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Posts posted by InquisitiveScouter

  1. 58 minutes ago, SSScout said:

    Please note the Penn requirement includes any adult , anywhere,  (see time defined), school volunteer, school bus driver, sunday school,  parish priest, Scout leader from Nevada staying at a Gettysburg campground  for more than (?) 2 days, etc. 


    The PA requirement (for those that delved into the link) is actually three background checks:  1) A PA State Police Criminal Record Check, 2) A PA Department of Human Services Child Abuse History Check, and EITHER 3A) An FBI Background Check with Fingerprint Record OR 3B) IF you have been a PA resident for 10 years, a sworn affidavit of not having been convicted of a whole list of child abuse related crimes.

    There is no cost to volunteers for these checks, except in the case of 3A, the FBI Fingerprint check.

    My question is, if PA requires the volunteer to obtain these clearances, do the councils in PA do any further background checks?


    Post Script...

    Did a news search...of course a law is really only good if it is followed and enforced:


  2. 12 hours ago, Wondering said:

    I am currently a unit level volunteer and handles troop registrations and memberships.  I am also a merit badge counselor.  I am happy with these "jobs" but I find myself getting frustrated at times when I see that a lot of people around me don't do the "job" they are supposed to do.


    Get to know your local registrar by name...talk with them often ;)  You both can save each other a lot of frustration!

    As far as other people not doing the job they are supposed to do (or have agreed to do), this usually stems from ignorance about what their actual tasks are, then a lack of knowledge on how to do them, then from fear of being found out that they don't actually know what they are supposed to do or how to do it.  It usually is not a result of laziness or lack of diligence.  This is where a good Committee Chair comes in, with a detailed list of expectations and tasks for a position.


    • Like 1
  3. 9 hours ago, SiouxRanger said:

    Reminds me of a Robert Heinlein quote, the last line of which is:

    "Specialization is for insects."


    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

    Love that quote...I still need to learn how to set a bone ;)  Of course, my computer programming skills have perished, too,  since college with BASIC, COBOL, and Pascal...dang I'm old...

  4. No one at National will touch this...

    And since you said it was a couple of years ago, no one else will touch it either.

    Here is the sad truth:  it is EASY to lie, cheat, and steal your way to an Eagle rank badge (and certificate).  I see it happen on numerous occasions.  One of the biggest dirty secrets in Scouting is the sham of a merit badge program most summer camps put on. 

    But, ultimately, what we hope for is that the values we seek to instill will take root and grow into a way of conducting your life.  For example, when a Scout asked me to be his Eagle Project Coach, I was looking over his record and asked him about his Hiking Merit Badge..."So, tell me about your 20 mile hike in one day...was it difficult?"  He replied he had not done a 20 mile hike, and that the counselor (a lawyer in our community, council board member, and fellow "Eagle Scout") had signed him off on it because of hikes they did over a few days on a trek.  I told him that, in that case, he had not earned his Hiking Merit Badge, and asked him what he thought he should do about it.  "I'm gonna hike 20 miles" was his reply.  When he had done it, he came back to me and said it was one of the biggest physical challenges he had in Scouting, and he felt proud of the accomplishment.  He is an adult now, and still very active with our Troop as an ASM.  I tell him this was actually a bigger ethical challenge than a physical one, and he passed it superbly.  This young man IS AN EAGLE SCOUT.

    My suggestion is to let it go.  You will see it again.  Simply speak the truth when you do, and follow @MattR 's advice above.

    • Upvote 2
  5. 7 hours ago, livitup said:

    Hello everyone!

    I was a youth scouter (aged out at Life) and active in OA in the early '90s.  My son and daughter are currently Life and Tenderfoot Scouts. I steadfastly avoided adult participation in my children's units, because both of them struggled to interact with other youth and adults without constant reassurance and validation from myself or my wife. I felt that by not being there, I was actually giving them the gift of learning how to forge those relationships with peers and adults.

    My daughter had a great Cubs pack and bridged to a great troop that, unfortunately, disbanded the following year.  Her current troop was not a good fit (it was more of a military-style troop, and she needs something a little less formal) so she has decided not to re-up with them. Which brings us to...

    The CO for the troop my son is in doesn't currently have a girl's troop - though they have expressed interest in doing so, if one could get off the ground.

