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Everything posted by CalicoPenn

  1. Wind and Jewel Caves? Mount Rushmore? Devil's Tower? The Badlands??? We all know the two most important places for any Scout group to visit in South Dakota (and Wyoming - home of Devil's Tower) ranks far above any of those spots. The Corn Palace and Wall Drugs must rightfully be at the very TOP of the list. CalicoPenn (removing tongue from cheek now)
  2. >>But, not so long ago those immigrants tried to assimilate as soon as they could. They learned English and tried to fit into American Society. Yes, they kept their heritage. But, they worked hard to become citizens - LEGAL citizens. They were proud to be Americans. Americans first - not hyphenated Americans. What happened since then? Now, in certain parts of the country, an English-only speaking person can feel lost.
  3. I think our National Anthem sung in any language should be just fine - I've heard it sung in the language of the Lakota and in the language of the Pottowatamie and it was just as moving as when sung in English. Moreover, I'd guess that at least half the time, the words aren't sung when the National Anthem is being played anyway. I know when I compare the sung version versus the instrumental only version of the anthem, that I find the instrumental only version to be a lot more powerful and moving. Calico
  4. Unwritten rule of speedo wearing - No speedo wearing if over 25 (or European). I grew up wearing speedos about 7 months out of the year (competitive swimming - summer league, winter league then high school). I thought nothing about wearing them at summer camp - I was used to them. I did wear a pair of "lifeguard" shorts (think Baywatch - not baggie, not board shorts - more like nylon gym shorts) over them when I wasn't swimming, not out of modesty but because it kept the suit from getting damaged sitting on concrete pool decks or sand (official reason from the coaches) and because everyone else on the team wore them too (non-pressurized peer pressure - no one told us to wear them (other than the coaches), we just did because others did). Even at 14+ (when "bunchiness" begins to be an issue), I wore them, as did most of the other competitive swimmers in the troop (and there were quite a few of us on the same team). I learned a little trick from the waterfront counselors during my CIT rotation at the waterfront. When they did the check in swim, they would have the kids wearing the speedos go first - most of the kids wearing speedos turned out to be competitive swimmers so they were confident that the kids would pass - the older kids (13 up) would be handed a pole at the end of their swim test to serve as an extra pair of eyes and hands during the rest of the units swim test. It was one of those waterfront staff truisms (borne out by observation, not statistics) that the kids wearing the baggy shorts weren't very good swimmers. Of course, this was the late 1970's, times change, and its likely not true. Interesting thing about the whole modesty issue - I never had a problem being around anyone - boy, girl, cheerleader, wrestling/football jock, male, female, friends mother/father or even grandparents (you get the idea) wearing nothing but my speedo but I'd be darned if someone would see me wearing just my tighty whities (which had a heck of a lot more fabric than the speedos which left little to the imagination) - go figure. As for the mile swim patch - never on a speedo - it goes on the shorts one wears while sitting on the beach - though the one year I earned 14 of them in a 2-week summer camp session, I could have made a bikini-style swimsuit with the patches (I didn't ask my unit to buy me 14 - I didn't even ask them to buy me 1 - I already had a few from previous years - my red vest would have looked rather funny with nothing but mile swim patches on it). CalicoPenn
  5. One more thought pertaining to the 2-year rule. This doesn't mean someone needs to be a member continuously for 2 years. It means that one must complete the camping requirements within 2 years of election. If someone completes all the camping requirements in just 1 year, they are eligible to stand for election (and in very active troops, it is possible to meet the camping requirements in just one year). By the same token, the 2 year requirement to meet the camping requirements is a maximum. You must complete the camping requirements no more than 2 years prior to election. By example, if you complete 15 days in 2 years but your last long-term camp was 3 years ago, that long-term experience doesn't count so you aren't eligible to stand for election. CalicoPenn
