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Posts posted by HelpfulTracks

  1. 2 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

    What folks are telling you, is they are violating BSA rules. Further, Mic O Say is not like ROTC. It's a BSA affiliated organization unique to Camp Bartle. The council that runs that camp could do away with it whenever they please. Or BSA national could force them to. 

    While a scattered claim with no evidence should be viewed skeptically, this is not the first time on this forum or elsewhere where people have talked about the violations or odd practices of Mic O Say. 

    Sentinel - you are absolutely correct, that is what people are telling me. But what they are not telling me is what rules they are breaking. They are telling me what they do not like, what is distasteful, what is obnoxious. So far no one has put forth any credible actionable information to show anyone breaking any rules. RedEdit post and Google searches will not hold up for that, unless they lead to specific information. If you want to make a rule banning boys from taking off their shirts, the please do so. If you want to make a rule banning regalia, be my guest. If said rules make sense, I'll support it. If some breaks the rules, I'll be the first to ask they be appropriately punished. 

    But if we are going to demand action be taking against individuals or groups based on vague internet claims that someone broke the law or BSA rules, without some form of proof, then we are just letting mob rule win. And God help us all if we do that. 

    1 hour ago, mrjohns2 said:

    It is funny since they are able to do a number of things that due to the national oversight of OA, the OA isn't allowed to do. Bare chests, face paint, AOL ceremonies, adults conducting ceremonies, etc. are not allowed in the OA. Mic-O-Say gets away with a lot. 

    Here is the thing, BSA isn't the ones making those rules (other than those dictated by changes to safety rules). It is OA National volunteers. The OA has chosen to make rule changes about its organization, often those changes are driven from the bottom up. 

  2. 9 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    This times 10,000

    Expect him to turn a blind eye just like everyone else at national does.

    again I called the 800 number and reported  it and absolutely nothing happened.

    Turning a blind eye?

    That is more than a little insulting to people who care about scouting and scouts and are trying to make sure things are done right. 

    And you become indignant toward people willing to help when:

    • You can produce no names of abusers or victims
    • no location of abuse
    • no date of abuse
    • no location
    • Your only claim is to say Google it, you will find it

    There is just nothing you have pointed to that is actionable. That is like trying to find a specific grain of sand on a beach.

    • Upvote 4
  3. 10 hours ago, yknot said:

    It is clearly associated with BSA. I'm not sure why you are not seeing the connection:


    No Mic-O-Say is not associated or recognized by BSA or the OA. They are somehow affiliated with that camp, just like other organizations are affiliated with other Scout Camps, like ROTC units, Boys & Girls clubs etc. 

    While what they do my be annoying or even offensive to some, as long as they don't break rules or policies, I am not sure what BSA can do without getting into more legal issues. 

    10 hours ago, yknot said:

    I had already visited that site you linked to and I went again to see what I might have missed. There is nothing on that site that comes close to what you describe, at least not in recent photos. Again, the couple of potentially recent I could identify dates on are at least 7-8 years old, possibly older, and most of the rest are much older. Unless you are saying cultural appropriation somehow falls under YPT I am not seeing what you are talking about. 

    10 hours ago, yknot said:

    However, if you think shirtless youth wearing loincloths, even over shorts, in the company of adult men in camp ceremonies in the woods for no reason is not inappropriate from a youth protection standpoint, then that's the explanation for why this kind of thing persists. 

    The point is that I am not seeing any evidence that it does persist. Like face paint, that type of regalia has gone away. In fact many lodges are no longer using regalia at all, instead opting for field uniforms. I have been to countless ceremonies from crossover to vigil and I have not seen anything like you describe in at least 8-10 years if not longer. 

  4. 3 hours ago, yknot said:

    Search on Google and/or Facebook for Mic O Say or Scouts Native American appropriation and you'll find plenty of photos that show youth barechested in loincloths and they are current.


    3 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Exactly. I have seen it too. Personally called the 800 scouts number.

    National doesn’t care and will not lift a finger.

    My council, thanks heavens, won’t put up with this garbage.


    3 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Go Google and FB search the photos that are dated this summer. I would post but the mods would disapprove and frankly it comes close to child pornography.

    I will be very, very happy when an external monitor comes into BSA and starts to clean house. Perhaps some people losing jobs and positions will get the message through.

    Nothing else does or will.

    I want to also see council by council reports of the number of YP violations reported and results. BSA needs to stop hiding.

    Normally when someone makes a claim with no references and tells me to go look it up, I ignore it. 

    But, this is a serious subject so I did as you requested.

    As for Mic-O-Say, it is not associated with the OA or BSA. what they do I am not aware, nor how they manage being involved even tangentially to BSA camps. 

