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The Latin Scot

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Posts posted by The Latin Scot

  1. By the way, the general recommendation from Church leaders has been to register older boys in the Boy Scout troops so that they can continue in the advancement program if they wish. It's only the Varsity and Venturing programs and won't be getting new registrations; most will simply be siphoned back into the Troops instead of automatically being moved up as they were before. So the BSA will not really be losing that much revenue; it's more of a "moving around" than it is a "moving out."   :cool:

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  2. Not quite so. 11 year-old scouts may participate in 3 overnight camping trips. They are strongly urged to complete all the other requirements for 1st Class by their 12th birthday so that they can be as close as possible to completing all the work when the time comes. It's the Cub Scouts that don't do any overnight camping, though as a Webelos den leader I can tell you, we are still outdoors PLENTY. ;-) 


    Also, the 11 year-old patrols are no more adult-driven than they are in non-LDS patrols, in that it entirely depends on the leaders, not how the Church implements the program.  And on that note, we follow the exact same program as non-LDS troops, and have many of the same problems and strengths. But to generalize a program that encompasses thousands of boys in every part of the country by saying "their 11 year old program is a set, repetitive program that is designed to get Scouts to First Class in a year, and is very adult leader oriented to the point that it seems like it is still Cub Scouts or "Webelos 3" ..." seems pretty unwise to me. For the most part, LDS units are run just like other units. We have a few minor program specifics, but otherwise things are exactly the same. We don't run our own "version" of Scouting. We run Scouting. The degree of fidelity to the program might vary at the unit level, but that is not Church-wide, nor is it wise nor accurate to assume such. Leaders are trained to run the proper, Boy-led Scouting program - the very reason the Church adopted Scouting in the first place was the emphasis Scouting places on letting the boys lead, even at the 11 year-old level. Let's not spread the false idea that in LDS units, things are different. If they are doing things according to Church policy, which is to follow BSA policy mind you, then they are running the program just as B.P. first envisioned it.

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  3. A few more points to help you all understand WHY Varsity and Venturing have struggled in many LDS units:


    - LDS units are organized geographically, and are run by a lay clergy, meaning all leadership positions within any congregation, including all Scouting leaders, must come from within the ranks of the congregation itself. Considering how many other responsibilities need to be filled by the local members to run the church programs effectively, it can be hard to find qualified leaders to fill all the needed roles, and the Scouting program is not necessarily at the top of our list of priorities.


    - Each LDS Scouting unit is composed primarily of boys from within that congregation itself. So if there are only 3 or 4 boys in the congregation who are venturing age, that becomes the whole of the venturing crew. The small numbers of our units thus make is hard to run full-scale programs at the level of Varsity and Venturing, and when compounded with the difficulty of finding enough leaders to run the programs, it becomes a heavy strain to run these two programs as they should be run.


    - We are NOT reacting to any issues with co-ed Scouting, gender-identity issues, or other current political controversies - if we were, why would we keep the Boy Scout program and the Cub Scout programs? It is only with older boys that we have encountered problems, and so we are creating our own programs both to meet their needs and alleviate the difficulties we have faced in implementing the Varsity and Venturing programs as they should be run.


    If anybody has other questions, I will try to keep an eye on this thread over the next few days to see if I can help clarify things. I hope what I have already posted will help enlighten some of us on the motives behind this change!

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  4. My my my ... I take a couple of weeks off, and suddenly I return to find all KINDS of crazy ideas being touted or suggested about both my religion and our relationship to Scouting! But never fear; the answers are here! I am sorry I have been away and unable to represent the LDS perspective amongst you all; for that I apologize. But now that I am here, let me offer a few useful resources to help you all understand what exactly is behind these changes! The following comes from the official LDS Press release; the link to the full article is here: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/questions-answers-changes-young-men-program



    What exactly is changing?

    • Beginning January 1, 2018, young men from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will no longer participate in the Varsity and Venturing programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America.
    • Instead, Young Men activities will focus on spiritual, social, physical and intellectual goals outlined by the Church. These activities are designed to be fun and meaningful and provide opportunities for personal growth and development.

    Why is this change occurring?

    • In most congregations in the United States and Canada, young men ages 14–18 are not being served well by the Varsity or Venturing programs, which have historically been difficult to implement within the Church. This change will allow youth and leaders to implement a simplified program that meets local needs while providing activities that balance spiritual, social, physical and intellectual development goals for young men.

