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Lem

Lem is dead, baby.

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I think part of Lem's problem is that he was involved in CS in the 1970s. So #1 he was involved in a program that didn't give you the excitement and adventure of Boy Scouts, just a taste and usually with dad. Secondly, most people will admit that the "urban" scouting of the 1970s was a dismal failure. heck that's why they brought Green Bar Bill out of retirement to write the 9th ed. of the handbook in 1979. To improve the program. So Lem really has no experience of true scouting, but opinions from 30 years ago during an acknowledged low period of Scouting.

 

Another thing is that as the new CSE has stated in interviews already, the BSA got out of the publicity business 20+ years ago and it has hurt us. That's why the BSA is about to go on a publicity blitz for the next 2 years to celebrate our centenary.

 

I also think some of the professionals out there have hurt us. They concentrate so much on numbers and money that they forget WHY we are here: for the youth. Let's face it we've all heard of units that exist only on paper. That really affects our growth.

 

Personally I think Scouting is the best thing since sliced bread. My 5 yo has visited me at camp a few times. I took him camping in the backyard and he loved it. Now he keeps asking me when can he go to the local scout camp. Further he said he wants to take me camping for my birthday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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I know this is off topic, but can someone tell me where I can find out more about the "urban Scouting of the 70's"? That is the era which produced many of the Scouters I'm dealing with here. I've already discovered that most of them understand Scouting to be what they experienced, and whatever that was, it's not what is found in the manuals or B-P or elsewhere.

 

It would help me a lot if I could get a clear picture of what sort of Scouting they experienced.

 

GaHillBilly

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GA,

Best thing to do is get a copy of the 1970's handbook and then a copy of the 1979 handbook written by GBB. While there are some similarities, the outdoor sections of the 1979 ed. completely outdo the previous ed.

 

Growing up I heard stories of my cousin's expereinces in scouting and got a my brother's handbook from the period. I read that book and couldn't wait to be a CS then a BS so i could do someof the things. While CS was ok, when I got into BS and got the GBB handbook, I was in complete awe at all the cool new stuff inthe book. It really got me going. It's over 25 years since I got my brother's copy of the handbook and I haven't looked back.

 

On a side note, My oldest is pumped up to be a TC next fall. Already can't wait to camp at the local scout camp, and is pretending we are at the camp in our back yard. I gave him a copy of the 1990s HB and he has been carrying it around, looking at the photos and drawings, and asking his mom and I questions about what they are doing in the book. Already had a 30 minute discussion on some of the stuff the scouts were doing and he can't wait. If scouting is dying, then my name is Mudd.

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So what are the numbers like know? Are there any trends? Have there been real comparative studies of the habits of boys joining organizations across the board- and why? Should BSA hire a Zogby to poll Americans to get some intelligence?

 

Personally, I'm kind of an upbeat guy. I didn't vote for Obama- and I still think he has and had leftist leanings- but I am wishing him and us the best. Maybe MY name is mud. From all my limited experiences with the scouts and scouters from childhood and today, I have to say I see a pretty weak program. But then again, I think I just might not "get it". My boys were thinking about looking into Civil Air Patrol or Young Marines in our area. They have an interest in military things and technology. Our daughter has a friend who is a Young Marine Master sergeant. Pretty impressive girl. Who knows, maybe all of our kids might end up in the same program.

 

I don't know how you judge success in a program without actually having measures. GoldWinger said that the kids he sees at troop meetings don't want to be there but would rather be playing video games. My question is, after 4 or 5 years of cub scouting and a few years of Boy Scouting, how come so many scouts still have piss poor manners, don't want to wear the uniform, and bully kids? Could it be that real education is not happening? Could it be that the program of scouting doesnt really value follow through? Could it be that holding out camping and outdoor adventures as the promise of scouting is not good enough?

 

Why dont scouts enforce manners and courtesies- especially since it is embedded in Scout law? Are yes mam and no sir odd old fashion conventions? Should scouts say excuse me to scoutmasters when they want their attention? How are the scout laws actually enforced- or are they not really laws- but more or less suggestions- ask Captain Jack Sparrow would say. Why are there no protocols for customs and courtesies for how scouts should speak and behave in relation to superiors and inferiors? And if the scoutmaster is not seen as a superior- what does that say about the pedagogy of this program?

 

If BSA could actually provide Americans with hard cold statistics and show results from scout training and experience- maybe they would be a persuasive voice in youth issues. But as I see it, it is all window trimming and a bunch of middle aged guys who want an excuse to get out of the house for a weekend and justify it by saying it is all for the boys , honey.

 

I don't buy the osmosis argument. Hitler Jungen camped too. Heck, most aboriginal cultures technically are camping as a way of life. Being outdoors and camping and hiking is not enough to instill the scout oath and law in boys. Boys need to have a structure of authority they can count on. They need to demonstrate obedience and a willingness to follow before they are capable of being leaders.