    • My daughter needs a troop
    • The CO for my son's troop would love to have a G-troop
    • Nature abhors a vacuum, therefore
    • I volunteered to lead the charge (and SM, if they'll have me) a G-troop for the CO
    • I further suggested/volunteered to serve as an ASM in my son's troop as "practice" for SMing the G-troop when it goes live.

    I'm attending the committee meeting this week to sync up with the rest of the adults managing operations for the current troop.  I don't worry much about my son - he's matured a lot and I'm confident in his capabilities. (Quick Dad brag - he'll be starting his term as SPL effective the COH next week!) I do worry that my involvement may stunt my daughter's acquisition of the life skills that Scouting is so good at teaching - we'll walk that tightrope and see what happens.

    Anyway, I'm a voracious reader and life-long learner, so I've been going through a ton of the posts here over the last few weeks.  I've always figured knowledge is the ultimate embodiment of "Be Prepared," so I've been doing a ton of researching and reading. I tend to jump in to things with both feet, so I'll probably be posting more once I'm "official."

    Good to meet you all!


    Is there a female over 21 who is willing to sign up with the G-troop??

  6. 3 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

    It hasn’t significantly affected us. Girls enjoy being in a girl-only organization. Our model is centered on being girl-led, learning-by-doing and cooperative learning, which resonates strongly with today’s girls. Girl Scouts remains focused on building courage, confidence and character.

    Marie Gieringer, CFO of Girl Scouts-Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas

    She has to say that...whether the facts are otherwise or not.  Notice, no stats or raw numbers in the article...

  7. 3 hours ago, fred8033 said:

    Having a troop mentality that you don't cancel is important.  Otherwise, it does become a bit too easy to cancel one or two a year.


    The only reasons we cancel trips is if the roads are treacherous (ice storms) or we have a hurricane blow through ;)

    There have been many times we have changed destination at the last moment and camped in the field behind our church.

  8. 23 hours ago, David CO said:

    I totally disagree with all of this record-making stuff.

    Agreed.  I find it extremely difficult to believe that, over 50 years, not a single month was without camping.  Record keeping, weather, unit leadership, what constitutes camping (was it in one night in someone's backyard just to keep the record going??)...too many variables, with too much possible human error, bias, and stretching, to get to something like this.

    Knowing what I know from 35+ years of Scouting experience, I glance sideways at things like this...much like a Scout earning (actually, "being awarded") every merit badge.

  9. 35 minutes ago, Armymutt said:

    The issue I'm running up against is how to make Scouting work for the rural poor.  Cities should be easier, if you can get the timing, locations, and volunteers right.  In rural areas, it's more complicated.  If the kids don't have transportation, getting to a meeting is impossible.  

    Lone Scouts with an itinerant Scoutmaster working on a grant, if the parents are unwilling/unable to be the Lone Scout Friend and Counselor.

  10. I like the idea, and believe you should scope the idea first by defining the problem.

    What, exactly, is the problem you are trying to solve?  And then explore the question as to whether Scouting is a solution to that problem.

    The way to have phrased your OP, it seems like you are putting the cart before the horse.  That is, you have a solution (Scouting) that is looking for a problem (some sort of public health issue that can be addressed by a youth program, and the crafting of a policy to implement your personally desired solution.)

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 1
  11. 23 hours ago, Oldscout448 said:

    all be a wasted effort.

    Naw...every time they rehearse and prep, they gain a deeper understanding of what the Order of the Arrow is...

    "You need seek no rocky summit.   These high places are within you.  All the natural world around you shows you clearly your reflection.  This Ordeal is but a pattern for a journey whose directions are the whispers, urgings, promptings deep within your hearts and spirits."

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 1
  12. 18 minutes ago, Armymutt said:

    That's what I figured.  It's funny that they say 500 hours and or 3 years, then cite a suicide hotline worker or Scout leader.  I think a Scout leader would rack up more hours quickly vs a hotline operator.

    P.S. Over my 26 years in the Air Force, my commanders awarded me 3 MOVSMs...

    Did you know your unit commander can authorize 10 days of Permissive TDY for a military member to support volunteer efforts like Scout Camp, so they don't have to burn leave?  And the first O6 in your chain can authorize it up to 30!

