Archive for April, 2013


LifeRsmallThere has been a lot of press lately that the Boy Scouts of America is about to change its policy on allowing opening gay youth into the organization. In fact, the press likes to make it sound like this is already a done deal. The press makes it sound like the poll conducted by the B.S.A. states that Scouts, parents, leaders and councils overwhelmingly support changing the policy. I decided to bring up the poll results at the scouting.org website and look at the figures myself. It is not quite as cut and dried as the media is playing this up to be. I am a little bit skeptical. Here are a few statistics from one part of that poll, along with a few of my thoughts:

Parents Study Group and Leaders Study Group

The BSA’s Voice of the Scout Membership Standards Survey was sent to more than 1 million adult members, with over 200,000 respondents. I have been involved with the Scouting program for 33 years, yet I was not contacted to participate in this program. As far as I know, not one person in my troop was contacted. How did the pollsters choose the parents and leaders that were contacted for this poll?

The survey found:
Respondents support the current policy by a 61 percent to 34 percent margin. (I underlined the phrase.) Wow, that is a 17% margin. Presidents have been voted into office by fewer percentage points. Yet the media makes it sound like it is the other way around..
Support for the current policy is higher at different program and volunteer levels in the organization:
50 percent of Cub Scout parents support it; 45 percent of Cub Scout parents oppose. This was closer than I thought it would be.
61 percent of Boy Scout parents support it. This could be true, but I don’t think it is true in my part of the country. Once again I ask how they choose the parents who participated in this survey. Was there a balance from across the nation?
62 percent of unit leaders support it. I know some who do and some who do not.
64 percent of council and district volunteers support it. I know more who are not sure what to decide yet.
72 percent of chartered organizations support it. For some reason, I do not fully believe this figure. It seems high to me when you consider what groups make up a large portion of the chartered organizations.

Local Council Study Group

The Local Council Study Group was charged with listening to the voice of the Boy Scouts of America’s 280 local councils. While many of the conversations centered on a policy that would give chartered organizations the discretion of whether to accept avowed homosexuals to serve as leaders, many groups had concerns about this concept:
50.5 percent of councils recommend no change.
38.5 percent of councils recommend a change.
11 percent take a neutral position.
So, one way to look at this is that 61 percent of councils do not recommend a change to the current policy, almost two thirds of the organization’s councils. When listening to the media I thought that most councils wanted the policy change.

There is a lot more to this poll. Read it yourself at

http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/MembershipStandards/Resolution/Summary.aspx

So what do I think? I am not ready to tell you yet, but here are a couple things that stick in my mind. The B.S.A. does not ask people what their sexually preference is. It is not found anywhere on any application. The only time it comes up is when it is brought up by the person himself, and when it does it becomes a media circus and the gay activists try to use it to their advantage.

I was a scoutmaster for over 30 years. It was not my duty to ask a Boy Scout about his sexual preferences. It was my duty to try to teach him citizenship, leadership, and outdoor skills, and to let him have fun. Did I ever have a gay young man as a member of the troop? Yes, I did. But they did not come out as being gay until after they left high school. Would I have kicked them out of the troop if they mentioned they were gay while still a Scout? I am not sure because it was never an issue, but I would like think I would have allowed them to continue being a Boy Scout as long as they did not give me any other reason to ask them to leave. Keep in mind that the 1980′s and 1990′s were a bit different then today’s world.

I think all boys should be allowed to be a Boy Scout. However, I do not think that any boy, or his parent, should take his membership and turn it into a political issue, which is what I am afraid this issue has become. In my opinion, this takes everything good the Scouting program offers a young man and turns it upside down. Suddenly everyone forgets of all the great things this 100 year old program has done for our youth and our country.  ”Don’t ask, don’t tell” worked for the 30 years I was a scoutmaster. I did not ask, they did not tell, and we all enjoyed the time we spent in Scouting. It was not an issue, and it should not be an issue. I wish everyone would just shut up and let us get on with implementing the best Scouting program that we can provide for our youth.

