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​Is today's scouting too prissy?

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  • #31
    June 11, 2008 LSSR, IA we loose 4 scouts to a tornado. BSA response: spend hundreds of thousands to build storm shelters within 15 minutes of all areas of the camp to house 1000 in case another tornado rolls through that exact same valley. What does BSA do for Camp Cedars, Camp Eagle, Camp Wa-Kon-Da ? Nothing until a tornado rolls through them. Unfortunatly an argument can be made that the less Texas knows about what is happening in the program all the better.

    Comment


    • bwest64098
      bwest64098 commented
      Editing a comment
      Heart of America Council, Kansas City area, has 2 long term camping facilities. 1 facility had a FEMA approved storm shelter at every camp-site last year. The other camp had their shelters finished this last off season. As far as I know none of the money came from National for these projects.

  • #32
    Originally posted by ThomasJefferson View Post
    Scouting membership was buffed up dramatically by the two world wars as the US government included scouting in propaganda laced throughout media. They stopped doing that in 1948, and twelve years later, kids born and raised without that propaganda became old enough to become boy scouts - and didn't want to. And the downhill decline continues.
    You keep couching your arguments in history, but you don't know your history. BSA's membership nearly doubled from 1950-1960 (2.8 to 5.2 million), and reached its peak membership in 1972 at 6.5 million. The exact opposite of your historical claim is true: Boys flocked to Scouting in record numbers from 1950-1972.

    The shame in this case is that your agument stands on its own without the appeal to the gravity of capital-H history, if it is shaky:

    Originally posted by ThomasJefferson View Post
    Here's the real problem: Culture. The US no longer has the culture that supported and called for a Scouting program. It was founded in the early 20th Century by the progressive movement as a reaction to the industrial revolution and its pollution and child abuse. Today's kids don't need saving from the industrial revolution. They are no longer in need of rescue. They are not unhappy with their conditions. A kid in 1910 went camping and conditions improved for him. A kid in 2010 went camping and he was without anything he wanted around him basically suffering.
    Here's what we don't want to face:

    * Our kids don't want to go scouting. They want to be in the air conditioning and play video games
    * Our kids don't want to learn patriotism. They are on the Internet talking with people from around the globe. They are citizens of the world, not this nation.
    * Our kids no longer have any freedom at home. Their parents are afraid for them to walk to the bus stop alone without adults guarding them. Scouting used to be patrols with no adults going camping and hiking. Today, there is an adult for every kid.

    The Boy Scouts have run out of water to sail their ship on. We can protest about values and citizenship and resumes with eagle badges all we want. The ugly, ugly truth that even I, your leftist atheist does not want to face is this: Game over.

    There is no soil in which to grow scouting. It is a dying activity. Our kids are being raised in a world where very soon robots will do the work and talking, self-aware computers will teach them. You may see that as necessitating scouting for the good of the kids. But you cannot force kids to do something. They don't like it. They don't want it.

    It isn't a prissy problem. It's not an advertising problem. It's really just a simple problem of we are not those people any more, and our kids don't even like those kinds of people.

    Were you looking at the survey on gays? We said no, the kids - 90% of them - said yes. They don't want to be like us. They don't want to do this. I'm happy to provide what I do for the kids that do, but I'm not going to believe for a second that us talking or anything BSA does is going to fix it.

    BSA has hastened the end of scouting through stupidity, but really, they can't fix the problem, because the problem isn't a problem at all. It's just a fact of life I don't want to wear a three cornered hat and stockings, and they don't want to go outside and play.
    The problem with the argument that modern conveniences keep boys at home, is that we know from membership numbers that at the same time that TV, air conditioning, suburban life and all its comforts were exploding, so was BSA membership. A/C, shag carpet, arcade halls, and TV didn't keep boys at home in 1965, we can't assume that's what keeps them home today. In fact, as Rush fans know all too well, it may be the case that suburban life actually pushes boys right into our arms (nerd time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lu9Ycq64Gy4) because it denies their nature. But, perhaps the growth in membership had nothing to do with BSA's intrinsic qualities: historians of the US also know the 50s as a "culture of joining"--civic groups of all types, not just the BSA, saw their membership soar.
    So, we have a few reasons why there was so much growth: adventure, getting out of the home, getting out of the "mass production zone" suburbs, joining for joining's sake.

