Boy Scouts

Discussion in 'The Locker Room Bar & Grill' started by kempodisciple, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master of Arts

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    That does make a difference. I would break out the drill seargent voice every once in a while to get their attention. :) Training is the real key though, in my opinion. The more training the leaders of your Troop have had, the better your Troop will run and the boys will get more out of it. Even the occassional campout driver should have at least the minimum training. The more people know what is expected, the better everything runs.
     
  2. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Completely agree with this, and so does my troop. While I was still a scout, my scoutmaster and I worked together to convince the committee to use the treasury for the next years spl to go to the nylt campouts, and make it a rule that the spl has to participate in them if he wants to be the spl (this is more important to me as the scouts are the true leaders...or should be anyway). Similar thing with adults, where if they want to come to summer camp, they should do at least the ols and (obviously) the online youth protection training for any campout. So many improvements in the troop since that began.
     
  3. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    LOL, too funny:
    Yell into a group of Scouts 'SIGNS UP' and all fall quiet! :lol:

    Yes, training is key.
    We just started getting things going when the old Scout Master got transferred. The new guy has to start from scratch pretty much.
     
  4. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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    I enjoyed my time in scouting, even allowing for that 1 winter camp out where all my clothes and sleeping bag ended up in the river. And that time I lost knife privilages for going spear fishing in the pool. And that time I couldn't figure out owatagoofiam. Because the bug juice was great, the outdoors fun, and being able to swim, and shoot and camp was a ton of fun. It's a damn shame it's so political and exclusive these days.

    I can't help but wonder though, if a political discussion was the intent here, or if it was to see who else was involved and talk about the fun and positive parts of Scouting. The political parts probably are better suited for a Study discussion.
     
  5. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Haha, i had trouble figuring out owatagoosiam myself, took a couple hours, but I'm as stubborn as a mule sometimes.
    And there was NO political intent here, it was simply to see who is/was involved, what experiences they could share, and just have a nice enjoyable conversation about scouting. Obviously, that is not what happened...if i knew it would turn this way, i would have put it in the Study section, sorry :/
     
  6. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    I take it you're new here. I myself have been gone for a bit--what's the rule about "fun and positive parts" only? That's going to really hamper me in a few martial arts areas here--there are some I don't think so highly of.

    For those for whom the answer to the OP's question is "No" or "Not any more", this could well be an aspect of it.
     
  7. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts aren't the same organisation? Poor B-P must be spinning in his grave. Here, it's a charity. before anyone says anything, scouting was founded here by a Brit. What we have here is what the Founder intended. :)
    http://www.charityportal.org.uk/detail.php?id=100983

    "The Scout Association is one of the world's largest and most progressive youth movements. In the United Kingdom alone half a million young people between the ages of 6 and 20 experience the challenge, excitement, fun and friendship of the scouting programme. Scouting promotes physical, mental and spiritual development and teaches young people relevant skills and values to take a constructive place in society. The Scout Association is a non-political, multi-cultural, multi-faith organisation open to all irrespective of background. It is registered as an educational charity and is incorporated by Royal charter. Special emphasis is placed on developing the movement in the inner city and rural areas where the scouting programme is often most beneficial."


    kempodisciple, arnisador was being sarcastic...Bob Hubbard owns and runs the site.
     
  8. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Folks,
    The political and policy issues are important, and you're welcome to discuss them. But they fit much better into The Study than here...
     
  9. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I had a feeling but just the way arnisador said it was really bothering me, so I decided to take the sarcasm at face value.
    EDIT:did not know he ran the site, just assumed that since hes been around since its beginning, there was almost no way arnisador was not being sarcastic and/or patronizing by saying that
     
  10. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    My son started at Tiger Scout (1st grade) and the behavior of the adults in the troop at the pine box derby was so appalling we left before trophies could be awarded to the winners. No other local troops were accepting new members ?!?!? for a long time or were owned by the LDS church (prolific in our area). We finally found one owned by the Fisher's Grange five years later.

    I did push Jared to re-join and give it a year, knowing that this was a troop active and knowledgeable in outdoorsmanship and tied to a Venture crew. He reluctantly agreed ... and he has been doing swimmingly every since.

    He found, much to all our delight, that he LOVES hiking and wilderness survival. If you haven't heard much about hikers and climbers that go missing on Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood in the Pacific Northwest, you might be living under a rock. They often get caught in freak storms or fall down ravines or break limbs to the extent they need serious medical attention which can reach them in time only in very good weather. Jared's troop was snowed on during a climb in July and one member of his troop hit a bump while glisading down, flew into the air and landed on head & shoulder, was knocked unconscious. He is fine, but it took 9 hours to get him down off the mountain in the wet snow.

    Jared is, thank the earth and heavens, a very sensible boy for his 13 years. He was able to discern what he was and was not comfortable with in climbing that day and combined with an assessment of his gear, decided not to climb where his troopmate had fallen from. With his martial arts training, self-defense training and survival training, he is gaining a keen sense of danger, opportunity and safety precautions.

