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Thanks to so many people having the flu this has been a log hard week. In fact seven days without a day off and many extra hours.

Maybe I'm out of sorts and maybe I'm just dumb and being a little hot headed. However over the past few weeks I have seen about people "Not Getting it" and the removal of people who don't "Get it"

I have no idea what "It" might be? How "It" is measured and as to or for the removal who other then the chartered organization is going to do this removing?

Our mission is to help young people make ethical choices over their lifetime. Is this the "It"?

Yes we have methods which when followed do work. At times we do need to ease up a little on these methods at times they may not be right for the situation that is being faced. Is not following the methods of Scouting the "It?"

Maybe my values are not in line with this remover person. It could be that he/she places more importance on the troop and I think that my family comes first. Am I not getting "It?"

This kind of talk is wrong. Just because we see something that we may not like we have no idea what sort of influence this person may be having on the life of one of our youth members.

This person was selected by the charter organization while I have no idea of what "It" is, I would think that they own it and they have the last say as to if it is being passed on as they would like.

Yes there are rules and laws that have to be followed and if these are being broken and people are being put in harms way or hurt yes the Council needs to step in if the chartered organization hasn't.

Please tell me what "It" is and the benchmark for it.


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I still say that having 500,000 boys doing scouting correctly is better than 1,000,000 boys doing scouting incorrectly (not following the BSA program).

And that is "it".

If you want me to be more specific just let me know.

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I believe the "it" is a combination of

A)Understanding the Methods, Aims, and Mission,

B)Accepting that Scouting is not doing "stuff" in a scout Uniform. It is a method of education. If you aren't following the method you aren't scouting.

C)Seeing the big picture. What you do affects scouting throughout the country, now and in the future.


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I am interested in hearing more about opting out of Outdoor training that was mentioned. I have set as a loose goal completing basic training and woodbadge this year. However being away at school outside of the council makes finding training a bit challenging, so despite the fact I would rather do everything "by the book" that option may come in handy for me.


I still sometimes wish I had done JLTC as a youth, but I really wish I had done NLS while Lodge Chief.

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There is no opting out of Intro to Outdoor Skills. If you are a Scoutmaster, or Assistant Scoutmaster, it is a required portion of your basic training which is required to be completed prior to attending Wood Badge. If you are not a Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster than it is not a part of your basic training requirements and not required for Wood Badge.


So there is no option. If it is required for your specific position then you must complete it.



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Yes Dan I would like you to be more specific.Saying that they are not following the Scouting program is a little too broad for my understanding.

Bob White as you know you and I seem to be on the same page most of the time and yet again I agree with how you see "It."

I feel sure that you can't agree with the wholesale dismissal of those who at this time may not be getting it? As for only allowing youth members to remain in the program if they are meeting some as yet unexplained Scouting program requirement is very scary. I sure as heck would hate to be the person who has to enact the removal of these people that I thought we were here to serve.

While there may be many wise and gifted people in these forums who managed to take to leadership like a duck to water. I wasn't that lucky there was a period of time when maybe on the outside things looked great, the troop was the largest in the area, advancement was strong, our outdoor program and uniform standards were second to none. However during this time most of what we were doing was about me. I was going through the motions of the Boy Led Troop, still I was the chairman having the Patrol Leaders carry my ideas and what I wanted to do back to their patrols. The Troop was for a couple of years an extension of my ego.While I don't want to pass the buck, I did what I did and it was down to me. In some ways the reason I was doing it was because that was the way it had been when I was in the troop.

If the people in charge of "It" had removed me I never would have strived to improve and while maybe a replacement would have been found. Maybe one would not have been forthcoming. I have no idea how many youth I have worked with over the last nearly 30 years. I have no idea what impact if any I have had on them. I do know that if someone had accused me of not delivering the Scouting program that there were times when they would have been right. If they had insisted on my removal I would never have had the chance to grow and develop. Of course as I grew and became a better leader so did the members of the troop.