    Your point about patriotism doesn't much play, for me. Patriotism has never played a major role in my scouting experience as either a youth or adult.

    The fashion at this forum is to timestamp our modern problems 1972, tag them "Improved Scouting Program," and lay them all at the feet of national. And to be sure, drastically changing the program drastically changed what boys were getting, and they clearly didn't want the new menu. However, the program was corrected in 1979, but it hasn't stopped the bleeding. That's where we get to your best argument: Cultural change. There's no culture of joining, anymore, it's all about individualism. Mistrust of institutions is rampant. Mommy thinks Johnny will die if he's out of her sight. In the past, mom and dad wanted junior in the woods, out of the house, and to become a man as soon as possible, preferably before his first armpit hair; now they're scared to death to even consider that he will leave home by 30.
    There is also the proliferation of extra-curriculars. I didn't live it, so I will try not to overstate, but the after-school landscape was not as crowded in the past as it is today. Now, Johnny has a lot more options.
    Last, in terms of culture still, the baby boom is over. The decline coincided not just with Improved Scouting, but also with the aging-out of the boomers, and birth rates have continued to decline among BSA's core demographic (whitey).

    The answer, of course, is continued differentiation. The only traditional program that has seen membership growth between 1999 and 2012 is Venturing. Wow, BSA, what a surprise! The most freewheeling program is the only one that's growing. Yet BSA continues to dial back adventure and independence in Boy Scouting. The second thing is to keep reaching out to Spanish-speaking families; they have more kids than whitey, and they don't have the same access to other civic institutions.

    Comment


    • qwazse
      qwazse commented
      Editing a comment
      S99, hate to burst your bubble, but venturing membership has been trending downward since 2001.

    • Scouter99
      Scouter99 commented
      Editing a comment
      Quiet, you! :P The chart I was looking at was '99-2012, didn't catch that.

    • dcsimmons
      dcsimmons commented
      Editing a comment
      Your "culture of joining" reference is the key word and tricky phrase here. I think most of the issues precipitate out from the shift of our culture from one of concern for the common good to one of concern for the individual good. It probably started with those same 50s kids rebelling against everything their parents valued and continues today. No, I don't have any scientific studies to prove it and I'm not going to bother to look any up. Those are my opinions. FWIW, patriotism played a huge role in my youth scouting experience. Then again, my Scoutmaster went ashore at Normandy. He understood the common good.

  • #33
    Aw, c'mon folks, That last response by Richard B.? He's just messin' with ya now. He responded to criticism of a policy statement with....ANOTHER policy statement! Don't you guys see the humor in that?

    Comment


    • King Ding Dong
      King Ding Dong commented
      Editing a comment
      New Rule: Anytime Texas Speaks > ROFL

    • RichardB
      RichardB commented
      Editing a comment
      Did you actually read the The BSA’s Commitment to Safety? Please enlighten me and teh forum as to what part of it does not work for you or in this case is a joke and funny?

    • packsaddle
      packsaddle commented
      Editing a comment
      OMG! You're actually serious, aren't you!? OK, yes, I did read it. How else would I understand the joke you presented to us?

      In response to someone throwing out an incident report form as evidence of 'prissyness' (for want of a better term), you responded with a couple more forms and a web page which states its purpose as follows:

      "This chapter provides volunteers and professional staff guidance on documenting and reporting incidents, injuries, and illnesses that occur during Scouting activities."

      And THEN you ask what is wrong with 'knowing' what is going on, as if those forms are all it takes for you to 'know' what is going on in the real world.

      You had just responded to ridicule of your forms by submitting more forms and a guidance page that tells us we ought to use those forms. What the heck kind of response is THAT!? Do you not understand the level of derision that kind of bureaucratic (not to mention patronizing) attitude is going to bring in response? Really? You don't get this? That IS the humorous part, from my view. You actually take yourself this seriously that you think waving a form in front of us is going to make us cower in the shadow of your greatness. Gad! The best thing you and the guys in Irving can do to try to recover some of your dignity and some of my respect is just stop talking. And please, stop waving those forms at us.
      Last edited by packsaddle; 06-28-2013, 02:46 PM.

