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Posts posted by Treflienne

  1. On 10/16/2018 at 11:55 AM, qwazse said:

    I do share these criteria to scouts of both sexes tongue-in-cheek, but also to help them think about core values.

    Are they outdated and sexist? What, pray tell, should be a post-modern nomad's criteria for mate selection? Beauty? Personality? Desire? Wits?

    Beauty vanishes, personalities change, desire waxes and wanes, wits dull, but  ...

    • If your spouse leans into the plow and secures wealth for your family and the poor in your community, you may hike and camp more and work double shifts less.
    • If your spouse puts out a good meal, you may be presumed fed ... and freer to welcome the stranger to your table.

    So, yes, I am having a little fun, but provoking thought at the same time.

    The problems of English not disinguishing between you-singular and you-plural.   Do you read this as "if you (a hard worker) choose a spouse who is also a hard worker (and not just pretty/handsome) then you two together may camp more and work double-shifts less?   Or do you read this as "you will be able to goof off while your wife works"?

    The problems of internet comumication where we cannot see our listeners' mis-understanding in their eyes,  and correct it before it really takes root.

    On 10/17/2018 at 9:10 AM, WisconsinMomma said:

    This sounds a little bit like how wives are chosen and treated in the backwoods of less developed countries -- a woman is chosen as a worker and treated like a slave

    Maybe I've been paying too much attention to what Quazse has been saying about girl venturers (it is generally complimentary) and the positives for girls in Scouts BSA,  so I did not read this into his words.      And has he himself indicated (see next quote) that was not what he was advocating.

    But I do agree that poor treatment of women in certain eras and certain locations has been a problem.

    21 hours ago, qwazse said:

    Oh, the presumption that my quips are only delivered to boys ...

    My working assumption is that a youth will go "all-in" for their spouse. The question then boils down to what kind of person he/she should go "all-in" for? My answer is not pat. It's provoking.


    2 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

    @qwazseQuips don’t all translate to Internet forums well. 

    So,   if we adults are having occasional difficulties with understanding each other within the limits of the Internet,   what about kids these days?

    I find it disturbing that many elementary schoolers in my area have, for the last few years, had their own smart-phones (sometimes as hand-me-downs from parents).   What were their parents thinking?  Kids that age are not yet mature enough not to blurt out comments without thinking.   At least in person they can see if they are offending their friends, and clarify or appologize right away.   But on electronic media foolish impulsive remarks,  or even simply less-than-100% crystal clear remarks,  can linger long and can provoke negative overreactions on the parts of others.

    • Upvote 1

  2. 11 minutes ago, FireStone said:

    Patrol Method has been a struggle to maintain for many units for decades. Units that wanted to keep it going have done so, in spite of the hurdles.

    11 minutes ago, FireStone said:

    Units I see today still effectively using the Patrol Method are doing so because they fostered a PM culture over many years and continue to do so.

    So I am hoping to be involved with a new girls Scouts BSA troop.    I would like to see the patrol method used, and used well, in the new troop.    Any suggestions for how to foster a Patrol Method culture in a new troop  (whether the new troops be girls,  boys,  or Martians) ?    I have already read the books Working the Patrol Method by Four Eagle Scouts and So Far, So Good! by Clarke Green

    And there is the complication that a new troop is likely to be a one-patrol troop at first.

    • Upvote 2

  3. 8 minutes ago, Tired_Eagle_Feathers said:

    But, I am also a registered Girl Scout, as is, I think, my son.  Evidently it's up to the leader whether or not males can come on outings - they simply have to sign up for the additional insurance.

    Your son is not a registered girl scout if he is under age 18.   (The only boys who are allowed to register are those who call themselves girls!)

    But I believe it is possible (though I never learned how to do it) to sign up for extra insurance for non-registered participants.

  4. 21 hours ago, Tired_Eagle_Feathers said:

    I've been reading up on this "Family Scouting" stuff.


    20 hours ago, Tired_Eagle_Feathers said:

    as a Girl Scout Troop they were very gung-ho about getting certified trained people since my daughter started around kindergarten and they do way more stuff than Cub Scouts even dream about. 


    12 hours ago, Tired_Eagle_Feathers said:

    She is very hard core.  The funny thing is (well, not so funny) that we do more activities when we go on Girl Scout trips (my son and myself also) than when we go on most Cub Scout activities.

    Sounds to me like you are already doing "Family Scouting" -- just unofficially in a GSUSA context.

    It also sounds like both the girls and the boy are having a good experience on these trips.   Does this mean that there is hope that some units within BSA might make a good thing out of "Family Scouting"?

  5. 7 hours ago, Tired_Eagle_Feathers said:

    Yeah, I considered some of the consolidation, but it seems to me that there isn't enough to make it worthwhile.  Basically the pack meeting and the annual pack campout. 

