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Posts posted by SiouxRanger

  1. 4 hours ago, Better4itall said:

    we cooked over wood fires made from deadfall and dead branches still on trees

    I was at Philmont in 1971 also.  We'd get cooking fire firewood from within a hundred yards or so of our campsite.  Maybe some folks would go 150 yards, but that would likely be the maximum distance deadfall would be scavenged.  The wood would be up to about 2 inches or 2.5 inches in diameter, max, as that would reduce to coals fairly quickly.  Someone can do the math, but it may be that the total area scavenged within such radii of all the campsites on the Ranch of relatively small diameter wood would not likely impact a wildfire very much.  Scavenging deadfall would not seem to have any effect on lessening crowning fires, racing through the tree tops, nor standing dead trees, nor downed trees (logs).  Back in those days I recall that each crew was definitely issued an ax, and I think a bow saw, so crews had the ability to process wood of larger diameter than 2.5" into kindling by splitting it ("batoning" we now call it), but I do not recall if that procedure was taught to crews.  It is an important point, for if crews were taught how to baton larger wood into kindling size wood, crews would be scavenging larger wood and somewhat reducing the fuel load.

    I do have to admit that even in my day there, Cito was rumored to have run out of suitable deadfall for cooking fires and imported firewood from Colorado.  I think that is very likely true.  I was at Cito in 1968 and there was hardly a twig anywhere on the ground.  On the other hand, Cito, was the largest, most heavily visited and camped camp at Philmont, situated as it is at the waist of Philmont, and the crossroads to just about everywhere. Cito was scavenged clean.  But other camps I visited were not.

    I have an amateur's understanding of forestry wildfire prevention methods, but learning more every day.  My professional forestry friends tell me that understory fuel reduction on a methodical basis is the path to moderating runaway wildfire.  I am also told that administrative types see such efforts as an expense for which there is no budget-until there is a runaway wildfire-THEN cost is no object.  

    • Upvote 1
  2. 5 hours ago, ThenNow said:

    2. Is the culpability so great and the institution so unredeemable that it requires dismemberment, regardless the past, current or future good?

    Not a fair question as the word "institution" includes both the National BSA corporation, AND the Scouting Movement.

    The National BSA corporation appears to be unredeemable.  Management is so inbred, addicted to high pay and benefits, and apparently incapable of making meaningful change.  Eight or more decades of poor performance can be laid at their collective feet. Not to mention a billion dollar bankruptcy.  (Hard to get a job as a Fortune 500 CEO when the last corporation you helmed filed a billion dollar bankruptcy-that is no indication of success no matter how much lipstick on the pig.)  Local SE said to me that "would the Fortune 50 folks on the National Board lead us astray?"  (Uh, well other than a billion dollar bankruptcy, catastrophic declines in membership, and unit inability to recharter because former and potential chartering organizations are terrified of potential liability NOT addressed by National...well, other than that....Yeah, the National Board is a Judas Goat.)

    The Scouting Movement. It will endure. Somehow, some way.  It should endure-we need it as a community. Kennedy, when he set the goal of landing a man on the moon and returning safely to earth had no idea how that could be done.  It was a mission statement.  Same with the Scouting Movement.  It will survive-we just don't know now how that survival method will evolve.

    I stand with you @ThenNow.

    • Like 1
  3. 28 minutes ago, skeptic said:

    Not an accurate comparison.  BSA actually did more than many, though they failed in too many cases, for whatever reasons.  The proverbial fire was not simply ignored, though in too many instances the efforts to not only combat, but make it less likely for another fire, were not made as they might have been, and surely still should be.  That does not take away the fact they often did do the right thing and went beyond the community standards of the time in many cases.  

    And so, at the end of the day, the fire was LARGER.

  4. 2 hours ago, johnsch322 said:

    Let me rephrase. Would anyone forego their wonderful experience in the BSA if it meant one less victim of abuse?

    That is a VERY TOUGH QUESTION and I am glad you asked.

    I am not a survivor, had a good experience with Scouting, and with my sons, had no idea of abuse issues in Scouting until some contact with articles about the Oregon case, but not quite recognizing the depth of the issue.  THEN, a high school friend of mine called me about 6 years ago and told me of his abuse by a SM.

    I was stunned.

    This was my friend from high school, camped dozens of times together in the woods behind my parents' house.  Dozens is 30 or 40, every third weekend-some years.  Camped at the local scout camp together, worked on staff at the local camp 2 years, bunked together, and worked together several years at another camp.

    From 1970 until 2015±, NO MENTION of issues nor had I detected any (but as naive Eagle Scout, what do I know of these things?)

    And then he called, "in counseling since college..."  I was crushed.  He was such a gentle soul.  My friend.  I had no idea.

