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Posts posted by Laxplr21

  1. I have been a part of a council merger that had strengths and weaknesses in both councils.  My old one had a strong central council while the one merging had strong districts but weak central council.  The merger was rough for some but I think it really came out well for everyone involved in the long run.  The leadership of both councils wanted to get a single vision for the new council and all move towards a common goal.  They had brain storming meetings within every district that was open to everyone.  I attended one in a different district and was amazed how well everyone was looking for the future.  Everything was done in the open and information was easily available.  If we start seeing councils merge this trait needs to be there.  Information and feedback accepted and given.  Make everyone part of the process, don't just do it behind closed doors.  You will get a strong focused and directed towards a common goal will help councils thrive.

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  2. If you are going to be around the Boston area, take a look at these hiking trails and patches you can still earn today.  Boston, MA including the Freedom trail.  All of these trails have patches and medallions that can be purchased and worn.



    The Bedford Flag trail is administered by a different location.  Their link is below.



  3. I was part of an EBOR in which the conversation with the young man was not easy.  Most youth from this council wait until they are about to age out for their EBOR.  This was one of those cases.  It became evident really early the kid was really only doing scouts and trying for the eagle because of his father.  His father being an eagle scout really pushed the kid to get it as well.  While talking about the project and other scouting activities it always came down to "something his father pushed".  It almost seemed as all communication, activity planing, rank advancement was because of daddy.  It seemed the kid was just going along the ride and dad was pushing the agenda and work to do, even doing some of it himself.  During our vote I expressed my concern and really struggled with the group as to voting yes for the young man.  To me it appeared everything scouts was done through dad or dads choices.  Nothing really seemed to come from the young man.  The young man didn't choose what activities or project he wanted to do.  Why was this?  Why am I sensing this.  After talking with the committee, finding out a new project would be required, discussing what the rank means, using my own experience as a scout going through the process for my eagle, and working through the problem, I eventually came to the conclusion he met the requirements and voted for it.  It was a really tough choice for this young man to get it.  I hope the young man takes pride in the achievement and is able to grow into a fine adult from his experience in scouting.

  4. I think the more scary issue for me is the Judge basically let the whole thing off cause this kid was from a "good family"  about to go to a "good school" and also being an Eagle Scout.  Here you have the victim having to deal with this and the kid is given a slap on the wrist.  This is a stain on our justice system in this county.  The character of the individual should not be a reason to get a person off, it should be the facts of the case (in this case a video that was sent around and also langue of the texts from the individual)  I am glad to see the judge is no longer on the bench and the Appeals Court has sent this back down to a grand jury to review this for the appropriate next steps.  The judge was wrong in his responsibilities.  There is no win in this situation, it is just a loose loose situation for everyone.  It is examples like this case that reinforces myself to strive to teach our scouts the skills our program teaches.  Ethics, citizenship, leadership and others must be taught to prevent these types of travesties within our government institutions.

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  5. Reviving this thread about recommended Massachusetts summer camps.    For a new Scouts BSA troop of girls new to Scouting (but not all new to camping) have you any recommendations of great camps readily accessible from the Boston suburbs or the middle of Massachusetts?   In particular any  comments on recent year's experiences at Resolute,  Treasure Valley, or Wanocksett?


    The closest one to Boston in the suburbs is the Camp Sayre or also known as New England Base Camp.  This location was the camp at the old Boston Minuteman Council in Milton.  There are places for camping and cabins.  The camp is updated with an indoor swimming pool (used by a local swim club), high adventure course, and other programs that units and groups can pick and choose.  Last but not least the camp is also available to the public.  Groups throughout the area can use the facilities.  business retreats, YMCA weekend camp outs, church groups,  everybody has access to it.  When I had my woodbadge weekend there, a YMCA group was using a couple of the cabins.  The new Spirit of Adventer council has really made it a goal to spread scouting opportunities to the public and invite them in.


