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The Latin Scot

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Posts posted by The Latin Scot

  1. I concur; the simple fact is that boys and girls are supposed to meet in separate dens. That is one policy you cannot, nor should you even attempt to, get around. I would rather work with one stalwart kid alone in a den than try to bend the rules to facilitate what I think is best - or most convenient, as is more often the real case. Mind you, I have often had periods of time when I only had one kid in my Webelos den - other leaders tried to get me to combine with other groups for the duration, but I have learned something extremely valuable in my years working with children and specializing in child development:

    To a 9 year-old, a 10 year-old is a BIG kid and can be intimidating, and more often than not they retreat emotionally or physically to "make way" for the older child to run the show.

    To an 8 year-old, a 7 year-old can be an obstacle because they are "too little" to be any fun, slowing things down and frustrating their progress.

    To an elementary-aged boy, a girl can affect how comfortable he is investing himself entirely in certain activities, and she may be the source of some embarrassment during normal work or play.

    To an elementary-aged girl, a boy can ruin the fun of an activity or project by not being focused, slowing down instruction, and being a distraction to both peers and leaders.

    ALSO: The effects of mixing genders are more dramatic than the effects of mixing ages.

    Et cetera.

    It is far better for the child to get some personal attention as the only pioneer member in their den (and start RECRUITING for pete's sake!) than it is to try and force-combine dens across ages or genders simply because of how ADULTS perceive the degree of inconvenience. Stop thinking about what YOU think is best, and look at the situation through the eyes of the child. Don't think that what is easiest is best; what is best is what allows the child the broadest degree of developmental comfort, freedom, and attention. That will be found with other children who are the same age, and the same gender.

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  2. I haven't had any troubles with a normal sewing needle as long as I keep the stiching just along the inner trim of the patch I'm sewing. It's simple and quick; even the larger POR patches only take about 10 - 15 minutes to sew on nicely.

  3. Bottom line is, no unit leader can impose a change to the Scouting program as outlined in official materials and policies. So, while they may try to enforce this "rule" for the sake of convenience or achievement or whatever, they cannot force you to follow it. Talk to your Unit Commissioner and then your District Advancement Chair if needed; simply put though, they can't force any of their Scouts to follow this change in official programming.

  4. This was sent to all LDS Scouters just yesterday; I find it interesting that it offers more directy options for Scouting families who wish to continue in the program with their sons. NOTE: we are not pushing this same program for girls. Scouting is a perfect fit for boys; we don't believe it is as effective for girls, so you won't see anything about bringing our daughters and sisters into Scouting. Thank goodness!


  5. Let's be clear on what's 'okay' and what isn't. Since I was a child, we have been discouraged from calling ourselves "Mormons" or from calling our faith "Mormonism" or the "Mormon Church." Not only were those terms originally insults used to mock our faith and our belief in the Book of Mormon (a book written about Christ by a man of that same name), but they also distract from the fact that we are an intensely Christian faith. As Joseph Smith Jr. himself taught, “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that he died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.” 

    So when we try to emphasize the correct ways to address our Church, we are trying to remind people of who and what we really are - devout Christians who are not universally recognized as such due to ignorance or persecution largely facilitated by erroneous nomenclature. So using the abbreviation CoLDS for "Church of the Latter-day Saints" is not correct - we are the Church of Jesus Christ.

    In our own Book of Mormon, Jesus Himself had to correct the very same issue among His followers; this discourse is the doctrinal foundation for the latest direction of our faith; as you can see, there is really nothing new in this announcement: 

    • 3 And they said unto him: Lord, we will that thou wouldst tell us the name whereby we shall call this church; for there are disputations among the people concerning this matter.
    • 4 And the Lord said unto them: Verily, verily, I say unto you, why is it that the people should murmur and dispute because of this thing?
    • 5 Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day;
    • 6 And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day.
    • 7 Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake.
    • 8 And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.
    • 9 Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you;
    • 10 And if it so be that the church is built upon my gospel then will the Father show forth his own works in it.

