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CalicoPenn

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Everything posted by CalicoPenn

  1. CalicoPenn

    Only six months till girls in Scouts BSA.

    There is a bit of a misunderstanding on the ban. The BSA does not ban laser tag guns, paintball guns or squirt guns - the BSA is fine with these activities as target practice. What they ban is using these simulated weapons to have games of tag or gun fights where Scouts target other Scouts - they do it to be consistent with their gun safety teaching on the range. I find it a bit ironic how we often complain about the BSA not being consistent about things then when they are consistent about something, we complain about that. More importantly though - understand that the BSA isn't going to police every unit out there on whether they are having squirt gun battles or going to paintball ranges and laser tag arenas and battling it out. They don't do it for anything else they won't do it for this. What will happen is if you decide to do these things, and someone gets hurt and decides to sue, the BSA will be brandishing that ban and telling insurance companies and judges that you violated well published and well known rules and they are therefore not liable for any injuries - that it is all on you and the Chartered Organization. So go ahead, flout the "ban" - the BSA has protected itself the best they can.
  2. CalicoPenn

    "Serve actively in your troop"

    Let me be upfront with my bias on this. The POR I used for all of my rank advancements was Den Chief. Yes, I served other positions in the Troop - Scribe, Patrol Leader, Librarian - but I was a Den Chief starting at 12 years old through my aging out at 18. I always considered Den Chief to be a service to the Troop - its one of the best recruitment tools out there - a good Den Chief is an ambassador to your Troop - not only within the Pack they work with but often to the Cub Scout community as a whole if they get involved in District level events like Bike Rodeos and Pinewood Derbies. Is it possible that no one from a Pack will transfer to your unit? Sure - it happens all the time - but you have a greater likelihood of Webelos Scouts crossing over to your Troop if you have Den Chiefs involved in a Pack. Its pretty hard for a Webelos Leader to not include their Den Chief's Troop in unit visits. But sometimes, the den will all cross over to another unit - rather than see it as a failure, look at it as a success for Scouting (and if they don't like the unit they go to, they might come to you - if they never cross over, they'll never become A Scout. How do you know if your Den Chiefs are "doing their job"? Easy - call the Cubmaster and/or Den Leader and ask - they'll give you an earful if the Scout isn't showing up as promised - but for those that are taking it seriously and doing it right, your chat with the Cubmaster and/or Den Leader will be one of those rewards we all like to get. As for time in POR - don't conflate it with the time needed for the Den Chief Service Award - they are two completely different things. Most Den Chiefs know that they are committing to at least the Pack Year (September to May) but there may very well be times when a Den Chief only serves the 4 months needed for Star - they may get elected to a POR like SPL or PL that will take a lot more of their time and will no longer have time to be a Den Chief. A great Troop will find a replacement in this case. The Den Chief Service Award is a strange hybrid award that requires a full 12 month year of service to the Pack - note I didn't say Den - the requirement is a year of faithful service to the Pack. It is a Boy Scouting award, not a Cub Scouting award, yet the requirements are signed off on by the Cubmaster and Den Leader. Its is not, however, presented by the Pack - it is presented by the Scout's Troop (or Crew) and should be presented at a Court of Honor. But it is a great opportunity for the SPL and Scoutmaster of the Troop to present the award at a Pack Meeting in front of the Cub Scouts he serves and then for the Cubmaster and Den Leader to help present it (again) to the Scout at a Troop Court of Honor.
  3. CalicoPenn