    Here is a link of the council camps with any information you may need.  http://www.scoutspirit.org/camping-properties/

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  6. I was part of Spirit of Adventure council when it was created.  There has been an attempt to resurrect units in the Boston city limits.  Boston was basically nonexistent.  I am greatly impressed with the council leadership move towards getting units in the city going again.  Better to have kids be involved in something fun instead of on the streets taking part in crime.  I am surprised to hear about the Dorchester unit.  I was attached with a unit in Concord that "adopted" that unit and not only gave resources for them, but time and worked with them as if they were their own unit.  Is it really inactive?

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  7. Found this blog on the American History page.  The battle between Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts is as old as the programs started.  Nice pictures though. 


    A Scout By Any Other Name

    By Tim Winkle, Amanda B. Moniz, and Amelia Grabowski, March 12, 2019

    In May 2018, the Boy Scouts of America changed the name of its program for older children to Scouts BSA and opened membership to girls for the first time. Girl Scouts of the USA initially responded to the change by emphasizing the unique nature of its program for girls. However, in November 2018 Girl Scouts filed a lawsuit against BSA in federal court, claiming trademark infringement, unfair competition, and brand confusion related to the decision to remove the “Boy” from “Scouts.” Cooperation and conflict between the two organizations has waxed and waned over time, and the separation and overlap of scouting for boys and girls has been a sometimes contentious issue from the beginnings of the groups, over 100 years ago. Such disagreements, both in the past and today, remind us that volunteer organizations and organizations for children can be important indicators of larger cultural conversations around gender and equality.

    James E. West was not pleased. In 1913, just one year after its foundation, the Girl Guides of America had changed its name to the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. West, the Chief Boy Scout Executive, worried that use of the term “scouts” by the all-girls’ group “trivialized” and “sissified” his Boy Scouts. West wrote letter after letter to that effect, and brought legal challenges against Girl Scouts in an effort to control the moniker.

    West’s objections to the group did not stop there. Boy Scouts wore khaki uniforms, similar to the military uniforms of the day. When Girl Scouts started wearing khaki uniforms too, West called them “mannish.” Couldn’t they be more like the Camp Fire Girls? For that matter, why couldn’t they just merge?

    Khaki Girl Scout uniform This early khaki Girl Scout uniform dates to around 1918.

    In the early decades of the Boy Scouts of America, West and his supporters saw any crossover with Girl Scouts as a blow to the burgeoning masculinity of Boy Scouts. They feared boys wouldn’t want to do anything that girls were also doing. Critics also worried about girls becoming “tomboys” who would reject the more socially acceptable roles for women in the domestic sphere—homemaker, wife, mother.

    In contrast, the more popular scouting group for young women at the time, the Camp Fire Girls of America, promoted “womanly qualities.” Instead of badges, Camp Fire Girls had a system of bead rewards, called “honors,” that recognized repeated tasks and skills such as cooking, sewing, or caring for the sick and injured. Even skills that fell under “camp craft” and “nature lore” had underlying domestic applications. And unlike the Girl Scouts, the Camp Fire Girls steered clear of overlap with the Boy Scout program. Camp Fire Girls founders, having worked with James E. West to develop the organization, actively partnered with the BSA to create activities that were, as West put it, “fundamentally different from those of the boys.”

    Camp Fire Girls ceremonial garmet with decorative beads Instead of the Girl Scouts quasi-military uniforms, Camp Fire Girls wore ceremonial garments, along with earned beads called “honors.” Camp Fire Girls merged a simplistic view of a Native American past with a focus on bringing meaning, and even romance, to domestic duties.

    The Girl Scouts, on the other hand, sought to prepare citizens—not just homemakers. Badges were still awarded for domestic tasks like housekeeping and sewing, but also for things like automobiling and civics. As one national Girl Scouts board member wrote, “Now that [the right to vote] has been extended to women of this state . . .  I believe there is no better way for [children] to learn to become good citizens than to learn to become the best kind of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.”

    Woman suffrage postcard showing a map of the United States In 1913, the year the Girl Scouts changed their name, many Western states had already given women the right to vote, as this postcard illustrates.

