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    • Sad that previous human use habituated the bear. Bears are creatures of habit, it learned at some point that tents and sleeping bags were an easy food source. Earlier human visitors must have kept food in their tent and/or sleeping bag which provided the bear the opportunities to learn this. Sadly the scouts (who apparently did follow food storage protocols) were the benefactors. Fortunately none were seriously injured. 
    • April, 2022 Scout troop was camped in Harriman State Park when around 1:20AM a bear wandered into camp. According to Scoutmaster, All their food, garbage and cooking gear was properly stored in bear bags hung off the ground, but that wasn't going to stop the bear from looking. The bear grabbed one sleeping bag and pulled on it. The bear then grabbed another sleeping bag, where scout was sleeping, and also grabbed his lower leg. The scout screamed and kicked the bear and it ran away. "He had some scrapes and bruises, but other than that he was fine," said scout's mother. "He did have to have rabies shots — nine shots over four days." The Scoutmaster said the bear did not go far. In fact it returned around 3:30 or 4 a.m. and was poking around in an adjacent camper's site. The adults in the Boy Scout camp made noise and chased the bear away. It was not seen again that night. The Scouts themselves were all asleep by then. In a joint statement, the DEC and State Parks Department confirmed the attack happened, then continued: "The bear's dangerous behavior demonstrated habituation to human presence, persistence seeking food near humans, and a clear threat to human safety." The statement said that according to the DEC's Black Bear Response Manual, the policy in such cases is to "immediately euthanize the bear." The statement concluded that on May 5, U.S. Department of Agriculture staff, working with state Parks and the DEC, "captured and humanely euthanized the bear following appropriate protocols." More at source: https://www.recordonline.com/story/news/local/2022/05/23/bear-attacks-boy-scout-camping-harriman-state-park/9840606002/
    • Neither is hiking, camping, canoeing, or an particular activity.  As you say, the program is in the entertainment business.  Children wish to explore their world  The most popular merit badges at summer camp are STEM.  So if you are trying to say that STEM activities do not attract and entertain children, then you would not be correct.   Scouting needs to incorporate STEM activities into the program in a manner to challenge those who are interested but not negatively affect those who are less interested.  It is a technique that works and attracts youth.  
    • The unit I am associated with now actually does NSPs in an interesting way.  There is one, but its existence is time limited.  The new scouts come into that patrol, and the troop guide works directly with the NSP PL, so if there is “whispering in the ear” it is coming from a senior scout, not an adult.  The NSP gets to pick a patrol name and come up with a cheer/etc. so they get that first exercise in group decision making and consensus (that is lost if they just go directly into a permanent ‘legacy patrol.’).  But their membership in the NSP is both time and rank  — once they make Tenderfoot, they move to one of the mixed patrols and, if they aren’t advancement oriented, they move on to a mixed patrol when most of the cohort that joined when they did has moved and that incarnation of the NSP ceases to exist and when the next pulse of new scouts enters a new one starts.  That helps get the new scouts moving together on the very early scout skills (including the basic stuff for Scout rank) but gets them relatively rapidly into senior scout led patrols.  
    • I have long made the argument that Scouting was in the entertainment business. Providing fun and engaging activities while intermixing learning and leadership aspects in those activities. A happy and engaged Scout brings his friends. And participation grows. It just seems that my council, and apparently National, has no clue. Math is not Scouting. Enthusiasm is.
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