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Col. Flagg

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Posts posted by Col. Flagg

  1. 21 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

    Problem is Venturing grew until 2008.  It has dropped 66% in last 10 years.  Cubs is also a concern as that includes addition of some Lions.  Sounds like Boy Scout Numbers may Be up a bit as Some Venturing converted over to Boy Scouts.  All in all... not a great report on numbers.  Hope this starts turning around soon.

    Hope won't do it. Solid strategies on retention will.

    The big question is will the inflow of girls exceed the outflow of boys leaving the program?

    Another set of stats not shown but equally as troubling: 

    1. The number of units year over year.
    2. The number of adults year over year.

    Both of those numbers continue to decline at near 8-9% or greater.

  2. 3 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

    Laugh laugh mockers. It's all a big game until the little red wagon of death puts you on the 4'-1" ladder to eternity. 

    I was at a service project (painting) years ago where our SPL -- who knew of the age and tools matrix -- made sure that Scouts of a certain age were painting low, older guys were on stool ladders and the oldest guys were on the higher ladders. :dry:

  3. 4 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Okay then, @HelpfulTracks @Col. Flagg let's keep it courteous and just agree to disagree. Thanks.

    @NJCubScouter , @LeCastor

    Really? I thought @HelpfulTracks and I were fine? I took nothing he said out of context, nor did I read in to anything he wrote as being discourteous. Quite the opposite. I thought it was a good conversation. I used the phrase "Enlighten me" as just that, wanting to know what he meant. 

    I think you are reading way too much in to what people are writing. @HelpfulTracks and I were just having a normal conversation.

  4. 6 minutes ago, gblotter said:

    I have done two terms as Scoutmaster (10+ years). I only became aware of the BSA tool usage matrix last year (and quite by chance). Flog me too, I guess.

    I live in the shadow of national so maybe I am jaded by knowing of the various docs. When my SM team took over back in the day, we had a library sciences ASM who researched and found all BSA publications and put together a list of them for us. We made our own pdf copies (before BSA made them available) and disseminated them to our ASMs. We were part of the pilot group that had all ASMs trained as the SMs were required. Could be why we know of all these things.

    This SM was also part of that pilot, hence the private flogging.

  5. 17 minutes ago, gblotter said:

    It sounds like the EBOR handled it well. I have sympathy for Scouts and Scoutmasters trying to understand and comply. Coaching rather than censure seems like the right thing to do in that situation.

    Well for the Scout I would agree. Who the heck could find all this BSA double-speak documentation on their own? I know adults who are challenged with it.

    However, the SM has been in the role 18 years. He should be able to recite the GTA, Sweet 16 and other docs chapter and verse. He got caught mailing it in and the flogged him good...and rightly so IMHO.

  6. Just now, HelpfulTracks said:

    My point is simply that saying we need change in laws because the framers could not have foreseen the future is a slippery slope and poor argument that starts us down the path of shredding the Constitution.

    Quite the opposite. We should ALWAYS question the applicability of the Constitution. It is the only way to test our laws. We do this daily was we consult case law, codes and the Constitution. Do our laws fit within the framework? Do they violate our basic rights? I don't see questioning the Constitution -- or even discussing change to it -- as a step down the path of "shredding" it. Rather, I see it as our duty to continue to question all laws against that framework. And if change *is* needed, we operate within the process laid out in the Constitution to change it.

    I'd love to see Executive Orders and judicial legislating be a thing of the past. Courts don't belong making policy like they do now, and the Executive does not belong making laws like they do now.

  7. 2 minutes ago, gblotter said:

    This is all about legal exposure and liability. Without adult supervision at Eagle projects, the heads of BSA lawyers would explode. The tool usage matrix shows how BSA has painted itself into a corner. The boys are supposed to be in charge, but the boys are not allowed to operate the tools. Strange contortions happen to satisfy these conflicting requirements.

    This actually came up during an EBOR for another unit and the unit lead got in to hot water. The candidate was too young, as were his helpers, to use most of the tools on his project. There was only one adult from the unit present and he was not a trained leader. There were so many violations the district rep's head almost exploded.

    They used it as a chance to counsel both the youth and the SM on proper procedure and rules.


  8. 1 hour ago, bstone said:

    I have an Eagle Candidate who started working on his service project last summer.  He had verbal approval from the beneficiary, email approval from his crew advisor & SM on the idea, even presented the project to our parent committee.  The project is now complete but in reviewing the workbook documents, there are no signatures on Page E of the project plan.

    Any advise on how to handle this?

    1. Read the Guide to Advancement starting at page 67.
    2. Meet with Scout and SM. Find out why this proceeded without signatures.
    3. Set up meeting with the Council/District rep to discuss how to proceed.

  9. 2 minutes ago, HelpfulTracks said:

    I think this does fall under the dia of organizational change. And the professional I have spoken with love the help they are getting. 

    No, that's not organizational change. That's staff augmentation and they are different animals. 

    Organizational change analyzes how the work is done (people, process, technology) and how things can be streamlined to be more efficient. 

    Staff augmentation is throwing bodies at a problem without doing above analysis.

    • Thanks 1

  10. 1 minute ago, HelpfulTracks said:

    If we want to curtail the Second Amendment based on what the framers could not have envisioned, then what do we do about the First Amendment?

    As others have noted, while have free speech, we cannot simply say anything we want whenever we want. I am assuming the same would apply for firearms. We can have firearms but not ANY firearm we want.

  11. 1 hour ago, blw2 said:

    So, how is it that the technology has somehow caused this to start happening now?

    From my perspective, it is not the technology that is causing these shootings. Rather the technology is making the body count higher than it would be if the citizenry were allowed their arms, BUT those arms were not military-grade.

