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desertrat77 last won the day on December 12 2018

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About desertrat77

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  1. I was a UC several times, several locations. The most common response I received from units was shock. Shock that I actually showed up, visited with them, went camping with them (always offered, a few accepted), and that was a fan of their unit. Some units responded to this, others didn't. The latter usually had a longstanding, intense dislike for all commissioners in general, and nothing I did could shake them from that belief. Not that I blamed them. Rather, I sympathized with them. I recalled my days as an ASM and SM, and I felt the same way about most commissioners. Some were gold, most were all show/no go. Fancy uniforms, active in anything district or council related, pompous know it alls who had zero interest in unit level scouting. For the units that had challenges, I always drove away from each meeting with the thought "If I really wanted to make a difference for this unit, I'd resign as a UC and put in my app to be an ASM or committee member." All said, I believe in the commissioner concept. But the BSA would be better off having 2 squared away commissioners in a district who really care about unit level scouting than 12 who don't.
  2. desertrat77

    Scouts BSA Girls’ Uniform +

    Given my tendency to jump to conclusions, I called my 20 year old Venture Daughter and asked her thoughts on the subject. Also sent her the pdf that @Eagle1993supplied for us. Two different handbooks: "Kind of odd, but having two is fine." The pdf with new stuff: "I'm not into fashion but hey, didn't seem all that bad."
  3. desertrat77

    Scouts BSA Girls’ Uniform +

    Maybe I'm missing the boat myself, but these minor differences between the two books seem like trifles. For most humans, life is coed. Why would the BSA put uniquely female discussions about motherhood in a handbook? I don't recall such discussions from the male perspective in past handbooks. The more I read, the more I think the BSA put itself through a number of unnecessary organizational twists to launch this whole thing.
  4. desertrat77

    Scouts BSA Girls’ Uniform +

    True. But two handbooks? Aside from images, are the handbooks that different? Seems like a lot of heavy lifting on National's part to field two handbooks when one would suffice.
  5. desertrat77

    Scouts BSA Girls’ Uniform +

    I think National missed the boat/canoe/paddleboard on the handbook for girls. If we're going coed, why have two gender specific handbooks?
  6. I went through the bachelors of CS in 1990 (or thereabouts). It was a nice day with a bunch of seminars. I'd certainly never consider it a "degree." Mostly listened to speakers and chatted with other attendees.
  7. desertrat77

    Multiple Bobcat Ceremonies

    John, thank you, your post brought back great memories. My Bobcat pin was presented in 1971, same exact ceremony. Pin worn upside down till we did our first good turn, if I recall. A little bit of ceremony goes a long way. Many ceremonies today, especially for Webelos crossing over and Eagle, are overwrought. Too many words, too many props, too much time expended.
  8. desertrat77

    Words of Wisdom to Youth Chapter Leadership

    Unfortunately, the Scout is in good company. He and many of his peers are asking the same questions. Whatever the OA's woes are today, the key to success is in our storied past. I'd recommend finding old OA literature from decades ago and browsing through (much on ebay). Though some practices and traditions are no longer allowed, there are things, tangible and intangible, that would be helpful today. Having fun and designing patches will only work to a certain point. Recapturing that OA "spirit" is going to take some reflection and research. And yes, work. Granted, it's not for everyone. But that's okay. For those that are committed to the OA's principles, it can be life changing. PS. Please encourage him to not lower the bar. Three dedicated scouts that adhere to the OA's ideals will make much more progress than a large, semi-committed group that is just there for recreational events. (The latter group won't organize the events, but might participate and will definitely leave before clean up.) The three will set a solid foundation for future success.
  9. desertrat77

    Mess kit cooking

    When I see the words "mess kit," "pots and pans" and "fire," my day is made! The great outdoors!
  10. desertrat77

    Canvas Dining Fly

    Sorry to say, the official BSA version is not available any more. I googled "canvas dining fly" and found several non-BSA types for sale. I'm still partial to canvas. I have two BSA canvas tents (Miner and Overnighter) that I use occasionally.
  11. desertrat77

    2005 National Jamboree Rocker patches

    Welcome to the forum!
  12. Symbolism, ceremonies, and shifting societal/cultural values aside, there are two aspects of the OA's successful past that the BSA completely controlled, yet deliberately moved away from: 1. The OA was the society of honor campers (outdoor-minded first and foremost). 2. Inductees were few in number, thus keeping membership exclusive, a true honor to be selected. The first step must be a return to the original criteria--honor campers, few in number.
  13. desertrat77

    Philmont Winter Adventure

    Mash, looks like you all are in for quite an adventure! [As I type, distant memories from my scouting days in Alaska....] Please keep us posted, thoughts/prayers for safe travel and a fantastic experience.
  14. desertrat77

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    Lol, no offense intended, I was just recalling what the old timers discussed around the camp fire. When I was a "career Tenderfoot" for a long spell, I wasn't very good at much, but I'd find a log or big rock at the fire and listen for hours. As a young scout, it seemed to me that many Eagles didn't like the new, wordless patch. It represented everything wrong with "new" scouting. The chicken/mess kit/grease comment was remembered from a campout in the Sonoran desert of Arizona. A new Eagle was on a roll, a true rant, and that was one of things he said. Some troops with military leaders who still had connections with patch makers in the Far East ordered unofficial/copies of traditional Eagle patches for their new Eagles to wear. When I earned Eagle in '77 the design had changed again, a bit of old and new.
  15. desertrat77

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    Eagle, I recall the ISP well. I crossed over from Webelos to my first troop in 1974, right near the start. Ah, the anemic handbook...pajama-like uniforms...scouters and older scouts quitting in disgust...new Eagles upset over the overhaul of the Eagle patch, which went from the traditional design to the stark "chicken in the mess kit with red/white/blue grease".... My camping MB from '76 has the non-required border. I was in four different troops in the '70s. Military family. My various scoutmasters had their foibles but they all believed in getting the troop outdoors as much as possible. Especially our troop in Alaska. Minimum one weekend camping a month, no weather cancellations. Two campouts in December: the regular camping/backpacking trip, and one for the older scouts above the tree line with ice axes, crampons, etc. I'm rambling, but my point is there were enough traditional/outdoor-minded scouters back then to guide us through the ISP until GB Bill was called out of retirement to fix the mess. A troop that camps regularly is a troop that is alive. If there is no hiking, camping, backpacking, boating, and fishing, what is the point of all this? An agenda of exclusively attending meetings and classes and occasional car-camping will not sustain an organization like the BSA for very long.