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I was a Scoutmaster for over 33 years. Along the way, I got involved with the District Camping Committee, in order to better organize our District Camporees. Over the years, our camporees had become very boring, so I got involved. Themes and their associated stations became more exciting and challenging. I directly advised this committee in improving the Saturday night campfire programs. Troop participation increased. I wanted our Troop to want to go to these camporees and have a great time. We did. I was also asked to work on the District Training Committee. I did.


So, even though my primary responsibility was as a Scoutmaster, I wanted to help the District improve its programs that would directly benefit our Troop. I wasn't looking for it. But around 15 years ago, I was honored to receive the District Award of Merit from a great bunch of folks I have grown in Scouting with. GOBN ? Depends on your definition. A great group of Scouters, YES. I don't like labels.



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I understand sst3d, but here is the tone of a few responses:


>>But in my corner of the world, a lot of prestige seems to be assigned to fellas who haven't been on a camp-out in decades, have only a flimsy connection with a unit of boys, and come across as merely trophy collectors looking for the next bead and bauble. Now this assessment isn't global, but there is enough of it out there to rub me the wrong way at times.

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Hmmmm.... The issue isn't the resume, it's the GOBN....


I have served as SM for SM Fundamentals. (Council-wide)

I have served as the only trainer for Webelos outdoors for many years. (Council-wide)

I have done my share of Cub day camp "volunteering". (Council-wide)

I have done my share of camporee "volunteering". (District)

I have done my share of teaching at University of Scouting (working on a doctorate at the present) (District)

I have held MC, ASM, SM, and CA positions for 20 years. (Unit)

I have been instrumental in starting over 40 new units over the years.

I currently serve in a unit that was on the verge of collapse 2 years ago and now have solid numbers and a growing program.

I can't remember the last Roundtable I missed.

I can't remember the last District event I missed.

Totally surprised that I was selected for leadership at the National Jamboree.

Totally surprised that the two 3rd ASM's (18-21 yr. old ASM) (Council has two contingents) are both from my units. I was more excited about hearing that than getting selected myself.


However, I haven't done the more visible jobs like FOS for the district which usually locks up Silver Beaver in our council. I don't hold committee positions that let me rub elbows with the GOB's directly.


If given a choice of "hanging with the boys", the boys I would chose would be those under 18 years of age.... :)


Just heard a week or so ago, that one of my boys just got nominated for "Boy Scout of the Year" Award for the State of Wisconsin by two different organizations.


Nope, gonna die in the trenches... Everything else is smoke and mirrors.


I don't want to be perceived as "bashing" the District Award of Merit, it just isn't as important to me as one of my boys getting recognized. I'm only saying that unless one is prepared to run with the big dogs, it may be a while before it ends up in your backyard. That process is in no way reflective of the award, just those awarding it.




If it's boy-led, then I'm just along for the ride.... :)

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My impression and opinion of the GOBs was formed years ago at my first post-Ordeal OA weekend, when as a member of the cook crew I observed a group of perfectly-uniformed, mostly overweight, middle-aged men sitting on the dining hall porch chatting away the whole weekend. One of their number smoked some awful-smelling cigars in direct violation of camp policy. Not a finger was lifted by this group the entire weekend to help set up or clean the dining hall - but by golly, did they ever scramble when it came time for the patch auction on Saturday night!


Yes, there's a time for fellowship, but service also comes in there somewhere!

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Eagledad, by "these awards" I mean awards in general, with the requisite formal dinner, should go primarily to people that serve at the troop, crew, pack, and ship level.


Many adults serve both district and their unit faithfully over the years, but are often overlooked for DAOM, etc. The awards seem go to the newbie/1 or 2 year-experience district-only types, or they'll go to the long-term district person who is more interested in what's happening at the district, and is either indifferent or antagonistic towards unit-level stuff.


Concur with your observations about nominations and the limiting factors thereof. In my day job, I'm responsible for executing my wing's recognition program, and I see similar issues: no submission for deserving folks; submissions for marginal performers that don't deserve any recognition; poorly written nominations that in no way give due credit to the contributions of the nominee; nominations that are out-and-out lies; and the list goes on.


Root causes are the same: poor publicity, unclear deadline, confusing nom process, ill will from the past about perceived snubs, too much paperwork, indifference, you name it.


In all cases, proactive, impartial leadership is the key to fixing it, and a sound respect for the men and women in the trenches.


It is easy to get jaded regarding any kind of recognition program...emotion and ego can get the best of even the most mature person.

