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Are we really helping anyone?


Best Answer SSF , 17 April 2017 - 12:25 PM

Matt,

I think this is a great question you've asked and the story you shared is a great example of what scouting should be.

 

I think you touch on (as I see it) the very important issue of how far askew the BSA program has come from, what it was intended to be. . 

 

I'm envious of the fact that your troop has been devoid of any of the type of vindictiveness, pettiness, elitism, power tripping, egotism and rogue operations (I don't use any of these descriptions lightly) that I've experienced, as a scouter, or as a parent. 

 

It's always disheartening to me that when people come to this board seeking advice or recommendation about problems within their troop, the most common answer given is very often "find a new troop, this one will never change," but that's just like sweeping dirt under a rug; i.e. the real problem is never actually addressed and these troops continue to operate however they please...and the BSA (and their Charter Orgs) just let them do it.

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#41 Stosh

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 02:39 PM

Yes - that document does say you can't use squirt guns to shoot water at other people - it's always been quite clear - it's a simulated gun - and the BSA teaches never to point a gun OF ANY KIND at other people. 

 

It does NOT say anything about throwing water balloons at people - that's a misinterpretation and its not surprising that it might be repeated at any number of summer camps - The last time I went to National Camp School, the instructors were volunteers - not professionals (there would be one professional there, and lets face it, they're a bit clueless themselves when it comes to policy).  Once something like this gets repeated over and over and over it becomes a monster all of its own and no amount of looking at the actual wording of official documents will change people minds.  You will not find any official policy of the BSA banning water balloon fights because it's tossing things at people.  The Cub Scout program still suggests that day camps and packs and dens use sponges for summer time water fights - and that's tossing something.

 

But yes, lets leave all that alone for a minute and get to the other point - that the BSA is banning "fun things" like laser tag and paint ball.  They aren't telling anyone that Boy Scouts can't do any of this outside of Scouting.  Heck, if a Troop wants to get together and go paintballing or laser tagging together, that's just fine - AS LONG AS YOU DON'T CALL IT A SCOUTING ACTIVITY!.  I'll repeat it again - that rule isn't to protect your boys, or you - it is to protect the Corporation known as the Boy Scout of America.  If someone gets hurt playing Paintball, they can point to their rule and deflect all liability down to you in case someone decides to sue.  That's what this is all about.

 

Here's the main point though - the BSA has all kinds of books out there loaded with 100's of fun activities that you can do as Boy Scouts - anyone that just can't imagine running a fun program without those very few items that the BSA doesn't recognize as appropriate for Scouting may need to rethink their ability to lead a unit.

 

Back in 1999 when Venturing appeared on the horizon, they wanted me to start a Venturing Crew.  I really didn't want to do it so I told them I would if I could shoot guns at people, ditch the hearing protection and eye protection, have people stand in front of you when you shoot, and handle blackpowder wrapped in paper.  My council contacted National BSA for a "ruling" and they said, "YES",  I was stuck, so I started a reenacting group of Venturers and ran for 15 years with no problem and no hassles. 


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#42 David CO

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 07:04 PM

What about the use of squirt guns?

 

I would much rather have the boys using the gun shaped water toys than those 2 foot tubes with the rounded nozzles.  


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#43 NJCubScouter

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 07:34 PM

Well at least we are helping more than bsalegal.com
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Well, I think the purpose of that site was never really to inform BSA members about legal issues. It was mostly a public relations site on certain issues, and since those issues are no longer really at the forefront of most peoples' minds (despite the impression one may sometimes get from reading this forum), they apparently decided the site and the domain weren't worth keeping.
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#44 RememberSchiff

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 05:36 AM

Well, I think the purpose of that site was never really to inform BSA members about legal issues. It was mostly a public relations site on certain issues, and since those issues are no longer really at the forefront of most peoples' minds (despite the impression one may sometimes get from reading this forum), they apparently decided the site and the domain weren't worth keeping.

All internet archived copies appear to have been scrubbed, perhaps an indication that website was not helpful in BSA legal matters.

 

Or maybe that whole BSA legal department was fired and formed a Divorce Law Practice for Scouter spouses. Now that could be doubly helpful to Scouters. :laugh:


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#45 NJCubScouter

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 04:29 PM

All internet archived copies appear to have been scrubbed, perhaps an indication that website was not helpful in BSA legal matters.

 

Not from what I can see, if I am understanding your comment.  The Internet Archive links that I posted here about 6-7 weeks ago - http://scouter.com/i...again/?p=452086- still work.  For a second I thought maybe the BSA had hired some Russian hackers.   :)


Edited by NJCubScouter, 24 April 2017 - 04:38 PM.

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#46 RememberSchiff

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 04:48 PM

Not from what I can see, if I am understanding your comment.  The Internet Archive links that I posted here about 6-7 weeks ago - http://scouter.com/i...again/?p=452086- still work.  For a second I thought maybe the BSA had hired some Russian hackers.   :)

My mistake, I only searched as far back as 2014 and could not find anything. It looks there is some archiving of 2013 and earlier.


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#47 NJCubScouter

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 12:45 PM

My mistake, I only searched as far back as 2014 and could not find anything. It looks there is some archiving of 2013 and earlier.

 

The last date I could find was October 17, 2013 - which was after the policy change on youth members was announced but before it went into effect.  When compared with the 2008 version that I had linked to previously, it appears that by October 2013 they had done some dismantling of the site but it was still there.  I am not sure whether there is any way to tell when it was removed completely.


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#48 CalicoPenn

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 01:18 PM

Not from what I can see, if I am understanding your comment.  The Internet Archive links that I posted here about 6-7 weeks ago - http://scouter.com/i...again/?p=452086- still work.  For a second I thought maybe the BSA had hired some Russian hackers.   :)

 

It's the Boy Scouts of America - if they hire hackers, you can be sure they're hackers from Elbonia.   :laugh:


Edited by CalicoPenn, 25 April 2017 - 01:18 PM.

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#49 TAHAWK

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:19 PM

It's the Boy Scouts of America - if they hire hackers, you can be sure they're hackers from Elbonia.   :laugh:

Or North Elbonia?


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