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addressing PDA by scouters in uniform ?


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#61 frankpalazzi

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 01:36 PM

Think, and thou wilst.


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#62 Ankylus

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 01:46 PM

If that's a joke, it's so clever and sophisticated that I don't get it.

 

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#63 frankpalazzi

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 03:02 PM

The reason PDA is not specifically addressed by National BSA?

 

 

Varying Community Standards.

 

Where holding hands and a peck on the cheek may go virtually unnoticed in one area of the country, people of other areas may find it distasteful. I've noticed this in the various posts, by various people, in various geographic regions.  What is perfectly acceptable in New England very well can be  " punishable by pillory" in the Bible Belt.  Scouters who relocate should realize this.  When in Rome..., etc.

 

This is not to say that unmarried couples tenting together, etc., should be condoned in any case.  If the G2SS says no, it's no.

 

Venturing YPT is twenty minutes well-spent, and probably should be the consistent code of conduct in this case--just my opinion.


Edited by frankpalazzi, 18 April 2017 - 03:21 PM.

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#64 Stosh

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 08:01 AM

Where in G2SS does it forbid two unmarried homosexual males can't tent together?????  Once one starts down the slippery slope, just hang on, it's going to be a long and unknown ride until one gets to the bottom.


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#65 NJCubScouter

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:48 AM

Where in G2SS does it forbid two unmarried homosexual males can't tent together?????  Once one starts down the slippery slope, just hang on, it's going to be a long and unknown ride until one gets to the bottom.

 

It doesn't.

 

I think the BSA expects local leaders, units and CO's to exercise a degree of common sense and discretion when there is no specific rule on a subject.  In other words, the idea seems to be that if left to themselves, people will usually choose to behave reasonably and not cause undue discomfort for others.  If not, the unit and/or CO may get involved. Obviously that idea does NOT apply to interactions between adults and youth, which are the subject of specific rules, but that's not what we're talking about here.

 

I also think the BSA tends to shy away from making rules for things that may never happen, or almost never.  (YP again being an exception.)  Gay leaders have been permitted for two years now, which is not a long period of time, but it's not nothing, either. So, Stosh, do you have two (or more) openly gay adult leaders in your troop?  I'll bet you $1 you don't have any, partly because I'm guessing and partly because you said you'd quit if your unit had an openly gay adult leader.  There's no issue who they tent with if they don't exist.  My troop has not had any openly gay leaders, or Scouts for that matter, though there was one Scout who "came out" after he left the troop.  I have not heard of any in our district or council, not that I necessarily would have heard, but the fact is that I haven't heard.  Nor do I recall anyone in this forum mentioning that he/she was a BSA member and is openly gay, since the policy was changed, nor do I recall anyone saying they even had an openly gay leader in their unit.  Much less two.  (There was a forum member, who left years before the policy was changed, who said he was gay, but he himself seemed unsure as to whether he was "openly gay", and one of our current forum members has identified himself as openly gay, but the BSA policy never applied to him because he is in the UK.)  At the time of the policy change there was an article about one gay leader rejoining the BSA, and of course there was also the Eagle Scout who was famously being hired as a camp staffer in New York.  One must assume there are others, but apparently not enough for the BSA to decide to make a policy about.


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#66 Ankylus

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 01:39 PM

It doesn't.

 

I think the BSA expects local leaders, units and CO's to exercise a degree of common sense and discretion when there is no specific rule on a subject.  In other words, the idea seems to be that if left to themselves, people will usually choose to behave reasonably and not cause undue discomfort for others.  If not, the unit and/or CO may get involved. Obviously that idea does NOT apply to interactions between adults and youth, which are the subject of specific rules, but that's not what we're talking about here.

