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Posts posted by Jameson76

  1. 4 minutes ago, shortridge said:

    My first troop was a beret troop ... we looked darn good, too!

    Can we at least all agree that the skill awards for the belts (not the skills but the metal award) were ridiculous.  Though young I was able to get in under the wire in December of 73 with my Eagle completed.  Talk about an incentive.

    There was a definite caste system for many years; were you an "old" Eagle requirements Eagle (outdoorsman to the core, no fear. out wrestling bears) or a "new" Eagle requirements Eagle (never camped, asked cops for directions on your hike if you get lost, full urban kid scared of the evil woods).  Ah the good old days.

  2. 52 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:


    the improvement and continuation of Scouting in whatever form it works best.  or whatever form we have to work with?  :)


    And that is in fact the real issue isn't it?  The quoted statement starts with the statement the improvement and ends with in whatever form it works best.  

    Many view the changes as an improvement and hope to see these changes as a better (re:improved) offering of Scouting.  Other view the changes as not in fact an improvement and further movement away from Scouting roots and sadly see these changes as lesser offering of Scouting.

    Unfortunately all we have is anecdotal evidence, supposition, and guesses for either case to be made.  Real challenge is that National BSA has been less than forthcoming on the real reason.  Faulty surveys, public opinion, townhall meetings, and "unanimous" votes do not a groundswell of support make.   Now we are getting into the real rubber meets the road and working to spool up numerous units.  That in and of itself will be a pretty good challenge.  If you work with a unit keeping one that has several years of history and a good track record is a challenge already.  Building all of that from scratch is daunting.

    Sad truth is that  @Eagledad correctly noted earlier today that this was a survival mode change, simple math.  As noted in the 1978 classic Animal House "we need the dues"

    Now a year and some months following the announcement of Girls being able to join Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts sorry Scouts BSA there have been many other challenges.  

    • Linked troops solution and vague answers about are we really going coed?
    • YPT that is clearly not balance as one declared gender is required to have a leader of similar gender present, no such requirement for the other gender
    • 20% of the registered membership and CO's leaving by the end of 2019
    • A name change for the flagship branch of the organization
    • Extension for requirements so current joiners in 2019 get 2 years to earn the vaunted Eagle Scout award
    • A lawsuit by another organization over use of the names Girls and Scouts
    • Possibly going into bankruptcy to stave off lawsuit payments
    • Summit payments timeline keeps coming down the tracks

    Clearly no one knows if the changes will be an improvement, clearly no one knows if the new scouting "look" will work best.  Will this result in a net increase in youth being served?  No one can tell, we are sort of moving along on a wing and a prayer.  However, this is where we are now, moving ahead and no way to go back.

    One cautionary note.  In the 1970's the decision was to reinvent the Boy Scouts program and roll out the Improved Scouting Program (ISP).  At the end of 1970 BSA membership was 6,287,284.  At the end of 1980 BSA membership was  4,326,082.  That is a reduction of over 30%.  Whatever may happen, BSA will not be able to weather another improvement to the program along those lines.


    • Upvote 2

  3. 38 minutes ago, Monkeytamer said:

    Oh.  Well, it might be semantics on my part.  I know that there is only one Board of Review meaning the body that judges the Eagle candidates, but doesn't every scout have to appear before that body at least twice to earn Eagle?  In our council and district, the boy will sit before the board for the initial approval of his proposed project and then again after he completes the project and the Scoutmaster Conference.  If that's not how it's done everywhere else, I claim ignorance.  As for the process as practiced here, there is a great deal of administrative tasks that the boys have to accomplish in a prescribed order and timely manner just to get to the final time before the BOR.

    That can vary from district to district.  The district does have to approve the Eagle Scout candidates project and sign off on the proposal.  There is mention of meeting, but that is not specifically required.  Only that it be approved prior to any work.  The proposal could be submitted and returned with comments on approval or areas to be answered prior to approval.

    For the unit approval it is denoted that the unit can designate one individual to meet and approved Eagle projects, the full committee meeting to review is not required, though the  unit could do that.

    • Thanks 1

  4. 3 hours ago, fred8033 said:

    Great comments so far ...

