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willray

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willray last won the day on May 11

willray had the most liked content!

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About willray

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    Senior Member

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Columbus, Ohio
  • Occupation
    Your friendly neighborhood physics professor
  • Interests
    Never met much that didn't interest me, other than Accountants and Lawyers
  • Biography
    I've changed a few diapers, butchered chickens and the occasional squirrel, designed and built buildings, written some sonnets, balanced accounts, built short and tall walls, set a bone, did a poor job of comforting the dying, I take orders ok, give orders better, cooperate with cooperative people, go around the uncooperative when necessary, I've got a Math degree, several patents, a farm, and another degree in Computer Science, people seem to like my Chili, Im not much for fighting, but less for losing, and when I died they tell me I thought it was amusing. I'm still working on the invasion plan.

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  1. willray

    Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

    You have my sincerest wishes that your troop remains unsullied by anything similar, and I certainly hope we figure out how to navigate these things ourselves! We're about as racially, socioeconomically, culturally and special-needs diverse as it's possible to be with 12 scouts, and we simply did not see some of these things coming. Then Friday night, "boom"... Still, I'd do it again, and I think all of the girls would too, so we'll figure it out eventually!
  2. willray

    Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

    I would guess some of it is online gaming culture - certainly there was a kerfuffle here a couple months ago over some scouts use of what was almost certainly online-gaming-derived slang, that they probably didn't even completely understand, so that ugliness is definitely leaking into real-world behavior. Some of it is also, I suspect, "just" a result of mixing groups from wildly different socioeconomic and cultural groups, and differences between accepted social norms. As a result, I expect there are going to be some "interesting" challenges in addressing this.
  3. willray

    Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

    I honestly was not expecting most of this from our troop. In many respects they are "boy like" in their approach to challenges (or, perhaps like what we'd like the boys to be like 🙂 ) but despite this, they blind-sided us on some of these. Our primary on-camp leaders were female, but unfortunately were also completely surprised by, and initially blind to some of the shenanigans. There are other things our girls got oh-so-right, and it was a delight to get to watch them just completely own some things that really challenge the boys, but there are definitely places where we're hitting "wow, I've never had a reason to even worry about that being an issue" moments. I'm curious about the age of the girls in your troop. We've a pretty wide spread, 11 to 17, but our strongest personalities are in the 11-13 range, so that may play into things somewhat.
  4. willray

    Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

    Unfortunately, while I am overall pleased with how our Girls' Troop did at summer camp, we experienced a variety of challenges that I suppose I should have foreseen. Please don't construe my itemization of these as condemnation of girls in BSA, but I do believe we need to think realistically about how to best deal with some things that I, and I suspect many other "early adopters" were hoping would somehow turn out to not be issues: 1: "Boys will be boys". There were apparently multiple instances of "I've gotta f*** me some white b*****s" displays of vulgarity aimed at our girls, and from what I understand, similarly-inappropriate-from-seven-different-directions comments aimed in the opposite racial direction towards girls in another one of the attending Girls' Troops. Some of this, I lay at the feet of that !@#$%^& ga-ga ball pit. If any other feature of camp, so reliably brought out absolutely horrible behavior like that thing does, it would be banned from camp in 15 minutes. Our camp has had knife-fights break out over ga-ga ball. One of the camp's most beloved counselors was attacked and his uniform ripped off and slashed to shreds over ga-ga ball. Now we've got racial bullying and sexual harassment being weaponized as play strategy. (doubly unfortunately, this is going to be held up by some of our parents as a reason to segregate the girls into girls-only camps, and create a girl-customized program for them...) The ga-ga ball pit aside, camps need a better response strategy to the sexual and racial BS, and probably a better camp-intro canned "You get one warning about scout-inappropriate behavior that will not be permitted. This that warning..." speech, regarding appropriate behavior and respect for all participants. 2: "drama, drama, drama". Somehow, having raised a mostly drama-free daughter (yeah, don't ask me how I apparently dodged that bullet - until 2 weeks ago, I had no clue what I was "missing"!), I was unaware of just how quickly "drama drama drama" happens in the teenage girl and boy world. We had screaming and crying matches between girls over who was working with which counselor. We had suicide-pact love letters from boys in other troops. We had very little sleep... I'm hopeful that we can curtail a lot of this with simply more and better pre-camp training and emphasis about scout-appropriate behavior at camp. Unfortunately I suspect that hope is delusional. Maybe the hive mind has had more sleep, and has better and better-tested ideas than I do on that one! 3: Spiders. Wow. Anyone who has been to summer camp knows that 10% of the new boys will be terrified of spiders and put up a huge fight over going into their tents on Sunday night. By Wednesday they will have given the spiders names, and by Friday will be depressed if one of the regular inhabitants "gets lost". With girls, at least our girls, it went the other way around. Sunday, we had two girls afraid of spiders, and by Friday, we had 9. I think it's an ego vs empathy thing. With the boys, I think there's an ego-based pressure to not be the lone kid standing in the middle of camp crying about spiders when everyone else has gone to bed. With the girls, I think there's an empathy based pressure to not be the kid who goes to bed, when there's someone standing in the middle of camp crying about spiders. We've got some learning to do, to develop new strategies for working with this hitherto-alien mindset... Other than those issues, our troop did ok. I saw a huge amount of personal growth in almost all of them, so on balance the experience was definitely positive. We certainly have some discrete challenges however that are going to mandate some serious thought!
  5. I am dorry, but the scout in question has engaged in a very public media campaign to pursue her agenda, including government involvement. She had also quite vocally made this about BSA owing _her_ the first Eagle. Were she campaigning for everyone who had ever completed the requirements for Eagle outside the program, to be awarded Eagle “now”, the discussion would be different. To ignore the name of the individual who has made this blatantly public and blatantly about HERSELF, and to ignore the plain words that express these actions, is silliness.
  6. And just in case this gets lost in the discussion - please don’t misunderstand me as having anything against BSA permitting girls into the organization. If you read back a bit, I have a girls’ troop of my own, of whom I am immensely proud. I think Miss Ireland is doing a huge disservice to the girls who are actually, in a scoutlike manner, being obedient to the rules. She had made this about HER, which is the antithesis of scoutlike behavior. Above and beyond the bending of the rules, the biggest reason she should not be permitted to be “the first female eagle”, is precisely because she so vocally wants to be.
  7. Yes, I am saying that the BSA did not permit US citizen girls to work abroad towards advancement in BSA troops, until they permitted said girls to work towards advancement in domestic BSA troops. it seems crystal clear that National meant exactly what they said in the guide to advancement: US members of US troops could work towards BSA advancement in foreign units. Foreign scouts in the US could credit work in their home organization to BSA advancement in US troops. There is no language suggesting that US citizen non-members of US troops could claim advancement credit in US troops through membership and work in a foreign unit. This is no different than the lack of language suggesting that girls who earned rank advancement in the Girl Scouts could apply it to BSA advancement, and the lack of language suggesting that sea-scout Quartermasters should also receive Eagle. They didn’t omit it because they didn’t think of it, they omitted it because it wasn’t an intended path to the rank.
  8. I hate to be rude, but apparently what you are missing is reading the rules for advancement. The rules define the process crediting foreign advancement work to an American citizen abroad, who is enrolled as a member of a BSA troop. Miss Ireland was not enrolled as a member of a BSA troop.
  9. Absolutely. The path for advancement for citizens is, and was always, defined. The path for citizens enrolled in BSA to have work conducted while abroad counted towards advancement is and was also defined. Miss Ireland has followed none of these.
  10. It seems like everything has gone wrong, since Canada came along...
  11. willray