  6. Under OA requirements for membership (according to the Guide for Officers and Advisors) all persons under the age of 21 are eligible for election as youth members, and only those who are 21 years of age or older are eligible to be candidates for adult membership (just so no one gets confused, once a member, always a member - provided dues are paid - if you become a member as a youth, you do not have to go through the process to become an adult member - it's automatic). Under the election procedures section, it states that EVERY registered active member of Boy Scout troops AND Varsity Scout teams (not varsity patrols - Varsity Scout teams) under the age of 21 are eligible to vote in the elections. My read on this is that under 21-year old Assistant Scoutmasters, provided they are a registered member (and we already know National considers registration proof of being active) are allowed to vote in unit elections for the Order of the Arrow. I would take this also to mean that 18-20 year old Assistant Scoutmasters who are not yet Arrowmen but still meet the requirements (must be first class, camping requirements in the previous two years, registered in the BSA) are eligible to be ELECTED as a youth member from their Boy Scout troop. Indeed, they can't gain membership any other way - they must be elected. They don't need to join a Varsity Team (where youth membership ends at age 21) - they can still be elected by the troop. The key here is that this is election to the Order of the Arrow - and Boy Scout age requirements and aging-out doesn't apply. What applies is the Order of the Arrow requirements - and the Order of the Arrow still considers an 18-20 year old Assistant Scoutmaster a youth member of the Order of the Arrow. CalicoPenn
  7. "Troop has threathened to learned how to play the Bugle!" Bring a bugle next camp - next time someone threatens to learn how to play the bugle, hand that person the bugle, the bugling merit badge book (I think it's combined with the music merit badge book), look them straight in the eye and say "You're on". CalicoPenn
  8. Top 3? 1) The day I joined Cub Scouts 2) The day I crossed over to Boy Scouts 3) The day I joined my first Explorer Post As I reflected on this, I realized that everything else - including earning the Eagle Scout award and being honored with the Vigil Honor, all flowed from these three events. CalicoPenn
  9. packsaddle, I knew about Russell Henderson because I followed the Matthew Shephard case pretty closely. I studied Richard Angelo in my criminal pyschology class. But I verified memory of those by simply typing into my internet search engine the terms Eagle Scout Murderer (or you can use Criminal - you get similar results). This led to the others - and also to the debunking of the Manson Eagle Scout myth. The search term also brings up local cases of Eagle Scouts that were charged with murder and with cases where the victim was an Eagle Scout. I know we hate to see bad news connected with the BSA and Eagle Scouts but there is nothing we can do to prevent it. CalicoPenn
  10. I've been opposed to this idea (and I remember discussing this idea back in the early 80's with people in my Lodge - I suspect this idea has been kicking around for longer than that) but John-in-KC may have hit on something that could swerve me into another direction. Vigil knots for those who received the honor as a youth. The Order doen't have ranks, and all members are to be treated equally - that means no special privileges for Vigil Honor members. Other than the differing sashes, there should really not be a separate lodge flap for Ordeal, Brotherhood and Vigil Honor members. I had thought to use that argument to oppose the creation of a Vigil Honor knot when I realized that the ribbon triangle does, in essence, a similar function to a knot. On the other hand, compare the number of Eagles awarded per year in a Council versus the number of youth Vigil Honor inductees per year - it could very well be said then that Vigil Honor might be considered pretty prestigious. On yet the other hand (shades of Shiva, perhaps) I've always considered the Vigil Honor to be recognition of exceptional service to one's Lodge and community - and that should be recognition enough. CalicoPenn
  11. Other than a mention that Penn and Teller are athiests, it doesn't look like Merlyn is making any point other than reciting an article talking about what Penn and Teller are going to be talking about on their Showtime show. Of course, other's will read into the post what they will. No matter what you might think of the program (and without seeing it, you won't know what is discussed other than what was mentioned in the quoted article) those known in their community to be active in Scouting (for many, the "go to" people for questions about Scouting) may want to watch the program if only to be able to refute what is said if people ask - fore-warned is fore-armed. CalicoPenn