    As for photos, I found nothing like you described. The closest were a couple of photos from 2014 where the scouts had loin cloths over shorts. I even searched Mic-O-Say's FB page and Googled them. And just in case I was missing something I turned off safe search in my browser. I have failed to locate the types of photos you are describing. 

    If you are concerned about posting the links to these images publicly, please feel free to message the links to me privately. You can do so through my profile page on this site. 

    I hope you take me up on the offer as what you are describing is something the OA takes seriously. 

    • Upvote 1
  5. 1 minute ago, CynicalScouter said:

    National won’t lift a finger. Several camps and OA events still do this. No one says boo.

    I work with several national staff and national OA on a regular basis, I can guarantee they would want to know and it would cause an immediate reaction, particularly given the current headlines regarding BSA. 

    I was on a 3 hour call last night with several national OA leaders, inductions and ceremonies were all we talked about. This type behavior would be hammered. Again, if it is being done then it needs to be spotlighted.

    Here is the thing, I visit Lodges frequently, I speak with leaders around the country. I am not seeing or heading of anything like this. So, if it is happening, please bring it forward. As I said, I will take it up the chain myself and I can promise people will take action. 

    • Thanks 1
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  6. 3 hours ago, yknot said:

    BSA is still in effect covering up youth protection violations today. How otherwise do you explain, for example, the continued existence of units that parade youth wearing loincloths? BSA is aware but ignores it, presumably for concerns about membership and money.   


    2 hours ago, yknot said:

    I'm not talking about swimwear, I am talking about camp ceremonies, and I am talking present day.

    I agree, this is violation of several policies. Please provide those locations and dates and I will gladly take it to national myself. 

  7. Just now, HelpfulTracks said:

    Ultimately that may come down to any limitations set by NOAC and what you Lodge needs in terms of its contingent. 

    Initially, in 2018 there was limitation on number and ratio of adults to youth. Eventually, that was relaxed and maybe even removed.

    If that turns out not to be a consideration, and you have never been as an adult, it might be worth attending with the contingent to get a feel for the event from the "other side".

    There is also discussion on participants having an opportunity, or even a requested, to volunteer a certain amount of time to earn the participation award. As of my last discussion that had not been determined. 

    I will be attending as staff (my first time staffing). My son has a decision to make, he has been tapped as NOAC Chair & contingent leader, but he has also been approached about staffing. 

    In 2018 I did not have an issue finding trainings, there was the Pilot program, many classes as well as forums, roundtables and discussions to choose from. In many cases I was torn between which programs to attend because times conflicted. I would expect much of the schedule to come out in January or shortly thereafter once the National Meeting has completed. 


  8. 15 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

    So - attend as a staff or with the contingent? Thoughts?

    Ultimately that may come down to any limitations set by NOAC and what you Lodge needs in terms of its contingent. 

    Initially, in 2018 there was limitation on number and ratio of adults to youth. Eventually, that was relaxed and maybe even removed.

    If that turns out not to be a consideration, and you have never been as an adult, it might be worth attending with the contingent to get a feel for the event from the "other side".

    There is also discussion on participants having an opportunity, or even a request, to volunteer a certain amount of time to ear the participation award. As of my last discussion that had not been determined. 

    I will be attending as staff (my first time staffing). My son has a decision to make, he has been tapped as NOAC Chair & contingent leader, but he has also been approached about staffing. 

    In 2018 I did not have an issue finding trainings, there was the Pilot program, many classes as well as forums, roundtables and discussions to choose from. In many cases I was torn between which programs to attend because times conflicted. I would expect much of the schedule to come out in January or shortly thereafter once the National Meeting has completed. 

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  9. Only you can determine what is too much for you.  That, or if you end up dropping the ball and others need to scale you back for the sake of the program. 

    But, you certainly should not feel bad if you start to feel that way. You should strive for quality of service, not quantity. 

    I have overloaded myself before by not saying "no" when asked to do something. Learn to say NO and not feel bad. Again, quality not quantity. 

    When asked to take on a new role I ask myself a series of questions;

    • Does my current service load feel to heavy (overwhelmed), is just about right, or could I do more (always looking for other things to do)?
    • What is the real amount of time to do the job well? Thee hours a month? Thirty hours a month? More?
    • Will my new service add to the program in a quality way?
    • Will my new service negatively impact service I am currently giving?
    • Will I enjoy it?
    • If I take on the service, is there anyone I can recruit, train and bring along to do the job after me?

    Also, saying yes or no is not forever. There is always work to be done. No today, could be yes tomorrow and vice versa.

    I have held too many positions at the same time in the past, holding unit, districts, council, chapter and lodge positions at the same time. It almost burned me out. 

