Sunday, 9 December 2012

Whats the Point: A Follow-up to An Open Letter to the Great Alaska Council

Recently a Scouter posted a comment on "An Open Letter to the Great Alaska Council" post making me realize that I was extremely vague and that I didn't directly identify the issue. Due to my failure to identify the issue, I probably caused more questions to be raised than questions I answered. Before I clarify the issue I think it is important to state which comment I am referring to, which is as follows:

"While I do not understand the issues that you may be going through up there in Alaska (you have not really told your readers what the big issue is other than lack of attention) I would submit to you that you and your readers remember that YOU are the council"s

"Yes the service and support that is owed you be the Professional Scouters should be addressed. But before you shoot at the council......remember that by and large you are just shooting at yourself."

"Just my thoughts."

"Wish I knew more about the specific issues to make a more helpful response. Where is your District Committee in this issue? Geographically, the district should be your first line of answers. Thanks for allowing comments."

"Jerry Schleining

My position in Scouting that is directly connected to this issue is me being a member of the  Council Training Committee. Additionally the issue is not just prevalent on this particular committee, it is prevalent in every council committee. While this partially correct, it is much more complicated than that because depending on the purpose of the various council committees each committee faces unique challenges that must be worked on to continue developing and expanding the reach of Scouting in most of the State of Alaska.

Geographically speaking beyond the Transatlantic Council and the Direct Service Council my Council is the largest Council in area covered at least for when you are referring to a council that is directly located on land that is property of the United States. The council that I am involved with is that of the Great Alaska Council (GAC). The GAC covers three-fourths of Alaska with the remaining fourth belonging to the Midnight Sun Council. Simply put most of the districts for the GAC are larger than over 90% of councils in the lower-48 (Continental United States). To say that the service area of the council is a challenge would be the understatement of the century. Beyond just the service area covered transportation to the various units can require multiple days and even multiple flights. Of course the issue with the land covered by the GAC's service area is to be expected. I completely understand this fact and know that serving all the units in the council equally is impossible. Well, okay not impossible but way too costly to execute.

My issue has to do with the standard mantra of "I'm not living there or affected by those concerns so why should I care or do anything about those concerns." This mantra happens to be an issue that councils all over the United States are facing. Ultimately the question councils around the country are struggling with is "How do I provide adequate support and quality program with such limited resources available?" Based upon my previous experience in Scouting in the Western Colorado Council, the Denver Area Council, and the Pikes Peak Council I feel that completely ignoring and not working with Scout Units outside of the core of the council is unacceptable and needs to stop in order to slow-down and possibly eliminate the overall trend of losting youth and volunteers on an annual basis. The core of the GAC is that of the Anchorage/Palmer/Wasilla areas which in reality makes sense because that is where over 80% of the Total Youth Served are living.

Obviously in these times of financial insecurity sacrifices must be made for the better of the majority of the volunteers and youth within the council but implementing these types of cut-backs is at least in my opinion destroying opportunities for growth. While these areas outside of the core of the council may not have as high of a number for the Total Available Youth (TAY) to Total Youth Served (TYS) ratio there are still plenty of opportunities to increase and retain membership outside of the core. Speaking of the TAY to TYS ratio the core area of the council while below the national average is doing reasonably okay. Yes there is room for growth but growth happens slowly. So, what's your point here, most of us Scouters that have been in Scouting for a while understand these stats and ratios, and that around the country we are all desperately in need of numerous new volunteers my point is that while we want overall growth, lets stop putting practices and guidelines into place that are hindering the youth members all around the country.

These practices and guidelines while seem to work for the core area just don't work outside of this area for many different reasons. A hopefully obvious idea of "All Scouting is local, as such to succeed decisions made must reflect the capabilities of that local community" but for some reason we aren't thinking about this idea anymore. The reality though is that we are not just not thinking, we seem to be developing an attitude of ignorance. This attitude of ignorance, on our current path isn't just going to resolve itself but instead resolving it is going to require us council-level volunteers to actually look at the facts and start listening to the Scouters within the outlying communities.

Seriously speaking now, the reason I'm ranting and bringing up this ignorance and failure to involve volunteers in outlying communities, is that I have been there myself and know what it feels like to be told what and how to do things without listening or trying to acknowledge that there may be local difficulties that may not be seen without having lived there. Instead what we do is inform these adults and youth of changes in practices/guidelines or ask for money for popcorn or for Friends of Scouting. These three situations are pretty much exclusively the times we reach out to these units. Doing this is pushing people out of Scouting and not giving everyone the chance to really have a fulfilling and complete Scouting experience.

Finally, I would like to say that this is only part of my response to this comment. As such I will be posting the second part late this week or hopefully early next week. I'm not sure if I am just repeating myself but hopefully not and hopefully this helps to provide some answers and not just more questions. I am purposely not being specific because being specific would make this post way too long but later I will be using specific examples, as such as a reader you will just have to be a bit patient!

Yours in Scouting
Mark West
Eagle Scout;
Unit Commissioner/ASM
Council Training Committee
Council Camping Committee
NSJ2005 Youth; NSJ2010 Staff; NSJ2013 Staff;
WSJ2007 Youth; WSJ2011 IST; 2010 NYLT Staff;

If you are paid to do Scouting, you are called a professional. If you are not paid to do Scouting, you are called a Volunteer. If you pay to do Scouting, then you are called a Scouter.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

South Texas Council Mourns Loss of Council Scout Executive (CSE)

It is with sadness that the South Texas Council, Boy Scouts of America reports that Executive Director John Beauregard was involved in a fatal automobile collision while driving home from a Scouting event at Camp Huisache near Laredo, TX on Saturday, December 1.

Beauregard, 48, is survived by his wife, Christie, and two children, John-Michael and Matthew. He accepted the position of executive director in 2008, but was involved in Scouting all of his life. He leaves behind a great legacy of service and sacrifice that has impacted tens of thousands of youth and families. His contributions include improving membership retention and growth rates, creating more financial stability in council operating budgets, and most notably establishing a 2.4 million dollar capital improvement campaign at Camp Karankawa.

Martin Sepulveda, assistant Scout executive, will manage council operations until the council's board of directors and Boy Scouts of America officials determine Beauregard's successor.

“The South Texas Council is deeply saddened by the tragic death of John Beauregard. Our thoughts and prayers are with John’s family during this difficult time. The entire Scouting community mourns with them today,” Sepulveda said.

Beauregard’s family plans to hold funeral services for him on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at Pius X Catholic Church in Corpus Christi. The church is located at 5620 Gollihar Road, Corpus Christi, Texas 78412.

Visitation and Rosary will be Wednesday evening, December 5, 2012. Please refer to the funeral home’s website for the location and time. The Guardian Funeral Home, 5922 Crosstown Expressway (between Holly & Saratoga) Corpus Christi, Texas 78417, is handling funeral arrangements. The funeral home’s phone number is (361) 853-0155. Their web address can be found here. Interment will be in Lubbock.

When available, John’s obituary will also be posted on the website.

The Beauregard family would like to encourage attendees to wear their  "Class A" uniforms.

The South Texas Council, headquartered in Corpus Christi, is the local organization of the Boy Scouts of America. The council serves more than 5,500 youth in 17 counties between Laredo, TX and Ganado, TX.

