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Posts posted by InquisitiveScouter

  1. 2 hours ago, jcousino said:

    Be careful  with the feedback been told that i am taking up to much of the councils time with safety issues and suggestions

    Yes, the usual practice is to wait until someone gets hurt/killed, settle the law suit, then do something about it...

    With thoughts and prayers for the family, of course...

    Jade for sale, anyone?

    Amazon.com: CrystalAge Jade Tumble Stone (20-25mm) - Pack of 5 :  CrystalAge: Home & Kitchen

  2. So, I just spoke with the Camp Director/Training Advisor...

    During Summer Camp, there is simply not enough space to provide safe haven for all campers inside recommended structures.  Summer Camp "procedures" are to watch storm cells on radar, and only pull people into the robust structures if the cells get within 10 miles or if there is "significant effect" to camp, in the eyes of Camp Director and Program Director.  (His explanation, not mine...) 

    My observation of this practice is that it is based on an underlying assumption is that lightning is predictable.  I do appreciate the dilemma based on building capacities.  Of course, the follow on question is, well what do you do when there is a "significant effect" or the cells are within 10, with those that don't fit in the buildings?

    At this NYLT weekend event, he had advised Course Directors to use those Summer Camp procedures.

    Camp Director concurs with me that this is not acceptable, and that, if space is available, it must be used.  He agreed (from under his Training Advisor hat) that they should not have applied the Summer Camp practices to this event.

    We will talk again soon after I digest this...and I will ask what course of action he intends to implement.  Holding on to the Near Miss report until next conversation tomorrow...


    At the out-of-council Summer Camp we attended year before last, this was pretty much the same story.  (I didn't give a flying leap.)  When there was visible lightning/audible thunder, I happened to be near the Scoutmaster lounge, so informed the camp leadership.  One (remaining nameless & title-less) looked at his phone and said "That storm isn't going to affect us."  I told him I was pulling all my Scouts into the dining hall. 

    As if it would change my mind he said, "Well, they are going to get partials for the classes they miss."  I walked away to gather our Scouts into the dining hall.   While we were in there, Scouts were out in the pouring rain, changing classes.  Lightning struck and downed a tree less than 100 feet from dining hall.  The flash and bang were spectacular 😜 In about 45 seconds, we had 200 new friends in there with us .  One of those times you hate being right...  Now anytime I tell our Scouts we are getting to cover, they skedaddle!


    • Confused 1
  3. 15 minutes ago, yknot said:

    When were these built? Who is your incident report going to? If it were me I would cc NCAP and the municipality where the camp is located. I would wonder whether those structures are up to current code. Also, municipal policies for youth events within township borders might supercede BSA camp policies. Regulations for municipal youth sports facilities, for example, can be pretty stringent and enforced. You don't see many teams stuck in dugouts during weather events. It's not ideal to draw attention from a government source but in cases where the judgement of BSA leadership can't be trusted -- and we all know nothing much will happen if your report is solely internal -- then the priority becomes ensuring the safety of future scouts. 

    All good ideas... I'll try a "feedback is a gift" approach first and see if it gains any traction.

    And no idea on construction dates...50's and 60's original structures is my best guess, with multiple patchy repairs over the years

  4. 9 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

    What I have seen are just the Camp Safety Rules (including bad weather, wildfires procedures) printed in large type on a 5x7 or larger cards and enclosed in a weatherproof seal. These signs are posted on all structures - camp office to latrines. Not unlike the Safety Signs in classrooms regarding nearest fire exit and shelter-in-place.

    I like the NOAA sign.

    another reference


    But this sign might not really help...

    What is a "Substantial Building"?  I know the answer, but a 12-13 year old will most likely not...  If this sign was posted on a lean-to, a Scout could easily interpret that to mean "Shelter Here"

  5. 6 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Yeah, I would expect a "no harm, no foul" informal response or perhaps a "more training" response even though both training and safety procedures were not followed.

    WTH, add your valued opinion! What constructive resolution would you recommend? Will you send scouts to the next NYLT if these "adults" are again on staff (we did not).

    In your lean-to photo, I saw no Safety signage regarding bad weather procedures. IMO, there Should be a weatherproof sign. Are those braces just 1x4?

    My $0.01,

    Lol, thanks...

    But, I know my opinions are not valued by our SE.

    And, I really do not expect them to change a thing...  Of course, I do not recommend our parents have Scouts go to any council functions here.  OA functions are laughable, and summer camp is much the same.  Our neighboring council runs a much better NYLT program.   I usually vector them there...this incident just confirms that course... 

    Yes, 1x4's.  and many of the lean-to's shake and shift (do you like those cement blocks?)  They have been improving them over the years...

    Know of a tactful way to say I'm keeping a record of the incident and report, should a future injury be reported?

  6. I have been drafting the Incident Report / Near Miss this morning.  Trying to avoid emotion, conjecture, opinion and conclusions....just trying to stick to facts known from interviewing my three Scouts who were on the course.

    Here's one of the lean-to's at our our camp



    Better than a tent, or no cover at all, but not when there is a dining hall within a short walk.  Staff also knew strong storms were coming well in advance, and should have wickered program to move indoors.

    BSA safety notes are clear and unambiguous that these structures are not safe during thunderstorms.  Yet, staff, including professional staff (full-time position Camp Director) are telling people they are.  Unsat.

    • Upvote 1
  7. OMG, you will not believe this...

    So, during said storm, the adult staff told the 35 youth participants to stay in their lean-to shelters, which they did.

    Guess where the adult and youth staff were???...in the dining hall!!!!  And there was plenty of room for all!!

    Guide to Safe Scouting: Camping: Lightning Risk Reduction?  Well, I guess it is just a "guide"...  Hazardous Weather Training??  meh...  BSA Safety Incident Review: Lightning?  That's for others, not me 😈😈 😈😈😈

  8. 1 hour ago, fred8033 said:

    I've heard good things, but I cringe when my fellow adult leader used his bripe.  It's like a coffee hookah.  I know it has nothing to do with it, but it teases a drug culture.  It's just something I want to avoid on a scout trip.  I want scouts to think I'm as basic as possible.  

    nvm...googled "bripe"...gotcha

  9. 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...

  10. 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.  


  11. 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.


    • Upvote 1
  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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
  19. 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,






  20. 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."

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