Jump to content

The Latin Scot

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by The Latin Scot

  1. I think it would be especially appropriate to include this, perhaps one of our nation's greatest sermons on gratitude:


    Washington, D.C.
    October 3, 1863

    By the President of the United States of America.

    A Proclamation.

    The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

    In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

    Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

    By the President: Abraham Lincoln

    William H. Seward,
    Secretary of State


    • Thanks 1

  2. I can see how that might be an issue if I had never met the family before, and I appreciate the point you make. Admittedly, my pack operates out of our local church congregation (which I grew up in), and most of the families have been in our pack since Wolves at least. So there haven't been many brand-new families whom I haven't met already at some point before, although those that have been new have been very grateful for the time we took to get to know them. Nonetheless I am grateful for your comments and will certainly take that potential perspective into account in the future.

  3. I don't know about my pack, but in my Webelos Den, I would always make personal visits with my assistant and Den Chief to new Scouts' homes when possible to welcome new boys into our Webelos group. I'd bring a Family Talent Survey for the parents to complete during our visit along with the standard official BSA Webelos welcome materials, and for the boy I would bring our den patch (as chosen during the Scouting Adventure adventure), Webelos neckerchief, and whatever other uniform items I had on hand from my uniform closet to help him transition as much as possible to the tan & olive uniform. Almost always I was at least able to get them a hat, shirt (with blue loops!), and bottoms of some kind, leaving only the smaller things like socks and slides to the family. Ideally they would already have the belt and handbook. 

    I also asked our new Webelos Scout which elective adventure appealed to him, and made sure to introduce activities from that award into our schedule within his first month or two. And I taught him our den yell and showed him our flag while I discussed upcoming volunteer opportunities with his parents. I made sure they understood our regular den meeting time and location, and when our pack meetings generally transpired and how our planning sessions operated. I also made sure they got the current Monthly Den Newsletter & Calendar so they had a head's up on upcoming activities, and invited them to our monthly committee meetings if they weren't attending already. When visiting the family at their home proved impossible, I invited them to my own, or met with them after the boy's first den meeting - but I never let more than two weeks pass from the boy's first day with us before making sure this meeting took place. Parents always seemed to be extremely appreciative of these visits, so I can only assume I was doing something right when I started doing them. :p

  4. At our Camporall this past weekend, I found this delightful little neckerchief slide for $2 in a bin of predominantly commonplace or uninteresting slides. I fell in love with it at once, but it's history has eluded all my research and scouring of the internet. 

    Can anybody offer any information about this little treasure? I would like to tell Scouts something about this whenever I wear it (which I am sure will be often), but at the moment I have absolutely nothing to go on. Any comments or help would be greatly appreciated; thank you!




    slide 1.jpg

    slide 2.jpg

  5. I've noticed that earning the rank of Eagle doesn't have the same prestige it once did. Nowadays there are so many leaders who didn't earn Eagle that there's almost a greater effort to downplay the achievement in an effort to ameliorate the feelings of all the boys who fail to accomplish it. Which is a travesty in my eyes; when you lessen the value of something good in a vain effort to protect the feelings of those who won't work hard enough to obtain it, you only create a standard of mediocrity that does harm to ALL the youth by taking away the higher goals they could be striving towards. But in my area, there are far too many leaders who couldn't care less about earning Eagle and have passed that apathy on to the next generation, LDS or not. As committed Scouters, it's all we can do to counteract that attitude amongst the boys we serve.

  6. As an LDS commissioner, I think 1/4 is being optimistic. Honestly, I'll be floored if as many as one in ten LDS Scouts throughout the country stay in Scouting. Details about the church's new program are finally rolling in and it seems most boys won't look back as they develop and begin the new activities. Here in Southern Orange County, CA, there is only one LDS-focused unit being formed that will likely cover every town from San Clemente to Newport Beach and all the way north throughout Irvine - it's a huge area with LOTS of LDS youth, yet only about 30 families are showing any real interest in pursuing Scouting so far. I think with the new youth program beginning in earnest next year, the number of kids from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints still involved in Scouting will dwindle more than some like to think. We have a new program now, and while Scouting was wonderful for the 100+ years we were together, it's the dawn of a new era for LDS kids and we have an entirely new, equally involving initiative that's going to consume as much attention and focus and dedication as Scouting ever did. Scouting needs to brace itself for a more total departure than they realize.

  7. On 10/4/2019 at 7:32 PM, thrifty said:

    Love this!  We have a few different thrift stores in the area that I enjoy going to and I've found over 40 uniforms in the past three years.   2 or 3 that still had tags on them.  takes time to get the badge magic off but not too important if someone is sewing new patches on top of it.  I wonder what will happen to the majority of the LDS uniforms of the scouts that quit?

    I'm actually trying to keep two steps ahead of that by starting to address this NOW. I'm letting families and leaders know that I will be collecting any and all uniform items after December, and I'll collect and catalogue all of it for other units in the area to use as a resource until it's all be donated. I know it's only a small gesture, but I hope it will help alleviate some of the loss for our district going forward since we represented a significant portion of our area's population and funding. I estimate I'll be able to get enough uniforms to fully supply at least 40 - 50 Scouts.

