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elitts last won the day on June 3

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  1. elitts

    Policy on going through scout totes

    They are definitely different, but to my mind the reason why any connection is drawn between them is that a large percentage of the US population agrees with the idea that rights in any situation should be infringed as minimally as possible, so long as a minimal level of safety (though undoubtably there are arguments about that that "minimal level of safety" should be) can be provided to children. School searches simply represents a well documented area that is at least similar to what we are talking about with scouting so it provide a jumping off point for the scouting discussion. That said, I think what you've stated is a very reasonable way to handle things.
  2. elitts

    Policy on going through scout totes

    The difference between a bag search and the scout age difference is in the level of harm and irrepairability of harm if an offense occurs. If a scout brings porn, or drugs, or a weapon on a camp-out there is still a secondary opportunity to do something about the problem. Because of this, simple possession of one contraband doesn't represent the level of potential harm that should be needed to not go with "trust the scouts" as a standard. But if a 17 year old does something to a 12 year old in their tent at night, the harm is immediate and lasting and essentially un-fixable so a more intrusive, less trusting method of prevention is warranted.
  3. elitts

    Policy on going through scout totes

    Mandatory blanket searches of bags isn't legal for schools, regardless of whether or not they do it. (perhaps excepting voluntary trips where a search is an announced condition of attendance) So the reason the scout should be present is the same reason they should be present for a search for a school trip; the student or scout should be offered the option of either opening their bag up for inspection, or not attending the trip. It's the same principle as inspections by the TSA, you don't HAVE to let TSA search your bags just because you are in an airport, you only have to submit to the search if you wish to access controlled areas of the airport. Everyone has the right to decide "No, I don't want to be searched, I'll leave instead".
  4. elitts

    Policy on going through scout totes

    If your school is conducting blanket searches of personal belongings, it's violating the law. A student's rights under the 4th amendment are only bent a little, not waived completely. If the school has made it clear that lockers are NOT personal, they have every right to open and search the lockers whenever they wish. But this right doesn't extend to searching through the contents of any containers (like a purse or backpack) within the locker. So you can go through and find the bag, books, coat and shoes in the locker, but you don't have the right to extend your search to opening and going through the bag inside the locker or turning out the pockets of the coat. The only way to for a school to gain the right to search the person or personal belongings of a student is if they have a credible suspicion of a threat or risk or crime and the credible threat has to be based upon articulable reasons, not just "They were acting suspicious" or "I had a hunch". And even then, the search has to be reasonable given the suspicion. So if you had a tip that a student had a gun, that wouldn't give a school official the authority to search a student's wallet because there is not reasonable possibility of a gun being inside the wallet. https://www.lawyers.com/legal-info/research/education-law/students-have-privacy-rights-under-the-fourth-amendment.html https://www.uscourts.gov/educational-resources/educational-activities/facts-and-case-summary-new-jersey-v-tlo *edited* Having read more detail further along in the thread after I posted this, I'll amend my statement to differentiate blanket searches of bags during the school day or on mandatory trips, and searches that might be well advertised and voluntary conditions of participation in an extra-curricular activity.
  5. elitts

    Activity approval

    In a strict sense of Authority=Power, I will agree that the COR has whatever "authority" it thinks it needs because there's no one that can tell them no. But I think it's very important for people to keep in mind that just because you have the power to do something doesn't make you the authorized agent/actor in a particular situation. And I don't think that's just an issue of rationalization or sophistry. Sometimes in many areas of life we may have to make decisions and take actions that don't follow the established program, and if the situation requires it, fine. But we should never forget when we do something like that, that we aren't doing things the right way. That's really all I was trying to say. Specific to the OP's case, there's nothing anyone can do to stop the COR from behaving like the Lord of the Calendar, but that doesn't mean the people around him/her should ever let the COR think that's the "right" (per the program) way to do things.
  6. elitts