    So I scaled back, finding and training my replacements.

    It is also cyclical, after being overwhelmed and scaling back, I found myself missing the work and wanting more. Only to add a couple of roles before needing to tap the brakes a year or two later. Now, I am about right, or maybe looking for a bit more, but knowing some of my council work has been slowed due to Covid and is starting to pick up again. 

    As I tell my scouts, this is your scouting experience. Do not let others dictate to you what it should be or what you should or should not do, what is too much or not enough.  Find what makes you happy and go with that. 

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  10. On 9/28/2021 at 3:13 AM, livitup said:

    So who else is thinking of heading to Tennessee next summer?

    Will definitely be there, as will my son. Depending on his college schedule next fall it may be his last event as a youth, as he ages out a couple months later. So I am looking forward to being there with him. 

    • It is an outstanding event for fellowship. You will meet Arrowmen from all across the country (including from overseas). 
    • You will get exceptional insight into how the best ceremony teams perform. 
    • A very broad selection of training (NLS and DYLC are great, but more narrowly defined that what's at NOAC)
    • Great Shows
    • Plenty of activities for youth and adult - check out the museum if they bring it back
    • Oh yeah, and patch trading

    It's a great event and I try not to miss it. 

  11. On 9/3/2021 at 12:42 PM, Gilwell_1919 said:

    As far as I am concerned, LCs charge incredible fees to scouts, but put very little back into "the program". A lot of the money LCs generate is to pay to hire new "scout professionals" whose sole focus is to fundraise and solicit donations.

    Perhaps this is how your council runs, though I have my doubts.

    Many scout family's cannot afford FOS and other giving, and they do not. Even among those who can afford it, very few do give anyway. 

    As for endowments, ours is no where near enough to run the council without any other funds, I suspect there is no council in that position. 

    Yes, the fundraising does go to cover the professionals fees, but not just the DE's and SE. They go to cover the salaries of the registrar(s), accounting, rangers, program support. 

    As for Scouts getting nothing for it, no in our case. The cost of summer camp would be much much higher for one. The cost of equipment, fuel, and materials to keep a camp in working order is enormous. On the water front alone there is maintenance of docks, motor boats, sail boats, canoes, paddle boards and safety safety equipment, swimming pins and water features. Camp sites require plumbing and electric repair, erosion maintenance, tent pad/Adirondack repair and maintenance. Rifle, shotgun and archery ranges require similar maintenance as do the rifles, shotguns, bow and arrows. COPES course must be maintained, structures need maintenance, ropes and cables replaced. Bikes, and bike trails, hiking trails, camp fire arena and more must be maintained and repaired. Kitchens, dinning halls, medical and admin facilities need to maintained. Vehicles need to be maintained and replaced.

    All of those places need to be staffed and even at the lowest pay levels it comes to thousands of dollars per week. And much more for trained personnel like COPE director, life guards, shooting sports personnel, medical staff (we have MD or PA, Nurse and medic on staff each week of camp). All those people need to be housed and fed. 

    On top of normal fundraising, those same DE's and SE raise funds from donors, to build new dinning halls, campsites, and activity features. Which can easily run into millions of dollars. 

    Summer camps would cease to exist with those professionals raising funds 

    On top of that is they support they give volunteers. I have served in numerous district and council positions, including Training Chair, Commissioner, Lodge Advisers and more. It would have been considerably more difficult, if not impossible, to do my job without the professional support of local staffs. 

  12. What's in the past is in the past. Nothing will change the status of the paper Eagle. We had a similar situation in my council, we found out too late so the young mans Eagle status stood. 

    However, if there is proof the Scoutmaster is still doing this, the council can and should disqualify him from continuing. He is failing BSA's mission "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 SE chooses not to take action they are failing the mission as well. 

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  13. 5 hours ago, David CO said:

    Absolutely.  Every activity has its fanatics.  Scouting isn't unique in this, but neither is it immune to it.  The fanatics need to be controlled.  If they can't be controlled, they need to be removed.  

    Curious take on your part considering many think you take on CO's is fringe/fanatic.

    3 hours ago, David CO said:

    As an IH, my job was to ensure that the scouting program follows the rules and procedures of the Chartered Organization.  

    Really, I have never hear of an IH that was not the head of the institution. But that does explain a great deal about your over zealous take on what a CO is. 

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  14. 29 minutes ago, yknot said:

    It's not circular to me. If I feel like I have to explain or defend what I said to a kid, I probably shouldn't have said it in the first place. 

    yknot, I don't know what to tell you, it's a classic example of circular argument. 

    Here, I will use your logic. I made a statement that you made a circular argument. You replied to explain/defend that it is not a circular argument. You doing so only proves you are wrong. 