    My wife's big complaint (and mine too) is that as a Girl Scout Troop they were very gung-ho about getting certified trained people since my daughter started around kindergarten and they do way more stuff than Cub Scouts even dream about.  My wife was so annoyed when she thumbed through the Weblos book and got so excited when she saw the pictures of kids in canoes only to discover that Cub Scouts can't actually use canoes like the Girl Scouts do.  We've gotten to the point where we refer to Cub Scouts as Can't Scouts.

    If it ain't broke don't fix it.

    It sounds like your daughter has a great (girl) scout troop.    Sounds like something to stick with.    With a core group on enthusiastic girls and adults they can stick with traditional outdoor-oriented girl scouting,  and simply ignore any of the new program materials they don't like.

    Unfortunately highly active outdoor-focussed girl scout troops are uncommon in my area. 

  6. 34 minutes ago, Tired_Eagle_Feathers said:

    If your children are still in separate Dens or Troops, then what schedule consolidation has happened?  Where is the convenience over just staying in BSA/GSA?

    I see that there is a certain amount of consolidation, especially for kids who are close enough in age to be in cubs at the same time.  

     The kids will occasionally do things together:  both dens at the same pack meetings and whole-pack activities,  rather than the boy cub den doing pack-wide activities with the pack and the girl Brownie Troop doing service-unit-wide activites with the girl scout service unit.

    The adults only need to learn one set of program materials,  one set of safety standards, do  only need one registration,  and one background check,  and somewhat overlapping trainings,  to help with more than one kid.   

    (By the way, the camp director of our local Girl Scout camp,  who was a trainer of archery instructors (USA Archery),  used to complain that she could not help her sons' boy scout troop with archery unless she did more training, because she had not completed the BSA archery training.)

  7. 23 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    I'd see if you'd get enough families willing to buy their scouts a tent in order to make it work.

    There are an overwhelming number of tents available for sale,  all different types.    A reccomendation of what to buy, that would be suitable for scouts camping with the troop, would be helpful for the families, if you decide to go this route.

  8. 44 minutes ago, JoeBob said:

    One side of this discussion has required that their suppositions, predictions of the future, and personal anecdotes are to be taken as valid.  While at the same time, they have demanded empirical data from the other side and dismissed years of personal experiences as unsupportable fantasy.


    19 minutes ago, shortridge said:

    JoeBob, since you’re clearly talking about me I’m going to respond. Barry cited data in support of his argument that girls are oriented differently. I’m asking for his sources. That’s all. 

    Even if there were studies that showed that girls were, on average, paid more attention to organizational details,  that doesn't remove the worth of the patrol method for the girls.

    Firstly,  because averages are just that.  There is also a broad distribution, for both girls and boys,  of instinctive organizational skill levels.  Some girls are a lot less naturally organized than some boys.

    Also patrols are not merely about learning to be organized.  They are also about learning leadership in a kid-sized setting.   They are about having the opportunity to try,  and to mess up,  and to overcome those mistakes --- all in a kid-sized setting.

    I would argue that the differences between boys and girls mean that single gender patrols are the way to go --- so that the girls don't end up doing the cooking while the boys do something else.   Of course,  since the troops won't be coed,  neither will the patrols.

    • Upvote 2

  9. 50 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    In the GSUSA all adults present on camping trips have to be registered members.  It has been that way for at least the 8 years my family has been involved.

    We asked all the moms, at the beginning of each year, to register and do the background check so that they would be available to volunteer occasionally.   Most did.  (And some dads did also.)  No one complained about the cost.   Of couse,  if it is a long-running policy then people are used to it and it is not a surprise.   Also, the GSUSA background check only required filling out a short form so a CORI check could be done --- there was no hour-long YPT class required.

    • Thanks 1

  10. 3 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

    What strikes me is that you're assuming both an extreme lack of knowledge on the part of the parents


    5 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

    I would guess that many of the parents of girls joining the program are going to be the parents of sons already in the program.

    I've seen plenty of complaints that parents of boys moving up from cubs just don't understand Scouting and how it is different from cubbing.  So even if the new girls have younger brothers in cubs, it wont mean that their parents are familiar with how a Scout Troop works.    And parents of only girls, who are coming in from Girl Scouts, are going to understand even less about BSA.

    Family sizes tend to be small.  A lot of prospective members will not have an older brother at all, much less one who is active in Scouts.

  11. I've got a request for the moderators:

    How about a subforum on "Practical advice for launching a girls Scouts BSA troop" under the "Open Discussion - Program" forum.

    We've currently got a couple of good discussions going: this one ("Linked Troop Mission Statement") and also "New Scout Troop" that would fit there already.  And I imagine there will be more in the upcoming months.  And it would help people looking for advice be able to find this good advice more easily.

