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Posts posted by oldbuzzard

  1. 6 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    An intriguing question.  If they identify as a male, you would treat as a male, but with tenting if not all are looped in could be a surprise.  Luckily there are hammocks

    How so? Plenty of scouts don't change clothes on campouts or change in sleeping bags. Other issues  could go to known adult leaders. From a PL perspective, I need to talk to SM/ASM X should always be honored. The adult leader can always push back on frivolous requests, regardless of cause. Yes in a hypothetical emergency situation it could be an issue but in every day situations where is the surprise?

  2. 19 hours ago, Oldscout448 said:

    Different question.    hopefully an easier one.    where  will a trans ( female to male ) scout tent?   

    with the girls patrol? then we are not treating her/him as a boy. 

      the boys? scary   

      alone?   ostracizing 

    Back to practicality and away from the culture war....

    This one really is easy. The scout tents with their patrol. They are in a patrol based on the gender checked on their registration form.

    I've known a couple of trans scouts over the last 10+ years. They all camped with their male Boy Scout patrols. Except for select leadership, on a need to know basis, the fact these kids are trans isn't even disclosed(So maybe I've known more than I think). Tenting was never an issue. Our camp showers and latrines are stalled these days. Outings like the city pool with communal showers and locker rooms could be an issue, but all the kids shower in swim suits and plenty of kids including the oldest "manliest" ones change in bathroom stalls for modesty reasons so it has never been an issue. 

    I view the trans issue the same way I view gay scouts. It is a non-issue practically. I have no idea how many gay scouts I've known over the years because it isn't relevant to the program. Often the best clue is during the  Eagle COHs when the parents get misty eyed about what a blessing this or that troop was for their son and how  great it is to be with an open and affirming church. I think trans scouts will be the same way.

  3. On 6/13/2018 at 11:38 PM, shortridge said:

    @oldbuzzard, is this camp owned and operated by your troop, or by your local council?

    Troop. Our camp predates any of the council camps and in fact the first Camp Director  for our biggest/earliest Council camp was CD at our camp previously so there is weird overlap in traditions.

  4. 23 hours ago, WRW_57 said:

    This story makes me angry.  I believe the facts of this story show that the group had no business being on the mountain that day. Scouts got hurt because of poor adult leadership and outdoor risk management. This near-tragedy was totally preventable, in my opinion.

    And, remember:

    • "Plan you climb, climb your plan."
    • "When you are on top of the mountain, you are only half way home."
    • "Live to wimp again."

    * 18- 28 yr old students, on a 5-week wilderness mountaineering course. Glacier travel, crevasse rescue, personal energy mgt., ice axe techniques, are all instructed before "heading up the hill."

    Based on the sketchy facts available I wholly agree that they were not prepared. The one thing I give the group credit for is sheltering in place instead of trying to self rescue. Yes they risked the rescuers' lives, etc etc... but if they hadn't done that I think there is a reasonable chance there would be dead scouts instead of injured scouts. I think in these cases it is easy to point to outrageous root causes of the incident but it is important to highlight the good as well as bad decisions once you are trapped in the incident pit.

    I also like to remember:

    "There are old climbers; There are bold climbers; There are no old. bold climbers."

    • Upvote 2
  5. 16 minutes ago, MattR said:

    Good. Competition will float all the boats.

    But it's rich that they say they're experts at it. If so, why do they need North Face to help?

    You must have missed the all girl qualifier on that expertise. On a national basis their only real competition would be the YMCA.

    The Girl Scout Canoe base started in the 60's in a rented building at Northern Tier. My wife, did bike touring trips across both VT and Cape Cod as a GS. The GS offer a lot of "high adventure" trips and in contrast to Scouting BSA these are open to either individual girls or troops as a matter of course.

    To take the Boundary Waters as an example. Northern Tier runs something like 750 crews into the BWCA,  a few years ago when I talked to the GS at our outdoor expo they were running a 100+, and YMCA Camp Widji was running around 150 crew evenly divided between genders. YMCA Camp Menogyn runs plenty of single sex canoe and backpacking treks from the North Shore. YMCA Camp Manitowish runs plenty of girl canoe and backpack treks from within 6 miles of the old Region 7 Canoe Base.. Presumably YMCA camps have similar gender divided stuff else where, but they are the only national competition for the GS and I can completely believe that the GS have a much stronger national portfolio. 