    That is a logical fallacy and a circular argument. 

    But that is fine, we will just have to agree to disagree.

    29 minutes ago, yknot said:

    That's why kids are different. That's my point. BSA's own membership numbers show that it has been struggling to connect with kids in recent decades. It's not just me saying kids are different. Other youth organizations seem to be doing a better job of adapting to this. A lot of organizations saw declining membership as the numbers of school age kids dropped, but none so precipitous as BSA. And many other new youth organizations have sprung up to meet some of these changing needs and interests. 

    Yes, the numbers have dropped. There are numerous reason that have been enumerated on this site and others.  More dual income homes, more sports options, increased time spent in sports, more club options, changes in the BSA program, the internet, 157 TV channels, video games, etc.

    29 minutes ago, yknot said:

    Again, I disagree. Not acknowledging that kids have different worries and stressors today isn't helpful. 

    Again, as I stated, their problems are different, even unique, but they are not unique because they have problems. 

    29 minutes ago, yknot said:

    I don't know if you have school age children or not but you must not have encountered HIB laws in your state. In the school system at least, bullying is not held to an objective standard. Pretty much anything and everything IS called bullying today, and kids have to navigate that. BSA needs to align with their reality,. I think it does on paper, but in practice in units where old attitudes hold sway, it can still be very mixed messaging and there are problematic experiences for some scouts. Don't get me started on the tea pot song. 

    Yes, I do have school age children.

    And yes, you make my point. If, as you say, the "recipient" determines what bulling is, then "Pretty much anything and everything IS called bullying."

    Here is the problem with your argument when it goes to court , the "recipient"  is no longer determining what is and is not bullying, a judge or jury is. Furthermore, if someone is convicted of said crime, another courts is likely going to be asked if the standard used to convict was objective or subject (with allowances for some subjectivity). That court is likely to toss a conviction if there is not a sufficiently narrowly defined objective standard . 

    So, as I stated, an individual does not get to determine what constitutes bullying, at least not from the perspective of curtailing bullying. 

  15. 14 minutes ago, yknot said:

    My feeling is that if you feel like you have to defend teasing, it is probably best not done. Kids are always in a subordinate position to adults and it's hard to get a true read of what they really think even when you think you do.

    That's a nice circular argument. So if you say something I disagree with, by posting a rebuttal I prove you correct? 

    16 minutes ago, yknot said:

    Kid on kid teasing is even worse. Kids today have a very strange social and cultural lanscape to navigate. Their counterparts in the 1960s may have had to worry about physical landmines; kids today have to be vigilant about not putting a foot wrong and hitting a social landmine. Say the wrong word or post the wrong thing on social media, and your life can be blown up. Kids are very unsure about where the lines are drawn. 

    Here in lies the problem, youth have always had problems to deal with, they may be different problems, but that have always had issues starring them in the face. Do you think it was easier on the youth of the 1920's and 30's who lived through a depression, where the very existence of food and shelter was a daily question? What about the 1930's and 40's. where climate change was so bad parts of 3 states where just blown away by the wind, the constant thread of war. The 1950's and 60's where they were living with learning to hide under their desk in case of nuclear attack. What about the war, social upheaval and racial strife of the 60's and 70's, and inflation so bad mom and dad were sure they could put food on the table. 

    No, we do not need to teach youth that having problems makes them unique. Yes, their generations problems may be unique, but having problems is not. And just like those previous generations, we will find a way to deal with their problems. Imagine how horrifying it must be when people keep telling our youth that their problems are so much greater than anyone before them have faced. Imagine how comforting it would be to hear, yes, you are facing problems, but other before you have faced problems to an over come them. 

    21 minutes ago, yknot said:

    Bullying today is decided by the recipient, not the deliverer. 

    This is singularly one of the most damaging concept of the age. Bullying needs to be held to an objective standard not a subjective one. If everyone gets to determine what they think bullying is, then anything and everything can be called bullying. 

    If you are going to substitute the subjective for the objective you end up the this absurdly plausible scenario. 

    The "recipient" decides he is being bullied and reports it. The "deliverer" says they are not bullying at all. That in fact, the "recipient" is bullying him by merely accusing him of bullying.

    The "recipient" may not like how the "deliverer" treats them, but that does not make the treatment bullying simply because he declares it so.

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  16. On 9/13/2021 at 12:55 PM, yknot said:

    I kind of disagree. Having the mentality that you don't cancel for bad weather is the opposite of what I think scouts is supposed to teach. We teach be prepared, which includes being prepared to change plans. Even D-Day was weather dependent. This is scouts, not the military. 