    12-Year Old Earns Eagle

    Yeah, that stuck out to me as well. Along with the fact that the skid loading work was done by his parents and scoutmaster. Plus, while I'll grant kudos to the kid for being eager, I've never like the idea of glorifying the "Speedy Eagle".
  7. elitts

    Activity approval

    Let's be clear though, the COR does not officially (as in, per BSA policies) have the "authority" to a veto right over any and all troop activities at his or her whim. If that were supposed to be a part of the official process for determining the annual schedule, then it would be a part of the trainings on the Scouting website. The fact that the CO "owns the unit" doesn't mean they have the authority to do whatever they want, it just means they have the power to. There are still proper and improper ways to do things. But there's no arguing that if the CO insists that the troop give the COR that power, there's not really anything anyone can do about it. The local district exec might agree to have a chat with the COR about "the right way to do things", but the only method the district has to stop a CO from doing this would be to pull their charter, and that's not going to happen over a tin god COR. They'll just tell you to find another troop. The idea of "breaking rules" really isn't very relevant since BSA doesn't actually issue "rules", they just offer "guidelines" and "best practices".
  8. elitts

    Activity approval

    Now, in direct contravention of my post on page one, I was just taking the most recent training on "Annual Troop Program Planning for Scouts BSA" and it does explicitly state that the SPL and SM have to submit the annual Program Plan to the Troop Committee for the Committee's review and support and that the Troop Committee has the right to refuse the Program Plan or request revisions if they feel it's unsafe or unwise (for whatever reason).
  9. elitts

    Activity approval

    No, not quite. The relationship isn't that direct. At least it shouldn't be. The CO owns/controls the unit the way one business owns a subsidiary or the way a Board of Directors controls a company. While the CO should certainly be aware of the troop's plans and activities, and is able to issue general rules relevant to the organization's beliefs (for example a strict Baptist Church restricting the playing of games with cards during troop events), the CO doesn't have day to day control over the troop. They wouldn't get formal approval of the calendar of activities and they usually don't get direct input with the scouts on how things are done. (though in reality any smart CC and SM would listen seriously to any concerns a COR has) The only "official" methods the COR (and CO) have to directly impact the troop are: Getting rid of any leaders it doesn't find suitable or restricting access to the equipment and gear it allows the troop to use.
  10. elitts

    Can a CO profit off a unit?

    If a Christian pastor/preacher/priest is involved in a "non-denominational" service, all they mean is "Non-denominational Christian". What you should actually be asking for is "Inter-faith" if you want more than simply Christian faiths to be either involved or accepted.
  11. elitts

    Activity approval

    The CC shouldn't have any role in determining whether an activity is participated in by the scouts unless it requires funding beyond that which the scouts can provide on an immediate basis. The SM's role here shouldn't be thought of as "approval" but rather the option to exercise a "veto" if an activity is inherently unsafe or in violation of scouting principles. And even if a veto of the exact plan proposed is necessary, the SM should be guiding the PLC as to how to modify a vetoed plan in order to make it safe enough to act on. Beyond that, the only other control any scouters should have over troop activities would simply be in the provision of adult leadership. If the PLC plans a camp-out that requires driving 6 hours on Friday, and returning on Saturday night, the SM doesn't need to "veto" the plan, they can simply say "OK, you have a plan, no go make sure you can find at least 2 adults willing to drive". Then when they find out that there aren't 2 adults willing to drive a 12 hour round trip for a 16 hour event, the PLC can reconsider.
  12. elitts

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    Not to mention that allowing people who where injured 30-40 years ago to be compensated at 2019 inflated numbers is a huge potential mess. Statutes of Limitations were established for some very good reasons.
  13. elitts