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So now awards equal GOBN?????? I can see it happening. FOS=Silver Beaver????


Awards, WHO CARES???? Not the reason I am involved, my fun-o-meter is not related to the bobbles on my shirt.


Most, if not all of the Silver Beavers I seen awarded where NOT deserved. Same goes for the district award of Merit. Those are Symbols of the GOBN.


Been to a District Award Dinner??? It is about the District Commissioners Awarding each other. They look completely stupid at best, our district is in shambles.


I have said it before, I don't need a silly knot or medal to enjoy myself. I enjoy each scout and adult for what he brings to the relationship. When it stops being enjoyable I will quit.


I may view receiving one of these awards as my being a failure. I will base my success on one of my scouts introducing me to his scout son at some point in the future.

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As a former long time Scoutmaster, I've really enjoyed being able to concentrate on my advising the OA Chapter Ceremonial Team. We were at a Troop meeting last week for a Call-Out, and I recognized the Scoutmaster as a three beader Woodbadge Staffer who tends to step on toes alot around the District. He didn't know me, so when I introduced myself, he looked at my uniform checking for patches and knots. I'm proud of my Scouting career for the experiences and fun, but I don't wear any of the stuff on my uniform. Call me lazy I guess, I used to try and keep up with moving the stuff from shirt to shirt. I got tired of it. Like I said, I'm a bit lazy.


Anyway, I then realized that this guy was the former Scoutmaster, and has been for over a year. He still had his patch on his uniform. I met the real Scoutmaster, as he was the one I was looking for in the first place. To some folks, all of these awards and recognition are important. To some, it's not. And to some, being very active in a unit's program, these awards and recognitions just kind of happen. No reason to discount them. I respect everything mentioned here.



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"Those are Symbols of the GOBN."


Oh, please. Cry me a river.


Our District Committee is made up of volunteers, many of whom have earned the DAM and/or the SB.


These GOBs give up a Sunday afternoon every month to sit on EBORs for district Scouts.


These GOBs recruit the Day Camp directors to make sure the District Day Camp is held.


These GOBs make sure the Webelos Woods event takes place.


These GOBs make sure the District Pinewoody Derby takes place.


These GOBs put together the training team to offer SM Fundamentals twice a year.


These GOBs put together the training team to offer Cub Leader training.


These GOBs coordinate School Night for Scouting events at local schools.


The GOBs recruit Roundtable leaders to make sure monthly Roundtables are held.


They do all this for little more than a pat on the back. They don't get the reward of the gratification of the Scouts that those individual unit leaders do, but realize the work they do helps to make that happen, down river. If awarding them a knot or a medal, usually after years of thankless dedication, makes them part of some evil GOBN, then so be it. For me, my hat is off to them for the work they do.

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Not cryin a river, I could absolutely give a ......... about awards


Just stating an observation.


We don't have a district pinewood derby, District Cub Day Camp, District Webelos Woods, District Coordinated Scout recruitment night, District Camp outs or camporees, District Cub or Scout leader training. We do have a round table that is pathetic, Basically popcorn info and FOS presentation. They did a antidrug presentation last year, and one guy showed a power point of his philmont trip. They do hand out the calendar of council events. I do enjoy the cookies and coffee.


But every year we product 5 or so District Merit award winners and Two silver beavers. The District commissioners continue to award one another year after year. AND FOR WHAT?


Most, if not all completely undeserved based on the status and performance of the district.


So you stand back and ask "Basementdweller, why don't you step up and help make it better?"


Well, I tried and was called a troublemaker for trying to host the first district Pinewood Derby in memory. We were going to charge $1 entry and invite the top 5 cars from each Pack. We were going to run a snack bar and try to use it as a fundraiser for the Pack. It never took place for a couple of reasons including the District Committee making sure everyone in the District knew it wasn't an OFFICIAL District event and not sanctioned. What exactly does that mean anyhow?


Tried to organize a Webelos Woods event for the district and tried to recruit volunteers from the district Troops. None responded, I even tried direct visits to the troops. Our Troop was going to help but we are only 4 adults and two boys over 14. Excuses???? I second guess myself for not pushing it harder.


So our Pack and Troop participates in other districts events and training.

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Just seems like different perspectives based on different districts/councils is all this is. Sounds like BrentAllen has a district that does alot due to their district volunteers, and Basementdweller does not.


My district is in disarray, but I could still see handing out awards to the hardworkers who try. At least we don't have voleenters that try hard, there is just not enough of them. So rewarding them for putting in the effort when it would be easier to throw in the towel, seems deserving.


