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  2. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    I agree, dialogue with professionals and the volunteers is an absolute must. But have we seen any movement in that direction? Especially by the pros? We've got multiple examples right here on the forums of pros not listening to the unit level leaders. Given the crisis at hand (and I don't think I'm overstating the case by calling it such), I'd thought there would be a concerted effort to rally everybody, display at least a little transparency, cut some costs where needed. I haven't seen or heard anything aside from boilerplate PR messages. I believe in the professional scouter corps. One of my favorite mentors was a DE who also served as waterfront director where I staffed as a youth. He was both professional and personal, honest, and displayed respect for all, from the newest Tenderfoot to the most seasoned scoutmaster. What we don't need are the bloated committees (hey districts, you need four different membership chairs now!), bean counting everything (quantity over quality) and much of the mile wide/inch deep stuff that has permeated the BSA. Yes, there is a necessary corporate aspect to scouting. Always has been and it is still needed. But it has lost touch with its customer base and its best selling product. That to me is the single biggest issue I have with the culture of professional scouting in the BSA. Individually, I've met many a great pro. Others...not so much.
  3. ParkMan

    Where would you go?

    I agree that there are things that National can do better. But, as a long time leader I don't think this is all national's fault. Little of the costs that we incur in Scouting are directly nationally impacted. Yes, we could get cheaper awards. Yes, we could have lower national fees. But, as we talked earlier in the thread, about 17% of our parents spending went to national fees. Add awards to that and maybe it's 25%. At the Scouts BSA level, it's even less - 7% in national fees. Maybe that amount again in awards. If we look around at other things - cost has gone up everywhere. In part this is because our society expects more today than they did 50 years ago. Homes are more developed, cars have more features. Look at parks, stadiums, schools, etc... facilities everywhere have become more developed. I've watched scouts scrape by with bad gear and have a miserable time - cooking stoves that don't work, pans that stick, tents that leak. I wager a guess that gear today costs more, but when adjusted for inflation isn't any more expensive than what I had as a kid. If we're talking about re-doing the BSA, I believe this has to be a conversation the involves both professionals and volunteers. Volunteers are going to have to take on more ownership for program and recruiting. I live in a mid sized city. We have one professional. I'm sure if given the choice our local volunteers would love to not pay for him. So, if we start cutting back professional staff, who's going to facilitate growth? Are we just going to stop worrying about growth? What happens when the Scouts in my city drop by 50%?
  4. HashTagScouts

    Where would you go?

    Good analogy. Another that helps to grasp it- in many states, an accident/moving violation on your driving record will stay for 5 years, 10 years (depends on your state laws) as long as you stay accident/moving violation free. Get into another accident/receive another moving violation in that time, your costs will increase all over again. You don't typically see a massive cost drop after that 5/10 years has passed, you just don't see a drastic increase on the next renewal.
  5. TAHAWK

    Supporting the Patrol Method - as Unit Commissioner

    I note with interest the centrality of JTE in the UC's assessment role. "Patrol method" is one category for JTE scoring points. Yet JTE gives no points for actually using the Patrol Method. You can score "Gold" if the PLC plans nothing and the patrols do nothing. One "Gold'""winner" for 2016 with which I am familiar, had PLs (wearing the patch) who could not say which patrol they were in. They had no actual leadership responsibility - apparently wore the patch for POR purposes so the troop could churn out "Eagles." Even troop games ("Time for recess," the SM would announce.) were 1s vs 2s. The UC for that unit only attended Eagle courts of "honor." Scoutmaster is also the defacto unit CC. He was council "Scoutmaster of the Year' for 2011. Down the road in the next town was a "Scout-run troop," whose Scouts, I was told, had "no time" for any patrol activities whatsoever. At least the PLC was given a menu of adult-choices for campouts and really got to pick from those choices - except summer camp ("Too important for kids to choose."). They had patrol contests. SPL ran the meetings. PLs or ASPLs were assigned by the SM to run piece-parts of meetings, , although the SM would regularly interject emphatically if things got messy . ("We have our standards," he related.) I saw six meetings. Each was the same sequence of elements: opening; half hour of adult announcements; Scoutcraft instruction by an adult; game; more announcements; closing; PLC run by SM or ASM. JTE could actually encourage use of the Patrol Method.
  6. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    Thanks for the insights, @HashTagScouts. I've always felt that the proposed bankruptcy/sunny days ahead was more or less pie in the sky. Right now the BSA, as an organization, is like that person with a low credit rating that needs to buy a car, but is going to have to accept whatever interest rate and conditions from wherever they can get the loan. Long term grim.
  7. HashTagScouts

    Where would you go?

