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Everything posted by elitts

  1. The difference is the scope of the programs. Most kids activities are fairly limited in scope and so the only kids that join are the ones who consider the focus to be "fun". And since there is a specific activity that everyone is there to participate in, these conversations don't need to happen. With Scouts the variety of options is much greater than sports or even 4-H. Even worse, because of the ages involved, you're getting kids right as they enter Middle School with all of the personality changes that entails and sometimes parents have a hard time remembering that interests change. "Wh
  2. While it might seem like splitting hairs, the issue that people refer to about "the admittance of female Scouters" usually isn't about the equipment between someone's legs; it's generally about the problem any organization has with the sudden, mass inclusion of people unfamiliar with the program. That problem being that when you have a group of people with no appreciation for how and why things were done in the past, you almost always end up with well-meaning people wanting to "fix things" without the experience to know if the "fix" is a good idea. (FYI, I'm not arguing that all changes are
  3. Ugh. Get yourself one of the gravity bag filter systems. I remember when I was a scout and we had to use those cursed hand pumps whose manufactures apparently all thought, "An 8" intake hose is long enough right?". Now all they have to do is scoop out some water with a bucket or bag, (in your situation you could hook a bag to a rope and just toss it out and pull it in) then let it hang off a tree or something for 10 minutes for 10L of clean water. Though personally, I prefer using a cloth pre-filter just to keep sediment out of the filter.
  4. I can barely even get folks to consider a camping location without a toilet and running water. Even one with a toilet, but only a lake for water nearly got shot down because "OMG what if the boys need water to drink and there isn't any?" Telling them, "There is a lake 500' away and we have filters, tablets and stoves" apparently wasn't enough reassurance for some of them.
  5. Yeah, I can't profess any kind of substantial knowledge of how our council's budget is organized, but I know the work expected for the pay offered is very very sub-par for most of the staff. Though I'll admit to being somewhat concerned on occasion (back in the 2000s) because I was regularly interacting with with one employee (I don't remember his technical title) and from what he described, while his pay was somewhere around 30-35k per year, his transportation and training budget was immense. He was out of state attending some conference or training at least once every other month, often mo
  6. Yeah, I'd imagine if we did it, I could rattle off the names of the 8-10 parents who would actually attend. Though I know part of that is because many of the parents know who already complains about which issues and knows that whatever concern they might have, will likely be represented by one of those "usual suspects" as you say. (In our council about 90% of the complaints are about administrative issues) Sadly, every council person knows about all of the problems they have with admin stuff, they've known about it for decades and yet no one has ever managed to come up with a solution. I a
  7. Huh.. I was surprised about the idea of anti-Catholic discrimination when David mentioned it too, it must truly be a regional thing. The only time I've ever seen it was when my HS girlfriend told me that her pastor (Free Methodist) sat her down for like a 30 minute talk over concern for her soul because she was dating a Catholic; because, (I'm summarizing) "The Catholic Pope is actually the Anti-Christ in disguise". I just assumed he was crazy and left it at that. I guess all the bigots in my part of the country have enough to do worrying about the black, brown and yellow (sic) people and t
  8. That fact that something is "Done to protect children" doesn't automatically mean that action should be considered sacrosanct and accepted without question. There have been plenty of foolish, stupid and even dangerous things (eg: banning books, banning sex ed, helicopter parenting) done over the years "to protect the children" and so rules should always be continuously reviewed to see if they are reasonable, if they function as intended, if they have unintended consequences or if they are even necessary anymore. In the case of YP and the GSS, we have a set of rules that have in some case
  9. *Sigh* Yet another example of BSA only thinking about the question they want to answer and not considering what implications that answer might have in other contexts. I really wish they'd get their act together and start having their FAQs and publications reviewed by someone outside the "Group-think" at the corporate offices. While this answer does respond directly to the question being asked, anyone who actually understood how people work would realize that this answer, specifically talking about a CO "running" a Summer Camp program for other troops, will definitely be mistakenly inter
  10. And that presupposes the idea that someone other than the abuser should be held to be at fault at all. I'm still not a fan of that whole idea in the first place except in the relatively few cases I've seen where something clearly got ignored or covered up by the BSA. As much as it would be nice to get a settlement done and over with, there is a growing part of me that would like to see the BSA say "If you can't accept a settlement that leaves us with enough resources to continue to operate, it makes more sense for us to use every dollar we would have had to fund a settlement to a
  11. I only have one question and one comment about the news story: (Question) What the heck is she doing using a bow saw to cut down a standing tree? (assuming that wasn't simply a staged photo) (Comment) The fact that she thinks having earned Eagle Scout in 20 months means she's gotten everything possible out of the program does not say great things about her mindset with regards to participating in scouts. Though I'll admit this viewpoint isn't exactly uncommon. I've never questioned a bench project that had thought and planning with regard to appearance and durabilit
  12. I agree that a "discussion about porn" isn't related; however, I will argue (just one time) that the existence of porn IS related by virtue of it being a potential factor in YPT. I mean, my troop can't be the only one where there has been a scout caught watching inappropriate material on a cell phone. So when that happens, is it just a teen/tween being a standard kid or is that scout now a possible sexual abuse victim (because someone exposed them to it or allowed them to be exposed to it) that the Scoutmaster needs to report to Council and possibly the Police/Child Services? That said
  13. The pack I was Cubmaster of had the rule that each scout had to have a "responsible adult" that remained on site. That didn't mean that I didn't occasionally offer to be that "responsible adult" for someone's kid who had to leave, but that was my choice at any given time. We didn't allow kids to just be randomly dropped off the way we do in Scouts.
