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FireStone

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FireStone last won the day on August 29

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About FireStone

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    Eagle Scout & Den Leader

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  1. FireStone

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    The "Scouts BSA" name isn't the problem. Or, in my opinion, I don't think the courts will rule that it's a problem. There's a long precedent of the BSA using the term "Scouts" in isolation, and GSUSA doing the same. I don't think GSUSA can win the argument that the BSA shouldn't be allowed to use the term "Scouts" in marketing directed at girls. That just seems like a majorly flawed position. What they do have a leg to stand on, though, is the local confusion in terminology, poorly-worded flyers and marketing materials, etc. Which is why we're now seeing that helpful infographic being circulated explaining how and how not to refer to BSA programs, to not refer to GSUSA, etc. That's probably something the BSA should have gotten ahead of sooner, one of the many problems that cropped up in pushing out these program changes so quickly without sharing enough information with local units well-ahead of those changes. What will be interesting to me is related to my earlier comment about whether or not the BSA would be held liable for what local units were doing, erroneously putting out flyers that read "girl scouts" or "girl scout troops".
  2. FireStone

    Bear Claws

    Now that I think about it more, I would suggest (strongly encourage even) that you talk to parents before giving anything to your scouts. Some parents might prefer to be the ones to give their son/daughter their first pocketknife. I rehabbed my old Swiss Army knife to almost like-new condition and I've held on to it for longer than my son has been on this earth, with the intention of handing it to him next year as his first knife. And if someone else came along at a den meeting and handed my son his first knife before that, I'd be kind of annoyed.
  3. FireStone

    Questions about scouting

    Go back more than 5 years and in most cases we'd be able to say that not much has changed. But today, yeah, things have changed a bit. 😉 I think it's ridiculous to expect scouts to memorize the Oath now. At least at the younger ranks. Ideally scouts would be able to do it from memory, but good luck with that for Tigers, Wolves, etc. I have a Wolf Den of 10 scouts, 2 of which I know can do the Oath all the way through from memory. It's something we practice and work on, but it shouldn't be drilled into the kids. Besides, officially it's no longer required that they memorize it. Bears and certainly Webelos I might expect to have it nailed down, but just consider the age/rank of the kids you're working with. Easy solution if you have other leaders intent on memorization: Point it out in the book where it says "Learn and say the Scout Oath, with help if needed." Of the adult leaders in my Pack, two of us are Eagle Scouts, I'm one of them. I get the occasional joke about how something should be easy for me or I should already know how to do something because I'm an Eagle. And my response is always the same. Having gone through the program before and being an Eagle Scout gives you almost no advantage when you sign up as an adult volunteer. Basically it just means you know how to camp and probably already know the Oath and Law. That's it. Everything else is learning things new, especially at the Cub level and learning how to herd cubs. Does your Pack use Scoutbook? I know not all units use it yet, but I've heard it's going to pretty much become mandatory, if it isn't already. Maybe you can encourage your Pack to get on board with using Scoutbook to track advancement so that it's easier for everyone to know where each Scout is in terms of completed requirements. My Pack uses it and it's great, if everyone keeps up with it. I can log in and see where any scout is at with advancement, if they were at the last meeting, how many times they've gone camping, etc. But it only works if most or all of the leaders commit to keeping records up to date.
  4. FireStone

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    I can kind of get why there have been problems in talking about girls at the troop level. It's too easy to just roll into the phrase "girl scouts" after being so used to saying "boy scouts" for so long. Even if we're not saying GSUSA, inadvertently saying girl scouts (not Girl Scouts) seems almost natural, even if it is wrong. At the Cub Scout level it shouldn't even be an issue. And I suspect it's not really, since most of the examples in the lawsuit point to Scouts BSA level marketing and recruiting. For Packs, the real brand equity is in the name "Cub Scouts", and there's no logical reason why anyone would replace that name with "Girl Scouts". Even accidentally, I see no reason why any adults at the Pack level would end up erroneously putting "girl scouts" into a flyer or on a web page. You'd almost have to really be going out of your way to avoid saying "Cub Scouts" just to write "girl scouts" instead, when "Cub Scouts" is really the name you'd want people to see and recognize.
  5. FireStone

