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The Mouse Monolith vs. the BSA

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  • #16
    Not really, Merlyn. I had no idea Disney donated to the BSA. And the post-Eisner Diisney is quite different from the old era.

    I was always more of a Bigs Bunny man than a Mickey Mouse man, myself.


    • packsaddle
      packsaddle commented
      Editing a comment
      See, we agree on something. I liked Bugs too.

  • #17
    I am hoping that this sort of thing will return the BSA to it's roots. Without huge financial donations the kingdom we call the BSA cannot exist.

    I look at the summit and think how we have lost our way. A weekend of camping for $200. or a jamboree for multiple thousands of dollars. High dollar trips.....

    I hope someday we will return to Lem's scouting and hope that as corporate America bows to the pressure of social media and vocal minority we will see it happen.


    • #18
      Gotta love that we're now getting Disney pop-up ads in the margin. Watch out Terry, they're going to want those advertising dollars back!


      • #19
        From Basementdwweller - I hope someday we will return to Lem's scouting and hope that as corporate America bows to the pressure of social media and vocal minority we will see it happen. ''

        And just what does that kind of scouting look like Base? Give or take, only about 25% of new adult volunteers had a scouting experience as a youth, just how do you expect to go back to old school scouting if nobody knows what that is? I know you have your encouraging style of helping new moms understand real scouting, but there is only one of you to save the world.

        I admit that after reading the forums lately (not just this one), I think traditional scouting is a thing of the past. For my own mental health, I will either have to turn away from scouting for good, or settle with the idea that some scouting is better than no scouting. I'm so glad I got my boys through scouting when I did. Barry
        Last edited by Eagledad; 03-10-2014, 09:42 AM.


        • #20
          I know Barry.

          The stuff I read here and over at Bryan.............Just makes my blood boil.

          The boy doesn't know the skill he doesn't get it signed off......just that simple. The boy didn't have enough fore thought or interest to volunteer for a POR or get elected......Well no Eagle for you.

          Ya I was a little hard on new scout mom.......but she pushed a button after facing her evil twin here locally.....who know she could be that very same mom........

          The BSA and scouting has a serious public image problem right now, from the gay debacle to untrained unskilled ill mannered scouters ruining our reputation in the outdoors and begging for hand outs from the community.

          Being in scouting does not entitle you to ask or beg for handouts.


          • #21
            The replacement of private civic life with public functions has been going on in America since the New Deal era. In the civil rights era, this provided huge benefits because civic life, as private institutions, discriminated and public life didn't, so this created a more open country. However, one of the downsides is that American volunteerism and local self government is now endangered. Corporate "responsibility" helped keep things going for a while, but we're seeing public companies being defacto government in their treatment, and losing local responsibility.

            Yes there are winners and losers in civic life (as a Jew, I'm well aware of how easy it is to be a loser), but when people don't take responsibility for themselves or their communities and rely on the government to replace civic institutions, we're ALL weaker for it.

            There is a reason social welfare is more popular in Europe than America. America's strength is its diversity, but it becomes a weakness when it comes to acting with unity. Swedes don't begrudge social welfare because it goes to other Swedes. America brings its negatively to the surface because people resent aid going to "others" -- this is borne out in sociological studies. So localized civic life, with it's "discrimination" solved this problem in America, but the sanitization of civic life is eliminating this weak link.

            National's fundraising problems don't directly effect us, only in that dues go up because national won't cut its workforce to reflect the reality of its current membership base. But old time Scouters here remember when Council Events were the core of the Unit Programming, and are saddened that Unit programming is dominate and council events and properties are grudgingly supported... but our City/State/National Parks are all taxpayer subsidized and therefore are cheaper to use, and as council's run into financial trouble and try to make council programs profitable, you simply get less bang for your buck with council events.

            I LOVE our big camporee, but at $20/registration plus $10-$15 for food, a family of 5 needs to spend $160 to do that camp out, while our pack campouts cost the same family $75, of course pack campouts will get larger attendence. When I can camp at a County Park for a weekend @ $3/pp, and BSA Council properties cost $10/pp, how can we camp at our Council and not at parks.

            When Council's were flush with corporate money and could lose money on events, you had more bang for your buck with the Council, now Council is broke and needs to make money on events.

            In the end, BSA's professional ranks are the real losers in this, we'll keep running unit programming, and council programing is cumbersome and expensive.

            Charging boy Scouts $20/registration, means a family needs to find $35 for registration+food for the big camporee, no big deal. With Cub Scout Family camping, it gets expensive, REAL fast.


            • #22
              Eagledad, don't give up. I just had a fantastic campout with my troop. The SPL showed true leadership and he didn't even know it. He started a snowball fight with some older scouts, which eventually brought in the rest of the troop, followed by the adults. After an hour we were exhausted and soaking wet, so we called a truce. I told the SPL that what he did was a perfect example of leadership and to keep doing it. So on Saturday night he organized a game and all I could think was nobody would join him, but most did. I finally think my troop is moving in the right direction. It still works, even without hep from Texas.


              • #23
                Oh I will stay local, but I'm a big picture guy and I always look to the future of the program. Lately I've been reading a lot of illusions on forums of dividing troops in half to send away older scouts to protect the younger scouts and make the program more interesting for the older scouts. That is just one example, but folks today just don't understand the value of role models for teaching and I'm amazed at the number of adults who are just plain uncomfortable with the idea of older and younger scouts working together.

