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Everything posted by willray

  1. 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. 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. 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
  4. 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,
  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 sh
  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
  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. 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. 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.
  13. 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. 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 th
  15. 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 "typic
  16. You pose such interesting questions. I'll be interested to see what others think, and to see whether my thinking changes as I puzzle about this more. I have the feeling that there's something here I can use to shine light on some problems I observed between my two troops this weekend. I'll make a first proposition that the cons are almost completely circumscribed by the observation that joining a troop creates more opportunities for damaging loss of autonomy and conflict. Even in a troop composed of similarly free-range patrols, the more cooks there are, the more chance for spoiling
  17. I don't mind that she has expressed interest, but I would like to think that if someone put her interest in a proper context, she would see that it's inappropriate to the entire ethos of attaining the rank of Eagle. And I agree, a bit of ambition is not a bad thing. Ambition big enough to prioritize yourself far above the needs of others, to the point of engaging in legal action to attempt to accomplish this, is the antithesis of servant leadership.
  18. Unfortunately, while this is true for the Boys, it is not true for the Girls. This is why National has decided that there will be no "first female Eagle", and instead has decided to have a uniform BOR date for the initial "class" of female Eagles. To make an exception for one scout who happens to have an exceptionally powerful PR apparatus, is an insult to all the other young women who have been excellent scouts in everything but registration status over the past 100 years. The fact that being "first" matters to Miss Ireland, is, unfortunately, probably one of the most sound reasons to
  19. No, not at all. It's telling her that the experience of others is not less meaningful than hers. By pushing to be first she is attempting to declare that her experience is more valuable and worthy than theirs. I am wondering whether she knows this. The fact that she's probably better qualified than some of the boys receiving Eagle, says nothing about whether it's appropriate for her to jump to the head of the line. I see a whole lot of scouts who wear the patch, but never earned the rank.
  20. And I'll add, what about the key term "foreign Scout" in the following paragraph. This seems to additionally cement the intent of that section to scouts who are not US citizens. That being said, I am torn. If a male scout in the US had joined a troop in the US, in 2014, then his parents moved elsewhere and he participated in another country's scouting organization and then moved back here in 2019 and applied to have that experience transferred to back to his US unit, I don't think there'd be any question in my mind about whether that was appropriate. I know that's not exactly Miss Ire
  21. The guide to awards and insignia says only that "handicraft" slides made by youth, may be worn instead of official slides. The restriction on the woodbadge slide is a restriction on the woodbadge slide, and there nowhere appears any restriction on "things kinda like" woodbadge slides. So yes, a different turk's head would be find. Even a 3-lead 4-bight turks head, made by a scout out of similar-looking materials, would probably be fine. Wearing an official WB woggle would not be fine.
  22. Coming to this late, but since I'm having this discussion with some people in my troops at the moment: Really, you can have them go back and read practically anything of early scouting by BP or Green Bar Bill, however, there's a lot to read, and it's the general gestalt that they're trying to get. More importantly, get them to read the Mission, Vision and Aims of Scouting ( https://troopleader.scouting.org/scoutings-aims-and-methods/ ) Nothing in the mission/etc is about learning to tie knots, set up tents, or identify plants. The reason that nothing in the mission/etc is a
  23. Thank you for the clarification - that's heartening to hear ( and everyone says National can't get anything right! 🙂 ) It gives me some hope that the girls in my council who magically were "First Class" in February, would also be asked to actually earn the ranks as written if someone pushed the issue. And it makes me a little more comfortable in my admonition to our girls that they should not be too envious of others who have deprived themselves of the real benefits and opportunities of the rank advancement system.
  24. ... Clarification please - Are you saying that short-cuts don't (legitimately) exist, or, that somehow the shortcut was not a shortcut?
  25. I will ask again - is there any legitimate mechanism that you can suggest, that is available to all scouts, that would enable a scout to legitimately wear the Life patch, within a month of their first enrollment as a Scout in BSA? I see nothing in the rank requirements that would allow a scout to apply experiences prior to their joining any troop, to advancement in Scouts BSA. Were it so, we would have numerous cubs joining at First Class rank or higher. I am 100% behind the idea that girls with the appropriate interests can benefit as much from the ideals of scouting, through the m
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