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Trail Life confused over who they are?????

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  • #16
    dcsimmons - I for one are happy to see them go, but still curious.. It's just the human nature of morbid curiosity.. I certainly wish them luck, but I don't see how.. I was curious about their rules against LDS, as although the religion is not my cup of tea, I always thought they were Christian.. I also thought they were pretty much in agreement with them on the homosexual issue.. I got to some forum thread where a woman from LDS tried to point out why they were Christian and a lot of people tore her religion to shreds..

    I know we have also have discussed some frustration with LDS, but for the most part it is either because they don't mingle with us, or don't follow the normal BSA program. Pretty much disagreements on how we see BSA with how they see BSA.. I don't know of any time when we ripped their religion apart, because they follow not only the Bible, but the book of Mormons which makes them not Christian although they believe in Jesus Christ, but not the same way, so they are not Christian.. Blah, Blah..

    Hmmmm... Well they may say they are Christian but welcome other religions, but if your another religion, I wouldn't recommend it, unless you want to be shot, stuffed and cooked for dinner..
    BSA is definitely better off without the people who were on that forum. But how they are going to be welcoming enough to increase in numbers, is a mystery to me.

    Comment


    • Eagledad
      Eagledad commented
      Editing a comment
      Well guys whatever the program calls itself, if these folks can do a better job for the boys at achieving the same goals, you have to agree it's the right program for them. As for the laser tag restriction, I think that should be discussed in the "is scouting too sissy" discussion.

    • King Ding Dong
      King Ding Dong commented
      Editing a comment
      It is "prissy".

    • Eagledad
      Eagledad commented
      Editing a comment
      Then we agree, but let's not discuss it here and highjack the thread.

  • #17
    I wonder if they need to be big to be successful. Do they really need to be "BSA like" ? BSA camp properties are convenient and cheap for many of us, not for others. There is not much that they offer that cannot be found from private outfitters, although with generally a higher cost. They likely can't put together offerings like Jaboree and HA Bases, but they certainly could pull off smaller gatherings like regional festivals with Christian rock bands and the such. 90 percent or so of BSA scouting is really at the troop, patrol(sometimes), pack and den level anyway. If they really fashion it like Kudu's style without trailers and all the trappings that brings, unit startup costs would be minimal. Fundamentalists have proven their ability to raise money and support youth activities that they deem as worthy. They will not have the Brand of Eagle Scout that keeps many in the BSA, but they won't have the bloated bureaucracy, complex rules and all the other baggage. They may do just fine in their eyes as a much smaller organization. I have seen some references to other youth group organizations like Royal Rangers that have allegedly failed, but they still seem to exist at some level. Does size make successful organization. Many here would argue size does not define a successful troop or pack.

    Comment


    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      How to view success......

      In a city of a million and a half there are three royal ranger units.....All in wealthy suburbs.


      I guess many of us are caught up in the BIG picture of national and councils and camp properties and high adventure bases..........

      What about the small picture, the unit. Are they enjoying the program? how is the program???

      If old TL is talking about how outdoorsy they are gonna be........why is that????

      Terrible local programs............Too much overhead, Troops that are too large, too much gear and giant trailers..........

      I am beginning to think that even a troop of 36 is too large.......Patrol campouts.....Two patrols at a time that would keep the number to less than 20.

    • Pack18Alex
      Pack18Alex commented
      Editing a comment
      Very few of the Scouts (percentage wise) in BSA are eligible for high adventure (which does take money). The majority of "traditional scouting" members are Cub Scouts learning patriotism and doing arts and crafts project.

      If they provide a system that attracts young families with something of value, and the occaisional regional festival, that's enough. For the few that want more "high adventure," nothing stops them from kicking in $25/person to BSA for the year for insurance and registering as a crew with access to ALL BSA "stuff" without the need for uniforms, badges, and all the other costs of being a "real" Scout. If you want a high adventure program, $25/year is a drop in the bucket, a 1st Grade Tiger that continues through Eagle Scout and Venturing until age 20 will only spend a fraction of their time actually doing high adventure, let alone at a BSA facility.

