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Posts posted by clemlaw

  1. Well, a bunch of anonymous strangers on the internet won't be able to tell you exactly what happened, since we don't know what happened. But that won't stop this anonymous stranger from offering an opinion, anyway. :)


    First of all, it's not common, but there's really nothing wrong with awarding the Arrow of Light at a Boy Scout COH or Troop meeting. It's a Cub Scout award, it was ordered by the Cub Scout Pack, and it can't be earned after the boy is officially registered as a Boy Scout. But if a Pack and Troop work closely together, there's really nothing wrong with handing it out a troop meeting, and not a pack meeting.


    Now, I suspect that the other youth, if he did really earn Tenderfoot, was 11 years and 1 month old at the time it was awarded to him, despite his grade in school. As others have noted, the minimum joining age for someone who has never been in Cub Scouts is 11, and it takes a minimum of one month to complete the requirements.


    I suspect one of two things: Possibly he started coming to meetings, bought a uniform, etc., before his 11th birthday, and the troop just waited to mail in his registration until he turned 11. I'm not sure if they're really supposed to do this, but if he was just a couple of months short of his birthday and eager to join, it kind of makes sense to just involve him in troop activities from the get-go, rather than place him in the Webelos Den of a Cub Scout Pack for just a few months.


    If they did this, then I hope they waited at least a month to award his Tenderfoot, since one of the requirements takes that long. I'm not sure if it would go through 1 day after his 11th birthday, but even if it did, it might avoid future problems if they waited. As others have noted, Tenderfoot has certain requirements that the scout has to pass, such as tying knots, packing for a camping trip, etc. It's not awarded based on age or height.


    The "Scout" rank (which someone will point out isn't really a rank) patch looks similar to Tenderfoot--it's just the outline of the Tenderfoot badge, without the eagle visible, etc. A scout could earn this on the day of his 11th birthday, since it mostly involves filling out the form and a couple of simple requirements, like tying a square knot. Is that possibly what was awarded?


    As for your son not getting Tenderfoot, as noted above, there are certain requirements. Your son learned most of those in Webelos, but he will still need to demonstrate most of them and have them "signed off". Now, in your son's case, since he was getting his Arrow of Light, it seems very likely that he was still, until that time, officially registered as a Cub Scout. Again, maybe they let him participate in Troop activities. But since he was still finishing the Arrow of Light, he was not yet officially registered in the Troop. In fact, if he was under 11, then he wasn't eligible to join Boy Scouts until he finished Arrow of Light. If that's the case, then he is not eligible for Tenderfoot until 30 days later, because one of the requirements will take 30 days.


    Again, that's my _possible_ explanation of what _might_ have happened.


    In about six months, none of this will make any difference, since if the troop is fairly active, both of them should have earned Second Class by about that time. :)

  2. Just for the record, I have no doubt that he is what he purports to be. It's understandable that he's not going to use his real name. I kind of doubt that he was a member of this forum before posting this, but if he was, it's understandable that he would sign up under a new identity.


    I'm glad he's sticking around, but since he is, I would appreciate if he would answer my question, as many of us answered his questions.


    And that question is: What exactly were you thinking for the five years between ages 13 and 18 when you held up your right hand and promised to do your "duty to God"?

  3. Based upon the information provided:


    Answer 1: Yes.

    Answer 2: No.


    Since you are an Eagle Scout, I assume that you are Reverent. IMHO, it is possible for someone to be an atheist and still be reverent. I am reverent toward beliefs that I do not hold myself, and I assume you are the same. I am curious, though, as to how you reconcile it when you raise your right hand and say that you'll do your duty to God and country. I actually have an open mind on that subject, and that is a serious question.


    I do have an objection to an 18 year old leader being "openly gay". I would have a similar objection to someone being "openly straight". IMHO, "openly gay" (or "openly straight") means that you are sexually attracted to certain persons, and you are open to making that fact public.


    IMHO, an 18 year old adult leader should not be "openly" making such assertions. Also, I don't believe that an unmarried 18 year old adult leader should be involved in a sexual relationship with anyone, if that's what you mean by "openly".


