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The Latin Scot

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Posts posted by The Latin Scot

  1. So ...

    First of all, I assume you mean the Cubmaster, correct? If you are a Bear Den Leader, then I assume you are dealing with Pack leadership (Scoutmasters work with Troops).

    Secondly, if you're going to seek advice from strangers on the internet, it would help if you gave more information about the situation so that we can have some idea of what, exactly, is going on. Why were the leaders so upset? How did this all start? If they were to post here, what do you think they would say about the incident? There are always two sides to every story, and the more we know about what happened, the better we can help you. This is all information that you need to consider if you are to effect any meaningful change.

    Certainly, it is never appropriate for a Scout leader to verbally attack another person, let alone to gang up on that person with his/her spouse. And yes, "yelling and screaming" at somebody would be considered bullying. But why were they doing this? I assume that in their minds, right or wrong, there was some justification for their behavior. If you are going to attempt to "remove" them, you need to be prepared to confront their arguments and their perceptions of what transpired, and the fact that they will almost certainly defend their actions to the powers that be. Whether or not they ought to be removed ultimately depends on what actually happened, which is a very large part of this story that we here don't know, and about which we are in no position to opine with the little information given.

    In any case, the first person to talk to would be your Cub Committee Chair and your Chartered Organization Representative. Your unit belongs to the CO, so you need to speak with them before anybody else, explaining the incident AND any pertinent events that led up to it. I STRONGLY suggest doing this in person; e-mails and texts are so easily misunderstood that you will only be inviting further miscommunication if you contact them in this manner. Arrange a time to meet with them, and see where your discussion takes you. Should you find that they are unable to help in a satisfactory manner, you should then contact either your unit commissioner or, if you don't have one, your district commissioner. In all cases, be calm, polite, and clear about what happened, providing as many details as you can, with documentation of relevant incidents if necessary. Your goal should be resolution, not retaliation.

    Hopefully, you get the situation resolved in a positive, civil manner that will allow you and your fellow leaders to resolve your differences amicably. And above everything, don't let your situation affect the Scouts in your program. No child should ever suffer because of adult disagreements.

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  2. Don't get me wrong, I am all for preparation and any measures that will calm a boys nerves (though by the time I had my Eagle BofR, I was very acclimated to the process and wasn't really nervous at all, so it seems superfluous to me). However, the Troop Committee CANNOT require such a preliminary Board of Review. It's not in the official requirements, so while they may certainly suggest their own board, they are in no position to demand it.

  3. I notice that whenever somebody wants to wear an item that is disallowed by the most current Guide to Awards and Insignia, they bring up something along the lines of "Well, it's such a little thing that nobody should make a big deal out of it, and after all, isn't this about KIDS, and not about worrying about such a little thing?!"

    The problem with this approach is that it is ultimately a distraction from the real issue - adults who want to get away with improper uniforming, and throwing up the smokescreen of 'concern for the program' when actually they just don't want people to bother them about an error they are willfully perpetuating. When we say "lets focus on kids" and not "waste your time and energy on something that is not enforceable," we are very much saying "I want to ignore the idea of uniforms, and if you don't like it, then you are ignoring the CHILDREN - how could you?!" This, of course, is unfair and illogical. Pointing out errors in an attempt to preserve the power of the uniform, especially when done tactfully, respectfully, and kindly, does not in any way distract from the program. In fact, it is a move towards strengthening it. We are a uniformed body. When we try to make ourselves exceptions simply because we want things to be our way, or to highlight our own accomplishments and not those of the youth, we have lost our way. 

    We don't need uniform police, because every responsible adult should be policing himself - not against petty rules, but against setting an example of defiance and exception rather than obedience and unity. Be mindful of which you are putting before the youth you teach.

