Jump to content

All Activity

This stream auto-updates     

  1. Today
  2. You have me beat by 2. 🙂 I've asked other counselors whether their phone has ever rung from a scout outside their unit, and the answer is almost always no. The exception was someone who counseled a required badge that generated a lot of partials at summer camp. He said he got calls occasionally for that one.
  3. Thanks a lot for the comments @fred8033. I very much see what you're saying. I'm sorry if my own comments came off as "too bad, so sad - you should have joined a big troop." It was not my intent to make this a big vs. small discussion. At the core of what I've seen in our larger troop experience is a sense of "let's make sure the Scouts we serve are provided opportunities to enjoy and learn from Scouting." It's been my experience that our ASMs, Troop Committee Members, and Merit Badge Counselors work to make sure they do their job - provide the infrastructure so that Scouts can run their own program. So, as you run down the list of needed infrastructure, what you see in our larger troop is effort is expended to make sure the support is there. MBC is a good example of that. It's not that we're trying to keep our MBC to ourselves - not at all. In fact, we proposed to the district that we establish a network of MB coordinators in larger troops to help build up the list of MBC. (That offer was declined.) It's that we looked at what our Scouts were requesting and said - hey, we've got 100 parents, let's see if we can put something together to support what our scouts are asking for. In our trips and activities, we routinely have friends from other troops join us. We routinely lend out gear and supplies. We routinely hold joint trips with other units. We don't try to cut corners on advancement. Not at all. No-one is making our MBC soft sell requirements. Scouts earn their merit badges with us. We just don't believe in having a ton of hoops to go line up a MBC. We have someone who will make sure you don't have to go find a guy four towns over who will counsel you on First Aid. There's nothing we do that a smaller troop cannot do - nothing. Further, we'd bend over backwards to help smaller troops. But, the small troops rarely ask. In fact, most of the support we lend outside the troop is to other big troops.
  4. dkurtenbach

    Recruiting in Scouts BSA Units

    In my view, the single biggest membership blunder that BSA has made is allowing Boy Scouting/Scouts BSA to develop in a way that makes it almost totally dependent upon crossovers from Cub Scouting. It puts the future of the Scouts BSA almost entirely in the hands of Cub Scout leaders and their ability to recruit kindergarten and first grade families. It allows Webelos and Arrow of Light Den Leaders to heavily influence whether Scouts should cross over to a troop at all. Having to leave one Scouting organization (the Cub Scout pack) and find and join a new Scouting organization (the troop) provides a convenient opportunity for youth to simply not continue with Scouting after Webelos/Arrow of Light. It allows Webelos and Arrow of Light Den Leaders to heavily influence the choice of which troop to cross over to. The expectation that new Scouts BSA members will join at pretty much the same time and same age, together with New Scout Patrols and first-year advancement practices mean that it is awkward for older youth to join when they would be significantly "behind" their age/grade peers. The result is that simply by running our program as expected, we leave a lot of youth un-recruited and we allow many who are already in Cub Scouts to slip through our fingers.
  5. Yesterday
  6. yknot

    Recruiting in Scouts BSA Units

    In our area, the reason scouts "Eagle and Out" is largely because they are busy on the college prep treadmill and move on to other things. I don't know how you counter that. I've been involved in scouts for 15 years and every year it seems like parents are pushing their kids to earn Eagle at younger and younger ages so that they can be "done" and have more time to focus on high school course work and other college relevant extra curricular activities. Also, by Eagle, some kids are just burned out on it, especially those kids who have been pushed by parents.
  7. DuctTape

    Recruiting in Scouts BSA Units

    I would agree with troop iff, the entire goal of their unit is getting scouts to eagle. It is then their own fault for not delivering on the promise of scouting. Now, I have zero evidence this is the case.
  8. David CO

    Recruiting in Scouts BSA Units

    I agree with your first comment. Scouting is not an infinite program. It ends at 18. I have to disagree with your other comment about scouts ranking out. There is no such thing as ranking out of scouting.
  9. qwazse

    Recruiting in Scouts BSA Units

    That said, this troop is doing the right thing by putting itself "out there." What I would like to have heard is not only does the church offer its kitchen, but that sometimes boys come before meetings to cook dinner with their patrol. It's one thing to brag about your tools, it's another thing to brag that your boys know how to use them!
  10. qwazse

