Jump to content

The Latin Scot

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by The Latin Scot

  1. @Hawkwin that certainly would have helped!

    In any case, I just now had a long conversation just with my District Advancement Chair. While discretion prohibits me from divulging all the information this early on, I will share what I can to allay any concerns you all may have.

    At an Orange County Council meeting on Saturday to which select board members from the various districts were invited, it was proposed by the Council Executive Board (not Scouters for the most part, but professionals hired to increase profit in the council) to charge a $120 fee to Eagle Scout applicants upon the submission of their papers, to be effective immediately.

    The result was a long and intense discussion which ended in something akin to what I shared a few hours ago – as of now, they are officially only assessing the possibility of charging such a fee which, if it were to be implemented, would not take effect until a later date. HOWEVER, as my wonderful District Advancement Chair put it, "it’s written in pencil, but not in pen" - and it's definitely not set in stone.

    It’s possible the push-back will be so tremendous that the move will never take effect, although it has been formally put forward by the executive board - but again, this proposition is so recent that it is unwise to jump to conclusions. So, fellow forum members, here is your official takeaway for the time being:

    It hasn’t happened yet; it may not happen at all, so don’t worry about it for now!

    • Confused 1

  2. I think that's ultimately the key here - educate the Scouts on the traditions, the peoples, the cultures and the controversies - and then let them decide. I don't think National - nor any one Native American nation - should have the right to dictate what they can or cannot do from there. 

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 1

  3. So here's what I have found so far (a number of people have not yet responded):

    So far, none of the people from my district that have replied to my inquiries have heard about this (and we are by far one of the biggest and most influential districts in our council).

    The one person from the Council office who had heard about this pointed out a key part of the message that I feel rather foolish for not noticing myself: 


    Effective March 1st. The Orange County Council will be assessing a filing fee for Eagle Scout applications. The fee will be $120 with applications to defray the costs to the council to file. The logistics are being worked out as to who will be collecting. You will be receiving the Eagle Scout gift set with this fee. Please pass this along to your respective troops.
    This information was passed along to us today at the Top Hands Meeting at the council. 

    What I was told by my friend at the Council office is that they are assessing, as in they are exploring the possibility of, a filing fee, and that such a fee may even be optional if the boys do not want the gift set. But so far nothing is definite, nothing is official. As noted, logistics of such a move are being worked out.

    Mind you all, I am still waiting to hear from my contacts that are highest up on the totem pole, as it were, but so far there isn't much off of which to go. Interestingly, there is no name attached to this message either. 

    @hikeoholic, are you here in the OCC too? From whom did you get this message? If it would be easier for you to private message me, I would like to follow the source to get more information if possible. I work with a lot of boys from impoverished families working to get their Eagles, and this kind of move would severely handicap their progress, so if you would let me know exactly whence this message came, it would help me in my investigation. Thanks!

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1

  4. I have heard nothing about this, and I am SURE it's something that would be talked about if it were true. 

    I have just sent out a few e-mails to various friends at the OC office. I should have a concrete answer by tomorrow; however, I have to go run my den meeting and the a committee meeting, so I will be offline for the rest of the night. I will bring you all official news direct from the source in OC first thing tomorrow morning!

  5. I totally concur!


    The very idea of charging a boy to submit his paperwork is suspect - and my thought it, what would they do if a boy refused to pay such a fee? Would they dare deny him his right to submit his papers, despite his having done all the work? I feel like this is the kind of situation where a well-organized boycott may actually do some good. Something at least to get that council to realize the preposterous nature of their demands.

  6. 1 hour ago, Sentinel947 said:

    I've seen this on the BSA sub reddit. They mentioned Orange County's BSA council. 

    I have doubts that this is true, because it's such an idiotic policy. It really doesn't take much manpower or time to review Eagle applications, and $120 is a ridiculous and arbitrary increase over free.

    That sub reddit is wrong. I am IN Orange County Council, and if you read my post earlier in this thread, you will see there is no such fee being charged here.

    • Upvote 3

  7. Wow ... I have never heard of an Eagle application fee before. Our council actually sends every new Eagle Scout a packet with his new patch, a few congratulatory letters, and information for an Eagle Scout photo opp - all completely free (including cost of photos). To charge boys for all of that sounds crazy to me.

  8. 3 hours ago, ItsBrian said:

    As I said before, I have used the book and did not benefit a small troop like mine.

