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Lisabob

Just go join Spiral Scouts

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Hi Packsaddle,

thanks for the thumbs-up.

I'm not saying that I know everything or have the solution to everything. To an outsider who is not part of BSA, maybe some flaws appear a bit more obvious than if you've been scouting like Christ was a camp-cook.

I've lived in the States long enough to know a bit about the American way of life, but my views are (hopefully) those of a German.

I know well that some things I said in this thread may appear very provocative (the broad brush), but certain comments were just a bit too much to leave unchallenged.

 

best regards,

Volker

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Scoutmomma, That conversation with your son will indeed be a classic. He sounds like he's developing great skills of critical thinking. We need more like him.

He has that highly tuned BS meter that all 13-year-olds seem to have. You know, the one where they don't recognize when they're not making sense but can easily point out when anyone else is being illogical. :-)

As my Thanksgiving coffee cup says, "Don't Let the Turkeys Get You Down".

Thanks, Packsaddle.

Scoutmomma

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"Slouchhat, BSA is indeed a representation of its membership. It follows a presbyterian style of democracy.

 

Individual units are represented by unit scouters on District committees.

Districts are represented by unit scouters on Council committees. Council committees are represented by unit scouters at Area committees.

Area committees are represented by unit scouters at Regional committees

Regional committees are represented by unit scouters at National committees."

 

Which means that there are six rungs on the ladder before a decision is being reached?

Let's be honest, this sounds like the game "silent mail" to me. I whisper something in the ear of the guy to my left, he whispers what he thinks he's understood into the ear of the guy to his left...you catch my drift.

How long does it take before a decision is reached, before a unit is being heard? Can the various lower echelon guys reject the idea before it gets up to National level?

 

If I have to say something, I either pick up the phone or send an email to my State representative or my National rep. I could even call them on their cell phone if it is urgent.

Before you compare the size of the BSA to other scouting organisations: we are smart enough not to call them about everything everytime. We know the words self-discipline and standard operating procedure, too.

 

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Actually it is a matter of scale. Accoding to WOSM, Germany has about 124,000 scouts and scouters. That's about the size of one of our good sized councils, like Great Salt Lake or National Capital Area.

 

It's not like your silent mail game. It might be more like Congress. Local issues get handled at the local level. The national committee doesn't have to worry about the food at Camp Googly-moogly being horrible, that will be handled locally. National board and committees worry about what impacts the organization as a whole.

 

Yes, there are rungs and things don't make it up all the rungs because they can be handled at other levels.

 

The captain of the Nimitz doesn't worry about wheter there are canned peaches (unless he's looking for them for a late night snack). And if a seaman's mother called him to say, "My son didn't get any peaches" that phone call would never reach him.

 

 

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Maybe you want to re-read this:

"Before you compare the size of the BSA to other scouting organisations: we are smart enough not to call them about everything everytime. We know the words self-discipline and standard operating procedure, too."

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Oh, I read that but my point still stands.

 

I can't think of anything urgent enough for me to want to call the Chief Scout Executive. Maybe if I was on a national committee. Or maybe if I wanted to let him know that I felt strongly about have homosexual athiests involved in BSA.

 

 

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Kudu -

 

I suspect this is not *quite* what you're looking for, but the closest we have to a statement of methods is probabaly http://test.spiralscouts.org/node/2 (this is from a nearly completed major revision of the site).

 

I know that at least one or two badges are supposed to be on the site as examples, although they aren't there yet.

 

SpiralScouts has a somewhat different take on advancement. Advancement is seen as something that comes with experience - so rather than having requirements for various "ranks" (which we don't have), SpiralScouts offers the same "topic" for a badge or other award at each of the three program levels, which is progressively more in-depth. If a SpiralScout wants to earn a badge he didn't earn as a FireFly, he completes the FireFly required activities, then the SpiralScout requirements, then some number of the optional activities. As a scout "spirals" from FireFlies to SpiralScouts to PathFinders, they look at each topic from a different perspective.

 

So, for example (a very simple example - not all of them work out so cleanly), a FireFly learns some simple knots and basic terminology for their badge. A SpiralScout investigates other types of knots, learns to tie some number of them, and teaches another scout at least one of the basic knots. A PathFinder learns still more knots, and then teaches both the original basic ones and some of the more complex ones to other scouts. In the troop I co-lead, this has worked out to a PathFinder who knew knots fairly well demonstrating his knowledge to a leader and offering to teach the knot badge to the other members of the troop - some group work, and then individual practice at subsequent meetings.

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Trevorum

 

I've lived in Texas over 20 years now and I keep hearing that "Texas is the only state that was a country" line. I think the Hawaiians should be insulted that most people don't think their kingdom was a legitimate country. I believe they were a country longer than Texas ever was.

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Okay, Texas was the only country that became a state. Hawaii had their monarchy overthrown, became a territory and then became a state. How's that?

 

 

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Lisabob:

 

The American Girl line of dolls is unrelated to AHG, as far as I know. The line of dolls predated AHG by a decade (more or less). My daughter was a Girl Scout and had a few American Girl dolls, and again, as far as I know, there is no relationship between AHG and American Girl dolls.

 

My point about the size of SS is that you mentioned they were not a viable alternative because of their size (lack of local units). I think that's a chicken-and-egg argument -- if they are small, its because the people who complain about BSA are staying in BSA rather than helping SS grow by actually joining them.

 

So its the very people complaining about the lack of a viable alternative who are responsible for the lack of viability of groups like SS by not joining them.

 

Look at it this way: if people would join SS if only SS were bigger (i.e., have a lot of units nearby), how exactly is SS supposed to get any bigger if they don't join?

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Wow, that makes my head hurt just thinking about it...kind of like trying to understand time travel.;) But I tend to agree. Nevertheless, the folks who started Spiral Scouts knew they would start small. If they are happy with that start, what's the problem?

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I think California would take umbrage at Texas and Hawaii being the only states that were once countries as well. For a period of about a month, the independent California Republic (aka the Bear Flag Republic) before it became part of the US. Granted, it was only a month, but for that month, it was an independent country.

 

 

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No, "just go join Spiral Scouts" is probably not YET a viable alternative to the BSA. Maybe in another 50-60 years?? I've never heard of them so this thread is interesting.

 

Wingnut has listed organizations-a-plenty though. Thanks Wingnut!

 

 

For anyone that thinks there isn't discrimination going in many private organizations, you really are naive. They can discriminate, because they are private, and they are protected by law.

 

If private discrimination against men were disallowed, it would be the end of groups such as the Y.W.C.A., the NOW, any lesbian organization, and large parts of the women's liberation movement itself. It might even be the end of separate mens and womens public bathrooms for crying out loud!

 

By the same token if ALL racial discrimination were outlawed, the NAACP would have to, by law, award scholarships to white students, and the KKK would have to accept Jewish and African-American people to their membership! Asinine!

 

There are plenty of private organizations that discriminate when it comes to membership. It is what it is.

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