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Trail Life reports increased membership

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  • #31
    RememberSchiff - Hacker Scouts is a completely different issue. "Scouts" is a BSA trademark. If BSA doesn't consistently defend the use of it's trademarks, it loses the rights to those trademarks and then they become public domain. It's a legal rights issue and not reflecting a desire to not work with others.

    Plus Hacker Scouts choose that name to leverage the goodwill and history of scouting in the USA. It was chosen on-purpose with the intention to leverage the goodwill of the trademarked name.

    Here are those trademarks.

    http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/con...20Listing.aspx


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    • #32
      @KDD. In my neck of the woods most major church denominations have camps available for rent. The church camps I've visited have facilities and pricing comparable to most BSA camps I've visited. There is at least 1 4H camp in my area with excellent facilities. The state parks and forest preserves in my area only care if you are a "youth group" not if you are a "scout" group. So all the same discounts would apply to Trail Life. I'm guessing the National Parks are the same way.

      In my council the ground camping fees for in-council camps are the same as the state parks and they don't get you access to any of the facilities besides the dirt. In 10 years I can count on one hand the number of times we used BSA facilities outside of BSA events and if you chopped those fingers off I'd still be able to type . I don't see lack of access to BSA facilities as a program detriment. In fact I suspect many folks might argue it's a program benefit for Trail Life.

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      • #33
        fred,

        "Scout" is not a BSA trademark. It is protected because of the BSA's Congressional charter. The issue with Hacker Scouts was particularly silly because Hacker Scouts made no pretense of being a scouting association and few would have confused them with the BSA.

        Comment


        • #34
          Peregrinator ... We're playing word games and we are off topic. I believe I used the term "trademark" correctly. Perhaps I should have said it's a "trademark issue" instead of just "trademark". BSA has individually registered trademarks in Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Eagle Scout, Sea Scout, etc etc. And the congressional charter does come into play. Choosing "Hacker Scouts" was to be muddy the waters leveraging the long good history of scouting in the USA and also claim a more "edgy current" name. Given all the new technology merit badges, I'm not surprised BSA is trying to overlap in this arena too.

          Perhaps it's best to just say it's an intellectual property issue. You either defend your intellectual property or you surrender it.

          Confusion ... I very much disagree. The name promotes confusion and degrades the other BSA intellectual property. As Cub Scout parents have little understanding of Boy Scouts and how it works, people that only see Hacker Scouts would not know enough to not realize a difference or that that it is not part part of the scouting movement or that something larger existed that was "scouting" world wide. The name was chosen to leverage another entities good will and muddy the waters.

          Comment


          • #35
            Our vision for Summer Camp is different. We call it "Summer Adventure" and it has nothing to do with advancement. There are hundreds (I said thousands earlier. Not sure I could qualify that, but it wouldn't surprise me...sorry if I misled) of Christian Camp facilities and we have many adventure camps competing for our attention and offering great deals. I am staying at one in WV in a few weeks with my boys to see what they offer. You are probably familiar with the neighborhood.

            We don't think we could compete with some of the camps and stay true to our Core Value of being debt averse. You can get in trouble with property real quick and we don't want to be in the "summer camp" business. There are plenty of folks who do it very well.

            Overall, although our awards and advancement program is quite robust (including Trail Badges the boys can design themselves and offer for others to earn), we de-emphasize the race to our pinnacle - the Freedom Award. Boys cannot earn it until 11th or 12th grade, at the earliest. Most of our members are embracing this, except for some former BSA folks who perhaps saw advancement as the primary goal of BSA and are adjusting to a different philosophy.

            Thanks, again, for your kind words.

            Here's a link to our Core Values that I reference:

            http://www.traillifeusa.com/wp-conte...Doc-8.5x11.pdf

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            • #36
              Mark Hancock - Where are the membership standard documented? I just read the core values. Just interested.

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              • #37
                Mark Hancock ... Before I forget ... I should mention I sympathize with you as your earlier posting of your experience reflects my families experience with the local YMCA. The memory was triggered by reading Trail's Life core values document. The original YMCA seems to reflect many of the same values as Trail's Life. But today's YMCA is very different and it is an organization I find hard to support ... mainly because the organization does not hold the same values as it held when I grew up.

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                • #38
                  http://www.traillifeusa.com/who-we-a...hip-standards/

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by packsaddle View Post
                    AZMike, other than an unflattering comparison of eagles to vultures, who exactly is expressing angst or surprise?
                    I apologize to fans of vultures who took offense that my tangent lead to equating their noble beasts to less lofty fowl.

