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About CricketEagle

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  1. From a 3rd generation scouter, my children will likely be the last. Can't get out fast enough. Would not recommend BSA anymore. Spoke to another long term SM today and he feels the same. Once again BSA has created the feeling of jamming down a pre-ordained result for units to deal with. We no longer trust BSA in any form. The concept of separate units or local choice does not ring true. We have dealt with council and national over the years on difficult issues. The result has always been that BSA caves or gets risk adverse when someone threatens lawyers. BSA will put in some polite two faced talk about local choice, but will never provide support. Most chartered orgs will walk away rather than deal with the hassles. Our chartered org has stood it's ground so far, I am not sure they will continue. They recently canceled other programs because of problems with youth and parents. I am watching the twitter messages blow up from the comments by the boys in my troop. They are not happy. Most enjoy the time of just being boys. They are the customers, they are who we serve. This family scouting concept sounds more like helicopter parents to me. More car camping. For those of you new or inexperience with dealing with BSA be warned. They will leave you hanging even if you did everything by the book and have a dozen witnesses. What was once just considered bad behavior is now considered bullying. It used to be dealt with quickly and corrected, now we talk about "feelings" and worry that a parent might sue. Now what is bad behavior will be considered sexual harassment. So when 10 1/2 year old Johnny goes into Mary's tent to play a joke it will no longer just be bad behavior to be corrected as part of the growing process. It will be elevated to the level of harassment. Don't worry, I am sure BSA will invent a 2 day required training program that will fix this all (Hint sarcasm), we will have to repeat it every 3 months to be current. That always fixes things
  2. I have used both the Northern Tier base and a private outfitter for boundary waters and Quetico. Prices are similar when you dig into it, however the private outfitter may have more options on payments, reducing your troop's financial risk. BSA has set fee schedules largely based on a "crew", so if you have a small crew you in effect pay more. In addition you must up front a lot of money. Having been around to see scouts back out and stick the troop for money this "risk" should be part of the consideration. With the private outfitter we had more options on payments, and most of it was delayed until close to the trip date. A northern tier type trip is also attractive as you do not need much gear. Outfitters can supply most of this. Big backpack trips typically mean expensive gear. I love them, but they are not for everyone. Northern tier will provide you with a guide. If your group leaders are not comfortable in the wilderness this is a strong plus. However, in my experience the northern tier guides tend to get into a competition with the other guides. Bragging rights as to who can paddle hundreds of miles. This is often not in the scouts best interest. If you have adults and youth that are comfortable and can navigate private outfitters our an option. You can rent sat phones for cheap as a backup. Bottom line from Ohio transportation costs will be roughly half your trip costs. Last time I used "North Country outfitters". Owner is a former scout leader. I would use them again. They will send you a packet with all the planning info if contact them. Very helpful. Hard to compare costs, there are so many options on the length of trip and gear upgrades. Also the Canadian's charge a lot now to enter Quetico. Out west trips....again most your cost is in transportation..however packs, boots and a good bag set you back a lot. FYI, I just received a memo from the forest service out west as I was applying for a back country permit in Wyoming. Looks like another group of scouts/adult leaders broke some serious wilderness rules again in 2016, letter cited possible criminal violations. More people that should be purged from the organization.
  3. Been to both NT and private outfitter. Recommend you look at more than canoes. What I witnessed a few weeks ago was shocking. Scouts with food packs over 80 lbs. One pushing 100. All heading north over agnes portages. Our worst pack started at 50. Went farther, further and more comfortable than some of those NT units. Pricing was equal or better than the scout camp. Terms of payment much better. If you can navigate and have some outdoor skills you have options.
  4. Qas AND Matt Thanks for constructive replies. I am there with you guys. Doing my best to ignore national including thier definition of adventure micromanaged by risk avoidance legal advice. Just keep national and their silly policies out of the way of our youth and we can endure.
