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About CaveEagle

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    St Charles, IL
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    Lean Six Sigma Black-Belt
  1. Been away from the forum for quite a while. The Gates Recommendate drew me back in to see what the Scouter community had to say about this. Full disclosure: I come from a very conservative POV on this. FWIW.. This entire issue/debate has been handled poorly. Point a) Most of the gay rights advocates are just looking for a fight to tear down an organiation with God oriented value system. Just like the Christian cake bakers. How many gay couples REALLY want their cake from them anyway? They were just looking for a fight to make the headlines and were lawyered up well before they went cake shopping. Same goes for this issue. How many gay kids/adults are really affected by this? I know of a Scout DE who was at a Pack reqruiting event and had a gay couple there that seemed to be "fishing" for some sort of a fight. From what I gather, my friend handled it well, did not give them any roadblocks to participation, and they just went away. Seemingly had no realy interest in joining in the end. I am sure there are examples of gay youth/adults that just want to be part of scouting. ***thats not who I am talking about here, so back off with the flame-throwers*** Point b) Why can't conservatives be smarter about politics? Even folks who I agree with, just tend to drive me nuts! For me, its pretty easy to separate the LGBT%&(#$ agenda from our souting agenda. Do I want a gay adult man to be alone with my 15yr old son in the woods? Heck no!, but I don't want him alone with ANY adult in the woods (even an adult woman), so it should really be a non issue. I would totally understand if you did not me to go hiking (alone) with your 16yr old daughter! We already have rules in place and largely enforced to deal with these scenarios. 99.99% of issues must have evolved from an egregious breakdown in our existing rules. Any potential sexual predator would probably never want to operate within a unit that is following BSA's existing rules. Point c) What about gay youth? Well, I think this is actually a bigger problem on the whole. I have been aware of many more youth/youth issues over the years than youth/adult. So (as a conservative), why is the BSA not working to improve general decentcy standards? I get it, all our scouts are not angels. I betcha many more boys were shown adult material at scoutcamp than we care to admit. We want o help kids grow, and not toss them out at the first 4-letter word. BUT.. Over the years, I have been trained to death about GTSS and YP. But heard nary a peep about the expectations of how our youth are expected to behave. Vulgarity, or overt sexuality should have NO place in our units. Anyone really want to debate this? So why don't we do a better job setting expectations in this area with youth, Adults (and parents). conclusion: I really don't know the right answer about whether we should follow Gates' recommendations. I just think both the current state, and the most likely fallout from this are both pretty bad. For me the only real way to save scouting in the USA is to get this debate off the front page of our 24hr news media. Lets face it! the BSA has a giant target on our backs. There are ways to improve the safety for our youth (and adults) that will NOT give the gay rights activists the media frenzy they want. Let me be clear.. I really don't have an issue with a gay youth/adult participating in my scouting program. I do, however, expect them to maintain a high level of respect for my values. And.. to keep ANY sexual dialogue or actions completely away from the context of scouting. *No different than what I would expect from a hetero! We have all heard: "Dont get into fight with a pig. You both get muddy.. But only the pig likes it!" To me.. the BSA has looked pretty muddy for the last few years. CE
  2. In 25+ years of scouting, I have encountered member of the the "uniform police" on several occasions. So far, I have always been able to respond with a 'helpfull' correction on their uniform patch placement etc. My favorite on that I often see is leadership knots sewn on upside down. Especially the Eagle knot really stands out if you know what to look for. I never say anything unless the wearer starts spouting off about 'correct' uniform guidelines. Having said that, I encourage my son's and the scouts I know to get their uniform put together as correctly as possible. Its a respect thing. I don't think its respectfull to be overly critical of a scout (or scouter) that is trying to wear the uniform correctly but wants to wear a Eagle mentor or dad pin on uniform. BTW: I wear my Eagle dad & mentor pin on my left pocket flap. I might move it to the WB name tag if I ever go that route.
  3. I can agree with your sentiment, skeptic. I don't see anyone on the right trying to use the BSA as a political battleground. This issue is being forced onto the BSA. I for one don't want to see any sort of lifestyle witch hunt. Keep it to yourself and we will all be fine. This is just a very fine line, when special interest groups are pushing the issue so hard. A "don't ask, don't tell" policy is not good enough for the gay rights community. Any I cannot tollerate the normalization of alternatice lifestyles being promoted in my scout troop. So this just sounds like we might just be at an impass. Look at how many have left the Girl Scout program. Accept for cookie sales, they have very little visability. (not trying to offend and GSUSA folks). My sister has been a GS volunteer for over 20 years and have tons of respect for her.
  4. But it is the place for right wing idea-logs to promote their agenda? Why is that? I don't hear from any right-wing conservatives trying to force tranformational change to an organization that has a fairly well known and established policy. If you are currently a member of the BSA, than you have already decided that this issue is not important enough to keep you from joining. We may well find out that many people are less committed to this organization when it starts to bend to social-political pressures to change. I support the BSA because they are (or were) different. If they become just another PC club, then my interest level starts to fade. Not saying that I'm out yet. Just loosing interest.