    Recruiting in Scouts BSA Units

    Peer-to-peer recruitment among youth is doing just fine. Purveyors of recreational drugs rely on it to secure their future clientele. If scouts Eagle-and-out it is because they don't feel: needed. The adults will do all the work anyway. challenged. The troop isn't pitching Palms and other awards properly. respected. They aren't being asked to visit elementary and middle schools in uniform to promote the program. They aren't attending naturalization ceremonies, or opening a session of local government, or helping run a booth at a community festival. wealthy. Someone isn't offering them a job to pay for the next big-ticket event. humble. They think they've "arrived" and haven't figured out that they should take their place among other scouts (BSA or GS/USA) in their community. loved. Leaders don't greet them with enthusiasm, younger scouts don't want them at their campfire. Scouters in general don't care about their friends. All of that is quickly perceived by younger scouts.
  11. carebear3895

    Recruiting in Scouts BSA Units

    My takes: peer to peer recruitment is practically dead Troops rely solely on AOL crossovers Packs keep dying off. Less Cub Scouts eventually mean less Scouts BSA Members Reluctance to recruit new members outside of Packs.
  12. njdrt-rdr

    Recruiting in Scouts BSA Units

    That's some real backwards logic he has there. Scouting is not an infinite program. It's like saying that the amount of kids in school are dwindling because they are graduating...Huh....part of an active well run troop is a solid flow of scouts into the troop. The failure of a troop is not because of scouts ranking out and leaving, it's because of scouts not coming in.
  13. John-in-KC

    Scoutmasters as Merit Badge Counselors?

    What Scoutmaster other than a micromanaging egomaniac wants more stuff on his plate? A Scoutmaster’s duty is to his unit, his SPL, and his PLC. Unless he has a truly unique skill (he’s the only civil engineer in a rural district), let others do the counseling. You can find this philosophy throughout the Scoutmaster’s Handbook. Besides, just like parents, MB Counseling is as much about the Adult Association Method as it is about Advancement. Youth need a broad exposure to the ways of adults. We have seven years before some of them are out the door and on their own.
  14. Bigger troops are not the issue. My ideal troop size is 35 to 50. Baden-Powell said 32, but corrected for society changes, I think larger troops of 75 to 100 are okay. One great benefit is to do more campouts / activities and a greater variety of campouts / activities. The issues are ... Not recognizing long-term existing BSA policies, etc. MBC is not a troop position and has never been a troop position. MBC has always been a council approved position. MBC app allows to say what troops to mentor, but also has bold stating counselors are encouraged to work beyond their troop. Troops encouraging parents in troop to council for their child's troop lessons the MBC availability for everyone else. It develops a mentality of Trump's "troop first". Discussion attitude reflects "too bad, so sad". Sort of like well maybe you should have joined a large troop then. Everyone else is out of luck. If large troops can take advantage of having a large pool of MBCs, maybe smaller troops then should also subvert MB program by allowing their adults to register for 10 to 20 MBs each. That way they have coverage too. IMHO ... the whole value of the program is getting the scouts out of their comfort zone and learning to reach out. Some knowledge benefit, but I see it more as about scouts taking control of their advancement. We are already have too many scouts that see MBs has jumping hoops without much benefit. We already have too many adults offering MB cards like they are hoops without much benefit. If troops maintain their own MB counselors, I really begin to question the value of the program. If I do have an issue with larger troops ... Large troops add bureaucracy to enable the size of the troop. I often see this as subverting the program. An example of this is I've often heard larger troop scoutmasters say they don't have time to work their own scouts. Or SMCs get delayed or scheduled because of the 80 to 100 rank advancements each year. Procedures get created for how to advance. Or an advancement chair begins to own the MB program instead of a friendly conversation with the SM. I often wonder if advancement should be majorly changed. Rank reflects number of camp outs / activities. Example --> First class scout requires 30 nights of camping. Eagle scouts should have 100+ nights of boy scout camping. MBs are fully troop sponsored. Example --> Canoeing MB is a canoing campout of 30 miles and two overnights ? Biking is a biking camp out with 50 miles and two overnights plus three pre-campout practice runs. MBs could reflect the program planning guides that suggest troop activities. No need for special MBCs for most MBs. Or troop can bring in special skilled adults and the troop adults have the registration / sign off. I've mostly mentored within my own troop too, but I've also bent over backwards, driven many miles and spent weekends helping other scouts with the same MBs.
  15. John-in-KC

    Vigil Nominee

    I defer to your Lodge and Section Adviser.
  16. Wrong comment to read while eating lunch...🙄
  17. ParkMan

