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Everything posted by CalicoPenn

  1. A wholly under taught little fact about the Consitution of the United States, which most people consider to be the founding document of the country, is that much of the basis for its structure of government, and most of the rights enshrined in the original Bill of Rights, comes from the governance structure of the Confederacy of the Iroquois. The Founding Fathers had interacted heavily with the nations of the Iroquois and all of them were heavily influenced by that interaction. Benjamin Franklin's Albany Plan took much of its structure directly from the Iroquois - that plan led the way to the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. Jame's Wilson, the author of the first draft of the Constitution used the Iroquois Confederacy principles to help create the draft. Even Thomas Jefferson writes of his embracing of the principles of the "savages". Now some might say that the Declaration of Indepenence was the founding document of the US. The Declaration was as much a call to arms for the colonists as it was a "take your rules and shove them" letter to the King, and though much of the items in the case it laid out for independence became enshrined in the Constitution as rights of the people, it isn't the founding document of the United States - indeed, look closely at the Declaration and you'll notice that the word united is not capitalized when it speaks of the States, the capitalization doesn't occur until the Constitution. The Declaration even acknowledges that the 13 States are colonies. That being said, if people are still convinced that the Declaration if the founding document, then history has more to teach us about this document as well. Most of the principles spoken of in the Declaration, and later enshrined in the Constitution, were ideas learned from the Iroquois. Some historians now even state that the colonists got the idea to declare independence from interacting with the free people of the Iroquois. It should be noted that in June 1776, while the question of independence was being debated, twenty-one visiting Iroquois chiefs were housed on the second floor of the Pennsylvania State House and were formally invited into the meeting hall of the Continental Congress. The Iroqouis people had a tradition of meeting and democracy, of free speech, of free thinking, of tolerance for each other's differences of religion, of all those things which got attached to the Bill of Rights. Colonial leaders watched the method of government that the Iroquois utilized and they learned union and democracy from it. Historians are now beginning to admit that the government of the United States is not patterned after something across the ocean where there was a belief in the divine right of kings and where the people had no voice, but it is patterned after the government of the Iroquois, where all people, including both men and women were respected and took a part in their government. As the people of the Iroquois, who had far more influence than overseas governance structures on the structure of our country, as well as much more influence on our ideals, were not Christian, it would be more correct to say that the United States was founded on Nativist, Pagan or even "savage heathen" principles. CalicoPenn
  2. It all depends on the ceremony. At a call-out ceremony, sitting is appropriate during much of the ceremony, and people can be asked to rise as necessary. For the Ordeal, Brotherhood and Vigil Honor ceremonies, the "audience" should remain standing throughout (except for those that need to sit for health, etc. reasons). You're there to stand behind your brothers as they take that first/next step in service or to stand in congratulations and honor to those that have performed exceptional and distinguished service (Vigil Honor). The Order of the Arrow is predicated on the ideal that all members are equal - there are no ranks within the Order of the Arrow (Brotherhood confirms committment to the ideals of the Order, Vigil Honor recognizes those that have performed exceptional service to their Lodge and community). Sitting while new Ordeal or Brotherhood members are investitured sends a message that "rank has its privileges" and that is a poor message to send. The longest part of the ceremony seems to be the "secret handshake" check of members as they enter the ceremony space before the ceremony actually begins - sitting should be ok during this part but before the candidates are led into the ceremony site, all should be asked to stand and remain standing. CalicoPenn
  3. Technically, OA Chapters are optional, not required within the organization of the Order. Most Lodges do have chapters due to the size of the Lodge to assist in delivering the program (election teams, call-outs, etc.) but ultimately, the responsiblity for the OA program is the Lodge's. If the Chapter is unable to perform the duties, the Lodge would have to step in. The Lodge shouldn't have any problem with an election team from another chapter performing your units election but you can always ask your Chapter Advisor contact to make sure it's ok with the Lodge Chief and Advisor. CalicoPenn