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  4. In our district, adults have almost nothing to do with the actual planning of Camporee. Scouts from all the participating units start gathering to plan events, patch designs, themes and what have you a few months in advance - for example, the first such meeting for our next Camporee in April will take place next week. There are adults involved who reserve the site, ensure safety procedures are being observed, et cetera, but the actual event is planned by Scouts and run by Scouts. There is a Camporee Senior Patrol Leader who chooses his own 'staff,' and he directs all the meetings. 

    What I did notice at our Fall Camporall in October was that the boy who were there really got involved, and all of the kids I talked to had a fantastic experience. They loved the games (which they helped plan and develop), they ate well, they were thrilled to see friends from school who are in other troops, they got a kick out of the collection brought by a 75-year veteran Scouter - it was simply wonderful. They LIKED being surrounded by all the other troops because the got a sense of just how big and impactful the Scouting movement is - most of my kids hadn't grasped how widespread Scouting is in our community. And out here, every patrol in every troop is responsible for its own meals - no food is provided (except for the secret ingredients in the cooking competitions). There was designated "Troop Time" when boys could do whatever they liked with their friends, and our district and council visitors didn't bother us once, though they did visit us just to get to know the boys a bit - it was quite pleasant actually.

    Our troop had such a good time that they are already preparing for next April; they are determined to win a number of events this time, and as a result, a lot of boys are passing off requirements and progressing in Scouting in ways that never would have happened were they not so motivated by their Camporee experience. So in my book, when done right, Camporee is one of the best experiences a Scout can have.

  5. On 11/27/2018 at 9:18 AM, Tired_Eagle_Feathers said:

    I think Scouting as a whole is a great organization when it hearkens to its roots in scoutcraft and leadership.  There are many aspects I'd like it to dump, like religion ...

    I'm afraid if you "dumped" religious, Scouting would have absolutely no foundation. Once religion is removed from Scouting, it will cease to have any power whatsoever to do good in the lives of young people. 

    Baden-Powell himself said the following:


    “There is no religious side to the Movement. The whole of it is based on religion, that is, on the realization and service of God.”  November 1920    In the Footsteps of the Founder


    “I have been asked to describe more fully what was in my mind as regards religion when I instituted Scouting and Guiding. I was asked, ‘Where does religion come in?’ Well my reply is: ‘It does not come in at all. It is already there. It is the fundamental factor underlying Scouting and Guiding.’”  B-P 2 July 1926


    “Religion seems a very simple thing –
    First: Love and serve God,

    Second: Love and serve your neighbour”
    B-P in his handbook “Scouting for Boys”

    Now let’s look at the BSA National Office for some additional clarification on this subject:


    BSA’s Declaration of Religious Principle: “The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. … The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members. No matter what the religious faith of the members may be, this fundamental need of good citizenship should be kept before them. The Boy Scouts of America, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and the organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.”

    I believe this 100%. And I think the "slap-stick" in Cub Scouting is often a distraction from this. I have a wonderful time as a Webelos Den Leader with my boys. But, while we are always engaged in meaningful activities, NOT EVERYTHING IS "FUN." Sometimes there are very sobering conversations, or discussions that require a bit of mature, thoughtful interaction. That's okay. Yes, Cub Scouts can be a barrel of monkeys, more often than not, we are having a wild time. But there are just as many times when we need to use this program to teach deeper values with far greater significance. 

    Fun is a tool, and a marvelous one at that. But it must always remain just that - a tool, not an end. My goal is never "to have fun." I use fun as an effective and powerful way to reach my REAL goal - building solid moral character in the boys I teach. If it gets TOO ridiculous, well, in my book that's a distraction.

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  6. We have a young man who has done an excellent job teaching me how useful and important the role of Scribe can be. Mind you, I was Scribe for a while back when I was a youth member, and I never felt like I did anything important in that role. But this kid has really made the job his own. He keeps neat, organized minutes at every meeting, and he writes everything relevant in a tidy binder with dividers separating various types of "documents." He has a file for menus (including shopping lists, which Scouts will purchase what, who will cook the meals, et cetera), camp-outs (where they are camping, duty charts for the outing, requirements the boys want to pass off), troop minutes (with a better agenda than even our committee uses) -- this kid didn't ask whether the patrol needed a Scribe or not, rather, he made himself needed, and found ways to magnify his role so that it is now an invaluable part of patrol functions. I think that's what every boy should be aspiring to; it's not about the job you take, but rather it's the effort that you make.