    ... I was going to add a comment about pack camp outs and the gentleman not being able to share a tent with his girlfriend's Tiger scout son.  So I re-read the G2SS.  BSA documents have been getting more precise over the last 15 years.  Words that are flexible are intentionally flexible and words that are more specific are more specific for a reason.  The G2SS sometimes says "legal guardian" and other times just says "guardian".  In the sections referring to sharing a tent, it just says "guardian".  So if the mom says XXX is responsible for my son this weekend, do we consider that to be enough to establish "guardian"???   Or do we still apply "legal guardian" (a much more specific statement)?  I've seen this situation in my cub pack and I've discussed occurrences with other packs.  It happens all the time these days. 

    On the guardian question, I am not a lawyer (though I did watch 12 Angry Men the other night) the only definition seems to imply someone who is legally responsible for someone who is unable to mange their affairs.  Agree that if the wizards in Dallas had put the word "legal" in front of guardian, would be much clearer.  I know for webelos visitation we have had older brothers, grandparents, etc accompany visiting Web II scouts.  If another parent brings 2 Web's for a visit (their son and another Web) we typically will request that the young ones have their own tent.

    To get back on topic, he is not the CM if the CO/COR/CC do not approve and endorse.  End of story.

    • Upvote 1

  5. 13 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

    approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America.

    Agree it is sort of vague as to whether this would / should be counted in the 15 nights.  As with many things in Boy Scouts, you as the SM will need to use your best judgement to ensure the requirements are met and you are not adding or subtracting to/from them.  Yes you have some latitude.

    Approved - that would seem to imply that the camping event and/or outing would need to be reviewed prior to the event with the Troop leadership.  Typically the monthly troop outings would be assume to be approved, can be a grey area for a cub outing with siblings 

    under the auspices = with the help and support of (someone or something)

    standards of the Boy Scouts of America = well, that is subjective as no leadership from the troop was likely in charge and that is a broad statement

    • Like 1

  6. 1 hour ago, SSScout said:

    What do we call the middle range kids?   

    Be reminded if you do call and your are a leader, to make sure it is a conference call with another registered and YPT trained leader so as to be compliant with current GTSS. Also subnote A, if the middle range kid is in fact a youth who is currently identifying as female gender and you as a leader do not currently identify as female gender you will need to include a registered and YPT trained leader who does currently identify as female gender

    Gotta be safe......

    • Confused 1

  7. 56 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

    I understand that part.  I was just shocked at the picture.   I was commented about the fact that the family filing a law suit isn't necessarily unreasonable and that I am not an expert on the situation.

    I lived in the Seattle area and have seen what happens when a freak wind storm sweeps through.  100' fir trees slice through 2 story houses like a hot knife through butter.


    The camp is East of Atlanta (proper) about 40 miles.  Bert Adams has been Atlanta Area Council property since around 1960 (+/-).   There was a storm front moving through, not all that surprising for mid-summer in Georgia.  My recollection is there was not a long term warning about severe weather threats, just thunderstorms.  There were some microbursts that hit the area.  Those are very random and literally will knock a couple of trees down and 20' away not damage.

    Woodruff (the AAC mountain camp) was hit by a severe line on a Saturday afternoon in late June, so no campers on property, and maybe 30 tents and platforms were damaged.

    Honestly not sure what can be done other than the obvious.  Remove any dead trees, that is normal.  The tree(s) in question were alive.  Remove any visibly damaged / aged / insect infested trees.  Short of having all campsites and program areas in a big field (which opens up other potential issues) or removing all the trees, there is a limited action.  I guess don't go outside and hang out in an office park would be a solution.

    They certainly have a right to sue.  It has been 6 months so my assumption is there was behind the scenes work to have a settlement.  The family may be interested in a consent decree to implement different actions than BSA currently has in place.  Interestingly they appear to be suing the Atlanta Area Council directly.  The suit was filed in Cobb County, where the council office is physically located.  They may also be suing National BSA, but that was not mentioned in the WSB or Atlanta Journal articles

  8. 44 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

    Follow up article from Forbes...

    They are hiring more consultants and reviewing both financial and operational plans....


