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About dbraxtonw

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  1. I am an attorney; before that I was a professional scouter. My experience has touched on this area but I am no expert on the subject. I do not recall this being covered in my professional training (but that is going on 30 years ago.) About 20 years ago, a benefactor wanted to set up a trust fund to be used to purchase equipment for the troop of which I am Scoutmaster. Up to that point, I had always been under the impression that "unit property" actually belonged to the chartered organization, which would retain the property if the unit disbanded. Somewhere in the process of researching to find that in writing, I was quite surprised to find that unit property goes to the *council* if the unit ceases to exist (which appears *not* to be the case in this thread). (That is not inconsistent with "redistribution" in case of an "abandoned charter," as John-in-KC described from COR training.) I can not tell you today where I found it. With that in mind, the COR (also an attorney) drew the decalration of trust with a reverter clause, directing the money to the chartered organization in the event that the troop ceased to exist. As pointed out previously, we may not have the whole story here, but the facts that the DE wanted the departing leaders to "move" as soon as possible and said that the chartered organization would retain it's tenure suggests two things: The DE agrees that everyone will be better off if they move, and the DE wants to keep a pack at the chartered organization. That would most likely be done with the folks who are "moving" becoming a new pack and the chartered organization reorganizing its pack. It is possible that the DE is doing just that with the paperwork but the individuals involved in the "move" are not aware of the technicalities of the chartering process. What we do not know is whether the DE provided any advice concerning the supplies and funds. If the chartered organization allowed the "moving" group to keep or take the property with them, I agree that there probably isn't much they can do at this point. If the "moving" group just picked it all up and took it with them without the permission of the chartered organization, it should go back to the chartered organization.(This message has been edited by dbraxtonw)
  2. The following is quoted, without editing or correction of apparent typographical errors, from the website of Tooth of Time Traders (the official Philmont Scout Ranch trading post): QUOTE "The Philmont Black Felt Bull originated in 1944 by Dr. E. K. Fretwell, who was then Chief Scout Executive. It was patterned after the bull found in the tile mosaic located at the downstairs entrance to the Villa Philmonte. In the beginning a first year camper or leader received only the head of the bull to sew over the left pock of the shirt. After another year's participation, one qualified for the body portion and the bull, and with three years, the tail. Eventually the bull was made in one piece, black for men and white for women, and the shirt was changed to a red wool jacket. The white bull was discontinued in the late 1980's." http://www.toothoftimetraders.com/philmont/product.asp?s%5Fid=0&dept%5Fid=3195&pf%5Fid=PAAAAADBFLJAAGAC& END QUOTE It seems clear that the original intent was to recognize "campers or leaders" at Philmont. There is no direct indication of whether staff or participants at the training center are considered "campers or leaders." I am not sure when the white bull for women was introduced, but if it pre-dates backcountry programs including women (corresponding with Exploring becoming coed in 1969), that would indicate the bull to be for women participating in training center related activities. There are various "traditions" associated with "the felt bull," including requirements that one "hike in the backcountry," "climb the Tooth of Time," "climb Baldy," or some variation thereof (note that Baldy was not part of Philmont property in 1944); and, various "traditions" associated with Philmont in general, such as, viewing the sunrise from the Tooth of Time or Baldy. While rather popular, these "traditions" are rooted in folklore, not stemming from any Philmont requirement or program. Also, when I first went to Philmont many years ago, hiking to "the tooth" or any other place at night was discouraged; now, Philmont has a policy against it (for safety reasons). I hope this helps. David B. Wilson 622-D-2 (1979) 612-D-2 (2000) 609-E-1 (2003)
  3. As another former professional for the BSA (NEI 7803), it is evident to me that both commandopro and BadenP are knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated to the betterment of Scouting. They may disagree with each other, they may disagree with me; but, folks, lets not snipe at each other! Commamdopro does an excellent job of describing the way that the system is supposed to work. BadenP accurately describes what can happen when the system is abused. Professionals can facilitate the working of the system or undermine it. Volunteers can make the system work or idly sit by without even realizing the abuse that is right under their noses. A council can be destroyed by the abuses described by BadenP; on the other hand, a council on the brink of bankruptcy can vibrantly rebound when volunteers do what they are supposed to do within the system described by commandopro. The position of chartered organization representative is probably the least understood, least utilized, yet one of the most powerful positions in scouting. A single COR, like a single stockholder in a corporation, may not be able to do much but a group of CORs working together can wield a lot of influence. CORs can be educated, one at a time if necessary. They can be encouraged to support each other in approaching board members behind he scenes to address concerns. It is possible to end the abuses described by BadenP through teamwork and persistence. When it is time to hire a new scout executive for the council, board members on the search committee must know what qualities they want in the person in that position. They must seek out a variety of references; not just professional supervisors, not just council volunteers, not just unit volunteers, but former volunteers and a variety of community members. They should make sure that the person being considered has the proper perspective. With the right attitudes and priorities of both professionals and volunteers, the professionals will encourage the volunteers to take more responsibility and to do more work. The volunteers will be more effective. Professionals and volunteers will work together to develop programs and support units in a financially responsible manner. The result will be better programs and more effective unit service. With greater financial responsibility comes more generous community support. With better programs, more youth will want to join. With better unit service, there will be more units for youth to join. High quality, sustainable growth will occur when all factors are kept in balance. Perhaps what I suggest here seems to represent an idealistic attitude but the fact is, it does work. I have seen it work.
