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Posts posted by Mrjeff

  1. 4 hours ago, qwazse said:

    With all do respect, this is an over generalization. More importantly, it reverses the causality. With few exceptions, everyone wants to have fun, but — even with the offering of an insanely fun troop — not everyone wants to be a scout.

    With all due respect back atcha, this "causality" is what adults expect from Scouting, not the kids.  Not  everyone should be a Scout and its a huge mistake to turn Scouting into an everything for everybody  program.  Obviously the Scouting program has gotten so watered down so everyone feels comfortable and is never disappointed it is scarcely recognized as the Boy Scouts of America of just 10 years ago.  And that is not a positive thing.  This so called "causality " should be the result of enjoyable and FUN activities that will develop the "causality ".  I have made this point from the beginning and now it would appear that we are word jousting over verbage and semiotics .




  2. I agree, the decision has already been made. It was made by a committee of self serving adults without regard to what the youth members want.  Nobody at any level has ever answered any direct questions about anything.  Even face to face those people answer with nonsense and vague information.  Exactly who are the native Americans who object?  What particular tribe do they represent?  What standing do they have within their tribe?  Are they acting with authority of tribal leaders?  If these questions could be addressed there could be validity in these concerns.  Or maybe the BSA  is worried that native Americans have claims to the Summit property or Philmont and they're afraid if they do something the BSA  will loose those assets.   

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  3. When I first asked " Why have Scouts" I said that I have never heard a kid say that they wanted to be a Scout because they wanted to be a good citizen, learn leadership, or become a good money manager.  Every kid says that they wanted to be a Scout in order to "HAVE FUN" and its just that simple. Everything else is just a byproduct of having fun thats supervised and directed by adults.  Unfortunately horrible people took advantage of their trusted position and bad things happened.   Now Scouting is overregulated and common sense has been removed from the equation.   Throw in some egocentric  and controlling adults and the fun is often times watered down and replaced by misery.   I challenge myself to at least try to make every event as fun and enjoyable as possible.  That takes work and preparation but at the same time I enjoy what I'm doing and want to do it.  When I no longer enjoy what I'm doing and no longer want to do it I will put my Scout handbook on the shelf, put away my Woodbadge beads and Seabadge trident, lovingly fold up my uniforms and neckerchiefs and move onto something else.

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  4. Unfortunately, another major issue is how people have embraced theidea of suing one another.  If I went on a Scout trip and fell down and broke my arm I went home, explained what happened, got fussed at for doing something stupid and went back with a cast on my arm.  Unfortunatly today the supervising adults could face a law suit, not just to pay the repair bills, but to make the unfortunate youth who was subjected to needless danger and negligent supervision in an environment that should have been known was dangerous and was devoid of any warning labels or cautions that should have been clearly visible in order to protect the poor, uneducated, inexperienced and innocent victim of each and every hazard that could be found and without signing the proper hold harmless and release of liability form, and should therefore be made whole..  For Christmas sake, the kid ran through the woods and fell, breaking his arm, but a lot of people don't think like that and everything is someone's fault, other then their own.   ☹☹☹☹

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  5. I was traveling on I-75 and my mind drifted back to the days when I was a Boy Scout.  We climbed, went swimming, chopped down trees, built campsite gateways and lashed together camp gadgets.  We built fires, carved things including our fingers, slept in old canvas rents, played in the rain and snow and even went swimming in our skivies. If we got hurt someone fixed us up and we went back to what we were doing.  We stayed up all night and chased each other through the woods, and most of the time the only adult there was the ole Scoutmaster.  I also remember that our adult leaders were all part of "The Greatest Generation", sure there were a few very young baby boomers around who were JASMs but thats it.  Well, most of the greatest generation have moved on to their final reward and the boomers are all getting long in the teeth and after a while we'll all be gone to.  This leaves the job to X,Y, and Melinianials.   As such Scouting will reflect the values, ideas, social norms and opinions of those who are left to carry on and there's nothing that anyone can do about it.

