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Col. Flagg

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Everything posted by Col. Flagg

  1. I feel for you on this issue. If his friends are losing interest that's a big thing. We had a similar situation a few years back. Twice actually. One group crossed over, entered Trail to FC and things were fine. As that first year went on some of the guys just weren't as interested as they were when they crossed over. To be honest, most were weak Scouts, not interested in outdoors stuff to begin with. Several were really in to the outdoors but their friends' attitude had a big impact on them. Despite a great TFC program, most of the guys dropped within 24 months. To be fair sports and school were contributing factors too. Fast forward a few years later, similar situation: A group where half the guys were reluctant to cross over in the first place, not big on the outdoors or camping. THIS TIME we added in a few more fun things that really helped keep their interest. We did this in a few ways. First, we worked with the PLC to make sure the troop meetings weren't just death by Powerpoint or the same bland things they seem to fall back on. Second, we made sure the TFC events were fun and exciting. For example the guys were learning map and compass. Each way point was a "food station" that had things to eat like pizza, ice cream, dutch oven dessert, etc. This was FAR more successful and we retained more of that group. Not sure if this is helpful, but it helped us. We had to revise how we usually delivered our program and, in a few instances, had to train up the youth Instructors to deliver something new. It was hard to convince the long-time Scouters that the program they built was boring to some kids. After a few semi tense conversations they were adult enough to realize a few tweaks did not mean their program was bad, it just needed refreshing. The funniest quote came from a newly minted Instructor who said to the SM, "Even your curtains need washing every once in a while. They may be old, they still work, but they're dirty....and no one likes dirty things."
  2. Transgender policy change

    ROFL. Ok. Then why not serve the other half of the nation for a while? Just for the sake of equity.
  3. Transgender policy change

    Again I will ask, what did BSA gain from making this change? They've lost a great deal, but what did they gain? By changing their policy they most certainly took a stand. They made a change. They could have just kept the status quo. Once has to ask why didn't they?
  4. Transgender policy change

    From Aids to Scoutmastership with emphasis on the last part added... The term “Scouting†has come to mean a system of training in citizenship, through games, for boys or girls. The girls are the important people, because when the mothers of the nation are good citizens and women of character, they will see to it that their sons are not deficient in these points. As things are, the training is needed for both sexes, and is imparted through the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides (Girl Scouts) Movements. The principles are the same for both. It is only in the details that they vary.
  5. Transgender policy change

    I wonder if the liberals will "move on" with the repeal of Obamacare, the end of sanctuary cities and other such issues they hold dear.
  6. Transgender policy change

    Sorry, but what? Argumentative? Not based in reality? When has a for profit company EVER prospered by pandering to the minority and going against their core membership base? BSA took a stand on gay Scouts. The membership and financial drop increased. BSA took a stand on gay adults. The membership and financial drop increased. BSA took a stand on transgender girls. Just wait for the 2017 membership and finance numbers. So I ask you, what good -- other than to appease those like you who think this was the "right thing" and those who were demonizing the BSA for the old policy -- have these changes done for BSA? Where is the increase in membership? Where is the increase in COs? Where is the increase in financial support? That's not argumentative, that's about as real as you get. Always fun to see the left avoid the hard questions and be dismissive by saying things like "augmentative" and "not based in reality". You lot always label things like that when you don't have solid, real world answers for fact-based, poignant questions. You say it's a small issue with a big impact. Show me the facts that support this assumption. What has BSA gained from making these decisions. The facts support increased losses, not any gains.
  7. Transgender policy change

    Sorry, but get WHAT over with? No one -- other than the one side -- was putting a gun to their (BSA) head and shaming them to make a decision. The BSA had case law on their side and could have simply said, "We are a private organization and under the law we can make our own rules. Don't like it, go elsewhere." Membership would not have accelerated it's decrease. Money would not have dried up. Fred's point, as I understood it, was that BSA made these membership changes so they could "get on" with their mission. That's a load of hooey. They could have done the same thing by simply telling the left to go, politely, go pound sand. Instead, they caved. They either did it because they wanted to, thought it would stop the membership loss and/or because they thought it would stop the loss of donation dollars. But they most certainly did take sides. The existence of the policy put you on one side or other. Of course BSA took sides...and they did it intentionally, because they sure didn't do it by accident. To your point, BSA intentionally took sides to end the argument. To what end? What does this decision get them they didn't have already? Peace? More members? More money? More COs? I am curious what the decision got them that standing their legal ground didn't already provide them.
  8. Transgender policy change

    Just wait until those marginalized by the focus on "Scout Sunday" all these years rally for a change that is more inclusive, so that those who are not Christian don't have to be continually reminded of the historical Christian dominance that has been so prevalent in Scouting. Scout Sunday may be another thing that gets more and more marginalized. Why not? Other tenants of Scouting have already gone extinct.
  9. Can a SM ban OA elections?

