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skeptic

Is It Just Me??

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As I have reviewed the various postings recently, I am struck by how often it appears that we seem to have a lot of people that can not make a decision based on what they reasonable interpretations of what is written. This is similar to the syndrome that youth appear to have regarding attempting something because it seems logical or possible, without looking for direction or approval; what I perceive as a fear of making a mistake or being perceived negatively.

 

My imagination? Or is this something others notice?

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I hear ya.

Many times when a person asks for a ruling or a fact about something, he gets lots of opinions (and that's fine on other topics when opinion is what's asked for) when what he's asking for is an answer. The current POR subject is an example. Nobody has supplied an example of a POR for an adult. To me, that means the answer is no. If someone has an example, then bring it. Otherwise it's just a bunch of maybe and could be. It's not an answer.

I'll give you and answer: no.

Now, prove me wrong.

BDPT00

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I am constantly amazed. As a long-time Scoutmaster, I made a lot of judgment calls, some better than others, but I never worried over interpretation of requirements. Of course, there were a lot less of them in those days and no G2SS. :)

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I think that the current questions regarding new requirements is late but valid. It's an interpretation question, but it deserves a high-level answer ... not just an opinion by a district advancement chair or a DE. There should be a clear answer, so that units don't handle the requirements differently. How they do them is fine, but knowing what the requirement means is another. They're good questions, and they should get factual answers.

BDPT00

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I've not yet studied the new requirements, but honestly I don't think that question would have occurred to me. Thinking about it, I'm scratching my head over who is going to track the different examples over time. "Let's see, Jim. You used Helpful, Loyal, Brave and Reverent for Tenderfoot and Trustworthy, Friendly, Clean and Courteous for Second Class. For First Class you have to use Kind, Cheerful, Obedient, and Thrifty."

 

I just don't want that level of organization in my life.

 

More to the issue, I think, is that many folks are accustomed to a certain level of precision which you're just not going to find in Scouting. In many cases, BSA makes things fuzzy to accommodate variations through a national volunteer organization. Often this is intentional. From a liability standpoint, very precise policies are only going to serve to hang volunteers.

 

Plantiff's Attorney: "Mr. Smith, BSA policy specifies that Scout axes should weigh no more that 1.85kg with a Rockwell hardness of 65. What were the specifications of the ax in use at the time of the accident?"

 

To make matters worse, there has always been some level of internal contratdiction among the BSA documents. The Internet has greatly compounded that. All the tertiary web sites, FAQs and training modules seem to be written several derrivations from the actual policy documents. Anyone care to define "active"?

 

It can be tough for folks in professions with exacting standards of precision to learn to loosen up roll with it. But after all, it's just Boy Scouts.

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I come to this board for answers from leaders who have been in scouting far longer than me. I am in the midst of troop leaders who also have been around scouting far longer than I and being in the positions of CC/COR I want to be armed with the best ammunition I can muster when I am approached with a problem from one of these long involved scouters. It does not hurt to be informed. I have been able to use information I have learned here in situations that have been thrown at me in the troop. Thanks.

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I don't think the people asking the questions here have a hard time making decisions, I think they are just trying to be better informed before making them. It use to be I would call the Council help line or my U.C. to get a question answered. Now I might ask here too, put all of the information together and make a decision. Its certainly not the fear of making a judgement call or being perceived negatively that prompts me to ask a question here. Besides I thought that was the purpose of this forum, to share ideas and information.

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It gets hard. There are way too many ways to interpret the requirements.

 

When I make a judgment call as the SM, there are always a handful of parents who tell me I'm wrong, but they don't want to offer much help.

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Skeptic,

 

Clearly you are referring to my posts, and I'll take that as a personal attack on my own ability to interpret and act on advancement requirements and national policies. I've spent too many years devoting too much time to Scouts and Scouting - as Den Leader, Cubmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, and Advancement Coordinator - to put up with that kind of crap.

