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The Latin Scot

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Everything posted by The Latin Scot

  1. This was a point I brought up a few pages back. The girl's title of SPL over a male unit was never valid in the first place because she cannot be a member of that troop, regardless of how closely (too closely if you ask me) their two units work together. This is all over the BSA literature if you get into it enough.
  2. I certainly concur with all of your thoughts and ideas, @Protoclete. I live in a pretty densely populated area, yet for some reason there are only a few select opportunities to take the CC courses each year - and the primary event that was planned for tomorrow has now been cancelled. In light of recent advances in technology, as well as the unfortunate spread of illness in the past few weeks, I think it would behoove the BSA to look into making as many of these courses available online as possible. They already have a great number of their position-specific courses available online; I ca
  3. To be honest, it matters because neither unit is getting the Scouting program the way it's meant to be delivered. They are being short-changed out of the full benefits and strengths the program can offer when the genders are respected and treated with singular, undivided attention. That's the way the program is meant to be. Changing it like this, however you may try to justify it, does a disservice to the very youth you are trying to serve.
  4. Not only the above as shared by @HashTagScouts, but also, Scouts cannot serve in positions of responsibility outside the units with which they are registered. The girls may share committees and unit numbers with the boys, but they are still registered as different units, and therefore cannot serve in positions outside their own troop. Technically, those poor boys have no SPL - certainly not according to the BSA. They have a Scout from an outside troop doing the job, but nobody from their own unit gets the experience. That's a real shame. Mind you, I doubt that this kind of controversy wou
  5. Of course you can! One, policy dictates that the girl cannot be SPL of the male unit in the first place; ergo, her election was invalid before it even took place. Second, there are no such things as "terms" when it comes to BSA troop positions. Youth leaders serve until the unit realizes they need - or decides that they want - new leaderership. If you read the various handbooks, guides and publications regarding the BSA troop leadership positions, you will find that you can hold an election whenever you want, whenever it's needed. Here it is CLEARLY needed; the only problem is that the adults
  6. You can hold elections whenever you want. Yes you just had one - but it wasn't done properly, and that negates much of the whole affair. Also, it's (frankly) irrelevant how recently your past election was held. There are no time limits, no term requirements, and no stipulations stating that you can't hold another election whenever it's necessary or desired. And right now, it is. You aren't taking ANYTHING from the youth by doing so - in fact, you are GIVING them back the proper program that you should have been giving them in the first place. You are in no way bound to your past election, and
  7. Well, shucks! I was all excited to attend our annual, regional Commissioner College up in L.A. this Saturday - traditionally, all the commissioners from my district would carpool the 90-minute drive north to Sherman Oaks for a day of quality classes and mingling, followed by a nice meal on the way home. I went last year for the first time, and it was actually a lot of fun - I even bought a new Scout shirt for the year (I have finally out-grown my youth-sized shirt)! But NO, I just got word that the SoCAL Commissioner College has been CANCELLED/POSTPONED (they aren't sure yet). Fie!
  8. Your heated responses, especially the remark about your committee "stepping in and telling (you) how to run the program," makes it clear to me that you KNOW you are violating BSA policy, and you are passionately trying to justify your actions - not to us, but to yourself. Broad aphorisms about inclusion and equality are only masking the real issue - you are not running your troops in accordance with BSA policy, but you worry changing your methods will harm the growth you have been enjoying. In the long run, it's just better to check yourself and where you are going against established policy,
  9. Be aware that you are in violation of established BSA policy. While you may share committees, resources, and even adult leadership, you are still operating two separate troops. That means each unit, the male and the female unit, needs to operate apart from the other. That means they should not be sharing youth leadership, and your current organization of boy and girl patrols goes against the rules of the Boy Scouts of America. You need to divide your units into a boy troop (with its own SPL and patrols) and a girl troop (with its own SPL and patrols). The fact that your units are thriving shou
  10. Are the ones being sold really THAT small? Mine are pretty large, and I have used them to demonstrate slings, tourniquets, and bandages for every part of the body. As far as I can tell, they are plenty large enough to be useful (they did make them larger again a few years ago, mind you). I may not be the biggest guy around, but at almost 5'9 and 180 lbs I have no problems with the current size. I DO like the idea of going back to full squares though, more for the fullness than for the size itself.
  11. This sounds almost identical to how my district operates. As far as what is discussed, well, everything from budget issues, upcoming events, scheduling & managing Eagle B'sofR, special unit needs, leadership roles, policy changes, et cetera. We often just manage to squeeze everything into the one hour we allot ourselves, thus it's all business and always relegated to relevant, important topics. We have to keep on task or we'd end up being there all night, and while our district team is very close and friendly one with another, we try to keep all our socializing for after, or simply wait fo
  12. Just an aside, for anybody interested: I had an appointment with my doctor today, who works in a medical office with one of the most respected infectious-diseases doctors in Southern California. Said doctor has been on-call almost nonstop for the past few weeks, as a tremendous percentage of the population in our county comes from China or the surrounding nations. She has asked that all the doctors in the office pass along her "2 essential rules for living." I'll share them with you - 1. Don't panic! 2. Wash your hands. Like, all the time. That's it! She stressed the fact th
  13. I'll admit I am ... not a fan. I love larger neckerchiefs, don't get me wrong (and being a slightly-built fellow, most neckers are large on me), but this trend towards the 'friendship knot' is honestly rather silly-looking if you ask me (not that anybody has, but I'm answering anyway). Part of the reason we use slides or slipknots is so that, in an emergency, the neckerchief can be whipped right off and used as needed. It's the very practicality of the neckerchief as an emergency tool and garment that makes it so important and and demonstrative of utilitarian Scouting values. Taking the t
  14. Well thank you all for your input and suggestions. I have decided that I will go ahead and add the red star, especially due to @ParkMan's insight: I have ignored those two years because they were, frankly, poorly managed by my leaders - but they were still two years of Scouting, pitiful though they may have been. That star will represent to me two years of potential that were never realized, and remind me of the need to do better by and for the Scouts now in my own care. Thanks all for sharing.
