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Posts posted by Jameson76

  1. 6 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    I'd be interested to get Mike's opinion on what a troop should do.  Much of what I see in his comments a unit could do today.

    Increase the adventure in your troop program.  Make your troop program less coddling. Etc.  I grant that National has restricted too many things in the name of safety.  But I bet there is lot troops could do now to start the process.

    We played British Bulldogs the other day, it was glorious and the Boys Scouts thought it was geat

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  2. You definitely have to drive the adventure and fun, but you (WE) as leaders have got to set the direction and make the adventure happen.  These are some of the things we have done last 12 months

    • We do a Lock-in, which is basically 14 hours total, and in that is 3 to 4 hours of dodgeball and 2 hours of Nerf wars.  Yeah yeah, no scouts as targets, we may have missed that paragraph in G2SS
    • We do a Capture the Flag, where you tear a ribbon off the opposing players arm to capture them, during this we are literally one boulder crushing away from Lord of the Flies
    • We do an aquatics outing where we rent canoes and they canoe to an island during the day, only rule is you gotta have on the life jacket, if you are not canoeing we are hauling you around on a tube behind a boat
    • We go to a rail to trail bike path and they do 25 to 60 miles in the weekend
    • Our winter trip is 3 day backpacking, or canoeing in the swamp
    • One weekend outing we went down into a gorge (permit only) and I was pretty sure I was gonna die
    • One weekend we go to a ropes course and camp in the park, they spent 3 hours up in trees
    • At one summer camp we take the troop swimming at a water fall in a nearby state park, the locals hanging out there are always entertaining
    • Also every year we go to either Seabase of Philmont

    The troop does 13 outdoor / events each year (not including HA and HA training stuff).  If you went to all of them it would be 27 nights of camping and 39 days involved in scouts NOT inclusive of meeting, service projects, etc.

    Point is adventure is made, it takes work.  But damn if it isn't worth it.

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  3. 45 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    I believe the BSA membership would have been better off if National hadn't done anything the last 10 years

    Absolutely agree.  There were (and are) things in place to handle most if not all of the various membership issues as the local CO has the say as to who can and cannot be a member.  National BSA sort of muddied the waters, kind of like they are doing now.  With the addition of girls, and there will not be enough units or units will go COED or something in the middle.   BSA National hopes to be all things to all people but also falls back when convenient on "local unit control".

    I have never seen a company, organization, or group that spends as much time and energy hoping to placate and appease those that are not even members, would likely not be members, and have no idea what the organization does.  While at the same time discounting and kind of ignoring those that are in fact members and participating.

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  4. 1 hour ago, Tampa Turtle said:


    See..that's not accurate because if it was really the Methodists they would not actually have voted.  The skorts issue would have been discussed, then talked about, then discussed again, then a sub-committee of Bishops would have looked at it, then it would have been brought up at the next annual conference, then there would have been a motion to table and vote at the next General Conference if so warranted by the sub committee

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  5. Depends - Do the leaders stay in the background and let the Boy Scouts do their scout stuff unencumbered (except of health and safety concerns)?  If they are helicopter parents who hover, then 1 leader can be too many.  If they understand what their role is at camp and on outings, then it's relative.  If they just try to be timekeepers, help the scouts stay on track, then the actual count does not matter. (though a 1 to 1 would be a pain)

    We take 50 and typically have equivalent of maybe 7 - 8 leaders in camp.  Honestly as long as the boys are out of the campsite at activities, we are happy.  If a Boy Scout asks for assistance with MB work, the leaders will gladly aide.  We are not monitoring their progress or work accomplished.  Also the condition of the inside of the tent is their personal choice.

    Usually one is the main leader, the go to leader in camp.  1 typically makes sure the recently crossed over scouts stay on track.  We try to have one leader at the campsite in the afternoons to be visible around the area.  There is mail to pickup, staff to harass, the wandering of the program areas, maybe SM conferences, boards of review, naps etc

    Also we encourage troop activities at the campsite; corn hole games, slack line, etc.  Poker night is fun but you have to engage them early in the week or they have spent all their cash at the trading post.

