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Everything posted by acco40

  1. Eagle Requirement 2: "Demonstrate that you live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Scout Law in your daily life...." Who signs off on that requirement?
  2. How can you deny a Scout a SMC or BOR if they've completed all the other requirements for rank advancement? That's just plain out wrong. I had a case where a Life Scout completed all of the requirements for his Eagle rank/award except for the BOR. One was scheduled and during the time after his SMC but before his BOR he got in trouble at school and was suspended. The troop committee would not hold a BOR for him. I told them they couldn't do that - they had to give him a BOR. They didn't need to have him "pass" but they couldn't deny him a review (somebody tell the Republicans for me please). Anyway, they refused to hold a BOR for him. Well the Scout arranged a BOR with the district Advancement Chair and was awarded his Eagle. To this day, I still think the troop committee was gutless.
  3. Yes, if one was 5'4" and 330 lb when they started working on the MB and showed improvement when finished. When is a boy in a troop - ages 12 to 17. How many boys don't improve their strength during this time?
  4. That's why, as a Scoutmaster, if I see a Life scout in our troop that can't tie a bowline - guess who I ask the SPL to assign to teach the Tenderfoots (Tenderfeet?)? No one should be trying to play the accountable game - we should all be trying to help the boys learn. One of the biggest beefs against me from the parents was their perceived notion that didn't see "Scout skills" (in their eyes camping skills) as important. I did seem them as important but not as an end to themselves. The mission of scouting isn't to make skilled outdoorsmen. The mission is to help them make moral and ethical decisions - the outdoors and the patrol method (and advancement) are methods (tools) to do so. There are other ways to teach them moral and ethical decisions that are just as effective - but it isn't scouting which as leaders, we are suppose to be dispensing.
  5. acco40

    Talking politics around the campfire

    Depending on their age and maturity - I tend to play devil's advocate with the boys if they have a very strident political position. Kind of a bastardization of the Socratic method - just to get them to think and challenge themselves. But rarely is it the boys who start a political discussion. When the adults start it, I usually decline participation if the boys are around.
  6. I was a personal fitness merit badge instructor for many years. The first thing most folks screw up is equating personal fitness with physical fitness. I suggest you read the personal fitness merit badge book.
  7. Again, the purpose of BSA Scouting, is not to retain the core scouting skill like hiking or swimming. I remember back in the day, parents would have their kids join Scouts to learn to swim. The purpose is to develop character, citizenship and personal fitness. Now, if we sold that to the boys, nobody would sign up voluntarily. So, we use the Outdoor Program to lure the kids and Advancement to lure the parents (my opinion only and stated somewhat tongue in cheek). It is highly beneficial that the boys learn orienteering, pioneering, hiking, first aid, camping and a host of other skills - but that is only the means to develop character, citizenship and personal fitness. Can these aims be achieved by different methods? Of course they can but as Scouters, we've pledged to deliver the Scout program as constructed by the BSA which uses the Outdoor program and other methods such as Advancement, Personal Growth, Association with Adults, Patrols, the Uniform, and Leadership Development, Ideals (Oath, Law, Motto, Slogan, etc.) to obtain the purpose. So don't get your undies in a knot if an Eagle Scout can't remember exactly how to tie a clove hitch. But do raise your eyebrow if they lie about being able to tie a clove hitch.
  8. acco40

    Ever Had Your Scout Trailer Stolen?

