NOAC *Internet Scouter*/Scouts-L Meeting
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Thu, 11 Aug 1994 20:31:10 CST
One of the "conditions" that I was told before we left for the
National Order of the Arrow Conference was that Jess and I HAD to be
back in Greenwood before morning so that we could get some sleep and
go to work in the morning. That meant that we had to leave there no
matter what by 11pm; with a four-hour drive southwestward, that would
get us back home by 4am and give us six hours' sleep before going to
work at 11am. It was hard to do, but we did it (somehow)!
The Internet Scouters meeting was organized by those on the USENET
NEWS group called Rec.Scouting as a way to do what we on Scouts-L have
been doing for the past two years: to meet in person and to see whom
it is we've been writing and sending email to for the past year or so.
The organizers included a couple of folks from Scouts-L, Ray Dyke and
Steve Sousa (S2), whom not only wanted to come to the NOAC to
participate in the activities but also to meet and greet those from
various online services. Branden Morris, a youth leader from Section
1 of the OA, was to serve as "host" of the event. It was promised to
be a great meeting of those that talk to each other using ANY online
service, not just those on Rec.Scouting or Scouts-L.
The meeting was to be held in the courtyard surrounding something that
looked like a large washing machine agitator. It was actually a nice
scupture with waterfalls and great lighting. The meeting was
scheduled after the NOAC opening ceremonies, the only time that those
serving on staff could absolutely say that nothing was going on
afterwards (except patch trading). Jess and I sat on the sides from a
little after 7:30pm until the end of the opening program at 9:45 or
As the delegates exited the building in front of the scupture,
we were greeted by a lot of folks saying "Mike Walton, right?", as if
it was a Mike Walton-arranged meeting somehow. After a few minutes of
standing/sitting around waiting for the "facilitators" (and talking
with Fred's son and seeing his 100 merit badges on his sash...what an
accomphishment!; and finally meeting Dr. Steve (Myers), the guy that
worked hard on coordinating the Scouts-L part of the meeting; and
talking with John Macko, finally meeting the man that I've been
helping all spring, I had to finally announce that we would go ahead
and start and also apologize that Jessica and I would have to leave if
I was to retain any interest in continuing my engagement to her.
I think that everyone there didn't really care about the content of
the meeting, for it took three attempts to start before we really
started. We were all rather excited at meeting everyone that we've
previously met online. While the list here didn't make it around to
everyone for some reason, we tried to get a roster of everyone that
was in attendance...if you were there for any length of time and we
didn't get your name, my personal apologies:
Paul Rogers (with the 100 merit badge sash!)
Adrian Grisanti (was there briefly and left)
David Lawence (was there briefly and left)
Steve Sousa's Council contingent didn't make it, I understand. I didn't see
Ray nor Branden. There were more Scouts-L folks there than folks from
Rec.Scouting (two, if you included me). So in actuality, it was
another Scouts-L meeting!
We introduced ourselves to each other, followed by some general
comments about the fact that we've now got a mailing discussion list
for Arrowmen called Arrow-l and that Jack Thornton had better be ready
for more entries *grinning*. We talked about the conference itself
and how the "system" of getting delegates didn't really work out to
the total satisfaction of everyone...including lots of local Councils.
As Tim Miller explained, much of the restrictions were caused by the
site and not by some desire to keep the numbers down. We then shifted
gears and talked about the new Explorer Shirts (the shirts discussion
was followed-up here on the list afterwards, another example of how
the list even in person generates more questions and comments)!
We shifted a little to talk about the Internet Scouter "flap" and how
it came to be and later what objections were given to the patch. The
flaps were also available and Jessiann sold nine more. We also talked
about some things that we would love to see someday in the Scouts-L
archives. Among them is a listing of all of the BSA's camping
facilities and this prompted me to say that there probably be some
restrictions on the listing, because many local Councils will resent
you getting that kind of information from anyone but them. This led
Jay Bemis and Mike McDonald (both serve as professionals) to state
that the BSA's information is available by volunteers. This got some
giggles from some of the longtime Scouters, as we've experienced some
of the reluctance and downright refusals from some Councils to provide
us that information without a pint of blood and a court order. Jay
pledged that if the information is available to be shared and that if
his Scout Executive didn't mind, he would be happy to provide us all
with information as it comes to his Council. This is a great move and
helped to confort many of us in attendance.
This led us to talk about how it would be nice to get some of the
general information that we have been asking for on here: Council
names, numbers, the address and zip code and the address and name of
the Council camp. Various people already have databases with some of
that information, but it's not available for public usage yet. Look
for some if not all of that information being available here come
fall. Dr. Steve and I have been trying to collect "places to go"
booklets, but admittely, many of the booklets are just reprints of
previous years' booklets and not much effort has went into updating it
and reflecting current places to go camping. Each Order of the Arrow
Lodge, in order to compete for the Founder's Award, must submit a
"Where to Go" booklet as part of their overall program.
This then led us to talk about the number of Councils that are left
under the BSA's drawdown program. I was told that we're down to a
little over 380; Mike McDonald says that ProSpeak this month says
we're down to 353. Shows you that Mike Walton is *not* always right!
There were some discussion on other Councils which are merging
presently or consolidating programs as a result.
Finally, I spoke about sharing the information gained here and on the
list with those that cannot get access, to include the Council staff.
While we would love to think that everyone can get access, there are
many out there that cannot and we need to aviod "hoarding" information
to be only shared between those online and ourselves; and instead, to
share and exchange information with those other Scouters.
It was a GREAT meeting, and as Jessiann was shoving me toward the
parking garage, we stopped to briefly talk with various Scouters.
Seriously, we both wanted to stay as long as possible but we just
couldn't! Again, I'm sorry for not sticking around for the entire
meeting. Can someone there tell me what happened/discussed AFTER we
left and fill in the blank part!
Again, the National Order of the Arrow Conference meeting was
great...both meetings....and my thanks again to Dr. Steve Myers, to
Ray Dyke, to Steve Sousa (S2) and to those that traveled either just
for the meetings, like Nathan Brindle and some others did; or whom
stuck around after a busy long day at Purdue to participate in one or
both of the meetings. We pledge to create a meeting site in the
future where we can get away and spend some time talking Scouting and
computers for a short period as part of a National meeting or
activity or just for doing it.
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services ___)_
(h) 502-782-7992 (f) 502-781-7279 (w) 502-782-7467 |-=-|]
3201-D Cave Springs Avenue -- Greenwood, KY 42104-4439 -=====-
Internet: WALTOML@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU/America OnLine: KYBLKEAGLE@AOL.COM
Blackeagle Services is NOT affiliated with & does not speak for Western
Kentucky University but is the home to Leaders Online! Ask us about it!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City