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Posts posted by InquisitiveScouter

  1. 2 hours ago, HtownScouter said:

    Thanks for those who responded. No progress on my end. Can't imagine that I am the first to finish Wood Badge and ticket, and not get the beads, etc.    I will worry about all that later.  Perhaps in a couple month I will try to get a training completion certificate or whatever is used to document I completed the course and ticket.   If I ever change councils and still want beads, I can probably find some somewhere. 

    You can call your local Scout store and ask to order a neckerchief, woggle, and beads...cannot do it on line, as they are "restricted" items. Items 2213, 2173, and 2175




  2. 4 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Sadly the  drive for MBs is turning off my Scouts. They seeing folks with all 130+ merit badges being earned awarded in under 2 years, especially during COVID, is frustrating, angering, and discouraging them. They know the MBUs, online courses, and even a few summer camps, are giving away MB. Here are the guys earning them the right way by actually doing the requirements and not just by attending a class. I have had 3 conversations to date about this. One got so frustrated, he almost gave up on Eagle because it no longer meant anything because "everyone is getting it." 

    I used @Jameson76 approach: focus on your adventure, and choices; and don't worry about what anyone else is doing.

    Fixed that for you 😜

    • Upvote 1
  3. 47 minutes ago, yknot said:

    LNT Minimize Campfires  -- Cooking MB and extensive cooking rank requirements.  In many places this becomes tail gating in the woods. 

    LNT Respect Wildlife -- Any requirement that involves collection of animals from the wild or creating artificial congregation points or food sources. For example, Fishing Derbies --  throwing a dying or dead fish back into water is not LNT and kind of a blind spot in cubs.

    Jamborees? Maybe when they are in a parking lot but not at most sites I've seen them at.  

    There are more -- easy enough to find if you look yourself. BSA has cleaned up some of it over the past decade -- it's not as bad as when they had requirements that were illegal in many states -- but it's still behind the times. These are just conservation components of the program. Many, many of the badges in a number of fields are out of date as well. The whole program needs an overhaul and going forward a way to update in real time.  Some of these should be partnered with expert source organizations to ensure that. 


    OK, understood...a few clarifications, maybe?

    It is "Minimize campfire impacts" not "Minimize campfires"...LNT does not discourage campfires, but promotes building in established fire rings, using dead and downed wood, letting your fire burn to complete ash, and only building it the size you need, etc.

    Respect Wildlife...spot on...especially the MB's...rank requirements have been changed to say pictures are an acceptable method of "collection"...I'd recommend all ranks and MB's align to pictures, and collections only with permission of land managers (geology, forestry, etc., where a picture may not convey the best education)  For mammals, insects, birds, reptiles, and for plants, pictures should be fine.  I am especially amazed that National Camp School Ecology Section graduates still have Critter Crawls at Summer Camp where Scouts are encourage to scour the woods for wildlife to have a race or some such...

    Jamborees?  Meh...as long as they concentrate the impact (at Summit), I'll remain ambivalent.  I'd advocate for a smaller size group...

    Concur with your assessment that MB's and ranks need to align, not so much with LNT, but with a greater mindset of stewardship...this also includes TREAD Lightly for applicable MB's

    My biggest pet peeve is councils logging their Scout camps.  Our properties could be crown jewel conservation examples, but nearly every camp I have been to over the last decade has had a large swath timbered (for cash, of course) with major impact to local wildlife and soil and water resources.  Every Scout camp timber operation I've seen would be better described as "Devastation for Currency."  In our last four summers (four different camps), we've had an environmental planner who works for the state with us, and he has really opened my eyes to the extensive damage councils are doing...


    • Upvote 2
  4. 2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    Fun is a hard concept for adults who don't understand the scouting program. Adults like neat and orderly agendas that have measurable outcomes that tell them if they are succeeding or failing. Unfortunately first class advancement fits that mind set perfectly. Burnt pancakes is messy and means failure.

    You said a mouthful!!

    But, burnt pancakes aren't a failure!  You just learned a new way you shouldn't make them 😜 

    • Haha 1
  5. 19 hours ago, johnsch322 said:

    I get down voted for questioning someone who wants to create their own non profit scouting?

    You can safely ignore down votes 😜

    And I did not say we would create a non-profit scouting outfit...we would create a non-profit to support a unit for scouting...

    You can see plenty of these "booster" clubs in existence already...

    Like these...