    Only a matter of time before BSA removes the term "master" due to the historically injurious connotations.
  10. Transgender policy change

    Fred, BSA could have been focusing on their mission WITHOUT making the changes to membership too. But they succumbed to pressure from one side who demonized them and they thought it would stop. It didn't. BSA might have also thought that making these changes would stem the membership loss, the CO loss, and the financial loss. It didn't. If it is such a non-issue, why couldn't BSA simply ignore it? They had the Supreme Court on their side. They had case law on their side. Please don't fool yourself that BSA made this decision to position themselves to continue their mission. They could have done that by ignoring the social justice warriors and continued to focus on their core members. They didn't. They chose to make a rather significant change. Why? Personally I think it is because they WANTED to make the change for social reason. But make no mistake, BSA could have done absolutely nothing and still focused on the aims and methods of Scouting. Let's not put lipstick on the pig.
  11. Boys "Eagle Out" of troop

    I totally agree. Adults must help foster the program for the older boys, and galvanize them around designing, developing and executing such a program. I had wanted to make that clear in my original post. Sorry if I didn't. I replied to your plight in the other thread you created. I think the very least you can do is sit down with the SM and discuss what you see. Often, if they have been in the role a while, they won't see what you do or may dismiss it altogether. Take keeping Scouts together in patrols. The best advice I ever got was "never break up friends UNLESS they are a detriment to the patrol or unit." BSA did a few studies a few year back that showed that kids that crossover with friends and stay in patrols together stay in Scouting longer. That's a fact. Unless they already have friends in that patrol, they will struggle to integrate. Back to the role of early Eagles, if more of them took time to act as stewards to the younger Scouts, they would have paid back what I believe they owe the unit. I am a firm believer in "stewardship". Eagling-out, or quitting, is just another narcissistic habit too many kids have formed in the last 20 years. It's more about "them" and what they got out of Scouting than giving back. Long ago I had a soccer coach who was from Africa. He would always tell us how he grew up and how lucky he was to have had mentors in his life, both youth and adults. He likened learning to drawing water from a well. He said, "Every day you go to the well and draw water, just like you learn, learn learn every day." He said, "If you continue to take from the well and don't help the men in the village dig the well deeper, then soon the well runs dry and no one else can drink from it." The obvious connection being that, if you continue to take without giving back, those who come behind you will have nothing. It has been 40 years, but I still remember that man and that one training session where I first heard that story. I have never forgotten it and I challenge ALL our Scouts, not just the Eagles, to continue to give back what you have taken out of Scouting. And no, your Eagle project does not constitute your bill paid in full. That merely got you Eagle...you still have to give back. My two cents for what it is worth.
  12. Sounds like it is time to remind the SM and the other meddling adults that: Keeping friends together in patrols, even at the cost of disrupting what some to be the natural order of the troop, is beneficial to the unit, patrol and the boys in questions. See Scouting Magazine. Scouts run things. Ask the Scouts what camps they want to go to. If they are not sure remind them and then let them pick. Meetings should be fun...for everyone. If an adult is speaking, leading or explaining, chances are there is a Scout who *could be* doing it instead. Train them, trust them, let them lead applies to the boys. If the boys are not "doing it right" then it is the adults who are failing to lead, not the Scouts. The adults did not train them right. No one likes to hear their baby is ugly, but if they are honest with themselves...and have the boys' best interest at heart...they will understand and recognize where they are not meeting their Scouts' needs. I'd be honest. If you stay silent, don't advocate and don't try to change things the only people that get hurt are the boys.
  13. How to celebrate a Unit Anniversary

    We are celebrating an anniversary this year too. I have seen a few cool things. Troop 1 from Sacramento did a very well done historical review video. This took a lot of time you can tell, but what a great thing to have done. In looking around the Internet I have seen units do awards dinners, celebratory camp outs, extravagant COHs, pot lucks and other such events. Our PLC has decided on a BBQ competition where the former parents and Scouters have booths and smoke up some stuff for the attendees to try. We have some of our guys searching Scouting Magazine, Boys Life and other places online to see what other units are doing. Good luck!
  14. Boys "Eagle Out" of troop