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  7. Well, if you talk to your CO and explain the issue, they can simply GIVE him a new role. No questions, no discussion - simply tell him his services are appreciated but the nature of his role will be changing. Then change his role. If the CO approves the action, there is nothing he can do about it - besides whine and complain and all that, but he can't force himself into any position of leadership. It's a tough call but if he is truly sabotaging your boys' experience than just excuse him from the position in which he seems to be causing so much trouble, and find him something else to do where he won't cause so many problems. The CO is fully empowered to choose its own leaders, and to dismiss them as well (or at least give them new duties). Should he decline, he is welcome to look elsewhere for opportunities to serve.

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  8. Ah, that would be the difference between @SSScout's district and ours. Our district advancement chair just issued a VERY strongly worded mandate to our units specifying that "under no circumstances are units or committees to conduct preliminary or 'practice' Boards of Review. The final Board of Review is the ONLY Board of Review, as stated in the Boy Scout Handbook and in accordance with the Guide to Advancement, and this is to be conducted only after all other requirements have been met. This does NOT include a 'trial run.' with another group of leaders. There is no need nor authorization for units, chartered organizations, or unit committees to schedule or demand a precursory Board of Review with an Eagle Scout Candidate."

  9. On the one hand, that was the campiest little number I've watched in months. :laugh:

    Yet on the other hand ... 

    It is charming (I vaguely remember slideshows from when I was only about knee-high to a grasshopper; they were already considered obsolete by the time I was in elementary school), but I gotta say - I agree wholeheartedly with most everything it teaches. As primitive as the presentation is, I find that it successfully conveys the entire point of the patrol method in a clear, easy-to-understand and mildly (MILDLY) amusing context. The quotes are right on, it addresses a scenario that is all but ubiquitous in the Scouting world, and it's simple. Honestly, I think it's wonderful. I would GLADLY show this to any Scouter, whether old and seasoned or fresh and new.

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  10. When I was 15 we drove 2 1/2 hours up to Big Bear up in the San Bernadino Mountains during the brief time of year when they have a modicum of snow so that we could experience the "thrills" of winter camping. There was almost no snow on the ground to speak of, but to a kid like me who had never seen snow before it might as well have been the North Pole. There was  only enough in a few melted-out patches to make four or five muddy 'snowballs,' and by the time we woke up it was all gone.

    Of course, when I say "woke up," I wrongly suggest that I actually slept. Not a one of us had proper clothing, sleeping gear nor even the most basic preparation for the cold we struggled through that night. It was, without question, the second-worst camping experience I ever had to endure, and I would never dream of willingly camping outdoors in a place that had winter again! 

    That said - I hope your boys have better experiences than I had camping in the winter time! Of course, I imagine you people have winter time in the first place, something that fortunately we lack entirely here. :rolleyes:

  11. 3 hours ago, HashTagScouts said:

    ... there's going to be the peanut gallery that still ignorantly thinks that he is "too young to be an Eagle", so keep your chin held high as well and be his rock right now.  He WILL get to have that medal soon enough.      

    I was 14 when I earned the rank of Eagle, and now 20 years later I still get people asking if I "really appreciated it" when I got it, or if it was me or my parents who really did the work. 

    Your son will learn much more from this experience that he realizes right now in the thick of things, and it will make him an even better Eagle Scout besides. At 14 he is learning more than many do even at 16 or 17. Just don't let him give up! :)

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  12. Argh, I HATE hearing about ignorant EBOR board members who think they have the right to question a boy's work when his project has already been passed off!


