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Posted by DuctTape on 11 May 2017 - 09:29 AM
Posted by UncleP on 26 September 2016 - 01:41 AM
I am starting to get more hopeful that my nephew will benefit from scouting. He seems to be finding his place in the group. and be receiving the following benefits:
1. He is starting (just starting) to relax more and have some fun like a normal boy. He is finding out that the weekends can consist of more than being quiet while his parents nap their lives away. I think that this is the most important thing for him - having fun. It will keep him from feeling deprived and different, and will hopefully keep him from too much self pity. He loves to hike and the scoutmaster says that is shows. In many ways it is the perfect activity for him.
He no longer worries about advancement. I fact he almost seems to be adverse to it, because he does not want anything to get in the way of having fun.
2. He is learning to be less of an absolutists, and starting to realize that things are not black and white. He realizes his life is still far from ideal, but that he can still try to make his situation better. I told him the old saying "Better to light a single candle than curse the darkness". Before any chances for enjoyment were so few and far between he felt to had to "milk" every opportunity for all he could get (like a man who has been starving gorging himself when he gets to food).
3. He is also learning that in life you have to take the good with the bad. To be honest their are parts of scouting that he dislikes, and wear on him, but he seems to be accepting that he has to put up with them, if he wants the parts he likes.
All of these things are just beginning, but it is like that journey of a thousand miles (starts with a single step). I know their will all kinds of problems and set backs, but I am trying to be very calm and optimistic. I think I was to worried when he started, and I kind of infected him with my stress. Now I am hoping to do the same with good feelings.
Posted by fred johnson on 04 August 2016 - 02:46 PM
Posted by Krampus on 01 June 2016 - 11:07 AM
We spent the two and a half weeks since this tragedy helping the families to heal, to help the troop and friends find a way to grieve and remember our lost Scout, and to find a way to move forward. It has not been easy. We have a support network in place to help the families over the summer as they attempt to get back to a sense of normalcy. We've raised over 30k for a scholarship fund in the Scout's name to help others. The unit is coming up with a way to remember him on our uniform, and they have created a few other things in his honor which will become part of our unit's lore. We have also met with district and council to review the insurance and other programs in place which can benefit the families. Lastly, our council has asked our unit leadership to develop an action plan other unit's can use should they be faced with a similar situation.
I hope you all can enjoy your time in Scouting without ever having to deal with such a monumental loss. However, if you ever find yourself in need of some advice I am more than willing to share how our unit handled and dealt with this tragedy. It may help you determine how you will respond.
Yours in Scouting,
Posted by SCOUTER-Terry on 23 July 2015 - 07:00 PM
The volunteer moderators of this forum do cheerful service, usually just keeping SCOUTER.com organized and enjoyable.
The policy and standard of decorum for participation here has always included (1) acting Scoutlike and (2) behaving as you would standing around a campfire where Scouts and Scouters could gather.
The Issues and Politics Forum have always had greater leeway, because important and interesting issues deserved to be discussed.
The expected change in policy by BSA is a major inflection point (one long overdue in my opinion, though I respect that some may disagree based on their religious beliefs). It's certainly roused activity in this forum, and the Moderators are busy trying to maintain some semblance of decorum.
Here's the standard and direction I will give to Moderators:
- Scouting already decided that every unit must not discriminate, exclude or otherwise harm gay kids. Period. No exceptions. And there very well may be one of those kids in your unit, or certainly reading this forum.
- Scouting seems poised to decide that only religiously-chartered units may choose to not select gay parents or leaders as mentors, and that would take effect immediately (like, next week).
- It is impossible to honor point #1 above while standing around a campfire (or this virtual campfire we call SCOUTER.com) denigrating or shouting angrily into the wind your personal distaste for gay people. It's impossible to honor point #1 while disparaging an entire group of people that may include one of those kids.
As such, I encourage moderators to simply delete posts they feel could violate point #1 above.
If excluding gay adults is something your church sponsored unit decides to do, and a message they want to send to gay kids that might be growing up in that unit, that is up to the sponsor to decide. Similarly, it's now up to the parents and Scouts to decide if they want to stay a part of that unit, or walk across to the street to join or start a new unit.