Yours in Scouting
Mark West
Eagle Scout;
Unit Commissioner/ASM
Council Training Committee
Council Camping Committee
NSJ2005 Youth; NSJ2010 Staff; NSJ2013 Staff;
WSJ2007 Youth; WSJ2011 IST; 2010 NYLT Staff;

If you are paid to do Scouting, you are called a professional. If you are not paid to do Scouting, you are called a Volunteer. If you pay to do Scouting, then you are called a Scouter.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

An Open Letter to the Great Alaska Council

It seems that while we all have the best intentions at heart for the youth we serve, we are forgetting that our Council is much more than the Anchorage Area/Wasilla Area/Palmer Area and quite frankly these three areas represent less than a ⅓ of the entire geographic area that our Council covers. That is the issue.........we as a whole seem to ignore every other Scout/Scouter/Unit outside of these areas. How is this fair? It isn’t fair and in order to move our council forward it must stop........IMMEDIATELY!

Many Scouts/Scouters/Units wonder why units outside of the Anchorage/Wasilla/ palmer areas despise and don’t want to work with council. And it is that many units are not properly supported or given a chance to share in the decision making process of Council. Personally I don’t think the answer is that complicated or impossible to implement but that does NOT mean it isn’t going to be HARD WORK. In the end this hard work will pay off and prove to Councils around the country that if the geographically largest Council work as one, there is no reason why geography should be such a burden and hindrance when it comes to serving our youth.

My proposal then is to take the time and effort to get the outlying youth, leaders, and units to involve them in ALL aspects of Scouting. And to ensure that we provide for the same type of opportunities available to the youth in the more urban areas in our Council. I realize that it will never be at the same exact level but we as Scouters can do much better than what the current status quo is.

Finally I will leave you with twoquotes. The first quote is from James A. Lovell, Mission commander of the Apollo 13 Mission, and it goes like this:

Scouting exposes young men to people and experiences
that encourage and nurture positive moral values. 
But we mustn’t take Scouting for granted.
You can do nothing more important for you people today than
to continue, or begin your support of Scouting.
I have never met anyone with devotion to the
Scouting experience who was not a solid citizen,
a loyal friend, and a patriot.
We need more of them.

My last quote is one that personally reminds me why, even though I have no no kids in Scouting, why I continue my participation in Scouting as an adult volunteer. Unfortunately, I do not have the name of the person who wrote it but I’m sure that most, if not all of you have heard the following quote:

If you are paid to do Scouting, you are called a professional.
If you are not paid to do Scouting, you are called a volunteer.
If you pay to do Scouting, then you are called a Scouter.

I ask you now to be truly honest with yourself and answer this question.........

“Are you truly a Scouter?”

But please don’t come the conclusion instantly, it requires careful reflection to know the real answer to this question.

Yours In Scouting Service
Mark West
Great Alaska Council
Council Program Committee Member

“In Scouting, a boy is encourage to EDUCATE himself instead of being INSTRUCTED.”

Denali District November 2012 District Committee Meeting

November 16, 2012
Thursday 1900-2045
Denali District
District Committee Meeting

  • Travis Ransom, District Executive
  • Cliff Crismore, Council Scout Executive
  • Mark West, Unit Commissioner
  • District Finance Chair
  • District Advancement Chair
  • District Chairman
  • District Camping Chair
  • District Training Chair

Agenda Overview:
  • District Commissioner Update:
    • Prospects for District Commissioner Position
  • Recharter
    • Trouble Units (ie. Pack 125; Troop 125; Pack 212)
  • District Program Update
    • Advancement (MBU; District ADV Report)
    • Activities (SFF; District Dinner)
    • Training (CS BLT; OWL; OKPIK)
    • Camping (Freezeree; SP Camporee)
  • District Finance Update
    • FOS Planning
    • Popcorn
  • District Membership Update
    • New Unit (American Legion)
    • B2S Nights (Access Issues)
  • District Awards Update
    • SLV Beaver

District Timeline Update:
  • November (Recharter; Membership)
  • December (Okpik)
  • January (Freezoree; FOS; Training)
  • February (District Dinner)

Commissioner Service:

Denali DC
  • Identified potential prospects for DC position
  • Prospects Include:
    • Greg Rothwell (UA: Unknown)
    • Bruce Laughlin (UA: T0209)
    • David O’brien (UA: T0210)
    • Ralph Kiehl (UA: T0210)
    • Jay Goold (UA: T0209)
    • Forney Ingram (UA: P0111 & T0026)
  • Greg Rothwell:
    • Interested in becoming DC? Interested in becoming an UC?
    • Considered a very good prospect.
  • Bruce Laughlin
    • Interested in becoming DC? Interested in becoming an UC?
    • Considered a very good prospect.
  • David O’brien
    • Interested in becoming DC? Interested in becoming an UC?
    • Possibility of changing role (CM to SM? -or- SM to CM?)?
    • Considered a very good prospect.
  • Ralph Kiehl
    • Interested in becoming DC? Interested in becoming an UC?
    • Considered a very good prospect.
  • Jay Goold
    • Interested in becoming DC? Interested in becoming an UC?
    • Considered a very good prospect.
  • Forney Ingram
    • Interested in becoming DC? Interested in becoming an UC.
    • Considered a very good prospect.

  • Phone calls to Units that haven’t gotten anything to DE yet.
  • Units that haven’t turned in anything:
    • ???
  • 24 RCHART have been received by DE
  • 16 RCHART sent to registrar
  • Most RCHART turned in have minor errors (ie. CBC Missing; YPT Missing; AREG Missing; YREG Missing)
  • RCHART turn around from registrar is going very slowly (Be patient!!!)
  • Most worrisome unit RECHART include T0125 & P0125 (ie Nothing Turned in to DE)

Critical Units
  • P0125 Need youth. Adult Leader base is strong. RCHART issues
  • T0125 Too many Adult Leaders. Too few youth. B2S Night recruitment? Look into other recruitment options?
  • P0212 Lack of scouting experience. Number of youth provides opportunities for quality programs. Untrained leaders make it difficult to give the youth a proper scouting experience.

District Program Update:

  • Participants/parents/leaders reported MBC provided quality instruction and had enough real-life experience to teach the MB.
  • Few minor complaints but nothing major to report
  • MBU Registration:
    • Lack of proper preparation
    • Lack of an user friendly interface
    • Lack of system availability
    • Overall......... “Registration System was a complete failure”
    • Council IT notified (System needs to be beta tested for future events by volunteers (according to ADV Chair)
    • Need answers about what Council IT has done to resolve the issues
District ADV Reports
  • Distributed to DCOM for review
  • No comments or thoughts brought up
District Dinner
  • Still need to recruit Chairman (Possible candidate......Dan Young?)
  • Plenty of resources available through DCOM Members to help chair
  • “Relatively Simple Job” (Statement is debatable)
  • Chair will need mentor to be assigned to make the event easy to coordinate
  • Recruit District SFF Coordinator
  • Butch Nelson as SFF Coordinator? (Hard to contact.)
  • Start to prepare to encourage unit participation in SFF
  • Don’t need to worry until after the 1st of the year
District Training Update:

  • CS Leader Specific
    • Need to hold course ASAP!
    • Recruit a regular CS Leader Specific Training Team
    • Mr./Mrs. Ed Cullinane (Unable to confirm contact information & experience)
    • BALOO
      • Since OWL Training is needed isn’t there a need for a BALOO Course?
      • Council BALOO Course (Late Spring 2013)
      • Isn’t BALOO a prerequisite to OWL
    • OWL
      • No date established
      • Isn’t BALOO a prerequisite to OWL?
      • Council has planned OWL training (late Spring 2013) but is rarely held due to lack of attendance
  • Date: Saturday, December 1, 2012
  • Time: 0730 to 1700
  • Location: Camp Carlquist, Chugiak, Alaska
  • Topics Include:
    • Cold Weather First Aid
    • Avalanche Safety
    • Staying Warm in the Cold
    • Snow Shelters
    • Best Places to Go For Snow
    • Getting Properly Dressed the Cheap Way
    • Boots and Footwear
    • Rescue Resources
    • Snowshoes
    • Cross Country and Downhill Skiing
    • Winter Navigation (Bring declination adjustable compass and GPS unit.)
    • Food Preparation
    • Pulk Sled Project (Requires advanced registration. November 21 is the last day to register for this session.)
  • Cost: $15.00/person if paid by November 29th (Online registration is available.)
    • If paid at-the-door $18.00/person (No lunch without advanced registration.)
  • Who: Adult Leaders responsible during winter outings, the SPL, the ASPL’s for your unit, or any youth leader that is highly likely to step into the SPL or ASPL position during the coming year.
  • Reminder: Training is required in order to be eligible for your Order of the Arrow 100 Below Points.
LNT Master Educator Course
  • Description: Prepares participants to be LNT Master Educators which is considered the highest level of LNT Instructor Training. SE approval required.
  • Dates: 05/04/2013 to 05/09/2013
  • Time: TBA
  • Location: Chilkoot High adventure Base, Haines, Alaska
  • Primary Course Activity: Kayaking
  • Cost: $325
  • Description: Highest level of camping/outdoor activities training offered by the BSA. SE approval required.
  • Dates: 05/11/2013 to 05/17/2013 (Shooting Sports Section includes pistol training which means the training starts on 05/10/2013 instead of 05/11/2013.)
  • Location: Rasmuson Scout Reservation (Camp Carlquist and Camp Gorsuch)
  • Cost: $450 (Depending on volunteer/staff role person may be eligible for partial compensation of the total cost.)
  • Description: Advanced Adult Leader Training for volunteers who have completed all BLT portions. SE approval required.
  • Dates: 05/30/2013 to 06/01/2013 (Thursday through Saturday) and 06/13/2013 to 06/15/2013 (Thursday through Saturday) (Attendance is required during both sessions to complete the WB21st.)
  • Location: Rasmuson Scout Reservation (Camp Carlquist and Camp Gorsuch)
  • Description: Advanced YLT for youth members either in Boy Scouting or Venturing.
  • Dates: 06/02/2013 to 06/08/2013
  • Location: DHASB
  • Prerequisite: Have attended some form of TLT (ie JLT, TLT, YLT, ILST, or ILSC or any other course approved by the GAC.)
  • Requirements:
    • Be a First Class Scout
    • Be at least 13 years old
    • Be approved by your SM
    • Be a current or prospective Youth Leader
    • Have attended Scout Camp for at least 2 years.
District Camping Update:

  • Dates: 02/15/2013 to 02/17/2013 (Troops have the option of starting on 02/14/2013 if the unit can provide adequate adult leaders during this time.)
  • Location: TBA
  • Theme: Unknown?
  • Note: Final draft of the Leaders Guide is unavailable at this time and needs to be published and released ASAP.
Spring Camporee
  • Dates: 05/03/2013 to 05/05/2013
  • Location: Rasmuson Scout Reservation (Camp Gorsuch or Camp Carlquist)
  • Theme:Search and Rescue
  • Note:No Leaders Guide has been developed for the Camporee. Timeline for Leaders Guide development, publishing, and releasing has not been set yet.
District Finance Update:

  • Date of planning meeting needs to be set
  • Create schedule of when Unit FOS Presentations will occur
  • Start promoting FOS during December RT
  • The 2012 Trails End Popcorn Fundraiser is almost over
  • District had above average performance and sales
  • Dates to Remember: Unit popcorn checks cashed on Friday, December 7, 2012
District Membership Update:

New CS Pack
  • American legion Post 1 is CO
  • Ray ________ is the COR
  • Need to start recruiting key unit leaders including:
    • TDL
    • WDL
    • BDL
    • WEBDL
    • CM
    • ACM
    • PCC
    • PCM (2 Members)
  • B2S Night Visit
    • Approval granted to get into North Star Elementary
    • Date: TBA
    • Time: TBA
    • Primary focus is on first graders
  • Will need to assign an UC to the unit in order to help ensure unit creation and development goes smoothly.
Entrance into Locked Schools:
  • Got permission to do B2S Night visit at Bowman Elementary
  • Need to set up B2S Night ASAP to help P0212 gets more members to help stabilize the unit in regards to youth and adult membership
  • Coordinate with P0212 as P0212 is going to serve as the feeder Pack for Bowman Elementary
  • Contact for P0212 is Reese Baldwin(Hard to get ahold of. Consider getting a new primary contact for P0212.)
  • P0212 is making it difficult for an UC to provide support to P0212
  • Critical Need: Develop better communication to help the unit start and continue to be successful.
District Awards Update:
Nomination Committee
  • Current Members: Andy Ncleod and Al Mills
  • Prospects:
    • Jeff San Juan
    • Ray Wall
    • Ken ________ (Maybe????)
  • Needs to be determined ASAP
SLV Beaver
  • Look for prospective leaders
  • Work on completing Nomination Paperwork and SLV Beaver Application for prospects
  • Council SLV Beaver Nominations are due 12/01/2012 (Urgent Task!!!!!!! Complete ASAP. Preferably completed by the monday after Thanksgiving!!!!!!)
District Awards Dinner
  • District Awards Dinner is in February
  • Nominations completed by January _____, 2012???
  • Look for potential prospects
  • Gather information about good candidates and prospects for the District Dinner.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Quotes of the Day Part 2: Day 11

Murphy's Laws:

(No copyright violations intended. Please if you are the original author and you do not like the use of your writings please contact the webmaster to have content removed as per the Creative Commons Fair Use Copyright System.)

Law #1:
The smallest Scout will always end up packing the heaviest backpack in the group.

Law #2:
As an adult don't ever tell your Scouts that something isn't flammable because as soon as you do your Scouts will be determined to prove you wrong!

Law #3:
Even if you give 100 reminders about bringing a sack dinner on a campout, the Scout that is one of the older boys will always forget to bring there sack dinner for Friday Night.

Law #4:
The longer the drive to where the Troop is going camping the more likely a Scout will show up 45+ minutes late.

Law #5:
No matter how hard you try, you will never leave on-time. So, live with it and build extra time in anyways even though that extra time probably won't help.

Law #6:
The parent that leaves right after dropping their kid off will be the one who forgot to sign the outing permission slip.

Law #7:
The difficulty of setting up a tent increases exponentially as the number of new Scouts increases.

Law #8:
If there is any sort of body of water near the campsite, a Scout will always get wet if you say........."You can go run off now but I don't want anyone to get wet!"

Law #9:
The majority of first year Scouts will rip open there backpack and dump its contents onto the floor of his tent.

Law #10:
The oldest Scout on the campout will be the one that creates the biggest disaster and most damage to cooking equipment while cooking.

Law #11:
Parents are going to complain about how dirty you got their kids, no matter what you say about getting dirty before the campout, deal with it! Thats life! END of STORY!!

