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Are things really this bad?

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I have a terrible problem with looking outside the box on a lot of things and without getting too involved in 83Eagle's post, I noticed that every statement started out with "The problem..." I understand that the point being made is to show the dichotomy of our threads and how everyone doesn't think the same way. I happen to think this is a good thing.


But there are always "those" people tend to look at the negative side of everything. Instead of seeing all the opportunities to get a deeper understanding in the complexities of Scouting, it is phrased as a "problem". I know that wasn't 83Eagle's intent, but at first glance that's what I saw. Why is it that human nature always gravitates to the negative!


It reminds me of the hold adage: "I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pi$$ing everyone off is a piece of cake." There's way too much truth to that statement!


And when all the dust settles, it's always nice to know that however tough my problems in scouting are, there's always someone else in a deeper hole than me.


So, for me things really aren't all that bad. I still look forward to each week's scouting activity and I'm trying to figure out how to get the boys out for some winter stuff now!


Your mileage may vary,



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I think the greatest attribute of these forums is the classic free exchange of ideas such that the best ones float to the top. And in the end, everyone gets to make up their own minds.


I found this site fairly early on as a Scout leader and will admit I learned far more from this site that from official BSA sources. While any number of you are saying to yourselves, "that explains a lot," let me make a couple points.


First, this place isn't for woosies. Slogging your way through the free exchange of ideas to find the nuggets requires a grounding in the principles of the program and a little bit of smarts. And don't believe everything you read on the Internet.


Secondly, BSA does a remarkably poor job of telling folks what they really need to know. Basic training is really designed to keep your and your Scout Executive off the 6 o'clock news. You will NEVER go to a BSA meeting where the sort of free-flowing, rough-and-tumble exchange of ideas such as this is encouraged. Scout professionals and Roundtable Commissioners are scared to death of them because they always devolve into **** sessions -- just like this one. So they throw the baby -- and the ideas -- out with the bath water. The loss there is the ability of experienced Scouters to share those experiences in an honest way with the newbies. Early in my career as a Scoutmaster I ran into a rather dicey situation with a Scout. I sought and received some very good help and advice from a veteran SM in a nearby troop. Some time later, I took a supplemental training class on the same topic from this fellow. It was a complete sellout, totally down the company line and 180 degrees from the advice I was given privately. Here your get the full story, warts and all.


I'll also note that one of the reasons for the negativity is that many folks will come here with problems when they either don't know where else to turn or because of the anonymity the site offers. This frequently involves airing of dirty laundry you're probably not going to see at you typical Roundtable.


And anyone who thinks the level of discourse here is unscout-like really needs to checkout some non-Scouting sites. I think we are remarkably well behaved. Although the site is designed for adult scouters, I would be perfectly comfortable with any of my Scouts reading over my shoulder. Where else on the Internet will you see an adult include "h-e-double-hockey-sticks" in a post?

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I think that discussion is great and criticism--that is, an argument based in critical thinking--is helpful. My point is that it's all too easy to get mired in the negative, and too quick for points of discussion to turn into giant B&M sessions.


And I cant help but wonder, if some people have the time to write, quite literally, page after page of points and counterpoints to virtually every topic that comes up, couldnt those countless hours be better spent actually working to effect the change they're looking for? This is, after all, not some empowered councilits the electronic equivalent of hanging around the water cooler.


Second, I did mention that I was drawn to this site for the idea sharing. And to that end, there have been some bright spots to be sure. But unfortunately, there have been many instances where new (and proven workable in the field) ideas and honest questions are met with the attitude of You cant do that, Why reinvent the wheel? or even Why in the world would you want to do that, you knucklehead?


Its a bit off-putting, to say the least. I will tell you that I have refrained from posting ideas and questions, and responding to the same, because I just don't want to deal with the snide, the sarcastic, or the SHOUTING. It's like there's a competition to see who can find the greatest number of faults or best cite the details of G2SS or whatever.


I know that to some extent it's just the nature of anonymous electronic discourse, but nothing sucks the joy right out of an idea that you're excited about than to be whomped upside the head with a big dose of "can't-do" attitude.


Twocubdad said it best:


this place isn't for woosies.


And that's actually pretty sad.