 

I also think the BSA tends to shy away from making rules for things that may never happen, or almost never.  (YP again being an exception.)  Gay leaders have been permitted for two years now, which is not a long period of time, but it's not nothing, either. So, Stosh, do you have two (or more) openly gay adult leaders in your troop?  I'll bet you $1 you don't have any, partly because I'm guessing and partly because you said you'd quit if your unit had an openly gay adult leader.  There's no issue who they tent with if they don't exist.  My troop has not had any openly gay leaders, or Scouts for that matter, though there was one Scout who "came out" after he left the troop.  I have not heard of any in our district or council, not that I necessarily would have heard, but the fact is that I haven't heard.  Nor do I recall anyone in this forum mentioning that he/she was a BSA member and is openly gay, since the policy was changed, nor do I recall anyone saying they even had an openly gay leader in their unit.  Much less two.  (There was a forum member, who left years before the policy was changed, who said he was gay, but he himself seemed unsure as to whether he was "openly gay", and one of our current forum members has identified himself as openly gay, but the BSA policy never applied to him because he is in the UK.)  At the time of the policy change there was an article about one gay leader rejoining the BSA, and of course there was also the Eagle Scout who was famously being hired as a camp staffer in New York.  One must assume there are others, but apparently not enough for the BSA to decide to make a policy about.

 

1. I agree "the BSA expects local leaders, units and CO's to exercise a degree of common sense and discretion when there is no specific rule on a subject". That having been said, they need to put it in writing just so that it's plain and clear. I mean, if it's so rare it doesn't happen, then how is it going to hurt you to put it in writing?

 

2. There is a rule that unmarried man and women can't share tents. It's in writing. Just curious....have you ever had to invoke that rule? How common is that in your experience? Because it has only ever happened once in mine and I have been active in scouting for, I don't know, maybe 25 or 30 years.  I am also the only person who has mentioned having to actually invoke the rule in this thread. If you haven't ever had to invoke it, what makes the two unmarried people of the same sex, also gay in this circumstance, any less deserving of a written rule? How rare does it have to be before BSA can simply ignore it?

 

3. We have over a hundred boys in our troop. Statistically speaking, then, we have 3 or 4 gay boys in the troop. None of them are "openly gay", but they could change that in a heartbeat if they wanted. So I KNOW there are latent issues with tenting arrangements. And yet I have no instruction on how to handle that. Not even a "use your best judgment" rule. Why isn't this point deserving of a written rule? The potential is certainly greater than two openly gay males trying to share a tent. Again, how rare does it have to be to deserve a written rule?


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#67 qwazse

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 05:23 AM

@Ankylus, good questions.

1. Rule #1: don't ask for a rule, it will come back to bite you. In Irving are the last people who I would find qualified to legislate any same-sex couple, thruple, or whoever else who may join us on the trail.

2. I don't know what you mean by "invoking." By virtue of dealing wih venturers and the occasional mom chaperoning with the troop. we follow this rule without dissent. Already, there are plenty of instances where my venturer's (or troop moms) would be just fine in mixed sleeping quarters without putting up a tarp/divider, or having the odd woman out pitch a tent. My other adult leaders have said so. But, the last thing I need is to be pilloried by someone who wasn't even on the particular trip over YPT. BSA provides people of the same sex a rule: they can tent together. Period. Follow it. Done.

3. See point 1 above., and page 1 of G2SS "In situations not specifically covered in this guide, activity planners should evaluate the risk or potential risk of harm, and respond with action plans based on common sense, community standards, the Boy Scout motto, and safety policies and practices commonly prescribed for the activity by experienced providers and practitioners." There in writing is the "use your judgement" directive you were looking for.

All this is why I prefer to sleep under open sky.
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#68 NJCubScouter

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:33 AM

3. See point 1 above., and page 1 of G2SS "In situations not specifically covered in this guide, activity planners should evaluate the risk or potential risk of harm, and respond with action plans based on common sense, community standards, the Boy Scout motto, and safety policies and practices commonly prescribed for the activity by experienced providers and practitioners." There in writing is the "use your judgement" directive you were looking for.

 

There you go.  I would think that if there is no rule covering a situation, you are supposed to use your best judgment anyway, but there it is in writing.  Also, at the time the youth membership rules were changed (or clarified) in 2013, there was an FAQ that made a similar statement about tenting arrangements, along the lines of "use your judgment."  I can probably find it if I need to.  There was some discussion about it at the time.  I do not recall a similar document regarding the change for adult leadership in 2015, but I don't see why it would be any different.  Use your judgment.  The BSA has not given us a rule other than that on the issue of tenting arrangements for people of the same gender, and I do not think they are going to do so anytime soon.