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  6. 53 minutes ago, FaithfulScouter said:

    Our Troop Committee recently learned that one of our Scouts lied to the Committee while presenting an update on his Eagle Scout project.  The Scout was asked if a specific person had reviewed the proposal and photos and the Scout said he had, and that he had discussed other aspects of the project with him too.  Upon later review, structural and safety issues were revealed. The project has now been suspended and the Scout will have to start over with another one.  Time is not a concern because he is a young teenager.  District Advancement and Council has been involved, although it would seem not to the CC or AC's satisfaction.  Further complicating the issue is that one of the Scout's parents has escalated the issue with near physical confrontations with the SM and members of the Committee.

    As a Troop Committee, how should we move forward?


    Just curious (in general terms) what the project was and what the issue was.  Not discounting anyone's input, but we had a Scout building a bridge, had the plans, then a structural engineer (also volunteer) at the beneficiary wanted to be involved and it went sideways from there.  He basically wanted a footbridge that could hold a car, while it was in fact a short footbridge on a trail.  It needed to be built to "his" standards.  Point is there are typically minimum structural standards and then you may have someone who has their standard because, well they know best and we must acknowledge their knowledge

    Now if the Eagle candidate was supposed to meet this specific person, maybe tried to meet, and they were not available, not cooperative, wanted to have the scout do it "their" way and the Boy Scout after some interaction just said heck I'm trying to get this done and plunged ahead, then it is a life lesson.  Hopefully he comes away with an understanding of how to call on people to assist, how to involve the Eagle coach, his SM, and get a meeting of the minds to move something forward.

    If he just never even contacted, reached out, or never tried to engage this person but said he had because he just did not want to, that is another issue

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  7. 32 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    To what end? Even giving up all the salary would have little effect on the problem.

    I believe if voice is to have impact, one has to be careful that their rhetoric doesn't give the appearance of class envy. I heard (don't know how true) that the concern is more about funding retirements long term.


    Part of the challenge is salaries

    It is basically these 5 items

    1. Financial drain for the Summit - the losses there are staggering
    2. BSA National overhead costs not adjusted in relation to membership - seriously doubt the overhead has been reduced 10% in last 4 years
    3. Many years of underfunded pension payments 
    4. Exploded liability insurance premiums - thus the 38% membership increase
    5. Reduced membership and thus less revenue - This has accounted for close to $30MM less income in the last 4 yearts




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  8. 13 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    But most of the reason the BSA kept on the strait and narrow path of building character through a boy run theme was the huge support of it's alumni. Alumni support based on their experience, so they don't like change. No other youth program has (had?) near the financial support from alumni as the BSA. I'm not sure when that support started to fall, but I'm sure the cultural pressure on traditional scouting had a great influence. Ironically that National is admitting girls to increase membership is likely to be a last straw for many alumni. 

    For a long time (waaay back in the day) you would age out of Boy Scouts, maybe go to college, get a trade, have a family, then move back to an active role with the Boy Scouts as you son grew up.  You had familiarity with the program as it had not changed, same outdoor and leadership.  A good bit of that changes in the 70's with the big new scouting program.  Imagine if you aged out of youth in 1970 and came back as a leader with a kid in 1980, you would not have recognized the program.  Same will be for those that aged out 2010 and when they look at what BSA is in 2022 it will be vastly different.

    To your point on alumni, many of us active with the Scouts are sadly watching it change.  Less outdoor, more STEM items that are likely done better by other groups.   Look as these 17 merit badges introduced since 2010 -  Geocaching, Inventing, Scouting Heritage, Chess, Robotics, Kayaking, Search and Rescue, Welding, Game Design, Moviemaking, Programming, Sustainability, Digital Technology, Mining in Society, Animation, Signs, Signals, and Codes, Exploration.  While good subjects many are not overly outdoor or leadership oriented and tend to be able to be done without a good bit of outdoor work

    The BSA is making the big play to bring in the new numbers by changing the equation and not really worrying about their core group.  Rather than serious benchmarking and review of why some troops and areas maintain and grow and others struggle, the decision is wholesale change.  In the interview in October the CSE basically said they were out of ideas and this was it (girls)

    To your point it has been an onward march to change.  Let's bring on families, let's add the Disneyworld of High Adventure, let's not worry about who is active and participating and meeting their needs and grow from that, we will chart a new path with who knows.



