Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by InquisitiveScouter

  1. Insofar as I understand it, in Buddhism, if there is a "god", then you are it, or it is you, or both.


    If you read through the eight beliefs of Buddhism, you will see they are in harmony with the Scout Oath and Scout Law.


    And nothing in the DRP prevents you from claiming that you are the "god" you believe in.

    The Dalai Lama called his local pizza joint. When they asked him what he wanted, he said, "Make me one with everything."

    (Hope my tongue-in-cheek does not offend ;) )

    Buddhists are not "atheists"...they are best described as "non-theists".

  2. I love this hat.  I have the same one since the early 1990's.  Yes, it is hot in the summer.  Also, it bleeds some color when it gets wet or sweaty.  So, mine is a little faded and sun-bleached.

    As a first time Scoutmaster in the 90's, I bought this hat for each Scout when he reached First Class.  Troop funds paid for his First Class pin.  They loved them.

    This was also the time when Scoutmasters could let a Patrol camp without adults.  My standard was, a Scout had to reach First Class before he could go on such a camping trip.  They worked hard for that rank, and wore those hats proudly on their adult-less overnighters!

    In 2016, I met one of those Scouts at Philmont.  He was a Scoutmaster with a crew from his Troop there, and was wearing his same hat from his time as a youth!

    Current Troop is not so much into hats...


    • Upvote 1
  3. 2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Volunteers are upset and angry at they way they are being treated by councils and by national. You have volunteers who will do anything in their power to help Scouts and units, but will do absolutely nothing for council, let alone National because of the treatment they have experienced.

    Uncanny! It's almost like you know me!  Lol...

    I have been asked to serve on five separate council committees because of my experience and belief in what Scouting can accomplish.  Yet, because I do not support FOS, our SE has denied my positions on those committees. I only suspect this because our SE has never told me he has denied my participation, nor why. I only hear the negative from the volunteers who have asked me to serve.

    Was also asked to serve on a neighboring council WB staff, and a regional and national committee, only to be later told "thanks, we're full".  I suspect my SE torpedoed those, and that the course director and committee chairs we trying to spare my feelings.

    I have some schadenfreude with BSA (the organization) circling the drain...knowing that Scouting (the movement) will continue.  I can wait ;)


  4. 9 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    I also want to suggest something else: BSA Scouting has run its course,

    I do not believe it has "run its course."  Rather, flip the script...Is there a need that Scouting fills?  Or better yet, in the big picture, What is the problem we are trying to solve with Scouting?

    BP saw a problem in the structures (or lack thereof) that society used to bring youth into full adulthood, with the physical, spiritual, emotional, social, fiscal, (and more?) accoutrements (aka character) necessary for a well functioning society.  He thought Scouting could address those problems.


    Do those selfsame problems exist for youth in our society today?  I would posit they are even more pronounced.  That is why I am a Scouter...I am deeply concerned with the future of our country, upholding our founding principles, and our way of life as Americans.  If we do not raise them to replace us, then, will all we have built be lost?

  5. 6 hours ago, HICO_Eagle said:

    That is precisely WHY they need help forming that brain early as teens and the coddling needs to stop. 

    HICO, you are fighting physiology there...the point is, that part of the brain isn't done growing in yet...they do not have the physical structures needed for that kind of "adult" thinking.  But, what we can do, is train them in the processes and form the habits of planning, forecasting, and leading.


    5 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Regarding the brain  and development until age 25. Something that appears to be conveniently forgotten is that is that lifelong learners and folks starting new professions, basically anyone still learning stuff, has the same brain scan patterns as those under 25. If I can find the study's report, hopefully on PubMed Central, I will post the link. Unfortunately I no longer have access to the medical databases since I left the hosptial.

    Eagle94, please do look for that!  I'd like to read that one (as a lifelong learner ;) )


    4 hours ago, qwazse said:

    One side effect: there might be fewer youth who make Eagle because, lacking a deadline, the natural procrastinators will keep doing what they do. However, I think youth who see new adults (their moms and dads, even) struggling to master 1st Class skills will be inspired.

    Qwazse, right on!  Even BP said "

    First-class Scout

    A BOY does not really get the value of the Scout training until he is a First-class Scout. The Second-class is only a step to that standing. But it is a lamentable fact that a good many are content to remain as Second-class Scouts once they have gained a few badges of proficiency. It is for that reason, mainly, that the All Round Cords are now obtainable only by First-class Scouts. This move has been welcomed by Scoutmasters as giving an incentive to the lads to keep progressing in their training.

          Of course, the main objection to it is that it necessitates the boys learning to swim, and facilities for this do not exist in all centres. It has, therefore, been suggested in one or two cases that this rule should be relaxed. I am afraid that I have been very "sticky" about it, and although I generally make things as elastic as possible, I may have appeared unnaturally obstinate in this one particular; but I had reasons, and experience has now shown that those reasons were right.