    In agreement that the cub program has become overbearing. I lamented that my son had no interest at cub age, thought he was missing out. Got interested in W2 age, but ultimately heard that the DL was not organized, and the kids/parents were just sticking it out to get to crossover so I held him off until he could do troop. As he got into troop, and I learned what was involved in cubs (was it two fingers now, or three? Law of the Pack isn't a thing anymore? And AoL is a program year itself now?), I didn't regret he didn't join. I've thrown it out in other threads- the BSA seems to care more now about cubs than 'Scouts BSA' sadly. I'm also greatly concerned on those posting that "we'll go through bankruptcy, and all will be fine". Uh, my actuary co-workers would beg to differ on any interpretation that risk mitigation is greater because of a bankruptcy. The future insurance costs are going to be based on the risk to underwrite the program based off the sins of the past, regardless of how much $$$ BSA ends up having to pay in settlements. This new background check process is absolutely an attempt to stave off risk costs. I won't at all be surprised if we see greater age restrictions coming in the next year on shooting sports, climbing, and high adventure. I fear immensely that BSA is going to do what it feels it has to do to keep risk related factors in check to help with costs.
  8. Pale Horse

    Where would you go?

    The solution to that is, don't do 4 fundraisers. Do one and do it right. Plan big, hit your goal and be done with it.
  9. Eagle94-A1

    Where would you go?

    Vintage uniforms are allowed. My youngest was in Blue after the June 1, 2015 date. Only reason he switch over to tan and green prior to Cross Over was his older brother outgrew his uniform and sold it to him. As for slides, one thing we did as a pack was give them paracord Turks' Head woggles. For the price of 1 metal BSA slide, I could make 25-30 slides.
  10. Today
  11. Cubmaster Pete

    Where would you go?

    Its become a money grab, IMHO. Pack funds should be spent on other things. I let the Webelos stay in blue if they wanted, it's not my job to convince them they need a new uniform. It's my job to provide a good program at a reasonable cost. I never required someone to get a hat OR new slide. I'm just happy they show up.
  12. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    I'm also thinking of the new neckerchief slides, etc., that go along with each new cub rank. I recall we had one slide/hat/neckerchief for Bobcat/Wolf/Bear. Webs was a big deal--new slide/hat/neckerchief. Plus the colors on the right sleeve. Uniforming seemed simpler.
  13. malraux

    Where would you go?

    Looking at what other countries do, it seems like they split off k-2 and 3-5 into two different programs. If we are to have a k-12 program, that really ought to be a goal, IMO. Breaking those two out would greatly improve the ability to do fun stuff with the 3-5 kids. More hiking, camping, outdoors, without as much worry about kids being ready. Trying to set standards for activities for all kids k-5 is really tough.
  14. Cubmaster Pete

    Where would you go?

    And don't get me started on awards costs... we spent $400 on belt loops last season. Sorry, that's insanity for something that doesn't fit thru the belt loops well, and they don't end up wearing the belt half the time anyways because they can't put it on. Beads were much cheaper, and did the job just as well.
  15. fred8033

    Where would you go?

    I hugely agree. The Cub Scout program is killing Boy Scouts. Absolutely. I've taken four sons through the program. In hind sight, I'd never last in the new Kindergarten Lion program. I'd easily ditch the 1st and 2nd grade scouting years. Maybe do 3rd. Fourth is a good time to plug in. Boy Scouts definitely. But this whole idea of kindergarten through 5th grade for cub scouts ? It's ridiculous and it's killing excitement before Boy Scouts where the kids really benefit. Scouting should start when you can teach and trust scouts with fire, knives, archery, tenting and the traditional outdoor program. That's what sells scouting. Until you can trust them with fire and knives, let them kick a soccer ball or play organized t-ball.
  16. Cubmaster Pete

    Where would you go?

