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dkurtenbach

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dkurtenbach last won the day on August 5

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About dkurtenbach

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  1. dkurtenbach

    Can the Patrol Method Be Revived?

    @Owls_are_cool, thanks for sharing your efforts and struggles in developing the patrol method in your troop. Of the issues you mention -- variable attendance by Scouts, adult supervision requirements, advancement focused Scouts and parents, and the need for long-term planning -- I think variable attendance may be the most difficult, because it disrupts even the most basic patrol activity. If you have four out of seven patrol members at planning meeting and none of them are going on the upcoming campout, how do they plan the campout menu, getting the groceries, assembling gear, and arranging transportation? If you have a twenty-Scout troop with three patrols but only eight Scouts are going on the campout, is there any real benefit in having three widely separated patrol sites? If patrols have the flexibility to schedule things so that the most patrol members can attend, and as you say, awesome and challenging experiences that they want, you can really help with attendance. You may actually be able to use Advancement and Leadership Development in support of Patrols: If one of the jobs of a Patrols Leader is to supervise Scout through First Class advancement of patrol members, including arranging for skill instruction and skill testing, and signing off rank requirements, then not only are you promoting advancement and giving your Patrol Leader real responsibility, you have a really good reason for (1) holding patrol meetings and patrol activities (that is where advancement happens), (2) scheduling those meetings and activities at times that the Scouts in the patrol can attend, and (3) patrol adults/parents making sure that there is sufficient adult presence and that the meetings and activities are not cancelled.
  2. dkurtenbach

    Embarrassing: The Lawyers in GSUSA v. BSA

    Well, as we would say in court, "Asked and answered."
  3. dkurtenbach

    Embarrassing: The Lawyers in GSUSA v. BSA

    @ParkMan, in answer to your first question, the judge explained what they did wrong: "Discovery is intended to advance the merits, efficiently and economically. It is not intended to create a tortured maze to hinder the other side." In the character of the Scout Oath and Law, the lawyers should comply with their obligations under the rules that govern litigation: "The interrogatory and discovery demands of both sides are clearly relevant and proper, and should be answered, fully, promptly and responsively." Your second question is premised on the notion that when they were engaged in their improper discovery tactics, they were "simply doing their job." As @qwazse commented, and as the judge explained, they were not doing their jobs. It does not reflect poorly on the Scouting community to highlight instances where people representing the Boy Scouts of America (and people representing the GSUSA) were in fact found to be acting inappropriately when carrying out that representation.
  4. dkurtenbach

    Embarrassing: The Lawyers in GSUSA v. BSA

    The judge has already ruled on their professional conduct. And it is that conduct — in a prominent public forum — that reflects poorly on both of these values- and character-based organizations.
  5. dkurtenbach

    Embarrassing: The Lawyers in GSUSA v. BSA

    Lawyers are officers of the court, with professional standards, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, local court rules, and civility standards. Compliance with those rules are part of their professional obligation. The judge found their conduct crossed the line and is hitting them hard for it. Beyond that, the lawyers apparently forgot who their clients are and what their clients stand for, risking reputational damage to their clients from their misconduct. That was dumb, not aggressive representation.
  6. dkurtenbach