    I've got my 12- and 20-gauge, a replica 50-cal muzzleloader and a model 700 CDL bolt action. All used for hunting and sport (clays/target). NONE are the type of weapon to cause mass carnage. Such weapons are simply not needed by the citizenry. 

    Don't own a handgun. My Gen-X 40# compound will take any intruder down. 

  12. 12 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Let's keep this a courteous discussion where different opinions are expressed and not a argument that some one has to win.  Thanks.

    Is this directed at anyone in particular? 

    The discussion seems fairly civil as far as I can see.

  13. 22 minutes ago, gblotter said:

    I was not involved in OA as a Scout, and I am just now becoming familiar with OA as a Scoutmaster.

    Our troop recently conducted our first OA election with four candidates elected. I am also qualified with the required camping nights, but the lodge representatives said I did not need to be included on the ballot.

    Just to become more knowledgeable about OA, I feel like I (or some other adult leader in our troop) should go through the ordeal and become involved if I am sending off some of my Scouts.

    For lack of information, I am a bit apprehensive. Blind are leading the blind right now when it comes to OA.

    In my area you are allowed two adult candidates for every three Scouts elected; rounding up if you don't have a multiple of 3 exactly. So if four Scouts were elected you can nominate two adults AND you as Scoutmaster. The SM does not count against the total of adults nominated. This doc should help.

    Some units will arrange to have the adults and Scouts attend the same Ordeal. You are usually broken up into different groups. That's about all I can say really without spoiling too much. You council's Lodge should have a set of dates so you can coordinate with the others. It is like a camp out, sort of. Expect the first night to be interesting. The second night should be quiet. Your Lodge will tell you what to bring.

    It is kind of a personal experience if it is done correctly.

  14. 59 minutes ago, blw2 said:

    I tell you what, I think those guys (Founding Fathers, generally) could see into the future and the more I've learned and read about them over the years I'm often amazed by their foresight.  I am very cautious now to ever second guess them....

    Citizen militia members of the time typically did not own personal canon, swords or bayonets. They did not own many of the weapons (or shot) that most of the military used or had access to. The Founding Fathers could never envision the proliferation and variety of weapons available today.Their intent was to allow the people to defend themselves and rise up to meet any challenge from an opposing foreign power or government (even our own).

    They did not mean for the right to bear arms to be equal to that of the military, per se. Which is why the 2nd Amendment reads in full "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." This does not mean that the people have the right to have the same weapons as the military. 

  15. 12 hours ago, HelpfulTracks said:

    And as adamant as I am about defending all of the rights in the Constitution, you are incorrect that in the assertion that the 2nd amendment is a blanket protection against any legislation. 

    I support the 2nd amendment and the rights therein. However, I believe the Founding Fathers would not have meant this right extends to such weaponry as we have now. I own firearms. I own firearms that have a practical purpose such as hunting or defending my family/property. I do NOT own firearms like an AR-15, sniper rifle or anything like that because I believe they have a military purpose.

    I think if the Founding Fathers were alive today they would be appalled at the extremes on both sides of this debate. We do need arms and should have them. We don't need arms that can take out a company of citizens in less than 2 minutes.

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  16. 10 hours ago, HelpfulTracks said:

    Col. Flagg is talking transmission. He is correct that without the transmission data doesn't do much good. If this tech is using NFC, then there MUST be an intermediary communication device, because unless things have changed recently, NFC is good for a max of a few inches. And then that device needs to be able to retransmit to the larger network.

    You can have all the data you want, but unless transmission happens and SAR teams dispatched, you will have data for a post-mortem and not a rescue.

    As for the data, I'd prefer it be a private blockchain rather than a public one. Data is only as secure as the platform on which it sits. Encryption, like world records, are made to be broken. Any IT security expert would tell you that you don't leave anything locked and in plain sight, because eventually someone comes along with a means to pick that lock. :cool:

  17. 32 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

    Which still leaves the fact that (as far as I know), nowhere in the Eagle project requirement does it say that the Scout must involve his troop, or any of its members or leaders, in his Eagle project (other than the SM's and committee's signatures in the workbook.)  In the vast majority of projects that is not an issue, but I strongly suspect it has been an issue occasionally.  In those cases, I am not exactly sure how it becomes a "unit activity."

    As with much BSA does, they are never very clear or concise. This should be no surprise. Especially to those with decades of experience working with BSA. So we "triangulate" what BSA intends by reading multiple sources, as well as scouring the GTA (when a new one comes out) for the changes. They actually do a decent job of noting those changes each time they update the doc. 

    So an experienced Scouter would apply the Eagle workbook, the GTA, the GTSS, the Sweet 16 and other such docs that have any reference to how any Scouting activity (whether an Eagle project or any other Scouting event) should be handled.

    As for the Eagle workbook, page 26 says:

    To meet the requirement to “give leadership to others,” your Scout must be given every opportunity to succeed independently without direct supervision. The Scout's troop must provide adults to assist or keep an eye on things, and your organization should also have someone available. The Scout, however, must provide the leadership necessary for project completion without adult interference.

    As a former SM I would interpret this to mean that: 1) The troop must provide two-deep, trained adult leaders on-site at all times for any Eagle project, and 2) "should" also provide Scouts from the unit (our "organization) to help. This section has been in the workbook as long as I have been SM and our unit has always provided both to any and all of our Eagle projects.

  18. 16 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

    Maybe also whoever(s) in the current White House decided it was ok for people who can't get permanent security clearances to see tip-top secret documents.  :)

    It's the same person who let Huma Abedin take her non-secured laptop with TS-SCI data on it and leave it in a Russian hotel room, and then let her uncleared husband use it.

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