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Posts posted by gblotter

  1. 18 hours ago, gblotter said:

    Out of 8 weeks, only two will be set aside as "Boys Only".

    Camp Meriwether seems to be operating under the assumption that LDS troops are the only ones who care about a single-gender camping experience. Make a few accommodations for the LDS units, and everyone else will be fine with co-ed camping. It will be interesting to see how that assumption plays out in their summer camp enrollments.

  2. On 1/6/2018 at 2:58 PM, Zuse said:

    I flat out told the parents and scouts numerous times this past year that it is "opt-in" and that only those with a real desire to work consistently towards Eagle will get there.

    Same here.

    The older boys are too distracted with other pursuits (sports, cars, girls, homework). If they are too busy for Scouting, then I am too busy for them. I’d rather spend my time working with the younger boys who have a real desire and enthusiasm for Scouting.

  3. Just now, NJCubScouter said:

    Haven't council camp properties been going up for sale (and sold) for at least the past 10 years?

    I don't know. Are there statistics on this?

    Not in our council, at least. Our council has three camp properties, and one sits mostly unused (even during the summer months). But nothing has gone up for sale (yet).

  4. On 2/12/2018 at 10:51 AM, WisconsinMomma said:

    Regarding camp,  I wonder if a solution might be for camps to have all-girls' weeks set aside for female troops or patrols. So perhaps 5 weeks of summer are for males and one week is for females.  Might be an option -- I saw a camp that had one week set aside for LDS scouts only.   It will be interesting to see how camps plan and organize.  Of course there may also be opportunities for strategic campsite placement, etc.

    Camp Meriwether in Oregon has already published their plan for the 2019 camping season.

    See https://www.cpcbsa.org/meriwether

    Out of 8 weeks, only two will be set aside as "Boys Only".

    It seems to me they have it backwards - perhaps only two weeks should be open to girls.

    The tail is wagging the dog.


    • Upvote 2

  5. 4 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    You can tell that the firm of Dewey, Cheathum, and Howe has been hard at work in Irving, TX

    What a joke

    Previous threads here have sufficiently mocked the tool usage matrix. BSA lawyers will always prevail when there is exposure to liability. It is what it is.

  6. 5 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

    However, the SM has been in the role 18 years. He should be able to recite the GTA, Sweet 16 and other docs chapter and verse. He got caught mailing it in and the flogged him good...and rightly so IMHO.

    I have done two terms as Scoutmaster (10+ years). I only became aware of the BSA tool usage matrix last year (and quite by chance). Flog me too, I guess.

  7. 7 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

    They used it as a chance to counsel both the youth and the SM on proper procedure and rules.

    It sounds like the EBOR handled it well. I have sympathy for Scouts and Scoutmasters trying to understand and comply. Coaching rather than censure seems like the right thing to do in that situation.

  8. This is all about legal exposure and liability. Without adult supervision at Eagle projects, the heads of BSA lawyers would explode. The tool usage matrix shows how BSA has painted itself into a corner. The boys are supposed to be in charge, but the boys are not allowed to operate the tools. Strange contortions happen to satisfy these conflicting requirements.

  9. 54 minutes ago, qwazse said:

    In general, I have been coming across more 17 year-olds who just don't do paperwork.

    I have encountered the same, but it is more than a paperwork problem. Some of these 17 year-old candidates have been inactive in Scouting for several years and are just coming back for some last minute cramming to get their Eagle. Their cramming approach is reflected in all they do (missing approvals and signatures, rushed project, incomplete paperwork, shoddy uniform, etc). There is nothing of quality.

    I call them "deathbed Eagles", and I'm definitely not a fan.

  10. We had a similar situation in our district. The lack of signature/approval from the district was not noticed until the Eagle Scout application was submitted. The District Advancement Chair was understandably quite peeved. Lots of blame to go around. They decided to hold a special EBOR with 5 reviewers instead of the normal 3 (I know of this because I sat on that EBOR). The grilling was quite intense, but he ultimately passed.

  11. I was not involved in OA as a Scout, and I am just now becoming familiar with OA as a Scoutmaster.

    Our troop recently conducted our first OA election with four candidates elected. I am also qualified with the required camping nights, but the lodge representatives said I did not need to be included on the ballot.

    Just to become more knowledgeable about OA, I feel like I (or some other adult leader in our troop) should go through the ordeal and become involved if I am sending off some of my Scouts.

    For lack of information, I am a bit apprehensive. Blind are leading the blind right now when it comes to OA.


  12. 26 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

    In personal matters, MYOB has worked well for me.

    I was motivated by the Scout slogan.

    He was not offended in any way to receive my phone call - it's just that he is apparently not the sentimental type when it comes to Boy Scout patches.

