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The Latin Scot

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Posts posted by The Latin Scot

  1. I wouldn't follow my reasoning to the conclusion that everybody who merely wants something should get it, and I do not believe that anyone who wants to be in the OA should be voted in. I merely state that those who try to do their best, and who work the hardest to be their best, are the kind of members the OA needs, and whom I opine deserve it most. But kids who don't try, who don't care, or who don't work for it, shouldn't be shoehorned in merely because they are popular, older, or worst of all, just because their parents insist upon it. Far from it; I agree that membership in the OA should mean something - but the nature of its exclusivity ought to be based on the better principle of self-determined effort, not because one Scout is perceived to be 'better' than others.

  2. This is correct; in fact when I was attending BYU only a few years ago I had a few friends who were Scouting majors. It was tied to the Recreational Management degree, which covered everything from business management to recreational facilities development. A pretty cool major actually; I considered it for a while before I decided I wanted to stick with education and avoid everything to do with business. :D

  3. I think it's always helpful to remember that in Scouting, there is no "top kid." Comparisons should have no meaning in Scouting; a Scout cannot be behind or ahead of others because the only person in the world who can decide where that Scout "should" be is the Scout himself. The very point of Scouting is to train these young people to compare who they are now to what they could become. As parents, leaders, and friends, we should work with our Scouts where they are, not where we think they 'should' be. The goal is not to climb higher than the other Scouts, but rather to reach further than we had before.

    The core of the Order of the Arrow is service, and the core of service is putting others before ourselves - it's the very antithesis of trying to be better than others, which is a lesson more and more people forget these days. The Scout who ought to be elected to the Order (whether such is the case in reality or not) is not he who tries to be THE best, but rather he who tries to be HIS best - and it sounds like that's what your oldest is trying to do. That's the kind of person the OA needs, because the only way to be our best self is learn to become selfless.

  4. I was recently told that many of the LDS Scouting leaders and families in my area will be gathering next week to discuss the start-up of a new, LDS-centric (but certainly not exclusive) unit to serve boys of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in our community who wish to continue Scouting after the end of this year when the church will cease its formal relationship with the BSA. It's likely that I will have the opportunity to serve as Unit Commissioner for this new unit, which I find to be an exciting prospect - but also one for which I want to be (if the phrase isn't a little too on-the-nose) prepared

    I am acutely aware of the fine line a commissioner must walk between being a helpful resource and becoming a meddlesome busybody, and I want to make sure that I am a familiar presence without burdening the unit with constant or over-zealous intervention. But of course, I want them to succeed! And to run the Scouting program right. They have a wonderful gentleman stepping up as Scoutmaster, and he is committed to the Green Bar Bill school of thought - as in, letting the boys run their own program, and doing things by the book. So that's a comfort, but I know parents will get involved and there will be the usual factions and disputes as the unit gets off the ground and other adults try to get their grubby paws in the running of the program. With that in mind, would any of you please offer suggestions that might help me play a meaningful role in the formation and launch of this new unit, specifically as its Unit Commissioner? I'm already very comfortable letting the boys do their thing, so it's not as much the youth angle I'm concerned about as much as it is how I can appropriately, and helpfully, work with the adult leaders and parents to ensure the Patrol Method is being preached, protected and preserved for the boys in this new unit. 

    I suppose I may not be articulating my concerns as well as I might hope, partly because I'm still digesting the ramifications of what my role will entail as this new unit develops. So any thoughts or guidance that might help me prepare for this coming year will be deeply appreciated. Thank you! 

  5. The best patrol names are those selected without any adult input whatsoever (and avoiding anything crude and inappropriate of course). But remember: if they choose a funny name that's a "joke", and love it, and use it, well, that IS the patrol method in action. That's not making a mockery of the patrol method - that's having the freedom to embrace it fully. That's EXACTLY what it means to have "pride in their patrols." That's what you want!