    Recruiting in Scouts BSA Units

    Units really do need to have a plan to replace 20% of their membership every year. Cub Scouts cross over, Scouts BSA & Venture Scouts age out. Further, if you're less than 30 Scouts, you need a plan to get to 30. From reading the article, it sounds like the new SM is getting focused on that. From looking online, is appears that the troop's CO has a pack as well. If so, and those Scouts don't cross over to that troop, is there a reason? A program problem perhaps? In addition to @mrkstvns great list, I'd enocurage the SM to have an honest sitdown with the families, the remaining leaders, and the COR. This troops #1 focus needs to be program, but #2 needs to be growth. They need a defined plan to grow again.
  18. This morning, I read an article about a New Jersey troop that's suffered dwindling numbers. They blame their problem on "scouts getting Eagle". Hmmm. Methinks they haven't done enough self-examination. Getting scouts to Eagle doesn't cause the implosion of a troop. Poor recruiting does. The New Jersey troop's story should be a warning to scouters that they need to be aware that there are a lot of factors that can make scouts choose not to join a particular troop....and few prospective scouts would cite "successfully helping scouts earn Eagle" as one of the reasons. In my opinion, the troop needs to... * focus on building relationships with Cub Scout packs so Webelos will want to bridge into a troop - invite Webelos to meetings and activities - have leaders attend Roundtables to meet leaders from Cub Scout units - participate in events like Webelos Weekend * promote the unit within the charter organization - are parishioners/members invited to visit troop meetings? - does the unit participate in charter org events? (church picnic, Sunday socials, etc. * raise visitibility of unit in the community - blurbs in community papers - offer service to community groups / HOAs, etc. * make sure leaders are not complacent about membership (sometimes, even if you build it, they will not come....if not invited, encouraged, welcomed) Here's the story about the NJ troop: https://patch.com/new-jersey/brick/brick-man-mission-build-eagle-rich-boy-scout-troop
  19. Please elaborate - why? *EDIT* Sorry, I advanced pages and see now. Would it be correct to say that you don't agree with bigger troops and how they do things?
  20. If ever a scout deserved his merit badge for Personal Management, it's gotta be the kid who literally "wrote the book" on how to invest... Story: https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/glenview/ct-gla-shout-out-jiwani-tl-0123-20200117-tuibovg7xjdhrj3ckmc3r24ata-story.html
  21. I wish I could call that a stupid statement. I wish I could jump up and down in rage. I wish there was no way that such a thing would be allowed to happen. Sadly though, I shake my head and worry that you just might be right...
  22. The fellow was catching fat trout after fat bass. An onlooker asked him how he was so successful, The fellow handed him a pampthlet that advised using worms and to " keep the worms warm." The onlooker asked, "and how do you keep the worms warm?" the fisherman smiled and said " thath eathy. Keep'em in yer mouf."
  23. Not True. Volunteers always know before Council Employees lol. One of the reasons i'm on this board, actually.
  24. Hmm. That doesn't sound like much of a weight saving. Yeah, 2 pounds is pretty light, but what's the advantage of "trek poles" if I'm only going to save a measely 1 ounce? (Last I checked, the difference between 2lb and 1lb 15 oz was exactly 1 ounce...
  25. RememberSchiff

    Scouts BSA Up 1.2% Youth Members, up 7.1% Units

    Perhaps after more trees are shaken... This week I received a Council notice regarding Council creating an Ad Hoc Committee complete with an attorney to "contribute funds". Here is a snippet from the FAQ: Is our council participating in the Ad Hoc Committee? What are the implications if we do/don’t? The national organization has facilitated the creation of an Ad Hoc Committee of local councils that will participate in its continued evaluation of this potential path forward. The Ad Hoc Committee will have an ongoing voice, as a group, in any restructuring considerations. The Ad Hoc Committee will give councils access to more detailed information on financial considerations and insight from their own representatives. It will allow councils to gather information and substantively and collaboratively engage with the process. Working with the Ad Hoc Committee does not obligate our council to contribute funds to this effort. Each council is an independent nonprofit organization separate from the national organization. To reiterate: The decision of whether our council contributes to a potential victims’ compensation trust will be made by each individual council board after careful consideration. Are our local assets such as properties/camps at risk? Any path pursued will ensure that we are able to continue delivering programming in our community for many years to come. We believe our properties and camps are important components of this programming. Any decisions regarding our properties and camps will be based on our ongoing efforts to manage our local Scouting resources wisely IMHO, the ongoing Diocese of Rochester Chapter 11 bankruptcy case may serve as a model if and when the BSA files Chapter 11. So far, Judge Paul Warren has denied their insurance company arguments regarding exemptions (e.g., no payout if Council was aware), appointed a U.S. trustee so the Diocese is not "debtor in possession", and a creditors committee comprised of diocese abuse survivors. Unknown whether an IRS audit will occur and financial considerations of diocese employees (health insurance, severance,...). https://rochesterbeacon.com/2020/01/02/the-rochester-dioceses-unique-case/ My $0.01,
  26. My posting will be prospective thinking based in the well-understood effects of financial reorganizations. It will not be a source of insider information.
  27. mrkstvns