    • Upvote 3

  12. A tangential question from an outsider, here:

    How much does the CO influence the understanding of "morally straight" and "clean"?    How much does the CO set the tone for helping the scouts learn how to make ethical choices?

    (Side question: is the 11th point of BSA's law, "clean", understood as being similar in meaning to the "clean" in Baden-Powell's tenth law (which was never adopted by BSA) "A Scout is clean in thought, word and deed."?)

    Back to the orginial questions,  would a CO with clearly-defined moral standards (such as a Catholic church)  influence the troop's understanding of what it means to be straight rather than crooked in behaviour?   What about CO's such as hunting clubs,  utility companies, businessmen's associations?   Do they tend to be more hands-off on these issues, leaving it to the troop to figure out?

    Why am I asking?   I'm hoping to be involved with a new girls Scouts BSA troop.  Don't know yet which of the local CO's for boys troops might be interesting in sponsoring a girls troop, also.   Don't know how much impact the culture of the CO typically has on the culture of the troop.

  13. And for some types of social media there is the age issue.   You either have to be at least 13 years old, or lie about your age and claim to be 13 years old to use them.    This is awkward for things that should not be excluding the younger kids,  since we don't want to encourage them to lie about their ages.   (Haven't seen this issue in BSA yet, since I'm not associated with a BSA troop yet.   But the issue came up with the church youth group.)

  14. 1 hour ago, Treflienne said:

    Helpfully,  the four boy scout troops in our school district have said that they will inquire of the families of their boys (

    Maybe my tone wasn't clear.  I wasn't complaining.   I was trying to say that I was appreciative of the helpfulness of the local boy scout troops.   (And since they are willing to be helpful,  we need to be willing to be patient and go at their pace.)

    I was also trying to hold them up as an example of how existing scout troops can be helpful to the new girls troops -- even if they don't want to become linked with girls troops.  And it might even take pressure off the boys troops to be linked with a girls troop -- if there is a girls troop already getting started in the area.

    10 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

    same disappointment as any boy living in small town America

    We live in a densely populated area.   Lots of people.  Lots of towns close together.  Lots of existing boys troops within a short driving distance.  (Actually three within WALKING distance.)   Small town America is a different situation.

    • Like 1

  15. 2 hours ago, qwazse said:

    The responsibility for starting a patrol then a troop, rests squarely with the youth. These girls need to dig really deep and ask other girls if they'd like to hike and camp together every month. This probably means talking to strangers ... every girl in their class ... every sister of a boy scout ... even if she is a couple of years older. Once they have their gang of five,

    And if the girl has already talked to every girl at her school and every girl at her church and hasn't found five?   If she cannot talk to the sisters of the boy scouts because she does not know who they are?   

    I think that in our locale we may need to combine beyond a single school or town to find enough interested girls.

    Helpfully,  the four boy scout troops in our school district have said that they will inquire of the families of their boys (and also ask the cub scout packs to enquire of the families of their cubs) about interested girls that they know about.   The troops have the contact information for their families.  My daughter does not.  Helping put the interested girls in contact with each other, so that they can make further plans, is something existing troops can do to help the new girls troops out --- even if the boys troops have no interested in being linked with girls troops.


  16. 1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

    These adults are eventually going to be leaders in a boy run Patrol method troop program. Patrol method is supposed to be safe place where Scouts grow by experiencing the consequences of stepping outside of the Scout Law and Oath. How can a troop be a safe place if adults are debating whether or not to report the scout to Council. Please convince me the future of Patrol Method isn’t hopeless?

    I don't understand the connection you are making to the patrol method.  Could you explain a little more please?

  17. 10 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    don’t know John, I think times have changed. Parents today don’t seem to trust other adults holding their kids accountable, just ask my high school teacher son.

    Scouts has the advantage over public schools, in that it is an activity that the family has chosen of their own free will.    In Girl Scouts, at least,  anyone registering has to agree to abide by the girl scout law -- for the girls being registered by their parents, the parent agrees on their behalf.   (Really -- there is a checkbox on the registration website that you have to check off, or you cannot register. )

    That is one of the beauties of refering the kid back to the scout law .   The adults' whims are not the standard of behaviour;  the scout law is the standard of behaviour.   And you know that the parent has already agreed to having the kid follow the scout law.

    • Upvote 3

  18. 13 minutes ago, John-in-KC said:

    may I submit a good path to deal with this kind of boisterousness is to simply ask the boy to recite the Scout Law, and then ask him if he was being friendly, courteous and kind?  99+ % of the time, he won’t be able to hold eye contact as he says yes. 

    I would do exactly this with my Brownie and Junior girl scouts.  (Same age as cubs.)   I'd pull the girl aside for a quiet conversation. I'd have the girl start reciting the scout law and then I'd stop her once she got to a relevant point, and ask her whether what she had been doing was living up to the scout law.   (We never got past "honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring" before finding something relevant.)  Ususally the response was a realization of why what she had been doing was wrong, a fervant determination to do better,  and improved behaviour.  (At least until the next time she forgot and did something thoughtless.) 

