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cubdadinnj

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Everything posted by cubdadinnj

  1. As much as you start with the kids, in this case, I think it starts with the ASM corp in your troop! Those leaders need to be on board. Particularly if you have lots of newer adult leaders/parent volunteers who have new scouts in the troop. Spend serious time on training in the Patrol method (and while you're at it, please, make sure that adults understand the BSa direction on advancement/achievement/ BORs). Say over and over to adults "if a scout can do it, the adults shouldn't!" The boys need to get direction - "check with your patrol leader" and the patrol leaders/PLC/TLC need to hear "check with the SPL/ASPLs." The ASMs need to be mentors/coaches in the process. We're here to make sure that everyone is safe, the kids get fed (even if late), stay dry and warm, and bottom line -- they need to be having fun (most of the time) or why do it? You deserve many congrats for what you've achieved already -- I predict even more growth and a highly respected troop!
  2. I can respect that CORs/potential CORs make choices about which kinds of organizations to support, including BSA. What seems unfortunate to me, if there were a clear understanding of principle and practice in units, is that the scout promise & law drive practice, while its the role of the family to make decisions for themselves on principles and values. To me, the brilliance of the scout promise & law is that they ARE supportive of an individual's/their families faith/values. Scouting isn't a place for proselyting or politics -- it's all about the value of the program for the boys!
  3. Our troop has gay adult leaders, gay scouts, and scouts with gay parents. They should all feel equally welcome to participate and be part of our community. We've reiterated child protection policies, particularly in light of the fall 2012 release of documents about BSA's hiding/protection of child molesters. Quite frankly that was far more concerning to parents than gay scouts, men, & women in scouting.
  4. In our state, many school districts not only don't allow Scout troops to meet in school facilities, they would never allow PTAs/HSAs to be sponsoring organizations since there is still discrimination against gay Scout leaders.
  5. Equal marriage is about 2 adults -- not about multiple adults. So honestly, this is a total red herring!
  6. Isn't a scout (and scouter) respectful? (13th point of the scout law). We'll go to whatever religious services are available to the troop. It is usually Christian, but many flavors of that. It has also been Jewish or Muslim. We don't "make" everyone go. But do encourage attendance, as much as learning about other traditions as showing respect for others. Our troop chaplain's aides do a terrific job using materials from many faiths and spiritual traditions (we're not chartered by a religious group).
  7. That's fantastic! Congratulations. Its much to be proud of! My son got his Eagle just a couple of weeks ago. Its great to acknowledge the hard work and effort.
  8. Nothing under this new policy compromises HIS faith or beliefs. And from a very practical standpoint, it doesn't change his relationship to Scouting nor his relationship to others Scouts. SHould there be any gay Scouts whom he meets in his troop, he need interact with them just like any other scout -- and certainly in Scouting neither boys religion or faith or sexuality should impact the Scouting program. If it does for either him, or his fellow gay Scouts, that's not how it should be. Scouting should support his faith life, not define it.
  9. There is a tremendous amount of information at the LA Times -- including the distribution of cases over years and by geography -- http://spreadsheets.latimes.com/boyscouts-cases/ and a profile of the accused http://graphics.latimes.com/towergraphic-boyscouts-snapshot-accused/ absolutely horrendous the many many multiple cases of abuse...
  10. Keep in mind that this isn't anything like a Playboy magazine of decades ago. Porn on these electronic devices are highly explicit videos. Any kid with a smart phone can click and access this stuff. Its not uncommon that boys this age are getting nude & semi nude pics from their "girlfriends" on their phones. This is seriously dangerous stuff that could get them in much trouble. I think its not up to the BSA or troops to do anti-porn education, IMO,that's something for parents to handle. Troops need to be clear to scouts, parents, leaders that this stuff has no place in scouting. But never has this vile stuff been so available so easily. And no doubt we're going to have more instances of boys with this stuff on their phones showing it to other kids.
  11. A follow up To be clear, on the campout the offender had the electronic device confiscated, was moved to a different tent, was spoken to by adult leaders. The parents were contacted, meeting set up that week with parents, scout, leaders. Parents shown the offending material, scout was disciplined & put on probation. Per council, report filed with them & the police. (this is the protocol we were told to follow)
  12. Recently had a situation with a scout (Boy Scout), who had porn videos on his phone at a camp out. Boy was disciplined, talk with parents, etc. However, now, beginning to rethink if this was handled correctly -- as I read the guidelines, exposure to porn appears to be reportable: Mandatory Report of Child Abuse All persons involved in Scouting shall report to local authorities any good faith suspicion or belief that any child is or has been physically or sexually abused, physically or emotionally neglected, exposed to any form of violence or threat, exposed to any form of sexual exploitation including the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography, online solicitation, enticement, or showing of obscene material. No person may abdicate this reporting responsibility to any other person. Notify your Scout executive of this report, or of any violation of BSAs Youth Protection policies, so that he or she may take appropriate action for the safety of our Scouts, make appropriate notifications, and follow-up with investigating agencies. This seems pretty black & white -- exposure to obscene material means informing the police and the district executive. Do others read this the same way?
