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bsrsakima39

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About bsrsakima39

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    Pennsylvania
  1. bsrsakima39

    New BSA knot

    Hi BP, I'm a 20-year-old ASM who came up through the program, earned Eagle, and have continued to remain overly active in my council. To get it off my chest now, I do wear 3 knots. I agree with you that there are some Scouters out there who do not have the true purpose of our organization in the forefront of their minds. I am incredibly sorry to hear that the gentleman that you know is one of those people. It is very unfortunate that someone with that much experience and knowledge is not using it to the full extent of his ability. I, too, know people like this. They are not nearly as malicious as you describe, but, if you watch their actions closely, it is clear. This being said, I do not agree with your claim that the vast majority of "generals" stray from the path our Founder intended. It is a statement based on your experience with these folks. My experience is different. Most of the "generals" that I know are fantastic, knowledgeable people who have been involved in the program for quite some time and are here to share that knowledge while mentoring young men. You will not, however, see me going around telling everyone online that most "generals" are great Scouters. This is because I know there are people who haven't been blessed like I have and who have had bad experiences with such members of our great organization. To take this to an extreme, my worst experiences have been with women who have no Scouting experience. Shall I start petitioning Mazzuca to ban all women from our organization because of my sole experiences? Absolutely not. Clearly, you have had some terrible experiences with some Scouters, just as we all have had. I am frustrated at those incredibly experienced Scouters who are, quite simply, jerks. However, I petition you to not soil the name of all those who are proud of their service to the youth of America, who are most definitely in need of great mentors. -Wulamoen P.S. Because no proper post on this website would be complete without a personal jab (yet done in good jest), what image does it give off that you have chosen to force us all to refer to you as BP, Lord Baden-Powell, the war hero and founder of our beloved organization?
  2. bsrsakima39

    New BSA knot

    Have you considered that the three colors of the knot (red, blue, yellow) are also the three colors of the anniversary logo?
  3. bsrsakima39

    OA Jeopardy

    The OA Jeopardy game from NLS is not available for distribution. However, you are more than welcome to create your own game, as many lodges have done.
  4. bsrsakima39

    seeking input on OA High Adventure

    Hi Lisabob! First of all, a little disclaimer, I haven't been to these programs. That being said, I have been a section officer for the past 4 years and know the OAHA program fairly well. 1) Yes. Will it be hard work, probably. However, your son will not be forced to do work that he can not handle. He'll definitely be tired at the end of the day, but will not be worked to death. He is, after all, paying to be there... OAWV will, most likely, be more demanding than OAOA. He'll have to portage his canoe and will be doing plenty of paddling during his two weeks there. Not to say that OAOA is a cake-walk... 2) This one, again, depends on which trek he goes on. Both will require his swimming skills to be strong, since both are water based. As long as he's in good shape, I wouldn't worry about OAOA too much. Strong canoeing skills would be helpful for OAWV. He should definitely get some in before going. It's primarily up to him, since I don't know his level of physical activity... 3) Sorry...can't help you here... This will obviously vary year to year, depending on the applicants. It's not an automatic "NO" if he hadn't gone to the others. 4) From others that I know who have gone, the notification is generally on time. Definitely not as late as May! 5) Unfortunately, it will probably be too late. The programs usually fill up pretty quickly. Sorry to not be super specific, but I hope that this at least points you in the right direction.
  5. bsrsakima39

    Distinction of election

    I have to agree with UCEagle and dg98. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. However, let's say that we do distinguish between the two. Which is considered "more important?" The adult who has involved as a youth (to what extend, we have no idea), or the adult who was (theoretically) selected because he has the ability to affect the Order in a positive manner? Both are incredibly important, both bring different perspectives. One of the goals of removing the flap restrictions was to recognize us as one Brotherhood, no member being any greater or less than any other. Like the universal flap rule or not, we all should be striving to break down borders amongst members.
  6. bsrsakima39

    Membership Decline Reasons

    Eagledad makes a good point. Actual numbers tell us relatively little. Percentages are what we need to look at. However, even they are not entirely accurate. Using the figures from USAToday and those that Beavah provided, the percentage of youth reached for the Boy Scouting (ignoring Cubs for now) program is not suffering too badly. 2005 - 3.34% 2006 - 3.27% 2007 - 3.25% 2008 - 3.26% 2009 - 3.25% I would be curious to see what the results would be going back, as well as how accurate national's numbers are. Sure, we are getting some loss for the various speculated reasons. However, I don't think we are hemorrhaging like some people make it seem. None the less, the goal is to grow the program, which isn't happening...
  7. bsrsakima39

    Photography in ceremonies

    BigDave, First of all, sorry that no one responded to you in almost 2 months... I haven't been able to find an exact paragraph saying that photography is not allowed. That leads me to assume it lumps into the safeguarding that is mentioned at the beginning of every ceremony script. National probably couldn't put it in writing, because then it would lead to a question of secrets in the BSA. I know that is isn't exactly what you were looking for, but I hope it helps.
  8. bsrsakima39

