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Jameson76

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Everything posted by Jameson76

  1. Been involved as a leader for 40+ years. Been with current troop for 14 years or so. My son aged out 5 years ago, but still involved. At the unit level. Stay active at the unit level. That is where you can impact youth and feel success. I have seen many groups go through. Seems like just as one group ages out and I think, man they were the best, another group sort of comes of age and I think, man, they are the best. If you are the SM, maybe now is the time to transition to another role in the troop. Life to Eagle person, Outdoor, etc. Keep hands on in the program but not as SM. There are always new challenges. We are busy planning our own summer camp for July. Something I would have never envisioned, but it will be an epic chapter in out troop's 40+ year story.
  2. Not sure scandalous conveys the true stupidity that is The Summit. What was billed as a donation and 4th Crown Jewel is a grossly underused and over developed vanity project. Basically a development looking for relevance. Why is the BSA bankrupt? Look no further than $500 - $750 million shoved down a rat hole in West Virginia
  3. An interesting anecdotal article. Sorry for what happened in his experience. From that one experience he decides to then paint with a very very broad brush Too many involved in the BSA are Trump supporters, bullish on his foreign and economic policies, silent when it comes to his stoking of racial divisions. So now we see the real reason for his article. Not an honest comment on BSA and it's policies, but a soapbox to criticize the President. And he has every right to, but if you are going to do that own that criticism and be straightforward. Then he again makes a very very broad statement or assumption Racism seems to be at the heart of scout leadership because racism is at the heart of America. I’m encouraged by the BSA’s change of direction. Still, I can’t help thinking that if scouting really were about “character and leadership,” as the BSA said in its earlier, inadequate statement, the organization would have done something about the racism within its ranks a long, long time ago. That is a very damning statement and one that is not backed up by any actual data or realism. That is like going to a chain restaurant and having a bad experience and claiming that all 3,000 locations are bad due to that one sampling. Writer needs to be honest. Yes he seems to have had a bad experience in one troop. However if you assume bad intentions and look for the worst everywhere, you will likely find it.
  4. While I would agree, there are a whole bunch of lawyers that would beg to differ with that opinion.
  5. Agree on the rain pants, rarely or never wear them I have a Columbia rain jacket, cost maybe $50 - $60. Has worn well. Have some pants that I may have worn once, but it was rainy and cold and the wind was blowing. Maybe it was also snowing and I had to hike uphill both ways.
  6. I would agree Specifically I dislike the collective guilt expressed in the opening sentence As our country reckons with racial injustice, we all must consider our role and our failures and commit to meaningful action. That makes a lot of assumptions
  7. So... BSA has decided to change the Eagle requirements AND add a new merit badge with little or no input from volunteers. Sort of on a whim. Great move. This falls into the "let's do something even if it's not well thought out" category BSA has decided to add to the required training for volunteers with little or no input. Another great move Not saying these are necessarily poor initiatives. They wreak of knee jerk reaction and a lack of actual leadership
  8. Had notice today that Philmont refunds for 2020 would be sent in 8 - 10 weeks. That is a much longer window than the 2018 refunds. Trust they are not held up due to the bankruptcy. That would be extremely complicated and detrimental
  9. What you are describing is what many camps had to consider and plan for, and many just declined to run this summer. Once you take out the dining hall meals, aquatics, shooting sports, assemblies, and campfires...is it really summer camp? Yes you are camping in the summer, but is it "camp". Basically it is troops camping in the same area, but no interaction. That is part of the fun of Summer Camp. Seeing and being with the other troops. Games in the fields, Ga Ga pits, trading post porch, etc. Without all of that the expense and trouble is most likely not worth it. Our camps cancelled and we are doing our own summer camp. If the above had been the plan, we would have gone it alone anyway,
  10. The challenge comes in when actions from the past are judges against today's or current thoughts. Baden-Powell was equally enthusiastic about the fascism that began spreading through Europe after World War I. He visited Italy in 1933 and wrote admiringly about the "boy-man" Benito Mussolini who had absorbed his country's Boy Scouts into a thriving new nationalist youth movement. The dictator explained that he'd accomplished this feat "simply by moral force" - an explanation Baden-Powell felt "augers well for the future of Italy." If Baden-Powell had had his way, the Boy Scouts might have formed close ties with the Hitler Youth. In 1937, he told the Scouts' international commissioner that the Nazis were "most anxious that the Scouts should come into closer touch with the youth movement in Germany." Baden-Powell met with the German ambassador in London and was invited to meet the Führer himself, though the war prevented him from visiting the Third Reich. But he continued to admire Hitler's values, writing in a 1939 diary entry that Mein Kampf was "a wonderful book, with good ideas on education, health, propaganda, organisation etc."