    Taken from 3 Nephi 27: 3 - 10, The Book of Mormon

    It is not our Church; we believe it is His Church, and regardless of what others may think of us, we have the right to be addressed by our proper name. Nor is it our place to concern ourselves with what other sects or denominations may think of our claims - our only desire is to obey the Lord and do as He commands. As Baden-Powell said, "No man is much good unless he believes in God and obeys his laws." That is what we are trying to do as a faith, as a religion. 

    SO! How do we make this easy? 

    You can refer to us as LDS Scouters and LDS Scouts, LDS families and Latter-day Saints.

    You can refer to our Church as the Church of Jesus Christ or the Restored Church of Jesus Christ (it hardly takes any longer to type than, say, the Episcopalian Church, and it's certainly easier to spell).

    You can help us as we try to correct the many false ideas that circulate regarding our faith and beliefs, just as we will be happy to do the same for yours in an increasingly secular, hostile, anti-religious world. ;)

  6. On 8/16/2018 at 4:07 PM, Chris1 said:

    Have you contacted your Council and asked for information on a wood badge course that does not run on Sunday?

    Perhaps no one knows that this is a problem or not a significant one.


    In my area, they are all aware of the problem because I have been whining about it for the past year and a half. :laugh:

    The nearest non-Sunday WB course is over three hours away, impossible for me to get to. And with the Church pulling out of Scouting at the end of next year, I wonder if I'll ever get the chance to take it. 

  7. Wow, there are a lot of false claims in here by a lot of people with misperceptions! As a lifelong LDS Scouter (*since Wolves in 1993!) let me correct some of the mistaken ideas thrown out today. Mind you, what you may think is a loss for us will only be replaced by something better. It's the BSA that is losing by changing the very fabric of its nature, as time will eventually prove. 

    So! Some facts.

    - Yes, we limit camping for young Scouts. You list this as though it were a negative, but we do not believe that is so. When a child is "ready" or not for any given experience is not something you can state objectively; you may feel that younger children should be out camping earler, but that gives you no right to expect others to feel the same. We feel 6 - 10 years old is still to young. You can't fault us for that belief without allowing others to fault you for whatever yours are.

    - We believe in a Church led by inspiration, with leaders called by that same revelation given to ordained leaders. Scouting within the Church falls under that same system of inspiration; boys are chosen as leaders by the local Bishopric, with counsel taken from the Scout leaders and the Primary/Young Men's leaders (depending on the age of the boys). This is how the entire church operate, and we believe it allows many boys to serve and develop key virtues that popular election might not otherwise afford them. If others believe in choosing their leaders differently that is their priviledge that we will fight to protect, but we see no need to follow the same practice.

    - We are often known as "Eagle Mills" because we as a religion believe strongly in personal achievement, self-development, and community support. Any Scout in an LDS unit has an entire congregation of adults supporting him, encouraging him, and loving him into doing his best, so the high number of Eagle Scouts we produce is not a reflection of "getting lots of awards," but rather of "building lots of young souls." 

    As far as girls in Scouting goes, you all need to understand that we believe that boys and girls are fundamentally different, and that gender is an eternal part of identity - a girl always has, and always will be, female, and a boy always has, and always will be, male. This cannot be changed. As a result, boys and girls learn differently, and we do not believe the Scouting model works for girls as it works for boy, because girls are different. So of course you won't hear us talking about our daughters and granddaugthers becomgin Scouts, because most of us have no desire to see that happen. I have four nieces from three different sisters, all of whom grew up surrounded by the Scouting adventures of their three Eagle Scout brothers and a very involved Scouter Mom. NONE of them have any desire to put their girls in Scouting, and are more than content with the wonderful programs the church already has specifically designed for the needs and development of young women. They don't NEED Scouting for their girls because we already have programs for them. So the point is moot for most LDS families.

