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Posts posted by InquisitiveScouter

  1. Dining flys, canopies, and three-sided lean-to's in the campsite immediately adjacent to dining hall.  During the afternoon/evening and into the night... Talking with one more Scout this evening to corroborate before I submit a report to council.  Thanks @qwazse for vector on the Near Miss.  Spot on.

    They were literally 200-250 feet from a dining hall that accommodates 500 people...

    More to follow...

  2. 1 minute ago, Eagle1993 said:

    Follow the rules.  I understand there are cases that are tough calls.  For example, we were at summer camp in a major storm (lightening not wind) that came on fast in the middle of the night.  We stayed in our tents and didn't evacuate as the path to evacuate was likely more dangerous than the area we were already in.  There are cases where you are out on high adventure trips where you make the best call you can.

    The case described here isn't that ... let them walk 250 feet and seek shelter.  I don't understand why they wouldn't.

    Second parent confirms same story from their Scout this morning...and that there were several Scouts who knew they shouldn't be out, but the adults told them to stay.  


  3. 7 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

    I follow the rules in scouts because they're the rules.  I have to admit I don't get very excited about them if I'm on my own.

    For instance, if in my own tent I wouldn't get up and go seek shelter in the middle of the night if my tent is holding up.

    Lightning kills 20 people a year in the US, and injures a few hundred more.  In a population of 350 million those are really miniscule numbers.  Many other things I do on a regular basis are far more dangerous.

    And your stats are misleading.  Those 350 million aren't really the sample population; they aren't outdoors in a thunderstorm.


  4. 1 minute ago, T2Eagle said:

    I follow the rules in scouts because they're the rules.  I have to admit I don't get very excited about them if I'm on my own.

    For instance, if in my own tent I wouldn't get up and go seek shelter in the middle of the night if my tent is holding up.

    Lightning kills 20 people a year in the US, and injures a few hundred more.  In a population of 350 million those are really miniscule numbers.  Many other things I do on a regular basis are far more dangerous.

    Concur.  You and I can take our own risks. 

    But, when dealing with OPK (other peoples' kids) (or your own kids, too, for that matter), the standards for duty of care, negligence, and child endangerment apply.

  5. At our Scout meeting, I talked with parents of our newest NYLT grad.  During the NYLT session last weekend, there was a strong thunderstorm.  (We live about 12 miles, as the crow flies, from the camp, and it was pretty intense here.)

    The parents told me their Scout was terrified...Scout reports that NYLT adult leaders told them to stay outdoors during the storm with visible lightning/audible thunder.  Dining hall was about 250 feet away.  The parents asked me about lightning safety precautions and why they weren't followed.  I told them I'd look into it and report.

    I will seek some additional input from our other NYLTers to corroborate, and report this to our SE in the morning.

    Any advice or experiences to share??

    These things, if true, really chap my hide, as they border on criminal...

  6. 4 hours ago, qwazse said:

    The land navigation exercise was to send the boys to things on the map that aren't there anymore.

    I love this lesson for our Scouts:  "The truth has a date and time stamp on it...especially for maps."

    • Upvote 1
  7. 42 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    It seemed our first year first campouts were rainy the first night, forcing them to set up camp in the rain. Their thorns on that campout was the rain. Two years later the rain was their best memory. I never told them that I always prayed for rain on those campouts.


    If it ain't raining, it ain't training!

    • Upvote 1
  8. 3 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

    I agree.  I have no idea why certain insurers put that into the record.  Unless there is testimony coming up that can show he lied and casts significant doubt.  I haven't watched the entire hearing, but the moments I do ... I get the sense that the certain insurers have very weak arguments to stop this plan.  One of the best witnesses they interviewed was BSA's insurance expert.  At some points, he seemed to actually correct the insurer's lawyer on how policies are written.  He showed how they pushed back on the TCC & Coalition to include insurance company language.  I think it is clear to everyone that certain insurers simply want a delay and have no legal reason ... they are just afraid of how much they are going to have to pay the trust eventually.