  11. As an update we have picked the date (basically 2nd full week of July). Camp will be at a State Park about 45 minutes away. We have about 25 Scouts signed up right now. There are T-shirts being made (Pandemic Summer!!) and other fun things being procured. The main program activities will be New Scout Programs, Merit Badge sessions (Based on what the Scout are interested in), Lake activities, Mountain Biking, etc. We have parents working on meals, some will be brought in, some will be non-cook. Cooking class will handle some. We will have opening and closing campfires, movie night, cobbler luau night, etc. Also the Scouts can ride bikes to activities. Working with current and former leaders, also recently aged out Eagles to provide support for instruction and activities. Some are coming out for the day, some for a few nights. Our feedback to the parents is...if it seems like we are making this up as we go along, we are. Basically we do 10 -12 two and three days outings annually. This will be a 5 night 6 day outing. Just like what we normally do, only a bit longer.
  12. Sadly Philmont has cancelled for 2020 It is with great disappointment that Philmont Scout Ranch announces the cancelation of all remaining programs for the 2020 summer season. Due to the Governor’s COVID-19 guidelines, and the State of New Mexico Health Department’s restrictions regarding travel, our efforts to secure a portion of the summer season were denied. The safety of our participants, staff and community has been and will remain our top priority. The Philmont staff were relentless in pursuing all options and will continue to assist participants as they navigate their options. Key Points: The Reservation Contact and Lead Advisor for each crew were emailed a survey to complete after consulting with their crew. Philmont will waive the adult to youth ratio (if YPT guidelines are met) to accommodate Scouts who will “age out” by the time they are rescheduled through 2022. Philmont Training Center, Family Adventure Camp Participants, and NAYLE participants will receive a call next week (June 8-12) to discuss rescheduling options or refunds. Individual Trek Participants were emailed a survey to complete. Staff have received communication from the Seasonal Personnel office. https://www.philmontscoutranch.org/coronavirus/
  13. Rumor is Woodruff Scout Reservation for Atlanta Area Council will not operate this summer. Neither is Bert Adams. No formal announcement yet, but the council has not disseminated the National fee increase yet, so obviously communication with the minions and actual customers they are supposed too serve (Scouts and Leaders) is not a high priority
  14. Got the same thing - "It's not official" and still no information from the council. Apparently we will not hear anything from them until it's official. I guess official timelines are different in different councils. Interesting. The call then turned in to an FOS discussion, told him to have a nice day
  15. As I have watched the BSA over these last 50+ years I often wonder Do we raise money to have Scouts OR do we have Scout to be able to raise money? Seems like so much of the professional time is raising money, sort of becomes the WHY of Scouting, and not the program. I am often reminded of the quote from Blazing Saddles and can imagine this being said at Professional Scouter meetings ....We've got to protect our phony-baloney jobs, gentlemen.