    Book recommend; adults

    Curious about this, I went looking for quality reviews. Found out more about the story in a New York Times Book Review. Now I'm intrigued. Will have to give this one a read. Thanks for the recommendation, skeptic! Review: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/08/books/review/hearts-of-men-nickolas-butler.html
  1. Load more activity
  • Posts

    • You have me beat by 2.  🙂  I've asked other counselors whether their phone has ever rung from a scout outside their unit, and the answer is almost always no.  The exception was someone who counseled a required badge that generated a lot of partials at summer camp.  He said he got calls occasionally for that one.
    • Thanks a lot for the comments @fred8033.  I very much see what you're saying. I'm sorry if my own comments came off as "too bad, so sad - you should have joined a big troop."  It was not my intent to make this a big vs. small discussion. At the core of what I've seen in our larger troop experience is a sense of "let's make sure the Scouts we serve are provided opportunities to enjoy and learn from Scouting."  It's been my experience that our ASMs, Troop Committee Members, and Merit Badge Counselors work to make sure they do their job - provide the infrastructure so that Scouts can run their own program.  So, as you run down the list of needed infrastructure, what you see in our larger troop is effort is expended to make sure the support is there. MBC is a good example of that.  It's not that we're trying to keep our MBC to ourselves - not at all.  In fact, we proposed to the district that we establish a network of MB coordinators in larger troops to help build up the list of MBC. (That offer was declined.)  It's that we looked at what our Scouts were requesting and said - hey, we've got 100 parents, let's see if we can put something together to support what our scouts are asking for.  In our trips and activities, we routinely have friends from other troops join us.  We routinely lend out gear and supplies.  We routinely hold joint trips with other units. We don't try to cut corners on advancement.  Not at all.  No-one is making our MBC soft sell requirements.  Scouts earn their merit badges with us.  We just don't believe in having a ton of hoops to go line up a MBC.  We have someone who will make sure you don't have to go find a guy four towns over who will counsel you on First Aid. There's nothing we do that a smaller troop cannot do - nothing.  Further, we'd bend over backwards to help smaller troops.  But, the small troops rarely ask.  In fact, most of the support we lend outside the troop is to other big troops.   
    • In my view, the single biggest membership blunder that BSA has made is allowing Boy Scouting/Scouts BSA to develop in a way that makes it almost totally dependent upon crossovers from Cub Scouting.  It puts the future of the Scouts BSA almost entirely in the hands of Cub Scout leaders and their ability to recruit kindergarten and first grade families.  It allows Webelos and Arrow of Light Den Leaders to heavily influence whether Scouts should cross over to a troop at all.  Having to leave one Scouting organization (the Cub Scout pack) and find and join a new Scouting organization (the troop) provides a convenient opportunity for youth to simply not continue with Scouting after Webelos/Arrow of Light.  It allows Webelos and Arrow of Light Den Leaders to heavily influence the choice of which troop to cross over to.  The expectation that new Scouts BSA members will join at pretty much the same time and same age, together with New Scout Patrols and first-year advancement practices mean that it is awkward for older youth to join when they would be significantly "behind" their age/grade peers. The result is that simply by running our program as expected, we leave a lot of youth un-recruited and we allow many who are already in Cub Scouts to slip through our fingers.
    • In our area, the reason scouts "Eagle and Out" is largely because they are busy on the college prep treadmill and move on to other things. I don't know how you counter that. I've been involved in scouts for 15 years and every year it seems like parents are pushing their kids to earn Eagle at younger and younger ages so that they can be "done" and have more time to focus on high school course work and other college relevant extra curricular activities. Also, by Eagle, some kids are just burned out on it, especially those kids who have been pushed by parents. 
    • I would agree with troop iff, the entire goal of their unit is getting scouts to eagle. It is then their own fault for not delivering on the promise of scouting. Now, I have zero evidence this is the case. 
  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Popular Contributors

×