Category Archives: Venturing
Last week our Boy Scout District had it’s awards and recognition banquet. Carly was selected as the Baden-Powell District Venturer of the Year and Cameron as the Baden-Powell District Boy Scout of the Year. It was a very proud parenting moment for their Mom and myself. I guess twins really do have a mystic connection since they seem to do everything together. 🙂
As most everyone knows the BSA recently made a decision to change its membership policy to allow openly gay youth to participate. Here is the release from the BSA regarding their decision:
For 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been a part of the fabric of this nation, with a focus on working together to deliver the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.
“Based on growing input from within the Scouting family, the BSA leadership chose to conduct an additional review of the organization’s long-standing membership policy and its impact on Scouting’s mission. This review created an outpouring of feedback from the Scouting family and the American public, from both those who agree with the current policy and those who support a change.
“Today, following this review, the most comprehensive listening exercise in Scouting’s history the approximate 1,400 voting members of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Council approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone. The resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting. A change to the current membership policy for adult leaders was not under consideration; thus, the policy for adults remains in place. The BSA thanks all the national voting members who participated in this process and vote.
“This policy change is effective Jan. 1, 2014, allowing the Boy Scouts of America the transition time needed to communicate and implement this policy to its approximately 116,000 Scouting units.
“The Boy Scouts of America will not sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue. As the National Executive Committee just completed a lengthy review process, there are no plans for further review on this matter.
“While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting. Going forward, our Scouting family will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth in order to help them grow into good, strong citizens. America’s youth need Scouting, and by focusing on the goals that unite us, we can continue to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.
As I expected there has been fallout. Many people have decided they can no longer allow their kids to be a part of the program. Many have decided they can no longer be adult leaders. Many have called this the darkest day in BSA.
This last weekend I asked my youngest son what his take on it was. He told me that he didn’t mind that it was changed. He then said that he only thought it was right to allow every kid the right to have the same experiences he has access to enjoy. Mind you this is coming from the mind of a 12-yr-old. He made his Mom and Dad very proud. Scratch up a parenting win for us.
I realize that many people are hurt and upset about this decision. Many feel that the BSA betrayed them by allowing LGBT youth into the program. Hello folks, they were here all along and just hiding the fact that they are gay. Sure many have not been in the program and might join now. Let them come. As my son said, they deserve the opportunity just like he has had.
I encourage every adult that is a leader now to stay the course no matter which side you stand on. Swallow your pride and open your mind just a little. Just because the BSA voted to change a policy last week it doesn’t change the most important thing. There are youth in this country that STILL need you!
Being the Chairman for Camporee affords me some room to set the format. Traditionally, we have had a Camporee that consisted of games that tested Scouting Skills. For this Camporee we decided that we wanted to do something fun and move away from the Scout Skills so we opted to play Scottish Games.
This last spring we travelled to Kansas to watch a Camporee that was playing Scottish games and see if it was worth trying. Their event drew nearly 800 Scouts and Scouters and the Scouts had a Blast. Based on their success we decided to go forward.
We had all of the traditional events including the Caber Toss, Hammer Throw, Battle Axe Throw, Braemar Stone Put, Sheaf Toss, and the Weight Toss. We added a Highland Golf event which was a closest to the pin contest and had judging for the “Clan” attire. That meant that everyone had on kilts and carried Clan Flags.
In the end there was a winner chosen for the small clans and the large clans. The Scouts from Troop 168 won the large Clan Division and our Scouts (and adults) were stoked.
This has been a very good week in Scouting around our house. On Monday our youngest son, Cameron, earned the rank of Second Class. Not too bad for a Scout that just crossed over in February. Tonight our oldest son, Drew, had is Eagle project Proposal approved at the Eagle boards. We have been waiting a long time for this and we are stoked! Finally, Carly has begun work on her Girl Scout Bronze Award. The only downer is that once she completes it she has chosen not to continue on in Girl Scouts but is excited that our Venturing Crew I once again active and will be in full swing once she is 14. Mom and Dad can’t quit smiling!
Living in Oklahoma can be a real blessing at times but a real nightmare at others. It is typically decent during most of the ‘winter’ with high temps in the 40’s and 50’s. The trade off is summer time temps usually around 100° and rain no where in sight. Those two things combined turn Oklahoma into a tinder box.
This last week we had several wildfires and many people lost their homes. A fellow Scouter in Luther, OK lost her entire home, all while she was in Michigan attending NOAC. This got me to thinking about how I could help.
On Saturday, we received an email from the Last Frontier Council that the American Red Cross has asked the Boy Scouts to build 250 Sifter Boxes for the fire victims to use to search the remains of their houses. Without hesitation I called the contact and asked what I could do to help. We made arrangements to get everything purchased and setup a time on Sunday to build the boxes. I emailed our Troop and Crew and he included our build in a council email and we were all set.
On Sunday morning I went with another Scouter and my two sons and we purchased all of the supplies for the build. Later that afternoon we had 40+ Scouts and Scouters show up at our house to build the boxes. We had Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers working together towards one goal. We had committed to making 40 boxes and I figured it would take most of the day but to my surprise we were done and headed to deliver them to the red Cross in just over two hours.
It was a fun and meaningful project and just another reason I am proud to be part of the Boy Scouts of America!
Today the family and I participated in an annual Independence Day Parade that our Troop serves as Color Guard for every year. We all had a great time.
This week we had a meeting to restart our Venturing Crew. It has been three years since Venturing Crew 168 has had any active youth involved in it but that all changed this week. At our meeting this week we had six girls and two boys and parents of another boy (who was out of town) attend. I wasn’t really sure going in what to expect but was pleased with the turnout. Since that meeting there have been other inquiries and we now have potential for ELEVEN girls and more boys from our Troop. My wife, Suzette, has assumed the role of Crew Advisor and she is fired up with the results.
Since that meeting the Crew has hit the ground running. Some will be participating as the color guard with Troop 168 and Pack 163 at a 4th of July parade. Several will go camping with Troop 168 at the Alabaster Caverns in NW Oklahoma to go wild caving. Both should be a fun time.
I will keep you informed on how thing are going.