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Thread: The Thread about Good Things in Scouting

  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    That doesn't really happen in most places. If leaders can find a middle ground between being a requirements Nazi and a total slacker, earning the merit badges can be an important way for boys to learn how to work and progress steadily towards a long-term goal. But Scouting is so variable from troop to troop and leader to leader. There are probably as many horror stories as success stories. And LDS troops have a deserved reputation as the worst.
    In the news reports of the change today, Fox 13's Ben Winslow has had many people telling him their stories of scouting in Utah.

    One of the more common ones, especially in Utah County it seems, was parents requiring a completed Eagle Scout to get a driver license.

    Scouting is an interesting world.

    I'm currently a collateral advisor for the SLCPD Police Explorer program. We have 70 Explorers. Last year they did approximate 17,000 hours of community service. The Explorer post is technically a part of the Boy Scouts Of America. (Interestingly enough we have more girls than boys in the post and have since it's inception)


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  2. #62
    Here is the 'new' program if you are interested.

    https://www.lds.org/youth/ymactivities?lang=eng

    A lot of the stuff was there before the announcement. I am encouraged that it says that there should be more combined YM/YW activities and I hope that it brings some parity in the funding. My current ward has actually always been good to keep the funding pretty equal.

  3. #63
    Senior Member Scorcho's Avatar
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  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    This is essentially what was happening in our ward anyway. We went on a 'Varsity campout' and the Varsity leader was like, "Hey, let's go uh... get your chainsawing merit badge." He hadn't the slightest clue about the scouting program.
    Hey, that sounds like me!
    I saw a door that said exit only. So I entered through it and went up to the guy working there and said "I have good news. You have severely underestimated that door over there. By like a hundred percent." Demetri Marti

  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Dwight Schr-Ute View Post
    . . .these non-Eagle earning losers.
    Hey, that sounds like me too!
    I saw a door that said exit only. So I entered through it and went up to the guy working there and said "I have good news. You have severely underestimated that door over there. By like a hundred percent." Demetri Marti

  6. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post

    I don't know that Eagle numbers will go down too far. I think most people complete it before age 14 now anyway.
    Yes, the mom's work much harder today than in days gone by. My mom was a slacker and as a result, I did not get an Eagle.

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisrenrut View Post
    Hey, that sounds like me!
    I just noticed that Roundtable is tonight. I was almost tempted to go to see what the mood and conversation is.
    I saw a door that said exit only. So I entered through it and went up to the guy working there and said "I have good news. You have severely underestimated that door over there. By like a hundred percent." Demetri Marti

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisrenrut View Post
    I just noticed that Roundtable is tonight. I was almost tempted to go to see what the mood and conversation is.
    Are you on that email list where there are about 500 people all not in bcc? That's my favorite.


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  9. #69
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    The LDS Church is out of Scouting as of the end of 2019. This was not hard to see coming, but I think it’s a little sad nonetheless. I was pretty involved in Scouting in the church, albeit in Southern California where it is quite a bit different from Utah LDS Scouting.

    It is the end of an era. Onward and upward.

    https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/artic...prclt=6D5STF4x

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  10. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    The LDS Church is out of Scouting as of the end of 2019. This was not hard to see coming, but I think it’s a little sad nonetheless. I was pretty involved in Scouting in the church, albeit in Southern California where it is quite a bit different from Utah LDS Scouting.

    It is the end of an era. Onward and upward.

    https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/artic...prclt=6D5STF4x
    I'm thinking of all the assets and property that the scout organization in Utah is going to have to eventually liquidate. Kind of staggering. There is now way they'll be able to maintain it. The entire bottom half of Millcreek Canyon may soon be up for sale.

    This has to be a serious blow to the organization nationwide too. I can remember exactly what percentage but I believe it was something like 30% of the chartered organizations in BSA are LDS. That'll be tough to recover from.

    Maybe finally they'll get that top heavy organization under control.


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  11. #71
    I just got set apart as scout master this last Sunday. I guess I know know my release date.

  12. #72
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    I'm thinking of all the assets and property that the scout organization in Utah is going to have to eventually liquidate. Kind of staggering. There is now way they'll be able to maintain it. The entire bottom half of Millcreek Canyon may soon be up for sale.

    This has to be a serious blow to the organization nationwide too. I can remember exactly what percentage but I believe it was something like 30% of the chartered organizations in BSA are LDS. That'll be tough to recover from.

    Maybe finally they'll get that top heavy organization under control.