                It wasn't a problem 25 years ago when the vast majority of adult leader trainers had a scouting soul that came from their youth, but today camping out doors is actually intimidating to a lot of adults. As I said, around 25% of adult becoming leaders today were never scouts and most of them never camped. It takes a heavy hand to balance their vision of using rank and advancement as the main drive for their program when scout growth is based on experience of adventure. It's not their fault, when adults don't understand how camping drives character, they instinctively fall back on what they do know, class room style guidance. And like all of us, these adults want to measure if they are doing a good job as leaders, so how do they do that? Well they do it by what they do know, stature; rank and advancement. They just don't understand how patrol hikes make boys into men.

                Scouting has always had naive adults join the program, but the number of “been there done that” old school scouters outnumbered them and showed them the way. Not anymore, the program is being taken over by the scouting ignorant. I don’t mean that derogatorily, I mean that today’s adults just don’t understand the value of the outdoors in teaching boys to be men. Out doors is uncomfortable for todays adults and scouting skills scare them. They look at woods tools as weapons and reactively prohibit what they don’t understand instead of learning their proper use. As I said, it wasn't bad a few years ago when there were still a lot of old school scouter still around, but they are being quickly outnumbered by adults who's idea of teaching scout skills is pulling everyone in a room and showing pictures.

                I'm not whining about adults with bad intentions, I whining about progress and cultures change of expectations. And we can’t change it; the genie is out of the bottle. In our culture’s desire to be progressive, the machine takes casualties as it rolls over natural behavioral instinct with its idealism. I have worked with some really good female scouters and have no regrets, but do to the fact that they never had the youth experience of being boy scout, they have unintentionally feminized the program and created an unequal balance of nurturing over the masculine instinct to serve the community. I guess that seems unfair to some, but reality is what it is and there is no going back. Character has become passé. The Scout Law is no longer the virtuous guide of ethical maturity, it’s just words in a book.

                As I said, it has always been this way, but the program kept balance with those who had knowledge and experience. Now that knowledge and experience is outnumbered with well-intentioned ignorance.

                There are a lot of theories of where financial support comes from and why it’s going away. As with many theories on this forum, most folks are wrong. The vast majority of donations come from alumni. Of course the ridiculous theory of the quid pro quo is mostly wrong as well. Most donations given to the BSA are given from a passionate heart. It’s the same as those who give to their school or fraternity because the life changing memories of their youth. I had a friend who was very involved with the Campfire Kids program when they changed the program to accept gays and atheist. He said Campfire Kids suffered immediately because their large base of alumni donors bailed on the program. They will never recover because there is no equivalent for donations of passion. That was 25 years ago and he said if the BSA ever makes that same mistake, it would fall even farther because the Campfire Alumni support was less than 1% of what the BSA. I think we are seeing some of that now, but I have talked with enough people to see a deeper reason of why they are pulling their support. It’s not directly a result of the membership policy change, but more of a last straw. They simply don’t see the same BSA program that gave them the passion for scouting in the first place. The membership policy is just one small indicator of the direction the BSA has to go. And that direction for many is not scouting. I’m starting to get it now.

                Keep up the good work Matt, I meet adults all the time who thank me for their scouting experience. Some of them have three kids now. One autistic man the other day at Target walked up to me and pulled me aside to thank me for this experience in the troop way back when. He never camped and his time in the troop was a brief 18 months because of his many phobias, but it must have been significant, I could see it in his eyes. We forget how noble being a scouter volunteer can be. We have influence that we may never understand. I know of three engineers who give me credit for choosing that career path. If those are the kind conscious decisions scouts make because of our influence, imagine how we might have influenced some of their unconscious decisions. Well done Matt, well done.

                Still, I love this scouting stuff.


                • #24
                  Barry, I agree with most of what you're saying. Mainly that a lot of adults don't get it. But one thing that hasn't changed is the desire of parents to raise sons that are responsible, resourceful, adventurous, and yes, even selfless.

                  I think the challenge for scouts is training the adult leaders. Compare scouts to high school football. The training for a good coach is similar to a good SM, it takes a lot of time and passion. But the football coach has professional football to help sell his program, is paid, has equipment and gear, trainers and assistants, every game is described in the local paper, and tons of resources on how to coach football. Not only that but the goal of football is simple and easy for the kids to understand: win. The SM is a volunteer and gets a weekend course on how to sign off First Class requirements. Nothing really describes what boy led means, or how the outdoors works, or what an Eagle project is. And what is the goal? Really, you're taking someone that has a pee-wee level of coaching and putting him in a high school environment. It's no wonder the adults aren't so good in scouting.

                  National's response is JTE, a program where they try to improve units via a two page document. If you're in a unit that isn't doing it right and you've never seen it done right, then those two pages won't do much. Can you imagine giving a peewee coach a two page paper on how to coach a high school football program?

                  Rather, there must be people somewhere that understand how to turn a unit around. Get them together. They'll come up with something good. Then share it. I'd use it. Something like Top Gun for Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts? Or why not ranks for adults? Even a good book that describes how all this works would help.