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Posts posted by HelpfulTracks

  1. 32 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

    BSA is putting the future of BSA in this 1 basket.  When a law firm of 10 lawyers represents 16,000 claimants ... I expect the news can play a bigger role than you think.  But perhaps it is correct that the offer by many LCs is not defendable so why try.

    I don't think their position is not defendable, at least not in all cases. 

    I think we are talking about the media, complexities will get lost or ignored. Media's bias toward either position will come into play. And recent history (last 2-3 decades) has shown that bias is against BSA in main stream media. 

    PR is more alchemy than science, so I could be wrong. But at this stage in the process, I think it better for the BSA and the councils if the councils remain silent. 

    Pending the outcome, the PR for the councils will be targeted at current and future Scouts and Scouters, that is who they can and will need to win over going forward. If a council handled their statements perfectly now, I just see it being of benefit to them in the bankruptcy, but if the bungle it now, it could well hurt them down the road.

  2. 11 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    So, I am curious... does anyone here think the offer is fair? (I do not...)

    Do you believe the LC's can put up more than they have? (I believe they are short of what they could "comfortably" do, and that they should be giving an "uncomfortable" amount.)

    Understand this would be nothing but your opinion, because the spectrum of LC finances is wide...

    Fair was never an option. 

    No amount of money can justify, erase, what happened to victims, or ease their pain. 

    Some larger settlement amount would potentially give them an opportunity to seek help to cope with it.

    Once this case went to bankruptcy the settlements became closer to a class action suit in terms or payout, pennies on the dollar. That would be true if it were Ch7 or Ch11.

    If this were going the Ch7 route, then only those who have already won in court (and I don't imagine any of those are part of this group) would be getting anything as creditors would have taken it all.

    For those that had cases that could have gone to trial and stood a chance of winning, certainly not the settlement they would have received. 

    But for thousand more that would have never been able to file suit it is more than they would have received. 

    Had all of these cases gone to trial somehow, then the money would have been long gone before getting through even a small percentage. So, again......................fair was never an option. 

    Beyond the dollar settlement, I guess it depends on what is the wanted outcome. BSA going forward with a stronger YP program, BSA done as an organization, something else? That remains to be seen. 

    • Thanks 1

    41 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    I can think of three reasons why "no comment" is the best of the bad options.

    1) Defend the LC offering on its own merits. "We believe this amount is fair."

    2) Defend the LC offering based on survival of BSA: We believe this amount represents the most we can offer while still maintaining scouting for young people today and into the future, which is BSA National's official line (“ongoing efforts to reach a global resolution that will equitably compensate survivors and ensure Scouting’s future by resolving past abuse cases for both the national organization and local councils.”)

    3) No comment.

    Which would you pick?

    That about sums it up, all of which can be said by national or with a press release.


    1 hour ago, Eagle1993 said:

    Then they are about to be killed in the press.  They talked before, all the time.  Each said the same thing… National is going bankrupt there is no impact to councils or units. Now no comment?

    They need to defend their settlement offers.   If they cannot, then the articles are fair and I think the vote is more likely to fail.  Seeing article after article in local TV and newspapers talking about low settlements, local councils offering low percentages of their net assets and victims talking how this is negatively impacting then with no counter from LCs will impact the votes of claimants.  

    The BSA has been killed in the press for years, it is unlikely to change now.

    Besides they are in the middle of a legal process, I am sure their lawyers told them we do not need 250 different voices giving statements.

    I cannot image that news coverage with have much effect on those voting, they are going to listen to their lawyers. I cannot see a victim being told this is a bad plan vote no by their lawyer, reading an article and deciding, "yeah, but the local council said this is all they can do, so I'll vote yes." Nor can I image many (if any) victims being told by their lawyers, "this is as good as we are going to get, vote yes or risk getting nothing" deciding they should note no because the local councils did not explain their balance sheets to the media. 

    Finally, even if the councils gave the detailed explanation this would require, its not going to make it into the article, at least not with the mass media. I could maybe see that with some industries media outlets.

    • Upvote 1
  4. 7 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

    My issue is why did the LCs refuse to comment?  The Seattle times reached out.  That would have been a great opportunity to say look what we do for kids today and any further payment would severely hurt our ability to function.  No comment allows articles to be one sided.   BSA better have their LC PR groups better prepared in the future. 

    Not surprising the councils have not made a statements. It just make sense, from a PR stand point, you don't want 250 voices, you want one.