    OA Pocket Flap wear

    CR14, If you really want to get technical, your son can wear any flap that your lodge produced at any time, especially now that National has put a ban on honor level restricted flaps. However, VigilNavyCPO and jet have the best recommendations. Talk to some people, like the chapter and lodge officers/advisers, and see what they say about the subject. Lodge culture really determines the outcome of this. I know that I would never wear a NOAC flap for one that I didn't attend, but I do enjoy collecting them, and I do know people who wear flaps for events they didn't attend. Actually, just yesterday I saw a guy wearing my favorite of our NOAC flaps. This guy doesn't attend lodge functions, let alone NOAC. Should this stop him? Who knows? I sure as heck don't care. We had different flap colors for the different honor levels. Now an Ordeal member could, theoretically, wear a Vigil flap, but that will probably never happen because the colors (and the flap design) have been the same since the merger in 1972. They have become part of our culture. So, Captain, you should check with those who know how your lodge handles it, and trust them. No one outside your lodge would probably ever question him, so they are the ones you should be concerned about.
  9. bsrsakima39

    Nemat Hike or Brotherhood Interview???

    My lodge still does a variant of the B-hood Interview. To my knowledge, National never delivered an edict, like they did on different patches for the different levels. Please, if they did send an Operations Update about it, let me know. We hold a Brotherhood workshop, either during the Ordeal or on another day. The first part of the workshop is, unfortunately, a classroom type experience. We have discussions about the symbolism and meaning within the Ordeal, review the items to be memorized, and do that general stuff. The second part includes breaking up into groups of about four. One of the Arrowmen running the workshop is paired with each group, and they cover the memorization items again, making sure everyone knows them. We find the groups work well, because there are others there to help then if they stumble. We do not do a one-on-one test. John, the interview that we do is not a pass or fail situation, and is not intended to be a stump-the-chump type game. If they still have an issue with one bit of the Obligation, we will keep working on it, but we will not deny them B-hood membership. The candidates then write their letters. On the workshops that are held during non-Ordeal weekends, we also include a short walk, where an experienced Arrowman talks with the candidate about being active and their overall impressions of the Order. The candidates are then told where and when to meet to head to the ceremony. This process works well for us. Although I'm not the biggest fan of the sample hike I read about in the Guide to Inductions (I think that's where I found it) I do like the idea of stopping and reflecting on the way to the ceremony, and might have to suggest that for next time.
  10. bsrsakima39

    OA Brotherhood requirements

    As mentioned before, the requirements are: 1)Memorize the various required items (song, obligation, handclasp, etc.) 2)Advance in your understanding of the Ordeal - Meaning learn about the symbolism and such 3)Remain registered and serve your unit for 10 months 4)Make a plan for continued lodge service 5)Write a letter to the lodge sec. about your service plan There is not technically any service requirement in the process. Many lodges run B-hood conversion during the Ordeal, in which case, the members usually do give service as elangomats. Some lodges also run specific day events for the Conversion (Brotherhood Blitz, B-hood Conversion Day, etc.). This day often does not involve any sort of project. Also as previously mentioned, some see B-hood as a rank advancement, it is definitely not suppose to be so. Ordeal membership is given to you by your troop in recognition and expectation. B-hood is given to you by...well...you. It signifies that you are making a commitment to the Order. Then, Vigil may be given to you by the lodge, also in recognition and expectation. Our lodge has only denied one person B-hood in most everyone's memory, and that was only because he chose to sleep through the workshop we hold during Ordeal. He showed no interest whatsoever about participating, and didn't complete the requirements so he was not allowed to participate in the ceremony. The "Brotherhood Interview," or whatever you want to call it, shouldn't be like a job interview, or a test. My lodge does the interview type thing in small groups, so they can help each other if needed. We also do a variation of the Nimat hike, where a lodge member talks with the candidate one-on-one (however, still meeting YP protocol). I personally think that the massive hike I've seen described, where the candidates all walk in silence, share a snack, and take various breaks to discuss B-hood on the way to the ceremonial site kind of silly. So, Frank, the basics are: the SM has no control over a youth's time in the OA after he approves his name for the ballot to be elected (that is, if the SM is not heavily involved in the lodge...). He can encourage Scouts to be active, as you have, which is great! The recommendation to have an adult nominated and active in the OA is really helpful. If the OA doesn't have support within the troop, there is a very slim chance than the youth will see any value in the program, and probably won't participate (unless they are Scouting junkies like me...). I hope this thread has helped clarify things for you.
  11. The pork is really not an issue. The cook staff just needs to be aware so that they either don't plan pork or have an alternative. The Sabbath causes a few more problems. sheldonsmom's son (Sheldon?) has the right idea. Talk to the people who are knowledgeable in the field and try to come up with a solution. My instant thoughts are, "Who said the Ordeal needs to take place on Saturday?" Yes, it is the most convenient, but if they are unable to work, we need to come up with another option. Perhaps we could run an Ordeal from Saturday evening to Sunday evening. Or offer some weekday Ordeals during the summer.
  12. bsrsakima39

    OA Elections in Large Troops

    What does that say about the effectiveness of youth elections if the SM adds in votes? An adult's wishes should not override the decision of the youth in elections. Whatever the outcome, there will be a way to survive it. They'll have another chance in a year.
  13. bsrsakima39

