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  • LATEST POSTS

    • "Scouts" accommodates nobody. Fewer American boys than ever consider themselves scouts, even fewer girls. Let's not forget that "scouts" does not refer only to youth nor, thanks to the inflated sports industry, does it refer to territorial expedition forces. I had yet to see balloons announcing a new arrival proclaim "It's a scout!" A kid who is interested in literature for their age group is not going to type "scout magazine" in their search engine. They won't even have a clue that the word would apply to them. Their first search will be either "girls" or "boys". At the book store, the will look for those words in the title. Be plain spoken. Pitch to your customers using the names that they call themselves.
    • Cub Scout camp handicrafts activities in my experience have always seemed to suffer a little - either really quick, super-cheap options because the camp is on a shoestring budget, or they barely relate to the theme. National theme this year is “Passport to Adventure,” so we have the entire world to draw from. What are the best Cub Scout summer camp handicrafts activities that you’ve seen done? What are ways a handicrafts staffer can help stretch or leverage a limited budget?
    • Hush, Ian! Sometimes even bad press sells tickets!  Sons were quite amused to hear that I'm now assisting in a 2WSP. Son #2 scoffed, "Wasn't that what we were doing already?" I've often told them that when they hear murmurs about sinners and publicans at their table, to check if the Master's seared nearby.
    • What does "initial time" mean?  Was there an agreed upon time to meet?
    • I've been thinking a lot about this over the past few days. I do indeed see things differently, though not in the ways many seem to think.  I know this may not be the thread for this, but it is in response to a comment made in this thread, so I knew not where else to post it - moderators may remove it to a more appropriate thread without objection from me if that better serves the integrity of this topic. First of all, people are trying to "sequence" events, trying to determine which came first - a church move to exit Scouting, or incoming policy changes which the church found objectionable. I think the question is at this point irrelevant. Asking how we got to this point is no longer what matters - the question is, where are we now, and where will that lead us? For the church, growth continues throughout the world, in many lands at astronomical rates - Latin America, Western Africa, the Philippines - all are seeing incredible growth, and such continues in all other nations and domestically as well. It makes sense that we would want to unify all our members, and that starts with teaching the children (something every Scouter will appreciate). By unifying our programs, we are unifying youth all over the world in a shared program that will build harmony of faith, ideals, fellowship, understanding, and morality. Scouting has been a wonderful asset in helping the church understand the essentials of building successful foundations in the growth of young men - now we are equiped to create an equally effective program, but centered on our own unchanged and unchanging moral beliefs. For Scouting, those core moral beliefs are no longer clear. Unlike the church, which has a clear leadership structure based on one shared doctrinal foundation, Scouting must share the moral and philosophical beliefs of many hundreds of religions and ideologies - and far more so, it can be affected by popular opinion and partisan agendas. When the moral fiber of its society is srong, Scouting itself is all the stronger for it, because its leadership is inherently built out of an amalgamation of shared ideals. But when that society becomes divisive, demanding changes to the core values which Scouting once clung to, Scouting itself does not have the internal structural integrity required to withstand the pressure - in other words, Scouting does not have the inherent authority to repulse outside influences forever. The Boy Scouts of America has held out far longer than most other world Scouting organizations (Scouting UK's recent push to make its Scouts "employable" reflects drastically a complete abandonment of Baden-Powell's purpose of building men of character and not material ambition). For over 100 years, the BSA still believed that boys needed a special place of their own, a place where their unique character, temperment, energy and zeal for life could find a safe, healthy outlet - a place where they could commune with each other, with nature, and with God. Now, its internal structure, which was originally designed to openly allow invested, caring adults to share a guiding hand in protecting that environment, has been hijacked and usupred by conspiring men and women determined to use the BSA and its proud heritage as a platform from which to push their own selfish and destructive societal agendas - and the young men of this country are their primary targets.  Now, it seems, they are winning greater and greater victories. Now girls are coming in, crowding out the safe space boys should have enjoyed by signing up for a program that wasn't designed for them, and which simply will not serve them like it serves boys. And so eventually changes will be made, and boys will slowly lose all the benefits that Scouting was meant to offer them. They will become marginalized in their own program. They will eventually be taught in Scouting that immoral behaviors should be tolerated, even celebrated. And soon this organization will no longer be the Boy Scouts of America. They will cling to that name for a while, till the advantages of that name are used up, and eventually it too is dropped. But already, that orginal program of over one hundred years, is almost gone. It may become a fun program, it may become an instructive program - but will not be the same program. That program, the Boy Scouts of America, the one founded by Baden-Powell, Beard, Seton, West, Hillcourt - that program does not exist anymore. The images you see in the Rockwell paintings, of boys in the woods and on the streets, in churches, communities, shelters, hospitals, backyards and living rooms, boys camping, fishing, serving, helping, caring - they are of an organization I believe will soon no longer exist. And so. Whereas before I felt that I was sad to leave,  I realize now that to say Scouting is losing me would be a falsehood. Not that losing one volunteer would make any difference, but that I - that our nation - we are losing Scouting. The quote above stated "Who the BSA admits is less important to me than the core mission of bringing Scouting to the youth in the program." And this is just the tragedy. Scouting will no longer be brought to them, because Scouting is not simply the activities, the achievements, the adventures. It is the boys themselves who for 108 years have been blessed and protected within this inspired program. And now they no longer have it; it belongs now not to them, but to outside powers making changes that the boys cannot control, and cannot stop; and being young, they do not realize fully what is being stolen from them, nor will they be given the power to rescue it themselves.  So yes, at the end of next year I will no longer be a part of Scouting. I will continue to deliver the program will all my heart, mind, and strength until then, within my unit, as the walls crash around me. But I will be sad (albeit not surprised) to find that I have stayed in my place, while Scouting has moved to a different world altogether. These decisions have not "overshadowed the core program." I believe they reject it entirely, but will inevitably use it only as long as it is useful to them. I only pray for the sake of the boys who remain that such will last for a small time longer at least. In many units with dedicated, inspired and visionary leaders, it may last much longer. I believe there will be many pockets of successful, true Scouting scattered all over the nation, and I look forward to hearing their stories of success against the waves of compelled change. But I will have other battles to fight then, and other programs to nurture, and other flocks to tend. I hope however that I and those brave units will be able to depend on each other for support and encouragement whenever we may we call upon each other. My prayer is that those future alliances will ever hold strong against whatever troubles may come.
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