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  2. I would hope this situation will be somewhat different. The behavior of many church leaders was nearly the opposite of the BSA in attempting to actively cover things up and hide them with little to no effort made to actually provide protections against abuse. For as long as the BSA was trying to stay on the good side of press, it made more sense to settle cases on rather generous terms. But at this point, people are coming out of the woodwork with suits that are in many cases going to be entirely impossible to verify given the time lapse. I'd want to see the BSA's lawyers approach things a little bit differently. Plus, coming out now and saying "This happened to me in 1972. I never told anyone or reported it, but give me money." simply can't be treated the same as a current and verifiable claim. If nothing else, people with damages that occurred 40 years ago should be made whole based upon 40 years ago dollars, not current ones. So if they'd have been awarded $25,000 in 1970, that's what the basis of their award should be today.
  3. Today
  4. Rumor is Woodruff Scout Reservation for Atlanta Area Council will not operate this summer. Neither is Bert Adams. No formal announcement yet, but the council has not disseminated the National fee increase yet, so obviously communication with the minions and actual customers they are supposed too serve (Scouts and Leaders) is not a high priority
  5. Yesterday
  6. As long as that kiss of death is approved by your local SDW (social distance warriors), you'll be fine. But I agree. Most of the discussion on my favorite trail page has as much to do with citizenship and stewardship as it does with the sheer joy of stomping around in the big woods. When someone brings up gripes about littered trails (or blazing forests), I remind them that fewer citizens are being raised up to behave like scouts. Most learn in their late twenties, after someone calls them out on the mess they've left behind.
  7. I hope that being back on topic is not the kiss of death. 🤪 Baden-Powell developed a game with a purpose. Now we seek to preserve the game in order to continue fulfilling the purpose. Before BSA decides to "pivot from valuing the past," like the outdoor program, or sacrifices the outdoor program as a "sacred cow" no longer relevant to a couch-sitting, screen-watching society, let's consider how we might keep it: How do we take urban and suburban youth (and parents) who have no use for camping and hiking (if they even knew how) and lure them out into the wild? These days, youth with controllers in hand or virtual reality goggles on heads can have all of the adventure they desire without the inconvenience of getting cold, wet, or dirty. If they seek physical activity, there are team and individual sports of all kinds readily available to them, both indoors and outdoors on grass or artificial turf fields. It is difficult for our Scouting game of camping and hiking and related outdoor activities to compete. Just as we tucked Scouting's purpose within Scouting's outdoor game, maybe we could tuck that game with a purpose into some other kind of bait to attract youth and families. Something that they already know about (so we don't have to educate them on it). Something universally accepted as important and urgent (so we don't have to sell it). Something that is missing from their video games and youth sport leagues and schools (a hole in their lives). Something where they can make an immediate and concrete difference (join now). Such as, a cause. A cause historically compatible with the values and traditions of the Boy Scouts of America. A cause that requires youth to be outdoors for extended periods of time so that, while pursuing that cause, they experience camping and hiking. And in experiencing camping and hiking, they learn the things that Scouts have always learned from the outdoors. That cause, of course, is the environment: protecting it, conserving it, saving it, cleaning it up, improving it. And it has many different facets: learning how it works (STEM, environmental science), projects that make an immediate difference in a park or community such as stream cleanups (service), helping when things go wrong (emergency response, search and rescue, disaster relief), protecting and preserving endangered species (zoology) or endangered cultural sites (history, archaelogy) or endangered communities (civil engineering, geology), and on and on. What I am suggesting is that in order to preserve the outdoor program as an important tool for developing citizenship, teamwork, responsibility, etc., that we stop talking about outdoor activities, skills, and adventures as our program objective. Instead, our program objective becomes the preservation and protection of our environment. And in pursuit of that objective, we do as much hiking and camping and canoeing and climbing as ever -- and have just as much fun as ever. But we have that additional layer of a serious reason for going out there that no one can object to or ridicule, and that inspire youth to join us at any age (no need for a Cub Scout resume) or can induce some pangs of guilt for not joining us. And because this would be a serious effort by BSA in a universally-recognized important cause, it could help rebuild BSA's reputation. Just a thought.
  8. My question is how will the BSA generate enough cash to pay without selling off some or all HA bases? Settlements in the Catholic Church for sex abuse range from $300K per plaintiff to >$1M per. Given est. 4,000 plaintiffs that would be at least $1.2B … before any other costs (resolving other debts, etc.). Where is the BSA going to get at least $1.2B? Expect the lawyers to push for far more. I would be extremely sad but I don't see many paths that avoid selling off High Adventure bases (all of them). Perhaps they do sell Philmont to an independent trust as mentioned above who provides full market value to the victims fund. Then that trust charges trek fees to help pay down the debt generated + costs + improvements. Similar questions for other HA bases.