    Regulating Fall Risks and Nature

    This quote from the story says it all to me: “There is always going to be someone that’s going to try to be more daring and go out, beyond where the stairs are, or say, ‘Hey look at me — look what I can do.’” I'm not going to point the finger at selfies. I'm not going to point the finger at increased crowds of people. I'm not going to point the finger at lack of fences, lack of signs, lack of respect for nature. This is not a new phenomena - things like this have been happening since the beginning - and have been reported as the follies and foibles of people since at least the 1800's, if not earlier. I've had the chance to read newspaper stories from the 1800's and they're full of tales about people getting too close to waterfalls, cliff edges, etc. and getting killed or seriously hurt, and those stories often have an implied "this was foolish" bent to them. Look beyond the sensationalized stories about people deliberately going over Niagara Falls and you'll find lots of stories about people getting to close to the edge and slipping in accidentally. I live near Starved Rock State Park in Illinois and at least one a year, there is a story about someone falling into one of the canyons because that didn't let the fence or warning signs warn them not to go beyond the fence. We even have stories of Boy Scouts and their leaders doing stupid things like this - and we allegedly try to train them to be more respectful of nature and of warning signs. This has been happening long before the invention of cell phone cameras and selfie sticks. Look diligently enough and you'll find plenty of photos deliberately taken to show the warning signs that they are standing behind. I'm convinced that we can building 25 foot tall clear plexiglass walls in front of canyon views and there will be some people who will figure out a way to climb over them or somehow get on the other side of them in either a "look at me" moment or a "walls are for other people" moment. And while I agree with Matt that the more experience you have in the outdoors, the more likely you are to respect the dangers of the outdoors and the power of nature, the truth is that even experienced outdoorspeople sometimes lose focus and do something dumb (otherwise there wouldn't be "survival stories" in Field and Stream, Outdoor Life or Backpacker Magazine by experienced outdoorspeople). The fact is that the outdoors, and the indoors, - no scratch that - that LIFE is risky - and we can do all kinds of things to try to make it less risky but no matter what we do, you can't fix stupid. This article tries to find reasons for these things but all it ready does is, like so many similar articles before it, point out a permanent aspect of human nature. There never would have been "The Darwin Awards" if not for the human propensity for those moments that are often proceeded by "Hey, look at me", or "Watch this" or "Hold my beer".
  4. CalicoPenn

    Membership Removal Procedures Booklet

    If the BSA simply "blacklists" someone without making any comment other than the person is removed and barred from Scouting, that would not rise to the level of character defamation. If they were to make pronouncements on what led to a Scouter being removed from Scouting and there is no legal proceedings that support their statements, that could be considered defamation. For example, if the BSA were to announce that they were removing Russell Henderson from Scouting because he was convicted of murdering someone, that wouldn't rise to defamation - there are facts behind the statement. On the other hand, if Russell Henderson was never convicted of murder in a court of law, or even charged, and the BSA were to announce that they were removing him because he was a murderer, there would probably be grounds for a defamation lawsuit. But simply stating that they were removing Russell Henderson from Scouting without saying anything more would not be character defamation.
  5. CalicoPenn

    Swimming Requirements for Rank

    Every one of us can look at other units and find something being done that just isn't right, without exception. Just reading through the years worth of threads in this forum should be convincing enough of that statement. How many people complain about Eagle Scout mills, about Merit Badges being taught at Troop Meetings, about people not following the requirements or being enabled not to follow the requirements. Yes - this is not the way it is supposed to be - but - the BSA is a volunteer organization with no real method for maintaining "quality control" other than the Scout Oath and Scout Law. So the question to be asked is, who do you report it to, and what do you expect them to be able to do about it? You're in a classic "He Said/He Said" scenario here - even if you somehow got the DE or District Advancement Chair, or Unit/District Commissioner involved, who is to say that the SM won't just tell them that a) he never said that and b) go pound sand and never darken my doorway again (which he can easily do because none of the people I just mentioned have any real power over the unit and their operations anyway, except for perhaps the DE who is NOT going to jeopardize his year-end membership numbers by getting into a whizzing match with a Unit). This is probably one of the most frustrating things that volunteers with a strong tendency towards judgement (justice) on the Myers-Briggs scale faces in the BSA - there is really nothing that can be done when they see other units not following the rules. Sure, you can talk to "the powers that be" but don't expect anything to change. I'm with Fred on this - concentrate on your own unit - deliver the program as it should be to them - and stop worrying about what other units do - the reality is that they can only affect your Scouts and your program if you let them do so. Go split some wood, or bank a tennis ball at the garage door, or whatever you do to let out stress and frustration, then just let it go. If a Scout from that Troop wants to transfer to yours, then you can fix that deficiency, but unless that happens, its really out of your hands.
  6. CalicoPenn

    Membership Removal Procedures Booklet

    Is he being removed from the BSA altogether or is he being removed from a Unit. If h is being removed from Scouting, then National will have reviewed the case file before blacklisting him. If he is being removed from a unit, he can always go to another unit.
  7. CalicoPenn

