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    • There are several issues of significance that excellent comments have been made by others. Perhaps a summary and a few observations would be helpful. The boat can have only one owner and that is whomever holds the title. The owner, in this case appears, to be either the CO or an individual. If owned by an individual, it might be time to work out an arrangement whereby the Troop compensates the owner whenever the boat is used. Whoever owns the boat is also responsible for insuring the boat, especially liability coverage. I wonder if an individual has saddled the Troop with insurance and costs so that the individual can use the boat without usual costs. It needs to be clearly established by viewing the title who owns the boat and be certain that it is properly insured. Whoever owns the boat is responsible for determining whether to scrap the boat or repair it. As a boat owner of a boat about the same size, it cannot be so old that the engine has worn out and be worth $20,000. The boat is more likely worth about the cost of repair - the engine. Unless your Troop is well to do, I would recommend selling it if the CO owns it. The first person to begin to work this out is the CC (Committee Chair). If there is no satisfaction there, the IH and COR should be next.  You must get an actual Chartered Organization (CO) for your Troop that will have the Institutional Head (IH) and assign the Chartered Organization Representative (COR). The current situation does not meet BSA policies and might be fraud (I am not an attorney but this is misleading the council and someone is signing for an entity that does not exist) that could be a serious issue if something bad ever happens. If the Troop does not wish to find a CO, I would not remain in the Troop. If the CC and current COR do not wish to rectify the situation, I would recommend a group of parents to go to the Scout Executive (SE) of the local council and lay out the issues. There should be a consensus that either the current Troop gets a true CO, IH, and COR; determines boat ownership; and establishes a new Troop committee; then the current parents will request council assistance in establishing a new Troop. Scouters whose own youth have aged out of the program are a valuable resource so ever effort should be made to ask them to stay involved and that they are valuable to the Troop and the Scouts. Do not push them away. Be clear that such large decisions must be made with input from the current parents upon whom the bulk of the fund raising and the effects of spent funds (if money for the $4,000 repair comes from current Troop funds) will fall upon. Try to always remain Kind and Courteous. Be a good listener to their arguments and ask the same for yours. Appoint a spokesperson to avoid to sides talking over one another. The lack of a real CO is very troubling. The possibility that someone is taking advantage of the Troop with the boat is very troubling. The lack of a CO makes such an issue possible to arise and cause many problems. Good luck in resolving the issues. Let us know what decisions are made and the eventual outcomes.
    • I doubt this is news to the more avid members of this forum, but the "Bryan on Scouting" blog is simply indispensible. It's got a great variety of themes and issues, its timely and consistently updated, and it is presented with charm and authority.  See https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/
    • And this is why I don't trust published membership numbers. I will even give the pros the benefit of the doubt and say there are no shenanigans going on, but the shuffling of memberships in different units at different times of the years blurs out reality. It drives the district member committees nuts, especially if when using the numbers to plan program gains and looses like Tigers, Webelos Crossovers, and first year Scout dropouts.  I don't trust the new girls published numbers as a result of my experience. Just look at the discussions on this forum to see how those numbers are being used both tactically and motivationally for future planning. National got away with inaccuracies in the past because the deep pockets funding and large membership compensated for bad program planning. But the BSA may have lost their safety nets.  Good luck.  Barry
    • That is really the crux of embracing LNT.  (Along with TMSM's comment that "All scouting is local...") LNT has some basic guidelines that we try to teach younger scouts.  But that isn't the whole story. It's just the prologue... LNT is really about building a deep understanding of the interconnected natural world and building respect for the natural world so there can be a natural world for tomorrow's boys.  The article you pointed to had some good points. There certainly ARE situations when building a traditional fire might create a lesser impact on the planet than using a propane stove. There are similar situations where deviating from any of the other guidelines might yield better results. However, MOST people don't make those tradeoffs very well. Hence, we need BSA's Outdoor Ethics program more than ever and we need leaders and scouts to better understand how to make better decisions in the outdoors. 
    • Yes - That is how the DE and FD and SE are in fact judged, number increases.  Your son in this example is the easiest way to pump up the numbers..."dual" enrollment.  That's two members for the price of one. Yes there are shenanigans with the membership numbers.  Sadly rather than focus on building good units with a fun and quality program, which will generate growth and membership in the long term, they want the numbers NOW, so sign them up NOW.
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