  6. 39 minutes ago, qwazse said:

    @oldbuzzard, how many camping nights? How many boys on average participate on the average night?

    Also, is $400 for  2 weeks the actual fee for the summer camp? Sounds like a really sweet deal!

    We shoot for monthly camping during the school year and Summer Camp. This year we missed that target and had 6 instead of 9 camp outs, so 12 nights. Any given campout has a bit less than 50% participation which isn't great.

    In terms of funding all camping out of Troop funds, there are two warring principles. 1) "A Scout pays his own way" and 2) "A member of a community  supports that community". We focus on number 2. Just as you wouldn't only support your church on a transactional basis, likewise with Scouts. Everyone needs to contribute through dues or fundraising regardless of whether they attend every event. This removes any financial pressure for the basic program, especially since the troop or our alumni will cover the needy.

    Yes, our 2 week camp is $400. We have owned our camp since the 40's. It is quite primitive. No running water, no electricity, no walled buildings except the newish concrete storm bunker. But we have archery, rifle, and shotgun ranges and a shifting primitive waterfront for swimming or canoeing on a national wild and scenic river. Maintaining it is a shocking amount of work but also helps build that sense of community and has probably contributed to the troops longevity.

    • Upvote 2
  7. Our troop is way under $1000. Here is my sons break down for the 2017-2018

    Council/National dues: ~$150

    Troop Dues:($100 Fall/$100 Spring) All waived this year due to fundraising. Fall has been waived for at least the last 10 years.

    Necker/Book: Troop provided at crossover

    Uniform Shirt: $8 from uniform exchange closet.

    Camping/Food: Covered by troop dues.

    Summer Camp: 2 weeks for ~$400 . I just paid $260 with fundraising discount.

    4 day BWCA canoe trip: ~$200 pp so since I was a paying leader ~$400

    Gear: Old family  gear.

    So all told under $850 for everyone. 

    Our troops basic fundraising is a pancake breakfast, spag dinner, and wreath sale.

    The kids doing bigger HA like Seabase or whatever usually end up with another $600-900 of fees depending on how well their supplemental fundraising goes.


    • Thanks 1
  8. 1 hour ago, perdidochas said:

    My troop does what I call grocery store backpack cooking for the most part. 

    You just need to rebrand that as "Expedition Cooking". If the cooking and backpacking MB books with debranded generic Kroger and other grocery store supplies isn't convincing enough, get the "NOLS Cookery" book out of the library. It details how they plan all their trips, including the 30 day+ trips in Patagonia, using bulk grocery store supplies.

    • Upvote 1
  9. 7 hours ago, Thunderbird said:

    My understanding is that the Webelos program is still intended to be around 18-20 months (for non-LDS packs), with crossover around January-March of the 5th grade year (individual packs vary).  With the current requirements, they can complete the Webelos and AOL ranks sooner, but IMO it makes for a better experience and allows more time for them to be better prepared for Boy Scouts (especially for the younger kids - some of whom will be closer to their 10th birthday) if they aren't rushed.  Extra time means more opportunities for more experiences such as visiting Boy Scout troops or earning additional adventure pins (or other awards). 

    We're getting ready to go through round 2 of this with our kids. We are in a school district with a *very* firm Sept 1 cutoff for K. My kids both have early Sept birthdays so they can crossover in March as AOL with 6mos in their dens since turning 10 or ~9months total as Webelos and as 4th Graders. For older son this was a great option. The other choice wasn't waiting a whole year, it was to join BS in the Fall as an 11yo with or without AOL. Instead, he's been to summer camp and every monthly camp out. Tomorrow he'll finished 5th grade as a 11yo and Saturday we head off for his crew's Boundary Waters trip. While he'll be the youngest, he won't be the weakest kid on that trip by a good stretch.

    Younger son will be a 4th grader and cross over next year. His best friend is 6 months younger and in his den so that'll be awkward but he is so ready it is the only viable choice. His buddy will join many of the Scout campouts as a Webelos, but it is not yet clear whether he will cross over the following Fall or Spring. Either way my son will be able to attend camp next Summer.

    For older kids the age vs grade requirements may be the best way to keep them in the program.