    This article may enlighten you as to how things are with the BSA and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2015/03/23/truth-lds-scouting/

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  8. I have actually been postponing Wood Badge for two years because of this issue. It seems that all the WB courses within reasonable distance from me go two sessions, Thursday through Sunday. But as one who strives to observe the Sabbath day and thus avoid a somewhat secular activity on Sundays, this makes it difficult for me to justify missing two Sundays in order to take the course. I get a lot of grief over it from other leaders, even some light taunting (never becoming of a grown Scout leader), but I feel it's not a sacrifice I am willing to make. I do wish they would offer a course that didn't run Sundays in my area; I would take it in a heartbeat then.

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  9. The program we now call Cub Scouts was originally called "Cubs, B.S.A." and was referred to as "Cubbing" in all materials. In 1945 "Cubbing" became "Cub Scouts." So the shirt above must have been made between 1930 and 1945. A wonderful and, if I may say so, very well-preserved piece of history!

  10. My Webelos Den is officially named "Ye Merry Archers" (although in the modern vernacular they are too often called The Merry Archers by other leaders, which is incorrect, but I digress). Our patches and flag have embroidered onto them an archer who is very obviously Robin Hood, but while I certainly do use his stories and legends often in our meetings, he is not our "official" mascot - we keep it just generic enough so that the boys can imagine themselves as being one of his Merry Men, making the stories and morals therein more generally applicable. 

    As they grow older, they will eventually join the Savage Viking Patrol as new Scouts, and then eventually the Knights of Light. Again, while these patrols do have characters on their materials, they don't have specific names or identities. I like for my boys to view themselves as mascots, representing all the best in Scouting to our community and to the world. The various emblems of Archer, Viking and Knight merely give them historical peoples to which they can relate their Scouting experiences.

  11. 10 hours ago, bearess said:

    The odd thing about the scripts, to me, is that they aren’t related.  At every AOL ceremony I’ve been to, boys have also crossed over.  The two scripts don’t seem designed for that.  

    Actually, my boys never earn their Arrow of Light and cross over on the same night. Since mine is a year-round program unrelated to the school year, boys enter my den on their 10th birthday, and move on to Boy Scouts on their 11th. The crossing over is thus always at the last pack meeting before their 11th birthday - but most of my boys have earned their Arrow of Light long before that, usually about 8 or 9 months after they join our group. So I've always needed separate ceremonies for the AofL and the crossing over into Boy Scouts, and they are going on all year instead of being all clumped together at once. 

    The sad thing is I appreciated being able to get the OA involved in some of the ceremonies to give us some variety now and then. Now with these imposed scripts I won't have a legitimate reason to invite them any more.

  12. As a Webelos leasder myself, I am sorry the opportunity to have the OA members come all decked out in their full regalia. That was always special. 

    As for the two scripts ...

    The Cubs Crossover Ceremony script is just ... it's just so bad! The lines are so poorly written, so stale and forced, that no boy - no matter how superb an actor - will be able to deliver them naturally. Either they'll ham it up to the point of mocking the whole thing in one extended joke or they will clam up to the extent of 10 - 15 mintues worth of excruciating monotone line reading.

    To make sure I wasn't just being overly cynical, I asked my dad, who is a rather venerable career stage actor, to read through the script and tell me what he thought. He read over it, and after a long pause only told me "please don't ever ask me to read this kind of inane drivel again." However, being the curious/obnoxious middle child, I pressed him for at least a little more critiquing. He then essentially told me that whatever backwards amateur thought that this script would make for a decent ceremony was either seriously delusional in regards to his work, or that he must be harboring an intense desire to make any boys forced to deliver it look like complete and total idiots. And mind you, at any other time my father is desperately trying to find opportunities to get boys to sing more, but in the context of this "ceremony," the musical number (ahem! yes, it has one) is just torturously over-reaching.

