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Posts posted by Treflienne

  1.  “No justification of virtue will enable a man to be virtuous. Without the aid of trained emotions the intellect is powerless against the animal organism. I had sooner play cards against a man who was quite skeptical about ethics, but bred to believe that ‘a gentleman does not cheat’, than against an irreproachable moral philosopher who had been brought up among sharpers.”   ― C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

    We, as scout leaders / scouters can help out with the practical training,   even if we need to leave the philosophical foundations of morality to the families and religious institutions.

  2. 1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

     I would personally focus more on what brings us together, the 95% of things we have in common, than the 5% that might make us differ. I think BSA will be much more successful if it does the same.

    Many kids get sound moral teaching at home, or at a religious institution.  For them, the scout law is merely re-inforcing what they should already be learning, and applying it in practical situations.

    It is for the minority of kids that don't get sound moral teaching at home or church (or synagogue or temple or school or . . .)  that even the "95% of things we have in common" that they can get through scouting is much much better than nothing.  These kids can benefit from learning "I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring . . ." (current GSUSA law) even if the scout law does not touch on sexual morality.

    • Upvote 1

  3. 3 hours ago, qwazse said:

    ?? Since "inception" ?? The Gold Award (by that name) was rolled out in the '80s. Or, are they lumping together Eaglet, 1st Class (both versions thereof), and Curved Bar?

    Looking at this history of "rebranding", we see GS falling into a perpetual cycle of re-branding beginning a decade after Low's death. Whatever compelled GS/USA to abandon the Eagle as their mascot? 

    I have no idea why they dropped the Golden Eaglet.  But . . .

    The "First Class" award had recognition problems of its own. Back when it was the top Girl Scout award, you could get the reaction, from people familiar with boy scouts but unfamiliar with girl scouting, that it wasn't a very a high level award -- since they were, presumably, thinking of BSA where first class is followed by three higher ranks.

    Of course "Gold Award", at first, had the problem that no one had ever heard of it.  And I don't think that it has fully overcome this problem.

  4. On 5/15/2018 at 8:33 AM, desertrat77 said:

    I also like their approach of the women being identified as "Girl Scouts" and not utilizing the false exclusivity of Gold Award only, like the BSA does with Eagle ("Four Eagle Scouts playing in the ___________ Bowl.")

    Did you notice in the "lifetime of leadership" video, one woman was labelled as "Celine Dion Girl Guide & Singer".   The inclusivity is including other WAGGGS member countries.


    • Upvote 1

  5. So I realize I have been too negative.  While GSUSA's current focus on civic engagement is not what I am particularly looking for for my daughter, some families may very well be looking for this.

    Expecially now that girls will have two scouting organizations to choose from (BSA and GSUSA) it is good that GSUSA is being clear about their emphases, for example: "G.I.R.L. Agenda 2018: Leading Change Through Civic Action".  This will help families select the program that they feel is most appropriate for their girls, instead of being disconcerted that the GSUSA their girls have joined has modernized and does not have the same emphases that they remember from childhood.

    Perhaps it will be useful for scouters and scoutleaders on both sides of the BSA/GSUSA divide to be able to articulate, in a positive way, the different strengths of each program, so that families of girls can make a thoughtful choice.

    (And yes I am aware that there have already been other scouting or scout-like organizations open to girls, such as BPSA or AHG, but for many families those are not a realistic option, because there are no units in their vicinity.)

    • Upvote 2

  6. 4 hours ago, desertrat77 said:

    I also like their approach of the women being identified as "Girl Scouts" and not utilizing the false exclusivity of Gold Award only

    I, cynically, see two reasons for this

    1) This lets them include lots more women, including those who were only a Brownie for only a year.


    2) The Gold Award was introduced in 1980, so the very oldest Gold Award recipients are in their early 50's now.  This would rule out many older women.

    Moreover there is not good, short, phrase meaning "person who earned the Gold Award". The best I am aware of are "Gold Awardee" or "Gold Award recipient".  None of these roles off the tongue as smoothly as "Eagle Scout" or "Girl Scout" or "[adjective] Scout"

    • Upvote 2

  7. 5 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

      I figure if they do coded messages it would be “Don’t forget to sell those cookies.”  

    After having been rather uninvolved with Girl Scouts for a while, I got much more involved again as my daughter reached the age to join.

