given the opportunity? I remember that at my own Eagle Board of Review, I was asked that very question. I, like you, answered humble, and my reasoning was much along the same lines as your response here. Even as a 14 year-old, I was frustrated with many of the egos I encountered in Scouting - certainly among the bullies who made life difficult for smaller fellows like myself, but even more so among the leaders who thought themselves above reproach. That was twenty-odd years ago, but my feelings are still the same. Humility, modesty, and discretion are undervalued attributes these days. Back to the topic at hand, I feel those are qualities that every Scoutmaster and Cubmaster should embody. If they did, I don't think there would be an issue with the titles. A Scouter who has mastered all the skills and virtues of Scouting, but is modest about his abilities and accomplishments, would be the best kind of promotion for our program, and would be the best argument for keeping these venerated and time-honored terms. I can't help but think of the Norman Rockwell painting, called appropriately enough The Scoutmaster. I look at this image and think, not of some authoritarian adult forcing children to submit to his will, but of a strong, gentle leader with the wisdom and skills needed to help guide and encourage the youth in his care to become better citizens, better family members, and better people - all through the strength of who he is, not what he says. I see in this painting (which has a fascinating story behind it) the very ideal of what we mean when we call somebody a Scoutmaster - this is someone who has truly mastered both the skills and virtues of Scouting, who lives its values, and who sets an example for the youth in his care to follow. We would all do well to live up to those ideas, and try to be, in our own way, true Scoutmasters and Cubmasters, even if our current position is something besides.
  2. I have never, in all my years of Scouting, encountered this 'problem.' As I have always interpreted it, the Scoutmaster is not a master over the Scouts - he is a master of the skills of Scouting. Likewise, the Cubmaster is not the master of the Cubs - he is a master of the skills of Cub Scouting. In Scouting, the label 'master' is used as a term of respect for the Scoutmaster or Cubmaster's superior abilities and skills, not as a submission to some (imagined) superior authority or status. This is perhaps a finer nuance of meaning than many are accustomed to consider, in the which case I think our more refined use of the nomenclature can only be a positive thing, and one that can help us progress towards a more enlightened use of both language and terminology. Our use of the word master can help us advance beyond the unfortunate stigmas of the past, and move towards a more equitable use, where anybody can become a master of skills through hard work and diligence, and where recognition for such can be recognized by any and all.
  3. SO, I created a powerpoint to share with all the units in our district for our Roundtable a month ago, and I would like to share it here, but I don't know how to upload powerpoint presentations here. If anybody would like to see it though, I am happy to send it to you! EDIT: I figured out how to save it as a PDF - if you would like to use it yourself, I can send you the Powerpoint files which you can then customize at will. Just send me a private message and I will be glad to oblige you. Thanks all! Cub Scout powerpoint SAMPLE.pdf
  4. Yes, girls in Scouting will be able to earn the new awards. The wording is specifically written to include young women activities as options for completing the requirements.
  5. No, VISA is NOT the new official LDS program. The new LDS program was instituted at the end of last year, and is entirely apart from Scouting of any kind - there will be no intersection between the official LDS program and Scouting. The church proper has nothing to do with VISA nor its new religious awards program. That said, VISA has been created entirely by volunteers who are both members of the church and continuing members of scouting, and while it is in no was directed by nor affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is designed exclusively to serve LDS scouting families. I strongly recommend reading the following pages from VISA's website: About VISA: https://www.vanguardscouting.org/about-vanguard/ Mission: https://www.vanguardscouting.org/mission/ Purposes and Objectives: https://www.vanguardscouting.org/purposes-objectives/ Supporting Activities: https://www.vanguardscouting.org/activities-to-support-its-purposes-and-objectives/ If you read these pages carefully you will understand the need for this new organization as well as its role in the future of scouting for LDS units, and of course, I am always happy to help everybody understand as best I can. Yes, LDS Scouts will continue to earn normal BSA ranks and fulfill standard BSA requirements just as they have always done for the past 107 years. Only the requirements for the their new religious emblems awards, along with the awards themselves, will change. All requirements and applications for the awards are online, and should be made available to your unit religious emblems coordinator. Have them follow the link here: https://www.vanguardscouting.org/the-new-religious-emblems-program/
  6. By the way, VISA was officially recognized by the World Organization of the Scout Movement this month, which is why they are licensed to use the international scouting emblem on their own emblem, and its awards were also recognized by the BSA Religious Relationships Committee this month. So this is legit, folks. 😉