    Membership Removal Procedures Booklet

    It is an internal governance document for BSA staff. Not everything the BSA has documents for are available or even should be available to volunteers. This is one of those documents. If you know of a volunteer that should be removed from Scouting, your role as a volunteer gives you only one option - report the person to the Scout Executive. That's all you can do. Volunteers do not remove people from Scouting. Volunteers do not investigate people for removal from Scouting. If you think someone should be removed from Scouting, then report it to your Scout Executive. Your Scout Executive will investigate (if s/he doesn't, they will quickly find themselves out of a job) and then will report to National as the decision will be made at the National level to remove someone from the BSA. You may not like the outcome if the Scout Executive finds that the actions of the volunteer does not meet the threshold for removal. If the issue turns out to center on personality clashes, you're right - the Scout Executive won't do anything - its really not their job to mediate differences between volunteers - that would fall to the Unit/District Commissioners, other volunteers.
  8. CalicoPenn

    Advancement question

    I think a clarification may be needed. To earn Ordinary in the Sea Scouts, one must serve as an activity chair. Since their is no corresponding position in the Boy Scouts, it won't serve as a POR for the Boy Scout ranks (there is a list of the leadership roles in the Boy Scout Requirements book that are acceptable Sea Scout alternates). Media Specialist will, however, serve as a POR for the Boy Scout rank. By the same token, Media Specialist will not serve as the leadership requirement for Ordinary because it is not a substitute for activity chair. For Able, one can either serve as an elected leader or serve as an activity chair for 2 events. Just like above, if one serves as activity chair and not an officer, then one can't use activity chair as a POR for the Boy Scout ranks. For Quartermaster, one must serve as an elected officer for 6 months so there would be no conflict. Technically, if a Sea Scout working on Able or above is an elected officer of the Ship and is also working on a Boy Scout rank, it seems that the BSA is ok with "double-dipping" on it. However, this is a good opportunity for the Scout to consider if that's how he (and soon to be she) wants to earn the award - it's up to them of course, but we would be remiss in one of the missions to help youth become the "best kind of citizen" if we didn't at least have the conversation on whether they feel they've "done the work". Sea Scout ranks can be earned up to age of 21. Unless they're in it as a "get the badge for the resume", it seems to me that we could encourage them not to count the time served for both ranks at the same time, at least at the level of Eagle Scout and Quartermaster.
  9. CalicoPenn

    Scout camping near EAA Airventure/Oshkosh

    High Cliff State Park, on the other side of Lake Winnebago from Oshkosh has 2 tent only group campsites and 6 "standard" (ie rv but tents can be used too) non-electric group campsites. Could be booked for Airventure. About an hour away, near Waupaca, is Hartman Creek State Park which has 5 standard group sites - each with a capacity of up to 50 people.
  10. CalicoPenn

    Who is minding the Baltimore Area Council office?

    Website copyright = 2016
  11. CalicoPenn

    Who is minding the Baltimore Area Council office?

    I call shenanigans - something just doesn't make any sense about this story at all - this is a single tenant building - just houses the BSA - it would be pretty odd for some random person off the street to park in a random office parking lot, enter the building, and then pretty calmly leave while "eating a cupcake". Something is fishy about this whole story.
  12. CalicoPenn

    Closing Threads

    So now moderators are closing threads because they may have veered off topic but are not devolving into anything offensive or disputative just because reasons? See thread on OA and Arrow of Light Ceremonies. Is this going to be the new policy around here because if it is, every thread on here should probably be closed now.
  13. CalicoPenn

    NATIONAL POLICY: AOL and Crossover Ceremonies

    Question - did you personally own the regalia that you sacrificed to the sky or did you take it upon yourself, based on rumors and hearsay to burn costumes and equipment belonging to the chapter? And yes, I used the word costumes - not regalia - regalia has a specific meaning and is related to the ceremonial dress that is worn by monarchs and royal families.
  14. CalicoPenn

    Miscellaneous Uniform Gripes

    As one who also has some Scottish in my hereditary line, may I say it's the knobby knees that I find most offensive 😁
  15. CalicoPenn

    Miscellaneous Uniform Gripes

    Gold = Command Blue = Sciences Red = Engineering & Security. Also "first person killed on an away team mission"
  16. CalicoPenn