  12. I've heard many people make the claim that the BSA can revoke an Eagle Scout award for murder or for "moral transgressions". It sounds like one of those things that seems right, but just isn't. There are no verifiable incidents of the Boy Scouts of America revoking someone's Eagle Scout award after it's been earned. Once the award is earned, it's earned - it can't be revoked by the Boy Scouts. What can be revoked is membership in the NESA which may have given rise to the belief that the Eagle Scout award may be revoked. As for the contention that the BSA can waltz in and demand that you return your badges and insignia, it is just that, a contention that would not likely be viewed favorably by the courts, unless the BSA had loaned or given you the insignia. Since in most cases, the insignia and rank badges are purchased from the BSA, it would be rather difficult for the BSA to support a claim for their return unless the BSA was going to compensate you for the insignia. The BSA insignia guide may state they may do so, but the insignia guide is not a legal document or a statement of law. It would be viewed the same as a contention by an appliance maker stating that the refrigerator you purchased remains the property of the appliance maker and can be taken back with cause at any time - just not going to happen. James Dale's Eagle Scout award was not revoked - his membership in NESA was - but not the award. As for headline murderer's who are Eagle's, the first that comes to my mind is Russell Henderson, who was one of the murdering scum-buckets that beat and left Matthew Shepard tied to a fence in Wyoming - his Eagle Scout has not been revoked. Another is Richard Angelo - serial killer - sometimes referred to as the Angel of Death - worked as a nurse and killed 25 people in hospitals. Eagle Scout not revoked. Another is John Edwards Robinson, Sr. - serial killer from Kansas known as the Cyber-sex killer. Eagle Scout not revoked. Someone else mentioned Charles Whitman - spree killer/sniper. Eagle Scout not revoked.
  13. MVScouter has presented an idea in another thread I thought deserved its own thread (hope you don't mind me borrowing from your thoughts on this MVScouter). What do people think of a suggestion to create a Vigil Honor knot? MV Scouter (who is also a Vigil Honor member) suggests (in a reply to a reply): "As to the Vigil knot, it was my thought to have the Vigil knot as a replacement, if some so choose to do, for the small Vigil triangle. An honor that prestigious should be adequently displayed on the uniform...I have the support of the Council Executive (the Supreme Chief of the Fire) and our Lodge Chief is not against it, so I can't be that far off base. I don't know your age, but the few people I've talked to, it's the long time scouters that are not in favor. It must be too radical. I feel the small triangle does not honor the award as it should be. I like the other ways other Lodges show what OA honor a scout has. There are many. This idea is just mine." My thoughts on this are that since the Order of the Arrow already uses a ribbon to denote membership (when a lodge flap is not worn) and that there is a triangle device for that ribbon that denotes Vigil Honor, that this is enough. In the discussion, it was mentioned that some lodges issue a different flap to its Vigil Honor members (I believe with a different border color). I had also stated that the knots are for awards earned, not bestowed - though as has been pointed out, their are knots for District Award of Merit, Silver Beaver, etc - awards that are for the most part bestowed (though also in some respect earned) so I'm willing to accept that this argument is off base. What do other people think? Should a Vigil Honor knot be created? The Order has been around for a long time - surely this has been considered long before - any ideas why there isn't already a Vigil Honor Knot? CalicoPenn (also a Vigil Honor member)
  14. "CalicoPenn---I would not presume to know the uniform requirements and policy's of Venturing, so if your post votes to wear jeans, so be it. However, there is a time and a place for everything. Please reread the post from kraut60. I'm in total agreement with him on his viewpoint. We all wear uniforms, whether it's Scouts, our jobs, a wedding, a school band, or on a baseball diamond. Would you wear shorts when playing high school of college baseball. Obviously not. It's not the uniform. So, you feel you must stand by your principles at a LEC meeting by wearing your Explorer Post jeans. Okay. What were all the adults wearing? Scout pants I bet. What about all the Lodge officers and Chapter Chiefs? Again, most probably wore the scout pants. Why? Think of the setting. This is an executive scout meeting. Most scouts want to project their professional appearance by honoring the program by their reverance for the complete uniform. Would it kill you to wear the grey Venturing pants or something more