    I was in for the beginning of Tigers, but I dont remember much of it because Tigers was in its infancy. There is too much repetition over the years, too much doing the same crap. And some if that crap is BORING. The kids want to be outside, exploring. Current program does not do enough of that. Oh it's there, but just not enough.
  17. Agreed. BSA doesn't benefit from fighting this. Let them have their spotlight. Move on. IMHO, it's a petty move by the family and damages all who touch it.
  18. Eagle94-A1

    Where would you go?

    Add in Cub Family camping, and it could potentially be longer. My youngest has been camping in the Scouting program since he was 20 months.
  19. I think any attempts by BSA to legally squelch her so-called board of review would just give Ireland more gasoline to throw on her "BSA is systematically oppressing me" fire. If Ireland has no problem with inventing her own illegitimate EBOR and claiming it was done correctly, she might as well just buy a Eagle patch off e-bay. In other news, I've awarded myself a sixth bead this morning.
  20. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    Pete, I've been long convinced that the cub program is going to be one of the leading causes of the BSA's failure to thrive. The cub program, as I went through it, was this: Bobcat/Wolf/Bear: Okay cubs, you've got 2 years [for all three ranks] to learn how to get along with people and do some age appropriate stuff. Webelos: 1 year! You've got 1 year to grow up and get ready to join a troop! See that troop over there? Hiking, backpacking, building big signal towers, cooking delicious food on fire? That's what's in store. And no slacking! Now cubs is a several year slog. I've heard that the pros are pondering why there is such a big drop out rate after cubs. Apparently over half of the kids decide to drop after crossover. The best reason I've heard came from a scout. We're at a district function. I'm setting up some food, and I heard two scouts talking about their tenure in scouting. One said to the other "Do you know how long I've been doing this crap?"
  21. Cubmaster Pete

    Where would you go?

    Yep, lost its way. The program is not what it used to be. My W2 leader and I had that conversation this summer at our pack campout. They won't be bridging over to Scouts BSA. That's not the only reason, but one if them. Here is the rub, other programs like BPSA-US are still doing it the old, traditional scouting way. And the BSA is the heritage organization, and it doesn't look like that at all. It's frustrating and damn near impossible to support and organization that, apparently, doesn't have the willingness to change...or just can't. I'm tempted to ditch the current Cub advancement program, dig out the old stuff, and use that instead. What are they gonna do, fire me?
  22. RememberSchiff

    Interesting observation - rank advancement

    Not sure of the legal options, but can the BSA 1. obtain a cease and desist order against the New York assembly member and others from holding fraudulent BOR's? 2. Revoke memberships of any scouts and scouters knowingly participating in fraudulent BOR's?
  23. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    I agree! I'll also throw in Coca Cola and Old Spice after shave. To get Coke with the decent taste of yesteryear (not the cocaine-infused formula, I'm talking 60s/70s), you've got to buy the product bottled in Mexico. Old Spice, after decades of success, changed its after shave formula and it's not even close to the original. Companies make excuses of various kinds. But sales and customer loyalty falter. As for the BSA, it has tried for decades to tinker and stray away with its original formula. Without much success. Being outdoors is timeless, and it shouldn't cost a bundle to be there.
  24. 5thGenTexan

    Where would you go?

    Maybe BSA is like Butterfinger. The name is there, the product appears to be there, but when you take a bite its just not there anymore. And all the loyal Butterfinger fans are abandoning the product. (Nestle sold off Butterfinger and the new ones are NASTY)
  25. Not to be all technical, pretty sure some of the basics were not covered. Maybe the middle on, they all looked over 21, not sure that have an understanding of the rank. - if conducted at the unit level, at least one district or council representative, who is not affiliated with the unit, must serve as a member. If the unit requests it, more than one may do so. - There shall be no fewer than three and no more than six members, all at least 21 years old. They need not be on an advancement committee or registered with the Boy Scouts of America, but they must have an understanding of the rank and the purpose and importance of the review. This holds true for Eagle boards of review held in any unit, whether troop, crew, or ship. - A board of review shall not occur until after the local council has verified the application. In the case of a board of review under disputed circumstances, the council must verify all the information that is not in dispute before the board of review is scheduled
  26. I suspect she knows why national won't give her a EBoR yet, because once you finish the EBoR, you're an eagle, and national want to make sure that no one can claim to be first.
  27. RememberSchiff