  7. The old religious emblems program was created by the church, distributed by the church, and directed by the church. Because the church no longer sponsors scouting, it no longer offers those old awards, nor any other awards of that kind - it has its own program now with its own forms of recognition, entirely apart from the awards it used to offer its boys of scouting age. The old awards have been officially retired and their production discontinued. So there was a need to create a new religious awards program for members of the church who opted to continue in scouting, awards that can be worn on the uniform or with business attire just like most other religious awards. The Vanguard International Scouting Association is a body of volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have united to fill the void left by the church when it ended its religious emblems program, creating these new awards for LDS Scouts so that they can continue to earn a religious emblem particular to their faith if they continue in scouting. This body is not in any way endorsed by the church, but it does apprise Church leadership of all its doings, and it because it directly replaces the LDS-BSA Relations committee, which WAS fully sanctioned and operated by the church, it has been a natural and relatively painless transition. And the awards are, if I may say so myself, lovely. But again - VISA is IN NO WAY operated by, endorsed, or sanctioned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint, which will no longer endorse ANY youth or scouting program of any kind, as it now has its own youth development program. This group is not a new Scouting organization like 4H or Campfire or any of those groups, it is specifically a body formed by volunteers to create a religious awards program for LDS Scouts and provide a resource for LDS scouters at Jamboree, national committees, and other like events. Just like there are organizations which serve Jewish or Catholic or Protestant scouts and provide awards and fellowship within their religious, this group will provide the same for LDS scouts. Again, this body will oversee a new religious awards program and provide resources and fellowship for LDS scouting - it is not a new scouting program in and of itself. It's the same kind of organization as P.R.A.Y., the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, or the National Jewish Committee on Scouting. But it is not a part or nor will it be directed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The church is working very hard to make a clean break from scouting to support its own program; this group is merely run by the many hundreds of LDS scouting volunteers who want to perpetuate a relationship with the BSA and provide awards and resources for those of own own faith. And finally, as for the continued use of the term Boy Scouts instead of Scouts BSA, well, after 106 years of calling it Boy Scouts, it's understandable for us to be a bit set in our ways, is it not? And is the organization not still called The Boy Scouts of America? Thank goodness. Furthermore, many new LDS units remain exclusively male, since we value the differences between men and women and don't always perceive them as interchangeable, as some modern lines of thought would have us believe. So you'll have to forgive us if some of us are still reluctant to switch to the new, politically correct terminology. I myself still don't approve of girls in the boy scout program, and while I am careful to use the appropriate term Scouts BSA in my role as a unit and district-level commissioner, within our own unit I use the term Boy Scouts freely. I find no problem with this. Again, I just finished a wonderful two day conference about this organization yesterday, so I am happy to share anything with those of you who have any questions, and if you would like, I can direct you to the recordings from the conference so you can watch for yourself and get a crystal clear understanding of the organization moving forward. It's always fun to share with others!
  8. Not at all my friends, they have just been saving everything for announcement at the annual Little Philmont event which they broadcast this weekend! I spent this whole weekend on an online training conference held over Zoom where the entire organizations and its programs were revealed and carefully, dynamically presented by the organization heads. Over 600 people attended from all over the country! Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the newly revised website for the newly organized and ready-to-rumble Vanguard International Scouting Association! https://www.vanguardscouting.org/ This has actually been in development for more than a year, thanks to the prescience of our church leadership; as soon as the break from Scouting was announced wheels were in motion to establish an organization that could carry on the good relations between the LDS community and Scouting organizations throughout the world - which is why this new organization will be available to LDS Scouts from all nations - not just the Boy Scouts of America, but also Scouts in other countries' organizations as well. A presence is planned for Jamboree, and the new religious awards have been created and are in production already! The Light and Truth Award for Cub Scouts and the Vanguard Awards for Scouts and leaders, will be available within the year. While the Church has no part in the creation of the awards nor in the organization, it is apprised of everything it does and all it stands for, so there is nothing done by VISA which they are not aware of. As for its recognition by Boy Scouts of America, well, thanks to Charles Dahlquist's pull as the former National Commissioner and the deep connections the Church maintain on the national committees prior to the break, this organization is already the official BSA- recognized liaison for LDS Scouting. Scouting in the Church is not slowing down one bit during this pandemic - in fact its gaining momentum every day! The new awards: The Light and Truth Award (Cub Scouts) The Vanguard Award (Scouts) The Vanguard Award (Adults)
  9. I don't know how the church would go about sanctioning any one group as it's 'official' representative body, as it likely wants to keep its break from Scouting as clean as possible. However, if any organization does assume that mantle, it will be this one. It's made of up many of the same people who served in the previous organization, like Mark Francis and Charles W. Dahlquist II, who were important figures in its structure and in the BSA at large, so it's pretty clear this will be the most important organization to LDS Scouting families in the future. Whether or not the church chooses to give its approval to any of them remains to be seen, but I don't think that will be a major hurdle to the association in the future either way.
