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SCOUTS-L Welcome and Introduction 4/09/99
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List: SCOUTS-L@LISTSERV.TCU.EDU Coordinator: Jon Eidson


Table of Contents


WELCOME


Let me be the first to welcome you to SCOUTS-L, the "Electronic Roundtable that Never Ends". SCOUTS-L provides opportunities for members of youth groups world-wide to interact, compare notes on their programs, discuss organizational problems and concerns, and communicate with members all over the world!

While the groups discussed may be heavily weighted towards the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), we DO INCLUDE WAGGGS (Girl Scouts and Girl Guides), Boys' and Girls' Clubs, and other world-wide scouting and youth organizations. We also welcome you if you belong to NO national youth organization.

I realize this is a rather long file to read but the time taken will be well spent. Hopefully many of your initial questions will be answered here. The guidelines set forth will help make for a more enjoyable SCOUTS-L for all. I would also highly recommend that you keep a copy of this file. It contains a lot of reference information that you WILL need in the future.



WHAT DO WE TALK ABOUT ON SCOUTS-L?


If you can imagine a daily meeting with parents of Scouts, leaders at the unit level, Scouters (scouting leaders) at the group, local Council or Regional level and occasionally some people who make Scouting their career (or did at one time or another) -- from all over the nation and from around the world -- you have an idea of the impact this discussion list has.

We talk about a wide variety of issues and topics, from the silliness of a "Woodbadge animal" to the very seriousness of child protection policies that many organizations have recently installed. While we don't profess to have the answer to EVERY issue or question, we do spend a great deal of time answering as many as we can. In most cases, we not only answer the "where it can be found in the literature" question, but also give some practical applications of why it is or is not so.

We tell stories of how our units or groups are doing, to inspire and to just share with others our anxieties, our fears and our joys. We get personal occasionally, because we have grown to be more than merely people discussing youth programs...we've become friends. We care when our fellow members are in the hospital, or when their new son or daughter is born, or when we attended our first training session or when we decide that perhaps our service is needed elsewhere.

And we are listened to, comforted, and encouraged to move forward by the others here. We get lots of useful answers and suggestions and we joke around with each other from time to time. Then, we move on to another topic and the process starts over again.

As you can imagine, not everyone here is in total agreement every day with all issues and resolutions of issues. We do argue, we express ourselves with deep personal emotion, but we also remember that we are in the company of fellow Scouters...people who understand that disagreements are a part of being human; that the disagreement is with the other point of view, and NOT the other person. Therefore, you will NOT find here the outlandish language and ongoing discussions about topics that have no real answer to them. We don't have time for such nonsense...we're too busy discussing issues that CAN be resolved.

We try as hard as we can NOT to censure or ignore ANYONE's point of view or thought on ANY topic, but we have "driven some topics deeply into the ground." Please check the logs *before* bringing up a sensitive topic that we have talked about before. Also, please think before replying to a issue which "may set off firerockets." If you have any concerns, please let the list administrator know or send him a copy of your proposed posting BEFORE you post it to the list.

We would also appreciate it greatly if you sign your name somewhere in the posting so that replies can be "personalized" to you rather than a pseudonym. This makes it nicer for you to be recognized as an individual.

Finally, the list quality has been maintained by the number of questions that we've answered over the years. In many cases, the questions we've asked have also been raised by others who are not on the list, only to be ignored or discarded. Some of our questions --and our collective answers-- have resulted in program or policy changes by the BSA or other organizations.

This is *your* chance to ask questions that you felt "stupid" asking local officials; to get the REAL answer to that policy that someone told you was "in the book and that's the way it is"; to resolve just WHERE do you wear that new award that your son or daughter or you received. We are MORE than willing to answer ALL questions, concerns, or problems that you may be having with your unit or organization. However, we do so ONLY with the understanding that you cannot get answers anywhere else. We don't want SCOUTS-L to be your ONLY source of information about what should or should not be done. We urge you to seek out the local offices of your youth organization BEFORE posting here...it avoids embarrassing "gaffes" between you and your organization and it also keeps us from coming between youth agencies and your unit. The advice given here is given on the same basis as what you would receive from a friend (which we all hope to become). None of us speaks on behalf of a youth organization in any capacity, except in the cases where we have identified ourself as a volunteer or career executive.

You are free (and encouraged) to extract and download the information shared and share it with those that you work with in your youth agency or group. In this way, you are not letting the information die! Many Scout "roundtables" use the information from this list each month!

So now that you know what happens here on this list EVERY DAY, here's some common information that you need to be aware of:


SUBSCRIBING


The act of SUBSCRIBING to the SCOUTS-L list is to place your name on the list which will allow you to receive all postings to the SCOUTS-L list as well as to be able to post messages to SCOUTS-L. To subscribe you should send a 1 line email message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.TCU.EDU without any extra headings or signature lines. This message should be as follows:
SUBSCRIBE SCOUTS-L your name

You should use your REAL NAME in place of "your name". Handles are not accepted on SCOUTS-L. Your email address is taken from the "FROM" line of your email heading.


LISTSERV


The Listserv is a computer that accepts commands or inquiries. THERE IS NOBODY PHYSICALLY AT THE LISTSERV ADDRESS!