    And, if BSA goes Ch 7, we'll keep right on scouting...

  6. 23 hours ago, johnsch322 said:

    Does this mean you are in favor for a Chapter 7 liquidation of BSA?  That would give you one less youth organization to compete with for members correct?

    Yes and no. 

    Yes, I am in favor of a Ch 7 for BSA.  I believe we are to the point where we need a little "creative destruction."  I also believe a Scouting Phoenix will rise from the ashes...

    No, the non-profit would exist to support only one local unit.  That unit could be a Scouts BSA unit if there is no Ch 7, or it could be could be a unit in some unnamed Phoenix organization.

    BSA does not equal Scouting.  I mentally separate the two...one is a corporation, the other is an fun activity (when done rightly).

    An analogy...if the US Tennis Association (a non-profit corporation) went Ch 7, people would still play tennis....same idea.



    • Upvote 1
  7. 23 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    The goal of G2SS is not actual safety, but legal mitigation. 


    23 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    If it was up to the G2SS folks the whole thing would be Family Camping, no youth allowed without the adult partner, thus moving any risk away from BSA.


  8. 44 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    We have noticed an increase of hawks around here as well. A lot of them.


    Hawks and owls are a sign of a healthy ecosystem...lots of food for them, or they wouldn't hang around.  Mice, voles, snakes (in warm weather)...and, if you have skunks, then Great Horned Owls!  Skunks are one of their favorite foods.

    • Upvote 1
  9. 14 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

    I agree with Mrjohns that that's not the rule, unless your council is locally imposing it.  

    Even if they do impose that there would be no additional cost.  You can "multiple" register with multiple units, but you pay only one egistratin fee.

    You cannot register as a MB Counselor (for free) and then multiple to a unit.  You must pay the adult registration fee.  Then you can multiple all you want...

    And yes, our council (at least a few years ago when I posed the question) interprets that as registered in the unit. (for unit events)

    The council has oversight for HA contingents and Jamborees, so they can vet those leaders...



    • Upvote 1
  10. 40 minutes ago, SiouxRanger said:

    And, for all of that, a legal structure much more protective of the donor's interests is to create a trust, transfer title to the trust, provide that the local council can use the property for so long as used as a scout camp, and that the local council's rights END when it is no longer being used as such.  The heirs of the original donors would be the "remainder beneficiaries" of the trust and would be entitled to direct the trustee to do with the property as they see fit.  In this scenario, title to the property would NEVER be held by the local council, and thereby, the local council would have nothing to sell. A title search would show that the trust owns the property and any buyer would require a deed signed by the trustee who will not do so without express, written direction of all of the remainder beneficiaries.

    This is the model we will follow when we create our own non-profit for local youth to pursue scouting activities ;)

    • Upvote 1
  11. 1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

    InquisitiveScouter just showed a picture of my back yard. We very much enjoy watching the families of Cardinals and Woodpeckers repeatedly swarm our feeders each morning as we eat breakfast. However, we haven't seen as many of these families this year, as well as the songs from the Mockingbirds. Rumor is the lack of these birds in our area is the result of the hard freeze that dominated the US last February. Mother nature is usually pretty good at bringing balance. I have high hopes the families will overwhelm our feeders again soon.



    Make sure you put out some water for them, too.  Recommend a heated bird bath to keep the water from freezing.  Here is an example of one like ours.


    You will have to fill it every morning, because of all the other visitors you will get during the night.  We have captured video of opossums, deer, foxes, raccoons, mice, and voles in winter getting water here.  Trying to get images of two elusive creatures drinking...a skunk (somewhere in the neighborhood and quite uncommon here) and a great horned owl (or any owl for that matter).   Although, reading suggests the owls love the sound of running water...can't afford to rig that up yet 😜 (for freezing temps) 

  12. 10 hours ago, awanatech said:

    I believe the part in bold is, at least partially, why BSA wants every adult to be registered. $45/ adult starts to add up pretty quickly.

    So here's one for you...can registered MB counselors attend unit events in excess of 72 hours?  For example, if your unit wants to do a 5-day backpacking trip for Backpacking MB, can you invite the counselor along for the trip??

    Even though they are registered members of the BSA, and have had their background checks...the answer is "No", as they are not registered leaders in the unit.  That is the key point...anyone over 72 hours must be registered with that unit.  Or, to put a finer point on it, they must have a registration approved by a Chartering Org...

