If we change Scouting away from outdoor skills and leadership what does it become? At what point is the program competing with any other after school club? The SM in OP needs to hold the line and make the Scouts do the work. The program is here to develop outdoor skills, leadership, and imbue civic responsibility.
I guess the question I have to people who are also seeing a drop off in the outdoor program participation, are you seeing a drop off in civic participation? Do people see units with empty leadership positions?
I think this sort of reinforces what some other posters have commented concerning how a niche subset is drawn to this. It's amazing that there is a 25 member Explorer Post; however, this sort of goes along the lines of the indoors kids doing indoors kid stuff. This would have blown my socks off if it had been the Senior Patrol of some random Troop.
I think going to a Venture Patrol/combined with the Senior Patrol might be the most practical; however, what about the Order of the Arrow absorbing Venturing to some degree?
So hear me out, this is a longshot, OA is struggling to engage it's current membership, and to gain new membership. OA due to cultural appropriation etc ... is changing a lot and losing part of what makes it unique amongst Scouting. So what if OA absorbs venturing to become the new fellowship part of OA and makes people really look at wanting to become an OA member to get the benefit of having lodge based co-ed programing that exists past age 18?
The simple answer is that BSA needs to stay out of the gun control debate because BSA is a non-partisan, non-profit.
However, since you bring the topic up. There is no good gun legislation, period. We literally have the 2nd amendment because our former government tried to take our guns away while they had their boot on our necks. Here's an idea, BSA should reform the duty to country education in our programs to actually teach why George Washington, while considering himself a loyal British citizen turned his back on the crown, and led the Continental Army in a revolt.
We can also look internationally to see why having an armed population is good (all the Ukranian civilians fighting back against the Russian Army). We can also look at the first thing despots do to an armed population (when the Taliban just took back control of Afghanistan they didn't force little girls out of schools or force women back into burkas first, they confiscated all the firearms first).
1. Secure, separate firearm and ammunition storage. I do not want to read another story of firearms stolen from a camp.
2. Maybe move to lead-free ammunition and safer cleaning solvents.
3. Increasing cost of equipment, safety devices, ammunition, registration, insurance, licensing (taxes) may end BSA Firearms programs.
All that said, I worry more about armed criminals entering a scouting event.