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Everything posted by FireStone

  1. A nearby Pack is celebrating 75 years under the same charter and CO this fall. In discussing it with one of their committee members I asked them if they were doing anything special to mark the occasion. His response was, "I have no idea. Any suggestions?" To which I also had no ideas and only could offer this suggestion: "I think there's a uniform patch for that." What do units typically do for these big milestone anniversaries? After giving it a little more thought I was thinking maybe a special patch (not just the 75 bar, something custom-designed) for the uniform pocket (or backpack or jacket, etc). Maybe a picnic or some sort of celebration. Has your unit ever celebrated a big anniversary? What did you do?
  2. FireStone

    Unit milestone anniversary - What to do?

    Love this idea. Definitely going on my list of suggestions. I know the town has a pretty rich scouting history, some names on the original charter are family names that are still around town. Probably could find a good number of people in the area with past affiliations with the unit, alumni, etc.
  3. FireStone

    McDonough, GA gunfire reported at Cub Scout campout

    It's a little tricky to figure out from the article, but it basically sounds like this woman has issues with events taking place on the church property, which she lives adjacent to. So her response, with kids present, is to fire off a bunch of rounds in what seems like a deliberate attempt to scare children. Classy. 🙄
  4. Putting aside the doom-and-gloom ideas for a moment, let's think about what this all looks like in a few years, or maybe a decade, if all of the changes don't sink the BSA. National has to have some sort of plan (go ahead, laugh, but let's assume for a minute that they actually do have a plan), or at least some idea of what they are driving the organization towards. My guess? Look at Scouts UK. Things that Scouts UK has done differently in past decades that the BSA is now doing: Scouts UK has been co-ed for a long time. They simplified their uniforms, attempting to revamp the image of scouting, something I suspect the BSA is already working on (look at BSA Brand Center marketing photos and lack of uniforms). They modernized their program, adding more non-traditional badges and activities (look at the heavy push in STEM in the BSA). These are all things that the BSA is already doing or seems to be working towards. We've had glimpses of a revamped uniform discussed here in this forum. I think we'll see more and more of that in the years to come. I've even seen BSA personnel and camp staffers occasionally walking around wearing neckerchiefs in the UK style and without the uniform shirt, and new larger necker sizes becoming available. If I had to imagine what National is envisioning as they move forward, that vision really does feel a lot like what we've seen across the pond. I would not be at all surprised to see the BSA even take on an ambassador like Bear Grylls to try and push this newer, cooler scouting image in the US. Not sure who our Bear could be, though. Any other guesses as to what the BSA of the future might look like? Are we on a path that aligns with the UK program or something else?
  5. Ever looked into the BPSA? They kind of do that already, just with more progressive membership policies (no restrictions of the basis of gender, sexual orientation, or religion). But their program is definitely old-school, primarily outdoor-focused and with a much shorter list of merit badges.
  6. FireStone

    Eagle Scout Rank Patch wear after age 18

    I think there are uniform regulation lines that just shouldn't be crossed. Maybe sometimes those lines are a little blurry (am I really going to give an 18-year-old a hard time for wearing the Eagle badge?) and then I think there are lines that are crystal clear (the 40+ year-old Council guy wearing the badge is ridiculous). Some things we let slide, while some things are sacred in the BSA and should be respected. This is one of those things that I think needs to be respected. We're not talking about an improperly worn Bobcat badge here. This is about improper wearing of an Eagle rank badge. I agree that it's tacky, and I might take it a step further and say it's disrespectful.
  7. FireStone

    Eagle Scout Rank Patch wear after age 18

    There's a guy at my local Council office who wears an Eagle rank badge and an Eagle square knot. He's probably in his 40s or 50s. I have not yet met him directly but I've seen him around and I'm sure the time will come when we cross paths and get to talking. We'll see how long I can bite my tongue. I'm guessing I won't make it much further than, "Hi, nice to meet you. So what's up with that rank badge?" 😁
  8. FireStone

    When is a Scout "Recognized"?

    Absolutely. I'm just saying that if this online system works as it's been explained to me, it would at least cut down on those "no report, no badge" trips. Again it's all in theory at this point, but if it works, you could basically show up at the shop and get a badge for your unit that is in the ScoutBook system as complete as of the minute you step up to the register. Of course this is the BSA, and so my skepticism regarding how smoothly this will all work as it has been explained to me is of course highly suspect.
  9. FireStone

    When is a Scout "Recognized"?