    OK, so, what if you get your CO's approval to bring the MB counselor with you...could you bypass the payment requirement, as long as they are a registered BSA member?

    I'd say absolutely "Yes!"  The spirit of the rule rather than the letter...

    And how does that jibe with the new model of having the council charter units? 


    • Upvote 1
  13. 1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Interesting article about John Zane 84 who is celebrating 75 years as a Boy Scout and he’s writing a book about it - titled “Ever a Scout,”

    Jonathan Glassman, Boy Scouts of America District Director for Connecticut Yankee Council,  said there’s no official label that says Zane has been in scouting longer than anyone else in the Connecticut Yankee Council, but he said Zane is “always the last man standing,” when they have longtime scouts stand up at the annual dinner, asking them to be seated in five-year increments.

    Some topic-related quotes:

    “I hate to think it’s just a history book without inspiration to the younger scouts,” he said. “It (Scouting) kept a lot of kids off the street, kept them physically active, intellectually. Boys say their teachers would ask, ‘Where do you learn this stuff?’ The Boy Scouts, of course.” 👍


    He recalls the value of mentors on many occasions, including in earning the bird study badge :). Zane needed to identify 35 birds and couldn’t find the last one - the yellow-bellied sap sucker.

    One of mentors at camp said, “The woods are full of them.” It would turn out he was seeing them, but thought it was a cardinal, as they looked similar.



    Love the story...it is behind a subscriber wall for me...here is the cached page:


    However, the cardinal and the YBSS look nothing alike (male or female) 😜  I think he was mixing up YBSS with downy and hairy woodpeckers.

    image.jpeg.f0edb9fc076db3070debec5217ab191e.jpegimage.jpeg.5e5d34fe8a1e951beaf57477db22c524.jpegYellow-bellied Sapsucker MaleYellow-bellied Sapsucker Female

    • Upvote 1
  14. 12 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    I don't know if the BSA is still publishing those handbooks.

    They do...



    We provide them to our PLs, APLs, SPL, and ASPLs.  But, they mostly go unread and unpracticed.

    As for adults, most don't get or won't read the SHB...

    • Sad 1
    • Upvote 1
  15. 13 hours ago, MikeS72 said:

    We do the Scout Oath, then the Scout Law, and then the Outdoor Code.  The sign is up for all three, as they are done consecutively.

    When I took the LNT Master Educator Course, I posed this idea to the one of BSA's lead guys for LNT (name withheld).  Simply this...if BSA really wants to run a golden thread of the "ideal" of environmental stewardship throughout the program, then they need to make one simple change to say we should use the Scout sign when repeating the Outdoor Code.  Give it as much weight as the Oath and Law...

    Currently, my SHB says "Give the Scout sign each time you say the Scout Oath and Scout Law."  Not a thing about the Outdoor Code in that section, yet the OC is a promise we make..."As an American, I will do my best to ..." 

    Learning and explaining it are also incorporated into the rank requirements, which are good steps.

    I have visited several units that do not recite the OC, and some who do but reflexively lower their Scout sign before repeating it.

  16. 9 hours ago, qwazse said:

    @InquisitiveScouter, in causal modeling, it is irresponsible to suggest that variables that have not been measured would take precedence without identifying exactly what hasn’t been measured and how much hasn’t been explained. So, for example, if you say the changes in some species could be explained by some non-climate related variable. The argument only holds water if the de-tractor names the causal variable (e.g. vampire zombies) and the degree to which it impacts the outcome (e.g. they sucked the brains of 10 of the 15000 birds examined, although interesting, does not make it a causal factor). In other words, saying ornithologists are taking cheap shots is exactly what someone who can only make cheap shots would say. Anybody with something credible to say would propose a mediator, its magnitude, and any assumptions underlying its proposition.

    @qwazse, no!

    If I took a cheap shot (your cheap shot description of my comment), it was at the reporter who cherry-picked things from the study to drive an agenda (bias) of pushing the narrative of "human-caused climate change" up front, but then later in the report equivocates and relates what the researches actually said...

    "The researchers’ data showed links among temperature trends, precipitation trends and body sizes.

    Now, the question is: What, precisely, is happening and why?

    It’s not clear whether the species’ genetics are evolving to adapt to a new climate.

    “Evolution could happen on this time scale,” said a co-author of the study, Phil Stouffer, a professor at the Louisiana State University School of Renewable Natural Resources. “It’s a really important question to understand.”