If there are problems within Scouting surely it is in the best interests of everyone that we work towards fixing what isn't working. I don't have the answers. I do have opinions about areas that need to be looked at and could improve. Most of my ideas have to do with the Commissioner Staff, better relations with our charter organizations and all of us having a better realization that while we may spend a lot of time doing what we do to serve Scouts and Scouting it is wrong to use us as the yardstick to measure other peoples commitment to the program or their worth to Scouting. While being a member of the World Wide Brotherhood of Scouting means the whole world to me for many of our youth members it is just a small part of what makes up their life. We as adults should be thankful that these boys and girls think enough about what we are to doing to attend the meetings and outings that we offer we also need to make sure that we do not waste their time and that we keep our word.

So please Dan enlighten me as to how turning away all these youth meets with the Mission of Scouting. Tell me how a Leader will ever get it once he or she has been removed. Let me know how a poor kid from the projects will benefit in body and spirit when there are no longer units there to serve him.

Yes Dan I want to know, please be as specific as you can. I really want to know.


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Hi Eamonn,


First an update from national.


The question I asked was, Since national is not mandating basic leaders training does the council have the authority to do so, or is it the Charter organizations job to ecourage or require training and the Councils job to make it available.


Here is the response.


"Councils are pretty autonomous, but do not "normally" mandate training. The job of training committee's is to make training available.


Units are owned by chartered organizations who can set a training standard for their leadership, if they like."


Not that I have anything against 100% trained leaders. I just want to see everyone stay in their own area of reponsibility. If national mandates it i will support it. It's their program to administer as they choose. But I would rather see The council not impede on the responsibility of the Charter Organizations.


Now Eamonn,


I do not expect evry registered adult to get "it" immediatly. I do not expect anyone to be expert at "it". All I expect is for adults to accept that there is an "it" and be open to improving and developing "it".


Otherwise, if they don't like the BSA program, or refuse to follow the BSA program, they should go do something else with their lives and make room for someone who is willing to try and do the job right.


Shouldn't you be looking into renting that van?

Bob White


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I didn't say "opt out" of IOLS. I just said there's now an alternate way of completing the requirement rather than going to a scheduled, formal course. Our professional advisor to the Training Committee initiated it, and there was, predictably, lots of grousing from the "silverbacks."...but we're doing it and it's apparently "legal".


Further clarification: the "mandatory requirement" has been clarified to apply to "Unit Leaders", but it was emphasized that the meaning is "anyone whose primary registration is with a Unit." This excludes MB counsellors, Commissioners, etc. ONe thing I predict is there will be a lot of switching of primary registrations.(This message has been edited by scoutldr)

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Bob as you know up until nine days ago I was the Council Training Chair. for our council. In 2002 we had the honor of being the council with the highest percentage of trained leaders in the country.

As a council we are very lucky that we do not have that great a turn over of leaders in the Boy Scout program. In our District other then new units all the Scoutmasters have been around for at least five years many for a lot longer. In Cub Scouting I don't know why we have managed to get people to sign up for training very soon after they come on board. It could be that they feel that they have a need to be trained.

When I was a District Commissioner there was always the rush to get the charters in as quiclky as possible during this time the Council Commissioner would hold extra meetings. At one of these meetings a District Commissiober said that troop so and so was always late due to the fact that the chartered organization met with each leader one on one and went over what had happened and where they were going. While I was sitting there feeling kind of smug that we had all of our charters in I have to admit to being green with envy wanting that chartered organization to be part of out district.

I have never felt that the role of the training committee was to make training mandatory during my term we as a committee tried to make it as user friendly as we could we tried never to miss an opportunity to promote training. We viewed Every Boy Deserves A Trained Leader as our goal.

Here in this neck of the woods words like Mandatory do not go over very well and seem to bring out the worst in people. It could be an American thing after all you guys didn't take too well to the tax on tea. Then again this is the area that gave birth to the Whiskey Rebellion.


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BW has said what I was thinking probably better than I will but I will try anyway.

I will try to give you some examples of some issues I have seen and discussed on this forum.


Uniforms, in my experience the majority of the leaders in my neck of the woods believe a uniform is what ever they want it to be. Class A uniform, I keep asking people where I can find what a Class A uniform is, and most unit well tell you or have it in the troop bylaws. I keep asking them would it not be easier to look in the scout book, and call it what the BSA calls it.


Merit Badges, making scouts do requirements for merit badges multiple times, because the counselor wanted to make sure he did do it. Blue cards are only good for a year. All work done before will have to be redone.