    OA Elections in Large Troops

    jet - This is definitely something that we need to evaluate and educate on more effectively. There is one troop in my council that regularly charters around 80 scouts. Each year they put forward a handful youth candidates and two adults. Of those who go through the Ordeal, I think about 10 to 15 youth are currently due-paid members. Of those youth, I probably see 4 at events. So, it might be valuable to National to look into your suggestion. Your comment about popular and outgoing Scouts being elected is standard, even for small troops. For the answer to this, we need to look at the stated purpose of the OA. In the election video, the advise for voting is something along the lines of the scout who you enjoy camping with, smiles, is friendly to all, and generally lives up to the Scout Oath and Law in their daily life. Who would most Scouts like to go camping with and view as friendly, the Scout who talks to lots of different people, makes jokes, and is always friendly, or the Scout who is much more reserved, sticks to the people he is comfortable with, and simply does his patrol job without reaching for more? For most scouts, there is a clear difference. Part of it is popularity. If it weren't, every Scout who met the requirements would be inducted. The biggest problem I see with your method is standards. Everyone would have different vote necessities. If only the kid's best friend thinks he knows him well enough to vote for him, that would mean he is in. Is this actually a situation that you want to allow? As for the list, I actually encourage that troops make up lists of the candidates rather than have the scouts write the names down. There are several reasons for that one. First, it makes it a heck of a lot easier for the election team, as there shouldn't be any handwriting issues (not to say that there can't be ambiguous marks on the ballot...). Second, it actually helps those scouts you are trying to promote. A kid is more likely to circle a name than write it out. Especially with 15 people on the ballot, it can be important to have pre-printed ballots. However, individual abstentions are stretching it in my opinion. Your OTOH comment is correct and has issues at the same time. I've noticed, at least in my lodge, those youth who are active in the OA tend to be active in their troop. Their skills are known by those in their troop, and they are respected thusly. However, as you already know, making a blanket statement like that is dangerous because there will always be that one exception. But, you already know that bit... I know that I haven't really solved your problem, but I hope you have some more thoughts to mull over now.
  14. bsrsakima39

    OA Elections-So many new Scouts

    Vicki - Here lies a problem. Some lodges do run elections at summer camp. Others, like mine, do not. Elections, for us, are usually run somewhere between February and the middle of May. All elections need to be completed by May 15th, in order for us to assemble a call-out list, approve adults, and send letters to other summer camps for those troops going out-of-council. I've only ever experienced one election during camp, and that was an out-of-council unit who's lodge normally runs elections at camp. It was a pain in the butt for me, as camp chief, because I didn't know how many Scouts I was suppose to have called-out until the day of the ceremony, but if in-camp elections are the norm, I can see them working. gwd-scouter - I generally agree with Eagle and jet. Since the "before the cross-over" option is not available, you need to get the candidates involved with the new scouts, but not in an unnatural way. I've heard of SM's assigning special projects to overcome issues of this sort, but I see that as completely against the goal of the election. Consider having your Guides have the 4 scouts help them with instructing or something along those lines. The new guys will see enough of the guides over the next year. If the 4 guys have POR's, be sure to have the new scouts introduced to the POR's as soon as possible, so they can see the impact these scouts have on the troop. Definitely encourage the candidates to go on any camp-outs between now and the election. With a smaller troop, like yours, the candidates should have plenty of opportunities to get face time before the election. One thing to consider is that youth can be a better judge of character than adults at times. (Not to say that your situation, Eagle92, is acceptable) With over a month of exposure, the new guys will have definitely made an opinion about the candidates (we actually make up our minds about people in the first 3 seconds, not to say that can't be changed...). If a candidate does not get elected, don't suddenly jump to the conclusion that it was just the naive new scouts voting him down because they don't know him. I've seen too many SM's that simply don't understand that youth don't always act the same in front of adults as they do youth. Maybe the candidate treated the new scouts poorly? Maybe he isn't the great kid that he turns on for you? If it comes time for the election and you still feel that they haven't really met the candidates, go with jet's recommendation. When I run elections, I always make sure that they understand abstention. While you can't force them to abstain, you can recommend it. Worst comes to worst and you don't get anyone elected, it's quality that counts, not quantity. If all 4 get elected, plus the 3 current members, almost half of your troop (nearly all of your originals) will be Arrowmen. That is a lot! Most troops that I run into only have a handful, and finding active Arrowmen is more difficult. Rather than having lots of Arrowmen, we should be pushing our current Arrowmen to be active. gwd - From what I've seen of you on the forum, you seem fairly experienced, so if this all is stuff that you understand, I apologize. If not, I hope it helps!
  15. bsrsakima39

    Uniform Prices going up.....

    O.K. If this is true, this is getting ridiculous. If the goal is to have everyone in a uniform, which is part of the program, this is not helping at all. The uniform already rivals the costs of American Eagle, Abercrombie, and other name-brand clothing companies. There are already many kids who have troubles affording a full uniform, why alienate them even more? I guess that I should not get too worked up about this until it is confirmed...
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