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FireStone

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FireStone last won the day on January 7

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About FireStone

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    Eagle Scout & Den Leader

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  1. Seems specific to Board of Review, but what about other situations where video conferencing could be used now that we're not able to meet in-person? Regular meetings, Patrol Meetings, SMCs, Cub Scout meetings, etc? Are the guidelines the same? Parents must be present at the beginning and end, no recording, etc...?
  2. I was thinking about doing video Den Meetings a while back, and now it seems like even more of a useful option to have. I've used free services like https://whereby.com for work, and I think it could work for doing a virtual den meeting (with a small group). Obviously some YPT issues come into play in a virtual setting. I'm not even sure if video conferencing services are allowed with scouts, need to research the YPT implications. But off the top of my head, if we used a service like this I was going to ask that a parent/guardian be present and visible on camera with their scout for any video meetings we hold.
  3. We're also in NJ, nothing cancelled yet but I think we'll know more about what the schools are planning by early next week, and then we'll probably follow their lead. I think it would be weird if schools closed but we were still trying to get kids together for group scout activities. A lot of local schools are doing half-day or full-day closures on Friday for teacher training on virtual learning.
  4. If that is the true intent, the slides aren't the problem, the neckerchief itself is. We need to go back to square neckers folded in half, and at a large enough size to actually be usable as a first-aid tool or other device. The knot really has very little to do with the utility of the neckerchief.
  5. I love this. Glad this seems to be gaining more traction. Slides are awful, especially the metal ones the BSA sells.
  6. I haven't seen it in the G2A, just keep hearing that Scoutbook is the official record in various places, like this Bryan on Scouting post: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2017/12/21/scoutbook-lite-to-replace-bsas-internet-advancement-platform-in-early-2018/
  7. I didn't mean which one is more practical, which I agree the printed book is more reliable for out in the woods. But my understanding is that the handbook is no longer the "official" record of scout advancement, Scoutbook is. Aside from the challenges of a digital record-keeping solution, and that the handbook is still a required resource along with the uniform, the line we've been getting at least here in our Council is that Scoutbook is the official record.
  8. Is it? I've been under the impression that Scoutbook is now the official document/record.
  9. Think about where we were a month ago with this thing. In one month, so much has changed. So thinking about where we'll be with it in July and August is impossible.
  10. A lot of folks (myself included) were voicing concern about PR before the Chapter 11 filing. Now it just seems like it's too little too late. The BSA had the chance to respond strongly and convincingly to the accusations of continued abuse, continued failure to better protect scouts, and continued lack of vetting of leaders. All of which is absolutely false, but the BSA dropped the ball when given the chance to respond. Front-page news articles made these kinds of false accusations and the BSA offered up weak, canned responses. They could have (and should have) responded with the stuff they have come out with since the bankruptcy filing, about how scouting is safer than ever in the BSA, how we have come so far with expert-informed youth protection policies and training. Now it just looks like desperate replies to a dire situation. These responses all could have done some good back when we started getting beat up in the press. Now it might just be too late. It's hard to battle back from bad PR.
  11. I think the logic is that this should have happened long ago, so if this process results in the BSA losing everything than it was just delayed, in essence taking something away from today's scouts and scouters that should have been gone long ago if these lawsuits had occurred back when they should have. I think that if we see another dues increase, it will be really hard for anyone to believe that it's not going to be used for lawsuit settlements. Whether that is true or not, it doesn't matter. The optics of this situation have always been the most challenging and potentially harmful part of the whole thing for the BSA. The more that it looks like current members are being hit repeatedly for funds to pay for the abuses of the past, the more we will start to see families leaving. Even for me it would take some serious thought and soul-searching to decide whether or not to stick with the BSA if they hit us with another dues increase. It's worth some added cost to me to continue scouting for my kids, but everyone has their limits. At some point if dues keep going up and it feels more and more like it's just going to cover legal expenses, I'll have a hard time continuing to support that.