  • #34

    The problem with the argument that modern conveniences keep boys at home, is that we know from membership numbers that at the same time that TV, air conditioning, suburban life and all its comforts were exploding, so was BSA membership.
    Those "conveniences" are not enough. It is the advent of home entertainment that is the key convenience. You can't lay blame at the foot of a program that boys did not even know existed or notice as different. I was a boy scout throughout the change in one direction and then the other. I did not see any difference in any of it. I still don't see anything signficant until the ODR uniform came about (an atrocity).

    What happened in the early 1970's was that TV exploded. It went from flickery, B&W lone ranger re-runs and test patterns at night to 19" color screens being in multiple rooms of the house. In the 1980's computers and video games came along and put more nails in the coffin.

    Today, video games and computers are such a massive world of adventure to explore, the scouts simply have nothing to offer to compete. Call of Duty is more interesting than scouting. It's better. It isn't real, which is a problem (is it?), but it is more fun for most kids.

    I stipulate your membership argument. I will also concede you could be right about the program. But having been a scout during the changes, and not noticing them, and having the handbooks from 1972 and 1980 on my shelf, I don't remember a thing changing. Which merit badges get you to eagle? Most boys didn't care. Because most boys don't even try to make eagle.

    I think that was mostly an annoyance for adults seeing boys earn Eagle without having to go outdoors. and videoI think it was TV anis video games. I could be wrong, but that's what I think it is. Every kid I know prefers video games to everything.

    Comment


    • qwazse
      qwazse commented
      Editing a comment
      Really, TJ? You don't know one kid who plays his guitar all day to the exclusion of video games? Video games have replaced watching sports in my household. Music got pushed aside. Maybe they have even crowded out some Bible reading. But they have not precluded scouting or sports.

  • #35
    I'm getting ready to take 50 scouts away from the internet (read summer camp), so I'll throw in my 1 cent. TJ, I agree that things with video screens are a form of entertainment to kids these days. I also know they are shallow and addictive. I also see a lot of people, scouts or not, that want to give back, are looking for something more meaningful to do with their time, or just want something deeper than facebook. I tell people that I'm a SM and talk about some of the things we do and they're all "that is so cool." The service young people are doing today is much better than what I saw as a kid. This isn't just scouts, it's college kids and high school kids. At the same time, to your point, there are plenty of slugs out there as well. I guess my point is that the human spirit is still there. Some people want to Live and some just want to exist. That hasn't changed.

    I had an Eagle scout in my troop that did everything, knew his stuff, and was really great. I talked to his dad recently and this kid is struggling. He was addicted to video games. He's flailing. At the same time, another Eagle scout just called me in a panic the other day because he doesn't know what to do after he graduates from college. The long story short is he wants to do the Peace Corps but all his friends told him that was a waste as he wouldn't make any money. I told him to follow his heart and ignore the money. You could hear the smile through the phone.

    I'm having my plc review their campouts because they're, to be honest, boring. It started a good discussion. I won't get them to sweat on every campout but they will be memorable.

    I don't know where that leaves us with the BSA. There are still good people out there that need and want what we have to offer. I think the problem isn't the boy scouts so much as the cub scouts. The numbers are dropping much faster there than in the boy scouts.

    Comment


    • #36
      FWIW, just came back from a week with boys who were having a great time. Even a senior scout who made it his point to "do nothing" the whole week, got sucked into a little service project I "volunteered" us for, got his fellow scouts involved in games, and genuinely had a good time trying to be obnoxious but failing miserably at it. This was not a kid swimming against culture, but he liked his scout buddies, and if it meant bunking in the woods, then so be it.

      On the other hand, some of the more rugged boys who went on a 5 mile hike after an evening meal came back with flowers in their hair.

      "prissy" would not apply to any of them. Let's just call it "Man enough to not be bothered."

      Comment


      • #37
        RichardB, can you send National Supply Group a Near Miss form? You should run off some extra copies looks like they are going to need a few at Jambo.

        Comment


        • #38
          Related to this discussion, I have noticed that the adults joining the program with younger guys have significantly less experience in outdoor skills. Is this something that others have seen as well?

          Comment


          • dedkad
            dedkad commented
            Editing a comment
            We have one pack overnighter a year and it is close to our home. Many families just come out for the day and don't stay overnight because the parents don't like camping. I often ask myself why they signed their boy up for scouting if they don't like camping themselves.

          • rdclements
            rdclements commented
            Editing a comment
            dedkad, why are they staying away? Intimidated, too busy, program not attractive to them? As a unit leader, there is only so much you can do.

