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Posts posted by InquisitiveScouter

  1. @sunshinescout

    You said you were very close to completing your project...

    1.  Take all of your concerns to your Scoutmaster and Eagle Project Coach (if you have one.)  They are closest to the fray, and may have dealt with these situations before.

    2.  You must use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook.  If you did, you should have also gotten your proposal approved by your unit, the beneficiary, and some district/council representative.  If you don't have this signature page, then you have a problem.  See #1.

    3.  When your project is complete, as long as you did not deviate substantially from your proposal, you will be fine, even if you have to go through some appeals process.  As long as your unit leader and the beneficiary sign the project completion page, you will be fine.  The National office (if it has to go there, which I doubt) always sides with the Scout.  You will notice, there is no Council or District signature line on the Project Approval page ;) (Project Report Page C)

    4.  Fundraising is never required.  If you wanted to pay for Eagle Project entirely out of your own pocket, that is just fine.

    As to the leadership question, the requirement says you must "...plan, develop, and give leadership to others..."  It doesn't say anything about fundraising, and it doesn't say anything about how many others, or what their ages must be.  This is where your unit leader comes in, and why they must sign your project approval, stating  "In my opinion, this Eagle Scout service project meets Eagle Scout requirement 5, as stated on page 4 of this workbook."  Hopefully, enough other people (Scouts?) were involved that this will not be an issue.  Again, talk to your Scoutmaster.

    I will tell you, as I always tell leaders and parents, "It's not about the project.  It's about the Scout."  If you planned the project, developed it, and led others to complete it, you are fine.  If someone else did any of those for you, then you did not complete your project.  Your Scoutmaster is your adult advocate if any questions do arise. 

    Finally, take this advice, "Don't fight dragons that aren't there."  If your proposal is approved, and you work that proposal while leading others, you will be fine, even if someone at District or Council doesn't "like" it.  Work your proposal as approved, and all is well.


    • Upvote 2
  2. Dad-brag...

    Son has been with it since Tigers...Eagle BOR last December.  Is 15 and has 143 nights with BSA.  This does not include all the camping we have done just Dad and son.


    I have failed to communicate to him the value in pursuing the NMOA.   Just not his thing, it seems.

    • Like 1
  3. Great discussion...perhaps for a new thread?

    I'm with @fred8033 on this one, in the frontcountry.

    Backcountry (more than one hour from definitive care), no way. I push for four adults, minimum.   Primarily to help handle the psychological impacts of worst cases scenarios.

    "What experts do know is that children and teens tend to be more vulnerable to the effects of trauma than adults whose brains have fully developed. The underdeveloped brain is not mature enough to integrate the traumatic experience and process it in a way that facilitates moving on from it."


    In both scenarios, minimizing adult "presence" is key.  Youth camp where they want...adults camp far away, but within reach if there is a problem.  Our Scouts love this, and the culture from the older ones passed on to the youngers is "Don't mess up this good deal for us!"  I want them to experience adventure and independence/interdependence, without removing the safety net.

    • Upvote 1
  4. Ahhh...I see where the confusion lies...

    Commas matter!

    The requirement, as written in the 2020 Scouts BSA Requirements book (the source document) says for requirement 2a:

    "Cycling merit badge or Ranger Cycling/Mountain Biking elective and 100 miles of cycling"

    Grammatically speaking, this should be separated into two options,

    A.  Cycling merit badge


    B.  Ranger Cycling/Mountain Biking elective and 100 miles of cycling

    This is exactly the way this is parsed out in Scoutbook, if you can look there and see it under any Scout in their awards section.

    If they wanted an additional 100 miles over and above "Cycling merit badge or Ranger Cycling/Mountain Biking elective", then it should be written as 

    "Cycling merit badge or Ranger Cycling/Mountain Biking elective, and 100 miles of cycling" with the serial, or Oxford comma.

    They could have written it more clearly by capitalizing the conjunctions with the comma,

    "Cycling merit badge OR Ranger Cycling/Mountain Biking elective, AND 100 miles of cycling"

    Or even more clearly:

    "Cycling merit badge AND 100 miles of cycling, OR Ranger Cycling/Mountain Biking elective AND 100 miles of cycling"

    Since the mechanical structure of the sentence is ambiguous without the comma, I'd say you may interpret it in favor of the Scout, and therefore with less mileage required.

