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The Latin Scot

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Posts posted by The Latin Scot


  1. Hey everybody, I have a question about the wearing of official uniform headgear indoors. I have a campaign hat which I love to pieces, and wear as often as I can. Now to be clear, I was raised well enough to know that I should remove it inside chapels, in front of ladies, at the table, et cetera, and of course when I am wearing any other kind of hat it comes off when I am indoors, but I was under the impression that when wearing official uniforms, be they Scout, military, law enforcement, or whatever, they could be worn otherwise even when indoors. I don't ask my Cubs to remove their hats indoors for den meetings; we meet at our local church, but in the classroom wing, not the chapel (where I do insist hats be removed out of reverence). But in all other cases their hats are always on; it's a part of their uniform and I like to see them fully dressed.

     

    My brother, however, is of the mind that all hats should be removed as soon as we walk through the doors of any building, period - uniform or not. I have searched all the materials I have over and over and can't find a conclusive answer yet, but I know somebody here will be able to help - when are official uniform hats appropriate to wear, and when ought they to be removed? Any help or insight, but especially official BSA publications on the issue, will be greatly appreciated.


  2. I didn't realize there was a time limit on First Class. So it takes them 18 months to earn First Class. Why is that an issue worth changing the whole program back for?

     

    I must be missing something here too? If LDS units no longer operate over 14 years old, is the push to get them Eagle before 14 now? What's the problem if kids make FC in 18 months. I have several guys that took 18 months to get FC. Several of those were the first to make Eagle from their peer group. I just don't see why we needed to reverse the requirements to allow making FC in one year for one particular group.

    LDS units DO and WILL operate over 14 years old. The only change is that instead of automatically being registered into a varsity unit at 14 and then a Venturing crew at 16, now the boys simply continue to be registered in the Troop if they want to continue Scouting. LDS Scouts can stay in Scouting all the way until they are 18 if they want; they just won't be registered in a Church-sponsored Varsity or Venturing unit is all. People really need to understand this; there are a LOT of misconception being thrown around everywhere. 

     

    But yes, we keep the 11-year olds separate from the boys 12 and up because of the way we divide our programs for youth. Children under the age of 12 fall under the Church's Primary program for children, so 11 year-old Scouts fall under a different overall program than the boys 12 and up, which fall under the Young Men's program. Because of the fundamental divide in how the Church runs it programs, 11 year-olds are still treated as children (which they are), so we don't like to throw to much camping on them at that age is all. At 12 we let them camp all we want. Some people do it younger, some wait till they are even older than that. But as a Church we do it at 12. 

     

    Now, what the BSA chooses to do is its own choice, so let's not create all kinds of misguided or incorrect information about the Church's role in this when really, that isn't the case.

    • Upvote 4

  3. So bsa makes the change back to avoid losing more lds kids? Great. They'll leave anyway in three years so why water down the program?

     

    I wouldn't suggest promoting rumors that have no basis in fact. As a devout Latter-day Saint who keeps a close watch on the Church's policies and directions, I can assure you there has been no hint nor rumor nor suggestion that the Church has any plans to leave the Cub Scouting or Boy Scouting programs anytime soon. Furthermore, this isn't watering down the program, but restoring it to what it was before because of numbers that were affected by the change in the first place. Simply because you choose to cast it in a negative light does not actually make it a bad thing. By your logic, the change somehow, suddenly produced better Scouts, and now the BSA wants to make them worse again by going back to the ways things were not two years ago. I can hardly imagine that being so. 

    • Upvote 1

  4. I would debate with you about sewing being a great skill but that's not the intention of this thread (pun intended).  I was taught sewing in home economics class back in the 6th grade and in the decades that have passed I have only used it to sew on an occasional button or my son's patches.  I'm not saying its worthless but I would rate it lower than many of my other skills I use daily or weekly.  The wife doesn't sew at all.

     

    I can also say that at least all of my son's patches are on his uniform and easily updated unlike many of the others in the troop.  Funny, CC (middle age mother of two if it makes any difference) was just at my house last night and complained about the sewing.  Scouts have gone into BOR with wrong ranks and offices because they didn't want to be bothered with the patches.  I also don't like the patch area of the shirt after patches have been sewn and removed several times for officer or rank.  IMO it weakens those areas greatly, not that it matters a lot.

    Wow ... this actually sounds like a validation for sewing if ever there was one!