As for THIS public "campfire", we welcome discussion, and we welcome sincerely held, politely-stated personal beliefs. But we will not be used as a platform that sends denigrating messages to gay kids who may be within earshot. Scouting has moved past that, thank God.
PS - If you dislike my position above, feel free to move on to a different forum (or start one of your own!). If you refuse to follow this standard, be prepared to be blocked from future participation in the forum.
PPS - Thank you, thank you, thank you to the volunteer Moderators, who 99% of the time are doing the thankless task of deleting spam, organizing topics and chasing down bug reports, and for their incredible "moderation", patience and service to our community in just keeping the cheerful spark burning.
Posted by Cambridgeskip on 06 April 2017 - 06:29 AM
So I thought I’d share a fascinating bit of scouting history from this side of the pond, about an impossibly eccentric place called Lochearnhead Scout Station, somewhere I have just come back from. Some of my scouts ae attending a mountaineering course there and I’ve spent a few days on the staff there, mostly cooking, cleaning and maintenance. The life of a scouter is a glamorous one!
Lochearnhead is a small village in the Scottish Highlands which, until 1951 was served by a railway line. The railway closed and the station was abandoned. Around the same time Melville Basille, the County Commissioner for Hertfordshire Scouts, down at the other end of the country just north of London, had started organising mountaineering trips to the Highlands for scouts from Hertfordshire. At the time they would camp but he was looking for a site to have a dedicated building to use as a base for these trips.
After a few recce trips he stumbled upon the old railway station. It was acquired on a lease by Hertfordshire Scouts and later purchased outright and the process of turning it into a dedicated centre began finally opening in 1962. There’s a bit more history on how it developed here. The station buildings themselves have been turned into a dining room, lounge, kitchen and office. Log cabins are on the old good yard and track bed providing accommodation. They’ve maintained the railway theme with lots of rail memorabilia all over the walls, the warden is known as the station master as well! Do a google image search on the place and you’ll see what a weird and wonderful place it is.
There’s a few bits of history though that are not included at the link above.
Melville Basille’s middle name was Nicolson, one of the great Scottish clans and he was descended from them. He arranged for the clan tartan to be officially used by scouts who came to the station and to this day anyone who stays there either on a mountaineering course or on a more general camp can wear a necker made out of it. The Nicolson hunting tartan is worn by the chief mountaineering instructor at the station.
Also at the time the station opened there was a second railway line that ran past the village, just a few hundred yards from the station. The nearest station on that line was several miles away. In the early days of it opening scouts visiting used to have to camp. Special arrangement was made with what was by then British Rail for trains to stop on the line where it was closest to the station to unload the tents and scouts and to walk down the hill. Quite extraordinary and the kind of thing that would never happen in modern times! Especially as the second railway line has itself now closed J
I’ve been there several times and can describe it only as the most eccentric scout campsite of any sort I have seen anywhere. I did both the initial course held over Easter and the advanced course held over a new year as a teenager. You can see some photos from then here including an 18 year old me! Fast forward 20 years from then and although I am a scouter in a different county I have still been able to send some of my scouts on courses there. They are still there now (I had to be back at work today!) but here’s a couple of photos from earlier in the week that I think sum up what the place is like. Two 13 year old scouts at the top of their first mountain in -12C wind chill and horizontal snow. And then back at the station for a well earned brew. The neckers they are wearing are the wonderful Nicolson tartan mentioned above.
The best bit of history is that one of the staff from the opening in 1962 is still there 55 years later. He’s getting a bit long in the tooth to get out in the hills much and instead spends most of his time producing the colossal meals that hungry scouts who have been out in the hills eat their way through. Long may it continue.
Posted by Hedgehog on 03 February 2017 - 09:31 AM
I've read through the various posts and thought that it would be helpful to share my perspective as a Venturing Crew advisor for a Crew with two trangender youths. I haven't seen anyone else post that has experience with transgender youths within the BSA.
Let me start off by telling you that in the Troop and in the Crew, I consider all of the Scouts to be "my Scouts." I get to know them on a personal basis. I truly like all of them based on their positive traits and I truly care about all of them based on their shortcommings. I know there is amazing power that youth derive from having an adult like them for who they are and believe in them.
