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bearess last won the day on September 1 2017

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  1. New Boy Scout Statue - Barre,VT

    Hey! My boyfriend wrote this article! I've seen the model many times in the library (I don't live in Barre, but do live in the area). I never realized it was a scout, although a closer look would have clued me in. Barre has done a really cool campaign lately to get more "modern" granite statues throughout town-- gargoyles on the end of bike racks, a granite "zipper" on the ground with flowers coming out (like you are unzipping the earth), etc. My boys' favorite is a life-size granite chair and couch!
  2. Catholic Diocese boots out GS

    I agree, denominations/COs get to vote with their feet. So do parishioners/girls. It sounds like the diocese is being responsible and giving troops a long time to find new COs. Around here most GS troops are chartered by schools, anyway.
  3. Farewell to Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus

    I think they are all bred in captivity now, too. I'm a big fan of zoos, and I think they offer a lot of education around animals/threats that circuses don't. I'm biased, because we have a great circus come to our town every summer that is only human performers-- kids love it. Heck, I love it!! So Imdont think a circus has to involve animals. I will say, I took my older son to some small "travelling zoo" That set up in a grocery store parking lot when he was 3 or 4-- it was terrible. A tiger in a cage so small he couldn't turn around, etc. After that, I have made an effort to avoid anything where I have any concerns about animal welfare-- I still go to large zoos, but I avoid small zoos and circuses with animals like the plague.
  4. Cub scouts - How to avoid Lions ?

    The thing is, we don't know if kids are burning out because of extra years in cubs or not. I'd assume the biggest drop off in membership happens between Webelos II and Boy Scouts. It seems like that is the place to look. I think, too, that it's really easy for us, as adults, to look at the Tigers or Lions (or, really, even Wolves) programs and feel like they are watered down or babyish or whatever. But they don't feel that way to 5, 6, and 7 year olds. To them, they feel like a big deal. Our Lions had to do a service project for one adventure. It was right after winter storm Stella, so they spent an hour walking around a residential neighborhood and shoveling out fire hydrants. They were so excited. Now, empirically, that's not the most exciting project ever. But, if you are five, it apparently is! I'm also dubious of the idea that the older Cubs are bothered by younger kids being there. In my experience, they could care less. They aren't around them that much. They see them at Pack meetings, but those are pretty dull anyway. They are present at pack events (hikes, campouts, etc), but the older kids are doing their own thing while the younger kids do theirs. Unless the older kids seek it out, there isn't a lot of interaction.
  5. Cub scouts - How to avoid Lions ?

    This is our first year doing Lions. It's been great so far-- boys and parents like it and are enthused. It obviously remains to be seen how it will go long term-- I think all the Lion boys plan to stay in through Tigers. I suppose time will tell in terms of retention, but for this year, it's going great!
  6. Cub scouts - How to avoid Lions ?

    Can you just tell them that your pack isn't doing a Lion den? How long have you been doing Lions? I see the arguments against Lions, but as a parent of young kids, most people I know aren't looking to add a new activity in third or fourth grade. Kids/families get set in their routines. Sure, some kids will join at those age groups- but I bet those are outliers. It seems like doing Lions/Tigers is going to get a lot more boys than starting later.
  7. I think the report is accurate. But my point wasn't really about the accuracy- simply that, locally, I see lots of stories like that, as do most Canadians, so that's some context for the decision. I go up to Canada frequently to visit family, and I find the crossing fairly easy both ways, although the Canadian border guards tend to be more relaxed/jokey.
  8. Leaving the politics travel ban out of it, I live in a Canadian border state, and we have seen a lot of local news lately about Canadians being detained at the border/denied entry to the US. In a few cases, this has been because they didn't have their documents inorder, but in most cases it has been people who have crossed the border many times before with no issues. Here's an example: http://www.wcax.com/story/34459430/muslim-canadian-woman-turned-away-at-highgate-springs-border With so much of Canada so close to the US, these stories are going to be more prevalent in Canada than in most of the US. I can't say I'm surprised by the decision, although I don't know if it was the right one.
  9. Troop Meeting Place has a.... stocked bar