     

    See, if people really know how to sew, there is no visible mark on the shirt after patches are removed because the stitching is neat and the thread is a proper match. When you remove it, you simply undo the threadwork and there's little evidence that the former patch was there (unlike a giant blank patch of velcro waiting for its new patch - and what happens when that bit of velcro is itself removed, I might ask?). Also, sewing on a new patch takes maybe 10 - 15 minutes. Are our lives so impossibly hectic that we don't have a few minutes to sit and sew on a small patch? If so, we need to re-prioritize some things. Now, if I see a Scout walk into a Board of Review with the wrong patches, I don't blame sewing for being too hard. I don't blame his mother for not getting it done, heaven forbid. It's the boy's fault! A small infraction, mind you, but let's not blame the skill (or lack thereof) for the problem.

     

    And as the son of a tailor, I apologize, but sewing is an invaluable skill that really has no replacement. My clothing lasts far longer that that of my friends because when something tears, I can fix it up, and if it gets worn, I can mend it. If I bulk up a bit at the gym I can alter pants or jackets accordingly, and when I slim down I can tailor them back to size. I can hem my own pants and modify my shirts - in fact my Scout uniform is even tailored to fit just right!. And my father the seamster can do a hundred times more. He upholsters the furniture, makes curtains, bedding, tablecloths, pillows, shirts, dresses, costumes - he made my sisters dolls when they were young and their prom and wedding dresses when they were older, he made us incredible Halloween costumes growing up - over the years my family has saved thousands of dollars that other families have to spend to buy all those things. So, while I apologize for the rant, I stick to the truth that for those who understand its manifold applications, sewing is a priceless skill.

    • Upvote 1

  5. With all do respect, if the Scout Shop is owned by National, then they would be the experts as they are required to know the uniforms regs and how to get the answers from the The Official Guide to Awards and Insignia. Trust me, I worked for National Supply once upon a time, and that is something they were adamant about: providinf correct information.

     

    No special respect due; the fact is my friend worked at a Scout Store for years and he was never required to be an expert on uniforming (good thing because he never was, bless his heart). And when the lady who supervises all the stores in my area can't even remember which Scouting roles wear which colored epaulet loops, I'm afraid I can't agree with you. In my Scout Shop they get things wrong all the time, as they do in the Regional Shop as well. A Scout Shop employee is just not going to be a reliable expert on uniforming, nor do their opinions necessarily reflect national policy. The best bet is to look at the official publications or ask somebody whose opinions you can trust.

     

    On that note, I do see to my shock that the Official Guide does in fact authorize the diamond rank emblems on the blue shirt. Twist! This is not the same as what is printed in the Webelos Den Leader's Manual, nor in the Webelos Handbook (I just reviewed them this morning to be sure). But as that is the case, I rescind my previous statement and grant that they can opt for the rank diamond option if they please. My apologies for being wrong; still, in my Den we are sticking with blue on blue and tan on tan, and never the twain shall meet! Less sewing for my parents.  ;)


  6. Thanks. Your answer makes sense, but conflicts with the official info page and the info that came from the scout store with his uniform. 

    The people who work at the Scout store are not uniform experts, nor do their opinions reflect official BSA standards. At my Scout store they are often wrong when people ask them various uniforming questions. The Official Guide to Awards and Insignia makes it clear that the wearing of past Cub Scout rank patches in the traditional diamond pattern is allowed on the blue uniform, but NOT on the khaki. The only rank patches a Webelos Scout can wear on the khaki shirt are the oval Webelos rank patch and the Arrow of Light. This is also confirmed in the Webelos Handbook, which is about as clear and official as you can get.

     

    While your unit may have "voted' to continue to wear the earlier rank patches on the khaki uniforms, it is technically incorrect uniforming, and in my mind there is no need to do so anyway - the new uniform is indication enough of their progression through the ranks, and there is no point in wearing the earlier patches. The boys of Webelos Scout age should be looking ahead to their new and upcoming Boy Scout journey, not stuck looking backwards to their younger days. If you choose to wear the past rank patches on the khaki uniform anyway, that is your choice, but know that it is improper uniforming, and technically goes against BSA uniforming policy. And isn't following directions a big part of what Cub Scouts are being taught to do? Better to let the sharp new uniform make its own statement, and wait for the proper oval Webelos rank patch to embellish it correctly.  ;)

    • Upvote 1

  7. The boys did a GREAT JOB!!! They stayed in formation, remembered their jobs, stood at attention without looking distracted, hoisted the flag beautifully - it was a smart, professional job, and they received all kinds of compliments and kind words from the community. A proud day for our boys!