      Our local BSA camps are available to outsiders, they pay an extra $2-$3/person for the privilege, but everything is there.

  • #18
    Exactly my sentiments, dcsimmons, they said they'd leave and they did. I don't see anything inherently contradictory in their new rules either. The dude running On My Honor was talking about BSA's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. OK, BSA didn't have one but that's what they're running with. The "biological boy" rule is probably as much to do with GSUSA letting a boy that identifies as a girl into a troop as it does bizarre interpretations of the new BSA membership standard.

    They might have a good number of people interested in joining them but they still have a long row to hoe. AHG is still very small and they've been at it for a while now.

    For me, it will be interesting to see if membership numbers for BSA drop after this year's rechartering and how FoS numbers look this year. Both are real measure of any damage caused by the change and Trail Life is going to be irrelevant to them.

    Comment


    • dcsimmons
      dcsimmons commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree that those metrics will be important. I'm not sure the 2014 numbers will matter so much as the trend over the next 3 years. If the BSA stays in the headlines due to law suits and such I suspect the trend line will be negative. I also suspect the trend line may be negative for anything that looks or smells like scouts.

      KDD asked the 'does size matter' question earlier. I think it doesn't particularly for AHG or TLUSA. AHG been at it for 15 years, 18,000 youth is the last number I saw. I'm more interested to see what the two organizations do together. I'm assuming the TLUSA 18-25 yo program will be in conjunction with AHG. Interesting model.

  • #19
    Originally posted by Huzzar View Post
    The dude running On My Honor was talking about BSA's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. OK, BSA didn't have one but that's what they're running with.


    BSA didn't have a "don't ask, don't tell" policy? It did, and it does right now, and will continue to have a don't ask, don't tell policy for adult leaders. The policy for youths WAS either don't ask, don't tell or a sort of modified version of it, and there were contradictory statements about exactly what the policy was for youths. It is clear that as of Jan. 1, 2014 (which is, not coincidentally, the official "start" date for Trail Life) the policy will no longer be don't ask, don't tell for youths, but it will continue to be so for adults.

    Comment


    • Huzzar
      Huzzar commented
      Editing a comment
      No it didn't and no it doesn't. :-) Most units might have had that policy but National did not. As BD says, a third party with an axe to grind could get an adult tossed. That still applies. Cue ad nauseum discussion about what avowed means...

    • NJCubScouter
      NJCubScouter commented
      Editing a comment
      Personally I don't think that whether someone gets to be (or remain) a leader should depend on whether someone else has an "axe to grind." And in the Dale case, for example, it's not even clear whether anyone actually had an "axe to grind" or whether someone at the council office saw the newspaper article in which Dale was identified as a member of a gay students' group at his college (in a newspaper that circulates throughout New Jersey), and gave it to the SE who wrote the termination letter. If the latter is the case, it seems more like the SE was enforcing a national policy than anything else. But I suppose this is mostly a matter of semantics, so I will let you have the last word on it if you wish.

    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      How many gay scouters and scouts have been turned into the man for vengeance....

  • #20
    As I wrote in the now missing thread, my belief is that their reason for leaving and creating their own group was not really about gays, but about non-sectarianism. The vote was the signal that their 20 year quest to turn the BSA into a conservative Christians first club (anyone can join, as long as they recognize that non-conservative Christians are second class members) had failed. I've been reading the forums on OnMyHonor.org and now the new web site, and the gay question is definitely secondary to the religion question. At least for most of the forum posters. Given what some of those posters had wrote (why we need to keep the dirty Muslims out, or why we shouldn't allow Jews), I'm glad those particular posters are leaving. And the lack of "I disagree" posts in response was disturbing (there were a few). But these were just forum posters, not arguments from the founders. I just hope it doesn't reflect the attitudes of the general membership. I personally think it was discussions like this, that became one of the reasons they deleted the old forums when they launched.