 

I still think that the model of scouting is flawed because no one takes seriously the structure of rank and chain of command. It is a silly committee run club with no tangible mission.

 

And why do I attend this forum? Because I care deeply about the issues that BSA espouses to specialize in.

 

Jeff

 

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>>I think since the oath and law are usually only words to memorize and not necessarily applied in the actual methods of scouting- as is clearly evidenced in the Lisabob affair (bullying breaks about half of the scout laws and the oath), then really what the oath and law serve to do is sell scouting to mom and dad and the CO which is now usually a church.

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"Why are there no protocols for customs and courtesies for how scouts should speak and behave in relation to superiors and inferiors?"

 

One of the three Aims is Citizen training and as a member of a Representative Republic, I don't see anyone as a superior nor an inferior and I don't think Scouts should either

 

PS, the Scoutmaster is not to be seen as a superior, rather a trainer of the leaders of the troop the Senior Patrol Leader and the Patrol Leaders Council(This message has been edited by oldgreyeagle)

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"but can someone tell me where I can find out more about the "urban Scouting of the 70's"?"

 

Get a hold of the literature from that time. All the Boy Scout manuals from the time were done in a puck green/yellow color style.

 

In particular, look for the 8th edition of the Boy Scout Handbook, the 6th edition of the Scoutmaster handbook, and some of the other, smaller, pamphlets of the time, in particular look for a small pamphlet entitled "Improved Scout Program" (#6525). Others are the "Cornerstone Guide" (#6533), which was the adult training guide, and "Patrol and Troop Leadership Handbook", which was the only thing for PL and other junior leaders to use.

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Lem, I think you are seeing the negative just from hanging out on this board. I dont believe I have posted a single problem about my troop here. Yes we have problems. But it would have to be a very serious problem for me to search for an ansewer here. And it would have to be a problem me and my fellow ASMs and our Scout Master would not have a clear cut answer to.

 

But my troops problems are pretty common, how to get a specific boy involved, how to get one to clean troop gear after taking it home from a trip. Common problems.

 

My boys are mostly polite, I dont see any bullying, harrasing or out and out nasty behavior.

 

I know you are saying I probably am are missing something, but I have a unique position in the troop I dont have a boy in the troop. Never had, dont even have a son, just a daughter.

 

Oh and as far as watering down scouts. I have a saying and all my boys know it. "You are not special."

 

They all know this means the rules apply to them equally. No one in the world really cares for them except thier family and friends. The rest of the world could care less about them. They are not special. They may be individuals but they are not special.

 

That is one of the problems I see with the world today. Too many people think they are "special".

 

And you know something, I have not had a single parent ever complain about me telling little Timmy, that he is not special.

 

The numbers in my troop, it keeps growing, lots of backpacking, canoeing, white water rafting, cold weather camping.

 

 

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I gotta disagree with you Old Grey Eagle.

No 11 year old boy is an equal with any adult. He is their inferior in nearly every sense. There are natural stations whether you are living in a republic, and oligarchy, or a tribe. Respect manifested by courtesy in speech and action is the hallmark of civility. Children who do not know their place are obnoxious. Tolerance and a blind eye to bad or no manners is a disservice perpetuated against children every day in schools, BSA and at home.

 

Special respect shown towards the elderly, the veterans, doctors and other professionals like judges and the police, current men and woman in the military, politicians, all warrant special treatment and a higher degree of courtesy.

 

I think the BSA gives short shrift to this and lip service to its laws and oath.

 

 

Jeff

(This message has been edited by Lem)

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"So what are the numbers like know? Are there any trends? Have there been real comparative studies of the habits of boys joining organizations across the board- and why? Should BSA hire a Zogby to poll Americans to get some intelligence?"

 

Actually, the BSA does do surveys, done by Harris Research. The most recent of these are actually on the National website. http://www.scouting.org/media/research.aspx Some of the recent ones have been:

 

Values of Scouting (2007)

Values of Americans: A study in Character & Ethics (2005)

Volunteer Outcomes Study (2003)

Summer Camp Outcomes Study (2001)

A Year in the life of a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and Venturer (1998)

 

"My question is, after 4 or 5 years of cub scouting and a few years of Boy Scouting, how come so many scouts still have piss poor manners, don't want to wear the uniform, and bully kids?"

 

And how many of the have poor manners? How many of them bully kids? I bet its a lot less then you think. Sadly, there will always be kids who just won't learn. Doesn't matter if is school, church or scouting, they aren't reachable.

 

"Why dont scouts enforce manners and courtesies- especially since it is embedded in Scout law? Are yes mam and no sir odd old fashion conventions? Should scouts say excuse me to scoutmasters when they want their attention? How are the scout laws actually enforced- or are they not really laws- but more or less suggestions- ask Captain Jack Sparrow would say. Why are there no protocols for customs and courtesies for how scouts should speak and behave in relation to superiors and inferiors? And if the scoutmaster is not seen as a superior- what does that say about the pedagogy of this program?"

