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Lem

Lem is dead, baby.

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It is funny, but the only thing that stuck in my crawl about Lem in the movie was that he was called Lem by the kids. It just didn't sit right for me and the Mrs...

 

Again. How do the 12 laws get uniformly applied? Are their guidelines as to what are the common courtesies? Should a scout's fingernails be untrimmed and filthy? What about hair length, or body art and piercings? What about body odor? What about foul language? What about the standardized method of speaking to adults? You would think that that would be the first thing- wouldnt you? This is what we mean by courteous- and give an example of how an adult should be addressed.

 

But it seems here that the scouters are not in agreement as to what is the courtesy of speech. OK. What is the standard of clean? Or the standard of bravery? Or helpful. And good golly Miss Molly- it seems that you guys really got a problem with obedience. If you cant get an animal like a horse to obey a command, then it is considered worthy of the petting zoo or the glue factory- it is a feral beast. If you cant come up with a standard of what obedience is, then why include it in the scout law. From the sound of it, it seems that BSA has done an end run around the laws and obedience by insisting that the highest law is the patrol method and the will of the patrol.

 

A standard is just that- standardized. If you have a system where we can all agree on nice words like leadership, and the 12 laws and the oath, but are hard pressed to find common goals and outcomes as to what a clean scout is, or what common courtesies are, then what the heck is a uniformed organization supposed to do?

 

I guess I really do have a problem with the idea of youth lead if the youth are in charge as to the theme, the standards of appropriate conduct, the interpretation of the scout law, etc..

 

Jeff

 

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Lem I get the feeling that you really do not have an understanding of "youth led" at all. That's understandable; I have found that there are plenty of folks in scouting who don't seem to get it (or want to) either. But, your criticism rings false because no one is equating youth leadership to a sort of anything-goes, Lord of the Flies, atmosphere.

 

As for my son's troop (and egads, the "Lisabob affair???" not sure I like the feel of that!) while there have been some bullying issues and one of the boys involved was a PL at the time, there are also boys who've been through the troop with whom I have been deeply impressed. Currently four of our recent graduates are actively serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan and another is preparing to do so. They certainly have my regard, as do most of the other boys in the troop. The fact that there are some bad apples is unfortunate but let's also be clear that the time a boy spends in scouting is far outweighed by the time he spends with his own family. And in the few cases of boys who I really don't appreciate very much, no surprise, I happen to think they have messed up family lives and I'm not too impressed with their parents either. Expecting an hour of scouting each week to outweigh the time spent under other influences is not realistic. About the best thing we can hope for is that some boys who have bad influences in other parts of their lives will at least recognize, by contact with caring adults in scouting, that there is another way to act. It is hardly going to be a miracle cure though.

 

The larger issue you bring up is one that I think might be worth considering - what sort of adults are attracted to, and brought into, scouting these days? What are their relative strengths and weaknesses as a cohort? We discuss that from time to time on the board when we talk about building real outdoor skills, which most adults no longer have from daily experience. Or when we talk about the over-protective nature of raising kids in today's society and how that makes it harder to pursue "youth leadership" within a troop. Or when we talk about the atomization of community and the decline in volunteerism in general. That's all worth discussion. Your tangential points though, strike me as way off base and drawn from a lack of experience or understanding.

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My tangential points being?? I thought I was being very congruent!

 

It seems you just tried to suggest that it is everybodies fault but BSA- when I was actually discussing that BSA scouters on this site can't even agree what the scout laws should really mean or how they should be manifested concretely.

 

You didn't address the quesions I asked or the points I made- you just said that I am disqualified from making cogent assumptions about scouting. If that is true- why comment at all to my posts?

 

Jeff

 

 

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Lem wrote: It is funny, but the only thing that stuck in my crawl about Lem in the movie was that he was called Lem by the kids. It just didn't sit right for me and the Mrs...

The way I see it, is it depends on the people involved.  If the adults want to be formally addressed, then that is what courteous means. If the adults prefer to be called by first name, then that is what is courteous. 

Again. How do the 12 laws get uniformly applied?

