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Posts posted by gblotter


    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

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

    • Upvote 1

  5. 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!

    • Upvote 1

  6. 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.

    • Sad 1
    • Upvote 2

  7. 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.


    • Upvote 1

  8. 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.

  9. 12 hours ago, CalicoPenn said:

    I know its popular to blame National for any and everything but in defense of National on this so-called failure of management - the BSA issued a press release that was covered by just about everyone in the media - ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, NPR, Fox, MSNBC, CNN - and pretty much every newspaper - large and small - covered this   Time magazine covered this .  Conservative blogs covered this.  Liberal blogs covered this.  Progressive blogs covered this.  Short of the BSA sending out some kind of campaign style postcard to every house in the USA, the news was pretty much all over the place.  It's not National's failure that so many people apparently don't pay attention to news coverage.

    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.

  10. 21 hours ago, CalicoPenn said:

    Think the ban on Scouts under 14 using a 4-wheel cart (aka Radio Flyer Wagon) is silly and you're not going to enforce it at a service project?  No one from National is going to jump out of the bushes and fine you for refusing to follow that rule.  None of their rules and prohibitions are pro-actively enforced (except perhaps at District/Council events/properties, summer camp, National properties) - they are enforced retro-actively - after the event has occurred.  No one form National/Council is actively monitoring our units to make sure we are following the program to the letter.

    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.

  11. On 7/1/2018 at 11:10 PM, Saltface said:

    Friday evening's ice cream social was turned into a dance party. As we walked past it, I couldn't see anyone on the dance floor that wasn't a staff member.

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




  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

    • Upvote 4

  15. 3 hours ago, Hedgehog said:

    I also see the co-ed dynamics and understand that co-ed at the younger ages won't work.  So, the BSA structure actually works - a boy Troop, a girl Troop and a co-ed Venturing Crew.

    Scouting is not co-ed. (1)

    (1) Unless you attend a summer camp, or a merit badge university, or a Camporee, or a Cub Scout Day Camp, or an OA Induction, or NYLT, or any other event sponsored at the District, Council, or National level.

    So the Scouts BSA structure actually does not work if you engage in anything outside your own troop.

  16. 3 hours ago, mashmaster said:

    Frankly, I don't understand why you are sticking around if you feel so strongly that the BSA has wronged you and the boys. 

    If based only on my strong disapproval, I would already be gone. But “sticking around” has to do with my love for the boys I serve as Scoutmaster. My planned exit from Scouting will happen in an orderly way. Our troop will be dissolved after nearly 60 years in existence and more than 85 Eagle Scouts. Decisions have consequences.

    3 hours ago, mashmaster said:

    I respect that you feel differently about girls in scouting 

    Respect? Attempts to trivialize opposing points of view by saying “everyone has their panties up in a wad” only reveals your lack of respect and understanding.

  17. 3 hours ago, mashmaster said:

    Frankly, I see nothing wrong with boys joining and following the girl scout program.

    But do you use labels like “discriminatory” and “exclusionary” and “on the wrong side of history” to describe organizations that focus on the needs of girls? Or is that name calling reserved only for those serving boys?