  14. Yeah, I've seen that one too... Great! Lets water down the concept and criminalize more people at the same time. I can already picture the headline. Some 14-year old gets found looking at a porn site and between an outraged parent and a DA looking to get re-elected using a "tough on crime" platform, suddenly the classmate he/she got the link from is on trial for a sex crime. And since I want to be crystal clear, there is a clear and significant distinction between an adult exposing a youth to porn as a grooming tool and kids talking about and sharing that stuff among themselves.
  15. Another factor for any non-profit board of an organization that seeks grant funding is that many (if not most) major grants want to know if all of the Board members are donors. In some cases you aren't eligible or may receive lesser consideration if your Board donation rate isn't 100%. Of course, this can be accomplished by requiring a minimum $1.00 donation or a minimum $1000 donation.
  16. I do have to say here that the crudely phrased "Seat for sale" concept is going to be true in just about any non-profit Board of Directors. Not so much because someone willing to donate 10k or 20k is really that big a value to the organization, but because anyone able and willing to cough up that much money will probably know plenty of other people who can also cough up that much money. Most Boards of Directors will have a certain number of seats that can be used for members that may not be "workers" but who provide special access or connections the organization finds valuable.
  17. Any council that did approve a merger with another council that hadn't gone through bankruptcy first would be exhibiting a practically criminal level of fiscal irresponsibility and negligence.
  18. I agree about the council fee being more tolerable. But that's If (and only if), they use those more stable funds to actually provide competent administrative and record-keeping services. No more submitting MBC applications 3 or 4 times before they get processed. No more taking 2-3 months between MBC list updates. No more losing our Scouter's award requests or Insert other media taking 6 months to get them signed by the appropriate parties. Paying $60 now vs $12 before and getting the same sort of shoddy service they've been providing would be intolerable. If they could do their
  19. I don't know if the issue of someone trying to just walk away from their responsibilities has ever come up, but in my troop, once you commit, you are committed to covering any costs associated with your commitment. So if we book a spot to Philmont for you and you pay the deposit to sign up, you are responsible for the whole thing. However, if someone has ever become unable to go, we would also search far and wide for someone else to fill the spot and get them reimbursed. As far as I can recall, this has always been possible when someone has had to back out, though I think one time they ende
  20. In the post where someone mentioned their troop doing a car wash, they were explicitly doing the washes for "your donation" not "for $5 but we'll take whatever you give". There is something of a difference in intention and definitely a difference in the effect. I've worked for organizations that try this both ways for event programs. If you sell the event programs for $1, you will often make significantly less money than if you advertise it as "Please make a donation". Because while many people in the second scenario will just take a program and walk away, the average donation from th
  21. Pretty much every news comments section I've ever read starts out with complaints about how "the Liberals this" or "the Conservatives that" and then devolves from there. Particularly when anonymous comments are allowed. It's usually a little better if comments are only permitted by people with active (and in particular, paid) memberships. It can also be a little better if people are required to sign up under their own names. Heck, it doesn't even matter if the subject of the article is political. There's always at least one troll out there just waiting to chum the comments with someth
  22. I feel like the core of the problem here is that you asked the "wrong" question and, as bureaucrats and customer service folks are wont to do, they answered the question as asked without anyone thinking "I wonder if there is another way to get this done". If the important issue here is getting the scout his Eagle Board of Review, I think PACAN is correct in his approach. If the scout can prove 6 "non-contiguous" months of active scouting, I could easily see the Advancement Committee granting a BOR even without a SM conference in these circumstances. But if your desire is to be
  23. Except that when we were selling the popcorn in the 80s, it was only "pretty expensive". The popcorn has gotten progressively more overpriced as time has passed. In the late 80s/early 90s, the box of microwave popcorn was something like 50% more expensive than the popcorn in the store. Now the markup is more like 400+% higher on virtually everything. AND, I'd argue that the quality has fallen somewhat at the same time. (I remember it actually tasting better than most of what was available in the stores, but I'll admit that could have just been inexperienced taste buds.)
  24. Particularly when all the advice on selling from BSA is that you shouldn't be marketing the product, you should be "Selling Scouting".
  25. I'm seriously surprised that more councils didn't do this as soon as regular litigation started popping up in the news. Transfer the camps to 3rd party non-profits with charters that forbid them selling the property and requiring them to be maintained as camps for youth activity and then lease them back to BSA. There's a good reason why places like hospitals have technically separate corporate entities to hold title to property and conduct fund-raising and endowment building activities.
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