    Slowly I have been forming the impression that what the girl scouts (national and council) currently wants for the girls to do is to a) beg and b) badger.

    Let me explain myself.  

    a) beg: There is a huge emphasis on the cookie sale, and also an emphasis on the fall product sale.  It is made very clear to the troops that no other fundraising whatsoever may be done unless these two fundraisers are done by the troop.  These provide but little money to the troops themselves, and involve the girls begging their friends, relatives, and neighbors to buy overpriced stuff that they don't actually need or want.  My daughter has even been sent emails from the council saying " Online Sales Your goal is $200.00 and you have $0.00 in total online sales. " when her troop was skipping the fall product sale.

    b) badger: The girl scouts have shifted from emphasizing service projects to something they call "Take Action" projects.  It seems to be an encouraged thing for the girls not so much to do helpful things themselves, but to persuade other people to do things.  For example, from the "Junior Girls Guide to Girl Scouting" (page 6 of the bronze
    award insert) one of the example "take action" projects is petitioning the local government to add a stop sign near the school. The example given in the Junior "Agent of Change" Journey is persuading local people to volunteer at the local animal shelter.  The current emphasis "G.I.R.L. Agenda 2018: Leading Change Through Civic Action" seems
    right in line with what is in the books.

    I'd rather, at my daughter's age, the emphasis be on how she herself can be helpful "to help other people at all times" and to "do a good turn daily", rather than on her trying to persuade other people to do things that she thinks need doing.

    And far as what girl scouts wants the leaders to do, the emphasize is two-fold: a) cookie sale (and fall product sale) and b) register more girls


  8. 7 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Just whatever you do, DO NOT DRY IN A DRYER!!!!!! (

    I echo this:  DO NOT DRY IN A DRYER.

    You may need to wash multiple times, trying different options.  Another to try:  pour liquid laundry detergent directly on the grease spot and rub in thoroughly.   Let sit about five minutes.   Wash in warm water (if it were not for the uniform patches, I'd say hot water).   About five minutes into the wash cycle add liquid NON-CHLORINE COLOR-SAFE bleach.

    Hang dry and check whether grease spot is gone.   If faded but not gone, repeat the process.    If not faded try another type of detergent or stain remover.


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  9. 2 hours ago, desertrat77 said:

    That said, I still received an old-school scouting experience during those years.  My scoutmasters grit their teeth, shielded us from the more obnoxious elements of the ISP, and focused on traditional, outdoor-oriented scouting. 

    Something similar is being done currently by some of the more traditional GSUSA leaders, since the current GSUSA program makes the outdoors completely optional.

    I will find it interesting to see how many of them decide to switch scouting organizations to a more traditional scouting program (BSA) and how many will stick with GSUSA and make the best of it, given their long ties to that organization.

    So despite the concerns some of you have that BSA is becoming too progressive by admitting girls,   I expect that some of the most "progressive" families may continue to prefer GSUSA for their girls, and BSA will get girls whose families don't mind the more conservative reputation that BSA has.

    • Upvote 2

  10. 7 minutes ago, allangr1024 said:

    If memory serves,  when BP found out that girls wanted to do scouting, he set up a separate organization, the Girl Guides, and had his wife run it separately from the Boy Scouts.

    Actually, it was his sister, Agnes, that he recruited.  He didn't marry until later, and his wife Olave did eventually become World Chief Guide.

  11. On 5/12/2018 at 12:54 PM, Southpaw said:

    Also I spoke with some friends that have strict religious / moral standards and the skorts do not make the cut.

    Definitely not.  

    If BSA wants to accommodate families who are very conservative about girls' clothing, that can be easily solved.  Just make the pants material available by the yard, and those girls could make their own skirts, of suitably long length.  Skirts are not hard to make, and families who don't approve of modern styling almost certainly have sewing skills.

    Those skorts are just so wrong.

    As a field uniform, light-weight nylon zip-offs seem much more practical.  Easy to cover the legs when needed when dealing with ticks, mosquitoes, and poison ivy.

    And even though I am not particularly conservative about clothing (have no objections to girls wearing jeans to church) I generally dislike the mini-skirt skorts.  They look like they are just one gust of wind away from too much exposure, and therefore seem to be inviting inappropriate attention directed at the legs.