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    We have been huge for the BSA in Friends of Scouting. I was on the board of our council here in L.A. and they loved us for that. They didn't love (or understand) much else about LDS Scouting, an attitude that I fully understand. We have always been a different kind of bird in that organization.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  13. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    The LDS Church is out of Scouting as of the end of 2019. This was not hard to see coming, but I think it’s a little sad nonetheless. I was pretty involved in Scouting in the church, albeit in Southern California where it is quite a bit different from Utah LDS Scouting.

    It is the end of an era. Onward and upward.

    https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/artic...prclt=6D5STF4x
    I too had great experiences with scouts, but other than my Eagle project, they were all things that can and should still exist without the BSA program. It's all about being together and doing great things. The BSA part often got in the way of that.

    I hate the timing of this. Why wait a year and a half? Now we have to maintain a charade for a long time. My son just turned 11. He'll be in 11 year old scouts for 18 months, working on tenderfoot, 2nd class, and 1st class rank advancements, with us knowing all the while that we won't pursue it beyond that.

    Our scoutmaster is moving two months. I will try to convince the bishop to let the YM go without scouting activities now. We had the following program for a while:

    Week 1: Game night
    Week 2: Combined with YW
    Week 3: Service project (usually helping someone in the ward with something at their house)
    Week 4: Skills night (boys pick skills they want to learn about)

    Then someone came in and threw a wrench in it all, asking that we do scout night 1-2 times per month. I hope we go back to this when the scoutmaster moves instead of pretending to care for another 18 months. And for the units that do pretend to care for another 18 months, I hope they can put the ranks and badges aside and just do fun/educational/uplifting things. Sully, I hope you are able to do that and not worry about the rest.

    I'm glad I will not have to listen to "invest in character" petitions in priesthood meetings anymore. Those always bothered me.

    On Saturday, my very conservative, very old neighbor came over to ask if he could buy a subscription to Boys' Life for my son. Then he went on about the BSA allowing girls and the "emasculation" of America. He asked what we Mormons do for our boys and if they ever get to be with just the boys. I wonder if he'll hear about this change.

    The media, of course, sees this as a reaction to gay leadership and girls in the BSA, but I think we all know this was happening with or without those changes.

    By the way, this page has been up for a long time, and I imagine this is what YM/YW and Activity Days for primary age kids will look like:

    https://www.lds.org/youth/ymactivities?lang=eng

  14. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    I'm thinking of all the assets and property that the scout organization in Utah is going to have to eventually liquidate. Kind of staggering. There is now way they'll be able to maintain it. The entire bottom half of Millcreek Canyon may soon be up for sale.

    This has to be a serious blow to the organization nationwide too. I can remember exactly what percentage but I believe it was something like 30% of the chartered organizations in BSA are LDS. That'll be tough to recover from.

    Maybe finally they'll get that top heavy organization under control.


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    I would expect the LDS church's youth program that will be replacing scouting to replicate many of the aspects of scouting, including camps. I wonder if the church won't be looking to buy a lot of these properties for their own use?

  15. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by UBlender View Post
    I would expect the LDS church's youth program that will be replacing scouting to replicate many of the aspects of scouting, including camps. I wonder if the church won't be looking to buy a lot of these properties for their own use?
    I loved those cub scout camps as a boy. They were fun. The boy scout camps later on? They were alright, but not as much fun as just doing a 50 miler with your ward.

    One of my worst experiences with scouting was at bear lake scout camp. I signed up for the "order of the arrow". This is a bizarre award. The older boys dragged us youngsters all over the camp and made us do hard labor. Cool Hand Luke stuff - dig a hole, then fill it in, then dig another hole. The primary rules were that we had to take whatever they dished out and that we were not allowed to talk at all. If we talked, we got sent back to camp and didn't get our award. In hindsight, it was a hazing ritual.

    Speaking of cool hand luke, here's a bluegrass cover of Breathe:


  16. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    And for the units that do pretend to care for another 18 months, I hope they can put the ranks and badges aside and just do fun/educational/uplifting things. Sully, I hope you are able to do that and not worry about the rest.
    The only person that cares about scouting in our small ward is the Young mens president’s wife. I am sure she will have him rushing to get her sons’ eagles before we quit the program.

  17. #77
    Quote Originally Posted by Sullyute View Post
    The only person that cares about scouting in our small ward is the Young mens president’s wife. I am sure she will have him rushing to get her sons’ eagles before we quit the program.

    Happy my son has been involved in sports and didn't have any interest in scouts. Feel like we dodged a bullet.....a big, boring, useless bullet.
    “Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.” -- Harry S. Truman

    "You never soar so high as when you stoop down to help a child or an animal." -- Jewish Proverb

    "Three-time Pro Bowler Eric Weddle the most versatile, and maybe most intelligent, safety in the game." -- SI, 9/7/15, p. 107.

