Tag Archives: Eagle Scout

Bye-bye BSA

Bye-bye BSA

Soon the church will say bye-bye BSA.  I remember when I was a District Commissioner and having a discussion with another L.D.S. Scouter about the fate of Scouting and its relationship to BSA.  The other Scouter was of the opinion back then (late 1980s) that the church would eventually part company with BSA due to BSA’s relaxing of policy and rules.

At the time, the big issues were (1) camping on Sundays, and (2) adult leaders who were not living the law of chastity.  After all, a Scout is morally straight.  In our own district, this was an issue.  I recall one district award banquet a member of the district committee asking for certain members to leave their girl friends home and bring their wife instead. (Evidently, the guy he was addressing has a mistress on the side.)

I also had it out with the council Order of the Arrow advisor for being overly harsh on L.D.S. Scouts because they would leave the Ordeal on Saturday nights.  His words to me were, “As long as I’m advisor, no L.D.S. Scout will earn his sash.”

Skipping Ahead

bye-bye bsa


Skipping ahead, on my later rounds through church/Scouting callings I was seeing an overall relaxation of Eagle Requirements.  A merit badge counselor could not change the requirements, however, with a wink and a smile he could sign off on a requirement even though the young man hadn’t really met the standard.  This REALLY bothered me.  (It’s kind of like how some universities hand out degrees these days.)  As a result, the Rank of Eagle began to look more like a participation award than it did an achievement.

The Last Straw

There were contentions about women Scouters, women on camp outs with the boys, and more.  While having a woman camping with 11-18 year old boys may not endanger the boys as would having a man camping with girls of the same age group, it was more than impropriety.  There was the issue of male role-models.  And, as sexist as that may sound to some, it was at the top of my concerns.

It wasn’t long before the idea of allowing gay Scout leaders came up.  Many BSA units were sponsored by churches that had moral teachings that sex between anyone other than a man married to a woman is a sin.  The Scout Oath says a Scout should keep himself “morally straight”.  Many saw allowing gay men in as adult leaders would be a violation of this part of the oath.

Bye-bye BSA, that was the last straw.

Still Valuable

My Eagle Award is still valuable.  I think there will come a time when people find out someone is an Eagle Scout and ask, “So, did you receive yours prior to 2018?”  (Or even some earlier date.)

Fireplace At Last

They came today and installed the fireplace at last!

This whole ordeal started back in mid-November.  Now, to build a fire.

I got the fire started.  The design of this thing makes starting a fire quite easy.  I’m amazed at how the air hits just in the right place to keep the kindling burning steady. 

What I didn’t realize is that even though you have a fire going, it takes a long time to get that steel heated to the point where the blower kicks in and starts circulating hot air.  It probably took 3 hours to reach that point.  But, once it did, the temperatures started to climb.  For the first little while, it took a long time to go from 60 to 62.  Then, it climbed a little faster to 64, and then even faster from 64 to 68.  It held the room temperature around 68-70 pretty well.

Being an old Eagle Scout, I had to find some tinder (the small easy to light stuff).  I realized we don’t have any newspaper lying around.  We don’t take the paper, and we don’t save any of the mailers we get on newsprint.  I found a couple of pine cones and some scraps of pine trim in the workshop.  I gathered all the wood we had in the non-usable fireplaces, and then I couldn’t find any ignition source.  I had to call Elizabethe to find out where she has the lighter.  After finding it, I carefully stacked the tinder, then built a log-cabin with some kindling, and placed a couple of logs atop the log-cabin.  I then lit a wadded up piece of paper placed next to the pine cone and before you know it, the thing was blazing away.

Tomorrow I have a full cord (4’x4’x8′) of wood being delivered and stacked.  I bought 3 racks at Lowe’s for this.  Each rack holds one face-cord.  (A face cords can be 4’x4’x16″ or 4’x4’x12″ depending on whether it is “stove cut” (12″) or “fireplace cut” (16″). 

I learned you have to ask the right questions when buying firewood.  Those questions are:

  • Is the wood seasoned?
  • Is the wood split?
  • When was it cut and split? (you want it to be at least 1 year ago)
  • What type of wood is it? (hardwood burns slower – hardwoods are trees with leaves; softwood are trees with needles)
  • Is this a full-cord, in other words, 4’x4’x8′ ?
  • Is it a 16″ or 12″ cut?
  • Do you deliver?
  • Do you stack?
  • What is the price per full cord delivered and stacked?

The guy who installed the fireplace said 2-3 year seasoning is the best, but often hard to find. 

I don’t know how fast we’ll go through each face cord.  I bought 3 racks – each 8′ long and 4′ tall – for the purpose of holding one face cord each.  If I do not use a full cord each winter, that will allow us some 2-year-seasoned wood each year.  We will have to see.