  6. 14 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    You nailed it. 

    I don't know if the problem is burned out adults, or if they just don't know how. I've said here many times that I find difference between flourishing troops and troops that struggle is the flourishing troops have adults who were scouts as a youth. Those adults remember what made their scouting experience fun, and insure it is part of their program with a purpose. And as you said the adults need to have fun too, they find the Joy is having fun program.

    I think the problem is adults often fixate on the outcome and not enough on the fun components that give joy  the experience  to get mix up what the purpose of the program. 

    I saw this kind of thing at Wood Badge. Many of the staff and the participants were so focused on outcome that they couldn't enjoy the activities that gave them experiences to feed the outcomes. My nature is bit of being a class clown and I worked very hard to dilute the serious outcome perspective. But, it was concerning to me. No wonder so many folks complain they didn't get anything out of WB. They didn't look for joy in the camping and comradery.

    Great perspective, thanks.


    Amen, amen, and AMEN!!!  You hit the nail on the head.  Thank you for sharing your insite!

  7. 14 hours ago, qwazse said:

    Regarding fun ... scouting should be fun. But, that doesn't address "why scouting?" That's because lots of things are fun. But many things that are fun are either extremely hazardous or utterly trivial.

    Fun is a by-product of skill mastery. Skill mastery in an ethical framework is fun with a purpose. Thus fun is not an end in itself, but a means of reaching those ends.

    I think that you have this absolutly and completly backwards and the proof is displayed in the decline of the whole Scouting world.  The focus must be on the fun and the byproducts are all the things that adults think are important.  I would hate to be involved in a unit that has this backwards.  What a terrible and distasteful this would be.  

  8. 9 hours ago, cmd said:

    What is "little guy stuff"? The crafts that people always complain about when they say how awful cub scouts is and that everyone should just skip over it and wait until they can start real scouts? 

    Our area has a youth activities fair at the school open house and we're able to have a recruiting b table there.  I see a LOT of disdain there from former cub scouts who don't see the point of signing up for their kid to sit in a church basement and do crafts.  If they stick around long enough for us explain that we DO camp and have campfires and hike then sometimes we get a really great leader out of them.  

    I personally wouldn't have even considered paying $100+ for a cub scout experience that didn't include me finally having other families to go camping with. 

    The Little Guy Stuff refers to the children who are just too young to be Boy Scouts.  Here's how I need it, a little guy joins Cub Scouts and is part of an inactive pack or den.  Thats clearly the fault of the leader and in a couple of months they quit and never make it to Boy Scouts or Venturing.  That's it, done, finished.  Or perhaps they are part of the best Pack or Den in the world.  They learn to camp, use a map and compass, even build a fire and cook.  Great, after a few years of that they move into a Troop and stick around for a couple of years and get board with the Scout stuff and quit. Thats it, done, finished.  This is my experience and is not some theory that I came up with while sitting around a campfire.  If cub scout activities are horrible I would suggest making those activities better.

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  9. Well, that may be how it should work, but I don't think that's how it does work.  Food for thought:  who would want to stay where they are not wanted;  you can't really fire a volunteer;  what harm can be done by frivolous complaints;  whose version of the story do you believe and why; anyone can tell someone that can't play anymore, but by what authority;  if the allegation is slanderous but false, whose responsible; how many times has a CC, SM, CM or District Committee member "fired" someone without proper authority?  Unless it's a criminal offense I would tread very carefully.  Personally, if I were informed by just about anybody that my services were no longer needed I would just gather up my tea set and teddy bears and find something else to do and somewhere else to spend my money.   Just sayen🤔

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  10. I wonder just who the people are that think they can just kick someone out of Scouting.  The example of someone going into a bar and using the phone sounds like someone really jumped the gun without asking the proper questions.  That kind of thing opens another can of worms that could really explode into a stinking mess.  The CO and CC are responsible for doing the hiring so it's the same people who are responsible for any firing.   The patch police are bad enough without creating an ethics and morals police.  I know that there are sometimes disagreements within the unit that can get pretty ugly.  This could be used maliciously and do some real harm.  It's not that easy to conduct an investigation and whoever does it must work just as hard at disproving the allegation as they do in substantiation the allegation.   That's my professional/retired point of view.