    I am much more sympathetic to Lujan, Guam Committee and Dumas. Lujan is a mess.  Perhaps that is because it is the middle of the night, but most of her questions are wandering and not targeted.  Occasionally, I think she starts hitting on some points but then wanders off of them.  Guam Committee is angry and spent most of yesterday on one witness ... and the bit I saw didn't seem to make many major points.

    Dumas, to me, has been one of the best and most effective lawyers objecting to the plan.  She was able to get some BSA representatives (especially the local council ad hoc guy) on their toes.  She asked if any Pacific coast state councils had representatives on the Ad Hoc committee and he said "Arizona".  She asked if Arizona was on the Pacific coast and he said ... I'm from Georgia, everything West of me is West.  She asked about Oregon, Idaho, etc. cases that were missing from analysis.  I think she is making a good case that West coast councils did not pay enough for the settlement.  Now, I think that may not delay the plan, but may hit district court.  I wouldn't be surprised if she can prove West coast (especially Oregon) underpaid to get their releases.  That may not be her goal, but the effect of her strategy.

    They are all underpaying to get their releases...  It is the only way for them to survive.  If they paid what they should, they'd be gone...

  9. 26 minutes ago, mrjohns2 said:

    It is my understanding they took a mortgage out on Philmont. So the value is in the mortgage vs the property. Not really protected, but one can only take the cash vs the land. 

    Wonder if you could buy the mortgage on Philmont?  Then, when BSA fails, claim the property.

  10. 5 hours ago, Oldscout448 said:

    I truly appreciate your reply. Although it did irk me at the first reading. Why is he telling me things that I know full well? Things that I have both taught and lived? By the third time though perhaps  I'm getting  a clearer picture. I am assuming that you have experienced people using "sash and dash" as an insult. Somehow insinuating that such are less than true Arrowmen.  I had absolutely no such intent  In fact I debated with myself on its use in the previous  post.  But as I actually first heard the phrase on this very forum , don't recall ever hearing it in the lodge and it describes rather accurately the actions of the scouts so I decided to go with it.   It was not intended in any way to insult or belittle the scouts or scouters who never come to any other chapter or lodge function.  It may well be that they are diligently and cheerfully serving in their troop, crew, post, or pack.  If so then I count them as my brother or sister in the Order.

    Until recently ( 2013 ?) there was an understanding that a sash with bars meant that the wearer  was serving in the lodge as well as his unit. "so far as I am able" But the brotherhood Obligation is no more so that's gone.   And the depressing fact remains that if no one is willing step up and serve in the chapter,, or lodge the Order will simply wither  and eventually die. 

    My sincere apologies to any I offended

    Mikemossin Wunachk


    We are kindred spirits, then.

    I am glad that climate does not exist where you are.  Please forgive me for drawing that conclusion from your post.

    I have heard this phrase repeatedly in the last two lodges I have been a member of, and it is used as a pejorative.

    Concur on your Brotherhood observations...sadly.

    In the last 10 or 15 years, I have experienced Lodges becoming more self-centered.  The focus has been on the Lodge's program and what they can do to get Arrowmen to serve that program.  I hope you agree this is a corruption of the purposes of the OA.  I firmly believe this turns a lot of Scouts and Scouters off to Lodge membership.

    We could start another post on the topic of remedies for low Lodge participation...


    • Upvote 1
  11. 2 hours ago, Oldscout448 said:

    As an ex- ceremonialist I love the new intricacies,  as an advisor who watched the 'sash and dash ' rate go from 75% to 95% in the last few years, I'm appalled. 

    Perhaps many do this because of the culture in your lodge that promotes using terms like "sash and dash"?

    I also am appalled...

    I ask you to reconsider using such a derogatory phrase toward your fellow Scouts and Arrowmen.  You say you are an "ex" ceremonialist, performer, and coach.   I believe your using this phrase reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Order of the Arrow is about. 

    The Order of the Arrow exists to serve a unit's recognition of their Scouts and the promotion of camping within the council.


    As Scouting’s National Honor Society, our purpose is to:

    • Recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives and through that recognition cause others to conduct themselves in a way that warrants similar recognition.
    • Promote camping, responsible outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship as essential components of every Scout’s experience, in the unit, year-round, and in summer camp.
    • Develop leaders with the willingness, character, spirit and ability to advance the activities of their units, our Brotherhood, Scouting, and ultimately our nation.
    • Crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.

