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  2. I'm going to put the Church of Jesus Christ retention rate at 10%. I see an increasing amount of apathy towards BSA involvement, even among those who have been quite enthusiastic about the program in the past. On the adult side, my council reorganized into LDS and community districts last year after the announcement. Every month since, the attendance at roundtable has continuously and visibly dropped. I don't think there were 50 people present this month. Volunteers that three months ago were planning to form a few new troops have since scrapped the idea. As for the youth, many of the Varsity and Venturing-aged boys I was certain were going to finish off their Eagle have since cooled off. The new program still has all the things that interested them in Scouts so why do both? My prediction is a 2-7% decline each year after 2020 as I see no reason for it to change. @allangr1024 I don't feel that being an Eagle Scout has quite the cachet with the general public as it did in the past. I don't have any real polling data but the resumes sub-Reddit has a fair number of posters asking about the value of their Eagle in obtaining a job (https://www.reddit.com/r/resumes/search?q=eagle&restrict_sr=1).
  3. AltadenaCraig

    When was 4th Aim added?

    Well, I'm happy to strongly agree with you on that. I've been thinking hard about why I'm so worked-up about this. @qwazse pointed out the Mission of the BSA hasn't changed, so what's the big deal? That reminded me of what set me off in the first place: The 2019 Guide to Advancement. On the facing page to page one, in large bold print, are two statements: the Mission and the (now four) Aims. Both printed in the same large-bold font, and only these two statements so featured, tells me the BSA places the same value on both. Well then, either the Aims should't be proclaimed so prominently or they shouldn't be trifled-with. And with "Leadership" so close to the "Leadership Development", and by burying the Methods among several paragraphs on GTA p. 11, it raised my doubts about National's commitment to Methods as well. @Eagledad's tale of two Scoutmaster's is cautionary. Our Aims & Methods are what help us identify true-north Scouters from charismatic posers who are simply winging-it.
  4. Today
  5. JosephMD

    Voting discrepancy

    When we do elections, the youth arrowmen on the elections team count the votes. If there is only 1 youth, the adult adviser does a second count. It gets a little crazy. We usually have pre-printed ballots with a place to mark y/n. It is like Florida in the 2000 election some times. Our standard is, if there is any mark that is not clearly an N or the word No in the box, that is not clearly an unintentional extension of the vote above or below, it counts as a yes. The unit doesn't know the vote counts. If I'm the adult adviser for an election, if a scout gets a really low number of votes compared to his peers, I might mention it to the unit leader because it could be a sign of other issues. But I don't tell them, Johnny got 10 votes and Billy got 11, just the names of the scouts who were elected.
  6. qwazse

    When was 4th Aim added?

    Well, here's the problem with the Aims being more than just executive summaries of other literature ... if they are more than that, you will always be left scratching your head about how your program has to change every time BSA rolls out a different version. The addition of leadership is an example. But, let's consider an omission, by taking one item from @Treflienne's quote of B-P's list: "to replace Self with Service" Is that not an an aim? Or is implicitly under character? It certainly falls in most closely with my working definition of leadership, so for me the it's now implicitly more strongly in the Aims than before. But was it ever really out? If you had a scouter who said to every family of every scout "Our aim is to replace Self with Service," would he or she be less effective of a scouter than one who said "Our aim is character, personal fitness, and citizenship?" I don't think an ability to quote the three (or four) currently promoted buzzwords will be a deciding factor. I am glad that aims are separate from methods, because methods are what we have to do with our particular groups. It's nice to know that I don't have to sweat the patrol method with venturers, or that with scouts can be developing leadership whereas venturers should be exercising leadership. It's also nice to know that outdoors isn't a method of cub scouting, but family involvement and serving the community is. When methods change significantly, I think we need to know. I think the YPT hurdles are changing the ability to implement some methods, and that's very sad. On the other hand I'm not sure what harm YPT does the aims, it's not like "make the lads individually efficient" has been explicit for quite some time.
  7. Eagledad