They don't.  IMHO, a lot of this works like what U.S. Law used to work. It depends on community standards.  The scouts, IMHO, are a confederation, not a centralized organization.  Much of the way things actually work are based on community standards.

Are their guidelines as to what are the common courtesies? Should a scout's fingernails be untrimmed and filthy?

That is clearly not clean.

What about hair length, or body art and piercings?

As long as the hair is clean, and the tattoos and piercings are clean, it shouldn't matter.

What about body odor?

Clearly not clean.

What about foul language?

Clearly not courteous, nor reverent (and often not cheerful)

What about the standardized method of speaking to adults? You would think that that would be the first thing- wouldnt you? This is what we mean by courteous- and give an example of how an adult should be addressed.

IMHO, an adult should be addressed as they want to be addressed.  Until that knowledge is made clear, adults should be addressed Ma'am/Sir, and Mr./Mrs./Dr. so and so.  I have a good friend who's a Catholic priest. He would be annoyed if a parishioner started calling him Father Smith vs. Father Joe. 

But it seems here that the scouters are not in agreement as to what is the courtesy of speech. OK. What is the standard of clean? Or the standard of bravery? Or helpful. And good golly Miss Molly- it seems that you guys really got a problem with obedience. If you cant get an animal like a horse to obey a command, then it is considered worthy of the petting zoo or the glue factory- it is a feral beast. If you cant come up with a standard of what obedience is, then why include it in the scout law. From the sound of it, it seems that BSA has done an end run around the laws and obedience by insisting that the highest law is the patrol method and the will of the patrol.

I don't see the problem with obedience that you see.  The thing is, the Scoutmaster isn't a "master" of the Scouts.  The Scoutmaster should be more of a teacher and advisor. 

 

A standard is just that- standardized. If you have a system where we can all agree on nice words like leadership, and the 12 laws and the oath, but are hard pressed to find common goals and outcomes as to what a clean scout is, or what common courtesies are, then what the heck is a uniformed organization supposed to do? I guess I really do have a problem with the idea of youth lead if the youth are in charge as to the theme, the standards of appropriate conduct, the interpretation of the scout law, etc..

Community standards determine "clean scout" or "common courtesies." 

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Gee Lem, we had a president who wanted to discuss what "is" is, and you want to take us for task for not having a specific definition and criteria of each point of the scout law?

 

hey Goldwinger, define for us what a strike is and if its called exactly the same on every pitch and in every game for every umpire, Or perhaps what constitutes a basketball foul and is what constitutes a foul the same on every play and in every game for every ref?

 

I would bet most people respond to your posts because they assume you are searching for explanations to your queries, Scouters are like that, sometimes we get taken advantage of, but most would rather err on the side of answering than not. if this is for your amusement, thats on you, if you truly want to know, we all will try to explain it. But each of us have our own sphere of experience and we may not be able to explain it to your satisfaction. I have a separate set of experiences than the aforementioned Goldwinger who is different than, well you get the idea.

 

No, the BSA is not an organization of cookie cutted out automatons (much to my chagrin at times)but if we were, I am sure somebody would take us to task for that as well

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Lem,

Have you ever traveled across thsi great country of our? if you have you will notice that every region will have it's own customs and traditions in referecne to courtesy. For example when I was in TX and LA, you had people nodding hello all the time. Wher eI'm at now people actually tell you hello. Up north where I visited, people just made sure they didn't run into you.

 

So it is with scouting. I can't quote the book sicne I don't have it in front of me, but it does have a good definition. It is HOW it is applied to your area that causes the differences. Scouting is not like team sports in which there is a definitive set of rules, coaches to mandate how things are goign to be done, and referees to observe and make sure thigns are doen according to the book.

 

Rather scouting is a game that while it has a few things set in stone, Oath, Law, G2SS, etc, how you APPLY the program is open to what the charter organization, who actually owns the unit, and the scouts, who should be running the program interpret the Oath, law, etc. that is why there is so much variation in the program.