appropiate for this type of setting?" Ok, let me try this one more time. My uniform, with blue jeans, was the full and proper (emphasis proper) uniform for my Explorer Post - any other type of pants would have meant I was not in full uniform. While many may think blue jeans are inappropriate, the fact remains that the BSA did not consider blue jeans inappropriate uniforming pants for Explorer Posts. For the meetings I attended, it was appropriate, and professional, for me to wear my full uniform, which I did. No matter what the setting, if full uniforming was thye order of the day, I wore the full uniform - whether people liked jeans or not, it was part of my full uniform. Would it have killed me to wear grey pants? Other than color blindness issues of wearing grey pants with dark blue shirts, no - but - and this is the key - I would not have been in FULL and PROPER uniform - and isn't that the whole point of the matter? To respect the program by wearing full and proper uniforming? Your suggestion of wearing some other kind of "more appropriate" pants means suggesting I ignore the BSA uniform guidelines - how it that respecting the program and projecting professionalism? Either you're in full and correct uniform or you aren't - I was in full and correct uniform. In Exploring at the time, uniforms were determined by individual Explorer Posts - not by National. As Kraut's posts indicate, uniforms have a purpose - and one of those purposes is Unit Cohesion - that was even more true in Exploring than in Boy Scouts since Boy Scout uniforms were, for lack of a better word, uniform throughout the nation (and therefore promoted universal program cohesion). The fact also remains that had I worn the khaki Boy Scout Uniform, I would not only not be in full uniform, I was not allowed to wear that uniform as I was not registered in any capacity other than in my Explorer Post. Put another way, the Boy Scout uniform would have been no more that a Halloween Costume had I been wearing it - and is that what we should reduce the Boy Scout uniform to - a costume?? The only person in my lodge who had any complaints about my uniform was the Lodge Chief. The Lodge Advisor, the Staff Advisor, my Chapter Advisor, and every other person who came to those meetings wearing their full uniforms, had no issues whatsoever with my uniform. I also remind you that in a surprise uniform inspection at a Spring Fellowship, I was one of only 3 people inspected in full uniform. Back in my day, our council had around 25 or so uniformed Explorer Posts - not one in 25 had the same uniform as the other Posts - we all had different uniforms - and it was rather interesting to see the Posts all gather together for the flag raising ceremony at the beginning of our scout-o-rama - there would be a sea of Blue and Gold, a sea of Khaki, and a sea of Mutts - and a better display of the diversity of Scouting couldn't be seen, except maybe at a world jamboree. I've said it before - I support the figurative "death to the uniform police" because too often, the uniform cop is just flat out wrong. CalicoPenn
  15. Interesting question - makes me wonder if I enjoy cooking because of Scouts or if I enjoyed Scouts more because I liked to cook...except I really don't like cooking outdoors much (except for barbecuing and open flame roasting). When I go camping now, I rarely cook anything (other than maybe a steak, chicken breast, or pork chop/steak roasted over an open fire). Instead, I tend towards a diet of "raw" foods - fruits, vegetables, nuts, salads, cheese and sausage, etc. Winter is an exception and even then my "cooking" is heavy on boiling water for oatmeal or pasta. Most of my early cooking skills came from my Mother who made it a point to teach us skills we would need to be self-sufficient later on in life (like laundry - it amazed me to no end how many 1st year college students, both male and female, didn't know how to operate a washing machine or dryer when they got to school). Cooking Merit Badge was a breeze for me (and I agree, it should still be required for Eagle). I would say that it was because of Scouts that I found I enjoy the challenge of cooking for large (50+) groups of people. It was definitely from the Scouts that I learned how to crack and open an egg with one hand (and not just with one hand, but also to be able to crack and open an egg in each hand at the same time) without leaving any shell in the egg mix. CalicoPenn
