Thursday, March 12, 2015

The REAL Problem with Scouting in the LDS Church

I’ve been fairly heavily involved in LDS Scouting for about fifteen years now. I’ve served at the unit, district, council, and national level. I’ve worked alongside parents, merit badge counselors, BSA employees, camp staff, senior council and national volunteers, and of course, youth. At this point, I’m ready to make a full declaration of what is wrong with Scouting in the LDS Church.
Let me first make two key observations.
  1. benson
    President Benson greets Jamboree Scouts
    The LDS Church’s involvement in Scouting is not accidental. In fact, the opposite it true. The LDS Church supports Scouting as a result of revelation. President Benson clearly stated in 1978 that Scouting is an inspired program for our time. (Scouting and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint, Appendix A)

Cub Corner - March 2015

For those who don’t know, there are changes coming to the Cub Scout program. Beginning in June 2015, all cubs will begin using a new program designed to bring out the adventures in scouting. This month, I want to show off the new adventure pins (for Webelos) and loops (for Tigers, Wolves, and Bears). These are the new immediate recognition awards that cubs will earn. They look really cool!

Here’s the adventure loops for the Tiger Rank. (Tigers are getting a new image also) Notice the six adventure loops across the top of the rank badge—those are the loops for the required adventures.  And all those below are the electives.

All the adventure loops shown have orange bands of color across the top and the bottom. That orange band indicates that they are for Tiger Adventures. Only the six required adventures will get a multicolored image on the loop.  The images on the other thirteen elective adventure loops are just orange.

All the adventures for each rank and the specific requirements for each adventure loop are already online for you to download, and/or print. Adventure Rank and Insignia. You can also get a closer look at each image that will be on the adventure loops.

The same coloring system holds true for each rank.  Multicolored loops for required adventures and monochromatic (one color) loops for elective adventures. Each rank has its own dedicated color.  Here are pictures of the Wolf and Bear adventure loops.  You can see the band colors match the background color of each rank badge. (Wolf and Bear ranks also have 6 required adventures) 

Once a boy joins the Webelos den, he will now be awarded with adventure pins in place of adventure loops upon completion of an adventure. The 5 Webelos required adventure pins are diamond shaped, have a green border and multi colored images.  The 4 Arrow of Light required adventure pins are in the shape of an arrow point, with a brown border and are also multi colored images.  The elective adventures get an oval shaped pin.  The elective adventures are shared between the two ranks so they all get the same shape and monochromatic color scheme.  There are currently 18 elective adventures. (National has indicated that there may be more elective adventures added in the future)

These new adventure pins will be worn on the Webelos colors or on the front panel of the Webelos hat just like the Webelos activity badges are worn currently.

So there you have it.  Boys complete Adventures and are awarded adventure loops or pins.  This is going to be SO much simpler for the parents, den leaders and of course for the pack advancement coordinator and Cubmaster too.

Q – If these are the “Immediate Recognition” devices, when will they be awarded to the boys?
A – From the Den Leader Guide Sampler available online- “Upon completion of the ________ adventure, your ____ Scouts will have earned the adventure loop shown here. Make sure they are recognized for their completion by presenting the adventure loop, to be worn on their belt, as soon as possible according to your pack’s tradition.” and “Upon completion of the _______ Adventure, your Webelos Scouts will have earned the adventure pin shown here. Make sure they are recognized for their completion by presenting the adventure pin, to be worn on their Webelos colors or the front of their cap, as soon as possible according to your pack’s tradition.”

So the answer seems to be – As soon as possible according to your pack’s tradition.  It’s your pack, your boys, your decision!

I plan to highlight parts of the changes each month in my Cub Corner. This is going to be a fun new adventure for all of us. Let’s get on board!

Upcoming Events
·       Cub Camp registration is now open!
·       3/12/15 – Special NEW CUB PROGRAM Roundtable @13768 S 6400 W
·       3/14/15 – Utah Scout Expo ticket sales kickoff
·       3/21/15 – Cubs only NEW PROGRAM Basic Training @5562 W 13680 S
·       4/9/15 – Roundtable @13768 S 6400 W
·       5/2/15 – Utah Scout Expo @South Towne Expo Center
·       5/5/15 – Scout Day at Wendy’s
·       5/14/15 – Roundtable @13768 S 6400 W
·       5/16/15 – OWL (Outdoor Skills for Webelos Leaders) and BALOO (Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation) @Camp Tracy


·       Sign up for email reminders and information. http://eepurl.com/wCQUX 

Klondike - Huge Success Again

The Western Skies Klondike Derby was held on February 20-21, 2015 at Soldier Hollow, with over 650 boys and leaders attending the event.  Tubing at the Soldier Hollow tubing hill was the highlight Friday evening, with hundreds enjoying several runs down the hill.  Rumors are that the speeds picked up as the night went on!  The weather cooperated with light snow overnight, making it a winter wonderland on Saturday morning. 