 

For example I've been in 1 pack, 2 troops and 1 Ship as a youth. As an Adult I've been in 3 troops, 1 post, 1 ship, 1 crew, and 3 district committees and served as a volunteer, DE, and national council employee in a total of 4 different councils. I can't tell you how many variations of the program I've seen over the year. But are they all Scouting? YES

 

Then Lem if you want me to throw a curve ball, let's add in all the intenational troops and Scouters I've meet: Canadian, British, Finnish, Croatian, Russian, Swiss, German, Irish, Dutch, Belgian, Japaneese, Czech, Phillipino, ad nauseum. I say that b/c I been to Canada with the Scouts,worked at two international camps in Europe, been to a world jamboree, and worked an international encampment at my old council. In scouting there are so many possibilities of doing things, that it is virtually endless.

 

But no matter where you go in the US or the World, no matter the minor differences in the oath, and law from country to country, the purpose of scouting it character development. I think that is the difference between scouting and organized sports.

 

Now in reference to Young Marines and JROTC, which I also have experiecnes with, oneof the key differences was the fact that while with JROTC the NCOs and officer did have some responsibilites, it was usually the SMI who determined the activieis and who was doign what. While the cadets executed the activiities, the adults did the planning. And just the opposite happens with the BSA, or at least that is how it's supposed to be done.

 

As I stated before Lem, don't let your 30 year old notions of CS affect your view of Scouting. CS is nothing like the BS. Further the program has changed since your breif tenure as a CS.(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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If any part of a pitched ball passes through the imaginary box which defines the "strike zone" while in flight, it is a strike.

 

A common foul is illegal contact which hinders the normal offensive or defensive actions of an opposing player. Technical fouls, intentional fouls and flagrant fouls are different beasts.

 

Pretty simple, eh? Compared to the foul in basketball, a strike is easy. Try explaining to a new coach why a bump at the mid court line isn't a foul but a similar bump three feet from the basket is a foul.

 

Are they called the same by every ump or ref? Not hardly, it varies from league to league and conference to conference. Should they be called the same all over the place? Sure but we're human and the expectations are different in different places. Should we strive for consistency within our expectations? Sure but as officials we are held to a different standard than players or coaches. As an official, I was expected to be right 100% of the time and even a 1% drop was cause for criticism. However, if a baseball player bats .300 he's doing pretty good.

 

Differing standards for different groups. A brave Marine might quail at the idea of running into a burning building and a brave firefighter may well not want to charge down a street under fire.

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The Scouts in our Troop love to camp - so we camp alot, every month except December, but they still want more. Video games? They'd rather camp! And with camping comes the need for Scout skills like fire building, cooking, orienteering, and knot tying among plenty of others. And to make the camping trips happen, they become leaders because they have to do the planning, organizing, and logistics. To make it all happen, they have to deal with the financial realities of fund raising and activity costs. They learn to be leaders by teaching, motivating, and guiding other boys. And through all this, they learn that the Scout Law is the absolutely best way to get all this done.

 

We spend our months preparing for camping trips, cleaning up from camping trips, evaluating camping trips, and then doing it all over again. By doing this month after month, as well as learning through rank advancement and merit badges, these boys become leaders. They become men.

 

I've been an adult leader in our Troop for nearly 10 years, Scoutmaster for most of that time. By observation I have concluded that Scouting works better than anything else these days to give boys what they need. The fact of the matter is that teenage boys need to play with fire and knives and throw things. They need to exercise, explore, and eat. Scouting is where they can do that. No where else.

 

 

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LEM said I don't want to be a scoutmaster for the reason that I have indeed found this organization to be way too flawed and strange for me or my boys. And I probably wouldn't make a very good scoutmaster anyways. I am one of those guys that just doesn't get scouting as it is today.

 

As I stated before, you never got really got BOY SCOUTING, only CUB SCOUTING, since you were never a Boy Scout. While the purpose of character development is identical in both programs, the application of methods is different. Trust me there is a world of difference between the two programs, and I've found it's harder for the CS leaders moving into BS leaders to make the transition, than the scouts. Our role as Boy Scout leaders is to mentor, advise, and train the scouts to do their jobs, not tell them what to do as is the case in CS.

 

I am sorry you feel that the program is too flawed for you and your boys and hope you do find an organization to your and their liking.