  16. Agree that the key is local program and local fun and adventure. Out troop is from what would be considered an upper income community, but we still keep it simple. $100 per year for dues and registration. We do no fundraisers. We charge a nominal fee for outings ($10 -15) and camp 12 times per year. Couple of summer camps, Scouts pay for those, and attempt to make it straightforward. The troop does service projects and we do attend high adventure. Key is to let the Scouts spend time with friends, have fun, hand out in hammocks. With summer camp issues we are running our own camp and "shocked face" our cost is less than 1/2 the council camp
  17. Saw this summary - National Executive Committee commissioned a set of teams to address six key areas to secure the future and our ability to deliver our mission by serving our customers, girls and boys, and their parents, young men, and women. How do we keep young people safe? Are the BSA programs aligned with today's young people? Is the National Council effectively identifying and communicating with their stakeholders? Do we have the most effective organizational structure? Are there changes that will make the National Council more effective? How do we build a solid financial path for the future? Here are some changes that we are announcing today and many more will be made over the summer. Develop a set of onboarding tools that are simple, concise, informative, while streamlining all safe scouting resources to one location. Learn from and share how councils can promote and deliver youth protection programs to build community awareness that BSA is a safe place for young people. If you've not seen what Atlanta and greater NY has done, it's incredible. Streamline the actual chartering process and make the collection of fees easier. End all youth programs at 18 and build a volunteer corps for young adults over 18. National staff levels and costs have been reduced and can be offset by volunteers in a meaningful fashion Use on-demand printing technologies for merit badge books and other printed materials Replace the current region and area structure with one intermediate organization Orient national services to only those that support council operations Create a membership category that will allow for families and individuals to join special programs developed by local councils Combine the national annual meeting and [???] into one annual event which we plan to do in 2021. Unfortunately it will be in August, but we did hear you and in 2022 it will be earlier in the summer. Appoint a national chief marketing & communication position to re-brand the BSA after bankruptcy and develop a national marketing campaign that can be implemented at the council level. This is the one that may be concerning - Create a membership category that will allow for families and individuals to join special programs developed by local councils. Guess we will become some sort of event provider group. Wedding, Birthday Party's, Bar Mitzvahs...whatever to make a buck
  18. Ask them, How does this fulfill the requirements - While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project must benefit an organization other than the Boy Scouts of America.) A project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your Scoutmaster and unit committee, and the council or district before you start.
  19. Saw the same thing Last week, the Boy Scouts of America announced that the annual membership fee for youth and young adult participants will increase from $60 to $66 effective August 1, 2020. There will also be a onetime BSA joining fee for new members of $25. If a Scout has been registered in the last five years, BSA will not charge the new member fee. In addition, BSA plans to increase the membership fee to $72 on August 1, 2021, and to $75 on August 1, 2022. No fee increases are planned past 2022. Sooo.. I thought the effort was to bring in NEW members, I guess they figure that in addition to joining BSA (amidst all the lawsuits) they will feel privileged to give an additional $25. Brilliant thinking
  20. Our Troop did not even discuss the idea of a virtual campout. The concept does not fit our program, and none the Greenbar (we are old school) or Troop leaders would be supportive. We are doing our own summer camp in July, because Scouting involved Outings - actual outings for the Scouts.
  21. The neat thing about the Outdoor program is that (if run correctly) Scouts learn invaluable skills and do not realize they are even in a learning situation. In their mind they are out having fun, spending time with their friends, enjoying the day away from their parents 😀. THAT is the real secret that many do not get. If one tries to turn Scouts / BSA / Whatever the new name may be into just more classes, more instruction and NOT something unique, it will continue to fade. The strength, the differentiation in the crowded youth activity market IS the outdoor program and the activities related to this. Schools / museums / colleges do STEM better than BSA ever could. Similar groups can offer a much deeper effort for Arts type activities. The mass amount of sports programs can offer fitness and team stuff. We are (or should be) an Outdoor based program and by involvement the participant will gain experience in self reliance, life skills, leadership, conflict resolution, citizenship (camp in a state park and you sort of have to learn what collaborative government can provide to citizens), practical first aid, etc etc. This is what we need to emphasize. Not to be all things to all people and literally do none of them very well.
