Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


elitts last won the day on June 3 2019

elitts had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

87 Excellent

About elitts

  • Rank
    Senior Member

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Occupation

Recent Profile Visitors

1138 profile views
  1. The problem I have with popcorn is two-fold. 1. It violates the BSA's own rules on fundraisers. (product price much be in relation to product value) I realize they have the authority to authorize any fundraiser they want, but "We can do this and you can't" just always sours the ears of people who hear it. 2. The fact that it seems easy because "This is what we've always done" seems to be the primary motivator for councils. At this point, this fundraiser is NOT a product sale, it's essentially a donation drive. Given that fact, why continue using a product that is as fundamentally "Blah" as mediocre popcorn? Popcorn's only redeeming quality is that it's not going to be viewed as offensive or unpalatable to anyone. Basically anything you stick cute little cubbies out selling will serve the same purpose as the popcorn does, which is to provide an opportunity to talk people into a donation.
  2. Given the number of similar comments I see on this, and my experience with our council over the last 10 years; If there is any one thing Councils could do to increase or support their value in the eyes of Scouters, getting paperwork processed correctly and promptly the first time and then being able to find it again afterwards would be it. Honestly, if there was one position that I would think should be paid very well (relative to the market) it should be the administrative person who handles everything related to paperwork and applications.
  3. I don't think there is anything wrong with him discussing it with the MBC, but if it were my son, I'd suggest the issue be raised as a question rather than an accusation. Something like: "Hey, I just wanted to clarify something to make sure I understand it correctly. I noticed that some of the scout folders were full of pictures that were taken "of them" by someone else and not photos they took, but I thought we were only supposed to post pictures we took ourselves. Am I correct, or are photos taken by someone else acceptable?" And then he'll need to just leave it at that unless he's asked for an example of a photo set taken by someone else.
  4. The idea that YPT is a feature of the program seems to be a very unfortunate, yet common viewpoint today. YPT is certainly a critical component of BSA activities, but a "feature"? When you start getting to a point where limitations and risk mitigation requirements are viewed as features, it's a pretty sad state of affairs. That's like choosing a school for your kids based upon the fact that they have metal detectors, bulletproof glass and regular armed patrols in the hallways. What's worse is that the stepped up rules changes aren't even to combat current problems with the program, they are to deal with a perception problem based upon problems from 30-50 years ago (and of course to appease lawyers). And while it would be nice to think that maybe some of these things could be changed in the future, it is usually VERY hard to roll back the restrictions dial because the only way to do it is for the organization to say "We went too far and this is unnecessary", and no one ever likes to do that. That might be what it should do, but in today's society I suspect that will only happen a portion of the time and the rest of the time units will just fold up because they can no longer function on the 3-4 active adults they have when no one else steps up. Off the cuff, I'd suspect the reason you can't comprehend it is that you haven't been particularly impacted by it at this point. If your troop has been operating like so many do, functioning with a single large group with little to no patrol activity (except on paper) and plenty of adult involvement to "keep things running smoothly", these changes probably won't even be noticeable. Plus you don't seem to see pushing the kids to function independently as a particularly critical component of the program the way I do. But for someone that grew up with independent patrols going on camp-outs alone together and a troop where the scouts really did run things with the SM sitting in his chair over with the "Ups", seeing the mandating of more and more adult involvement just makes me sad for my teenager who is desperately trying to figure out how to get the adults to "back off" so he and his PLC can do things their own way. I think you aren't making a distinction between venues. When I'm dealing with scouts, "This is the way we will have to do it, how do we make it work" is the approach I take. I've agreed to follow the BSA's rules by being a member. (or at least ignoring the really stupid ones quietly *cough*Age appropriate tool use*cough*) But the notion that anything put forward as "Being for Youth Protection" should be considered sacrosanct and incontestable is a dangerous idea. There have been plenty of pretty silly and even destructive notions put forward over the years to "protect kids" that lead me to believe that saying something out loud in an appropriate forum is clearly what's called for when ruling bodies start going overboard. BSA doesn't really accept much in the way of user feedback beyond their surveys, so I'm left with the option of forum posts and in-person discussions with interested parties hoping that maybe I'll strike a chord in someone who actually has an official ear listening to them.
  5. Your premise depends on the unsupportable assumption that adults in a household always see the mail first. I know at my house now, and when I was a kid, the kids were usually the ones sent to fetch the mail from the box and I can't imagine that my family is a rarity. So now you are in a situation where keeping a letter in compliance with the (2 adults) idea requires that parents tell their kids, "Don't open your own mail until I can supervise". And if we are going to depend on that to make the solution work, then why doesn't that work for reading text messages or emails too? (ie: Don't read messages from adults without my knowing about it) The only way to effectively using "Two adult involvement" with a letter would be to require that all correspondence be mailed to the parent on the scout's behalf. Your response details pretty much my whole problem with the idea that "Two Deep Leadership" should ever be considered an "anti-grooming" measure. While the rule works great for ensuring emergency response depth (as