Now, what are my feelings on allowing opening gay men as adult leaders? That is a post for another time.

Last words… I usually stay away from hot topic issues with this blog, but I felt I needed to finally get something out there. I do review every comment before it is posted. That is the best way to keep spam off this blog. I will be reading any comments for this post and if they are civil I may allow them to be added to this post. However, if I feel that they are mean spirited or rude I will trash it. It is my blog, and I will decide what is posted to it.

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    Sudsy DudsyWe all know that Boy Scouts can get quite dirty when they are on a camping trip. Sometimes they become filthy. Once and awhile, at the end of a week of summer camp, their clothes may stand up on their own. Even the adult leaders clothes can become grimy by the end of a weekend. That is why you need a good clothes cleaning detergent when you arrive back home. What detergent should you use? Really, there is only one choice for cleaning up after a Boy Scout outing. You need Sudsy Dudsy.

    What? You have never heard of Sudsy Dudsy? Really? Where have you been? It is the best soap ever invented by mankind. It can clean everything, and every stain. In fact, let me show you. This video post to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast features a member of our troop demonstrating the cleaning power of Sudsy Dudsy during our Laughs For Lunch Show in the year 2000. You will see for yourself that this product is simply amazing.

    Actually, this is an easy skit for your Boy Scouts to perform. You only need one Scout, a bucket, a few dirty clothes items, and a few identical clean items. Of course, it helps if your Scout is quite a showman. This is a short skit in which he can really ham it up a bit, as the Boy Scout in this video does.

    Has your troop ever done this skit? What type of items did Sudsy Dudsy clean in your demonstration?

    Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
    Subscribe to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
    or through iTunes  (and rate the show).
    Don’t forget to leave a comment below, or at the iTunes store.

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      FirstClassSmallTwo Boy Scouts attended a committee meeting recently. One came for his Star Rank board of review, the other to ask some questions about his Eagle Rank. After talking to both Scouts we discovered it may be time to spend a portion of each troop meeting talking about the basics of Scouting. You know, those things boys learn when they first become Boy Scouts but have forgotten over the years. In other words, it was time for a refresher course.

      The Boy Scouts are very good with reciting the Scout Oath, Law, Slogan, and Motto. They stumble a bit when asked what the twelve points mean, or what are the three duties of the Scout Oath. What should a Scout be prepared for, and how exactly does one do that?

      I talked to the scoutmaster and the senior patrol leader about this subject. I offered to do a ten minute review at the end of each troop meeting covering one topic of the basics. The SPL smiled and told me he would time me and let me know when I reached my ten minutes. He is such a sweet kid. I guess I better keep the talks short and to the point.

      Here is a list of some of the topics I plan to cover:
      The meaning of the Scout Law, and the Scout Oath.
      Wearing the uniform properly and proudly.
      The Scout sign, slogan, and handclasp.
      Advancement double dipping.
      Preparing for a board of review.
      Flag editcate. Uses for basic knots.
      Meaning of the Scout emblem.

      Like I said, these short talks are not meant to teach the basics, although new Scouts may learn a few things, but are meant to refresh the Boy Scouts’ memories. To tell the truth, I know a few adult leaders who could benefit from listening to these discussions.

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        mpsc2000The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 used to be very good with performing campfire songs and skits. The troop looked forward to performing at camporees and summer camp campfire programs. There were many times we would take a popular skit or song, change it up a bit, and make it something new. Today’s post to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast demonstrates one example of that trait.

        Our troop had been attending a week of camp at Many Point Scout Camp in northern Minnesota for a few years when we came up with the idea for a new song to perform. We wanted to do something that poked some fun at the camp, and something the campers could identify with. We picked the popular song by the Village People because everyone knew the tune to YMCA. We completely changed the lyrics and the actions and came up with our version of M.P.S.C.  The song was a hit when we performed it at the closing campfire.

        This video features the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 performing this song during their 2000 Laughs For Lunch Show, held at the Melrose High School auditorium. So get out of that chair, stand up, and join the Scouts as they sing their version of M.P.S.C.

        Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
        Subscribe to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
        or through iTunes  (and rate the show).
        Don’t forget to leave a comment below, or at the iTunes store.

        Thanks for Sharing!

          MSPpodcastsAh, the Laughs For Lunch Shows. They were a yearly campfire-style program that the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 performed for our community for 13 years, the first one held in 1996. We had a lot of fun doing them and I believe the audiences really enjoyed them. An extra bonus was that the Scouts received experience in public speaking (and singing) which was something that would help them later in life.

          I recently transferred the 2000 show from a VHS tape to DVD. As I was doing some touch up editing and chapter marking for the DVD I noticed the Boy Scouts did some really good performances doing the show. I decided to clip some of the better songs and skits and share them with you for this podcast.

          The first post from this show for the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast is the campfire favorite, the Dirty Sock Song. How dirty do your socks get? How smelly do they become? Do they get strong enough to give your tent an awful scent or could they be used as a method of rat population control? The Boy Scouts chose a few members of their audience to poke some fun at during this song.

          Has your troop used this song during a campfire program? Or have you seen it performed by another troop? How did your Boy Scouts like it?

          Click here to DOWNLOAD and watch this Podcast.
          Subscribe to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/melrosescoutingproductions
          or through iTunes  (and rate the show).
          Don’t forget to leave a comment below, or at the iTunes store.

          Thanks for Sharing!

            airshowUnfortunately, it has come to this. The St. Cloud Air Show, an event being sponsored by the Central Minnesota Council, has been cancelled. Here is the official statement from the website:

            St. Cloud Air Show Cancelled as Result of Sequestration
            ST. CLOUD, MN (Tuesday, April 2, 2013) As a result of the sequestration and with that the uncertainty of the appearance of the Blue Angels, The Central Minnesota Council of Boy Scouts has decided to cancel the St. Cloud Air Show scheduled for July 20th and 21st. Over 25 other shows have been cancelled across the country with more sure to follow due the Sequester. Because of the Sequester we have lost all of the military support needed to put on a successful air show.

            “Our decision to cease planning for the 2013 Air Show comes after careful review and consideration of the fiscal challenges we would face by not having the Blue Angels appear,” said Dave Trehey of the Central Minnesota Council of Boy Scouts.

            “We are very disappointed, especially after all the hard work that has already been put into the show by our volunteers,” added Jill Magelssen, Air Show Chairwoman. “When you lose the headline act you lose the momentum going into the show. The St. Cloud Air Show was a fundraising event for the Central Minnesota Council of Boy Scouts. We could not take the very real chance that the show would lose money.”

            The many people who have already purchased tickets will be refunded their money by the company that was handling ticket sales. Information on how the refunds will be handled will be on the air show website www.stcloudairshow.com by the end of this week.

            “We appreciate all of the support the community has given us in the planning of the Air Show,” added Trehey. “There is a very good chance that we will again have the opportunity to bring the Blue Angels back to Central Minnesota. We hope that you will be as excited about it again.”

            Many local troops and posts were planning to help with and/or attend this event. The local public and community were also supporting this show. Too bad it had to come down to this.

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              More Boy Scout patches for the collection.

              More Boy Scout patches for the collection.

              I served as the scoutmaster for one of the two troops that the Central Minnesota Council sent to the 2001 National Jamboree. That trip to Fort A.P. Hill was one of the highlights of my Scouting tenure. It also was a reason to begin another Scouting themed collection. (As if I really needed another one.) I began collecting 2001 Jamboree patches and other memorabilia. I have a medium sized tote in the closet filled with stuff from this event.

              Today I was lucky enough to score a small collection of 23 council shoulder patches (csp) from this event. I think I already have 3 or 4 of these in the notebook but the others will nicely fill in part of the void in the collection. The doubles may allow me to actually do some trading instead of purchasing. The new ones will create to need to start another binder or get a larger one.

              Have you been to a National Jamboree? Did you trade and collect patches? How many do you have in your collection?

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