          When a boy has become a First-class Scout -- but not before then -- he has got a grounding in the qualities, mental, moral, and physical, that go to make a good useful man. And I look on swimming as a very important step, combining as it does attributes of all three of those classes ? mentally it gives the boy a new sense of self-confidence and pluck; morally, it gives him the power of helping others in distress and puts a responsibility upon him of actually risking his life at any moment for others; and physically, it is a grand exercise for developing wind and limb.

          Every man ought to be able to swim; and in Norway and Sweden, the home of practical education, every boy and girl is taught swimming at school.

          The fact that swimming has got to be learnt by the Boy Scout before he can gain his first-class badge has had the effect of putting the character of the lads in very many cases to a hard and strengthening test.

          At first they complained that there was no place near where they could learn to swim. But when they found this was not accepted as an excuse, they set to work to make places or to get to where such places existed. I have heard of boys riding five miles on their bicycles day after day to swimming-baths; streams in many country places have been dammed up, and bathing-places made by the Scouts; the summer Camp has been established at some seaside or river-side spot for the special purpose of getting everyone trained in swimming.

          It can be done if everybody sets his mind to it. If the boys are put to extra trouble in bringing it about, so much the better for their character training. In any case, I look upon swimming as an essential qualification for First-class Scout, and for every man.   Also, I don't consider a boy is a real Scout till he has passed his first-class tests.

    February, 1914.

    (copied from http://usscouts.org/history/bpoutlook2.asp )

  6. 3 hours ago, HICO_Eagle said:

    My point is that we need to stop extending their youth. 

    I understand the desire, but the science isn't there (pardon the phrase.)  I would advocate that we need to extend their youth.  We know that the brain is not fully formed, with the seat of executive function not being developed until about 25.

    Historically, young men had to rise to the challenge earlier because of life expectancy.  That, and the needed skill set for a 15 year old to succeed was not as great or complex as it is today, imho.

    As a commander in the military, guess which age cohort I dealt with incurred most judicial punishments, substances problems, domestic violence or assaults, and accidents???  18-25

    Is this similar in the civilian world??  You bet...cannot even rent a car until you are 25!!

  7. 18 hours ago, David CO said:

    I did very poorly at finger painting in kindergarten, but I have never had any desire to go back and finish the job.  That time is past, and I have moved on to bigger and better things.  None of the goals/achievements of my childhood, whether I succeeded at them or not, compare with the goals/achievements of my adulthood.  This is the way it should be.  I have no desire to be a Boy Scout again.

    I think the most important lesson we men can teach our teenage sons is that there will someday come a time when they will need to put away childish things and become a man.  Once they become a man, they can never go back to being a boy again.  So they should enjoy their boyhood now.  They can only travel this road once.



    Are you really comparing finger-painting to the skills, service, and leadership you must learn and demonstrate on your way to Eagle?  Facetious.

    Bigger and better things?  Isn't that what Scouting promises?  We come up with bigger and better things for our Scouts all along their path.  And the adults who accompany on the outings and activities we do with our older Scouts often find great challenge in what they are doing, and are satisfied with their accomplishments.  Many of them have never done them before.  Why not recognize their efforts and progress as well? 

    Part of the difficulty in putting on a good Scouting program is that there aren't many adults with the skills and lifestyle needed to teach and provide example!!

    No one said you'd be a "Boy Scout" again...we are speaking of expanding (or re-expanding) the program to encompass adults...  Wholeheartedly agree they should be given adult-level challenges.  I believe you make a great error when you infer Scouting is a childish thing.  Scouting (mentally separate it from the Boy Scouts of America, please) is indeed a lifestyle.  Do the Scout Oath and Scout Law cease to apply when you "become a man?" 

    If you read (or re-read) about Rovering at http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com/rovers.html (great resource website, btw) you can get the idea.

    The most important lesson?  Well, part of being an adult is that you get to decide what that is.  In our household (and what I strive to convey to our Scouts) it is this  "... ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.”  If you also read what BP put forth throughout his Scouting years, you would come away with those ideas...

    Finally, I would suggest, when we look at our American society on the whole, most would agree there is a sore need for adults "... to put away childish things and become a man."  And there is no better way to teach that than by example.  By cutting people out of the program (before they have really become adults) with an arguably arbitrary age limit, you eliminate an opportunity to continue influencing.




    • Upvote 1
  8. 13 hours ago, Wëlënakwsu said:

    Anecdotally in my District it seemed that thru the early/mid 80’s many of those who kept Scouting going were young adult former Scouts who stayed with the Troop, Lodge, etc during college or job and became post college Scouters.  But gradually many more went ‘away’ after high school and lost the Scouting connection.  Is this just me or do other members recall similar circumstances?

