Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by Jameson76

  1. If a Scout claims to be agnostic - and I have had that conversation, the basic definition I fall back on is a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God

    My view was the Scout was in fact developing his beliefs.  He was trying to define.  He did not claim there was no God, just he was not really sure.  We spoke on beliefs and that true, you likely could not prove the existence of God.  This particular Scouts issue was more with organized religion.  He did not really feel  that Church was beneficial.  

    We had a good conversation and my advise to him was to let your faith and beliefs develop, be open.  Defining God is tough, sometimes organized religion is not your path. 

    • Upvote 3

  2. 2 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

    These are definitely used, but not always the same way by everyone.  I looked up "SWAG" in the urban dictionary only to be confused by several definitions.

    Knowing what a cultured gentleman you are, I'm sure the definition you intended was:

    "A slang word originating from Shakespeare's use of the word "swaggering" in "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

    "What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering here, / So near the cradle of the fairy queen?"

    We use it more from an engineering perspective and it concerns a wild guess

    Though we do hand out swag (stuff) on many occasions 

  3. As a leader you can only treat what you know about.  Also I would not be too concerned about the antibiotics.  That may be a CYA by the ER.

    Could be a good learning experience for the troop that all injuries need to be reported to the leaders so proper care can be provided.  That's why we have the big honking medical kit (smaller one for backpacking) on all outings

  4. 4 hours ago, MattR said:

    Someone recently mentioned VOA. I always thought it was Voice Of America but apparently it also has to do with the OA.

    Actually nope.  I had to look that one up.  Venture Officers Association

    Let's not forget

    • SWAG
    • SNAFU
    • PDQ


    • Upvote 1

  5. 3 hours ago, David CO said:

    Does this mean that if the scout is affiliated with an organized religion, then the parent cannot write the letter? I know some people who are members of an organized religion who would not feel comfortable asking their clergy to write the letter. 

    I also know a clergy member who always refuses to write anybody a letter of recommendation. He says that it is a new policy from his superiors. They don't want to be put in the difficult position of having to explain someday why one of their clergy members wrote a glowing testimonial for someone who was later accused of sexual misconduct. 

    For the EBOR's I have sat on and the ones for our troop (+/- 12 per year) there is not an check on that.  If that is what the Scout wants, that is the religious reference.

  6. 32 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

    I'm curious....

    Is it common for a parent to write the "religious letter"?

    Seems to me that there are an awful lot of families that do not participate regularly in a church...

    That is the default

    From our good friend the Guide to Advancement:

    References: Must list all six (five if not employed). If not affiliated with an organized religion, then the parent or guardian provides this reference. There are no restrictions on who the Scout may list as the two other references. The candidate may list anyone, including parents or guardians not previously listed, other relatives, Scout leaders including those from the candidate’s unit, or other Scouts and friends. There is no requirement that any of the references be 21 years of age or older


  7. 18 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    Do you tihnk they know what the benefit is for a Scout to join or to stay active?

    I do not think they do, not actually.   They talk about the Philmont OA trek, maybe some vague conclave experience, but it is not actual "Oh I can do that" selling point.  Then they talk about doing work days and service, which is needed, but that may not be the best recruiting talking point.  Some items they discussed like Philmont OA are good, but not applicable.   For instance (in our case) troop goes to Philmont every two years, those that want to go have that avenue.  Not a huge selling point.  

  8. Many many go into the OA, do the ordeal, and it's one and done.  

    So the question may be, why one and done?  Can only speak for the local chapter of our local lodge, they tend to be, how can you say...cliquish.  Some of our guys went to some meetings a few years ago and it was not the most welcoming.  Also the follow-up at the ordeal as they talk chapters etc is lost on the 13 / 14 year old Scouts.  Most are asleep anyway.

    From a unit perspective the chapter shows up once a year, come in and do the election, show some videos, they seem to not really be able to articulate the WHY a Scout should be active.  Yes the whole cheerful service deal, but what is the hook, the draw, what brings them in.  What is the "program" and what will be "fun".

    Sort of like when we had a Venture group at our CO, they wanted to see if our older Scouts might be interested.  Note we are a very active troop.  So the Venture guy comes to the meeting, the guys ask, what are your next activities, and the answer was; we can do many things, join up and we'll plan some.  Not a bad answer, but no real incentive to add something new.

    I see the same with the OA at least here.  They are not good at selling what the benefit is for the Scout to stay active in the chapter, maybe pay dues, etc.

  9. 1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Update May 31, 2019: 

    The Pinal County Medical Examiner'autopsy stated Joshua White was 6ft tall, 289lbs with no known medical issues died of dehydration and hyperthermia. Their report concluded it was an accident.