it was originally intended), it's fundamentally broken at preventing grooming because it's just unworkable in so many situations. The fact that the BSA (at one time) accepted that Two Deep Leadership wasn't a functional solution to prevent grooming is exactly there was the additional rule of "No One on One Contact". And as it is, it's still "No one on one" that does the majority of the work of preventing grooming since "2 Deep" has absolutely no requirement that multiple adults be aware of in-person conversations as long as multiple scouts are present. Whether or not you think requiring two adults to monitor the internal communication of scouts is a problem probably depends on your view of what Scouts is supposed to be and how it's supposed to work. If you think Scouts is supposed to be a safe space for kids to calmly and efficiently learn new skills under the watchful eyes of adult leaders (ie: Webelos III), then I'm not surprised that you don't see a problem with mandating adult monitoring of conversations. I've noticed that this mindset tends to go hand in hand with the notion that kids don't really behave differently when adults are around (unless they are misbehaving). If that is your view, (and I fully realize there are plenty of adults who would love a program like this) I can easily believe that you might not see an issue here. Unfortunately, there are a few problems with this view: Scouts isn't supposed to be a safe space for calm and efficient education; Kids DO behave differently when adults are watching; Unless kids learn to do it ON THEIR OWN, they haven't learned how to do it; Only the most basic skills in scouting are intended to be simply studied and mastered. This is why "Camping/survival skills" isn't one of Scouting's Aims. Everything we want scouts to learn with regards to the actual Aims of Scouting is intended to be learned "on the job" through trial and error. Exasperation, frustration, failure and even some conflict are a part of how the program is supposed to run because those are some of the best teachers when it comes to leadership and character development. And the key to all of that is getting adults out of the picture as much as possible. If a scout is only capable of "leading" with adults around acting as a constant warning to "Behave", then they haven't really learned to lead have they? And how do they learn to lead independently if adults are ALWAYS around? This is the whole reason why camp-outs are supposed to be done with adult leadership a football field away in their own camp (maybe not even in view), doing their own thing and with only the SM interacting with the SPL or PL. And yet here we are with a program where scouts are supposed to learn to function independently, yet we tell them explicitly, "You can't be trusted to have a video conference with each other without at least 2 adults monitoring you". _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ And as far as the level of my disgust with this rule goes, well that's primarily because I don't think this rule was put in place to actually ameliorate some specific risk, I think the only reason for it because the lawyers at BSA really want to get to the point where they can advertise "Non-stop monitoring by at least 2 adults at all times". Just to be clear, I wasn't calling people attempting to follow the rules "stupid" or "nitpickers", I was referring to those people who will take any idea and try and find some ridiculously unlikely circumstances where won't work. Like the person I heard arguing that having just 1 female leader on a joint boy/girl troop trip wasn't enough and we should be required to have a female leader physically accompanying every group of girls (not just one per event) specifically in case some issue should arise around a period. (they were basically saying that the 12 girls going should have to stay in one group with the female leader accompanying them at all times)
  6. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks of it in terms that stark. I really wish some of these risk managers coming up with these new rules (and applications of existing rules) would actually spend some time considering the idea of: "What unintended consequences or implications could this new rule have on the rest of our program". But it seems they are about as good at proactive thinking as most legislative bodies are when they pass new laws. I mean, if a rule or guideline immediately requires a F.A.Q. in order to explain what you mean, it probably means it's a poorly written rule. (excepting the fact that there will always be a few nitpickers trying to split hairs on what the definition of "is" is.) And since the current climate is such that you get crucified for publicly suggesting that 100% safety may not be the actual GOAL, I feel like my only remaining option is to point out stupidity indirectly by suggesting we should apply the rules as literally as possible and making the "Maude Flanders'" of the world reign me back in by telling me how I'm taking it too far. *For example, our Scoutmaster recently mailed very nice congratulations and encouragement cards (for keeping going during the lockdown) to each of the boys on the PLC. However, clearly under the new guidelines, Adults and scouts should not communicate via letter because 2 Deep Leadership can't be applied to written correspondence. So obviously: THERE'S NO PLACE IN THE BSA FOR HANDWRITTEN LETTERS/CARDS
  7. Really? Please explain what your basis is for this belief. Keep in mind we aren't talking about general web use where exposure to adult material is a risk. We aren't talking about Social Media where one bullying post can live on indefinitely and be seen by anyone in the world and we aren't talking about a situation where someone can interact with the group anonymously. The actual risks are that someone will say something mean/insulting or the public conversation could be recorded and both of those can quite easily happen during a in in-person conversation as well. "Zoombombing" is also a potential issue, but it's not one that having adults monitoring the conversation will actually prevent. As with any in person interactions, all we can really do is trust that if something untoward happens, the kids are capable of shouting "Mom/Dad, come see what's going on!" Personally, I'm MUCH more concerned about one-on-one video conversations than I am about a group format where anything said is being heard by multiple other people. My issue with this requirement has NOTHING to do with it being any sort of inconvenience. My issue is that it creates an environment where the scouts can't behave and interact normally because they know they are being monitored. I mean, I'm sure every adult scouter out there has "watched the fun die" when a group of scouts that is laughing and having fun becomes suddenly quiet and restrained as the adult approached the group.
