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Posts posted by Jameson76

  1. 49 minutes ago, elitts said:

    :(  I can barely even get folks to consider a camping location without a toilet and running water.  Even one with a toilet, but only a lake for water nearly got shot down because "OMG what if the boys need water to drink and there isn't any?"  

    Telling them, "There is a lake 500' away and we have filters, tablets and stoves" apparently wasn't enough reassurance for some of them.

    We just got back from weekend backpacking.  

    The camping area was on a bend in a river.  River is up due to rains, so we had to have the boys figure a way to get to the river, step on to a downed tree to float the intake for the water filter.  Good times to get water, but on the plus side, sort of an unlimited supply

  2. 8 hours ago, HICO_Eagle said:

    I care what BSA thought in the 1970s because the culture was different.  IMO they did NOT routinely manipulate data then the way they do now, they did NOT screw around with the program to feed some adult's ego at National. 

    I am going to have to respectfully disagree with on the National not screwing around with the program in the 70's.  That is exactly what they did with the "Improved Scouting Program" and decided that the real way to win hearts and minds was to focus on inner city and urban youth.  That was the ticket.  Also the infamous "BOYPOWER MANPOWER" initiative to tie in with the 1976 Bicentennial.

    The ISP turned rank advancement on it's head and for several years you could earn Eagle without ever camping or doing any traditional outdoor stuff.  Scouting lost about 2 million members in the decade

    Boypower Manpower resulted in the largest membership scandal up to that time. maybe more than the In School Scouting programs in the 90's.  Many of the members showing in 1970 were likely not there in reality, so the actual loss will never be known.

    BSA National the the "adults" that feel they are all knowing always feels they know best and they never go and see what actual units are doing to be successful.  They are so far out of touch it's silly.  Leads to things like shrinking membership and bankruptcy so I've been told

  3. 54 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

    I flip back and forth on this.  My experience is that scouting units (packs, troops) need relatively light policy and procedure documents.  Document habits.  When do you meet?  How much are dues and when?  How do you share fundraiser profits?  ... A new parent guide ... Beyond that, I find little need to document policies and procedures. 

    RECOMMENDATION:  Resolve the situation first.  Then, outside the situation, discuss whether a policy is needed. 

    I've sat in too many committee meetings where hours are spent debating a well written policy that is driven by one or two situations.  Then, after the incident is done, we never touch the policy again.  It's never published.  It's never communicated again.  It really turns out it was a policy for this one incident.   My conclusion:  Don't create policy during problem situations.  You will often end up with policy that you don't want to live with and that others won't follow. 

    Queue a policy discussion for later, but don't create the new policy during the situation.  Policies written during situations often become bad policy. 

    Sometimes I wonder if discussing policy is the passive aggressive way to handle bad situations that are really best handled clean and upfront.

    This so spot on. You do not need a policy to have common sense.  Many units paint themselves into corners with policies and multi-page (with colored tabs no doubt) Pack Procedure manual.  This takes away the ability to really manage the issue.  

    In this situation basically they want YOU (The pack) to provide an accommodation for their son similar to the School system.  The schools are a public items, governed by a myriad of laws, guidelines, rules.  The pack is not under that guidance.

    Situation - Cub is disruptive and needs to be removed from the meeting.  That is the issue, deal with THAT issue

    Solution 1 - Parent stays and manages their Cub, works with them, works with the pack system, registers, and his attendance is dependent on their attendance OR their recruitment of someone to manage THEIR son.

    Solution 2 - They need to find a pack that may better fit their specific needs

    Go forth and have fun Scouting

    • Upvote 2

  4. 2 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    OK, then how about this rule.

    So, you are on a Scouts, BSA camp out and decide that you are going to tent with your son (we've had this come up with camping in my area due to COVID). Are you therefore indicating that you'll ignore the rule and tent with your son?

    Tent with my son on an outing??  That would mean that we would need to speak with other on an outing, possibly make eye contact, and horrors, he would need to acknowledge that he knows me and potentially have interaction with me.

    As none of those are going to happen, the whole tenting together is not happening.  Plus he has BO and talks in his sleep.

    • Haha 1
    • Upvote 1

  5. For High Adventure we do one each year.  Odd years Seabase and even years Philmont.  Well, unless there are fires or pandemics.😁

    We set a timeframe before our final commitment to the HA base is due.  You pay a deposit, if you pull out, you lose your deposit.  As this progresses if a Scout drops out, they do not get refunds unless we can fill the slot or the base refunds.

    Each Scout is responsible for their fees.  We have good data so really no surprises and all know the commitments and costs before signing up.

    • Thanks 1

  6. 37 minutes ago, PACAN said:



    This is evidently official.    So you can make Life Scout without being able to demonstrate you can swim 25 FEET.