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Yah, 83Eagle, I reckon it's always best not to cast your pearls before the swine, eh? ;)


Seriously, if yeh treat your ideas as precious pearls or an extension of yourself, then bringin' 'em to any internet forum, or for that matter to any similar sized group, is just goin' to cause you pain and suffering. Or at least joy-sucking. Precious pearls yeh keep locked up at home and bring out only on special occasions when yeh feel they're "safe."


I do a fair bit of collaborating with other professionals, and it's pretty normal when someone puts together a draft for it to come back in pieces, with comments all over it and counter-arguments and whatnot. It's hard to take, especially for newbies. But that's what happens in committed communities of people who know a discipline well. The result is yeh understand where your argument is weak, where it needs revision, where it might have challenges that need to be addressed, etc. And that's what's precious, because it makes your idea stronger and more workable (or saves yeh the time you'd spend on somethin' that really wasn't workable). That give and take helps get the best outcome, eh? And isn't that what we want, really? Whether we're working in our profession or volunteering to serve kids.


Now, I hear yeh in terms of tone, and da endless rules/book quoting. But then not everybody is deeply familiar with da program materials, and havin' someone bring 'em up is actually a real service for those who aren't. I'm well known for jumpin' in on da opposite side any time somethin' seems to strident or forumulaic. Just part of my own experience and training. And of course we have our more aggressive characters here too, with strong personal views. Yeh get to know 'em after a bit, and if yeh can't deal with an occasional rant about da evils of Woodbadge, then there's always the squelch feature (which sorta works... ;). And we have our frequent posters, from fellows like me who pick up a lot of ideas to help different troops to others who just use da forums as a break from their day job. Don't knock 'em; no online forums survive without frequent posters, because they keep da responses flowin'. And many folks here are workin' lots of hours IRL at da unit, silver-tab, or yellow-tab levels.


So I'd say, go ahead and post your ideas, questions, and thoughts, if yeh want feedback and more ideas and a chance to improve on da outcomes you could get on your own.


But only if they're not pearls, eh? Yeh don't wear your fine pearls on your chest in this sort of informal, workin' crowd. ;)





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acco40 - you forgot the flipside. No matter how good an idea, someone here will trash it..


You just have to post your idea and count up the yeahs & the nays to see if it passes.. Or possibly pick up some suggestions & tweaks to improve on the ideas.

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Hey, I don't expect to be mollycoddled, and I certainly want to know when I am doing something wrong. I'm just saying that among the hobbyist type forums I belong to this one is, by far, the most brutal, and I'm not talking about just the issues and politics side.


Maybe the next time before you (the generic "you," not anyone in particular) hit the "submit" button, you might want to do a quick read to see if your answers contain phrases like "REALLY???!!!" or "Well, you ARE aware that XYZ specifically prohibits ABC, aren't you," and other stuff that just isn't necessary to get the point across, and certainly doesn't fit with the whole "courteous and kind" thing.


Oh, by the way, Beavah, I don't think my ideas are any special "pearls," nor do I think I'm any better than the members at large...I usually agree with, and always enjoy, your well-reasoned posts, so I'm going to assume that choice of phrase was not meant in condescention toward me.


But this has really gotten OT, which is in part my fault for continuing down this path. My original point is that it's easy to fall into negativity about the Scouting program itself based on the complaints and problems that are aired here. So, as has been said, it's good to remember that "all scouting is local," and just "do your best."

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Excellent, excellent post no. 1, 83Eagle!


You have summed it up perfectly!


Yeah, sometimes a lot of argument for argument sake, but not as much as I saw during my brief sojourn on the MyScouting.org forums in late '09, and the emails I see fly by on scout-L are often pretty ugly.


As to that acromony, we used to advise visitors years ago on a tie-dyed music site: "Do Not Feed The Trolls!!" ;^)

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So in a concurrent thread, SeattlePioneer is asking about activities for Webelos and mentions specifically that his district is trying to involve Webelos in a Boy Scout district camporee.


Barry, EagleDad, mentioned that doing so in his district just about killed the camporee as the Boy Scout activities got watered down to a Webelos recruitment events. I asked if SeattlePioneer is aware that the Guide to Safe Scouting prohibits Webelos from camping at Boy Scout camporees.


