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Issue 168 – April 1, 2009

These just in: The latest BSA headlines from around the country…

Bag Those Square Knots!

The BSA has introduced over 200 new “square knots” that leaders can earn in their spare time. This, in an effort to assure that adult leaders’ uniform shirts are no longer “naked” in the upper-left quadrant. The new awards include: Unit Driver (black square knot with flattened bottom—just 3 trips required), Popcorn King (Yellow square knot with superimposed caramel-colored dollar sign—one knot for every case sold, multiples may be worn), Double-Duty Award (miniature multi-colored knots appear to be chasing a beaver—one knot for each pair of registered positions, multiples may be worn), and my personal favorite, the Job-As-Hostage Knot (Sanguine “Hangman’s” knot on a black background, no borders—award based on how many threats of “if I don’t get my way, I’ll walk out and take my den with me and then where will you be?” can be made in the month of September). For the complete list, go to www.thechaseison.org.

 No More Set Camping Nights!

The BSA has officially rescinded the longstanding (and odious) 20 days-and-nights requirement for Camping Merit Badge. Effective immediately, so long as a Scout thinks about camping, that’s enough. (It’s a known fact that when we burden our youth with requirements, they get bored and don’t try for stuff. Henceforth, Every Scout An Eagle Scout!

 Corporal Punishment Out—Hazing In!

Although BSA Youth Protection has prohibited corporal punishment, leaders have been granted hazing as a way to get these kids in line. When a kid starts acting up, razzing him publicly, making him “sing for his supper,” and using the famous “Drop and give me ten!” are all OK methods for controlling and suppressing youthful enthusiasm.

Patch & Pin Randomization Approved

To the chagrin of the Patch Police, the BSA has, after years of discussion on the matter, decided that wherever a patch gets sewn, there it is. The BSA has also approved the wearing of random pins, randomly. Cubs, Scouts, and Scouters across the country are already in full compliance, commented the BSA spokesperson.

Eagle Age Restriction Removed

Effective immediately, all Scouts desiring to earn the Eagle rank can continue working toward it past their 18th birthday. This age restriction is completely lifted, thereby further guaranteeing Every Scout An Eagle Scout!

Airstream Efficiencies Coming To Philmont

“Treks take entirely too long,” commented the Trek Director at Philmont Scout Ranch. Thanks to a generous grant from the Airstream Company, all treks beginning in 2010 will be using Airstream trailers towed by back-country-equipped Jeeps—two rigs per crew. This will reduce treks to no more than four days, tops, and will result in Philmont being able to accommodate over 100,000 trekkers each summer from now on. Every Scout A Philmont Trekker! Hoo-Hah!

 Leave No Trace National Fundraisers

In an effort to raise money to fund higher awareness of its national “Leave No Trace” initiative, the BSA will be promoting high-fructose-and-carbohydrate backpacking water packed in special polycarbonate bottles and flown to the U.S. mainland direct from Guam. These will be trucked to and go on sale throughout all council camps and at all three high adventure bases beginning this summer. To accommodate the back country, all bottles are biodegradable (15 years, maximum) and, for Sea Base, the specially weighted bottoms will help to sink them when disposed of while at sea. In addition, special orange neon glow-in-the-dark “TP” will be marketed through all Scout shops and camp trading posts. The special paper not only aids in disposal (“if you can see a glow, it ain’t covered, Joe!”) by also in emergency trail-blazing.

Every State A Council

Continuing its effort to streamline the BSA, each of the 50 states will become a single council by 2012. Regions will be reduced to two: North and South, per the original calculations of Messrs. Mason and Dixon. All packs and troops in the North Region will wear the new blue neckerchiefs and their counterparts in the South Region will wear the new gray ones.

 Booze and Boys Mix Just Fine

Beginning today, any council, district, or unit event may serve alcoholic beverages to adults, even if in the presence of youth. “The old method of separating boys from booze was just too restrictive,” complained a staffer who chose not to be identified. “After all,” he continued, “when we’re running a fund-raising reception and we want to soften up our audience, even though we have boys right there as a color guard, money always talks!” Opening this door of course also makes beer bashes on the trail and wine for “troop parents” while little Fargus and his friends are drinking cocoa both perfectly “legal,” too!

 Girl Scouts Go Co-Ed

Taking their cue from Smith, Vassar, and other formerly distaff universities, the Girl Scouts are now fully co-ed, and any boy who wants to can be a Girl Scout! The GSUSA has even introduced gender-appropriate cookies this year, including “Lumberjack Lemon Wafers,” “Back Woods Biscuits,” “He-Man Ho-Hos,” and “Thunder-Thud Thin Mints.”

Happy Scouting!  (and grin – April Fools)

Andy

 

Got a question? Have an idea? Send it to AskAndyBSA@yahoo.com. (Please include your POSITION and COUNCIL NAME or TOWN & STATE)(April 1, 2009 – Copyright © Andy McCommish 2009)

Letters to AskAndy may be published at the discretion of the columnist and the editor. If you prefer to have your name or affiliation withheld from publication, please advise in your letter..

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About AskAndy

Andy is a Board Member of the U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc.

Andy has just received notification by his council Scout Executive that he is to be recognized as a National Distinguished Eagle Scout. He is currently serving as a Unit Commissioner and his council's International Representative. He has previously served in a number of other Scouting roles including Assistant Council Commissioner, Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Den Leader, and--as a Scout--Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster. His awards include: Kashafa Iraqi Scouting Service Award, Distinguished Commissioner, Doctor of Commissioner Science, International Scouter Award, District Award of Merit (2), Scoutmaster Award of Merit, Scouter's Key (3), Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award, Cliff Dochterman Rotarian Scouter Award, James E. West Fellow (2), Wood Badge & Sea Badge, and Eagle Scout & Explorer Silver Award.

Read Andy's full biography

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