FYI, the Trumbull County, OH coroner, Dr. Thomas James from Ohio is in attendance at National Annual Meeting.
As I understand, he was previously Council President of the Greater Western Reserve Council which died in 2017. Unknown is his current Council and position.
So far, his services have not been needed, the BSA still lives.
First to say thanks to Matt and Mrs Matt for swinging by last week. It's always nice to have visitors! The necker you gave us is now hung up in our HQ alongside others from foreign visitors.
Secondly Matt is completely right. While looking at how other countries do things is good in terms of getting fresh ideas and seeing things from a different perspective whatever BSA comes up with has to work for BSA. It's no good pointing at any one country and saying "lets do that" because it may not work for you. It should be a case of saying, country X has age ranges that work like this, why does it fit that country and are there enough parallels that it works for us? If the answer is no move on to countries X, Z and so on. Same for the award scheme, same for summer camp etc.
The other side of that coin is to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water. You've got well over 2 million members. Second biggest in WOSM if I remember right. Clearly you are doing something right! Whatever that is be careful not to ditch it.
When TSA had its big shake up it wasn't done quickly. I was a venture scout when they were piloting it. They did an awful lot of research first. I remember taking part in it. They then piloted the proposed changes in a number of places round the country. By district was one of them and moved to the explorers/network model in 1996. We tried it, gave feedback and what eventually fell out it in 2002 when it went nation wide had a lot of what we'd tried but also had been tweeked and further adapted. It took time. You need to take your time as well.
As I've said before though I don't think you should consider the current round of changes to be the last. I suspect more will come in due course.
Just on the point of summer camp, to clarify what Matt said, we do have summer camp, just not the same way you do with the same set program. Our summer camps are typically for about a week and are just like another camp but longer. Typically camping in patrols, cooking for themselves, usually on a scout owned campsite doing a mix of on site and off site activities. We don't have dining halls (although a limited amount of indoor accomodation is typically available, it doesn't come cheap though) or fixed booking periods. You just book for the days you want to be there.
So pretty much do what Scouts UK did. They awarded the title "Chief Scout" to Bear Grylls. Doesn't make any key decisions, but acts as the ceremonial head to the organization.
National will never go for it. They love their key 3 setup too much
The unofficial rule for professionals is one row of knots. Its super super super extremely mega rare, but a professional scouter can earn the DAM, but only while simultaneously being a volunteer. My guess is Surbaugh joined up with a pack or troop back in the day.