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    • I think that BSA is not the only one struggling with membership numbers but there are also some clear heavy hitters when it comes to membership growth and maybe we should seriously consider what they are doing different: Organization                      School Age Population                   Members                            Percent BSA                                      50.7M                                                900’000                              1.8% Scouts UK                           9M                                                      420’000                              4.7% (5.7% incl. waitlist) Scouts Canada                  6.193M                                              22’237                                 0.36% Swiss Scouts                      1.128M                                              50’500                                 4.5% I think we (BSA) are notoriously bad at marketing ourselves compared to some other organizations. When have we heard last about BSA in the national news (except for the bankruptcy)? The short bleep this year about the Scouts helping rescuing people at the train derailment this summer briefly made the national news. When did the last president or any other highly visible public figure portrait Scouts?  Every fall and spring it is recruiting season. Every fall and spring our Council is MIA short of a newsletter or two (that only Scouters read because they signed up) or a couple unit requested Facebook geofencing popups. Crickets. Our District tries hard but it is pushing all recruiting down to the units that obviously, and by nature, recruit for their own unit in their own local area. When did our Council last highlight Scouts achievement on a State or County level (our Council stretches the better of 3 states). I have never seen Council or District even suggesting, let alone organizing, presence on a state or county fair or have a Council wide recruiting booth at larger scale events short of a parade here or there staffed by local units.  Look at the two countries running high membership numbers above: both recently rebounded in almost 2-digit percentage numbers after years of losses. Scouts UK states "Our waiting list now sits at 90,000 young people". When have we heard about a waiting list for finding BSA units the last time?  Switzerland just had its national Jamboree this summer after 14 years of absence. They managed to motivate 60% of their members to attend. Leading up to the event was a National Scouts campaign for 2 weeks spotlighting Swiss Scouts during national TV prime time every evening (not shiny marketing but real participants and volunteers over 3 generations). National media had their own onsite production outlet during the Jamboree with daily coverage. I think up to now I have heard about the 2023 Jamboree in national prime time TV once, and again in negative or political context rather than positive values. Rebuild/Rebound/Recover can happen but only with some serious marketing on all levels. And I think it has to be real marketing showing achievements, highlighting local community support, Eagle projects benefitting the community but also how Scouts benefit the community and how Scouts benefits the individual members being in the program. I don't think however this is achieved by shiny corporate slogans, studio marketing materials and shiny photos on popcorn bags. We need to go back to highlight the real achievements and benefits of the organization.  
    • You are pointing out that a Guide To Safe Scouting can be ridiculous.  I 100% agree that laser tag should be allowed.  NOTE:  AS LEADERS, WE HAVE PLEDGED TO FOLLOW IT.  It's part of our honor to do that ... and with grumbling with laser tag. To me, the eSports tournament is fine.  It's really not a significant debate to me.  Scouts want it.  They are doing it.  I'd be happy my son was trying to connect with a larger group. We each judge a boundaries differently.  Laser tag is obviously not an issue to me.  I like your comment because it reminds me that I really had my sons in scouts to teach them to be men.   Responsibility.   Adventures.   Hardship.   Recognizing they can do really hard things.   ... I see zero issue with eSports or laser tag.  Laser tag is running around, sweating and competing.  We should celebrate it; not ban it.  ... .... BIG BIG TANGENT ... Personally, I wish my sons (and the rest of the scouts) could have done some of the earlier activities to toughen them up.   Bring back British Bulldog.  Bring back a revised master-at-arms MB and boxing tournaments.  We want our scouts to stand up to wrong.  That also means to teach them they will survive taking a punch.  ...  IMHO, it's why scouting was respected years ago.  Scouts were confident and tough.
    • Agreed. If parents don't let a Scout shoot a rifle, they can't earn rifle MB. If they aren't allowed to have a pet, they can't earn  pet MB.  "But, but, this one is required for Eagle!" Not everyone earns eagle. 
    • Thanks for all the input! Due to similar wording of "parent/guardian" permission in other MB clearly not excusing the requirement, the MB Counselor decided to discuss the requirement with the scout, but will not be signing off until the scout confirms they've completed the requirement.
    • Ok, I understand the problems with the grades but unfortunately, I am a trained assistant scoutmaster so I don't get a vote on anything discussed at committee meetings. I am only trying to provide information that I believe is relevant to the original question I posted. I swing both ways on that issue because I do understand that it should be kept to the parents but when a troop of 12 kids where 50% of them are related by blood sometimes issues like grades do have a major influence on our troop. Our current committee chair, communication manager, Scoutmaster of our girl's troop, and 2 assistant scoutmasters are also part of that family. There has always been a problem with this family at some point or another but when there are acts of repeated bullying at the meetings by a child in this family there needs to be a change.  Unfortunately, I believe that no one in our troop practices the scout law anymore including our scoutmaster. I hope this Code of conduct can be a wake-up call for the scouts and parents who don't follow it anymore that they need to clean up their act because for the future of our troop I will propose my version of the code of conduct hopefully at our next committee meeting in October. No matter the outcome I will respect the committee's decision and then decide what to focus on next in supporting my troop.
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