    I am going to disagree slightly with a few previous posts. While I agree that the unit has to develop a program to keep the older boys interested, exactly WHO should do that in a group we call BOY SCOUTS? The adults? No! It's the BOYS!!! So YES, if these kids leave after Eagle-at-15 and don't do their part to 1) develop a program worthwhile for a 15+ Scout, 2) don't exhibit enough leadership to help design, develop and run such an older Scout program, and 3) don't stick around long enough to fine-tune said program, then THEY ARE TO BLAME. Oh, and Venturing? Who does ALL the planning and execution for that? The kids!! So, if they can do it in a Venturing Crew, why can't they do it in a Troop? Because there's so many middle schoolers around? That's just an excuse. I might buy the coed angle or the slightly wider array of things a Crew can do that a Venture Patrol cannot, but Venturing is not the panacea for keeping older Scouts involved. Don't get me wrong. I love Venturing. But if the goal is retention in the Troop of 15+ Scouts, running off to Venturing is not the answer. What's the adults' role in all of this? For my money, they do what they always do: Advise the older Scouts how to build and run an effective program. Eagle Scouts -- if they actually earned the badge they have -- should be MORE than capable of taking the bull by the horns and working with the SM to develop a good program for the 15+ plus crowd.
  15. Transgender policy change

    In the short-term this has already happened with the loss of membership, COs and corporate donations. Each year BSA has made a policy change they have experienced a decline in membership. Wasn't the average membership loss around 3% per year for a while, then jumped to 6% in 2013 after that membership change? There's certainly been no increase as other have pointed out. In looking around on my own I can find no statistics that show the membership or donations increasing. Only time will tell what the long-term impact is on the organization, both membership-wise and financially, but it does not look good. The left is not stampeding to sign up to volunteer, become COs, registering new Scouts or increasing personal or corporate donations. Why is that? All the walls have fallen haven't they? Or are there other issues they want torn out of BSA until there's nothing left of the organization but an empty husk of SJW enmity?
  16. Boys "Eagle Out" of troop

    For my money, it is because there should be a sense of stewardship with these younger Scouts that get Eagle. It's like someone who uses all the iPad battery and never recharges it. Then you come along and expect it to work and *poof* you are screwed. In my experience when young Scouts make Eagle (say, before 16) and leave, they really have not learned or demonstrated a great deal. I won't use the term "Paper Eagle", but they are not deep-skilled or strong leaders for the most part. Again, from my experience. Now, compare those guys to the kids who stay in the program and give back to the unit. Those Scouts are strong, confident leaders. Of course your mileage may vary.
  17. Transgender policy change

    I had a Scout who had Hispanic ancestry (grand parent) so he ticked that box on a college application. The college inquired about his ancestry because his name did not sound "Hispanic". After four weeks of questions, calls and emails, they rejected his application based on his "mis-representation" of his race. Ironically enough, he was about as multicultural as you can get...and it was a liberal CA university. Thankfully, he got a free ride to an in-state school. He's better off. But it illustrates how one-way the street really is.
  18. Transgender policy change

    But Fred, it is the current day politics that is damaging what makes Boy Scouts special. It was a place for boys to be boys in addition to all the other stuff you mention that makes the program great. Guys cannot go anywhere these days without being reminded of their "male privilege" or "[insert color here] privilege or their "toxic masculinity". By taking this step -- which was a clear surrender to the liberal progressive ideology -- BSA has taken away one of the last places a guy can go to be a guy. If boys wanted coed they'd go to Venturing. They want the old BSA program because it provided a place for guys to be themselves AND learn all the great things the program has to offer. If we -- and I mean society -- truly wants everyone to be equal, we'd get rid of all the check boxes on all the forms. No more boxes to check for loans, college, jobs, etc. Just pure equality. But we both know that is not what the liberal progressives want. They want the majority to feel just as subjugated as others have in the distant past, so that they majority feels what it is like to be discriminated against. It is Bakke on steroids. I have no issue with all-girls clubs, all black clubs, all Asian clubs, etc. They're private and they have an agenda they want to put forward. Great. I don't join them and try to change them. Or worse, I don't sue them to try to change them to what *I* think they should be like. I just wish those über tolerent people would have the same consideration for us.
  19. Transgender policy change

    When one reads the press release, it does not appear anywhere that I can tell that units have to take the girl. It merely says that "we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application. Our organization’s local councils will help find units that can provide for the best interest of the child." Of course, you are right. If Troop 000 denies the girl membership then the parents will release the lawyers and the CO and the unit leaders will get sued. I wonder how long it is until someone can identify as another race? If you grow up in a white community and "feel" white, can you check that box too? It's just a matter of time before that happens.
  20. Boys "Eagle Out" of troop

    We always advise Webelos looking for troops to ask questions regarding how many older Scouts (15+) does the troop have? How many Scouts stick around after making Eagle versus leaving or "Eagling Out"? This will tell you which troops are just Eagle Factories (churn out Eagles by the dozens) and which troops actually have a strong, long-term program the boys can rely on from 11-18.
  21. Transgender policy change