Saturday morning started off with a campfire program by the Order of the Arrow with help from several troops.  Donuts were provided by one of the zones.  Klondike events on Saturday included fire starting, log saw, smoosh board, first aid/rescue, tomahawk/knife throw, and sled races (each manned by one or several zones).  A good time was had by all who participated.  Winners for each event were chosen based on time (or points for the tomahawk throw).  Times were adjusted based on how well prepared the troops were.  First, second, and third place prizes were awarded, as follows

Event
First Place
Second Place
Third Place
Fire Starting
Troop 000
Troop 114
Troop 1305
Log Saw (teams of 2)
Troop 1205 (Stump and Stump)
Troop 1631 (? and ?)
Troop 7676 (Caleb and Russell)
Smoosh Board
Troop 820
Troop 1232
Troop 1205
First Aid/Rescue
Troop 1520
Troop 000
Troop 120
Tomahawk Throw
Troop 1292
Troop 0274
Troop 1368
Sled Races
Troop 1631
Troop 1676
Troop 1653
Overall Winner
Troop 000


Father Judge Spirit of the Klondike
Troop 1520
Troop 820
Troop 1444
If you didn’t claim your award, it will be available at March Roundtable.

The Father Judge Spirit of the Klondike awards were tallied from a combination of points for preparedness, uniforms, troop yells, and sportsmanship.  The award is named after Father William Henry Judge, a Jesuit priest who was living and working among the native people in Alaska when gold was discovered on Rabbit Creek (renamed Bonanza Creek), a tributary to the Klondike River.
In May 1897, Father Judge went to Dawson, acquired 3 acres of land, and built a hospital, church, and residences. He spent hours cheering and comforting the sick and consoling the dying.  He sacrificed his life in the service of others.  He fell ill with pneumonia in January 1899 and died a few days later.  The entire town of Dawson turned out for his funeral and he became known as the Saint of Dawson.  In his life he embodied elements of what would later be found in the Scout oath, even duty to God and his fellow man.   Thus the Spirit of the Klondike is truly Scout Spirit!
Thanks to all who attended and participated in any way!

What is the parachute that can save you?

The story is legendary and it begins with a legendary aircraft, the F-8 Crusader. The Crusader was first carrier based air craft to fly faster than 1000 miles per hour.  In 1957 then future astronaut and Senator John Glenn used it to set a transcontinental speed record.
In Vietnam it earned a kill ratio of 6 to one and in 1962 camera equipped unarmed crusaders retrieved photographic evidence flying over Cuba during the Cuban missile crises.
The Jets abilities were in many ways remained unrivalled but our story begins with one instance where they fell short. At 6:00 p.m. on a summer night in 1959 lieutenant Colonel Rankin a pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps and a World Ward ll & Korean War veteran’s F-8, suffered an engine failure while flying at 47,000 feet at 500 Knots. He pulled the lever to deploy auxiliary power, and it broke off in his hand.
The failure was followed by a fire warning then a system failure. Rankin was about to have a very bad day. He though not wearing a pressure suit, ejected into the thin air 9 miles above the earth instantly decompression caused his body to swell weaker blood vessels ruptured and blood poured from his nose. He did however manage to make use of his emergency oxygen supply.
The 500 knot slip stream ripped into him at 50% below zero but this was just the beginning. Rankin was free falling into a thunder storm. Barometric differentials in the storm tripped Rankins pressure switch and his parachute deployed. Already soaked and blinded by rain frost bitten and bloodied Rankin was now beaten and spun in his harness violent dragged by his canopy in all directions by the extreme turbulence of the storm.
He was hit with hale and in his own words, “boy do I remember that lightning”. It appeared to him like Blue blades several feet thick, his body was pounded by the thunder. One lightning bolt lit up the parachute, making Rankin believe he had died. The air was so saturated with water he sometimes held his breath for fear he could drown.
Frozen disoriented and spinning in the muck the seasoned fighter pilot got air sick and vomited. The violence threw him into his own parachute’s canopy at any time the storm could have tangled him in the chutes lines or wrapped him in the canopy spitting him out to his death.
But fate had other plans William Rankin eventually dropped out of the storm under canopy He would end his flight slammed against a tree trunk, 65 miles from his point of ejection. Wet bleeding frost bitten covered in burses and welts nearly drowned and suffering from severe decompression.
Rankin got himself down from the tree and began to take inventory he noted the time, it was 6:40 p.m. 40 minutes since he’d ejected. Rankin recovered from his trip; he lived another 50 years and passed away on July 6, 2009.
Those who know the story remember him by the title of his book. William Rankin was
The Man Who Rode the Thunder