So let me tell you about my Crew. We've got the muscian and actor who loves backpacking and hiking. We've got the NYLT trained goofball that is my son. We've got a Crew President who is intelligent, atheletic and a complete robotics geek. We've got the similarly geeky friend of the Crew president who loves adventure. We've got a kid who was never in scouting before but loves the outdoors and a sarcastic 9th grader who I've known since around age 6. We have a child of our Troop's SM who is shy and quiet and a child of one of our Troop's ASMs who is intelligent, curious and talkative. We have a Venturer who transferred from another Crew because it wasn't youth-led. We have a Crew member that my son has known since he was six months old, who is good friends with most of the Crew members and finds time for the Crew despite being so involved in activities and academics. Last but not least, we have the really shy Scout (in whom I see great potential) that smiles everytime I tell the Crew that "In Venturing, everyone is a leader." That IS who they ARE. Gender (or gender identity) is irrelevant.
It is all well and good to have opinions in the abstract. But opinions don't matter when you actually meet a transgender kid, especially a teenager. They are like any other teenager, trying to figure out who they are in the world. I often say that every kid needs scouting for a different reason and transgendered kids are no different. The youths in my Crew all need to learn organizational skills, leadership, how to build a fire, how to organize an outing, how to cook as well as the adults, how to pack for a week long backpacking trip and how to grow into an adult.
Do we have YPT issues? No, because it is Venturing and we have a male and female advisor along on every outing. Do we have tenting issues? No, the youths figured it out without any adult interference. Do we have toilet issues? No, most trees are not gender specific and most latrines are singular with doors (except for the latrine from last weekend's outing which had two toilet seats side by side on a bench without a divider -- we all laughed at that one). How does the Crew feel about it? They are a Crew built on interlocking friendships -- to them, they are all just Scouts. How cool is it to have a group of kids that like each other for who they are?
Just for reference, I'm a true conservative having voted for a conservative (not libertarian) third party Presidential candidate because I couldn't vote for a candidate that said "government is the solution" or a candidate that said "I am the solution." I have strong religious values. My conservative politics believes in the power and value of individualism. My faith teaches that we should love one another as Jesus loved us. The Scout Law teaches that we should be "kind."
Each of the members of the Crew are MY Scouts and I can tell you that they are all amazing, unique and good kids. That is all that matters.
Posted by David CO on 31 January 2017 - 12:57 AM
There are no "coed" Boy Scout troops, at least not officially. This policy change does not alter that.
Or, to put it another way, Stosh, the BSA has changed its definition of "boy". Their definition now agrees with yours "only" about 99.97% of the time, not 100%.
I disagree. I don't think this change in registration policy will be limited to the transgender issue. There will be girls who will register as boys simply because they disagree with BSA's boys-only policy.
There will be coed units.
I can't accurately predict how many girls will join, but I'm certain it will be more than 0.03%. I think it is going to be a problem.
Posted by jwest09 on 18 November 2016 - 08:09 PM
Hello fellow scouters! I'm speaking here as a paramedic of 20+ years. I've worked in a variety of settings, mainly on an ambulance in urban environments. I love my job, and credit my involvement in Scouting as a youth with introducing me to this field.
However, I'm continually amazed that the combination of first aid with the BSA always seems to produce armchair lawyers who waaaayyyyy overthink and overcomplicate matters when it comes to rendering the first aid skills which we teach our youngsters. I apologize for my bluntness, but as a long-time paramedic and educator, its become something of a pet peeve to me... but there is a ton of misinformation presented in this thread, and its actually harmful to mislead people in this way.
