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Posts posted by Jameson76

  1. Floating in a tube is allowed, yes. Being towed behind a boat gets a little confusing. It is mentioned in two places with contradicting allowances. It seems to be okay under Tow Sports, but specifically ruled out in Unathorized and Reatricted Activities #15.


    Yep I see that now


    Tow sports seems to indicate YES


    Tow Sports


    All participants in towed activity afloat (waterskiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding, tubing, etc.) must have successfully completed the BSA swimmer classification test and must wear a life jacket with an impact rating consistent with the activity. Supervision must include both a skilled boat driver currently trained in Safety Afloat and a separate observer. Participants should observe the Water-Skiers Safety Code and the Boat Drivers Safety Code found in Aquatics Supervision, No. 34346. Use only floats specifically designed for towing that provide secure handholds for each rider.


    Yet (Thank you search function)


    Unauthorized and Restricted Activities


    15. Parasailing, or any activity in which a person is carried aloft by a parachute, parasail, kite, or other device towed by a motorboat, including a tube, or by any other means, is unauthorized.


    As Tow sports is on page 20 (Good lord 105 pages of G2SS) I stopped reading there and tubing will continue

  2. Sure:


    Laser Tag

    Water guns

    Water Tubing

    Four wheeling

    Personal Water Craft

    Towed Para Sailing

    Hot Air Balloon rides

    Dodgeball ( i still argue this it's different that using paint/laser guns)

    Introductory Karate Class with qualified instructors

    Certain pioneering projects


    Those are some of the items I can remember that have been suggested by our Scouts that they have done on other youth organizations, but did not meet G2SC requirements. Mind you I do not disagree that some of them should be excluded but some of the others I think are a bit over zealous.


    Candidly not sure we follow 100% of these, but many are allowed in some form


    Paintball - Yep have to use targets to be compliant

    Laser Tag - Yep have to use targets to be compliant

    Water guns - Not specifically mentioned by name

    Water Tubing - Tubing is allowed with PFD's

    Four wheeling - As part of council program to be compliant

    Personal Water Craft - Yep

    Towed Para Sailing - Yep

    Hot Air Balloon rides - Yep unless tethered

    Dodgeball ( i still argue this it's different that using paint/laser guns) - Well not mentioned by name so......

    Introductory Karate Class with qualified instructors - Yep 

    Certain pioneering projects - Yep due to height


  3. Well it just got escalated.


    Long story short, an online discussion noted how one of the new scouters is now bringing his wife and Tiger to the camporee this weekend. I made comments about how this is a Boy Scout event, and Cubs are not suppose to be there. Major  pushback about how the troop had allowed 10-15 years ago siblings to camp with them, and other major pushback. Noted all the factors involved in why Cubs do not need to be there. More push back. Then 2 other private discussions on push back. One ASM of the troop is one of those pushing back. Apparently his troop growing up allowed siblings and did a lot of family camping. So he sees nothing wrong and thinks I am overreacting. He also stated " you are fighting a battle you will lose."


    The troop is no longer fun anymore.


    One good friend has backed off because of the new parents. Officially a second has backed off a lot due to other obligations. But I think he is disgusted with things and doesn't want to deal with the drama.  And a 3rd experienced Scouter has expressed a desire to transfer to another troop. I'll be active a little longer, long enough for a leaders' meeting the current SM wants because of all the crap going on. I know he is tired of all the garbage going on, and hopefully he will get things straight.


    But it is definitely no longer fun. I already told my oldest I am backing away as It is stressing me out.


    My word that is bad.  Our troop has 100 +/- in the unit, in the 10 years I have been with this trip only have had this happen once.  Mom and younger sibling came as we were camped at a State park.  No specific issue until her second trip into the scouts area.  We had a word and then she went to another part of the SP.


    Obviously the Leader is not really a leader but a parent.  Most of our scouts would be the first one to not want "parents" and especially younger siblings camping with us.  We do have some conversations with some leaders on a little too much help.  Try to keep it upbeat and it typically works.