    Bear Claws

    There's not much in the $6 price range that will be of decent enough quality that I'd personally trust it to not result in injury. It does look like an Swiss Army with a can opener runs around $21 on Amazon (the Tinker, ironically cheaper without the BSA branding on it). Have you spoken to parents about this yet? I would imagine some (maybe most) would be willing to spend $21 on a knife for their kid if it's good quality and will last. My first Swiss Army knife is still in great shape today, some 30 years later, given to me by my father and I'll be giving it to my son next year when he is a Bear.
  6. FireStone

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    I browsed through the Examples section, to see the examples of flyers/materials/marketing that use confusing language. Although I still don't agree with the lawsuit, broadly speaking, the examples are jarring. What were these Packs/Troops/Councils thinking? "Come talk to me about the Girl Scouts BSA Troops forming in Kirkland!" "We will be forming a Girl Scout Troop in February." "Girl Scout Volunteer Opportunity" Using the Girl Scouts slogan in marketing materials. Using quotes from Juliette Gordon Low in OFFICIAL BSA marketing materials. 😧 Come on, people. Be a little smarter about how you word things.
  7. FireStone

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    Is it really possible that because of some local miscommunication this whole lawsuit has emerged? Kind of fascinating that this is even possible. Surely there has to be some kind of protection for the BSA organization from local volunteers going rogue. Can the national org really get sued for a volunteer putting bad info on a facebook page or google doc?
  8. Congratulations to Zach on his Iowa state senate win. Regardless of what anyone thinks of his politics, it's great to see an Eagle Scout rising in public service.
  9. FireStone

    Is BSA adult leader training necessary?

    I've actually made the opposite argument in my Pack. I'm an Eagle and it has not prepared me at all for herding Cub Scouts. 😁
  10. FireStone

    New Scouts BSA marketing video

    Badges aren't going away so t-shirts don't seem practical. Unless you're suggesting that we do away with badges, too.
  11. FireStone

    New Scouts BSA marketing video

    Closer to what local units are selling, but I'm not sure it's what the BSA actually wants us to be selling anymore. I've long suspected that emphasis on uniforms was being reduced. I struggle with this often, being my Pack's recruitment/marketing/promotions guy. The stuff I get from BSA, the photos, flyers, marketing materials, it all looks quite a bit different from what daily life in the Pack looks like. I mean, the activities are there, but the look and feel of it is substantially different. And I know it puts some parents off. We got some negative reactions to doing a non-sectarian prayer recently at the close of a campfire. I've heard comments about our flag ceremonies being "very military-like", and apparently not in a way that some parents like. The uniforms (especially at the Scouts BSA level) definitely have a military look to them. That's day-to-day stuff for us locally, but nationally you won't see much (or any) of that stuff in the marketing materials.
  12. FireStone

    Must you have an "official" uniform to salute the flag?

    I've suspected for a while now that the uniform might become less and less a priority in the BSA. Seems like it's already happening, based on what I've seen out of National, more people wearing just the neckerchief in the UK style (friendship knot), marketing materials and photos showing scouts in casual attire more often, etc. So it kind of doesn't matter what we think of uniform standards, as they are likely changing as we speak.
  13. I've heard/read similar things over the years and I've never understood it, how a single adult leader can essentially do as they please and district is powerless to do anything about it. I get the whole "CO owns the unit" thing, but we're all still administering the BSA program here, and it's amazing that the BSA (at the district level) really can't do much sometimes to enforce the methods of the program. For all of the rules and regulations we have, at the end of the day it seems like any of us can do whatever we want when it comes to how we dish out the program. It's no wonder we have current threads on the subject of parent interference. Adults at all levels of involvement seem bent on doing things their own unique way, and if they know they can get away with it, what's to prevent this kind of behavior in the future? Seems likely it will only get worse.
  14. FireStone

    DE interference - not helping

    I kind of always assumed that most Packs had their "official" roster of leadership positions and then there was the "unofficial" one that was closer to reality. CM is also a DL, DL works with more than one Den, etc. In my Pack (and I suspect a lot of Packs) there would just not be any way to sustain the program without some multi-position overlap. Does that go against what the BSA says we are supposed to do? Sure. But the alternative is that we have Dens without DLs or we don't have a CM.
  15. FireStone

    Cub Scout Shooting Sports and NRA

    The curriculum may not be but the NRA certainly is, and they don't keep their political views out of their involvement in the BSA. Here's a sampling of the materials that NRA members send home with scouts: If it were just about providing good universal curriculum, I'd have no issue with it. But because of stuff like this, along with the NRA's highly political agenda, I'd personally prefer to see the BSA end their relationship with the NRA.
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