    Not to mention, what do they gain, even taking the abuse cases out of picture, the majority of Scouting stories I receive in my news feeds have a negative stance toward BSA, particularly larger national media outlets. The few positive stories that show up in my feeds are mainly from small market or specialty outlets. 

  5. 39 minutes ago, ThenNow said:


    1. There is no jury pool to influence or infect;

    2. The gag would have to be universal, as all main players discuss elements of the case outside the courtroom and you don’t direct an order at one party; and

    3. Tim Kosnoff is doing absolutely nothing that the BSA, Coalition, LCs and insurers aren’t already doing in spades. Namely, those parties are way down the line in speculating on the case and manipulating “facts” trying to move the needle in the direction of their respective positions. Schiavoni says Century will be bled dry. Anker says he welcomes going back to state court. (Really?) BSA says they’re out of money and these are all the assets we have. (BRG Dashboards, anyone?) LCs are going under. (What’s the average percentage of assets contribution, again?) The Coalition says they’re part of the TCC, Jim Stang is a liar, the TCC has no plan to assist victim claimants and they refuse to make deals where deals can be made. It’s a mess and those parties have cleared the path. Also, I think TK is saying what he believes and is acting in the best interests of his clients, per his perception. 

    Did a quick Google search....

    1. Apparently, that doesn't matter. I found a number of references to gag orders in bankruptcy cases for a wide variety of reasons. 

    2. I didn't state otherwise, in fact I said participants. 

    3. Id did make any statement about this at all, but all the more reason a judge might want to use a gag order. I have no doubt that every single one of them are "speculating on the case and manipulating “facts” trying to move the needle in the direction of their respective positions," including Kosnoff. 

  6. 4 hours ago, johnsch322 said:

    I believe it is a First Amendment Right called free speech.  It should still taught in school classrooms.

    I am not a lawyer, don't play one on tv and didn't spend the night in a Holiday Inn last night, but my understanding is a judge has the right and power to issue and enforce gag orders on participants in cases. The participants do not enjoy the same protection of free speech they generally have. I'm not saying the judge has or even should, but the judge can from what I understand. 

    • Upvote 1
  7. 13 minutes ago, elitts said:

    One of my criticisms of the YP training material is that they spent as much time as they did getting experts and victims to tell us CSA is a problem and not nearly enough time discussing grooming techniques and other standard methods to be aware of.  I had never heard of grooming up until I saw the training the first time and I have to think my experience with it is pretty typical.  I would willingly exchange 1 or 2 minutes of telling me how bad it is to rape kids (Duh!) for 10-15 minutes of more detail on warning signs, common MOs and demonstrations of things like what "boundary testing" might look like.

    It is also a fine line on how the subject is handled. Venturing used to have a video (I think its been retired) that the youth had to watch. They hated it, it creeped them out. They felt it was inappropriate for them to be watching.  The trick is teaching them without getting that reaction. 

  8. On some forums you can add "signatures" (sometimes called sigs) - they are lines of text, maybe graphics,  that show up at the bottom of every post you make. THe setting looks like it is designed to hide said sigs. 

    The thing is, I have not seen any settings that allow you to create a sig on this forum. Though, for some reason I think we might have had that option in the past.

    So, not sure why its showing up. 

    A sample sig might look something like this. 


    No one can pass through life, any more than he can pass through a bit of country, without leaving tracks behind, and those tracks may often be helpful to those coming after him in finding their way.  - Lord Baden-Powell

  9. 1 hour ago, MattR said:

    I'm not talking about using quality tools. I'm talking about having a group of people whose focus is program quality and they have a respected position at the table - someone that will push patrol method and be respected, for example. 

    Thus my "fear that being so wonky it would push us further from the outdoors and Scout skills." 

    On the administrative and business side of the organization I certainly think we could use a good inward looking quality improvement intuitive. And if done correctly, I would think it would re-center the program side back toward the things that made it so great, like patrol method and scouting skills. 

    My fear would be that it would be outward looking and the path would be towards doing things like other groups rather than embracing what the heart of this program used to be. 

    • Upvote 1
  10. 8 minutes ago, David CO said:

    The forum member has been successful in his harassment.  My notice box is crammed with countless downvote messages.  I can no longer effectively participate on the forum.  My many years of participation on this forum are over.  Goodbye.

    I am not sure if there are many posters that have disagreed and butted heads more than @David CO and I have over the years. Simply put, we just vehemently disagree on some fundamental issues. 

