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Everything posted by elitts

  1. 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
  2. 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 intrus
  3. 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 s
  4. 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
  5. 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 forge
  6. 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. 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
  8. 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. 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 usuall
  10. 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. 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 h
  12. 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. 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 abilit
  14. 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 h
  15. 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 avoid
  16. I'm not talking about a kid having a temper tantrum and "behaving badly", I'm talking about a kid that has worked themselves into a hysteria. It doesn't happen often. I think in 5 years I've only seen 2 boys out of a contingent of 45/year get to this point. But we have at least 1 or 2 per year that end up needing to be coaxed and cajoled into staying through the week and avoiding that phone call home is a big part of keeping them.
  17. Because if they aren't melting down or freaking out we can usually talk them into doing some activity instead of making a call home that is likely to result in them wanting to GO home. "Well, the office is a 10 minute hike away and we are about to go fishing. Why don't you just come fishing with us and then we can talk about it again later and if you still want to call home you can". Almost always they forget by the time fishing is done. But if they are losing their mind, there's usually not much point in trying to persuade, so they walk to the office with a buddy or a buddy an
  18. Anything can be argued. That doesn't mean every argument is a worthwhile argument. I could argue that you are defending your point so forcefully, that you are effectively bullying everyone here who doesn't agree with you by making us feel bad. (I'm not arguing that) But in the legal world, intimidation and threat under the criminal code have fairly specific meanings that are much more restrictive than the words and, "or you'll have to leave" doesn't count. In general, a "Threat" is a communicated intention to either harm or injure someone or damage their property. and "Intim
  19. The Scoutmaster's authority to take a phone (this is not a seizure as seizures are permanent) can come from a couple of sources. 1. If you've done due diligence correctly, you've gotten parental approval in advance to temporarily collect devices or other possessions that aren't being used appropriately. Even in states where children's ownership can't be taken without court authority, parental discipline extends to withholding a device owned by the minor and they can authorize a secondary party to enforce said discipline. (though if it's owned by another parent it's different) 2. Wh
  20. It's not a matter of keeping the kid against their will. It's that when you have a nervous kid that is away from home for the first time, if you can keep them busy and having fun, they don't WANT to go home. But if you let them start talking to mom and dad and thinking about how much they miss them, the kid that was doing just fine and having a great time the first 3 days is suddenly sobbing about how they hate everything and want to be picked up early. It's the same reason that the camp doesn't allow parents to go back to the campsites on "parent night" after the fire-bowl. The kids h
  21. If you've never tried one before, be warned. It's tough to sleep with them on the whole night at first. It took me a good 2 weeks before I could tolerate having it on for more than 2-3 hours, and even now, about 1/3rd the time I wake up after 5-6 hours and have to release it. But even with that, it's great. It was SO nice to be able to wake up and walk without a limp for the first minute or two every morning.
  22. Just remember with whichever one you choose, if you are camping and it's below about 50 degrees at night, take your fuel canister to bed with you and keep it inside your sleeping bag. Makes it much easier to get it up and burning for the morning coffee/tea.
  23. They aren't allowed for our boys and girls. I know some kids sneak one in their bag and use it at night, but other than that, or for kids that have some specific medical need for it, they aren't allowed. We also explicitly tell new scout parents that they should NOT plan on talking to their kids during the week of camp and if somehow the kid calls them, they should try and disengage and get off the phone ASAP because the longer the kid is on the phone, the more likely homesickness will become a problem.
  24. Ahh. Yes, that would be problematic. In my troop every adult is (at a minimum) required to do the position specific training. But from there, there is little guidance provided to new adult leaders from experienced ones. I think this probably is a part of why we do still have some issues getting adults to back off and let the kids actually run things. We have a couple adult leaders that really think their job is to "keep the boys/girls on task".
  25. I think this is a function of stupid rules and inconsistent programming. One can only read just so much stupidity before you starting thinking "Hell, if just this part that I've read is asinine, why bother with the rest?"
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