    It clearly massively impacted (maybe not ruined his life, he earned a Phd.) but it really ruined his adult life, phenomenally accomplished as it was.

    And so, in surrogate, I stand with the Survivors.

    "Balance and perspective" mentioned by some poster above.  I have a very empathic ability to vision. (Well, if folks think otherwise, we can all debate that elsewhere.)

    My guess is that Survivors place their focus on "Perspective."  That is, "what happened to me." 

    "Grasshopper, you've been shot in the gut, what is your balance?"

    "Master, I did nothing wrong to entice that behavior or entitlement me to such treatment."

    I'd guess that Survivors only focus on what they experienced.

    And so they should.

    To answer the question, would I forgo?

    The answer depends on when I learned of the depth of abuse...and had persuasive evidence of the abuse.

    Well, whatever, stand assured that TODAY, I have not rechartered, and am not likely to do so.



    • Thanks 1
  5. "And so Grasshopper, a house catches fire...do the authorities and community rush to extinguish the fire and limit the damage...or do they lay back, content in the knowledge that their house is safe, and that house fires are rare and though they have been spared, and the damage to the homeowner and family is severe, few will suffer it, so no action is required and they speak not of it ever after?"

    "And, if the authorities and community never speak of the loss, is the sense of loss and actual damage to the homeowner and family reduced to zero?"

    "And if the authorities and community fail to step in to assist, and then fail to acknowledge the loss, will the risk of house fire be reduced, and the future loss to other homeowners and families be reduced?"

    • Thanks 1
    • Upvote 1
  6. Scoutmaster of defunct troop:  "Would your organization be willing to sponsor a Scout Troop-we've been a troop for 64 years?"

    Prospective Chartering Organizational Head:  "Who sponsored your troop before?"

    Scoutmaster of defunct troop:  "A Catholic parish now concerned over liability for abuse and molestation claims."

    Prospective Chartering Organizational Head:  "Well, do you have insurance insuring against abuse and molestation claims that might be asserted against my organization?"

    Scoutmaster of defunct troop:  "We don't know, we asked, but have no answer."

    Prospective Chartering Organizational Head:  "Sorry, good luck."

  7. It is official, our Catholic Diocese will not charter ANY BSA units. Somewhere between 30 to 50 units being dumped. ("Well, our Troop Committee can count about a dozen in our immediate area, and the Diocese is huge, so 20 to 60?) Lots.

    Worst fears realized. (Started the inquiries in October, 2021, guidance issued 4-19-2022.) Thanks.

    Nearly 80± years of sponsorship tradition DEAD.

    Still possible to enter into a Facilities Use Agreement with the Parish, but with conditions, specifically, certain insurance requirements (details yet unspecified-inquiries being made re details), and Catholic "youth protection training." AS LONG AS  our Troop and Pack can find a Chartering Organization. That might be doable.

    So, our Troop (and Pack) has several options:

    1.  Suffer a DEchartering and wish all the scouts and parents "Good Luck." (Our Council has informed us that this is looming-"You can't meet, wear uniforms... (...well, I will resist comment...a bit))

    2.  Encourage and assist scouts and parents to transfer to other units (allows them to continue to officially work on and be recognized for advancement).  We have a number approaching Eagle.  This is the "quail" solution-everyone scatters.  

    3.  Merge our unit's scouts with another unit.  This option could work well or go horribly wrong, depending on how the parents of the merging scouts react to a lessening of their role in the troop (pack) merged into.

    4.  Find another Chartering Organization, but enter into a Facilities Use Agreement with our current Parish, former chartering organization.  A seamless transition, as far as the scouts are concerned.  Keep meeting at the same place with their same friends and same adult leaders.  (Adult paperwork changes, but scouts see no change.)

    5.  Find another Chartering Organization which will provide new facilities for the Troop's (and Pack's) meetings. Change of chartering organization (scouts probably will not notice), BUT change of meeting location, which scouts will certainly notice.

    HOWEVER, a unit changing its chartering organization raises the specter of the unit having to FORFEIT all of its assets to the former chartering organization leaving the transferring unit penniless and devoid of equipment.

    Oh, Happy Day.

    Not so, as my units have no answers.


  8. 1 hour ago, skeptic said:

    Please try to be factual.  The records, known as IV files, were not sealed, simply not open to public scrutiny.  They were and are kept as one barrier to those that would try to prey on the members.  Before computers, it was difficult to check unless a council had suspicions for some reason, as it was done by phone or mail.  The easier access for that check grew with the advent of dependible computer files.  During much of the mid twentieth century, there was a fefinite concern about legal issues related defamation, and if an entry was not well verified, it would not be something to make public.  We know that there were, and actually still are, public entities tasked with follow up on abuse issues that often either cannot get enough real proof, or unfortunately choose to not rioritize, and simply shove it to the side as not important for myriad reasons.

