If this is your first visit, be sure to
check out the FAQ by clicking the
link above. You may have to register
before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages,
select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.
Numbers declined steadily from 1965 onwards. In 2002 they had a major reorganisation. By 2005 the decline had stopped and indeed since then they have shown a modest increase from about 99000 to 101000.
Actually if you look at the current statistics for Scouts Canada you will see that the modest increase of prior years has been followed by a modest decrease:
It's true that membership has been more or less stable since 2006. But look at what Scouts Canada themselves say about these numbers - "The membership decline is not stopping. Although recent numbers (2009-12) show a slight increase in membership, this is due to the inclusion of near-Scouting numbers included in with true Scouting membership."
Now I don't believe that the decline of Scouts Canada is solely due to "liberalism" -- that has probably accelerated the decline, however. I think it is more likely that boys of scouting age are playing organized sports, especially hockey, in lieu of scouting.
What's interesting is how far Scouts Canada's membership numbers have fallen despite being open to an ostensibly larger pool of youth and adults (they became fully co-ed in 1998 and "inclusive" around the same time). My understanding is that the Canadian Girl Guides have experienced a similar decline (I don't think they publish their numbers).
cambridge's number start at 1997. I believe the liberal policy changes occurred a few years before, so we aren't seeing the big change. It Seems like the membership was around 900,000 in 1992, but that was a while ago. Anyone watching at the time would agree that Canada's program losses are 100% attributed to liberalism.
Moose, I have NO desire to watch the BSA fall in anyway. I am by far one of the BSA's biggest cheerleaders, but I am a pragmatic person and if you read all my text you will see that I write without based emotion. I many time write information that I don't like, but is keeps the discussion honest. Some folks just don't like facts that put their stand in a bad light. But if we are to learn the truth, we need to keep the discussion fair and without bias. I agree that most folks on this forum struggle with that. But don't assume anything about me just because you don't like what I write.
Anyone watching at the time would agree that Canada's program losses are 100% attributed to liberalism.
I can't agree. Scouts Canada's membership peaked in 1965 at around 320,000. By 1998, when the association became "inclusive" -- even to the point of forcibly integrating individual units -- membership was down to 211,562, about 2/3 of what it was at its peak. Yes, they have since experienced a precipitous decline, one which shows no sign of stopping, but my guess is that the "liberalizing" of the membership policy only accelerated the rate of a decline that was already happening.
It's a bit early to make any definitive statement about membership numbers and finances. My Council is still chasing down units that are tardy with paperwork.
IMO, the change for Scouts is minor compared with a change for adults. If Gates has been brought on board to make it happen then he should do so as quickly as possible so we can see what happens. He's never going to build a consensus on this so just get on with it.
Our council hasn't lost a single Scouts over the issue. To date. Of course drops don't show up until the first wave of rechartering begins next month. Makes me wonder of the 'Bama boys aren't playing footsie with the same numbers. Stay tuned.
Twocubdad - First off, not all councils recharter in December.. I always thought so, but was surprised when we had a topic on it a year or two back.
I know my DE was tracking his district and had a very good idea of where his district was, even those whose paperwork was late getting in.. We were about 2.5 weeks late, even so he wanted to know the numbers to add us in.. He also has a way to tally through the online rechartering.. For our Pack & troop (our troop for some reason thought all they had to do was the on-line and they were done. Don't know why, not their first time around the block. But, they were late also due to this.)
Anyway our DE knew before we rechartered who was added and dropped.. He had his fingers on his numbers.. Last night at the District meeting, he reported his numbers.. I don't think my DE was doing anything that other DE's don't do.. The recruitment numbers are their bread & butter.. THEY KNOW !!!
Therefore, I think that even if the Alabama boys rechartered in December, they have a good handle on their final numbers.
If the policy brings more corporate money in at the Council level, that'll be really helpful. The youth policy is largely irrelevant. If a boy is a problem, he'll be kicked out.
