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The Latin Scot

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Posts posted by The Latin Scot

  1. Thank you for this Stosh. I have seen and used many of these quotes, but not in the rich context found through this link. I have always admired Baden-Powell's devout spirit and religious convictions, and we would do well to remind others that our movement is fundamentally a religious one. Especially in this nation, Scouting should enjoy the privilege of maintaining its own religious character in spite of what the rest of the world might wish it to become.


    A wonderful, timely link indeed. Thanks again.

    • Upvote 1

  2. By my beard, how dare he? Doesn't he know better?!?




    Except, of course, that those aren't square knots, that's not a BSA Scout uniform, and he is actually following correct uniform procedure for his day and that organization, which was of course the British Royal Army, of which he was an actual general, AND the fact that he is Lieutenant General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell himself, and that man can do WHATEVER HE WANTS AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED. When a Scouter reaches that level of accomplishment, maybe they can wear more than three rows too, haha.


    I did have a good laugh though of course, thanks Stosh! Ha ha ha

  3. I come from a family of artists, and was raised in "ennobling poverty." My father did what he loved - acting and singing, while my mother did what she loved - raising her children. Their parents did much the same We never had much, but then we never wanted much, and we paid our tithing in church and lived frugally within our means. They were fortunate to fine a lovely, albeit tiny home in a beautiful part of southern California, and we have been here for 30 years eking out a living on what some would call "crushing poverty" but which we simply call "lesser means." We weren't poor - we just didn't have any money. And frankly, our indigent circumstances had nothing to do with our happiness as a family, our opportunities as children, or our ability to participate in wonderful programs growing up. We took advantage of financial help when needed, but worked hard to earn our part when we could. My parents simply taught us that if we ever wanted to go anywhere or do anything, we had to earn it. Of the seven children in my family, all seven went to elite universities on academic scholarship. And all the while, we were told again and again by my parents to DO WHAT YOU LOVE and that will make your living for you. Money has never been a motivation for any of us, and so far, it's brought up three generations of happy marriages, successful careers, and fruitful homes. 


    So, if this kid really wants to go into Scouting, he should be encouraged, not turned away from it. I commend him for being able to put up with the monotony of the program for a while in order to follow a career that he really loves.

  4. That is sadly true, although I think that is a sorry excuse for allowing it. I prefer to expect better of the boys I work with. Growing up, I sometimes I felt like my brother and I were the only Scouts in our entire district who found such 'humor' both woefully distasteful and utterly unfunny. I still think so. And while I know that I can't eliminate it entirely (though I do my best) the boys under my supervision, both as a teacher and a den leader, are very much on their guard not let any of that kind of humor cross my ears. I have mastered the art of what I would describe as the "professor's withering gaze of disapproval," although the boys call it my "Look of Death," a colloquial name for it that I have rather grown to appreciate. I have even had boys caught using such language or humor turn away from my face and shout "I won't do it again just please don't give me THE LOOK!"


    Ah, the joys of knowing my lessons are sinking in.


    So, yeah. I am sure once my Webelos move up to the Scouting program they will be exposed to all kinds of horrors and vulgarities, but at least as Webelos they'll have none of it as long as I'm in charge. And in the Cub Scouts at least, I actually am in charge! I would fare much worse in the Boy Scout program where I wouldn't be in charge any more, lol. 

  5. @@ShutterbugMom, I know how hard it can be to help boys come up with a Den/Patrol yell from first-hand experience! When I was a new Webelos Scout leader (never just "Webelo"; that's not a word!), I worked on getting our den a name and flag early; we became "The Merry Archers" with a cool-looking Robin Hood character on our patch, but for multiple reasons the boys could not/would not come up with a decent yell. I gave them lots of examples from old Boy's Life magazines from the 40's and 50's (back when they really knew how to use Patrol yells) and explained to them that our yell would be used to "let others know that we have arrived" (to quote Scout materials from the 30's) and as a call-and-response system during activities. And they are best when they are short and simple - a single coyote's howl is perfectly sufficient for the purposes of a den or patrol call. 


    But they couldn't come to any agreement, nor could they think of anything reasonably like a den yell. So, I waited, and every week for over a month I would give them 10 minutes or so to come up with something. As they continually either goofed off or failed to reach a consensus, I finally told them "look - you don't have to pass off this requirement. And I don't have to give you the Scouting Adventure adventure pin, and you don't have to earn your Arrows of Light; it's okay! I'll just explain to your parents that you don't want to earn any of this." Then I smiled and said "unless, of course, you can come up with something together."