    Skit in Underwear - JCPenny

    Your right. For me the answer was letting the scouts make the wrong decision and then figuring out how to react to their decision, so that I could react better to their next wrong decision, and react even better to their next wrong decision. For us to develop the skills to guide our youth to making the right decisions, we have to allow them to make wrong decisions so we can also practice of the skills of guiding them into making right decisions. A teacher taught my wife and I that lesson when our kids were still very young. His point was that most adults know that youth need to experience their wrong decisions to develop good behavior, but they don't realize that the parents aren't just born with the skills to guide their kids to good behavior, they need to practice those skills to learn them. They need to practice the reactions for guiding their kids to changing their behavior. A good example is my oldest child got a few spankings to correct is bad decisions. My youngest never got one because our skills developed over time. That is why I taught new adult leaders in leadership courses to push their limits of allowing bad behavior. How can they guide scouts to make good decisions if they don't learn the skills of reacting to bad decisions. The best disciplined troops are the ones where scouts had the most freedom to screw up because the adults practiced and learned how to guide them to be accountable to their decisions. I was a troop leader at the same time I was a Webelos Den leader. In comparing Webelos summer camps with Troop summer camps, I found troop leaders don't yell near as much or near as loud a Webelos Den leaders when working with their scouts. Nothing special about troop leaders except that they have more practice with dealing with scouts' bad decisions. It's complex, I know. I'm not explaining it very well. But, I agree with you Parkman. Barry
  8. Sentinel947

    When was 4th Aim added?

    I agree with @Treflienne, @Eagledad, and @AltadenaCraig. The Aims and Methods are more than just fundraising slogans. They are a statement about how the organization works. I also believe they are helpful to orienting new adults to the program. Many new adults focus on advancement or uniforms to the detriment of personal growth and leadership. When I first learned about the Aims and Methods at 18 I found it helpful, although not world altering.
  9. ParkMan

    Skit in Underwear - JCPenny

    Ugh! We want to live the Scout Oath & Law, but we have to trust our scouts to recognize a silly skit from reality. If we can't trust Scouts to make that choice, then I don't think we've accomplished much as a program.
  10. Why not organize the supply area by patrol? ID all equipment by patrol so everything has an owner and a place? If you have a Scout QM use 1 from each troop to focus on G or B patrols. Shared gear like HA tents, pioneering supplies can be split amounst the QMS.
  11. Its better to use symbols or in our troops case colors to represent Patrols so that they can change the name of the patrol if they wish and the gear IDs will still work..
  12. Eagledad

    Trailer Recommendation

    By the way, trailers are easy theft targets. We've had three trailers stolen, and our CO would not let us use their insurance. Insurance companies told us that custom painting the trailer is the best way to deter theft. And while that seems to be working with our newest trailer so far, it doesn't stop them. The bright red custom painted troop trailer down the street was taken in broad daylight. However, I understand why the insurance company recommended custom painting because the SM called the police immediately after passing their trailer be pulled down the street. Barry
  13. Eagledad

    When was 4th Aim added?

    That says it in a nutshell. Treflienne, I look forward to watching your program. Barry
  14. Eagledad

    Trailer Recommendation

    I found that the bigger the trailer, the more it drives the camping part of the troop program. If the patrols find transportation for their own gear, exactly what needs to go into the trailer. I'm not saying don't get a troop trailer, but usually it's the adults that want one to fit their program, not the patrol's program. Barry
  15. fred8033

    Trailer Recommendation

    "If I could go back in time to when I started scouting" ... I'd do what I saw another troop do that I thought was really cool. They found an old broken down medium sized pop-up camper. The gutted it. Removed all the heavy weight junk until it was just a shell. Then, they re-sealed the base and used it as one big portable storage box. The low profile reduced wind drag. Even a minivan could pull their scout trailer. The pop-up camper top was still in-tact. A scout on each end could lift the cover and lock the roof up so they could access the insides. The openness of the trailer promoted completely emptying it. In my experience, large troop trailers become the main storage. Troops carry thousands of pounds of extra stuff to camp that they use once a year. The result is only a guy with a Dodge Ram 25,000 can pull the troop trailer.
  16. Jameson76

    Skit in Underwear - JCPenny

    I am assuming you mean they banned the skit from summer camp performances and council events. That is their event and they can do what they want. What a troop does out in the woods and the mud and dark of the campfire ring is really up to that troop and their interpretation of the guideline of the BSA
  17. Treflienne

    When was 4th Aim added?