  5. This turned out to be a hot topic when I was commitee chair for a small start-up troop back in '02-03. We had a 13 yr old scout that had been working on this requirement for almost a year. The father (Eagle Scout) showed me proof and tracking of the scouts efforts, and he showed improvement in all other areas. The problem was we had an ASM (marine background) that thought it was his personal mission to improve the physical fitness of Americas youth. And......a SM that was signed on to his 'program'. This created a discouraged youth, and angry parent, a split comittee vote and was a major contributor to troops eventual collapse. (no kidding). This is an extreme example, but I think it demonstrates how adult's interpretation of a requirement can really cause big problems with a unit. The requirent say to show improvement on these activities. Not EACH, or ALL of these activities. Lighten up! Follow the spirit of the requirement. Where the requirements are specific, hold the scout accountable to the specifics. Where they are left general, use you descretion. Here's another example..... We had a scout that did his initial 'benchmark' tests towards the end of footbal season, when he was working out every day and was in a very good state of conditioning. I think he did 5+ pull ups. After the 30-day period, footbal season was over and he probably put on a couple pounds. At the re-test phase, he was only able to eek out ~3 pull ups. So, a strict interpretation of the rules would have failed the kid, even though he did more 'actual' pull ups than most of the other kids. Does it really make sense to follow a super-strict interpretation of this rule? I think not.
  6. I really don't watch the news much anymore. Its just too darn depressing. I guess I do need to do some research to find out exactly what is going on with the BSA. I find it funny that I have been getting several phone calls and emails from my old council and my new council (recently moved states) pressing me for my FOS and 'Golden Eagle' commitments. That is just not normal. It feels like they are pushing more than normal because of some pending change that could have a negative impact on my contribution. More on-topic.. I don't beleive that all homosexuals are guaranteed to be pedofiles and a danger to teenage boys. I have been involved in several Christian support groups and know friends that have struggled with these issues first hand. This is not the venue to vet that out, but it is not unreasonable for parents to have concearns. I do think that selecting mentors for our youth is a very critical decision that should not be taken lightly. And I support any CO that decides to descriminate based on their organizations values. Do I think that a policy could be developed that would allow a gay parent to participate in the scouting program? .... I just don't like the way this is being pushed through like a political hot potatoe. I have the right as a parent to decide who will potentially mentor my son's. And I will not apologize for stating that long-held BSA policy makes it a lot easier for a parent to feel safe about these decisions. There is absolutely NO defense for the above mentioned interrogation of a scout. There is absolutely no place in the scouting program for the topic of sexuality. Our scouting program is not the place for left wing idealogs to promote their agenda.
  7. Include the '80s in that comment. I was the first scout in our troop to earn Eagle in 5 years, so I really had to figure things out for myself. My "Eagle project worksheet" was a faded photo copy that you could barely read. My first Eagle project was 50% completed when I got the letter from the council office letting me know that it was not approved. Granted, we were a small troop on an Army base in Germany, so there were not really a lot of expert resources. On the flip-side of the argument, I also did not have a overzealous council hack nit-picking every aspect of my project and really LOOKING for a good reason fail me. (speaking about my second Eagle project..... long story) So, I think some things are harder for scouts (like my sons) in large troops with lots of resources. And..... some things are a bit easier. I for one, think its good for a Life scout to have a good Eagle mentor to help guide them through the process. Not talking about running the project for them. Or micro-managing it. Just giving them some pointers or advice on where to start, and how to avoid some typical pitfalls. One of our old council's Eagle boards had such a reputation for tough project scrutiny (and BORs) that many scouts were intimidated by fear of rejection. Thats just NOT right. I know several good scouts that aged out as Life scouts where this was (at least) a factor.
  8. **warning... slightly off topic......maybe... Why does it seem like there is a prevailing presumtion that a scout that does not make Eagle has failed? ...Or that the program has failed?? My late Grandfather was a scout in the early 1913-15 range. His father was the scoutmaster of his troop in NYC. (Manhattan I think) Anyway, he was very small for his age and was unable to complete the requirements for the lifesaving MB. My granfather earned the rank of Star scout and went on to be an ASM in that same troop. He was always proud of his involvement in scouting and spoke to me often about it. This was the single greatest thing that motivated me to work hard on my scouting advancement as a boy. I knew that he always regretted not earning Eagle himself, but he never seemed bitter about the requirements being too tough. I know that it is not PC, but I just cringe every time I hear about requirements being changed or modified. If the program did not offer a significant challenge, then wouldn't the value be diminished? CE
  9. Just imagine for a moment..... A news headline reading: Eagle scout stands by as child drowns! I know this sounds extreme, but whats next? "I cant perform first aid because I have a germ phobia." I know that I am straying way off the PC reservation here, but STOP watering down the value of real acheivement. CE
  10. Well, that was a fair amount of reading to get nothing specific. Our DAC seemed to be VERY confident that this program was on indefinate "hold".
  11. Well, that was a fair amount of reading to get nothing specific. Our DAC seemed to be VERY confident that this program was on indefinate "hold".
  12. I was just informed by our District Adv Chair that the new Historic MBs are on hold. I was not given any other info on this. Any other info out there on this?
  13. 1. no..... however, I don't get too worked up about it. I had by Eagle BOR just before turning 18 and never wore the rank patch. My son just also completed his Eagle rank (barely made it as well). I would have like to have been able to wear the rank patch and maybe earn a palm ot two. I did not manage the calendar well enough to accomplish that. 2. yes... 1987
  14. My son's Eagle packet just came in the mail and I was surprised that the 'honorary' President's signature was not on there. I am tagging onto an older thread, but I was just wondering if this was a permanent change?? CE
  15. I was a scout from 1981 to 1987 and earned most of the skill awards. I still have my old belt with the awards. I was surprised to find out they had been removed from the program when we got back involved in the late 90s. I wish we still had them. Our new scouts seem to get a big let-down when they transition from cubs. They are used to getting tons of recognition from the pack in the form of pins, belt loops and activity awards. Now, many of them will walk away from a COH without much recognition at all. Before moving a few years ago, our troop in NY awarded patch segments for scouts to acheived milestones that we defined. 10 nights of camping Attend JLT training SCout spirit award klondike derby etc. I know it was outside the BSA program, but it was effective.
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