    A "good name" is a name the Scouts love and stick to. We have to let go of our adult points of view, and consider things from their perspective. Ofttimes the units with the silliest patrol names are those that are the most committed to the program; their patrol yells are loud and obnoxious, their dances are silly and long - and the Scouts LOVE SCOUTING. As committee chair, one of your primary duties is to protect the right of the Scouts to enjoy that freedom of how they identify themselves as patrols. 

    • Upvote 2

  6. As a pack we try to have our regular monthly pack meetings throughout the season, and by keeping our activities routine it makes it easier to keep them on people's dockets since they know about them more than half a year in advance:

    In July we have our Raingutter Regatta outdoors in the shade; after the racing the boys spend the rest of the evening enjoying a free-for-all with their boats on the waterways. 

    In August we have our Bear Carnival (regardless of its emeritus status as a required adventure).

    In September (mind you, school starts and ends much later here in SoCal due to our unique weather) we have an outdoor activity with cooking over fires, tent erecting, nature walks, et cetera


  7. My district is attempting a combined course the first weekend of October. They asked me to come do a number of courses for BALOO but unfortunately I will be busy that weekend so I won't be able to see how it goes; otherwise I would give you more information about how they plan to integrate/separate the two.

  8. 1 hour ago, vol_scouter said:

    It is your son's Eagle Court of Honor so let him decide. They usually want dad in uniform if he has been active in the troop with the soon to be Eagle but it is not always that way.

    I concur. This is his event, so let him decide. We can only offer suggestions and anecdotes, but the final choices should lie in his hands, just as they have for his entire Scouting career (or should have at any rate).

  9. On 8/6/2019 at 12:10 PM, SteveMM said:

    Completely unrelated side note: The one other Scout doing his EBoR last night is 13 years old, and is in a troop that meets at an LDS church.  I really wondered if he rushed to Eagle a bit because of LDS severing their ties with Scouts BSA.  No way of knowing, but it would make sense.  With that said, they were VERY impressed with his project.  He collected 2,000 donated books for an organization and built a bookshelf to house them.  

    That's a great-sounding project! And while certainly he may have hurried his project along to finish by the end of the year, at the same time there have always been many LDS boys who earn Eagle early, so he may just be reflective of that long-standing trend. My two brothers and I all earned our Eagles before 14; the family of 5 boys across the street has always worked to get them their Eagles early, most of the LDS boys I know are 15 tops when they reach that rank - it may thus be that we have so many other activities going on as the boys get older that it's simply easier and wiser to get it done early so that they can focus on other pursuits as they age. So the current situation would only be accelerating a trend that was already long in place. :happy:

    Oh and CONGRATULATIONS to your son and family! :laugh:

  10. Since we crossed our boys over by birthday, we had no need to award the AofL as a group; rather, each boy received it whenever he earned it, whether it was six months into the program or a week before he turned 11. Since we worked on most adventures as a group, it wasn't unheard of for a few boys to earn it at the same time, but just as often we'd have a few Arrows awarded throughout the years along with intermittent crossings-over. The school year never had any influence on our awards programming though, and if a boy earned the AofL early enough, he would usually proceed to earn a bunch of electives and other awards (World Conservation Award, Outdoor Activity Award pins, et cetera).

    • Like 1

  11. Once again, I'm SOOOOOO grateful my unit crossed our boys over by birthday, not all at once as a group. It made it so much easier to give each boy individual attention as he prepared to move on, and to tailor the last few weeks of his Cub Scout experience to his strengths and needs. And that way, it didn't matter whether his birthday was in January, June, September, whatever - he got a custom-made plan to prepare him to join the troop, and we had 100% retention after they crossed over. I don't think I could ever manage to do it by school year.