    Also on this one  Apparently his troop growing up allowed siblings and did a lot of family camping.  Wow...that is a whole lot of fail there, maybe time to move on

  4. Well, I am hoping that is exactly what they do (although, I don't think they will need all of your Step 3, just a slight change to the existing youth application form.)  And since they have announced that girls will be eligible for Eagle, that suggests (at least to me) that the rest of the advancement program, ranks, requirements, MB's, the whole thing, goes with it, so I think there is a good chance that they will do exactly that.


    Then, you ask, why does it take a year to announce this and then another year to implement it?  That's above my pay grade.  Maybe it is a public relations maneuver. (Which may backfire.)  Maybe they want to look at all of the BSA publications and see if anything needs to be changed to make them gender-neutral.  (My guess is that there will be some changes that need to be made, but not an overwhelming number.)  Maybe they want to lay the groundwork with the CO's and potential CO's before the program actually goes into effect, and/or maybe have a "pre-admission" recruiting program, so that on Day 1 there are actually troops in place, with charters and leaders and youth members and meeting rooms and camping schedules, maybe some equipment, maybe a bank account, maybe a troop flag, maybe some training already done, maybe the handbooks and leader books and program helps and etc. already in the hands of those who need them, the whole nine yards, all ready to go.  (Rather than everyone standing around saying "Ok, what do we do now?)  Maybe they understand how big a change this is and want time to think about how to best present it to the existing membership and the public.  Maybe they really haven't been able to agree on a name yet.  Or maybe none of these, or all of these, or some combination, and/or others that I haven't thought of.


    You have noted the heart of the matter - so that on Day 1 there are actually troops in place, with charters and leaders and youth members and meeting rooms and camping schedules, maybe some equipment, maybe a bank account, maybe a troop flag, maybe some training already done, maybe the handbooks and leader books and program helps and etc. already in the hands of those who need them, the whole nine yards, all ready to go.


    That is the real crux of the situation, who is going to do all the training, recruiting, etc.  Actually starting new troops (not including outreach council setup troops) is not that common.  Yes there are new leaders that need to be trained, but starting from scratch is not the norm.  


    There will likely be much standing around and wondering, then they will want to head down the street, or within the same CO to join or "sister" with an existing troop.  Maybe that is the actual plan, I feel there is much hope for the best and the assumptions that current volunteers will just work it out.  For many current troops not sure how that will be in reality.  Troops are usually (right or wrong) their own social units.  Scouts gravitate to the one that meets their needs and is comfortable.  You upset that social order and suddenly you may not have a troop.


    On the Cub side most packs have enough challenge to effectively staff dens, much less double up the dens for co-ed operations.

  5. Interesting Op Ed piece by Sylvia Acevedo, a rocket scientist, entrepreneur, executive and lifelong Girl Scout, is CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA




    Some quotes - 


    "We believe strongly in the importance of the safe, all-girl, girl-led and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provides. "


    "At Girl Scouts, girls aren’t the ancillary tag-along or supporting player — they are the central character."


    "strong female role models show them they can be anything they want to be."


    Interesting that if a current member of Boy Scouts posits the same thoughts (change out Boy for Girl and Male for Female) then that person is perhaps a conditional scout or not embracing of change.  Possibly not demonstrating the Oath and Law sufficiently

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  6. We had a ghost troop at the camp I worked at, typically only heard it on weekends.  We were doing the basic movement of tents, etc on a Saturday.  We heard a troop swimming etc at the waterfront, walked down there, nothing.  Many of us heard it over the years.  You never saw anything, just voices, splashing, etc.


    On another note there was the the ghosts of dining hall pizza that came around later in the evenings after it was served, but that is another whole tale.

  7. This is all about money.  BSA is just a business.


    The scout law and scout oath is being used to shame scouters into toeing the line for national as they use the BSA brand to maximize profits.   You can count on national to make more decisions to increase income down the road.


    The only time you will see the pros do anything that will make the program better for the boys is when such a change will increase their bottom line.


    They have picked money over being trustworthy and loyal to the current members.  


    And you have summed up the issues, the Professional and Board Room of Scouting versus (sadly that is the case) the front line Scouters providing program at the unit level to the youth.