  10. Actually these developments are much, much further along than noted here. First of all, there is already an official organization in place that has replaced the LDS-BSA Relations Committee, now known as the Vanguard International Scouting Association - it was announced on February 8th of this year to coincide with the anniversary of Scouting. Its information can be found here: https://www.vanguardscouting.org/uncategorized/new-vanguard-international-scouting-association/ Secondly, there is a virtual conference from Philmont scheduled for next week (Friday and Saturday) during which they will announce the new religious awards for Scouts and Scouters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - among other things. They have a great schedule of trainings planned. I got an email for it a week ago. Here's the registration page: https://www.vanguardscouting.org/philmont-vision-2020-conference/little-philmont-virtual/ So there is a lot of good stuff coming down the line for us LDS Scouts and Scouters! I'll be sure to post all the new goodness as it comes. I'm certainly excited!
  11. Having dealt with tremendous numbers of older pants myself, I can almost guarantee you won't find anything that fits the same as those pants did. That cut and style was very much a product of its time (circa the 1980's), and is now woefully out of fashion. For the most part that's a good thing, as that style just did NOT seem to fit any boy I ever met, what with the slim waist and larger carriage area leading to the wide pant legs - boys just aren't shaped like that, and the design had long baffled me (even when I was a Scout and wore that very style myself I thought them distastefully goofy). I never realized until this post that such would be perfect for a lady's proportions ... but in any case no, you aren't likely to find anything that fits like that in the modern designs (though I have a box of pants in the same style I wish I could hand over to you!).
  12. Wow this thread is old! LOL. But I will take the time to note that few things irk me as much as the misnomer 'Webelo' used in reference to a single Scout who should, in fact, be called a 'Webelos Scout." There is no such thing as a 'Webelo!' Drives me bonkers every time I hear it. Enough to keep it in my signature, lol. 🤪
  13. I think it's irrational to believe that this pandemic spells the end of such basic parts of our culture as hand-shaking. For a season it may diminish in use, but only for a season - when we finally have this illness beaten, which we will, I believe the handshake will come back with a vengeance. Until that time, I am strongly encouraging all Scout leaders to salute each other - it's just as much a means of salutation as the handshake, and in many situations I even prefer it. Why don't we salute each other more? lol.
  14. Amen to this! Especially with all the space now available at emptying BSA properties in Utah and Idaho; there must be a way to hold a large-scale event that doesn't require travel all the way back east. Distance wise, anything over the Rockies can be like travelling to another country for those of us on the west coast.
  15. This was a point I brought up a few pages back. The girl's title of SPL over a male unit was never valid in the first place because she cannot be a member of that troop, regardless of how closely (too closely if you ask me) their two units work together. This is all over the BSA literature if you get into it enough.
  16. I certainly concur with all of your thoughts and ideas, @Protoclete. I live in a pretty densely populated area, yet for some reason there are only a few select opportunities to take the CC courses each year - and the primary event that was planned for tomorrow has now been cancelled. In light of recent advances in technology, as well as the unfortunate spread of illness in the past few weeks, I think it would behoove the BSA to look into making as many of these courses available online as possible. They already have a great number of their position-specific courses available online; I can't imagine it would be any more complicated to do the same for all the CC courses as well - or at least a large percentage of them. I definitely agree that better tracking methods, broader availability of online courses, and new ways to certify the taking of said courses in absolutely in order. I will support any movement to help make it happen.
  17. To be honest, it matters because neither unit is getting the Scouting program the way it's meant to be delivered. They are being short-changed out of the full benefits and strengths the program can offer when the genders are respected and treated with singular, undivided attention. That's the way the program is meant to be. Changing it like this, however you may try to justify it, does a disservice to the very youth you are trying to serve.
  18. Not only the above as shared by @HashTagScouts, but also, Scouts cannot serve in positions of responsibility outside the units with which they are registered. The girls may share committees and unit numbers with the boys, but they are still registered as different units, and therefore cannot serve in positions outside their own troop. Technically, those poor boys have no SPL - certainly not according to the BSA. They have a Scout from an outside troop doing the job, but nobody from their own unit gets the experience. That's a real shame. Mind you, I doubt that this kind of controversy would arise if the reverse were true - if a BOY was usurping the role of SPL over a girl unit, there would be all kinds of hullabaloo over denying girls the right to run their own troop. Well, that's exactly what's happening to the boys in this unit, and it's both unfair and against BSA policy. Both the boys and the girls are hurt by the current violation.
