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Posts posted by Mrjeff

  1. God Bless my friend.  Someone I Know has contacted local government officials and requested financial assistance for just such activities.  These include judges, the Sheriff, Tax Commissioner, Lawyers, juvenile court officials, physicians and anyone else who has a vested interest in the community.  Someone I Know has always been successful and has always achieved Someone I Know's objective. In fact, some of these folks have special accounts and funds for these types of things.

  2. I dont know you but I have known many like you.  I would guess that you joined up because you like kids, believed in the program, and was interested in a job where you could have a positive impact on young people.  Remember I'm just guessing here. You felt that this was a great oppertunity and would be a great and rewarding job.  These are some of the reasons that I entered government service.  After several years of beating your head against a wall, being criticized and chastised despite your best efforts to succeed,  removing numerous fixed blade cutting instruments from your back, and having your decisions questioned at every turn, you find it very difficult to remember just why you signed on.  Just guessing.

  3. That my friend is "jacked up" because an organization that you dedicated yourself to was the victim of poor management, unpopular decisions and reckless  spending.  I just bet you could live well on .05 percent of the money that had been thrown into the black hole also known as The Summit Bechtel Reserve.

  4. The only reason that it is not sustainable today is because the BSA bowed down to the social principals that resulted in the loss of funding provided by big business.  As a result the precepts of the Scout Oath and law were watered down or completly ignored.  During the successful years Boy Scouts was for boys. It was available to anyone but not everyone was compatible because they did not adhere to the Scout Oath and Law.  Now the model is Scouting is everything for everyone, everybody should be able to do whatever, however, and whenever and get a prize for doing it.  If it's hard, let's make it easy, because we dont want to upset anyone. Proficiency in Scouting skills really doesnt matter and as long as some imaginary life lesson is learned the mission was completed.  Obviously the current sustainable model for today has failed.  Programs for younger and younger children were developed, first came the Tigers for little boys, then came the Lions.  When all else failed, membership had declined, people just quit, chartered organizations left, the LDS church had enough, and financial ruin loomed, the Boy Scouts attempted to save themselves by allowing young ladies to participate in all programs.  What a success story, Philmont is mortgaged,  Sea Base is mortgaged,  membership is still down, participation is low, the famous Summitt Bechtel Reserve is bleeding money and will never be able to recover the losses, and even the youth membership fees were doubled.  What a great sustainable model, and grand record of success!

    and this obviously doesnt work.

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  5. This really is not very complicated. The charterd organization owns the unit and it IS their responsibility to recruit adult leadership.  The adult leadership KNOW that they represent the charterd organization and MUST abide by the dictates of the charterd organization AND the BSA.  After that it gets even easier, the adult leaders provide a leadership and program model that is strictly governed by the Scout Oath and the Scout Law.  That's it...


    Advancement has gotten ridiculous.  Tenderfoot focused on learning about Scouting, Second Class focused on hiking and getting outside, First Class focused on camping and camping skills.  It was the goal of every Scoutmaster that EVERY Scout achieved First Class. After that it was the responsibility of THE SCOUT to advance to Star, Life, and Eagle.  Cub Scouts were not permitted to camp except for an occasional trip to a council event or when the Webelos camped with a troop.  Now, Cubs camp all of the time which reduces their interest in participating in the Boy Scout program.  Brand new scouts go to merit badge clinics where they can earn every merit badge without ever learning about Scouting or developing the outdoor skills needed to be scouts.  The current leadership requirements are little more then sewing a patch on their uniform.  This results in untrained, unskilled, and unmotivated young people coming before an Eagle board and being awarded the once prestigious award of Eagle Scout.  Then the same individual "Eagles Out" and really hasn't accomplished much.  In some cases these young people then join the military and proclaim that they are an Eagle Scout.  This is where their difficulties begin because they are EXPECTED to have had some leadership experience, outdoor skills, and the ability to be self reliant.   Where does the blaim fall ?  Not on the kid that just "slimed" their way through but on the adults who let this happen, and the current BSA policies and program that made it available.  I realise that this isn't ALWAYS the case but it happens all too often.  I had the privilege of working with a very successful and competent young man who traveled around the country, located merit badge counselors,  and earned every merit badge offered by the BSA.  He is just one example of a young man who truly is an Eagle Scout.  There are many of these, there are many of the other kind, too.  I think it would be great if the program, including advancement, were to return to the ways of bygone years and make the Scouting program something to be proud of.  I know this will never happen and the BSA is a direct reflection of what our society has become, good or not so good.  This is my opinion and just that.