    - One group feels we needs Scouts so that money can be raised


    - One group feels we need to raise money so there can be programs delivered to Scouts

  8. As for the uniform, I sure hope you are wrong, because I just bought a new one.  Seriously though, I doubt they will de-emphasize the uniform, it is an important part of the "brand" they are trying to "protect."


    Do hope you are correct, but then I thought providing programs for boys was also an important part of the brand



    You missed one. The ageist policy on rank advancement that was codified in the mid 60's will be repealed.


    This will be entertaining, especially as they roll out the (soon to be shortlived) Girl only troops and the calendar works against some of them.  In order to be "fair" and "inclusive" the 18th birthday will no doubt be on the table in order to work with and validate the prior underserved girls as the rush to the apparent real purpose of Scouts (Boy omitted by design) the Holy Grail of the Eagle Scout award (cue the trumpets)

  9. My son was on staff at council summer camp, they designated levels for leaders (yes Helicopter leaders) and parents in the camp


    - Simple over involved oversight: Helicopter

    - More involved, checking on scout, asking questions on their behalf: Blackhawk

    - Even more involved, direct involvement during classes, scout is two steps behind: Chinook

    - Highest level, it's all about their scout, involves Camp Director in any perceived slight: Sea Stallion


    You could almost hear their eyes roll when one of these leaders/parents would take up residence in a program area

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  10. I see, your decision does not make our programs co-ed. . .    but Mike Surbaugh could make a new decision at any time and instantly make BSA co-ed.

    If you read what he said carefully the door is wide open to switch to co-ed at any time they wish to make a new decision.

    They have made no promises to not go co-ed.   


    The Co-Ed question will become codified in policy in less than 3 years.  In 2018 there will be Cubs with 3 options and 2019 there will be Girl Troops and Boy Troops.  Then (put on your shocked face) there will be surveys and listening events and for the enhancement of the program ALL units will be co-ed.  Perhaps this will be the line in the sand for some, those of us considered conditional.  Also the Duty to God will be optional, can't offend anyone and the listening events showed that was not fully inclusive.


    No doubt there will be program changes on time requirements, camping, swimming, etc. to accommodate families.  The requirements will likely become less unit focused and more "family" centered.  Also the uniform will become much much more infrequent.

  11. Are you referring to the current Scouters who will leave because of the inclusion of girls?  If so, I don't think it is fair to say they "were not fully dedicated to the Oath and the Law or the ideals of the Boy Scouts."  I have no intention of leaving myself.  I am concerned about impact of coed Cub Scouts and am more concerned if the next step turns out to be coed Boy Scout troops. But if there should someday be girls/young women in the troop I serve as Advancement Chair, I will welcome the opportunity to encourage their advancement and review their progress, and to be their merit badge counselor, just as I will continue to do with the boys/young men.  As a Committee Member, I will encourage their mothers to get trained, become ASM's and go on camping trips.


    On the other hand, if someone else chooses to leave, I can understand that.  A few people in this forum have said they have already decided to leave.  Personally I think they should wait until the whole thing is in place before making a decision, but that's their choice.  People leave Scouting for all kinds of reasons.  It does not mean they "were not fully dedicated to the Oath and the Law or the ideals of the Boy Scouts."  This is a major change, and inevitably it will be too much of a change for some people.


    That term came up as I discussed this, and my concerns, with our local SE.  He said that if people chose to leave, or not donate, perhaps they were conditional scouters.  I did not press that issue or comment.  My position is that Scouting has changed (is changing) and it will be significant.  Conditions have changed.


    Other parts of the conversation seemed to be that this is a good thing, we just need to listen and accept.


    Also delved into coed troops, Duty to God, changes to requirements and of course none of that is being considered, my counter to that was how can you say that with the 10/11 announcement?  National wants to add numbers any way it can, if they could scrap uniforms because the surveys say those not in scouting would join, they would.

    • Upvote 1

  12. Be reminded, this is NOT about serving girls, or other altruistic pursuits.  This is purely about numbers and fee paying participants and ultimately money.  BSA is down in numbers and thus money to National. 