    As a new scouter, I found the Aims and Methods helpful as a summary of the current focus of BSA. Yes @qwazse the 3 aims are mostly a restatment of what is in the oath. But (as an outsider) I wanted to know whether the oath was regarded as just a historical relic or whether it was really still emphasized. And really, the aims of citizenship and character development (and even fitness) go back to the beginning, to Baden-Powell. Scouting for Boys, p 337 "Peace Scouting is suggested as an attractive means towards developing character and good citizenship" Aids to Scoutmastership, p21 "The Aim of Scout training is to improve the standard of our future citizenhood, expecially in Character and Health; to replace Self with Service, to make the lads individually efficient, orally and physically, with the object of using that efficiency for service for their fellow-men" And as far as enumerating the methods, it can be a helpful reminder that, for example, the Outdoors is a method not an aim. We are not primarily motivated by producing excellent outdoorsmen, but rather using the outdoors to produce excellent citizens. I did find it a bit jarring when I learned that "Leadership" had also been promoted to an aim.
  18. mrkstvns

    Skit in Underwear - JCPenny

    Micro-management of a troop that way is completely inappropriate. There can be no excuse for anyone at the council level doing such a thing.
  19. mrkstvns

    Trailer Recommendation

    You're right....there aren't many good, solid, objective reviews of cargo trailers around, so probably the best thing is to find local dealers and just go see them in person and evaluate them based on your objective criteria: space, egress, weight, solidity of construction/materials, etc. Don't forget to budget some $$$ to customize the trailer. Most troops like putting logos or slogans on the trailer and most build shelves and boxes into the interior to handle the kinds of equipment you want to carry. Some ideas for trailer customization are in the Bryan on Scouting site: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2013/05/03/trailer-insides/
  20. TMSM

    Skit in Underwear - JCPenny

    Council can ban skits? I think half of our skits could be banned if you applied this kind of logic. German biker gang, scout masters brain, Hanz the german, ugliest human. I could go on and on. For sure now we are keeping the JCPenny skit.
  21. RememberSchiff

    Trailer Recommendation

    @Tpherr welcome to scouter.com
  22. Treflienne

    Scouts BSA implementation for girl troops

    Is there any better way? Alternatives I have seen are: storing everying in a trailer parked at a different location than your meeting place, and storing everything in someone's garage. Both seem worse.
  23. Does anyone have a recommendation on a brand of trailer? We are buying a new trailer for our troop and all the reviews I see for trailer manufacturers are three stars or lower. I prefer to find a site that has objective reviews (like consumer reports) but can’t find any
  24. Treflienne

    Scouts BSA implementation for girl troops

    I agree about patrols having their own gear and being responsible for it. But why not put a wolf on it? or a cobra?
  25. Treflienne

    Scouts BSA implementation for girl troops

    Not necessarily. None of our girls had brothers already in our linked troop. (Several had brothers in several other troops, one of these brothers has since switched to our linked troop.) I forsee more boy-girl sibling pairs in the two troops in the future, as more kids come up from cubs.
  26. Treflienne

    Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

    Assuming that these experienced parents will continue volunteering, it sounds like mostly what you need is more girls -- who will likely come with inexperienced but willing to help out parents. Anecdotes are just that -- but in our troop we have no Venturers, no highschoolers, and no crossovers from cub scouts. Only 6th-8th graders. (Our area did not have early-adopter cub packs.) And yes, about half the girls in the troop are there because they were invited by a friend who was already planning to join the troop. If you want to be sure that the new local girls' troop is conveniently at your CO (and not in the next town) you might not want to wait a year and a half. Do any of the Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts have sisters (age 11 and up) interested in scouts? Has anyone asked? (All the troops/packs in our school district did this for us, and yes it turned up girls.) And if the interested 11-14-year old girls only have dads willing to camp, and not moms willing to camp, you could consider double-registering with the new girls troop, and occasionally camping with them.
  27. bsaggcmom