Law #12:
The newest parent to the Troop that drives will have the most rules to keep their car "CLEAN" but I'm here to tell you......."Resistance is Futile"!

Law #13:
If you know a parent that needs quiet to drive and has all sorts of rules when riding in their car avoid having them drive at all costs or give the parent their kid and the quietest Scout in the Troop.

Law #14:
New parents will believe you that Scouts is "Only a hour a week" even if experienced parents tell them otherwise.

Law #15:
The Scout with the newest ___________ while loose it or damage it, with the likelihood of it being lost or damaged as the price goes up with damage/loss probability increasing exponentially.

Law #16:
There will always be at least one Scout that gets soaked during a winter outing no matter how often that Scout is reminded to try to stay dry.

Law #17:
The weather forecast will never match the weather you receive, deal with it because again "RESISTANCE is FUTILE!"

Law #18:
If the parents plan on sharing a meal with Scouts always bring a back-up plan because the one time you forget will be the time that you get the most interesting result that is just barely considered "Edible" 

Quotes of the Day Part 1: Day 11

Bertrand Russell's
10 Commandments of Education

Commandment #1:

Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

Commandment #2:
Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.

Commandment #3:
Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.

Commandment #4:
When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

Commandment #5:
Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.

Commandment #6:
Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.

Commandment #7:
Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

Commandment #8:
Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.

Commandment #9:
Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.

Commandment #10:
Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

Do you fear the wind?

Do you fear the force of the wind,
The slash of the rain?

Go face them and fight them,
Be savage again.

Go hungry and cold like the wolf,
Go wade like the crane.

The palms of your hands will thicken,
The skin of your cheek will tan.

You'll grow ragged and weary and swarthy,
But you'll walk like a man.

YPT Letter to Parents

WARNING: Due to recent news and legal action directed towards the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) it is important to remind all readers that this blog may or may not represent official BSA policy. If you are looking for official policy and guidance please refer to the National Council Website at: and then by going to the "Youth Protection" link at the top right-hand side of the homepage. All opinions or information found on this blog is representative of ScoutingManiac. ScoutingManiac is based upon views of Mark West and several others affiliated with this organization as such we claim no liability in regards to the action or inaction of a Scout Leader or other adult that result in violations against Official BSA Policy or applicable laws and regulations that you are required to adhere to based upon your location.

For the remainder of this post the words that are black are the words of the BSA found in the letter known as "Open Letter to Parents" with a publication/release date of September 17, 2012. For the full text and additional resources can be found by going to:

This link is currently working as of Sunday October 7, 2012 but  may not work at a date in the future due to removal of the content or a change in the exact web address where this letter can be found. 

Again as a reminder black text found in this post represent the exact wording found in the letter mentioned above. Any text that is found in red is based upon the opinions of ScoutingManiac or other authorized agents. Thank you for your service and commitment to our youth in Scouting found around the world.

Open Letter to Parents

September 17, 2012

Dear Scouting Parent,

We recognize you have entrusted to Scouting the development and safety of your child. (Thank you to all the parents out there that have given us Scout Leaders the privilege of working with your child. We as Scout Leaders even though we come from so many different backgrounds we also share a common goal which is to help the young people in our world to become capable and productive members of the global society we all live, work, and play in. Some adults may only be leaders because their child is involved but that in no way diminishes the impact each and every parent makes who serves their child and their child's peers as a Scout Leader. Other Scout Leaders including those who may have never had their own child in Scouting participate because we know that young people are the future and that we are dependent upon these persons to help guide our global society further into the 21st century.) We are honored by your faith in this organization and want you to know these are top priorities.

In this period of heightened awareness about youth safety (This heightened period of awareness about youth safety is directly associated with the release of the files known as the "IV Files" or more properly known as the "Ineligible Volunteer Files" and the recent news coverage of how a Scout Leader with purposeful intent to harm abused young people in both the Boy Scouts of America and the National Scout Organization (NSO) of Canada which is known as "Scouts Canada" over a period of about 30 years.), we want to share with you Scouting’s many important programs, policies, and procedures (All of the relevant programs, policies, and procedures used in the BSA are outlined in detail in the Youth Protection Policy or can also be found in the "Guide to Safe Scouting". Both of these documents are reviewed on a regular basis with updates occurring at least once per quarter unless the Health and Safety/Risk Management Staff at National determines that a policy update or health and safety advisory is necessary to prevent incidents from occurring.) that help protect our members. (While the Health and Safety/Risk Management Group at National Council has made many good decisions in the past they have recently released policies that are quite frankly absolutely ridiculous. In my opinion these absolutely ridiculous policies are interfering with my ability to provide the best possible scouting experience to our current youth members.) We are committed to consistently strengthening and enhancing our Youth Protection measures, and in recent decades, have expanded our programs significantly as more information and new techniques and technologies have become available to us. Recently, experts in youth safety and the media have acknowledged the strength of our Youth Protection programs in place today:
  • “The Boy Scouts of America is one group advocates say has gone farthest to institute such measures to safeguard kids.” (MSNBC, November 2011)
  • “The Scouts’ current prevention policies are considered state of the art and several independent child-protection experts told The Associated Press that the Scouts—though buffeted in the past by many abuse-related lawsuits—are now considered a leader in combating sexual abuse. ‘The Boy Scouts have the most advanced policies and training,’ said Victor Vieth, a former prosecutor who heads the National Child Protection Training Center in Minnesota.” (Associated Press, January 2012).
While we continuously evaluate and strengthen our Youth Protection programs, we recognize that abuse can happen anywhere, even in Scouting. (While we would like to think that these policies are foolproof we would be lying to ourselves if we thought this way. As Scout Leaders we have a responsibility to realize that even if we follow the policies to the letter, there is going to be abuse. This is not to say that we can have a nonchalant attitude towards the rules but instead is intended to be a reminder that everyone has a part to play in the protection of young people including the young people themselves.) You may have heard recent news surrounding the release of certain Ineligible Volunteer Files. BSA Ineligible Volunteer Files, still in use today, help keep people deemed to be unfit leaders out of Scouting. Still, we believe constant vigilance is the best protection. (More or less the BSA is admitting that abuse is going to occur even if we take all the appropriate precautions.) In Scouting, we tell everyone involved with our programs that “Youth protection begins with you.” (While the saying "Youth Protection Begins with You" seems to be silly in reality it is the most important underlying concept behind ensuring our young people are protected from harm.) That means that each of us has a role to play in keeping kids safe.

