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Everything posted by elitts

  1. Except that without all those pesky details you'd like to ignore, giving someone a blanket "Yes" is about as useful as telling someone: You can use a 33 gallon garbage back to carry your gear on a backpacking trip, just throw it over your shoulder; You can use bedroom slippers to hike the Appalachian trail; You can use a racing bike with skinny tires to ride down a beach; You can use your mess kit knife to eat your soup.
  2. This is a tough line to walk between what actually gets the job done and what someone could argue "meets the requirement". But it's much like dealing with a MBC in that some subjective decision making is inherent in the process. (like how a Communications MBC gets to approve what kind of public meeting the scout can attend) If I was trying to find an reasonable compromise between "ideal" and "what is the minimum acceptable", I would approach it like this: If a 75' long or lake/pond is available, that's what should be used. (Using a less than ideal situation just because someone p
  3. Well, kinda. See below. Actually, this isn't changing or adding requirements. It's specifying how the test is to be administered. See below The 1st class requirement isn't "Jump in to water... swim 75yards..."; the 1st Class requirement is "Pass The BSA Swimmer Test". And while the test can be administered by a non-BSA lifeguard, the test administrator is supposed to conduct the test using BSA guidelines. The guidelines for conducting the BSA Swimming Test are very carefully laid out in the BSA publication "Aquatics Supervision No. 34346" . In fact, The "Unit Swim Classif
  4. If the pool is 25' long in one dimension, you could use it for the 2nd class requirement, but not for the 1st class requirement. For First Class, the standard backyard pool just isn't going to be sufficient since they have to past the BSA Swimmer Test. Please see this excerpt from the BSA Swimming Classification: If you are actually trying to verify a scout's ability to pass this test, stopping to turn around and then shove off again 9+ times (in a standard backyard pool) just isn't going to show you what you'd need to see to know that the scout has sufficient skill and st
  5. Yes, that word is clear. I don't think anyone is arguing about whether or not they want 2 registered leaders at any Scouting activity. Unfortunately, that one point of clarity doesn't answer the whole question. We still need to know what a "Scouting activity" is. Is "Summer Camp" the activity? Is gathering wood in the forest an activity? What about fetching water? What about hiking from the base camp to the mess hall? If hiking from the base camp to the mess hall is an activity, what about hiking to the bathhouse? If hiking to the bathhouse isn't an activity, how about taking a sh
  6. If you find a standard sized school that manages to go a whole school year with 100% student attendance and attentiveness where no one ever got upset with anyone else, I think you'll find you are in the Twilight Zone (or possible on the planet Camazotz).
  7. Personally, I think at this point the "unofficial" BSA position is: "Can't we just have Cub Scouts (and its rules and risk profile) run from age 7 - 17?" I mean, stating that "preference" is about as useful as a school saying "We'd prefer that every single student be in class and alert every day, diligently complete and turn in every assignment on time and get along with the rest of the students in perfect harmony". Yeah, that'd be nice, but it's also never going to happen, so why even pretend that's the goal? Beyond that, my take is that I'm going to have to treat Scouting Magazine
  8. It's not very often I agree with David, but I think this comment is on the money. I can't say that I have much experience with council level political infighting, but I've certainly seen it in plenty of other organizations. While retaliation for YP reporting certainly isn't something that should be tolerated, giving organization leaders with such closely held inner workings (and an absence of effective oversight) as a local council a simple "one button push" method of ejecting someone is always risky and easy to abuse. The methods of retaliation are already considered violations of the "Sco
  9. Why would this bother you? You know COVID is a risk anytime you leave the house or bring any thing or person into your house. Is formally waiving your right to sue BSA specifically over COVID a big deal? I mean, if in some freak circumstance it was discovered that an infected employee in a Scout Shop was going around deliberately licking every item and it caused an outbreak, the release would likely be thrown out anyway, so what's the problem?
  10. Honestly, unless you are dealing with some "fear of the water" issues, learning to swim well enough to pass the 2nd class requirement shouldn't take too long. When I was teaching lessons full time, I usually took the total beginners. With kids that are beginners and 5-6 years old, I could get probably 3 out of 4 swimming well enough to cross the width of a 6 lane pool in a couple two week sessions. At 9-10 years old, it's even easier because they have usually started developing enough muscle mass to swim efficiently.
  11. No, legislation usually doesn't pass unanimously, however there are frequently situations where pretty much everyone agrees that something needs to be addressed and they only disagree over the methods. In the case of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 however, the "opposition" wasn't arguing for an alternate approach, they just plain wanted to maintain white superiority and segregation. Senator Russell, the leader of the opposition was quoted as saying "We will resist to the bitter end,any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amal
  12. That would be the so called "Greatest Generation". And while it's nice that they finally passed the legislation, the telling point there was that roughly 30% of congress was opposed to it. So essentially, 1/3 of the the US (90%+ of the Southern congressmen) thought it was not just acceptable, but a right, that people be allowed to discriminate against minorities.