  18. #78
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    As much as I've loved my involvement in Scouting, and as much good as it did my own sons, it doesn't work for every boy. I'm hoping the church's new program will allow for more individualized experience. In 20 years there will still be adults who had a bad experience in the new program, but they'll have to blame their individual leaders instead of the program generally. (Which is what the dissatisfied ought to be doing now about Scouting. But Scouting makes a good punching bag.)

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  19. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by mUUser View Post
    Happy my son has been involved in sports and didn't have any interest in scouts. Feel like we dodged a bullet.....a big, boring, useless bullet.
    Parts are boring, and parts are useless, but being with the other boys on Tuesday nights and on outings is 1,000 good.

  20. #80
    My son is an eagle project away from his eagle. We have been encouraging him to do a real eagle project. If you read through the requirements it involved organizing a large and meaningful project that benefits the community and leading the other boys. Good stuff if you do it right, and a sight more than some of the eagle projects I've seen like one who made a quilt (or rather his mom and her friends did while he sat in the room) for the Ronald McDonald house.

    I am an Eagle Scout, I worked at Cub Country as a youth and was a scout master. There was a lot of good in these programs and a lot of bad, to the point where I personally felt like the bad was outweighing the good.

    Take all the garbage out of scouts and make that the model for the new program for both boys and girls. I'm guessing that is what they'll do.


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  21. #81
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    When I look back on my youth, what left the deepest impressions on me was not necessarily the activities experiences, but the adult leaders who cared about me.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  22. #82
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    .....I hate the timing of this. Why wait a year and a half? Now we have to maintain a charade for a long time. My son just turned 11. He'll be in 11 year old scouts for 18 months, working on tenderfoot, 2nd class, and 1st class rank advancements, with us knowing all the while that we won't pursue it beyond that.....

    For those that believe in the program, it seems to me it would be easy enough to find a good BSA troop to join.
    “Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.” -- Harry S. Truman

    "You never soar so high as when you stoop down to help a child or an animal." -- Jewish Proverb

    "Three-time Pro Bowler Eric Weddle the most versatile, and maybe most intelligent, safety in the game." -- SI, 9/7/15, p. 107.

  23. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by mUUser View Post
    For those that believe in the program, it seems to me it would be easy enough to find a good BSA troop to join.
    Gotta be, right?

    I don't care too much about the program, so my hope is that his 11 year old scout group will do something not focused on rank advancement.

  24. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    When I look back on my youth, what left the deepest impressions on me was not necessarily the activities experiences, but the adult leaders who cared about me.
    This is very true. My personal scouting experience was very much not that, when I was a scout master I tried to make it about that (and met resistance from the uber-scouters in the area for it - more on that below). I think Diehard was the one who pointed out that a big problem that scouts experienced in the church is that many of the leaders were assigned versus non-LDS troops where the leaders there WANT to be there.

    As a scout master I decided to jump in and do it the way I thought would work with the youth today. I was actually pretty excited about it and really liked the kids. We spent the first few months going out and getting every kid in the neighborhood to come and participate. I told them not to worry about uniforms and such, to just come and learn. We looked at the programs around merit badges and rank advancements and tried to mix them up so that some of the more boring stuff (Citizenship in the... merit badges) was mixed in with the fun stuff. There were a number of instances that made this experience miserable for me, but we had some of the upper-echelon scouters in our neighborhood. One day they showed up for a troop meeting and were VERY upset that the boys were not in their uniforms. I specifically didn't require it because the boys came straight from school, hated wearing them, and some of the boys didn't have them yet or couldn't afford them. He was yelling at me in front of the boys and then got after the boys for the same thing. I stopped him when he got after the boys and told them I had told them they didn't need their uniforms. He lost his mind.

    I remember yelling at him, "Fred! Look, they are all here!!! Every boy in the neighborhood is here and learning!!!" Not good enough for him. Then I had GSL goons contacting me and insisting I go to specialized training etc. After that he or his wife came to almost every scout activity to check on us (we still didn't wear uniforms).

    This lead to a campout we had planned. I told them that we were going to pack in, we were going to leave no trace, and we were going to learn how to camp without fire or stoves etc. He was upset because our troop about a year previous to me had bought a bunch of dutch ovens. He was insistent that the boys needed to learn how to do that and to learn about fire safety. Again he was yelling at me and I was yelling back, "What is more fire safe than no fire at all!!!"