    It’s also unclear what benefit the birds get from the changes to their bodies."

    If you read the study (I did, after you accused me of a cheap shot) you'll see the researchers do get around to being intellectually honest in some of their findings...

    "Because the time trend for mass—but not for wing and especially not for mass:wing—mostly faded after controlling for seasonal temperature, it is possible that lower bird mass is a plastic response to changing climate whereas lower mass:wing and longer wings are an adaptive compensation with a yet unresolved mechanism.  {emphasis added}

    Here is a link to the actual study...https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abk1743 (also provided above by @RememberSchiff)

    As to your causal modeling comment, here are a few other variables which the study does not address:

    1) Changes in resource availability (i.e., food sources) which drive birds to fly farther in search of scarcer sustenance for themselves and their offspring.  Although the researchers found birds changed across most foraging guilds (foraging guilds relates to adult food sources)...ornithologists estimate 96 % of birds feed live insects to their young.  So...did the loss of rainforest habitat, agriculture, pesticides, smoke, dust, etc. change the availability of insect food sources for young so that all foraging guilds had to fly farther to get food to rear their young, and body sizes changed to accommodate this?  The study doesn't address this plausibility.

    2) Another possibility: the birds were going to change anyway, irrespective of precipitation or temperature changes.  The data goes back four decades and shows a trend toward smaller size.  Since we don't have data for the past millennium or so (pick your time period), we cannot say whether all the bird species changes were already trending, and those trends were just continuing.

    3)  Did observed rapid changes in the earth's magnetic field affect the birds' navigational abilities, so that they have to fly more or less than previous decades? https://ssec.si.edu/stemvisions-blog/how-do-birds-navigate  https://earthsky.org/earth/earths-magnetic-field-change-faster-thought/  The study doesn't address that...

    Are those credible enough for you??  If not, I can cite more...without pursuing a PhD in Ornithology.



    • Upvote 1
  17. I believe the biggest issue is lack of adult leaders with the time needed to create and nurture a robust unit program.

    At each unit, I would start a separate 501c3, similar to "Troop XX Booster Club", and that corporation would hire a full time unit leader called "Scoutmaster'. Each member has a fee and/or fundraising goal to support this. Then, I would hire someone ( like a retired veteran) who is already financially independent (or nearly so) so they wouldn't have to rely on their unit salary to live, but that salary would cover ALL costs associated with their unit functions.  Limit unit size based on how many adults the corporation could hire (that's a whole other discussion), so that the paid positions' span of control for mentoring and managing is workable.  Drive the actual cost of Scouting to the unit level.

    There are other groups that do this all the time...churches for example, hiring a pastor.

    And some councils (at least in the past) have paid unit leaders to work in units in underserved areas.

    • Upvote 2
  18. 1 hour ago, yknot said:

    That study has some strange omissions, like the fact that the Amazon has also lost 20% of its acreage/habitat in the past 30 years or so, but the Bird Study badge, along with many badges and rank requirements, are desperately in need of updating and revamping. We truly do need more outdoors in scouting, and what is offered needs to be more relevant, up to date, and field oriented. 

    Agreed.  Overall, I think BSA is missing the boat on instilling a mindset of stewardship.

    Culture question...do you and your Scouts raise your Scout sign when repeating the Outdoor Code?  If not, what is the subliminal message?  (I know many who do not, and think it inappropriate to do so because it is not prescribed so in the Scout Handbook.)

  19. 9 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Every species, on average, weighed less than it had when it was measured in the early 1980s, which the researchers say has no other explanation than a changing environment. 

    "No other explanation" does not equal cause.  It is irresponsible and illogical to make such a leap to say measured changes in climatic conditions caused changes in bird species. 

    They observed these changes and created a new hypothesis which posits the changes were caused by climate changes.  Great...now design and conduct an experiment to test that hypothesis...

    Be wary of bias in interpretation which pushes a specific agenda.

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 1
  20. You cannot register as a Committee Member and Den Leader in the same unit...

    But, we all know people who fill both of those roles.  I assume this is for the Den Leader Training Award?


    If your member has been doing the job of a Den Leader (even while registered as an MC), and has fulfilled the training and performance requirements, then talk to your District Training Chair and make the case for them to get the knot.  Ask if the District Training Chair would approve the award in that case.  The answer may be "No" because of the "registered" requirement, but it might be "Yes, sure thing!" 

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