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gblotter

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Everything posted by gblotter

  1. The Eagle Scout participation requirement is not being ignored. Eagle has been a long-term goal for them. To meet Eagle requirement #1, they would insist that they had six good active months shortly after becoming Life but not so much recently.
  2. Interesting point. I'm reminded that the Scoutmaster conference can be held at any time while working toward the new rank, and it doesn't need to be the last requirement satisfied before a board of review is held. Would your troop would make an exception to provide alternate arrangements for a Scoutmaster conference if a Scout found himself up against a deadline (six months before turning 18, for instance)?
  3. Adding requirements like that is obviously wrong, but I can sympathize with what this troop might be trying to do (encouraging activity by older Scouts). Right objective, wrong implementation. We have a troop of 30 boys (about half are age 11-13 and half are age 14-17). All the older Scouts are grouped into one large patrol. The lives of these older teens get so busy, and we rarely see them on a troop campout or other Scouting activities. I remind those still working toward Eagle that real activity in the troop is requirement #1, and I challenge them to attend at least one campout a year (not setting a high bar). But that counsel never seems to translate to actual campout attendance. I have also urged their Patrol Leader to organize their own separate patrol campouts, to no avail. This is a point of frustration (for more than just our troop).
  4. No need. The church is rather good at program development. I expect to see greater emphasis on spiritual development. Less emphasis (elimination) of badges and awards. I’ll be very surprised if a heavy outdoor component (including frequent camping) is not included. Or I may be completely wrong. We all have plenty of time to speculate about the unknown, as details of the replacement youth program likely won’t be unveiled until late 2019.
  5. gblotter

    Eagle Reference Letters

    I routinely sit on EBOR panels for our district. To my knowledge, the references listed on the Eagle application are never contacted for further feedback.
  6. Correct. For me that will be a hard habit to break on this forum. Thanks for the reminder.
  7. gblotter

    Another view of the LDS split

    My father-in-law is a huge long-time Scouter (past council president even). Because our LDS troop is functioning so well, he has talked of continuing it intact under a different CO (he was even willing to do the legwork to find the new CO and an alternate meeting location). I doubt he will get traction - especially for the necessary adult leadership to staff an independent troop. I told him to count me out - I won’t continue as Scoutmaster under that scenario. Absent BSA’s girl decision, I likely would have supported the idea. Scouting has been a truly fantastic ride, but it will be time for me to move on when the church exits 12/31/19. Because of BSA’s girl decision, the program is lost in my eyes.
  8. I may be wrong, but I think they are referring to Scouting units chartered by the LDS church (CoLDS = Chartering Organization LDS). I think.
  9. For many decades, the Scouting program was a wonderful fit for LDS boys. It is BSA - not the church that has changed in its values and focus. Thus, the program is not the great fit now that it was for so very long. It makes many of us LDS Scouters and Scouting families very sad. Watch this inspiring video produced by the church just a few years ago to commemorate the 100 year partnership between LDS and BSA. Then tell me that Scouting was never a great fit.
  10. Certainly no church prohibition for girls in BSA. The church does not prohibit participation in GSUSA, either. Sunday collisions with scheduling of Scouting events in a non-LDS troop may surface as an issue, however. Our son avoids many sports teams for the same reason. But that is a separate issue that affects both girls and boys. Boys are different than girls - period. Boys learn differently and develop differently than girls - period. If this is not obvious, then let's just end the discussion here. My son faces this reality on a daily basis at school where his behavior and performance is constantly held up to the girl standard. In Scouting, he was free to be a boy among boys - but no more starting February 2019. BSA is not proposing a single-gender program. Except for an individual unlinked troop, every BSA program at the district, council, and national level will be co-ed. Tell me where is the single-gender program? Imagine next summer at BSA camps. You have 11-13 year old boys and 11-13 year old girls sitting in the same merit badge classes. Which group do you think will be focused and attentive, and which group do you think will be rowdy and distracted? As in school, the boys will come under that same spotlight and questioned about why they can't behave like all those wonderful girls. Unlike school, the boys have an easy option to quit a Scouting program that it is no longer tailored to their needs. How is this not obvious to everyone? I will exit Scouting with the LDS church, so my opinions are not important for BSA's future - not worth the energy to argue these points.
  11. gblotter