  16. I simply don't believe it is appropriate for someone to tell another person from another unit that their uniforming is incorrect, if they haven't asked for your help/opinion. That's the key part (which was left off) - if they haven't asked. If they've asked for your help/opinion, then that's an altogether different kettle of fish, but if they haven't asked, then don't be surprised or offended if they tell you to mind your own business. If they're indignant, its likely because they think you're being rude, not because they think they're wrong. I'd counter the helpful argument with the friendly argument - in my opinion, its not very friendly to go up to someone and tell him his neckerchief is rolled wrong, or he's wearing his patches the wrong way, if the person isn't within your own unit (where there is a familiarity involved that helps temper the criticism). No matter how constructive helpful criticism is meant, if you aren't asked for it, it will be taken the wrong way more often than not. Chances are high that even if they seem to respond favorably to your face (a Scout is polite, after all), once your back is turned, they wonder aloud to their friends just who do you think you are. jr56 - I think you hit the nail square on with your last sentence - "I feel setting a proper uniform example myself and saying nothing about anyone else is usually the best policy to keep". CalicoPenn
  17. It is appropriate to point out uniforming errors - to the members of your own unit. It is not appropriate to point out uniforming errors to members of other units - unless asked by them for your help or comments. I fully understand the indignation expressed by those who are told by some stranger about their uniforming errors - I don't understand the concurrent indignation expressed by those "uniform cops" who are told to mind their own business. If your own unit has boys wearing worn and ripped jeans, and chains, then those are the boys you should be speaking to - not to the SPL of an unrelated unit about a boy wearing three religious award knots. Frankly, in the grand scheme of things, wearing three religious award knots is just so inconsequential to the program, especially when uniforms are not required to be a Boy Scout in the first place. Get your own house in order before you try getting everybody elses house in order. Perhaps the point was missed about my wearing jeans as part of my uniform. Explorer Posts chose their own uniform by election of the post - denim jeans were an allowable option per the uniform regulations of the Boy Scouts of America for Explorer Posts. My unit elected to wear jeans. Any other pants would have meant that I would be out of uniform so when I wore blue jeans (clean and well maintained - that was part of our uniforming requirements) as part of my uniform, I was in official FULL uniform. Wearing scout pants instead would have meant I was out of uniform. These rules only applied to Explorers. They did not apply to Boy Scouts. My wearing blue jeans certainly did not affect my willingness to take on the role of Lodge Vice Chief. The bigger point was that the official Boy Scout uniform was not an available option to me - I was not registered at the time as a member of a Boy Scout troop as a youth (after age 15) or as an adult (after age 18) - I was registered in two Explorer Posts - one that had no uniform and one that had a post elected uniform - my uniform was set, as per BSA uniforming policy, by my Explorer Post. The official BSA uniform could not be worn by me because it was not the uniform of my post. The BSA policy on Explorer Post uniforms was quite clear - if your Post chooses its own uniforms, you must only wear the uniform of your post, you cannot wear the BSA uniform unless you are registered in a troop, pack, or district capacity. I was not registered in a troop, pack or district capacity, therefore I could not wear the official Boy Scout uniform, per BSA uniforming policy. As for a Vigil Honor knot, I respectfully disagree about having one created. The existing knots are all for awards that are earned. The Vigil Honor is not an earned award. It is an honor that is bestowed upon one for exceptional service to their Lodge and community. Since it is not an earned award, it doesn't fit in with the purpose of the knots, which is to recognize earned awards. With the exception of a few youth-earned award knots, one can work towards earning the awards needed to wear the knot. One can't work towards "earning" the Vigil Honor. Their is already a device one can wear to show that one has been recognized with the Vigil Honor. It is a Vigil triangle pin that one wears on the arrow ribbon. Other than the triangle pin and the triangle on one's sash, in keeping with the spirit of the Order, there should be no other outward manifestation of the Vigil Honor. In the Order, all members are equal - there is no rank in the Order. Ordeal members and Vigil members are equal in the eyes of the Order. Brotherhood membership is not a rank, nor is it earned - it is a recommittment to the ideals of the Order of the Arrow. Vigil Honor is not a rank, nor is it earned - it is a recognition of exceptional service. CalicoPenn