    I realize my opinion is probably politically incorrect, and I also realize that my opinion probably differs somewhat from the official BSA position. But you asked the question, and you deserve an honest answer.

  4. The actual memorandum, signed by Robert Mazuca, can be found at page 3 of this link:




    After various "whereas" clauses (such as AHG being "desirous of encouraging its member families to place their sons in a Christ centered chartered BSA Troop"), it is "Resolved, that [AHG and BSA] will work with each other within the rules and regulations of [AHG and BSA] to establish and nurture a positive beneficial relationship as well as to cooperate in establishing American Heritage Girl units and Boy Scout Venturing units as an expression of the organizational values of the organizations."


    In short, it doesn't establish a "partnership", nor does it call for the BSA to promote AHG or hand out pamphlets at roundtables. As far as I can tell, in exchange for saying kind things about one another, it looks like both organizations might want to spin off some venturing crews from existing AHG units.


    I suspect my daughter's scouting career will consist of being in GSUSA programs, and then Venturing when she is 14. While it looks like a fine organization, I don't think AHG is our family's cup of tea.



  5. I'm not advocating going back to this--I'm just pointing it out as a historical curiosity.


    But back in my day, as far as I know, there was no requirement that the BSA couldn't be the beneficiary of an Eagle project. Quite a few projects were improvements at camp facilities, and I'm pretty sure that some of them were council camps.


    The new rule makes sense--it should be _public_ service, and service to other Boy Scouts isn't really public service. But I was kind of surprised when I saw that rule, because it hasn't always been that way.

  6. I looked at the link above, and I'm a little bit underwhelmed.


    It looks like this is the website of some entrepeneurially spirited individual(s) who had some medals manufactured, and is willing to sell them to anyone who asserts that they have met certain requirements.


    I have nothing against entrepenuerially spirited persons, but I'm not sure I see the point. They have nothing to do with the BSA, so the resulting medal really shouldn't be worn on the uniform.


    I suspect that equally handsome medals can be purchased at local trophy shops, hobby stores, etc. I really don't see how these are much different.

  7. Well, I don't know what is contained in the "memorandum of mutual support", so I'm not sure how the BSA is failing in its obligation to let people know about them.


    But according to the document linked above, they have "over 10,000 members". I don't know for sure whether that's adult or youth, but I suspect that's the combined number. The last I checked, the BSA membership was over 4 million, or about 400 times larger.


    I'm sure AHG is a fine organization, but I'm not sure exactly how BSA dropped the ball in failing to promote this tiny organization.

  8. I'm currently Tiger Leader, and it looks like I'll be Cubmaster next year. Our Pack is in a typical suburban area, and we do an average amount of outdoor activities, usually at Council facilities. Obviously, I'm in a Cub Scout pack right now, so I'm not too concerned about wilderness first aid. We also camp as a family, in established campgrounds, but in some cases the closest law enforcement or ambulance might be many minutes away.


    I'm not particularly concerned about what the BSA requires (although obviously, I plan to meet any minimum requirements). After all of the various threads about medical issues and first aid training, I'm wondering what level of training I should realisticly get. I want to be reasonably competent to deal with emergencies.


    In college, about 30 years ago, I took American Red Cross Advanced First Aid. I learned enough to know that I didn't know very much (which I didn't realize when they handed me my First Aid merit badge). I also recently took about a two hour course at work on CPR and AED, and got some sort of card from the National Safety Council saying that I'm certified. The main thing I learned in that course is that even if you don't know what you're doing, you should open up the AED and follow the instructions, since it probably won't allow you to cause much harm.


    I don't currently have BALOO training, but I'll be taking that before I take over as CM.


    What do you suggest I do to train myself? Keep in mind that this will all be coming out of my own limited time and funds. And I have no idea who I would even call to sign up for a class.


