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4CouncilsScouter last won the day on March 22 2017

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About 4CouncilsScouter

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    Proud Okie Scouter From Missouri

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  1. In Mark Stinnett style, I tendered my resignation on my last national committee before the New Year. At this point, I've decided to hang up my hat and volunteer solely in my nephew's troop and niece's pack. As someone who grew up in the program. I saw the BSA go through a few short-lived changes to improve their strategy. I remember Scouting/USA and the Improved Scouting Program they had in the 70s. To one degree or another, these strategies have gone from prominent unveiling to quiet retirement. However, I find it harder to believe in the longterm solubility of the BSA with its current internal culture. Recently, I began stepping back from more of my roles as I saw my mentors and peers with youth-first and driven attitudes pushed to the wayside: Working with program development, I saw the Cub Scout preview adventures skirt the new corporate governance model for pilot programs. Avoiding the outlined pilot and review process, the national Cub Scouting support committee branded them as "previews". While this isn't egregious in and of itself, it's a corrosion of ethics that starts when little deviations are normalized. After this year's NAM, I spoke with a longtime friend on the Venturing committee who told us about a proposal to overhaul their advancement system with little notice to their members that shifted their program more towards a traditional Scouts, BSA/Boy Scouting model. For the rest of NAM, their fight between several of their youth officers and committee members was the rumor mill of the weekend. This last year, I became a mentor to a national officer who confided in me that they reported several non-sexual youth protection violations based harassing comments they were observing and had other youth coming to them to confide in. When I asked them about it, they said they made an informal report to the two volunteer's staff advisor for the national committee they were on and were assured they would not be serving in their roles the following terms. As of Christmas, I heard they were reshuffled to new positions on different subcommittees. I saw the ineffectiveness of the new corporate governance model's desire to have volunteers serve in a position for no more than three years to increase diversity and support an open-change climate; in reality, it made it easier to remove passionate volunteers with attitudes different from the committee's leadership and encouraged a habit of shifting volunteers from position to position to avoid a term limit. Lastly, I see the writing in between the lines for the environment outside of Scouting. The BSA is facing a changing social and legal system that doesn't favor past, criminal actions by its former members and claims of cultural appropriation with OA American Indian Activities and Cub Scouts creating their own "ceremonial song" and "ceremonial dance". As more states continue to change their statutes of limitations legislation, there may be an impasse for the organization. Now, I don't write this post out with the intent to smear the name of an organization I wholeheartedly believe in the values its promotes and the work done by countless parents and volunteers. However, I believe that there has to be an earnest conversation about this division in Scouting. There is a rampant culture of petty politics, and a gap of understanding between some individuals serving at the national and regional levels and those serving in the neighborhood pack, troop, crew, and so on. I truly hope that my experiences are unique, but I think it's time for me to step back, stay local, and not burn-out the fire I have to give back to a program that did so much for me. See You On The Trail!
  2. Has anyone heard anything about Foxtrot Base Camp at the Summit to be closed after this jamboree?
  3. Just came off of a week at Philmont Training Center during the commissioner week, and a conjecture came to mind with the new OA policy announcement. We're going to hit a critical mass in the near future with Venturing and the Order of the Arrow in local councils and hit some hurdles in many of our non-metropolitan councils: Over-tapped youth volunteers. We see it now with adult volunteers, now, so if we begin expecting Venturers to keep active in their VOA and dive right in with their chapter/lodge, we're going to be hitting the same people. Organization identity. Anyone who's seen VOA's operate knows there's no golden standard between councils. One VOA could do everything for Venturing from advancement training and helping with unit service, and another council could struggle just to do one event during the year. For the longest time, VOA's were billed as the next step in leadership for Venturers; except now, we have another avenue through OA lodges. From a marketing perspective, what's the best way to bill these two groups who, in-practice, are starting to overlap in councils. Inconsistent Program Support. I also just look at the amount of councils who have one. Of the four or five councils near us, less than half have a council VOA on paper. Yet, nearly every council in the country has a lodge. It seems like we have an inconsistency among program support. Now, I throw these out here not to be a pundit but to see if this just something we're seeing in our neck of the woods, or if we're hitting a chord with other advisors and Scouters. And go!
  4. I was visiting my local Scout Shop today, and I noticed my council now has a security guard. As I was leaving, I saw the guard heckling a volunteer in the lobby about why they were there. I saw another Scouter I knew watching from the other side of the lobby. I asked that Scouter if he knew anything about the new security, and he said he didn't know anything about it. He recalled seeing the guard at the council banquet watching the doors but had no idea otherwise about why we have one. I'll make my opinion clear. I don't think our council has the need or can justify the cost of a security guard. Our Scout Shop and service center are not in a bad part of town. We're next to a decent sized bank and an IT company, and across the street from a gated apartment complex. More importantly though, I can't support a council that has employees, contracted or not, harassing the people who put on their program.
  5. The information I've gotten from my council and ScoutingU says the training should be approximately one hour long. This has to do with some states requiring annual or regular youth protection training for any volunteers in their state who interact with youth or who interact with you in overnight-settings.
