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Church dropping Scouting program

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1 hour ago, anatess2 said:

Meh.  Joseph Smith was given the Vision at 14.  You think too little of 14-year-olds I think.  My 15-year-old could have gotten Eagle at 14 if he wanted to.  But, he wanted to do a project for the Philippines so he decided to wait until our next trip.   I'll pit my 14-year-old with any 17-year-old any day of the week except Sunday.

Joseph Smith wasn't given an Eagle Scout Court of Honor at 14.  One or two Doogie Howsers are impressive.  When it becomes the standard, something isn't right.  Especially given that gundecking the requirement sheets has already been discussed, and more than one former LDS Scout or leader admitted to seeing it happen on a regular basis.

I worked with a lot of Scouts who worked their butts off to manage Eagle by 16 or 17, and I've met LDS Eagles who didn't know how to properly fold the Flag, even though that's a specific Tenderfoot requirement, and advancement to Eagle would require participation in at least three more flag ceremonies.  Talking to a couple of ~12 year old Scouts in the ward, they had no idea what a taut line hitch is, even though describing and tying it are also Tenderfoot requirements, and it's a very common knot in setting up tents, which falls under various requirements from Second Class on up.  I could overlook the sheet bend, (Second Class requirement, I think) since I've never actually used that knot other than to pass that rank, and I'm the guy who has actually used the sheepshank in real life more than once.

Edited by NightSG

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28 minutes ago, NightSG said:

Joseph Smith wasn't given an Eagle Scout Court of Honor at 14.  One or two Doogie Howsers are impressive.  When it becomes the standard, Something isn't right.  Especially given that gundecking the requirement sheets has already been discussed, and more than one former LDS Scout or leader admitted to seeing it happen on a regular basis.

I worked with a lot of Scouts who worked their butts off to manage Eagle by 16 or 17, and I've met LDS Eagles who didn't know how to properly fold the Flag, even though that's a specific Tenderfoot requirement, and advancement to Eagle would require participation in at least three more flag ceremonies.  Talking to a couple of ~12 year old Scouts in the ward, they had no idea what a taut line hitch is, even though describing and tying it are also Tenderfoot requirements, and it's a very common knot in setting up tents, which falls under various requirements from Second Class on up.  I could overlook the sheet bend, (Second Class requirement, I think) since I've never actually used that knot other than to pass that rank, and I'm the guy who has actually used the sheepshank in real life more than once.

An Eagle Scout is not a Doogie Howser.  Joseph Smith was not given an Eagle Scout of Honor at 14.  He was given a whole lot more than that.

If you graduated out of Cub Scouts not knowing how to fold a flag something is wrong with your Scouting program.  We teach that to Wolves and Bears.  Just because there are 12-year-olds who doesn't know how to use knots doesn't mean 12-year-olds are too young for it.  It means, those 12-year-olds are not taught properly.  Our deacons, for example, built a rope bridge for some Merit Badge requirement.

Now, in the Philippines, you graduate out of High School at age 15 which means, they have to have graduated from the mandatory 1 year of Army Training as it is a required class to graduate.  I find it interesting that many people think 14 years old is too young for Eagle.  If you ever end up going to war, your 14 year olds will be useless next to Filipino 14-year-olds.  Good thing you got the best military on the planet.

 

 

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49 minutes ago, NightSG said:

 When it becomes the standard, something isn't right.

I think it speaks more to a properly run program.  Done right, every boy coming out of the 11-year-old program should be 1st class rank.  Once you get to that point, except for the Eagle Scout project to advance in rank you really only need to earn merit badges (a total of 21).  Generally speaking if you attend a BSA scout summer camp you can earn 5 merit badges in a week there.  In 4 years that's 20, once you hit Life you can start working on your Eagle project and that's doing nothing else.

For a moderately motivated young man and an okay troop they should easily get Eagle by age 15. For a very well run troop getting Eagle by 13-14 should not be uncommon.

Once you pass a requirement you don't get "tested" on it again until you Boards of Review and up until your Eagle BoR they are pretty basic and you are specifically told by BSA that it is not a test.