    No one is even has to try to program.  It took us a 2 minute call to a pool to get our guys to do their rank and MB requirements and another creek float trip to do the boating ones.


    The camping one is silly...unless you are only virtually camping in your backyard you can get 2 of these done.

    Well...I guess what was old is now new.

    For a several years a Scout could get Eagle without swimming, camping, cooking, or ever actually going outdoors.  Look up the requirements from the 1973 handbook.  There were  various skill awards one could choose from.  Only required skill award was Citizenship.  There were 12 in all.  Swimming, Conservation, First Aid, Family Living, Environment, Community Living, Camping, Personal Fitness, Communications, Hiking, Cooking, Citizenship.  A Scout had to earn a total of 8, so if you did not do Camping, Cooking, Hiking, or Swimming  ..... that was OK according to the Guide to Advancement. 

    Camping and Cooking were not  required merit badges.  You could earn E Prep OR Lifesaving / Personal Fitness OR Swimming OR Sports.  

    No event or campout requirements for any of the various ranks

    Dark times indeed during the 70's 

  7. 5 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Debtor (BSA National) seeks Order to assume unexpired leases of nonresidential properties and fix the “Cure Amounts”.


    Some Excerpts:


    • Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve: The Summit is a 14,000-acre high adventure facility located in the New River Gorge area of West Virginia. The real property and improvements of the Summit are owned by one of the BSA’s wholly owned subsidiaries, Arrow WV, Inc., and leased to the BSA under that certain Shared Services Agreement and Lease of Premises, dated as of February 13, 2017. Under that agreement, the BSA also provides the necessary services required to operate the Summit.


    Will the Debtors BSA assume subsidiary Arrow WV's lease of Summit Bechtel to the BSA? :confused:  Maybe   @Jameson76 can explain.

    The lease deal and the Shared Services Agreement is an interesting twist.  When I first saw this was the setup for Summit, it did seem like an accounting exercise in order to keep assets off of some register.  Not saying it had ill intent, but it may be the most transparent way to spend $750 mm on strip mine.  In many many businesses there is the company that runs the business and one may think they own the business.  When you peel the onion back you find a much more complicated view.

    An example of this is  Eddie Lampert and the KMart / Sears - Sears Holding.  His group bought Sears then sold the property to another group he controlled and leased it back while Sears ran the business.  That got all complicated with the bankruptcy for them.

    Not sure the BSA was actively trying to shuffle assets, but one never knows.  In many ways the new company and lease back can speed up capital approvals as leases are seen differently in financial reporting than purchases.  Real question may be what is the actual status now of the BSA wholly own subsidiary Arrow WV.  One would assume it would be embroiled in the bankruptcy and most judges would take a dim view if the organization was trying to hide assets or do shell game at this point.

    • Thanks 1

  8. Reminder that being a SM is in fact a job.  Not paid, but it is a job.  You will need to evaluate this as one might a job.  Are YOU able to contribute AND more importantly, does the position satisfy what you are looking for.

    Many times when one takes a new job it looks really good, recruiter says the right things, the people you meet say the right things...but then you get smacked with reality.  The job is not a fit.  At that point you are faced with the decision to endure the mismatch in the job OR move on to look for something new.

    Only one person can make that decision.  Not the internet, not friends, not the CO, not the CC...only you

    • Like 1

  9. We held our own summer camp in July, great success, Scouts has a great time.  Over 30 Scouts and leaders

    Started in person meetings first of August.  Our troop typically meets outside in the Scout area behind the church.  The church is not having services, they have no issue with us meeting but asked we not be on campus.  Troop is meeting at the park across the street at a large pavilion.

    Going camping this weekend at the lake.  Over 40 Scouts and leaders.  Scouts will be transported by parents, no tent sharing, no hammock stacking.  Spreading the patrols out.

    Doing what we can, meeting outside, etc

    • Upvote 2

  10. On 8/10/2020 at 7:59 AM, Cburkhardt said:

    Dear Friends:  The policy issue of whether the Summit should have been built or whether it should be retained through bankruptcy are fine matters to discuss, but I hope that can be done elsewhere on the site where policy matters are handled.  This is a very detailed review of a summer camp operation that most of us have not experienced and many have been curious about.  My intent is to provide a straight-up review of the summer camp only.  The previous pro/anti Summit discussions on this site have been exhaustive and informative.  Experiencing summer camp there last week was very satisfying for our Scouts.  That is really my main message.

    I get that and am glad your unit had a good week at camp.

    That being said, not sure one can really evaluate the camp and program there without fully acknowledging what a huge waste of BSA resources this was.  Yes is it likely a nice facility.  The National team did in fact spend north of $750MM on the place and there is no real path for this vanity project to be in the black.  At this point it is a facility looking for a purpose.