I could call out each misunderstanding and fallacy communicated here pertaining to Good Samaritan laws, duty to act (or lack thereof), certification vs licensure, "highest level of care," etc etc etc. I'm not going to, unless anyone wants me to. I will reiterate the points which I try to hammer home each time I teach first aid:
1. Above all, keep yourself safe. Traffic accidents are notoriously dangerous, and sadly, each year they claim the lives of professional police, fire and EMS personnel. And we theoretically have training on how to keep ourselves safe, and ample resources to do so. I've personally responded to a few hundred car accidents at this point - they are easily the most dangerous part of my job, and I've had my own close calls. I've had close friends be injured and killed in the line of duty because they were struck by a car while working a traffic accident. Please, please, please, do not put your self at risk. Do not train your Scouts to put themselves at risk. Don't worry about all the legal mumbo-jumbo you don't understand in the first place - if nothing else, please remember to keep yourself safe above all other considerations - even if that means driving away from the scene.
2. Do Your Best to provide first aid that you've been trained for. Don't worry about being sued - seriously, this is quite possibly the absolute most idiotic thing to worry about. Go ahead a use Google or Lexus Nexus or any other search engine to try to find a case where a Good Samaritan was taken to court for rendering basic first aid at an accident scene. You won't find any. So chill out - stop worry about imaginary legal boogeyman, and stop making other worry about these imaginary fantasies! Its irresponsible to continue to spread these myths. We train people - youth and adults - to provide basic first aid because it helps people. So go help people! I can assure you, as long as you are acting in good faith, using common sense, and not exceeding what you've been trained to do, you are in no legal risk. If you disagree with me, please provide concrete references - cite actual laws or actual cases which support your position. Otherwise, please accept that the BSA does not train 10 year olds to perform skills which, if used, could land them in jail. Because that's just hairbrained and I know that you are all smart enough to see through that, if you stop to think about it.
3. Once a professional responder - be it an EMT, police officer, firefighter, etc - arrives on scene, follow their direction. Their #1 job is similar to your #1 job - safety! They need to keep themselves safe, keep you safe, keep other bystanders safe, and finally need to treat any patients on scene. They will do whatever they need to do to accomplish that. Now, most of us have been at this a while, and when we see a Good Samaritan on scene, we will treat you respectfully, and manage the situation positively if you don't immediately take our direction. But, believe me, we will not allow you, ourselves, bystanders, or patients to be placed in any risk, and if that means you need to be removed from the scene, it will happen. Let me address another legal myth that's been presented here - your BSA or Red Cross first aid training does not put you in some kind of legal situation which means that you need to remain with the patient until you're satisfied that a higher level of care has arrived. Even if you are an off-duty EMT, you are not in any kind of legal situation which requires you to remain with a patient if a police officer orders you away. Again, most of us professional responders will continue to accept your help assuming you are not putting anyone in danger - but still, please do not obstruct any of us from doing our job. I hate to see when a good guy who's trying to help, but decided to also try to be an amateur lawyer gets put in the back of squad car for interfering with police/fire/EMS on a scene - but I'd rather see that than see anyone get hurt. So please, do not put yourself in a position where you're trying to be helpful, but are in fact making my job more difficult and less safe - for you and for me!
Regarding the original question that prompted this thread - no, you should not ask someone for ID on an accident scene. Your first aid training carries absolutely no legal status - you're a good guy trying to help someone in need, and so is whoever else is showing up. Please don't train your Scouts to waste time trying to ID people who are likely more experienced.
For those of us who do this every day, its largely a non-issue. I've personally worked thousands of individual 911 calls, hundreds of car accidents. I've worked with bystanders who are doctors, nurses, congressmen, fire chiefs, teachers, EMTs and even Boy Scouts. I've run calls with bystanders and patients who have been drunk, high, hallucinating, armed, combative and just plain old big and scary. If a couple of 11 year olds asked me for ID, 1) I wouldn't show it because I don't carry it with me, nor do I need to, and 2) would handle the situation in a way that the young men would feel proud of themselves for rendering aid to someone in need, and would allow me and other more experienced providers to render aid as well. I think this is true of anyone with even a little experience as a professional responder.
So, long story short, keep it simple. Don't worry about legal mumbo jumbo, 95% of it is made up BS anyway. Focus on your own safety, on rendering care up to your level of training, and being supportive of the professional responders when they arrive on scene. I don't know what it is about the BSA that makes people so prone to overcomplicating this and making up laws designed to ensure that you're thrown in jail for the rest of your life - but that's not how it works, and you should worry about that, and you shouldn't deceive others into worrying about that.