  4. A survival kit shouldn't be so big as to require a day pack. A small "fanny" pack should be plenty large to carry the essentials - mine is in a pocket of my many pocketed day pack (which I call my "possibles" bag - it carrys everything I could possibly need while I'm out hiking - and even some things I don't "need" but its nice to have handy if I want it (like one of my Native American style flutes to play, a pair of binoculars, a paperback book (the current book is The Journals of Lewis and Clark), a silly dice game, a deck of playing cards, and my journal - but come to think of it, my journal is a "need" for me rather than a nice to have). My essential kit has a fire starting kit (flint/steel/char cloth/rope pieces for tinder), a compass, small first aid kit (there's a slightly larger one person first aid kit in the bigger bag), a length of nylon cord, a whistle, a space blanket, a small Swiss Army knife and a small led flashlight. Now even though I have all that, the only piece of equipment you really need for most places your scouts will camp is a whistle. Why do I say that you ask? Because most places you're going to camp are going to be relatively small in size (it looks huge to a scout with a typical suburban 1/4 acre lot but its quite small when compared to the larger public and private lands out west. If a scout gets turned around (I don't like the word lost - they aren't lost, they just don't know where they happen to be at the time) all they have to do is stay in one place and start blowing on that whistle. I never taught my scouts to do something fancy like try to blow SOS or something like that - just take big breaths and blow long sustained blasts as much as you can. Whistles are easy to carry, and easy for a scout to get in the habit of carrying. The second piece of equipment I might consider a neccessity is a compass - most people who move around trying to get found get more turned around because it's hard to walk a straight line in the woods. Again, for most places you'll camp (wilderness areas, BLM land, large national parks and forests, and if you're lucky, large private ranches out west excepted), if you follow a compass point, you'll eventually come to a road. CalicoPenn
  5. On the one hand ... and on the other hand ---. Let's just agree to disagree. CalicoPenn(This message has been edited by CalicoPenn)
  6. Trevorum, Glad you could find something new in my post. Plenty a young lad in my troop were sent to the Oxford English Dictionary at the local library to look up the term Girl if they complained. No one complained after learning the history of the word. It helped that it was used as a term of endearment. CalicoPenn
  7. I haven't had TV at my house since 2001, not even the networks. When I was at college, our television received 2 channels, one was the ABC affiliate (which worked out well - they showed McGuyver which I liked and syndicated reruns of Magnum, PI, which my roommate liked) and the PBS affiliate. Our antenna couldn't pick up the other channels and cable was still a good 5 years away from hitting town (and this was back in 1985!). Other than the shows we sat down to watch (McGyver or Magnum, or something on PBS assigned as a class project), we never really watched the TV, though it was on all the time - there was something soothing about having the background noises in the middle of the woods in the evening. When I returned home to take care of my parents, cable was hooked up on every television in the house - my father was bedridden for the last 3 years of his life and television was a neccessity to keep him entertained. The only must see shows for me was Northern Exposure, but after Joel left, there was really no longer any point to watching that show anymore; and The Simpsons - and now I can get my Simpson's fix on DVD. I've thought that television newscasts have been going down the tube (so to speak) for years - I was getting really annoyed watching "news reporters" bundling up in arctic quality parkas on 40 degree November days interviewing construction workers to find out just "how they keep warm in such cold weather". I always hoped that the reporter had to endure interviewing 45 construction workers wearing blue jeans and a sweatshirt telling them to go back home to San Diego or somewhere and get a life before finding that one person who said they put on a pair of long johns. After 9-11, TV news just got worse so it was time to go. Now, I watch movies (I get about 15 a month from Netflix) sort of thematically/biographically - for instance, I've watched all the Akira Kurosawa movies, all the Charlie Chaplin movies, all the Alfred Hitchcock movies, and most of the Frederico Fellini movies, am working my way through the movies of Ingmar Bergman, Francois Truffault, Pedro Almodovar, Jean Renoir and Toshiro Mifune (Japanese Actor who starred in a number of Kurosawa movies). I read about double the number of books I used to (last year I read 113 books), have learned to play the Native American style flute, have learned to play the appalachian style dulcimer, am learning the hammered dulcimer, and of course spend time online. CalicoPenn