  4. As scoutldr said in the "Council Certified Trainer" thread, the TDC contains nothing "nothing about how to present the various...training modules." After conducting the TDC on an annual basis, the Scout Executive of my council and I (as council training chairman) realized, independently but almost simultaneously, that we need to supplement the TDC with a "best practices" or "nuts and bolts" approach. I am presently working on such a syllabus and I would welcome suggestions from the forum.
  5. When I took Wood Badge in 1979, there were two women in my patrol. They shared a tent in our patrol campsite. I find nothing in either the syllabus or the administrative guide for Wood Badge for the 21st Century that requires separate facilities for men and women (except to ensure reasonable privacy). David B. Wilson North Carolina
  6. Others have expressed very well what I would have said, had I seen your post prior to your son's departure. Now that he is on his way, rest assured that the entire Philmont staff is rigorously trained regarding safety. I have been to Philmont twice myself and I found the entire staff to be very conscious of safety issues both times. One young adult who was with one of the trail crews in the expedition that I coordinated two years ago stayed on as staff for the remainder of the summer. His primary assignment was working the overnight shift as the basecamp radio operator, coordinating emergency needs of backcountry camps, arranging for internal and external response as necessary. Two Scouts who were a part of that trip returned to Philmont last year for the Rayado program; one of those is working at Philmont this year at Apache Springs camp. I have received brief email messages from him on the rare occasions that he has been back to base camp, including his comments about his involvement in emergency responses. Through my personal experiences, my contact with staff and my contact with other participants, I have high confidence that everyone in the Philmont operation is committed to preventing accidents and extremely well prepared to respond to any illnesses or injuries that may occur. I am looking forward to accompanying my daughter on a coed Venturing Crew trek next summer.
  7. OGE: Every chartered organization receives an annual charter from the National Council granting that organization the right, privilege and responsibility to operate a local unit utilizing a Boy Scouts of America program. In the same fashion, every local council also receives an annual charter from the National Council granting the local council the right, privilege and responsibility to provide service to each of the chartered organizations and their units within the geographic boundaries of the local council. As far as I am aware, each local council's charter year matches the calendar year. Just as each unit has an annual charter review and renewal process, so does each local council. Therefore, all local council positions expire at the end of the council's charter year. Just as a youth member or unit level volunteer may be re-registered for the next charter year, local council volunteers also may be re-registered for the next charter year, and they may be re-elected to continue to serve in a particular position. Each local council has an annual business meeting, at which the Chartered Organization Representatives elect the local council Executive Board in accordance with the local council's bylaws. Committee chairs are appointed by the local council's Executive Board. I would not venture to guess as to what customary lengths of service in various positions might be. Locally, it is common for District Chairs, Council Committee Chairs and other Council Executive Board members to serve several annual terms. Our past few Council Presidents have been re-elected for a second annual term, with a new Council President elected after the second term. I hope this is helpful!
  8. Local United Way organizations are individual entities that are affiliated with the national organization. Each has a high degree of autonomy. Each has an annual contract with each agency that receives funds and that contract sets out the formula for distribution of funds. In some communities, every dollar designated for a specific agency (for example, Local Boy Scout Council) goes to that agency. In some communities, the amount designated, minus an administrative percentage, goes to the agency. In others, designated gifts will not affect the amount of money going to the agency unless the total amount of designations exceeds the amount set through the United Way allocations process. In still others, contributors are told that they may designate gifts, but the annual contract requires the member agencies, as a condition of receiving ANY United Way funding, to forego any designated gifts that exceed the preset allocation. There also may be other variations on the "designation" scheme. The bottom line is that it varies between communities. You should check with the United Way or a member agency in your community to find out how it is done locally.