  12. I suppose if I ever were to accrue so many knots, I would simply go by which nine knots meant the most to me. For example, my knots for the Arrow of Light and Eagle ranks are the most important to me since they represent my greatest accomplishments in Cub and Boy Scouts. Yet others are nice, but not as important - for example, the Scouter's Training Award is very nice and represents a lot of tenure and training, but in a way, all it really conveys to my mind is that I met the measure of expectation for my position - nothing too extraordinary when compared to the greater service represented by one of the Silver awards. But if I had to choose between my youth religious emblem and, say, a Hornaday award, I would choose that religious emblem because I value what it represents to my personal growth even over whatever the more prized award could have taught me. Every knot has its own story, so choose those that mean the most to you, regardless of how they may be ranked or esteemed by others. I believe the limit of nine is wisdom on the part of national - it gives us the opportunity consider our various experiences and accomplishments and reflect on which ones have made the most difference in our lives, and then to learn how to par them down to the essentials. 

    So by your heart, line them up by which are the most dear to you, and just go with the first nine. It's a wonderful way of learning to express ourselves within the parameters of given standards and expectations; a small lesson perhaps, but one that speaks volumes about our character.

    • Upvote 1

  13. You will definitely want to get the new Webelos guide, as it features the most changes in advancement requirements. Lion- Wolf are mostly cosmetic alterations, and Bear has had some changes in required/non-required adventures. However, I would still recommend buying at least one of each new guide just so your materials are in sync with the Scouts' books, which by now will be all-new editions as well.

  14. Wow, this thread is OLD - I was barely out of high school when this conversation began (it's funny to think that this site is old enough that I could have joined as a youth member had I been more internet savvy then!). Anyway, as long as it's been resuscitated ...

    1) Yes, we have a troop neckerchief 2) It's the stock black neckerchief with silver trim 3) It's worn by all the boys under the collar, except for one boy who wears a vintage uniform and so prefers to wear his over the collar to better fit the era of his attire 4) The black and silver go with their patrol emblem, which is a silver knight, and their patrol flag, which is black and white and silver. These are the official colors of our troop 5) They always wear their neckers, even when only the activity uniform is worn (black t-shirt and Scout shorts/socks/belts) 6) All the youth members wear neckers, but none of the adults do except for me (though I am a unit commissioner, so I suppose I am outside the parameters of this survey - but I feel naked without a necker no matter my position!)

    • Upvote 3

  15. That's not the message I get; just because they license an outside, independent company to use a term like "class B" does not, in my eyes, count as an endorsement of the term for official purposes, nor that they "aren't that serious" about a policy. And I know that for me, having absolutely no connections with military culture or terminology, the terms class A and B mean next to nothing, while I can actually see how "field" uniforms (= those worn out and about in public and at events) and "activity" uniforms (casual clothing for rough/outdoor adventures) make more sense considering how the BSA operates.

    And this brings up a good point - a lot of people seem to be understanding this issue through the lens of how the military operates, but that's an unproductive way to look at things since, as is SO OFTEN pointed out, the Boy Scouts of America is NOT a military organization, and while we may share some traditions (some only, mind you), we are NOT the same thing. And for those of us who have no experience with nor connection to the armed forces, it gets tiresome hearing all the comparisons when they don't apply to Scouting. 

  16. As many of you may (or may not) know, there are two new adventures being previewed nationally and under consideration for inclusion in all future Cub Scout materials. My problem is, I can't figure out how to order the awards once the boys have earned them - they aren't available in Scout Shops, and I can't get the internet order page to load properly. So what do I do? How do I get a hold of these award loops and pins?


    Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  17. I don't think there's any reason for you to apologize. And speaking for myself, I hold nothing against you, nor your position on this matter. :happy: I come to this discussion from the other end of the spectrum, where those who try to promote proper uniforming, however friendly and positive we may be, are labeled as the "uniform police," an unfair term which automatically implies a mean-spirited criticism of the efforts of others which is miles away from the intent and approach I and others like me use to address these concerns. Too often in our attempts to support our own opinions we try to paint those of the opposing viewpoint as being malicious, unkind, short-sighted or narrow-minded, hoping that by making those of the other viewpoint look bad, our own opinions will appear more virtuous or reasonable. Hopefully as this discussion progresses, we can avoid this pitfall and look at the issue from a clear-headed, objective point of view. :cool:

    To another point:

    1 hour ago, Chadamus said:

    I'm confused.