    20 minutes later  (after we had started a completely different activity of course, because they are 10) one boy stood up and out of the blue shouted "Archers aim high ... Bull's eye!" The boys loved it (excepting one who hated it but voted for it anyway so we could get the dang thing signed off, bless his heart) and I didn't have anything to do with its creation.  All I did was remind them that it had to be their work, and that if they didn't work together, it wouldn't happen. At 10 years old that's plenty of motivation. But they got the three things that you can and must give them at this age:

    1. Good examples after which they can pattern their own work

    2. Time to create or perform the activity

    3. Freedom to make it their own


    Since then, I have used our den call in very much the old-fashioned way since it lends itself particularly well to call-and-response usage. When we are at pack meetings and there is a lot of activity, or out exploring and the boys are wandering around the woods, all that I or any other boy has to do to find the others is yell "Archers aim high!" and they have been trained to stand immediately and reply "Bull's eye!" no matter what they are doing. They even have a "shooting the arrow" action that goes with it, which has become so reflexive that there have been a few instances of refreshments being spilled all over the place when a boy has heard the call and jumped up to perform the response without thinking. In fact it's become something of a sick game among the boys to see how much disturbance they can make by shouting the first part of the yell and seeing what mischief comes as boys in the middle of various activities suddenly jump up to make the reply ... actually, maybe the boys aren't the only ones who get a kick out of the practice.  :rolleyes:


    Anyway - your group has it particularly easy. Animal calls are always the easiest to use in patrol yells, Historically in fact, the earliest calls, created by Baden-Powell himself, were simply the different calls of different animals, and were used to help patrol members find or identify each other out in the woods. In fact, it was expressly forbidden for boys to use the calls of other patrols, to the point that it was considered shameful and dishonorable to do so. A patrol's call was something that was used practically, but treated with a great deal of respect. I have tried to create that same feeling with my Webelos Scouts to great success. I am sure if you give them good models of ideal calls, time to stew on it over a few weeks even, and the freedom to truly let it be their own creation, they will come through. And remind them that you don't have to give them their Arrows of Light if they don't want to do it.  :D

  6. @@mashmaster I think the guidelines you have established are perfectly fine. Any skit that has to resort to one of those items to be "funny" is in desperate need of a little more imagination. There are hundreds if not thousands of skits available online, the vast majority of which are perfectly acceptable even under your stipulations. If the boys "can't find anything," its not from the lack of material as much as from the lack of trying.


    Side note, I always find it amusing when people say "I never did/always did such-and-such, and I turned out okay!" I can't help but find myself asking, "but did you really?"  ;)

  7. I think the key is being judicious and having a sense of taste and propriety, which admittedly is sorely lacking nowadays. Current BSA guidelines indicate that no more than three rows, or nine knots, should be worn on the uniform. So if you have earned nine such knots, great - wear them. But once you reach such a level that you have earned 10 knots or more, this is when you need to decide which knots mean most to you, and which you want to display. This might vary according to the image you want to convey; perhaps you want people to see your heroism awards so that you can talk about how Scouting can save lives; perhaps you have received one of the Scouting Service awards and want to draw attention to the cultural or special needs groups you work with. Perhaps your Eagle or your religious knot means a great deal to you personally. Those are all, I suppose, good reasons to select which nine knots you will wear.  


    However - there are those who think that if you earn it, you should wear it. My question is: why? Are nine knots not good enough? Are you worried people will not give you the "respect" you think you deserve because they don't know that "THANK YOU I HAVE ACTUALLY EARNED 14 KNOTS SO RESPECT ME DARN IT?!" If you can't be happy wearing nine knots - which, mind you, is A LOT OF KNOTS, then you need to question why you wear them in the first place.


    Many people know how to wear the uniform properly, but fewer know how to wear it gracefully. Wearing more knots than are officially recommended might be done under the pretext that they are there to start conversations (as though this was somehow virtuous in and of itself) or justified by the claim that "I earned them so don't I have the right to wear them?" or even the idea that others will see them and "be inspired" to serve based on seeing all of their knots (honestly I cannot imagine anybody registering as a Scouter because they saw somebody's knots, and if so, what a bizarre reason to join!). In any case, these people would rather ignore policy in favor of recognition; it's their choice. But what it says is not so much that they have earned many awards, which indeed speaks to a person's good works, as much as the fact that they want others to know that they have earned them. And that also speaks volumes about a person's character.


    It brings to mind Matthew 6:2 "Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward."

    and then in verse 21, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."


    Are our hearts on the Scouts themselves, or on the knots we are awarded by serving them?

    • Upvote 1

  8. Let's not forget however, that Bugler DOES count as a position of responsibility for both Star and Life rank. As one prepares to receive the Eagle rank, fewer positions are serviceable. But it is still an acceptable role for the ante-penultimate/penultimate ranks, so it hasn't lost as much importance as some seem to fear. :-) 

  9. I personally think it's a wonderful idea. 18-year-olds are often underestimated and looked at as "taller-teens," when in actuality an adventure like this could be loads of fun, especially since he would be interacting with a group composed of people who are likely much older than he is. He can learn from their experience, and frankly they would have a lot to learn from him. I think that if he already wants to go, he has the right attitude, and will make the most of it. Boredom is a choice, so as long as nobody lets him know that that's an option at WB, he'll never think to choose it. You have a willing leader-in-the-making. Give him the tools he wants to become what he clearly wants to be.

