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Posts posted by SiouxRanger

  1. On 7/24/2023 at 8:38 PM, 5thGenTexan said:

    I am on the other side of this than most here.

    Actually, you probably are closer to or in the majority.

    As a small town lawyer, well, I also have a degree in Psychology.  The field of counseling has advanced far beyond my studies 50 years ago.

    Many clients, and more broadly, members in their families, have psychological issues, which dramatically affect the course of legal proceedings.

    "Just a mere lawyer here," but psychological issues are about 80% of what I do.  No kidding.

    Counselors now have a much more refined understanding of issues, and I would strongly recommend you meet with a counselor, and if that meeting is not helpful, try another. Philosophical approaches vary.

    Every life is a flower. That flower exists only once.  It has unique value. That flower projects itself to the world and passersby partake of its bounty.  And the flower may not know the benefit it has bestowed.  But the flower's not knowing its effect does not diminish the flower's beneficial effect.

    You have many friends. Certainly here on this forum, including me.

    And if not the answer, it is a darn good start.





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  2. This world is filled with the ignorant, the distracted, the uncaring, the self-satisfied, mightier-than-thou types, the bullies, the abusive, and the downright cruel.

    It is difficult, once traumatized by one or more of them, to recognize that that they are in the minority, and further to recognize that once one has suffered the brunt of their assaults, that the vast majority of folks do not have those emotional failings and are your friends and do treat you kindly.

    A police detective friend of mine once said that his dad advised him about my friend's work, "Son, don't go where there are bombs.."

    Well, the lesson there is "bombs" aren't always physical.  There are emotional bombs.  And emotional bombs are much worse than physical bombs.  Physical bombs only explode once.  But emotional bombs, well, the victim can resurrect the effect of the emotional insult, time and again, and thereby the damage is repeatedly inflicted.

    So, "don't go where there are bombs."  That is, don't give a second thought to prior insults.  Those insults are dead, and from " the ignorant, the distracted, the uncaring, the self-satisfied, mightier-than-thou types, the bullies, the abusive, and the downright cruel" and why would you let those folks control your life?

    It is easy to move on-just shut that door.

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  3. Gee, seems like a threat to me.

    But, probably more like an inexperienced scouter believing he is doing a proper job by working on merit badges so scouts advance, not realizing that advancement is secondary to learning leadership by doing. And that failures from which lessons are learned are more valuable than a series of successes where the scout has no clue why things succeeded.

    And, in 25 years of attending virtually every troop meeting, never seen one where the entire meeting was entirely merit badge instruction.  And, in all that time, maybe only a dozen where there was any merit badge instruction at all.  Personal Fitness is amenable to group treatment as far as the various exercises.  All the scouts do their exercises and their performance recorded.

    I am generally opposed to scouts earning a merit badge in a group.  Where they sit through an hour of class and walk away with a merit badge. I don't think that comes close to the how a merit badge is to be earned.

    I do support group instruction where the scouts fill out their merit badge workbooks and THEN meet with a different counselor to actually counsel the scout on that badge.  The scout learns at the group session, but has to record what the scout learns and then discuss that knowledge with a different counselor.

    I favor a unit having a Troop Meeting Agenda form, with the major parts of the meeting are identified on the form, eg, Opening, Activity 1-Training, Activity 2-campout prep., Activity 3-merit badge work, Announcements, SM Minute, Closing. And with a start time for each segment.  (And that format is one of many which are appropriate). But the Scouts should actually fill out the form in the PLC (for each meeting for the next month) and submit it/them to the SM for approval.

    I'd suggest just keep asking questions of the procedure, provide several troop meeting agenda forms from the web.  Have the troop committee take up the matter, and see if the adults can get an agenda form before the scouts for them to use as guidance to plan their meetings.

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  4. 5 hours ago, AwakeEnergyScouter said:

    I used outdoor survival skills to help myself and my family survive the last round of freezing temperatures that hit south Texas that the state is clearly under prepared for despite it happening about every 10 years. (I notice native plants survived it, but plants from even further south didn't come back, so it's definitely a regular occurrence.)

    We were among those who had power out the longest, but we had gear (my scout was the only kid in the whole neighborhood who was out playing in the snow having a great time) and knowledge. Our house leaks heat like a sieve despite our best efforts at improving energy efficiency, and the temperature inside the house was dropping about 1°C/hour. When the endpoint is -13, that's a problem. So, I set about making sure we were eating hot food (cooked outside not inside) and drinking hot drinks. Had to get water for both drinking and flushing also since our pipes froze. We all made it comfortably with full bellies, although it was scary for us adults.

    Turns out, after talking to native Texan neighbors (not scouts), that most people here had no idea how relatively quickly you die from hypothermia, nor what the stages are. And a fair few of the ones who died took grills inside. When you're a scout from just below the Arctic Circle you absolutely know cold survival!