The policy really hurt with some more liberal parts (extremely liberal parents won't want an activity with military style uniforms and patriotism front and center). BSA losing the narrative to GLAAD has been deadly. People associating BSA with bigotry instead of service has killed the program. GLAAD clobbered the BSA brand, sad to say.
We did popcorn sales for the first time ever this year, raised a bunch of money. I used a chunk of it to subsidize our campouts, which has helped massively increase our participation. $5/person doesn't seem like much, but it's $25-$30 for a family of 5 or 6, which is the difference between Scouting being expensive or inexpensive.
Money helps, money that doesn't come from Scouts and families is HUGE.
So not many members have left, sponsors who dropped units were easily replaced, and scouting is moving on like not much happened.
I hate to pull an "I told you so," but, well...
And since this hasn't been the big catastrophe that many expected, I think it's safe to restate that having an official policy to allow gay adults be leaders would also not result in any exodus or closing of units due to sponsor loss. But of course we'll need to go through years of debate again before that happens and then we can all sit here like we are today talking about how silly it was to even worry about what would happen.
Hardly. At the very least this thread puts to rest the fear-mongering idea that was floating around that many units would lose sponsors and not be able to survive. It turns out that there are plenty of sponsoring opportunities for units that need them, and units that lost them have been able to recover quickly.
Sure this doesn't tell the whole story, but it's an interesting bit of information from one area that speaks to how the policy is and isn't affecting units.
No one has stated numbers Nationwide.. Just numbers in Councils where there numbers are in.. So if your council rechartered in Sept, Nov or Dec.. your numbers would be in.. If you recharter in Jan. Feb etc.. Then I am sure the DE has a good handle on it, because his job is to increase membership by XYZ and they can't just close their eyes and wait for recharter, but are out their with their finger on the pulse at all times.. But no if annual recharter has not happened yet, then you can not predict.
From what I remember when we discussed rechartering dates, I think though there were concils who rechartered on different months, the majority of councils recharter in December, for a charter that ran from Jan to Dec.. So most of the numbers are in, thanks to the speed of on-line rechartering.
Well this isn't over for a lot of folks. Gay parents still can't be leaders in their own kids' units because the BSA still openly discriminates against gay adults. I'm not satisfied with this yet, and I hope others feel the same way.
>>I know that there are other factors to both Countries.. But, Eagledad would like to believe Canada is solely due to gays, and ignore England because it doesn't fit his argument<<
I was actively corresponding with several Canadian Scout leaders back when the program changed because I liked some of their program design ideas that helped me with my program. I remember clearly when those scouters announced they were dropping out because of the policy change. It wasn’t just admitting gays, it included admitting atheist. Canada at the time had either the first or second largest Boy Scout program in the world at the time. It lost somewhere between 60 and 70 percent over the next 10 years or so before it leveled off. Of course it also sold A LOT property and assets to deal with the problems.
But let’s not ignore programs even closer to home. I don’t know the numbers but the Campfire Kids had a big membership loss that was directly associated to accepting gay leaders and they have not recovered to that level yet. I know this pretty well because a close friend’s wife was at the national level of the organization. They’re biggest issue was the loss of alumni contributions which was huge.
Then there is the Girls Scouts, they took a big hit as well when they allowed gays, but they are so deep in reacting to political activism, it’s hard to understand what exactly took them down. I’m confident that it’s 100% liberal.
As for the BSA, I agree with stosh that it will take a couple years to see the real effect of the policy change. Back when I was accumulating national membership data for Webelos and Troop memberships, I was frustrated because I had to monitor numbers for 18 months minimum to follow one scout. And that doesn’t mean he was active either. National doesn’t have a system to know their exact membership at any one time. It can never know how many active members it has because it can takes at least a year to filter out scouts who joined but was never active.
In my opinion, scouting can’t survive liberalism because the program is wrapped around encouraging individual values based from one source, which is God. Doesn't matter which, god, but god is the one unchangable standard the Oath and Law are held grounded. Liberalism by its nature defines values at a more institutional level which dramatically limits individualism and encourages local values that change with change in local leadership. The program has to move away from a fixed set of morals to induce its own set of values, or lack thereof. The BSA will have change to a godless camping club to survive, much like the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). But even at that, it will never have the numbers of last year. That’s not theory, it’s history.