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  6. Again, wow.  One post referred to a leader being "dismissed for noncompliance "...what does that mean?  Compliance to what...I know of no policy, rule, directive, law, or constitutional provisions that says "ye most leave thy abode and travel into thy lands and peddle the fruit of the corn".  Commissioners,  for the most part they are as rare as jackalopes.  All the discussion about being ruled by some official or the idea that people have some form of authority or jurisdiction over other people is laughable.   The only way to absolutly control people is to control their money or their freedom.  It certenly is in the best interest of an individual leader to be familure with Scouting rules, guidelines, and policies relative the program area in which they are working.  But to think that anyone can compel someone to comply is unrealistic.  People will do what they want to do.  I remember the SPL taking kids on a hike; open showers; smoking; pit toilets; sheath knives, and the gradual changes that removed these things from the Scouting program.  Units are going to do whatever the unit leaders are comfortable with no matter what the rules say.  That's fact, that's how things really work and the whole idea of the BSA Security and Enforcement Branch is rather laughable. 

  7. Wow, I was the SM for a troop that was also sponsored by FUMC, and what a pleasure that was.  We could also use their van nearly always and we also had access to their bus. Our COR was a former SM and a good friend and Scouter.  Anyone who is with a FUMC unit will never have to worry about their support, and are blessed to have that accociation.  Our Venture Crew is sponsored by an Episcopalian church and they are also wonderful and consider the crew as part of their outreach ministry.





  8. I personally think that way too much emphasis has been placed on "character building " and " lesson teaching" anyway. I have never heard a youngster say that they joined scouts to "have their character built" or to "learn the lessons of life".  Way too much time and money has been wasted developing a bunch of academic bu*&l s&#t that should just flow naturally in conjunction with a fun outdoor program.  You want to teach "fairness", just have a string burning contest. You want to teach self reliance, just keep your fat adult nose out of their camp planning  and have the brass to let them suffer through two nights of of a camping trip.  Academics and school house  techniques have little place in Scouting, but it is the EASY way to be a scout leader.  The proof is in the pudding.  I have seen scOUTing become shINing over the past several years and this automated  and academic program has failed.  The fact that these ideas are reflected in our adult training (Woodbadge) certenly doesn't help our cause.



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  9. Hey, these are certenly unique ideas.  Wow, let the CO be responsible or take the CO out of the picture and allow a BSA Committee dictate how the units are administered.  Chop the OA or turn it into some kind of money making labor force. Get rid of the classic BSA uniform or just wear polo shirts. Why have ranks at all and and just give everybody recognition.  Scout handbooks?  That's a preposterous idea since EVERYTHING is automated and can be accesse5on line.   Campgrounds and Scout Reservations are outdated and expensive, how about just creating a virtual world where you can go on a camp out without leaving your home.  How about Jamborees?  Wow the money that can be saved if we just have virtual Jamborees.   What are the "sacred cows "? Philmont, Sea Base, Northern Tier,  the Summit,  The OA, Exploring, Venturing, Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Commissioners, Executives................Maybe, just maybe, the kids who are members of the orginization should be asked what THEY want.  They weren't asked a few years ago about all of the changes made by some national committee that has resulted in our current state of affairs.  This is just food for thought.

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  10. Inspections, in my opinion, are useless formalities. If a real inspection is to be done let a government agency inspect and then be done with it.  Every time I read a BSA publication outlining any standard or rule I can't help wonder how much somebody got paid to come up with this b#%l s@*t.  This is the same with the training material that is constantly re chewed and spit back out of someone else's mouth.  How much is being spent to rehash NYLT, Woodbadge, Basic Outdoor Leadership Skills, Youth Protection, or how many scrappers per person are needed.  Believe me, because have been there, theold "Corner Stone" and Wood Badge of years ago presents the same material as the training we have today, in a different way. Regardless of who says what or what the rules and policies state, people are going to do what they want to do.  The only way to control what people do is by taking away their freedom or their money.  Any other method of control rests on the individual allowing themselves to be controlled.  This is simply reality.  As far as inspections go, with a little work, anything can look good, even if it's rotten on the inside.