  18. I wonder what your chapter is tasked with doing by the lodge? You mention that a bunch of scouts and adults are sent through ordeal each summer - that sounds like the ordeal is done as part of summer camp, something many lodges do. My experience is that most lodges who do ordeals during summer camp also do the call-out ceremonies during summer camp as well - is this true of your lodge? If so, this likely leaves just one task for a chapter to do - elections - and let's be frank, elections aren't a very high profile, rewarding task - its an administrative function that must be done - and elections don't help a chapter to be vibrant and active. If this is the only thing the lodge needs the chapter to do, then I'm not surprised that there isn't more participation in the chapter. I also wouldn't be surprised at the seeming indifference of the chapter's advisors to lodge events since they probably see that their duties amount to very little within the OA - chances are the chapter advisor position in such a chapter is an "add-on" one hour a month (a real one-hour too - not a ten-hour one-hour) job to someone's "real" responsibility. Something many people aren't aware of (until they get involved in leadership at the lodge level) is that chapters are not a required part of the lodge structure - they are optional. The lodge is responsible for the ceremonies, for elections, for planning fellowships - not the chapters. The duties of chapters is to assist the lodge, as directed by the lodge, in completing the duties of the lodge. I went to a summer camp of a very large council (not my home council) where the call-out ceremony (very impressive, I might add) was done during summer camp, as was the ordeal - this particular summer camp scheduled itself in 4 two-week sessions, with a call-out and ordeal held in the middle of each session (4 call-outs and ordeals every summer) - units that only stayed one week usually left on Sunday. Their chapters weren't very active - they only did elections. In my lodge, also from a very large council (and neighboring council to the above mentioned), ordeal was done during the spring and fall fellowships - not during summer camp. Camp sessions were scheduled as one week sessions (many troops stayed two weeks, but there was limited program available on the weekends - units were encouraged to use that time for off-camp trips (canoeing, horseback overnights, etc.)). Since there was no call out or ordeals during summer camp, the chapters had to plan and run their own call-out ceremonies, which were done during spring camporees. This lead to very strong, very active chapters. Elections weren't as much of a chore because we were able to tie it in directly with our spring call-outs and that helped to create a sense of excitement about the elections among the election teams (in most of the chapters election team members got first crack at participating in the call-out ceremonies as escorts). Lodge leadership came directly from the chapters - if you weren't active in a chapter and ran for election as a lodge officer, your chances of winning were virtually zero - people asked members of the chapter you were in how you were as a leader of the chapter. Chapters were asked, on a rotating basis, to plan and run the fall fellowship (spring fellowship, held in June at the council's summer camp, was always planned by the lodge). It all comes down to the question "what is the function of the chapter in the lodge". If it's just elections, then chapters probably won't be very active - there is just nothing there to hold the interest of the lads. If it includes running their own ceremonies, planning and running a fellowship, etc., then you'll see very active chapters that provide meaningful activities for the lads. CalicoPenn
  19. We had a deck of cards, some dice, and a travel Yahtzee game in a Crown Royal bag - and as I recall, we never had a bottle of Crown Royal in the house anytime I was growing up - we probably got the bag from a neighbor - they were (still are) the perfect small bag for carrying little things in - and after all, a Scout is Thrifty. No one ever made a big deal out of the Crown Royal bags, and duct tape over the logo wouldn't be able to hide the origin of the bag from anyone since it's a pretty unique bag. When I read the thread this was spun from, my first reaction wasn't that there was a bottle of Crown Royal on the table (I mean really, does anyone actually drink that stuff? I'd almost be willing to lay odds that the only reason it sells is so people can get the bag - but then that's gambling and gambling has no place in the Scouts either) but that it was the bag holding the cards and poke chips. Not to beat the gambling thing any deader but I'd bet that 90% plus of us thought the same thing. As for advertising t-shirts, I just don't wear them. I wonder what the demographics involved are. In my wanderings