    • Upvote 3

  8. If a Webelos Scout wears the khaki uniform, he does NOT wear his past rank patches as he would on the blue uniform. That practice does not carry over to the khaki-and-olive; rather, that pocket is left alone until he earns his Webelos rank,  at which point he wears the OVAL, khaki Webelos rank patch, not the blue diamond-shaped one. Then, when he earns his Arrow of Light, that patch is placed under his left pocket, and remains there throughout the rest of his youth Scouting career. That Webelos rank patch is later replaced with his Scout rank patch soon after crossing over (very soon if his Webelos leaders did their jobs right). 

     

    The uniform he wears determines the patches that are worn with it; since he has the khaki uniform, he automatically wears the oval patch and forgoes the wearing of his past patches (which I have found ends up saving parents a lot of trouble as they switch over uniforms!)  As a Webelos Den Leader myself, I usually recommend the switch, along with the counsel to get the uniform a bit large so that the boy has room to grown into it.  ;)

     

    Hope this helps! And welcome to the forums!

    • Upvote 3

  9. I always keep a police-grade whistle on my key-chain; it's more of an emergency preparedness thing but on rare occasions I have found use for it in the classroom or with my Den during outdoor activities. :rolleyes:  It's not for attention-getting usually - I'm a (poorly) trained opera vocalist, so I can be as loud as anybody if I want (I'm obnoxious like that), but I still figure a nice whistle is good to have if I need to save my voice for whatever reason. A whistle is a pretty standard emergency item; I am surprised there is even any controversy. 

     

     

    Of course this may also have to do with the fact that I can't whistle naturally anyway, lol.


  10. Our Pack and Troop are combining to conduct a flag-raising ceremony for our local neighborhood and congregation. I've been drilling them pretty hard to make sure that the service gets the dignity and respect it deserves, but they are super excited and I am sure they are going to do a terrific job. 

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  11. Frankly, I don't see how you can run a Cub Scout program without using the book. In fact I almost never use the Den Leader Guide when I am planning our weekly Den Meetings - I look at the Handbook, create some fun activities that go along with what the boys themselves are reading for each requirement, and then I do that. Easy. I also have the boys read each requirement out loud before we start the activity so that they know EXACTLY what is required of them and what I am looking for before signing anything off. That way the program I am running matches the materials the boys are given, so it's better reinforced in their minds and they learn things better.


  12. Sorry, but you either follow rules or you don't. You can't pick to follow only the ones you like. That's not high handedness, that's obidience.

    I am afraid you misread my last post. If you read it carefully this time, you'll see that I was agreeing with you - that obedience is essential, and that in most cases it is indeed wrong to be selective in what one chooses to obey. I also emphasized that @@The Black Eagle was not picking & choosing either - he did make it clear that he still follows the policy, just that he disagrees with it. And that is also okay; there is no real fault in simply disagreeing with a policy or law. The high-handedness I referred to had nothing to do with whether obedience is right or wrong - it is indeed right. 

     

    However: the way you explain these things can come off as high-handed if you aren't careful in how you word things, especially on an online forum (as @@gumbymaster rightly notes). Even if my principles and my position are correct, I still have to be sensitive and diplomatic about how I express them, or else it can easily come off as self-righteous or overbearing, which ends up defeating the very aims I seek to achieve.

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  13. I agree with you 100% @@Back Pack, although in @@The Black Eagle's defense, he did make it somewhat clear that he DOES obey the policy, although he vehemently opposes it. His point wasn't as much about picking and choosing rules as it was frustration with the rules as they are, and perhaps a willingness to look the other way when the rule is in fact violated. I believe that was his point anyway; he may correct me as he will.

     

    I do not believe, however, that the concept of obedience needs "work" - I think that, if anything, it needs emphasis. Civil disobedience is one thing in times of legitimate oppression or tyranny, but we cannot allow ourselves to create a culture where a few remarkable examples set a norm for disobedience in general. I resent the fact that nowadays, obedience is spoken of with patronizing tones, as though it's something only weak or ignorant masses do, like blind sheep. But obedience to truth, to good laws and good men, is an essential virtue, one that requires courage and perseverance and integrity. I think there is inspired purpose behind its inclusion in the Scout Law, and it would be wise of us to remember why it matters.