  9. 28 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

    Do not confuse YPT and Two Deep leadership

    YPT designates (in this instance) no one on one contact.  In the case of an injured, but let us assume ambulatory Scout; one leader, the injured youth, and a buddy can return to the trailhead.  The other leader and the rest of the youth can continue.

    But the other leader and the rest of the den no longer has 2-deep leadership. Also, what does the leader and the buddy do when the other youth is evacuated? (assume parent arrives to take them to a medical facility) You are now again in a situation where the buddy and the leader may find themselves in 1 on 1 contact.  

    Two deep designates / means - At least two adults are required on every BSA outing.  There is no geographical encumbrance on that point.  Take the injury portion away, on an outing of 12 Scouts and 2 leaders, 6 want to go hike to the fire tower and 6 want to hike over to the lake and go fishing.  That is fine.  All are on the outing and there are two leaders

    On the evacuated scout you can easily take injured and two Scouts so you have no one on one contact when you rejoin the main group.  

    Now yes, then you may ask what happens if with the group coming back there is another injury what do you do, and who knows.  That is "what if" to the extreme and honestly if one wants to try and plan all through the multiple derivations and decision trees, may as well never leave the house

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  10. 6 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

    How do you handle YPT requirements when they conflict with emergency situations?

    You are 1.5 miles out on a 5 mile hike with your den and a scout is injured. There are just two leaders on the hike. What do you do?

    If there are three leaders, what do you do?

    Do not confuse YPT and Two Deep leadership

    YPT designates (in this instance) no one on one contact.  In the case of an injured, but let us assume ambulatory Scout; one leader, the injured youth, and a buddy can return to the trailhead.  The other leader and the rest of the youth can continue.  

    At least two adults are required on every BSA outing. During that outing, there should be no one-on-one contact between an adult and a youth. Parents and youth are advised to follow this and other Youth Protection policies for the overall safety of all involved.

    But there might be moments when just one leader is present with two or more Scouts. (as noted in the first aid issue) That’s fine, as long as the situation doesn’t involve one adult and one youth.

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  11. 1 minute ago, gblotter said:

    Love it. I show off my Nixon signature with a grin. The early 70s were such a weird period of history (including Scouting history).

    Urban Scouting...the great revamp of the 1970's, Boypower and Manpower and whatnot

    If you get lost on a hike, ask a cop

    The wonderful world of Skill Awards, Camping and Cooking MB were not required.  You could easily earn Eagle Scout and never camp, never start a fire, never leave your neighborhood.  In fact you could not even go outside



  12. 21 minutes ago, Saltface said:

    Do I detect sarcasm?

    Yep...and some sadness

    "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana


    20 minutes ago, gblotter said:

    Ironic comparison, because I was one who finished off my last Eagle-required merit badge at the end of December 1973 and had my EBOR and ECOH in early 1974.

    Never expected that I'd be reliving that experience in such a literal way.

    Same - Richard Nixon signed my Eagle certificate 😁

  13. 6 minutes ago, Saltface said:

    I'm generally opposed to 13 year old Eagles, but I'm going to find myself mentoring a few next year. These boys won't get the chance to lollygag through Star and Life like their brothers did. I'm not going to push anyone through an Eagle mill, but if the boys want it, we're going to have to attack this thing fiercely.

    Changing and shifting requirements can inspire.  There were many that hustled up at the end of 1973 to get Eagle before a great new scouting mode was fully rolled out, suspect it will be similar with LDS departure

  14. Well...to be candid the challenge is often how to disprove the negative, how to "un-ring" a bell

    A person can accuse someone, then the burden of proof is on the accused to prove their innocence.  What was outlined in the starting comment, can have the words TEXT changed for CONVERSATION and you would still be in a He Said / She Said.  Nothing really new, the ONE on ONE contact issues can be phone, in a tent, in a car, on text, or a conversation in full view of many people.

    Leaders needs to know their scouts and where the pitfalls may be

  15. 5 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

    Ya, but how many Eagles did we have in 1912? Last year we had something like 56,000 - over 1,000 a week. I would assume that we will probably have a few dozen if not a few hundred girls that are all approved at the same time by the National Advancement Program Team. I would think that BSA would want to discourage Troops from trying to game the system by having a single first and instead simply confirm that all applicants during XXX period will be approved by the NAPT on the same day ; thereby reducing the rush to be the first to pass their BOR.