Do I understand you feel that was inappropriate? What would you prefer we kept quite if favor of more positive feedback? How could we have communicated our concerns in a way more acceptable to you?

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Funny thing about ideas..lamebrained and all. It all depends on who's ifdea it is and from what angle you view it.


I remember reading about a guy with alame brin idea once. His name was Christopher Columbus.


Another twop lame brains were the Wright Brothers.


Now it's just as common for somebody to fly around the world in a jet as breath air.



I've seen people stick with and pursue "lame Brain ideas" and end up with spectacular results that changed the way alot of people think and feel.


To many of us are just against doing something different for the sake of it being different!

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I don't think stating rules is what he is saying don't do, or is in poor taste.. I believe he is stating it can be stated without a high & mighty attitude, or in some way that makes the OP feel that they must be complete idiots for not knowing that rule in the first place.


Such as..


Good example: Just in case you are not aware.. Guide to Safe Scouting prohibits Webelos from camping at Boy Scout camporees. Some of the reasons for this are .. A) B) C)


Bad example: That is a ridiculous idea!!! G2SS specifically prohibits Webelos from camping at Boy Scout camporees. Why aren't you aware of that!(This message has been edited by moosetracker)

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Yes, I thought that discussion (which I feared to tread into) played out in a very civil fashion . . . like moosetracker notes, it was more of in a "did you know" vein than a shouting vein. And it included some good commentary for the issues at hand.

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Oh, by the way, Beavah, I don't think my ideas are any special "pearls,"

I'm going to assume that choice of phrase was not meant in condescention toward me.


I think Beavah just making a general point. Not only should you not cast your pearls before swine, you also shouldn't cast your costume jewelry, or pretty much any item of clothing, or much of anything else. I think the rest of us on the forum should be more offended that Beavah is comparing us with swine :-)


It does take a little bit of getting used to, that whatever idea you post, it will get criticized. I think this is one reason why we don't get as many positive stories. The other reason is that people tend to post more about what isn't working than about what is working.


I'd like to hear more positive stories, and I'd like to see a happier tone - but I will say that things are better now than they were away-back-when. It seems like there's very little moderator editing required these days, but it used to be much more common. I know this doesn't really help...


It's a good reminder from time to time for people to post about how they are finding the negativity of the forum. It's a good chance for all of us to consider things as we proceed.



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Are things really this bad?



Most of us do what we do because we enjoy doing it.

If we didn't we more than lightly wouldn't keep on doing it.

Being around a group of young Lads who are having fun and at times even learning something tends to make even the most miserable old goat smile.

Part of the problem might be? That many of us Forum Members, at times feel we have to have an opinion.

Even if deep down what is being talked about is something that we really couldn't care less about.

Of course there are some of us who want never ever to miss the opportunity to hark on about our pet peeve. -Whatever that might be.

Some of us are not as good at accepting change as maybe we should or ought to be and to this end we hark on about how much better things were in the past.

This might or might not be true? I know a good many people who think or at least say that the best times were living through the Great Depression or when they were in the armed forces during WWII.

Now and then some of forget that not everyone who posts here is not as deeply involved as we might be.

This happened a while back.

Someone, whom I took to be the mother of a new Scout asked a very simple question about the correct positioning of a patch.

What followed was a discussion about who should or should not be telling her son where the patch should go and an even longer discussion about who should be sewing the patch on the kids uniform.

All the poor Lady wanted to know was where to stick that darn patch!


At times the best thing to do is just take plenty of NO notice.


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Hello Twocubdad,


Personally, I thought warnings about other district's experience with Webelos at Camporee were entirely appropriate, and were welcomed by me.


I'm not the Camporee chair. I'm merely trying to support his program by aiding in promoting participation in Camporee.


In my enthusiasm to do that I was promoting the idea that Scouts who are now Bears would officially be Webelos on June 1st and eligible to participate in Camporee. Because of the points made, I contacted the Camporee chair and asked him if that's what we wanted to do or did we want to limit Webelos participation to those currently 1st year Webelos who would be 2nd years Webelos at Camporee.


He decided he wanted to limit participation to 2nd year Webelos, and that's what we will be promoting.


Perhaps that's an example of how critical comments can help refine program plans.

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