    And that is why Scouting is so valuable.  Not lost in the woods in a blizzard, nor a survivor of a canoeing accident in Canada, or airplane crash in the Andes.  But just right here where I sit, in a house in South Texas. CRISIS!

    The Program develops/instills knowledge, insight, judgment, and wisdom.

    For reasons I do not understand, I have never seen an instructor mentioning WHY the information they present is important.


  5. 6 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

    I would have rather seen an actual female scout, but it is still better than the naked man following the boy scout statue.


    In the middle, Eisenhower? And who would portray anyone or anything larger than him?

    So, if it isn't Eisenhower, isn't the pinnacle of scouting an educated, benevolent, self-sufficient scout?

    So, who are the other two?  Appearing to coddle the scout.

    Did someone at National approve this?

  6. Just now, SiouxRanger said:

    If the "benefits" of "Scouting" are considered to be so valuable WHY would we even think to deny them to one-half the population of our kids? (females).

    I have 4 grandchildren, the two oldest are girls.  I find no comfort in the idea that one of them may die because they could not make fire to warm themselves because they could not learn the skill that would save their life, being precluded from being a scout.

    "Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it. Mark Twain."

    Twain facetiously makes my point.

    So, why spread knowledge?

    Because spreading ignorance kills people.

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  7. 6 hours ago, SiouxRanger said:


    Not RS, but the statue. I do hope that is clear.  (RS is a gift to this community.)  And not the caliber of the statue rendition.  It is a quality job.  But the idea that a mythic rendition of the female involvement in, contribution to, Scouting is appropriate-that "mythic" has anything to add.

    It doesn't.

    The "myths" are living.  I know and respect them.

    AND FOR THAT MATTER, (rant alert, my first ever rant) I grew up in a family where the women were beyond capable. Mom had a Bachelor's degree from a land grant university-in Mathematics (statistics), second in her high school class, and read 10+books a week for decades (more than I can read in a year-me just dumb lawyer). My two sisters earned 3 college degrees between them and had higher high school rankings than me.  My brother, exceeded them all; my dad 3rd in a high school class of 600 with a degree in mechanical engineering.  (Thankfully, through Scouting, I have the skills to live comfortably under bridge.)

    It always makes me feel like I am being condescending to women to make the point that "females are capable and worthy of note," implying that I mean that females having knowledge, judgment, or wisdom are an exception to the rule or are merely a footnote to the greater story of males being the "supreme repository of knowledge, judgment, and wisdom. 

    I am officially tired that my support of women being characterized as such. 

    One finds knowledge, judgment, and wisdom wherever it resides:  male, female, a rock, a bug...

    The astute learn from whatever source knowledge, judgment, and wisdom arises without reference to the source.


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  8. 4 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

    July 20, 2023: Another statue added.

    "The Boy Scouts of America announced today that, as part of Scouting’s 3- day “Women of Character” Program, it will unveil and dedicate an original bronze statue to honor and inspire past, current and future generations of girls and women involved in Scouting. Envisioned and created by West Virginia artist Jamie Lester, the 8-foot high, nearly 1,000 pound “Ascending Eagle” statue will be unveiled at a dedication ceremony scheduled for Saturday, July 22nd from 9:30 – 10:15 a.m. at the Norman R. Augustine Twelve Points Ceremonial Plaza, located at the Summit Bechtel Reserve

    The original concept for creation of a statue to honor women in Scouting was the brainchild of Dave Alexander of Phoenix, Arizona, a Distinguished Eagle Scout, Silver Buffalo Award recipient, National Executive Board member, and a major, lifelong supporter of the organization...."


    More at press release source:



  9. I personally know both them, and knew them at Philmont when they were Philmont Rangers.

    Note:  Once one is a Philmont Ranger, one is ALWAYS a Philmont Ranger.  One is never a former Philmont Ranger.

    Kathy Leach and Nancy Wells are among the finest individuals I have ever met.

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  10. I'll just add, nearing 68, that when things GO BAD they go bad INSTANTANEOUSLY.

    Even a second's interval to think is a luxury.

    (Lightning strike at Clear Creek, Philmont, 1975. Had about a minute while racing up a trail to the stricken campsite.)

    No time to think, analyze.  Just react.

    And one reacts based on their training.  (Training enhances Judgment.)

    ET, one does not have time to "phone home."

    That is why scouting is so important.

    I am convinced that in the few instances I have found myself in crisis situations I managed to make the right decisions based on my training and experiences in Scouting.

    (And everyone at that campsite hit by lightning ended up with relatively minor injuries.)



  11. 1 minute ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    We didnt wrap them around our neck.  We held the pants behind our head, legs sticking out the back, then brought them swiftly over our head and then closed the top end with our arms.