If you talk about gundecking requirements, complain about today's modern "everyone gets a trophy" culture b/c that is the exact same culture that leads to "gundecking".

But again in a very well run troop, getting Eagle by 14 should be pretty common.

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5 minutes ago, yjacket said:

If you talk about gundecking requirements, complain about today's modern "everyone gets a trophy" culture b/c that is the exact same culture that leads to "gundecking".

 

I don't know anything about "gundecking" or the Boy Scouts, but I think participation trophies are a huge problem in this culture. With my generation (tail end of Gen X) growing up in the 90's we made fun of the participation trophies we got! I remember joking with friends in 5th grade about how they meant nothing. What troubles me is you see young people today acting like their trophy for 10th place means something. The real world doesn't give trophies for 10th place. 

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On 5/12/2017 at 10:55 AM, paracaidista508 said:

Our church went from rough frontier and self reliant types to having a population of men who have better skin and softer hands than their wives. Funny thing, our stake did a trek a ways back and on the average, the women and girls were much hardier than the average male. The boys and most of the men were shocked their women folks were tougher than them.

Just got back from the High School Awards Presentation.  In that school's class of 2017 biggest award recipients - a young man received the full scholarship to Julliard.  A young woman received the $180,000 scholarship to the US Navy.

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45 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

An Eagle Scout is not a Doogie Howser.  Joseph Smith was not given an Eagle Scout of Honor at 14.  He was given a whole lot more than that.

He was given something completely irrelevant to the discussion; a sort of answer to "which Church should I join?" in the form of "Hi, yes, We are real, and We thank you for your interest, but want you to know that We do not have any authorized representatives on your world at this time.  We'll get back to you with details when you're older." 

Quote

If you graduated out of Cub Scouts not knowing how to fold a flag something is wrong with your Scouting program.  We teach that to Wolves and Bears.  Just because there are 12-year-olds who doesn't know how to use knots doesn't mean 12-year-olds are too young for it.  It means, those 12-year-olds are not taught properly.  Our deacons, for example, built a rope bridge for some Merit Badge requirement.

I learned all of that at 12 because no one was going to sign off my requirements until I actually demonstrated those skills at a reasonable level of proficiency, and I had to make First Class by early June to get to go to Jamboree.  

My six (actually probably closer to 30 by that point) "overnight camping activities" weren't "go out on the manicured lawn Friday night after dinner, hold the bag ("help erect a tent or other shelter") while dad sets up the popup screen shelter to keep the mosquitoes away and nap on a sleeping bag in the 70 degree clear night before heading back in the house for breakfast" either, but actual full weekend, long weekend, or in at least two cases, week long campouts where the height of luxury was that there was usually either an old well or a water trailer there so we didn't have to boil creek water for everything.  Voyager tents, (the simple triangle with its own floor, a zipper and a mosquito net) were a rationed commodity, so we'd learn to set up the wall and Baker styles, rather than just grabbing the easy Voyagers every time, and so we'd learn other ways to deal with mosquitoes and keeping the rain out.  If you're not even going to test the camping skills for a full 36 hours, you might as well just give them a credit card and sign off on their ability to check in to LaQuinta and order pizza.

Quote

Now, in the Philippines, you graduate out of High School at age 15 which means, they have to have graduated from the mandatory 1 year of Army Training as it is a required class to graduate.  I find it interesting that many people think 14 years old is too young for Eagle.  If you ever end up going to war, your 14 year olds will be useless next to Filipino 14-year-olds.

Our 14 year olds won't be going to war, because our battle plans generally don't include infantry charges with machetes, and we're certainly not going to try to build "grow a cockpit" adjustable aircraft so we can handle having pilots go through puberty and combat training at the same time.

I'm sure there are Guineans who wonder why we make our girls wait until they're so old to get married and pregnant, but that doesn't mean that even their 12 year olds are really ready to be popping out babies, any more than our customs mean that every (or any) 21 year old will drink responsibly.

Edited by NightSG

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On 5/12/2017 at 9:55 AM, paracaidista508 said:

That being said, scouting was falling apart inside the lds church anyway. When we have so many adult leaders who don't take the kids camping,

And yet their First Class requirements including six camping activities still end up getting signed off.