    @mds3d states in the title of this thread that the constant reminders that "There is no Class A" bring nothing to the conversation.

    Is it me oversimplifying? We seem to be disagreeing to agree.

    I, however, believe that these reminders do bring something to the conversation - something important. We now have (what I hope is) a meaningful, productive dialogue going about this topic, and addressing it will be both edifying and informative as long as we can do so in a constructive manner. I am happy to discuss it so long as we can preserve an amicable approach that examines actual BSA policy and materials and not merely our own opinions and feelings. I'm as guilty as anybody of that emotional, irrational approach, and will try to do better as this conversation develops. 

  18. 4 hours ago, mds3d said:

    I think that the use of the terms do not necessarily indicate a "lackadaisical attitude towards the uniform"

    If you showed up at any of our local district meetings (committee, commissioner, roundtable) you could easily be convinced that "Class A" and "Class B" were official synonyms for Field and Activity.  I also here "Full Dress" around here a lot to mean the fully decked out version of the uniform (sashes, medals, etc). A scouter coming from my district online here for the first time would not understand any negative reaction to these terms ...

    I, however, am not a Scouter coming online here for the first time. I'm a Scouter who has read almost everything published by the BSA regarding uniforms from the past 30+ years, and so I know the materials and I understand where the BSA stands on this issue. Believe me, even if I were to attend your district, council, or even regional meetings where the terms Class A and B were promulgated, promoted, and pushed, it would not be enough to "convince" me that the terms were official synonyms for Field and Activity. Only official materials published by the BSA would be enough to do that, and their position is clear. 

    Much of the problem is that you automatically assume that to correct this issue is to "disparage" (to use your term) others. This is not a fair representation of those who want to follow BSA policy. Just because a Scouter upholds standard policies and procedures does not mean he or she disparages those who do not feel the same. If I, or others, correct the terminology, it is not because we think less of you, look down on you, or wish to belittle you. It is simply driven by a desire to rise above mediocrity in thought and action, and to help our Scouts pursue a higher level of commitment. If you don't share that same desire, that's entirely your privilege, but don't expect us to follow suit and be content with your opinions. It is good and healthy to pursue excellence in all things, even uniforms, and so you can't expect us to be content with terminology that is expressly corrected in official BSA materials.

    Just as you insist that we be permissive in how you wish to express your standards, so also must you accept that fact that others will stand firm in getting the terms right - especially when we are attempting to model values and principles to the Scouts with whom we work. 

    • Upvote 2

  19. I believe that Troop 1 here in today's Orange County Council is found in Huntington Beach, along with their historic and charming Scout Lodge. They were established in 1920, along with the creation of our Council which celebrates its 100th anniversary next year. I haven't heard anything about any other, earlier, troops. 

  20. Agreed on the magic of Scout socks - they're the most comfortable, well-made part of the whole uniform! All it took for me to get all the boys (in both our pack and troop) converted to the socks was to let each boy try them on for a few minutes - now they all own them, every cub and boy scout, and I see them worn not only at Scouts, but at school, outside activities, and even church! 

    I haven't bought a pair of the red-tops yet, but I suspect they'll find a way into my Scout wardrobe soon enough. :rolleyes:


  21. Yes, the new program is moving forward and we are getting more and more information almost weekly at this point. It looks like it will be a WONDERFUL program and it fully incorporates whatever programs each child wants to involve in their personal development, whether Scouts, orchestra, sports, dance, art, or whatever - this will be a monumental change that will bless millions of youth the whole world over!