    If you are the "spirit of the requirement" - type person, you could interpret it more stringently.  Here's why...

    Just using the road requirement, the Range candidate has to complete 160 miles (8 x 20-mile tours) and another 50 miles (1 x 50 miler), for a total of 210 miles.  This is more than Cycling merit badge candidate, who has to complete 150 miles road riding.  Do you think the award designers wanted the Ranger to tack on an additional 100 (for a total of 310 miles), and not the the Merit Badger (still at total of 150), just for this requirement?

    Commas do matter...

    "Let's eat Grandma!"  or "Let's eat, Grandma!"

    Whichever you choose, just be consistent with all Scouts until the requirements are clarified (in an official source.)

    For another set of perspectives, you can see the thread at https://discussions.scouting.org/t/national-outdoor-riding-award/125461





    • Upvote 1
  5. 6 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    The report claims

    This is itself a very political statement that is highly controversial.



    And I believe you agree with me that the BSA is misguided (at best) in thinking they can address societal issues in any better and more meaningful way if this commission of "experts" and the US government has difficulty getting to the the meat of the matter.

    I do find this report, so far, to be a good basis from which to start the scrutiny of our human rights traditions and progress.  I withhold final judgment until I have digested the entire report.  

  6. Although I am still in the midst of reading it, I recommend this read to all.


    Recommendations to BSA

    1.  Change the name to Human Rights Merit Badge.

    2.  Rework the content of merit badge to encapsulate perspectives released in the Commission report above.

    3.  If you want to provide rank requirements, use an "ages and stages" approach to address increasingly complex views and examples of human rights issues, with regard to the prerogatives reserved to family and faith.


    P.S.  Report was released to public on 26 August 2020.

    • Upvote 2
  7. I wish I knew who said this...until I can find out who, I'll take credit.

    "When we disguise our feelings as reason, we make all nonsense possible."

    This is the ultimate problem in all of this... properly identifying the use of emotion as support for a position.  It is a logical fallacy.

    The forces which push the current agendas (aka, the left) tend (I said "tend") to think with their emotions rather than demonstrable facts.  You can see the results in the news every day.

    The greatest accomplishment of our Western civilization and thought is that INDIVIDUALS MATTER.

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

    We have sought over the history of our country to embody these principles in our Constitution and laws.  We will always be a work in progress.

    Whenever, and wherever we diverge from these basic principles, we fail.  Slavery was a fail.  Denying rights and citizenship to natives was a fail.  Denying property rights and suffrage to women was a fail.  All these failures were the result of focusing on a GROUP, rather than the INDIVIDUAL. 

    BLM, White supremacists, Antifa, Proud Boys, SJWs, robber barons, Marxists, monopolists, postmodernists, diversity worshippers, etc. etc. etc. all fail to hold to these basic principles.

    Identify for me a specific case where some individual is denied these unalienable rights by another individual, institution, or government, and I will fight with you for change and justice. 

    If you look at a list of landmark decisions for civil rights by the Supreme Court, you will see that one party is almost always an INDIVIDUAL. 


    • Upvote 1
  8. A little tongue-in-cheek, bit maybe something along these lines, instead?

    Be a Decent and Stand-up Scout Merit Badge (aka BADASS MB)

    1.  Show that you can currently repeat the Scout Oath from memory.

    2.  Show that you can currently repeat the Scout Law from memory.

    3.  Define tolerance and acceptance.  Explain the difference.  Give an example of a belief or practice held by someone else that you tolerate, but do not accept.  Then, tie a square knot.

    4.  List five different categories people often classify others or themselves into.  Explain how excluding people based on categories can violate the Scout Oath and Law.  Then, tie a bowline.

    5.  Define stereotypes.  List one stereotype associated with the five different categories you named in requirement 4, and explain how each one of those stereotypes violates the Scout Oath and Law.  Then, tie a sheet bend.

    6.  Define discrimination.  Give an example of how someone in each of the five categories you chose in requirement 4 may have been discriminated against.  Give one example of illegal discrimination. Then, tie a two half hitches.

    7.  Recite from memory the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.  Explain its meaning in your own words.  Then, tie a taut line hitch.

    8. Recite from memory the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.  Explain its meaning in your own words. Then, tie a timber hitch.

    9.  Explain the concept of freedom of association and how it is based on the First and Fourteenth Amendments.  Explain how freedom of association allows for discrimination.  Give an example of legal discrimination. Then, tie a clove hitch.

