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Everything posted by FireStone

  1. FireStone

    Where did you go to summer camp?

    Resica Falls, PA Camp Turrell, NY
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. "We didn't cancel the event, we just made it impossible for it to happen." 🙄
  8. That's awful. The football team doesn't need to actually play a game in the gym, they need it just for game prep, probably to stage equipment. That really can't be done elsewhere? They're kicking out the scouts (who followed proper protocol to reserve the gym) just so the football team has somewhere to put the Gatorade cooler before the game. I'm not sure there is a more clear and blatant insult to scouting organizations and how the town/community/school views them as so significantly less worthy of support than the sports teams.
  9. FireStone

    Why all the slap-stick in Cub Scouting?

    Religion was actually a key component of Baden-Powell's founding ideals, calling it a "fundamental factor underlying Scouting." So if we're talking "roots", religion is right there. I kind of struggle with your approach, separating from the Pack and doing your own thing. A lot of aspects of the aims and goals of scouting are group-focused, working together as a unit, sharing knowledge and ideas, and teaching other scouts how to do things. If your son is not participating in some activities, he may be missing out on some good learning experiences. The goofy stuff isn't always just about being goofy, it's connected to developing communication skills and older scouts working with younger scouts to pass on skills and confidence, and also learning to become leaders themselves. Have you looked into the troop your son may be joining? A lot of troops still do some of the same stuff, have similar campfire programs as the pack, etc. I just wonder if you're waiting it out just to get to a troop and find that some of these common elements of scouting are still there.
  10. FireStone

    How to deal with a difficult leader?

    Sounds like the typical guy who knows everything about everything and can tell everyone what they're doing wrong. That's fine. I'd invite him to sign up to take on those roles that he feels the troop is deficient in. If he thinks he can better plan outings, maybe there's an opening on the committee for Outdoor Activity Chair. If he's a recruiting expert, he can be the next Recruitment Chair. More volunteers are always needed in Scouting. Sounds like he's highly motivated to take on many new roles. 😉
  11. FireStone

    Why all the slap-stick in Cub Scouting?

    This is Scouting, and part of it is the silly skits, songs, cheers, and sometimes slapstick humor. Like everything else, it has a purpose, which as I understand it is about developing better communication skills, confidence speaking in front of a group, and developing an event (campfire) program. At the Cub level, I can tell that our campfires are one of the highlights of any outing. Families look forward to them. Without the skits, songs, etc., it would just be a bunch of people sitting around a campfire quickly getting bored. And although I absolutely enjoy a quiet campfire, 6-to-10-year-olds don't. Frankly I'm not a fan of a kid sitting it out when it comes time for the campfire program. Maybe singing a song in front of a group isn't for everyone (it's not even for me but I do it anyway because the kids have fun with it), but there are other ways to be involved. Tell a joke or a story. But doing nothing isn't acceptable. Participation is part of some of the Cub adventures, it's required. We're not just a camping club, Scouting has a lot of unique facets to it and this is one of them. Take it or leave it. Sorry for the harsh stance, I'm just in the middle of some somewhat related issues locally and maybe this touched a nerve. There have been various issues within my Pack with parents and even some leaders not liking one thing about Scouting or another and wanting to opt out of that thing. This is the program. Skits. Songs. Campfire programs. Uniforms. Religion. Girls. Whatever issue you have with the program, you can either accept what it is today or move on. If you don't like something about the program, try to change it. But until things change, until National says no more goofy skits or tells one of my parents that they can entirely skip Duty to God or tells one of my DLs they can wear the uniform however they want (or not at all), we work with what we've got and what the standards of the day are. This is Scouting. All of it.
  12. FireStone

    Here's another mystery patch

    Anyone know more about this Firecrafter program? It looks like it's part of a BSA Council, but is if "official" BSA?
  13. FireStone

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

    Makes sense if that was indeed the intent. Bear Grylls is certainly wearing it well in a more "action" style, and selling that image of modern scouting. There's not much "action" in the US style, especially at the Cub level where those little neckerchiefs are too small to stay around their necks if they do any running/climbing/playing, etc. The running joke in my Wolf den is whether we can make it through the meeting opening without the familiar sound of a metal neckerchief slide hitting the ground. 😅 The neckers that can be worn with a friendship knot are usually the larger variety that seem to be able to stay in place better.
  14. FireStone

    Eagle Board of Review - Ethics

    I said it in the other thread about this and I'll say it again here: If pre-marital sex is a disqualifier for Eagle Scout, let me know where to hand in my medal. Would it be fair to deny one scout their rank because he got his girlfriend pregnant while approving another scout (like me) who just got lucky that his girlfriend didn't get pregnant despite that scout being incredibly stupid and not being careful? I applaud that scout who maybe became a father way too young but did the right thing and stood by his new family anyway.
  15. FireStone

    OA to end AoL ceremonies?

    This doesn't make a lot of sense, considering the intent of the crossover ceremony and the impact that the presence that OA members (in costume) have at that event. Let's face it, it's a very visual display and because it's not something Cub Scouts are used to seeing, it really hits them. If this ceremony becomes just a scout in uniform, all of the mystique and intrigue of the ceremony is lost on the Cubs. This should have been replaced with something else, not reduced all the way down to a familiar image of a scout in uniform with a pack full of gear. There's just nothing unique in that, not in a room full of scouts and scouters. Everyone wears that uniform, or some variation of it. What's the draw now? What makes that same impact the previous ceremonies had? I don't claim to know what the answer is, but I'm disappointed that so little effort seems to have been put forth to find a suitable alternative for costumes and regalia used in ceremonies teams. Was any effort made to find some new symbolism for OA that maintained the secret-society-mystique without stepping into cultural appropriation territory?
  16. FireStone

    Eagle Board of Review (Appeal)

    I think the intent of re-testing is all fine and good, but it's just not consistent with the current BSA advancement model. We're not a proficiency program anymore, although as I understand it we were, once. But that was also back before there were so many merit badges, and the idea of proficiency testing was more feasible.
  17. FireStone

    OA to end AoL ceremonies?

    Is there any mention of a suggested replacement for these costumes/ceremonies? I'm actually ok with not using Native American costumes, but I'm still completely confused as to what the symbolism of the OA will become if we're supposed to remove some of the NA regalia. The OA is deep in symbolism and Native American imagery plays heavily into that. If we start removing some of that stuff, it has to be replaced with something else, otherwise OA just becomes another bland honor society.
  18. 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".
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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?