I'm not struggling with anything. A scout can be Jewish (and refrain from, say, eating bacon) and do his duty to that god, convert to Christianity and eat bacon (but refrain from, say, polygamy), then convert to Islam and NOT eat bacon but polygamy is now allowed.
Or, he could be a Mormon in 1977 and blacks could not become priests. Then in 1978 they could.
I guess I have some difficulty too, even though not a atheist.. 2 packs, 3 troops, 1 Venture crew and fairly good knowledge of other units though I was never a member of.. The oath does have God in it. And you definitely can't think you will melt and fizzle into a puddle by saying an oath or pledge with a nod to god in it.. But, none of these units "... is wrapped around encouraging individual values based from one source, which is God... " Very little about god is discussed at all.. Oh some of these units had a church as the CO, the pack I now work with has one member from that church. Last year we had someone else in this pack who was the one & only a church member Adult/scout.. Before that no one in the other 2 units associated to a church had a member from the church.. The other three were not associated to a church at all.
Instead, everyone had different beliefs and levels of belief from serious church goer to "I am open minded there might be something there, don't know what." This didn't make a solid wrap around anything.. It more made a topic you rarely broached, except pointing out at camp there is a chapel, anyone is free to go if they want on Sunday morning. None of these 6 units ever ran there own "Scouts Own", nor do I remember anyone running one at a district event that ran over Sunday morning.. Everyone too busy packing up and clearing out.. Prayer at meals only if some scout needed it signed off for his advancement, scout camp mess hall, otherwise never.. Prayer may be at an Eagle court of honor or not.. That is the extent of anything religious in these units.
Don't get me wrong, there are units tied tightly to their CO, maybe all members of the church.. The LDS move out before Sunday, so they do pay heavy attention to their religious side of their youth group.. I am sure a few with open enrollment pay more heed then my units, but I have witnessed many units and have not seen it.. So, I would say my 6 units are pretty typical for most BSA units..
Also many religious people are liberal leaning.. Even from the same denomination.. Depends on what you consider the important thing to spotlight in your religious teachings. (Social judgment of others and keeping the sinner at arms length -or- helping the poor and needy, and getting elbow deep in aiding them.) Take my two scout members of our packs current CO.. Last year's member left due to the vote, other one joined this Fall with a Tiger scout (so doubt due to the vote.. But, didn't dampen their joining.) The Catholic Priest (our CO).. Has no problem with the BSA vote, and is fine with them opening it up to adult homosexuals. No, idea what his opinion would be to opening to atheists. I doubt it will be an issue in my scouting career, but sure someday it will be an issue..
Actually I am very liberal, everyone on that forum should know that by now. Yet, I enjoy talking with our CO, Catholic priest.. We have not disagreed on anything that I can think of, he is a typical north-eastern liberal.. We both get a kick out of their new Pope, who says he is not liberal, but his teachings don't make any liberals angry.. Liberal ideas and Religion are not the same mix as vinegar and water.. Perhaps in YOUR religion, where YOU live it is, but not every where..
Moose, look at the Popes time as Archbishop of Buenos Aires and his fight against the governments legalization of abortion. As I quip from time to time "News flash, new Pope is Catholic.
Yes, Not all Democrats/Republicans hold all their beliefs in line with the party platform. I'm pointing out Catholic Teachings don't align with American Political ideas. It's incorrect to label the Church as Conservative or Liberal in a political sense. Individual Catholics might believe differently than the Church, but the teachings remain the same.
Never seen a Local Church openly advocate for one party over another. Obamacares contraception mandate directly contradicts Catholic teaching. Not surprised in the slightest the Priests would be told to condemn it. The Church originally supported Obamacare and was a key faith partner in helping pass the bill.