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  11. I think the reason is just another attempt to control an organization while shouldering none of the responsiblity.  If the BSA uses an outside inspection system and something goes wrong then it is the responsibility and fault of the outside agency. State, national, county, and private campgrounds dont go to the ridiculous measures that the BSA goes to.  To me this is just another example of well intentioned people making a lot of money sitting around throwing out a bunch of good ideas without having to consider the reality or consequences of these ideas.

  12. I also remember when the position of staff advisor didn't exist and I just don't think that every multi unit event needs a staff advisor.  If one is assigned they should only be responsible for paying the bills and leave the programming to the dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers.  Again, let's boil things down to reality, if parents trust the volunteer scout leader to take charge of their children and take them to Scouting activities, those same volunteers can certenly plan, arrange, and carry out multi unit events.  Also, I have participated in A LOT of training and it is mainly the same pot of stew, rehashed.  The only thing that changes are the mechanics, and never the content.  Rather then cover theoretical leadership principles that may or may not work; and only reflect the best ideas of the day and are provided by a few a few people on a committee, Scouters should be given, pertinent,  and up to date information that they can use. For example, how to recharter a unit; the merit badge system, what needs to be done if an emergency occurs (and I don't mean first aid); how to file a BSA insurance claim; the purpose of a board of review.......real world information that nobody ever talks about. This is what I would like to see. 

  13. It has been a while since I was involved in the Cub Scout program. Cubs didn't go on camping trips or participate is Boy Scout activities, and I realize that there was a very minimal camping requirement for Arrow of Light.  I think that one very big issue with declining membership is that now there is nothing for the Cubs to look forward to.  They have camped, hiked.....for several years and when they cross into Boy Scouts there is no adventure and they are just burned out with Scouting. Or, they are recruited with grand expectations which don't materialize and they just quit.  When this happens we will never see them in a Scout Troop.  This is not a theory, it's a fact and our terraible retention numbers prove it.

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  14. I'm sure that works in some places, especially if the individual council is in trouble and local board doesnt protest.  But I also think that the publicity generated by an obvious hostile takeover would absolutly destroy any possibility of ever having a scouting program in that area.  The local board members have a lot of contacts which include major donors.  If that board and respective councils goes away under negative circumstances so does the money and once it's gone it probably won't ever come back.

  15. Let's boil this down a little more.   If First Baptist Church, Anywhere USA, wants to sponsor a Scout Troop, thay are going to sponsor a troop and the leaders and members are going to march to the best of the First Baptist Church.  The BSA is not going to interfere as long as the dots are dotted and the fees are paid.  That's reality.  If a local council, with its local executive board of local community leaders, businessmen,  and dedicated volunteers do not want to merge, then they aren't going to merge.  That's reality.  I think that the units should run their program and the councils need to support the units.  The bottom line is that people have lost sight of the fact that Scouting is for kids to get together and have some fun doing it.  If anyone has been around long enough you will remember that when a scout reached first class, they were at the top of the heap and anything else was iceing on the cake.  In fact if a scout earned "Star" they were referred to as "A first class scout who earned xxx merit badges" and so through to Eagle.  If there are any "Traveling Men" reading this who are also OA members you know exactly where the OA got its beginnings and it wasn't from some national committee making up policy and rules.  If Scouting is going to be successful the focus needs to go back to the young people and all of the extra malarkey needs to be flushed down the toilet.

  16. I'm not talking about what happens if a council loses its charter.  I said that it's up to the local council executive boards weather or not a council should merge or be incorporated into another council.  This is especially true since the BSA made the public statement that they did not own the councils.  If the BSA, which is a wasteful and redundant organization were to try and force a merger onto a council that refused to merge, it would cause such a s$@t storm, local support including the money, would completly disappear in that area.  