 

There are a lot of problems in your thinking here.

 

We don't have 'superiors and inferiors' in scouting. A scoutleader should be more like an older brother or an uncle, not a 'superior officer' or the like. As a scout leader I really don't care for 'yes sir' or 'no sir' nonsense. I am a brother scout, and so actually would prefer to be addressed by my first name (just as an aunt or uncle is). The Scout Law and Oath are NOT to be enforced in the way you think. We hold them out as a standard we want the kids to work toward, as B-P intended, but its not to be 'enforced' like a civil law.

 

"If BSA could actually provide Americans with hard cold statistics and show results from scout training and experience- maybe they would be a persuasive voice in youth issues."

 

Actually, we have. And every year we produce a report on Scouting for Congress.

 

How about taking a look at what the OA just did last summer called "Arrowcorps5"?

 

"I still think that the model of scouting is flawed because no one takes seriously the structure of rank and chain of command."

 

There IS NO structure of rank or chain of command!! If you think that, you have NO IDEA what the model of scouting is. Have you bothered to even picked up B-P's own "Scouting of Boys" or "Principles of Scoutmastership"?

 

"Boys need to have a structure of authority they can count on. They need to demonstrate obedience and a willingness to follow before they are capable of being leaders."

 

You are looking for military training/leadership, which isn't what scouting is all about. You have a serious flawed concept of leadership. Most modern concepts of leadership reject the ideas of needing 'obedience' and 'authority structures' as necessary for becoming leadership. These ideas are NOT what are emphasis or even talked about in leadership concepts such as Situational Leadership, Servant Leadership and the like. And many organizations that emphasis leadership don't speak of that. I can say that Toastmasters, which also teaches leadership doesn't talk about such ideas, nor will you find that in church and civic groups.

 

 

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Yeh, I guess BSA is going the way of a lot of "movements". But letting a kid call you by your first name? Buddy, you can count me out. It is democracy run afoul of reason and experience. A kid should not be your "friend", or your "brother", or your "uncle". He should be a "kid" and you should be an "adult". The problem becomes that you as the adult have to pretend that you are less then you are in respect to the child, and the kid gets to pretend that he is more than he deserves.

 

It is totally whacked.

 

 

 

Jeff

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Well then Lem you would like my troop, no first name for adult leaders. Mr. or Mrs.

 

But it just goes to show you different troops, different ways.

 

And before anyone assumes we are a troop of marching, drill and cermony, my kids hate that stuff, as do I.

 

Well we did have a Precision Lawn Chair Platoon, but that is another story.

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Every unit is different. For example, in my troop the adults were called Mr. Joe, Mr. Mike, with very few exceptions. Notably the doctor, the priest, and those gray area scouters 18-21 who grew up in the troop. I was alway addressed by my last name.

 

Now the OA in part of the woods is a little different as we are all brothers who undergo the Ordeal. No matter if you are a 16 yo Vigil Honor member or a brand new 43 yo Ordeal member, we are all brothers. Most of us in the OA have some nickname that we use based upon something we've done with in the OA. We use those for both youth and adults ONLY at OA functions.

 

Why do we do this. For one the OA is a youth run society, more so than many troops, and we emphasise that it is THEIR organization to run, with the adults going along for the ride and to advise when needed. For the most part these are dedicated young men who may need a little push or encouragement, but for the most part don't need alot of help.

 

Another reason is that it emphasises the ties of brotherhood. that's on OA think you can never understand until you undergo the Ordeal, ease the burden from your brother, or kept the Vigil.

 

And yes another reason is that some of us do enjoy being kids again. Heck when I am not in a leadership role fro an event, I am probably the biggest kid myself. I crack the jokes, do some funny stuff with the kids, etc. But the kids also know that when I need to stop soemthing, there si a reason for it and do not question it.

 

One thing I've had commented on, and have observed since i picked up on the comment, is that some of the best leaders are not the stuffed shirt martinets that I've seen some insome leaders,. but the ones who take the time to know the youth, and sometimes act like kids again. And the Boys do pick up on it. One of the best example I nac give is a retired USMC col. who is cutting it up with the kids at OA activities. Another outstanding OA adult leader who was just recognized as suchlast week in my area is another retired Devil Dog..

 

 

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Lem, long ago I was getting ready for a basketball game at a "Friends" school, you know, like the one that Chelsea went to. The scorekeeper, a student said to me, "I'm Becky, what's your name." To which I responded, "I'm Mr. Winger." She said, "What's your first name? At this school we call all the adults by their first names." I said, "My first name for you is Ref. You can call me Ref or Mr. Winger." Becky was a bit miffed. The AD was close by and told me that she was a bit surprised by the custom when she came to the school but it worked there. The kids were all respectful, polite and helpful.

 

I'm not in favor of kids calling adults by their given names or even nicknames. Call me old fashioned but that is the way that I am. If if works for others, great but don't expect me to go along.

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