    Adult led and youth led

    It's the ones that seem to be trying really hard not to lead, but that seem incapable of not attracting a following, that I find fascinating. It would absolutely be a real beast of an analysis to tease out the "learned from osmosis" stuff from innate ability, but that would be half the fun.
  12. willray

    Adult led and youth led

    I am curious, whether in your experience you feel that this leadership skill seems to "run in families". While I can't put a percentage on it, it occurs to me that I know a few kids whose fathers appear to be natural leaders, and even if the kids try rather hard not to be leaders, they still end up with a patrol/patrol-like group following them around. (kids here, because these aren't all scouts). On the other hand, I know a few kids whose parents are dreadful leaders, and it sure seems like no amount of coaching is ever going to raise them to anything better than mediocre at leadership. My day job, or at least a part of it, involves trying to tease the genetic "nature vs nurture" out of similar questions, and this one had never occurred to me to think about trying to analyze.
  13. willray

    Camping MB and long-term camp

    Ah, I guess I was thinking "high adventure" in terms of most of what our troop does, rather than "high adventure takeout"... We occasionally do Seabase, but do a lot more "Hit a National Park/some navigable waterway/etc with backpacks and head for the backcountry sites". In reality, of course, it's something that would almost never come up, but I'd think I'd feel a bit strange telling a scout "Sorry Tom, you and Tim went on all the same trips, but Tim bailed on each of them after the 2nd day, so he's going to earn this MB. If you wanted to earn it, you shouldn't have camped so much".
  14. willray

    Camping MB and long-term camp

    Ah, I'm not dismissive of the blog, and I've certainly found lots of wisdom there. It is, however, a "one person's (well reasoned) thoughts" presentation, rather than policy, and to quote it as such would be a mistake. This would also not be the first time when it was either slightly oversimplified, or not-quite-right regarding actual policy. One of the more problematic examples is Bryan's muddying-the-water "clarifications" on 2-deep vs no-1-on-1 in https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2018/01/19/whats-the-difference-between-two-deep-leadership-and-no-one-on-one-contact/ , where he implies that there need to be at least 2 adults present to avoid "one on one". Absolutely agree. I'm not a Camping MBC, but for those badges where I am, I think it's important to understand what experiences the requirements are attempting to elicit out of the scouts. Ambiguity should not be resolved in terms of enabling scouts to skirt intended experiences by virtue of clever word interpretation. At the same time, word interpretation should not be used to bar a scout from counting an experience that was clearly within the intent. If I was a Camping MBC, I don't think I'd be telling a scout who went on 20+ week-long high-adventure backpacking trips "sorry, you can only count one of those - if only you had climbed in a car a day earlier on the others, they'd have all counted".
  15. willray

    Camping MB and long-term camp

    Thread necromancy here, just to point something out should anyone be searching for clarity in the future: The guidance is in a magazine. It is one person's opinion, it is not policy. Policy is in the merit badge book and requirements, and satisfaction of them is to be negotiated by the scout and MBC to the best of their ability. Personally, I think the guidance in scoutingmagazine is wrong, or at least incomplete. I believe the intent of the requirement is to say "we want you to go camping a lot, not just a couple long camping trips". I believe it is also trying to capture "typical long trips like summer-camp are a different kind of camping, and we don't want more than one of those counted". I strongly suspect the intent of the "50 milers are long-term camping" guidance, is addressing the "we want you to go on many different camping adventures", NOT the "summer camp isn't like real camping" aspect of the requirement. The way the guidance is written, if a scout went on a week-long camping trip every other week, every week of the year, every year that they were in scouting (not completely impossible, for a home-schooled kid, and I actually know some semi-nomadic craftsperson families where they actually come close to this), the "guidance" would result in them only having credit for 6 nights of camping. I really don't think the requirements were intended to tell that scout "really, you should camp less". Don't use the vagueness of the requirement to let a scout do less than the requirement intended, but don't punish a scout for doing more than the requirements either.
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