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Everything posted by gblotter

  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
  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 addit
  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 excitemen
  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
  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 megatro
  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 - th
  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 s
  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
  15. 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 thoro
  16. A good link about the history of girls in Scouting - way back to the beginning (in USA, at least). https://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/our-history/timeline.html
  17. I am a dedicated Scoutmaster who comes from multi-generational Scouting family. I share my Scouting enthusiasm with everyone around me because it is genuinely felt, and also because Scout Spirit is contagious. Along with my enthusiasm, I also explicitly explain my acceptance that not every family approaches Scouting with my same level of vigor - and that's ok. Troop meetings and weekend campouts will not always be prioritized first when choosing between competing activities - and that's ok. Sometimes other things in life are more important than Scouting - and that's ok. Last night, I held
  18. According to this webpage, The Summit is included in the list of BSA High Adventure Bases. https://www.scouting.org/careers/employment-opportunities/high-adventure-bases/ However, when I examine the website and materials available for The Summit, ( http://www.summitbsa.org/ )I see no mention at all of WFA as a requirement for units who attend their programs. To be more specific, is WFA a requirement only for Philmont, Northern Tier, and Florida Sea Base?
  19. @BillFan90 My answer to you might depend on what is your family situation. Specifically, do you have a son in the troop? I have been a Scoutmaster twice. During my first tour of duty as Scoutmaster (7 years), we were a new-married couple without children. My wife's resentment of the time demands was understandably an issue. She was left at home alone on many campout weekends, and much of my vacation time allotment from work was spent on Scouting adventures and summer camps. While I treasured these Scouting experiences, my prioritization was at times unfair. I vacated the Scoutmaster
  20. No disagreement at all that the well-being troop members and their families should be the top priority for unit leaders. Absolutely true. However, lower overall BSA membership is (or should be) a concern for folks at all levels of Scouting (including individual units). When money is tight, facilities are not maintained, staffing is cut, training is shortchanged, and money pressures start forcing decisions to be made for the wrong motivations (i.e. not for the good of the boys and the program, but for the survival of BSA the corporation). In our little corner of BSA, I'm seeing this e
  21. So I'll just assume you also ascribe those negative traits to GSUSA which excludes boys at every level. How very unScoutlike of them, right? Or does your door of condemnation swing only one way (against boys)?
  22. I was anticipating your question. The camp I had in mind is Camp Baldwin in the Cascade Pacific Council. However, I just revisited their website so I could send you a screenshot and discovered that they have reversed course. No girl-only weeks at Camp Baldwin after all, so I retract my claim.
  23. Yes, there are girl-only weeks currently on the 2019 calendar at some BSA camps. What bigots those people must be.
  24. So if a girl-only troop gravitates to a girl-only week at a BSA camp, I supposed that means those girls consider boys to be second class citizens, right?
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