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#69 Ankylus

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:16 PM

@Ankylus, good questions.

1. Rule #1: don't ask for a rule, it will come back to bite you. In Irving are the last people who I would find qualified to legislate any same-sex couple, thruple, or whoever else who may join us on the trail.

2. I don't know what you mean by "invoking." By virtue of dealing wih venturers and the occasional mom chaperoning with the troop. we follow this rule without dissent. Already, there are plenty of instances where my venturer's (or troop moms) would be just fine in mixed sleeping quarters without putting up a tarp/divider, or having the odd woman out pitch a tent. My other adult leaders have said so. But, the last thing I need is to be pilloried by someone who wasn't even on the particular trip over YPT. BSA provides people of the same sex a rule: they can tent together. Period. Follow it. Done.

3. See point 1 above., and page 1 of G2SS "In situations not specifically covered in this guide, activity planners should evaluate the risk or potential risk of harm, and respond with action plans based on common sense, community standards, the Boy Scout motto, and safety policies and practices commonly prescribed for the activity by experienced providers and practitioners." There in writing is the "use your judgement" directive you were looking for.

All this is why I prefer to sleep under open sky.

 

1. I understand the sentiment about rules.

 

2. By "invoking", I mean had to cite the rule in the guise of working with adult conduct. I am curious because @NJCubScouter thinks no rule is needed about openly gay males tenting together because it so rarely happens and has never happened in his experience. I am interested in how "rare" is "rare", and he seems to think his personal experience is relative to this measure. So I just asked the question.

 

3. The general fallback, catch-all rule.Yes, it's there, and it's written. It has been my experience that these kinds of rules are written for the benefit of the promulgators rather than those for whom it is promulgated. Maximum flexibility to both CYA and criticize the front line people. "We told them to use their "best" judgment or "good" judgment and that is clearly "bad" judgment!"

 

But thank you.


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#70 Ankylus

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:18 PM

So, @NJCubScouter, you seem to believe @qwazse has answered question 1. I am still curious, however:

 

 

2. There is a rule that unmarried man and women can't share tents. It's in writing. Just curious....have you ever had to invoke that rule? How common is that in your experience? Because it has only ever happened once in mine and I have been active in scouting for, I don't know, maybe 25 or 30 years.  I am also the only person who has mentioned having to actually invoke the rule in this thread. If you haven't ever had to invoke it, what makes the two unmarried people of the same sex, also gay in this circumstance, any less deserving of a written rule? How rare does it have to be before BSA can simply ignore it?

 

3. We have over a hundred boys in our troop. Statistically speaking, then, we have 3 or 4 gay boys in the troop. None of them are "openly gay", but they could change that in a heartbeat if they wanted. So I KNOW there are latent issues with tenting arrangements. And yet I have no instruction on how to handle that. Not even a "use your best judgment" rule. Why isn't this point deserving of a written rule? The potential is certainly greater than two openly gay males trying to share a tent. Again, how rare does it have to be to deserve a written rule?

 


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#71 NJCubScouter

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:08 PM

I am curious because @NJCubScouter thinks no rule is needed about openly gay males tenting together because it so rarely happens and has never happened in his experience. I am interested in how "rare" is "rare", and he seems to think his personal experience is relative to this measure. So I just asked the question.

 

I never said I think no such rule is needed.  I was trying to explain why I think the BSA thinks no such rule is needed, or at least why it has not been given priority.  Maybe they just haven't gotten around to it yet.  But I will also say that it is my observation that the BSA rarely imposes a rule until a problem actually arises.   The fact that someone thinks an issue might arise in the future does not seem to be enough for the BSA.  They are not proactive.  I am not saying that's a good thing.  I am saying that's what I think the situation is.

