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About concerned_scout66

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  1. Thanks to 89camper for additional details of this transaction. There are many details that I left out actually: Council mismanagement of assets, past arrests of PHC employees for embezzling council funds, recent PHC staff firings, and the recent increase in paid staff despite declining membership. I left them out because I didn't see them as important to the ethical question of selling something BSA doesn't own. Camp Thunderbird has been used for at least the last decade for Cub Scout Resident Camp activities. Mom & Me, Dad & Lad, Webelos Resident Camp, and Webelos Weekend are all held there. I took my son there several times as a Cub Scout, I've been on staff there personally, and even my son has been on staff there as a Boy Scout. Moving all the Boy Scout activities away from Thunderbird isn't quite the same as acquiring a "Cub Scout Resident Camp".
  2. Thanks for the input guys. FScouter: Thanks for the SM Handbook references. There don't appear to be any hard age limitations. Instead, the guidelines are generally based on experience (which makes sense to me.) The handbook does actually mention a 12 YO PL and a 14 YO SPL but only in the context of how much support might be required from adults. iaeagle: I wondered if his concern was more about parent's cutting corners and asked at the time. This SM has rules in place forbidding parents from signing off any rank or MB requirements for their son. This rule is absolute and applied uniformly to all the boys in the troop. Even Troop leaders cannot sign off their son's requirements or serve as a MB counselor for them. I liked the rule actually and have suggested that we implement it in our troop as well. Region 7 Voyageur: I agree with your observation about likely bias. This SM's first son achieved Eagle at 17 as did the second son of the CC. He also talked about how humiliating it is for some "older" Scouts to be passed up by "younger" Scouts. I know he was a former CM and suspect that some of these "older" Scouts are from his original Pack. Thanks
  3. I know a SM in my district who feels that Scouts "advancing too quickly" should be "slowed down". He also believes that boys should be "older" when they take on positions of responsibility because it will mean more to them. I'm not sure I disagree with him but his definitions of "advancing too quickly" and "older", as well as his methods for "slowing people down", sort of raise my hackles a bit. From my conversation with him, Scouts who advance at a rate that would have them at Eagle at/before 16 YO are moving too quickly. In his opinion, a 14-15 YO Eagle is unacceptable regardless of the boy's ability or motivation. Most concerning to me are the several methods that he uses to "slow them down". He described them like tools in a toolbox with a certain gleam in his eye. Here are his favorites: - Cancel or delay a SM conference until after a COH. He says that this can delay a boy for months because Scouts often forget to reschedule until just before the next COH. - Require a Scout to schedule an appointment with the Troop Advancment Chair to guarantee that all of his MB records or service hours are properly recorded before he can schedule a SM Conference. This is not Troop policy and only boys he wants to "slow down" are told to do it. - Refuse to accept positions like bugler, librarian, historian, scribe, etc as leadership. He wants younger boys to serve as PLs and, if they are not elected, to wait until they are. He only allows older boys in the SPL election and has once nixed the choice of a younger ASPL. - Require a Scout to do extra months in a leadership position because of a missed outing (1 missed outing = 1 extra month). This also applies to younger boys who missed Summer Camp due to events like Jamboree but not to older boys who missed who went to Philmont or "are bored of Summer Camp". - Talk to the Scout and convince him that his parents are pushing him too hard and that he should be having more fun. I should mention that this man has been SM of a Troop of ~65 boys for about 6 years now. He is very highly respected and well liked inside and outside the troop. His churn rate is a bit high but otherwise he's considered a stellar leader in these parts. In your experiences, does this sound appropriate to you? Does BSA have any specific guidelines or recommendations about age and rank? Thanks
  4. My wife and I both own smaller cars that get 35-40 MPG. My family of 4 will easily fit in either car and these work for virtually all of the travel we do. On the weekends that we go on Scout outings, we rent a large cab pickup truck from Enterprise. This will carry 5 people and gear. It seems odd but works very well. We've been doing this for about 6 years now. We average about 24 rental days per year. In my area I can get a pickup from Enterprise Rental Cars for < $50.00/day. If I need an SUV I'll get one but a pickup usually does the trick. By making the reservation at the local office instead of the 1-800 reservations line, I (usually) get the vehicle for less by telling them it's for a Boy Scout function. Week rates (for summer camp) are actually cheaper. This math is pretty simple (24 days * $50 = $1200). Taxes on rentals here are about 13% so the total comes to about $1356/year. Our regular insurance covers rental cars so we always decline the additional coverage. It's like owning a 3rd car but without all of the costs. We never pay for financing, registration, car tabs, insurance, repairs, tires, oil, or even to clean the vehicle. It's always new and doesn't even take up space in my garage/driveway. Best of all, we only have to pay for the poor gas mileage when we are using the vehicle. I know this sounds a bit odd but my wife and I love this system. It may not work for everybody but it sure helps keep our costs down and helps to insulate us when gas prices increase.