    As for the new organization as a whole, I wish them well. There is plenty of room in this world for good youth groups!

    Comment


    • moosetracker
      moosetracker commented
      Editing a comment
      Basement, same here.. That must be a bible belt thing. We do have the LDS not mingling.. But, if you mingle with them one on one, very nice people.. And at least in our district, I know that their is attempts to include them, invite them and let them know they are welcome.

    • Eagledad
      Eagledad commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey, hey, hey, don't let the ramblings of hypocritical discontents taint reality. Anyone can become a hater if they get obsessed with their anger. Despite the many false accusations that have been said on this forum the past few years about scouters, the program and especially it's members are very welcoming all over the country. I have never seen anything close in reality to anger and hate I've seen here. Barry

    • NeverAnEagle
      NeverAnEagle commented
      Editing a comment
      wrong spot
      Last edited by NeverAnEagle; 09-17-2013, 03:55 PM.

  • #21
    Heard an hour long discussion about Trail Life on the radio Saturday. At first I thought I was listening to the usual media sniping at the BSA, but then I realized that I had tuned to a Christian radio station. They were trying to sell the new program as a more pure version of what we old-timers remember from our scouting youth. If they focus on the outdoors and scout skills, they may fill the vacuum that Irving has created.

    Someone posted that Trail Life won't have 'Eagle' as a draw. 'Eagle' has become so dilute that I'm not sure that its value on a resume will continue to be a positive; in fact 'Eagle' may brand you as a homophobe in some eyes.

    Comment


    • #22
      Two thoughts:

      The greatest obstacle to TL's success seems to be it's attempt to eat the elephant in one bite. Clearly they are in a "strike while the iron is hot" moment, but attempting to recreate a program as broad as BSA in six months seems far fetched, even without the camps and HA bases. My sons attended a charter school which started all 13 grades over two years. It was a disaster. It took them five years -- the entire time my sons were at the school -- to BEGIN to get their act together. And that was with a paid staff and standardized curriculum. I wouldn't recommend the approach. Perhaps they are counting on the former BSA units coasting along for several years on auto pilot with very little operational difference or assistance/meddling from the national organization. Perhaps that's part of the appeal.

      Secondly, I'm very curious to watch BSA's response. My guess is they will ignore the existence of TL, which would be the typical response of a hide-bound, navel-gazing bureaucracy BSA has become. Think IBM and the PC clones or Detroit and the Japanese auto makers. I wondered in the thread about the dues increase how long BSA can continue to tick off and ignore various parts of it's base without those parts adding up. We may be about to find out. Does BSA continue to listen to the self-selected sycophants or will it finally realize we malcontent peasants with pitch forks are paying members too? Maybe it takes TL some time to get it's act and message together, but tapping into the discontent over BSA's every-growing bureaucracy would be a brilliant strategic move.

      Frankly, I think it's going to get bad for BSA. I doubt any of their worst-case predictions from the spring included the prospect of a viable alternative program. What do you want to bet that at year-end we get a rosy annual report noting that the losses have been smaller than expected -- ignoring the fact that most losses will hit in 1Q of next year. It's a small sample, but in our little corner of the district, we're losing two units to TL. One was as good as gone as soon as the vote was taken. The other was looking to jump COs, but is now going to move to TL instead. We're losing two more just to "natural causes." That four out of 10 troops in the area and it's been YEARS since we had a new troop form. It ain't looking good.

      Comment


      • #23
        A good part of the success of the BSA is that historically any boy in America was able to join. But for the last several decades, as America has become more ethnically and culturally diverse and open, some very fundamentalist Christian groups have been trying to exclude more and more people from the BSA. Basically these groups want the BSA to be the same as it was in the 1950s.

        I don't see Trail Life USA becoming much more than another fringe scouting group. The BSA casts too large of a shadow.

