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The Latin Scot

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Posts posted by The Latin Scot

  1. 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

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  2. Most of the above posts have been correct - LDS boys are in Webelos for just a year, so as the Webelos Den Leader, I work to get them their Webelos rank AND their Arrows of Light all in the same year. It's really not too difficult; I have been at it for two years now and have never had a boy fail to earn either. And I don't use the new simplified requirements either, lol.

    Also, boys were indeed automatically registered into a Varsity unit at 14, then a Venturing crew at 16 - every U.S. congregation had a Church-sponsored chartered Pack, Troop, Team and Crew of its own up until the change. But because almost nobody understood nor used the Varsity/Venturing programs effectively, we now just stick to a Pack and Troop for each congregation, with boys sticking to the Troop as long as he likes until he turns 18. As for whether this has led to the discontinuing of the Varsity program, I cannot say, though I could see that being a potential result. 

    As for the boy in question, I agree with what the Guide says - just because he is held back in school does not mean he has to be help back in Scouting. We are not beholden to what the schools do with their system of advancement. If the boy is current with his Scouting activities, and has no other issues holding him back, he should absolutely move on to the next level with the other boys his age, even if he has to repeat the same school grade a dozen times. ;-)

  3. I wouldn't use the wording "only the knot," since the knot is still an honorable indication of rank. I think part of the problem here is that people seem to have disparaging views on the Eagle knot, as though only the actual rank patch was really good enough. Why is this? Is it because it's bigger and flashier? Is it the attention we are craving? The knot is just as honorable as the rank patch. And if one really is starved for attention, there are the neckerchiefs, the slides, the belt buckles - goodness knows a hundred other ways to advertise that you are an Eagle Scout if that's what you want. Why people get hung up over the rank patch is frankly pointless to me. 

    And if you really do insist on wearing the darn thing, get your Eagle earlier so you have time to wear it longer. Although I got my Eagle at 14 and I couldn't have cared two figs about whether people noticed my patches or not. :rolleyes:

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  4. It's a bit easier in an LDS Pack like mine; as has been mentioned, we use a simple 3-year program. At 8 a boy is a wolf, at 9 he's a bear,  and at 10 he's a Webelos Scout. At 11 they move on to the Troop in a new Scout patrol. Easy to manage, very few complications. Their Primary Sunday School classes go by year as well, so they are always with the same boys from year to year. 

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  5. It's funny how many people want to claim that "real" Star Wars fans hated the film, yet no matter how much they pout, the numbers clearly show that the VAST majority of people loved it. 

    I can easily claim to be one of the biggest Star Wars fans on this forum; no far I haven't seen anybody here who can even approach the devotion and love I have for the films (look into my costume and memorabilia collection if you have any doubts). 

    But I will say this - The Last Jedi is an artful, beautiful movie, powerful in its messages, heart-breaking in its action, and deeply moving in its implications and morality. I was floored by how much I loved it, even though it was both imperfect and disappointing in some of the directions it took. But why would I let a few directorial choices ruin a perfectly good movie for me? 

    People just like to hate stuff because others don't do things they way they would have. But that's life - it doesn't always take the course we wish it would. But why should we let that spoil the fun for us while we're living it? 


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  6. 11 hours ago, WisconsinMomma said:

    I think this is an absolutely wonderful story.  A young person with an interest in teaching is volunteering and helping the BSA with guiding younger children, with mutual benefit.  Looking at the photo, she is not wearing a uniform, and so I'm taking this as a -- here's a teen who is helping out at meetings and at camp.  That is wonderful.  And I'm glad she is recognized for it.   Not being local, I guess I'll trust the locals to understand and follow BSA policies correctly.  

    As for the title den leader, I'm assuming the reporter messed up.  

    Yes, and here is the crucial problem. Is it a "wonderful story?" Maybe, to some eyes. But it's terrible journalism, and it ends up spreading untruths and misconceptions about the BSA under the auspices of that "wonderful story." People get distracted by the lovely idea of a young person volunteering and making a difference, and ignore the bigger problem - that "the reporter messed up." This child cannot legally be a den leader; it would not only violate basic BSA policy, but by violating the Young Protection model, it actually means that the children involved are at risk - if this girl really is acting as a den leader, that could mean there is no legal adults supervising the children, and it would take nothing to get a lawsuit slapped onto that unit, district, council, et cetera. People are so busy feeling how cute it is for this girl that they aren't thinking about the consequences of this kind of oversight. The recognition the girl is receiving is nothing more than empty praise; the attention the BSA is getting, however, could end up getting everybody involved into trouble. 