    However heated we may have gotten it has always simmered down to being to at least an anodyne tone. We have manage to not let one disagreement carry over to other threads, and have even found ways to agree and even compliment each other on rare occasions.

    However, it is more than a little disappointing when I click on feed and see a string of red down vote arrows, all from one individual,  all targeting another individual. All made within the same minute, across multiple post, some being weeks old. 

    We have always held our selves to the standard of being Scoutlike in our behavior here, and I will not pretend I have always managed to achieve that goal, but the current behavior of one member seems to be routinely failing that test. 

    Regardless of what value that poster may have brought otherwise, I think it sad and disgusting that this childish behavior may have driven off a long time member of this board. 

    I hope the moderators will find a solution that brings this nonsense to an end. Soon!


    • Upvote 1
  11. 5 minutes ago, qwazse said:

    ....asking tough questions, like:

    • How frequently do scouts recall being 1-on-1 with leaders?
    • How often have scouts experienced CSA? Was the perpertrator an youth, adult, relative, elder? Were they in scouting? In school? Some other venue?
    • How often do scouts report CSA? How long after an incident do they take to report it? To whom do they report it?

    Similar questions could be asked of scouters.

    I would add a few things.

    I am not exactly sure how the wording should go, but a yearly youth survey to see if grooming tactics are being used, and a survey of adults to see if they are noticing any YP violations are occurring, even minor ones, even if they have not lead to CSA.

    Furthermore, I really wish BSA would support self-defense training. I have had Scouters wince when I have shared what I have taught my children, but I have no intentions of letting them grow up without knowing how to defend against assault, sexual or otherwise. 

    Predators look for the easiest prey. I think it a good idea to help children look less like prey, and failing that what do do when the predator comes for them. 

  12. 37 minutes ago, qwazse said:

    It's like those Arrowmen are evil twins to my Venturing. I am the guy in the troop who says, "Squirrel!"

    And that's why I stump that our goal is to imbue in youth a vision of the pinnacle scouting experience of hiking and camping independently with your mates.

    Indeed - my son is finishing up his Scouting career (youth phase) this year in Venturing and Sea Scouts. He has never really pursued rank in either until recently and realized he had already completed so many of the requirements by being so active, now he is trying to complete both Summit and Quartermaster. Same is true for the Outdoor Achievement medal. I am actually nudging him a bit for that one for one reason, it will force him to master lifesaving and think that is a valuable skill to have. 

    Interesting thing. He had been so active for so long, he felt a little burned out when he went off to college. Then he realized how much be missed it and this past Summer was a blitz of activity. He is planning the same for next Summer, his last before turning 21.  

    If I had to sum up one thing I am most proud of, it will be his overcoming the fear of water. He was terrified of water when he was younger. It took a very long time for him to even attempt the swim for First Class, we were not sure he was even going to try. After he made that, he got his swimming merit badge, and has since canoed countless miles, completed Sea Scouts SEAL training, attended Sea Base with OA and wants to do Northerner Tier with OA, and is in process to complete the mile swim, lifesaving and life guard. requirements.

    If not for Scouting I do not think I could have ever gotten him into the water. 

  13. 1 minute ago, MattR said:

    It would be great if the bsa understood this concept. It might be painful at first but they'd be in a much stronger position if quality had more people's attention. YP or program, it should all be important. 

    Yes, I am torn. I would love to see some six sigma applied to BSA. But I also fear that being so wonky it would push us further from the outdoors and Scout skills. 


    3 minutes ago, MattR said:

    It reminds me of many other similar conflicts that organizations have. Developing software and testing software require different mindsets. One can do both but the changeover from one to the other is not easy. There needs to be respect for both sides. When one gets cheated (and it's always the one furthest from sales) it harms the product. Toyota has quality above features and they charge a premium for that. 

    That has been one benefit from my journey from the software side to the data side. "Get it right" is far more important than "get it out the door"

    • Upvote 1
  14. 2 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

    I miss the old Google search engine or even the old Alta Vista search engine when they were end-user effective, i.e., I could find stuff. :(

    Oh some transparency to mention, Antigone Davis is the Director, Global Head of Safety at Facebook but as Ms. Haugen's stated , "the buck stops with Zuckerberg"


    Ahhh, oldies but goodies. 

    I liked it back in the day when you could bounce between platforms like Altavista, Webcrawler,  Lycos and Ask Jeeves. You could search the same term and get different results, ranked in different ways. Now there is Google and everyone trying to duplicate Google.