    Not just you...my circumstances for staying in fit your description to a tee...and most of my friends in Scouting as a youth simply left the program when they "aged out."  It is sad that we even have this phrase... 

    Scouting should have no age restrictions.  How many men out there are full of regret at not earning their Eagle?  I know at least a dozen who would come back in a heartbeat to finish their goal.

    As an Eagle Scout, I would welcome the accomplishment from any person, regardless of age.  What would your unit look like if there were patrols of different ages...or lifelong patrols!!


  9. On 10/22/2020 at 10:48 AM, ParkMan said:

    I do wonder if some of this is just natural team dynamics.  As I read your comment, I couldn't help but think of the stages of team development from Wood Badge - forming, storming, norming, performing.  I wonder how much of this is the Scouter community working through something that.  We discuss a topic and after the pleasantries, people's real opinions start to come out.  The thread can then spiral for a few days while people battle a bit.  After a bit people either get frustrated and walk away or they realize that those they are battling with are not so awful.  Then some more deep down discussions happen.  I'm probably overthinking that one.  

    You aren't overthinking it, brother ;) ...that is the purpose of open, non-attribution discussion.  Discussion gives us the chance to work out our own thinking, articulate our ideas, get input from others, and modify the framework of our thinking to strengthen it, or get rid of it for new thinking. Enjoy!


    • Upvote 1
  10. Thanks!  I learned something new today!  Didn't know this had "changed."

    23 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Any remaining assets obtained with funds raised in the name of Scouting must be redeployed for Scouting use in the local area. Any assets obtained with funds from the chartered organization or parents of registered members may be redeployed as agreed upon by the chartered organization and local council.

    I find this a bit disturbing...all assets should belong to the CO, period.  It is their program, and they get to decide what to do with the stuff.

    This also has tax implications...for example...Scout unit does a fundraiser (..."in the name of Scouting?") to buy, say, a trailer to haul gear...if someone donates to that cause, it is the CO's EIN that records the donation.  That is, if the donor asks for a receipt for tax purposes, it is the CO's EIN (federal IRS Employer Identification Number) that is listed as the organization the money was given to.

    "...may have been secured as property of the unit "?????

    Also, Scout Troops aren't (normally) incorporated entities...they cannot "own" property.  For example, your Troop trailer should be titled to your CO!!  And, by extension, all gear is the CO's.  Council has naught to say about it's disposition.

    The verbiage implies two pots of money:  1) funds raised in the name of Scouting, 2)  funds from COs or parents

    Are your tracking which assets were bought from which "pot" of money?  We sure aren't...nor will we...  

    • Upvote 2
  11. 16 hours ago, ParkMan said:

    Scoutmasters/Cubmasters who do too much - they don't delegate which makes the job appear huge.

    Hmmm...not quite.  What I have seen is SM's doing jobs outside their lane (including me!!) because of lack of support from the Committee.  The huge job of putting on a good program for the Troop is not the Scoutmaster's job.  It is the job of the Troop Committee and the Scoutmaster corps, in toto.  Too often I run up against the mentality that I, as the Scoutmaster, am THE leader of the Troop.  People want to look to one person on whom to "stop the buck."  It is not the Scoutmaster.  It is the triumvirate, the Key 3.  As a Scoutmaster, I identify critical needs and timelines to the Committee Chair, in front of everyone, at the Troop Committee meeting.  I ask the Committee Chair to delegate responsibilities which do not belong to the SM corps, and to let me know on whom it is we can rely to do the task.  Most often, the CC does not get someone to do it, and I become the victim of my own success (I do it because time is running out.)

    I will delegate only Scoutmaster roles to Assistant Scoutmasters...being the leader in charge on a camping trip or outing, taking a Scoutmaster conference, giving a Scoutmaster minute, etc., etc., etc.

    Here are some things I do not want to do, but often have to because the Committee fails...

    1) I don't want to take money/payments from Scouts or parents. Give it to your Patrol Leader (money for food for a camping trip) or the Troop Scribe or Treasurer (dues), or, all else failing, the Committee Chair (the Treasurer works for the CC, not me.)

    2.  I do not want to take health forms.  Give it to the MFG (medical forms guru), or CC.  I get forms, as a package, from the MFG for activities.  Exception, Scout shows up with a new form on an outing...

    3.  I do not want to buy gear for the Troop.  SM works with PLC to identify needs...QM and PLC come up with alternatives, and price.  I lobby the Committee for money, if not already budgeted.  If no money available, I ask the PLC if they want to do a fundraiser, or do without.  Once we get the money, QM is mentored by adult Equipment Coordinator to purchase.

    4.  I do not want to arrange transportation.  

    5.  I do not want to create Troop policies for support.  (setting Troop dues, procedures for handling money, procedures for vetting adults for participation, etc.)