    • Upvote 4

  12. On 5/12/2018 at 3:39 PM, David CO said:

    If two councils merge, and they each had a unit with the same number, one (or both) of the units has to change. It is unfortunate, but necessary.

    In my area, there are a half-dozen towns that have a Boy Scout Troop 1.   At least three of these are in the same district of the same council.

    So, I am confused.  Do boy scout troops get to pick their own number?  Will the new Scouts BSA girls' troops get to pick their own troop numbers?  What criteria are there?

    (In GSUSA the numbers are assigned.  In my area they are assigned 5-digit numbers which are very very hard to remember.)

  13. 16 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    My recommendation is to move past rehashing this debate.  Instead of fearing that girls are going to ruining Boy Scouting, work with the girls to create really strong co-ed troops.   

    What ideas do y'all have for co-ed/linked troops, to keep things as good as possible for the boys while still letting the girls in? 

    What about a strong emphasis on doing as much as possible by patrol, with each patrol having its own identity and camaraderie.  Let the patrols camp some distance apart.  Encourage the patrols to go on occasional patrol outings and overnights.  The linked girls troop would essentially be a girls' patrol.  And the boys would have their boy-only space within their patrols.

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  14. 20 minutes ago, jamskinner said:

    People are going to go with the path of least resistance and that is to go coed.    It solves too many problems to not be an option for many groups. 

    'fraid so.

    My personal preference would be for my daughter to join a thriving all-girls BSA troop which has a range of ages and experience levels in the girls, from tenderfoot to Eagle, and has an experienced scoutmaster and ASMs, and plenty of adult volunteers, a good alumni network, a good supply of equipment, and a decent bank balance.  And uses the patrol system well.

    Such a troop does not exist.   So do I want:

          a) a brand-new all-girls troop:   inexperienced young girls,  inexperienced scouters, no money, no equipment, no oldtimers to mentor the newcomers


          b) a "linked" troop which is, effectively, an all-girls patrol within an existing well-established, thriving BSA troop.

    Probably (b) if (b)  ends up being an option.

  15. 30 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

    I was a Brownie co-leader for 1 year, and I can assure you that the majority of GSA leaders were fine with their program just the way that it was.

    But not all of them.  Especially not all of the old-timers.   Some of the vocal groups have been "GSUSA are you listening?",  "The Outdoor Journey Project", . . .

    And if you want to see some internal GSUSA complaints, there are some here:


    With commentary here: http://girlscoutwithacause.dawgtoons.com/2015/10/white-paper-hub-bub/

    And if the outdoors-interested old-timers cannot get GSUSA to listen,  . . . .


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  16. 42 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

    I plan to send Class B a custom design

    I missed reading this before I wrote my not-quite-simultaneous post.   A custom design sounds great!    Much better than just picking something someone else has made.

    GSUSA does troop crests rather than patrol patches.   For years they used to make available blank troop crests, so that troops could embroider their own if they didn't like any of the available styles.   But they discontinued this when they changed the shape of the troop crest and reduced the number of options to sixteen.   My daughter's troop didn't like any of them and so skipped the troop crest entirely.

  17. 19 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

    Obviously, there are not a high number of girl-centric patrol patches already in existence (though I did surprisingly find a Power Puffs Girls cartoon patrol patch called Cartoon Power on Class B - http://tradingpost.classb.com/cartoon-power-patrol-patch/ and I had to wonder which existing patrol would use such?!?).


    6 minutes ago, fred johnson said:

    Class B girl-oriented patches should be fine.  I see no issue with that.  

    Why do you think that the girls will want "girl-centric" or "girl-oriented" patches?   Their interests (especially for girls willing to join an organization called "Boy Scouts") are much broader than that.

    By the way,  I am also horrified by pink tools for girls and pastel building-block sets.   If you give girls primarily that kind of stuff you are essentially saying that everything else is not for them. 

    • Upvote 1

  18. 51 minutes ago, qwazse said:

    Take no thought for tomorrow, for today has enough troubles of its own.

    Sorry, I didn't write the rules.


    28 minutes ago, cocomax said:

    I would rather. . . 

    Be prepared.

    "Take therefore no thought for the morrow" is archaic (early 1600's) phraseology. A more modern translation might be clearer: "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow".

    I never saw this as being in opposition to "be prepared".