  12. Scouting already works in the US without the BSA. It's the Baden-Powell Service Association. All volunteer-run, no "National", other than a national Quartermaster for manufacturing and distributing badges and books, no Council, no District, just the local units and a handful of folks who oversea things regionally. Who are also volunteers. The units have to do a lot more on their own without the National resources, but they do it and they deliver a scouting program to their youth. Scouting exists around the world mostly outside of the confines of the BSA. It certainly could (and does) continue to exist here in the US without the BSA, as long as adults are willing to take on the added burden of being a mostly locally-run organization.
  13. Precisely the issue I've had with this all along, and that the BSA has (until now) been pretty terrible at reassuring parents that things are not at all like they were 30+ years ago. The lawsuits should be heard, settlements made, compensation paid out. But when all is said and done, will there be a chance for the organization to continue? To survive? Unless the BSA can get ahead of the optics problem, the answer to that is probably "no". It's unfortunate. While I believe all victims should be heard and compensated, I also very selfishly look at it from the perspective of a parent who has kids just getting started in the organization and realizing that they might not have much of an opportunity to be scouts because of the actions of some horrible men decades ago. And then as a leader, knowing what we go through in the name of youth protection, and knowing that today's BSA is truly a top-notch organization when it comes to youth protection, it's saddening that all of it might not be enough to escape the stigma of the past. Recent articles have labeled the BSA as a "haven for pedophiles" because of past abuse cases. Between those articles, those kinds statements, and now this bankruptcy filing, I'm not sure how we can ever break free of the notion that we're this evil organization, a place for abusers to thrive. In June we had our annual Pack recruitment event/open-house, and attendance was less than the year before. I wonder what attendance/interest will look like this year...
  14. The BSA instagram account is a case study in uniform policing gone wild. The BSA posts a photo and the majority of the comments seem to be about badge placement, tucked in shirts, sashes, and various other pieces of the uniform that are identified as incorrectly placed, out of place, or otherwise lacking in some way. An Eagle Scout was recently harshly criticized for having a Star rank patch on his uniform. How about congratulating the new Eagle instead of criticizing his uniform? My Pack has some uniform police among the leadership, and it's infuriating. They're the same folks who show up half the time in jeans but then are quick to point out a uniforming misstep on someone else when they just happen to have showed up with the official pants on that night. We do Pack meeting uniform inspections. Again, this is a Cub Pack, kids as young as 5 years old. It's absolutely ridiculous, and I refuse to participate. I've pulled away from the uniform over the years and I think it's partially because I refuse to abide by the high standards that others impose. The uniform is important, it serves a purpose, and it is one of the aims of Scouting. But like all of the other aims, when taken to excess it can do more harm than good. There is a time and a place to encourage better uniforming, and that time and place is at a Pack meeting subjecting a Tiger scout to a full inspection. Nor is it taking to Instagram to publicly mock and criticize photos of scouts. At the last Pack function I wore a BSA sweatshirt and neckerchief (I'm a fan of the Bear Grylls look). 😁 I'll continue to minimize my adherence to the uniform policies as long as it remains a tool to unnecessarily criticize others within the organization and hold kids to an unnecessarily harsh standard of wear. I'd rather be out of uniform than have to think about whether someone will comment on some small part of my uniform being out of regulations.
  15. Wonder how many of us would fail it. Likewise, how many of us would fail a written driver's test if we had to take it today. When you're about to take one of these tests, that's when you are studying the material and have the ability to pass it. The goal is to retain some of the information, not all of it, and to just have a good general understanding of the subject. I really don't believe it's any indicator of current civic aptitude if a lot of people couldn't pass the test. It's a very specific test, with a lot of information that people past school age really aren't being regularly exposed to. So if the question is if we should modify the MB to cover the citizenship test material because the country seems to not do well with the test other than at the time people are actually taking the test, then my opinion would be "no". There may be a good reason to include the material in the MB, but this "1 in 3" survey isn't a good reason, if you ask me.
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