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The Patrol Method

Lessons and questions of Scout leadership and operating troop program

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • In ten years as a unit volunteer i cannot ever remember a formal opening beyond "let's welcome Bob - who is attending tonight for the first time."
    • From Annual Reports on BSA web site: Basis trend of above... My estimate, really hope, is that after further LDS subtraction of about 15-25% male membership in Cubs and Scouts BSA is nearing its' "plateau" of boy membership.  I am aware of nothing that may increase boy membership significantly.  This includes USA population growth because Census data projects nil increase of 10-14 year old males during 2016-2020-2025.  https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2017/demo/popproj/2017-summary-tables.html (FYI...  Census reports 31,751,000 male population between 5 & 19 years old for 2016.) Increase due to girls in Cubs and Scouts BSA...??? Need more info for prediction which I cannot find on the internet.   Can anyone provide current & detailed membership data and market research for girl membership?     
    • @Sentinel947, previously, it was easy enough to keep a bunch of scouters and scouts on the rolls by turning in a charter with a reasonably small check. It didn't matter if they actually did anything to confirm their desire to be on the rolls. Now half of unit leadership is at risk of being dropped if YPT lapses. Within two years of leaders doing nothing a charter will not be renewable. On top of that, background checks have added to registration costs, so it's maybe 10 times as expensive to register. Some the increase has do with more than the imprative of modern YP,  but it still contributes to a disincentive to keep a unit on the books longer than necessary.
    • Are you looking at the numbers for the year as compared to last year (November 18 vs November 19) or are you looking at Jan 2019 vs November 2019?  The reason I ask is that BSA does not adjust any numbers out for crossovers or age outs until recharter at the end of the year. For example, if you have a pack of 45 and 10 Webelos crossover in March and you add 10 at School night, BSA will indicate 55 in the pack, while the pack (correctly) would say they were at 45.  Those 10 Webelos would now be also showing in the Scout troop they crossed over to in March That troop that had 50 Scouts and 10 aged out while they added 10 new crossovers would show as 60 on the books, operationally the unit leader would say they had 50 Real indication will be the annual report for 2019 which will be reflective of the recharters actual numbers, units not rechartering, and importantly the 20% loss (+/-) from the LDS departure. 2018 Annual Report numbers Cubs - 1,231,831 Scouts - 789,784 Ventures / Sea Scouts - 55,101 Explorers - 109,613 TOTAL - 2,186,329 2019 PREDICTIONS Cubs - 1,108,648 Scouts - 631,827 Ventures / Sea Scouts - 52,345 Explorers - 98,652 TOTAL - 1,891,472 Drop of 13.5%
    • I concur with @Eagle94-A1, I've got bad feeling too. I'm glad to see the gains, but they are modest at best.  They mostly represent motivated girls, the ones who have been waiting to join the BSA and did so as soon as they could.  While there are still more girls that will join and excel, I doubt the additions will offset the other much larger losses the BSA is facing. Factor in other issues: 1.  Adult volunteer fatigue/burnout/resignations 2.  National's woeful financial status; its commitment to bureaucracy and poor communication; its ham-fisted management style with volunteers (and even council level pros) 3.  Units inactive or not rechartering (several to my personal knowledge) 4.  Ongoing litigation and insurance crises I think the BSA is an organization at risk.  A good example:  National's decision to put Philmont in hock.  When you resort to taking grandma's wedding ring to the local pawn shop, you're one step from the poor house.  
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