    Girl Scouts detractors referenced the right to vote in their objections as well. In 1922 one Boy Scout commissioner complained that “since the ballot came through,” women want to “wear the breeches,” “bob her hair,” and “assume rights and privileges of men.”

    However, not all Boy Scouts shared these opinions. One Boy Scout master contacted Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low personally, writing, “Boys and girls play together and must in these times learn to work together. Men and women are united in the struggle for Democracy. . . . I am convinced that Girls are just as good Scouts as Boys.”

    Indeed, the similarity between Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts isn’t surprising. Both trace their roots back to the same person: Robert Baden-Powell. An officer in the British Army in the late 1800s and early 1900s, he developed a training regimen that focused on outdoor activity, skill development, and character building for his officers. When he published his “scout method,” it became wildly popular with young men and youth groups, so Baden-Powell republished it as a handbook for civilian youth.

    Back in the United States, there had been a burgeoning “back to nature” movement since the late 1800s. Youth organizations and scout-like groups were popping up to ensure children were exposed to healthy outdoor activities. Baden-Powell’s scout handbook made its way to the States, and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts soon followed. The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910 by newspaper publisher W.D. Boyce, who soon after handed the reins to James E. West. The Girl Scouts were founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912. They were originally modeled on the British “Girl Guides” founded by Agnes Baden-Powell, Robert’s younger sister. When the American Girl Guides changed its names to Girl Scouts and their uniforms to khaki—that’s when the trouble really started.

    Girl Scout manual, "How Girls Can Help Their Country," with illustraton of scout on cover Juliette Gordon Low oversaw the publication of this early Girl Scout manual, published in 1916. It was adapted from "How Girls Can Help Build Up the Empire," the first handbook of Britain’s Girl Guides.

    During those first decades of American scouting, the tension between the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts was never truly resolved. Eventually, the Girl Scouts surpassed Camp Fire Girls as the most popular scouting group. Several elements collaborated to blunt the anti-Girl Scout criticism. Larger cultural shifts like women’s suffrage gained momentum, and Girl Scouts demonstrated effective service on the home front during the First World War. In the mid-1920s, the group even changed its uniforms to green, moving away from the more militaristic khaki. Both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts organizations grew into hallmarks of American childhood. But West never got over the name change. He kept complaining about it until his retirement in the 1940s.


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  8. With the merger of Boston-Minuteman council and Yankee Clipper, there was a special council strip that was offered for a while that included the town, a reference to the old town strip that is alluded too.  It was listed under the council strip.  It looks nice done that way. This is what it roughly looked like.


  9. For registration purposes, the lone scout may work here.  There are no other female cub scouts in the den, there would not be the required number for a den to be formed.  Be sure to check out the link on Lone Scouts through the BSA site https://www.scouting.org/commissioners/lone-scout/

    Make sure you speak with the unit commissioner.  If you do not have a unit commissioner, contact the district commissioner.  Their role is to help leaders of units.  They are a great resource to ask for help


  10. Here is what is listed through the Western Massachusetts Council   Sorry for the breaks and length. 

    Bachelor Degree


    Current registration as a Commissioner, Current BSA YPT Certificate, Completion of "Commissioner Basic Training"

    Course Requirements:

    Completion of seven courses of instruction, at least 5 of the courses at the Bachelor's program level


    Roundtable  Bachelor Degree (some councils require 2 year commitment)


    Current registration as a commissioner, Current BSA YPT Cert. Completion of "Roundtable Commissioner Basic Training"

    Course Requirements:

    Completion of seven courses of instruction, at least 5 of the courses at the RT Bachelors program level.