    Embarrassing: The Lawyers in GSUSA v. BSA

    It's bad enough that two organizations claiming to build character and promote high ideals are fighting each other in a lawsuit over something as trivial as a program name. But then their lawyers are caught using slimy tactics and are sent to the corner like naughty children. CSE Surbaugh should fire BSA's lawyers, then call the GSUSA CEO and work it out. BSA has bigger fish to fry than this embarrassing mess.
  7. From Law360 Alerts: An Order by the judge in the trademark litigation in the Southern District of New York between the Girl Scouts of the USA and the Boy Scouts of America. The case is in the initial "discovery" stage, in which the parties make requests to each other for documents and answers to written questions (interrogatories). Lawyers sometimes oppose such requests as not relevant to the issues in the lawsuit or as not proper under the rules governing discovery. Apparently the lawyers have not been observing certain points of the Scout Law: Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, and Kind. The judge is emphasizing another point of the Scout Law: Obedient. "Merits" refers to the subject matter of the lawsuit - the trademark issue. "Sanctions" are fines that could be levied against the lawyers, based on a counsel's hourly rate times the number of hours spent on the dispute. Case Developments August 6, 2019 Order ORDER REGULATING DISCOVERY: The Court has read the joint letter of counsel of August 2, 2019 and is dismayed by the conduct of counsel reflected by their discovery disputes. The interrogatory and discovery demands of both sides are clearly relevant and proper, and should be answered, fully, promptly and responsively. Discovery is intended to advance the merits, efficiently and economically. It is not intended to create a tortured maze to hinder the other side. The Senior Counsel of each side-Rachel Kassabian and Bruce Ewing-shall meet personally at the courthouse for at least two hours, in a room assigned by the Clerk, on August 13, 2019, at 2:00 p.m., and jointly report to the court, on or before noon, August 16, 2019, identifying each interrogatory and discovery demand remaining in dispute, and why answers and production thereto, fully, promptly and responsively, will not be made by August 30, 2019. If any disputes remain, the Court will set a hearing date to rule thereon. Counsel should anticipate that sanctions are likely to be awarded, at two times the combined rates and time of the counsel involved in the dispute. (Signed by Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein on 8/6/2019) (mro) Law360 | Portfolio Media, Inc, 111 West 19th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10011
  8. dkurtenbach

    Can the Patrol Method Be Revived?

    Thanks. I think there are definitely some societal changes at work, of the kind powering "helicopter" parents, but also of the kind powering our Youth Protection imperative. @MattRmentioned the adult desire for "efficiency" -- something Baden-Powell encountered and warned against almost from the beginning of the Scouting Movement. Widely separated patrols, patrols each doing different things at different times, and youth advancing at different speeds are certainly not efficient. And I think parent competitiveness or ambition on behalf of their children is particularly prominent these days; individual achievement that can be measured and recognized (and noted on school applications and resumes) gets far more attention than growth in character, teamwork, and interpersonal skills that cannot easily be measured.
  9. dkurtenbach

    Can the Patrol Method Be Revived?

    Well, I'm certainly willing to be convinced. But just so we are clear on the kind of patrol I'm talking about (what I call a Patrol Method patrol, or "real" patrol), here's a description of the patrol experience from the Boy Scout Handbook, Seventh Edition, Third Printing, January 1967, page 93: -------------------- "Patrol Doings. An honest-to-goodness, live-wire patrol does plenty of things on its own. It always has lots of interesting plans underway, whether patrol meetings, hikes, camps, Good Turns, stunts, making tents, fixing up a patrol den. "Patrol meetings are held regularly in the homes of the members, in the patrol's own den, or in the troop meeting room. The meetings are planned in advance by the patrol leader with the help of the rest of the patrol, and there's something for everyone to do. "It is at patrol meetings that you fellows help each other advance in Scoutcraft. It is here that all the great things you want to do are decided on. It is here that your friendships grow. "The good patrol, under a trained leader, has its own patrol hikes and camps from time to time. Those hikes and camps are the high spots in the patrol's life. It is around the fires of the gang that patrol spirit reaches its peak, where each of you comes closest to the heart of Scouting." -------------------- There's nothing in that 1967 description that could not be done by patrols today (with, of course, the required adult presence). But are patrols that operate like this still relatively common? Or is this type of patrol a relic of the past?
  10. dkurtenbach

    Can the Patrol Method Be Revived?