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3 minutes ago, NightSG said:

He was given something completely irrelevant to the discussion; a sort of answer to "which Church should I join?" in the form of "Hi, yes, We are real, and We thank you for your interest, but want you to know that We do not have any authorized representatives on your world at this time.  We'll get back to you with details when you're older." 

I learned all of that at 12 because no one was going to sign off my requirements until I actually demonstrated those skills at a reasonable level of proficiency, and I had to make First Class by early June to get to go to Jamboree.  

My six (actually probably closer to 30 by that point) "overnight camping activities" weren't "go out on the manicured lawn Friday night after dinner, hold the bag ("help erect a tent or other shelter") while dad sets up the popup screen shelter to keep the mosquitoes away and nap on a sleeping bag in the 70 degree clear night before heading back in the house for breakfast" either, but actual full weekend, long weekend, or in at least two cases, week long campouts where the height of luxury was that there was usually either an old well or a water trailer there so we didn't have to boil creek water for everything.  Voyager tents, (the simple triangle with its own floor, a zipper and a mosquito net) were a rationed commodity, so we'd learn to set up the wall and Baker styles, rather than just grabbing the easy Voyagers every time, and so we'd learn other ways to deal with mosquitoes and keeping the rain out.  If you're not even going to test the camping skills for a full 36 hours, you might as well just give them a credit card and sign off on their ability to check in to LaQuinta and order pizza.

Our 14 year olds won't be going to war, because our battle plans generally don't include infantry charges with machetes, and we're certainly not going to try to build "grow a cockpit" adjustable aircraft so we can handle having pilots go through puberty and combat training at the same time.

I'm sure there are Guineans who wonder why we make our girls wait until they're so old to get married and pregnant, but that doesn't mean that even their 12 year olds are really ready to be popping out babies, any more than our customs mean that every (or any) 21 year old will drink responsibly.

Oh!  You're being funny! 

This is what I got from your post:  "My scouting program sucked so 14 year olds shouldn't get Eagle".  and... "Oh, we're in the first world country so 14 year olds can't have leadership and life skills... that's only for 3rd world countries."

And you wonder why your Millennial generation went looney tunes...

 

 

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1 hour ago, MormonGator said:

I don't know anything about "gundecking" or the Boy Scouts, but I think participation trophies are a huge problem in this culture. With my generation (tail end of Gen X) growing up in the 90's we made fun of the participation trophies we got! I remember joking with friends in 5th grade about how they meant nothing. What troubles me is you see young people today acting like their trophy for 10th place means something. The real world doesn't give trophies for 10th place. 

Totally off-topic on Scouting, but there is currently a discussion on one of my teacher forums where a crazed parent is trying to get a teacher (3rd grade, I believe) to purchase graduation trophies for every kid in the class, plus the asking teacher (kinder) to purchase graduation gowns and caps for all of them.

Because every kid literally deserves a graduation and a trophy.

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5 hours ago, MormonGator said:

Excuse me, but @Carborendum is a great guy, my friend, and is very well respected here. He did not make up any "falsehoods". Nor is he calling you a liar. 

You need to tone it down and not talk about people like that. 

Carb did call me a liar. Sure he sugarcoated it, but he said the info in my post was "unfounded." If by chance you are not familiar with what "unfounded" means, I have inserted some possible alternate words for you. Go to the link and you will see that "unfounded" is just a nice way to say "liar."

http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/unfounded?s=t

As to the comment where he accused me of saying Pres Monson wasn't doing his job...well that has been addressed already.

Additionally, I asked for a moderator review of my post and asked for the proper suspension if indeed that is what I did as it would be a violation of our forums rule #1. My post is still there, so there is that.

He called me a liar and lied about what I said. Too bad he needs you to come here and stand up for him. He has posted about 20 times throughout this forum since he accused me of this, yet he lacks the energy to come handle this.

It is so nice of you to defend his honor, but I am not gonna tone it down. If it hurts his feelings or your sensibilities that is too bad.

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Just now, anatess2 said:

This is what I got from your post:  "My scouting program sucked so 14 year olds shouldn't get Eagle". 