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                    • #40
                      Georgia BSA Troop 412 recharters as TLUSA Troop 0412.

                      http://www.worldmag.com/2014/06/boy_...12_breaks_camp

                      Interesting article, gives both their troop perspective and a wider view of dissatisfaction. Here's parts

                      "The altered membership standards were “probably the catalyst” for the change, said the troop’s charter organizational representative, Lewis Miller. But for a while the troop felt constrained when it came to expressions of faith. “What has bothered us for some time, for example, is that at summer camps we were told not to pray in the mess hall in the name of Jesus,” he said. On Monday, scouts and leaders alike enjoyed their newfound freedom to preach and practice their faith openly without fear of offending someone.

                      Another factor in the decision to switch was the BSA’s emphasis on awards and ranks. “If we get them to Freedom [Trail Life’s highest award] but not to Christ, we have failed,” Scoutmaster Gregg French said." ...



                      "And many of those who left BSA last year might have done so for reasons unrelated to the controversy. BSA membership dues increased from $15 to $24 the same day the new policy on homosexuality went into effect. “There are many factors that go into a family’s decision to join Scouting, and it’s impossible to point to any single factor that influences our membership numbers,” BSA spokesman Deron Smith told The New York Post. The last fee increase was in 2010, and prompted a slight decline in membership that year as well.

                      Trail Life’s Matthews sees BSA’s new membership standards as the final straw in a history of growing concerns, rather than the main reason for the new organization’s creation. For example, some people were concerned about corporate sponsorship, Matthews said. Others worried about reportedly lavish executive compensation packages and the cost of the new Jamboree facility in Fayette County, W.Va. The latest projection puts the cost for the 10,600-acre park that includes miles of zip lines, a whitewater rafting circuit, and a technology center at $439 million by the end of 2015, Reuters reported last year." "

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by RememberSchiff View Post
                        "The altered membership standards were “probably the catalyst” for the change, said the troop’s charter organizational representative, Lewis Miller. But for a while the troop felt constrained when it came to expressions of faith. “What has bothered us for some time, for example, is that at summer camps we were told not to pray in the mess hall in the name of Jesus,” he said. On Monday, scouts and leaders alike enjoyed their newfound freedom to preach and practice their faith openly without fear of offending someone.
                        Which reenforces my belief that the controversy wasn't really about gays, but about religious pluralism. And why Trail Life has adopted a policy on gays that is almost the same as the new BSA one, but they only allow Christian leaders (and only ones that are the "right kind" of Christians).

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                        • #42
                          Which is no different than the BSA insisting that gay parents do not make good scout leaders. Where is their data to prove this position?
                          The sad truth is that many scouts are being called names and teased and insulted by their friends and adults who see them in their uniforms because of the wishy washy stance National has taken on this issue. That is why Trail Life is attracting more new members than the BSA, why should the kids have to suffer over the politics and policies of the organization.

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                          • #43
                            I always thought the name calling was because of the goody two-shoes reputation of Scouts compared to their peers.

                            There were a few "rump rangers" gibes when the youth policy was changed but it hasn't persisted as best I can tell.

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                            • #44
                              BSA prohibiting prayer for this wispy washy non sectarian thing is a joke. Here is the deal, for non Christians that are familiar with their faiths, The wording "In your name/in Jesus's name" has no material difference. It is a Christian prayer offered up to the Christian deity. I teach my boys that we stand at attention when prayers are offered at BSA functions but do not participate. The whole thing is stupid. Anyone offended by prayer should not be in BSA, were a religious institution, though our units affiliate with our individual Churches/Houses of Worship.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Pack18Alex View Post
                                BSA prohibiting prayer for this wispy washy non sectarian thing is a joke. Here is the deal, for non Christians that are familiar with their faiths, The wording "In your name/in Jesus's name" has no material difference. It is a Christian prayer offered up to the Christian deity. I teach my boys that we stand at attention when prayers are offered at BSA functions but do not participate. The whole thing is stupid. Anyone offended by prayer should not be in BSA, were a religious institution, though our units affiliate with our individual Churches/Houses of Worship.
                                Stupid? So the heck with the Scout Law and the BSA being non-sectarian? It should be OK to tell non-Christian scouts and scouters: "just stand in the corner and be quiet"? If we are following the Scout Law and BSAs stated ideals, scouts and scouters of all faiths should find themselves equally welcome in the BSA (though individual units are free to take on a specific religious character if their CO so chooses), and those scouters that deliberately or through ignorance try to make non-Christians feel put upon, should be challenged. The BSA is not a Christian organization.

                                As for the statement: “...at summer camps we were told not to pray in the mess hall in the name of Jesus,...” I don't really know what they are referring too. I would find it odd that a troop would be told how to say (or not say) grace at their own mess hall table by the camp staff. However, I would find it believable for a unit to be asked to be sensitive when leading the entire mess hall in grace. And I have met scouters that would consider being asked to be sensitive in such a case as a constraint on their faith.

                                Has anyone been to a camp where units are directed and or restricted on how their individual units say grace (or the like) at their own table by camp staff?

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