    PS: For Scouts the situation may be reversed. Our troop is spinning back up its venture crew solely to serve the 4 or 5 kids who turn 18 during senior year who want to do Seabase SCUBA next Spring.  If I were in charge I would  have more age flexibility for Cub Scouts while allowing Scouts to stay active until HS graduation regardless of age.


    • Upvote 1
  10. 15 minutes ago, John-in-KC said:

    I've not liked JTE since Day 1, and I was a UC. It's metrics management.  That's lean six sigma stuff. 

     Maybe 6 sigma/iso9000 whatever, but certainly nothing to do with lean. Lean, TPS, continuous process improvement, Covey's sharpening the saw, whatever you want to call it is actually a bottom up process for improving workflow and capturing innovation. Scouting actually tries to do a good job with this. Both the plan-do-review framework and Thorns and Roses are Lean by another name. The problem with JTE is the rigid top down metrics that don't allow for small scale organic improvements that are likely to be more meaningful long term.

    • Upvote 1
  11. 34 minutes ago, HashTagScouts said:

    I think would need to be someone that is "relatable" to Scouts. I do think you are on the right track there.

    Maybe our scouts are jaded. We're taking 3 crews into the BWCA including a 12yo crew I'm helping to lead. The only thing I've see inspire them is when our long emeritus SM came to talk. When he started out saying "I was part of this same church and joined Cub Scouts in 1949 and earned Eagle in the the mid-50s and was hired on at the Region X canoe base in the late 50s base solely on my experience in troop xxx." You could see the scouts eyes go wide. The path between 11yo new scouts and 16-17yo(then) charlie guides became clear. I doubt a celebrity could have been more "relatable".

    All those Marine Corp ads, including the infamous magma demon ad, weren't about relating to celebraties, but about  doing stuff. Folks who can reflect doing stuff should be better than those who are "famous".

  12. 16 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

    Who? Seriously. I had to google him.

    Other than being a field paleontologist, I don't see how his profession would be a strong advocate for Scouts. Does he sleep in a tent? Does he build fires without matches?


    There is a long list of Eagle celebrities. One of them might be a better fit:

    OK. The best media celebrity  on that list is Steve Fossett(RIP). Maybe there are great scouts that BSA could build into media spokespeople. Maybe we could pull in celebrities like Jon Krakauer  to be spokespeople. But I think using actors who happen to be scouts is a terrible idea.

  13. 38 minutes ago, CalicoPenn said:

    Not keen on having a Bear Grylls type as a BSA ambassador - Grylls show is a "realty - yeah right" kind of show - he's made a name for himself on TV faking survival situations.

    I think someone like Paul Sereno, a Paleontologist from the University of Chicago would be a much better ambassador. 

    Why settle for a fake adventurer when you can have a real adventurer?

    I think this is the whole problem with folks like Mike Rowe. Any media personality has had to whip up controversy. The whole "safe space" thing  is a effort to insult liberals while attracting blue collar conservatives. That's not helpful.

    A real adventurer to me would be someone like Cliff Jacobson. Regardless of being a NESA Distinguished  Eagle Scout and all his BWCA and Arctic canoe trips, a scrawny 70yo former high school teacher just isn't mediagenic enough.

    48 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

    I mentioned Creek Stewart in another thread but was told he had too much of a midwestern ethic navajo medicine man vibe.  Everybody says we need a Bear Grylls but nobody ever puts a name on this person.  

    Navajo's aren't midwestern.... If I  couldn't find mediagenic Scout(er)s., the  the people with little to no scouting background I would choose to represent us would be Andrew Skrurka and Amelia Boone. They could have a  Colin Fletcher/Chip Rawlins "Complete Walker" buddy thing going on and be just as  completely legit.

  14. On 5/24/2018 at 12:04 PM, FireStone said:

    Putting aside the doom-and-gloom ideas for a moment, let's think about what this all looks like in a few years, or maybe a decade, if all of the changes don't sink the BSA. National has to have some sort of plan (go ahead, laugh, but let's assume for a minute that they actually do have a plan), or at least some idea of what they are driving the organization towards. 

    My guess? Look at Scouts UK. 


    Any other guesses as to what the BSA of the future might look like? Are we on a path that aligns with the UK program or something else? 

    BSA, national and local, clearly sees an existential threat and is taking a broad approach to countering it.

    I think the BSA is intentionally making two changes under the transition to "Family Scouting" and is making another change as part of the broader approach. I will term these three changes inclusion, institutionalism, and consumerism.