Posted by UncleP on 18 July 2016 - 08:51 PM
Of course their were rough spots, but more good than bad. He earned his merit badge in swimming and took the First Year Camper program. Being outdoors, the change in environment was therapeutic for him. It showed him that the world is more than being quiet for his parents naps. It is amazing what a change can do for a boy.
The rough spots included dealing with the other boys, and the lack of privacy. He is a little obsessive compulsive, so the dirty and disorder got to him. He found the activities harder than he thought.
But even these things were good in my own opinion. He is starting to learn how to deal with people in the real world. He is learning to deal with things that make him feel uncomfortable, rather than just avoiding them. Finally, now that he realizes how hard it is, he is more likely to forget about advancement, and think more about having fun.
PS - I am almost a little jealous of him, and what good he can do for himself.
Posted by Tampa Turtle on 08 July 2016 - 09:06 AM
Just passed his EBOR. (I know we are waiting on national now) I have spoken of him in past. He has a number of disabilities but has been a hardy camper and backpacker. (120 nights/800 miles in scouts) Very old school. The Eagle paperwork was a major challenge for him. Will age out in 6 weeks but because he was held back in Elementary school still has a couple years to go before college.
Said he was 'over prepared' for Board. Was asked question about views of ISIS and Islam (by chance he was prepared for). Scout law most important:Reverent. Scout Law willing to drop:Loyal (his logic was loyalty to something evil is not a good thing, you may need to drop it). As he is 'on the spectrum' his answers were always pretty direct.
I cannot help but flash back to the Tiger 10 years ago who the 1st time he met an Eagle Scout said "someday I'm gonna be an Eagle Scout". *sniff* He did say I made him do it the hard way.
* and a few ladies
Posted by MrBob on 09 June 2016 - 05:13 PM
Posted by Hedgehog on 18 April 2016 - 09:17 AM
Other than for legal issues, grand theft auto, bank robbery, etc. and gross non-adherence to the Scout Oath and Law, what issues would be grounds for removing a scout from the program?
1, Failing to use a dutch oven to cook at least once on a campout.
2. Asking "are we there yet?" on a hike.
3. Washing cast iron with soap.
4. Wearing anything cotton.
5. Leaving their hiking boots to close to where others are sleeping and having a scout pass out due to asphyxiation.
6. Visiting the adult campsite when it isn't an emergency.
7. Taking more than one match to light a campfire
8. Forgetting to flush the latrine or leaving the seat up.
9. Eating off a paper towel because they forgot their mess kit.
10. Using squirt guns instead of hydrostatic propulsion devices on a canoing trip.
Posted by Cambridgeskip on 04 February 2016 - 04:30 AM
Just though I’d share a thought on a couple of members of my troop.
It’s their last night tonight. They are 2 of a group of 4 who will be moving onto Explorers, and these 2 will live long in the memory. You try not to have favourites among the kids that come through the troop over the years but some….. well some just make you smile.
These two are the best of inseparable friends. It’s a boy and a girl. They’re not a couple, despite the ribbing they get off the rest of the troop. She’s PL, he’s APL of the same patrol. He could have made PL, he’s certainly got the gift of the gab to do it and is highly influential among the troop, but they didn’t want to be separated into different patrols so they stayed as a pair.
They are by no means angels. There’s plenty of mischief from the pair of them. There’s plenty of back chat, “banter” and occasional over stepping the mark, but none of it is meant to be nasty. It’s just teenagers pushing boundaries. Besides, scouts would be seriously dull if all we ever got through the door was angels. During a first aid refresher a couple of weeks ago she managed to tie his arms and legs together with bandages without him noticing. One of the funniest things I’d seen in ages!
They have some proper team spirit to them. Their patrol, while by no means the cleanest, tidiest (their patrol kitchen at summer camp…. Oh good grief!) or most smartly dressed in the troop (uniform can be shambolic) are clearly the most tight knit in the troop and properly look out for each other.
Without them the troop is going to be a calmer, tidier, more disciplined place. It’s going to be a lot less fun though.