    No we do not cancel for bad weather. We change plans for dangerous weather. No one has said there is never a reason to change or if need be cancel an outing. Being prepared is just that, being prepared to deal with bad weather and if necessary use alternative plans if weather is dangerous. 

    On 9/13/2021 at 2:13 PM, David CO said:

    Yes.  Imagine how people would react if a coach said he would never cancel a game due to weather.  He would be fired.  

    No one said "never cancel". And it's a bad analogy. A coach can't say "we have a game scheduled 60 miles to the East, but there is heavy lightning there, so instead we are going to go 60 miles to the West where the weathers is great and play the game. A well prepared Scouting unit can. 

    On 9/13/2021 at 3:59 PM, David CO said:

    I totally disagree.  This sort of mentality borders on fanaticism.  I have seen my fair share of fanatics in scouting and sports.  My job was to keep them in check.  

    Fanaticism? Keep them, in check? If having a great program and being excited about it is fanatics', then maybe we need more fanatics. As a CC my job it to do everything I can to help deliver the program the Scouts have planned while reducing potential risk as much as passible. If there are dangerous conditions, my job remains the same, I just have to work harder. No where in any scouting book, or CO agreement or anywhere I can think of is it written anyone's job is to keep the program "in check."

    The leaders and the CO's job is help provide a great program for the youth. If there are risk it is our job to use our knowledge, skills and imagination to reduce that risk and still provide the program. Anything short of that is just cheating the Scouts. 

    On 9/13/2021 at 4:14 PM, yknot said:

    Agreed. Kids shouldn't be dropping dead of heat injury during sports practices or drowning on scout hikes. 

    A phenomenon I've seen the past decade or so is an overreliance on phone radar apps and online weather services as if they never lie or conflict. People have lost the ability to look up or use common sense.

    This is a straw man argument. No one said that we should be allowing youth to drop dead, or that is even okay. We are saying good leaders know how to deal with bad situations and still deliver a program. And when necessary to change or even cancel a program. But canceling a program should be the last resort. If a leader cannot figure out how, in most cases, to still deliver the program, then maybe they are not the right people for that job.

    On 9/13/2021 at 4:17 PM, CynicalScouter said:

    Yep. Says the person right before their scouts are killed by a lightning strike or a fallen tree branch.

    Just as reminder: currently BSA policy is that direct contact leaders who are "positioned trained" must take Hazardous Weather training every two years and at least one person per outing/event has Hazardous Weather Training.


    Again, that is not what was said. 

    On 9/13/2021 at 4:48 PM, David CO said:


    The first thought I had when I saw that cake had nothing to do with achievement.  I thought about liability.  Imagine if a scout gets hurt during a bad weather campout.  Now imagine if that scout's lawyer sees this cake on the unit's website.  It would be fairly easy for a lawyer to connect the dots and make a case for negligence.  

    So no, I am not going to congratulate the scouters who created that policy, decorated that cake, and posted a picture of it on the internet.  

    Of curse the CO and unit leaders need to consider liability. I certainly do not think it should be the first, or even most prevalent thought. I disagree with you on almost all of your post, your concept of a CO powers is way to broad, and your view of a scouting program way to restrictive. But, to be unable or unwilling to congratulate a bunch of scouts on their accomplishments is sad.


    This thread has been one of the most enlightening threads I have seen in a long time when it comes to explain the continued downward spiral of the Scouting program. 

    I have long blamed National for most of the problem, and may be this thread is just highlighting the effects National has had on local scouting. 

    This thread is full of hyperbolic and false arguments castigating a unit, its leaders and scouts for what most would consider an impressive accomplishment. All the negative assumptions made so some can wag their finger to down talk the unit with little or NO direct knowledge of how this unit is run. Maybe worse, little or no concept or even desire to figure out how to help a unit achieve their program while keeping the scouts safe.

    I have always thought that good local scouting could overcome Nationals failures.  But if the thread reflects the mindset of local scouting, I am almost certain wrong. 

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  17. On 9/11/2021 at 4:26 PM, David CO said:

    I totally disagree with all of this record-making stuff.  The boys in the troop should feel perfectly free to cancel their activity, if the situation calls for it, without feeling like they are letting people down by spoiling a perfect record.  

    I feel the same way about youth sports.  They are way over-doing it with the stats.  Too many boys are worrying about their stats when they should be focused on the game, getting exercise and having fun.

    And who says the youth can't make the call to cancel? I know of a local troop that is big into hiking, their kids take great pride in it. Another that is into canoeing, and a crew that is big into backpacking. It's what they are excited about. The troops youth tell visiting cubs what they are about. Some of those cubs join that unit for that very reason. Other youth avoid them because it is not their thing. 