  15. I have never trusted electronic record-keeping, despite all the 'convenience' it supposes to deliver. Too many units use too many different systems, and they are prone to error. The book, however, is ALWAYS accepted as proof of record, in every program, in every unit (or at least official policy mandates as such). Stick to using the book, and you can't go wrong. Unless you lose or destroy it of course, but then, you can always take pictures of it regularly if you just HAVE to have some kind of electronic record. 😉
  16. Shh! 🤫 (I have never liked camping, and I imagine I never will. I avoid it at all possible costs, in fact. So, if you are one of those who, like myself, prefer a warm, dry bed to a cold, moist bag in the middle of nowhere, perhaps you can look at other options. Since you are in Cub Scouts, camping is never going to be a serious excursion, so maybe you can figure out a way to sleep comfortably in your car, or use a cot, or some other means of making the experience as enjoyable as possible. Or even look into cabins or some other stress-free option. The last thing you should do is kill yours
  17. The book is the proper documentation for rank advancement. Those cards are actually certificates - awards in and of themselves, and not meant to be official record-keeping. In many lower-income areas, the certificates are the only awards the boys receive, as the patches are too expensive for the units to afford. In other units, they only procure the patches, and never bother with the certificates. Either way, they are optional according to the traditions and preferences of the unit and have no bearing on the Scout's future advancement. In fact my brother, ever frugal, has a standing request in
  18. Oh no, I'm sure all the information was available to my leaders - my local leaders were just incredibly dense. As in, pitifully so. I don't know if I've ever gone into much depth about my own experiences as a young Scout, but they were mostly negative ones, mostly due to the utter negligence and ignorance of my local Scout leaders. But that was a community problem, not a church-wide issue. The Church itself would never have adopted the Venturing program if it hadn't understood its program entirely. And in places like Utah and Idaho, as I've mentioned, with incredibly large LDS populations, the
  19. My concern is that strong, healthy councils may eventually be forced into adopting weaker neighbors that could hinder their continuing success. For example, my council (Orange County Council in CA) is actually doing pretty well - we are financially stable, we have strong and healthy volunteer numbers, a good reputation in our community, and all of our districts earned gold or silver in their JTE scores (save for one bronze district). Last year we served more than 17,000 youth, and almost 43,000 Scouts attended the various camps in our council last year. We have more than 10,000 adult leaders i
  20. I appreciate your thoughts, though much of the idea is ... less than true of Scouting, at least in my area. First of all, it was standard Church-wide policy not to have our young women in Venturing - most wards and stakes wouldn't have minded I imagine, but the Church has long had its own Young Women's Program, which was both the spiritual and activities program for girls. As such, the official handbook of instructions for Scouting in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints set the policy that we did not endorse female crews. Much of it is more to do with overnight camping together mor
  21. Thanks to everybody who has commented so far; I value the questions asked and the insights given. It's fun being spoken of in the third person! In truth, I have never worn any service stars representing the two years between 16 and 18 because I haven't been sure which stars to wear, let alone if I deserved them. In a ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, boys were automatically raised from the troop to the Varsity team at 14, then again to the crew at 16. Not that they ever told us this was happening, mind you (even for an LDS unit my leaders were particularly inept). S
  22. I like service stars. They're small, they're shiny, they're utterly impractical and yet one of the oldest and most historical insignia still in use. So here's my question - I wear stars for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and adult leadership. But, TECHNICALLY I was also a Venturing Scout for two years (from 16 to 18 years old), so TECHNICALLY I suppose I am entitled to wear a red-backed 2-year star as well - but do I deserve to? Coming from a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unit, we never really implemented the Venturing program correctly. Sure, we still did some Sco
  23. I had my Webelos Scouts bring their books to all of the above - and more! I was, and am, constantly amazed by how many opportunities arise where we can suddenly pass off a requirement unexpectedly, so yes, even on hikes and special trips I made sure they brought their books! Of course, I also had a special cart for them to put the them in during our meetings (with wheels for outdoor adventures!), and using/collecting/signing/retrieving them was so ingrained into our regular routine that I rarely had issues with lost books or forgotten signatures or the like. I honestly valued the book more tha
  24. As a fellow LDS Scouter, I empathize with your confusion and challenges, and have dealt with many similar issues myself over the past year. Some thoughts: - It's never too late to ask a MBC to sign a blue card unless the Scout is 18 and past age; if the counselor is willing, he or she may sign for any work that has been completed - the only 'expiration date' is the 18th birthday, not the end of the year. - In my council, LDS records are being maintained until early March, so you may want to check with your council to see if your troop is still on record so changes can be made if need
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