around, I've tended to notice that adults and youth in urban and suburban settings are more likely to wear store branded t-shirts - like Gap, Old Navy, Abercrombie, Hollister, Nike, etc. or fashion house branded t-shirts like Tommy Hilfiger, FUBU, etc. I've noticed that I'm more likely to see adults and youth in more rural areas (including isloated cities of 100,000 or so) wearing Nascar t-shirts, or branded freebies from tobacco and liquor companies. Any one else ever notice the same? Personally, I've taken a page from the Cosby Show from the 1980's and the t-shirts/sweatshirts I wear are mostly college branded or are from state/national parks. I usually visit one or two college bookstores while I'm traveling on vacation, mainly the smaller and unique private colleges like Berea College (Kentucky), Lincoln Memorial University (Kentucky), College of the Atlantic (Maine), College of the Ozarks (Missouri), Northland College (Wisconsin), and of course my own Alma Mater - Unity College (Maine). Sure, I have to purchase them, but I figure the money goes to support our wild lands and educational institutions. CalicoPenn
  20. Thanks FScouter for the info from the Commissioners Fieldbook and the link to the scouting.org website. Commissioners may be registered as a committee member for a unit, but as I stated, ideally, they should not then serve as the Unit Commissioner for a unit they may be serving already in another role. There may be Unit Commissioners in places (such as the case stated by the original poster) but that situation is ripe for conflict of interest problems as the Unit Commissioner should be a neutral party where a particular unit is concerned. It's clear that a Commissioner cannot be cross-registered as a Unit Leader (Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Den Leader, ASM, ACM, etc.) since the role of Commissioner is meant to be the primary role for that person, and that isn't possible if one is also a unit leader, though since they can apparently serve on a unit committee, that for the purposes of Commissioner service, committee members aren't considered unit leaders. Not sure if the current commissioner handbooks are any clearer on the issue beyond one can't be a commissioner and a unit leader at the same time. Maybe someone with access to the books themselves can answer? CalicoPenn
  21. Some folks are bound to be displeased by this answer, but so be it - history is what it is. Baden-Powell placed no importance on reverence in his Scout Law at all. It doesn't even appear. Here is Baden-Powell's Scout Law - all 10 points of it (note, the 10th point was added in 1911 so wasn't part of the original). 1) A Scout's Honour is to be Trusted 2) A Scout is Loyal 3) A Scout's Duty is to be useful and to help others 4) A Scout is a Friend to All 5) A Scout is Courteous 6) A Scout is a Friend to Animals 7) A Scout Obeys Orders 8) A Scout Smiles and Whistles under all difficulties 9) A Scout is Thrifty 10) A Scout is Clean in Thought, Word, and Deed. My understanding of his Scout Law was that he considered all of equal importance. Interestingly, the current UK Scout Law does not contain any reference to reverence, nor does it seem to appear in most countries version of the Scout Law. The US and the Scandinavian countries seem to be the exception in World Scouting in adding some reference to a need for reverence. CalicoPenn
  22. The Unit Commissioner is a District level leadership position. They act as mentors, resources, liasons (to District/Council) and mediators to their assigned unit's leaders. According to the BSA website for Commissioners, Commissioners must not be registered simutaneously as unit leaders. One of the reasons for this is because they may be called on to mediate leadership disputes within a unit. Though Commissioners may hold a committee position within a unit because they have a son in the unit or have historical ties to the unit, ideally they should not be the Unit Commissioner for that unit. I suggest your CC and CM contact the District Commissioner and request a Unit Commissioner that has no ties to the Unit and just tell him/her your uncomfortable with having a Unit Commissioner who is also active in the unit - this way it isn't a personal thing, just following suggested scout policies. Your current Unit Commissioner should be able to serve other units just fine, just not yours. In my experience, most Unit Commissioners serve 3 to 4 units, usually no more, and the best Commissioners serve a variety of units (a Pack (or 2), a Troop (or 2) and a Crew/Ship (or 2). CalicoPenn