  5. More information... On this issue, I've received a very nice response from the Executive Director of PRAY. It seems that the volunteer in question had actually sent the article in question to him asking for permission to display it. According to the PRAY Director, the volunteer was told NOT to display the article and specifically to use only the items they would send him. That's the end of it for me. PRAY does some awesome work and I trust that this one volunteer won't tarnish their reputation. Not so concerned anymore...
  6. Search initiated after Scout goes AWOL. Scout hitchhikes home. (ABC 4 News) -- A 13-year boy scout who went missing in the Unitah mountains and prompted an overnight search, was found in Salt Lake Wednesday morning after he hitchhiked a ride from camp. Tuesday night, officials at Camp Steiner called deputies to report Joshua had left the camp. They told officers the scout had an argument with an adviser and took off in the dark. Camp Director Reid Hall said Joshua had a sling shot, and he was using it to throw rocks against buildings. A scout master took the sling shot away, and Joshua became more angry. Sometime around dark, scout leaders suspect Joshua left camp. When he couldn't be found, and all-out search for the scout began, starting with the camp grounds. Searchers then went up trails and to the ice caves in the area. Fellow scouts joined in and searched until midnight. Several staff members stayed awake overnight and continued to look for Joshua. "Everyone really cared about this guy. He probably doesn't have any idea how man people were looking for him, how many were praying for him, how many people were concerned about him," Hall said. Wednesday morning, twelve hours after he went missing, camp directors got word Joshua was located. "His bishop called me on the telephone this morning and told me he was in Salt Lake at a neighbor's home. I assumed he probably hitchhiked," Paul Biesinger said. That would have been a 90 mile trip from Camp Steiner to Salt Lake. Officials with Boy Scouts of America said as far as the altercation with the scout was concerned, they believed the scout leaders handled the situation appropriately. More importantly, they were grateful Joshua was picked up by good people and made it home safely. Camp Steiner is the same camp where one boy scout died and three other injured in a lightning strike early August.
