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DeanRx

Is there ANYTHING a scout is ALLOWED to do anymore ?!?!?

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"those assets exist solely to be put at risk, not to be protected"

 

What??? Do you have a home only in hopes of losing it in a fire? Do you drive a car in hopes that you will crash it? Do you save money only in hopes that it will be stolen?

 

Who actual wants their assets put at risk? The purpose of assets are to use them not to lose them.

 

What assets do have have Beavah that you wish put at risk?

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OK

 

Somehow this is getting personnal. We ALL risk just about everything everytime we have an event. We all know the risks of the "Suit Happy American".

 

If you read the "Handbook for Boys" versus the new "BSA Handbook" you will see that a LOT has changed. I would NEVER consider teaching a boy "WiddlyPeg". Nor would I suggest that they learn to tie a sheath knife to a pole for a spear (most Councils that I have worked with do not allow sheath knives).

 

Society is changing and we are changing with it but proclaiming that we keep the aims of the past ourdoorsman. I wonder what BP would have thought about selling a camp to ensure that professional scouters would have money in "endowments" for thier pay....

 

It is NOT personnal. It is society...

 

Ain't it great that we can blame the "Society"?

 

Rick

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The G2SS has a list of prohibited activities and cautions - but read it carefully. A guideline on how liquid fuel is to be stored and handled can be translated by those who aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer as an outright ban on using Coleman stoves.

 

Anytime someone tells you you can't do something (especially something like a skit or song) tell them to show you where an official BSA publication states that in writing. Most won't be able to do so. Other times, they may show you something that you'll read and realize they are completely off base with their interpretation.

 

I've already heard a couple of Scouters in my neck of the woods claim that the BSA is banning activities during hazardous weather - that outings and activities must be immediately cancelled and the Scouts brought home - just because the BSA is offering Hazardous Weather Training. That's not the point of the training at all, but that isn't stopping these folks from making this claim wit a straight face.

 

Just use good judgement and you'll be fine. And the next time you're at a training session that just is a litany of "can'ts and don'ts, stand up and ask them to stop telling you what you can't do and start giving you ideas on what you can do.

 

Calico

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Thank you all for your input - especially Calico's at the end.

 

I was a bit harsh as I was VERY frustrated last night and it was later than I normally stay up. Probably should have slept on it one night and then posted.

 

My overall point (societial changes aside)...

 

Is that since I have become involved with scouting as an adult leader, there seems to be a pervasive "Thou shall not...." attitude in ALL trainings I've attended.

 

I go to get trained for 2 reasons and in order of importance:

 

1) So that I can provide a better program for the scouts.

2) So that I can have the correct "boxes" checked so that our pack doesn't miss out on an opportunity b/c someone doesn't have BALOO, SSD, CPR, etc... It also keeps the district trainer off my back (Yeah !)

 

In all honesty, I see the majority of the training accomplishing #2 on my list. But, when the list of "You used to be able to do x,y,z... but now you can't".... is longer than "These are things we've done and it worked well..."

 

Then I just don't get much from it and I am becoming jaded by the process.

 

Like Calico stated. Stop telling what I can't do - start giving me FUN ideas that we CAN do !!

 

As for those that took some of my examples quite literally, I do not yell at boys, I hardly ever touch anyone and I certainly do not "punish" them. Ours is a positive reinforcement type of Pack. All in all its a great pack and I'm gald and proud to be part of it. Its actually great fun !

 

Then I go to a council training and it becomes a "Be on the lookout for...." I mean - I've done YPG twice in one year, have the "It could happen to me" video shoved down my throat, etc...

 

My point is this: YES - we as leaders have to be aware of these things. YES - we need to protect the scouts and ourselves from being placed in situations in which inappropriate behavior could take place. HOWEVER - it should NOT be the HUGE cloud hanging over every training and event that it is !!

 

A couple more small examples that just make me want to throw up my hands and scream UNCLE...

 

EXAMPLE ONE -

 

At the last council Scout Fair. I'm walking past an OA booth w/ my son and two other cubs (tigers and wolves) from our Pack. My son points our that I was in OA (he can't wait until he's eligible even though he has a LONG way to go yet...). I figure we'll stop and talk and get the cubbies a little lesson in what OA is all about.

 

So the adult leader and two OA scouts see my old OA patch on my uniform (I wear it as a conversation piece for the cubs). They ask if I'm still active. When I tell them its from an OA back in the midwest and that I was "tapped out" so long ago, I don't even know if my chapter is still active - There was a physical RECOIL from the scouts.

 

I was then told in hushed tones by the adult leader that, "Its not appropriate to 'tap-out' anymore, in fact we don't call it that..." quickly followed by the regulation that I should not be wearing it b/c I'm not ACTIVE in that lodge any longer.