    • Upvote 1
  13. @vol_scouter, very glad your experience, in general, has been positive...

    But, help me please... on the one hand you say 

    19 minutes ago, vol_scouter said:

    volunteers are responsible for all program

    and on the other, you say...

    19 minutes ago, vol_scouter said:

    Without professionals, there would be many fewer Scouts, little if any program beyond the unit level, and less organization.

    Those two assertions seem to be at odds.

    Our entire district program is planned and run by volunteers.  We haven't had a DE in I don't know how long...

    Council program is non-existent, other than Summer Camp...there has not been a council program event here for units in over three years...

    (But there are at least five council fundraisers per year...golf outings, skeet shoots, silent auctions, popcorn, camp cards, etc, etc, etc...)

    And the last council program event??? It was organized and run by volunteers.

    Professionals here are most involved in scrutinizing the budgets of these events in order to set a price which guarantees income for the council...  (I have been in many of those meetings ;) )

    • Upvote 1
  14. 12 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:


    In this interview https://dianerehm.org/shows/2019-08-20/a-moment-of-reckoning-for-the-boy-scouts-of-america-and-a-history-of-sexual-abuse  .

    He stated he wanted the complete dissolution of the BSA and IF something like Scouting is still needed, it starts from scratch.

    Again the IF it is still needed, from the tone of the response, he doesn't believe Scouting is needed. 




    And here is the essence of Kosnoff's stance...see in his tweet, "BSA has forfeited the moral right to exist."  https://twitter.com/SexAbuseAttys/status/1359252870462205954

    Has it??

    Only individuals can be moral agents, not corporations.  But, when the collective decisions of those individuals in a corporation tend toward objectives that seem, much of the time, to be in opposition to the beliefs/mission/ideals of the program they exist to support, then does the corporation take on the embodiment (which is what incorporation means ;) ) of a moral agent? 

    That's the question I struggle with, based on juxtaposing a heap of positive experiences in Scouting (which were 99% enabled or provided by volunteers), and a heap of negative experiences in dealing with professionals employed by the BSA at all levels.

    As Scouts, we promise to be "morally straight."  And, ultimately, we ourselves must decide, under the tenets of our faith, what is "morally straight."  

    I also often think it is time for the BSA corporation to go, but I continue to hold out hope that there is some way to scrub it clean of the service to Mammon...

    The one place I see "true" Scouting is in the local units.  So that is where I focus, for now.



    • Upvote 1
  15. 3 hours ago, SiouxRanger said:

    "Fire me?"

     (The very, very short answer is YES, National can "FIRE YOU." And it has fired volunteers for non-sexual abuse reasons (political), fired units, and sanctioned councils.)

    I came across your post while looking for something else.  But I have returned to respond-as I must.

     My conscience will not permit me to pass by your post without comment. Everyone should know the things that I know.

    "But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career." --Liam Neeson playing Bryan Mills in Taken.

     In my case, substitute "knowledge" for "skills." And then you have it.

     [What follows is from my personal knowledge of the treatment by National, Region, Area and local council of several of my long-term, highly distinguished in Scouting, friends. I know these things to be true.]

     [Seat belts, please, this ride is violent.]

    There is a document published by National entitled "Standards of Membership and Leadership."  It is a restricted document-distribution being limited to National staff, council scout executives, and select senior council staff who have a "need-to-know."

    I believe, though could be wrong, that National concealed even the existence of this document for decades, though there is mention in the current bankruptcy of "standards of membership and leadership," I am not clear whether those references are to the particular publication of which I am aware, or some abstract concept of "standards."

    (Some time ago, when the need to have a copy of this document would be helpful, a copy appeared in the mail to me, anonymously. A volunteer who knew someone, who knew someone, etc. seems to be the source of the document being sent to me.)

    If one offends a Scout Executive, or Council President, ENOUGH, (and perhaps there other individuals in a council's hierarchy one can offend to trigger such a result), one may receive a letter (approved by National, as I understand it), stating, in effect:

    "Membership is a privilege and not a right."

    "The Boy Scouts Of America has determined that you do not meet its standards of membership and leadership, and is revoking your membership in the Boy Scouts Of America."