    At the same time, our troop of only a few boys had a push to go back to the book and follow it more closely, and it has helped strengthen the unit and the boys tremendously. It's not as much the book itself as how you use it.

  9. Give your son a few options, and ask what he would like to do.

    He should talk to his SM about the matter, and see what he recommends.

    He could just keep calling and e-mailing the MBC, even if it takes a few calls a day to get him to respond. 

    He could ask his SM for the information of an alternative MBC, to whom he could then explain his situation and request the requirements be signed off anew.

    He could (if you have the address and the means) even drop by the home of the MBC to request some help expediting the process.

    Talk to your son, and see how he wants to proceed. Waiting as long as your MBC has is pretty inconsiderate, but extenuating circumstances may be in play that nobody knows about. In any case, persistence is the most important thing to suggest.

    • Upvote 1

  10. I had that very issue last year; for about 5 months I only had two boys. But I didn't let that stop me! I put in the same energy and excitement with those two as I would have with a full den (maybe even more so!), and I made sure never to bring up our low numbers - if you don't bring it up, the boys don't stop to think about it. Sure, we had to modify some activities, but I never let the room "feel empty." We also did a few more combined games and activities with the Bear den and the new Scout patrol that meet at the same time in our building, but for the most part, it looked just the same as an AofL program would have looked like with 8 boys - there were just, well, fewer bodies is all. :cool:

    After a few months, the boys started bringing a friend to Scout here, or a happy parent would recommend my den to another parent there, and we went from 2 boys to 8 in just two months! If you put your heart into the program, the program will grow. The immediate recognition of awards is one of the things the families in our Pack enjoy most. It definitely encourages boys and families to stay involved! And parents are much more willing to work on adventure requirements at home, because they know they will see the fruits of their labors immediately. It's very encouraging for everybody, so I highly recommend trying it!

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 1

  11. @Thunderbird Amen to that. What goes on with the Webelos sets a precedent for all the younger Scouts in a Pack. Technically, the Den Leader guides recommend that no Scout should ever wait more than TWO WEEKS to be recognized for an award he has earned. I take it that includes ranks, like the Arrow of Light. There is solid pedagogical reasoning behind it, and as a Child Development specialist, I fully grasp why - kids lose interest in awards systems quickly if the awards never come. Making a child wait longer than two weeks is basically a guarantee that they will lose interest in the system, and eventually, the program. 

    • Upvote 1

  12. I always try to use friendly questions to encourage the person to reflect a little on what they are doing and representing in these kind of situations. A sample of a conversation I had recently:

    Me: "Hey Mr. Wilikers, (name has been changed) I didn't know you were registered as a new Scout leader!"

    Him: "Oh I'm not actually yet."

    Me: "But you have a new uniform on! Aren't you only supposed to wear the uniform if you are officially registered with the BSA?" (asked sincerely, and with a big smile)

    Him: "Oh, I just thought it would be fun to wear one I guess."

    Me: "Is that why you have all those goofy patches in the wrong places? The boys in my den were confused about them, and I didn't know what to tell them. How would you explain them to my boys? I gotta tell them something." (sincerely inquisitive and slightly concerned face)

    Him: "Well ....." (insert lame excuse here)

    Funny enough, while it seems trite, a conversation like this never actually accuses him of anything, and technically, I am never actually telling him he is doing something wrong. But the questions allow him to consider both his actions and the ramifications of the example he is setting, all while avoiding any actual criticisms. This line of conversation always works for me; give it a try and see if you have any more success!

    • Upvote 2

  13. Incidentally, if you have a Scout who has completed his requirements and is ready to move on, talk with your leadership and see if they can award him his rank sooner rather than waiting around for the others. It's false to believe that boys have to wait to earn it all together at the end of the School year, and as a parent, you have the right to a say in your son's advancement.

    • Upvote 2

  14. In my Pack, boys advance by birthday, and we go year-round - there's no summer break, and we ignore the School year calendar. So, if a boy turns 10 in March, he becomes a Webelos Scout, and when he turns 11 he advances to the Troop chartered by our same congregation. 