    I know of a unit that has been keeping track of hiked miles for decades. They have board in their meeting place with milestones on it. Once a youth hits a milestone his name goes up on the board. It started with patrol hikes (back when patrols could do things without adults) that want to go to Philmont together. As those scouts got older, the idea spread to the rest of the troop. 

    My troop as a youth was heavy into cycling. 

    All units track the miles their scouts hike or ride for merit badges, nights camped etc. So these units do it to a greater level. Everyone of the units I listed about is thriving because their youth are into their program. In some ways I think it is better than how my units have done it, but our scouts chose their path as well. 

    The fact that you disagree with how they run their program would like get a resound reply of "So what."


    On 9/12/2021 at 4:03 PM, InquisitiveScouter said:

    Agreed.  I find it extremely difficult to believe that, over 50 years, not a single month was without camping.  Record keeping, weather, unit leadership, what constitutes camping (was it in one night in someone's backyard just to keep the record going??)...too many variables, with too much possible human error, bias, and stretching, to get to something like this.

    Knowing what I know from 35+ years of Scouting experience, I glance sideways at things like this...much like a Scout earning (actually, "being awarded") every merit badge.

    I don't see it as difficult to believe. There is a saying in the data world. "You track what is important to you."

    As for records, I can go back almost a decade and tell you exactly how may outings my unit has had. Not because I was tracking them for posterity as much as just having them on the calendar to know what to plan for. I have long since thrown them out, but as a youth I used to keep my calendars every year and it had all my outings listed on them. My handbook had some details of almost every outing.

    We preach to scouts to track your progress, this is just step further. 

    As for what they considered camping, I don't know.

    I don't get adults that want to knock the unit for having a program most would love to see.

    I will say this, kudos to them for having a program has clearly been active for the last 50 years. 

  18. Based on your post I am assuming it is a new or relatively new troop. 

    You have some options. 

    1. Ask a nearby troop or crew to come and teach your troop skills. Older, more established units routinely do this. It helps their scouts meet requirements and it helps your troop out as well.

    2. Ask the OA if they have some youth that would be willing to visits and teach skills. 

    3. Adults can teach with youth assistance. I see you are a Wood Badger, so you should have access to a number of adults that can come and train your scouts until they are ready to take on the training themselves.

    4. There are also usually staff at stores like REI or other outdoor stores that will send people over to train, just ask around and see what they offer

  19. 3 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

    As a youth officer who ran 4 or 5 ordeal weekends, this was true for boys. Especially when we held our ordeals in late October. Our opinion was "these are First Class Scouts". Not all seemed to have learned the skills a First Class Scout should have. 


    46 minutes ago, Oldscout448 said:

    Hereabouts " not all" is nearly half. 

    The girls actually seem to handle adverse conditions a bit better than the boys.

    Oh, yes. We definitely had boys not prepared physically, But most still knew what they were getting into by talking to their troop mates.

    Girls just currently do not have that built in knowledge base for the most part.

    Additionally, most of those that were surprised we the adults - those that have had very little or no scouting experience prior to joining their current troop. Since they do not have other adults with OA experience, they just seemed to be taken off taken off guard about what the Ordeal experience is.  

  20. As we near the end (hopefully) of the bankruptcy and abuse case I want to look forward to where Scouting goes from here and what we, as volunteers, can do to help Scouting recover and hopefully thrive.

    Moving forward we will clearly have a leaner national structure, and most councils will have leaner structures as well. Some councils will not survive and be merged in with other councils.

    I am a firm believer in the Boy Scouts of America’s mission, aims and methods, and the Oath and Law. I don’t think there is any organization out there that does a better job of building character and citizenship in our youth.

    My son is an Eagle Scout and even though he is a sophomore in college, he is still involved in a Crew, Ship and the OA. I am struck by how many adults that have met him and know about his scouting career have commented they wish they had gotten their kids into Scouting. I am also struck by the support he receives from this college classmates as he continues in Scouting.

    Looking forward to 2022 and beyond, I am thinking about how I, as a volunteer, can help BSA recover and continue to make a positive influence the youth of this country.

    Here are some initial broad stroke thoughts.

