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gblotter

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Posts posted by gblotter


  1. 2 minutes ago, bearess said:

    I’d say that the fact that such significant changes to BSA had to be made for LDS units means the program was never a great fit.

    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.

     


  2. 27 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

    Under those circumstances, will there be a Church defined discouragement for girls to join the program?

    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.

     

    27 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

    what is it about the Scouts BSA model as its supposed to be run: a single gender, outdoor based, character and citizenship development program, that would make it inappropriate for young women to participate in?

    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.

     


  3. 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.


  4. 48 minutes ago, bearess said:

    LDS troops also limit camping for young scouts, rarely have elected PORs for scouts, and are often known as Eagle mills.  There are many differences.

    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.

     

    48 minutes ago, bearess said:

    I think their willingness to bend/change the rules for one group has negatively impacted the program, making it exclusive and divisive.

    You have a strange perspective if you believe that LDS is the only opposition to BSA National on these divisive issues.

     

    48 minutes ago, bearess said:

    I think BSA will be better for this change.

    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.

     

    48 minutes ago, bearess said:

    For the LDS Church, I think it’s a loss.

    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.


  5. 3 hours ago, mashmaster said:

    I will be interested to see how many join other troops in the area.

    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.

     

    3 hours ago, mashmaster said:

    In our area, the LDS troops operate much differently than the non-LDS troops.

    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.


  6. 2 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

    I find it interesting that he speaks about a desire to have his grandsons become Eagle Scouts, but seems to preclude the possibility of his granddaughters following that trail.

    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?

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  7. 19 hours ago, CalicoPenn said:

    Congratulations.  You win.  You've been trying to drive me out of these forums with your personal attacks on me for years.  Your bullying finally worked.  This will be my final post.

     

    The quote below is from @CalicoPenn posted on March 9, 2018 telling me to quit Scouting.

    If you're one of these conditional scouters, which I define as "I'm happy to volunteer as long as nothing ever changes and the BSA does things the way I want them to do them", then do us a favor - stop talking about quitting - just quit.  Do it now - don't wait until 2019.


  8. 51 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

    It may take several years to really see the impact of all recent changes (YPT, G2SS, girls, etc).

    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.


  9. 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.

    • Sad 1

  10. 12 hours ago, ParkMan said:

    Isn't that part of being a good leader?

    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.

     

    12 hours ago, ParkMan said:

    Finally - why do you really care if someone disobey's national.

    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.


  11. 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?

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  12. 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/

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  13. 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.

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  14.  

    On 8/9/2018 at 8:50 PM, oldbuzzard said:

    Our troop has a "patrol" of girls at summer camp for the past 2 weeks. We run our own camp with usually one other troop. We've regularly had 1 or 2 associated Venture crews that are majority female doing all camp activities . Our girl patrol sent in registrations as Scouts which were rejected. We refused to take the apps back. I *think* council converted them to Venture apps and we refused to take the cards. Anyway, all the females are over 14 but we invited younger girls and would have allowed them if they wanted to attend. This is the female scouts' first troop activity, some of them did a entirely mom/daughter BWCA trip this summer at the same time the troop was sending 3 crews to the BWCA. The biggest issue has been how we are going to recognize them at the closing campfire since we can't give them merit badges. I'll see what they've come up with tomorrow night.

    So yes. We have a committee. We have female scouters. Half the girls at camp will age out before girls are "allowed" in February, so we also have a younger group of female ASMs or ad hoc volunteers from our venture crew, which has been defunct but is spinning back up for an existing group of senior scouts who will age out during their senior year and want to do some more high adventure. Our CO has encouraged us to push the boundaries as much as possible.  We are planning to run linked troops which will look like a single troop with single sex patrols. We're just hoping to get enough new girls to have viable patrols.

    ETA: Our Cub Scout troop is planning to run coed dens.. Council knows this. We are a designated referral pack for girls who can't form a viable den in other packs. When we told council they gritted their teeth and said they'd *strongly* prefer we not do that. We told them we were doing it anyway and they ignored it.

    @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?).

    • Upvote 4

  15. 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.


  16. On 7/24/2018 at 7:12 AM, Mich08212 said:

    At the board of review, there was one person that would not sign off on the approval, and others had their reservations.  So basically the one person stepped aside (abstained from the vote), and everyone else approved.  You have to have 100% approval at the board of review to have the boy make Eagle.

    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?


  17. 3 hours ago, qwazse said:

    Life jackets would have been nice. What about throw rings? Rope?

    "Next level of scouting." Is that the one where boys do a line rescue?

     

    1 hour ago, John-in-KC said:

    Reach, throw, row, go. 

    Did the unit have a torpedo buoy?  Was a buddy system in force?  Was there any scout or adult who was trained as a bsa lifeguard?

    Finally, what level of swimmers were the youth?  There isn’t a lot of reason to be in that deep of water with learners. 

     

    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.

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  18. 3 hours ago, Mich08212 said:

    Im sure a ECOH is a lot of work. Im not new to getting into the trenches with putting events together. And so what if it is?

    I am currently working with a Council member to help guide me through it.

    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!

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  19. 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.

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  20. 2 hours ago, Mich08212 said:

    Seriously? You condone that? It sounds like it.

    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".

     

    2 hours ago, Mich08212 said:

    So it cant go back many years.

    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.

     

    2 hours ago, Mich08212 said:

    The last minute scrambling didnt come from my son. He started it about 9 months or so before his 18th birthday. He was 100% prepared. It was the lack of leadership he needed to guide him through and lots of "hand sitting" on the troops part.

    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.

     

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  21. 5 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    The rules are based upon DOL and OSHA laws, and were implemented at the request of one non-profit that BSA does work with. If memory serves, it is Habitat for Humanity that requested we follow these rules when working with them. For whatever reason, National decided to implement them in the G2SS.

    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.

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