    Should the girl be encouraged to continue volunteering? Sure. But this kind of publicity, filled with misinformation and saccharine attention-getting, serves nobody. It should not be encouraged, and somebody needs to get this reporter's story straight ASAP before the units involved start getting into trouble. This girl could face serious consequences even if she is acting as a den leader without legally meeting to qualifications to do so.

  7. If the "journalist"  who wrote this article really wanted to get a good story, she would be asking more questions and getting to the real root of the problem here. Why are the parents in this unit okay with allowing a 16 year-old to run Cub Scout activities? Why is there no legal adult supervising their children? How did she get past National's strict age qualifications for Den Leader - did she lie on her application? Or did she even turn one in? Is she merely a Den Chief posing as a Den Leader? Does anybody in her unit even know the difference, or care? Is her council beding the rules simply to get this girl in the news? Do they understand the serious repercussions they could face by not following standard Youth Protection practices? This is a serious problem!

    A real news writer would be getting to the bottom of this whole charade, not pushing the kind of pointless story which does absolutely nothing to promote community awareness. I don't give two figs for the "youngest Den Leader in history," but I am deeply concerned by a child masquerading as such. This kind of story should have people asking questions and taking action, because at the end of the day, something is amiss with this whole story, and somebody needs to get to the bottom of it ASAP.

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  8. You included two different files; I went over both carefully with my Obnoxious Editor's switch turned on. In the first, the official application, you really do have to read everything carefully. I note that on the official application, the "life statement" is an integral part of the section entitled "CERTIFICATION BY APPLICANT." It is a part of that certification, which is why they don't give it a distinct requirement number. It is also immediately followed by the space for his signature. For future reference, make sure he remembers - with ANY and ALL official applications, the statements immediately preceding a signature are always ESSENTIAL - never sign anything unless that section is absolutely understood. It is different than what a Scout would be used when compared to the style used in the Scout Manual, but it is nonetheless a very normal way to format such an expectation in a technical application. Hopefully this crucial information will help him in the future.

    Admittedly, it might be easier for some readers if they made the statement a little more overt. But then that's exactly what they do in the second link you included - there is a BIG box at the top of page 23, in big bold letters, making extremely clear the need to include the statement, and what it should entail. It dominates that entire page; I would be very concerned if a Scout read that and didn't understand what was being asked of him, let alone include the statement described.

    I concur that there is a lot of paperwork included in the application process, and I am sure that in many way it could be streamlined. But there is also a lot of thought, preparation, reading and editing that is expected of the Scout, and learning to do so carefully is absolutely critical in life. This won't be the last form he has to fill out as he gets older, and by learning to read more carefully now, it will help him tremendously in the future with tax forms, college applications, et cetera. It was good of you to help the Scout with this application, but he should have gone over every part of it himself too just to be sure he had everything he needed. It is after all bolded in both forms and not too difficult to find nor understand. 

    I empathize with you and your Scout - filling out so many forms and applications and being delayed is always frustrating, and it is only fair that you should feel enervated by the whole process. But I hope you are consoled by the fact that the grueling process of the moment is building a stronger character for the future, and that is certainly worth whatever hoops and hurdles through which one may have to jump for now. :happy:

  9. 14 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

    See if you talk about this stuff long enough the Fun Police come out. Next you are gonna tell me that there is no Klingon Interpreter Strip. 

    Hey now, pointing out the official policies in the interest of educating the public has nothing to do with having fun; I simply wanted to express the official stance so that those who legitimately want to know can get an answer. Would I walk up to a kid with excess patches and shout AWAY SINNER! while tearing off his patches? Of course not. But will I try to encourage correct uniforming while teaching the principles behind it? Obviously. And it can be just as fun as if I were to allow clown shoes and sequins on the uniforms; it's all in how you teach it to the kids. 

    As far as leaders go, however, I just expect better. I am in no position to tell others what to do, but if people have questions, then they deserve answers. Sorry if I stepped on anybody's toes in doing so!