    1. Volunteers will be needed more
      1. I think volunteers will be asked, and will need to, take more of a leading role in activities that have primarily been handled by professionals. Recruiting being foremost among those.
      2. I have always felt that there is not enough emphasis on recruiting at the middle school level. While I still think recruiting cubs is important, I think there are many more youth that could be introduced to Scouting at this age level.
      3. I also believe that we miss the boat by not recruiting more in high school for Crews and Ships.
      4. I think a more organized effort to recruit these age groups is imperative for Scouting to recover, as well as making an positive impact on youth.
    2. Greater Emphasis on the Outdoors
      1. I know all the various programs that BSA offers are good and have appeal, but among the non-Scouting youth I speak with the outdoor element is the biggest draw. Far too many kids do not get that experience at home.
      2. There is not better way to learn about the earth than experiencing it outside the confines of the city and suburbs. With the environmentalist mindset of many youth these days, I think there is a huge opportunity to get then in the outdoors and really learn about nature.
    3. Get back to the Patrol Method
      1. The Patrol Method is one of the greatest teaching tools ever, but we have gotten away from it. We need to make it a primary element of Scouting again
    4. Youth led
      1. This goes together with Patrol method. Rebuild an emphasis on Unit leaders being unit mentors and letting the youth lead.
      2. Make sure the youth are planning the programs they want to experience, not allowing adults create programs that they think they youth want.
    5. Talk more about service
      1. One thing I have noticed about this generation is how much service work they do, some of it is instigated by requirements for school, clubs and scholarship, but it seems once they get a taste of service todays youth make it a priority. I don’t think we, as an organization, talk enough about how much we do in the community and what opportunities exist for youth to serve.
    6. Bring the Total Cost of Scouting down for the family
      1. Dues only go up, never down. The cost of equipment, food and other Scouting related cost is only likely to go up. But we need to find better ways to lower the cost of Scouting. This item could cover pages, but we need to find ways for the Scouts to better raise funds, for donors to support Scouting effort directly
    7. Recruit the City and Rural areas with same intensity as the suburbs
      1. Not only do we need to lower the cost of Scouting, particularly for poorer rural and inner-city youth, we need to speak to them directly and more frequently.
    8. Speak to Youth
      1. Let youth of all Scouting ages know what the program really is about
      2. Let them know how it can improve their everyday life and their future lives
    9. Speak to Parents
      1. Emphasis on how Scouting can help their children – how can it help their youth grow, what it can do for them now and in the future
      2. Reassure them that as leaders we take Youth protection very seriously and exactly what we do to help keep their youth safe.
    10. Speak to Potential Volunteers
      1. We have a massive body of alumni, and we need to harness that manpower to get more and better volunteers involved.


    Again, these are broad stroke, 30,000-foot ideas, but I am hoping this will spark a discussion on moving forward with Scouting

  21. 6 minutes ago, yknot said:

    Kids today are very different in some important ways. They start puberty at younger and younger ages and are increasingly likely to be depressed. Suicide rates have increased dramatically over the past two decades, with more suicides occuring among younger, middle school age children. The events of their time are leading them to mature faster in a physical sense but obviously leaving a lot of them without the skills to cope with the stressors and pressures of their daily lives in a psychological sense. I haven't seen many adults who are capable of teasing kids in such a way that builds character. It's mostly the opposite. I've mostly seen adults who think their teasing is humorous but it is not to the kid. The quickest way I know to lose a kid's trust or respect is to tease them. 

    First, I was speaking of teasing between youth and youth, not adult and youth. 

    Secondly, while boundaries are critical I would still disagree. 

    I played college football for a team that is less than popular where I live now, over the years many of my Scouts have teased me about my team. Of course I tease some of them back about their team. No one is disrespectful and no feelings are hurt. I joke with some others in different ways as well, but they all know I support them ALL.

    Context is critical. I do not deal with every scout the same way. I am a cheerleader for some, quite mentor for others. I challenge and push some more than others, and some I am more stern with and more laid back with others. Each is different and each has different needs and tolerances. 

    Scouts today do grow up fast. But the same could be said of previous generations. Scouts that grew up in the 60's and 70's that headed off to Viet Nam. My own father, a Scout in the 30's and 40's volunteered at 16 to go off to war. Comparing the hardships and struggles between generations is far far less valuable than getting to know the scout themselves. 

    • Upvote 1
  22. On 8/9/2021 at 12:04 AM, yknot said:

    Kids are a little different today. Maybe that's what Fred is referring to. It's not coddling. It's recognizing that the 10 and 11 year of today is different than the 10 year old of 20 years ago. 


    On 8/9/2021 at 1:33 AM, fred8033 said:

    I'm saying it's setting a bad example.  We should not be teaching that it's okay to treat others badly; aka being a jerk.  ... This specific situation is called hazing and against the rules.  

    It is true that youth are different today than 20 years ago, and 20 years ago they were different from 20 years before that, and so forth and so on. 

    They are also, very much the same. 

    What makes them different? My opinion is they are different because of the events of their times, or more accurately the adults reactions and attitudes towards the events of their time. Including the lack of reaction or even over reaction. 