    If you really want to go back to the stone age, Archie, Jughead and Veronica (Gopher) were fun too. Yes, those were search tools (pre WWW), not just comic book characters. 

  15. 20 minutes ago, qwazse said:

    The larger problem, I think, is that Eagle rank has been oversold. I fight this constantly in my troop. New parents come in and think that our troop is something special because some of us adults are Eagle Scouts. Meanwhile, the majority of other adults have put heart and soul into the life of the troop, helping us in countless ways. We Eagle Scouts don’t do all that much besides wear a nice knot.

    There’s a lot to be gained in taking pride in one’s advancement — be it Eagle or Tenderfoot. And it always breaks my heart when someone says, “I only earned [insert award that’s not Eagle here].” Drop the “only.” Remember your scouting career with pride!

    I absolutely agree. Parents too often think the troop exist to create Eagle Scouts, when I was unit leader I butted heads with adults over that more than everything else combined. 

    I always told parents that our job is "to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law." If they leave here as an Eagle Scout with 10 palms and we have not accomplished that mission, we failed. If he leaves here as a Tenderfoot but we have accomplished the mission, it is huge success. 

    I also tell parents that it is the youths scouting experience, not theirs, not mine, not anyone beside his. He mist decide what is import, that may or may not be Eagle, and that is not just fine, it is great. 

    I had a vision for my sons scouting experience, but I was discipline enough (just barely) to let him decide is own path. He initially wanted to get his Eagle earlier than me and get more merit badges. But somewhere along the way his focus changed to OA, leadership training and high adventure. He still got his Eagle, but missed his initial goals, but the things he accomplished in other areas far far surpassed anything I did. Its been an awesome journey to watch too. 

  16. 4 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

    As for Facebook YP. I found no statement that Facebook is fully responsible for its content unlike the FCC requirement for radio and television station licenses.



    From my understanding, Section 230 gives the liability protection as they are specifically defined as not being an editorial organization. So I am not surprised they have no statement about content responsibility. 

    I think 230 was initially designed for ISP's and companies that literally, just hosted content (and really only provided the server software/hardware to host). I am not sure if it was general "scope creep" of that definition if there were legislative changes, but once the content started becoming the product it became a slippery slope. 

    So now that Facebook, Twitter etc.  are making editorial decisions beyond what is explicit material, they a stepping into quicksand and well may loose those protections. I just hope congress does not make a knee jerk reaction that also effects ISPs or we will have  a REAL mess. 

    As for Haugen's  testimony and algorithms.

    The "it's our algorithms" excuse has always been laughable. Algorithms do not exist in a vacuum, they are designed and tested and retested to push towards results with a specified criteria. They are not some living thing that grows on its own, at least not yet (SkyNet). 

    And there is no way Facebook lets anyone look into that black box, the algorithms are like Cokes Secret recipe, only more so. They are what makes them Google, at least on the search side. If they were opened up for review, there is a great likelihood that not soon after we would have dozens of search engines as effective as Google and their stock would plummet. 

    • Thanks 1
  17. 7 hours ago, livitup said:

    Sorry for the necropost, but @mrjohns2, maybe you can help me out with something.

    My Arrowman son has been approached about an Area Vice Chief role.  I can't figure out where the area sits in the OA hierarchy.  I know Lodge equates to Council, but after that I'm lost, and the current OA website is no help.  Is an Area a sub-unit of a Lodge that serves Arrowmen, perhaps from multiple BSA districts?

    Based on a previous post you made, I think there might be some confusion with the terms your son is using. I could be wrong though.

    This will be long and maybe confusing so I will apologize up front.

    The National BSA is Structured from the top down for all its unit organizations.

    National > Region > Area > Council > District

    The OA is organized the same but uses the terms for its parallel structure Section for Area, Lodge for Council and Chapter for District,

    National > Region > Section > Lodge > Chapter

    Each of those levels in the organization has elected officers. Every Lodge does this differently, but this is the good basic explanation.

    All levels have Chiefs and Vice Chiefs. Some Lodges have multiple Vice Chiefs, each in charge of a specific function (Program, Inductions, etc.  – or area division, like Central, East, West, South etc.) Sections and below usually have a Secretary. Many from Section down also have Treasurer (though less common at the Chapter level).

    As OldSCout448 said, some have a level between Lodge and Chapter for organizational purposes and they may have one or more of these officer positions. I think that mainly occurs among larger Lodges (either those with many Chapters, many members or those geographically spread out.)