    I'm at the Cub level so I don't know exactly how much variation there is when it comes to the goal of quick recognition. But I do know that it is heavily emplasized by the BSA at the Cub level that recognition should happen quickly, no more than 2 weeks after completion of something. We want the Scouts to make that connection between what they did and what they received to mark the achievement. If months go by, the system is less effective. I suspect that the intent at the Troop level has to be about the same. We always want to connect the "doing" with the "recognizing", and for the younger guys coming from the Cub experience not all that long ago, it's probably even more important to continue with that system of quickly recognizing advancement. I struggle with this in my Pack. Our advancement chairperson won't go to the shop more than once per month. And advancement reports have to be turned in 1 week prior to that trip. So in some cases if we just finished up something the week of the shop run, it will be more than a month before we even get the belt loops. I've occasionally worked around that by buying loops myself (some shop employees are helpful with this, in the absence of an advancement report), and then I just use my receipt to return the loops once I eventually do get them from the advancement chair.
  10. FireStone

    Breaking Point

    Breakdown of the intent and spirit of the Patrol Method was happening 20+ years ago by my memory, probably longer really. I don't think it's fair to try and pin any of that on the recent changes.
  11. FireStone

    When is a Scout "Recognized"?

    I've been told that with ScoutBook becoming the new National standard for advancement tracking, actual "paper" paperwork might go away. Not 100% sure yet, but it sounds like we could effectively show up at a Scout Shop and have advancement verified via computer, so no more delays in getting badges. In theory, at least.
  12. I was a Brotherhood OA member as youth, and I understand that I can re-establish lodge membership as an adult. My old lodge merged into the current local lodge so I guess it would just be a matter of verifying previous lodge membership. My question is this: I'm a Tiger DL. Are there often other Cub level adults active in OA? I get the feeling it's more of a Troop-level thing for adults. There is no one else in my Pack who is OA, and although I'm sure that personally I'd enjoy becoming active and participating in lodge activities, I'm just wondering if this is the right time to do it. Do most folks just wait until their son(s) get elected and then re-join then?
  13. FireStone

    Cost of Being a Scout

    They're not playing on any half-million-dollar fields over here. The field our Little League uses has almost as much grass on the infield as the outfield.
  14. FireStone

    Eagle Scout Rank Patch wear after age 18

    What I don't get is why anyone feels it necessary to wear the Eagle rank badge as an adult, when there are plenty of opportunities to display your Eagle accomplishment in other ways. There's the square knot (and 2 varieties to choose from if you want to pony up for the NESA Life Member option), Eagle neckerchiefs (again, multiple options), You can throw in an Eagle neckerchief slide if you want to, or wear an Eagle bolo, Eagle belt buckle, if your Council has a special Eagle shoulder patch you can wear that. There are Eagle rings, necklaces, jackets patches, various other patches and emblems, hats, dog tags, walking stick medallions, pins, bumper stickers, keychains, the list goes on and on. When not in uniform you can wear an Eagle t-shirt. Or you can wear it under your uniform for even more Eagle-ness. If someone really feels the need to show off their Eagle accomplishment beyond the youth rank badge, there are more than enough ways to do it. Insisting on wearing a youth badge on an adult uniform is just unnecessary, and frankly a distraction from youth achievement. There is a reason that square knots are small and understated. This is a youth organization, and we celebrate youth accomplishments above all others. Wear your square knot and go drop a paycheck on all of the Eagle paraphernalia you want at the Scout Shop. You can literally cover yourself (and your car and your desk) with Eagle stuff.
  15. FireStone

    Cost of Being a Scout

    I didn't think I was putting anything down, this is just my assessment of a cost comparison to what we most often get compared to, which is sports. Scouting is often viewed as the more costly activity, which I think is unfair being that we're a year-round activity. I'm not pitting anything against anything else. I just get tired of hearing about how expensive Scouting is, meanwhile families are doing other things that I believe are actually more expensive on a cost-per-month basis.
  16. FireStone

    Cost of Being a Scout

    I think it's all still a bargain compared to other activities. Our local little league costs $125 per season (includes team t-shirt and cap) but that's for 3 months. If it were year-round like Scouting, that fee would probably be $500, and although their "uniform" is paid for in the registration fee, equipment isn't. Probably at least another $100+ annually for gloves, bats, pants, socks, etc. Want to do a week of summer baseball camp or extra training? That will cost more than the regular season. And it all gets you access to a grassy field. Scouting gets you access to indoor and outdoor spaces, camping spots, various resources, learning opportunities, events, B&G, PWD, affordable summer camps compared to other non-Scouting options, numerous other connected opportunities like OA, STEM initiatives, leadership training and opportunities, etc.
  17. FireStone

