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desertrat77 last won the day on September 30

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About desertrat77

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  1. desertrat77

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    Our lodge has not published a camping guide. You can see where this is going!
  2. I think it depends on the community's support for scouting. Even in pro-scouting communities, I don't predict much participation. I hope I'm wrong. I think the initiative has great intent. But kids quit wearing their uniforms to school back in the early '70s. The other dynamic about bullying is the lack of teacher and administrator support for prevention. And lack of suitable, behavior-changing consequences for bullying. Yes, it seems odd, but I found that many teachers and principals turn a blind eye to bullying. Prevention receives all of the right words, but in actual practice, bullying was pervasive in the school where I taught. Many teachers ignored it either because they didn't want to deal with it, or they knew from past experience that even if they dealt with it or elevated it to the principals, it would all be swept under the carpet. Or the consequences were so light, it didn't change behavior. Bullies know their environment, and there are few punishments administered in schools today that encourage them to change their ways.
  3. desertrat77

    possible fee increase coming

    @Jameson76, thanks for the real-world perspective, the math that units are working through is sobering. I agree, it's scramble time for National. Their unapologetic silence speaks volumes.
  4. desertrat77

    possible fee increase coming

    I've heard nothing in our council except this: "it really doesn't matter how high the fee is, scouting is still a bargain." While I agree in theory, in real life it isn't going to work that way. Families are already squeezing budgets to the brink. For many, scouting might be the first thing jettisoned in the coming months.
  5. desertrat77

    Council lost application

    @Momleader, yes indeed, councils should be more careful. But not only are many councils administratively inefficient (at least the several I've been associated with over the years), they rarely improve or show any concern about complaints. Admin staff pay is usually low and turnover is high. I don't have a good solution, aside from finding that one person on the staff that you can trust. Even if your paperwork doesn't fall within their job description, they can advise you, nudge their fellow employees to expedite things (or at least to pay proper attention) or handle the paperwork personally. I'm sure others have better solutions, looking forward to hearing about them.
  6. desertrat77

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    Excellent point, I hadn't considered that. There was a time when camps had boats, a swim area, a nature area, archery range, rifle range, a handicraft area, and a trading post. Maybe a dining hall. Many still had patrols cooking all week. Wall tents were the standard for both campers and staff. Pretty primitive, actually. And yet it seemed like the best place in the entire world. Today? Much more infrastructure. Computer labs. Artificial ski slopes. Cabins/shacks. Etc. The dynamic is indeed different.
  7. desertrat77

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    It must be challenging to keep the camps viable. More so than in the past. It's been many a moon ago, but I am thinking of the small council camp in Alaska where I staffed as a scout. We'd make the journey to the camp several times a year, but only for outdoor-oriented activities. Summer camp, winter camp out with the troop, OA conclave, ordeal, etc. All of the sedentary stuff took place in town. Even after 4 years as a scout in that council, I always enjoyed driving through the front gate of the camp.
  8. desertrat77

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    Very true. Folks know when they've been fenced in. And yes indeed, camps can get lazy. An additional drawback to the "let's all gather at Camp ABC yet again" is the burnout factor. Years ago when I was stationed in the deep South, the small council I was in held every event they could at the council camp. Monthly district meetings and roundtables, WB, other training courses, conferences, you name it. The camp wasn't very special after a certain point. Instead of "hurrah I'm back" it was "here we go again." I concur, building bridges is just what the BSA needs right now. More than ever!
  9. desertrat77

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    Me too. Sometimes I think of all of the challenges the BSA is facing. It would seem that this would be the very moment in our organization's history where councils and National would make a concerted effort to embrace the ideas of the volunteer scouters. At least entertain suggestions and even if disapproved, provide some sort of meaningful dialogue. After all, we're the ones in the field, sticking by the BSA through thick and thin. But no. With a couple of hiatuses, I've been a scouter since '85, and I've never seen an era in the BSA where council and National staffs have been more tone deaf and resistant to input from adult volunteers as now. Individually there are some great pros that listen to the folks in the field and work from a position of mutual respect. But collectively the pros have never been more distant and disconnected.
  10. desertrat77

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    We have some wonderful state parks that are far better than our council camps, by every measure. But by having the council-approved list limited to council camps, the packs don't have much of a choice officially. They'd love to camp at state camps but they gotta obey the rules. And I've tried to engage our council to add more non-BSA camps that more than meet BSA's criteria, but I have not gained one bit of traction.
  11. desertrat77

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    @Eagle94-A1, maybe it's all strategy. Put more restrictions on autonomous pack camping, open up council-run cub camping opportunities. The council doesn't make any money or get any recognition via PPT data to National when a pack camps on its own. Plus I've noticed that at least in my council, the "cub approved" camping locations are pretty much restricted to council owned camps. And council staff doesn't entertain discussion about adding other locations to the approved list, even if they meet the requirements. So funnel everyone to council camps, and walk through the council programming, etc. Pretty soon, it will be Tiger Cubs BSA...packs, troops, crews, ships included....
  12. desertrat77

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    @qwazse, excellent points all. I have one "however"--when it comes to risk management and to potential legal/civil action, I think clear cut rules are vital, whether we agree with said rules or not. @RichardB alluded to this his previous post, " Please do not put yourself or youth at risk."
  13. desertrat77

    Voice of the Scout surveys

    @Jackdaws, I believe they read the surveys. But that's all they do. Councils and National work to their own complete satisfaction. Anything other than praise is ignored.
  14. desertrat77

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    @RichardB, there's two ways to take your offer of defining "overnight." 1. Humor. 2. Acknowledgement that G2SS is vague enough to allow packs some leeway, and formally defining "overnight" would close the door on whatever freedom presently exists. Which is it?
  15. desertrat77

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    It's challenging enough to get everyone's schedule lined up to go camping. On that rare occasion when the planets/work schedules/school commitments align, we may as well camp for 2 nights. At least that used to be the thought process. Plus there is something more substantial about camping for 2 nights versus 1. These points aside, I think the larger issue is that National either cannot or will not communicate clearly, be it with the field or within its own headquarters. And when it comes to publishing coherent, consistent policy, they are marginal at best.