    Masters Degree


    Current registration as a commissioner, Current BSA YPT cert, Earned Arrowhead Honor, Completion of Bachelor's degree or have been awarded the COmmissioner's Key

    Course requirements:

    Completion of seven additional courses of instruction (total of 14), at least 7  of the courses at the Master's level





    Current registration as a commissioner, Current BSA YPT cert, Completion of "RT Commissioner Basic Training", Completion of Bachelor's Degree or have been awarded the COmmissioner's Key

    Course Requirements:

    Completion of seven courses of instruction, at least 5 of the courses at the RT Bachelor program level


    Doctoral Candidate Certificate


    Current registration as a commissioner, Current BSA YPT, Completion of Master's degree, Have been awarded the Commissioner Key

    Course Requirements:

    Note: Earning the Doctor of Commissioner Science Degree does not automatically qualify you to receive the Doctorate of Commissioner Service Knot Award!!!

    Completion of 10 additional courses of instruction (total of 24), at least 5 of the courses at the Doctor's or Continuing Education program level, courses may not have previously been counted toward other college degrees.

    Thesis or Project:

    This can be on any topic related to Commissioner Service, The topic must be pre0approved by the College of Commissioner Science Committee, Complete the thesis/project using the approved format as determined by the college.  Completion of a thesis or research project on any topic of value to Scouting, The topic and final paper must be approved by the Doctoral Review Committee.


    Doctor of Commissioner Science Knot Award:

    Doctor of Commissioner Science Knot Award

    Current Registration as a Commissioner, Current BSA YPT Cert. Completion of Doctoral Degree, Tenure (Serve as a Commissioner for a minimum of 5 years (years need not be consecutive), Service can be in one or more roles or positions Commissioner of service


    Recruit or assist in recruiting at least 3 new Commissioners during tenure as a commissioner.

    Final Approval:

    Approval of Council or assigned Assistant Council Commissioner

  11. I currently reside in the Mid America council (MAC) but I started going to commissioner colleges when I was an ADC in Spirit of Adventure on the east coast.  Here in MAC, we partner with two other councils (within Nebraska) to run the college.  It is of course open to any.  They are going through the program to make it more interesting, useful and exciting for people to WANT TO COME.  We will see how it goes.  When I was living around Boston, I attended the Western Mass Council in Springfield MA every year.  This was an incredible experience.  It is done so well I have heard that National allows them to test classes to see if it will be implemented nationally.  They have their stuff together.

    I find these schools useful.  Yes we may have had similar training elsewhere from the topics that are presented, but you do get a lot of time to speak with others on issues and topics.  It is a great way to meet new people and build your network.  There is always something new you can learn that may help you in the future.  I have my masters degree and going to work on my doctorate degree soon.  I have an idea for a thesis/project but nothing concrete.  I'm looking forward to future colleges.  A good learning opportunity.  If you are up around Springfield MA, go to the theirs. You will not be disappointed.

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  12. Just a thought to the top tier camping locations (Philmont, Summit, Sea Base and Northern Teir),  Why not open these locations to the public?  This could ease monetary considerations with the scouts.  Plus it would expand our presence with those not in scouting.  It can be good marketing and service.  I look at what Spirit of Adventure Council (Boston MA area) has done with Camp Sayer.  They have made it a place open to all organizations to visit and attend.  I have been at woodbadge the same time a YMCA youth group was camping in a cabin.  A great way to reach out to those not in scouts.

  13. Here is a letter that has come from Mid American Council.  It looks like they were given a form letter and updated to each region.  Just sharing.


    Good evening,


    I am sharing yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article stating that National BSA has hired a bankruptcy attorney in light of the costs of defending sexual abuse lawsuits.  


    In a communication released yesterday, National BSA reaffirmed its focus on keeping children safe and delivering our nation’s foremost program of character development and values-based leadership training.


    BSA stated its commitment to the social and moral responsibility to fairly compensate victims who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting, and the deep care and concern for all victims of child sex abuse and the proactive steps to help victims heal and prevent future abuse.  BSA stresses that at no time in BSA history has the organization knowingly allowed a sexual predator to work with youth, and will always seek to act swiftly when alerted to abuse allegations.  


    From a conference call with national leadership today, BSA is committed to communicate transparently. Its been stated there is no direct action being taken in the near future or immediate decisions expected by BSA in light of the Wall Street Journal’s news story. The organization is truly in an exploratory phase and doing due diligence in an effort to be prepared and make informed decisions as it relates to the next 100 years of the BSA. 


