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Posts posted by Jameson76

  1. 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.  

  2. 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.

  3. 32 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

    That is a bummer, they reduced camping and demonstrating knife safety requirements.  

    If you were around for the "Improved Scouting Program" from 73 - 79 there was NO camping required.  (it was an option, but not required) You could get Eagle and NO camping, outdoor cooking, or swimming.  The only time you may have had to go outside was for Environmental Science.

    Dark days I tell you....dark days

    • Upvote 1

  4. The patrol camping and cohesion is a good path, but it is a journey.  Needs to be in the forefront in camping and meetings

    When I joined my current troop the camping method was, at best, the blob method.  Sort of everyone camps, in a large group.  To move towards the patrol method, we revamped the "How" we camped, sort of cold turkey.  Working with the PLC we reset the patrol boxes, and every patrol got the box, tarp, table, lantern, etc.

    First campout (a February one) after we worked through the details, this was the new way.  Before any personal gear is setup, trailer is unloaded, patrol sites set (spread out mind you), to include tarp, table, etc.  Honestly this took over two hours and there was a good bit of involvement to keep on task.  Now 10 years later, this takes maybe 15 minutes and all the Scouts know what to expect and areas are setup, they are spaced out, and we sort of kinda look like a troop with patrols.  It is not perfect, but it is better and continuing to be part of the culture.

    For meetings we have an area outside, (hope it doesn't rain on meeting nights) around the central assembly area there are posts with the patrol names, they group there for opening and closing, and the patrols cycle through instruction by patrols.

    Our troop has the continual mixed age group patrols.  The leaders allocate new Scouts to patrols each year.  For PL and APL the patrols hold elections (we do this on paper to discourage Russian influence) every 6 months or so.  Typically this is done on one of the outings.

    Again, not perfect and not technically by the book, but it does seem to work for our troop.  Note we are in the 80 +/- Scout range for the unit.

    • Thanks 1

  5. 2 hours ago, MikeS72 said:

    Those of us who have coached or officiated girls know this to be fact.  The only time I had to issue a red card in a soccer match was to a girl on a U18 premier team.  Whistle was blown for a foul before she even hit the ground, yet she jumped up and kicked the other player square in the chest. (as an aside, after the match the girls on her team thanked me for sending her off, as this seemed to be typical behavior for her)

    I would agree.  I coached a lot of travel youth soccer back in the day, the boys teams.  I would referee (center) and sometimes I had guys from my team as linesman.  We officiated girls games on occasion and those were no holds barred matches.  Yes they were slighter and maybe not as flat out fast as their contemporary boys, (high school age) but they hit as hard, fought as hard, and definitely held a grudge from earlier plays in the match.  My guys doing line commented that the girls were way more vicious than he might have imagined.

    Competitive and driven also, do not sell the fairer sex (can I say that??) short

  6. 33 minutes ago, Navybone said:

    Unless you are personally aware of  personally involved with, or have documentation of, shortcuts taken by individual you mention, is is not fact. It is supposition on your part.   


    24 minutes ago, willray said:

    Is it possible, following the rank advancement criteria that all other scouts are held to, for a scout to have legitimately earned First Class rank within 40 days of joining Scouts BSA?

    Is it possible, following the rank advancement criteria that all other scouts are held to, for a scout to have legitimately earned Life rank, within a month of joining Scouts BSA?

    I think it's completely expected that we'll see many hard-chargers amongst the first crop of girls coming into BSA, as many of them have been right there beside their brothers and are chomping at the bit to start earning ranks for what they have already learned to do.   That however puts First Class, a minimum of 86 days out from the date of joining, Star and Life somewhat further due to time-in-position requirements.

    If you can explain any legitimate process that is available to all scouts, for short-changing those time periods, then nobody has any cause to raise eyebrows.  If, however, there is no legitimate mechanism available to all scouts that would enable them to be Life, the month they join, then it does not require personal knowledge of what shortcuts were taken, to be aware that something was permitted, that is not permitted to other scouts.  That's called a shortcut.

    This falls into the "cannot make a positive" assumption or offer proof of issues.  Rather than acknowledge that it does possibly appear there could be challenges, there possibly could be some leaders short cutting the process and maybe denying the Scout the full program, the response from some is prove it.  

    Very much like the situation where you walk into your house and see a picture that was hanging on the wall laying on the floor broken and ball laying near it.  You may not be able to prove your child did it, but certainly it looks that way.

    Most of the concern, at least on my part, is the advancement apple seems to be replacing in some cases the journey of Scouting.  Kudos I assume to those that want to race the ranks, and there are some joining later in their years that will be racing.  But, all that being said, hopefully the leaders of the units will follow the program and not short change any Scout.  We as a Scouting movement are only as good as the program we preside over in our units.