  9. Your Troop Guide for the Wood Badge Course will be able to give you guidance regarding the depth and scope of your Wood Badge ticket goals. In very general terms, your ticket should be written in terms of your primary job in Scouting (which I understand to be Unit Commissioner for Venturing) in such a way that it will include challenging but attainable goals for you that will have maximum inpact for the youth within the scope of your position. Your Troop Guide has learned, or will learn, about the details of ticket development as a part of Wood Badge Staff Development preceding your course and will be prepared to answer your question more fully as it applies to you and your situation. There are designated points during the course at which this should occur. That does not mean that anything is a secret; it just means that you have not yet participated in the learning sessions that are considered a foundation for ticket development. I understand your eagerness to apply what you will learn in Wood Badge and it is a good thing. For now, be patient, "go with the flow" and follow the guidance of the course staff. The answer to your specific question WILL fall into place!(This message has been edited by dbraxtonw)
  10. First, I must say that some course directors seem to be taking liberties with the Wood Badge Course that are not suggested as alternatives in the Staff Guide. If this is happening in your locale and you are a course participant, keep your head down and go with the flow. If you have completed the course you have every right to call the concern to the attention of the Executive Board member who oversees Wood Badge, or the Council President. The Staff Guide was designed, after extended study, with minimal alternatives to ensure that all leaders throughout the country receive the same training. If the Staff Guide says not to do something, don't do it. If it says to do something in a certain way at a certain time, do it that way at the designated time. Local embellishments are not necessary and may be inappropriate. It is not up to a local course director or staff to change the curriculum of the training, just as it is not up to a Scoutmaster to change rank requirements. More directly related to the original question about writing a ticket, the first weekend of the course includes several sessions that address matters relevant to the ticket development process. After you have seen those presentations, you will be in a better position to write a ticket incorporating appropriate goals and using the appropriate process. While the attempt to have participants begin ticket writing before the course begins may be well intended, perhaps theoretically to give them more time to work on the ticket, the necessary tools are not yet in place. It seems to me that it would be like trying to open a can without a can opener. You could work at it hard and long with much frustration; the result, if successful at all, is likely to be crude. If you wait until you have the right tool, you can do the job easily and efficiently with little frustration. Secrecy is not an appropriate part of the Wood Badge program. A newsletter with the daily schedule of activities and learning sessions will be distributed to course participants each morning. However, course participants who try to "read ahead" may miss the point of some parts of the course if they are too focused on what they think is supposed to happen next rather than what is happening in real time. If you are a course participant, follow the instructions of your staff; if you are a staff member, follow the Staff Guide.
  11. Like all categories of backpacking equipment, there are tradeoffs of expense, weight, bulk and function in regard to tent stakes. Most of the ground at Philmont is fairly hard and rocky. Seven to eight inch long plain skewer stakes will work pretty well at most campsites. If you save money and take steel wire stakes, they will weigh more but can be straightened if the get bent by a rock. If you spend more money and take tempered aluminum stakes, you will save some weight but they are not eaisily straightened if bent. The bottom line is, you will have so much fun that it will not really matter what kind of tent stakes you have!
  12. We also should remember that the primary setting in which scouting activities are held is the unit. All programs of the BSA, beginning with the Tiger program for Cub Scouts, all the way through the Venture program, are designed for most of the activities to take place through unit meetings and activities. The purpose of district, council and national program activities is to supplement and compliment the unit's own program, not replace it. Participation in district, council and national programs can provide access to resources that might not be available to the individual unit and can broaden the scouting experience for youth by helping them understand how each unit is a part of a worldwide movement; however, the youth in a unit that does none of it's own programming and relies entirely on district, council and national events are missing the experience that comes from working as an independent unit. The more successful units with which I am familiar seek to balance individual unit activities with district, council and national activities so that the youth have the opportunity to experience the best of all types of activities. The most important thing is that the unit be active, holding regular meetings and conducting or participating in activities as designed for each program, in such a way that the youth have fun and, in so doing, learn and live the values of the Scout Oath and Law which will enable them to make ethical choices over their lifetimes.
  13. BobWhite's answer is correct. In addition, the Scout Executive of a local council works for the Council Executive Board, not for the National Council. The national office has the authority to see that each local council that it charters carries out the policies, programs and standards of the Boy Scouts of America and looks to the council Scout Executives, who are commissioned by the National Council, to do that. The National Council, through the Area Directors, evaluates council Scout Executives annually, which is a factor in determining who is "promotable." Separate from the evaluation process by the National Council, it is up to the local Council Executive Board to decide on an annual basis whether to renew the council Scout Executive's contract, regardles of the "promotability" status assigned by National. BobWhite's answer regarding the process of selecting a council Scout Executive also was correct. I served on the selection committee for our council (we just interviewed candidates and hired a new council Scout Executive today) and would be happy to share further details about the process if anyone has further questions.
  14. I don't know what your sources are but Wood Badge for the 21st Century is designed to be relevant for all adult leaders in Scouting, regardless of the program in which they work and regardless of whether they work at a unit, district, council or national level. (Source: Wood Badge for the 21st Century - Staff Guide: The Syllabus, Forward, pp. iii-iv.) If your job as a Scouter is with a Venture Crew, not only can Venturing be the focus of your Wood Badge ticket, it should be! (Source: Wood Badge for the 21st Century - Staff Guide: The Syllabus, Forward, pp. 67-69.)
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