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Posts posted by InquisitiveScouter

  1. 4 hours ago, qwazse said:

    Glad someone got a laugh. But for anyone who wants to take this seriously …

    One line of thinking is that this rechartering delay is an adult debacle. So, indeed, if the scouts pull of their camp out, even if it’s essentially under the auspices of he CO with no help from BSA, they should be recognized for it. And chances are, your council advancement committee would agree.

    On the other hand, when I was a kid, campouts — especially in winter — were just for fun as @MattR described. If you told me the night would not meet the “under the auspices of BSA” requirement as written, I’d still show up with my pack ready to go. Given what I now know about about the current training that the Catholic Church requires of their volunteers, I’d be happy to send my kid on an overnight with their youth group.

    Hopefully you’ll hear back from the council’s registrar and all of this will be a non issue.

    But, if requirements for advancement are malleable rules “written by second graders”, why let 6th graders pursue the award at all?

    Yes, the only thing I think would bring it to a full stop is a Cease and Desist Letter from council...then you are officially no longer under the auspices.

    I totally agree with you: never let the adult side of things hold a Scout back from advancement...

  2. On 1/14/2022 at 9:09 AM, InquisitiveScouter said:

    Ours just went through yesterday.  We have a charter until 31 Dec 2022!  Now, I'll ask if our charter agreement has actually been signed for the year?  (Since our unit has unilaterally handled the last four years doing this [coordinating all signatures on the document and delivering it to council], my sense is we will have to do it again this year...)  

    Nope, no signed Annual Charter Agreement.  I'll run one around for signatures, just so our CO is covered.  This is the document that binds the BSA to cover the CO with insurance.

    So, do your registrars issue you a unit charter without having this form completed?


    Ours has for the past five years...



  3. On 1/15/2022 at 5:10 PM, MattR said:

    Well, when salary has to be made every 2 weeks and camp can sit for 9 months, it's easy to see why this happens. I'm sure it's easy to get addicted to donations. From '45 to the late 60's I'm sure they got all they asked for. But that gravy train is long gone. And yet the culture of rewards is still based on donations. In the meantime, there are fewer volunteers with less outdoor knowledge that need more help in order to deliver a better program.

    That's a lot of change needed.

    As implied above, the real challenge is getting leadership to see that the leadership isn't working. Who wants to admit that their leadership is dragging the organization down? ... that their way of doing things hasn't changed much for the better in a very long time? While I've been fine with the membership changes I've never really thought they were going to make a big change in numbers. The BSA leadership was absolutely convinced the changes would solve all their problems. I was hopeful when Mosby was made head honcho but it's been crickets since then.

    I'm not sure there is anyone that understands all the issues and has the authority to change things. At least not yet. My guess is that there are a few on the national board that know all about these issues but until the rest of the leadership is willing to listen it's just wishful thinking.

    You are right on the money...and sometimes I think that is why we need the "creative destruction" of a Chapter 7.

  4. 5 minutes ago, clarkbear said:

    Asking for an Eagle Scout if their hours worked on their own Eagle project also may count to other awards, and in this particular case, the National Outdoor Achievement  Award - Conservation Emblem. Assuming his project was conservation related, is there a problem with his hours counting toward this award? Or should all his work on his Eagle project not be used for any other scouting awards?

    Absolutely you can double count.  Unless the requirements specifically say otherwise.

    Also, since the project was conservation related, he could use it to fulfill requirements for the Distinguished Conservation Service Award. 


    • Like 1
  5. 52 minutes ago, SiouxRanger said:

    Well, I guess it just it depends on who is doing the counting.

    And, frankly, your comment is just obtuse.

    I cannot adhere to rules prescribed for third graders which were written by second graders (National 



    I took it as a joke.  @qwazse?

  6. 1 hour ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    It supposed to be in the upper 30 to low 40s all day Saturday with 30 mph winds and maybe getting down in the teens at night.  

    Sounds wonderful!  No bugs, fewer other campers, and a good chilly night to sleep 😜

    Hope your other outing goes well...  

  7. 19 hours ago, qwazse said:

    @InquisitiveScouter, ours seems to have gone through. But, maybe because we were merging troops (again) this year and transferring a lot of scouts, we got pushed through. We made sure clearances were well organized three months ago.

    I haven't seen a certificate yet, but that's not much of a surprise. The transferred scouts are now visible to us, so something worked.