Leaders selected by the charter organization, I have been involved with 2 packs and 2 troops, the CO wanted nothing to do with the troop or pack. I say that most CO do not pick the leaders, the leaders are the ones that steps forward to do the job correctly or incorrectly.


Rubber stamping advancements or adding requirements for the advancement.


Not allowing the scouts to be the leaders.


And so on and so on and so on


Now for the why, these need to be addressed.

Lest say 2 scouts from a troop that does not follow the methods, grow up have a family and when there son or sons go into scouts, they had a great time in scouts (a great time does not mean they learned anything from the program) so they become leaders and run the program just like their SM or DL ran it. Now you have 2 troops not following the BSA program. And this is just from one unit, multiple this be all the units out there and what do you have?


I really believe that Scout leaders are doing what believe is the correct way. To fix these issues, training needs to be more direct. Telling how a troop or pack or den will be ran not hinting at certain things. I believe the training is to wishy washy.

COR should also have some sort of training or overview to attend so that they know what is expected of them.

My posts seem to really come off very negative, I do not mean from them to be as negative as they come out, but I do not want to beat around the bush either. I really believe in the BSA and I only want to keep it on the right track.


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Hi Dan,

Take a deep breath pal and relax. You're not negative you're just frustrated, and you have every reason to be. All of us here have shared our frustration with things and each other from time to time.


The problems you point out have plagued every District and Council at one time or another. The thing you need to remember is that they seldom last forever. They come and go as leadership changes and as units go through various life cycles. The best thing to do is to understand that some of the problems are solvable and some are not. You need to realize which is which and take action when it will count.


You have seen examples of that even on this forum. There are some people who refuse to use the scouting program. They site all kinds of reasons in order to obscure or avoid the fact that they agreed as scout leaders to lead the BSA's program. Leaders like that can be offered help, but if they refuse it you need to turn to those you can make a difference for, the people who want to be Scout Leaders.


The vast majority of volunteers want to do a good job. They want what Scouting has to offer for the scouts, they just need time and direction from those willing to guide them.


So go ahead and remind folks that there is no such thing as a class A uniform. Invite new leaders to training and roundtable, set a good in the way you follow the program. believe me, for as many noisy ones that will disagree and frustrate you there are dozens more quietly watching and improving a little at a time.





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"Now for the why, these need to be addressed.

Lest say 2 scouts from a troop that does not follow the methods, grow up have a family and when there son or sons go into scouts, they had a great time in scouts (a great time does not mean they learned anything from the program) so they become leaders and run the program just like their SM or DL ran it."


Hello Dan,


This quote of yours raises such a good point and I want to address it a little. Your conclusion is good but I fear the way that you got there is very different from my experience.


When anyone with Scouting experience first becomes an adult leader, whether they were from a good unit or from a weak one, they do NOT run the unit the way that their unit was run as a youth. Rather, they run it the way that THEY THOUGHT IT WAS RUN, LOOKING THROUGH THE EYES OF A BOY and that is a very different thing.


This can be a real problem with Eagle Scouts becoming leaders. They are used to a boy run unit. They are also used to being the boys who run things. So they often keep running things.


Similarly, what do these people think the purpose of Scouting is? FUN!!! They're looking through the eyes of a boy.


That is, to me, why getting people to training quickly is so important. We need to give them the ADULT view on Scouting and show them all the backstage activities what were happening while they were being boys. They need to understand the goals of citizenship, character and fitness and of successful failures.


Otherwise, they'll continue to view it the way they did as boys and likely, as leaders, behave as superannuated boys. And also, just regard Scouting as another youth activity and nothing special.

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Many thanks for your last posting.

I think that I owe you an apology. I had you down as a pompous twit. Which you clearly are not.

Back in England we have Group Scout Leaders, his role is to look over and help coordinate all the sections of the Scout Group(Cubs, Scouts and venturers. - They may have more now after last years changes.) When I was a young Scout Leader, I was pretty gun-ho. Our GSL would look at me and remind me that BP had said slowly slowly catchee monkey.

I do think that more and more Scout Leaders are really trying to do a better job of following the program. At least they are not falling into the "We have always done it that way" trap.

Again if I came across too strong please accept my apology.


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