  11. On 3/6/2023 at 5:56 AM, scoutldr said:

    Well, if you follow that pattern...Motorboating.

    Everybody knows what BOAT really stands for:  Break Out Another Thousand😂. And any boat owner knows that a boat is just a hole in the water into which money is thrown 🤣.  God bless and Scout On my friends!!!

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  12. I always like to rely on personal experiences and real world observations.  I've been in Scouting for a long time and I have three adult sons and two adult daughters who participated in Scouting along with two grandsons.   Out of this group I have 3 generations of Eagles that include two sons and one grandsons.   My oldest son started going to Scout camp when he was Cub Scout age, about 8 years old.  He joined the Boy Scouts at age 11 and by the time he was 15 he had all of the camping that he needed, earned Star and quit.   The other two were bound by the old Cub Scout rules of no camping except one night during their WEBELOS year and that had to be with a Scout troop.  I made sure that they focused on CS activities and this time I  stuck to those rules.  Those guys stuck with it, earned Eagle and had a good time doing it.  They each stayed until they were 18 and one of them moved into a leadership position and is a three bead Woodbadger.   The difference between my Star Scout and the two Eagle Scouts was the Scouting burnout that was experienced by my Star son and the lack of burnout by my two Eagles.  If our Cubs get to do the Boy Scout stuff too soon they very may get burned out.  I would like to see something like the old rules reinstated so our Scouts can grow, carry on and experience the real adventure of Scouting.  By the way, girls weren't allowed to be Boy Scouts but both daughters joined an Explorer Post and both became Post Presidents and worked many seasons at summer camp. One is even a Woodbadger.   My whole point is that the little guyes should do little guy stuff and when they to become a Boy Scout they get to do Boy Scout stuff.  This is wholly based on my personal experience and not on some good ideas or unproven theories. 



  13. If the program isn't any fun, then nobody wants to participate.  Nobody wants to do something that is a drag, tedious, unpleasant or nasty. In other words, it isn't any fun.  The best way to keep something from being too much fun is to stop the activity before it comes to a natural end. Again this requires active and engaged adults.

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  14. 25 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    I'm not sure what you're saying here, but, ignorance isn't always bliss. Most of the time continued failures are the result of not getting enough information to succeed. Eating cereal out of the box can be fun, but learning how to prepare nutritious meals on a budget is a skill is not typical of teenagers outside of troops. My 64 year old sister confessed not to long ago that she always enjoyed me fixing breakfast when we were in high school because they were delicious. Then she asked me how I learned to cook such good meals. Well, it wasn't mom.

    There is always the struggle for us experienced scouters to teach "scout run" without crossing the line to paint a picture of a program that is "scout run into the ground." All I can say is that the troop is an adult program for developing young people into moral and ethical decision makers. Adults are simply part of the equation. That being said, outside of the troop assembly, scouts will rarely see the adults in a mature scout run program because the scouts grow and mature into adult decision makers.

    One last thing. In the last couple months, 3 young men who were scouts when I was a scouts approached me to say hello. Each are close to 40 years old with three kids the same age as my grand kids, and I didn't recognize a single one of them. Thank God that I haven't change so much yet that they didn't recognize me because my wife and I enjoyed talking to them so much. They were part of a troop that grew from 15 scouts to 100 scouts in six years. I had the reputation of the most boy run scoutmaster in the district, and that wasn't considered a complement by most scouters at the time. But, a lot of scoutmasters reached out to us for help because our troop also had more scouts over the age of 14 than in other unit (troop, Venturing, or whatever) in Oklahoma. Our program looked radical to most other leaders, but those 3 scouts that approached me the last couple of months couldn't express enough of how much fun they had in our troop.  

    So, there is a balance between letting scouts do want to do for fun, and providing enough structure and resources so the fun also develops life long skills for the next generation they raise.  