    Religous observeance

    In our council, Sunday collisions with scheduled Scouting events is very common. I don't view it as being hostile to religious observance in any way - I just think the organizers are unaware because the faithful don't speak up (go along to get along). I have chosen to speak up whenever I am presented with a Sunday collision in scheduling. Each time I have been graciously offered an accommodation by the organizer that works for all. BTW: I agree that a Scouts Own religious observance is insufficient for my personal belief system, so that is not the kind of accommodation I'm talking about here. Usually, I am granted permission for an early departure from the Scouting event on late Saturday night - just fine with me.
  12. Yep - no argument. Some, but certainly not all. My experience is that program quality varies widely between LDS Scouting units. I'd like to think that our troop of 30 Scouts can hold its head high when comparisons are made. Just next door is another LDS troop that is barely functioning and struggling to even maintain critical mass. Generalizations are hard to make. You have a strange perspective if you believe that LDS is the only opposition to BSA National on these divisive issues. In terms of program purity and consistency, I agree. The accommodations for LDS Scouting units will vanish, of course. In terms of the membership drain and financial loss, this is a huge blow to BSA - no question. The replacement youth program from the LDS church has not even been announced, so such speculation is unfounded. Given that some LDS Scouting units have not been functioning well (example above), the bar is not that high for a replacement program to be honest.
  13. Based only on our troop of 30 boys, the crossover into non-LDS troops will be less than 10 percent. There may be some initial interest by Scouts seeking to finish off Eagle, but even that level of participation will wane within a year or two. Scouting among LDS families will be an esoteric interest like oboe lessons or fencing. I can't speak for Cub Scouts - there may be more interest in Cubs for LDS families, but I doubt that too. Church activity programs keep LDS families quite busy - too many balls to juggle at times. Very few LDS girls in our area participate in GSUSA, so I can't imagine why girls in BSA would be any different. Correct (and I'm talking about more than just the Patrol Method). The LDS integration of spiritual components into Scouting activities is intentional and enriching and unique. For example, scripture readings and teachings from church leaders are routinely included in evening campfire programs. Prayers are a common practice at every LDS Scouting function (not just saying grace at mealtimes). My experience is that non-LDS Scouters bristle in awkwardness at any mention of moral cleanliness and reverence and spirituality and even Duty to God (the general implication of their raised eyebrows is "how dare you raise such a personal topic"), while those things are central to the LDS Scouting experience. Take away those elements, and Scouting becomes just a camping club to many folks. I doubt LDS families would find support in non-LDS troops to avoid camping on Sundays. My son came back from National Jamboree last summer appalled that adult Jamboree leaders made no attempt to curb the non-stop swearing by Scouts - foul language was everywhere. I wish my comments didn't sound so self-righteous (apologies), but these are true and frank accounts. So yes - LDS troops do operate differently, and that's one reason why there will be relatively little crossover.
  14. Simple. He realizes that girls in BSA is a radioactive topic and he is trying to avoid stirring controversy as he encourages LDS families to continue on with Scouting. Dahlquist doesn't want to remind people of more reasons to dislike BSA and their recent decisions (even while he himself helped craft those decisions). Nobody should assume that having daughters or granddaughters makes one a supporter of girls in BSA. Nobody should assume that being female makes one a supporter of girls in BSA. I dearly love my wife and three daughters, and we all disagree with this decision to include girls. Can we leave the identity politics behind, please?
  15. The quote below is from @CalicoPenn posted on March 9, 2018 telling me to quit Scouting.
  16. gblotter

    10,000 Girl Cub Scouts

    Agreed. Admittedly, individual viewpoints shape our overall vision of future trends. I personally see a large number of Scouts who plan to complete their march to Eagle and then quit BSA altogether. Many folks are in denial about the impacts of co-ed Scouting on existing boy membership. Boys are not stupid and they will easily discern that the program focus has shifted away from them and their needs. BSA can't bully and shame people into staying with labels like "unScoutlike" and "conditional Scouter". Most who leave will walk away in silence rather than loud protest. The "get done and get out" mentality will accelerate next summer when boys are faced with the reality of co-ed BSA summer camps. But you are absolutely correct - only time will tell. However, we can rely on BSA National leadership to deflect blame and responsibility about the true reasons for any membership losses.
  17. gblotter