No, pay attention; my Scouting program produced men who can take care of themselves when things go bad, and even those of us who don't seek leadership positions as a matter of course are still well able and willing to take up the mantle of leadership when it's necessary.  It did that by making things hard.  Sometimes harder than they needed to be, sometimes just exactly as hard as they were without unnecessary coddling.  Even some of our worse Scouts have gone on to make it through some tough times (real ones; not just having to choose between the full cable package and a weekly mani/pedi) without giving up.  Heck, there's one of the troublemakers I've now thrown off elevated surfaces four times and he's become fairly respectable.  (Long story.  He was rappelling one of those times, and two were into water.)

There were no participation trophies, no "oh this requirement is just too inconvenient to actually do, so we'll just sign it off without doing it," and our adult leaders were there to make sure nobody got hurt too badly, rather than to hold our hands through every step of every requirement.  

They drove the van and checked the bandages that other Scouts applied.  I don't recall any of them ever stepping in on any first aid unless it was an injury that was going to require an immediate trip to the hospital.  We planned long weekend campouts where the adult leaders only provided budget information and then double checked our plans before they made the grocery runs.  We scheduled equipment maintenance days when too many of the tents needed to be patched or waterproofed.

At 13, I went to the National Jamboree.  Our 17 year old SPL handled most of what went on in camp, with the adults doing nightly headcounts and bringing updates from their meetings.  We were left to our own devices, to the point that the bandage Jason put on after I stabbed a knife through my finger didn't get fully checked out by an adult for two days.  (Passed on the first check, too, since both of us took the First Aid Merit Badge seriously, and of course, I was providing the third hand and second brain in getting it treated right.)  The scar still reminds me that sharp blades are easier to control.  I learned how to fold the Ohio State Flag not because the adults pushed me to do it, but because a couple of us were looking for something productive to do between merit badge seminars and dinnertime when we noticed the crew for the main flag display didn't have enough people to handle all 50 states plus the US, World Scouting Flag and BSA flags simultaneously, so we rounded up a couple others, and joined in.  (And learned that Ohio's swallowtail burgee is the only non-rectangular state flag.  That actually came in handy once a couple decades later...and not even in a game of Trivial Pursuit.) 

Also at 13, I did the Wilderness Survival Merit Badge campout and my OA Ordeal back to back in the middle of the Texas summer, because frankly, sleeping on a soft pile of cedar branches in a debris hut down in the shaded valley with a small smudge fire (lit by primitive means) to keep the bugs away was more comfortable than the rocky ground in the regular campsites up top.  (And thus began my tradition of lugging a few armloads of cedar branches up an 80' bluff at the start of each summer camp there.)  I'm sure I stunk after that, but I slept well, and the cold hose water shower at the end of it all felt pretty good.  To this day when a task looks tough, one of the first things I ask myself is whether I really think it's going to be harder than 48 hours in the wilderness in summer with a canteen, a few slices of bread and a knife.

At 14, I was a patrol leader, learning quickly that leading even 8 11-15 year old boys is on par with nailing soup to a wall.  I was also learning a great deal of respect for the 15-17 year old SPL and ASPL that had to deal with all 30-40 of us.  I ended up as acting ASPL on some campouts, and of course, that left me as acting SPL whenever the regular one wasn't available, which left me with no doubt that elementary education would not be a good career choice for me.  Still, I learned to do the job and do it to the best of my ability, which has come in handy more often than knowing how to fold the flag of a state I've never even been to.  (Might do a bike tour in the next year or two and fix that.  Unfortunately, Cincinnati is a 8-10 day ride each way, so not something I can do in a long weekend.)

At 15, well, there was a pretty girl with waist length brown hair.  Then a blonde.  Then another blonde, then a redhead, and back to the second blonde.  That pretty much took up my free time for a while.

I'd like to know how may of those 14 year old Eagle Scouts could be dumped in the woods for 2-3 days with just what's in their pockets, build a decent camp, gather wild food and ride out a thunderstorm relatively dry without calling for extraction.  I'd bet good money that any of Troop 39's First Class Scouts can do it today.