    Once a year each level holds an election.

    Lodges usually have elections before the Chapters, and they hold them at some event where many members are present, like Fellowships, Banquet etc.

    Chapters will usually hold their elections at the same event or shortly after at a Chapter meeting. The reason for Lodges going before Chapters is to avoid the need for re-elections or appointments if a Chapter Officer was elected to Lodge office.

    Sections hold their elections at Conclave (some call it by another name, but its considered a Conclave). OA rules dictate that no Section Chief or above can hold any other office. So if  Lodge Chief is elected as Section Chief, they must resign the Lodge Chief position. Each Lodge determines how that Chief is replaced.

    Here is where things change.

    Each year all of the Section Chiefs gather for a National meeting to do OA business, including planning for NOAC and election National and Region officers. Only Section Chiefs are eligible to run for National or Region Chief.

    The process goes as follows. The National Chief is elected, then National Vice Chief, then each region elects its Region Chief (there are currently 4 regions). There are no Secretary’s or Treasurers at National or Region level and no Vice Chief at Region level.

    Based on this and your previous post what I believe your son may be talking about is a Chapter Vice Chief position. Mainly because most Lodges don’t have areas, and if they have something like OldScout is talking about, those officers are probably more experienced and have held Lodge or Chapter Level positions before, most likely even Chapter Chief. He could be talking about Lodge Chief, but that position is usually held by experienced scouts that have held other officer positions, but that is not always the case.

    Now, to make it more confusing. The structure I outlined above is going away. National BSA is doing away with Regions and Sections and moving to sixteen National Service Territories. Those 16 NSTs are smaller than Regions but larger than the 30 or so current Sections/Areas.

    The OA is lagging behind a year or two (I can’t remember the exact timing) on these changes, are we are not yet sure how exactly we will be organized.

    These changes do NOT effect Lodges or Chapters, but future Council mergers could.

    I know it long and confusing, but I hope that helps.

    This link might be useful as well.


    Here is a map that pretty close to what have today – it’s a few years old and kind of hard to read, but it might be useful.




  18. The scout in my situation was part of a broken home. He was with his mother and his sister was with his father. 

    On what ended up being his last night with the troop, the SM and CC confronted the mother because their signatures had been forge on some of the documents. others had been forged as well. 

    As that was going on I had a discussion with the Scout, it wasn't even about what was going on, just chatting with him, my son and a few other scouts to distract him from what was happening. But he knew. He broke down in tears and said he didn't earn the MB and didn't do the work for his project, it was all his mother. I asked him what he thought he should do. He said he should go back and do the work, I told him that sounded like the right thing and that we would help him. The kid was torn up about it, but as he explained, his mother wanted it so badly and he didn't know how to say no to her. He was very young, 12 or 13, and he just could not push back on his mother. 

    As I said, he never returned to the troop. Over the next few weeks both adults and youth reached out to him and his mother to get him back to the troop and earn his Eagle the right way. We received no reply. 

    A couple of months passed and his father and older sister show up and tell us he had "passed" his Eagle BoR in another district. They had not even been aware he was still in scouting and wanted to know what they could do, because they knew he hadn't earned it and were concerned about how he would handle it long term. 

    A couple years later my son and I ran into him at an OA event. He was trying desperately to prove he was a good Eagle Scout, but the look in his eyes was sad. My son had been angry with him up until that point, then he just felt bad for the kid. 

    That was the last we saw of him. He should have aged out by now, but I am almost positive that Eagle means nothing to him now, and will mean less in the future. 


    • Thanks 1
  19. 2 hours ago, HelpfulTracks said:

    I don't think I have ever used the downvote, maybe I should start and just keep my comments to myself. 

    But generally speaking, if something bothers me enough to downvote then I will make a comment. 

    Also, it is pretty easy to abuse the downvote system, particularly if it is programmatically tied to capping or restricting post. 

    Oh, I forgot the whole overuse of downvote showing a lack of maturity thing. 

  20. 8 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

    If we can identify them, would that count for the requirement? 😜


    Just now, MikeS72 said:

    Not sure what phylum, genus or species to put some into.

    I am also wondering if we should restrict identification to shat, feathers and tracks.   🤔

    • Haha 1
  21. I don't think I have ever used the downvote, maybe I should start and just keep my comments to myself. 

    But generally speaking, if something bothers me enough to downvote then I will make a comment. 

    Also, it is pretty easy to abuse the downvote system, particularly if it is programmatically tied to capping or restricting post. 

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