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gblotter

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Everything posted by gblotter

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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/
  4. 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.
  5. @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?).
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. gblotter

    Denied a court of honor.

    @Mich08212 I am also interested to know what the Scoutmaster had to say in his email. Don't keep us in suspense - lol.
  10. gblotter

    Scoutmaster drowns while rescuing scout (UT)

    My wife and I were mentioning these exact topics while laying in bed this morning and discussing this tragedy. One always hopes that one can maintain a level head and think clearly about Safe Swim Defense rules and basic rescue techniques when adrenaline is pumping. The Scout leader's young wife was part of the adult contingent watching from the shore. They had been married only six months. Such a sad story.
  11. gblotter

    Denied a court of honor.

    I commend your "can-do" attitude about getting in the trenches and organizing your own ECOH. Given the circumstances, I think that is your only viable option at this point. Good luck for a successful and meaningful event!
  12. gblotter

    Denied a court of honor.

    There are always at least two sides to every story. The argument from Mich08212 is compelling, but I wonder what the Scoutmaster's version might be. 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 a variety of 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, but his achievement was nothing I was ready to celebrate. What rubbed me most about this Scout was that (again and again) he thought the normal rules did not apply to him, and that everyone else should feel obligated to make extraordinary efforts to compensate for his lack of preparation. That's my side of the story. However, to hear him tell the story, he was just a busy high school senior involved in sports and doing what needed to be done to get his Eagle - nothing to see here folks, move along. I'M NOT SAYING THAT THIS IS THE SITUATION OF YOUR SON - I'm just using it as an example of how every story can be told differently.
  13. gblotter

    Denied a court of honor.

    Not at all - that's not at all how we roll in my troop. I'm just trying to decipher what might be their motivation. I will repeat what I said in my post: "I'm not saying their attitude is justified, but it is understandable". The resentment toward your son and your family goes back to the time he crossed over from Cubs. That sounds like many years to me. Fair enough. I based my comments on the fact that his project was completed last minute and the paperwork was turned in on his birthday. I don't condone the uncooperative and begrudging behavior from your troop committee. I obviously phrased my comments poorly to make you feel so defensive - sorry about that. I hope your son gets his deserved recognition in a court of honor.
  14. gblotter

    Denied a court of honor.

    I can't believe I just read all eight pages of this thread. It seems clear that some members of the troop committee do not believe your son was qualified for Eagle even though he passed his EBOR. It was mentioned that a member of the EBOR panel also had reservations but passed him anyway (or did I get that wrong). Perhaps these reservations are related to the physical limitations of your son or other factors that affected his participation. Perhaps quality was missing from efforts made at the last minute. From the bullying comments, it seems some resentment toward your son and/or your family goes back many years. That could be attributable to personality differences or something more serious. We have all witnessed Scouts who limp across the finish line right at their 18th birthday (I call them "Deathbed Eagles"). As a Scoutmaster, I will admit that I am not inspired by that kind of last-minute scrambling. Their lack of preparation does not equal my emergency, but I won't create artificial obstacles either. It is definitely not an ideal situation for anyone. My own son had his ECOH earlier this year, and I can tell you that it was a LOT of work to pull everything together. If the troop committee feels your son was undeserving in the first place, it is understandable that they don't want to make extra efforts to honor his achievement by organizing an ECOH (I'm not saying their attitude is justified, but it is understandable). The Scoutmaster argued in favor of an ECOH, but the committee said no. It sounds like the fight is over. Given that your son is now 19 and no longer registered with the troop, you are pushing on a string. Just organize a family event and invite those you want. You can make the effort to write and solicit congratulatory letters from various sources if desired. If the Scoutmaster argued in favor of holding an ECOH, I assume he will show up at your family event. His presence will add some formality and gravitas to it.
  15. gblotter

    BSA National and Change Management

    I'm not a lawyer. You may be right.
  16. gblotter

    BSA National and Change Management

    Because if National does not implement the same DOL and OSHA and Habitat for Humanity rules, then BSA will have increased legal liability for ignoring "industry standard" safety practices. As I said before, this is all about exposure to liability.
  17. gblotter

    BSA National and Change Management

    CalicoPenn is absolutely right on this point. National has blown their co-ed horn using every means possible. It is shocking to me how many of the Scouting families in my own troop are not aware of the co-ed Scouting decision. Although I vehemently disagree with the decision, I have mostly stayed silent about it with our Scouting families. Perhaps they rely on me too much to inform them about what is going on in the Scouting world.
  18. gblotter

    BSA National and Change Management

    The primary benefit that National receives from the G2SS is shielding from liability. Concern about the safety of individuals is a secondary consideration (sorry to be so cynical, but that is the truth). That is why we see such ridiculous rules. That is why we see no monitoring or enforcement. If a 13 year-old gets hurt using a 4-wheel cart, National will transfer any lawsuit liability to the local unit and local leadership for not following the published rules. Problem solved.
  19. gblotter

    BSA National and Change Management

    I obviously wasn't referring to your individual motivations.
  20. gblotter

    Is this the new normal?

    Ah. Perhaps that is the reason why I have never felt an affinity for Venturing.
  21. gblotter

    Is this the new normal?

    This photo from SBR. Apparently, they are now hosting dance parties at The Summit now too - complete with karaoke and glow sticks. Ughhh.
  22. gblotter

    BSA National and Change Management

    Quite simply, these membership changes are motivated by financial desperation from shrinking enrollment, made more urgent by the LDS exit. It is insulting for BSA National to pretend otherwise. Honest communication is a starting point for effective change management, but these folks approach it more like a con game. Their deceptions are in plain view, and I find it all quite disgusting.
  23. gblotter

    Thinking I am Going to Step Down

    When such questions arise, it usually boils down to desire and ability. Desire is tough to cultivate if it is absent. Ability can be developed (within limits). It sounds like you have the desire to serve, but health issues may impact your ability to serve. If the Den Leader position demands more than you are physically able to give, perhaps there is another position (say as a committee member) that would better match your abilities and not require so much camping and training. Regarding comments about a having a low opinion of yourself or being a bad person ... all I can say is that serving others always raises my self-esteem and self-worth. For that reason alone, I would try to find a way to stay involved in some position. We all have something to contribute - large or small.
  24. gblotter

    Boys' needs

    Boys need more outdoor, less indoor. More adventure, less bookwork. More moving, less sitting. Boys need more strong male role models to emulate and admire. Boys need recognition that they learn differently and behave differently than girls (especially during young adolescence). Boys need validation that boy behavior does not always equal bad behavior, and that girl behavior does not always equal good behavior.
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