    Surprisingly, however, I think the Arrow of Light Ceremony is quite nice. It's concise, simply, and dignified in a manner appropriate to the age. It's a rathar marked contrast to the train-wreck that is the Crossover; it's simply a nice ceremony that presents the award itself and the values it represents. No stage-hams forcing some ridiculous dialogue, trying to convince us that the pretend adventures they are scripted to talk about really happened - and gee wililkers weren't they exciting? Mind you, it's not quite so nice that I would ever really use it, but I appreciate its sincere tone and simple brevity.

    In the end though, if these are indeed the only scripts OA presenters will be allowed to use in the future, then I'm afraid I will not be inviting them to join our services again. Not through any fault of the willing participants, but because I simply don't want these artificial, poorly conceived ceremony scripts to be a part of my Webelos ceremonies. My boys deserve better. The OA deserves better. But for now, this is what we've got, and so as a Webelos leader, I have choices to make.

  13. I have noticed a bit of reluctance on the part of the BSA to come forward with the fact that these changes are even happening. I even sent a few e-mails to Bryan Wendell (from the Bryan On Scouting blog) suggesting he publish a post discussing the new materials; I figured something about it would have been mentioned officially ages ago - and yet not a word of it has come out yet, and the thread I started on the forums there remains silent. 

    From the information I have been able to piece together, however, the changes to the program materials are going to be "rolling changes," meaning the new items will not become available until all the old stock is sold through. The books appear to be an exception, as naturally families and leaders need the published materials in order to comply with the latest advancement standards, but everything else will simply have to wait until all the previous stuff is gone. 

    How long that will take is anybody's guess. I suggest just going with what they have for now; it could be quite a long time before all the old stuff sells through.

  14. Go ahead and wear them! Venturing awards are ABSOLUTELY acceptable on the tan uniform, since Venturing is after all an official program of the BSA. And you worked hard for them, so you should talk to your boys about what you did to earn the awards and the wonderful experiences you had in Scouting! Wear them to honor your achievements.

    Square knots are only as pretentious as the person wearing them. Just keep to the officially recommended limit of 9 knots (three rows of three) and you'll never come off as pretentious. Go beyond that, and well, it's likely that you legitimately are already. :laugh:

  15. Covey's books are widely regarded as some of the best "self-help" literature in the market, and they continue to be something of a gold standard for the genre to this day. They are worth reading, though it is absolutely true that much of what he teaches comes from basic LDS beliefs on work and leadership. He has been a featured speaker at multiple BSA National Leadership Conferences,  so he knows the program well, whether or not he himself is an Eagle Scout.

  16. Wow. No Committee Chair should have so much power that he/she can shut down a meeting whenever they please. 

    My suggestion - ignore her, and have the meeting anyway. Tell her your sorry she won't be able to make it, but that the meeting needs to happen anyway, and we'll be sure to let you know what you missed. She has NO POWER TO STOP YOU - except for the power you give her by your consent, however reluctant.

    So now: you need to have a plan for the future to prevent this kind of high-handed power-grab from happening in the first place. In our committee, we hold our meetings at the same day, place and time every month. The second Tuesday of every month at 8:30 in the evening is Cub Committee Meeting. Period. If our Committee Chair can't make it (and mine often can't), then we just move along without him. In that case the Cubmaster may lead the meeting, or even one of us Den Leaders if both are absent (again, both often are). What's important is not who is at the meetings as much as what is done - as long as the program is being carried out well, activities are being planned and business is being taken care of responsibly, it really doesn't matter if everybody can make it to one month's meeting and some people can't make it to the next - it's just about keeping a steady momentum and being consistent in our progress. That's the best way to protect the boys' Cub Scouting experience, and it makes Scouting more important than its Scouters. It's about as egalitarian a pattern as you could find; every member has just as much say on any issue as another, be they a committee chair, a parent, den leader or cubmaster. In a committee culture where everybody feels free to voice their opinions with respect to and from the other members, and where no decisions are made until there is common consent, it's difficult if not impossible for any one leader to have too much control. And no leader should ever be allowed to have too much control.