    Skit in Underwear - JCPenny

    Our council banned this skit a few years back citing that it glorified bullying and hazing both of which are not allowed in scouts. My guys (cubs and scouts) used to loved JC Penney and centa-peed. They can't do them anymore. It's ashame adults have to ruin kids fun. Kids think bodily functions are hilarious, too bad the up tight PC adults won't let kids be kids. We're raising a generation of hypersensitive kids, I'm scared of the thought of these soon to be adults running the world in my old and grey days.
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    • I'm going to put the Church of Jesus Christ retention rate at 10%. I see an increasing amount of apathy towards BSA involvement, even among those who have been quite enthusiastic about the program in the past. On the adult side, my council reorganized into LDS and community districts last year after the announcement. Every month since, the attendance at roundtable has continuously and visibly dropped. I don't think there were 50 people present this month. Volunteers that three months ago were planning to form a few new troops have since scrapped the idea. As for the youth, many of the Varsity and Venturing-aged boys I was certain were going to finish off their Eagle have since cooled off. The new program still has all the things that interested them in Scouts so why do both? My prediction is a 2-7% decline each year after 2020 as I see no reason for it to change.   @allangr1024 I don't feel that being an Eagle Scout has quite the cachet with the general public as it did in the past. I don't have any real polling data but the resumes sub-Reddit has a fair number of posters asking about the value of their Eagle in obtaining a job (https://www.reddit.com/r/resumes/search?q=eagle&restrict_sr=1).
    • Well, I'm happy to strongly agree with you on that. I've been thinking hard about why I'm so worked-up about this.  @qwazse pointed out the Mission of the BSA hasn't changed, so what's the big deal?  That reminded me of what set me off in the first place:  The 2019 Guide to Advancement.  On the facing page to page one, in large bold print, are two statements: the Mission and the (now four) Aims.  Both printed in the same large-bold font, and only these two statements so featured, tells me the BSA places the same value on both.  Well then, either the Aims should't be proclaimed so prominently or they shouldn't be trifled-with. And with "Leadership" so close to the "Leadership Development", and by burying the Methods among several paragraphs on GTA p. 11, it raised my doubts about National's commitment to Methods as well. @Eagledad's tale of two Scoutmaster's is cautionary.  Our Aims & Methods are what help us identify true-north Scouters from charismatic posers who are simply winging-it.
    • When we do elections, the youth arrowmen on the elections team count the votes.  If there is only 1 youth, the adult adviser does a second count.  It gets a little crazy.  We usually have pre-printed ballots with a place to mark y/n.  It is like Florida in the 2000 election some times.  Our standard is, if there is any mark that is not clearly an N or the word No in the box, that is not clearly an unintentional extension of the vote above or below, it counts as a yes.  The unit doesn't know the vote counts.  If I'm the adult adviser for an election, if a scout gets a really low number of votes compared to his peers, I might mention it to the unit leader because it could be a sign of other issues.  But I don't tell them, Johnny got 10 votes and Billy got 11, just the names of the scouts who were elected. 
    • Well, here's the problem with the Aims being more than just executive summaries of other literature ... if they are more than that, you will always be left scratching your head about how your program has to change every time BSA rolls out a different version. The addition of leadership is an example. But, let's consider an omission, by taking one item from @Treflienne's quote of B-P's list: "to replace Self with Service" Is that not an an aim? Or is implicitly under character? It certainly falls in most closely with my working definition of leadership, so for me the it's now implicitly more strongly in the Aims than before. But was it ever really out? If you had a scouter who said to every family of every scout "Our aim is to replace Self with Service," would he or she be less effective of a scouter than one who said "Our aim is character, personal fitness, and citizenship?" I don't think an ability to quote the three (or four) currently promoted buzzwords will be a deciding factor. I am glad that aims are separate from methods, because methods are what we have to do with our particular groups. It's nice to know that I don't have to sweat the patrol method with venturers, or that with scouts can be developing leadership whereas venturers should be exercising leadership. It's also nice to know that outdoors isn't a method of cub scouting, but family involvement and serving the community is. When methods change significantly, I think we need to know. I think the YPT hurdles are changing the ability to implement some methods, and that's very sad. On the other hand I'm not sure what harm YPT does the aims, it's not like "make the lads individually efficient" has been explicit for quite some time.
    • Your right. For me the answer was letting the scouts make the wrong decision and then figuring out how to react to their decision, so that I could react better to their next wrong decision, and react even better to their next wrong decision.  For us to develop the skills to guide our youth to making the right decisions, we have to allow them to make wrong decisions so we can also practice of the skills of guiding them into making right decisions. A teacher taught my wife and I that lesson when our kids were still very young. His point was that most adults know that youth need to experience their wrong decisions to develop good behavior, but they don't realize that the parents aren't just born with the skills to guide their kids to good behavior, they need to practice those skills to learn them. They need to practice the reactions for guiding their kids to changing their behavior. A good example is my oldest child got a few spankings to correct is bad decisions. My youngest never got one because our skills developed over time.  That is why I taught new adult leaders in leadership courses to push their limits of allowing bad behavior. How can they guide scouts to make good decisions if they don't learn the skills of reacting to bad decisions. The best disciplined troops are the ones where scouts had the most freedom to screw up because the adults practiced and learned how to guide them to be accountable to their decisions.  I was a troop leader at the same time I was a Webelos Den leader. In comparing Webelos summer camps with Troop summer camps, I found troop leaders don't yell near as much or near as loud a Webelos Den leaders when working with their scouts. Nothing special about troop leaders except that they have more practice with dealing with scouts' bad decisions. It's complex, I know. I'm not explaining it very well. But, I agree with you Parkman. Barry
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