  8. I always tried to follow the example my former Scoutmaster set: When addressing the troop when it was time to get to work or an important announcement needed to be made, it was Gentlemen. When addressing the troop at during an activity (such as a hike when it was time to take a rest, etc.) it was Guys. When it was a court of honor or other event with parents, community members, etc, participating it was Scouts (as in Will the following Scouts please come forward). When speaking with an individual Scout it was Sir, Lad, Young Lad, and often Mr. (insert last name). If it was a disciplinary issue, the Scout would be taken aside and addressed calmly by first name. My favorite, though, was when it was time for us Scouts to settle down for the night - he was a bit of a linguistic history buff, so would pull out a common word with a now arcane meaning - girls, as in "OK Girls, time to settle down". Originally, girls was a Middle English term designating a youth of either sex - of course now, its only used to designate youth of the female sex. I still run into my former Scoutmaster in town every once in a while, and though I'm now about the same age as he was when he was my Scoutmaster, he still greets me with "Hello There Young Lad" CalicoPenn
  9. An inexpensive, yet very good, brand of hiking boots is Hi Tech. They make lightweight hiking boots that weigh no more than gym shoes, cost around $45.00, and don't take long to break in. I wear these hiking boots as regular shoes every day (except for work), and have since 1985. With heavy use, I go through a pair maybe every 6 to 8 months. I mentioned they don't take long to break in - my personal experience is that the amount of time it takes to break them in is less than 5 minutes. You can get them either ankle high or low cut, depending on whether you need the extra ankle support - for flat trails, low cut work out pretty well, but for the type of terrain you'll encounter at Philmont, you should get the ankle high boots. CalicoPenn
  10. Wonderful stories and memories, Eamonn. Thank's for sharing! Calico
  11. Thanks for the compliment Baden - I certainly try to be positive about Scouting as it was a positive influence on my life. The point of my post is not to embarass the BSA. The point is to suggest that rather than just vent, take action. It seems many Scouters are taking the route t158 is and that's to just stop working with the district and council and just stay working with their units - not that there's anything wrong with that - but it means many good Scouters like t158 who would otherwise be available as mentors for leaders of other units aren't available anymore, and I just don't see how that serves to further Scouting. Don't want to do a red jacket burn? Then don't do one - there are plenty of actions that can be taken, but the important part is to act. In the action I spoke of, that my father took part in, along with nearly 300 volunteers of a rather large council (in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago) in the 70's, the Council Executive began acting much like the stories of "imperial" SE's we're hearing about now, to the point of keeping the finances of the Council, and even the names of the Executive Committee and Executive Board a secret, and openly declaring that the volunteers should just shut up. The red jacket burning was a last resort - and perhaps was very effective because the Vice President of the Executive Committee (and also of the Executive Board) was the publisher of the local newspaper who read about the whole issue in his own newspaper and had no awareness that there was that level of frustration by the volunteers - the process was opened up again and the SE was sent packing within 6 months. I'm glad you're enjoying those father/son tales - because I'm very proud of my father. He was a Cub Scouter through and through and would bleed Blue and Gold if cut - even when all of his kids were in Boy Scouts. He was the first person in our council to become a District Chairman coming from the Cub Scout side of things. Do your districts hold Webelos Camporees? Districts weren't allowed to run their own Webelos Camporees in the early 70's - and Webelos Dens couldn't have their own overnight campouts - only Councils were allowed to run Webelos overnights. My father worked with Council and National to get a policy change to allow Districts to hold their own Webelos father/son Camporees, then not only put together our District's camporees, he helped other Districts, both in and out of our Council, plan and run their first Webelos Camporees. When the LDS started putting together units in our Council and none of the other Districts were willing to welcome LDS units (because "it would change their camping program") my father convinced our district to accept and SUPPORT every single LDS Unit within the Council's borders which enriched our District in so many ways. My mother was just as innovative - integrating Den Chief training with the annual Cub Scout Leaders Pow Wow, including joint sessions of both groups. She took the job of Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner and worked with the Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner of our district to integrate a portion of every Roundtable Meeting as a joint Cub Scout/Boy Scout activity (which had never been done before). She became the first Camp Director of the Council-run Day Camp program (with paid staff, just like Boy Scout Summer Camp, before that, each district ran their own with volunteers but districts were finding it increasingly difficult to do with so many 2-working parent families - a couple of districts just all-together stopped holding day camps), a position she held for 5 years. So yeah, I'm proud of both my father and my mother. CalicoPenn