    I have assembled a few items of information from a Mid-America Council perspective that may be helpful considering the news story: 


    • The strength of Scouting for over the last 100+ years has been its local domain. Each scouting unit is owned by its local charter partner which typically is a place of worship, service club or educational institution.  Each council is locally incorporated in the specific state where it operates.


    • The Mid-America Council is a 501(c)(3) entity incorporated in Nebraska, Southwest Iowa and Union County South Dakota.  Our camps, volunteer service centers, bank funds and investments are owned and controlled by the Mid-America Council Executive Board of Leadership and Trustees.


    • The nature of the relationship for a council with the national BSA organization is that our council is the holder of a charter to conduct the BSA programs in our defined territory, throughout our 58 counties.


    • Our council receives no funding from the national organization. In fact, we pay fees to National BSA as a part of our charter agreement and for specific services. We receive value back from the national organization, but we operate as a financially independent not-for-profit organization.


    • Areas where we partner with National BSA, for business purposes, include several insurance programs, services for IT and expertise related to camping, Youth Protection and so on.  Also important to note is employee benefits such as healthcare and retirement are funded by each council but through programs controlled and operated by National BSA.


    • In the BSA, the Mid-America Council is a strong council from the perspectives of fiscal health, program quality, board and volunteer dedication, staff commitment and talent. 


    I am positive that our national council can navigate the difficult waters that many organizations face over a century of existence.  As a council, we will stand ready to help. We will continue our primary focus on bringing high-quality BSA programs for over 18,000 youth in each of the communities we serve.


    In closing, we must as a local council inspire confidence and show the utmost leadership within all of our ranks. We will maintain the quality scouting program that we have become accustomed to. We have embarked on many new things locally and nationally, foremost the introduction of girls into our programs. Our success this year with the introduction of girls into Cub Scouts and the ensuing addition of girls into our “Scouts BSA,” reinforces the quality of programs that we deliver and the interest to participate by the families we serve. Locally we have inspired 500 new families through the addition of girls and nationally that number is 70,000+. We must continue this momentum and stay steadfast to our strategic direction.


    Lastly, it is now more important than ever with the recent success of our 2nd Annual Governor’s Luncheon for Scouting that we maintain community and donor confidence. The dollars that have been pledged and paid are more important now than ever, but most importantly these dollars have been given for local programs and they will always stay local. No local donor dollars go to fund any litigation on a national prospective. We will continue to stay true to our core mission and that is that we stay focused on youth by building character, developing strong leadership skills and guaranteeing that the BSA will be here for the next 100 years and beyond.


    As always, I welcome your call or email with any thoughts or questions.




    Mid-America Council

  14. I personally love the knots over the left pocket.  I use them as conversation starters.  There is an app out there that explains what they are and for what, both active and retired.  I chose to wear the knot, including the "unofficial" wood badge bead knot, because of a safety issue.  It is flat against the uniform and out of the way.  With the sea badge pin, it could get dislodge and then you have something poking you.  For the wood badge beads around your neck, can you see where I'm going here?  If I'm in some high adventure activity, think the ropes in the trees as an example, I don't want to have to worry about something around my neck.  I'm not alone in thinking this and know others that would rather wear a patch knot.  One even argued against the Scout Executive of the council.  If you want to wear the old "retired" knot, go right ahead.  Who is gonna ticket you, the uniform police?  It's just something that is getting way to much attention when focus should be on the kids and making sure they have a great program.  Why waste your time and energy to something that is not enforceable.