  10. I concur with Stosh, as usual. Troop 1 is the group your boy likes, and others are going there as well. Who cares what the DL tells them? You are the parent, and your opinion is worth a thousand times more than anything the DL tells these kids. If you and your son participate in making Troop 1 a success from the day your son bridges over, he will have a far better experience during the crucial first-six-months than he ever could with the other Troops that he doesn't know and can't reach as easily. This option is close by, friendly with your son, and sounds like a great group to join. Troop 1 sounds perfect. Go with it! And get the other parents to go with it too!

  11. Yeah, that would simply be ridiculous. And can you imagine the backlash from ethnicities that weren't represented by a device, or those that refused to be labelled under the device of the "wrong" ethnicity? And what would they use for the devices? Would I get a llama for helping the Scout program among my Andean paisanos? Little bagpipes for promoting Scouts to my Scottish relations in the local Scottish neighborhood? I think the BSA would be out of their minds of they attempted anything like that. I think they will just group any community efforts for any ethnic community under the one knot, and not worry about trying to identify just which minority group the Scouter was trying to help. 

    • Upvote 1

  12. I like that movie too, enough to know that that line is spoken by the villain, who is a psychotic murderer who "gets his" at the end.  Is that really who you want to be quoting?  (Or actually misquoting, it's "super", not "special".)

    First of all, his name is Syndrome. And secondly, yes, he is exactly whom I want to be quoting, actually, because he reveals that this modern idea, that everybody should get the same thing, that "girls should be boy scouts too," that nobody should be allowed to exclude - it's fundamentally a BAD IDEA. It's the VILLAIN who wants everybody to get the same privileges whether they earn them or not, the VILLAIN who wants to level the playing field to the point that there's no point in playing, the VILLAIN who wants to ensure that nobody gets a chance to excel, because that would be "unfair" or "elitist" or "unequal." The very idea that merit has not place in society is fundamentally problematic, if not blatantly wrong. 


    So yeah - Syndrome is exactly the one I want to quote, because his idea is, at its core, a rotten one. That is just my point, and I am glad you asked me to clarify, although it would seem you were hoping I would back up on what I said. In the which case I must disappoint you.  ;)

    • Upvote 2

  13. Ugh, this is just getting ridiculous. Why can't the world today just let an organization made for boys BE FOR BOYS? I hope the BSA National Board ignores this "push" entirely. Just because lots of people want it doesn't make it right.


    Also: The NESA is by very definition THE NATIONAL EAGLE SCOUT ASSOCIATION. Why should an organization designed for Eagle Scouts have anything to do with other awards? Let them come up with their own societies. To suggest that an association of Eagle Scouts include people who ... aren't, doesn't make any sense. It's trying to be inclusive at the cost of preserving the special nature of the Eagle Scout award in the first place. As one of my favorite movies points out, "when everybody is special, nobody is."


    It reminds me of something about which I constantly have to remind my students and Cub Scouts - despite what modern opinions try to teach people, FAIR does not mean everybody gets the same thing. FAIR means everybody gets what they earn

    • Upvote 3

  14. So I was browsing various merchandise on scoutstuff.org and encountered this interesting item:




    So, according to the item summary, this award "Replaces the Asian American Spirit of Scouting Service Award, Vale la Pena Service Award, and the Witney M. Young, Jr. Award." Yet try as I might, I can find absolutely no mention of this "new" award anywhere on the official BSA website, nor on the websites of any affiliates, nor even on any third-party webpages that are usually all over any mention of a new knot to earn. So what gives? Have they just let the cat out of the bag on their website prematurely, or has this change been announced while I have been oblivious? I find it interesting that it seems to indicate that the BSA is not going to maintain its award system for growing Scouting in specific cultural communities; I think it's a good thing really if it means a more broad-minded approach to building Scouting in different cultural contexts, but I hope there is more information available soon as I am curious about how they will define this new award.


    Has anybody else heard about these changes?


    Edit: Ha! I just noticed that the knot is upside-down in the picture they have. I guess it's still new enough that nobody has even noticed it yet, lol.

  15. Thanks @@TAHAWK, that was one of the first places I looked, but it doesn't give any information about the wearing of older or commemorative CSP's. And to @@scoutldr's point, it is indeed the CSP for the council I am registered in, and it is in fact the only one I have been with since I was a Scout myself. So, while I was in college at the time this particular patch was issued, it was still my "home base" as it were. As such, I feel that it will not be inappropriate to wear it. Thanks to all your comments everybody!  :happy:

  16. Hey everybody! I have a question about council patches. I have scoured the policies and guidelines about uniforms to no avail trying to find an answer, but I am sure somebody here will be able to supply a useful response.


    I recently received as a gift a council patch celebrating the BSA Centennial here in Orange County CA; for all intents and purposes, it is exactly the same as our council's current patch, only it is done with gold trim and has a special centennial emblem in the center. It's very attractive and I would like to wear it on my uniform, but as the centennial was now some years ago, I am not sure if that would be permitted. 


    Is the wearing of a celebration patch for the centennial allowed after the year of its issue, or should I just stick with the current one to avoid improper uniforming? I am a firm believer in wearing the uniform correctly, so I won't mind if it's not allowed. However, it's a handsome patch that I should very much like to use if there is any provision made for such wearing. Thanks for any suggestions and information!

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