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gblotter last won the day on January 14 2019

gblotter had the most liked content!

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About gblotter

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  1. Regarding retention ... In our LDS troop of 30 Scouts, I know of only 2 boys who plan to continue on with a different troop. So I agree with the opinion that less than 10 percent will stick with Scouting beyond 2019. Regarding lower standards ... We all see the BSA program evolving with the goal of accommodation, but should we blame individual Scouts for that? When one of our Scouts was recently visiting a prospective new troop, the legitimacy of his rank advancements and merit badges was questioned (he inferred because of his LDS affiliation). Even I admit that this boy is hyper-focused on rapid advancement (a self-driven motivation - not push from parents or adult leaders). But when he attends two summer camps and every merit badge class that pops up on the council calendar, I can't fault him for his drive and determination. Another example: In addition to attending our own troop campouts, he attends campouts of neighboring troops (on his own initiative) to accumulate camping nights more quickly. Some call that cutting corners, but he is simply responding to the program as defined by BSA National, and opportunities served up to him by our local district/council (which is not dominated by LDS troops, FWIW). Seizing opportunities that others pass by is a character trait that will take him far in Scouting, education, career, and life.
  2. The San Francisco Bay Area Council offers an excellent hiking program (with very cool progressive patches to go along with it). Our troop completed all six hikes over the course of about 18 months. More info: http://www.sfbac.org/programs/hiking The purpose of the RIM OF THE BAY patch program is to encourage hiking and to bring into the lives of our Scouts a "mountain top" experience. There are six Mountains that surround our area that you hike up. When you finish the first mountain you get a patch and a "rocker" with the name of the mountain. Rockers are awarded for each additional hike completed. All of these trips can be accomplished in a single day. There are camping sites at or near most if your plans include an overnight camp experience. For Boy Scouts,this activity can contribute to the Tenderfoot Rank, the Backpacking, Camping, and Hiking Merit Badges; and Forester, Geologist, Outdoorsman, and Traveler for Webelos. These hikes are not approved for Cub Scout use. Secure (where available) the park folder which shows trails and also gives a short history of the area. For example, the Mt. Diablo folder states, "From here, you can see parts of 35 of California's 58 counties -- the view is unsurpassed except by that from 19,000-foot Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa." The park folder also includes natural history and a listing of mammals, reptiles, and plant life. Try to make your trip a "hike with a purpose" other than the earning of the patch. Please instruct your Scouts on the need to observe and obey the regulations that are in effect in National, State, and Regional Parks. On some trips you will be given the courtesy of passing across private property. Please repay these people's trust by keeping the area free of litter, respecting their property, and leaving the gates as you find them. Clean up and pack out any litter you may come upon. Perpetuate the good turn ideal. You will probably eat your lunch at or near the summit; be sure all bags, cans, etc., are packed out with you. Where it is necessary to cross highways, have your Scouts line up along the side of the road and when clear and upon signal, have the entire line cross at one time. Avoid stragglers or having individuals or small groups crossing at intervals. If everyone helps keep the record of Scouts' use a superior one, this will be a happy and satisfactory experience, and it remains that way for all Scouts who follow.
  3. Do we really need to revisit the topic of the highly manipulative surveys that were selectively distributed and strangely worded to ensure a pre-determined outcome? Please don't insult the intelligence of this forum by trying to assert that those bogus survey results were in any way a fair representation of support.
  4. Last night we held our final troop meeting for 2018. Ours is an LDS troop that will go out of existence one year from now. We used last night's troop meeting to motivate by highlighting the Scouting journey that lies ahead in 2019, both in terms of rank advancement and outdoor adventures. We anticipate up to 14 new Eagle Scouts in 2019 (in a normal year, it's just 3 or 4). We compared our 2019 troop activity calendar to a rock band's farewell tour schedule. We will be revisiting many favorite camping destinations from past years. As we moved month-to-month through the calendar, their excitement escalated to cheering as each new campout was revealed. Next summer we will attend two premier BSA summer camps, plus a backpacking trip. We unanimously agreed that our troop will go out with a bang - not a whimper. We will not just finish the race, but we will do it in style. How's that for some positivity?