  5. Like many here I look far more than I comment. Here is a topic I consider important. How to save BSA. I fear, and am already seeing deeper drop off in adult and youth membership than others want to admit. Often religious and social conservatives gave the most of their time to support BSA events in our district. I have yet to see any well intentioned more liberal persons fill gaps. Sorry to speak in generalities. All our welcome, but the effect has been far fewer people doing the heavy work. And yes a few of those that left are now busy in the new competing organization. It is more than a religious or social difference. They lost all trust in BSA. One of the most disturbing things I have seen in the membership change is how national BSA has managed this change. Reports of LDS membership asking for a delay and then being denied a delay on this vote some they could consult religious leaders speak of disrespect and a lack of courtesy at a minimum. As a management of change this was poorly done at best, at worst a deliberate act. In either case those parties negatively impacted likely feel unrepresented. This results in a lack of faith in the organization (Pun intended). What would restore confidence in BSA? If I were the LDS I would be demanding a major change in BSA leadership in exchange for staying. No Gates. New bylaws and structure that insures changes cannot be do easily made by a small group of voting members. Reduce power of board. In corporate speak the shareholders will want more control. My bet is that they will push for an organization change while quietly begin to distance themselves more from BSA. My two cents
  6. To go a little further. Behavior contract often geared towards parents. 1. You will be at events to control your son. Etc
  7. Hate them. But on this world sometimes a necessary evil. Not 100 percent sure what you refer to byour contact? Financial or behavior. Yup every permission slip now has a reminder for scout oath and law. Permission slip also cites cost of weekend camp out and if not paid will be deducted from scout bucks. Big trips and high adventure may elaborate payment and extended notes referencing oath, law and and violation of civil or criminal law. Including parents will be liable when I ship your kid home from 5 states away. Written behavior contract of scouts and associated parents. Only ever offered those twice in hundreds of scouts. Both cases scouts left troop of their own accord. It was a last chance offer to be civil. However usually in these cases you are dealing with a sout and parent that are not civil. These files help when you must deal with those. Rules the 99 percent of us need to protect us from the less than 1 percent of youth and adults that should not be in scouting.
  8. I recommend where ever you stand on this issue that you read the article by Kevin Williamson online by the National Review. He put my thoughts into words very well. This is not leadership.
  9. Bottom line...the fix is in regardless of what we local leaders and chartered organization think. After recent dealings with national and local I firmly believe BSA simply acts only in a manner to avoid short term lawsuits and not consider the long term effects on the organization and individuals. In my opinion this fits the pattern I have observed. The alternative organization looks better each day based on the corporate attitude of BSA alone. Just another unhappy SM.
  10. I will likely drop a dime. Some of the school admin knows myself, the aggressor and the victims. I will remind them of other past issues with the aggressor and parents. The aggressor is a classic small boy with big mouth, however this situation one had physical components as well. One of the out of scout events involved a school sponsored event and an autistic youth. The scouts are all privately hoping some of the other boys from a rougher school do the work for them. It will not do much, except to make the school aware and keep an eye out for some of the youth I can help. This one I have written off. If you ever go through something like this make sure you keep records like we did. Also keep all your training up to date. I think this was our saving grace, everything record wise was in good order.