It all depends on where he shines the spotlight.. What is most important to him.. I am not saying he will be handing out birth control pills at your next communion, but he also has pointed out that it doesn't make sense to pick things out of the bible and harp on those while throwing the rest of the good book in the trash.
But, if you want to hang your hat on his past words against abortions, as the only worth while thing he ever said and done.. Well, that would be expected. It is where your spotlight is stuck..
I'm hanging my hat on the fullness of Pope Francis positions. He is what every Pope before him was. As you've said "his spotlight" is aimed differently. I think we are talking past each other other. You are also putting words in my mouth. I don't appreciate that.
I think we can agree Pope Francis's public words are a shift in focus from the Theology professor who was Pope before Him. But the Popes positions are Catholic positions, that happen to be shared by many liberals.
My point on his time as ArchBishop is to point out that he Has in the past talked about those things. Even if he doesn't as often now.
(Have you read Evangii Gaudium?) I think it's a great comprehensive look at the Mindset of the Pope in his own words.
Policy change hasn't affected my decision to stay with Program. Haven't heard about anything serious in my council. Will see the status of the Troop tonight during our first PLC and Troop Meeting of the New Year!
...Liberal ideas and Religion are not the same mix as vinegar and water.. Perhaps in YOUR religion, where YOU live it is, but not every where..
True. I'm both Liberal and Catholic. I don't see them as contradicting each other. Some people do, but it's just different interpretations of the faith. There are always elements of all religions that the majority of the practitioners ignore or modify. We don't accept slavery any more evem though you could point to the bible for justification of the practice. Nor do we largely accept underage marriages, in the US at least. It's socially unacceptable, even though religiously it could be permitted.
So some folks want to say that there is something in the bible that tells me I should look unfavorably on gay people. But my faith, my personal convictions and my religious beliefs, they all tell me otherwise.
"For a little balance, the bible does not justify or condone slavery, it only teaches godly behavior for people in that situation."
The bible describes what kinds of slavery is moral:
Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.
So it's moral to enslave foreigners, and you can also buy the children of slaves as slaves, and make them slaves for life.
In my opinion, scouting can’t survive liberalism because the program is wrapped around encouraging individual values based from one source, which is God. Doesn't matter which, god, but god is the one unchangable standard the Oath and Law are held grounded.
I completely disagree.
The BSA is “completely non sectarian” and refuses to define what “Duty to God” means. That is left to the scout, his/her family and religious leaders (as it should be). The BSA was created as an American version of scouting, and as such it reflects American values such as pluralism.
There is a huge spectrum of religions and beliefs out there. Some are highly organized, some are not. Some are new, some are ancient. Some have one god, some have many, some have none. Some have something that could be called is a “god”, but is very different from what most of us think of when we hear the word “god”. Some religions are agnostic or atheistic in character (go read the actual definitions of those words). For the BSA to be true to American values of non sectarianism, it cannot define or require anything of a religious nature except in the most vague sense since there are so many different beliefs out there (go read up on what “prayer” is in different religions - it can be very different).
When I was a scout (mumble, mumble years ago), I was in a troop chartered by a public school. In fact, public schools where the largest single group of chartered orgs. In my troop religion wasn’t something that came up very often. Over time in my unit, we had christians, jews, muslims, hindus and “undecided”. In all my camping trips, I don’t remember a single scouts own. At summer camp, there were some units that were very religious, but most weren’t. I remember one of our neighboring troops had a scout master that was an open atheists (open in that he didn’t hide it - not that he ran around preaching “god doesn’t exist”). The BSA was a very diverse place. The BSA was about camping, leadership and instilling American values (and of course having fun).
That was before the religious right (the “I’m sick of hearing about separation of church and state” and “atheists shouldn’t be considered citizens” crowd) started it’s take over.
It’s interesting that the new Trail Life organization was created out the recent BSA fight about gays. But their own rules on gays are basically the same as the new BSA ones (except they allow gay adult leaders). The real difference, is they are overtly christian. Which is what I believe the fight was really about.