    Does this mean the Church is completely separating from the BSA?

    • The Church continues to look for ways to meet the spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual needs of young men around the world. The current decision is consistent with those efforts. The Church will continue to use the Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs for boys and young men ages 8 through 13.

    Previous statements have indicated that the Church wants a program that serves all young men around the world. Is this it?

    • No, this is not the global program, but an important step that addresses an immediate need. Varsity and Venturing programs have been difficult to run effectively on a local level. The Church continues to work toward developing a program for young men and young women globally.  

    Why is the Church remaining with the Cub Scout and Boy Scout program?

    • These programs currently meet the development program needs of boys from ages 8 through 13.

    Why is this change only for the United States and Canada?

    • Varsity and Venturing programs are used only in Church congregations in the United States and Canada.

    What has been the reaction of the BSA leadership to this decision?

    • In every discussion with the Boy Scouts of America, they have expressed a shared desire to do what is best for young men. We are grateful for their continued support with this new change and look forward to continuing our strong relationship in the Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs.

    How does this impact the financial and property connections of the Church to the BSA?

    • Though important, financial and property obligations are not the primary concern. Instead, we are driven by our desire to serve the spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual needs of young men.
    • Most of these legal associations are in connection with the Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs.
    • The Church will continue to make the same payment to the BSA for registration of its young men through 2018, so there should be a minimal financial impact to Scouting.

    What is the schedule for this announcement and rollout?

    • The announcement was shared on May 11, 2017. However, the discontinuation of the Varsity and Venturing programs will not occur until January 1, 2018. We encourage local units to continue with their planned activities as they review and determine how they will implement the new activity guidelines.

    Can young men in these age groups continue to earn the Eagle Scout award?

    • Yes. Young men who desire to continue toward the rank of Eagle will be registered, supported and encouraged. It is important to remember that only those young men who are properly registered are eligible to be awarded merit badges and rank advancements.

    What would you say to Church members about participation in the Friends of Scouting fundraising drive?

    • The Church will continue to be involved in Friends of Scouting as part of its relationship with the BSA and the Scouting programs for boys and young men ages 8 through 13.

    Is this due to changes in Scout policy in the past few years to allow gay and transgender Scouts and leaders?

    • The BSA has always allowed the Church to operate its programs in ways that are consistent with our standards and beliefs, and they have been very supportive. This change is to address the needs of young men ages 14 to 18. The Church is always evaluating what is best for our youth and families, and will continue to do so.
    • The activities referenced on lds.org/youth/activities and ymactivities.lds.org have been in place since 2013 as a resource for youth and their leaders around the world. When followed, these activities can provide better opportunities for spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual growth.

    Is the guideline that Young Men aren’t required to meet weekly a new directive?

    • No. This guideline (for both Young Men and Young Women) has existed in the Church’s handbook for many years.

    Will the disparity of funding and activities that exists between the Church’s Young Men and Young Women programs be addressed as part of this change?

    • Church leaders have long been aware of this concern. This new program brings the spending into balance for youth ages 14 through 18. This will continue to be a factor in the ongoing exploration and creation of a worldwide youth program.
    • In each congregation, the ward council is encouraged to consider equally the needs of Young Women and Young Men and their families when planning activities and determining budgets. 

    Is this a reaction to the news that the Boy Scouts of America is considering the inclusion of girls and young women in its programs?

    • Church leaders learned just recently about the BSA’s intent to consider including girls and young women in Scouting. Our decision to end our participation in the Varsity and Venturing programs was made independent of this possibility and before that time. We anticipate our Cub Scout and Boy Scout units will continue as they are at present. For additional information go to: Aaronic Priesthood 14-18 Activities.


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  5. I had a lot of people ask me this the last time a ran a council Cub Leader training session, so I worked out this list based off of materials from the official BSA site, various training resources, and a survey of Cubmasters and Committee Chairs I knew who were running successful programs - mind you, it's just an overview and not meant to be comprehensive. Also, every committee is going to be different. We have had great success with this "division" of labor in our unit, and naturally there is some interchange between the two roles, but in general you might find the two separated thusly:


    The Cubmaster

    The Cubmaster is "The Face" of the Cub Scouting program in his Pack. He runs Pack Meetings and oversees the progress and training of the Cub Scouts and their leaders. Some of his responsibilities include:

    -        Ensuring that all den leaders are trained and that they are fully implementing the Cub Scout program in their meetings

    -        Overseeing the progress of the boys in the pack and helping towards their advancement when needed

    -        Leading engaging and exciting Pack Meetings that are impressive opportunities for the boys to be recognized for their efforts and progress

    -        Meeting with the Scoutmasters, 11-year-old leaders, and Unit Commissioners to establish plans for the Webelos Scouts’ transition to the Boy Scout meetings

    -        Attend district round table meetings to obtain important information on programs and training to relay back to the pack and den leadership

    -        Encourage high standards of uniforming, conduct, and advancement progress at the den and pack levels

    More information on the Cubmasters duties can be found at:



    The Cub Committee Chair

    The Cub Committee Chair is "The Brains" of the Cub Scout Pack. He leads the committee meetings and is responsible for the planning and organization of pack activities. His duties should include:

    -        Conducting well-planned committee meetings and ensuring that they are centered on the advancement and spiritual progress of the boys and families in the pack

    -        Ensuring building reservations for monthly meetings and providing for all pack materials to be ready for every pack meeting

    -        Working with the Chartered Organization representatives to help meet the needs of the individual boys and their families through the Cub Scout committee

    -        Planning the year, creating monthly agendas, and delegating the responsibilities of each Pack Meeting with the Cubmaster

    -        Communicating with families and committee members about important pack events and needs

    -        Ensuring that every den and boy has the materials they need to run a successful Cub Scout program

    -        Encourage high standards of uniforming, conduct, and leadership at the pack and committee level

    More information on the Chair’s duties can be found at:



  6. I read through the requirements before we start any new adventure, and I make sure the boys know what it means to demonstrate, show, tell, explain, etc., and that they understand very clearly what we will be doing - boys this age like to know what's expected of them! I also repeat the requirement, as written, before each individual activity, so that they know exactly what needs to be accomplished for the activity to count towards completing the adventure.


    As an added touch, sometimes I may also remind them that if they DON'T do what is asked, I don't have to sign their books! And they don't HAVE to get the adventure pin, and they don't HAVE to get their Webelos rank, and they don't HAVE to get their Arrows of Light ... 


    Then I smile benignly at them while it all sinks in. I don't seem to have any troubles getting boys to participate!

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  7. I feel like I would need to post something every week if I wanted to keep up with how many wonderful things go on in our den! But last week I did experience a truly wonderful display of Scout spirit and kindness.


    I have a boy who recently moved up to my Webelos den from Bears, and in my den we are very pro-uniform - we have inspections every week, I teach them about the history and significance of the uniform, and the boys love showing me the effort they put into looking good. Well, this boy comes from particularly indigent circumstances, and so the committee had been arranging for some kind of fund-raiser to help him get all the uniform parts he needs (which is most of it). I figured It would take a few months to save up enough, but that it would be worth it for him once he could look as sharp as all the other boys. His family is very poor, so I wanted to take the burden off of them while still giving him an opportunity to meet our dens standards.


    Well, I also have an assistant den leader who is consistent, involved, and great with the boys - but he does NOT go beyond that. He never wears a uniform, he doesn't attend any meetings besides the weekly den meetings (which he attends faithfully, bless his heart), and he doesn't go to the pack meetings either. When he was young, his father was a zealous Scouter, but so over-anxious for him to achieve and advance that he refused to get past Life Scout as a boy, and he has carried a touch of resentment towards the Boy Scout program ever since. He is a great assistant for the 90 minutes I have him each week, but it doesn't usually go much further that that.


    Anyway, while I was about to hold uniform inspections last week, he pulled me aside and discreetly asked if it was a good idea to hold them since the boy mentioned did not have much of a uniform. The boy had been a little sad that his "uniform" consisted of an old hat and neckerchief, even though I stressed the fact that a Scout is judged from his heart, not his outfit. I told my assistant that my hope was to maybe instill in him the willingness to work his own uniform, since it would probably be the only way, and he would need to be motivated to keep at it for a while. I admitted it was neither a perfect nor a complete plan, but I had been so concerned about giving this boy every advantage and opportunity possible that I didn't know what else to do. Knowing how poor his family is, and how rough his circumstances are, I had been losing a lot of sleep over this boy, but I KNEW that getting him into a new uniform would mean the WORLD to him. The boy deserved to wear the uniform, but how, I still didn't quite know. Well, he asked me if he could pitch in a little something. Naturally I said yes, and after the meeting he ran out to his car.