Posted by KenD500 on 21 May 2015 - 01:21 PM
I am one who agrees with Mr Gates. I am heterosexual male and don't care if you're homosexual, yellow, white, black, or other.
Boys need this program. I will continue to provide it.
Posted by cyclops on 14 August 2016 - 04:44 AM
I disagree, NJCubScouter. The OP didn't provide information that Beavah thought was needed. That kind of information void is (as you well know in these forums) likely to be filled with speculation in responses. Beavah provided as well-reasoned a response as he could given the background he had to work with.
There is another clue that is also available. I think everyone knows that both Beavah and Stosh may seem to be full of themselves at times but both are well-meaning and, each in their own way, as thoughtful as they can be when they offer their ideas. Neither deserved negative votes as a result. Is it possible that there are some very raw emotions at play here, especially when posts don't exactly fit what readers want to read?
P.S. Whoever you are, please feel free to vote this one down too.
On second thought....I ask all readers to vote this one down, WTH. Let's see how negative that number can be....
Posted by Cambridgeskip on 06 June 2016 - 03:43 AM
Wasn't allowed to post this till now... we got involved in with your memorial day this year. There are American Girl Scout at the air base at Alconbury and each year they clean up headstones at the American military cemetery just outside Cambridge in advance of Memorial Day. This year we got asked if we would help them out. Photos here.
We weren't allowed to put anything up until now as the local TV news came down to film it and asked us to embago photos until the piece had gone out!
Posted by meschen on 14 July 2015 - 05:11 PM
Welcome to the forums.
As an ASM, I would not want to tarnish any opinion of the board. So, talk to them after discussing this with your committee chairman (CC).
Then, request that they follow the guide to advancement -- basically that involves the board sending a note to the scout (copy the parents) as to why you are withholding rank advancement, and what he should do to remedy the situation.
After that, call the SM and explain your decision.
I would not be very harsh about this. The boy doesn't understand the difference between helping out of his own free will vs. being compelled. The board needs to teach him. Explain to him that you missed that detail the first time, and would have not considered that truly helpful. But, maybe there are other ways that didn't involve other people making him that demonstrated his helpfulness. You would like him to think of an example where he helped without being required to do so.
There is absolutly no reason to award the patch to someone who you do not think is a First Class scout.
I disagree. Please recheck guide to advancement 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206. Once a Scout has been called and congratulated by the BoR that he has met the requirements for the rank, he becomes that rank. There are no provisions for take-backs a week later in light of new information.
The matter is properly addressed between the the Scout and his Scoutmaster. It should be addressed as part of his requirement for showing Scout Spirit to earn his Star rank.
Posted by DuctTape on 15 April 2015 - 08:36 AM
If the new regulation is as described, I can comply by asking a Scout during a SM conf "tell me about some of the good deeds you have done since we last talked."
Posted by zuzy on 15 September 2016 - 10:07 AM
Hi all, I know I have been absent for awhile and you probably would like to know what is happening with my son. Since my last post, he has joined a new troop, one which meets on Mondays, has like 60 scouts instead of 15, and he fits right in. There are other sports guys in the troop, they have existing Eagles, a couple who are just 13 and 14, so no excuse why he won't be able to get Eagle at 15. New SM asked him if he could get to know him for couple of months and then he would be happy to give SMC and sign his application.
The first two meetings while son was interviewing troop, SM elbowed my hubby and said "why is he here?, why did his other troop not support his Eagle?!" "He is already jumping in and instructing my young scouts on what to do!" He fits right in, when is he going to join? LOL. Hubby said it was son's decison to make. So two weeks later, son turned in his application to join and he actually goes to meetings after a full day of school, 3 hours of football practice, whip home for 15 minutes and has a smile on his face going and coming home from the meetings. SM said he will give him a SMC sometime in October before basketball starts up. SM would like to see son in action at a clinic they hold for WeBelos in October.
Son did not want to go disputed EBOR route. He wants nothing to do with his old troop and certainly did not want their name on the Eagle certificate. So, he is back in the saddle again and is happy. This troop does a lot of fun things and he wants to go to Boundary waters with them one of these years. He does half 2.5 years left, so he can have lots of fun too.
Thanks for all of your support and advice. All is well all is well