        Comment


      • #24
        Originally posted by EagleDad
        But Activist have their own scorched earth agenda and the followers are sheep who are led by emotion
        I thought you were talking about Irving cramming political correctness down our throats.

        Comment


        • #25
          Concerning the program of Trail Life, one press release points to this gentleman:

          "John Burkitt Considered by many to be one of the greatest Boy Scout historians alive today having compared, studied and analyzed every Boy Scout, Cub Scout and Scoutmaster handbook ever published from the original Baden Powell’s “Scouting for Boys” to the present. John has served as the primary editor and author of the first edition of the Adventuring handbook that will be used in the Trail Life USA program." (my note: Adventuring is the program for grades 9-12)

          His name rings absolutely no bells for me. I was curious if any of you folks have heard of him.

          Comment


        • #26
          Since it said he was something of a historian there had to be something on the internet by or about him.
          Finally found his history site here.

          http://www.internetscoutmuseum.com/about.html

          Comment


          • Basementdweller
            Basementdweller commented
            Editing a comment
            Nice find.......

            Other than a bein a collector doesn't tell much about him.

        • #27
          Trail Life USA is just playing a big joke on societal "political correctness." They say that anyone can join including Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, etc. as long as they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. And gay people can even join as long as nobody ever finds out that they are gay (i.e., stay in the closet).

          TL is actually being very clever. They would take a lot of heat and media backlash if they were blunt and said "Christians-only" and "no gays." So by saying "anyone can join" keeps the heat off.

          Comment


          • #28
            Originally posted by WAKWIB
            There is nothing to suggest that Trail Life will automatically become a "mighty whitey club.".
            The entire reason Trail Life USA was created was because they are sick of liberalism, multicultralism, political correctness and alternative lifestyles "being shoved down their throats." Who is left after they alienate the Hispanics, African-Americans, Jews, Asians, Mormons, Hindus, Sikhs, and Catholics?

            Someone here attended the formation conference. How many non-white, non-Christians were in the room?
            Last edited by DigitalScout; 09-17-2013, 07:27 PM.

            Comment


            • Basementdweller
              Basementdweller commented
              Editing a comment
              hmmm, sounds like roundtable....Less than 5 folks of any color than white.

            • King Ding Dong
              King Ding Dong commented
              Editing a comment
              Wasn't Huckabee there ? That pretty much tells you all you need to know.

          • #29
            Maybe with the other religions (maybe not).. But the gay thing is what BSA has been trying to pull for the last 10 years and it didn't work for them. Doubt it will work any better for TL.. With the other religions, I am not sure it will work either.. That's because if your an adult and not Christian, your son can come, but you as an adult can not be a leader.. Not sure how they put it.. Doubt they present it as the fact that they don't think anyone is of good moral standing if they are not Christian.. But reading the posts where the wolfs circled the LDS person who was insisting LDS was a Christian religion.. I got the feeling that is the truth of it.. Non-Christians are just as much sinners as homosexuals.. But, I would imagine other religions won't knock on their door, they will just stay away.. Religions really don't actively try to be accepted into organizations that are clearly for some other religion.. You don't see Jews insisting Christmas be open to all, or Baptist insisting that the yamaka be something everyone should be able to wear..

            Comment


            • King Ding Dong
              King Ding Dong commented
              Editing a comment
              "“We believe that there is One Triune God – Father, Jesus Christ His one and only Son, and the Holy Spirit – Creator of the universe and eternally existent. We believe the Holy Scriptures (Old and New Testaments) to be the inspired and authoritative Word of God. We believe each person is created in His image for the purpose of communing with and worshipping God. We believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit who enables us to live a Godly life. We believe that each individual is called to love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength; and to love their neighbors as themselves. We believe that each individual is called to live a life of purity, service, stewardship and integrity.” - See more at: http://www.traillifeusa.com/who-we-a....Kdqe9V9S.dpuf

            • moosetracker
              moosetracker commented
              Editing a comment
              Hmmmm... I thought they said the program wasn't going to be "churchy"..