  13. Well, in the context of what BLM is arguing for, I think that's measurably true. My grandmother's generation (Silent Generation) was "accidentally" racist enough to be horrifying sometimes (and that ignores any deliberate racism). My parent's generation (Boomers) were better, but if you look at the time period they've been "in power" they certainly haven't spent much time or effort to fix or work toward fixing the issue; but at least the Boomers started to be cognizant that there is actually a problem. Gen X is only just now getting to the high table of politics, so we don't really know wha
  14. Well, I didn't actually mean "liberal" using any kind of modern political definition, that was poor word choice on my part. I was referring to the tendency of each younger generation to lean towards new and different methods and ideas while the older generations lament the passing of their "traditional values" regardless of what they are. I realize that's not going to hold true in every specific cultural circumstance, but overall, I think it has been the case for as long as young people have been able to actually learn about new ideas. Obviously in cultures and time periods where informatio
  15. Crime victims get plenty of sympathy, but they aren't entitled to revenge, which is usually where ideas of this nature tend to head. But the numbers show that one way or the other, something is drastically wrong with the way our legal system works. The facts show that the US incarcerates more people per capita than any other country in the world. And not just by a little bit, it's an astonishing difference. The only other country that comes close is Russia and our incarceration rate is 20% higher than theirs. If you only look at Western countries, the next highest is Poland and we are
  16. That's because scrawny kids don't float well. When I was teaching swimming lessons, I used to allow kids to scull with their hands while floating if they were the "skin and bones" type because that was the only way to keep their legs up. Otherwise their legs would drag their whole body down. Realistically, no; you can't use your pool because it's not going to be long enough to actually test their swimming ability and trying to do it this way will result in kids getting passed that should not be. There is a big difference between being able to swim 25' (the length of an averag
  17. I missed that "nuclear family" bit. To my mind, that seems like the kind of line that gets thrown in because it sounds impressive, but isn't really descriptive of what someone is working for. Kind of like how "Defund the police" actually means, "develop community response methods that don't require an armed officer whenever possible".
  18. I dunno. I've reviewed their web page and I don't see anything on there my priest would object to. I think the problem is simply that BLM's structure is just so fractured that they can't keep the people speaking out using their name on message. That and the people getting interviewed sometimes get wrapped up in their emotions and start spouting their personal opinions instead of the organization's positions.
  19. I find this particular issue incredibly frustrating. I realize that a vest for a K9 dog is only of limited use, but given the fact that a fully trained police dog costs something like 15k-20k, why the heck are police departments even operating a K9 unit if they can't afford the $1400 vest? I can't help thinking that the issue is mostly the fact that the PD knows they can go hold their hand out to the community talking about how much at risk the poor little dog is and get some do-gooder to fork over the money rather than having to pay for it themselves. My rant aside, I have to wonder ho
  20. There are actually two different restrictions that come into the issue of scout accounts. The first is "private benefit" and the second is "private inurement. Private benefit is when organizational assets benefit an individual as opposed to being used for the group purpose. While private benefit isn't generally permitted, it is allowable if the amount is "incidental". By contrast, "private inurement" is entirely prohibited. With scout troops, "Private Inurement" isn't usually going to be an issue (as opposed to the sports club letters where much of this originates). The private inur
  21. I'm sure there are plenty of people who would find me absolutely intolerable to be around. But I want to clarify, I don't simply avoid anyone who thinks homosexuality is immoral. If someone thinks it's wrong and decides they need to pray for the person's immortal soul, I can respect that. We are probably too far apart culturally for us to be great pals, but that doesn't mean I'm going to treat them like a foul odor and turn up my nose and leave the area. Where I start running into a problem with being around someone is when they follow up "I think homosexuality is immoral" with some s
  22. I don't have a problem with people who think homosexuality is a sin. I think those people are wrong and probably won't want to spend much time with them, but there are people who believe much stranger things, so there you go. And I'd even go so far as to say that, on it's own, the belief that it's a sin probably isn't inherently homophobic. What IS homophobic is the belief that homosexual people should be banned from activities and groups on the basis of their sexuality. I mean, if actively behaving in a sinful manner was made a bar to membership in the BSA we'd REALLY have a proble
  23. While I suppose I could be wrong in this case, this type of language is usually code for: "Gay people shouldn't be allowed". (and occasionally "Christians only)
  24. I think you would be correct if they could be certain that a settlement would be reached. But if I were a local council I'd be very concerned about the idea that by agreeing to participate, I'd be tacitly agreeing that we were part of BSA national and run the risk of a full liquidation. If it's a "sign up without making any admission of being the same organization" it would be a little safer.
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