  11. All, Our troop went through a bad experience, made far worse by the unprofessional work of our council and national. I am curious to see if anyone else has had similar experiences. Long story made short: sneaky now former scout was the prime aggressor in a bullying incident. That now former scout made very exaggerated counter claims to cover himself. Parents of said scout wrote letter to council which was forwarded onto national triggering an incident investigation. Before you all jump to conclusions: All BSA and our charter org rules were followed. We had all ready forwarded a low level behavior report to district and council and had informed our charted org immediately. Parents were notified, items documented at the time including the absurd response from the aggressor's parents when notified of the behavior problem. Keep in mind the former scout and the family are known from past issues to our chartered org, hence the reason I believe they filed the complaint with BSA and refused to file via the chartered org when offered. So in comes local as directed by national: 1. Collects written statements from many, many adults that witnessed the multiple events of the week 2. interviews innocent scouts, putting them through the ringer. This went on for months. 3. DOES NOT INTERVIEW the prime victim. (sloppy). Result of this: Verbal only from council saying 1. Person filling report is not the victim, but the aggressor (as per the original report). 2. Calling real prime victim, second victim from another troop and the troop itself victims (as per the original report). Remaining issues that make me question the motivation of national and local. A. Our repeated requests to have council issue a letter stating that an incident was investigated and found to be unsubstantiated have been unanswered. B. Scouts still being bullied by this aggressor in the school setting using their involvement in scouts as a social weapon. Boys with documented issues in a difficult school. The aggressor is very adapt at claiming victim status. My gut instinct is that national/local did only enough to cover themselves legally, but has left the scouts and troop hanging. . Just another reason to not trust our scouting leadership. Anyone else had similiar issues?
  12. AZMike and Others. Regardless of the harsh and at times dismissive comments you are receiving, I wanted to thank you for your time that you are taking to present your side of this discussion and the moral compass that guides you and many others. An open discussion here is most important Some of the responses here have been on the “un scout like sideâ€Â
  13. I am trying to put together two crews for 2015. I recieved the promotional pack from NT, but was it was a let down. Looks as if all of BSA promotional budget goes to Philmont and WVA. None of the packets to justice to the true wilderness experience that northern tier provides. It was a real shame. So I am putting to together some power points and videos etc based on things off the internet. In my opinion NT offers the best "wilderness" experience for the money. Flexable schedules also. I remember as a youth going four days with only seeing two other canoes at a distance in the midst of Quetic (We were north of Agnes).
  14. Calico, beg to differ...but having had this discussion with a few upset scouts the other week...they absolutely mean "gay" in full sexual context. Not gay as in odd, strange. The situation was a "school" event and the offenders were deliberate enough to use a food item as a prop. School yard bully. This was even at a religous based school. In the MTV world we live in, the average 10 year old knows the difference. From my perspective, many people appear to think this is a step in saving BSA from declining numbers. Trying to be "acceptable" to everyone. IMHO - In trying to be everything, you are often not good at anything. Where we have failed is that is now "popular" to hate the BSA. Just as it is now popular in many circles to ridicule people who beleive in God and more traditional values. That is where the serious "HATE" often comes from. I do not think this policy change will change that. It is cooler to play video games and talk trash like on MTV than to actually do something. Our youth models the behaviour on MTV rather than that at home. The only thing that will change this is time when people will miss what we had. Like "Un-cool" returning veterns in the late 60's and 70's, some day BSA will again be "popular". (BSA has given in to the bullying of the extreme left here, nothing more, nothing less) I don't intend on changing a thing I do as a result of this. I and my friends will still plan canoe and rafting trips, will still take boys on camping trips 20 days a year, will still be the only male influence for many scouts, will still take the boy whose father is in jail, will still set and example as the guy married to the mother of my children, will still take the scout with "two moms", will still protect the scouts from poor influences,
  15. Took a quick look round at the nearest 20 troops/crews. Half are LDS or Catholic, with a few Baptist on top of that. 13 out of 20 chartered orgs will likely be disturbed by this if not more. I see the first effect that the Catholics will be less likely to attend district or council events, just like the LDS units. These are generally the more healthy units. The school based units are dying or dead. Another nail in the coffin of a failing semi-rural council. Soon to be absorbed by the neighboring big city council. BSA would be wiser to stay with the "don't ask, don't policy", which is what we locally observe. If you don't rub in our face and don't make a big deal out of it then we let it be. (Yes even as a Catholic, we have compassion for gays etc. We just don't think it should be put up as a "postive" example) I wonder if this is all a PR head fake..make a big announcement to force unwilling people to look bad on the record.... Or come back with a more mild statement, like "don't ask, don't tell".
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