  19. 16 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    I'll rephrase 2 and 3

    2) What if you cannot get a registered female over 21 to go on a weekend camp out, do you cancel the trip for everyone, cancel the trip just for the girls, or ignore the rules/

    3) What if you cannot get a registered female over 21 to stay the entire week of summer camp, cancel for everyone, cancel just the girls, talk tot he camp to see if they can help?

    3A) what happens if you have a week long trek and cannot get a registered female over 21 to go, cancel for everyone, cancel just the girls, or ignore the rules?


    Cancel it just for the girls.   That will give the incentive for one of the girls' moms to step up and volunteer.

    Doing otherwise (cancelling for the boys too) would just make everyone mad at the girls.

    Cancelling for just the girls would only upset the girls, and then they can badger their moms to volunteer.

    • Upvote 1

  20. On 4/11/2018 at 2:45 PM, T2Eagle said:

    You maybe on the way to being registered, but you may not be there yet.

    You were right.  It was time for me to follow up.  The word is that the registrar needs to process it through the system.  But I now at least have a receipt for my check.  (And I did send the YPT certificate, etc.)  Thanks for the advice.

    On 4/11/2018 at 2:45 PM, T2Eagle said:

    On a different note, would you mind telling us what is motivating you and your daughters to join, how old are they and what is your experience with the program, if any.

    My previous experience with BSA?  None to speak of.  Previous experience with scouting: GSUSA, including TOFS troops, and opportunities to interact with Girl Guides from other countries.

    This left me with the sense that scouting/guiding is not an activity you go and do once in a while, instead, being a scout/guide is something you are.  And it is not tied to one single national scouting/guiding organization.

    I had become somewhat frustrated with the direction the GSUSA program materials have been going --- seeming to try to attract the kind of girls who hadn't been interested in scouting if scouting involved going outside and getting dirty. It seemed to me that GSUSA, while they still have the stated mission that "Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place", has largely dropped the game of scouting with its patrols, camping, rank advancement, etc, as a means to that goal.

    But we had been sticking with that organization, because it has much good in its history, and because there weren't any other scouting organizations realistically available to us. We simply didn't use the program materials we disliked.

    My daughter (grade 6), hearing that BSA would be opening up to girls, picked up a boy scout handbook and started reading it, and comparing it with the current GSUSA program materials, and with the older girl scout books from the 1920s and 1930s (yes I have those, and they quote Baden-Powell on "how camping teaches the Guide Law"). She concluded that modern BSA sounded like a better program than modern GSUSA, and that modern BSA is much more similar to the old GSUSA than the modern GSUSA is.

    And I figure that if she wants to become a boy scout, then I need to learn more about BSA and be ready to volunteer in some capacity if needed.  Because if no one volunteers then there won't be any BSA4G troops. And while she will need to wait till next February to join, I can go ahead and join now and start taking training.

    I expect that switching organizations might be a bit of a culture shock.  So, besides watching the training videos on my.scouting.org (which I found informative) I'm also reading some of the discussions here on scouter.com to learn a little of the culture, and reading various books recommended here such as "Working the Patrol Method" and "So Far, So Good"

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  21. 14 hours ago, ItsBrian said:

     I’m confused, why can’t you be involved in scouting if there are no BSA4G troops?


    4 hours ago, scotteg83 said:

    Sounds like they are trying to be prepared for the new Girls in Troops coming in 2019.  But why join a Boy Troop, just to leave and take over a Girl Troop in a year.

    That's right.  I'm not already connected to any of the local boy scout troops, because I don't have a son already in boy scouts. And it is not yet clear which of the local troops might be interested in being linked with a BSA4G troop next year.     (My daughter wants to join, and with a new troop it seems to me that there is a high probability that more volunteers will be wanted.)

  22. I was able to register for IOLS through the council website without begining registered with BSA.   (At least the online system took my money and sent me out an automated email.)

    But, I was concerned that I would be thrown off the attendee list not being registered with BSA,  so I set about doing that.   That,  it turns out, was much harder to do, since I am not part of a unit yet (no BSA4G units yet exist).  Eventually the advice from the local Family Scouting Committee was to register as a "District Reserve Scouter" which required a paper form sent snail mail.  I've gotten confirmation that the form has arrived.   I suppose I am now registered.   IOLS will happen later this month.

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