    6.  I do not want to run recruiting efforts or "inprocess" new Scouts and families administratively into the Troop.

    etc, etc, etc


    16 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

    It's really not rocket science, but it takes a Scoutmaster or Committee Chair to take ownership of it and develop the succession plan, and the leaders in it.

    Agreed, but this is a team effort...what I do not see in other posts here is setting and sticking to a term limit.  One reason folks are reluctant to SM is that it seems like an open-ended job because of a lack of succession planning.  Give the recruit a light at the end of the tunnel.  Will you be the Scoutmaster for one year, or two years, or three years?  Set a "retirement" date, and stick to it!!!  My retirement date is the end of summer camp, 2021.  (We find that is a good transition point...out with a bang)  Committee still has not identified replacement.  But they know I will step down on that day.  If you, as SM, contribute to kicking the can down the road, you create your own hell ;)  I have six ASM's, and have "privately" rank ordered them for the succession "ask"  but it is the CC's job to ask (with COR's approval).

    And who, must take the the SM role if no one is identified or takes the position?  The Committee Chair!

    "The troop committee supports the Scoutmaster in delivering a quality troop program. Members ensure quality adult leadership is recruited and trained. If the Scoutmaster is absent, the committee assigns a qualified assistant Scoutmaster. If the Scoutmaster is unable to serve, the committee recruits and selects a replacement."

    "It is perhaps the troop committee’s most important responsibility to recruit adult leadership for the troop. The troop’s success rests on the quality of that leadership."


    13 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Me personally, I would avoid just from the Cub Scout ranks adults as SM.

    Agreed.  When we first arrived, our Troop was just a Pack on steroids.  Adults doing everything.  It "ran" well, but it wasn't Scouting.  Adult leaders were brought right over from Cubs without being "indoctrinated" into the program differences.  Cultural change has taken the better part of five years, and it has been a rough road.

    • Upvote 2
  12. 4 hours ago, MattR said:

    They haven't even gotten close to mastering outdoor skills in the few hours that are allotted together, in the outdoors.

    Concur, but that is why they call it the "Introduction to..."

    Is there a BSA course for adults to learn these skills in any depth?  Not in my experience...even went to National Camp School twice for Scoutcraft (back in the day).  It was better, but still didn't hit the mark.

    It wasn't until I started reading my Scout Handbook and the merit badge pamphlets, putting together the materials and skills so I could teach them at Scout camp...(served on 15 camp staffs in various disciplines.)

    I have taught many IOLS classes...and too many people are looking for the "easy" answer or some magic pill for skills.  They are only won by study, diligence, and practice. (Same as for Scouts ;) )

    Now, when a Scout or adult asks me a skills question, my first response is usually, "Let's see what the Scout Handbook says?" And then we sit down and read through the section together. 

    It's really amazing what you find.  Over 112 years of knowledge distilled in there... 


    • Upvote 1
  13. On 10/11/2020 at 8:04 PM, JoeBob said:

    how many years have you wasted driving the speed limit while impeding the flow of traffic and being a general hazard on the highway?

    Not years...perhaps a few hours, maybe even days...

    But your thinking, and behavior, is wrong, friend. The facts (stubborn things) and statistics don't support you.


    Plan ahead, far right lane, cruise control on the speed limit...let the real hazardous drivers pass you on the left.



    • Upvote 2
  14. 2 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:
    • Don't approach the murder kitten like this guy did.
    • Note that her kittens were nearby which puts her in defensive mode.
    • Get big, get loud, don't run away. You can't out run it and running away puts the cougar in predator mode.
    • DO NOT BEND DOWN! Note when this guy bends down the cougar charges. It makes you look small.
    • Find a branch or something you can grab and throw without bending down. He eventually threw rocks and the cougar ran off. If you have trekking poles, water bottles, etc. throw them.
    • Put the damn phone away so you have both hands free.

    7.  Don't hike alone in cougar / bear country.

    8.  After the encounter, wipe.

    • Haha 1
  15. 19 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    There is a theory that a pilot can't fly 100 miles without breaking at least one FAA regulation because there are so many, . Scouting is much the same. I doubt that a single unit does an activity without breaking some rule.

    There are a great deal of rules in flying.  It is an extremely complex activity.  That is also one of the complaints you hear from volunteers as they peel the curtain back on Scouting...the rule set is complex.  But that is as it should be...it, also, is a complex activity (or should we say a collection of complex activities) with OPK (other people's kids)

    Unfortunately, in both flying and Scouting, breaking the rules, intentionally or not, can have catastrophic consequences.


    The best pilots, and Scouters, first know the rules, and second, strive diligently to follow them, even if they are inconvenient.  This is discipline...

    I do ridicule the rules and rulemakers, but strive to follow them.


    • Upvote 1
  • Create New...