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Posts 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. 3 hours ago, ALongWalk said:

    Adding this to the conversation: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-im-skeptical-of-the-boy-scouts-new-inclusion-initiatives/2020/06/19/9f4da7a8-b26a-11ea-8758-bfd1d045525a_story.html

    The writer is a former scouter and has a bi-racial son who earned Eagle. At the end of the day, if our movement is to thrive we have to help people to not be skeptical of the BSA’s desire to be inclusive.  That really comes down to each of us and our individual actions. 

    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.


    • Like 1
    • Upvote 3

  3. 9 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

    I mostly use just a rain coat. I find the sweat and extra heat from the rain pants is rarely worth it. If I was going on a trip with a lot of rain in the forecast I'd bring rain pants, but on most trips I leave them at home and have rarely regretted it. 

    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.

  4. 7 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    They are poor initiatives.  Except for #4.


    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


    • Upvote 2

  5. 59 minutes ago, Ronmass said:

    Massachusetts --Camp Squanto is planning on opening in July...One of the guidelines is there has to be 2 medical staff on duty 24 hrs per day ..Another guideline is NO out of state troops may come to the camp --that is very sad since we have a troop that fly's in from Texas and another that drives from CT ...NO merit badges for aquatics or shooting sports ..And their plan for meals is they will deliver all meals to the camp sites … All of this is contingent on the town of Plymouth giving them their permits  Comments ?  Opinions ?

    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,

  6. 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."

  7. 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.

    • Upvote 2

  8. 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. 


    • Sad 3

  9. 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

  10. 7 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    I sent my DE  the graphic and he called me today asking where I got it.  Council is ready to release tomorrow.  Going to be a huge shock to everyone that doesn't tune into the social media.

    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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

    1. How do we keep young people safe?
    2. Are the BSA programs aligned with today's young people?
    3. Is the National Council effectively identifying and communicating with their stakeholders?
    4. Do we have the most effective organizational structure?
    5. Are there changes that will make the National Council more effective?
    6. 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.

    1. Develop a set of onboarding tools that are simple, concise, informative, while streamlining all safe scouting resources to one location.
    2. 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.
    3. Streamline the actual chartering process and make the collection of fees easier.
    4. End all youth programs at 18 and build a volunteer corps for young adults over 18.
    5. National staff levels and costs have been reduced and can be offset by volunteers in a meaningful fashion
    6. Use on-demand printing technologies for merit badge books and other printed materials
    7. Replace the current region and area structure with one intermediate organization
    8. Orient national services to only those that support council operations
    9. Create a membership category that will allow for families and individuals to join special programs developed by local councils
    10. 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.
    11. 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



  13. 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. 

    • Upvote 1

  14. 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

    • Upvote 3

  15. 4 hours ago, HashTagScouts said:

    We did one virtual campout- SM gave in because two kids on the PLC asked as they needed to complete First Class cooking requirements.  Both also needed a couple other requirements (the 3 R's, fitness requirements).  Only two other kids in the troop wanted to participate, but we relented and let them do it.  Halfway through Saturday they ghosted, but those two did film with a cellphone as they were cooking, so SM gave the OK.  One of the others, we have no idea what they did.  The last one, the parent checked off like 5 requirements in SB looking for SM to sign-off, including the compass and GPS.  SM came to me and asked what I thought- I said no way to the last kid.  3 weeks later, those same two original asked about having another virtual campout- I stepped in and asked if they had bothered to reach out to an older Scout to get signed off on the 3 R's? Nope.  Have they even started the 30 day fitness? Nope.  Result- no more virtual campouts for us.    

    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.

    • Upvote 3

  16. 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:


    • 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


    • 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. 

  17. 3 hours ago, scoutldr said:

    ♦ Q: If my summer camp is cancelled, can my unit get together with other units and have our own camp?

    No. Chartering organizations play an important role in the program and activities for their chartered units. Chartering organizations promote well-planned unit program for the units they charter and encourage their units to have active outdoor unit programs. Chartering organization are not authorized to plan, promote, and deliver programs for units outside of their charter.

    It is the role of the council to plan summer camps and the role of councils or districts to plan camporees and other outings during the year that give youth an opportunity to test their knowledge and skills in competitive events with other troops and/or patrols.

    When units with different chartered organizations do activities together, this becomes a district or council event and requires council approval. In fact, some states require such activities to be licensed.

    Should your troop, crew or ship decide to do a long-term summer camping program for their own unit (Cub Scouts units are prohibited from this activity) please note that the Scouter Code of Conduct and relevant program safety and training requirements are still in place, e.g., Safe Swim Defense, Hazardous Weather, Wilderness First Aid, etc.

    (From BSA Website)

    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.

    • Upvote 2

  18. 8 hours ago, MattR said:

    Proposal #1: refocus every member (employees and volunteers) of the BSA to the core principles of scouting - having fun in the outdoors as a means to develop responsibility and good character.

    Support #1: The program is the most critical aspect of scouting but it has been watered down because of a lack of focus. Rather, there seem to be silos in the BSA that are diluting the focus. There is advancement, popcorn, making money selling scout stuff, scouting-as-a-way-to-a-better-career, JTE, leave no trace, STEM and just a really bloated program that tries to be everything to everyone. This is expensive and has little appeal to young parents that have no history with scouting. By focusing on outdoors and responsibility the silo that should rise to the top should be developing scouts that the adults can trust to make their own decisions. That means improving patrol method and scout run programs. It means having more fun at summer camp and making it less like school. It means rewriting requirements so scouts are doing rather than talking about it. It means taking every aspect of scouting and checking it against the core program. If it's not supporting the basic program than consider chucking it. It's like cleaning your basement. Think of it as Start, Stop, Continue, only with focus on what makes scouting great.


    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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