          • perdidochas
            perdidochas commented
            Editing a comment
            @Dedkad,

            I terms of camping and cub scouts, it may just be that the parents don't like camping, and don't want the expense of camping for themselves. You're talking at least $100 to get basic camping gear for an adult (tent, bag, pad/air mattress, not counting cooking gear). Some parents may want their sons to camp, but have no intent to do it themselves. The first night I camped in a tent was as an 11 yr old Boy Scout. As a cub, I went to Pack overnighters as a day trip. That said, afterwards, my family camped, primarily so that we could experience Yellowstone in the best way possible.

            @rdclements,
            I haven't really noticed that. For the most part, our new adult leaders have at least some outdoor skills. Maybe not First Class Scout level for all, but we are working on that.

        • #39
          Originally posted by ThomasJefferson View Post
          Today, video games and computers are such a massive world of adventure to explore, the scouts simply have nothing to offer to compete. Call of Duty is more interesting than scouting. It's better. It isn't real, which is a problem (is it?), but it is more fun for most kids.
          Many parents are happy to let their kids stay inside and play video games then they don't have to worry about them getting kidnapped while walking to the corner store or hit by a car while riding their bikes or molested while on an outing with a youth group, etc.

          Comment


          • DigitalScout
            DigitalScout commented
            Editing a comment
            I strongly believe we need to teach kids how to take risk and take the proper measures to avoid getting hurt or injured. For example, teach kids how to cross the street but look both ways before doing so. Or how to walk to the store on their own then what to do if they are approached by a stranger.

            But the current trend for parents is to avoid any and all risk. I agree that you can't learn to take real-life risks by playing video games.

          • jblake47
            jblake47 commented
            Editing a comment
            So where are all the damsels to be rescued or dragons to be slain? Damsels have made it quite clear they don't need rescuing and it's too dangerous to go after dragons. Might as well stay home in the basement and fight them in the virtual worlds. It's probably the closest thing they will ever get to in their lifetime.

          • JoeBob
            JoeBob commented
            Editing a comment
            JBlake: you remind me of Oscar in Robert Heinlein's 'Glory Road'. That's a good thing.

            "I let him live..."

        • #40
          This thread has irritated me since it started, there has been a lot of guessing about why scouts is becoming prissy and I have two points on the matter:

          1) MONEY!! Your council and national want dues $; to do that they need to increase membership and retain already enrolled members. That means they are recruiting and keeping kids that don't want squat to do with the outdoors.

          2) MANLY??? Seriously???? We are a “prissy” troop according to the local Scouters. Some of our boys even shave their legs, its a great joke while on an outing to see how has smoother legs, them or me (there are times with they have won!)

          Our “prissy” troop did a 30 mile backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon in March, but that wasn't considered “manly” because we didn't go 50 miles. Our “prissy” troop is having their 50 miler in July, but it isn't manly either because we are canoeing, not backpacking. The boys in our “prissy” troop who shave their legs are either on the swim team or cyclist; one pair and their father even complete all 410 miles of the GOBA (Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure) every summer. Our “prissy” boys can cook their own meals and don't need mommy to do it for them. And yes, we are fastidious about uniforming!

          So what do the “manly” troops in our area do??? They attend summer camp and Fall Camp O'ree; occasionally Klondike, but outside of that, not much. When they camp they show up with ATV's so their boys won't actually have to walk anywhere; they can't run a camp stove, dutch oven, or cook over an open flame; and I kid you not, I've seen Scout Masters show up at Camp O'ree with boxes of Pizza for dinner because cooking is women work. Two years ago my mom fined one of the “manly” troops $17,000 for destruction of property and failure to comply with park rules and regulations while camping at a CORP of Engineers property. These guys show up with shirts unbuttoned, tails untucked, and basically look like crap.

          I think we need to redefine “manly.” There is no reason your Scout Uniform shouldn't be given the same care as a military uniform. Failure to comply with local, state, or federal rules and regulations is never "manly;" At best its ignorant, but more likely its just belligerent!

          Comment


          • Basementdweller
            Basementdweller commented
            Editing a comment
            Do you actually know what GOBA is???? You only ride 50 miles a day maybe....You load all of your gear into trucks to be hauled to the next campsite......You don't prepare your meals......and it is in the plains area of ohio so it is nice and flat.

            So don't make it into a more than it is.....