  19. Of course you can! One, policy dictates that the girl cannot be SPL of the male unit in the first place; ergo, her election was invalid before it even took place. Second, there are no such things as "terms" when it comes to BSA troop positions. Youth leaders serve until the unit realizes they need - or decides that they want - new leaderership. If you read the various handbooks, guides and publications regarding the BSA troop leadership positions, you will find that you can hold an election whenever you want, whenever it's needed. Here it is CLEARLY needed; the only problem is that the adults don't want it, and the youth haven't been taught well enough to know it. There's a lot of good happening, as we've established - but there's a whole lot that needs fixing too.
  20. You can hold elections whenever you want. Yes you just had one - but it wasn't done properly, and that negates much of the whole affair. Also, it's (frankly) irrelevant how recently your past election was held. There are no time limits, no term requirements, and no stipulations stating that you can't hold another election whenever it's necessary or desired. And right now, it is. You aren't taking ANYTHING from the youth by doing so - in fact, you are GIVING them back the proper program that you should have been giving them in the first place. You are in no way bound to your past election, and if you explain how their troops SHOULD be run, and give the boys and the girls a new opportunity to elect their own leaders as you should have done before, you will be empowering both the boys and the girls by granting them more ownership of their programs. So let the girl SPL keep her title and role for the girls, and let the boys elect their own SPL and start running their own activities. Both programs will expand and succeed far more if you will just bend to proper patrol method and give the power back to each unit.
  21. Well, shucks! I was all excited to attend our annual, regional Commissioner College up in L.A. this Saturday - traditionally, all the commissioners from my district would carpool the 90-minute drive north to Sherman Oaks for a day of quality classes and mingling, followed by a nice meal on the way home. I went last year for the first time, and it was actually a lot of fun - I even bought a new Scout shirt for the year (I have finally out-grown my youth-sized shirt)! But NO, I just got word that the SoCAL Commissioner College has been CANCELLED/POSTPONED (they aren't sure yet). Fie! A pox on this illness and the havoc it wreaks upon this world!
  22. Your heated responses, especially the remark about your committee "stepping in and telling (you) how to run the program," makes it clear to me that you KNOW you are violating BSA policy, and you are passionately trying to justify your actions - not to us, but to yourself. Broad aphorisms about inclusion and equality are only masking the real issue - you are not running your troops in accordance with BSA policy, but you worry changing your methods will harm the growth you have been enjoying. In the long run, it's just better to check yourself and where you are going against established policy, and make the necessary changes - before somebody higher up does it for you. And by the way, I don't regard any unit going against established procedure as successful - regardless of the numbers they have accrued. Success isn't the number of kids you have in your unit - it's the example and behaviors you are teaching them. I know this is a rather brash way of putting it, but I feel that both the boys AND the girls are being cheated out of the full benefits of this program when you mash their troops together as though they were one unit, and for the sakes of the Scouts in your care, I implore you to reconsider the way you run your program.
  23. Be aware that you are in violation of established BSA policy. While you may share committees, resources, and even adult leadership, you are still operating two separate troops. That means each unit, the male and the female unit, needs to operate apart from the other. That means they should not be sharing youth leadership, and your current organization of boy and girl patrols goes against the rules of the Boy Scouts of America. You need to divide your units into a boy troop (with its own SPL and patrols) and a girl troop (with its own SPL and patrols). The fact that your units are thriving should be an indicator that such a division will not be a problem, and that your troops will continue to grow. But there is a concerning line in your post: One of the bigger issues National has to deal with is maintaining YPT standards and barriers to abuse. By ignoring the policy regarding male and female units, you are in fact violating those standards. I think you have been successful enough with recruiting new members that you should have no problem making the adjustments needed to conform with proper standards, which will only strengthen your units for both the boys and the girls. But be aware that, as it currently stands, your attempts to merge the boy and girl units will only cause headaches and potential problems down the line.
  24. Are the ones being sold really THAT small? Mine are pretty large, and I have used them to demonstrate slings, tourniquets, and bandages for every part of the body. As far as I can tell, they are plenty large enough to be useful (they did make them larger again a few years ago, mind you). I may not be the biggest guy around, but at almost 5'9 and 180 lbs I have no problems with the current size. I DO like the idea of going back to full squares though, more for the fullness than for the size itself.
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