    Did BSA also enter into these types of actions?  Yes, and those choices were not for the best interests of victims, and very poor rationalizations or even CYA.  That does not reflect well.  But you cannot separate the issue from the larger public and societal responses from past eras, nor can you fault BSA while ignoring that the greater problems often came due to parental or law enforcement choosing to not pursue things for whatever reason.  

    As far as the inuendo by some that post that it is black and white, and if someone looks at the broader picture and suggests it is/was not as bad "statistically" as outside the program, we are somehow okay with the abuse as discovered, or with some of the BSA decisions or judgements on how to respond.  I have said many times that the abuse is not excusable, and the errrors and poor decisions are worth reviewing for better responses.  My point though has been, and is, that we cannot take the BSA to task alone, as the issue is rampant across our society, and "statistically" worse in most similar groups, and especially bad within the very government entities meant to combat it.  

    NO ABUSE IS ACCEPTIBLE, PERIOD.  But that is the case with the myriad other groups in society that serve youth, and especially within the governmental entities that appear to have an even worse problem.  

    So, if some choose to focus only on BSA, especially since this is in theory a BSA board, fine.  But please try to look at the larger picture in a realistic manner, and do not paint those of us that see the larger problem and the "statistical" comparisons, as terrible and uncaring individuals.  The village has a problem, and BSA is part of that village, but not the whole village.

    Child abuse is a crime. Then.  Now. Failure to report it consitutes being an "accessory after the fact;."

    Quod est demonstrandum.  Q.E.D.

    "And for all the rest, I vote that Carthage be destroyed."  (Some Roman Senator.)

    • Upvote 1
  9. National KNEW child abuse was problem for about a CENTURY, DEMANDED that local councils send ALL abuse-related paperwork to National (so as to avoid embarrassment-whose? Lovely), SEALED all the records, AND APPARENTLY TOLD NO ONE.


    When was it last seen, and where?

    Just what does "Trustworthy" look like?

    Apparently, "Character Counts," but only selectively so.

    Us volunteers were led by the "Judas goat."

    And we are left with a hat full of rain.

  10. 13 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

    bra versionYes.  After looking at the term sheet and hearing discussions, it sounds like the Roman Catholic Church is not yet a participating chartered organization.  They simply no longer op out and no longer objecting to the plan.  Note there is still two diocese who are op out charter orgs (and I think 1 objecting).  I think Agana and San Jose are the two.

    Not sure this is entirely responsive, but my Catholic Diocese sent an email to my troop that our Diocese was NOT part of the Catholic Ad Hoc Committee's "resolution" (such as it might be) and that the Parishes in my Diocese will not recharter units UNLESS Facilities Use Agreements are signed, (the Catholic version not the BSA version)  and abuse and molestation insurance coverage is provided-and there were specific insurance requirements.

    Maybe Catholic sponsorship of BSA Scouting units is over.  Seems to be so for us.

    Does anyone know of an insurance carrier offering abuse and molestation coverage for BSA units?


  11. 10 minutes ago, MattR said:

    Four years in a row of losing money while fundraising means either the council is inept or they're writing off other expenses against it so they don't have to pay as much taxes, or some such accounting games. It's likely legit and opaque unless you dig into the details.

    Not for profits generally don't pay taxes.

    They do solicit donations and grants and a perhaps a poorly performing financial stratements-would that be a plus for soliciting funds?

    Our council's financial statements are not prepared according to GAAP so it is impossible to tell if summer camp made a profit, or lost money. Same with cub day camps.  The Council Executive surely knows, and perhaps the Council President. I doubt anyone else knows.  The #2 in command does not know.

  12. 1 hour ago, yknot said:

    lightning can literally strike out of the blue

    Lightning can strike as far away as 60 to 100 MILES from your location (depending on your source of info).

    And the phrase, "bolt from the blue" is true.  You can be in total sunshine and get hit by lightning.

    If you are ANYWHERE on Philmont and hear thunder, (ANYWHERE ON PHILMONT) there is lightning which created the thunder and you are a potential target.

    Philmont is small considering the enormous reach of lightning.

    Scatter, get off ridges, provide only one point of contact to Earth.  Sit on a foam sleeping pad, knees in the air, arms locked under your knees, with one's feet in the air.

    You scatter so that if lightning strikes, some in your crew will not be injured and they can assist the injured.

    At Santa Claus camp, one year of my experience, a crew hiked in while our crew was lightning hunkeryed-down.

    "How close was the lightening?"

    "We could feel the heat."

    Way too close.


    • Upvote 2
  13. 11 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

    Who would lend?  Well, almost all LCs will still have assets, so there is property to provide some security, they have revenue from camps, and most have a record of proven fundraising.  Pus, interest rates are at near historic lows still, so the lender bumps the rate to reflect the risk.  

