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Posts posted by SiouxRanger

  1. 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:



  2. 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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  3. 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.)



  4. 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.

  5. 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.


  6. 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.

  7. 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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  8. 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.

    • Upvote 1

    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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  10. I want to thank all who have posted about resources regarding Native American perception of and issues with non Native American "cultural appropriation" of Native American culture.  I am overwhelmed with other matters at the moment, and I feel that this is a rather large area of inquiry, and as I want to understand it and not do it a disservice with a cursory analysis, I will attend to it in detail when I can devote the time I think it will take.  The resources posted will be of immense help to me and others interested in understanding this topic.

    • Like 1
  11. On 1/19/2023 at 8:22 AM, InquisitiveScouter said:

    SE said, (paraphrasing)  Look at at the glossary of names in your OA Handbook.  See the one that says "Netami Gegeyjumhet"?  That means Supreme Chief of the Fire.  That's me. And, you must always remember, the Supreme Chief of the Fire can put the fire out!"

    Sounds like the 12 year old who owns the basketball demanding an extra point or two to win or will take his ball home.

    An SE who shut down the OA would enjoy substantial financial backlash.

    Just last week, at a council level committee meeting, it was pointed out that unit participation at the council's summer camp from virtually every unit in a certain district was nearly zero-about 3 to 4%.

    The reason?  That district used to be a council, but was merged out of existence.  And the merger was resented.  They lost their beloved camps.

    More than 45 years ago.  A long shadow.

    And, holding the power to take $90,000 earned or donated for certain OA purposes does not justify the taking of it for other purposes.  Some would call that fraud.

    "Buy an OA patch-proceeds pay for sashes for Ordeal Candidates." (Or whatever.)

    "Ooops-the SE needed a new laptop--sorry, no free sashes."  (Or whatever.)

    I used to give $500 a year, but once I figured out how the money was being handled/mishandled, I quit--25 years ago.  Small potatoes, but Ive seen camporees where the pros cut back the (budgeted) patch order by half, by about $150, and were short half the patches because the budgeted attendance was met.  So, $150 was important to the pros then.

    It is a sad state of affairs.

    I don't understand why the pros can't seem recognize the immeasurable goodwill embodied in the faithful volunteers and figure out how to capitalize on it.

    But that goodwill is frittered away, time and again.

    It may be that many volunteers have lost their confidence in the professional administration of the program and now will not trust a new administration.  The shadow is LONG.

    I know many volunteers that won't contribute a penny, but donate tons of time.  I think largely on the sentiment of,  "The council can't afford to pay me to do this work, so I'll donate my time and that will be my contribution."

    Another group of volunteers learn of a camp need, and purchase the needed item and has it delivered to camp.  They KNOW that their money is going for a known need and not likely to be diverted.

    My council, in my 25 year window, has gone from a very robust FOS model supplemented by a United Way model, to an "event model," that is, Distinguished Citizen dinners, and golf and sporting clays events.  FOS is nearly totally defunct in my council.

    How successful is the change of funding models?

    In the last 25 years, my council's gross revenue has dropped by 20%, and the number of registered scouts-perhaps by 50%.

    Perhaps the SE quoted (paraphrased) above was thinking of Oppenheimer's quote upon the detonation of the first nuclear device from the Bhagavad Gita:  "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

  12. I am so terribly late to this discussion.

    As a child, we surfaced collected Native American stone artifacts from local farm fields. (With permission.)

    My father instructed us on the significance of the peoples who had gone before. We never collected bone artifacts, only stone ones. (All in the plow zone.)

    And so, I learned to understand and respect that unknown to me society of Native Americans.

    What effort it took to survive in the Midwest, and even more so in the High Plains.

    I have monumental respect for the Native American societies. And their survival knowledge. And not mere survival, they thrived.

    And there is this turmoil over "cultural appropriation."

    I have much to learn about this, and so working my way.

    But, in my experience, I have not seen any depiction of Native American culture that was disrespectful of Native Americans.

    And maybe there is such on the toxic web.

    Many Universities, Colleges, High Schools, etc, in years past, have adopted Native American symbols as their school's mascots.

    I do not know of a single school that has adopted a Native American mascot for the purpose of ridiculing the mascot.

    As near as I can tell, adopting a Native American symbol/icon, is a supreme showing of respect.

    But, I am not a Native American.

    And Native Americans I invite you o post, 


    I do not yet understand Native American objections to 

  13. BSA is in the entertainment business, pure and simple.  Sort of like Disney.  No fun, no one pays attention and no one comes back.  Certainly as far the scouts are concerned.

    Excitement, challenges, new ideas, new experiences. Time spent with friends. Growth as a person. But all occurs in the tiniest of increments. But "fun."  It has to be.

    "EDGE" Method has a significant "do" element.

    That is the overlay.

    The underlay is the Scouting program the adults facilitate:  real life skills (life-saving at times), principles of living decently and responsibly, moral principles (Scout Law), being helpful, seeing beyond oneself and one's selfish wants (they aren't needs, really), that by making a difference for others one enhances oneself.

    At 69, I still stand amazed at the number of times I have read of someone stating in the middle of their career life that they were influenced to their career field because of something they experienced in their youth.


