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desertrat77 last won the day on January 26

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About desertrat77

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  1. Camping is the heart of scouting.
  2. desertrat77

    2018 Membership numbers are in

    @MattR, thanks for the excellent insights. I'm seeing the same dynamics in my neck of the woods. If it isn't organized by adults, and if it involves any hardship, most scouts aren't interested. There are crews in our council that are active and have the high adventure spirit, and they are already committed to various treks each and every summer. That's some good news! When I was a youth, I would have given anything to be in a program designed like Venturing.
  3. RS, right on the money. As a youth, I staffed at Camp Gorsuch, Alaska. Scott Powell was the camp director, a truly magnificent gentleman and scouter. Be it staff week or the opening campfire each session, this was what he shared with all scouts: "I don't believe in a long list of rules. The 'rules' at Camp Gorsuch are the Scout Oath and Law. Life by those principles and we are sure to have a great summer." That's all he said. And it worked.
  4. A couple years ago, at a district dinner, I overheard two scouts talking about how long they've been in scouting. One said to another: "Do you know how long I've been doing this cr*p?" Both were Star Scouts.
  5. desertrat77

    Old to Scouting, new to leadership

    Welcome, @bobclark86! As part of our welcome, we'd like to pass along our forum guidelines: https://www.scouter.com/legal/tos Glad you are here.
  6. There is a definite trend over the last couple decades, call it "over-recognition" for lack of a better phrase. We have milestones in life. Meaningful ones. But we need a brass band every time we achieve something? Example: my wife was a kindergarten teacher. We went round and round on the "need" for a graduation ceremony for kindergarteners. My position is "What are they graduating from?" The over-recognition trend has hit the BSA too. Many of these mementos and ceremonies primarily meet the parents' needs and wishes. I think the scouts would be satisfied with things that are simple and meaningful.
  7. As long as the cub program is these days, leaving the pack and joining a troop should be reward enough. For me, the AOL patch was the highlight. As a bonus, Mr. Bates, my first SM, greeted me on the other side of the cross over bridge and and presented me with an official yellow neckerchief. Forty plus years later, I still have it.
  8. desertrat77

    Scouts wearing uniform to funeral

    @DwightS, welcome to scouter.com, excellent question. PS Please take time to acquaint yourself with rules and policies of scouter.com https://www.scouter.com/forum/13-forum-support-announcements/
  9. desertrat77

    Bear Grylls is new World Scout Ambassador

    I agree, @MattR. It would be nice to see execs swing an axe, carry a pack on a 50 miler, paddle a canoe, or stir a dutch oven stew over an open fire. The BSA's collective image runs towards a) corporate and b) indoors. To be fair, I'm sure there are execs who would love to get outdoors more but their duties won't permit it. A sad state of affairs for an organization whose primary selling point is "outdoor adventure."
  10. desertrat77


    @RookieScouter, welcome to the forums!
  11. desertrat77

    What happened in 1973?

    Long story short, I think the Improved Scouting Program of '72 is the primary culprit. It tried to revamp the entire BSA, and not for the better. Any thing "outdoors" went on the back burner. I may have mentioned it already in this or another thread like it, when I earned the camping MB in '76 the border of the badge had the "not-required" thread color.
  12. desertrat77

    Bear Grylls is new World Scout Ambassador

    I'm not recommending looking the other way, simply to let him take his medicine and move forward. Not to split hairs but the rock formations took millions of years to form. The bullfrogs will hopefully reproduce.
  13. desertrat77

    What happened in 1973?

    @roljers, welcome to the forums.
  14. desertrat77

    Bear Grylls is new World Scout Ambassador

    @The Latin Scot, please don't take offense, but I have a slightly different definition of "scandal".... As retired military, I'll admit my definition was formed (warped?) over the years from dealing with wayward GIs, many of whom went out of their way to execute spectacular feats of stupidity, sometimes on an international level. I'll refrain from citing examples because this is a family-oriented forum. Bear killing and eating a bullfrog was ill-advised but forgivable. As others have stated, though Bear does peculiar and showy things at times, he performs a greater good. Besides, we don't have a deep bench of outdoor-minded, rugged men and women in Scouting that could step up and replace him. The sedentary bent of modern Scouting is not helping the cause.
  15. desertrat77

    Proud of our ceremonies team

    Forty two years ago.... We mostly worked. As @MikeS72 well said, it was still fun, even the work weekends. Conclaves and the '79 NOAC were enjoyable. Looking back, I think the prime motivator for me was OA camaraderie, rather than an emphasis on fun. Quiet pride. To make the cut at the troop level, complete a difficult ordeal, and associate with like-minded honor campers whose outlook was "give the us the tough jobs", that to me was more important than fun. To be around those types of scouts and scouters made me strive to be a better camper and leader. Taking on the dirty jobs that no one else wanted to do became a habit that helped me quite a bit in adult life.... "...seek to preserve a cheerful spirit, even the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities...." It's amazing how often I still remind myself of these words. The OA could readopt the old criteria. If it wanted to.