    There is not one thing at all in there about Scouts having some obligation to serve the lodge.

    "An Arrowman’s first duty is to his unit. We must always keep in mind that a primary role of the Order of the Arrow is to strengthen units and help units to succeed, particularly in the outdoor phase of their program."  This is from your Guide for Officers and Advisors. 

    The Order of the Arrow is part of a unit program.  If the Scouts of a unit wish to bestow the honor of OA membership on one of their own, neither you nor anyone else in the lodge have diddly squat to say about it.  You are there for them...

    If, after election, a Scout wishes not to undertake the Ordeal, that is just fine.  It's his prerogative.

    If the Scout wishes to complete his Ordeal, and never do a thing to support the lodge, that is just fine, too.  Lodge membership is always a choice (through paying your annual dues first, then doing whatever else you wish as part of the lodge program.)  After completing the Ordeal, a Scout is then ALWAYS a member of the Order, whether or not he chooses to renew his membership in the lodge.

    "I will always regard the ties of brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow as lasting..."  Using the phrase "sash and dash" does not show a spirit of Brotherhood.

    In the Wimachtendienk,






  12. 1 hour ago, malraux said:

    The STEM Scouts program is already effectively dead. The rumor is that the whole of the NOVA/Supernova program going away. I'm not sure if I were to simplify the cub program if the nova program is where I'd start. While I see the need to cut some stuff out, I'm not sure how they evaluate the cost benefit of such things.

    I am a Nova and Supernova Counselor, and have been for years.  I have offered program support to our PLC, District, and Council.  In my six years in this council, only our Webelos Den worked on the Supernova, and one other Lone Cub Scout completed same.

    It is one smaller, unrequired layer of an extremely complex tapestry of Ranks, Merit Badges, and Awards.  There just isn't that much interest... 

    Guiding them on a somewhat narrower path to Eagle is about as much as most want to pursue...

    • Upvote 1
    • Ensuring two-deep leadership if circumstances dictate, speak privately and respectfully with the person demonstrating bias to coach them in how to remedy the behavior in the future.
    • Check on the recipient of the inappropriate behavior, ensuring their well-being and making sure they understand that they are valued and that the behavior they witnessed is not a Scouting value.
    • Report the incident to the Scout Executive. Even seemingly minor/resolved incidents can be offensive to recipients of the behavior and deserve to be treated as a possible violation of Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse.

    Ok, so working through this "training" atm....and I read this....

    Uh, no...I'm not going to report minor incidents, such as a Scout telling an offensive joke, to our SE as a "...possible violation of Scouting's Barriers to Abuse."

  13. 28 minutes ago, UKScouterInCA said:

    I don't think there has ever been one.

    Why? I can guess at two reasons.

    First, Philmont charges per Scout not per Crew, so unless your number goes below the minimum for a crew then there is little incentive to add strangers into your crew.

    Second, there are great options for Scouts to attend Philmont as individuals (OA Trek, Ranch Hands, Conservation Crew etc) where those opportunities don't (I think) exist at the other HA bases (except a single Opkip trip)

    Ahhh... learn something new every day!  I was under the mistaken idea that Philmont charged for crews rather than individuals.

    Thanks for the correction!

    But, there is still the minimum of 8 per crew, right? So such a resource could be helpful.

    Asking for a father-son team who wish to go (they cannot make the timing of our council contingent)...the individual opportunities are open only to youth, right? (or am I mistaken on that, too??)

  14. 1 hour ago, Better4itall said:

    Hmmmm - you're right @Fred8033, the Scout needs to drive their own advancement cadence (sometimes maddeningly) but some MB's need some placement; Swimming before Lifesaving, and in our Troop we feel that Family Life and Personal Management are much more meaningful at age 16-17 than 12-13, so some steering happens there, too.  At a minimum, the MBC can distribute the reqs and check them off, I expect a lot of that this year.  I'm hoping for insights to make it better than a TPS Report.