    Hopefully Scouting does not become just about earning Eagle as fast as you can, then move on the to next thing, the next box to check off.

    • Upvote 2

  7. 33 minutes ago, MattR said:

    This is where I wish they just had more training or certification rather than blanket rules. I get that towers might be tippy, so teach people the proper way to anchor them. We made a monkey bridge and had to use a sledge hammer with steal spikes (the wood ones shattered) because the ground was so hard. But pioneering projects are fun. Make your own playground.

    Anchoring is one of the Pioneering MB requirements, good discussion point is always stakes, iron, trees, etc and what to tie the tower or structure to.  Hardest part is getting good spars, keeping them dry, and moving them to make a good tower.  We were going to build a tower maybe 15', but all the tree that were down were rotten to some degree.  Managed to find four good ones maybe 10' in length, that were not too heavy.  By the time we built it, was a beast to stand up.

    Waaay back in the day on camp staff we built a tower with a 25' platform.  Built over a 5 week span.  Cut down trees out in the woods, hauled them out, etc etc.  Built at the side of the parade field.  Tower was 25' x 10' x 10'.  To stand it up we ran a heavy rope and had most of the campers play pull the tower.  Amazing what about 200 Scouts and leaders can do.  As it reached the tipping point had to adjust the back anchor so there was a little rock, but no a a  hard stop.  Standing on top of that was an amazing feeling. (hey, I can see my tent from here!!)

    Later years we cut all the needed spars and parts and were able to assemble an hourglass tower during the week in Pioneering MB.  Assemble and knots M - W, then standing up and climbing it Thursday.  Leaning back over and cutting all the lashings on Friday.


  8. 42 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    This is an interesting discussion when experienced scouters of 30 years join forums to ask ideas for streamlining their girl program to get Eagle in 2 to 3 years (Eagle Mill?).

    Strange times.


    Careful...implied critiques of girls joining Scouts BSA may be frowned upon

  9. 8 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

    Your metric isn't probably that bad as I think national's number is based on scouts joining as Lion and Tigers and all the losses that happen during Cub Scouts and before switching to the old scout programs.  

    Actually, their 6% metric is based on at this point in time, +/- 850,000 Boy Scouts Scouts BSA registered for a specific year, 50,000 Eagles in that year, so roughly 6%.  Sort of a false measurement based on what they say and what they report.  Each year we do not get a new 850,000 Scouts, more like 200,000 +/-.  Many are registered for 3 - 5 years (some longer).  I would argue the number of Scouts who join the Scouts BSA program that get Eagle is closer to 25%.

    The real measurement would be how many unique Scouts (yep, I know, they are all unique) and bounce that against Eagle Scouts, then you would have a true measurement of How Many Scouts Get Eagle

    • Upvote 1

  10. 5 minutes ago, FireStone said:

    But this scouter felt that they're a "factory" because they produced 8 Eagles in one year. 

    We got a looks last year at the district banquet, we had about 30% of the Eagle Scouts in the district.  While reviewing metrics at the District Banquet some comments on needing to audit , better check the numbers etc etc.  Funny part was when you looked at number of Boy Scouts in the district, out troop accounted for maybe 25% of that number (small district), so the math sort of dictated the outcome.

    Also we have the most hours for community service, no comments about that.

  11. Interesting question, and one that has been discussed for lo these many years.  

    Current troop has 80+ Scouts and over the last 11 years we have averaged about 8 Eagles each year.  Looking at a percentage earning Eagle, for Scouts that join the troop about 50% earn Eagle.  For the Scouts that joined in one year (21) 13 attained Eagle or 62%.  They earned Eagle over a 4 year span.  Some at about 15 and some at the literal cusp of 18

    The troop has never done an "advancement" outing.  All the outings are determined by the Scouts and the main drive is to have fun.  We have 11 outdoor monthly outdoor events each year, two summer camps, annual high adventure, etc etc The troop does hold MB sessions for various Eagle required badges, maybe 2 - 3 per year.  These are held prior to meetings and do not impact regular meetings.

    My observation on Scouts getting to Eagle is, does the troop provide a place where they can work towards Eagle?  Majority of our Eagle Scouts are over 16, they have been in the troop and active for years, gone on High Adventure, been to camp, been in leadership, worked summer camp staff, and done many Scout things.  As a unit we have a Life to Eagle position that keeps track of who is where in the process and is the point of contact for the Eagle process.