    I note that your son just turned 14. As a 14 year-old Eagle candidate myself, I know I had a lot of condescending board members who seemed to doubt that a 14 year-old was capable of any "real" leadership, and they seemed to expect that I had allowed my parents or leaders to do most of the work. This attitude is absolutely inappropriate, and I hope that is not the kind of mindset your son was battling. I was fortunate in that I had two older brothers who had faced similar situations, and I was well prepared to present my case and state unequivocally "I led the project, I met the requirements, and I have earned this award." Those were the exact words my brothers had me memorize, which I still remember vividly to this day. 

    Since your son did not have that counsel on his first go, however, an appeal is ABSOLUTELY justified here. He has done the work. Everything is signed off. That board had NO RIGHT to withhold the honor unless your son has committed the most egregious of crimes (which, considering his age, I consider highly unlikely ;)). The first comment in this thread made by @69RoadRunner are absolutely correct, and I would even suggest printing off the article and taking it with you when you go to appeal. Also, while it is not recommended, you as the parent have every right to be in the room during the appeal if you insist upon it (which this time, I might consider if I were you). In fact, you had the right to the same at the first BofR as well, though many snooty pseudo-authority figures prefer not to acknowledge that privilege. There has been an over-stepping of bounds here, and while your son has every reason to feel hurt and confused, he is not wrong, and he can get it fixed. He has done a great service, he is obviously a dedicated and hard-working person, and he has already accomplished more than many young people his age. This will work out as long as you are willing to fight for it. Some battles aren't worth the effort, but if I may venture to opine so, I'd say absolutely that this one is.

    And do tell him there's a California Scouter who's rooting for him and praying for his success. :)

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  13. Bless you for your willingness to be involved! Here are a few guides that might help you get started:



    And here's the link to a whole page full of forms, applications, awards and resources: https://www.scouting.org/programs/cub-scouts/resources-forms-applications/

    The Cub Scout Leader Book will be your best help; I would try to procure one as soon as possible. It has a very good, clear breakdown of the program: https://www.scoutshop.org/catalog/product/view/id/7906

  14. BSA policy has never prohibited using hours helping with an Eagle project being used towards advancement as well. The only guideline from the Guide to Advancement is this, from section


    "When contemplating whether to double-count service hours or a service project, and apply the same work to pass a second advancement requirement, each Scout should ask himself: 'Do I want to get double credit for helping others this one time, or do I want to undertake a second effort and make a greater difference in the lives of even more people?' To reach his decision, each Scout should follow familiar guideposts found in some of those words and phrases we live by, such as 'helpful,' 'kind,' 'Do a Good Turn Daily,' and 'help other people at all times.'

    Counting service hours for school or elsewhere in the community and also for advancement is not considered double counting since the hours are counted only once for advancement purposes.

    As Scout leaders and advancement administrators, we must ask ourselves an even more pointed question: 'Is it my goal to produce Scouts who check a task off a list or Scouts who will become the leaders in our communities?' To answer our own question, we should consult the same criteria that guide Scouts."

    So while it's encouraged to pose these questions to Scouts and discuss these ideals with them, there is NO REQUIREMENT prohibiting nor demanding the same.

    This article also addresses the issue in the last part of the Q & A:


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  15. 2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    LS, you only needed to post the last sentence. It made the point without disparaging the Eagles you feel didn’t have the motivation to earn the honor on their own. 

    Every Scout IS different, which is why the adult staff should strive to build a program that doesn’t obstruct any Scout’s personal ambition. 


    I apologize if my comments came off as severe in places, but I write what I do because I feel it is important. The last sentence of my previous message demands the context of the rest of the post. Please note that most of what I wrote was positive, not critical. And I agree with you utterly; adults should support and provide programing that allows Scouts to move at whatever pace they wish, of their own accord. 