              So although a correct interpretation, I take it the info in post 27, Basement showed me is "reading between the lines".

            • King Ding Dong
              King Ding Dong commented
              Editing a comment
              "Reading between the lines" or "code" difference without a distinction. Their creed has nod been "finalized"

              Proposed Membership Standards for Trail Life USA

              Membership in the program has both youth and adult elements.

              Youth membership in the program is open to all who meet the membership requirements, and is currently designed for biologically male children under the age of 18.

              The adult applicant must also be at least 18 years of age and subscribe to and abide by the statement of Christian faith and the Oath and Creed of the program (currently being finalized).

              While the program is undergirded by Biblical values and unapologetically reflects a Christian worldview, there is also a clearly defined inclusion policy for youth. Accordingly, all boys are welcome irrespective of religion, race, national origin or socio-economic status. Our goal is for parents and families of every faith to be able to place their boys in a youth program that endeavors to provide moral consistency and ethical integrity in its adult leaders.

              Charter partners own and operate local groups, selecting leaders and admitting members as they deem beneficial to their group and within the parameters of the national policy.

              The basis for the program’s ethical and moral standards are found in the Bible. In terms of sexual identification and behavior, we affirm that any sexual activity outside the context of the covenant of marriage between one man and one woman is sinful before God and therefore inconsistent with the values and principles of the program.

              Within these limits, we grant membership to adults and youth who do not engage in or promote sexual immorality of any kind, or engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the program.

              We welcome boys whose parents are seeking a faith-based outdoor adventure program that places an emphasis on character development, leadership, and moral purity, and who aspire to live in accordance with the values expressed in the program’s Oath and Creed.



              - See more at: http://www.traillifeusa.com/who-we-a....RsdnyAkJ.dpuf

          • #30
            Originally posted by moosetracker View Post
            You don't see Jews insisting Christmas be open to all...
            Actually, the last time I looked there was no rule that Jewish people could not celebrate Christmas, and some Jewish people do to some degree, mostly the secular aspects of the holiday. I celebrate it too, but that doesn't count so much since my wife is a Catholic.

            Originally posted by moosetracker View Post
            ...or Baptist insisting that the yamaka be something everyone should be able to wear.
            First of all, it is "yarmulke", though you can't be faulted for spelling it phonetically. Second, anyone is allowed to wear one, though I suppose if you wear one in church that would be contrary to the general rule that you are supposed to have your head uncovered in church. A visiting Baptist man would be welcome to wear one in a synagogue. (For that matter, in many Reform synagogues a visiting Baptist woman would be ok wearing one too.) I believe the Pope wears one as well, and I have seen photos of Cardinals in the Catholic church wearing them, though I suspect they don't call them yarmulkes. And just for informational purposes, the majority of Jewish people (including me) do not wear one except at religious services or at other "religious times." For example I wear one when visiting the grave of my father and other Jewish relatives.

            Now you can all go back to your regularly scheduled discussion of Trail Life. About which I will say, basically I agree with you. The only situation in which I could see a Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist boy wanting to join Trail Life is if he were friends with a bunch of other boys who were joining, and even then I would expect most parents to try to steer their son toward an organization that was equally welcoming to all religions. (I know that's what I would do if I still had a son of Scout age.)
            Last edited by NJCubScouter; 09-17-2013, 06:08 PM.

            Comment


            • moosetracker
              moosetracker commented
              Editing a comment
              Picky, Picky, Picky... And that shows me to not go and look up the spelling of something on the internet.. I didn't trust myself to spell it right, so I looked it up and then got it wrong.. I did know that most of you don't wear it outside of church, because I know several Jews and they don't wear it all the time..

              Anyway you know what I am getting to, People of different faiths don't go around forcing entry into other religion unless they feel welcomed, certain things they will be welcomed and join in.. But, they wont insist on doing something that will be frowned upon by either their group or the other group.
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