     

    I do agree with @@TAHAWK's point as well - we are using examples far to extreme to treat the subject at hand. We are talking about the BSA policy of youth wearing youth badges and adults wearing adult badges, specifically those indicating the Eagle rank. Really, nothing that demands moral high-handedness or proclamations of goodness and evil.  ;)

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  14. I note, @@The Black Eagle (welcome by the way), that you seem to hold a great deal of resentment towards this issue, and that you seem especially zealous to make your point - lots of capital letters and exclamation points, etc. I am clear on the fact that you are against this policy (which is not as new as you seem to imply). but my question to you is -

     

    why?

     

    Forgive me if I come off as somewhat didactic, but are we really so concerned with the recognition, the attention, or the prestige of the Eagle rank that we are allowing the desire to be seen as an Eagle Scout trump the need to behave like an Eagle Scout? Why exactly is it so terrible that these 17 year-olds only get to wear the big flashy patch for a short time, and then have to transition to the (Heaven forbid) small, inconspicuous square knot? Does it diminish the labor and effort they put into achieving that rank? Does it deprive them of the character they built in so doing, or lessen somehow the significance of what they have done? Or are we upset because they are being deprived of the attention for having done those things?

     

    I tell you now, that is not the road we want any new Eagle to travel. If a man is to be recognized as being an Eagle Scout, he should do it the real way - by being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent - and, I will add, modest. He is a good citizen, a good father and husband and worker. He helps others because it is the right thing to do, not to be seen of others. One of the most beautiful details about the story of the unknown scout (the veracity of the story being, frankly, irrelevant) is that we have no idea who he was. He never got recognized for his small good turn, helping William D. Boyce find his way through London, but it is because of him that any of us can earn the rank of Eagle in the first place. 

     

    I think that if a boy turns 18 and cannot be satisfied with a little square knot to honor his achievement, he still has a lot of growing up to do, regardless of the fact that, legally, he is considered an "adult." If he still needs the attention and recognition which the big colorful youth patch brings (which, all things considered, is hardly more than that of the square knot outside of the Scouting world), then maybe he still needs to learn what it means to truly be an Eagle Scout, despite the fact that he has met the requirements. 

     

    Finally, you seem to point out a lot of what you perceive as hypocrisy by bringing in other, unrelated issues and by making overly dramatic comparisons (treason, homosexual issues, etc.), as though somehow they might distract us from your real concern because of how big and controversial they are, and that by comparison your position might seem like a small and reasonable thing. Unfortunately, that kind of rhetoric only makes your position seem more extreme, and your terse and shouting replies aren't likely to help your point much. I understand that you feel strongly about this, and that is your privilege, but let's not try to tear down the whole moral fabric of the organization in our efforts to shed some light on a small issue like this.

     

    You think an Eagle Scout should be allowed to wear the youth rank patch even when he is grown, though you haven't fully and gently explained your reasoning. I feel that it's both unnecessary and unwise, and I hope I have been clear as to why. Can't we continue the discussion in cool, collected language, and learn from each other, rather than resort to acerbity or angry rhetoric? By keeping to the subject at hand, we can help to understand each other's points of view, rather than intensify the hostility that can too easily mount in a discussion such as this one.

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  15. Welcome! It's always nice to have another LDS Leader here in our midst. And I don't know where you got the idea that the church is going to drop all scouting by 2019, but I am pretty sure that just isn't true. As Elder Holland (one of our highest Church authorities) explained at the BSA National Meeting, "don't read more into this change than there is." He then quoted Groucho Marx (gotta love him!) saying "there is less going on here than meets the eye."

     

    So welcome aboard, and don't fear - the church isn't dropping the Boy Scout or the Cub Scout programs anytime soon.


  16. Of course, our Council also holds an annual Scout-a-Rama, which is basically a Scouting Expo for the community at Large, along with other District-level annual events too. Now that I see what goes on in other areas, I realize the Council here does a LOT of activities!


  17. Our Council holds an annual Camporee in the Springtime, then a Camporall in the Fall. The only difference is that Webelos Scouts are specifically invited to camp along for one of the nights, and there are a few extra activities and presentations held with them in mind for the day they are there. In that sense I suppose Camporall is meant to sound a little more inclusive; otherwise they are really just two different names for the same basic program.