  5. From my casual observation, this description seems to accurately reflect what I generally encounter across Scouting. The topic of Duty to God is routinely raised during our Eagle Scout Boards of Review (at least the ones I attend). The responses from most Scouts are unusually brief and sometimes even uncomfortable. Some adult Scouters bristle that such a personal topic would be raised at all. Without doubt, there are some units that do a great job with integrating Duty To God in their Scouting programs, but even in those cases folks hesitate to engage in any meaningful discussion. I find this to be a very sad reflection on Scouting and our society at large. The founder was certainly not hushed in his intent. “There is no religious side to the Movement. The whole of it is based on religion, that is, on the realization and service of God.” Lord Robert Baden-Powell, November 1920
  6. I have no idea about such things, but I hope your description about independent trust ownership is true. If accurate, that means Philmont and Sea Base would not appear on the BSA's financial disclosures as owned assets (although The Summit apparently is listed), correct? I defer to smarter brains on such topics.
  7. I report only what I see around me in our district. Our moderate troop of 30 Scouts goes camping 10 times a year and we attended two different summer camps. In addition to our active outdoor program, we have a vigorous advancement program with four new Eagle Scouts during 2018. Next door is a struggling troop with barely enough boys to maintain their charter. They meet only sporadically. They took only four boys to summer camp. Aside from summer camp, they went camping only once in the past year. Only one Scout in that troop advanced in rank during 2018. Also nearby is a megatroop of 130+ Scouts. They go camping multiple times a month, they send contingents to BSA High Adventure Bases annually, and they generate new Eagle Scout candidates on a monthly basis. While they are a visible community presence and attract hoards of new recruits, Scouting on that scale is beyond my experience and comprehension. That is the reasoning for my assertion that consistency of the Scouting program varies widely at the unit level.
  8. BSA's annus horribilis. To borrow a quote ... 2018 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. Please tell me again how our visionary CSE keeps his job?
  9. Even with the bloat cascading down from national, regional, council, and district professionals, the consistency of Scouting programs at the unit level varies widely. Among these forum threads are many stories of renegade units with errant leaders who defiantly ignore rules they don't like, or arrogantly add their own hurdles, or casually cancel quality by rubber-stamping requirements. Delivery of a quality Scouting experience happens at the unit level, and it has always hinged on the dedication of volunteers. In too many instances, great Scouting happens in spite of - not because of - the influence of national, regional, council, and district professionals. I can't say I'll miss them.
  10. I can’t decide if that comment is more stupid or offensive. Are you too stupid to recognize that Scouting has been available to girls in America for more than 100 years? It’s called Girl Scouts USA. Or is your intent to deliberately insult the GSUSA organization by somehow pretending they are not “real” Scouts?
  11. So long as the original approvers still remember you coming to them for their signatures, I don't see why anyone would have a problem signing again after hearing your explanation. Examine past emails, text messages, etc for the exact dates when you had them sign your original paperwork. That may be helpful in refreshing their memories, if needed.
  12. Although a longtime Scouter, I joined this forum only last year, motivated by my concerns about the decision to admit girls into all aspects of BSA's programs. From the beginning, I have repeated in post after post that this girl decision reeked of desperation (specifically financial desperation). Why else would BSA National rush to ram through such a divisive decision? Why else would BSA National bungle so badly the premature announcement of a girl program that had not even been defined yet? (When announced, BSA's girl program was not half-baked - it wasn't even in the oven.) All they could say was "trust us - it will be wonderful". I had predicted some sort of financial reorganization/bankruptcy was inevitable due to declining membership numbers and the huge debts incurred for construction of The Summit. However, I did not anticipate that liabilities over past sexual abuse claims would factor in so heavily. That element was not on my radar screen. Although perhaps not the deciding factor, I have no doubt that BSA's precarious financial situation was also deliberated by LDS church leadership when deciding to end their century-long partnership. With the stink of financial collapse in the air, combined with renewed visibility of past sexual abuse claims, BSA enrollments will go into freefall, forcing the unthinkable. Liquidation of properties like The Summit and Philmont is possible because BSA National doesn't have many other assets. Locally-owned council camps are not directly at risk, except that there will be fewer and fewer Scouts to make use of them. BSA's desperation in their decision-making was in plain view for all to see. As part of a longtime Scouting family with three generations of Eagle Scouts, I am beyond sad to be right in my pessimism. I can only hope that my worst fears will somehow not be realized.
  13. Our troop *offers* a practice board of review, but we certainly do not *require* it. Indeed, a few of our oldest Eagle Scout candidates have chosen to decline a practice EBOR without further mention.
  14. Religion and belief and faith were not murky areas for the founder. “There is no religious side to the Movement. The whole of it is based on religion, that is, on the realization and service of God.” Lord Robert Baden-Powell, November 1920
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