    Don't forget the cover sheet...hmmm...that'd be great...

    That reference is actually more applicable in another regard, as this badge is really just "flair"

  15. This practice just does not sit right with me...

    Purchasing a third-party release from liability through our judicial system at pennies (or less) on the dollar?

    Does this not remove a victim's right to due process?

    I've turned this over in my head and heart for many months.  I can find no other way to see this.  Our justice system should not operate this way.  It stinks.

    • Upvote 2
  16. 6 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

    And quite a few had a youth scouting experience which was completely adult driven and run; they are doing what they know. Quality Control in BSA is non-existent and hasn't existed for decades.

    The only apparatus I know of for this "Quality Control" and some sort of 'standardization' of program and execution would be through a Commissioners' Corps.

    This is one critical area lacking in our council...I think because the primary pool of candidates for Commissioner, those 'graduated' unit leaders, have become jaded by how crappily (is that a word?) our council is run and how our dedicated volunteers are treated with disdain...

    No one wants to join a losing team, especially when they have seen others with equal dedication join that team and just get beat down...


    • Upvote 1
  17. 1 minute ago, yknot said:

    It's a great approach but it's counter culture in a lot of units. 

    You got that right!

    But, there is loads of research touting the value of unstructured time as critical for youth development.

    • Upvote 1
  18. 29 minutes ago, yknot said:

    So true. Unfortunately there are a lot of units that have a very advancement focused, regimented culture. If you can't find time for a hike, or a couple of hikes, or for just checking out the stream or some flashlight games, something is wrong. The other thing I hate is when it becomes tailgating in the woods and no one can leave the campsite because food is the entire focus. I don't mind an occaisional camp out dedicated to cooking involved meals, or a signature fun meal or snack, but I also think if you are toting multiple coolers and apparatus into the woods every weekend you are missing out on the woods.

    One thing we have put into the Troop culture for trip planning is to block off 3 or 4 hours of 'unstructured time'  where the Scouts figure out what they want to do 'in the moment'.   All kinds of Scouting breaks out...one set of buddies builds (another) fire,  some hike, some have a rock skipping contest, flag folding, lashing, knife, ax, and saw work, rope work, some grab an older Scout or adult to work on requirements, etc, etc, etc  The only limitation is that you cannot sit around playing on a screen. 

  19. 50 minutes ago, 69RoadRunner said:

    One thing to always remember is that the rules imposed by national are created by people who don't have to live with them and make them work. They are also created by people who, in my opinion, are more focused on the big picture of keeping the organization financially solvent. That second part is definitely necessary, but it can come at the cost of frustrating the VOLUNTEERS who have to make their decisions work.

    I'm sure they will deny it, vigorously, but I don't get the impression that National and Council leadership cares much about the effects their decisions have on us or if we don't like their decisions.

    We haven't done a camporee in years because the scouts said it was the least enjoyable activity. It was the only activity I did because I had to be there, not because I wanted to. I hated being crammed together with other troops, many of whom disregarded quiet hours. Adults next to us started their breakfast at 4:30am. I really had to censor myself when I asked them what they were doing. They said their troop starts early. Fine, if you're by yourselves, go ahead. That was our last camporee.

    And if you've got some very small troop struggling to survive, support their efforts to live. But I also get the impression that national would prefer consolidation of troops into fewer, but bigger troops. Well, you're going to have to dump the dumb (IMHO) charter organization way of operating for that.

    Just my 1 cent. It's really not worth 2 cents.

    Your wisdom is worth much more🙂💪😜

    • Thanks 1
  20. This rule is ludicrous.

    To the point, as an SM, I answer to the Troop Committee Chair and the Chartered Org Rep.

    In the case of multiple units camping together, if all CORs approve, the district or council can't say squat.  This is probably the only lever that National wants the LCs to pull anyway.  If you have CO top-cover, thru your COR, you are good to go.

    So, if you have say an email chain from the three CORs approving the event, you could send that to your DE, informing them of your outing, so they know, for 'legal' purposes only.

    If your COR is not FULLY aware of the scope and program for your outings, then you have failed to 'let your boss know what you are doing'


    • Upvote 1
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