    1) Inclusion: They clearly want to quickly juice the numbers by admitting girls. This is part of the reboot around gays etc. I assume that in the next few years all the added God bothering in the requirements will disappear and we'll end up with a nearly secular group. Uniforming could become lighter like Scouts UK of could move to optional uniforms like Venturing or Scouts Canada. I'm enthusiastic about these changes and don't think the doubters' concerns will come to pass.

    2) Institutionalism: This change is part of the  goal to raise revenue and not purely related to "Family Scouting". BSA and councils clearly want to generate big home run projects without having to build programs slowly from the ground up.

    This is obvious in STEM Scouts. I can imagine a great BSA stem-only initiative. My kids have been in a local maker group that could be a great model. DIY.org could be a model. All loosely structured and maker led. Partnering with Team America Rocketry Challenge, which schools and 4H use, could be a plan. Patriotic, potential large donors, could partner with NAR, fits with Cub Scout launch themes and BS merit badges. But instead STEM Scouts is something delivered in schools in a school-y format where they offer the program, BSA "provides" volunteers and collects fees.

    Likewise, at the council level I see the desire for these home runs. Our council has built a new $17million headquarters and most of the justification about community engagement. They aren't only or perhaps even primarily looking to support  units. Before the upgrade they had a ropes course and climbing wall. Now they have a "leadership lab".  It is fairly clear their goal is to sell leadership course to the schools and corporations. Sign your entire student council up for a multisession leadership training.... just like NLTY w/o the camping.  The camps are also building lodges whose main purpose seems to be recruiting school environment education field trips, despite currently lacking staff to support that.

    These more structured projects seem speculative and out of the current mission of BSA.

    3) Consumerism: It seems like "Family Scoutng" is an excuse to monetise the current membership as much as possible. Out council has added $100+ council dues in the last  couple years, perhaps to fund the building spree. I assume National will be heading towards $100 dues shortly. Scouts Canada showed a pretty linear inverse trend of enrollment and dues. Hopefully open enrollment of girls can delay these huge dues hikes. That last Scout Stuff Flyer looked like an REI catalog. The councils are trying to sell family camp and so is national. Philmont Family Week is underwhelming. Everything at The Summit is worse. It has always seemed like a unsuccessful money  grab. The ATV stuff violates outdoor ethics and reeks of pay to play. These are all consumerist vacations, not real adventures. I'd look for a lodge at Philmont and an every other year Family Rendevous at Summit between Jambos and lots more marketing of expensive deluxe family events. Its Scouting as a lifestyle brand.

    So I think the core Scouts BSA program may be strengthened by recent inclusion changes but overall the adventurous core program will likely be marginalized by other trends completely unrelated to girls.

    • Upvote 1
  15. Just now, Chris1 said:

    I think it would also be interesting to have the same background on those who disapprove of these changes

    Not really. We know they are all "Real Scouts"... I think the goal here is to prove or disprove the credentials of the "liberal" wing. From the responses so far  it should be clear that the inclusive group is just as involved and hence we can move on from the "no true Scotsman" fallacy...

  16. 4 hours ago, Gwaihir said:

    less to do with safe spaces, more to do with it's much easier  and far more effective to train boys in an all boy environment and train girls in an all girl environment.  They learn at different rates, they grow at different rates, they take on burdens at different rates.  

    I don't think anyone has suggested we create nunnery and convents... being co-ed in a wide variety of activites and social settings is good and healthy, but in the purposes of character development within a program structure, (or even in a school setting) being able to tailor lessons to a specific gender to capitalize on the biological, psychological and emotional differences of the sexes is tantamount to success. 

    Right. But what kind of success? I view Scouts as an apprenticeship to adulthood... lots of opportunity to experiment and fail in adult tasks. My sons will be adults in a pluralistic society with bosses, peers, and subordinates who are female, gay, trans, ethnic minorities, etc, etc. Women's colleges and HBCUs have been declining since many students have taken the greater opportunities at previously male/white schools. Does anyone doubt Harvard, and probably America, benefits from taking some of Howard's best kids. Likewise Princeton and Bryn Mawr. This is how I view the Scouts transition. I want my kids to be capable leaders... not just capable leaders of men. The Service Academies made this transition way before women were allowed in combat and without it that transition might have been impossible.