We want to ensure that you are aware of our Youth Protection programs, policies, and procedures, so you know what to expect of our organization. Our safeguards include the following:
  • All volunteers must complete a rigorous application and screening process before joining Scouting. As part of this requirement, applicants must provide references and submit to a national criminal background check. We also verify that our organization has not received any prior allegations of misconduct on the volunteer’s part by checking names in our Ineligible Volunteer Files. Our goal is to ensure that all adult volunteers represent the values and character outlined in the Scout Oath and Scout Law and are good leaders for your child.
  • All volunteers are required to complete Youth Protection training and must renew the training every two years. This training is accessible to the general public online at, under the Youth Protection tab. Please review the training, as it provides important information about detecting and preventing abuse, no matter where it may occur.
  • Scouting’s two-deep leadership policy requires at least two adults to be present for all Scouting activities. No youth should ever be alone with a Scout leader for any reason.
  • Every Boy Scout and Cub Scout handbook includes a pamphlet to help parents teach their children how to recognize, resist, and report abuse. (If at any time you would like to review the information covered in the "Parents Guide to Youth Protection" please contact one of your unit leaders or you can request a copy from your Local Council.) If you haven’t done so already, please immediately review and discuss this information with your child. A copy of the pamphlet and other youth-oriented literature is available under the Youth Protection tab on our website.
  • All Scouting activities are open to parents, (While all Scouting activities are open to parents and must be open at anytime to parents, please understand that it is sometimes in the best interest of the young person to do certain things without the parent being present or actively participating in that part of the Scouting experience. Again I would like to reiterate that all aspects no matter what are open to parents as per BSA policy. If you feel that access is being denied to you as a parent please immediately contact the top leader or the the committee chair of your unit. If for any reason you are unsatisfied with the results or you believe that questionable behavior has occurred please contact your Council Scout Executive immediately without any hesitation.) and we encourage families to enjoy Scouting together.
  • Anyone suspected of inappropriate behavior will be immediately and permanently banned from Scouting. (Personally speaking I think that this policy has the potential to cause severe harm to some Scout Leaders (SL's), I do understand the reasoning behind while the BSA National Council has implemented this policy. Sadly though this policy is going to get SL's banned from membership that do not deserve to be banned. An example of this is that a parent who has a grudge against a SL could make up false accusations in order to get back for any negatively perceived action or behavior. This in my opinion is a policy that could set into motion a very dangerous and damaging precedence in Scouting especially, in a country where you can sue anyone for anything you want no matter how ridiculous the damages seem.)  If you ever have any concerns about your child’s safety, please contact the BSA immediately through your local council. You can find the contact information by typing “Local Council Locator” into the search bar on our website.
  • Internationally recognized child abuse prevention expert and former law enforcement professional Mike Johnson today leads Scouting’s Youth Protection program. Johnson, formerly a police detective investigating child abuse, working in close coordination with other experts in law enforcement, psychology, and other disciplines, is building upon these and other existing policies to further enhance Scouting’s safety, educational, and training programs.

These measures are by no means the full extent of our efforts, but given the media attention youth-serving organizations including Scouting have recently received, we wanted to share some of the most important aspects of our program. Additional information and resources can be accessed by visiting and clicking on the Youth Protection tab.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your local Scout executive. Thanks for all you do to support Scouting and help us keep kids safe.


Wayne Brock

Chief Scout Executive

Boy Scouts of America

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Quotes of the Day Part 1: Day 10

"Without continuous hands-on experience, it is impossible for children to acquire a deep intuitive understanding of the natural world that is the foundation of sustainable development.......A critical aspect of the present-day crisis in education is that children are becoming separated from daily experience of the natural world, especially in larger cities."

Natural Learning
Creating Environments for Rediscovering
Nature's Way of Teaching

~Robin C. Moore~
~Herb H. Wong~

What is the purpose of this quote? 

  • Is it to just be clever?......................NOPE!

  • Is it to just be inspiring?...................NOPE!
  • Is it just simply about kids?................NOPE!
  • Is it just simply about education?............NOPE!
  • Is it about one thing?..............NOPE!
  • Is it related to Scouting?............YEP!
Our youth are no longer living in a SOCIETY that places VALUE on the importance of using the natural world as a TEACHER! This should scare everyone because the BEST teacher is EXPERIENCE and EXPERIENCE is the ONLY way to LEARN about the natural world. Ultimately learning about the natural HELPS our youth by:
  • Learning about Pain: Pain is UNCOMFORTABLE and UNSETTLING but it's required to build CONFIDENCE and RESILIENCE!
  • Developing the Mind: Developing your mind leads to increased REASONING and CRITICAL THINKING skills!
  • Developing the Body: You only get 1 body so learning how to EAT HEALTHY and stay PHYSICALLY ACTIVE is absolutely mandatory!
  • Developing the Spirit: While attending church or a religious gathering is ONE way to develop the spirit it is not the ONLY way to do so. The spirit is BEST experienced in NATURE because you are close to MANY different LIVING THINGS!
To sum up this post in one short statement:

"Get our youth outdoors, no matter the length or difficulty,
and they will astonish you in regards to what they learn!"

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark West
Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1316- Eklutna District; Troop 669- Tustumena District;
Program Committee; Training Committee; Camping Committee;
NSJ2005 Participant- Youth QM; NSJ2010 Subcamp 7 Staff;
NSJ2013 Extreme Sports Staff; WSJ2007 Youth QM; WSJ2011 IST;
Eagle Scout; OA Nanuk Lodge; Philmont A2008; 2010 NYLT Staff;

If you are paid to do Scouting, you are called a Professional. If you are not paid to do Scouting you are called a Volunteer. If you pay to do Scouting, then you are called a Scouter.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Bandana Use's (Part 1)

Now I am sure you all know at least 10 different ways to use a bandana but here are some uses that I have seen:

A) Knee Injuries: A bandana can be used to support the knee on some sort of usable knee injury or to help add length to a bandage wrapped around the leg. (Not always the most practical due to a bandana being fairly small in size)

B) Ankle Injuries: A popular method used to support ankle injuries in which your going to keep the ankle in a boat or when there is some movement  possible without the patient being in too much pain. (Again just like a knee injury the bandana may not always be big enough to work without having additional splinting materials)

C) Water Filter: While using a bandana for filtering water may not remove the microbes aka the bacteria or the viruses in the water, it can be used as a good starting point if the water has lots of solids in it. After removing the solids this water will need further treatment to be considered safe. There is only one exception to having only a bandana used in filtering is if you use it to collected rain water.

D) Eye Injuries: A bandana if it is still decently clean can be used to patch the non-injured eye to prevent movement of the injured eye because of the fact that both eyes are required to have a full field of vision.

E) Cuts/Scrapes: It can be used to help in the clean of a dirty cut or scrape. Also can be used to apply direct pressure. Finally it can be used to cover a wound that is exposed to the outside of the body.

F) Climbing Use #1: Can be used to control rope when belaying around waist to help lower someone or to prevent them from falling further down the cliff/ledge/steep terrain/whatever.

G) Climbing Use #2: Padding the rope that is scraping along the surface or is suffering from abrasions.

H) Climbing Use #3: Can be used to assist climber in gripping surfaces that aren't easy to grab and cling to.

I) Climbing Use #4: Again it has to helping the climber in have a better grip because of minor cuts, blisters, or hot-spots forming on your hands

J) Climbing Use #5: When climbing a  rope a bandana can protect your hands and provide more gripping power to make climbing east or finally can help in preventing rope burn from occurring.

K) Tourniquet: While this First Aid practice is frowned upon and not usually suggested sometimes though it may be the only option to prevent a person from bleeding out or to help slow the spread of a poison due to contact with chemicals or an animal bite.

L) Clothing Use #1: Tucked into hat to prevent sunburn or to help the body cool down in extreme heat.

M) Clothing Use #2: Folding diagonally and the rolling partially or all the way up to serve as a neck protecter.

N) Clothing Use #3: Making yourself look cool by tying and wearing it on my head.

O) Clothing Use #4: Again trying to make yourself look cool and tough by using it as an armband.

P) Clothing Use #5: Going again for looking cool and of course failing miserably by wearing it as a head band instead of it covering the entire top of your head.

Q) Clothing Use #6: Knee/leg band but this time you aren't trying again to make yourself look cool (since you fail miserably every time) going for the hippie look.

