Intro and participation question
Ralph Johnson (REJOHNSO@AOL.COM)
Sun, 9 Jul 1995 17:17:03 -0400
I have been reading the mail on Arrow-L for about a week now without an intro
but now that I need some help I thought it appropriate to introduce my self
before asking my question.
My name is Ralph Johnson and I am an Assistant Scoutmater with Troop 26 in
Santa Barbara, California. I have been a Scouter for a total of 7 years,
starting out as my son's den leader for Wolf and Bear, and assistant den
leader for both years of his Webelos participatition. I have been assistant
scoutmaster for 3 years and continue as assistant Webelos den leader as well.
At 14, my son is SPL of his troop and knocking on Eagle's door with only two
merit badges and a project left (only???). I am an advisor for OA Lodge #90
of which my son is the Treasurer. Last year I had the honor of supervising a
central California multi-council contingent that attended the first Russian
Jamboree in St. Petersburg, Russia. I am currently working on ticket after
attending Woodbadge this spring (I was an owl, a good ol' owl too).
I need some help.
Our Troop prides itself on being a traditional troop, emphasising full
uniform, boy leadership and making sure the rank of Eagle is truely deserved.
Woodbadge really helped me understand the aims and methods of scouting and
am a firm beleiver in the patrol method.
At our summer scout camp this last week, we had a father/committee member
acting as one of the leaders. In the course of the week it became obvious
that he was going to buck the current adult leadership and will be fighting
in upcoming committee meetings to modify the current troop policies and
pratices. He does not beleive that the uniform is important and favors a
very loose interpretation of BSA policies. He has begun questioning each
decision and policy of the leaders and wants "PROOF" that it has to be as we
So I need support (or correction if we have been wrong o f course) with some
of his objections.
1. Hiking miles and camping events for completion of the hiking and camping
We feel that only BSA events should be counted towards the merit badge
requirements. We have so far refused to credit his boy with school and/or
church camping/hiking events for the merit badge work. Our troop provides
opportunities for over 30 nights camping per year and several hundred miles
hiking per year so there is no lack of opportunities within the troop. Do we
have the right to restrict credit to BSA events? If so, where can we find it
Likewise, this father insists that the troop can not insist on full uniforms,
including approved head gear, BSA belts, BSA shorts or trousers, and BSA crew
socks. He points out that many other Troops only require the BSA shirt. How
do we combat this and prove to the questioner that the Troop has the right to
insist on full proper uniforming? By the way, the is no question on
economics involved. The family could afford uniform costs and the troop
maintains an inventory of uniform parts free for the asking. We provide the
head gear, scarf and slide to all incoming scouts.
Your assistance including cites of official BSA publications would be
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City