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Posts posted by gblotter

  1. On 9/8/2018 at 7:44 PM, desertrat77 said:

    I think the patrol method is a vanishing concept.  I can't remember the last time I've seen a troop even attempt to use it.  The patrols are just on paper.  The adults organize everything.

    I can't claim perfection, but our troop definitely attempts to use the Patrol Method.

    This weekend, our troop is doing beach camping at a location voted on by the boys during the annual planning meeting led by the SPL. Adults made the actual campsite reservation because that requires a credit card and coordination with a private business. We are taking three boy patrols on the campout with each patrol doing their own menu planning and cooking. Adults will be cooking/eating separately as the Dad Patrol. The organization of menus and camping equipment assignments has been led by either the Patrol Leader or an individual Scout working on Camping merit badge requirement #4b. During the planning meeting, notes were tracked by our Troop Scribe. We also have a boy organizing the campfire program to satisfy Communications merit badge requirement #8. Our Chaplain Aide (a boy) will lead us in grace for the campout meals. The beach activities will be low-key games chosen and organized by the boys.

    We aren't perfect, but I give our troop  at least a B grade in Patrol Method. Adults do make our camping reservations after the boys vote on the destinations. As Scoutmaster, I send out communication emails to the parents - that doesn't come from the boys. But certainly we are attempting to use the Patrol Method - the adults do not organize everything.

    • Upvote 3

  2. Lawnmower parents are nothing new, but I see this trend kicking into overdrive with our LDS troop.

    After the LDS-exit announcement, I sat down with each Scout to determine his goals before the 12/31/19 deadline. Then we wrote down a plan for him to achieve those goals (Eagle or otherwise). The plan is there, but each boy understands that it is his responsibility to execute on that plan. It is expected that some will make it and some won’t based on individual initiative. When the boys let their plan languish, I’m seeing lawnmower parents step in because they realize the consequences of missing a deadline. It’s a natural reaction, I suppose, and I know it will only get worse as we get closer to 12/31/19.

    The Eagle bulge of 1973/74 will be nothing compared to what happens in 2019, folks.


  3. On 7/26/2018 at 12:42 PM, WisconsinMomma said:

    If any of my sons earn Eagle, it will be interesting to see what they want for Court of Honor. I can see my oldest wanting something short, short, short and sweet.  The other two might like the pomp and circumstance.

    I have a Scout in my troop who has mild autism. He is a great Scout but resisted the idea of attaining Eagle until I explained that he didn’t need to have an ECOH if he didn’t want one. I jokingly told him I could just send his badge in the mail. With the pressure removed of being in the public spotlight for an ECOH, he has now caught fire and is marching steadily forward in a very determined fashion. The whole troop loves this Scout with all his fun quirks.

    • Like 1

  4. 35 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

    Just to clarify, up until and including now, if a patrol of LDS scouts wanted to say go for a five mile hike, they would have had to have two adults with them?

    Yes. In any areas where guidelines differ between church and BSA, we will always go with the church rules.

    Regarding supervision of youth activities, the LDS Safety Recommendations say:

    • The size of the group, the skill level of the participants, and the degree of challenge should be considered when determining the total number of adults needed to supervise the activity. Provide a minimum of two adults for each activity.
    • Encourage use of the buddy system. Pair up youth to help them look out for each other.
    • An individual adult must never be alone with an individual youth or child during an activity or the associated travel.
    • Parents should be encouraged to help with supervision or transportation as needed.

    I will also note that the LDS Safety Recommendations are 4 pages long, and I consider the guidelines to be rather common sense in nature.

    LDS Safety Recommendations: https://www.lds.org/youth/activities/bc/pdfs/ym-activities/PD60004396-safety_eng.pdf?lang=eng

    By comparison, BSA's Guide to Safe Scouting is 116 pages long. Enough said.

    BSA's Guide to Safe Scouting: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34416.pdf


    • Like 1

  5. 15 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    That's when the new G2SS rule that requires adults at all activities kick in.