R) Sports Use #1: Differentiate between different teams for games such as soccer, football, or capture the flag.

S) Sports Use #2: Using it as a flag assuming you have two different colors (or if you want to create true chaos having both teams use the same color) during flag football!

T) Sports use #3: Blindfold (but you need to remember to take the bandana off because well.............lets just say things can go horribly wrong if you choose to do otherwise.) WARNING: NOT responsible for ANY action, inaction, or use resulting in injury, serious injury, disability or even death!

U) Sports Use #4: During arm wrestling match when you have opponents who either have grip strength issues or butterfingers!

V) Sports Use #5: When starting any type of race for any type of event it can be used to signal go when racing.

W) Sports Use #6: While running events for Scouts usually end with tripping and then victim saying "I'm going to get you" it can be used as a cheap mans baton, shuffle run item to be picked up.

X) Sports Use #7: For those who failed at push-ups because they can't keep there feet together by forcing them together by tying there legs together. WARNING: MAY cause ankle INJURIES, as such ScoutingManiac CAN NOT  be held RESPONSIBLE for the ACTIONS or INACTIONS of the person doing that particular PHYSICAL ACTIVITY!

Y) Sports Use #8: During sit-ups for those who insist on using arms to help sit up having there hands tied together across chest. WARNING: Potential of RISK that directions may be CONSIDERED hazing or CHILD ABUSE!

Z) Sports Use #9: Used to trip your opponents when participating on slippery gym floors such as sealed wood floors or tile floors! WARNING: Any suggestion INCLUDED on this list that PROMOTES violence is STRICTLY the RESPONSIBLE of the OFFENDER!

So there is 26 uses, hopefully some were interesting, while others may have possibly been boring which even though the use is boring it was done so unintentionally. Therefore please do not commit to aggressive reactions but instead use your energy to come up with better and less boring uses by posting a comment below!

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark West
Assistant Scoutmaster
Camp Gorsuch 2012 Super-Troop Coordinator
T1316- Eklutna District; T669- Tustumena District; T125- Denali District;
Program Committee; Training Committee; Cope Committee; Camping Committee:
NSJ2005 Participant- Youth QM; NSJ2010 Subcamp 7 Staff;
NSJ2013 Extreme Sports Staff; WSJ2007 Youth QM; WSJ2011 IST;
Eagle Scout; OA Nanuk Lodge; Philmont AA2008; 2010 NYLT Staff- Youth QM;

If you are paid to do Scouting, you are called a professional. If you are not paid to do Scouting, you are called a Volunteer. If you pay to do Scouting, then you are called a Scouter.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Neil Armstrong

It was the summer of 1973, and I was a seventeen-year-old Boy Scout who seemed destined to “age out” at First Class rank unless I could earn one final merit badge, which would advance me to Star. I decided to pursue one of the newest badges, Space Exploration.
Unfortunately I discovered that in my rural southeastern Ohio Scout district, there were no qualified counselors for this badge. When I went to my Scoutmaster for advice, he offered the response he always gave to a problem he didn’t have an answer for: sarcasm. “You claim you’ve written to all these astronauts and gotten their autographs,” he said. “Get one of them as a counselor.”
America was just completing the Apollo moon-landing program. We had met the challenge that John F. Kennedy had set for us in the early 1960s. The summer I was seventeen, one astronaut towered above the others: the first man to set foot on the lunar surface, Neil Armstrong.
Armstrong, an Ohio native, had left the space program and purchased a farm in southwestern Ohio. He consistently refused lucrative endorsement offers and commercial ventures in order to avoid the appearance of taking advantage of his place in history. Instead he accepted a teaching position with the University of Cincinnati and did his best to blend back into everyday life, enjoying his family and farm.
With a little amateur detective work, I was able to find out where he lived. One Saturday I drove my car 150 miles to the town of Lebanon. Mustering every ounce of bravado I had, I pulled into his dusty driveway and parked behind an Opel Kadett station wagon. Another vehicle, a four-door Chevrolet, stood in front of the equipment shed that doubled as a garage. Not the automobiles you would expect an astronaut to drive. The century-old farmhouse was in obvious need of repairs, and there were signs of remodeling and construction all around it, but no crew. Could it be that the first man on the moon was actually fixing up his own place? Taking a deep breath, I knocked on the back door. In a moment my hero appeared, wearing jeans and a torn shirt, with sawdust in his hair.
I introduced myself as a Boy Scout who had driven across Ohio to ask his help. I said a silent prayer that Neil Armstrong, the Eagle Scout from Wapakoneta, would look on this intrusion from a First Class Scout from Marietta in a favorable light. Mr. Armstrong paused for a moment and then said that since the house was being renovated, he would prefer to talk outside.
We settled against the fender of his Chevrolet, and he listened as I explained my need for a merit-badge counselor. With a skeptical grin he agreed to take a look at whatever work I had brought with me. Elated, I ran to my car and opened the trunk, where I had my paperwork and even a model of the Saturn V launch rocket ready for demonstration. For more than half an hour, this great space pioneer listened while I did my best to fulfill the list of badge requirements. He stopped me a few times and asked a question. When I was done with my presentation, he gave me a list of things he wanted me to complete and send to his office at the university. (To this day I still have the pen and paper he used to write his name and address.)
Thanking him for his time, I then headed my car onto the country road that would take me to 1-71. Once back in my hometown, I worked on my assignment for Mr. Armstrong as diligently as if it had been a doctoral thesis and put it in the mail.
A few weeks later, when I still had not heard from my hero, my elation began to bottom out. I began to wonder if he had just been being polite. But at the next Tuesday-night Scout meeting my Scoutmaster greeted me by waving a letter in my face. “You went and did it! You really went and did it, didn’t you?” he said. Unfolding the letter, I saw the University of Cincinnati’s logo and quickly scanned to the signature at the bottom of the page: “Neil A. Armstrong, Professor of Aerospace Engineering.” Hastily reading the text, I discovered Mr. Armstrong was confirming that I had completed the necessary work for the badge. He went on to say that while he was not an officially recognized counselor, “in my opinion, [Scout Ken Drayton] has completed all requirements satisfactorily.” In Neil Armstrong’s opinion! Who could possibly question that opinion? I spent the rest of the evening floating as high as a lunar module.
As much as I cherished being the first Scout in my district to qualify for the new badge, nothing compared to the feeling I had for the man who made it possible. Thirty years ago this summer Neil Armstrong made that “giant leap for mankind” as he placed his foot onto the lunar surface and stepped into the history books. But my best memory of him comes from four years later, when the former Eagle Scout took the time to help another Scout achieve a goal.

Our World Our Future

This music video is of the song known as "Our World Our Future" which served as the official Jambo Song for the Essex International Jamboree. The next Essex International Jamboree (EIJ) will be held in 2016. All proceeds from the purchasing or downloading the song will be used to help get Scouts from all over the world to EIJ2016.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark West
Assistant Scoutmaster
Camp Gorsuch 2012 Super-Troop Coordinator
T1316- Eklutna District; T669- Tustumena District; T125- Denali District;
Program Committee; Training Committee; Camping Committee:
NSJ2005 Participant- Youth QM; NSJ2010 Subcamp 7 Staff; 
NSJ2013 Extreme Sports Staff; WSJ2007 Youth QM; WSJ2011 IST;
Eagle Scout; OA Nanuk Lodge; Philmont AA2008; 2010 NYLT Staff- Youth QM;

If you are paid to do Scouting, you are called a professional. If you are not paid to do Scouting, you are called a Volunteer. If you pay to do Scouting, then you are called a Scouter.