    And that is why Scouting is so important: That Youth (probably all of them) who are adrift in their chaotic thoughts of self (who am I?, what is life?, work?, a job, a career?…) get exposed to all sorts of fields of study, jobs, etc.

    In Scouting they get exposed to INTERESTING THINGS.  And, through Scouting a full smorgasoard of career (interest) fields are laid before them. And they have a better chance of choosing a career aligned with their interests.

    And THAT why I participate as I do.

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  14. 43 minutes ago, qwazse said:

    The really good news is, if you do this long enough, you also meet people who will throw down a couple of Ben Franklins for no particular reason other than to help out your scouts. Keep those folks on your mind, and forget about finding salt for the slugs.

    And there are those folks, also.  And we thank them. Even a mere $100 covers the shortfall of a campout or two.

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  15. So, time and again, I remind folks, "So we've found another jerk/slug/etc."  The world is full of them.  Just move on.  It is very aggravating that some folks abuse the process, perhaps feign ignorance of the significance of their actions, or are just plain stupid. Our troop had a senior adult leader who'd attend the fundraising dinner, bring his 3 parents/inlaws, he and his wife and 5 kids and pay $24 for a family ticket. (10 folks eating for $24). Seriously? Yep. 

    Absolutely no sense that his in-laws were not really the intended beneficiaries of the "family ticket" concept. Same guy would submit for reimbursement the 10 stamps he purchased to send troop snail mail.  So, $5.00.  (And so how I wish my monthly time commitment per month were less than $5,000-seriously. And for any mid or top level executives, 20 hours a month is far larger than $5,000.) And so we just bear up, and move on. Such folks can be moved to unit minimalist responsibility positions.  On the other hand, a frank discussion with the "offending" adult, might trigger a favorable response.  "Ya'know, Tom, we do fund the Blue & Gold with pack dues, and your family hasn't paid any Pack dues since…" (Well, the last glaciation episode about 14,000 years ago…) There are gentle ways to make a point.

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  16. 32 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    Ok, but this is something BSA paid money to develop.  All sunk cost once deployed. Probably no cost to maintain.  In fact, they probably had to pay to have it taken down.  At least least leave it in place until syllabus changes made it obsolete.

    Again, the content was good.  I went through the courses myself, to gauge the value before an in-person class.

    I'm really shaking my head on this one...  less options for training really isn't a good solution.


    Seems strange to have a good product simply to remove it and cut off a convenient training vehicle, available anytime. Why is so much National does simply inexplicable?

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  17. On 2/27/2023 at 7:17 AM, InquisitiveScouter said:

    All that background stuff printed on the adult application is information provided for the CO to vet (and make a decision whether to accept or deny) the person.

    See the blurb above the CO signature block.  "APPROVALS FOR UNIT ADULTS: I have reviewed this application and the responses to any questions answered “Yes,” and have made any follow-up inquiries necessary to be satisfied that the applicant possesses the moral, educational, and emotional qualities to be an adult leader in the BSA."

    Your CO and unit should really be exercising "due diligence" in vetting people. 

    When I see the word “vet” I think of a process, “vetting.”  Such as a checklist of sources to consult, documents to gather (where would a mere COR obtain pertinent records?), a review the application and other pertinent records, questions to ask, perhaps other unit leaders to be consulted if issues arise.  Then, make a record, for the applicant’s file, so as to be able to document the steps taken and the care shown in making the decision to accept an applicant as a unit leader, or at least as a registered adult. And if an adverse decision is made, is the applicant entitled to a hearing of some sort?

     Then, being in the nature of a personnel file, they need to be secured, and under “eyes only” access.  And when the COR moves on, the files need to be transitioned their successor. How long are the files to be kept?  In some states with lenient statutes of limitation, perhaps decades.

     I have never heard word one from any scouters in my decades of being involved in scouting at many levels of a formal vetting process.  Do any units conduct a formal vetting process?  And what do they do routinely? And what do they do if an issue arises?  Consult with other unit leaders?  Seek additional information?  Meet with the applicant and discuss the issue?

     Most adult leader applicants are parents of scouts who attend our sponsoring school.  They are seen at sports events and scouting events, school activities, may serve as coaches, attend church, etc.  They may have two or three children who have followed one another into the program.  They are seen and have interacted with the COR and other unit adults anywhere from 1 to 10 years.  They are largely known by reputation.

     A few adults do fall into the class of being a parent of a first grader, their first child in school.  Little may be known about their reputation.  And if they are a recent move to the school district, there has been little chance to develop a reputation.  The council’s criminal background check is the principal vetting that is done.

     The remaining class of adult leaders are those whose children have aged out and they continue on.  Their reputations have been built over decades with the unit.  I include grandparents of scouts also in this class.

     My concern is that National, by way of the COR’s certificate on the Adult Application, attempts to push the responsibility for vetting adults onto the Chartering Organization and its COR, both having little effective way to do a proper job of it.  And as we have seen in the bankruptcy, Chartering Organizations are defending against millions of dollars of claims, and arguably, largely because of the Chartering Organizations’ responsibility for vetting adult leaders. I don’t recall a direct claim against a Chartering Organization Representative, the individual, but it is a logical extension of the principle, as the COR did sign and approve the adult’s application.

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