    I agree that ignorance is not bliss and the role of the adult in Scouting is to reach the goals and aims of Scouting (wich the kids just don't care about) and do it in a way that's fun.  It's just that simple.  Although the concept is simple, the methods of doing this is not and requires thought followed by action on the part of the adults.  I tell folks all of the time that I didn't learn very much from the Marines concerning living in the field.  The Marines give you your stuff, say pack it up and let's go.  Everyone is able to survive, but us old Boy Scouts knew how to be comfortable and thrive.

  15. First of all, I never suggested that Scouting should be "Just Fun".  Also, adults who want to feel good about themselves should reevaluate their role in Scouting.  Adults and youth alike participate because Scouting is fun.  If the adults aren't having fun then the aren't either.  If the kids aren't having fun then they simply quit and then the adults are  no longer needed.   It's not that hard to make planning a good menu and then shopping for food a fun activity.  It's not that hard to make cooking a great meal fun.  It's not that hard to learning about good citizenship fun.  It's not that hard to make the whole Scouting experience fun but it does take effort on the part of the adults.  If you have had the privilege of guiding a young person through their journey to Eagle, then onto adulthood and success, take a minute and ask that person what is their best memory in Scouting.  I have NEVER been told that it was the visit to City Court or learning how to create a personal budget.  Rather, they'll say something about a disastrous camping trip where everything went wrong but they had fun.  Relatively speaking, most kids have a very limited exposure to Scouting so when we have that limited time we must endeavor to provide them a fun experience that they enjoy and leave them wanting more. 

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  16. This is what I mean by adults overthinking, over evaluating, over supervising and overregulating a whole great big organization.  Much of what is stated as fact are nothing more then someone's good idea that is not based on research.  Rather, it's based on emotion and theory.  The age old question of what forms a person; environment, social standing, education, early childhood development, nuclear family, diet, etc.  By the time a child reaches Scout age much of their persona has been formed.  With everything that they are exposed to and the pressure they feel as they try to establish their own identity, what's wrong with Scouting being a positive outlet that focuses on just having fun?  

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  17. I've been around troops who had their meetings by playing basketball and it was fun.  Before they played ball they had an opening ceremony and patrol meetings where they planned their own meals without adult influence.  If they wanted bologna and Captain Crunch every meal, then that's what they had.  Has anyone ever taken kids to the grocery store and helped them shop for their food?  If not, why not?  They are expected to do things that they don't know how to do and once they know how to do it they enjoy doing it which spells FUN. 

  18. I've been around troops who had their meetings by playing basketball and it was fun.  Before they played ball they had an opening ceremony and patrol meetings where they planned their own meals without adult influence.  If they wanted bologna and Captain Crunch every meal, then that's what they had.  Has anyone ever taken kids to the grocery store and helped them shop for their food?  If not, why not?  They are expected to do things that they don't know how to do and once they know how to do it they enjoy doing it which spells FUN. 

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  19. 9 hours ago, BetterWithCheddar said:


    I liked @mrjohns2"Good Citizen" response. As a parent, that's really my number one goal - to raise a decent person who provides a net benefit to society (as opposed to being a drag on others). Everything else is a stretch goal.

    However, I think the Scout motto answers the OP's question pretty well. Scouting will eventually nudge my son out of his comfort zone when he's old enough to join Scouts BSA. Spending a weekend away from his parents and relying solely on supplies he and his troopmates packed will teach him independence and self-reliance. If he chooses to work on camp staff, he'll spend 6 weeks away from my wife and I every summer. Most successful adults have to occasionally operate outside of their comfort zones and Scouting provides a controlled environment for youth to be independent and make mistakes without serious repercussions.

    I love that, too.  And I concur with everything you say!

  20. I disagree and I don't believe that the emphasis should be on anything but fun.  Rather then make everything a lesson the adults need to focus on the fun and guide that in the direction that let's the other stuff happen.  And just exactly what's wrong with an outside play group with uniforms?

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