    Ours just went through yesterday.  We have a charter until 31 Dec 2022!  Now, I'll ask if our charter agreement has actually been signed for the year?  (Since our unit has unilaterally handled the last four years doing this [coordinating all signatures on the document and delivering it to council], my sense is we will have to do it again this year...)  

  8. 1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:


    My unit is in paperwork limbo. Everything has been turned in, and money has been attempted to be paid. but something in the online system is not allowing it to go through. To make matters worse, only the 2021 key 3 have access to the online system, and they are unavailable at this time. Hence why we got new Key 3.


    58 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

    We are also stuck with the money issue.  One issue is the online system is going to charge adults in multiple units multiple times.  We are just going to pay and then get refunds later.  A bit of a mess.

    Our registrar is struggling with the "new" system.  It was all supposed to be done electronically.  But, in PA, the registrar must verify PA volunteer clearances are up to date for the entire adult roster before approving the recharter.  However, the registrar cannot see the "future" roster until she approves it.   Catch-22, so they had to go back to all the units and ask for a roster for rechartering, outside the electronic system.

  9. And please, for the love of all that is Scouting, make him pack his own gear!  You can go through the Scout Handbook checklist with him to guide him, but please make him pack it.

    And starting today, after school & homework, have him gather at least about a third of his stuff  ... if he waits until the last minute (Friday after school) , there will be problems for both of you.

    Windy and chilly in your area this weekend.  Lows in the high 20's.  Hats, gloves, and layers are a must.  Don't know if you two are used to those temps.  Is his sleeping bag good for that?  And a final trick...use a wide-mouth Nalgene filled with hot water as a hot water bottle in the bottom of the sleeping bag.  He'll literally be a bug in a rug 😜

    And congratulations, Dad (?)!  Mine got his driver's license yesterday, and I bought him a celebratory milkshake (his favorite).  Celebrate those milestones!!  Have a short parent-son treat on Sunday when he returns home. 

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 2
  10. 1 hour ago, Eagle1993 said:

    Similar for my council.  For Scouts BSA, less of an issue; however, would definitely impact camporees ... so definitely a negative impact but perhaps managable for strong Troops.  For Cub Scouts, losing local council camps, can kill their camping program.  What I was told, for Cub Scouts, is the idea of buying a large warehouse location that could be used for scout offices and a Cub Scout camp (indoors).   Indoor tents?, climbing walls?, trout pond?  Not exactly sure as it was a rumor.  

    They could call it Cubela's!!


  11. 15 hours ago, Armymutt said:

    My grand plans for sustaining the growth in my Pack are coming to a halt.  Friday I found out that the Army has decided that I need to move to a different job than I planned to take this summer.  The new one is 9 hours away.  Depending on many factors, I'll be there by myself and my wife will step down from being the committee chair.  I have one person in mind to replace me as Cubmaster, but no clear CCs.  My kids will still be in the Pack as long as it exists.  I may see if I can swap into a committee position that doesn't require attending weekday meetings.  Our committee meetings are all done online, so maybe I can be the treasurer.  Thoughts?  My bigger disappointment is the OA.  I am really active in our chapter and am trying to get our ceremonies team back on track/in existence.  

    On the far end, I won't have much to do in the evenings.  Hopefully I can find a unit that will let me be a leader of some sort.  

    Hey, if the Army wanted you to have a Scout unit, they'd have issued you one!! 😛

    Keep up the good work.  We all need you.

    • Like 2
    • Haha 1
  12. 1 hour ago, SiouxRanger said:

    Yesterday, I learned that our scout executive's salary plus retirement fund contribution, for last year was just shy of 50% of the Council's budget. (The retirement contribution was HALF of salary.)


  13. 5 minutes ago, Muttsy said:

    My understanding is the LC execs salaries are paid by National. Is that wrong? If true, who pays those salaries when BSA liquidates? Do the locals have the cash flow to pay those salaries and benefits with BSA gone? Under what authority do the local councils have to continue to operate absent the charter from National which will be defunct?

    Oh no...all salary and benefits paid out of the funds from the local council.  You can see this on any IRS Form 990 for your local council.  If you need a link, post your council, and I'll try to put in here.

    • Upvote 1
  14. Just now, MattR said:

    Exactly. The MB counselors that require certification are usually much more fun.

    Yup...I try to steer my Scouts towards the aquatics badges, shooting sports badges, climbing, and scuba.  All of those are a blast.  And lots of "doing." 