    Let it be noted that it is not bad to want to earn your Eagle sooner rather than later, and there are many, MANY boys who earn the rank of Eagle Scout at 14, even 13, and who continue their Scouting adventure, appreciate fully the significance of their rank, and go on to have wonderful Scouting adventures later on in life. Earning your Eagle at 14 is an impressive feat, and should be honored, not derided. For many decades that was the average age of most Eagle Scouts. Not only that, but for every 17 year-old who goes on to finally earn his Eagle and has a wonderful tale to tell about it, there are a dozen more who only wait because they are lazy or distracted, and their parents or committee make a mad dash to 'help' him earn it, ending up with a 17 year-old who really didn't care about it until, at the last minute, people told him he should. And that's not to speak of the thousands besides who never even get that far. Every Scout is different, and age is a very poor determinant of the quality of one's character or the authenticity of one's experience.

    The best Scouts I know right now are the little band of 13 and 14 year-olds of the Troop into which my Webelos Den feeds, all former members of my Den, who joined already eager to lead and camp and advance and everything Scouting has to offer them. Their energy and excitement is palpable; in the few short years they have been in the program they have completely reinvigorated our Troop, and the lot of them will earn the rank of Eagle by their 14th, or latest, 15th birthdays. And they are as dedicated as any 17 year-old. Their youth is no hindrance to their learning, and they are model Scouts - just a bit shorter is all. As a 14 year-old Eagle myself, I want to make sure we remember that many boys are simply more motivated as zesty 14 year-olds than they are when they become busy 17 year-olds, and there is nothing wrong with encouraging the young ones to earn their Eagles early on, and then to become the leaders of new boys in the future. Yes, I understand that many times it's the parents who do the pushing, and advancement is a method of Scouting, not an aim. But if the boy simply loves Scouting, and wants to challenge himself by setting goals and working hard to achieve them, and if, as seems to be the case with @scoutboy, the Scout is entirely self-motivated, then we should encourage him to meet his goals, not attempt to change his mind.

    Every Scout is different. @scoutboy wants to challenge himself; that's great. Let's help him make it a meaningful experience, not try to change the experience itself.


  17. 9 hours ago, shortridge said:

    No one’s eliminating anything. You are not being censored. I’m simply asking that the same standard be applied to discussions of the BSA program now that it is accepting girls as was applied when it was rejecting them. Comments of the sort you are making were spun off into I&P threads in years past when they were on the other side of the fence.

    As to my misunderstanding of your comments - sir, two of the sentences in your original post referred to the video. The others were about how the BSA has changed. That speaks for itself.

    Please let those of us who want to discuss the program as it is have these program subforums. If you want to change it or bemoan the changes, then go to I&P. That is the place for it.

    Thanks! I’ll wait for the mods to make a ruling one way or the other.

    I am sorry you have decided to misinterpret my comments so insistently, but it is not your place to make such a request of me. I have been decidedly on-topic, but unfortunately you don't seem to like my opinions and you want me to take them elsewhere. So I will do you one better. I will leave this thread entirely without adding further comments of my own. However, I request that my comments NOT be moved to some other thread, because they express my feelings on the video shared - exactly on-topic. They belong here, in this discussion, not in some other thread - I have the right to express an opposing point of view, haven't I? I want to make it clear that I do NOT like the video. That is absolutely fair. So, we will both win - you can perpetuate your feelings in this thread now without fear that I will oppose them, but my I ask that my comments remain so that my thoughts about the topic are known, which is very important to me.

    However, it is now my turn to make a request - please do not tell me where I should post anything again when you are in no position to do so. I know where my thoughts belong, and anyway that is not your privilege; there are moderators here for a reason, and they have  a much clearer, more objective sense of what should transpire on these forums than either of us. And in any case I shan't oblige you, much as I should love to be more accommodating to your sensitivities. 

    So now, that will be the last of my comments here; discuss the video at your leisure free from my troubling opinions. Sadly, that is what I had been trying to do all along.

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