    Thank goodness this troop was open and accepted him. I'm fairly certain he will earn Eagle in his own time and am more happy that he is finding himself and learning how to shape himself as a young man. Even if he never earns another merit badge or never advances again in rank, this has been and continues to be a most extraordinary opportunity for him.

    As for the gay thing: I applaud people who make decisions about support based on principle. I try to do this as often as possible. For Jared, however, this has been so good for him and there is no mention of the homosexual thing in troop or at camp nor at all in relation to his BSA experience except for friends forced to quit because of their parent's principles. As I said, I know he doesn't care and he believes no one else in his troop does either. The day will come when BSA will have to evolve one way or another and when they do, they will need scouts like Jared - leaders like him and his friends - to continue the meaningful traditions of scouting and help up and coming young men understand that "morally straight" has a deeper meaning that transcends sexuality and religion.

    Change is often difficult - but usually more effectual from the inside out.
     
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  11. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Bob Hubbard and I are real-life friends. I was yanking his chain. He'll get me back when I'm in Buffalo next year. :D
     
  12. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    I should have had kids. I think I would have made a good scout parent. ;)
     
  13. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I've been involved in Scouting and Guiding on and off depending on life circumstances for 50 years now. I started as a Brownie aged 7, became a Guide then later on became a Cub Scout leader and a Brownie leader (Akela and Tawny Owl respectively). Next year following redundancy/retirement I'll probably go back to one or the other.
     
  14. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    As Tez3 has pointed in the direction of Sir Baden-Powell, I will also point in that direction to a young woman who was inspired by him and his wife Lady Baden-Powell's venture into Girl Guiding. Juliette Gordon Lowe was interested in learning all things generally considered feminine AND masculine, believing that women's thorough understanding of outdoorsmanship, first aid, construction, woodwork, stonework and weaponry were just as important as the thorough understanding of cooking, cleaning, rearing children, cleaning, sewing for the frontier woman and the ladies who insisted on mentoring young women here.

    The Girl Scout experience - at least in this area - has evolved into a club where girls spend much time in volunteerism, fundraising for trips and education. We have no rank now, but age group-based designations. We do have the opportunity to earn badges and awards, but the Girl Scout charter is not designed to serve the girls well.

    For instance - Girl Scout cookies last fall were $4.50 per box. Troops selling these cookies receive approximately 65 cents for each box sold. Juliettes (girls without troop) earn 75 cents, I believe. Girls can only hold one more troop-based fundraiser for general activities per year and they must spend all the money they earn the same year they earn it unless they are saving for a designated trip which must be planned with the council TWO-THREE YEARS in advance. Only if they have a designated activity for which they must raise a lot of money, they can only raise funds 2x per year.

    By contrast, Boy Scouts can raise funds whenever they please. They can craft items to be sold at almost any meeting or activity. The funds go into their Scout Account and the cost of camping or hiking trips comes out of that. If there is money left over in their account once they age out, THEY GET TO KEEP THE MONEY.

    Training for Girl Scouts in this area is the most piss-poor thing I think I've ever seen. At "Advanced Camping Skills" training, one instructor couldn't even put up a tent. Only one leader had experience with lashing and only because she was exposed to BSA training. And don't get me started on how we were taught to "safely" carry an axe and mechete.

    When we were on the Neighborhood governance system, we were extremely fortunate to have a few leaders who were not only active in Boy Scouts for their sons but whose husbands were Scoutmasters. We received the opportunity to stay at Camp Merriwether near Tillamook, Oregon where they have two archery ranges, a black powder range, a .22 range amongst others. You would not believe the hoops we had to jump through to allow 14 year-old girls and up the opportunity to fire black powder rifles let alone go at all. The politics behind this were just unbelievable. Amazingly, our council was far more ready to allow young girls the chance at archery claiming it to be much safer than guns. *sigh* We were able to do this only twice. The third year, we were shut down from attending *any* BSA camp where shooting ranges of any kind exist and shooting guns became a forbidden GS activity.

    I co-chaired the neighborhood for two years right before we changed to the Vista/Service Unit model.

    The Girl Scout promo line is "For Every Girl, Every Where" and while we still have "G-d" in the promise, it is made very clear that those objecting to the term may simply eliminate it. The organization, to their credit, has made a point of welcoming LBGQTA youth of all religious persuasions including Muslims. Many of the programs they have in place are designed for self-discovery and for understanding, tolerance and benevolence.

    That said ... the ever-changing curriculum leaves a proving ground with few traditions, few incentives and a largely traditional-feminine resource base. I rejoiced in hearing young girls protest to the things they had to do as opposed to things their little brothers were doing that they couldn't and tired of hearing excuses as to why young girls shouldn't need to learn such things.

    The women in our area are just not extensively trained in the things girls like my daughter wanted to do and there is no training module for these skills except in Boy Scouting. While some older leaders will encourage this, the council does not.

    I buy cookies or donate the cost of a box for each girl scout who asks me simply because I know it is one of only two ways she can earn funds to accomplish damn near anything in her experience and with the hope that she might be able to effectuate progress as well.

    In the meantime, GSUSA is wasting money by chasing new membership instead of fostering its existing membership in more progressive ways. Perhaps by the time I have a great-granddaughter the organization will be more worthy of time and financial investments.
     