  12. It should be worn over the right shoulder with the point over the left hip so that the sash doesn't cover the rank badge on the left pocket of the uniform. The OA Sash is also worn over the right shoulder - one of the reasons you can't wear the Merit Badge Sash and the OA Sash at the same time. CalicoPenn
  13. You might be a Scouter if you disconnect your automatic dishwasher in favor of the 3-pot technique. Calico
  14. I see a doctorate thesis in this cul-de-sac flag situtation. If a flag doesn't exist on the ground until you paint the flag on the ground then is the ground on which the flag is painted on really the ground for purposes of the flag not being allowed to touch the ground or must you first lift the flag off the ground to place it back on the ground before you can say the flag is touching the ground? Oy Vey, now I need a Tylenol. CalicoPenn
  15. Is the council a 501c3 organization registered with the State of New York as a charitable organization? Do you have evidence they aren't following their bylaws and are committing fraud? Take it to the Attorney General's Charitable Fraud Division for the State and let that office look into it. Or do what my father and about 300 fellow volunteers did one year when they were angry at Council - hold a public Red Jacket burning and invite all the media - nothing embarrasses a Council more than seeing news footage of dedicated volunteers burning their red jackets on the 10:00 (oh, sorry - NY time - 11:00) news and nothing makes a television news directors heart go boomity boom more than knowing they'll have some great images of angry scout leaders burning something symbolic. CalicoPenn
  16. fgoodwin, I had stated that my opinion of that provision was that Congress could give the Supreme Court original jurisdiction over something listed as something they have appellate jurisdiction and that Congress could make regulations on how the courts would operate but couldn't restrict them on what they could rule on. Lisa'bob pointed out the Marbury vs. Madison ruling in which the Supreme Court ruled that Congress could not change jurisdiction or make restrictions without passing a constitutional amendment, and that also states (and I'm sure that someone will correct me if I'm mistaken) that basically everything in the sentence you ask about after the words "both as to law and fact" is superfluous which I interpret to mean the words following are needless chaff that don't amount to a hill of beans. CalicoPenn
  17. Thanks for the advice Gern - I had to add standing on my head to get it to work - LOL Calico
  18. CalicoPenn


    Oh my goodness! Wearing pink on Valentine's Day! That's it, slap a rainbow flag sticker on his forehead and hand him tickets to see Brokeback Mountain! Last year, the most popular boy's t-shirt sold at Kohl's was pink and had one of two sayings: "Tough Guys Wear Pink" or "Don't Laugh, This is your Girlfriend's Shirt" Glad you were able to laugh about this Eamonn. And here's to your crew growing in numbers! As to letting the lad know about the membership requirements, I wouldn't tell him about avowed homosexuals not being able to join if you've never told any other applicants that and aren't planning on telling any future applicants that. CalicoPenn
  19. LisaBob, Thanks for the clarification - I knew that Congress couldn't remove original jurisdiction without amending the constitution but the way the article reads, it seemed that Congress could make an exception on appellate matters and give SCOTUS original jurisdiction. I read the decision of Marbury v. Madison after you pointed it out (man, I just love the internet) and thought it interesting that the court called the sentences we're talking about superfluous, or as I interpret that, as meaningless fluff not to be taken seriously. Is that how you see that? But more to the point - when I first read the article, my first thought was "Election Year, Anyone??" CalicoPenn
  20. LisaBob, Thanks for the clarification - I knew that Congress couldn't remove original jurisdiction without amending the constitution but the way the article reads, it seemed that Congress could make an exception on appellate matters and give SCOTUS original jurisdiction. I read the decision of Marbury v. Madison after you pointed it out (man, I just love the internet) and thought it interesting that the court called the sentences we're talking about superfluous, or as I interpret that, as meaningless fluff not to be taken seriously. Is that how you see that? But more to the point - when I first read the article, my first thought was "Election Year, Anyone??" CalicoPenn
  21. LisaBob, Thanks for the clarification - I knew that Congress couldn't remove original jurisdiction without amending the constitution but the way the article reads, it seemed that Congress could make an exception on appellate matters and give SCOTUS original jurisdiction. I read the decision of Marbury v. Madison after you pointed it out (man, I just love the internet) and thought it interesting that the court called the sentences we're talking about superfluous, or as I interpret that, as meaningless fluff not to be taken seriously. Is that how you see that? But more to the point - when I first read the article, my first thought was "Election Year, Anyone??" CalicoPenn