  7. SeattlePioneer, I didn't realize that Chief Seattle used the camp for Camporees but that makes lots of sense. As you know, Kilworth is only a few miles South of the border between Chief Seattle and Pacific Harbors. Our own Scout execs somehow managed to omit that usage during their "let's sell Kilworth" pitch almost 1 year ago. Along with others, I personally sent emails and letters to Doug Dillow (Council Exec for Pacific Harbors) and Brad Farmer (Council Exec for Chief Seattle) suggesting that an alliance between the 2 Councils might be beneficial. No response from either. A politely worded "Thank you for your suggestion" would have been enough to satisfy me that these men were actually interested in what the Scouters they depend upon so dearly have to say. Perhaps I'm wrong? Doug did actually manage to send me a request to donate even more money to FOS this year than the $1,600 I already had already donated... Still Concerned
  8. Ed, The closest Pacific Harbors Council camp is about 90 minutes away (on a good day). Kilworth is situated between Seattle and Tacoma. It used to be on the edge of the Seattle and Tacoma suburbs but is now right smack in the middle of them. In the past, Kilworth was frequently used. There is a lodge (donated by Rotary in the 40's or 50's), 2 firebowls, 2 ranges, and campsites for maybe 300 boys. Until about 10 years ago, there was a very popular short trail down to the beach. Despite the efforts of the local Scouters, the Council seems to have little interest in the camp. The lodge, firebowls, ranges, campsites, and beach trail have been badly maintained. The lodge is in fair shape but the rest are quite degraded. Once the beach trail became unusable, the school district stopped bringing kids there and the funds that came from that source were lost. Right now, Kilworth is used primarily for day/twilight camp, Eagle ceremonies (there are nesting bald eagles on the site), OA meetings, firebowls, family camp, SM trainings, etc. The ranger still appears to live there but has a job in-town so is unavailable. During the last event I tried to hold at the lodge there, we found the lodge locked, ranger gone, and the council hadn't even notified the ranger we were coming. The biggest impact to the local Scouters will be the loss of the CS day camp and twilight camp. The local OA Chapter has invested thousands of manhours and raised their own funds to renovate one of the run-down buildings which it also uses for chapter meetings. This building will probably be bull-dozed with the rest.
  9. A deal to sell Camp Kilworth, run by Pacific Harbors Council and located in Federal Way, WA has been struck with local developers. This camp, like so many other BSA camps, was donated in the early 1930's by a local philanthropist for the use of the Scouts. The camp sits on a beautifully treed piece of land overlooking the beautiful Puget Sound. The camp is only 30 minutes from Seattle and Tacoma. There are sufficient buildings and campsites but, unfortunately, the camp is poorly maintained, badly managed, and not promoted even within the council. This land is worth millions of dollars but, there's a catch, BSA doesn't own it. In this case, the deed stipulates that if the camp is not maintained and used by the "Tacoma area Boy Scouts", the ownership of the property will revert back to the Kilworth heirs. BSA can't sell the property because it doesn't own it. To get around this provision, the local council has struck a deal with a few representatives of the Kilworth family. BSA will give back the property if the Kilworths will cut them in for a major portion of the profits. They've even arranged a deal with a local developer that wants to harvest the timber and put expensive view homes on the property. In this deal, Pacific Harbors Council stands to gain about $2.3M for which the Kilworth family will pocket a tidy $1M bribe. Local Scouters are split on the deal. Some are accepting the Council's story that the family wants to donate the proceeds while others have noticed that the family is in no way in agreement and are encouraging the Kilworth family to just take possession of the property and keep the entire $3.3M. I'm sorry guys, this stinks. If I had donated property like this to BSA so that the boys could enjoy it, I would hope that it would be well managed, taken care of, and promoted instead of being sold to developers.
  10. Alki, A fine Seattle name! I used to dive there all the time in my younger days and spent quite a few years as a Varsity Coach in Chief Seattle. Welcome to the discussion. "Within the current parameters of LDS Church policy and BSA policy, however, what are some possible solutions?" I don't have any answers on this one yet. Salt Lake has responded to one suggestion I sent but is not interested in any position that has the Church admitting fault. Despite the statistics, the LDS Church holds that this is a BSA problem that must be resolved by BSA. Irving has not responded to my request for statistics and may be too busy dealing with other problems at the moment. For the time being, I'm just continuing to gather facts and data while keeping my head low. You and I may think this calling is prompted by a higher power but my Stake President begs to disagree. My biggest worry right now is that I will be forced to choose between my church and my life-long passion for Boy Scouting. Concerned
  11. "If all the loyal Scouts keep telling the informed dissidents to leave....who's going to change things?" Great question. Here's my guess... After dissenting opinion on the current major disagreements is gone, there would be no change for a while. This would continue until loyalists realize that they are really all quite different. They never will figure out that "respect and defend" was a way of life that they did not learn. They never will understand that the only reason they agreed on anything was that they had a common enemy in the liberals (whose only goal was to have BSA respecting and defending other people.) It wouldn't take very long -- a few years at most. After this brief period, BSA loyalists would begin attacking each other. The non-Mormons might attack the Mormons because the church still preaches polygamy as a commandment (to be done in the afterlife) or because they perceive that the LDS church has lower Scouting standards. Christians might attack the Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and others about the lack of supreme being, their differing views on the nature of "God", the validity of their scripture, or the proper methods of prayer. Various groups might again attack the Unitarians simply because they can't understand why this group will not join in the bashing. This sounds absurd, doesn't it? If anyone has any doubt that this might actually happen they don't remember their American history very well. We can pull up all the inspiring stories we want about our founding fathers and respect for all faiths but the reality of our American past is that all of these groups were attacked for their religious beliefs by "God-fearing" Americans too intolerant to allow others to worship or not worship in their own way. For me, I would much prefer that BSA get out of the bedroom and let the Churches dispense religion. Let the CO's do that. The only position that BSA should take on religious morality is to "respect and defend the rights of all people." To do anything else is un-American.