    "You have the right to appeal this decision within 30 days of the date of this letter.  Send your appeal request and any pertinent documents to ...."

     You will receive a refund check in the amount of the dues you last paid.  (Insult to injury.)

     No statement of the grounds for your dismissal will be provided. Ever.

     And thereby, you will be BRANDED as gay, atheist, or a child abuser in your own hometown, church, community, family.  "What did Tom do???'

    Conversation in church pew: "Where's Tom (or Mary) they are always here with their kids?"

    "Oh, Tom (or Mary) was thrown out of Boy Scouting."


     "No one knows.  He (she) won't talk about it. He (she) have just fallen off the radar."

     "Gee, Scouting is such a wholesome program, how could Tom (Mary) debase it so-what horrible people he/she/they are-has a criminal case been filed against Tom (Mary)?  Not taking my kids over there for our usual Friday's sleepover."

    (I have no problem with gays or atheists-everyone is just trying to get through the day.  Those folks are not my life, but as I won't let anyone think for me, I ask not that anyone let me think for them.)

     But branded as a child abuser? People tend to think the worst of things, so get thrown out of Scouting, folks will think you are a child abuser.  Even if you are a CPA questioning some accounting issue?  Lovely.

     Does not "Trustworthy" apply to National?  (Well, that it has filed bankruptcy on account of its decades of lies about child abuse-so, apparently not.)

    What is the point of the principles of an organization if not to be followed by not only its adherents, but also the organization?

     And expulsion all because you questioned a council budget item that embarrassed some pea-brained volunteer or Scout Executive. And because you volunteered as a scout leader to help your child.

     If you think that a long scouting career of distinguished, meritorious service will protect you.  It won't. I know this to be true.

     The BSA is a Congressionally chartered corporation.  That is rare.

     National titles itself as the "Boy Scouts of America."

     One would think that between "Congressionally" and "America," a banished scout volunteer would be accorded the rights accorded in the Bill of Rights:

    To know the charges against you. Nope

     To present evidence (You can, but as you have no idea of the charges, what evidence do you present to rebut unknown charges?  Dutch oven recipes? A list of great restaurants in Gatlinburg? The phone directory of Lower Manhattan?)

     To appear at your hearing and confront witnesses?  Nope.  Can't do that.  You won't even know when or where the hearing will be held. Or who constitutes the tribunal. Or even if they ever meet or read anything you submit.  (Read Arthur Koestler's Darkness At Noon, where the accused are taken into a basement, but shot in the back of the head on their way down the steps to the basement. The accused don't even get the benefit of torture.) And scouting volunteers whose membership is revoked also won't get the right to speak a single word in their defense.

     To confront your accusers?  Nope. You will never know who you offended, or why they were offended.

    There is NOTHING in National's "Standards of Membership and Leadership" which accords you any legal rights whatsoever.

     So, if you receive such a letter, get a copy of Franz Kafka's The Trial.  Read it twice.  I have.  It accurately portrays just what you are up against.

     National has structured the "membership game" that, win, lose, or draw, National always WINS!

    "Let them hate, as long as they FEAR." (Some French King whose name escapes me.)

     "Work for free, send money, don't question."

    Compliant and complacent volunteers, donating money, are welcome.  The troublesome, well, National has its ways.

     I expect that  if the same group of National staffers now employed retain their jobs after the bankruptcy, there will be membership retribution against identifiable posters on this forum.

     It seems to be National's way.

     (As I write this, I am looking at two Banker's boxes of files pertaining to the membership revocation war in my council from some time ago which my spouse wants me to cull. Now they are all so relevant again.)

    And they will not be culled.

     It is a question of "finding one's backbone."

     Most folks avoid conflict and dissention-it is unpleasant-but for some, when their line is crossed, they stand up regardless of consequences, and thereby become the leaders National espouses to create but also crushes if their efforts are just too successful toward National.

     Can National FIRE ME?  Yep. And it won't care a whit.

    All I can say: "Beware the Mother that eats her children."

    And so, National lays down another layer of "Scouting Tradition."


    @SiouxRanger, you are scaring me only because it is like you are inside my head...perhaps I am schizoprenic, and you are just one of my multiple personalities exposing some of the demons I face in this council...

    Well...expose away ;)  But do tone down the rhetoric a bit, please...

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