    “The organization’s financial state could be in peril should its insurance reserves not adequately resolve the litigation claims, the sources noted. In addition, BSA’s efforts to be more inclusive— by dropping the ‘Boy’ in its main program and welcoming girls and transgender scouts to join— has not resulted in a membership spike.”

    Also this is the really really important quote from the article:

    BSA’s debt load has ballooned in recent years to help fund the Summit’s development. In 2012, the organization issued $175 million in bonds due 2022, and increased its revolving line of credit by $25 million.

    Yes the insurance issues and settlements can be tough, but the ego project of Summit is the real issue

    • Upvote 2

  9. We had two Scouts who did their projects on the same day at a community organization.  The org was having a work day and wanted to get everything done on the same day.  It was logistically easier for them.  As was previously noted each Scout owned their project, they were separate and coordinated their own efforts.  One thing was one project was ahead of schedule and had extra labor so they wandered over and helped with moving some items for project 2.  Basic labor sharing

    SM should not be inserting himself into the process

  10. An interesting question on how to grow Scouting.

    One item BSA does not seem to effectively do is benchmarking.  Not that JTE foolishness or Quality Unit intrigue.  But really get into what is the unit that maintains membership, has many service hours, has outings every month, works to use the patrol method actually doing and how are they in fact doing this?  (and no it's not Woodbadge trained leaders).  This would be more than one visit and the actual challenge is what makes a good unit.  One unit may be 100 Scouts and another unit 2 miles down the road may be 25 Scouts.  Both may be successful, but who defines this?

    If you want to grow, figure out what the top units are doing, then objectively determine what can and what cannot be replicated.  Likely it will come down to motivated adult leaders, engaged youth, and supportive families.

  11. Agree on Scoutbook.  I am the Life to Eagle coordinator for our troop.  We have 10 - 12 Eagles per year.  The individual report is great.  Helps to see if the Scout has in fact turned in all the merit badge blue cards.  Also the dates are very useful.  I send them the link to the fillable PDF Eagle app and advise them to pull their report from Scoutbook.

    For keeping up with the Scouts I have a basic Excel sheet that I sort by birthday and rank.  Also there are milestones like project approved, merit badges, have they reached out to me to review the process, SM conference, etc.   If they are closing on 18 I will check-in.  Still their responsibility to follow through.

  12. At Philmont check-in a few years back, my BP was higher than they liked.  Hung around the medical place, drank water, etc.  One of the medical folks came in, I asked what's the end game here.  They advised that ultimately the decision to head for the trail was my decision.  I told them "and we're done here".  Had a great trek.  80 plus miles, Baldy and Tooth, etc etc

    I have not take WB but knowing some of the leaders in our council and from photos, pretty sure NOT a HA and not a physically stressing activity.

  13. 1 hour ago, FormerBSA said:

     I remember the days when the local scout executive, not just de, would visit council events and visit camps and go to round tables. I think along with the membership cards those days are over. 

    Well...you can't have your CEO out and about with the great unwashed.

    • Upvote 1

  14. 8 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    One of the trouble makers wrote a letter asking for permission to camp since son has a peanut allergy. He stated he does not trust his son to use his EpiPen properly. Apparently he also does not trust the other Scouts, nor the Scouters, to be able to treat his son.

    You just know that their version of all of this is that the TROOP would not make a reasonable accommodation for their son who had a life threatening allergy.  The TROOP was insensitive to his needs.  The parents graciously offered to attend the outing so as to relieve the burden of this from the TROOP leadership.  The pleas from the parents fell on deaf ears and everything was fine up until this point.  They are not a welcoming TROOP

    This stuff will write itself

  15. They have published the 2019 Treks - 

    Seems that the middle of the ranch will not be used.  Sort of expected this was going to be the case.  Either south country or north country.  No hiking bear canyon or crossing US 64


  16. We have Scouts (youth) who are Life or Eagle sign off on the Tfoot / Second Class / First Class requirements.  I guess if we had Life Scouts in the troop that also had a son in the troop we would evaluate if they could sign off, though not likely we will put it in the rotation of things to talk about.  For merit badges scouts find leaders other than their parents to cover that.  We are a large unit so most merit badges (especially Eagle required) have 3 to 4 MBC they can call on.

    For our unit no parents can be on their son's BOR.  Same for SM conferences, no parents does those for their son.