Friday, 17 August 2012

I BUILT the SUMMIT!!!!!!

For those of you who didn't this summer the Summit aka the PERMANENT HOME of the JAMBOREE held its FIRST official event there. The purpose was to TEST & FIGURE OUT what is going to be NECESSARY to  ensure that the 2013 National Scout Jamboree is ABOVE & BEYOND all EXPECTATIONS that our SCOUTS & SCOUTERS will get to see NEXT year! If you went to the Jamboree Shakedown this Summer I'm here to TELL YOU that if you thought this was AWESOME! Just wait until next year where things will be EVEN BIGGER & MORE EXTREME than what YOU EXPERIENCED this Summer.

This message is from the head of the Extreme Sports Team for the 2013 National Scout Jamboree and it gives just a tiny glimpse into what the new JAMBOREE MODEL EXPERIENCE is going to be like for those SCOUTS & SCOUTERS who have the PRIVILEGE & HONOR of going! 

------------Begin Forwarded Message------------
Exceptional! honorable! & impressive! I have new found enthusiasm, respect & admiration for each of you. That shakedown was a massive human feat of selfless commitment, fully deserving of the title Servant Leadership. Thank you would never be enough. Russell's priceless gift of the #13 script is a cherished treasure. Please take care of that coin, from one volunteer to another, & protect it. Each of you humbled me in what you gave, what you spent, & in what you endured to deliver the first day of program ever, at the Summit. Ladies & gentlemen, those who serve on the first day of the life of a Navy ship are called, Plank-owners. YOU are the Summit Plank-owners, & I'm so very proud to have served with you.

There is no way for me to cite every act of heroism, with cognizant acknowledgement of the many acts of valor that I am not mentioning (Will, Dick, Dan, Mike, John, Tom, Scotland Dave & Susan, & many more), please accept my humble thank you, the expressed gratitude of many senior managers, & the unspoken joy of the young boys & girls of the BSA, today & in the many years that follow, for what you have created, in the hills of West Virginia.

Allow me to admire a few heroes, including:

Bike Patrol: Those who survived & put miles on those hills, so that our youth would not only ride but learn - wow, iron men, tops on my list. & thanks to Liz, from Gravity Logic, for the mud on her face & grit she inspired in each of our coaches.

High Gear: OMG! If you didn't climb, then you don't know. The heroes of High Gear pulled from human determination to overcome the greatest odds. Thank you could never be enough, but simply my promise to make work transport of High Gear staff my number one fight for all those who follow you; hopefully bringing you pride that your sacrifice will never be in vain, & will serve generations that follow. Kirk Aland, & I, need you, the physically fit mountain men & women, back in 2013. Bring some friends & if I can do anything to help any of you, please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you!

BMX: Oh heck yes! An event 100% dirt, shutdown by the rain. BMX never gave up, tops in creativity & determination. BMX went from hopeless, to all tracks open, to the number one WOW of shakedown, the 8 lane BMX Big Track. Stunning performance by this team & my personal thank you for stand out performances by Ginger Smietana, Fritz Knerr, Gil Canady, Alex Dean, & a couple quiet work horses that truly caught our attention. Thank You!

Low Gear: Thank you Chuck Ferguson for finding John Mason & Rich Hager who lead the transformation of the single most difficult situation from disaster to brilliant success. Hundreds of bikes on a cramped roadside, water nightmares, cleaning impossibilities, medical micro focus, communication casualties, staffing dynamics, & the improvisational skills of a 100 Eagle scouts - trust me, what you delivered as a team, was absolutely impressive!

Skate: The only event where everything seemed to go right from day one. With nothing assembled, tracks incomplete, no shade, barren surfaces, Virgin staff, rain, & no intuitive roadmap of how to assemble the pieces into an event, Skate opened with a bang "literally", & ended up with gasps from our scouts about being able to come to scout camp & skate. Skate was the media darlings with the most aggressive response to keeping the media happy. Skate was the dis-Abilities superstar with Tim Birt dropping in on the half pipe for a video shoot & advocacy for all that Extreme Sports is doing to adapt & deliver as the most flexible disabilities response at the Summit. Thanks to many, & notably for the work of Teeya Mills & Scott Weaver who smiled & sold skate, with alacrity.

Megastars: Rob Coquet, & Aaron Spohn, leaders with passion, inspiration, & the stand out difference makers between good & FANTASTIC! Honestly, if I were to never work another day in the service of a non-profit organization, I will forever be changed by looking into the eyes of these two men, convicted to deliver perfection in what they do. Wow! High Gear would not have opened, & Low Gear traffic flow on that cramped road side would not have worked, without Rob single handedly, magically producing two new trails within an hour each. BMX Big Track was the Wow of Extreme & it sat silent on 13 July & hopeless on 14 July. With Aaron pulled between supporting a media event for the West Virginia Governor, Skate, & moving the earth, literally, to open the big track, including serving as hydraulic engineer, Aaron & team delivered BMX OZ! like the man behind the curtain. Thank you! gentlemen.

It's Personal. Thank You Tina Tharratt! You are the rock of Extreme Sports. When I heard the crackle of your voice, & Rich Hager's over the radio, I knew that our team of over 150 people would win the day. Hope! calm! confidence! Leadership worthy of any Wood Badge 4-beader! Working beyond exhaustion, "fixing" the errors of others; counselor to the weary, the best partner in crime anyone could dream of. Thank you!

Heroes: For each of you, who came to the Summit & stood in the rain with us, with a smile on your face, & determination in your heart; please know that I for one, saw that passion in your eyes, & pledge my honor to rise up tomorrow & serve you. Thank you!

& now it is time to learn from our shakedown, clean our kit, harden our bodies, & set out into our Councils & Communities to recruit 5 new staff members each to join the Extreme Team for 2013. Each of you are now the great messenger Uncas who will be the difference for the first National Jamboree at the Summit, measured by the quality of warriors you bring to this great cause.

Michael J. Hardebeck
Extreme Sports
National Scout Jamboree 2013
------------End Forwarded Message------------

Of course this next part for those of you who have been in Scouting for any fair amount of time shouldn't be that shocking & it is................