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As a general rule, when the majority of someone's posts are contentious, they don't have a lot of room to cry foul when they get offended about something someone else said (or didn't say). 

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2 hours ago, NightSG said:

My six (actually probably closer to 30 by that point) "overnight camping activities"

Hmm.  At least from 2008 through 2015 or so, I believe First Class only required three overnight campouts. 

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On 5/16/2017 at 10:20 PM, paracaidista508 said:
3. Like I said, if Pres Monson wanted all of them there on the record, then they would have. I'm pretty sure if that was the directive, they all would have been there.....vacation or not. The church has adequate resources to get them there in a pinch...in fact I bet they could get them anywhere in the world in less than 24 hrs. If they wanted to.

Can you actually corroborate this?  I know billionaires (OK, I just know one billionaire, going on two if things go right) that can't make that statement about themselves.  How can you make that supposition about an organization that owns no high speed transportation and have to stand in line like everyone else?

Has Jon Huntsman ever withdrawn the offer to use his two Gulfstreams?  I don't know if that includes pilots, but I'm betting the Church can come up with a couple at need.

I'd also be very surprised if there aren't several other members willing to lend the use of aircraft capable of intercontinental travel, and probably a few who own charter services that could handle such a job.  A billionaire who can't return to his country of citizenship from anywhere in the world on 24 hours notice isn't trying very hard.

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21 minutes ago, paracaidista508 said:

Additionally, I asked for a moderator review of my post and asked for the proper suspension if indeed that is what I did as it would be a violation of our forums rule #1. My post is still there, so there is that.

(Mod hat on for a moment)

If you seek mod review of a post, please use the site's "report" function.  To my knowledge, that has not yet been done. 

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3 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Hmm.  At least from 2008 through 2015 or so, I believe First Class only required three overnight campouts. 

I'm fairly certain it was a lot more than six when I did it, but I can't find my old Handbook to look it up.  

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The appropriate way to request for a post to be reviewed is to report that post so it goes in our queue. And then you may or may not know when it has been reviewed or what has been decided.

Edited by estradling75
removed infracted content

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1 hour ago, Eowyn said:

As a general rule, when the majority of someone's posts are contentious, they don't have a lot of room to cry foul when they get offended about something someone else said (or didn't say). 

Who are we speaking of? Me or carb? 

Edited by paracaidista508

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9 hours ago, yjacket said:

I think it speaks more to a properly run program.  Done right, every boy coming out of the 11-year-old program should be 1st class rank.  Once you get to that point, except for the Eagle Scout project to advance in rank you really only need to earn merit badges (a total of 21).  Generally speaking if you attend a BSA scout summer camp you can earn 5 merit badges in a week there.  In 4 years that's 20, once you hit Life you can start working on your Eagle project and that's doing nothing else.

For a moderately motivated young man and an okay troop they should easily get Eagle by age 15. For a very well run troop getting Eagle by 13-14 should not be uncommon.

Once you pass a requirement you don't get "tested" on it again until you Boards of Review and up until your Eagle BoR they are pretty basic and you are specifically told by BSA that it is not a test.

If you talk about gundecking requirements, complain about today's modern "everyone gets a trophy" culture b/c that is the exact same culture that leads to "gundecking".

But again in a very well run troop, getting Eagle by 14 should be pretty common.

That is not possible anymore unless the bishop twists the program slightly.

The Boy Scouts now require the Scout to get to first class at least 10 outings with their patrol and at least 6 campouts with their troop.

The LDS church ONLY allows boys 3 official campouts for 11 year old scouts.  Yes...that is a discrepancy between what the LDS church allows and what the BSA requires.

However, for a properly motivated boy (or in the LDS church for Mormon Eagles where the boys are NOT required to be motivated and instead it is the LEADERS teaching all the merit badges or getting the merit badge counselors instead of how the boys are supposed to go out and get them and utilize the counselors showing a degree of responsibility and determination on the boys part), I agree, getting an Eagle is doable by 14.  It should take 6 months for a Non-LDS boy to get to first class, and 1 year and 3-4 months for an LDS boy to get to first class (because of the 6 campout requirements).  You then add on another 4 months for star, 6 months for Life and another 6 months for Eagle, meaning for an LDS boy, They should get their Eagle 2 months before they turn 14.  Not a ton of leeway there.