  13. I recently saw a very nice framed display of Boy Scout patches for sale on eBay (including Eagle Scout rank and palms). I could tell that this boy was very active in Scouting in a Los Angeles troop during the 1990s. However, I felt sad that this collection was up for sale because my own Boy Scout patch collection is a treasure to me. Did the original owner die? Was his patch collection somehow lost or stolen?  The framed collection happened to have an engraved plate with the name of the Scout. With some help from Google, I tracked him down - now working as an attorney in Massachusetts. I felt an obligation to notify him that his patch collection was for sale on eBay in case he wanted to reclaim it. I reached him by phone only to learn that he had intentionally given up his patch collection during an estate sale after his parents died. He had no idea who was selling it on eBay and he had no interest in getting it back. Obviously, some folks are not so sentimental about such things.

    • Sad 2

  14. Why does anyone assume that a longer journey is a higher-quality journey? In much of my Scouting experience I find that when a Scout slow-walks through the ranks, it is because he is only partially engaged in Scouting and only shows up sporadically. That half-commitment is of course reflected in the speed of his advancement, too. Where in that equation does anyone derive that he is having a higher-quality Scouting journey? I see quite the opposite, in fact.

    • Upvote 2

  15. In our troop, announcements by adult leaders at a COH are redundant because communication between Scoutmaster and parents happens by email list, and our troop calendar is published on Scoutbook.

    Our troop typically has three COHs per year. The COH at the end of the summer is, of course, the biggest one because of all the advancement earned at summer camps. That particular court of honor went on for almost two hours. It included a report by two Scouts on their Jamboree experience. It included two different slideshows (created by Scouts) of summer activities. It included an OA election which was conducted by Scouts (OA elections require at least 50 percent attendance, so a COH is our best opportunity). And it included lots of advancement and awards being handed out at the end of a busy summer camping season. While having lots of advancement and awards is a good problem, two hours is still a long time to sit in any meeting.

    Our troop is trying to adopt a pattern of giving out rank patches immediately after the successful completion of a board of review. That has the benefit of immediate recognition and also shortens the court of honor. However, that solution is only possible if you are able to keep a stock of extra rank patches on hand specifically for that purpose.

  16. 19 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    I think that is the major problem. Webelos IS suppose to be the transition period between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. They are suppose to be treated as Boy Scouts but still under the direction of an adult Den Leader,  and if lucky a Den Chief.

    In the LDS Packs I have seen, there were limited transition activities between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. I remember that my son's Webelos Den visited a troop meeting and helped with a troop fundraiser. And of course there was a crossing over ceremony from Webelos to the New Scout Patrol. However, the New Scout Patrol was really his introduction vehicle into Boy Scouts. For my son, the Webelos period was mainly focused on earning his Arrow of Light.

    I consider myself rather expert in most Boy Scout topics, but I relied on others to guide my son through the Cub Scout program. Even today, much of Cub Scout advancement seems like a confusing mess to me (although I'm sure it makes perfect sense to others who have taken the time to understand the program better).

    • Upvote 1

  17. 2 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

    Aren't those the same girls from that "photo op"?

    Sure looks like it to me. I don't think we can even assume these girls are actually enrolled in Cub Scouts. They could very well be child models recruited by a PR agency. That should not surprise anyone - such practices are normal and expected in corporate marketing campaigns.

    • Haha 1
    • Upvote 2

  18. 3 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    The entire First Class, First Year premise looks only at one factor and membership retention: advancement. And IMHO since it came out when NSPs came out, it is based upon how LDS units do things, i.e. 11 year olds are a separate group. Every unit that is “successful” with NSPs has to treat them like Cub Scouts, not Boy Scouts. Of course they will advance fast, but do they truly learn?

    With traditional patrols, advancement is slower, but they learn, truly learn.


    As a former LDS New Scout Leader, I can confirm that these 11 year-old patrols do function very much like Webelos Dens, with lots of indoor and outdoor instruction. That first year is structured as a soft introduction into Boy Scouts. That is one reason why they are limited to just 3 nights of camping. Dads accompany sons on every campout during that first year (by design).

    There may be other weaknesses of the model, but I do not necessarily agree that learning is compromised by this approach. It is an intensive year of skill building. A variety of resources are enlisted to teach these skills in a quality way. In our troop's New Scout program, only about half the Scouts make it to First Class during that first year. Corners are not cut. The boys who do make it to First Class by age 12 typically do a fair amount of skill mastery at home and then pass off requirements to their Scout leader. The son of our current New Scout Leader just turned 12 as a Tenderfoot. He obviously didn't give his own son a free pass.

    Personal drive is the primary factor in who makes it to First Class by age 12. However, that milestone seems to determine whether a Scout ultimately reaches Eagle. If they slow-walk through the lower ranks, they typically never catch up by age 18 (and that's ok).

    • Upvote 1