    The medical examiner's report said the boy reportedly drank 2 quarts (2 liters) of water while climbing the peak between Phoenix and Tucson and another 2 quarts on the way down. The small group of Scouts hiked for six hours on a day when temperatures reached 96 degrees.

    The Pinal County sheriff's office initially said the Scouts had water when they set out but ran out at the top. The park's website recommends that hikers each carry at least 2 to 4 quarts (2 to 4 liters) of water.

    More at source links:



    So just an observation, the youth would not have been permitted to participate in any BSA High Adventure base due to not meeting the Height/Weight restrictions

    • Thanks 1

  10. Some do not know when to leave the dance.  The have "always" been the SM of unit 1234.  It is their identity.  Sadly they may not see ship sinking around them.  Not sure how many active Scout you may have.  There does, at least on paper, need to be some committee members.  They are the ones that choose the leaders.  Sometimes they are active in that, sometime not so much.

    As was noted you have some choices.  Yours seems really down to a couple.

    1) Get the committee to appoint a new SM and that is that.  

    2) Move on to a new opportunity.

    If you cannot get #1 done, then #2 is the only option.  Unless you plan to stay for another year hoping for change.

    The COR would appoint the CC but would likely have zero or less knowledge of the how of the troop function

  11. Interesting topic

    A point that always seems to be made is that phones are "tools".  Yes that is true, but the GTSS has a whole bunch of tools that cannot be used.  There are also arguments made that that the guidelines are too broad, etc etc, do not take into account all things.  The bottom line is that the tool matrix in GTSS is bases on maturity and expectations of maturity.  Are all Scouts mature enough to handle phone correctly?  Not sure.  So the tool comment is entertaining as there are lots and lots of tools not allowed.  

    While not all are listed I doubt that many units would allow Scouts to bring generators, compressors, and nail guns to build stuff at camp.  Yet those are in fact tools.

    @TAHAWK That is a interesting missive on taking things.  There are many many things that Scouts can legally have but I believe you would not allow on outings.  Air soft guns, automobiles if they are over 16, possibly compound bows.  Again to be clear, unit leaders are in fact ultimately responsible for the outing and the unit.  The leaders may "hold to keep secure" some items.  That does not make it theft, as you neglect to note intent

    The phones as I noted are an interesting topic.  Yes they can be useful, and just as easily that can be a distraction or even a problem.  Online games, inappropriate content, and questionable contacts on social media are just some of the potential issues.  Not to mention the possibility to lose or damage the phones in the great outdoors.

    Our unit's stance on phones has evolved.  12 - 15 years ago we had no real policy or guidelines.  As these devices moved from just phones to smart phones we had to change.  Our next stop on the journey was don't ask don't tell.  If we saw them we asked them to be put away.  Now we have arrived at the current guideline, no phones on outings.  You can have them in the cars going and coming, but leave them there for the outing.

    That is our culture.  If a family does not like that, there are other units.  

    • Upvote 1

  12. On 5/28/2019 at 8:51 AM, ianwilkins said:

    Ok, seriously, in the interests of international knowledge exchange, what are you doing to your flags? On what basis are flags retired? If they touch the ground? The slightest speck of dirt? Are they use once only? 300 at a time? I'm taken aback.



    Can't speak for their specific circumstance, but one of our Scouts Eagle project was a flag collection box at city hall.  Periodically we go down and clean that out.  They can get numerous.  Ours is typically during the annual Webelos visitation campout.  We publicize a few weeks prior and get them from the church and random bags left at the shed.  Never had 400 but we have had a boatload.

    The local council summer camp does a great ceremony on Wednesday night and troops can bring flags.  They actually have built an oven type device to place at the fire ring.  While the main ceremony retires a good many, it does not get all retired.  There is every couple of weeks another private ceremony where the staff retires all the collected flags using the stove device.  It provides a more concentrated fire and contains the flags.  Burns faster and cleaner.

    Honestly when you start collecting flags, there can be a bunch coming out of the woodwork

  13. 1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

    The problem Tigers caused was requiring more volunteer time to an already heavily burdened volunteer program. I don't know the numbers now, but 20 years ago only half of the graduating Webelos continued to the next step of scouting, troops. I believe that 70% of those Webelos can blame their boring experience to adult leader burnout. It's too much, and now they have a Lion program. 