    Ah - gotcha. I took the new YPT training when it first came out, but I guess I didn't pay much attention to that point because LDS church rules already require adults at all church youth activities (including LDS Scouting activities).

    Given that Family Scouting is, by definition, all about including the entire family (parents, siblings) in Scouting activities, at least there is some consistency with that trend the new G2SS rules.

  6. 10 hours ago, Chris1 said:

    I know quite a number of girls who will be ticked off if they don't get the same patrol-method, traditional program the boys get.

    During this entire discussion with my father-in-law, I kept reminding him that national leadership was in such a rush to announce a BSA4G program that had not even been defined. This wasn't half-baked - it wasn't even in the oven yet. All they could say about the new program was "trust us, it will be wonderful". Why do it like this? BSA National has acted with an urgent disorganization that speaks of desperation. The fact that they are talking out of both sides of their mouth about Family Scouting and the integration of girls is only further evidence. Even now - 6 months out - confused messages emerge from those involved with these inside conversations. Is the Family Scouting program even the same thing as the Scouts BSA girl program? - I'm not convinced that it is. These bumblers in Irving are making this up as they go along. My father-in-law is only relaying his interpretation of a program that still being formulated (with less than 6 months before rollout). Nothing in this process inspires confidence.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong (and I may well be wrong on this point), but nowhere has BSA National leadership said that the Scouts BSA program will not change in order to integrate girls. They have never said that the traditional Scouting program will be preserved in Scouts BSA. They have only said that the path to Eagle will be the same for boys and girls.

  7. 1 minute ago, an_old_DC said:

    I am barely holding on now. If what your FiL says does indeed come to pass, I am done.  


    I had told my father-in-law that I would be done with Scouting when the LDS exit on 12/31/19. Ironically, he was using these arguments to urge me to stay on with assurances that Family Scouting would not affect my traditional all-boy troop because we wouldn't be operating according to the Family Scouting rules of heavier family involvement, so I had nothing to worry about.

    Then when I started airing my grievances with Surbaugh and recent decisions, my father-in-law first became defensive, then animated, and finally aggressive. Telling me things like Scouting must change to remain relevant to today's immigrant and millennial families or die. Accusing me of contributing to BSA's demise by resisting these changes (but not calling me a Conditional Scouter).

    Even though my father-in-law and I are both long-time dedicated Scouters, there are reasons why we normally avoid discussion of these topics.


    6 minutes ago, LVAllen said:

    I'd be curious to know why he thinks the term "Family Scouting" refers to an entirely distinct program, a la Scouting and Soccer. The curriculum will remain the same for each group, which means the Rules for the Great Game of Scouting remain the same.

    My father-in-law was animated but not always consistent in making his arguments.  I think his response would be: With "Family Scouting", the whole family is playing the Great Game of Scouting together.

    6 minutes ago, LVAllen said:

    Scouts do mist everything by patrols.

    My father-in-law was the first to admit that Family Scouting objectives are not necessarily compatible with the Patrol Method.

  9. 8 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

    I don’t think he is correct.  We should learn soon from the girl’s Scouts BSA book.   I can tell you they updated the Webelos book to add girls and they still require them to teach the Patrol method under Scouting Adventure (to earn AOL) ... even to girls.

    My father-in-law claims that the Family Scouting program was crafted in response to immigrant families and millennial parents who want to participate in Scouting the way they participate in soccer. The whole family shows up to experience the activity together. They demand greater involvement (helicoptering?) and are opposed to just dropping off their child. Apparently, this is supported by Surbaugh's surveys of non-Scouting families.

    I suppose greater parental involvement means lots of new leaders to support lots of new Mixed-Den Packs and Linked Troops. But this kind of parenting would also nullify any attempts at running the Patrol Method (regardless of what appears in handbooks).