  8. The elimination of scouts being able to hike or camp in patrols was unfortunate, but now it appears the BSA doesn't even feel scouts can communicate safely over video chat without direct adult monitoring. I have to ask where that line of thinking is going to end. I realize that we are calling these conference calls "meetings", but that's just labeling. A "meeting" is a gathering of people at a location or site, and when a bunch of kids are gathering at some location where parental supervision is absent, requiring Two Deep Leadership at least makes logical sense, even if some might argue that it's not really necessary; but a bunch of kids talking together over video chat from the safety of their own homes just doesn't in any way have the same level of potential risk. I've heard any number of flimsy justifications (bullying, nudity, sexual behavior) for the need to require Two Deep Leadership at virtual meetings, but all of them ring hollow in the face of the fact that the rules don't provide the same requirements in any other situation. Scouts can communicate with each other in any other way, whether is via voice, phone, email or text without being monitored by adults, but if we call it a "Virtual Meeting", suddenly it's unsafe? I mean, we aren't sending two adults along with every group of summer campers as they walk from MB to MB, instead we trust them to behave appropriately and we rely on adults being within easy reach to deal with any problems. I worry that this is yet another step down the road to the BSA wanting to advertise "Your scouts will be safe because they will be continually monitored by at least 2 registered adults at ALL times".
  9. So, I'm just wondering how Eagle BoR is handled in other areas. When I had my Review Board, it was held at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in the executive board room and was quite formal feeling. Not unpleasant, but there was a certain amount of solemnity and seriousness. By contrast, I recently sat on an Eagle BoR for the first time at my local council offices. I was rather astonished when the Council representative running things told us to "Just grab a few chairs and drag them out into the hallway, you can do the review out there." I really felt pretty bad for the kid. I mean, this is a final review of years worth of work and effort and we are going to handle it with less formality than a Scoutmaster conference? Is my outlook on this wrong? How does your council handle it?
  10. When producing rules like this, I find the best approach is to lay out the rules in as bland a manner possible, with very little in the way of backstory or explanation. Then at the end offer to discuss them in person should anyone have further questions. Otherwise it can feel too much like "airing the dirty laundry". The unfortunate fact is that people suck at reading and keeping it clean and simple works best most of the time.
  11. 😆 5 years actually. That's one of the reasons I said "Very very few" and not "None". Even though by the time I was at the school there was only one nun left teaching, it was clear that the nuns of the past were really really good at lists of "Don'ts". Positive Punishment was definitely a more accepted methodology than Positive Reinforcement.
  12. Actually, this means you might find the classic Hennessy Hammock a PERFECT fit. The classic Hennessy hammock uses a bottom entry system to get in. You split the two sides, lower the hammock down over you, then sit down and pull your feet in. When you pull your feet in, your weight pulls the two sides closed and seals the velcro. You can set the hammock up so the bottom is only like 12"-18" off the ground and not have any issues at all with getting in. Getting out can be somewhat more complicated, but this is easily fixed with a very simple change. To get out, you use your toes to split the seam and stick your feet out and get them planted on the ground. From here, those of us who are more apple shaped can have an issue because you need to sit up in a swinging hammock. But this difficulty is resolved by tying a rope to the tree your feet point at, then pulling the rope through the velcro seam with you when you get it. So all you have to do is get your feet on the ground, then pull yourself into a seated position with the rope.
  13. There are very very few organizations that actually go through the effort to officially say "NO" to everything they haven't said "YES" to. Using that as your yardstick in life would be a great way to get in trouble. Your argument here is essentially identical to saying: Why can't New York and New Jersey have the same Governor if they want to? States are "linked bodies" and they work together on joint projects and when there is a governor's meeting, they always pick one person to be the "chairperson", so clearly a joint Governor shouldn't be a problem.
  14. No, I imagine it was simply a scanned copy of the published brochure. But here's a link to the "Trail to Adventure" publication, Volume 8, Issue 1. https://i9peu1ikn3a16vg4e45rqi17-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/The-Trail-To-Adventure-Master-Copy_Spring-2019.pdf This is only talking about the issue in regards to summer camp, but it makes the BSA position pretty clear. Now, let's add to those points the fact that the BSA Rules https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/membership/pdf/Rules_and_Regulations_June_2018.pdf specify that the SPL must be elected by half of the members of their troop.(Section VII, page 14) Therefore a "Joint SPL" is not possible because SPLs can not be elected by anyone outside of his/her troop.
  15. For all those looking for explicit documentation about sharing leadership between boy and girl troops, here you go: https://skcscouts.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Starting-Linked-Troop.pdf This clearly and definitively states that the entire youth troop structures of linked troops are supposed to be independent. There is no reason a female SPL can't serve in an ad hoc leadership role for some activity, however the key concept behind an "ad hoc" anything is that the term of service is only the duration of the (typically short) immediate activity. Furthermore, serving in some leadership role on an ad hoc basis is completely different from formally holding a "Position of Leadership".
  • Create New...