  10. The NYLT strip is an official uniform item; it goes in the same location as the Trained strip would go, as detailed on official materials. I even posted a link to Scoutstuff.org so you all can see.


    Any other cords, patches, or whatever are unofficial, and are not to be worn on the official uniform (along with anything else not officially sanctioned by the Guide to Awards and Insignia). You could put an extra patch centered on the right pocket as a temporary insignia, but that is the only exception. Adding cords, strips, or whatnot seems excessive to me, but beyond that, it's specifically not approved. From page 8 of the Guide to Awards and Insignia:

    "Clause 10. No alteration of, or additions to,
    the official badges and insignia or in the rules and
    regulations governing their use or their location
    upon the uniform may be authorized by any
    Scouting official, local council, local executive
    board, or committee except the National
    Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America
    and committees specifically authorized thereof.
    Proprietary backing is to be used on all official
    BSA patches and emblems. Products without
    appropriate backing are considered illegal."

    And from page 14 of the Guide:

    "Custom loops or other colors are not authorized for wear with the BSA uniform."

    Sorry to all those wanting to embellish your uniforms. Finally, my favorite clause from the Guide:

    "Excess Insignia: With the exception of the Cub Scout badges of rank, members wear only the insignia that show their present status in the movement. Members should make every effort to keep their uniforms neat and uncluttered. Previously earned badges and insignia—not representing present status—make a fine display on a BSA red patch vest, on a trophy hide or blanket, exhibited in the home of the recipient, or at functions where such a display is invited. Boy Scouts may wear only temporary patches (no badges of rank) on the back of the merit badge sash."


  11. 7 hours ago, numbersnerd said:

    Also, I fail to see how Latin Scot's post was directed at anyone specifically as nobody was quoted, named, or otherwise singled out. More of a blanket statement, similar to others that have been issued.

    I appreciate this comment. I apologize, @WisconsinMomma, if you felt my words were unkind. They were not meant to be, and if a general statement I made was erroneously taken personally, I am sorry. But they were meant to be honest, which I cannot apologize for. I do believe that making too big an issue over a small thing is unwise, and a distraction - it takes our attention from the things that matter by focusing our energies on actions and behaviors instead of on people and individuals. We can focus all we want on whether handshakes or upside-down boys are right or wrong - but by so doing, we divert our attention from the boys themselves. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. 

    Now, I will not bring up the matter again, as it would be ungentlemanly of me to do so, and I apologize if you mistakenly thought my comments were directed towards you, or were rude or insulting. But when others disagree about the issues with which you yourself take umbrage, I ask that you will treat them with the same respect that you have requested of me. To suggest that my words were inappropriately intoned, while at the same time manifesting an open hostility towards the comments of others who are in disagreement over the issue of Cub Scout ceremony traditions, is equally unfair. I hope we can proceed with this topic in a more civil manner, holding myself as first offender, for which I offer my most sincere apologies.

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  12. What is this "snow" of which you people speak? :huh:


    LOL nah I went to college in the Rocky Mountains and had to endure years of that awful stuff. Thank goodness I escaped back home to Orange County! It is currently 2:24 pm, and outside it is a balmy 83 degrees. :cool:

  13. I wear the patch my council put out for the BSA Centennial a few years ago; it's the same as our standard issue except with a gold trim and a snazzy "100 years" in the center. It's a nice reminder of the BSA's heritage, but the difference is also subtle enough not to be controversial. I do love seeing unique patches as big Scouting events though; I am always fascinated seeing how much variety and creativity is displayed in the designs some councils come up with.

  14. Wow ... I don't think I have EVER heard of shaking hands as being either "out-of-date" or problematic in any way. It can't be generational; I am barely 34 and most of my friends are much younger; shaking hands is as common as any other kind of greeting. At the university I went to (BYU), people shake hands ALL THE TIME, whether it's greeting a new person or an old friend. 

    Now I live back home in California, and it's still just as commonplace here in South Orange County as it ever was. ALL of the boys in our Troop shake hands with leaders when they greet (and each other when they remember), and I make it a point to act shocked and appalled whenever one of my Webelos Scouts forgets to offer his hand when I welcome him to our weekly meetings. I have yet to have any parents act shocked and appalled when I have attempted the same towards them. 