    10,000 Girl Cub Scouts

    And how many boys are headed to the exits in reaction to program changes that ignore their needs and opinions? I predict more boys will be lost than girls gained, for a net loss in overall membership.
  18. No doubt there are plenty of agitators and activists who would agree. However, open defiance and boastful disobedience is definitely not how I define good leadership in Scouting. Some Scouters on this forum are quite particular about following every guideline and regulation issued by BSA. This scrutiny and hair-splitting can sometimes reach levels of absurdity (e.g. to wear a neckerchief over the collar or under the collar). Then I read threads like this where other Scouters brag about breaking fundamental rules. Such a fascinating discussion. In truth, it doesn't matter to me. I am an LDS Scouter, and our troop of 30 Scouts will be dissolved at the end of 2019. I'll be continuing along straight ahead as BSA takes a left turn. I'm not surprised that BSA's recent changes are still not enough to satisfy the detractors and dissenters. I don't expect they will ever be satisfied. I have accepted that this is no longer the Scouting program that captured my heart and imagination as a youth. Do what you want with it. The bumblers and liars at BSA National have made quite a mess of things in my view. I'm the last person who will be running to their defense at this point, so defy, disobey, and dissent all you like.
  19. From a different forum thread, a Scout has been denied Eagle by BSA National because he missed the age deadline by two months. There has been community outcry and petitions over this. See https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/westchester/greenburgh/2018/08/15/boy-scouts-no-eagle-rank-greenburghs-hari-channagiri/996348002/ So if the CO, CC, and SM have a thoughtful organized dissent with BSA National over this issue, I guess it's ok for them to just go purchase some Eagle badges on eBay and award them to the boy anyway, right? We are justified in disobeying BSA National (over any issue I suppose), so long as we are thoughtful and organized in our defiance, right?
  20. At least the Scout is handling this with honor and maturity. "I knew from the beginning that I might not get to be an Eagle Scout because of the timing," the 18-year-old said Wednesday, after the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) National Council reaffirmed its decision not to promote Channagiri. "I wanted to build a bridge, and I decided to do it anyway. That was my choice. I did it for me, not just because it might help me become an Eagle." Bravo to his attitude. See https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/westchester/greenburgh/2018/08/15/boy-scouts-no-eagle-rank-greenburghs-hari-channagiri/996348002/
  21. I have encountered this same difficult situation. We had a Scout who was approaching his 18th birthday when suddenly he reappeared on the scene after years of inactivity in the troop. He had missed the deadline for his Life Scout board of review (it needed to be 6 months before his birthday). "Sorry fella - tough break", but he submitted an appeal to the council stating that he had been sick (he wasn't). The council approved his appeal. He then started asking the troop to schedule special campouts so that he could get his 20 nights of camping for the Camping merit badge (even though he had declined to attend the regularly scheduled troop campouts for years). He would then show up at the special campouts late at night and leave early in the morning (because he was busy with school sports). Similarly, he asked several adult leaders for extraordinary efforts to help him complete a variety of Eagle-required merit badges. His Eagle Scout Service Project was mentored by someone else, so I will withhold comment on that (but it was completed in one weekend). He finished his paperwork and submitted it on his 18th birthday. He departed for college shortly thereafter. Predictably, he asked for (and was granted) an extension to hold his EBOR later. Because of his unusual circumstances, a special EBOR was held with five reviewers instead of the normal three. He ultimately passed his EBOR. What rubbed me most about our Scout was that (again and again) he thought the normal rules did not apply to him. He routinely relied on others to grant exceptions and to make extraordinary efforts to compensate for his lack of preparation.
  22. @oldbuzzard If your troop and pack are determined to ignore BSA rules about girl membership, why not just buy a bunch of Eagle Scout awards on eBay and hand them out to any girl who wants them? Who cares if the girls meet the requirements - just do whatever you want (sounds like that's how you roll anyway, right?).
  23. gblotter

    Camp lock down amid felon pursuit (Fresno, CA)

    Despite the name, River Camp at Scout Island doesn't seem to have any affiliation with BSA or GSUSA. I wonder if it did at some time in the past. It seems like a nice location. http://scoutisland.org/ https://www.riverparkway.org/index.php/things-to-do/river-camp/river-camp-scout-island
  24. gblotter

    Summer Camp Merit Badge Questions

    True story. We are a multi-generational Scouting family. A cousin of ours attended his first Boy Scout camp this summer. During a recent family gathering, he bragged about "earning" 15 merit badges in one week. Everyone in the room just sat in silence and refused to offer the praise this boy was expecting. Boys should not be punished for the mistakes of adults, but I wish something could be done to stop the mockery of these merit badge mills. I am disappointed and disgusted that such camps continue to exist in BSA.
  25. gblotter

    Denied a court of honor.

    Aside from being Scoutmaster, I also participate in EBORs for our district as a panel member. I have encountered candidates who were disappointing. I have encountered candidates who were uninspiring. I have encountered candidates who were unprepared. But I have never encountered a candidate who was deserving of a "no" vote. @Mich08212 None of us here know your son. What is it about him and/or his Scouting experience that you think caused reservations during the EBOR? The source of concerns can be usually be pinpointed by the nature of the questioning. Which topics did the EBOR panel drill into with your son?
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