Basementdweller, your efforts would be so loved by our district. In fact, due to the lack of district volunteers we ask the units to take turns hosting the events so they can continue to happen, then just help where we can.


That said, do I agree with all those who get the awards. No, like has been said before, there isn't enough publicity about them, and people get the award because they were nominated. There could be 10 others more deserving but no one nominated them. This is more the case though at the unit level, there are units that just don't know about the awards, or that nomination comes from them, not someone with a crystal ball who is looking in on each unit leader and knows who to pick.


I am just starting getting involved in district as my son has aged out. I was never a GOB in the unit, and wont be in district either. I am too quiet. But, I will roll up my sleeves and pitch in where I can. That's good enough for me.

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Thinking about my last post, I am not happy or proud about it. Too much anger. Take the adults out of scouting it would be fantastic, myself included.


Scouting is pure to me and the egos and dysfunction of our district, well make me mad beyond my ability to deal with it. This isn't how scouting is supposed to be......and I cannot do anything to change it for the better.


Scouting is about watching young men grow, share their successes and failures. Show them new experiences and skills. In some cases teach them respect, for themselves and others. Give them an Adult they connect with and Trust, we deal with a lot of Foster boys who are abused, neglected and have trust issues.


I enjoy the friendships, both youth and adult, that have developed over the years of common experiences and goals.


Call it a Good old Boys Network or Club. So be it, would not trade it for anything in the world.(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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Basementdweller, nothing to appoligize for. You were lashing out at people you see as hurting your boys. The normal Papa bear response.


Hurting boys is not just physical or mental. But, you can hurt the boys in our program by not doing your best to make their program the best it can be.


Our district isn't top notch and purring pretty. But those who work there work hard. It is just the lack of numbers that allow us to run well.


But, sounds like your district have people who will stand in the way of someone trying to give your district boys a good program. That is hurting your boys. You have every reason to cuss them out all your want. Because you are standing up for your boys when you do so.


From what I remember from other post of yours it sounds like your boys don't have alot to begin with. If I am not mistaken they are from poor and broken homes, and I believe inner city (?yes?)..


Well if true, these boys deserve the best boy scout program they can get. They don't have much else in their lives. Shame on anyone who would put breaks on anyone trying to do so. So if you don't cuss those guys out enough, I will do it for you.

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A lot of people might say that I'm a member of the "Good Old Boys"

I know I'm not as young as I used to be.

I'm also, without going into detail a "Boy"

So that only leaves the "Good"?

Still working on that one.


While I like to think that I try to welcome and make the new faces I see feel at ease. I have to admit that when I get together with the guys that I've known for a very long time, we do tend to pull each others legs, laugh, joke and of course tell war stories about each other.

I have been around for a while and it seems that most people know me and many have known me for a long time.

I don't think when we get together that we are in anyway trying to be rude or avoid new people, we just know so much more about each other that we have a lot to talk about and share.

Over the years I have picked up a fair amount of knots, medals, beads, dingle-dangles -Call them what you will.

I'll admit that I enjoyed my time in the lime-light. While I know that there are others who deserve as much recognition as I've received and more maybe more so. I have been honored and pleased to accept them.

I have sat on a good many District Award of Merit selection committees and have been somewhat taken back by how few people take the time to fill in the nomination form.

I've also sat on the Silver Beaver selection committee a few times. I'm unsure how many Scouters we have in our Council, but I've never sat on the Beaver committee when there has been more than 15 names put in.

I think at times some of these awards are given to people either because there are so few names put in or because all the "Good Old Boys" already have the award. I think that was the case when I received the Silver Antelope. Just about everyone else on the committee I was on had it already.

I know the only reason I was selected to be a CD for Wood Badge was because I'd been around for a while, knew the other Good Old Boys and these guys had put my name on the list. -Still I like to think that I did a good job.

I would never ever in a million years take anything away from the people who do the "Real Work" -The people who work with the youth. In my book the Den Leader who has her own little ones at home is facing all the trials and tribulations that a young parent has to face and still makes time to be a Den Leader is as close to a saint as I'm properly ever going to meet.

But on the same hand I know some very busy people who just could never have the time to make a commitment to be at a weekly meeting, who still give what time they can and are very generous with their treasure, sitting on Boards and eating over priced not so great dinners.

I think I am a good old boy.

I also think the time is about near when I'll call it a day and make room for someone to take my place. I'm OK with being a "Good Old Boy" but I'm not comfortable being an "Old F!*$ " (The Oxford Dictionary used to say it was a small explosion between the legs!)


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