  22. Skymont (Cherokee Area Council) has cancelled for the summer. Atlanta has cancelled Bert Adams for the Summer while Woodruff is delayed until Week 5 (June 28). Also a slew of program adjustments (see below) What kind of changes are you looking at for Summer Camp? We know this is a fluid situation and it will continue to change, Summer Camp will look different. At this time, we are evaluating the following likely scenarios at camp: Screening Robust screening of all participants and staff upon arrival including temperature check and specific screening questions Elimination of Family Night at camp and ensuring that all people coming onto camp are medically screened Twice daily temperature checks performed and recorded by Troop leadership Food Service 1 meal a day cooked in your campsite 1 meal cooked and delivered to your site Lunch served in a “grab and go” manner Troops being asked to bring some of their own cooking supplies Tenting Single occupancy or limited to family members sharing a tent. Some larger Troops may be asked to bring their own tent to accommodate their campers. Program Areas Limit class size to enable social distancing Conduct some programs with social distancing including Outdoor Skills, Mountaineer (1st-year camper) and Nature Not offering some programs where social distancing is not practical including COPE and Climbing, Lifesaving and Welding Aquatics and Shooting Sports with greatly reduced capacity, limited program offering and robust cleaning of equipment No campfires or mass camp activities (i.e. evening camp-wide games, etc.) No whitewater rafting or offsite activities such as Horseback riding Modified “free time” Enhanced cleaning of all camp areas Staff would clean and sanitize common areas multiple times per day Participants would be asked to assist (as usual) in ensuring camp is clean These scenarios will change as additional guidance is released. We appreciate your continued understanding as we adjust to this fluid situation.
  23. I saw that in the Scouting Wire e-mail Are they implying that if two Scout troops want to camp together and do something together, they can't? That seems a bit far reaching in the control area and possibly stepping into unit program decisions.
  24. So Atlanta Area has advised (and this is a summary) for the Scouts camps - Don't know what's coming Focused on safe program Changing food (cook or delivery to site) Cope and Climbing may not offer No whitewater rafting Aquatics is difficult Shooting sport are difficult Seems like not much to be offered
  25. Pretty much that is it. End of story, focus on the outdoor and youth development. HAVE FUN. (Also sell the millstone that is Summit but that's another story) The Boy Scouts of America was never intended to be All Things to All People. It was founded (as noted) to be focused on having fun in the outdoors as a means to develop responsibility and good character. Simple and straightforward. Sometimes the BSA reminds me of the lifeboat station story, a group that seems to have forgotten why they were founded in the first place.. ‘On a dangerous sea coast where shipwrecks often occurred, there was once a crude little lifeboat station. The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat, but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea and, with no thought for themselves, went out day and night tirelessly looking out for lost people. Some of those who had been saved, and various others in the surrounding area, wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time, money and effort for the support of its work. New boats were bought and new crews were trained. With commitment and energy the little lifeboat station grew. Some members of the lifeboat station were unhappy that the building was so crude and poorly equipped. They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge of those saved from the sea. So they replaced the emergency hammocks with beds and put better furniture in the enlarged building. Now the lifeboat station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they decorated and furnished it beautifully, and started using it as a sort of club. Fewer members were now interested in going out on lifesaving missions, so they hired lifeboat crews to do this work. Lifesaving pictures and mementos decorated the club’s walls where official meetings were held. About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast, and the hired crews brought in boatloads of cold, wet, and half-drowned people. They were dirty and sick, with different personalities and temperaments and from other cultural backgrounds. The beautiful new club was in chaos. So the committee immediately had a shower house built outside the club where shipwreck victims could be cleaned up before coming inside. At the next meeting, the club membership was divided. Most of the members wanted to stop the club’s lifesaving activities, since they were unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal social life of the club. But some members insisted that lifesaving was their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a ‘Lifeboat Station’! However, they were finally outvoted, and told that if they wanted to save the lives of all types of people who might be shipwrecked, they could begin their own lifeboat station somewhere else, further down the coast. This they did. As the years went by, similar changes took place in the new station as well. It also evolved into a club, and consequently another lifeboat station was founded elsewhere. History continued to repeat itself and on that sea coast today, you will find a number of exclusive clubs along the coastline. Shipwrecks are still frequent in those waters, but most of the people are never reached and saved.
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