  12. fgoodwin, Until now, I actually respected most of our posts. Thanks for setting me straight. Even more concerned...
  13. "I think that in some areas, for some people, the BSA's discriminatory membership policies are a hindrance to recruitment." Even as a conservative I can see this is true in WA and CA. Members of my own church are embarassed to be associated with BSA because it openly promotes intolerance and bigotry. These values are simply un-American. Scouters who try to correct this problem from within are met with the standard "if you don't like it, you can leave" response. It's a vicious way of dealing with a problem -- one that only further reduces the BSA support base. Perhaps the best way to deal with this "corporate" problem is through more competition? In the corporate world, companies that fail to satisfy demand lose it to other companies that can fill that need. If we've lost 30-50% of our boys and 50+% of our donations, a different organization more interested in supporting ALL Americans in Scouting should have a good chance at success. This same paradigm has happened in other countries and the intolerant organization always seems to lose market base. Why not here?
  14. > "If you truly care about Scouting, should you excuse the > long term failures of paid management?" No, but I think the problem is bigger than just poor corporate management. For decades, BSA has avoided direct confrontrations and encouraged America's youth to "respect and defend the rights of all people". Recently, however, BSA stopped respecting and defending and now allows outside interests to use it as a battering ram in their fight against Americans who have different opinions regarding certain controversial "moral" positions. IMHO, BSA should get back to the business of supporting America's youth and let the churches wage their own war to take away the rights of people they don't agree with. If BSA gets out of the morality definition business, those people who used to donate "liberally" will return. It's a guarantee and United Way will be at the front of that list. Concerned.
  15. I know that many of us have seen similar situations pop up from time to time. In general, I agree with NeiLup's stance. The boy is probably not ready but shouldn't be discouraged from improving. I know of one circumstance in my troop where a boy from a different troop was caught with 2 other boys stealing some of our gear at summer camp. The reason I mention this is because of the method he chose to right the situation. At one of our troop meetings, this young man asked to speak during opening announcements. He introduced himself as "one of the guys who stole your stuff at camp". He said he was sorry, had been put on probation in his troop, and was there to make sure that all of the gear lost was replaced. He announced that he would be standing out in the foyer area after the Scout meeting and would take descriptions of the lost gear which he would then replace. He was there all by himself, his mother having decided to wait in the car. As you might imagine, his statements were met with dead silence -- at least for a few moments. Then the boys and adults started clapping. After the boys started filing out of the meeting area, many/most of them stopped by to tell him how brave they thought he was. Even the adults stopped by to shake his hand (including me because they had stolen my headlamp). He delivered each piece of lost gear personally including, we think, a few that were probably just lost and not stolen. This boy is still in Scouting. He's a Life Scout now, off of probation in his troop, and doing fine in Scouting. I had the pleasure to have him on CS Day Camp staff for a couple of weeks last summer. I don't think he'd be the same if he had dropped or been dropped. Rick
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