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FireStone last won the day on August 29 2018

FireStone had the most liked content!

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About FireStone

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    Eagle Scout & Den Leader

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  1. If this sticks and the SM gets his way, make sure to remind him when it's time for a Court of Honor that the troop doesn't group things together, and he needs to be present at three different CoHs on 3 different dates/times/places. 😏
  2. I think we, as Scouters, are generally a fairly humble bunch. We don't do it for the recognition, and when things are going well we tend to just privately be happy about things going well and try to maintain the positives in our programs. When things go badly, that's when we turn to others for help, and on an Internet forum looking for help means shining a big old spotlight on the negatives. I think we do mention the positives, but we often don't start new threads about them. I'm pretty sure I mentioned our wildly successful recruiting effort in my Pack this year, doubling the Pack size since June. Which is great, but again, I'm not going to start a thread about it. When I look at what's on my desk at the moment and I've got that stat about Pack membership alongside an ongoing issue of bullying in the Pack, you know which item I'm more likely to bring to this forum. There is a lot of good going on, and it does often get overlooked here. But not because we're a negative group, we're all doing what we can to improve our units, and that means asking for help with problems far more often than it means pointing out the good things we see happening.
  3. FireStone

    And so it begins

    Is it? If we already have evidence of atheists re-writing the Oath and Law to suit their beliefs, is it really so speculative to suggest that they'd push for broader changes if given a nod from the BSA that the organization is flexible on the religious requirement for membership? When the posted speed limit is 55 mph, people do 65. When it's 65 mph, people do 75.
  4. FireStone

    And so it begins

    The problem is that when you open the door, even with the stated goal of not changing anything or making accommodations, people make their own changes and accommodations and then call it their right to do so. People did it throughout the "girls in the BSA" debate, going rogue and putting girls in uniform. And although I fully support the new program for girls, I was always opposed to changing things without it being made part of the program officially. I'm not a fan of forcing change by going rogue. I advocated for change by talking about the issue, voicing my support for girls in the BSA, etc. I have to listen to an atheist DL in my pack make a point of omitting "God" in the oath. He can't just silently pause at the God part, he (I think very deliberately) skips right over saying "God" so that he's saying "my country" when everyone else is saying "God". So we all clearly hear him and the very noticeable skip in cadence. I wish we could just open the doors and welcome everyone, but not everyone will just go with the program. Everyone wants accommodations. We have another DL (not the guy mentioned above, actually) who opposes prayer at scouting activities. We often close campfires and other activities with a non-sectarian prayer. This DL argues that we should stop doing that, that it offends people. (Yeah, I know, I can't roll my eyes up into my head far enough either). The other 9 DLs in the Pack want the prayer to remain in the program. But again, 1 person wants accommodations made for the group because of how they personally feel. This is what I see right now, while the rule is still firmly in favor of Duty to God being very much a part of Scouting. If the BSA took an official stance that atheists would be welcome, it wouldn't be with them just signing up and not participating in the faith-based components of the program. They'd want things changed for them. They would use any shift in stance by the BSA as leverage to argue for further change. Open that door a crack and it will be flung wide open in no time and God will be out of the BSA.
  5. I hate these planes, I really do. Too many people flying them who won't make the necessary sacrifice and endanger the public by putting them down in crowded areas. Not necessarily the case in this story, I'm just making a probably unfair generalization. A few years back a pilot crashed a similar plane on the property of my daughter's school. He was trying to make it back to the airport and wasn't going to make it, and rather than veering away from the school, he flew over it and crashed 200 feet away from the building. Had he gone left he would have had a shot at a corporate parking lot. But it was further and supposedly he knew he wouldn't make it. Go right, and he had a golf course nearby, but again, probably too far to make it. He kept it pointed towards the airport thinking that was his best chance to survive, maybe aiming for the field behind the school if he came up short, and he nearly took out the school in the process. I had this opinion of these planes and their pilots before, but that incident didn't help brighten my opinion any. Makes me cringe any time I see photos like that now. A couple years before that, a pilot made a landing on a local highway. He took out an SUV and killed a family of 4. It's all laughs and fun when it works out, like in this story about the scouts on the beach. But it often doesn't work out so well for those on the ground. Thank God no one was injured this time.
  6. FireStone