  15. Summitdog.

    I am like you.  I went through WB and I still "don't get it".  I read and hear from multiple sources different views, but my own experience, I still just don't get it.  I don't care about beads, I don't keep in touch with members of my patrol, I don't care about the games that were done.  In fact it was one game that actually made me wonder why I was there.  I hardly got anything positive out of it from the leadership mentoring side.  It is actually making me question doing Sea Badge (I don't wanna do a WB for SB)

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  16. Hi all.  I received my notification just recently that I was selected to help the IST team.  Being a single adult, with no children of my own, that helps the scout program to give back to an organization that has given me so much, it is the only way I can attend.  I could use some help.  What are some good tips, knowledge or wisdom that you can share for attending a Jamboree of this size?  I haven't done National yet so this is the first big event within the scouting program.  I'm just looking for some tips to have a great experience at the WSJ while I technically can't participate in a lot of activities, but my main goal in working to to help give them a great program and experience.

    Let me know what you have!

  17. 1 hour ago, Chris1 said:

    I think that is good news.  After the game when I did WB, I questioned several of the senior staff about the negative impact on morale and camaraderie. I also voiced the opinion that it was not scout-like for the staff to act in that manner, or treat participants that way. 

    I also stated that it lessened my trust and impression of those involved. And I did not get upset during the game at all, in part because I am not a competitive person and also because I am math nerd and I figured out that it was a zero-sum game and the game theory behind It. 

    I am glad to hear it is being reviewed. 

    I completely agree.  Glad they are starting to test it away.  Interesting view points from those that commented.  I didn't understand "Game Theory" until I saw the TED talk by Simon Sineck, If you like to hear it there is a video on YouTube I recommend.  Once I started to study "Game Theory" I realize how counter productive WAYC was.  I heard of some stories in the business world of this game and they are not done right either.  Game Theory is a perfect view of many different areas of contention.  I believe the game just gets people upset and doesn't provide as much benefit compared to negative effects.  My experience really affected me and I have no desire to help out with WB at the time being.  I don't even communicate with my patrol members anymore, even if I see them at a scouting event.  I guess I'm one of the few percent it didn't work for.

  18. I did not like this game during my WB course.  I really questioned wither I would come back the second weekend.  I know a few did not and it influenced them.  I understand the point of getting through the storming phase, but it wasn't debriefed well to us.  It was one of the factors that ruined my experience with WB.  I just got my ticket done and left it in the past.  I flatly refuse to do this game ever again regardless of it being in scouts or the real world.  I believe this section of the course needs to be readdressed and possibly altered.

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  19. I always enjoyed visiting the Green Mountain State.  I've been to Barre a few times and that sounds like a neat idea if they want it.  Suprised to hear about the modern granite statues.  I've never seen them.  I'll have to look harder the next time I'm in town.

  20. This is an all too common story no matter what council you belong too.  I would just politiy remind the new parents, if you don't have  adult volunteers, you don't have a unit.  How you found the one new volunteer, great keep it going.  Do what you think you have to to get the help you need to keep a unit functioning.  In regards to the MB, I would not even listen to the parents in this case.  MB's are supposed to be initiated by the scout themselves.  It is there responsibility, not the parents.  It is designed to help them build courage to talk to new people and build social skills.  If they don't want to progress and find a replacement than that is on them.  Sometimes the parents need to butt out.  NOT EVER SCOUT MAKES EAGLE!  If the scout doesn't want to make the effort they don't get it.  Simple as that.  PLC is the one that decides what the scouts want to do.  If these parents take over, they will leave the troop in the long run.  The scouts plan their own activities.  Adults really are there just to corral possible ciaos.  Let the scouts mature themselves and stop interfering in the program they are taught to lead and run. 


    Sorry if it appears I started going into a rant there myself.

  21. I came from small town rural America in Nebraska.  For us it was just something to get. Go to ordeals, get to brotherhood and basically just wear your sash at special events.  Part of the problem for us is the chapter meetings where you can go and interact with other arrow men, was 15 miles away.  Also, most didn't have a car by the time they got in.  My parents and I'm sure most others would not want to drive out of the way just for an hour or two meeting for their kid and sit in the car (so to speak).  If I was in a larger metro city I may have been a little more active, but when growing up in a rural district that would take an hour just to drive to the other side of the district, there wasn't much practicable to invest that much time into it.

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