          • Khaliela
            Khaliela commented
            Editing a comment
            My point is that National recruits boys that don’t want to go outside unless their “outside” activities resemble a “shoot-um up” video game. The council sponsors two recruiting events each year; one is a Wii & Xbox tournament, the other is watching a Spokane Chief Hockey game.
            The Scouts that used ATV’s to destroy waterfowl nesting habitat should have been kicked out; the unit should have been disbanded. Instead they got funds to help pay the fines (and legal fees because they were dumb enough to contest them) all because council didn’t want to lose numbers!
            This should not be the image of Scouting; unfortunately, this is what a “manly” unit is. Complete disregard for the law, the environment, personal safety, and the safety of others is the basis anarchy; John Wayne is not welcome here.
            Last edited by Khaliela; 07-01-2013, 03:50 PM.

          • Khaliela
            Khaliela commented
            Editing a comment
            Basementdweller: The trip was in the Grand Canyon. There are a plethora of rules and regulations to follow. If you've never done a serious back country trip you might be aware of the permitting requirements. Once below the rim you are required to use leave-no-tace, and yes, we have poop tubes.

            If the boys choose pizza because they don't know how to cook or because cooking is "women's work" there is a problem. The requirements for rank advancement state that the boys must cook their meals. I won't sign off that requirement for any boy who says he met the requirement by having pizza delivered.

        • #41
          I've seen groups of women scrubbing the village's clothes in a river in the third world who backbite and gossip less than some of the people on this thread.

          Comment


          • packsaddle
            packsaddle commented
            Editing a comment
            Aside from that old 'pot and kettle' thing, I am quite familiar with some third world places. If you remove that backbreaking aspect of life and give them the spare time, they too amuse themselves with gossip and backbiting. I personally observe that as well. People are pretty much the same everywhere. Some just have more freedom to be themselves.

        • #42
          Unauthorized and Restricted Activities The following activities have been declared unauthorized and restricted by the Boy Scouts of America:
          1. All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are banned from program use. The exception is council-approved ATV programs. They are not approved for unit use. ATVs are defined as motorized recreational cycles with three or four large, soft tires, designed for off-road use on a variety of terrains.
          2. Boxing, karate, and related martial arts—except judo, aikido, and Tai Chi—are not authorized activities.
          3. Chainsaws and mechanical log splitters may be authorized for use only by trained individuals over the age of 18, using proper protective gear in accordance with local laws.
          4. Exploration of abandoned mines is an unauthorized activity.
          5. Varsity football teams and interscholastic or club football competition and activities are unauthorized activities.
          6. Fireworks secured, used, or displayed in conjunction with program and activities is unauthorized except where the fireworks display is conducted under the auspices of a certified or licensed fireworks control expert.
          7. The selling of fireworks as a fund-raising or moneyearning activity by any group acting for or on behalf of members, units, or districts may not be authorized by councils.
          8. Flying in hang gliders, ultralights, experimental aircraft, or hot-air balloons (nontethered); parachuting; and flying in aircraft as part of a search and rescue mission are unauthorized activities. Tethered hot-air balloon flights are authorized, and a flying plan must be submitted.
          9. Motorized go-carts and motorbike activities are unauthorized for Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs. Go-carting conducted at a commercial facility that provides equipment and supervision of cart operation is authorized upon submittal of a completed tour and activity plan. Participating in motorized speed events, including motorcycles, boats, drag racing, demolition derbies, and related events are not authorized activities for any program level.
          10. Participation in amateur or professional rodeo events and council or district sponsorship of rodeos are not authorized.
          11. Pointing any type of firearm or simulated firearm at any individual is unauthorized. Scout units may plan or participate in paintball, laser tag or similar events where participants shoot at targets that are neither living nor human representations. Units with council approval may participate in formally organized historical reenactment events, where firearms are used and intentionally aimed over the heads of the reenactment participants. The use of paintball guns, laser guns or similar devices may be utilized in target shooting events with council approval and following the Sweet 16 of BSA Safety. Council approval means the approval of the Scout Executive or his designee on a tour permit specifically outlining details of the event. (However, law enforcement departments and agencies using firearms in standard officer/agent training may use their training agenda when accompanied with appropriate safety equipment in the Law Enforcement Exploring program.)
          12. Hunting is not an authorized Cub Scout or Boy Scout activity, although hunting safety is part of the program curriculum.
            (The purpose of this policy is to restrict chartered packs, troops, and teams from conducting hunting trips. However, this policy does not restrict Venturing crews from conducting hunting trips or special adult hunting expeditions provided that adequate safety procedures are followed and that all participants have obtained necessary permits and/or licenses from either state or federal agencies. While hunter safety education might not be required prior to obtaining a hunting license, successful completion of the respective state voluntary program is required before participating in the activity.)
          13. Motorized personal watercraft (PWC), such as Jet-Skis®, are not authorized for use in Scouting aquatics, and their use should not be permitted in or near BSA program areas. The exception is council-approved PWC programs. They are not approved for unit use.
          14. Except for (1) law enforcement officers required to carry firearms within their jurisdiction, and (2) circumstances within the scope of the BSA hunting policy statement, firearms should not be in the possession of any person engaged in camping, hiking, backpacking, or any other Scouting activity other than those specifically planned for target shooting under the supervision of a certified firearms instructor. (Among the purposes of this policy is to prohibit adult leaders from bringing firearms on BSA camping and hiking activities or to unit meetings.)
          15. Parasailing, or any activity in which a person is carried aloft by a parachute, parasail, kite, or other device towed by a motorboat, including a tube, or by any other means, is unauthorized.
          16. All activities related to bungee cord jumping (sometimes called shock cord jumping) are unauthorized.
          17. Technical tree-climbing with ropes or harnesses is not authorized as an activity.
          18. Water chugging and related activities are not authorized for any program level.