    We get some new Scouts each year that have bailed out in 4th grade due to "yawn" too long of a Cub program.  Then they see us when they are maybe 6th grade, want to know if they can join Boy Scouts as they dropped out of Cubs.  A lot of our leaders that were Cub leaders talk about the long long long walk through Cubs...up to 6 years now

    We tell them if they have the application, pay the dues, and give us to start a Medical A / B...welcome aboard

  14. So - The United States Flag Code, Title 4, Section 8k states-“The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

    Pretty much that is about the only instruction.  There are many ways to do this is a dignified manner, and that interpretation (dignified manner) would be up to the unit and those performing the retirement

    • Thanks 2
    • Upvote 2

  15. 11 minutes ago, 69RoadRunner said:

    All excellent advice. I've been hitting the gym regularly and have done many hikes. As long as my plantar fasciitis stays away as well as the IT band issue that popped up 2 years ago during my son's hiking merit badge hikes, I'll be OK.  I've done a lot of leg work, and the IT band has been doing well.  It only came up during steep downhill sections.

    Naproxen is your friend.  Naproxen is prescribed for the treatment of mild to moderate pain and inflammation.  Take at night, you will wake up with somewhat less inflammation and tension from the plantar fasciitis and other aches and pains.  

    Don't fear the better living through chemistry option

    • Upvote 3

  16. 18 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

    We've had many scheduling problems conspire against us and haven't done nearly the prep that we should.  I'm even getting the boys to do hikes around the neighborhood with packs on their own time to get in shape.

    I will make sure we have proper gear. This troop hasn't been a backpacking troop, it's been mostly car camping.

    We are cramming for the final in these last couple of months.  We'll get in as much as we can.

    I do have a recent Eagle from our troop going as an adult and he's worked at Philmont.

    We'll be one of those crews that struggles at times.  We have trek 12 with no dry camps. That should help some.

    But they'll learn.  They'll overcome adversity.  They'll have fun.

    And we won't be like the troop my WFA instructor told us about that showed up with suitcases.

    That was cathartic for me.

    Honestly, most of the youth from a physical perspective will likely do well.  Boots are another issue that need to be addressed of course.  Leaders, that's another story.  You can do a good pack shakedown in a driveway.  Everyone full packs, you run down the list, make sure it's there.  If you have folks from past years, have them come and discuss what may or may not be needed (I've never taken rain pants).

    Biggest thing to get done is crew cohesion, and working together as a team.  The Philmont trek is much different than weekend trips or summer camp due to length and smaller numbers (at least in our case) on the outing.  On the plus side they are older scouts so hopefully more mature.  On the downside there is literally nowhere to go to get away, you can't bail, and if you are not working together at least somewhat, makes for a long 12 days

    I would make sure you have a solid crew leader, make sure everyone knows there will be daily work to get done; water, tarp, cooking, bear bags, etc etc; and everyone is expected to contribute.  There is crew gear; food, stoves, first aid, fuel, etc etc that everyone will tote.  Get the admin stuff done prior to departure, good clear structure led by the crew leader, then you are ready to meet the physical demands.

    • Upvote 1

  17. It is a tough call

    In our troop for Scout - 1st Class the Scout has to get signed off by a Life or above Scout.  For SM conference an ASM does that.  Our informal process is that you would not do your son's SM Conference or if on the committee BOR

    For our current SM his son just aged out this year.  As he worked through the ranks other leaders did the SM conferences and BOR's.  He was an SPL and for that period one of the other leaders in the troop was his guide during the time.  Good for the son to hear a different voice at times

    There does not seem to be a formal rule in GTA, but common sense should prevail and the opportunity for the SM's son to interact with other adults.

  18. 4 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

    Can we PLEASE get off this kick of trying to impugn her father, and by extension (and sometime outright) the scout? It is really really ugly and I would hope we are both better than that and that we can discuss our positions intelligently without turning to logical fallacies about a person's perceived motives.

    Not impugning (def: dispute the truth, validity, or honesty of (a statement or motive); call into question)  at all, just noting what is on his public website.  

  19. 7 minutes ago, an_old_DC said:

    Please. You have been a moderator a very long time and monitor these threads—particularly the Ireland threads. You know her  Scoutmaster, Advancement Chair and CC from her Boy Scouts of America troop routinely submitted advancement paperwork to their NY council—knowing full well it would be rejected but doing so anyway. Then the troop presented her with all of the awards and paperwork anyway. That’s why she claims she is an “unofficial Life Scout.” Her troop claims she has done all the work but won’t be recognized by her council or national.

    And Dad's a lawyer, so that helps to grease the wheels

    From his Law firm website - interesting the mention of girls and women in Boy Scouts is on the home page

    With the guidance of the Law Offices of Gary Ireland, you can maximize income and benefits when joining a company, enhance severance, and if necessary assert rights when leaving. Gary Ireland also works with clients who are seeking to start companies – with his help you can save money and solve legal problems by making smarter business decisions while limiting risk. And Gary is active as an advocate for inclusion and non-discrimination - currently working to enable girls and young women to participate at all of levels of scouting within the Boy Scouts of America.

  • Create New...