HOWEVER, I think members in their joyous rejoicing at their hatred of the LDS church's young men's program (which was Varsity and Venture scouts), they are MISSING the point, and it's excessively tragic.  Yes, this may be a warning to the Boy Scouts, but it isn't like the LDS church is getting OUT of scouts currently.  There is overly too much rejoicing over this from membership, to the point that they are MISSING the OTHER side of the equation.  This is simply going back to what the LDS church was like several decades ago BEFORE there were any Venture or Varsity programs.  As per what I've gotten instructions on from SLC (Well, from area authorities and stake president rather than directly, but I think they got it more directly), this is NOT taking every 14-18 year old OUT of scouting, it's simply discontinuing the Varsity and Venture programs.

In prior decades, boys started Boy Scouts and could continue with Boy Scouts until they were 18 if they wished, especially if they wanted to continue working towards their Eagle Scout.  Not every boy did.  This is what we are going back to.  If the boys in the ward want to keep on working towards their Eagle Scout we keep them registered in the troop.  If they want to stop scouting at 14, or earned their Eagle and want to stop scouts, we can let them.  That's all.

However, this is FAR more serious in regards to the membership.  The REASON Varsity and Venture scouts being dropped (yes, as I said, it could be seen as a warning to the BSA, but there is a FAR MORE important reason towards the members on WHY this change is occurring, and members everywhere are missing it) is because the members flagrantly disobeyed the General Authorities on Varsity and Venture Scouts.  Instead of helping their young men participate in the program, the membership basically ignored anything and everything in regards to the Young men's program in EVERY way.  It was far more than just Varsity and Venture scouts, it was simply like dropping the Young Men off the planet and forgetting a real Young Men's program existed.  It wasn't just Varsity and Venture scout awards that were not being earned, no one was getting the Duty to God or working on any of the Church's other religious aspects of the Young men's program.

The members (there were specific ones that did work on this, but we are talking generally) ignored the Young Men's program as set out for any boy 14 and older.  Instead they focused solely on the program set out for the 12-14 year olds in getting boys their Eagle Scouts. The other awards, ideas (such as Duty to God and the religious focus for 14 to 18 year olds) was entirely ignored in favor of the 12-14  year old program in Young Mens in general.  Membership IGNORING what the General Authorities promoted and created for the Young men for many years now led to this.  If the membership will NOT use the tools provided, and seeing the excessive failure rate where Young Men becoming single adults are dropping away from the church, something had to be done.

So, they took away the tools and are trying to make it a FAR more direct point.  THIS IS THE YOUNG MEN'S PROGRAM, it is WRITTEN DOWN officially from the church.  NOW DO IT.

I've seen a LOT of people rejoicing, but almost NONE of them are getting the actual message to the saints in this instance.  Everyone is remarking about how terrible the scouts are (quick point, the LDS church is STILL in the scouts, whether we will be in 3-5 years, I do not know, but for now, we are still with them), but almost NONE are talking about how this program (and it's not a brand new one, it was originally made a few years ago with the Venture program being tailored more to fit into it a short while after that) is going to be utilized.

I think it's because the members are going to continue ignoring what Salt Lake is telling them, and instead of buckling down and focusing on what is important, teaching our young men responsibility, reverence, and faith, they are going to continue doing what they were before.  Doing basketball or a fun activity on Youth night without a refocus on how every activity should in some way be helping that young man establish a stronger faith and connection to our Lord.

This is a serious thing, but I think this thread is indicative of the general attitude in the LDS church right now.  Rejoice over what they think is happening to those they do not like, but iGNORE the brethren on what they are saying and it's ramifications on us, and HOW it actually applies to us and how we should be reflecting on how we should improve our lives, rather than how it may hurt another...because I can tell you, this is NOT done to hurt the scouts in any way (other than MAYBE being a warning)...but more to try to find ways so that the Saints will focus on the important facets for our young men.