    Looks like 23 in 1912


    For those wondering, the big jump in 1973 (almost 47,000) was the result of the impending changes for the much hyped changes to scouting rolled out in 1971 (sound familiar).  Did not attain that number again until 1999

    The updates  in 70's changed the number of merit badges from 21 - 24, took out camping and cooking, introduced skill awards, and had my personal favorite recommendation within the scout book, that if you are out on a hike and get lost, to find your way you ask a policeman...urban scouting at it's pinnacle

    More detail


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  16. 13 hours ago, Hawkwin said:

    Questions pertaining to joint/coed den activities vs single den (single gender) den activities.

    Should extracurricular activities be gender-based. I.e. Pinewood derby - should there be a girl winner and a boy winner or just a pack winner? How about best in show awards for the best looking cars, gender or pack based?

    Image result for everybody gets a trophy meme

    • Haha 1

  17. We have to try and challenge / engage the scouts to think and do things, be creative.

    • Recent outing we gave the patrols (there were 3 on this outing) 3 cartons, a roll of duct tape, and some plastic sheeting with the instructions to build a boat for one person to paddle out around a buoy.  They had an hour and half.  One literally built a kayak like boat that worked well.  The others had a boat, but not as successful
    • On another outing the patrols had to build a bridge, that could be moved, and span a space.  They built the bridges then they had to move them to the ditch (about 14' across as I recall) and walk the space.  Some were sadly not up to the task
    • On another we gave them 50 popsicle sticks, some dental floss, some bandaids, and they had to construct a tower that could support a small cup full of water.  One group melted some of the bandaids to make a glue

    Through some effective programming a unit can incorporate pride of craft into activities with nominal rewards

    I am still trying to get the troop interested in Roofing Merit badge at my house

  18. 28 minutes ago, skeptic said:

    One of the frustrating issues I have had over the past five years or so of participation in this forum is that so often we want to immediately focus on the negatives that may or may not exist.  Is that necessarily the best way to respond?  If a play does not work in organized sports, do you simply say it is hopeless, or do you find a variant or completely new option?  Most barriers are surmountable, though many may be better if gone around.  The point is to score.  In our case, the ultimate goal is to offer the best elements of Scouting to the greatest amount of youth that we can.  There is a reason that there is the annoying, but in a way complementary, slur; "oh you are such a Boy Scout" or other similar variants of this.  Scouting, at its best, makes society and those of us within it better.

    So why not look at the challenges we are given as that, challenges, rather than immediately finding reasons it cannot work.  My grandfather used to say to me fairly often, "Can't never could do anything!".  Think about it before you jump to the worst scenarios.  The positive is still there, but we may need to find alternate routes.

    I would agree if this was in fact a sports thing, in that as you correctly noted - If a play does not work in organized sports, do you simply say it is hopeless, or do you find a variant or completely new option? You of course try different options, as the rules and playing field are not changing as you are playing.  Yes there are always slight updates and technology changes, but I played golf with my dad, and I play with my son.  Rules are basically the same, goals are the same.

    Looking at the Boy Scouts, the aims and mission (though to be clear the "mission" statement is not original canon) appear to be the same, and we hope the methods will stay the same.  But the rules to get there seem to be fluid, and honestly not 100% sure about the aims and methods, there is the National meeting coming up.  I can only speak for myself, but I wonder, what is next?  At the unit level we will continue as we have, but forces beyond our control may enact change upon us.

    The adding girls is a study of fluidity in an of itself.  First is was girl packs / boy packs / single gender dens in the same pack - and for the Boy Scouts a separate or complimentary program with Girl and Boy only units.  Then they quietly slipped in "Linked" troops.  Then many of the early adopter packs could not get the needed numbers, but who cares, sign em up.  Then the convoluted name change announcement, and clarifying announcement, and clarifying statements about the announcement.  Also 20% of the BSA is taking their ball and heading home in the next 18 months.

    Locally the Greenbar team just wrapped up the planning through July 2019.  Looks like good stuff, lots of fun and adventures.  We have over 50 Star and Life Scouts, many discussing the path to Eagle.  We have several EBOR's next couple of weeks, high adventure trips, summer camps etc.  We are continuing to move forward and deliver fun program.  That being said, there are storm clouds out there, hopefully we will be above the flash flood marks, one can never tell.

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