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The Latin Scot

To star or not to star?

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

Sorry for the confusion. By "communal development," I was specifically referring to overnight camping, of which council, area, and regional officers did a good bit. Leaders who firmly believed in sex segregation on overnights would not be pleased with council officers. I suspect, top LDS scouters made a point of keeping your leaders in the dark about what Venturing was simply because of the potential of overnight camping with the opposite sex.

Oh no, I'm sure all the information was available to my leaders - my local leaders were just incredibly dense. As in, pitifully so. I don't know if I've ever gone into much depth about my own experiences as a young Scout, but they were mostly negative ones, mostly due to the utter negligence and ignorance of my local Scout leaders. But that was a community problem, not a church-wide issue. The Church itself would never have adopted the Venturing program if it hadn't understood its program entirely. And in places like Utah and Idaho, as I've mentioned, with incredibly large LDS populations, the Venturing program was actually very strong in many areas, and enjoyed high levels of success. But my own local leaders barely understood the Cub Scout program, let alone more advanced operations like Varsity and Venturing, so that's why my Venturing 'experience' was all but non-existent. But your comments are enlightening; I am pretty much unfamiliar with every aspect of Venturing, so it's helpful to know that it has its own flaws which may have contributed to the ambivalence of my leaders, if only in part.

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On 2/23/2020 at 11:32 PM, qwazse said:

How is it different? What activities did that LDS crew do? Did they elect officers according to the leadership manual? If so did their president attend venturing officers associations? Or did they have a modified leadership manual? Did they adhere to that?

I'm sorry, but just because a CO has a peculiar interest in the program, they don't get a pass on being part of the problem that made a program seem to be booming when in fact getting crews that venturers were proud to be in was no slam dunk at all!

Every paper crew existed at some point. Some club filled out paperwork for their youth members to get them in on BSA's insurance. They did one or two activities of whatever they did, and they kept up appearances without ever actually promoting venturing. No district official attempted to make them contribute any more than that. Then the chickens came home to roost in about '08 as those of us who wanted our officers to really know how great scouting was had lists that were 50-percent irrelevant. Then, when membership costed real money and real time to complete position specific training, those units dropped like flies.

I think that TLS has explained how they were different.  His explanation is consistent with my limited experience with LDS Crews. 

One of the things that is often explained is that we do not punish boys for the mistakes of adults.  Just because he is an adult now, that doesn't change.  He was involved and registered as a venturer from 16-18 so he is entitled to those years of service.  If he really wants to represent those years correctly, I don't think anyone would fault him for including his years in his Boy Scout star.  I think this situation is perfect for combining everything under light blue, but that is my preference anyway.  

Edited by mds3d

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2 hours ago, mds3d said:

...  He was involved and registered as a venturer from 16-18 so he is entitled to those years of service.  If he really wants to represent those years correctly, I don't think anyone would fault him for including his years in his Boy Scout star.  ...

I agree that a green-back 7 is more true to what he experienced.

The reason I'd favor going with only blue backs (that include those two years), is that captures a better sense of his knowledge base.

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I'm sorry to hear about your poor experiences as a youth.

I'm struck by the idea that experience is still experience - regardless of the quality of that experience.  Now, you as an adult better understand the impact of a poor program.  Today you clearly are an advocate for high quality programs.

Myself, I still think you should wear the star - even if to be able to point to it on a occasion as a reminder of what bad Scouting really does to youth.

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On 2/24/2020 at 5:04 PM, desertrat77 said:

The only qualification I've seen for service stars is the word "involved." 

 

Maybe I walk around with my eyes half shut, but I very rarely see scouters wearing the service stars.

I don't wear them myself because....
a) I'm too apathetic to jog over to the Scout Shop and buy 'em, and
b) There's no real requirements that might make them significant or meaningful.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

Maybe I walk around with my eyes half shut, but I very rarely see scouters wearing the service stars.

I don't wear them myself because....
a) I'm too apathetic to jog over to the Scout Shop and buy 'em, and
b) There's no real requirements that might make them significant or meaningful.

I'm tracking re wearing.  I haven't worn service stars since the Carter Administration. 

As far as significance, I believe service stars have their place.  One example is @The Latin Scot's situation.  Though I respect the differing opinions, I think he should wear the star, red background.   Another would be the adult who was a scout for 3 or 4 years.  Made it to First Class.  Earned a few merit badges.  He was active in his troop, went to summer camp, 50 milers, was a patrol leader, etc.  Though he didn't make Eagle (and that's okay) he was a good scout, and his experiences made a lasting, positive impression.  So that little service star with the green background, pinned above his pocket, may not mean much to anyone else.  But it will be special to him.

Edited by desertrat77
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Well thank you all for your input and suggestions. I have decided that I will go ahead and add the red star, especially due to @ParkMan's insight:

On 2/25/2020 at 8:28 PM, ParkMan said:

I'm struck by the idea that experience is still experience - regardless of the quality of that experience.  Now, you as an adult better understand the impact of a poor program.  Today you clearly are an advocate for high quality programs.

Myself, I still think you should wear the star - even if to be able to point to it on a occasion as a reminder of what bad Scouting really does to youth.

I have ignored those two years because they were, frankly, poorly managed by my leaders - but they were still two years of Scouting, pitiful though they may have been. That star will represent to me two years of potential that were never realized, and remind me of the need to do better by and for the Scouts now in my own care.

Thanks all for sharing. 

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