    I hope I did not mean "put over head, and TWIST."

    I just meant to take the circle formed by the pant legs with waist unit and put one'e head through that hole.

  12. 19 minutes ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    I don't recall using a belt, but its been a few days.  Seems like we tied each leg closed and just started with our pants behind our head and swiftly pulled them to our front to fill with air and just used our arms to close the top of the pants with our arms to keep the air in.

    Well, depending on your time frame of reference and the methodology then approved, wrapping a pair of pants around one's neck, and then anchoring it with a sturdy belt around a leg, has the possibility of going tragically wrong.  Not sure I can envision all the ways, but all of those materials are unyielding, and an errant gulp of water, choking, losing focus and panicking, I can see how a scout could get into real trouble nearly instantly.

    Please do check the current Life Saving Merit Badge Pamphlet for the approved method.

    And as a gratuitous plug, please encourage your scouts to earn Lifesaving, even if they also earn the allowed alternative.

    I saved the life of a 3 year old when I was about 15 or 16, having earned Lifesaving.  At a fishing resort in Wisconsin.  Recounted elsewhere on this forum in some detail, but I was the only one of the 8 or 9 present over the age of 3.

    I was out on the pier and the children were by the shore on the boat ramp and when I turned to look at them, I just sensed something was wrong, I lept into the lake (against all the rules of jumping into unknown waters) and grasped a tiny arm and lifted the boy to the pier. Had I not acted he would have died. The water was opaque and there was no disturbance on the surface to indicate a struggling person below the surface.  Only from the strange agitation (they were laughing and looking at and pointing at the lake) of the other 3 year olds on the end of the dock looking at the lake was it apparent something was wrong.

    Did earning Lifesaving merit badge save that life?  I think so, but not by any use of the various lifesaving techniques I learned by taking the merit badge.  But when learning a skill, the skills one learns as a scout to pass merit badges and attain advancement,  also involves learning subtle techniques that makes the gross skills work.  And, developing a sense of JUDGMENT.

    For some reason, all of the obvious, subtle, consistent, and the conflicting discordant clues I saw, the base knowledge that "seconds count," and that jumping into unknown waters is profoundly stupid, (all of these conflicting considerations just flashed) somehow I made the right call.

    I can still feel the "squish" of that boy's right forearm in the grasp of my left hand, and that the boy did not gasp for air (expecting him to do so) as I lifted him from the lake to the pier. Apparently, I had gotten to him quickly enough.

    And then he and his unspeaking cohort of 3 year olds disappeared up the 40' embankment and I never saw him again.

    Scouting allows youth to experience training and learn skills and hopefully develop a sense of judgment to evaluate circumstances they encounter and make good decisions.

    A law professor of mine once stated, "That were common sense so "common," it would not be so valuable."

    That is what I see the as the value of Scouting: the development of common sense.


  13. 1 hour ago, ScoutDad197 said:

    Wow! What a memory and what a description! We do have a belt that tightens with rings packed with dad’s (khaki type) pants so now I think I’d better find the other pin kind. Your description was amazing! Thank you!

    Pin buckles work.

    Ring buckles, when lubricated by water-well, they don't seem to work reliably when NOT lubricated by water.  Finding a pin buckle is the best bet.

    I'm a lawyer. In the law being able to provide good descriptions is prized-everywhere else, that ability is considered a disease.

    It was a memorable experience and I was very anxious.

  14. I have done that-maybe in 1964 (ouch!).

    My memory of the drill is clear (of yesterday's lunch-not so much.)

    The purpose of the drill is to demonstrate resourcefulness by converting a pair of pants with a belt through belt loops into a Mae West type life-preserver.  It is really a remarkable thing as it works wonderfully.

    We had to jump into the pool wearing our pants with a belt. Belt with holes for the pin to go through-NOT a friction buckle.

    Remove our pants (swim suit underneath).

    Tie the ends of the pant legs together with a square knot as close to the very cuffs as possible so as to maximize the air volume of the legs and thereby maximize buoyancy.  (There is a trick.)  This is done by first loosely tying an overhand knot in the pant legs somewhere about the middle, then tying a second overhand knot toward the very end of the pant legs (cuffs).  Then working the second overhand knot as close to the very end as possible, still ignoring the loose first overhead knot.  When satisfied with the very end overhand knot, hold it in place with your teeth.  (Now that may be problematic for a scout with a $6,000 orthodontic job-observing parents have been known to faint or call their lender-but that is my recollection.)  Then, and this is the genius of the trick, work the loose, first overhand knot up towards the one held in your teeth and draw the first knot tight to the second knot held in your teeth.  The result is an overhand knot as close to the very end of the pant legs as the thickness of the material will permit.