 

I thought that this forum was a place to ask questions and discuss opinions. If those on this forum feel that my comments and questions are silly, immature, or an indication of some lack of ability to make a decision, then this isn't the kind of forum that I thought it was, and I've got better things to do than to waste my time here.

 

 

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Whoa here folks. Take a deep breath and quit being so defensive. If you feel that you are being attacked somehow, I apologize; but that was not the intent. But, you very well may be substantiating my question, as being so thin skinned that a simple question upsets you is part of the problem. In most cases, you can do what seems right, and move forward. If your decision is not seen as correct, then you simply weigh the criticism and adjust or decide you are right with your decision.

 

There is nothing wrong with asking questions, but many individuals seem to ask the question before even making an attempt to understand or simply make a rational, logical interpretation. Again, I see this is kids in the classroom. They will not even try to do a problem without help, or answer a question without coaching. It appear "almost afraid" to make an attempt, because "someone" will criticize or they will be wrong.

 

That is certainly not the example I want to portray as a leader. And I see this way more often than I would hope.

 

 

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Kenk,

 

I have been active on these forums for sometime now although recently I haven't been actively posting. Mainly because of the comments of others that were (IMHO) direct attacks against me. I simply did not have the time to deal with what I thought were necessary defenses of myself. I realize that it is only a few that do that, but a few rotten apples will spoil the whole lot. I guess I say this only to let you know that indeed it is only a few or maybe one; I don't know the details in your case. I suspect that most of the people on these forums are the kind of people you'd want to have as a friend. I have learned a lot from these forums which is why I still hang around.

 

Thanks for your time as a Scouter and the difference you make in the lives of Scouts here with me in Northern Illinois.

 

ASM59

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I have a friend who feels that every alternative idea or difference of opinion constitutes a "personal attack". It makes it difficult to have a real conversation.

 

We have only one forum member that regularly attacks others; the other one got himself suspended.

 

I too see a lot of what Skeptic has related.

 

Yeah, there are rotten apples in the world, but that is not what spoils the bunch. It's those other apples that quit and don't stand up against rottenness.

 

(this message is not a personal attack)(This message has been edited by FScouter)

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Waaaay back when I worked as a bus driver, I would "occassionally" meet with a passenger who was convinced that I was the "worst driver this side of the Potomac" or some such and they would delight in telling me so. Since I knew I had some of the best training available, had been asked to help train other drivers, had VERY few accidents in the preceeding years, and even had a few complimentary letters in my work file, I felt comfortable in responding "I'm sorry you feel that way". I would then turn back to my steering wheel and drive on... If it seemed appropriate, I would agree with them and suggest that for their own safety, the next time perhaps they should consider waiting for the next bus.

On one occassion, when the malcontent passenger (thankfully not the same person every time) presented herself, another passenger told her to "shut the --- up, sit down and enjoy the ride!" In that case, she did. I remember smiling and... driving on.

One time, after a passenger had 'told me off', I noticed that each time I approached her stop, she would step back from the stop and motion me to pass on. Three weeks later (!), she boarded my bus, said nothing as she paid her fare, and rode all the way into the terminal. When she disembarked, she apologized to me for yelling at me before. She rode my bus and smiled at me every time she boarded after that. And I smiled back.

If I had taken those opinions of my driving skill "personally", it would not have been a pleasent job, my attitude would have made it very unpleasent. It was my attitude that changed the situation. I considered their opinions (about a second!), and then went on.

 

Thin skins are promblematical, but better to try to be good at what you do, be willing to accept some "feedback" that is given in good spirits and work to include folks in what needs to be done. There will always be folks that think they can drive the bus better than you, just make sure you have the training, easy on the brakes, tell them where you're going, and maybe sing alittle as you go.

 

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All together now -

The wheels on the bus go round and round ...

 

This message is not a personal attack.(This message has been edited by FScouter)

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FS one of my favorite songs...

 

I guess it also depends on where you got your training...

 

I always said that I had the very best license Kmart had on sale. :-) "blue light special"

 

AND remember Bob the Tomato..."It's for the kids"

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