    He came back and handed me some cash, telling me this: "Get him whatever he needs, and give the rest to his family. I have been with you for more than a year, and I know how much you love these boys. You actually understand what Scouting is about, so I know this will be well-spent. And don't tell anybody who donated it."




    When he left, I counted out far over $100 in cash.



    It was enough to get the boy a completely new uniform big enough for him grow into after he becomes a Boy Scout, and there was enough left over to help out his family as well. But more than that, it bought me a new perspective on what it means to be a Scout. The excitement in the boy's face when he got his new uniform; the tears in his mother's eyes when we brought everything to their home; the empathy in my assistant's heart when he saw a need and lent a hand - if I may steal the phrase to use in more meaningful circumstances, "THIS is Scouting."

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  8. Well, the signs were put up only yesterday morning. I was at the shop Saturday, and they weren't there. Then when I went over yesterday they were moving everything around, and I noticed the signs while lost in the mess. I asked about them, and the manager said they had just put them up. So the status change on these must be recent, although certainly surprising. 

  9. So I was at the Scout Store today, which was undergoing major changes in item placement and shelving (which had me walking in circles trying to find what I needed).


    Anyway while I was browsing I saw four empty slots in the merit badge shelves with "Coming Soon!" cards placed in them - Advanced Computing, Biometrics (a "major Fingerprinting update!"), CAD or Computer Aided Design (a "major Drafting update!"), and Multi-Media. I was also told there was a "Life Skills" badge in the works, but without a proper name yet.


    Better get those Fingerprinting badges earned while it's still easy, lol.

  10. I have only been on this forum for a few months, and I have been a Cub Scout leader for only a little longer than that (not quite a year and a half) and I can honestly say that I have been HUGELY blessed by some of the counsel and advice and direction I have found here. Sure there are a lot of posts that I gloss over, and some things I flat-out disagree with, but really, I don't mind that when I consider the wealth of experience and knowledge that can be found here. A place where I can run ideas past others, ask questions, and get advace about hard questions is invaluable to somebody like me, who wants to run a great program but doesn't have experienced leaders nearby with whom I can confer and seek suggestions. So thank you everybody who has helped me as I have gotten used to my role as a Scouter! I am truly grateful to have come across these forums.


    So in answer to your query, MattR - yes. This forum is really helping ME. Very much so. 


    And who knows? Maybe something I say will be helpful to somebody else someday too.  :happy:

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  11. Wow ... $1000 per boy for over 100 Eagle Scouts? That is some bequest! Sheesh. 


    I always did think the West Fellowship knot was kind of the desperate Scouter's means to excess-knot glory. Can't get enough recognition for a Silver Beaver of your own? Can't find anybody in danger whom you can save to earn an honor medal? No worries - Just BUY yourself another square knot for only $999.99!


    It's kind of the Scouting version of selling indulgences.  :p

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  12. Does the conservation project take place outdoors? Then it's an outdoor activity. In the Cub Scout program, the requirements really are pretty broad; if it fits the description, it qualifies.  ;)


    However, I do understand the desire to help the boys complete the requirements to earn their rank badge. True, it's not about the badge, but at this age little things like badges can play a big role in motivating them to continue in the program, the same as in Boy Scouts. They do have a part in the program, and they can be important in focusing a boys energies, which is why we use them. So it's natural to want to do your part to help these two boys advance. Boys at this age are tangible learners; they benefit from physical markers of ideas and concepts. So when they earn their badge of rank, it makes the things they've learned in their den meetings and program activities concrete - they can see the results of their hard work. So no, don't make the awards the goal - but do work hard to help them achieve, making sure that they connect each award to the effort and new skills it took to earn it. And good on you for wanting to make sure these two advance along with their den mates. That's a mark of a caring leader.  :happy:

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  13. The name of the award AND that knot is the Asian American Spirit of Scouting Service Award ... which pretty much sums up the whole nature of the award right there, lol.


    And as was mentioned, that knot isn't even being distributed anymore. The Scouting Service knot, which sums up nicely the real nature of these awards, is being phased in to replace all the other community-specific knots. So, if they really want to align their program with the BSA, they should start by switching to the more broadly-encompassing Scouting Service Award knot.