    My father-in-law was emphatic that Family Scouting is not about offering a traditional Scouting program to girls. The traditional Scouting program is dying by virtue of losing membership at 2-5% per year. Family Scouting is about offering a new and different (non-traditional) Scouting program to the entire family so they can participate together. Even though Family Scouting makes the Patrol Method difficult/impossible, BSA must move in that direction to remain relevant to these target groups (immigrants and millennials).  Traditional Scouting families (non-immigrants, white, older) do not constitute a growth market because they have fewer children and are fragmented between various activities and thus they are not being targeted by Family Scouting. During an animated discussion, he pointedly said that the traditional Scouting program will die out along with old white men like me who won't change and adapt. If inflexible Scouters like me leave, it is regrettable but necessary for BSA's survival (he didn't call me a Conditional Scouter, but close).

    This is the kind of information he gleans from sitting in meetings where the National Key 3 are present.

  10. My father-in-law is a past council president with information not available to most Scouters. He is very supportive of BSA's girl decision (I am not), so we generally try to avoid discussion of the topic to preserve family harmony.

    He claims that there is only one chartering organization in our entire council that is considering a linked troop arrangement. Every other chartering organization intends to keep their troop boy-only (at least at this early stage of the game). He doubts that girl membership in Scouts BSA will ever exceed 20 percent, and girls will certainly not offset losses from the LDS exit.

    He did not have statistics for girls in Cub Scouting, but he knows there is already much greater acceptance of girls in that program. He sees little resistance to girls in Cub Scouting, but girls in Boy Scouting is a different story. He acknowledges that traditional Scouters have cause to feel alienated, but traditional Scouters are not viewed as a growth market for BSA.

  11. 3 hours ago, ParkMan said:

    The BSA's biggest problem is the poor job that we do in explaining our program.

    My father-in-law is a long-time Scouter. He is a past council president, and a current Western Region committee member. He has sat in meetings with the National Key 3.

    Tonight he explained to me that the term "Family Scouting" applies only to a Cub Scout Pack with mixed Dens, or a Scouts BSA Linked Troop arrangement. Traditional single-gender Packs and non-linked Troops do not operate according to the rules of Family Scouting. People would join Family Scouting Packs and Troops with the expectation of bringing moms, dads, and younger siblings to Scouting events, and the Patrol Method would not apply. People joining traditional single-gender Packs and Troops would have no such expectation, and the Patrol Method would continue.

    I'm not saying he has the correct understanding of what BSA National is doing, but his interpretation is interesting. If he is right, then BSA National has done an incredibly poor job of explaining the program changes for Family Scouting.

  12. 3 hours ago, ParkMan said:

    As a Scouting community, we really need to stop with the negative comments about moms.

    100 percent agree.

    In our LDS troop, moms provide vital support and hold key committee positions. However, moms do not hold SM/ASM positions, and moms do not attend campouts.

    In our LDS pack, moms shoulder most of the burden - dads focus only on the Webelos Den.

    At least in the way our units operate, moms are nothing but a positive influence.

  13. My stance is evidence that it is possible to be pro-girl AND pro-boy without supporting BSA’s girl decision. My wife and three daughters also oppose what BSA has done.

    In another forum thread, I just expressed support for GSUSA and their attempts to craft a Scouting program tailored for the unique needs of girls. I am very much pro-girl but anti-BSA4G.

    • Upvote 2

  14. 6 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

    You missed the first part of the quote, where she was criticizing BSA: She said "We are disappointed that Boy Scouts of America has chosen to open its program to girls in contravention of its charter, rather than focusing on the 90% of American boys not being served by Boy Scouts.


    I share her disappointment and I echo her criticism of BSA.

  15. Loosey-goosey here in California, too. Our district/council events typically get scheduled about 3 months in advance. It does introduce calendaring frustrations because we need to make campsite reservations 6 months in advance for desirable locations. Partly for this reason, we have changed our troop planning from an annual cycle to a semi-annual cycle.