    • Upvote 1

  8. As a Scout I LOVED every single issue of Boy's Life I received. A caveat, I was even then a voracious reader - I practically inhaled anything with words on it that entered our home (and still do) - but Boy's Life was something special. During the late 80's and all through the 90's I read articles that I still remember vividly, covering everything from Legos to African wildlife to popular film effects to cave exploring in South America. It was, I daresay, a deep drink of fascinating information for a kid whose curiosity was insatiable. 

    Now I read through the magazine and wonder if I've just grown beyond the kind of articles they print, or if the quality really has diminished. There just doesn't need to be the same amount of information as there was before. Fewer articles, and more gaudy imagery. I may start reading copies side-by-side just as a bit of research. So in January '20 I'll also read January '10, January '00, and January '90. Likewise for February, et cetera. I think a year of that should prove very interesting. I very well may turn this into something ... 

  9. 1 hour ago, mashmaster said:

    If you read your initial email you are  disapproving of him wearing the pin on his uniform.   You say it isn't your place but then you go on to say that he shouldn't especially as an ASM.  He should follow the uniform code to the letter...."simply being a well-uniformed leader will represent your daughter far better than any extra pins ever will"  That may not seem like a disapproval by you but it is.

    If wearing the pin has anyway of encouraging a scout to continue on then go for it.  We are here for the youth first.

    Putting words into somebody's mouth is rarely a good idea, and rest assured, I always read my own messages. I never once said "I disapprove." You might infer it, but you can't claim I said it, and just to reinforce my point - I express no disapproval of anybody's uniform, despite the fact that I do openly state my disagreement with the position of some regarding parent pins upon them. But they are two different things, and I'd appreciate if you wouldn't try to divine what I do or do not approve of when I am perfectly capable of doing so myself. I will define my own opinions - not you. Thank you.

    Official BSA policy states that parent pins are not for uniform wear. That isn't my disapproval. That's official regulation. How I opine on the matter is irrelevant. 

    Also, if we are truly here for the youth first, then why are we trying to bend to rules with our own uniforms - isn't that putting ourselves first? If you want to encourage a Scout to continue, don't do it by evading basic policy. That's not helping the youth at all. Surely we don't have to resort to extra bling on our shirts to encourage our youth; if so, we are in a desperate state indeed.

  10. 1 hour ago, mashmaster said:

    You clearly would not approve of my uniform that is adorned with knots.  

    This is simply not true, regardless of the fact that it may violate BSA policy. I would never be so callous as to voice 'disapproval' of somebody's uniform, however egregious its errors may or may not be. I don't know whence this suggestion comes. But this discussion is about the parent pins, not the knots; consequently, I think it's important to use better terms for this conversation.

    Approval has nothing to do with this. It's not my place to approve or disapprove of these things, nor anybody else's. Approval is not the point of this discussion. However, there are very clear, and I dare say very easy-to-follow policies outlined by the BSA in The Official Guide to Awards and Insignia regarding what is and is not appropriate for uniform wear according to national standards. Despite its title, it is more than merely a "guide" - it's a handbook of official policy. No, it's not "holy writ" (don't exaggerate now; nobody said that it was), but it's not mere suggestion either. It's the national standard. It outlines the specifics of what is permitted for uniform wear, and what is not. Follow it so that you can comply with our organization's expectations, and you'll be doing yourself a great favor. Ignore it, and, well, that's your choice - but you're setting an example to the youth you serve either way. My approval is irrelevant. Your example is everything.

    I know parents in particular get touchy when it comes to their parent pins, but really, it's such a small thing - are we really going to let a few pins keep us from truly embracing proper uniforming? My mother has a ribbon that looks like a long piece of chain mail garnered over the years from her three Eagle scout sons, but she isn't so attached to it that she ever feels the "need" to wear it, especially not with her uniform. She's learned to discern what really matters from what's just 'fluff.' She's been Scouting for over 30 years now, and she's discovered there are better ways to honor her kids than by skirting around the uniform policy just to show of her 'parental swag.' I'm grateful to her for her example in teaching us that she doesn't need to wear her pins to show us that she cares about Scouting - or about us. Parental pride is one thing, but parental example is infinitely more efficacious.

    Whether or not we may think or feel the pins look okay, the fact is they are very specifically stated as being for civilian use - not for uniform wear. That's the policy. It's so simple, I'm almost surprised there's discussion about it. Anybody can follow this rule. @rickmay, your profile image suggests that you are an army veteran. You then, of all people, should know and appreciate the importance of a uniform, and of wearing it properly. That applies to Scouting just as much as it does the armed forces, or to first responders. Our uniforms mean something. These small details reveal great things about our character.

  11. Actually, parent pins shouldn't be worn on the uniform, and there's really nothing to be gained by doing so. Let your child represent him- or herself in the youth uniform. You best represent the Scouts by being properly uniformed yourself, and part of that means remembering that parents' pins are meant for non-uniform wear. Nowadays, there are nice parent ribbons available at the Scout Store on the which you may place your pins, but again, those are not to wear on the uniform. In our troop, when we present our parent pins we remind them that while they are lovely reminders of their child's accomplishments, there is a proper time and place to wear them - as with all things. 

    As an Assistant Scoutmaster, you should be particularly conscious of the way you wear your uniform. You set the model for the rest of your troop, so be sure you read The Official Guide to Awards and Insignia carefully, and follow it to the letter. Believe me when I say that being perfectly uniformed will set you apart enough already, but beyond that, simply being a well-uniformed leader will represent your daughter far better than any extra pins ever will. :cool: 

    • Upvote 4
    • Downvote 1