    A valiant effort. But I think the time of real patrols in the Boy Scouts of America has passed. For most troop adults/parents, the only things that they will every really know about patrols will be the explanations they hear from very young Scouts working on Scout rank requirements 3.a. and 3.b. and Tenderfoot rank requirements 2.a. and 2.c. -- that patrols are about symbols and meals. Scout rank: 3.a. Explain the patrol method. Describe the types of patrols that are used in your troop. 3.b. Become familiar with your patrol name, emblem, flag, and yell. Explain how these items create patrol spirit. Tenderfoot rank: 2.a. On the campout, assist in preparing one of the meals. Tell why it is important for each patrol member to share in meal preparation and cleanup. 2.c. Explain the importance of eating together as a patrol. The writers of the Journey to Excellence Troop Scorecard think Patrol Method is about leadership development rather than team development, even though we have a separate Method of Scouting for Leadership Development (which is also now one of the Aims of Scouting). #9. Patrol method: Use the patrol method to develop youth leaders. Bronze: The troop has patrols, and each has a patrol leader. There is an SPL, if more than one patrol. The PLC meets at least four times a year. Silver: Achieve Bronze, plus PLC meets at least six times. The troop conducts patrol leader training. Gold: Achieve Silver, plus PLC meets at least ten times. At least one Scout has attended an advanced training course, such as NYLT or Order of the Arrow Conference. And the experts on Troop meetings provide time on their model troop meeting agenda for "Breakout Groups." Patrols don't even have the dignity of designated Patrol Meetings. Who knows. Maybe the powers that be decided that youth get plenty of teamwork training through their sports teams, so teamwork training through patrols just isn't important anymore. Maybe Patrol Method simply got eclipsed by the popularity of individual achievement in Scouting through Advancement and Leadership/Positions of Responsibility. Or maybe the advent of the New Scout Patrol (designed to help Scouts advance to First Class more rapidly) and its ripple effect (age-based patrols) was the kiss of death: Younger patrols without older, experienced Scouts leading and teaching just can't do much on their own or contribute much to troop programs; and most troops have more younger Scouts than older Scouts.
  11. dkurtenbach

    Can the Patrol Method Be Revived?

    Putting aside your own negative views about checklists generally, did that troop find them to be an effective tool?
  12. dkurtenbach

    Can the Patrol Method Be Revived?

    No, my premise is that in the current troop-centric program in ScoutsBSA, patrols have very little to do as organizational units within the troop, and maintaining patrol integrity is not important. This makes it difficult for true teamwork and team responsibility -- the object of the Patrol Method -- to develop. To really develop Patrol Method, we need a Scouting environment in which each patrol has a lot of things to do that matter to them (fun and exciting program, learning skills, advancement), the patrol has to face challenges getting them done, and the patrol has to spend a lot of time together doing them -- away from the rest of the troop. Just click my heels together? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJ6VT7ciR1o
  13. dkurtenbach

    Can the Patrol Method Be Revived?

    Not really, no, because it isn't about getting stuff done. This is all about planning and structure for the purpose of developing patrol-teams. It is about building the team that (eventually) will learn how to work together to get stuff done. Every month there are new troop projects for the patrol-teams to work on and new tasks they develop for themselves. Every week there are new decisions, new information, and changes in plan that the patrol-teams have to wrestle with while still working toward their objectives. Every person on the team has responsibilities that are important to success. Detailed agendas and checklists are tools to help carry out the team-building function by keeping their goals, objectives, tasks, decisions, information, glitches, and assignments in front of them. The suggested three-week agenda is really just an outline. In actual practice, I'd ask the Patrol Leaders to use a much more detailed checklist that they and their Patrol Scribes fill out with names, dates, times, gear lists, questions to be answered, information to be passed on, decisions already made, and decisions still to be made.
  14. dkurtenbach

    Can the Patrol Method Be Revived?

    Good insights. Yes, the annual/semi-annual/quarterly Troop Planning Conference is critical, and the Patrol Leaders Council has a lot of responsibility under this program. Outings and program need to be worked out months in advance and broken down into very specific assignments for each patrol. The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters have to be on top of the plan and what every patrol needs to be doing to carry out the program, as well as making reservations and arrangements that the PLC can't. And the Patrol Leader -- Patrol ASM relationship is where the rubber meets the road. And yeah -- it really has to be fun!
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