          Comment


          • packsaddle
            packsaddle commented
            Editing a comment
            Uuuuhhhh, what is water chugging?

          • King Ding Dong
            King Ding Dong commented
            Editing a comment
            I have often wondered if an imaginary finger pointing gun qualifies as a simulated firearm. I have seen a firing squad skit IOLS, so I guess it needs to be a physical object.

          • rdclements
            rdclements commented
            Editing a comment
            Years ago I took the Camp Director training from National Camping School in order to qualify to run our district Cub Scout Day Camp. One of the publications that I received was the guidelines on what is an appropriate skit for a campfire. I don't have that anymore, but some of the topics to stay away from were: killing, suicide, bullying / humiliation, alcohol / drunkenness, sexual acts, bathroom acts, cross-gender impersonations, underwear / nudity, and inside jokes. That list would eliminate pretty much all of the skits that I can remember from when I was a scout, but with the experience of the years since, I get it.
            Unfortunately, a lot of people don't get it. I was at a summer camp a few years ago and the camp staff did all the skits at the opening night's fire. They tried jokes about "fat kids", people in wheelchairs, single-parent families, and race related food stereotypes. I spoke with the camp director about the opportunity for improvement and by the final of camp, the staff was mature enough to intervene and redirect a couple of the campers' skits that went off course.
            BSA publication 33696 is meant to help plan a good campfire.
            http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33696.pdf

        • #43
          packsaddle - water chugging is a contest to see who can drink the most water in a period of time. It sounds harmless, but there is a slight risk of "Water intoxication, also known as water poisoning or dilutional hyponatremia, is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside safe limits by over-hydration." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_intoxication

          There are a couple of cases per year that I hear about, and I can see this being something that could happen at summer camp in the heat if you aren't careful. I could see a hydration game getting out of control.

          Comment


          • packsaddle
            packsaddle commented
            Editing a comment
            OK, I do know about hyponatremia. Just never heard of 'water chugging' before. I am astonished that something like this would rise to the top of the 'fun' bucket. You know, I bet if we had better stuff for them to do, water chugging would fall off of their list of 'fun' things to do, hint, hint.

        • #44
          dedkad ... You provided a great definition. I think that's what I meant. "Someone who is "prissy" would prefer to stay indoors instead of getting outside and getting their hands dirty with hard work and active play."

          I'd apply that to scouting where merit badge counselors want filled out workbooks instead of just getting down to doing it. Face-to-face. Getting your hands dirty. Youth camp planning that is excessively paperwork based instead of face-to-face working with people.