    Cell Phones at Summer Camp

    Most of the other camp pages I've seen talking about homesickness said there are a number of ways that well-meaning parents sabotage their own kids before camp and warn parents against it. Sending kids off with a teary "I'm going to miss you SOO much"; Talking about what the family is going to do while the scout is gone as anything other than "sitting at home doing nothing"; Reassuring "last minute jitters" with "Just give it a try and see how you like it the first day or two"; Writing multiple letters to arrive each day (implies lack of confidence in the scout's ability); Many of them suggest the best option is to completely shut down any hint that going home early is even possible so that the kids give up on the hope (conscious or sub-conscious) that they can convince the parents to come get them; because once they give up thinking about how much they want to go home, they resign themselves to participating and end up having fun. (Obviously if the SM thinks the kid has clearly proven they aren't ready, a call can be made to parents, they just don't want you to let the kids know that)
  14. elitts

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    My issue with this article is right here: This article specifically explains that in each of the cases mentioned, the boy in question didn't tell anyone what had happened. (the one exception was the person who's family told the Chartering Organization) So if we are talking about complaints never filed, why is the article attempting to make it appear that BSA deliberately misrepresented the problem or was deliberately hiding the accusations? I realize that in a technical sense, the "previously acknowledged" line isn't inaccurate, but the inference it's making is clearly that BSA has been lying. Agreed. The media is reporting this stuff as though it was the same as with the Catholic Church where many of the accused are still around and holding office within the organization.
  15. elitts

    Cell Phones at Summer Camp

    I'm not sure if you are being deliberately stubborn in refusing to understand what I'm saying or if you are just completely unfamiliar with how summer camps and kids work. Homesickness is a well understood phenomenon with kids and sleep away camps of all types. This all assumes you start with the premise that everyone thinks the ideal situation is for the child to stay at camp. Most young kids get homesick occasionally when at camp, even when they are having a great time overall; usually during slow periods and down time and before bed. In general, phone calls home are to be avoided at camp. (barring some specific urgent issue like "I broke my medical equipment and need a replacement") The reason phone calls home are avoided is that even with kids having a great time overall, talking to mom or dad can either cause or worsen feelings of homesickness, resulting in crying and a request to leave based upon the immediate homesickness and not the overall of enjoyment they had been feeling 10 minutes earlier. (even at camps where phone calls home are allowed, they are usually scheduled early in the day while the kid still has a host of fun stuff to get to later on, as opposed to in the evening when the only thing left is bed) The generally accepted method for dealing with homesickness is to distract the kids with some activity or even just conversation because most of the time, if you can distract them, the homesickness passes without incident and they go on to enjoy the camp. But sometimes a homesick child will work themselves into a frenzy or hysteria over their feelings and if you can't get them calmed down, there may not be any other option than having them call home and hoping a parent can reassure them enough to stay. In an even smaller percentage of cases, you can end up with a kid that is just truly miserable all around at camp. This is a different kind of situation than the mostly happy kid suffering from homesickness. If a kid is suffering from significant and ongoing distress at camp, it's typically handled differently than the normal homesick kid and a call to parents will definitely be made to discuss the idea that maybe the child just isn't ready for camp. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ And here you go, just so you don't think this is a moronic idea from an internet stranger, the BSA's instructions on how to avoid homesickness. Scouting Magazine 2008 Set up a no-call policy The cell phone is a great invention — except when homesick Scouts use it to stay in contact with their parents. “Calling home is not a treatment for homesickness,” says Thurber. “Five percent of the phone calls have no effect, and the rest have a deleterious effect.” Assure parents during the pre-camp meeting that their son may experience some anxiety or sadness, but that he’ll have the support of trusted adults and older Scouts at camp. “Tell parents you won’t allow their sons to call home,” says Lanning. “Remind them that camp is filled with fun activities, the food isn’t bad, and the boys are not being made to do hard labor.” Reassuring the parents helps them understand and comply with the no-calls rule. That's nice. Most camps disagree with you. Hopefully you won't need to send a child to one of them. Making a phone call to parents every time disciplinary measures or corrective action needs to be taken is just impractical, which is why you address potentialities like confiscation of a device with parents and scouts before the trip and get approval ahead of time. If parents or scouts disagree with having to turn over a device, they have the option to elect not to have the scout attend.