    Each scout paid in 2017 $24 in annual membership fees, that is jumping to $33 for 2018.  Much of that is driven by liability insurance, but also the BSA endowment fund drying up.  10 years ago that fund was at $350MM.  Now it is at $160MM.  Much of that is result of lawsuits and legal issues. 


    Untold in all of this is the money that BSA National has poured into the Summit operation in West Virginia, literally hundreds of millions of dollars, and that Nationally owned site continues to be a money pit.  Also the vast money put into outreach programs for under served youth that are led by para professionals as no leaders can be found.  Not saying this is a bad thing or a bad pursuit, but the cost of delivering that program is much higher than in traditional units. 


    Lastly no doubt are pension liabilities and insurance.  From the 2016 National Report - these two items (insurance and pensions) were up $21MM Year over Year.  Additionally there are notes in the 2016 Annual report on credit lines of $55MM, and extending those.  Also some forward looking optimistic statement by management believing that many factors (significant donations, program fees, etc) will help deal with the bonds coming due on Summit.  


    Obviously the situation is more dire than is being portrayed, so the Hail Mary is adding girls.  Where all the leaders etc will come from to staff these new troops is unclear.  The ultimate end game for this round will of course be a fully co-ed program.  Those that choose to leave will of course be "conditional scouters" who obviously were not fully dedicated to the Oath and the Law or the ideals of the Boy Scouts.


    Remember what they said in All the Presidents Man...Follow the money 

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  13. We engaged with our local council as we had questions, as the old Radio Shack slogan went, "you've got questions, we've got blank stares" was in full force.


    Some of the questions we had went to what is next.  Uniforms, Duty to God, Outdoor, family camping for Scouts, and the first answer was "No, none of that is changing" and we asked "How do you know if you claim to not have known about this?"  


    Best engagement went when they advised "I think we can all agree that Girls and leadership is important and BSA can do yada yada".  Our input was that no we may not all agree on that.  We feel that we can all agree the North Korean nuclear program is not great, not sure BSA is the one to handle that.  Yes a bad analogy but connecting two non related items may not effectively make your point.


    Some discussion on that BSA was not like other World Scouting movements with regard to gender, our position was I am pretty sure there are a myriad of items we are not similar to with the World Scouting movement, did that mean we would be emulating those also?


    Then the point that girls were already participating so let's make it official.  My response was so if enough units do something outside of policy, rather than address that the go forward plan is to change the policy to make everyone compliant?


    I asked why nothing beyond the press release and nothing on council web page, or any social media.  If this was absolutely the best thing since sliced bread, why not own it and run with it.  They said plans are still be drawn up and will be communicated.  As has been noted, to say that National fumbled this change is being kind.  They have zero idea how to engage in change management.  If they truly believed the support was as deep and "unanimous" as reported then 10/11/2017 would be the best day ever for scouting in the USA.


    Pretty sure the single gender dens and single gender troops are really nothing but a straw man.  The reality (from the BOY Scout perspective) to gin up a troop from scratch is daunting at best.  We are a large troop, 100+ and do 14 or so outdoor events per year.  Just moving away from the Church is a lesson in logistics.   If the CO decides to do a Girl troop, even if we are separate, how long before the parents there are campaigning to roll it into one unit.  After all, they are already trained, why don't those leader just welcome the new scouts.  Then we will go from a community supporting troop to the bad guys.


    As they said in Red October - This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it. 

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  14. Agree - @John-in-KC thank you for posting the video. https://livestream.c...ideos/164161163


    That is the most revealing thing I have seen.  Listen to the justification, listen to the comment "if you don't want controversy, just say no...can we grow another way, I just don't know".  Listen to the arrogance.  This was a done deal, short on specifics and how it might work, but who cares.


    Basically CSE Michael Surbaugh is out of ideas.  This is the Hail Mary (in his mind) to grow.  Obviously his compensation is tied to growth.  If we see a bump, he gets a bonus, and walks away.  He sees this not as a program he is a steward of, but he sees this as his way to cash in.


    He is correct, 10/11/17 will be a date remembered for the end of Scouting as we know it.

    • Upvote 1
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