 

 

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Gee Lem, maybe you want to read what I wrote again.

 

You queried how the Scout Oath and Law are put into action and why we see boys who have been in scouting for some years, still behaving in ways that are not consistent with the ideals in the Oath and Law. I answered by pointing out that many, probably most, boys do try to live up to those ideals and they become fine young men, but that for boys who have a lot of negative influences elsewhere in their lives, it isn't realistic to expect an hour a week of scouting to "fix" that. But who knows what ripple effect scouting might have, even on the worst-behaved boys. Maybe eventually the light bulb will go on for them, perhaps years down the road, as a result of their scouting experience.

 

You queried whether scouting was attracting the "right" sort of adult leaders. I acknowledged that this is a topic that is really important and sometimes problematic. I agreed that we need to (and do) talk about some aspects of this matter.

 

As for the tangential stuff - yes, I think it is tangential to get to whether we allow boys to call us by our first names. I don't. Others do. In my son's troop the expected behavior is that boys will address adults in respectful ways, which includes using last names in most cases. Other troops are different. But I don't think that has a lot of direct bearing on whether or not the Oath and Law are being followed.

 

And no, I don't think you have a good grasp on what youth leadership is supposed to mean, probably as a result of the fact that you haven't been involved in boy scouts, ever, and it is a tricky concept even for those of us who are involved. Done poorly, youth leadership also isn't pretty. Done well, it is surprisingly powerful in a positive sense. I've seen both. Read the boards here for a while. Although there are many examples of youth leadership done poorly and resulting in problems, there are also a fair number of examples where it is done right and with great results. But you also have to understand that the ideals in the Oath and Law, and youth leadership as well, are ideals and they are somewhat fluid too. There is no one-size-fits-all definition to most of them. So I think that criticism is a bit off the mark.

 

As for the BSA being "at fault," well sure there are things I think the BSA could do a bit differently. Effective advertising of its program is one. Better skill training for leaders is another. You know what though? At the end of the day, BSA Inc. does not run the local troop - local volunteers run the local troop. And I have seen this work incredibly well, and also seen it flop, depending on who the local volunteers are and whether they're willing to follow the outlines of the program as provided by the BSA (which work reasonably well most of the time, when followed).

 

And finally, you had a lousy cub experience. I'm sorry to hear that. I can assure you that when I was involved as a leader in cubbing, it did not resemble craft time. Before making a decision for your boys based on fleeting experience 30 years ago, maybe you want to actually look at the current cub program and visit some local packs to see what they do. Some of them, no doubt, are struggling and might not be what you want. On the other hand, some might offer a really exciting program that your boys would enjoy. Like I said, BSA Inc. doesn't run the local program - local people do. You just might be surprised.

 

 

You asked, I tried to answer from my perspective. So you didn't like my answers. That's unfortunate for you, but I don't see how that warrants your response.

 

 

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Kraut 60: Not to worry. It matters not who Lem is or where he metaphorically comes from. It just helps keep us focused.

Being asked to defend or explain one's faith does not detract from it, it can only make that faith stronger, else one doesn't really have that faith.

I find great agrement with Lisabob and others here. I have observed that many wish "THEY would do something about it."...Pick an 'it'.

Trouble is, WE are THEY. Even as the man said, "all politics are local", so too "all Scouting is (are?) local".

 

Apply ye the ""Program"" the best way thou canst...

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Just back yesterday afternoon from a weekend in tents in the cold Michigan woods. Down near 10 degrees Saturday night. Ten boys and five adults went. None of the boys are more than 13 years old.

 

The boys did great. No whining about the cold, no crying, no "I wanna go home". Instead, they took a five mile hike on their own with no adults. They went horseback riding. They went exploring in the snow covered woods. They did the cooking, not the adults.

 

These young men were outstanding in those cold circumstances. They left the woods yesterday with a whole lot more self confidence than they started with. And I guarantee that will carry over into everything they do. It will set them apart from the video game playing couch potatoes at school. My own son is proudly wearing his smokey smelling red wool Jac-shirt to school today. You know, the one with a Philmont Bull and the Scout Symbol on the pocket. Afraid to say he's a Scout? Apparently not.