  22. Since I brought it up, seems only right I try to explain my thinking. Consider the following scenario. You've gone through this incident, and took a "boys will be boys" attitude with no real action. Now let's say a boy joins the troop, and becomes a new target for this bully. At a campout, this bully pulls out an airsoft gun again, points it at the new kid, pulls the trigger, and hits him square in the eye, causing serious injury. The parents of the boy who was injured discovers that there was an earlier incident with the bully involving an airsoft gun and that the troop leaders, BSA Council, charter org rep, and charter organization did nothing to prevent a recurrence and decide to sue. Typically in these cases, the plaintiffs cast a wide net and the courts narrow the scope of the net. More than likely in most cases, the charter org rep, troop leaders not directly involved, and the charter org will be removed from the case by the court. In this particular scenario, because all of the above had prior knowledge, the courts will likely agree that all may share some liability in such a case and not remove anyone from the case - that's the personal liability one now faces - and even if eventually you may be personally exonerated, the court costs, time, and stress involved will take its toll. Most times, I wouldn't worry about whether someone could sue me or not. But from reading about this particular case, I would remove myself as far as possible from any future liability. CalicoPenn
  23. That same argument was made last year when Congress passed a law that told the court that it had to make a specific ruling in the Terry Schiavo case, a rule that the court promptly, and correctly, said was not proper and ignored. That is the same argument being being used by the backers of the Pledge Protection Act. If this argument were to succeed (and thus far, in all the times it has been attempted, it has not) the check/balance function of the Judicial Branch would cease to exist. Under this interpretation, the Congress could tell the court they can't make rulings on any number of controversial issues, such as abortion, search and seizure rules, police powers, etc. The exceptions/regulations clause doesn't allow Congress to tell the courts what they can and can't rule on or how they must rule. The clause allows Congress to upgrade a law from the Supreme Court having appellate jurisdiction to the Supreme Court having original jurisdiction - ie Congress can pass a law and within the law state that challenges to the law will bypass the federal district courts and will be heard directly by the Supreme Court. Regulations refer to how the court operates - Congress could tell the court that with a particular law, the Supreme Court must make a ruling within 72 hours - that would be a proper regulation. CalicoPenn
  24. Well, I suppose the most obvious is to do research and be aware of the possible hazards of the area one is going to go backpacking in. From a human hazard standpoint, it could mean knowing if there are any prisons in the nearby area meaning you could potentially (highly unlikey, but potentially) run across a prison escapee, or finding out if the area you're backpacking in is known to have places where drug growing is taking place, or if there have been any crimes lately on the trails or trailheads in the area. From an environmental hazard standpoint, have there been reports of illegal chemical or otherwise dumping in the area (kind of a human/environmental combo), is the area known to have poisonous snakes/plants, have their been reported animal attacks (bears, cougars, coyotes, etc.) lately, is the area geothermically active (such as parts of Yellowstone), is the area known for getting very hot or very cold, or both on the same day (perhaps Death Valley), or prone to flash floods (deserts in Arizona)? CalicoPenn
  25. Normally I would suggest that when the Charter Organizations Representative's children leaves the Charter Orgs troop for a new one, it would serve as a wake up call to the committee - but I really doubt that's going to be the case here. Hereajo, I commend your actions and judgement in this so far. Now I wonder if it's time to step away as the Charter Org Representative and turn the responsibility over to someone else. With your sons no longer in the unit (if indeed that's still the case) and considering the seriousness of the offense, I wonder if the committee will see your involvement as a help or as "being out to get the troop" (we all know too well, unfortunately, how some people see these things). If I were faced with this now, I believe that I would meet with the senior pastor and church committee (assuming you have a lay committee that runs the church) as Charter Organization Rep, lay out the issue once again (with no personal emotion), speak about the liability that church could face, even if only from a publicity standpoint, should something like this occur and escalate even worse, then respectfully resign from this position making clear that the reason for doing so is to limit personal liability risk. If you have any lawyers on your church committee, my hunch is that they'll get it right away. Sure, a court may find the church and its org rep not liable in a lawsuit, but the fact is you could get sued for something like this - and now that you've already had an incident like this with this lad, the risk increases - in this world, risk management is part of the process we now go through, and this risk doesn't seem to be being managed well. CalicoPenn
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