  15. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Did not know that, sorry for taking it out of context.
     
  16. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    My mother was a cub scout leader for all five of her sons. I went on to become a Boy Scout and stayed with it until I turned 18 and became an assistant scoutmaster for our troop. Our troop was great! We took all kinds of adventures all over the country in many, varied, wilderness settings. I got to see so many interesting things in North America and traveled so much with our troop....we even had our own broken down beat up bus that we were constantly working on. We tore the back seats out and used the back to bring all of our gear. All of the boys helped with maintenance. I pushed myself physically, mentally, and emotionally in scouting and I truly credit it for helping me become the man I am today.

    I describe my troop to other scouts and have discovered that my experience may have been unique. Not many people can point to a truly exceptional scouting experience. Typically, scouts go on a few outings, get some merit badges and advance in rank, but they lack the true sense of adventure that we had. I have so many crazy stories from my scouting experience that it's hard to relate. My son is in Cub Scouts now and I'm surprised at how little the other people in the pack actually know how to do. These are guys who have been involved in scouting for a long time. At our recent pack gathering, I taught the boys some basic firebuilding and the dads were being shown something they haven't seen before.

    The religious issues don't bother me as much as the general degradation of the experience the boys are having today. I'm involved in my pack and I'm willing to do something exceptional, but I can't do it myself. I need skilled partners, who are physically fit, and able to safely carry out adventures that Scouting can provide. Sadly, that's getting harder and harder to find.

    Recently, a colleague of mine told me that he backpacked the rim of Haleakala in scouts when he was 12 years old. So, I know exceptional troops are out there still...
     
  17. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    John, do you think there's a hope of changing this?

    I really think the best way is to get parents out with their kids and learning things hands-on as well as formal "scout-way" training. It's discouraging, however, that most parents see scout meetings much like they see Karatay Klass - a place to drop off their kid while they go buy a latte.
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I don't know much about the girls scouts as an organization. My daughter was a brownie and chose to do it for only two years. I did, however, learn a little too much about the cookie drives, and have several problems with them.

    First, I have a real problem with any of these fundraisers where a business makes a profit by turning our kids into a salesperson. Whether it's the girls scouts and their cookies, or the football team and candy bars, candles or Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, you don't get to use my son or daughter as a sale person. I don't want my kids to learn how to be used car salesmen, and if they do sell something, it won't be for a corporation... at least not unless they're being paid a salary and a commission and are old enough to know what that means.

    Second, the girl scouts bank on the idea that the money goes to the troop for scout activities. In reality, there are absolutely no guidelines on what a troop can choose to do with the money. None. It's literally a free for all.

    Third, the troop itself gets only a fraction of the money. $.65 or $.70 per box sold is consistent with what I remember. The bulk of the money goes to people outside the troop, including a significant chunk to the bakery that sells the cookies to the girls scouts.

    Fourth, the troop can lose money if they don't sell the boxes of cookies that they take. It's one of these deals where you have to guess how many you're going to sell, and you have limited opportunity to turn them back in. So, if you say your cute little girls are going to sell 100 boxes and you take them, you could very well be on the hook for that entire amount, even if your cute little girl only sells 10.

    Finally, the entire competitive, super aggressive attitude that surrounds the cookie sales, including parents who are setting up websites, squabbling over the premium time slots and locations was just awful.

    To be clear, the experience as the "cookie mom" left a sour taste in my mouth, but I didn't decide to stop buying the cookies right away. My daughters troop decided to spend their money on a trip to Build a Bear. What I thought was a total waste of money. So I started asking the girls selling the cookies what they were collecting money for (and I'd encourage you guys to do the same.)

    I've not once heard something related to self development, education or anything like that. Not even a camping trip.
     
  19. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    I'm not sure how to change it for everyone. My plan is to try and draw a crew of committed adults (or train them) and try to create something exceptional. I know that in that small way, I can make a difference to a group of boys. I don't mind the "formal training" but I don't want it to be the focus of my son's experience. To me, the formal training is an outgrowth of the experience. It's something that should occur naturally from experience and NOT be the point of the meeting. Heck, the meeting itself can change forms if people are creative.

    In my troop, one of the dads owned a bowling alley next to the Mississippi River. Behind his business, there was an oxbow lake with an island in it. The island was undeveloped and close to shore. Our scout leader got the idea to start having our meetings out there, so we moved our troop out of the church basement. The adults and boys figured out how to build a bridge out to the island and then we cleared a bunch of trails. We made some campsites and meeting areas and constructed all kinds of scout craft out there. Eventually, it was the SPL and ASPLs responsibility to show up early and make sure we had firewood before we went and make sure the meeting could be held out there. The only time we didn't meet out there was when it was too damn cold...it's Minnesota, that happens. But I remember everyone showing up to the meetings on the islands. Adults, boys, whole families, there was none of the drop off and grab a coffee crap.
     
  20. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    This was my experience with Girl Scouts as well. I feel totally helpless here. My daughter deserves better, but I don't know how to deliver...within this organization.
     

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