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gblotter last won the day on January 14

gblotter had the most liked content!

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About gblotter

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  1. 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.
  2. gblotter

    What's in a name?

    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.
  3. 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?
  4. gblotter

    And so it begins

    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
  5. gblotter

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    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.
  6. gblotter

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    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.
  7. gblotter

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    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?
  8. gblotter

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    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.
  9. gblotter

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    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?
  10. gblotter

    Lost Eagle Scout Project Proposal

    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.
  11. gblotter

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    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.
  12. gblotter

    Eagle Board of Review (Appeal)

    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.
  13. gblotter

    Is it time?

    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
  14. gblotter

    Eagle Board of Review (Appeal)

    Your District Advancement Chair's mandate is complete rubbish and I would be more than happy to tell him/her so. Every Scout in our troop is offered a practice board of review in advance of the actual event. I will direct an icy stare at anyone who suggests that this is somehow cheating. Quite the opposite - this is living the Scout motto to "Be Prepared". In fact, I am rather amazed that a boy who is asking to be awarded Scouting's highest honor would not make such preparations. A few years back I found myself unemployed after a layoff. Prior to each new job interview, I would thoroughly research everything I could about the new company, their products and services, their leadership team, the company history, and their financials. In addition, I would read website reviews written by employees who actually work there. I wanted to go into my job interview as prepared as possible. I wanted to be over-prepared. I wanted my level of preparation to distinguish me from their other job candidates. I wanted them to understand that I don't just "wing it". In my opinion, such preparation is a valuable life skill that extends far beyond an EBOR, and it is the exact opposite of cheating. Cheating is what desperate people resort to when they are NOT prepared. Now, before anyone else reminds me, I fully realize and agree that an EBOR is NOT a job interview and it is not an inquisition. It is far too late in the game for a practice board of review to teach a Scout anything new. Rather, a practice board of review will help calm any nervousness, it will instill confidence, and it will teach a valuable life skill that will hopefully benefit him long after his EBOR is forgotten. Others are entitled to hold a different opinion.