    Do you mean has the Charter Organization ever had their Scout trailer stolen? Sometimes, we forget who owns the troop and all the troop's equipment. On a lighter note, a lady in our troop knew a company that would decal our newly purchased trailer for a very reasonable cost. I found out why when I saw it at the next troop meeting with "Troup XX" prominently displayed on the side of the trailer.
  9. I'd love to get you on a slow boat to China All by myself, alone. Get you and keep you in my arms evermore, Leave all your lovelies weeping on the far away shore. Song by Frank Loesser His daughter, Susan Loesser, authored a biography of her father, A Most Remarkable Fella (1993), in which she writes: ""I'd like to get you on a slow boat to China" was a well-known phrase among poker players, referring to a person who lost steadily and handsomely. My father turned it into a romantic song, placing the title in the mainstream of catch-phrases in 1947. †The idea being that a "slow boat to China" was the longest trip one could imagine. Loesser moved the phrase to a more romantic setting, yet it eventually entered general parlance to mean anything that takes an extremely long time. So, Stosh, I don't think you have to worry about the PC police knocking on your door in the middle of the night.
  10. What is our purpose? Is it to "graduate" kids with a knowledge of knots and first aid? Absolutely not. Those are only methods, not the aim. I see so many Scouters forget this simple fact. I was a Scoutmaster for many years. My career has honed my skills as an expert in physics based modeling and simulation. Or, as some would state, with no useful practical skills! So, I was usually only a step or two ahead of the Scouts wrt knots, first aid, etc. After awhile, I got it. Practice makes perfect. After ten years as Scoutmaster I was teaching these skills to my fellow Scouters. Since then, I've been on the sideline for about ten years and not really teaching the youth or adults these skills. My Eagle Scout sons and I were fooling around last week and they asked me to tie a bowline. Well, it took me two tries! How embarrassing! Yes, we do forget skills we don't use day in and day out. My French is rusty after having studied it in elementary school, junior high, high school and college and then not having practiced it for about 35 years. It happens. I don't think anyone is going to rip away my college degree. I've seen the joy on the face of an 11 year old when they've mastered a skill they've put effort into learning. I've then had them demonstrate that skill to me and signed off on that particular requirement. But, going forward I "trick" that Scout to keep honing that skill by asking him to demonstrate and teach other Scouts what he has "mastered." That is what a good Scoutmaster will do. I really mastered geometry when I took trigonometry. I really mastered trigonometry when I took calculus. I really didn't master calculus until I took differential equations. Not sure if I really mastered "diffy q."
  11. acco40

    Is Local Option An Illusion?

    "At every point, the Scout leadership tells us that they will go this far and no farther, but here we are again -- so it's hard for me to believe, in the long term, that the Boy Scouts will allow religious groups to have the freedom to choose their own leaders," Moore told Baptist Press July 14. I don't think the BSA has ever denied a "religious group" (ie. a Scouting Unit) the freedom to choose their own leaders except in an exclusionary way. In other words, they never forced a unit to choose a particular leader but they have banned units from choosing particular leaders. Now, with this new ruling, what Scouting Units are receiving is more freedom to choose their own leaders. JoeBob, don't you agree? As for perceiving this change as not trustworthy - I see that as quite a stretch. The BSA continuously "tweaks" rank requirements and other such things in the program. We all don't agree that these "tweaks" are necessarily for the better but I don't necessarily view them as underhanded or not trustworthy.
  12. Qwaze, "maybe" was used in my post because a Scoutmaster determines what gets counted as sevice hours and different Scoutmasters may have different opinions on what counts as service.
  13. Requirement or not, the question was framed by lepzid and the correct answer is yes, hours spent working on an Eagle Project may be considered as service hours. I know some folks mistake EBOR with ECOH sometimes. I've been guilty of that slip myself. Many times at an Eagle Court of Honor, the mention of total service hours is publicized and time spent working on their project should be considered as part of that total - as well as any work they may have done on other Scouts Eagle Projects.
  14. Yes, I admit I erred on the "completed all requirements" statement. He did not participate in a BOR going in. I thought that would be understood. What folks don't realize is the fact that it is perfectly acceptable to ask a Scout at an BOR for Life to tie a bowline knot (which happens to be a First Class requirement). However, the purpose of asking that question is not to deny the Scout his next rank but to evaluate the Scouting program the Scoutmaster is running. If the Scout can't tie a bowline knot, a discussion should be had with the Scoutmaster to find out why? Did the Scout ever master that skill? Who signed off on it? Has he had the opportunity to teach that skill to other Scouts? If so, did he take that opportunity? The BOR shouldn't be a witch hunt on either the Scout or the Scoutmaster but if this happens again and again, I'd find another Scoutmaster.
  15. Who is in charge of advancement within the troop? What are the requirements for first class? Who is responsible for signing off on those requirements? What is the purpose of a board of review? Think hard about these questions and you'll find your answer. If you are lazy, read further. 1) The Scoutmaster is in charge of advancement in the troop. 2) First Class requirements 1-13 should have already been completed and signed off, including #12 for demonstrating Scout spirit before the BOR. The board can't negate these sign-offs. 3) The Scoutmaster has the authority to sign-off on requirements and he may also delegate/assign that authority to others (ASMs, PLs, SPL, etc.). 4) Some of the purposes of a BOR are to evaluate the effectiveness of the Scouting program in the troop and evaluate the experience the Scout is having in the troop. It is not a time for retesting (requirements should have already been signed off) so the BOR is not to determine if the Scout Spirit requirement has been passed. However, they may, let me rephrase it, they should discuss the Scout Oath & Law during the review to make sure the Scout recognized and understands those concepts and how it applies in his everyday life (home, unit, school, etc.). The BOR may do a quick scan of the Scout's Handbook to make sure all requirements have been met by reviewing the sign-offs. As a Scoutmaster, one of my beefs about BORs was the absence of any feedback I got from them. Many troops fall into the trap of having troop leaders (SM, ASMs) attend outing but not committee members. So there was a lack of communication about what went on during outings. We happened to hold our committee meetings concurrently with troop meetings so there wasn't much time to meet face to face - unit leaders and committee members. In the case shown, to me the Scout has completed all of the requirements
  16. acco40