    OA membership as a Cub Leader

    That's a really good point that I hadn't considered. I don't think it will be as useful in my Den just yet (Tigers), but as the boys get older and closer to thinking about life in a Troop, it could be a good opportunity to talk about this program that I think very few Cub Scouts even know about before they enter a Troop. It is always a good thing to be able to present opportunities to do more fun things in Scouting. The more we can offer in terms of the "here's what you can do when you cross over" type of stuff, hopefully the more likely we are to see Scouts continue on after crossing over.
  18. FireStone

    Neckers back in the "news"

    I assumed we were talking about neckerchiefs, this being a thread about neckerchiefs. Thank you for clarifying.
  19. FireStone

    Neckers back in the "news"

    Actually there have been hints that the BSA is going back to a more "traditional" necker style and wear. I'm not sure anyone has ever attacked neckerchiefs (we all have preferences, but I don't remember hearing any calls for national change in policy regarding neckerchiefs), and as mentioned, it seems that tradition is actually coming back around on this topic.
  20. FireStone

    Neckers back in the "news"

    It's not all Americans, I know the BPSA-US wears large square neckers. I think the BSA screwed up the image of the necker. Just a theory, but I suspect that in the constant evolution of the BSA uniform to look more and more militaristic (the short-sleeve open-collar beige shirt with dark pants look), the necker didn't fit in with that image. So it was shrunk, to the point where it started to look ridiculous and Scouts started to reject it. I'm actually hopeful that we're seeing a resurgence of the larger necker in the BSA. Larger sizes are starting to show up, and some recent videos and materials out of the BSA show necker-without-uniform wear, in the UK style of a friendship knot tied at the bottom. I don't wear one, but I'd like to. I'm a big guy and the standard (small) BSA adult necker size looks kind of silly on me. I prefer to just go without. But I also just recently picked up a Cub Leader neckerchief, in the "new larger size: 49 1/2 x 35 x 35", and it actually fits me decently. If larger is the trend, I think there's hope for us to catch up with the rest of the world on modern necker style and usage. I think we also need to do something about the plain flat design of American neckers. So many of them don't have the edge border that UK (and similar) neckers all have, which I think adds a lot of style to the look. I have that CS Leader necker, which is just blue with a very think yellow edge. Another guy in my pack has a Jambo necker with that cool thick border on it, and it's no question his looks so much better than mine. I'm sure those are more expensive to produce, but it also makes the necker more iconic and interesting, which I think would encourage more usage and wear.
  21. FireStone

    Deterring thoughts of discrimination w/girls?

    I'm wrapping up my year as a Tiger DL and I can that our year was pretty much the inverse of what you describe. I can think of maybe 2 den meetings that were heavy on arts and crafts. The rest of the year we were playing games, learning scout skills, we did 3 service projects, went camping 3 times, went on multiple fishing, hiking, and other day-trips, etc. Maybe your program is 90% arts and crafts, but if that's the case, that's a unit issue, not a Scouts issue.
  22. FireStone

    New Cub Scout Manuals

    I really dislike the spiral-bound books. They feel flimsy and weak compared to perfect-bound. And from the adult-who-carries-a-bag-full-of-stuff-to-every-meeting perspective, the perfect-bound books were just more compact, easier to cram into a bag with other materials. I was happy to have the option, but now it seems the option is gone. There is definitely a heavy amount of photos featuring girls, which will surely make some heads explode (I'm still floored that someone said they'd quit over any inclusion of girls in the handbooks). But I think they're all really well-done photos and are helpful in illustrating the activities and skills.
  23. FireStone

    National Meeting: Affirmation of DRP

    Coming from the BSA, this doesn't mean much. Wasn't it just a year or two before they lifted the ban on gay scouts that they also reaffirmed their commitment to that policy?
  24. FireStone

    What is the protocol?

    So a kid gets kicked out of a troop and the CC is annoyed to answer questions from the parent of the boy? That's absurd. What did they expect you to do? Just say, "Oh, thanks for kicking out my son. Have fun on the next outing!". 🙄
  25. Like T2Eagle, I've looked at this as being open to interpretation, or at lease open to unit culture and individual preferences. Locally here, I know of one troop that has a strict policy limited electronics use on campouts, for example, and another local troop that has almost no rule about it and you'll often see the boys sitting around, noses in their screens. During downtime, mostly, thankfully. But there is stark contrast to how both troops operate in this regard. Officially, I don't think there is an official policy for the whole organization.