  13. Thanks all -- we are looking to see what we can provision from the local "Costco" type store -- starting work on the menu this week! /p
  14. Our troop has a long history, so no surprise that a former member started a Facebook group "friends of" the troop. I've just joined this troop group when I joined Facebook this week (a bit of a late comer to Facebook though!!). Much of the banter is fun -- talk about the past, campouts, etc. However, the current SPL and previous SPL have had a conversation both about the troop and specifically about a couple of younger scouts (giving their last name). The language is, to be blunt, un scoutlike, profane, and to me its a huge problem that they name names of younger kids. Of course, if I mention this, they could easily "unfriend" me from this group -- and could continue this kind of talk without me knowing about it. I just found this out today -- and my thinking is to approach the SM to let him know, but then as committee member -- approach the current SPL directly about this, and approach the previous SPL's Dad (who is still an ASM). Looking for thoughts on this. Thanks /p
  15. Hello All -- Our troop will be camping in the USVI this spring. In the past, its been *relatively* easy to provision, by bringing along our food & supplies on the plane as luggage (with dry ice for perishables). With the latest airline costs and rules -- this begins to get both more difficult & more costly. Anyone provisioned locally on the USVI -- and not spent a fortune? Other ideas for shipping/ etc at least relatively economically? Thanks Pete
  16. I did know this -- is there info on the BSA site about this? Couldn't find this with a quick search. My specific question being -- would this impact a "donate now" link on the troop site? Thx /p
  17. Update - Scouts and Scouters safe and arrangements made to get them home to New Jersey. This was the "younger" group of Scouts -- the "older" ones from the troop are at Philmont. (and I don't know what ages younger or older represent) /p
  18. Maplewood Boy Scouts evacuated near Grand Canyon by Carly Rothman/The Star-Ledger Monday August 18, 2008, 12:03 AM A group of Boy Scouts from Maplewood on a backpacking and rafting trip near the Grand Canyon were evacuated by helicopter Sunday after an earthen dam failed and flood waters threatened their campsite. The six boys and three adult leaders were among scores of people rescued from campgrounds and tribal lands after days of heavy rains caused flooding along two creeks that flow into the Colorado River. "Some boys had enough time to grab their backpacks and some did not," said Bridget Lai, whose husband Michael and son Kyle, 13, are on the trip. "There's not a whole lot you can do about a dam breaking. There's not a lot you can prepare for." The Scouts from Troop 21 in Maplewood were halfway through their two-week adventure, having already explored Bryce and Zion national parks in Utah, and were camping in a gorge near Supai, Ariz. when the nearby Redlands Dam gave way early Sunday morning. The dam failure caused some flooding in Supai, a village on a canyon floor by the Havasu and Cataract creeks where about 400 members of the Havasupai tribe live, said Grand Canyon National Park spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge. The water released by the dam flowed into Cataract Canyon, then west into Supai, she said. "We're not talking about significant amounts of water, but we are talking about water in addition to what was already occurring in Supai" as a result of heavy thunderstorms over the weekend, she said. "The biggest issue up there was the rain. As it rains, the way the earth is up there, all of that rain goes right down into the canyon," said Maureen Oltrogge, a spokeswoman for the Grand Canyon National Park Service, representing the Joint Information Center established by the Coconino County Sheriff's Office. A flash flood warning was in effect for the area until late Sunday evening. The area got 3 to 6 inches of ran Friday and Saturday and got about 2 more on Sunday, said Daryl Onton, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Flagstaff. No structures were damaged after the dam failed about 45 miles upstream from Supai, but some hiking trails and footbridges were washed out, Oltrogge said. Trees were uprooted, the National Weather Service said. Supai is about 30 miles northwest of Grand Canyon Village, a popular tourist area on the south rim. Helicopters from the National Park Service, the National Guard and the Arizona Department of Public Safety were sent to remove campers and villagers closest to the waters. Oltrogge said about 150 people had been removed by 10 p.m. Sunday night. Law enforcement officials were on the ground with the remaining campers and residents, Oltrogge said. "We hope to have everyone out who wants to come out tonight. Anybody staying there over night should be O.K.," she said Sunday. Evacuees were being flown to a parking area eight miles from Supai and bused to a Red Cross shelter in Peach Springs, about 60 miles southwest of Supai, the spokeswoman said. That's where the Scouts from Maplewood were taken Sunday night, said Ken Smith, a spokesman for the Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The flood waters had not yet reached the area where the boys were camping when the helicopters arrived to whisk them to safety, he said. All of the boys' hard-earned gear was lost, he said. "The helicopters showed up, they hopped on the helicopters, and they went. They didn't have time to really grab much," he said. The boys had worked for a year to prepare for their backpacking and rafting trip in the American southwest. They camped in the pouring rain and freezing cold. They awoke early for endurance training, and raised thousands of dollars for gear and travel by selling Christmas wreaths. They flew out to Las Vegas early in the morning of Aug. 8 to begin their hiking, rafting and camping trip, and were expected to arrive home on Friday. Now the boys' leaders and families back homes are trying to arrange for their return to Maplewood, but communication has been difficult because of a lack of cell phone service and limited access to telephones. "I'm grateful that they're O.K., and I know that they're with a good leadership team there," Bridget Lai said. She noted although her son's group was safe, rescue efforts were still ongoing last night, and she expressed her concern for people still awaiting information about their loved ones. "I really want them to come home." The Associated Press and Mariam Jukaku contributed to this report.