    And so it begins

    I suspect this issue won't get the same support for change as other recent ones. It certainly won't from me, and I supported the changes to allow gay scouts, transgender scouts, and girls. I know there are many in my Pack who feel the same, having supported the previous changes but not willing to budge on the faith component. Personally I don't see the issues as the same. I believe people can choose faith, but not gender or sexual orientation. And I include transgenderism in that, I don't think it's a choice, and sometimes what's between the ears and what's between the legs aren't aligned in the traditional sense. So I wouldn't kick a kid out for something that they can't choose to be differently. I also don't think the BSA religious requirements are all that much of a burden. Just believe in something bigger than yourself. That's it. Specifics don't really matter, to fulfill the requirement just believe in something. There is something deeply spiritual about Scouting, even without explicitly saying it. I had spiritual moments as a Boy Scout that were not part of any effort to be reverent. I remember being out at Resica Falls, sitting out in the woods alone quietly observing my surroundings (something to do with Envi Sci, not sure if that requirement is still in there), and there was a very real sense of something spiritual in that. I had found a comfortable boulder to perch on, lay back and stare up into the trees, listening to the sounds around me. It wasn't just nature. Maybe it was the combination of being in a Scouting environment, being a recent OA inductee, and being someone who believes in God, it all combined into something that felt like a lot more than just observing nature in the scientific sense. And it was an experience that obviously made a lasting impact on me. It was something that I think would be very different in a setting that stripped out any sense of spirituality. Not to say it couldn't happen, but I'm glad it happened the way that it did, and I'm glad that we still strive to keep spirituality in the mix. We're not just a camping club, and this is something that ensures we remain more than just a camping club.
  7. FireStone

    Out of control scout master

    What were they "yelling and screaming" at you about? If it was because you said that The Princess Bride is a bad movie, then they were entirely justified in yelling at you. That film is a cinematic treasure. However if it was something to do with Cub Scouts, as I suspect it likely was, then they maybe should have had more tact in dealing with whatever issue they had with you. It would be helpful to know what they were so upset about, certainly as it relates to determining whether or not they are suited to continued leadership in your Pack.
  8. FireStone

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    I'm good with differing viewpoints. But that's not what you're offering. You're mocking people of a specific political persuasion that you clearly dislike, plain and simple. What, the comment about the clinking wine coolers was supposed to be constructive commentary? Should I take that as a compliment? I read it for exactly what you intended. You were mocking liberals and some imagined celebratory response to negative news about the BSA. It's mockery wrapped in a stereotype, but you just call it "humor" and a differing viewpoint. I have a sense of humor. What I don't have is any more patience for the stereotypes and mockery I get for being a liberal. I sort of expect it where I live, in a town that has historically been largely Republican. Earlier this week in a conversation with a local resident I was told that liberals hate the military. He didn't know my political views, and did the, "well, not you, I know you don't hate the military," back-peddling when he found out. I expect it to some degree in my town, although I wish things were different. I guess I had higher expectations for fellow Scouters. Clearly, I'm wrong about that.
  9. FireStone

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    There are a lot of people who are politically left/liberal on this very forum and none of us want to see the BSA in bankruptcy or any other bad financial situation. You unfairly characterize this news as part of some liberal agenda or plot by liberals to destroy the BSA. In doing so you insult every liberal BSA member, volunteer, and family. For some reason the moderators tolerate it. I have no idea why.
  10. FireStone

    Where did you go to summer camp?

    Resica Falls, PA Camp Turrell, NY
  11. We don't, but I would think that if such a clause was in the agreement that the school would have gone straight to that when speaking to the press about this. No reason they wouldn't mention that if they could.
  12. Sure, but then they shouldn't open up their facilities for other organizations to use, or if they do they should make it known that they reserve the right to change/cancel any facilities reservations at any time.
  13. I might be assuming a lot here, but my guess would be that other accommodations might not meet the needs/expectations of the event organizers. If they originally had the gym, what suitable similarly-sized room would be available at the school? If they are being asked to use smaller rooms, split the event up into smaller venues, etc., that might not even be a viable option for this event, depending on how big it really is.
  14. FireStone

    Juvenile Offenses and Ethics

    I'm just about as liberal as they come on issues of marijuana, being a proponent of legalization. Full-disclosure, as part of my job I work with companies who legally make and/or distribute cannabis products or promote cannabis events. That said, I'm actually kind of torn on this one. I support legalization but with emphasis on the "legal" part of it, not just for the companies that make/sell it but for those who consume it legally. Even in places where it's legal, it's an adult product, so no scout-age kids should be getting their hands on it. Questions like Fred's come to mind... would this scout bring weed to a scouting event? He got caught with it at school, so I have to seriously wonder. Teddy, are you intending to permanently deny the SMC? Or is this just to buy some time to think about it?
  15. FireStone

    Why all the slap-stick in Cub Scouting?

    I suspect your pack/troop was not the norm then. In every unit I've encountered, from my youth until now, it's always been an important part of things. And the training I see locally here suggests a renewed interest in emphasizing the faith component of the program. We've heard as much from council reps, and we did a pack prayer at the end of a recent pack meeting based on the suggestion by one of our Wood Badge leaders who was encouraged to make Duty to God a prominent part of our program. We did the same at the campfire last month on our fall overnighter. I remember similar things from my youth. Campfire prayers, singing vespers, going to faith services at camp, working on religious awards, etc.