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desertrat77

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desertrat77 last won the day on September 11

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  1. desertrat77

    BSA: The POLARIS Method

    They can call it Polaris or whatever they wish. At the end of the day, it's nothing more than another series of committee meetings. Because scouting really doesn't have enough of those. Results: - Low hanging fruit--small changes that could have easily been made before all of those meetings and flip charts--will be heralded as proof of the BSA's new-found flexibility and concern for scouters. - Big annoyances, the true morale breakers, the things that really need to change--these will remain the same. Sure, the Polaris teams may delve into some "problem admiration" regarding these items but nothing significant will come of it. I see that round tables are one of the first items up for dissection. Low hanging fruit. If RT works for your district, great. If not, scrap them and don't look back. You're welcome
  2. desertrat77

    Oct 1, 2018 - GSS ends Patrol Method?

    Gentlemen, thank you for your posts...both made my day. Kudos to all who are still striving.
  3. desertrat77

    Webelos II requirements - what if we've already done some?

    Welcome, KCBaseballFan!
  4. I don't see much value in today's boards of review. May as well call them what they are. Square filler. A super friendly chat with people who really, really believe in you. Everyone concerned--adults and scouts--knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that if the scout has made it to that point, they've passed. Barring some minor administrative issue, of course. Alas, our scouts are better than that. Yes, the boards from old days were hard. No guarantee of passing. But the pride you saw at the court of honor...you'd think that new First Class badge was made of pure gold.
  5. desertrat77

    Oct 1, 2018 - GSS ends Patrol Method?

    I think the patrol method is a vanishing concept. I can't remember the last time I've seen a troop even attempt to use it. The patrols are just on paper. The adults organize everything.
  6. desertrat77

    Adult led and youth led

    Where is Kudu when you need him? [Edited to add: Kudu was a forum member and a relentless critic of WB. His historical research on WB was quite impressive.] I haven't been to WB. Nor NYLT/JLT. When I took Scoutmaster Basic Training/Delta in the mid '80s, my course was staffed by the same folks who taught WB in my council. They were insufferable, condescending bores. No other way to describe them. I was relieved when the course was over and, these many years later, still feel the same way. The next year, my DE presented me an invitation to attend WB (this was still the by-invite only era). I was humbled but dubious. Then I read the staff list--the same folks who ran my SMBT. That was a deal breaker. No thanks. My DE, who was a heck of a gent, was sorely disappointed in me. I felt bad about it, but I couldn't subject myself to those particular scouters again. Especially 24/7 for 6 consecutive days. I've been in several councils since. To varying degrees, the WB communities I've witnessed still operate on the "exclusive club" theory. My experience with WBers over the decades is mixed. Many are great folks. But they were probably that way before they took WB. Many others, though, believe they are great because they took WB.
  7. desertrat77

    72 hour rule

    Duct Tape, sounds like we had very similar experiences.... Parents used to view scouts as a place for their kids to grow up. Parents were rarely seen and certainly never part of your activities. Sure, if you misbehaved and the leaders felt it necessary to tell your parents, you could be assured of a good whipping when you got home. Parents attended courts of honor. Afterwards, in the station wagon on the way home, mom might say a few words of praise. She wouldn't over do it. Dad wouldn't say a word. He'd be silent, driving, lighting another Winston, but you could tell he was proud of you. Other than that, scouting was a place to go on adventures and have fun. And perhaps, if you had the gumption, earn a few things. If you didn't want to earn a single badge, that was okay. Just be a good den/patrol member. That's all that was asked. If you'll excuse me for stating the obvious, I don't think the cubs have changed. Parenting styles have changed. And generally speaking, National cannot, will not, publish coherent policy.
  8. desertrat77

    Have you done the new Youth Protection Training?

    Eagle, I believe you are correct. I recall going to the first YPT in the late '80s, circa '88. Classroom format, with a council-level trainer, about three hours. I also agree that YPT is needed.
  9. desertrat77

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    That's the thing, Wisconsin...scouters at all levels should be willing to help one another, whether they wear beads, or are a candidate for beads, or none of the above. Willingness to serve others should not be dependent on critter affiliation. And there are WBers out there that look at life exactly in that manner--beads or no beads.
  10. desertrat77

