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Modern scouting a For-profit business

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  • #31
    One can't attend a Jamboree without TWO uniforms, but they are not required and neither is Jamboree attendance,

    Don'tcha just love trying to explain other people's hypocrisy?



    • #32
      I am not aware of any vast subsidies unless the inner city Scouting program is referred to. I feel that the gist of this thread is that National and some councils seem to be more focused on the money-raising than with program. It makes one wonder how Scouting survived the Great Depression when donations were down. I \'ve spoken with many of our elderly who were Scouts during the 1930s; they had a great time!


      • #33
        Boomer, I think the Great Depression made everyone, including BSA, realize what's actually needed to function. Some of the best scouting I've ever experienced was done with minimal equipment and gear.

        I recently put on a Kodiak Trek at the BWCA, and my guides brought little more than a few key laminated syllabus pages. We used: sand and rocks for white boards and charred sticks for markers; made puzzles from birch back found at the site; cook kit parts for service project tools; eagle feathers, rocks, and bones in place of some of the other materials (all returned to where we found them after use). We went into the field with "the ten essentials" and no more personal gear (tent and bedding aside) then would fit in a bread bag.

        The low-impact Kodiak Trek was a great success; I saw those young men grow more there than in the series of gadget ridden, high-tech, bookish, training our unit, district, and council has offered them over the past four years (including ILST/C, NYLT, UoS youth Acadamy, and LLD).

        Less can be more, it forces: vision, planning, communication, team development, inclusion ... you get the picture


        • #34
          Try kayaking over canoeing. My canoe has a load capacity of 750# That's a lot of gear. Yet my kayak has 2 small compartments one front one back and a limited amount of space for strap on the deck. It makes one think twice, if not 3 or 4 times before taking anything along.

          It's interesting that the Great Depression years were brought up. It was well into the 1950's before canvas and leather were replaced by more modern and light-weight materials. A nylon pack on an aluminum frame with padded straps and waist belt, is not the same thing as a wooden back board with a canvas bundle diamond hitched to it with canvas straps and no waist belt.

          They may have had a few parlor scouts around back then, but then the physical conditioning of these boys was far different than it is for today's youth.



          • #35
            Scoutcraft and Woodcraft were the standard operating procedure for the trips. Scout skills weren't just demonstration activities to watch while camping next to the troop trailer with all the stuff from home, The scout skills which are delineated in the advancement requirements were actually used on a regular basis. Use lashings to make a useful camp gadget wasn't a one-and-done requirement. It was done on every trip because it was truly a useful gadget and the scout only needed to carry a small amount of twine/rope. Once the boys start camping away from the cars and carrying less stuff, they begin to see the need for the woodcraft skills. Another eg: no more two burner coleman stoves, now they learn to cook on an open fire. (Unfortunately some places this cannot be done due to regulations/fire bans.)

            The old timers didn't carry a lot of weight even with the canvas and wooden pack boards, they carried little else besides their basic gear. I think I carried more weight in the 70s and 80's with the lighter nylons because we thought we needed the full sized tents and too much other stuff.


            • #36
              ....which points to the elephant in the room.... Of what value is Scoutcraft and Woodcraft if the only place you are going to use it is in the scouting program?

              BSA needs to market itself a whole lot better than it has if it's going to survive. If large corporations send their executives to rustic retreats for team building, leadership development and a variety of different dynamics necessary for their operations, what do these people see that BSA isn't?



              • #37
                The value scouting brings to the table hasn't changed. A boys sense of adventure, playing in the woods, exploring, building "forts", being with buddies, cooking hotdogs over an open fire they built, etc...

                The adults are getting in the way.

                I agree the BSA needs to market itself better. Not by trying to be something which it is not, but by going back to what it was. The BSA isn't leadership development, it is not character development, it isn't religious training, it is embracing the boys sense of adventure and letting the boys do those things boys like to do in the out of doors.


                • #38
                  In the UK and the U.S., Scouting from the first was traditionally character and citizenship development, the second being inclusive of leadership development. Also, Scouting from the first has aimed at achieving the physical and mental development of boys: good people and good citizens who are sound in mind and body. We know this because the leaders of Scouting have consitently said so for 107 years.

                  While emphasizing the importance of the spiritual, Scouting has never presented itself as religious training. On the contrary, religious training is expressly left to religions.

                  The other aspects of the program that you mention, and very important aspects that you do not mention, were consciously selected to attract youth and to achieve Scouting's objectives.

                  Adults have always been, and remain, critical to the program - and, at the same time, because of thier critical role, the greatest threat to the program - especially youth leadership.

                  B.S.A needs to first address a quality "product," and only then address marketing that program.