    Also: no need for a troop "Behaviour Contract".   We have the scout law.

    • Upvote 1

  19. 4 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Also pointing out how even if her father goes with her and is her buddy, she still cannot go because of no female Scouters. SHE WILL BE CAMPING WITH HER DAD! (emphasis) He's was pumped up about camporee when I talked to them about it.

    While you might simultaneously pursue other options, trying to recruit a mom of a scout in your troop is worth trying.  But advertise it as an opportunity, not a chore:

    Moms of scouts:

    We have a unique opportunity this year.  Do you want to get a glimpse of what your son and his buddies do at scouts -- without giving them the impression that you are hovering or interfering?  And without signing up for a major job in the troop?

    This year, as every year, webelos will be camping with our troop at the Camporee, to get a taste of what scouting is like.  The difference this year is that there are now girl Webelos, but the girl Troops will not form up until next year.  So this year, in order for a girl to get a picture of what her girl-only Scouts BSA troop could aspire to be like next year, she needs to visit an existing boys' troop.

    In fact we have a girl Webelos who is planning to come, with her father, to our troop's camporee.  Despite camping with her father, the BSA youth protection rules require a registered YPT-trained female adult at the event, since we will have a girl at the event.  But because the girl will be camping with her father, this registered YPT-trained female adult will actually have nothing to do except to be there and not get in the way.

    So.  This is your opportunity.  Come see what your son does -- while being able to explain to him that you are helping out the troop, not intruding on his space.

    You might find that you have a curious mom who is willing to help you out and come along.  Some moms may have stayed out of troop life because they have not been wanting to intrude on their sons' boy-only space.

    Long term: it would be great if BSA revised their rule to say that if a kid is accompanied by a parent or guardian, there is no need for a matched-gender troop adult.


  20. 5 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    s this an example of girls taking boy out of boy scouting? 

    We've had discussions under the theme of keeping the program fun for the boys, instead of the adults. I remember one discussion where the CM asked if he should keep singing the scouts' favorite song, "Greasy Grimy Gofer guts" at the pack meetings. SM's struggle with the same questions of their scouts as well. Blood Circle has been around since at least the 60s.

    Well, some of the girl scouts were singing "greasy grimy gofer guts" back in the 1970s.    I haven't heard it recently, though.

  21. 1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Whittling Chip requirements. It specifically states "Pocketknife," not "plastic cutlery knife" not "imitation wooden knife", and not "popsicle sticks."


    1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    On a side note, I am also culpable in changing the requirement. I had folks at day camp teaching Whittling Chip with wood carving knives from Paul's Supplies https://pauls-supplies.myshopify.com/collections/knives/products/carving-knife which is technically a fixed blade, not a pocket knife. But at least it was a real knife.

    Looks like a nice tool.  

    But the kids also need to learn how to open and close a pocket knife without cutting their fingers.   At least my Brownies and Juniors took some practise to be able to do it safely.

    And don't knock popsicle sticks as a possible learning tool to be used for a few minutes very early in the learning process.    My girls had to demonstrate that they could listen, pay attention, and  follow directions well enough in opening and closing a fake popsicle-stick mock-knife,  before I handed them a real pocket knife.   This allowed me to identify which kids were going to need more focussed one-on-one supervision as they started using the real knives.

    Also:  don't assume that the addition of girls is going to water-down the interest in knives and other traditional scout stuff.   You may find instead that cub scouts and scouts BSA attracts the kind of girls that want to do the things that BSA does.

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 1

  22. On 9/30/2018 at 10:50 PM, qwazse said:

    Hi qwazse,

    Thanks. That was an interesting article.

    Coming into BSA from a different scouting organization, the BSA take on the relation between the scout sign and the scout oath/promise takes a little getting used to.

    WAGGGS and other parts of WOSM have a three-part promise/oath for guides/scouts:
    1) duty to God and king (or country)
    2) to help other people, at all times.
    3) obeying the scout law
    And the scout sign with its three fingers reflects those three parts.

    (Brownies originally had only a two-part promise and a two-finger sign --- they did not yet promise to obey the scout law.)


  23. 29 minutes ago, ItsBrian said:

    Honestly, you don’t need to be exact! My family & everyone else I know uses the closest one they can find. If you sew it correctly, you can barely notice a difference. 

    I agree with ItsBrian.   It doesn't need to be a perfect match.

    But if you really don't have anything close enough, then take the item with you, go to JoAnnFabrics or whatever your local sewing-notion store is. (Walmart?)   You'll be able to hold the spools of thread right up to the patch to find something quite close.  And if you need to pick between slightly-too-dark and slighty-too-light, pick the darker color thread.  It will show less.

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