  17. We try to recognize key leaders each year as they are being active with the troop.  

    For summer activities we have made mugs (large / regular / travel)  and metal coozies over the years.  In August we have an adult leaders "meeting" and review the summer.  We have about 25 - 30 leaders there from various summer camps, HA, and support functions

    At Christmas we try to get a small gift for the SM / ASM's / Outdoor

    For others they sort of, to paraphrase Dugout Doug McArthur..."Old leaders never die, they simply fade away" (Note that he swiped that from and old English folk song)


    Now we did have a long-term SM step down, we had some items for him.

    • Thanks 1

  18. 2 minutes ago, Terasec said:

    Thats not leadership

    thats called damage control

    We were pleased that they acknowledged there is an issue coming over the horizon.  They made clear the separation of National to Local council.  They specifically called out the properties (Woodruff and Bert Adams) and the VSC (literally in the shadow of the new Braves ballpark) would not be affected.  AAC is clearly in the latter part of this question...do you raise money to have scouting OR do you have scouting to raise money. 

    Note that the message is addressed to Parents, Volunteers, and Donors.  No mention of the actual scouts who we are providing program to.

  19. Interesting message from the Atlanta Area Council today.....


    Parents, Volunteers and Donors:
    The purpose of this communication is to help you understand the position of the Atlanta Area Council, BSA and how it relates to National BSA's story in the recent Wall Street Journal article.
    Below are some fast facts we would like to share with you:
    • We operate as a financially separate not-for-profit organization and our Council receives no funding from the National organization.
    • The Atlanta Area Council is a 501(c)(3) entity incorporated in Georgia. Our Camps, Volunteer Service Center and finances are owned and controlled by the Atlanta Area Council.
    • Local Scouting programs, camps and the Volunteer Service Center will not be directly affected by National BSA's consideration of their options.
    • All funds contributed to the Atlanta Area Council stay in Metro-Atlanta this includes Friends of Scouting donations, popcorn and camp card sales.
    Our Council is strong, in fact the Atlanta Area Council is among the strongest in the nation from perspectives of fiscal health, quality programs, volunteer dedication, safety and staff quality.
    It is our hope that the National organization can navigate the difficult waters that many organizations face over a century of existence; we will help the National organization as called upon. In Atlanta our primary focus is on bringing high-quality programs for over 31,000 Scouts in each neighborhood we serve. 
    Thank you for continuing your role and providing leadership and support to the youth in Metro-Atlanta.
    Yours in Scouting, 
    Tracy Techau
    Scout Executive/CEO
    Atlanta Area Council, BSA
    • Thanks 1

  20. 25 minutes ago, Eaglein87 said:

    Can anyone confirm costs on Bechtel? Is it true that the cost is close to the total BSA endowment? Some articles out there claim such.


    "Costs are rising. Initially budgeted at $176 million through 2013, the Summit's cost is now estimated to reach at least $350 million by the end of this year and $439 million by the end of 2015"


    Yes.  It is a cash drain.

    If you read the notes (buried I might add) in the annual report the true picture of the issue comes to light.  There are forward thinking statements about "upcoming fund raising" and "anticipated donations".  Also there is a balloon payment north of $125 million on the bonds in 2021 I believe.  Assume they would refinance that for more interest and kick that can down the road.

    Bottom line Summit is sort of a microcosm of what is wrong with "corporate" scouting.  Some group within National (volunteers and pros) decided THIS is what was needed.  This giant EGO project.  A big shiny Disneyesque camp to draw all these Scouts to it, cash would roll in.  They based some of this on the "waiting lists" for Philmont and Seabase, and to a lesser degree Northern Tier.  There was supposedly this unfulfilled population that could be tapped.  Well shockingly that is actually a smaller group. Also Scouts want real adventure and action.  If you want zip lines, mt biking, whitewater rafting, backpacking, water park adventures, and planned climbing; guess what, my unit can do it waaay cheaper locally.  No one bothered to ask if units wanted that or would they spend money to go there.  Answer seems to be nope.

    The local unit is where Scouting happens.  Maybe they should ask units what they want and more importantly, what they will pay to actually do.

    • Like 1
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    • Upvote 2