ATTENTION ALL SCOUTS & SCOUTERS in order to GET BIG & GO WILD this NATIONAL SCOUT JAMBOREE desperately need YOU to STEP UP & get to EXPERIENCE something that become the MEMORY of a LIFETIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark West
Assistant Scoutmaster
Camp Gorsuch 2012 Super-Troop Coordinatore
T1316- Eklutna District; T669- Tustumena District;
Program Committee; Training Committee; Camping Committee;
NSJ2005 Participant- Youth QM; NSJ2010 Subcamp 7 Staff
NSJ2013 Extreme Sports Staff; WSJ2007 Youth QM; WSJ2011 IST;
Eagle Scout; OA Nanuk Lodge; Philmont AA2008; 2010 NYLT Staff;

If you are paid to do Scouting you are called a professional! If you are not paid to do Scouting, you are called a Volunteer! If you pay to do Scouting, you are called a Scouter!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Quotes of the Day Part 2: Day 9

20 Things Not to Do
~or~ Say at Your Eagle
Board of Review

Thing #1:
You call THAT a question?...
Why the Heck did they Make you...
a Leader?;

Thing #2:
Come to the BOR Wearing your...
Uniform Backwards!;

Thing #3:
Answer every Question with "Mind
your own Business!;

Thing #4:
There will be a Short quiz After...
my Presentation!;

Thing #5:
Answer Every Question...
with a Question!;

Thing #6:
For Every Question Answer...
with "I Could Answer the...
Question but then I would...
Have to Kill You"!;

Thing #7:
"Well I Saw it on the Internet...
and Thought it Would be...
a Great Idea"!;

Thing #8:
Telling the BOR Members...
"I Don't Know...
I Didn't Write This!;

Thing #9:
Treat BOR Members Like There...
One of You Homeboy's and Say...
"Yo, a Smooth Shout Out...
to My Homies!";

Thing #10:
Before the BOR Begins...
Ask the Board "Could I...
Light a Campfire in the...
Room!" and if They Say "No"
Continue to Beg Them Through...
the Entire BOR!;

Thing #11:
Have Troop Members Rush-in... 
and Begin a Food Fight!;
Make Sure Though that the Board...
Members are the Primary Focus...
and Target of Your...

Thing #12:
Answer the Questions Like...
How You Play the Game...

Thing #13:
You THINK this was BAD?...
Let me READ this LIST to SHOW...
Have DONE!;

Thing #14:
Hang a Sign that Says...
"Thank YOU for NOT...
Asking ANY Questions"!;

Thing #15:
Have your Friend Burst in...
and Engage you in a Duel...
but while Fighting...
Continue to Answer
Questions like this Was...
Just like Any Other...
Day or Outing!;

Thing #16:
Every Time you Ask a...
Question or While in the...
Middle of your Answer...
us the Word "Uhh" as...
Often as Possible!;

Thing #17:
Every Time a Board Member...
Asks a Question Continuously...
Soak that Person until...
You Finish Answering the...

Thing #18:
Tie each Board Member to...
there Chair using as Many...
Knots as you Know and then...
Make the Board Members...
Untie Themselves From...
their Chairs!;

Thing #19:
Tell the Story about how this Year...
During Camp you and your Pals...
Convinced the Youngest Scout to Roll...
Down the Road to the Waterfront
in a Barrel! First Time Everything...
went Great but the Second Time...
Was a Absolute Disaster because...
a Troop (Largest in Camp!) Walked...
onto the Road Right Where the...
Barrel was Heading and even Worse...
the Barrel Crashed into the...
Troop Sending Scouts and Scouters...
Flying in Every Direction! Officially...
Our Troop was Banned but even...
Better was that our Troop...
Created the BIGGEST...
EMERGENCY in the 50+ Years...
it has Been in Operation! The Troop...
we Hit had 30 Scouts at the Beginning...
of Camp but because of this...
Incident only 3 came OUT...
Uninjured! The other 27 Scouts...
Ended up Going to 5 Different...
Hospitals but Unfortunately...
Due to the Number of Scouts...
Injured the Troop Ended up Being...
Spread Across Hospital in a...
100 Mile Radius of the Camp!;

Thing 20:
All of a Sudden you for Some...
Reason CAN NOT Remember...
the SCOUT OATH and the...

(Oh just for your information 3 of the parents present for the Eagle Board of Review that were from the Troop that was affected by the Scout Camp disaster this year! Little to say the Eagle Candidate did NOT PASS his Board of Review! Later on after failing a second Board of Review the Eagle Candidate had to go in front of the Council Advancement Committee which to the dismay of many parents passed the Eagle Candidate due to the fact that he had completed all his requirements and work! The family sued the council for gross negligence which thankfully for the Council was over ruled!)  

Quotes of the Day Part 1: Day 9

Top 10 Reason Why Not
to Be an Eagle Scout:

Reason #1:
The Scout Uniform isn't a...
"Babe Magnet!";

Reason #2:
Outdoor Latrines have this bad...
Habit of not Having 
Any Walls!;

Reason #3:
You get to Miss the Chance to see...
Every facet of Murphy's Law...
in Action on Every campout...
You Attend!;

Reason #4:
Avoid flack from your Friends for...
Missing whatever goes on During...
the Weekend of your Campout!;

Reason #5:
Never get to Sleep 3 Guys in the same...
Wet Sleeping-Bag!;

Reason #6:
Miss the Opportunity to Spend 2 Months...
of each Summer in your Teen years...
Applying every...
Antibiotic Cream,...
Antibiotic Lotion,...
Spray offered by the...
Medical World on...
Poison Ivy!;

Reason #7:
Avoid the Rants, Ramblings,
Scolding's, Arguments,  Battles, Fights,
Insanity, Bluntness, Demands, Orders,
Trouble, Headache, and Heartache
from the Scoutmaster!;

Reason #8:
You won't have to Make a 7 am Campout...
Departure the Night after your...
Prom, or Worse miss...
Prom because your the...
Senior Patrol Leader!;

Reason #9:
Have more Time to Run with...
your Gange!;

and Finally...

Reason #10:
You'll be Like the Other 98...
Percent of Scouts!

Explanation and
So whats the whole point behind these "10 Reasons Not to Become an Eagle Scout"? Don't we want to to get every Scout we can to achieve the daunting task of becoming an Eagle Scout? Why would you want to give excuses to other Scouts to not earn their Eagle Scout? Is it okay to not become a Eagle Scout? And finally Isn't becoming an Eagle Scout the primary goal of Boy Scouts?

Becoming an Eagle Scout while its a great achievement is not the purpose of Boy Scouts. It is an award that is highly respected and honorable because so few people achieve. In your unit achieving the goal of all your members earning their Eagle Scout would be awesome but in reality it just is not possible because of the perseverance, dedication, and skill this award requires. In my opinion if more than 70% of your members become an Eagle Scout it is highly likely that your unit is not fully implement the Boy Scout Program as intended. While this is true a fair amount of the time it is still possible to get 100% of your members to earn their Eagle Scout but the odds and the stats are stacked against you! Common examples could include:
  • Making adjustments or changes to Rank Requirements
  • Making adjustments or changes to MB Requirements
  • Not having the Scout be held to the same standards as others across the country.
  • "Merit Badge Mill" Units which are units that earn merit badges just to earn MB's and are MB's that end up being earned way to fast.
  • Adult misconduct when it comes to handling advancement related activities.
One important thing to mention is that it is NEVER the youth's FAULT when it comes to ISSUES with ADVANCEMENT. The ONLY group of people in the Troop that is RESPONSIBLE for advancement issues in EVERY situation is the ADULT's and ADULT LEADERS! For me there is no if, ands, ors, or buts about this because the adults are the ultimate gatekeeper when it comes to Scout Advancement.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark West
Assistant Scoutmaster
Camp Gorsuch 2012 Super-Troop Coordinator
T1316- Eklutna District; T669- Tustumena District; T125- Denali District;
Program Committee; Training Committee; Cope Committee; Camping Committee:
NSJ2005 Participant- Youth QM; NSJ2010 Subcamp 7 Staff;
NSJ2013 Extreme Sports Staff; WSJ2007 Youth QM; WSJ2011 IST;
Eagle Scout; OA Nanuk Lodge; Philmont AA2008; 2010 NYLT Staff- Youth QM;

If you are paid to do Scouting, you are called a professional. If you are not paid to do Scouting, you are called a Volunteer. If you pay to do Scouting, then you are called a Scouter.

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