  17. At the Scout Camp to which our Troop is going next week, all merit badge classes are in the morning until 12, followed by lunch, and then afternoons are strictly maintained as "free time." Troops can plan their own activities or adventures, or not plan anything at all. On Friday they have a bunch of troop competitions, but even those are optional. They have horse riding, a lake and pool, shooting ranges, multiple trails - it sounds fantastic (even if it is in the San Bernadino Mountains, which I personally have never found especially lovely). And every night after dinner is different - some nights they have Camp-wide campfires planned by staff, some nights the Troops all contribute to the program, and on others they are free to do whatever they wish.

    Anyway, it sounds like the way a Scout Camp should be - a mix of advancement opportunities, but in a very restricted format, followed by an almost mandated chunk of free time when the boys will be all but compelled to unwind and explore. If I were to organize the schedule at a Scout Camp, that's a model I would look into closely.

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  18. First of all, you look here - STOP THINKING ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK. You are not there for yourself - you are there for your son. So you have a track record that embarasses you. Well, and I mean this lovingly - get over it! Your son wants you there - your son needs you there. So what if you haven't been able to give 100% in the past? There are many parents, MANY, who won't give 20 or even 10%! I have parents that I have to drag to Blue and Gold, for pete's sake! You want to be involved. That is worth gold as a parent. Even if it's only in the smallest capacity, you want to do the right thing, and that is praiseworthy. So do it! 

    I can't imagine who on Earth would be so petty, so infantile, as to label somebody a "quitter" simply because they need to lighten their load, but remember this - the people who mind don't matter, and the people who matter don't mind. Stop thinking about what others think. You have a job to do, the job of a parent. You don't have to add on extra positions and responsibilities to do that right. 

    So you can't go to camp! Big deal! As a Den Leader, I just finished our annual week of Summer Day Camp two weeks ago. And guess what? My assistant, who is a great guy and a fantastic help in our den, wasn't able to attend a single day of it because of work. And that was fine! Other people stepped in. That's what the team of committees and parents is for! And many other parents weren't able to attend either, for various reasons. As long as your child is in the care of people you trust, it's okay. You cannot beat yourself up over something like this when, put into perspective, there are far more important things to consider. And your well-being is one of them.

    By the way, there is NOTHING wrong with not liking camping! Open secret - I actually HATE camping! Always have, always will. The dirt, the allergens, the dust and pollen and lack of hot water and showers and clean facilities and soft clean places to sit and read, plus I just CANNOT ever sleep in the outdoors - far too quiet, no quiet hum of traffic to get me to sleep ... I am a city boy through and through. But an Eagle Scout, mind you! So who's to say it has to stop me from being a great leader? I can still navigate my path by sun or stars, identify fish, bird and berry by sight or sound, find and prepare food and shelter in emergencies, signal for help in the wilderness and live off the land in a pinch, all while leaving minimal impact on the environment - plus I can teach all those skills to my Scouts. I don't let my distaste for being outdoors impede what's most important, which is the cultivation of all those skills in the boys under my care. If every now and then I have to endure a weekend of discomfort to do that, it's well worth it to me. But I don't feel ashamed about hating it; in fact it's a running joke amongst the entire Pack that the Webelos Den Leader hates camping - yet is darn good at it. Like I tell my Webelos Scouts - we often have to do things we don't like, but what makes the difference is that we know what to do when we find ourselves in unlikeable circumstances. If it's within our power to change the circumstances, great, do that. But if not, do what you need to so that your emotional, physical, and spiritual health are protected as best as they can be. What other people may (or may not) think of you in so doing is utterly, totally irrelevant.


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  19. Does the back of the patch have any special markings? I would imagine it comes from Spain; the colors, symbols, and use of Cervantes' themes and imagery almost certainly indicate it originates from there. The World Scouting emblem is placed in a 50, so perhaps it is related to Spain's 50th anniversary of Scouting, or another 50th anniversary event in Spain's Scouting history. At least with those clues you have a start; you could start googling information of that kind and see what you can dig up.