    I admit, I remember being turned upside down when I got my Bobcat badge in the early 90's. I was a pretty small and sensitive kid, and I very strongly remember disliking the whole thing, despite the fact that both of my older brothers had the same experience and LOVED it. I, however, hated being turned down in front of a big room of strangers; it was uncomfortable and embarrassing and I felt ridiculed and silly.

    Oh, and then I grew up and got over it. Because that's what Scouting teaches you to do! You learn from tough experiences, and you become a stronger adult! I attribute much of the ease and comfort I possess speaking to large crowds the the things I learned in Scouting. 

    Would I ever flip any of my boys around if I had the chance? Goodness no. But neither would I be so petty, so melodramatic, that I would condemn what truly is a harmless activity. The trauma it inflicts on the boy is only the springboard from which he can learn and grow. But you have to give them the chance to do it.

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  15. Our Stake actually has one ward (not mine of course lol) that has a functioning Venturing unit with 8 or 9 active participants; they have a really dynamite leader who has been in it long enough to get the program off the ground and make it work. They run the whole Venturing program, with all the separate awards and activities and everything. Come January they'll continue as a privately-operated Venturing Crew, while still doing the new program for Priests, but as you can all imagine, their unit is the exception. Some wards in our area can't even get the 11 year-old Scout program right; my mother is actually the Unit Commissioner for all the Stake 11 year-old groups, and she tells me most of them don't even have a rudimentary grasp of what their program is supposed to accomplish.

    My ward has always registered the boys automatically into our Team and then Crew at 14 and 16, but they haven't run the programs as they should have been. I am in the Cub Scout program, so I am not directly involved with the older guys, but I know our leaders over those ages pretty much do high adventure activities all the time; not much will change for them except that their titles will change to Assistant Scoutmasters so they can continue to work with any boys over 14 who are still working towards their Eagle (which is most of them; boys are much lazier about the whole thing where I am than in a lot of other regions). 

    For those non-LDS Scouters out there, mattsid is 100% right - not much is actually changing for LDS units. I know everybody outside the Church seems to think that the world is crashing down and that nothing will ever be the same, but within the Church, there really isn't going to be that much change at all. And I don't think Scouting is going to be all that heavily affected by the move. I do share however the concern that safety guidelines for older boys are going to be imperiled by the exit - without the BSA procedures as a buffer, a lot of activities could be taken too far if leaders are not careful. Hopefully people use their heads when planning activities under the new umbrella of programs.

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  16. The Lions program will become an official part of Cub Scouting next year; the pilot was a success, so it is being fully implemented.

    It seems the Tiger uniforms are being refitted to work in more closely with the other Cub Scout ranks as well; they have been wearing the blue uniforms for a while, but beyond that, I noticed yesterday at the Scout Store that they have recently redesigned all Tiger patches and materials; instead of Tiger Cubs, they are simply Tigers, and their emblem is now a much more realistic Tiger visage than the cartoon cub they have been using since their inception. All the Tiger rank patches, leader position emblems, neckerchiefs, et cetera, have been redesigned. It's actually really nice looking I might add; I hope they think about updating the Lion emblem too so it isn't the silly looking character they have used throughout the pilot program's run. 

    That gets me wondering about the pic at the beginning of this thread ... it may be that what we are seeing is not a new red color scheme for the Wolf dens, but simply a photo of a Tiger den that comes off as being dressed in red due to the photo quality, but is actually dressed in orange - the color used by Tigers. The photo is admittedly cropped strategically enough that we can't see any evidence of the claims made about it - no girls, no clear Wolf emblems, nothing yet to support that this was "leaked" from a photoshoot for new Cub materials. Since we have had nothing to authenticate the validity of the photo's credit so far, I think this may actually be what we are seeing. 

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  17. 1 hour ago, walk in the woods said:

    For 2018, maybe.  The Q&A at https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/questions-answers-changes-young-men-program specifically says they are making their payment to BSA for 2018, so no financial hit this year and older boys get the change to Eagle.  The article at the link also says that scouting meets the needs of boys 8 to 13, multiple times.  

    This is correct; the Church paid a lump sum for 2018 so that all boys 14 - 18 who would have been registered into the old Varsity and Venturing units are instead going to be automatically registered back into their Troops for 2018. This is supposed to be Church-wide, so if any units are not complying (such as those mentioned by @Col. Flagg), it's either because they don't understand how this is supposed to work or simply that they don't even know that this is the Church's intent. In my area, all boys are simply re-registering as Troop members, with the Varsity and Venturing Teams and Crews being cancelled at the end of this year (with some exceptions; there are a few units that have good programs that are deciding to continue operating through private means).