    The stories could go on for pages, all of them were about like that. I loved those kids (and still run into and keep in contact with many of them today) but the program as seen through an official scouter's eyes was untenable. I was working full-time and going to school full-time and newly married so after two years I asked to be released. Only time I've ever done that. The parents lost their minds because for the first time ever their kids were having fun and moving through the rank advancements.

    Now to be fair, I was a young punk in my mid 20s and this guy had been doing scouting for a billion years. I could have probably taken the time to listen to him more, but the stuff he was hung up on I viewed as non-essential and still do. I wanted to work with the boys on being good citizens and people, to learn their civic duty, to learn how to do things outdoors on their own and in scouts and most of all to have a great time. I get that there is some value in learning and respecting a uniform and things like that, but it was soooooo secondary to those other things for me, I was willing to sacrifice it for what I viewed as the greater good.

    Fast forward to today, more of the same garbage. A couple of friends and I take our kids and do a 14 mile round trip hike and camp up in the Uintas with only the stuff we've packed in and the fish we caught. We had a storm blow through and while we were planning to sleep under the stars we instead taught them how to build a lean-to to stay dry. They learned how and what to pack on a backpacking trip and how to prepare for unexpected situations. We had them navigate back to the car using a topo map and a compass. The scouts say that doesn't count towards any camping merit badge because it wasn't an official scout activity.

    A month later the scoutmaster takes the kids and they sleep in tents in his backyard, spending half the evening watching Avengers in his living room. They go to bed with space heaters (!!!!) in their tents. That somehow counts. Now who had the more authentic scout experience? It is that sort of BS that makes me glad the program is going away for LDS youth, because that sort of experience is all too common.

  25. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    I think Diehard was the one who pointed out that a big problem that scouts experienced in the church is that many of the leaders were assigned versus non-LDS troops where the leaders there WANT to be there.
    Your stories are precisely why the called Mormon leader is sometimes better than the leader who wants to be there. There are a lot of crazy dudes who dedicate their lives to scouting.

    I was recently a cub leader for a few years. Had a great time. It was a hard adjustment for a few people that I didn't require the boys to wear their uniforms.

  26. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Fast forward to today, more of the same garbage. A couple of friends and I take our kids and do a 14 mile round trip hike and camp up in the Uintas with only the stuff we've packed in and the fish we caught. We had a storm blow through and while we were planning to sleep under the stars we instead taught them how to build a lean-to to stay dry. They learned how and what to pack on a backpacking trip and how to prepare for unexpected situations. We had them navigate back to the car using a topo map and a compass. The scouts say that doesn't count towards any camping merit badge because it wasn't an official scout activity.

    A month later the scoutmaster takes the kids and they sleep in tents in his backyard, spending half the evening watching Avengers in his living room. They go to bed with space heaters (!!!!) in their tents. That somehow counts. Now who had the more authentic scout experience? It is that sort of BS that makes me glad the program is going away for LDS youth, because that sort of experience is all too common.
    I was a very "spirit of the law" cubmaster. We bent the requirements to suit our needs, and I gave them all their Wolf, Bear, etc at the end of the year if they came most weeks. Some parents didn't like that. I think we all had a good time, though, and we learned some stuff.

  27. #87
    I am a den leader currently. We have a family in our ward who is super into scouts. The dad has his own pinewood derby track and equipment and all this stuff (he was Cubmaster for many years, but still keeps all of this stuff and actively uses it long after being released). It's fine, no judgment for any of that. The third son in this family is in my den. Yesterday the news came out and this afternoon the mom from this family texted me to tell me the kid passed off a bunch of requirements on his own. I'm just chuckling as I picture this family trying to hurry and get each of their boys (ranging from 13 to 7) their Eagle before the end of 2019.

  28. #88
    One more scout rant. I think the biggest bonehead thing I've seen is when the scouts stripped that special needs kid in Utah county of all of his merit badges and rank advancements after he submitted for approval for his Eagle project, because he completed the requirements the best he could, but not the specific way they required it.

    It took a lot of social media pressure before they reversed that one. Before that happened, a few of us had talked about packing our Eagles up and mailing them to him and having him flooded with the award.

    https://www.dallasnews.com/news/boy-...s-boy-syndrome

  29. #89
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Over the last 20 years of Scouting in CA I've seen lame LDS leaders and uber-Scouters whose life is Scouting. Neither one is a pretty picture. OTOH, I've seen both LDS Scout leaders and long-time Scouters who've bought into the notion that it's about the boys. Those people are the salt of the earth and they have real impact on boys' lives.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

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