    Keeping the older Scout engaged, understanding their schedule and time demands can be a key to helping them along the Scouting journey.  You may not see some Scouts every meeting due to sports, AP classes, band, etc.  That does not mean they are not engaged.  We have numerous leaders, our practice is that the Scouts drive their advancement.  If they need to meet with a specific leader on some aspect, they send the note to make sure they are going to be at the meeting.

    Are we an "Eagle Mill"?  I would say no.  We are a troop that works with older Scouts, has a large group of experienced leaders that can assist when asked.   Key is we demand no more an no less than is required.

    Recently we had a Scout that came to a meeting, we had not seen him for a while, and was looking at finishing Life Scout rank then on to Eagle.  Challenge was his 18th birthday was only 170 days away (less than 6 months) and he still needed to complete 2 merit badges prior to having is BOR for Life.  Really sad part is that about 8 months prior we had reached out, advised on timelines, pointed out if he was interested in working on Eagle he needed to complete Life rank, do the leadership, etc.  No response until his recent meeting attendance.  Our conversation was he could complete his youth scouting journey as a Life Scout (after getting those 2 MB's completed) but that was it.  

  12. Saw a post on another social media platform.  A young lady was reporting that she has completed 1st class requirements as of May 4th 2019.  I guess congratulations, but I had some observations: 

    That means in 92 days (2/1/19 - 5/4/19) she has:

    • Completed all the requirements for Scout / Tenderfoot / Second Class / First Class
    • That is 118 separate items
    • Including:
    • 30 days of record keeping for Tenderfoot physical fitness
    • 4 weeks (28 days) of record keeping for Second Class fitness after Tenderfoot fitness requirement 6C
    • 4 weeks (28 days) of record keeping for First Class fitness after Second class fitness requirement 7A
    • That's minimum of 86 days for those keeping score on the fitness requirements
    • Went to 10 Scout events that do not include troop or patrol meetings.
    • From those 10 - 6 were outdoor events
    • For the outdoor events there were at least 3 overnight campouts where she slept in a tent or structure she put up (the campouts do seem easily attainable if troop camps monthly)
    • Completed the BSA Swim Test

    Trust there was nothing more and nothing less required to complete the ranks.

  13. 3 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    Jameson, I always enjoy and look forward to reading your posts about your troop because it is a well oil machine. But, the adults handing over all those bullet points to the scouts (including your last sentence) is the next step toward stepping up to a new plateau of scout growth and program maturity. I have the t-shirt.


    It is a an ongoing process.  The training is ongoing for Scouts and leaders.  Some can handle the processes better, some need less guidance, some need more.  We try to keep it from drifting too far into "Lord of Flies" territory.

    One conversation we had a few months ago with our SPL was, having a class session (for example) on hammocking tips is a great idea, but what are the instructors going to cover?  That needs to be part of the meeting plan.  We touched on that he should not be looking for an in-depth lesson plan, they have about 10 minutes or so (they rotate) so what 3 things should the instructor cover.  That should be part of his plan.

    Also to advise an ASM that just giving feedback that during BOR's we hear classes are not good is pretty thin.  Work with the SPL to give feedback on what is not going well.  Too many phones out, instructor not prepared, subject has been covered multiples times, etc etc.  Also these are the SCOUTS meetings, let them decide what to work on and cover.  We can suggest, but end of the day, they have to own it.

  14. On 5/4/2019 at 1:02 PM, Calion said:

    There's a bit of disagreement within my troop as to whether Assistant Scoutmasters should be expected to attend Patrol Leaders' Councils. What are ya'lls thoughts on the subject?

    The Scouts meet and determine topics and plans, the leaders sit to the side, most of the time we quietly discuss a variety of topics not related to Scouting

    For meetings our involvement is typically:

    • Can we do X at the meeting (yes or no)
    • The leaders ask questions such as what are the items you want cover in class sessions
    • We confirm how many meetings they are planning for at this time
    • We review their plan


    For the annual planning our involvement is questions from the the scouts, these are typically:

    • About a possible outing  and Yep we can do that, or no we can't do skydiving
    • You guys know that is 4 hours away, is that really a good weekend?
    • That's a lot of money, are you sure?
    • Things like that

    Also we sometimes step in to keep them on task if the discussion goes waaay to far and afield


    • Upvote 1

  15. 6 hours ago, qwazse said:

    We have no such rule against cell phones. Does it cause problems? Yes. Does it solve others? Yes.