    As the Webelos Den Leader, I make sure that when a boy earns his Arrow of Light, he receives it at the very next monthly Pack Meeting - I don't wait around for other boys to earn it. So, if the boy who turned 10 in March competes the requirements in November, then that's when I award him his AofL. That means his bridging ceremony is done separately from the AofL in February or March. Almost all of my boys finish the AofL a few months before they turn 11 and cross over, so we have AofL ceremonies and bridging ceremonies happening year-round. Families tend to be much happier, there's no waiting around for Scouts who are taking longer, and the boys get a constant stream of exciting ceremonies to look forward to. I think it works far better than the School-year model which seems to cause so many people so much grief.

    • Upvote 1

  15. I don't believe culture is something that can be "owned." It's a dangerous path, claiming that something as broad and esoteric as culture can be owned and dictated by one group of people. That's one of the primary issues challenging society today - the idea that cultural ideas, artistic expression, or symbolic representation can "belong" to somebody, or even more challenging, to a group - and who, pray tell, determines who can or cannot belong to that group? 

    I am not talking about race, mind you - although some have trouble distinguishing between the two. But my parents come from two very distinct and different cultures, and I know first-hand what kind of problems can arise when people try to take possession of cultural elements in an attempt to preserve or protect cultural identity. It's possible to share in elements of a people's culture without doing so offensively, and if people do take offense, that is their choice - but that should not give them the right to legislate the first group's freedom to include those elements in their activities if that is their wish. To claim that a group "owns" such things is both unwise and unjust - and sets a dangerous precedent that can be turned against them in unexpected ways.

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 3

  16. Admittedly, they have announced many times that there won't be any official information on the girls' program (including its name) until 2019 - they still have the better part of a year to figure it out. But even if this article had never come out, the fact is that there is still a lot of uncertainty as to what's going to happen with it. A year is still not a lot of time to create a whole new program that is at once tailored towards girl's development and yet meets the same criteria required to earn them their Eagles in a manner that's legitimately "equal but different.' They haven't given themselves enough time for trial and error, and I foresee that coming back to bite them hard.


    I have watched all of Surbaugh's web presentations and "town hall" meeting clips that I could find, and they have acted almost entirely on what they assume people want based on surveys and samples - it's extremely sketchy reasoning, from both a statistical and a logical point of view. I can't say I fully support him, as I have most of our past leaders. Just because he's a volunteer doesn't mean I have to hold him up to some lesser standard. In his elevated position, I actually expect much better.

    • Upvote 2

  17. I read this article last night. Surbaugh is not the most eloquent speaker, and the writing sourced in the piece isn't that far out-of-step with his somewhat colloquial writing style, but I don't know how likely it is that Buzzfeed would be getting such an "inside scoop" while other, more credible sources remain oblivious. :rolleyes: I concur with the fact that there are some mighty worrisome things going on at National, but ... I can't say I feel "aghast," lol. 

  18. When the OA comes to do our AofL crossovers, it's a very meaningful and impressive event.

    The lights are dimmed, and a large, deep drum starts beating slowly as OA members walk in to the room in full Native American regalia. Then one begins to tell the legend of the Arrow of Light and the young brave who led his tribe out of darkness with his arrows (I can't remember enough of the details to retell it here), and then he calls out the names of the boys who have achieved the rank of AofL. The boys are charged to live the Oath and Law and the Outdoor Code, then their parents are called up so that the boys can award them their parents' pins - all of this by OA members in full costume, which the Cub Scouts always find impressive. There is then a special dance to celebrate.

    If any of the boys are also bridging over to Boy Scouts, there is further story-telling, and the OA speaker/dancer guides them over our special "bridge" to their new leaders, who then have time to offer a few words, followed by their new patrol leaders welcoming them into their new patrols. Then more dancing and celebration, and even photo opportunities after the meeting.

    Having their additional elements in our program has gone a long way towards encouraging my Webelos to advance in rank, and it gives purpose and meaning to what might otherwise just be another patch on their shirt. It's solemn, but also fun and exciting - the boys are usually riveted to what's going on, and the parents LOVE it. The big drum sounds mighty fine in our big multi-porpose room, and I can't thank my lodge enough whenever they pull off an especially good performance.

    • Thanks 1
    • Upvote 1

  19. Oh no! That would be tragic; my boys LOVE when the OA comes all decked out in full regalia for their Arrow of Light ceremonies! 

    I note however the use of the word rumor ... I hope that is just the case here. So many stories get bandied about here sometimes, one can only hope this is one of those times when the tale proves to be unfounded. Luckily the majority of my current crop o' boys will be getting their A'sofL before NOAC! :p

    • Upvote 1
  • Create New...