    10.  With a parent or guardian, explain how something can be legal, but still immoral, according to your faith.  Give to your parent or guardian an example of legal discrimination that is immoral, according to your faith.  Then, without help, and within five degrees, plot a magnetic course between two points on a topographic map.

    Anyone want to add anything else?



    • Upvote 3
  9. 50 minutes ago, Chadamus said:

    Page 15 of the Registration guidebook clearly states:

    "In addition to registered unit positions, the following functional duties or roles can also be assigned to registered adult leaders."

    This quote reads that a functional role (Advancement Chair) can also be held by a registered leader (SM, CC, etc.). There's no misreading that.


    Please don't misunderstand that I'm not trying to convince, but instead seeking clarification. Surely based on the the above one can see how there is clearly room for interpretation.

    @Chadamus, an SM/ASM cannot be dual registered in the same unit in a committee position.  You can be an ASM in one unit, and a committee member of another unit.


    1 hour ago, Chadamus said:

    Can an Assistant Scoutmaster serve as a Unit's Advancement Chair? Why or why not?

    So, for your original post, the answer is NO.  The Registrar will not register one person in both those positions in the same unit.

    Now, theory and practice are two separate things. :)  Are there SM/ASMs out there who fulfill functions of the committee (like advancement chair) simultaneously?  You betcha.  As @yknot points out, "We made decisions that kept our units alive and going. "

    • Thanks 1
  10. 44 minutes ago, PACAN said:

    @InquisitiveScouter 10-16 weeks?   What council are you in?   That's ridiculous.

    I will remain council-anonymous.  Over the past few years, I have filed about 30 forms for parents in the Troop to serve as MBCs. 

    The process here is

    1. You must file a new Adult Application, as this is a District (not Council) vs Unit position. The position is no-fee.  (I think this is standard across the country.?)

    2.  With the Application, you must also file your MBC Info Form 34405.  (Also standard...)

    3.  The Registrar looks over the form and, when all is in order, then gives it to SE, who has to sign it.  Once SE approves, it goes back to Registrar.  It is unknown how long this part of the process takes, or whether the council runs the background check again. (I suspect not, due to cost.)

    4. Once the Registrar gets the SE-approved App, the MBC Info Form goes to the District advancement volunteer who "vets" the MBCs.  On several occasions, when I inquired on status for some applicants, the Registrar told me our District volunteer had not yet come to the office to physically pick up forms.  (Yes, I know we live in the digital age.) This is, imho, a single point of failure in the system here.

    5.  Once our District vol gets the Info Forms, they review them and contact the individual if there are any qualifications for the MBs.  Anecdotally, this only seems to happen with Eagle required and "restricted" badges.  These contact calls usually occur about 4 to 8 weeks into the process.

    6.  Once District approved, the forms physically go back to the Registrar, who enters them into ScoutNet.  Previously, a pdf MBC list went out annually to unit leaders.  You could request one "out-of-cycle", but it usually wasn't updated.  Our lists were not in Scoutbook until about one year ago.  Scoutbook (SB) has helped the process tremendously.

    7.  It appears the Registrar holds the forms (from all Districts) to do a batch entry about once per month.  I have not inquired as to the frequency here...

    8.  You get no notification your App or form are approved.  You have to check SB.  This process also applies when filing a new Info Form for Add‐Drop.

    9.  If your YPT expires, you get no notice...you just drop from SB.

    10.  Once a year, the Registrar sends out an email to all MBCs to re-register them.  If you do not answer the email, or make sure your YPT or other clearances are up to date, you are automatically dropped.

    I do know that MBC forms are lowest on our Registrar's to‐do list.  We have one Registrar.  They used to have an Admin assistant who would come in part-time for data entry, but she left over a year ago (pre-Covid).  No replacement..

    Many of our MBCs also do not use SB.  I have several (not associated with our unit) who strictly use printed blue cards.  There are also a few who simply email me when Scouts are complete.  I mark those in complete and approved in SB and tell the Scout to print a blue card from SB for their records.

    Also, no one, other than unit leaders (me), checks to see if Scouts complete a badge with registered MBCs.

    Complicating this calculus, we live near the border of two other councils, and our Scouts go to some of their MB events throughout the year.  Those councils approve MBs with registrations in Tentaroo.  (Yes, I know this is not allowed.  I have already Quixotied that windmill.)