    Then, now that a loop has been formed with the legs knotted together, place the loop over your head, with the knot/cuffs behind your head, the waist and belt being in front of you.  (The waist and belt will float aimlessly before you and shake your confidence that this will be of any help, but...)

    So far, so good.

    Make sure that the belt pin is engaged in a belt hole to form a loop through the belt loops, but make sure it is at its widest, that is, the buckle pin is locked into the FIRST (or second) hole of the belt. (Leather belts will suffer mightily so use a synthetic belt.  Do not use a belt with a friction buckle, but one with a PIN that goes through a hole in the belt.)

    The belt being locked into its greatest diameter, then, from under the pant waist before you, grasp and draw the belt down and away from the pants waist to form a loop and insert ONE leg through that loop.  The result is to anchor the waist of the pants down low, under the surface of the water by using the belt.


    As one draws the anchor leg down, the waist is cinched shut (trapping whatever air is in the pant legs) and as one leans back in the water and raises the anchor leg, the waist opens.

    Excellent, and now for the coup de grace.

    Lean back, raise the anchor leg, and with one hand, lift up the now loosened waist band and belt up to about the level of the surface, and with the other hand cupped, splash air into the waist opening and thereby into the legs.  The legs will inflate.

    This could take 5 to 20 splashes, and when the pant legs are inflated, LOWER the anchor leg thereby trapping the splashed air into the pant legs.


    A fully inflated life preserver.  And remarkably effective, however...

    There is the issue of maintenance.

    The inflated pant legs will be laying over your chest before you.  But they are mere cloth, porous, why don't they leak the trapped air?  They do.  So, KEEP THEM WET.  Water seals the pores.  Splash water on them from time to time.  Likely, you'll be able to see air bubbling through the cloth even when thoroughly wet.

    Gee, I splashed them but still they are deflating.  Yep.  They will.

    Lean back in the water, raise your anchor leg, lift the waist and belt, splash more air, and seal it off.

    So, some additional pointers.

    The thicker the pants material the harder it is to tie the critical knot, (denim is thick and abrasive) and the knot ultimately tied will consume more of the pant leg material to tie it, thereby reducing the available pant leg volume for air and reducing buoyancy.

    On the other hand, very thin pant material will allow for easier knot tying and more air volume, but the material will leak air more rapidly, requiring more maintenance, that is refilling the air more frequently.

    And, as to using "dad's pants" the legs will be longer, so the knot will be easier to tie and provide more air hold capacity thereby increasing buoyancy and that the waist will be larger, that is not likely to be a problem as the waist opening is below the water surface and the trapped air is above it.  However, a longer belt relative to the size of the scout may render the anchor leg not being able to draw down the waist opening sufficiently to prevent air from escaping, HOWEVER, the belt length can always be shortened by moving the buckle a notch or 2, or 3 to tighten the belt.

    (Fun to recount a memory from so long ago.)

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  15. In our troop, a number of unit leaders show up direct from work and have not had time to change to a uniform.  Our SM ALWAYS carried a uniform in his truck (Be Prepared) and would change in the parking lot into his shirt.

    Almost all leaders and BOR members recognized the importance of being in uniform at a formal event.  Some leaders-generally members of the committee-were present so infrequently that they've "lost the thread" on being in uniform for formal events.

    So, "catch more flies with honey."

    Spend a few informal minutes with every adult who is likely to be a BOR member.  Mention the importance of "Leading By Example."  (Be in uniform when you broach the topic.).  By these efforts you might get folks into a scout shirt.

    Going from a scout shirt to proper insignia, that is a bit more difficult.  Most adults don't seem to give a whit about insignia, unless they have grown up in the program, and even then many don't bother.  The "recruited parents" with no prior program experience don't care about insignia.

    I'd just mention it and ignore the results.  The Scouts are highly unlikely to notice and the exceptional Scout that does, will be perceptive enough to recognize that the adult is just not with it.

    Pants.  Again, mention it, but ignore the results.  At a BOR table, the Scout sees only the shirt.

    The Scout is focused on his/her anxiety about the BOR process and the minutiae of adult leader's uniforms is totally off the radar.

    One works with what one has, as imperfect as it is.

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    At camporees, where patrols are rotating from activity to activity as a patrol, the person running the activity might have the patrol give its yell during introductions before starting the activity.  For the sake of spirit-building.  Generally, the patrol will give its yell at each activity during the day.

    At summer camp, when camp is formed up before meals at the dining hall, each troop will be asked to give a troop yell.  Maybe at breakfast and lunch, but certainly at the evening meal.  The Camp Director or Assistant Camp Director generally is the Master of Ceremonies for such gatherings.  (Many troops seem to get caught off guard on Sunday night that it is expected to have a yell...so Be Prepared.)

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