          Comment


          • #45
            Originally posted by MattR View Post
            I'm getting ready to take 50 scouts away from the internet (read summer camp), so I'll throw in my 1 cent. TJ, I agree that things with video screens are a form of entertainment to kids these days. I also know they are shallow and addictive. I also see a lot of people, scouts or not, that want to give back, are looking for something more meaningful to do with their time, or just want something deeper than facebook. I tell people that I'm a SM and talk about some of the things we do and they're all "that is so cool." The service young people are doing today is much better than what I saw as a kid. This isn't just scouts, it's college kids and high school kids. At the same time, to your point, there are plenty of slugs out there as well. I guess my point is that the human spirit is still there. Some people want to Live and some just want to exist. That hasn't changed.

            I had an Eagle scout in my troop that did everything, knew his stuff, and was really great. I talked to his dad recently and this kid is struggling. He was addicted to video games. He's flailing. At the same time, another Eagle scout just called me in a panic the other day because he doesn't know what to do after he graduates from college. The long story short is he wants to do the Peace Corps but all his friends told him that was a waste as he wouldn't make any money. I told him to follow his heart and ignore the money. You could hear the smile through the phone.

            I'm having my plc review their campouts because they're, to be honest, boring. It started a good discussion. I won't get them to sweat on every campout but they will be memorable.

            I don't know where that leaves us with the BSA. There are still good people out there that need and want what we have to offer. I think the problem isn't the boy scouts so much as the cub scouts. The numbers are dropping much faster there than in the boy scouts.
            Locally, we are seeing the same with Cubs. I think we would be better off to get rid of Tiger Cubs. I think we get too much burnout of kids and volunteers with 4 1/2 yrs of Cubs. I know I barely survived my tenure of 4 1/2 yrs as a Tiger Cub through Webelos den leader (along with another year as a Cub parent). Our troop is busting out at the seams at this point. The Cub pack, which had over 100 scouts when I was involved, is down to less than 30.

            Comment


            • dedkad
              dedkad commented
              Editing a comment
              I've been a leader since my son was Tiger. Now going into our final year as a Webelos 2. I agree that there is burnout. I'm burnt out and feel like I'm running out of ideas and enthusiasm. However, I would not have given up the Tiger year for anything. It was so fun doing all the Go-Sees and playing with the boys. If I had come in as a Wolf leader, I think I would have been miserable. I hated the Wolf year because there is too much sitting around, talking, and homework, and the boys just aren't ready for that at that age. I would not support getting rid of Tigers, but this talk about adding Lions does make me worried. You think 4 1/2 years of Cub Scouts causes burnout, imagine what 5 1/2 years will be like. If you've had that much of a drop-out rate with your pack, it's probably time to take a fresh look at your program and maybe get some new leaders in there to spice it up.

            • perdidochas
              perdidochas commented
              Editing a comment
              I'm no longer involved in the Pack--haven't been for over 2 yrs, when my youngest crossed over to the Troop. That said, the leadership is supposedly changing. I do agree that's the problem. From what I understand about the Pack, the CM and CC were a married couple, and they didn't delegate enough to others. You can't run a Pack of 100 that way.

              I still say get rid of Tigers. Make the Wolf year more like the current Tiger year--adding the go-sees. There is no reason not to play with the Wolves.

            • Pack18Alex
              Pack18Alex commented
              Editing a comment
              Cub Scouting IS Scouting. 65% of BSA Youth Members are cubs. 95% of Boy Scouts had "some prior Cub Scouting experience" -- they might not have transitioned, but they tried Scouting.

              When I go to Round Table, there are 20 of us at the Cub Breakout, there are 150+ Troop level leaders. When the Council leaders are talking, it's always about the Troop level. Some things are now open to Cubs, but with the Adults doing a ton of work and the Cubs just having fun. Then the Cubs transition, have to do all the work, and lose interest.

              I'm loving our Cub level camping, I never camped as a Cub Scout (and the adult leaders my age or older remember the same thing, projects with Mom for 2 years, then Dad came for a year or so as you camped as a Webelos and got ready, then off to Boy Scouts with you). I now having a Cub Pack with 5 Campouts on our calendar for next year (plus a Webelos one for that age)... that's a pretty serious commitment for Family Camping. So I tell my skeptical parents that Camping is an optional part of Cub Scouting, they do need to plan on one in 4th/5th grade, it's a blast, but if you won't camp, your son can get a lot out of the program.

              But for a family that isn't an outdoors program, it's a LOT of family camping. So our core families LOVE camping, and the rest are marginally involved. But when the involved leaders plan stuff, we all plan camping trips...
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