 

Every outing like this brings these boys closer to being the kind of men this country needs. Are they perfect? You gotta be kidding. Sometimes they are lazy, and sometimes they are disrespectful. But LEM, if you ever dare compare one of MY boys to a horse that needs to go to a glue factory, you'll have a fight on your hands. I have tremendous respect and love for each and every one of them. And you get what you give. Sure, the boys call me Mr. Ken. They know that is our tradiion. But they know they are likely to have a question answered with a "yes, sir" from me. Respect is a courtesy for all because we care about each other. Not out of fear.

 

We have heard LEM whine and fuss about us for days now. Many of us have spoken about how Scouting is still a valuable and viable program. We have talked about our love for the boys and our willingness to put untold hours into this program. I guess it might be fair to ask LEM just what he has done to help solve the many problems he sees with young people today? What have been your efforts and personal results?

 

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"It is funny, but the only thing that stuck in my crawl about Lem in the movie was that he was called Lem by the kids. It just didn't sit right for me and the Mrs..."

 

And again, why? We address aunts and uncles by their first name. (certainly in my family and in most families I am aware of). As I noted, maybe not so in cub Scouting, but in boy scouts and certainly into Venturing, the adults leaders are more like older brothers/uncles. I'd rather be addressed as "scouter michael" (which I've seen done in other troops) then as "mr xxx". If the scout/venturer isn't comfortable with addressing me by my first name, so be it.

 

And, did it seem the scouts didn't respect Lem? Think about that.

 

"How do the 12 laws get uniformly applied? Are their guidelines as to what are the common courtesies?"

 

We go over the scout laws, but again, not in the way you seem to think. We are more 'gentle' about it. Usually we point out at the end of the meeting a little point about one of the scout laws. Keep in mind that the scout to 'do their best to obey them'. That's what we expect, that they do their best.

 

"Should a scout's fingernails be untrimmed and filthy? What about body odor?"

 

Most of that should be taken care of by their parents. Who taught you about these things? If the scout's parents are failing to do so, then, yes, a scout leader may take a scout aside and talk to them about this.

 

"What about hair length, or body art and piercings?"

 

You're in the 21st century. Society has changed. Hair length is no long the issue it was back in the 60s/70s. Body art has become less an issue, but kids can't get it done without a parents' permission. Same with piercings. Hate to break it to you but long hair, tatoos and piercings don't indicate a person is bad.

 

"What about foul language?"

 

Most scouters will say something to a scout who does so.

 

"What about the standardized method of speaking to adults? You would think that that would be the first thing- wouldnt you? This is what we mean by courteous- and give an example of how an adult should be addressed."

 

Note: there IS no standardized method of speaking to adults.

 

It's all going to depend on the adult and the area. Don't think that because people don't says 'yes, sir' and 'no, sir' that they aren't being courteous. I prefer being addressed by my first name. That's how we address everyone at work, in my fraternity, and most other groups. I'm working with high school & college age youth, so have no issue with being addresses as such. If they aren't comfortable with that, its a non-issue with me.

 

"But it seems here that the scouters are not in agreement as to what is the courtesy of speech."

 

Because it depends on the area and the person, as we've pointed out. Again, THERE IS NO STANDARD!!!

 

"it seems that you guys really got a problem with obedience."

 

No we don't. We just don't think our scouts should be treated like inferior people or robots.

 

It's you who has some misguiding concepts of 'obedience'.

 

"I guess I really do have a problem with the idea of youth lead if the youth are in charge as to the theme, the standards of appropriate conduct, the interpretation of the scout law, etc.."

 

They aren't. But we've found that when they have ideas of appropriate conduct, etc, they are usually HARDER then the adults. Go figure.

 

As others have pointed out, YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT SCOUTING IS!!! You've created in your mind a fictional concept of what scouting is, and since the real thing doesn't match, you critise. That's a mistake. Since it seems you have NO FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE of Boy Scouting, or Venturing or anything else about scouting, you have little to stand on.

 

 

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