    Where did all the cash go over the last 10 years, well you were there.

    • Upvote 1

  11. As others have noted, not sure the group (NEC Team) really understands how things work now.

    They seem to think that making some adjustments or tweaks will make everything better.  The NEC should have presented a plan on how to FOCUS the Scouting program and movement on our strengths and market differentiation (outdoor program, youth led, self reliance, problem solving, personal growth) and how to leverage that to grow the program.

    Hint - it's not STEM, safety, popcorn, and professional staff

    Lastly, this is great - since financial challenges prevent us from being able to meet demands with professional staff alone.  Honestly not sure what the Fields Execs and multiple layers of operations management actually do to support the local units.  The admins at the council office do more than anyone.  

    • Upvote 4

  12. 7 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    I admit I got some mixed emotions on this. Grant you the research on this topic I did was over 20 years ago, and more information is now available than when I did it. But here is what I found.

    Yes some professionals really did screw up and not follow National policy of the day. They did allow folks to continue in the movement when they should have been removed. That is inexcusable. THEY are the ones who failed our Scouts.

    And yes the BSA did not report a large number of abusers to authorities. However this was a time before mandatory reporting laws were on the books. If the child's parents decided they were not going to press charges, and in the cases I studied it was the majority of cases, then there was nothing the BSA could do legally. If I remember correctly, one concern about pressing charges without the abused's testimony, was the BSA being sued for libel. What BSA could, and did, do was create an Ineligible Volunteer File to cross-reference new volunteer applications against in an attempt to keep out those suspected of abusing Scouts.

    Even when mandatory reporting laws went into effect, there were limits as tho who were mandatory reporters. Initially it was  physicians and other medical personnel, and over decades has expanded. Also each state enacted their own laws. So in some states BSA employees were mandatory reporters before  BSA employees in other states.

    Do not think I am callous towards the victims. I have had friends and neighbors who were victims. And knowing what I know now, I was being groomed by my Cubmaster/Scoutsmaster.  I lucked out. When something set off my senses, I switched troops. But I know folks who were abused by him. This was before BSA implemented YP and 2 Deep.


    1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

    The second by scout leaders at every level that failed these scouts.

    Not making any excuses, but to judge peoples actions by today's standards or reporting is not really a great comparison.  A lot of moving parts, many scouters were booted from their troops, but there was not a good avenue of recourse.  Parents did not want to involved the police.  

    Yes there were some failures, but not to the degree portrayed and in many cases actions were (for the time) appropriate.  Not saying right or wrong, just appropriate for the time.

    • Upvote 1

  13. Saw this from Save the Children

    Save the Children places the highest level of regard on security and protecting our donor information. We have removed our data off Blackbaud’s servers, and will continue to prioritize security, both internally and with all of our third-party vendors. Our supporters trust us with their information, and we do not take this lightly. We have and will continue to take steps to protect supporters’ information in our combined efforts to ensure every child gets the future they deserve.

    Guess I missed that part in the BSA statement on actions to take


  14. First question, why is this from the CTO (I assume of the BSA but it does not actually specify) and not our new BSA President?  Either you OWN what happens on your watch or you don't.  Guess he doesn't.  Candidly not assured (even though they told me twice to be assured).  Well, we were notified promptly 174 DAYS after the initial breach.  That is some fine detecting work there Lou.  Pretty sure all that background detail everyone sent in at the end of the year is in a SUPER SECRET file that nobody can get to 😝

    Blackbaud assured us that no encrypted data such as Social Security numbers, bank account information, and credit and debit card information was accessible

    I am soooo confident of that

    According to Blackbaud, the cyber-attack was successfully stopped, and the cybercriminals were expelled from its system

    I am soooo confident of that

    However, Blackbaud informed us that the cybercriminals did remove a copy of a backup file that it stored as part of its ordinary course of operations. 

    Sooo they got expelled, but basically took a copy of the database, so they sort of got what they needed??

    Blackbaud assured us that, based on the nature of the incident, their research, and law enforcement’s investigation, the stolen data has been destroyed

    Yeah....that's not how data works, can be copied as often as needed



    • Upvote 1

  15. 2 hours ago, elitts said:

    If the pool is 25' long in one dimension, you could use it for the 2nd class requirement, but not for the 1st class requirement.


    For First Class, the standard backyard pool just isn't going to be sufficient since they have to past the BSA Swimmer Test.  Please see this excerpt from the BSA Swimming Classification:

    If you are actually trying to verify a scout's ability to pass this test, stopping to turn around and then shove off again 9+ times (in a standard backyard pool) just isn't going to show you what you'd need to see to know that the scout has sufficient skill and stamina to swim for greater distances.