  16. 3 hours ago, Treflienne said:

    We believe strongly in the importance of the safe, all-girl, girl-led and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provides. Sounded defensive to me.

    That doesn't sound defensive to my ears. Frankly, it sounds enviable.

    I wish Surbaugh could describe BSA in the same way: "We believe strongly in the importance of the safe, all-boy, boy-led and boy-friendly environment that Boy Scouts provides".

    To me, that is a focused and tailored mission.

    • Thanks 1
    • Upvote 1

  17. 1 hour ago, Sentinel947 said:

    If you've hit your breaking point, I won't judge you. I won't talk smack about you or call you a "conditional scouter." We all have our lifespans in this program, we all have our non- negotiables. I just haven't hit mine yet. 

    Thank you for your insightful comments and understanding attitude.

  18. 27 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Thanks for the additional information but that's not for us.

    This is the first year our troop will be attending AdvanceCamp, so it’s entirely possible our boys will discover that it’s not for us, either. Particularly because of the event’s size (3000 Scouts), I’m approaching this as an experiment.

  19. 16 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Advance Camp - arrive Friday night and  instead of conducting a bonfire as part of the camp, the Scouts will be turned loose on the amusement park. Spend Sat  earning meritbadges ( a long list). Meals provided. No patrol cooking, no patrol competition, no patrol method period. One night camp?


    Our troop will be there at AdvanceCamp (along with thousands of other Scouts), and the boys voted enthusiastically in favor of attending the event (partly because of the amusement park adventure on Friday night). Meals are provided only for the staff and merit badge counselors. The boys do their own patrol cooking. It is a one-night camping experience (on Friday night) before earning merit badges on Saturday. So what? That seems better than just doing the merit badge workshop only (which is what would usually happen). AdvanceCamp is more akin to a regional Jamboree experience with merit badges - not a Camporee. If the event includes camping, cooking, fun, and advancement - and the boys vote for it - why is that worthy of sarcasm just because it doesn't fit the stale and rejected model of a District Camporee?

  20. 17 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    The WB beading is symbolic of the problem with today's adults. I have never understood adults wanting to this.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to experience Scouting adventures alongside my son and his troop friends. But it is clearly their program while I am along for the ride. Wood Badge transforms the program to have the adults playing the game - that just seems awkward and weird to me. I don't even notice beads - if they are worn at all, any perceived prestige is entirely lost on me. Frankly, I want to spend as much of my limited Scouting time as possible with the boys, and I seek to spend as little of my Scouting time as possible with other adult Scouters doing things like Wood Badge.

  21. 1 minute ago, Hawkwin said:

    OK, sure. Your clarification makes more sense. But that isn't what you stated in your first reply. You built your own strawman when you stated:

    You are the only one that made such a claim. Building a strawman* seems just as dismissive.



    an intentionally misrepresented proposition that is set up because it is easier to defeat than an opponent's real argument.

    All I can say is that you completely misinterpreted my comment.

    I was praising GSUSA attempts to craft a tailored Scouting program for girls in defense against other derisive statements in this thread. How you ever interpreted that as me saying BSA is the only true Scouting program is beyond me. Check your bias.

  22. 25 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

    Only you my friend, only you.

    This quote from another forum member certainly seems dismissive to me: "What I found hilarious was the statement where they said they are experts on the outdoors, then hired The North Face company to create a bunch of new outdoor MBs for them."

    If arrows need to be slung at GSUSA programs and leadership, let it come from their own Scouts, parents, and leaders. When BSA folks say such things, it comes across as petty and unScoutlike. That is my point.


  23. I'm frankly surprised at the derision of GSUSA by some on this thread. I would expect those who are pro BSA4G would be supportive of all Scouting opportunities for our daughters. Who ever said BSA is uniquely qualified to carry the torch of true Scouting? Frankly, it seems quite petty and unScoutlike to deride and dismiss the efforts of GSUSA to craft a Scouting program uniquely tailored for girls.