  23. Just when I start to think of myself as becoming an "old dog", someone posts something to remind me that maybe I'm not. Beavah's post did that for me again. As I read the list of new sports, new school subjects and new devices, I realized that my generation (Gen X - I was born in 61 - and no, Boomers, I refuse to allow you to claim me as one of your own!) invented most of it (especially those sports), or fully embraced it (all that new technology/science), and that I've done a lot of it long before today's kids have done it (which of course could mean maybe this stuff isn't as new as it appears). I'd take the lads windsurfing, snowboarding, sodsurfing, wakeboarding, rollerblading, etc. in a heartbeat. Paintball and laser tag is a different story - I don't think the BSA bans these because they are dangerous but because people are shooting guns at other people and thats not a lesson the BSA wants to teach. I suspect that as more and more parents from Generation X (most of whom are in their 30's now) get involved in the scouts we'll see less and less resistance to new things. Part of that is, I think, the continuing ability of Gen X to remain early adopters of new things. Gen X seems to be that group of people in our history who is transitioning the world view that the good old days isn't what happened in the past but what happens tomorrow (and each succeeding tomorrow), a viewpoint which seems to be translating to the next generation CalicoPenn
  24. To piggy back a little on Aquila's post - as mentioned, the explosion of organized youth sports (beyond the old little league baseball and Pop Warner football) is relatively new. I think we can say that a good part of that explosion is the result of something else that is relatively new - the majority of kids graduating high school moving on to college - it wasn't until the 1960's when the baby boomers were encouraged by their parents to go on to college (which their parents had not done) and do better than their parents that college started to become an expectation for high school students. It wasn't until the 1970's that the numbers of high school students intending on continuing on to college started hitting the 90th percentile. Now, those students are parents, most of them had gone to college, and it's now expected that their children will go to college too, just like dad AND mom. So why the explosion of youth sports? Because most colleges have scholarships, often full ride scholarships, for their sports teams - not just their football teams, but their soccer teams, their cheerleading teams (now considered a sport in its own right), their gymnastics teams, their swim teams (and on and on) and many parents hope their children will be able to use the sports training they get as children to get onto the high school team and be able to be good enough to get a college scholarship (I know, I know - sounds rather cynical, but too many parents admit that in the back of their minds they hope their child will be able to get a soccer scholarship). How can Scouts compete with that? Here's a thought - suggest that some of our largest contributers start creating Leadership Scholarships at schools within their state. It would be a small start but its a start. And who might be best qualified to earn a Leadership Scholarship other than Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Student Council members (who are often Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts anyway). CalicoPenn
  25. ::"If the scout completes his Star Rank BOR on Jan 1, 2006, the tenure for his Life Rank can follow consecutively and begin on July 1, 2006, even if he has not been afforded the opportunity of a BOR? And subsequently would the same follow with Life to Eagle, regarding tenure?":: If the Scout completes (and completion includes passing the BOR, he can't just have a BOR, he has to pass it too) his Star rank BOR on January 1, he can have his Life rank BOR on July 1 (and no earlier) provided he has met all the other requirements. Same holds true for Eagle - in this example, provided he has met all the other requirements, he could have his Eagle BOR on January 1 (or later - no earlier) of the next year. I'm going to join the Kibbitzer's here - not to criticize, but to suggest that monthly BOR opportunities make more sense than quarterly from the perspective of providing the program to the lad (and as I've always said, there is nothing the unit does that is more important than providing the program). For the higher ranks (Star and Life), an "on demand" BOR wouldn't seem out of line. This is one of those chances for the Scoutmaster to do one of his most important jobs - be an advocate for the lads - if the boy is ready, the Scoutmaster should be calling the Advancement Committee Chair before the SM conference and ask if a BOR could be arranged in a week or two if the lad is ready (one or two weeks notice seems rather fair to me). The way I figure it, if a District can pull together an Eagle Board of Review in two weeks or less, then surely a Scout Troop can do so. CalicoPenn
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