 

My attempt to peak some young scout's interest in something beyond cubbing was quickly turned into a reading of the OA regulation RIOT act from the OA adult leader!

 

EXAMPLE TWO - At a family pack campout... We had 2 cubbies that needed to use the latrine as dusk. Everyone else was getting ready for the campfire - I offered to walk them (about 200 yards across an open field) to the port-a-john's. I was going to wait OUTSIDE for them and walk them back.

 

Well the two boys dang near peed down their leg while a couple of LEADERS got into a discussion about TWO-DEEP leadership needed to walk these guys to the bathroom !! Come on.. the kicker was both of these scouts have stayed the night in MY home with my son at sleep-overs. Not like I'm not trusted by their parents.

 

That's what I mean by being frustrated by it. It seems to me BSA has now fostered an environment of Hyper-vigilance in which ALL adults must be met with suspect until proven otherwise.

 

I work around it and I love doing scouting so I'll stick w/ it.

 

Doesn't mean that I have to like it.

Doesn't mean that I won't work towards trying to inject some common sense into the mess either.

 

Dean

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DeanRx, you make a lot of good points and I agree largely with what you say.

 

I'll just add. . . there are too many lawyers!

 

On top of this, perhaps the weight of women is being felt in these things. Years ago, postmen would carry heavy leather bags of mail. Now post people carry lightweight bags. I mean by this that women are changing our views of personal safety, adjusting standards along the way in many areas. Or at least, it could be a factor. Something to chew on.

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When all else fails blame the women.;)

 

Seriously has anyone noticed a change in the Scouts themselves? At our camp the first time campers traditionally took this long hike up a small ridge where they could look down and get a wonderful view of the camp and the surrounding area. As time has gone by fewer and fewer campers have been doing this. At times the medic calls it off because of extreme weather. Leaders have grumbled that when they were kids they always did it anyway no matter what the weather. The medic (a guy) said that with all the allergies and asthma around these days kids are just a lot 'sicker' these days and it was just best to be cautious. Its kind of sad...it was almost a rite of passage for some of the young scouts. I would hate to see it discontinued.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(This message has been edited by elfdream)

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DeanRx

The thing you need to realize is that in both the examples you gave the problem was not one of BSA rules but a matter of the lack of courtesy and the training or lack of training that the leaders you came in contact with exhibited.

 

Tap-outs were replaced by call-outs about 15 years ago. While that is long enough that scouts no longer learn about tap outs you would be amazed at the number of adults who still harken back to they youth and still try to do Tap-outs in the OA ceremonies. And while doing tap-outs certainly is a problem, simply calling them tap-outs is simply a generational thing and does not require a correction like you experienced.

 

The OA flap thing is similar in a way. Were the Scouts correct about what proper uniforming is? Yes, they were. Should they have corrected you? Not unless you asked, or unless you were telling someone the wrong information. But you were simply wearing a patch that you believed was proper to wear. No harm, no foul. And certainly nothing that the BSA tells people to correct others about. There are no "uniform police" in Scouting.

 

As far as the two deep leadership at the outhouses, the leaders saying that were wrong. They either misunderstood the BSA training, or they were improperly trained. The is no way to really tell which it was, I can only tell you that they were wrong about the rule.

 

Two-deep leadership is about the adults needed for the overall unit activity or outing. The approriate 'safe-guard' during the activity or outing is "no one-on-one adult/youth contact". One adult walking two or more Cubs to the latrines is in keeping with that rule.

 

Going back to your concerns in your original post...being told you should not wear a patch, or that having another person misunderstand the two deep leadership rule does not in any way prohibit you from teaching young people to be self reliant or good leaders. Do not think that because other do not know or do not follow the BSA program that you can't unse it and be successful in achieving the goals of Scouting and have the scouts you serve have a great time in scouting.

 

My point here is that your complaints are not with the scouting program, you are being frustrated by leaders who do not know, or who misuse, the scouting program. I heartily agree with you that such behavior can be VERY frustrating.

 

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Yah, I think da "tell others what not to do" thing is an at times annoyin' subculture within the BSA. We have to remember that we cultivated, selected, and trained those trainers and people who go off da reservation like this, eh? I suspect they've seen that style of leadership over and over again, so when they get in a position to tell somebody else off or frighten 'em, they do.

 

It's certainly present here in da forums, eh? I wasn't goin' to comment on this thread, but then I looked at the last post in the canoe thread where some folks ding the Original Poster for violatin' G2SS by havin' pack paddling outings. Mind you, the original poster never said they had any pack paddlin' outings, just that they were lookin' forward to doing very easy paddling with the troop as they crossed over (troop trips, I might add, that sound like they'd be more appropriate for a pack in terms of difficulty ;) ).