If they cannot utilize a program with a small complexity that was designed by General Authorities in connection with the BSA to help our Teachers and Priests develop a faith strong in the church, perhaps a more basic and direct measure is needed.  This is it.  However, I'm starting to get the impression people are going to continue to ignore what the Brethren have given us (the young men's program from a few years back is STILL what we are suppose to use, as was directed in the original media release and further instruction I have heard) that is used by the rest of the world beyond the US...even if we are not using the other tools of Varsity and Venture scouts that we had previously.

 

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I had stated:

Quote

If you can show a source, then fine, I'll apologize.

You then provided it.

On 5/16/2017 at 10:20 PM, paracaidista508 said:

Heres the first one - Jul 13, 2015 http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/13/us/boy-scouts-gay-ban/index.html

And the follow up on the 28th: http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/27/us/boy-scouts-gay-leaders-feat/

OK.  I formally apologize for saying that the notice wasn't there.

Now, you took it a step further when there was no call for it.

22 hours ago, paracaidista508 said:

Carborendum,

You done calling me a liar yet?

I proved it with info any moron ( to include this one) can find...cnn. I already knew it before i posted it. You should have figued that when i used specific dates in my original post where you accused me of using unfounded info.

OK.  You called me a moron -- or less than a moron since I couldn't find it on CNN because of a funky way they have of labeling the headlines on their search bar. 

And when I simply ask for a source you believe I'm calling you a liar?  You need to lighten up.

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While we're raking the Church membership over the coals for failing to make proper obeisance to the True and Living BSA, let's also take a moment to recognize that once you're dealing with high-school aged boys high school sports becomes a palpable competitor to any program the Church chooses to offer.  Even when I was doing 11-year-old Scouts, that was probably my most immediate and persistent headache:  the two or three kids who were doing little league, or city league football, or what-have-you; and whose parents then couldn't understand why their little darling wasn't getting the recognition he deserved at awards ceremonies. 

Perhaps the single most effective thing the Church leadership could have done to bolster participation in Varsity/Venturing, would have been to explicitly discourage its YM from participating in intramural/high school sports.

Given that the Church seems to have been unwilling to ask its YM to give the BSA their complete allegiance at the expense of competing interests like sports (and academics, and volunteerism, and part-time jobs, and non-Church-related social activities . . .), I'm not inclined to condemn the membership too harshly for failing to fully implement a manpower-intensive program that apparently wasn't that much of a Church priority and that substantial numbers of the boys themselves didn't want.

By the way--a cursory search of conference.lds.org indicates that Varsity Scouting hasn't been mentioned at a General Conference since 1990; and Venturing has never been mentioned in General Conference at all.  How easy would it have been for someone--anyone!--to have said, over the pulpit, "By the way, brethren--get your Varsity and Venturing programs in order!"?

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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30 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Perhaps the single most effective thing the Church leadership could have done to bolster participation in Varsity/Venturing, would have been to explicitly discourage its YM from participating in intramural/high school sports.

Ah yes, because they're not isolated enough as it is.  Maybe we could also build bunkhouses behind all the meetinghouses and simply not let them leave the grounds until they're 18.

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16 hours ago, NightSG said:

No, pay attention; my Scouting program produced men who can take care of themselves when things go bad, and even those of us who don't seek leadership positions as a matter of course are still well able and willing to take up the mantle of leadership when it's necessary.  It did that by making things hard.  Sometimes harder than they needed to be, sometimes just exactly as hard as they were without unnecessary coddling.  Even some of our worse Scouts have gone on to make it through some tough times (real ones; not just having to choose between the full cable package and a weekly mani/pedi) without giving up.  Heck, there's one of the troublemakers I've now thrown off elevated surfaces four times and he's become fairly respectable.  (Long story.  He was rappelling one of those times, and two were into water.)

There were no participation trophies, no "oh this requirement is just too inconvenient to actually do, so we'll just sign it off without doing it," and our adult leaders were there to make sure nobody got hurt too badly, rather than to hold our hands through every step of every requirement.  

They drove the van and checked the bandages that other Scouts applied.  I don't recall any of them ever stepping in on any first aid unless it was an injury that was going to require an immediate trip to the hospital.  We planned long weekend campouts where the adult leaders only provided budget information and then double checked our plans before they made the grocery runs.  We scheduled equipment maintenance days when too many of the tents needed to be patched or waterproofed.