    Well, that's a thought.  Our council is poor compared to many.  I suppose it could pledge unrestricted assets on which it is earning 7-8% (invested in a fund managed by National, I think) and borrow at 2-4%, and attempt to pay back the loan from future donations and fees. Not enough unrestricted, invested funds to cover the whole settlement contribution, but maybe 2/3rds of it.  Perhaps borrow the remaining 1/3rd against the unimproved part of the camp. The unimproved part is mostly timber, some tillable (maybe 5 to 10%) and much of that under 6 feet of water in the spring flood.  I don't think that land will support a loan for 1/3rd of my LC's settlement contribution. It just can't produce much revenue relative to the debt service. Maybe 20 acres of corn, a timbering every 10 or 15 years, and deer hunting rental for those into that.

    It will be a close run game in my LC.

    Not that the outcome here is of any consequence to others, but the analysis might help someone solve their council's conundrum.

  14. 2 hours ago, fred8033 said:

    We really don't need more ugly hatred during such sad times. 

    Sorry-no ugly hatred intended, just trying to imagine what a council can say that would induce a lender to lend, and what a lender will see if they look at the available data.  It appears that the SE here does not believe a loan is likely (unless the lender is "very accommodating"-whatever that means).  I don't see how a commercial lender can simply ignore lending standards and practices.

    Using available cash is apparently out. so that leaves a sale of part or all of camp.

    I am given to understand that the council's contribution is due by the end of April or mid-May at the latest. That is a very tight timeframe to conduct and close a sale.

    There are issues of survey, easements for access.  A buyer's lender's requirements being addressed.  Obtaining a title commitment, appraisal, and such.  It takes 30 to 45 days to get a mere house sale through the system. 

    So, anyone know what happens if a council does not make its payment by the due date?  Does anyone know authoritatively when the due date is?

    Another issue is if we sell only part of the camp, and then our council is merged out of existence, will we be selling off the balance of the camp?  I don's see much coordination of effort here.

  15. 34 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

    "The council said it will take out a $4.5 million loan to help cover the debt and operations."

    Just who would lend that kind of money to a council that has lost 40% to 60% of its customers (% generally of councils)?

    And, considering that 100% of the dues paid by those customers goes to National, not the council.

    A council has no guaranteed revenue stream, just donations, and some fees.

    What am I missing?

    My best guess is that friendly lenders will make the "loan" with little expectation that it will be repaid, and someday write it off.  (The lender's shareholders will likely never know that they have been duped.)

    And the BSA will continue to benefit from the "pass mentality" of folks-who-know-better-yet-despite-their-better-business-judgment-look-the-other-way, because, after all, "It IS Scouting."

    "Well, India IS British." Some lame general in the movie Gandhi.

    And, in my humble opinion, that "pass mentality" is why National is now where it is.

    In bankruptcy accused of horrific lapses and active concealment.

    National did not need to have a good plan as everyone was willing to give it a pass based on its reputation, and National interpreted that "pass" as an affirmation that it was "doing things right."

    With respect to issues of abuse, National did many serious things wrong.

    Debate as one might, National filed bankruptcy over it all. And therein lies the proof of its folly.

  16. 1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Well,  National reassured Charter Organizations that they have the CO's back, and look how that is turning out.

    Well, my posts, just doing my due diligence after my SE reassured me (yesterday at a face-to-face meeting along with others from my unit) that I need not question whether us volunteers were covered by insurance for abuse and molestation issues. "Why would we ask?"

    Yeah, well, I AM a lawyer, and yeah, where is the PROOF we are covered?

    No proof offered. (SE offered to look into it.)

    At my age, and hating THE LAW as I do, (and as everyone should-I am a professional) the prospect of spending my retirement years at a counsel table in a courtroom, at my expense, defending myself as a mere volunteer because of the deep and hidden actions of some skulking, pseudo volunteer, near (or) professional level predator, and thereby risking my net worth, being unpaid for my effort, yeah, I am not about to sign on to unlimited liability for someone else's sordid activities.

    And there it is in a nutshell.

    All of us were duped to do so in the past, and apparently National expects us to accept such in the future.


    No Proof-No Play.

    Why would anyone voluntarily subject themselves to this liability?

    I am still "percolating" about my resignation from Scouting, and after a 60+ year run, and all so the wonderful times , I am but hours away from pulling the plug.

    How has it all come to this?

    And so the spinning of the World slowed and all turned to a darker shade of gray.

  17. Has anyone received official confirmation, from National, that us volunteers are now insured against abuse and molestation claims?  Why should any of us register if the liability of the past is not fixed for the future?

    Why is National not reassuring us volunteers that regardless of the neglect (or worse) by National of the past, National has our back in the future?

    Is anyone familiar with any reassurances by National to that effect?

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