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    Cocomax, your anecdote is a prime example of why new volunteers stay away from BSA training--in droves! Too many BSA trainers are exactly as you described. Of their faults, the chief is not respecting their audience. But they've been to WB...where they learned the innermost secrets of leadership, management, human relations, public speaking, etc. Secrets so profound that their status as bead-wearers allows them the privilege of lording over us uninitiated types. Sure, I'm painting with a wide brush. But I truly think that BSA training demotivates more people than the BSA realizes. The training cadres tend to be full of people that love to hear themselves talk. A small anecdote. I was actually asked to serve on a training staff several years ago. My portion was outside, camping skills, on a beautiful day. We covered the required material, in a give/take/tell me about your experience as parents/scouters/working professionals. We finished 20 minutes early. Right before lunch. So I said "It's a nice day, we have some spare time, enjoy." Folks start conversations, stroll away, looking at clouds and trees, and relax. Another training cadre member happened by and realized I finished early. So she says "Actually, everyone gather round." Trainees gather round. She launches with "How many of you have been to WB? Hands? None? Let me tell you about it." So she did. For 25 minutes.
  11. desertrat77

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    @cocomax, you are a far braver, stronger scouter than I! There are two things that I cannot sit still for any more: 1. A LNT zealot going on and on. The whole LNT industry contrives to make human contact with nature more and more restrictive. To listen to them, one gets the impression that we humans are so awful, so disgusting, that to protect nature we should just stay home. As a Tenderfoot, I was taught "take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints." I think that's LNT in a nutshell. Minus the laminated LNT card packs to hang from one's belt, of course. 2. A WB salesman flogging an audience, "Sure, you may have had leadership training in college and the military, but you really don't know jack until you've taken WB, the life-changin', mountain-top pinnacle of scoutin' leadership training! It will transform your life, your family, your unit, your community, our nation, the world and beyond!" [As we non-WBers wonder "are you sure about that?]
  12. desertrat77

    JTE Commissioner Requirements

    Very true. I was a UC in four different states. Wasn't my first preference for scouting duties, but it gave me the flexibility I needed when I was still on active duty. Whenever I visited a unit for the first time (after calling ahead), I was always greeted like Bigfoot. A blend of suspicion and amazement. "You're the first commissioner to visit us in X years." or my favorite, after they got to know me: "Our last commissioner was a real *&%@#$." I don't mention this because I was a great commissioner. No, far from it. I tried to help as much as I could. Particularly if they needed an extra adult for a campout or something. Some units didn't need the help, others didn't want the help (the UC-as-spy, busybody, knowitall stereotype). Truthfully, if a troop was doing fine, I wasn't needed. I was in the way. It wasn't personal, that's reality. The troops that really needed help, and were receptive, didn't need a UC--they needed a TC or another ASM. Others made no bones about it, they didn't want me anywhere near the unit. As a former ASM and SM, I understood their point of view.
  13. Mac, your words really resonate. I was a shy, clumsy, disorganized scout. I really had to work hard to stay on track and earn the rank. On the trail to Eagle, I was in 3 different troops, with 4 different SMs (post Eagle, add 1 more troop and 3 more SMs). I spent a lot of time reading my handbook, and in my own way, figuring out what to do next. One benefit of the much-maligned 8th edition of the BSA handbook: all of the requirements for all of the merit badges were printed in the back. And unlike present times, National didn't feel the need to constantly change requirements. Collectively, the attitude from my parents and SMs: "It's up to you."
  14. Semi-related reflection: I've been a member on several Eagle boards over the last few years.... Looking back, only a couple of the candidates could really stand on their feet and tell their story. The others were at a loss when asked specifics about their leadership experiences, their project, etc. Even easy/softball-type questions about their experiences on the scouting trail would bring about mumbling and vague answers. Without mom/dad/SM in the room feeding them the answers, they were at a loss. The board wasn't a big event for them, a chance to shine. No. It was just another thing they were told to do. A hurried project finished days before they aged out. It was a given they'd pass. You could tell. "You have to pass them. After all, they've met the requirements!" More than anything, this modern mantra has collectively cheapened the rank any Boy Scout wears, be it Tenderfoot or Eagle. (As well as it's ancillary mantra, "No retesting once they've earned the rank/badge, it's against the rules and just plain mean!")
  15. Being an Eagle is more than checking off requirements on a form. Good judgment and self initiative are vital qualities for achieving anything in life. Many scouts learn early on that a parent or scouter will nag, remind, scold, push, and if necessary, drag them across any goal line. This ultimately hurts the scout, because they'll have to learn some hard lessons at age 18 that they should have gained at 12/13. Too many scouts, of all ranks, have figured out that scouting is adult-directed. They just float along.
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