  6. Hey Brian, The key difference in WFA is that the BSA has worked with the Red Cross and other groups to develop a training for Scouting members that focuses on responding to situations when it's not an 8 minute wait for an ambulance but an 8 hour wait for a helicopter. In short, some of the things you'll you notice in WFA versus basic first aid courses include: A greater emphasis on longer-term care. Techniques for moving individuals long-distances over difficult terrain. How to take into account environmental factors into your treatment plan. Responding to more advanced first aid situations, e.g. High Altitude Pulmonary Edema, childbirth, and/or chest punctures. Using outdoor equipment as resources. I will say this. The BSA just revamped its WFA training a little while ago, so WFA instructors have more latitude into which aspects of WFA they would like to focus on, e.g. a WFA instructor leading a course for Sea Base crew leaders can focus more on lighting, submersion incidents, and heat problems. Hope this helps!
  7. @Eagle94-A1, that's kinda of where I'm at patch-wise. Playing devil's advocate though, the Chaplain/Camp Commissioner training is listed in the National Camp School brochure and trainings' syllabi are posted only on NCS's website. I'd be curious to see what our council camping chair has to say or area NCAP chair has to say.
  8. The reason I ask specifically is that NCS training for camp commissioners and chaplains is no longer done at at national/regional level. They passed it on down to councils to put on. I'm not sure whether to order NCS patches for our chaplain and camp commissioners once they do their training though. On a side note @Eagle94-A1, our council has budgeted for NCS for their year. They just like for their individuals to "put down the deposit so you're committed". I don't see the harm in paying $50 out-of-pocket when the council will pay for the rest (easily several hundred more), and I know at our summer camp that they'll reimburse the staff members if they stay on for the full summer.
  9. I have a National Camp School (NCS) and uniforming question for those with a little more background in this than me. The other day, our council's camping director asked me to come on as our Cub Scout resident camp program director, perks of being retired and having more time I guess . I put down my deposit to go to NCS for Program Director training and began recruiting staff for this summer. Here's my question: should chaplains and camp commissioners wear the NCS emblem even though they now go through council-delivered training for their positions?
  10. From what I understand, there is some grounds to this rumor. I have it in good faith from a fellow Scouter serving on one of the national OA subcommittees that this has in fact been discussed. He cited concerns over 1) changing public opinion about the OA's usage of American Indian elements, and 2) the use of American Indian culture in Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting advancement has some OA leadership concerned about the OA being "grouped in" if a pack or troop uses AIA in poor taste. I suspect that this was brought up at the OA National Planning Meeting that happened this December, and I suspect either a decision will be announced or more input will be solicited in August at NOAC 2018.
  11. @T2Eagle I'd say you'd have two routes here: Route One: Complete Form 680-676 and submit it to your district executive or Scout executive. Route Two: Notify your district executive that an adult leader broke YPT separate accommodations for Scouts and Scouters policy, and explain to them exactly what happened. Let them know that you'll be working with the adult leader in question and refreshing him on YPT policies. If you suspect any inappropriate behavior or abuse occurred, immediately report it to your Scout executive or council office. Additionally, you may be required by your state to report any inappropriate behavior or abuse to law enforcement or other agencies. If this is case, Route Two is not appropriate.
  12. I know with the last round of Federal labor law changes we saw some changes to what professional Scouters can serve a district, e.g. the district associate position being added as a non-exempt alternative to the traditional district executive position. However, did anyone hear anything about a new position called a district assistant? I stopped by my council service center today and noticed they were clearing out a couple old offices that had been used as storage for a while now. I asked my DE about what the was reasoning for the early-spring cleaning, and he said the council was planning on hiring two to three district assistants to basically perform the office functions of all unit-serving professionals. He said the goal was push all district executives and field directors out into the communities more. They're supposedly going to be part-time jobs in our council. I'm honestly in favor of this change, but I'm curious if anyone else has seen this position in practice. Anyone have any experiences to share?
  13. I thought we moved past this is in 2015... A male leader, irregardless of their sexual orientation, counts as a male.
  14. Hey @Snow Owl, the BSA has four main mechanisms for verifying if a volunteer is eligible to work with youth. Each Scouter is required to undergo a background check as a part of their application. Your council service center and its professional staff are responsible for filtering out volunteers whose background checks come back with offenses. Your Scout executive or their designee should contact your unit's leadership if anything comes back beyond, say, a parking ticket. Each adult application requires references be checked. For unit-level Scouters, this should be done by the unit committee. For council/district Scouters, this should be done by the Scout Executive or designee. Each adult application is cross-referenced to a database maintained by the National Council known as the Ineligible Volunteer (IV) files. If a volunteer is included on that database, they are automatically disqualified from serving in any volunteer-capacity. At the unit-level, each Chartered Organization Representative (COR) has the authority to disapprove an adult application with almost any impunity, especially if they know there are significant impediments to that volunteer's ability to work with youth. For council/district Scouters, the Scout executive or their designee may also do the same. [Sidenote: there are exceptions to disapproving an adult application, but they mainly relate to the Declaration of Religious Principle and the BSA's 2013/2015 membership decisions].
  15. At my crew’s last meeting, several Venturers expressed interest at working at the Summit after hearing our crew’s VP talk about her Jambo experience. I worked at Philmont during my college years but for obvious reasons never worked at the SBR . I can imagine some aspects of camp staff life are pretty universal, but I know each camp has its own flairs too. Does anyone have any insight into working as a part of the Summit’s seasonal staff that I can share with any of these interested Venturers?
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