  9. @Midwest Scouter, wow that seems a bit excessive. Up until this point, our Council has not charged an additional fee for individual Scouts. Our Troop has a Fair Share Payment due each year that covers the costs of running the Troop (camping fees, advancements, etc.) and for any Scouts that have financial hardships we always have volunteers willing to help them with their yearly dues. $180 or so is what the FOS usually quotes (or close to that) as the average cost to support one Scout throughout the year.
  10. Makes more sense, but that seems like an awfully high insurance fee. Even if your council activity fee matches the new $66, that leaves $48 for insurance. Ouch indeed!
  11. What happened to the pronouncement last year that councils could establish an activity fee, but at no more than the amount of the national registration fee?? Or is that $180 the total cost of registration, activity fee, and troop dues for your individual unit?
  12. Oops, forgot to quote the information I received. Here it is below; "The annual youth registration fee will be $180, covering the costs of delivering Scouting locally, the national membership fees, and insurance. Adult fees will increase to $42 and will be payable online for the first time."
  13. Here in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, it's going up to; $180 a year for a Youth. $42 a year for an Adult. Major Ouch!
  14. When I first heard "Sacred Cows" Philmont ran through my mind. It usually generates a good deal of revenue, but two of the last three Summers have been decimated by fire and Coivd. Though I think the outcry and rage would be so significant that the loss of support would outweigh any value gained. My second thought was the Scouting Museum, particularly the Norman Rockwell Collection. There is a huge monetary value there and I would be far from shocked to see it end up in Sotheby's. It would be extremely sad to see it go but I doubt the rank and file would exit in protest in large numbers. The fiscal assets of Northern Tier and Sea base are too small to have any real impact and they both generate revenue. The Summit is in too much debt to draw a reasonable price, but might go just to eliminate the debt. Here are a few things that come to mind that could be done, some more distasteful than others I don't think many people would mind seeing the national BSA structure ripped out. Turn it into a consumer cooperative like REI. Run most things via volunteers and have minimal staff. Basically turning local councils into Cooperative franchisees - Create a NFP Coop Insurance organization for CO's allowing them to purchase liability and other insurance even covering activities and facilities not related to Scouting Get rid of National Supply - have a small staff for design and compliance - outsource uniforms to 3-4 vendors and let them compete on quality and price. Same for other goods. Sell via Amazon and other platforms. Open Source publications and make them completely digital with Print on Demand Options Open source Scoutbook, Lodgemaster, Scoutnet (or whatever is replacing it) and all other platforms and go completely paperless for registration and management Eagle Scout may become something like Religious emblems managed by a third party, like an independent NESA - setting the requirements and leveraging the marketing value through licensing fees on shirts. Take the Order of the Arrow back to its roots, as a independent third party organization. Place Philmont and other high Adventure Bases in independent Trust Im sure there a plenty more I could think of if I gave it more than a few minutes thought. But bringing Scouting back to what it used to be, volunteer based would make sense.
  15. June 1, 2020 from and about Orange County Council (CA) Update #8 on COVID-19 and its Impact on Program Delivery ...Summer Adventures Begin July 6th We are thrilled to finally announce that enrollment for summer programs at Newport Sea Base and the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center will be opening this week. It has been a challenging few months for all, and without a doubt there will be tough times for the foreseeable future. That is why we have worked hard to prepare programs and redesign curriculum in order to offer the opportunity for youth to regain some normalcy in their lives, like camp, even if it is a bit different this summer. We are preparing these properties and staff to deliver an outstanding summer program. It will however look very different than past summers. Newport Sea Base and the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center will reopen to the public on Monday, July 6 with summer day programs specially created for elementary age (Cub Scouts) and middle and high school age (Scouts BSA and Venturing) campers. The programs running Monday through Friday or consecutive Saturdays and/or Sundays will follow a strict set of enhanced safety protocols developed with guidance from the CDC, ACA, health departments, and the Boy Scouts of America. A major change in this summer program, besides maximum class sizes of ten or less, is the number of classes/tracks a participant can take per week. In order to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 in our camp setting, we must limit interactions. This means participants can take only one class/track per week. We have done our best to create half-day or full-day programs that are attractive to our general community youth as well as Scouting youth. These program tracks are predesignated and cannot be changed. If there are multiple tracks that you would love to take, it will happen over multiple weeks. We hope you understand. Further information on these exciting programs including virtual camps will be released later this week with enrollment opening for all programs no later than Monday June 8. Overnight programs at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center remain closed and we hope to resume these in late August. The first programs at Oso Lake Scout Camp to reopen will likely be a family-based camping supported by our volunteer Campmaster Corps. Enrollment for this program should open in the coming weeks. Schoepe Scout Reservation at Lost Valley, including Scouts BSA summer camp, remains closed through July 15. This pains us as much as it does you. If your unit was scheduled to attend Lost Valley in a cancelled week you have several options. Troops will have the option to transfer to a later week at Lost Valley, transfer funds on an individual basis to Newport Sea Base or Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center summer programs , transfer their unit deposits to Lost Valley 2021, or receive a full refund for all monies not transferred. The Lost Valley staff will reach out to each unit to coordinate this process... More at source link: https://www.ocbsa.org/news/coronavirus/
  16. Our pack has had good attendance. We had 1 pack meeting which was a get to know you again type meeting and show and tell. Since them we broke into dens. Both our Webelos and Bears were missing only 1 scout. How are you reaching out to the families? For us, emails don't work well. Not many parents check on a regular basis. We text the parents. We are small enough that it works. I think den meetings seem better.