    I believe BSA has dutifully followed suit by over reacting in some cases. BSA has redefined once common activities such as youth only patrol hikes, certain pioneering projects, etc., as too dangerous, even for our older most experienced scouts. BSA has outlawed things like laser tag as "Unfriendly" even though companies routinely use the same type events to improve team dynamics and bonding. BSA has expanded the definition of bullying so far as to include what has traditionally been called teasing and pranking, such as the "Tea Pot" song and snipe hunting. 

    I know as I type this, there are some who are thinking the old, outdated, backwards and uninformed way of thinking. But there are myriad articles that say some teasing is not bad, but in fact beneficial in building friend groups and growth. 

  23. On 8/6/2021 at 9:53 AM, SiouxRanger said:

    So, are we likely to see required or elective merit badges fill in for the merged Citizenship merit badges? And if required, what would they likely be? (Surely, 21 will remain the number to earn Eagle?)

    Not necessarily, the number of merit badges need, the number and mix of required merit badges have changed many times over the last 100 plus years of Eagle Scouts. Even Eagle projects only became required in the 1950's or 60's. (I cannot remember exactly when without looking it up)

  24. On 8/3/2021 at 1:20 PM, Armymutt said:

    The problem is that "equity" is a loaded term.  It is focused on equal outcomes, not equal resources.  Therefore, someone is likely to get more than their equal share of whatever resource, which potentially means a reduction in the potential outcome of the person better able to utilize those resources.  The current government policy on masks is a perfect example.  Some people chose to get vaccinated while others didn't.  The outcome is that everyone still has to wear a mask in certain settings.  


    On 8/5/2021 at 1:28 AM, yknot said:

    FYI, upstander is a pretty common term the kids have heard for years in school assemblies on bullying, inclusion, etc. Be an upstander not a bystander. I haven't taken the training but based on your excellent recap, a lot of the content you have outlined here is cribbed from standard presentations to school age audiences, including quotes, with some 2020 hotbutton updates. Not sure where this goes from here. Was anything said about Native American and other cultural representations/appropriation in scouting? I've wondered how any merit badge on this subject would square that.  

    Equity has indeed become a loaded term, and upstander is a relatively new term. 

    One concern I have, as a society, we have started changing or expanding the meaning of terms and creating new terms as if that some how advances addressing a problem, and in the end we do very little to actually do so. 

    Or even worse, these new, expanded and newly defined, terms become part of social and political tool boxes that have agendas attached to them that have little to nothing to do with solving the "targeted" problem.

    I frequently refer scouts and scouters back to the Oath and Law. If we read those, understand them, apply then and live by them, we will almost always end up in a better place. 

  25. On 8/23/2021 at 1:17 AM, Tatung42 said:



    So, I guess questions that I have:

    Does anyone have examples of successful new girl troops that are actually operating independently?

    Are the boy troops doing girls a disservice by offering the fully coed program?

    Do you agree that policies will change soon and that troops are going to go fully coed in the near future?

    If nothing changes, how are the struggling girls troops supposed to improve their quality of program so that it is on par with the girl patrols in the boy troops?  Should adult leaders share some of the leadership to help things get off the ground?

    We have had 20 or so Girl Troops across the Council. My daughter was in both Troop and Crew at the same time. (so was my son). 

    I would say the results have been mixed, just like Boy Troops. Some do well and some do not. 

    Some observations of Troops I saw.

    Age distribution was very much a divide. The vast majority of the girls were with 11 or 12 (from Cubs or new) or they we 16 or 17 (coming from Crews) . Very few fell in the 13-15 age group. As a result there was a natural divide that made it difficult for some troops. 

    Most of the Scoutmasters were females that came up through Cubs. I know of only one male SM for a girls troop. Some had female or male leaders (mostly ASMs) who had experience with boy troops, thus with patrol method, the outdoors, OA etc. 

    Roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of the girl troops were aligned with a boy troop. I heard of only one that was mixing as cooed - or more accurately, doing all activities together. The rest camped separately, met separately (but in same building),  and basically functioned separately. Now there was some working together, particularly in service projects. I also saw boy troops and crews asked to come and train basic scouting skills.

    Successes and failures.

    The age gap was tough, some older girls dropped because they felt like baby sitters. Some younger girls dropped because they felt they couldn't keep up. 

    Some troops suffered from Webelos 3 syndrome. Which compounded the issue of older girls leaving.

    We have had about 25 girls elected to the OA and have had one female Lodge officer the last 2 years. Sash and dash ration was better than the boys, but verdict is still out for year 2.  We did notice that not having a history with understanding what the OA is and that Ordeal is difficult, we had some that were completely unprepared for Ordeal, even though we tried prepare them. Mostly among adults. I think that will fade with time. 

    • Upvote 1
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