  15. 2 hours ago, scoutldr said:


    I think this misconception is part of the reason so many people are reluctant to be MBCs.

    The training slides from national have in the notes

    "In order to qualify as a merit badge counselor, prospective volunteers must have the education and skills needed to provide instruction and to evaluate performance. It is also important they are older than the Scouts and are able to set that positive example. This calls for both good rapport and good character.

    These are the only qualifications the BSA National Council places on merit badge counselors—regardless of the merit badge. Local councils, however, when approving counselors, may look for more, but they are not allowed to accept less."

    Link  https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/training/advancement/merit_badge_counselor/the_essentials.pptx


    And from G2A

    "Council advancement committees have the responsibility to implement an approval procedure that assures merit badge counselors have the necessary skills and education to offer quality experiences in the badges they counsel. The intent is for Scouts to learn from those with an appropriate level of expertise."

    Key concepts here are "offer a quality experience" and "appropriate level of expertise"  Although these phrases are vague, IMO, some use them to set the bar far too high for MBCs.


    For example, I am a counselor for Scuba Diving (I do hold an Advanced Open Water Diver cert.) , but I am not a Scuba Instructor.

    Now, BSA mandates "All phases of scuba instruction— classroom, pool, and open-water training—are limited to instructors trained and certified by one of the BSA’s recognized scuba agencies as found in the Guide to Safe Scouting."

    The distinction here is between Scuba Instruction and Scuba Merit Badge Counseling. These are two different things.  (I had to have this discussion with our council person who approves MBCs.)

    If a Scout wants to earn Scuba MB, I connect them with a certified local dive shop to earn their certification, which is but one requirement of the MB.  If they have their certification already, we go through the rest of the requirements and I sign off the badge. 


  16. 1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

    @InquisitiveScouter    you are a SupermanSmall.png.9605955bca42d21d1874fffe118da882.png MBC for 61 merit badges and "The average person could do at least 10 or so, comfortably."  ??? :huh:

    Before covid, I remember a meeting where some suggested  MBC's have a simple uniform of a sash with the merit badges they counsel - advertising I guess.




    Lol, thanks!  No, just a jack of all trades, master of none.  And lots of different experiences in life, Scouting, and the military.

    Here are an average 23 that most Scouters could (or should be able to) do without specialized training or being a professional in some field:

    (NOTE to Scouters...if you cannot go through the requirements for any of these and be able to counsel a Scout, please consider "earning" these merit badges on your own.  Yes, you could take at least one merit badge class at Summer Camp or elsewhere!  You'll learn a LOT and have some fun, too.  They'll make you a better Scouter.)

    1.  American Heritage

    2.  Art

    3.  Automotive Maintenance

    4.  Backpacking

    5.  Camping

    6.  Citizenship in the Community

    7.  Citizenship in the Nation

    8. Citizenship in the World

    9.  Citizenship in Society

    10. Communication

    11.  Cooking

    12.  Emergency Preparedness

    13.  Family Life

    14.  First Aid

    15.  Hiking

    16.  Home Repairs

    17.  Nature

    18.  Personal Fitness

    19.  Personal Management

    20.  Pets

    21.  Reading

    22.  Scholarship

    23.  Scouting Heritage



  17. 52 minutes ago, skeptic said:

    This jogged a thought.  Our youth, the peers of scout that is living in such a situation, often become the protectors in some form.  But they also have been known to point out an issue.  Over more than 40 years, I have seen it.  The group becomes a safe place for the youth, even extending to them a temporary escape, quietly taking them in to their homes when one is needed.  These are the things too often we do not see, and I admit that much of my experience is past tense, discovered in visiting with past youth over decades.  A few of those mistreated youth, now adults, have directly told me their story, years later, being thankful for the haven we and some members offered.

    This was me as a youth...  Scouting was my haven.  I am deeply grateful for it and all those who helped me survive, youth and adult.

    • Upvote 1
  18. 1 hour ago, DuctTape said:

    Sadly in my area there is zero verification of competency/qualifications.


    Here, I got the third degree when I submitted my application locally to counsel 60 merit badges.  So, I submitted a spreadsheet listing qualifications and experience, including copies of my pertinent certifications. (About 15 pages worth of documentation, just to make the point.)  All were approved 😜  And I am about to add another! (and maybe later the Cit in Society.)


    The average person could do at least 10 or so, comfortably.

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