    Also, does anyone have any suggestions on what should be in the First Aid kit in my car? I had occasion to be present twice when the First Aid kit was opened at council facilities, and the contents were pretty sparse and poorly maintained. From other threads, I get the idea that in addition to the normal Band-Aids, etc., I ought to have benadryl and Pedialyte available, so if anyone has those kinds of suggestions, I would appreciate them as well.(This message has been edited by clemlaw)

  9. OK, I'm going to sound like an old crumudgeon here, but I do just want to point out that all of the hoopla surrounding Arrow of Light, "Crossing Over", etc., is a fairly recent development.


    I know that I received Arrow of Light in 1972, because I still have the patch. (I wore it on my Boy Scout uniform, although I don't recall if it ever actually got sewn on to my Cub Scout uniform.)


    But I have absolutely no recollection of the ceremony at which it was awarded. I do recall being handed a BSA membership form. But I don't remember any arrows, plaques, bridges, etc. I do distinctly remember my first Boy Scout campout, which would have been a few weeks after I filled out the form.


    Having said that, I don't see anything wrong with giving everyone in the Webelos den a $3.99 arrow, especially if that somehow encourages them to join Boy Scouts, where they'll really start having fun.

  10. I found this report on the incident from the National Park Service:




    It's hard to read, and I think it's safe to say that some mistakes were made. It sounds like they were short on water. When other Scouts arrived at the end of the trail, they were very thirsty. (Of course, they had probably been moving pretty fast, since they were sent to get help and/or water, it looks like). Also, the Scoutmaster was reported as being very hot, thirsty, out of breath, etc., but he had been doing CPR.


    The hike began at "Oasis Visitor Center", which appears to be this building:




    They met there at 7 AM, and began the hike at 8:30 AM. According to its website, the visitor center opens at 9:00, but there is apparently a log where people can sign in. So chances are, there was no opportunity to check in with rangers before the hike, but they didn't start out from a remote area--the starting point was a modern building with running water, on a US Highway.


    They apparently hiked to "Ten Mile Camp" and it looks like they returned via the same route.


    Here's a link to a map:




    I assume that "Ten Mile Camp" is the camping symbol about ten miles north of the visitor center.


    It looks like the second picture on the following page (the picture with four people at a campsite) is on the same route, between "Oasis Visitor Center" and "Ten Mile Camp", to give you some idea of the terrain:




    From the discussion on that page, it looks like the presence of water that can be filtered is iffy. It looks like this Scout had six liters with him, and had drunk it all.


    From the Googling that I did, it looks like a very challenging hike. I found a few journals of people hiking the Florida trail, and it looks like they would have perhaps gone 10-15 miles in a day in that area. (But of course, that allows time to set up camp at the end of the day, as opposed to having an air-conditioned car parked at a building with a drinking fountain.)


    It looks like it's definitely a lot more challenging than a 20-mile hike on the shoulder of a highway. But on the other hand, it's not in the remote wilderness. For me, the heat would be an extreme challenge, but I'm not from Florida, so I don't know whether a local would consider it so. From one of the websites I read about the area, there is a "hiking season", and this hike was not during that season.


    Frankly, from looking at these reports, and looking at a couple of accounts of other hikers, it sounds like this might have been too challenging for an overweight Scout, particularly if there's not a guaranteed source of water along the way.


    Hindsight is 20/20, and as I read this, I'm guessing that this Scout's life might have been saved if they had cached water along the route, since it looks like they were returning along the same route. But that's 20/20 hindsight--I don't know if I would have done anything differently from these leaders.



  11. Thanks for the heads up. My son will be a Wolf next year, so I'll make sure they take care of that one early in the year.


    You can send the Tigers out the day before and ask them to spread litter on top of the snow. Yes, that was a joke. :)


    If you don't have any other opportunity, then I would probably send them around a semi-sheltered area, such as near a park building, a parking lot, etc., and pick up any exposed litter. If you have a park with a picnic shelter (roof, but no walls), there's probably some trash in there that's accumulated over the winter.


    I suspect that if you looked in places like that, you could probably come up with a bag or two of litter.


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