  19. My son is a camper, his 2nd year, so that's not nearly what its like to be on staff for a whole summer -- but to me it seems fun is as important as practical. I went to the dollar store today got him a pack of fly swatters (flies ARE and issue), a package of fly paper (doubt hes ever seen that before), a kite in the shape of a skunk, bags of baloons, along with markers, paper, bunch of practical things. Those things are all only $1 each here -- but when you can't get to a place like that -- its worth a lot more! Great that your son is on staff! Pete
  20. I almost hate to post this -- the camp is usually quite full and we're glad to go there. This is the 11th year our troop has gone here, for a full 2 weeks each time. http://www.otetiana.org/massawepie/ We're located in northern NJ -- its about 6 -7 hour drive. We charter a bus and make an "event" of it. /p
  21. Our troop's CO is a PTA -- I would guess one of the few. Of the 10 or so schools in our area -- no others sponsor a pack or troop anymore. In fact, the school principal where my old pack was, became quite hostile towards us, we started meeting in the town community center. I don't think our CO has a clue they "own" us or could have both responsibilities and liabilities in that role. I think they'd say their role to allow us to meet in the school and provide storage space. And not sure we'd want to open up more of a dialogue with them. Our community is very progressive -- and Boy/Cub Scouting is openly attacked as anti gay, etc. Just a few years back my old pack (after the PTA wouldn't act as CO anymore) went to a number of churches, synagogues, etc -- and really didn't find any of them receptive to being a CO -- both because of the BSA stance on some issues and the potential liability. So we self-chartered. I would think that will become necessary for more packs and troops as time goes by, and CO's don't really want the concerns of having scouts and scouters to deal with. /p
  22. Our troop goes for 2 weeks each summer. Last year was my son's first year in the troop. I kinda kept my distance, since I had been a pretty involved Cub Scouter/Den/Webelos Leader. I actually got a lot of projects done around the house ; -) last year. He's thrived in Boy Scouts. Couldn't wait to go back to camp this year. But this year -- I'm going to! I'm pretty excited about it. My first time back to Boy Scout camp in, umm, 34 years... We're taking 35 boys -- including at least 7 - 8 first time Scouts. Its really a great group of boys -- helpful, supportive, funny, caring (I was actually joking with SM's wife last night -- the boys are all great, but then there are a few of the parents!). It'll be amazing - Pete
  23. Great article. I'm glad he talks about what makes Scouting great. And its interesting to read his words about some things becoming a bit arthritic. Our troop is almost 90 years old, and in the past year we've done a good bit of digging deep to rethink, update. We're working on our troop structure, leadership, and working towards more growth. Lot of love for scouting in our organization, as I believe there must be with Mazzuca and the national leadership. /p
  24. Ok -- so centered above the left pocket -- that's easy -- then half way between the top of the pocket but from the pocket to the seam -- on my sons XL youth uniform -- there's nearly 8" from the top of the pocket to the seam at the shoulder -- and I have never seen one of these patches up as high 4" above the pocket -- what am I missing -- halfway to the seam - at the very top of the shirt? (feeling a little dense tonight -- and trying to get the new summer camp uniforms ready!) Thanks -- Pete
  25. Letter of the law vs spirit of the law. As Scouters we need to live by the spirit of the law -- and not "get by" using the words as an excuse... http://www.scouting.org/webmasters/webstandards/04.aspx Advertisements and Banners Councils are prohibited from endorsing commercial products or services in any medium, including the Internet. Banner advertisements for commercial products and services are thus inappropriate for council Web sites. (NOTE: any use of the Internet for fund-raising is subject to the same policies and procedures as other fund-raising activities.) Another popular type of banner on the Internet provides site owners with free promotion on other Web sites in exchange for promoting other sites on theirs. Though not strictly a commercial endorsement, these banners remain unacceptable because they provide a highly visible link from the council site to others, and the council does not control either the graphic that is displayed or the site to which it links - one or both may be patently inappropriate. Come on -- if the BSA says this is in appropriate for councils -- its certainly inappropriate for units. The cost of domain registration and site hosting is so minimal now, that's really not a barrier. You can do this for less than $100/year.... And the site you note -- I see NO banner ads on this site http://www.northernstarbsa.org/ On the home page there is a rotating java based gif -- that's a pictoral with events -- NO ADS! This pack site does not live up to the "spirit" of the BSA -- as I noted above. It sets a bad example for scouts and their parents -- Scouters should know and do better. I'm going to be blunt -- don't do it at all if its not done right.
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