    Not the specific topic, but we have had some challenges with cell phones.  Yes it can be a good tool, but then there is a litany of tools that could be useful at camp and outings that we do not bring (chainsaws, generators, work lights to name a few) Our primary driver was that it did impact the group interactions on outings.  When there are no phones, the scouts congregate more and socialize more.  Better attended card games and cornhole tournaments


    • Thanks 1
    • Upvote 1

  16. Other than Scouts have done a good bit of sports coaching.  One of the parents was a lawyer, so I asked him what my liability was if a player got injured.  His umbrella response was that they (as parents) had to assume some risk as they allowed their child to play a sport.  Yes you could have an action against you, but it likely would not be a winnable one if you as the coach were doing normally accepted actions or it was the course of the game and no visible risks were present.  Drills, exercises, and other activities that would be associated with the sport and as the coach was taking reasonable care.  As others have noted, not being negligent.  Preface to that is normally acceptable of course.  

    Scouts is similar, parents do have some assumption of risk.  They may not like that, but it is there.  Within the BSA medical form, that every participant should sign and their guardian should sign, there is this disclaimer:

    I understand that participation in Scouting activities involves the risk of personal injury, including death, due to the physical, mental, and emotional challenges in the activities offered. Information about those activities may be obtained from the venue, activity coordinators, or your local council. I also understand that participation in these activities is entirely voluntary and requires participants to follow instructions and abide by all applicable rules and the standards of conduct.

    Now, as with the sports example, are you taking reasonable care, are you or other leaders not being negligent, are you doing the things expected?  For example you are on a backpacking trek and as a side activity you lead them up a 40' free climb without proper gear.  That might be a challenge if someone gets hurt.

    Exercise care, and most importantly...don't be stupid.


    • Upvote 2

  17. 15 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

    I'm not sure what it makes us look like, but the intention is not to limit the scout or make his job harder.  The intention was to put more constraints on the adults that approve the projects.  The workbook was created to enable the scout to focus on doing his project and less so on the paperwork.  

    For example, ... if we didn't have the workbook ... I could easily see a return to the past where adults only approved project proposals with multi-page descriptions and detailed plans and detailed cost and ....

    The constraint / inferences was never meant to be a constraint on the scout.

    That is so true....I could easily see a return to the past where adults only approved project proposals with multi-page descriptions and detailed plans and detailed cost and ....

    Had a sad discussion with one Scout from another troop on his project.  The troop approver ONLY wanted CAD type drawings, no hand ones, no sketches from excel, etc.  The Scout was building some shelves or cabinets.  He wanted nailing diagrams, then cut sheets, etc.  Poor guy had submitted his project multiple times.

    Most issues I see and hear about the workbook, and I work with 12 - 15 Scouts per year from our troop, deal not with the content or layout, it deals with the PFD document and how hard it is to work with.  As a document (generic term) it is good.  Easy to follow, keeps everyone on track.  The file format is lacking

    • Upvote 1

  18. 5 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

    Here in Texas, many of our state parks don't have trees bigger than cacti and scrub mesquite. Tough to hang a hammock.

    Not really a problem though, since we just lay our bedrolls out on the ground near our horses.  Naturally, we make sure kids sleep next to kids and horses their own ages and we always have at least 2 female horses in any girl troop. 

    The level of complaining if there are not good hammocking trees is epic when we camp.  Literally there is one area we have not returned to due to lack of hammock trees.  On most outings (and we camp 35 - 40 Scouts) it runs about 80% hammock

    Hard part is judging the age of the trees to make sure they are compliant with various age issues, no more than 2 years apart and whatnot.  Once you cut them down and count rings, tough to use for hammocks

    • Haha 2

  19. Annually for summer we do a summer activity shirt.  Same chest design, but the back has summer camps and HA that the troop is doing

    Some colors over the last few years

    • Burgundy
    • Grey
    • Black
    • Texas Orange
    • Navy
    • Scarlett
    • Forest Green
    • Red
    • Royal Blue

    After the scouts have been in a few years nice to see the different colors at activities.  The leaders seem to have stacks of different colors.  As for the gentle blending in aesthetic mentioned, that may work if you and a friend or two are out in the wilderness.  You put 40 Scouts out on an outing, the blending in goes out the window


    • Haha 1
    • Upvote 1

  20. 19 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

    It should only be allowed for Texas since all other states are irrelevant.  😉 


  21. 3 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

    1. @rickmay you ask a lot of questions about regulations for a guy with an LP logo avatar :)

    B. If Sydney Ireland can wear an ERANOW button and unearned rank patch on her uniform at the State of the Union address without repercussion, the rules are meaningless.

    4. Fly your freak flag proudly!  You'll bang into some uniform police, tell them to go away.

    Got a scout wearing a patch from one of the military branches on his uniform, apparently granddad was in the service, WW2, and he is very proud of that, his granddad, and his service.  Wears it under the US flag...

    We took the same path, Scout is very active and loves Scouting, whatever (within reason) brings them to the table regularly

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