    These are the basics of the BSA swimmer test - 

    BSA swimmer test: Jump feet first into water over the head in depth. Level off and swim 75 yards in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards using an easy, resting backstroke. The 100 yards must be completed in one swim without stops and must include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating

    Nothing says length, etc.  Just the 100 yards must be done at one time.  Yes 10 laps in a 30' pool could be different, but it is not specifically prohibited

  16. On 7/20/2020 at 5:47 PM, RememberSchiff said:

    Pine Tree Council had a board vote Thursday night to sell the 75-year-old Camp Bomazeen in Belgrade, Maine .

    Pine Tree Council had earlier formed an emergency task force to address its financial problems but the task force concluded that unless the camp is sold, council would be out of money in a matter of months. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has decimated the council’s ability to raise money for Scouting activities, officials said.

    Matt Klutzaritz, Scout executive and CEO of the Raymond-based Pine Tree Council, said it was a difficult decision and they understand the move will make some loyal Camp Bomazeeners upset. But it’s necessary to keep the organization, and Scouting, going in the council’s region of the state, he said.


    To use the quote from Blazing Saddles - 

    We've got to protect our phony-baloney jobs, gentlemen.  We must do something about this immediately, immediately, immediately!

    Often times is seems the Councils are more interested with staying in business than serving youth.  Rather than figuring out how to do it more efficiently, just sell stuff and raise fees.


    • Upvote 1

  17. 3 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

    It is just 1 hour a week.....  

    In all seriousness, I don't know if the Churchill group does or not. The committees that are formed to review and recommend the way forward from this report is made up of Scouting volunteers that have been donating their time for a long time so they are aware.

    I question that, not that they have been donating their time for a long time, but are they really aware.  And I mean currently aware?

    My concern is that things change.  Many things are constant, but the outside influences can vary.  There are many difference just over the last 10 years in technology and in many ways the expectations of participants.  As these key leaders are more removed from active work with actual Scouts, their frame of reference is not current, not saying bad, just not current.  When was the last time some of them went camping with a troop, ran a pack meeting, worked as a merit badge counselor.

    Their references may be out of date, for example phones.  10 years ago you could call and text, maybe a downloaded game, and networks were sporadic.  The iphone was only introduced in 2007 and with it, an explosion of uses (some good and some not so good).  Now schools, families, and Scout units need to navigate that changed landscape.

    • Upvote 1

  18. My suggestion is to tell the district and council to...well...go have a nice day.

    Our troop zoomed in the spring and we managed to hold an actual week of summer camp, run by the troop, last week.  Now the challenge is fall.  Schools are on-line, the CO (church) is not meeting so concerned about the optics of possible meeting when everything is shut down.  We have a calendar, but not sure it will be implemented.  Parents want us to go camping.

    As for edicts from the council / district, who cares.  Our main concern and focus is the unit.  If you are hoping the district or the council will provide quality program, likely that will not happen.  The summer camp is great, but we do not do the camporees etc.  We are working to keep our Scouts active, have had 3 EBOR's during the pandemic.  Also advancement continues.

    Own YOUR program.  Do YOUR best to run a FUN and quality PROGRAM for YOUR members.  That is the focus.  Not JTE, popcorn, roundtables, FOS, district committee meetings, etc.  

    • Upvote 1

  19. So our Council Camps as many, did not open.  We attend 2 camps each summer, the out of council did not open.  Also our Philmont crew was cancelled.

    As I have noted, we took the go it alone, run your own camp route.  We are currently in camp (6 days and 5 nights) taking over the Pioneer area of a State Park maybe 45 minutes from us.  We have 24 Scouts, maybe 10 leaders.  We are offering some aquatics, mt biking, full slate of merit badges (21 different ones and small classes), new scout program.  In addition to the leaders we have some Eagle Scouts that have turned 18 assisting.  Also some of our alumni that worked at the local Council Camp have joined us for a few days.

    Each Scout was dropped off by parents.  They will be picked up same, no carpooling.  Each Scout has their own tent.  Meals are being delivered by parents on a schedule that would make the Normandy Invasion planning group proud.  Nightly activities, full flag ceremonies each day.  It is basically a very small summer camp.

    The State Park has been very helpful and all the parents have been most supportive.  It is a ton of work, but this will be the best Troop Run Summer Camp we have ever been to. (the Scouts made that statement when they realized it's the only one we've had).

    Special camp t-shirts, water bottle sticker, bottles of hand sanitizer spray, gloves for meal serving, 20 cases of bottled water so far (no communal drink coolers) and many other unique things.

    Scouting at it's most basic.



    • Upvote 4
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