  18. Sadly (well, not really sadly except as it pertains to my particular situation), in my area University of Scouting is a council-run, council-funded (yet somehow still rather pricey) day of training for Scouters of all levels held at a local community college. They offer courses in everything from working with Scouts with disabilities to committee budgeting ideas to OA relations to implementing the patrol method ... essentially, participants can choose their schedule for the day and participate in 5-7 classes of training to help them in their efforts to run the Scouting program. It's actually a pretty good program, which made my experience all the worse - BALOO Training was supposed to take the place of a whole day of classes, and while I was stuck listening to a bitter old gentleman complain about the uselessness of trainings in general, I could see other classes getting up and playing games and having a great time learning and developing. And after his 90 minute spiel, we were "done!" And I paid full price to attend!

     

    So, this travesty was all on the council. I can only assume he holds some drawn-out position of responsibility at the council level, and that he was asked or assigned to run the course against his will (he certainly seemed to imply that it was not his desire to be there at all). I am hoping they will be receptive to my offer if it turns out they really do need somebody to run the training. I can't fathom their allowing such a dreadful abuse of Scouters' time and money to continue. 


  19. Yeah, that's what ours was touted to be as well in the flyers we got leading up to the day of UofS. It said we would be "outdoors engaging in exciting activities that prepare Scouters to work with Cubs in the great outdoors while teaching invaluable skills and tips to make your outdoor activities the best they can be!"

     

    Needless to say, I wrote quite a few paragraphs detailing the falsehood of that advertisement when I got a survey in my inbox asking me to "please assess the quality of training you received," and "please indicate any improvements/changes you would like to see made in the training course offered on (date of program)."

     

    I certainly so indicated, in what would be the equivalent of 7 pages of typed material detailing all of my grievances, from the false advertising to the thoughtless and apathetic trainer to the utter lack of useful training to the waste of money and time, etc. I received no reply of course, but I will certainly be poking my head in when they run the course again later this year. If there is no improvement made, I may take action to get the approval needed to just step in and teach the darn thing myself. Scouters deserve better than what is currently being 'offered' to them.

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  20. Well, first of all I hope my signature is understood to have been born not out of agitation, but rather out of respect to the thousands of Webelos Scouts who have to endure being called a "webelo" by adults who just won't take the time to learn what the word means nor how it ought to be used.  :mad:

     

    That said, I will assume @@clivusmultrum posts in jest when he addresses my signature, although it is distracting somewhat from the point of this thread (but then where else would one poke fun at another's signature?). I also appreciate your stepping in @@TAHAWK in defence of both my certainty and my position - both are appreciated. 

     

    It's an uphill battle fighting the misuse of a word that by now should be generally understood by the Scouting community, but "Webelos" is a lovely term that deserves defending, so I will climb that hill to fight that battle as long as I can ... even in my beach-worn, open-toed flip-flops. Because this thread deserves to be kept on-topic somehow.  :rolleyes:


  21. More in line with your question though, A boy SHOULD complete the full set of requirements for the Boy Scout Cyber Chip as soon as he crosses over; not only is it wise to cover the materials in depth, but in today's intensely media-driven environment, a boy can never get enough training on internet protection. When it comes to safety, including internet safety, I have one motto - when in doubt, go all out.

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  22. The BSA has done a terrible job of making this known, but when a boy goes through the booklet with his parents/guardians a second or third time, it's called a "recharge," and there is a silver pin that he earns which is then affixed to his pocket patch. It's a nice little pin too! It's just too bad nobody is really aware of its existence. And it makes sense too; it's good to go over the material frequently, but simply re-earning the award seems redundant. So here for everybody's enlightenment is the pin that a boy should be earning whenever he "recharges" his Cyber Chip Award:

     

    cyberchiprecharged_zpstqykvwdd.jpg

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  23. I "took" a BALOO "course" at our most recent University of Scouting event, and it consisted of an older gentleman explaining that he didn't really think it meant anything but going over a few power point slides and grumbling about the system for about 90 minutes before signing our cards and declaring we had all "passed the course." It was the most pitiful training I have ever received, in any field. I will be glad to take the online portion so that I can at least get a sense of what I was supposed to learn at the training I was supposed to receive.

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