  17. Our CO is elderly, so scouts' use of the church at this time was a non-starter. I was inclined to disagree because I felt the boys could meet at least to help disinfect the church. But, since I was busy helping my own church negotiate this time, I felt in no position to add another discussion to the mix. It's taken two and a half months for the boys to really start interacting online. Hopefully we'll get in a few outdoor activities.
  18. At the camp meeting for unit leaders they did make it sound like it was a go, but added at the end that still needs state approval. Yesterdays meeting had a different vibe, but they are still planning on it happening. We are a unit that was already scheduled to go there so we are still moving forward with fingers crossed.
  19. I am involved in a pack, and a troop, and am registered as a merit-badge counselor. For the pack, we've had a few virtual meetings in place of our previously-scheduled pack meetings. The cubmaster played a silent YouTube video of a waving flag while someone said the Pledge of Allegiance, Scout Oath, and Scout Law as opening exercises, then we did a discussion of some topic (giving each Cub Scout a chance to speak) or played some sort of guessing-game. We also opened the floor for any Cub Scout to "present" anything required by any Adventure, but no one took that opportunity yet. It seems like participation is similar to what you experienced... fewer than 10 Cub Scouts attending out of over 40 registered and probably between 20 and 30 attending our last in-person meeting. For the troop, we took a break of a couple weeks but then settled into having weekly meetings again in our usual time-slot. An adult starts the meeting. The SPL calls people to order, turns the time over to the Scoutmaster for announcements, then introduces the main question/topic, and leads the discussion or practice, assisted by the adults as needed. On our scheduled Committee days, the boys are dismissed at a certain time, and the Committee convenes on the same call afterward. So far we haven't had all the boys on the call at the same time, but every boy in the troop has joined during at least one meeting. I also ran a "virtual" Merit Badge class organized by the local Council. I had Scouts from all over the State, and three from out-of-state. Once Scout's parent wrote me before the first meeting to inform me that their Scoutmaster had not approved their Scout's participation, and two others dropped out after the second meeting, bu most of the Scouts stuck with it through seven meetings, did the homework, and earned the badge. So for Scouts BSA and older, virtual meetings absolutely can work. For a Pack, they're one part of "do your best", but it's also important for your den leaders to check in with parents individually and understand their family situations. And I think the early resumption of in-person den/patrol activities, at least, is important. Formally, I've voiced my opinion that the C.O.R. of each unit I'm in should encourage the District to encourage the Council to allow at least limited in-person meetings again. The troop's C.O. is a church, and the Pastor never cancelled his services; so I think there's some agreement there. The pack's C.O. is the school "Parent Council", and the school took a long Spring Break and then pivoted to a little over a month of purely-virtual instruction, so any in-person meetings before the fall are very unlikely, and even in the fall itself there's some uncertainty.
  20. And we are back on topic! Nicely done @dkurtenbach among others.
  21. @CynicalScouter here https://scoutingwire.org/bsa-membership-fee-increase-details-and-faq/?fbclid=IwAR16VajHDXlujmMe6yUlpWRyp7ajG15VLkMUkTD1ZDUc_-WLTPn1gc4CuMc
  22. Much of traditional Scouting is not at all dangerous, and as @Sentinel947 notes, can be carried on effectively in the presence of adults, as long as the adults exercise restraint. I sometimes wonder if the differences between the Boy Scout program of 1970 (before the Improved Scouting Program) and the Scouts BSA program of today are really differences at all. Or are they just the result of changes in technology, transportation, and family practices that don't really matter once we get the youth out to a camp or hiking trail? Is the difference that it is just harder today "to wean them from indoors and to make the outdoors attractive to them"? Is the real issue that we are stuck in the practices of the past and just lack the creativity to lure today's youth outdoors? My concern is that in deciding what traditions are "useful" and what programs "our customers most value," the decision makers will be like the city Scoutmaster whose troop never went on hikes because staying indoors is what they were used to. That is, they mistake "comfort zone" for "relevance" and consider traditions and activities that would take youth and families out of their comfort zones to no longer be relevant or to have no value to our customers.