    It appears this is already happening. Would it surprise anyone what her father does for a living? Guesses? Wait for it....he's an attorney!! I joined Venturing because I was looking forward to working with my coed unit. It was different from 12+ years as a Boy Scout leader. Maybe I should just wait until BSA drops the next big change (girls -- real girls, that is) are able to join Boy Scouts. Odd how the privilege checkers don't check their own privilege at how they keep attacking any group they feel is the oppressor. Who polices them?
  22. Transgender policy change

    I heard about this change after our meeting last night. I chatted with two long-time Scouters who told me they were "done" with Scouting. They agree that people need to be treated equally, but that crow-barring open boy-only programs when there are coed alternatives only further erodes the program. After talking to several folks this morning I find that several other Scouters outside my unit are also ending their relationship with Scouting. Boy Scouts cannot be "asexual" by the mere name. It's Boy Scouts! Not Asexual Scouts. Not I Used To Be A Girl And Am Now A Boy Scouts. Exactly. If she's a "boy" then there's no reason to have a female leader on the trip. I would no sooner send a female leader to deal with a private "boy" issue than I would send a male leader in Venturing to deal with a "female" issue. Now, if no other option is available then you go two-deep and solve the issue as delicately as possible. But if the "girl" claims to be a "boy" then I am not going to staff a female leader just because. ROFL...to be certain, if it can be screwed up and further convoluted BSA will find a way. But imagine how impossible that might be in certain parts of the country. We find it hard enough to staff things normally, imagine adding the need to have female ASMs now as a requirement. And wouldn't that just be hypocritical? Acknowledging a girl as a boy but still assigning a woman to oversee any "girl" issues? The contradictions are just too numerous to wrap one's head around. Well, in Boy Scouts you can only have one sex camp outs as far as youth are concerned. Sisters -- assuming they identify as sisters and not as bothers, cousins or out-of-the family altogether -- are not supposed to go on Boy Scout camp outs. If they do, they are the responsibility of the parent that brought them, and not under the domain of the Boy Scout leaders, so no need for the SM to staff a female leader just because some ASM brought his daughter with. Venturing is different, and this policy above is supposed to address that prospect. It would have been far simpler -- and far less inflammatory -- had BSA just allowed girls, converted Boy Scouts to Venturing and been done with it. This PC-By-1000-Cuts is just further eroding the brand. My two cents.
  23. National Scouting Museum moving to Philmont

    I have been to the National Scout Museum a great deal. I have many friends that live in Circle Ten Council and have heard a great deal about the museum's issues from them too. From what I understand, the museum traditionally had around 20-22,000 visitors per year in just about every location. When it first moved to Dallas it was heavily used by local units. They would offer lock-ins, MB classes, Activity Badge workshops and other such things. There's a pretty good Scout shop there too. One, very overlooked item is the Norman Rockwell collection. It is almost like going to an art museum the way it's set up. After 2-3 years of heavy use, some of the cooler exhibits were broken and never repaired. There was a shooting gallery that worked most of the time, but not always. You had to buy a token for 2 mins of shooting. They had a Pinewood Derby track but that stopped working almost the first year. You'd think they could keep that running. Several of the interactive exhibits (they had a mountain bike and deep sea fishing game) broken down early on too and were never repaired. The place got the reputation pretty fast that 20-30% of the stuff there "wouldn't work" on a frequent basis. Still, the other exhibits were pretty cool...but for older Scouts, not young cubs or young Boy Scouts. Really should have had more to engage the video generation. There were tours. You could get a unit ribbon for completing a scavenger hunt for clues in the museum. They had a few Disney-esque animatronic things there. Seton, B-P, Beard and I think one other were done as animatronics. Basically the place got the reputation of "been there, done that". While they did rotate exhibitions to a degree, it was still pretty stale if you lived near it. If they had some more techno-stuff to make the lock-ins more fun it might have driven a bit more repeat business from Dallas and Ft. Worth. There's certainly no wanting for Scout units in the area. Not sure going to Philmont is going to increase your attendance any more than its past locations. Doesn't Philmont get around 20k visitors a year? That would mean EVERY visitor to Philmont would have to go and visit to make that happen. I don't see that happening.
  24. I searched before posting and did not see any one discussing having been to Wehinahpay for summer camp. I have seen their social media postings and gone to the camp website. Looks nice. Has anyone here ever been to or heard about this camp? We've got about 25 scouts interested in camp this summer. This looked nice but I have been asking around and doing some research to get some idea of any personal, or even second-hand, information. Anyone? Thank you.
  25. Hello

    I am new too. I just found out about this site. Am a volunteer parent in a troop and about to be a volunteer parent in a new crew forming. Excited to see what others have to say about scout stuff.