Take some time to learn how to use and interact with the LISTSERV. This will save you a lot of time and headaches when you want to search for some past topic, retrieve files, or change some of your options. Remember there are 2 email ids that you use:



The commands to LISTSERV are contained in the body of your email message. A good command to start with is "HELP". Other useful commands to LISTSERV are:

    SUBSCRIBE SCOUTS-L your name      Can be used to change your name

UNSUBSCRIBE SCOUTS-L Signoff your id from SCOUTS-L
SET SCOUTS-L NOMAIL To stop list mail temporarily
SET SCOUTS-L DIGEST Turn ON the digest feature
SET SCOUTS-L MAIL To turn ON mail again (reset
DIGEST)
SET SCOUTS-L REPRO To receive a copy of your
postings
QUERY SCOUTS-L To see your distribution
options
REVIEW SCOUTS-L Get a copy of SCOUTS-L
subscription list and list
header
INDEX SCOUTS-L Get an index of SCOUTS-L files
GET SCOUTS-L LOGyymm SCOUTS-L Get a particular log file
GET SCOUTPCX BSADSK0 SCOUTS-L Get a file from the archives


DIGEST OPTION


For those of you who read SCOUTS-L only once-per-day, have trouble keeping up with the volume of email postings, or those who are only reading SCOUTS-L and don't intend to post, the DIGEST feature may be what you need. Once set, you will receive ONLY one posting per day that contains all postings consolidated into a neat package.

To set this option, send email to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.TCU.EDU with the following message:
    SET SCOUTS-L DIGEST
to revert back to normal receipt of individual messages:
    SET SCOUTS-L MAIL

A special note to those who reply to a digested SCOUTS-L is to change the subject line to something appropriate.


UNSUBSCRIBING


I know a lot of SCOUTS-L users out there will lose their computer accounts due to the end of a semester. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE remember to "unsubscribe" from SCOUTS-L before you lose your account. In case you don't understand, every bounced piece of SCOUTS-L mail ends up being sent to me. This is very frustrating on a busy day when I receive about 5-10 bounced postings for every note that goes out to SCOUTS-L ... and we have had some pretty busy days!

To unsubscribe, send email to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.TCU.EDU with the following message:
    UNSUBSCRIBE SCOUTS-L


INTRODUCTION


When first subscribing to SCOUTS-L, please feel free to post a brief message (about a screen's worth) about yourself to introduce yourself to the list.

When responding to someone's introduction, please DO NOT USE the reply function of your mailer as your reply will then also be distributed to the entire list. Use private Email. SCOUTS-L makes a concerted effort to keep network traffic and "junk mail" to a minimum, since there are many subscribers receiving SCOUTS-L through their place of work.


FLAMING


First, a reminder to everyone about network "etiquette". The so called "flaming" (insults) do NOT belong on the SCOUTS-L list and will not be put up with. Personal vendettas will NOT be tolerated. The Boy Scout Oath and Law is the best guidelines I can think of in these matters. PLEASE remember this! Flaming will result in action by the list coordinator.

Discussions will naturally bring disagreement, however, rebuttals should always be made in a rational, logical and mature manner in public. What has made SCOUTS-L such a success is the manner in which most subscribers handle their postings and how they address a topic. Let's keep it up!


NETIQUETTE


The SCOUTS-L list continues to grow and now has over 400 direct subscribers (I have no idea how many scouters get our list through other means). Many users access SCOUTS-L via their work place or through some commercial services (i.e. they are paying to get our messages) and some even use 2400 baud modems to get their email -- this is why it is VERY important that we follow some rules in our postings.

These rules are sometimes known as "NETIQUETTE".

Thank you for adhering to these guidelines. While SCOUTS-L may be one of the more active mailing lists, following these guidelines will ensure that the majority of subscribers can and will stay involved.


ARCHIVES


What is archived on SCOUTS-L?? Anything that YOU, the subscriber of SCOUTS-L deems important enough to share with the world!

The archives of SCOUTS-L continue to grow and are (in my opinion) one of the list's more valuable resources. They have become so valuable that many of the archived items are in high demand by Scouters world-wide and have been exported to other providers. Many of the SCOUTS-L archived items are also found on GEnie {tm}, America Online {tm}, and CompuServe {tm} in various Scouting "libraries".

Besides the logging of messages, there are several files that have been compiled and archived that may be of use to many of you. Recent additions include "Eagle tips" and the FAQs from USENET's "rec.scouting."

To get a list of files, send email to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.TCU.EDU with the following message:
    INDEX SCOUTS-L
To get a particular file, send email to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.TCU.EDU with the following message:
    GET SCOUTFAQ SILK SCOUTS-L

Additional contributions are encouraged and welcomed. Please send contributions to eidson3@unix3.is.tcu.edu. Currently FTP access is NOT available for SCOUTS-L files.


LOGS


All postings to SCOUTS-L are automatically archived into monthly files. You may retrieve these log files by sending the following command to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.TCU.EDU either by interactive message or as the first line in a mail file:
    GET SCOUTS-L LOGyymm
where "yy" is the year and "mm" is the month of the requested notebook.

When first subscribing, it is nice to get the last few log files so that you can "catch up" on what has been going on. Log files are also useful to see what has been discussed while you've been away from the list for a while.


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I hope to see SCOUTS-L be a resource to Scouters and others as well as a forum for which ideas can be expressed and the differences that we all have can be appreciated.

Yours in Scouting,
Jon Eidson, Listowner SCOUTS-L
(eidson3@unix3.is.tcu.edu)

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