  17. Wow,wow,wow!!!  I couldn't agree more.   Scouting is not a classroom and is not done is a classroom setting.  Your observations are spot on.  Merit badges provide kids with an introduction to a wide world of subjects taught by subject matter experts.  These experts don't need the latest technological teaching aids.  The mb councilor covers the requirements and ensures that the scout has completed the requirements, no more and no less.  Merit badges used to require a scout to locate a councilor, call him/her and make an appointment, go to the appointment, and complete the merit badge.  Youth protection guidelines make this a little challenging,  but that's not the subject here.  This actually helped prepare the scout for real life where these skills can be applied to job applications, interviews,  and presenting material to people they may not know.  Somewhere some committee has skewed and reversed this process and has focused on the teaching aspect rather then the learning.  I don't think that one required merit badge should be offered at a merit badge university because the groups are too big and each scout can not possibly complete every requirement.  Often times a badge is awarded just for showing up. For a personal example, kids who show up with a budget earn personal management in one or two one hour sessions because the requirements are just reviewed and briefly mentioned.  I deliberately would not allow my grandson to complete this merit badge in this way.  I drove him 50 miles to a reputable councilor who had him come back 4 times,  was that was 4 100mile round trips, that's 400 miles.  He EARNED that badge.  I even heard one ASM make the statement "why bother, my son gen get all the required merit badges at merit badge university".  I also agree that PLs, ASPLs, SPLs, Troop Guides, and Instructors should be "signing the books" and they should be using the well publicized EDGE method to do it!  We need to put the outdoor world back into Scouting, get out of the classroom, and let our troop leaders LEAD and not just wear a patch.

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  18. How many times does "the program" have to be rewritten? How many times does Wood Badge" have to be rewritten? There's an old saying "If it ain't broke dont fix it" and I agree with that idea. Let the council work with the units to deliver whatever program meets the needs of the unit and national, which does not own the councils, worry about supply and logistics, and take care of whatever property they own after this debacle is over and keep their hands out of the local council business.

  19. Absolutly no tests associated with merit badges.  If properly completed and all of the requirements are fully reviewed and completed the educational aspect will be completed.  I have seen the whole merit badge system watered down, skimmed over and viewed as just another thing that needs to be done to get to eagle.  I dont think that any required merit badges should be offered at merit badge universities.  The "classes" are usually filled to copacity and are way to large.  Citizenship in the Nation is one of those that must be done in a small group in order to complete it properly.  Merit badges are not just a means to an end, and the kids have enough testing at school that it shouldn't be part of scouting.  Being a merit badge councilor is a great oppertunity for a subject matter expert to introduce young people to a subject in a fun and interactive subject without the added pressure of a written test.  While working with kids on the traffic safety merit badge I gave them the opportunity to take a mock drivers license test but this was voluntary and had nothing to do with earning the merit badge, although most wanted to so they could see what the test was like before getting their license.

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  20. Thank you for your long time service and for posting numerous times expressing your opinion; and having numerous replies.  That does not change the fact that these decisions are the responsibility of the local executive board, and not an organization.  In reality, as a result of current affairs, it's up to each council to sink or swim without the hope of a life line.  I would also remind you that many council properties have a provision wherein if there is ever a change in ownership the property will revert to the previous owner or their descendants. Thank you for serving as a Scoutmaster as well as all of the other positions over the past 30 years.

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  21. By camp operations I guess you're talking about long term camping.  A long term camp must pay for itself.  If the camping program can't pay for itself then long term camping is not an option.  That does make it a little harder for unit leaders to get their kids to summer camp but it really isn't hard to find someplace to go.  That doesn't mean that every camp that doesnt host a summer camp should be sold or given away.  As long as a particular property is not losing money, leave it alone and have it available for council and unit events.  The money comes from FOS, local patrons and donors,  and camp usage fees.  Again, this all comes under the purview of the local council executive board.

  22. OK, one more time, the BSA does NOT own the individual councils.  Each council has their own executive board which includes a finance chairman and a properties chairman.   The BSA is not responsible for the infrastructure of the locally owned council camps.  That is the responsibility of the local council executive boards.  Not "National" , not the regions or the areas, and certenly not neighboring councils.  Selling, closing, transferring, or other uses is the responsibility of the local executive board. What happens as a result of court orders concerning the bankruptcy remains to be seen, but otherwise the local executive boards make these decisions.

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