    Denner cords~who pays?

    Avoid the cost and go with a den chief! Added plus - no jealous parents asking "why my son didn't . . ." Added unsolicited advice - make sure the den chief is NOT an older brother of a cub in your den.
  17. acco40

    Eagle COH Question

    It is always appropriate for a BSA member to wear their uniform to a scouting function. Now, for you son's ECOH, I would wear your uniform but make it the "plain" one as opposed to the Panamanian General uniform so as not to distract from the real VIP of the event.
  18. What is more important in the army - the Colonels and Generals or the warrant officers and Sergeants? The answer is both are needed and the army would not function properly without both. Now, the real question is - does this boy of 16 and you want him to serve the Scoutmaster (that is what a JASM does) or serve in a leadership position with the boys? Don't have a JASM lead the boys and don't have a troop guide, SPL, Intructor, etc. carry out Scoutmaster assignments.
  19. acco40

    Membership Continues Decline

    Here is a personal example. When my oldest (now 23 years old) wanted to be a Cub Scout I signed him up. The next year, I was my second son's Tiger partner. The next year my wife signed me up to be a Wolf Den leader and for the next ten years I was some combination of Den Leader, Assistant Scoutmaster, Scoutmaster and Unit Commissioner (never less than two positions!). During that time the council changed structure twice - merging with with the council next to in geographically and a few year later forming a state wide council. Camps have closed (mothballed) to save operating and maintenance costs. I'm going to an Eagle (and Silver Award) Recognition dinner next week that will be held at a large convention center. When my boys earned Eagle, they attended the same dinner but then it was for a much smaller geographic area but attendance was almost the same ≈500 or so Scouts. It is much less personal now and I'm afraid the BSA program will continue to shrink. However, I don't think it has anything to do with God, Gays or Girls. I just think in this day and age the thought of "going camping" and "the outdoors" is so foreign to so many folks they don't see the benefit. I look back fondly during the time I was a Scout Leader and am contemplating jumping back into it after I retire in the next few years.
  20. acco40

    Shutdown ?

    Must be a bummer to be formally labelled as "non-essential" in your job.
  21. Yes, it does get complicated these days. Youth may not share a tent with adults unless those adults are Leadership Requirements for Trips and Outings Male and female leaders must have separate sleeping facilities. Married couples may share the same quarters if appropriate facilities are available. Now, when we went camping, we would separate the tents of female leaders (usually few in numbers) and also face their tent is a different direction. It was more of a privacy issue than a safety issue. We'd also separate as best we could, the adults and youth. Adults of different genders are not allowed to share a tent unless married to each other. For example, two married couples could not share a four man tent.
  22. acco40


    When I got married (to a good Catholic girl ), the priest wanted to know where she was baptized (what church) and when. I asked him if he needed that information from me and he paused for a second and then politely replied - you are Christian, correct? I replied in the affirmative and that is all they needed to know. Major point - I was either Catholic or "other." Hey, I knew what I was getting into.
  23. acco40


    Or, one could take make the simple definition of Protestants as any Christian who is not Catholic (the one "true" religion in the eyes of many Catholics). For myself, I chuckle at those who seek a label - either for themselves or others - be it Christian, Protestant, liberal, conservative, right, left, tea party or whatever. I guess many have a deep seated desire for belonging to something so stick or defend a group vehemently. Not my style, but then I've been accused of having soup dejour morals sometimes. I'll say one thing, for this non-Catholic, Pope Francis sure seems refreshing. He must have taken that advice from Stripes.
  24. acco40


    One can always tell non-Catholics by such statements as "Chistians and Catholics . . ."
  25. acco40


    I think the main issue is not the religion but to Scouters who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) they view Mormons as participating in the BSA. To many Mormons, they see folks who are not part of their religion as participating in their youth program. Their youth program and the BSA are one in the same but viewed through a different lens.