    • Upvote 1
  17. 6 hours ago, qwazse said:

    Oh yeah, OP. Mr. Rowe's paradox ...

    Although BSA is doing none of that coed stuff: Isn't the argument against BSA4G entirely one of "safe spaces" for the boys?

    I agree with this. I support going coed on the merits but I think having a good analogy for this situation could be helpful for more conservative/traditional Scouters...

    In threads on a classical homeschooling board I'm on, the more conservative members mirror opinion on this board with a strong pro GS/AHG bias. Interestingly some of the more liberal female members have a pro GS view based on mourning for the likely loss of "safe spaces". This is usually framed in terms of the decline of women's colleges. Vassar gong coed, Radcliffe merging back in with Harvard, etc, etc... They generally acknowledge more opportunity for girls has been a good thing but still mourn the loss of these unique spaces.

    I found this analogy of single sex colleges to be insightful. The rhetoric and intensity of feelings about BSA admitting girls reminds me of when VMI and The Citadel went coed ~25 years ago. Many of the Fox news commentaries read exactly the same. Loss of male tradition and rituals, safe spaces. When I was a kid in the south, some held the belief that the  last 2 of the senior military colleges to go coed offered a different, perhaps superior, option to the Service Academies, which went coed in 1976. Alumni where going on about how they would never give money or have their kids join the military... all sorts of hyperbolic talk.

    25 years on, I think that has been a success. Yeah there were and continue to be issues with sexual harassment at these schools and in the military .... and the Scouts will probably see the same... but over all I think most people would view it as a success.

    • Upvote 1
  18. 7 minutes ago, Dixit said:

    PDF has the new language.  The "online" still has the old language.

    This is the full PDF version that contains updates as of May 2018.  The online version will be updated shortly.   After June 1, 2018 you may refer to the online version for the most updated information.

    GRRR... the previous language stated the online version was authoritative and  the pdf version was dated. Either way is fine but they really shouldn't flip the authoritative copy at a whim...

  19. 17 minutes ago, Dixit said:

    G2SS updated and says this now about required female leaders




    Do you have a link for this?  National G2SS still says 


    Two-deep leadership on all outings required.  A minimum of two registered adult leaders, or one registered leader and a participating Scout’s parent, or another adult is required for all trips and outings.  One of these adults must be 21 years of age or older.

    Patrol Activities

    There are instances, such as patrol activities, when the presence of adult leaders is not required and adult leadership may be limited to patrol leadership training and guidance.  With proper training, guidance, and approval by troop leaders, the patrol can conduct day hikes and service projects.

    Adult Supervision/Coed Activities

    Male and female adult leaders must be present for all overnight coed Scouting trips and outings, even those including parent and child. Both male and female adult leaders must be 21 years of age or older, and one must be a registered member of the BSA.


    Which allows parents not register leaders which is a huge difference and no mention of meetings.


    • Thanks 1
  20. 3 hours ago, Cubmaster Pete said:

    I'm biased, but I suggest camping in Wisconsin 😁

    Seriously, the State Parks and Forest Group sites are around $8 a night if u are a scout group, and they are nice large sites. Just have to ask when making a rez.

    Have you gotten that rate as an out of state group? Online they list it as $10 for WISCONSIN non-profit youth groups and $40 otherwise. I don't see any discount for other Scout groups. Plus parking passes for all the vehicles...


  21. 39 minutes ago, Gwaihir said:

    I'm not criticizing the BSA with that comment... I'm criticizing scouters who purposely and blatantly disregard how the organization is laid out to be run by making co-ed dens.  

    Then maybe you should try to shame folks for not being obedient not trustworthy.

    Our pack was originally planning on having separate boy/girl dens who did almost all joint activities, just like our multiple boy dens. But as time has gone by, we've moved to plans for full co-ed dens. I don't know what that'll look like on paper.

    We aren't an early adopter pack but we are a concentrator/congregator or whatever the term is for next year, a welcoming pack that council refers girls to who can't find viable dens in other troops. Our CM and IH have discussed this with council and they know, but aren't thrilled, we are having co-ed dens. So it isn't a trust issue. It is similar to when we opted out of the gay ban in 2002, before our IH and others persuaded our entire council to do so. As an open and affirming church, pushing the boundaries to be kind and reverent trumps literal obedience.

    • Upvote 2
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