    Gold Awardee reduces corporate plastic straw usage

    I like the idea of using bamboo for the citrus picks. They should use bamboo for the stir sticks as well instead of white birch - white birch takes much longer to grow to a harvestable size than bamboo.
  17. I was unfamiliar with Gaga Ball - it looks like a safer version of dodgeball to me - foam balls, no throwing, target is below the knees. What I'm reading is that the Scouts playing Gaga Ball are having a lot of fun with it (even if it is a safer version of Dodgeball). I'm surprised no one has complained that the BSA is taking all the fun out of dodgeball by doing Gaga Ball instead.
  18. CalicoPenn

    Sea Scouts

    I served on the Great Lakes - we call everything a boat - even the 1,000 foot freighters.
  19. CalicoPenn

    Stephen Covey

    Unfortunately, given who he was and how carefully he crafted his biographical information for public consumption, I don't think we'll ever have a definitive answer but my guess would be no. I think he would have mentioned in his biography that he earned the Eagle Scout rank, and the BSA would surely have mentioned that he was an Eagle Scout as part of their marketing of Wood Badge since they mentioned Covey's name in that marketing.
  20. CalicoPenn

    Is this the new normal?

    I once had a moose pacing me for 2 miles on the side of a road in Maine while I was driving home from work one night - when I slowed down, he would slow down - if I sped up, he tried to keep pace with me. I was afraid he was going to decide to try to jump over my car to get to the other side of the road - this was one of the scariest things I've ever experienced because I saw what a moose trying to jump over a little car could do to the car.
  21. CalicoPenn

    Is this the new normal?

    I am - but I should have also mentioned that these rules are for hunting raccoons.
  22. CalicoPenn

    Is this the new normal?

    In Maine, one can hunt with a handgun - but not with one with greater power than .22 caliber long rifle ammunition.
  23. CalicoPenn

    Is this the new normal?

    Actually, hunting is a restricted activity, not an unauthorized activity. Hunting is not allowed in the Cub Scout or the Boy Scout program but is allowed in the Venturing program. Hunter Safety programming is not considered hunting and is considered part of the BSA programming curriculum (according to the G2SS). So I would say that running hunter education programs on council properties is well within the acceptable range of activities.
  24. CalicoPenn

    Denied a court of honor.

    You've mentioned a couple of times that you think it was the Council that denied the Court of Honor . The Council is not involved in Courts of Honors - unless someone from the Council is invited as a guest at the Court of Honor. The Council does not approve or deny Courts of Honor. A Court of Honor is a unit function - not a Council function. Neither is it a District function - if some clown at Council or the District told me that I couldn't hold a Court of honor for one of my Scouts, that person would find themselves on the wrong end of an epic verbal smackdown.. If anyone denied the Court of Honor it was the Troop (either the Scoutmaster or the Committee) or the Chartered Organization. Most CO's aren't engaged enough to deny someone a Court of Honor - and most would be ticked pink to have a Court of Honor for an Eagle Scout in a unit they sponsor. If the Scoutmaster gave you the impression that the denial came from anywhere other than the Troop (or CO), then he is not being 100% honest with you. I know someone mentioned that you should do this in person - me? I would e-mail the Scoutmaster and copy the Scout Executive at the Council, the head of the Chartering Organization (not the COR unless that person is also the head of the organization) and if you can get their e-mail addresses, the Council Advancement Chair and the Council President and without going in to a lot of detail ask two very simple questions. Don't let any anger show, don't expound - just ask the question - I would word it like this: Dear Mr. Scoutmaster, I have two questions about your statement to my son in a meeting that his Eagle Scout Court of Honor was denied: !) Who denied the Court of Honor 2) Why did they deny the Court of Honor I await your response. That will surely get someone's attention. Give them a few days to respond - if you haven't heard back, resend it to them and include the editor of the local paper - I guarantee that will light some fires. Your son deserves his Court of Honor - and yes, you can do it on your own if you want - but I've got to say, this is a really poor way for the Unit to treat your son after all those years in Scouting.
  25. CalicoPenn

    Denied a court of honor.

    Short Ridge - I know I'm coming in late on this but I have to take exception to your statement that no one deserves a Court of Honor. Every Scout - at every level - deserves a Court of Honor if they have moved up in rank. A Tenderfoot earning Second Class deserves a court of honor. An Eagle Scout? Definitely deserves a Court of Honor. That's a big part of the program - and should never be ignored.
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