    After 2018, all Church Packs and Troops will continue to operate as they always have. But unlike before, when boys would have been automatically moved up into Varsity and then Venturing units when they aged 14 and 16 respectively (and most likely into Teams and Crews that were more or less inert due to lack of program understanding), young men will now have the option of simply staying registered in the Troop as long as they wish to continue Scouting. 

    It really is simply - before, the Church ran the Varsity and Venturing programs for all boys 14+, but most Church leaders didn't have any experience with those programs, and so they basically did their own thing once the boys reached the older age groups. Now, the Church won't bother running programs that the local leaders couldn't run correctly anyway, and so it will simply stick with the Boy Scout Troops, which they have been able to run well, and instead of kicking boys up a program once they reach 14, boys will have the option of remaining in the Troop for as long as they wish to continue Scouting, with a separate, Church-organized activity program operating for boys who decide they don't want to continue with Scouting after they are 14. 


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  18. I much prefer the new olive green to the red though; its a more streamlined look, much classier. As for confusing the two shades of green, well, I suppose getting the wrong hue of one color is far more forgivable than blatantly ignoring the intention of the colored loops just to indicate achievements for which there are already insignia. 

    Really, what could you show with different colored loops that can't already be shown by other means? Rank is shown by patches or knots; patrols are identified by their medallions, troops by number and neckerchief color, achievements with their own patches - resorting to the misappropriation of loop colors is just looking to stand out. Which is, in effect, a form of vanity, which is something from which we want to steer our kids as far away as possible I should hope. 

    Too oft, Vanity, thy name is Scouting. :rolleyes:

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  19. You are mistaken in that you interpret the Church's new activity program as a replacement for Scouting, as though the Church was secretly preparing to leave Scouting as soon as the members looked away. That's not how the Church operates. Neither is the Church "looking at a new youth program to be implemented worldwide." It already has such a program - but it does not use it within the U.S. and Canada because it continues to choose Scouting as the activity arm of their youth programs in these nations. The statement of October 11th made absolutely no reference to any kind of "replacement program" for Cub Scouting nor Boy Scouting. To infer that it did is to create false rumors among non-LDS Scouters which does little good for anybody.

    Remember, the executive board which made the unanimous decision to include girls also includes two Apostles, a number of Seventies, and members of the Primary General Board of our Church. They voted in favor of including girls, and the Church came out with an official statement acknowledging the benefits Scouting can provide to girls. It also emphasized that the Church's involvement in Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting will remain the same. That not only means it will continue, but that it will continue as it has before - meaning single-gender troops and packs, in our case, for boys only. The nature of the decision to include girls makes it possible for chartered organizations to continue to run Scouting just as they have before; they will not be "forced" to include girls, nor will any units if they don't wish to. 

    I want all the members of this board to note that the "bitterness" observed by the estimable @gblotter is not general within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In most of the nation, Scouting continues to be a beloved and honored part of the Church's programs for its young men. The LDS Church remains the largest Chartered Organization in Scouting - and that statistic will not change even once the Church pulls out of the Varsity/Venturing programs at the end of this year to continue operating exclusively through the Boy Scout program in their places. The lack of involvement in those programs was due to a misunderstanding of what they were, and not from ill feelings towards the Scouting program in general. Otherwise, those older boys wouldn't have been involved in Scouting in the first place. 

    I see no value in pretending to "see the writing on the walls," nor in trying to predict what has not been expressly stated by Church leaders, whether in the LDS faith or in any other for that matter. We would do far better to simply improve our own local programs as best we can as though they will continue for generations more, than we would in predicting the end is coming and wasting time trying to interpret things that haven't been said or events that haven't taken place. I'm a Webelos leader. Right not I have boys whose progress I need to oversee and whose character I need to help develop. Speculating as to how long I will be responsible for doing so avails me nothing.

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  20. Wait, do we have a source for this "leaked image?" Where does this come from? I don't want to start worrying unless there is a legitimate basis for this rumor; one cropped photo isn't exactly hard evidence yet.

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