 

As for what I think, I do not care whether there is a national rule on this subject or not.  If such a rule is created, our troop will follow it if the situation ever presents itself.  If not, and the situation presents itself, I am sure we will deal with it in a manner that seems appropriate at the time.  We have enough issues to deal with without making up new ones.


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#72 NJCubScouter

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:35 PM

By the way, Ankylus, you seem to think I am some sort of spokesman for, and/or persistent defender of, BSA National.  If you look back through my posts over the years, I think you will be disabused of that notion.  I sometimes do give my opinion of why National does or does not have a particular rule, and sometimes I agree with the rule/non-rule and sometimes I don't, and sometimes I can live with it either way.  In fact, on the vast majority of decisions made by BSA National, I can live with it either way.   There have been some notable exceptions, and I have been pretty vocal about the fact that they need to be consistent with their rules and, if there is a rule, use clear language in expressing it, and not play double-secret-reverse April Fools' jokes on us poor slobs out here in the trenches, so we can have some clue about what it is we are supposed to be doing.  But there will never be a rule for every possible subject, especially for hypothetical situations that have not expressed themselves in real life to any significant degree.  That's just the way it is.  If you ever do face the kind of situation you are talking about, please let us know how you dealt with it.  Maybe you will blaze new trails and help your fellow Scouters at the same time.


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#73 Ankylus

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:42 PM

By the way, Ankylus, you seem to think I am some sort of spokesman for, and/or persistent defender of, BSA National.  If you look back through my posts over the years, I think you will be disabused of that notion.  I sometimes do give my opinion of why National does or does not have a particular rule, and sometimes I agree with the rule/non-rule and sometimes I don't, and sometimes I can live with it either way.  In fact, on the vast majority of decisions made by BSA National, I can live with it either way.   There have been some notable exceptions, and I have been pretty vocal about the fact that they need to be consistent with their rules and, if there is a rule, use clear language in expressing it, and not play double-secret-reverse April Fools' jokes on us poor slobs out here in the trenches, so we can have some clue about what it is we are supposed to be doing.  But there will never be a rule for every possible subject, especially for hypothetical situations that have not expressed themselves in real life to any significant degree.  That's just the way it is.  If you ever do face the kind of situation you are talking about, please let us know how you dealt with it.  Maybe you will blaze new trails and help your fellow Scouters at the same time.

 

Actually, I don't think you are a spokesman for national. If my comments imply such, then I chose poorly and I apologize. And if I ever have to deal with it, I will surely let the forum know.


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#74 Stosh

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 02:57 PM

So there's no rule for homosexual boys tenting together, nor is there any rule that says a transgender girl can't bunk up with a male scout.  Try and enforce separation in those situations and see how long before a cadre of lawyers are assigning tents on an outing.


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Stosh

 

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#75 RememberSchiff

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 03:21 PM

Single tents or bivouac sacks are sounding more appealing, either way it's okay to wake up with yourself.


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#76 NJCubScouter

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:40 PM

...either way it's okay to wake up with yourself.


Those sound like good lyrics, someone ought to use them in a song. Oh wait...
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#77 Stosh

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 06:51 PM

Single tents or bivouac sacks are sounding more appealing, either way it's okay to wake up with yourself.

 

Common showers are slowly going by the wayside as are non-stalled toilet facilities.  Why would tents be any different?


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#78 perdidochas

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 11:54 AM

Single tents or bivouac sacks are sounding more appealing, either way it's okay to wake up with yourself.

Most of the Scouts in our Troop who are past Star agree.  (we have a longstanding rule that they have to get to Star Scout before tenting alone (I'd change it to First Class, but they haven't asked me)). 


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#79 Eagledad

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 12:34 PM

Most of the Scouts in our Troop who are past Star agree.  (we have a longstanding rule that they have to get to Star Scout before tenting alone (I'd change it to First Class, but they haven't asked me)).

Yes, our troop allows scouts to use single man tents provided they bring their own. Being a back packing or minimalist program, I support it. But it wasn't that long ago this forum debated single man tents because a scout might become ill and nobody would know. I still support single man tents, but I can think of two scouts who tent mates had to get help in the middle of the night because they became so ill. Seems nothing is easy.

Barry
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