At 13, I went to the National Jamboree.  Our 17 year old SPL handled most of what went on in camp, with the adults doing nightly headcounts and bringing updates from their meetings.  We were left to our own devices, to the point that the bandage Jason put on after I stabbed a knife through my finger didn't get fully checked out by an adult for two days.  (Passed on the first check, too, since both of us took the First Aid Merit Badge seriously, and of course, I was providing the third hand and second brain in getting it treated right.)  The scar still reminds me that sharp blades are easier to control.  I learned how to fold the Ohio State Flag not because the adults pushed me to do it, but because a couple of us were looking for something productive to do between merit badge seminars and dinnertime when we noticed the crew for the main flag display didn't have enough people to handle all 50 states plus the US, World Scouting Flag and BSA flags simultaneously, so we rounded up a couple others, and joined in.  (And learned that Ohio's swallowtail burgee is the only non-rectangular state flag.  That actually came in handy once a couple decades later...and not even in a game of Trivial Pursuit.) 

Also at 13, I did the Wilderness Survival Merit Badge campout and my OA Ordeal back to back in the middle of the Texas summer, because frankly, sleeping on a soft pile of cedar branches in a debris hut down in the shaded valley with a small smudge fire (lit by primitive means) to keep the bugs away was more comfortable than the rocky ground in the regular campsites up top.  (And thus began my tradition of lugging a few armloads of cedar branches up an 80' bluff at the start of each summer camp there.)  I'm sure I stunk after that, but I slept well, and the cold hose water shower at the end of it all felt pretty good.  To this day when a task looks tough, one of the first things I ask myself is whether I really think it's going to be harder than 48 hours in the wilderness in summer with a canteen, a few slices of bread and a knife.

At 14, I was a patrol leader, learning quickly that leading even 8 11-15 year old boys is on par with nailing soup to a wall.  I was also learning a great deal of respect for the 15-17 year old SPL and ASPL that had to deal with all 30-40 of us.  I ended up as acting ASPL on some campouts, and of course, that left me as acting SPL whenever the regular one wasn't available, which left me with no doubt that elementary education would not be a good career choice for me.  Still, I learned to do the job and do it to the best of my ability, which has come in handy more often than knowing how to fold the flag of a state I've never even been to.  (Might do a bike tour in the next year or two and fix that.  Unfortunately, Cincinnati is a 8-10 day ride each way, so not something I can do in a long weekend.)

At 15, well, there was a pretty girl with waist length brown hair.  Then a blonde.  Then another blonde, then a redhead, and back to the second blonde.  That pretty much took up my free time for a while.

I'd like to know how may of those 14 year old Eagle Scouts could be dumped in the woods for 2-3 days with just what's in their pockets, build a decent camp, gather wild food and ride out a thunderstorm relatively dry without calling for extraction.  I'd bet good money that any of Troop 39's First Class Scouts can do it today.

Ok, here is, once again the disconnect - and it can be addressed by just the line I bolded above.

I have 2 boys who you can dump in the woods and survive a zombie apocalypse.  But, is that typical of today's American 14-year-old?  NO.  The issue is not because being able to survive a zombie apocalypse at 14 is only possible for Doogie Howser.  The issue is because WE ARE NOT TEACHING OUR BOYS PROPERLY.

And by the way... what matters most to survival is not necessarily that you can remember how to tie every knot you've learned in your Merit Badge.   What matters most to survival is GRIT.  The strength of character to take charge and not sink into helplessness when the going gets rough.  It's that strength of character to pull your bootstraps and give yourself into the service of others.  This is the character that allows boys who normally would rather play video games, the ability to think through problems and dig themselves and their societies out of situations even when all they got is a spoon.  They can think their way through problems.  That's what an Eagle Award is supposed to represent.  And this is something that SHOULD be more common in 14 year olds.  Now, being able to survive Navy Seal Training?  Not something a 14-year-old can do.  That would be a Doogie Howser 14-year-old that can do that.

 

 

 

 

Edited by anatess2

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