 

It just feels so good to tell someone else that they can't do that, eh? :(

 

I reckon dat's the culture DeanRx is talkin' about. It's not reflected in the BSA's position or program materials, but it sure does show up an awful lot across the country, from pros to volunteers. Personally, I think it comes from a lack of commitment to SERVICE to others, and failin' to keep the notion of friendly, kind, cheerful service at the forefront of our minds and our conversations.

 

Doesn't matter whether we're right or wrong, eh? No unit-level cub paddlin' or no wearin' an inactive lodge flap is right, needin' two-deep for the latrine is wrong - but it's the attitude of chest-thumpin' rather than service that hurts the program in both cases.

 

Beavah

 

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It's a matter of balance.

 

There are times when it is appropriate to share what "can't be done". Certainly in a training situation is one of those circumstances. If no one said what the don'ts were, or at least told you how to get accurate information as to what the don'ts were, then when you found out that what you were doing something wrong you would say "well I went to training and "they" never told me I couldn't do this". So you need to be informed, but there needs to be a balance.

 

Most BSA training courses are predominantly "how to" in their design, and definitely the training for the trainers stress teaching the "how to" and not the "how not to" for any skill or topic.

 

But with trainers just like with unit leaders, what you teach them to do and what they actually do are not always the same. But that is a difficult thing to control at any level and it makes the selection process for all adult volunteers in scouting all the more important.

 

Take Youth Protection training. The training itself is prinarily "how to" protect youth and "how to" react to and report concerns.

 

Very little of it is about "what not to do" when it comes to interacting with youth. However, in the hands of a bad trainer it could quickly become that.

 

It returns again to the difference you will encounter between those who know and use the BSA program correctly, and those who do not know it or misuse it. As an excercise, review the BSA's youth Handbooks and the adult Handbooks and you will see they are written in a very positive "how to" and not a "Don't do" manner.

 

The same is true of all the BSA training courses. The experiences you have had DeanRx are unfortunate but the examples you have shared thus far were not caused by the BSA program, or by people who followed it.

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Come to my council Dean, we still do TAP-OUTS just like back in the day

 

Know-It-Alls can take out all the fun and as you experienced ruin what can be an opportunity to excite the fire in the eye of a young Scout. Sad. The only way to try and head off that kind of crap is to not rely on others to know what is acceptable or not, but that just reduces the chance as you would have no way of knowing all that as your focus is on CS right now. Education and training is the best answer so that you can combat their ignorance. But more importantly, it puts you into a position to balance the KIA (like that?) with some reason do YOU want this kid to pee himself while we have this ridiculous discussion? Think about it and we can talk more on our way back. A perfect YP problem is coming home from a campout and theres always that one kid left that M&D arent there to pick up. Youre there, and it better be with another inconvenienced adult or another boy, usually your own poor kid. Be careful in how you deal with that and how you decide to take your chances.

 

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"Ahh the "good old days". There are more things for a scout to do today then there were in the 60s. Communities have more resources now then 40 years ago, technology has made more adventures available to more people of less skill than was available 40 years ago."

 

Technology has made adventures on the internet available to American youth. Skiing at a resort. Organized rafting down a river. COPE courses. All great. Yeah, sort of. . . .

 

What abut the primitive way of doing things. Sledding down the big hill on garbage can lids. Swimming at the pond. Climbing trees, swinging from ropes, exploring caves, building go-karts, punching contests, all the fun stuff.

 

My depression era father may have done more with less than I did but my kids are doing less with far more than I ever did.

 

Yep, it's our fault. We bought the video games or allowed them into the house. We buy the cell phones and computers so they can text and IM their friends rather than go over and visit in person. We organize every minute of their days (day care, school, after school day care, baseball, karate, learning center . . .) to make sure that when they have free time that they have no idea of what to do with it.

 

The world is a big and dangerous place and we aren't doing anyone any favors by being over protective. Bully? Don't worry, I'll go to the park with you and protect you. Don't talk to strangers? When do they see a stranger since their parent is always with them? So when they are finally out on their own, they're fair game for any fast talking con man.

 

 

 

 

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"Sledding down the big hill on garbage can lids. Swimming at the pond. Climbing trees, swinging from ropes, exploring caves, building go-karts, punching contests, all the fun stuff."

 

The fact is that except for the punching contests none of those other activities are prohibited by the BSA. Ann the punching contest isn't actually prohibited just the the last punch where a scout inflicts a ophysical injury on another person.

 

And that's part of the problem DeanRx. there are people both in and out of scouting who by their own lack of training or misunderstanding of the program will lead you to believe that these activities are prohibited when they really aren't.

 

 

 

 

 

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