  14. Wow ... this represents a gross misunderstanding of both the BSA uniform and the awards mentioned.


    The BSA offers no awards or insignia based on a boys heritage or ethnicity. The "Asian American Award" does not exist. Rather, the items referred to are knots representing larger awards given for outstanding service to, and promotion of the BSA among, certain communities. There is one for serving predominantly Asian communities, one for inner city groups, one for Latin American/Hispanic communities ... even one for serving Native American youth. And even more to the point, the BSA just recently created one single square knot representing all such awards together, so Scouters wearing a knot for service to Latin communities wear the same knot as those recognized for service to inner-city youth or disabled groups.


    These awards are not given in recognition of heritage, but rather for adults who have done service for specific communities amongst whom Scouting is less prevalent yet could be of positive impact. They are not worn by Scouts because they are not awarded to them. They are given to Scouters who work through the BSA in service to communities in need. Also they are not earned, they are awarded, with the exception of those who work with disabled communities, in the which case it is again for adults, and again, in recognition of service and meeting stringent requirements.


    The creation of this "award" seems like a very reactionary move in response to a problem that ...... never existed. And as has been noted, they cannot implement official uniform items without the approval of National.


    Unless it goes on the right pocket, with "temporary insignia," of course. :rolleyes:

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  15. No button? Which uniform was it? Even the new centennials have a button under the flap specifically for pocket dangler awards. Is it an older uniform? Am I too curious? Lol.


    Oh and @@MMEZest1997 I should correct myself; the pin version of the Powder Horn medal would be worn centered, at the BOTTOM of the flap, so that it lies on about the same spot as it would have if it were a dangler (I spend a lot of time looking this stuff up, lol). But your son should consider himself lucky to have the older version; I think it's superior myself. ;-)

  16. They said no because they have never had Den Chiefs?!?!?! Are they out their minds?


    I have had a young man serving as Den Chief for the Webelos Den I am over for 6 months now, and I will say this straight up - he is one of the greatest assets I have in training these young boys. He is a helpful, cheerful, sober-minded young man who helps me out with virtually all our activities; he sets a solid example of good behavior and uniforming; he is a friend to the younger boys, and a model to the older ones. If they are unsure about letting him assume this responsibility, have them read this post!


    The BSA has a booklet specifically designed for the Den Chief (called The Den Chief Handbook obviously enough). If the Cub leaders and your son read through it, they will get an idea of how fulfilling a job it can be. Any den leader worth his salt would be crazy to turn down the chance to have a good Den Chief working by his side! And for his leaders to say no just because it hasn't been done - well, you just tell them that kind of attitude goes against the very spirit of Scouting!


    Here are some links that you may want to pass off to his leaders which highlight how effective a Den Chief can be. I might be slightly biased, but I think to deny a group of Cub Scouts the benefits of having an enthusiastic Scout like your son in their den is nothing less than shameful. Here are the links:







  17. Congratulations to your son! I assume the award he received is the newer version, which is a pin. This should be pinned centered and near the top of his left pocket flap; it will hang down a bit over the flap, but that's perfectly fine.


    If he in fact received the old version of the award (which is still distributed at some Scout Stores), then it is a "pocket dangler," and you should hang it from the left pocket button (but under the flap which you close over the button) and it will indeed hang completely over his rank badge - it looks a little busy, true, but it is perfectly appropriate and correct! Again, congratulations to him for earning this award!

  18. I don't understand the purpose of this item. If the individual is still wearing his uniform, doesn't such imply that he is a currently registered Scouter? And would that not mean he has some other position which would then, naturally, call for a new position patch? It's not as though Scoutmaster is such a revered position that it has to be memorialized while the wearer is still serving in some capacity. I dunno, it seem rather superfluous to me. And if he isn't a registered Scouter anymore, why is he in uniform in the first place? This seems to me like a poorly thought-out idea. No wonder the BSA does not recognize this as a legitimate insignia - it makes little to no sense.

  19. Twelve regions, not twelve districts. The twelve districts were in Cleveland. :D

    LOL oops! How remiss of me to write that wrong; I meant regions of course. But still I appreciate the information; I hadn't known how many there once were. And I am surprised by how few there are today; from 12 to 6 to 4 ... Is that a reflection of shrinking numbers or a more streamlined administration system?


    I wouldn't mind leading a crowd of boys in song if it was something halfway respectable, but if I had to lead this particular diddy I would be nervous too! As well as slightly embarrassed, since one would think a region with as many great places as Region XII had would have a much cooler song than that.