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Questions and answers for parents and leaders new to Scouting.

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  1. working through ranks

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  2. wolf without leader

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  3. Winter Camping Badge?

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  4. Who is responsible?

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  5. Where do I start?

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • Withdrawn from social engineering?  First they invited gay youth to be members, then gay men to be Scout Masters.  Transgenders?  Oh what the heck, y'all come on, too!  And since BSA now allows girls to be in the BOY Scouts, you don't even have to stick to the gender you pick.  Duty to God?  Don't ask, don't tell; okay? WHAT TRADITIONAL SOCIAL BOUNDARIES ARE LEFT?  I'd say that the Left has departed the field in utter victory.  What else could they hope to accomplish?  Drive all the straight males from the program?   Wait.  Maybe if BSA de-emphasizes the outdoors in the program, all the real men will get bored and drop out....
    • The difference in strategic messaging, image and resource focus: Pre 1972/Improved Scouting Program:  "The BSA is an outdoors organization." Post 1972:  "The BSA is an organization.  We do different things.  The outdoors is one of those things."  
    • I know there are many well meaning people working at the National level. However, I would wager that a lot of rational people would say that somehow, the ship has lost its rudder. Frankly, I think it's time for local units to work toward a down-up reorganization, because our parent organization is clearly not meeting our needs. Successful organizations do not operate this way. You are attempting to normalize something that is largely dysfunctional and unresponsive. The idea of National patting us on the head and saying, "Go, shepherd, go tend your sheep and don't worry about all this," is not going to help BSA survive long term.  We're right to question. We're right to demand more. We're right to look for ways to make this relationship more functional. If we're in this for the scout, we're compelled to. 
    • I think you are looking in the wrong place for traditional scouting values.  They are still there in the aims and methods.  Of course, YPT is national's highest priority.  The failure of this in the past is the thing most jeopardizing the future of the national organization.  You can't blame the national staff of the present for that (you should blame the perverts of the past though). The background check forms are another step in that process.  I want national to do everything they need to do to protect the existence of the program for future generations.  As long as YPT  (and the legacy of the past) is a problem then it will have to be a function of National.  Abuse scandles are bad press, scouts getting hurt is bad press. Bad press is bad for recruitment. We have half the number of units in our district than we did when I was a scout (not counting LDS).  The Eagle has been a priority for years.  It was emphasized 20 years ago when I was a scout.  As long as it is viewed as the end goal and a feather on a young person's cap for college and job applications it will be a priority.  I don't see national or councils being the push for this though.  I haven't been to Summit, but I don't have a problem with it.  National is using it (like philmont and sea base) to provide things that local councils simply cannot.  I see no wrong in this as long as it is handled.  All of the fee discussion has come from panicked scouters and parents.  National should have handled it better, but until the number actually comes out we have no way of knowing how bad it is.   The outdoor program is supposed to come from the troop. Except for high adventure, it isn't national's job. Except for summer camp, it really isn't the local council's job.  If you see shifting priorities here then it is a Unit problem.    My units still spend a ton of time outside with boys learning great outdoor skills.  
    • To the question:  The priorities of National are to maintain a program template that works and arrange for sensible business services and highest-end program experiences unavailable at the unit and council levels.  I think they are on-task and doing reasonably well, now that they have withdrawn from social policy development and enforcement — and now that they are conducting YPT effectively.  The priorities of councils are to form and maintain units and to provide program experiences to supplement and support units (camp properties, camporee, etc.).  The effectiveness of councils varies greatly.  My long term experience is that the principal determinant of how well a council hoes to these priorities is the quality and engagement of the volunteer council board — and not the professionals.  The priorities of units, like the 30-girl Troop I am Scoutmaster of, is to vigorously provide an outdoor program and, while there, foster leadership and self-sustainable among young people.  I think volunteers do an excellent job at the unit level no matter the status of the unit —because we are usually doing the best we can with available recourses.  It is striking just how many of the above comments stray so far from these fundamental priorities.    
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