    So, you can see why most unit leaders around here just use unit level MBCs and sign off stuff in SB.

    It's not ridiculous...it's insane.

    • Upvote 1
  11. 5 hours ago, mashmaster said:

    That is how it has been in our council for a while now.  

    The MBC approval and listing process takes about 10 to 16 weeks in our council.

    Once I have an Adult Application and MBC form submitted to council, I have the counselor go ahead and counsel badges "in good faith", and I sign them off in Scoutbook if the MBC approves one. 

    I do not do this for any badges requiring a special qualification, like Climbing, some aquatics or shooting sports badges...those listed in G2A.

  12. I live in PA.  The fallout from the Jerry Sandusky (Penn State) trial was a state law requiring certain volunteers to obtain three clearances:

    1.  A PA State Police Criminal Background Check

    2.  A  PA Child Abuse History Check

    3.  Either an FBI Background Check (at volunteer expense) based on fingerprints OR an affidavit stating you have committed no offenses if you have been a PA resident >= 10 years.

    Each must be renewed every 5 years.

    The law also states that organizations (COs) sponsoring youth groups must retain copies of these clearances.  This is where CO's have been remiss since the law went into effect 5 years ago.


    Most units in our council are not keeping their own records, nor helping their CO's with this either, as they should...it is not Loyal, Helpful, or Obedient (imho)

    The new CO arrangement would most likely relieve them of this requirement as well.  Our council does maintain these records.

    • Thanks 1
  13. Also, no insurance policy or indemnification clause provides coverage due to negligence.  Plaintiff's lawyer could argue the CO was negligent in selecting abusing leader, since the CO's representative was required to approve the application.

    The court will have to decide

    1.  Did the CO have a duty of care in selecting appropriate leaders? (I think we would agree, Yes.)

    2.  Did the CO breach that duty in selecting the offending leader? (this one will be hard to prove, unless the plaintiff can present evidence the CO somehow knew.)

    3.  Did the CO's breach cause an injury? (once 2 is proven, this domino could easily fall.)

    4.  Were there, in fact, damages as a result of CO's breach and subsequent injury?  (3 and 4 go hand in hand, but must be proven in court.)

    • Upvote 1
  14. @markT262,

    The Scout earned Cycling, so completed 150 miles.  I think you are saying that, in addition to Cycling MB, this Scout also completed another 100 miles above and beyond Cycling MB, so has compiled a total of 250 miles.

    1.  This Scout has met the 200 mile riding requirement in requirement three. (Basic award is 200 miles.)

    2.  If the Scout wishes to earn a first gold device, the Scout must ride an additional 50 miles over what is already done.  So, the total mileage personally completed at that point would be 300 miles.  200 miles (for basic award), plus 100 additional miles (for gold device) for personal total of 300 miles.

    3.  Second gold device would be at 400 miles, as you deduced.


  15. 13 hours ago, SSScout said:

    Excuse me, sir, how old is your son?   15.  Has he ever ridden the Metro before?   No.  And are you going down to GW with him?  Of course not.   Then shouldn't I be speaking to him?   (Silence on the phone) . Yes, I suppose so.

    Snowplow parenting mode...good on the Dad for realizing it and putting the responsibility on his son's shoulders.

    Our community is rife with this parenting style. (snowplow, helicopter, lawnmower...choose whatever machine you wish ;) )


    • Upvote 1
  16. 3 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    The proposed solution for this by BSA National is to allow for the first time ever the elimination of COs and instead having units chartered by the local Council. The church/former CO agrees only to provide meeting space and nothing more.

    It is my understanding one of the Catholic diocese in Texas has move to this model almost entirely.

    The more I think about this, the more I think I will advise our COR to recommend this to our CO.  The BSA already does (or is supposed to do) background checks on leaders.  Most CO's don't do this, that I know of.  Some states also require additional background checks and information.

    The CO's may not be informed of the background provided in these checks.  This may remove an element of info they could/should use in selecting leaders.

    I believe the original paradigm intent was for CO's to select leaders from their own membership to serve as adult leaders in a Scouting program they used as a service to their local community.  This model was not followed in most units I have been a part of...  I can't ever recall a COR or CO interviewing me before signing my application as an adult leader.  But, my circumstances may have been different, due to my profession...

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