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cub Scout Adventure Program

For those who don’t know, there are changes coming to the Cub Scout program. Beginning in June 2015, all cubs will begin using a new program designed to bring out the adventures in scouting. This month, I want to finally introduce you to the new adventure model. How many of you actually know how all of the current ranks work? How does a boy earn his Tiger rank? Tiger Cubs advance using one method and Wolves another method. Bears modify and complicate the method yet again and Webelos take a whole different approach with Activity Badges. If you have been a Cub Scout leader for a while you probably have it all figured out, but, let’s pretend you are a brand new den leader or a brand new parent who has never done cub scouts before—it takes some reading, training and explaining for you to get the whole picture and to understand the differences between the ranks.

Let’s compare the difference between the Wolf and Bear ranks. Wolves currently have 12 achievements that need to be completed to earn their rank. Then they have multiple electives that they can complete to work towards their arrow points. The first 10 earn a gold arrow point and each 10 thereafter earn them a silver. Not too hard to understand. Then the boys move up and start to work on their Bear rank and now it’s different. Yes, they still have to complete 12 achievements but it’s 12 out of 24 total. 1 for God, 3 for Country, 4 for Family and 4 for self. Then just like in the wolf book there are electives and 10 gives you a gold arrow point and each 10 thereafter gives you a silver. Then you add in the fact that parts of the achievements not counted towards the rank advancement can also count towards the arrow points. Just enough different to cause more confusion. And right about the time that this structure makes sense, the boy moves up to the Webelos rank with a whole new system of activity badges, which are actually pins, a compass emblem with compass points…you get the picture.
My favorite part of the new Cub Scout Adventure program is the fact that each rank, Tiger through Arrow of Light uses the exact same advancement model. Once a parent, leader, or boy has figured out what it takes to earn that first rank (excluding bobcat – it’s still just about the same) they know what it takes to earn the next rank and the next and the next.

Each rank has the same two requirements. 1) Complete 7 adventures. 2) Complete the Parent Guide and Cyber Chip award. That’s it! Really! It will be that simple!
The number of required vs elective adventures will be different and the cyber chip award changes depending on the age of the boy but once you know it is 7 adventures for the first rank, it’s still 7 total adventures for the next rank and the next.


Another big change is immediate recognition. When a boy completes an adventure he has earned the immediate recognition for that adventure. No longer do den leaders have to keep track of how many achievements a boy has competed to earn a red or yellow bead that shows he is part way there. And the Webelos won’t be they only ones getting awards on a regular basis. It will be the same for all the boys. After a boy completes an adventure, he is awarded an Adventure Loop or Adventure Pin. If a boy completes additional elective adventures (beyond the rank) he earns another loop or pin. No more beads, no more arrow points, no more emblems.

Q – Is the “Protecting your Child from Abuse” and Cyber Chip really required for every rank now?
A – YES!  The BSA is very serious about protecting our youth and keeping them safe and this new requirement to do it for every rank shows just how serious they are.  The Cyber chip award has different requirements depending on their age so it’s not the exact same thing every time. In today’s tech heavy world this is important for the boys!
I plan to highlight parts of the changes each month in my Cub Corner. This is going to be a fun new adventure for all of us. Let’s get on board!

Upcoming Events
·       Cub Camp registration is now open!
·       2/12/12 – Roundtable @13768 S 6400 W
·       2/16/15 – Cub Winter Day Camp @Camp Tracy
·       3/12/15 – Special NEW CUB PROGRAM Roundtable @13768 S 6400 W
·       3/14/15 – Utah Scout Expo ticket sales kickoff
·       4/9/15 – Roundtable @13768 S 6400 W
·       5/2/15 – Utah Scout Expo @South Towne Expo Center
·       5/5/15 – Scout Day at Wendy’s
·       5/14/15 – Roundtable @13768 S 6400 W
·       5/16/15 – OWL (Outdoor Skills for Webelos Leaders) and BALOO (Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation) @Camp Tracy

Sign up for email reminders and information. http://eepurl.com/wCQUX