  23. Scout plans to build a 1700s -1800s era blacksmith shop on Ramsey House Plantation. It will be built completely of logs, timber framing for the roof, cedar shingles, a brick forge, and it’s all going to be original... video, drawing (above), and more at source: https://www.wvlt.tv/content/news/Knox-Co-Boy-Scout-building-blacksmith-shop-for-Ramsey-House-570857581.html
  24. This has all been discussed here at length. One might distinguish between why youth join Scouting and what Scouting aims to accomplish. Those aims (or goals) have varied slightly over the years and from Scouting organization to Scouting organization. One expression is that the goals of Scouting are developing persons of good character, who are good citizens and who are fit in mind and body. BSA has made "leadership," once understood to be part of "citizenship," a separately-stated goal of its program. That B-P person said, "Let us, therefore, in training our Scouts, keep the higher aims in the forefront, not let ourselves get to absorbed in the steps. Don't let the technical outweigh the moral. Field efficiency, back woodsmanship, camping, hiking, good turns, jamboree comradeship are all means, not the end. The end is CHARACTER with a purpose. And that purpose, that the next generation may be sane in an insane world, and develop the higher realization of service, active service of love, and duty to God and neighbor." In India, the largest Scouting association (The Bharat Scouts and Guides) says, " The mission of Scouting is to contribute to the education of young people, theough a value system based on the Scout Promise and Law to help build a better world where people and self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society." "Gerakan Pramuka Indonesia or called Indonesian Scout movement is a name of non-formal education organization that performs scouting education in Indonesia. Its founded in 1961 by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX, and in 2011 Gerakan Pramuka Indonesia became the world’s largest scout association in the world with members [today] of about 17 million. ... Every activity is performed according to the Scouting Basic Principal (Prinsip Dasar Kepramukaan) and Scouting Method (Metode Kepramukaan). The final goal of these activities is the formation of character, morals, and noble character of young people in Indonesia. To find the aims and goals of Scouting, one need not"cherry-pick" scattered statements. instead, to assert that Scouting in the U.S. is not about building character, citizenship and fitness, one must ignore everything said on the topic by not only the "founder," B-P, but by all that those who built Scouting here, primarily Bill Hillcourt, "Scoutmaster to the World. The founders were wise enough to know that promoting an "educational movement" might attract adults. To attract boys you needed, as B-P said, "good bait." Fun and adventure are the essential "bait," but not the goals. The means by which these aims are to be accomplished vary over time and from Scouting organization to Scouting organization. But calling them "methods" means they are, necessarily, not "aims" or goals" unless one assumes that the authors of the statements lack a basic command of the language in which they have been expressed for over a century.
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    • I would hope this situation will be somewhat different.  The behavior of many church leaders was nearly the opposite of the BSA in attempting to actively cover things up and hide them with little to no effort made to actually provide protections against abuse.  For as long as the BSA was trying to stay on the good side of press, it made more sense to settle cases on rather generous terms.  But at this point, people are coming out of the woodwork with suits that are in many cases going to be entirely impossible to verify given the time lapse.  I'd want to see the BSA's lawyers approach things a little bit differently.  Plus, coming out now and saying "This happened to me in 1972.  I never told anyone or reported it, but give me money." simply can't be treated the same as a current and verifiable claim. If nothing else, people with damages that occurred 40 years ago should be made whole based upon 40 years ago dollars, not current ones.  So if they'd have been awarded $25,000 in 1970, that's what the basis of their award should be today. 
    • Rumor is Woodruff Scout Reservation for Atlanta Area Council will not operate this summer.  Neither is Bert Adams.  No formal announcement yet, but the council has not disseminated the National fee increase yet, so obviously communication with the minions and actual customers they are supposed too serve (Scouts and Leaders) is not a high priority
    • As long as that kiss of death is approved by your local SDW (social distance warriors), you'll be fine. But I agree. Most of the discussion on my favorite trail page has as much to do with citizenship and stewardship as it does with the sheer joy of stomping around in the big woods. When someone brings up gripes about littered trails (or blazing forests), I remind them that fewer citizens are being raised up to behave like scouts. Most learn in their late twenties, after someone calls them out on the mess they've left behind.
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