    I agree, and I didn't grow up to be hysterical about alcohol (or guns). My kids see me drink, and they occasionally have a (very small) glass of wine or beer. BUT I'd be very concerned about the liability of having unsecured alcohol around underage kids. If the bar is in sight- but adequately secured- I'd have no issue. But in sight and unsecured- that's a lawsuit waiting to happen.
  10. Troop Meeting Place has a.... stocked bar

    Uhhhh.....no. I'm far from a teetotaler. My family is far from teetotalers. But there is no way Id have tweens and teens meet somewhere with a possibly unsecured open bar. If the bar is secured, maybe. But, honestly, probably not then either. That's for your protection and the COs. If a boy somehow gets hold of a bottle and harms someone while drinking, I suspect the CO could be held responsible if they hadn't taken reasonable measures to prevent that. I'd also find the litter pickup a little off. Again, I like to drink. If I'm hiking with my kids or friends, sure, I'm bringing a few beers. But I'm not throwing back drinks on a Scout hike! Nor am I going to drink on a public service project. Just weird.
  11. I realize the specifics of camping that far from adults isn't appropriate for all boys, and therefore it isn't appropriate for BSA. But I think the general theme applies- boys (and girls, men, women) love to have a challenge that pushes them to the edge of their comfort zone and still allows them to master it. I think when BSA takes 'high adventure' to mean rock climbing walls and zip lines, boys miss out on the experience of mastering a genuine challenge, not a manufactured one. For some boys and some troops, lighting a fire with an dults twenty yards away is a sufficient challenge. For some boys, pitching a tent with an adult one yard away is enough of a challenge! But any experience where boys get to provide something 'primal'-- food, shelter, fire-- is always going to have a u ique thrill that doesn't exist in a more manufactured environment.
  12. This comment has more to do with the co-ed scouting thread, but it see,ed like it belongs here. I think it is so easy for us, as adults, to forget how 'big' a relatively small event can feel to kids. And, weirdly, I think safe scouting deprives kids of real adventure and substitutes manufactured adventure. Last summer, I went camping with friends and my boys. We were at a state forest on the edge of a lake. Our older boys (both nine years old) wanted to camp alone. There was an island about 200 yards from our campsite, so we let them pack their stuff for the night in a canoe and paddle over/camp alone. They got to build their fire, cook their dinner, and sleep alone. To hear them talk about it, you'd think they had summited Everest. But they can't do that in Scouts- everything is very controlled. Maybe that will change as they hit Boy Scouts, maybe not. But it's an area where I feel like Scouts is failing. Kids have so many opportunities to go on cool trips- after school clubs, parents, etc. They have few opportunities to really feel like they've had an adventure on their own. Scouts should provide that, but often doesn't.
  13. "Boy Scouts thrive after lifting of gay ban."

    No, not changing your policy as cultural norms change is still a "change". Were there any "out" gay Scoutmasters or Scouts in the 50s or 60s? I doubt it. By the 90s/00s, there were. That had to be dealt with in one way or another. Look at the Dale case. The BSA was taken to court over its policy. Once that happens, you can't ignore the issue.
  14. "Boy Scouts thrive after lifting of gay ban."

    The trouble with this idea is that BSA can't just go back to what was working in its "heyday". There were many social factors that have changed-- BSA has to address those in some way. People have referred to the increased popularity of camping in the 50s/60s vs today. There are more options for kids today as far as activities. An increase in the divorce rate and single parent homes means getting kids to adults ctivities is more challenging for some families. Our society has changed as far as gay/transgender individuals. In 1950 an organization could ignore that issue. By 1990, it couldn't. These things had to be dealt with. Going back to what BSA was doing in p, say, 1955 isn't possible. They can do what they did then- but cultural changes have made it so that it wouldn't be the same program.