    Interesting observation - rank advancement

    The article I read including photo of EBOR. https://patch.com/new-york/southampton/young-woman-takes-next-step-eagle-scout-rank-despite-pushback "Those present for her Board of Review were NOW-NYC President Sonia Ossorio, Scout Leader Jim Nedelka, Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, NOW-NYC Board Chair, Judi Polson, and Taylor Abbruzzese, MSW, she said."
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  • Posts

    • I agree, dialogue with professionals and the volunteers is an absolute must.  But have we seen any movement in that direction?  Especially by the pros?  We've got multiple examples right here on the forums of pros not listening to the unit level leaders. Given the crisis at hand (and I don't think I'm overstating the case by calling it such), I'd thought there would be a concerted effort to rally everybody, display at least a little transparency, cut some costs where needed.  I haven't seen or heard anything aside from boilerplate PR messages. I believe in the professional scouter corps.  One of my favorite mentors was a DE who also served as waterfront director where I staffed as a youth.  He was both professional and personal, honest, and displayed respect for all, from the newest Tenderfoot to the most seasoned scoutmaster. What we don't need are the bloated committees (hey districts, you need four different membership chairs now!), bean counting everything (quantity over quality) and much of the mile wide/inch deep stuff that has permeated the BSA.  Yes, there is a necessary corporate aspect to scouting.  Always has been and it is still needed.  But it has lost touch with its customer base and its best selling product.  That to me is the single biggest issue I have with the culture of professional scouting in the BSA.  Individually, I've met many a great pro.  Others...not so much.
    • I agree that there are things that National can do better.  But, as a long time leader I don't think this is all national's fault. Little of the costs that we incur in Scouting are directly nationally impacted.  Yes, we could get cheaper awards.  Yes, we could have lower national fees.  But, as we talked earlier in the thread, about 17% of our parents spending went to national fees. Add awards to that and maybe it's 25%.  At the Scouts BSA level, it's even less - 7% in national fees.  Maybe that amount again in awards. If we look around at other things - cost has gone up everywhere.  In part this is because our society expects more today than they did 50 years ago. Homes are more developed, cars have more features.  Look at parks, stadiums, schools, etc... facilities everywhere have become more developed.  I've watched scouts scrape by with bad gear and have a miserable time - cooking stoves that don't work, pans that stick, tents that leak.  I wager a guess that gear today costs more, but when adjusted for inflation isn't any more expensive than what I had as a kid. If we're talking about re-doing the BSA, I believe this has to be a conversation the involves both professionals and volunteers.  Volunteers are going to have to take on more ownership for program and recruiting.  I live in a mid sized city.  We have one professional.  I'm sure if given the choice our local volunteers would love to not pay for him.  So, if we start cutting back professional staff, who's going to facilitate growth?  Are we just going to stop worrying about growth?  What happens when the Scouts in my city drop by 50%?
    • Good analogy.  Another that helps to grasp it- in many states, an accident/moving violation on your driving record will stay for 5 years, 10 years (depends on your state laws) as long as you stay accident/moving violation free.  Get into another accident/receive another moving violation in that time, your costs will increase all over again.  You don't typically see a massive cost drop after that 5/10 years has passed, you just don't see a drastic increase on the next renewal.   
    • I note with interest the centrality of JTE in the UC's assessment role.    "Patrol method" is one category for  JTE scoring points.  Yet JTE gives no points for actually using the Patrol Method.  You can score "Gold" if the PLC plans nothing and the patrols do nothing.  One "Gold'""winner" for 2016 with which I am familiar, had PLs  (wearing the patch) who could not say which patrol they were in.  They had no actual leadership responsibility - apparently wore the patch for POR purposes so the troop could churn out "Eagles."  Even troop games ("Time for recess," the SM would announce.) were 1s vs 2s.  The UC for that unit only attended Eagle courts of "honor."   Scoutmaster is also the defacto unit CC.  He was council "Scoutmaster of the Year' for 2011.   Down the road in the next town was a "Scout-run troop," whose Scouts, I was told, had "no time" for any patrol activities whatsoever.  At least the PLC was given a menu of adult-choices for campouts and really got to pick from those choices - except summer camp ("Too important for kids to choose.").  They had patrol contests. SPL ran the meetings.  PLs or ASPLs were assigned by the SM to run piece-parts of meetings, , although the SM would  regularly interject emphatically if things got messy .  ("We have our standards," he related.)  I saw six meetings.  Each was the same sequence of elements: opening; half hour of adult announcements; Scoutcraft instruction by an adult; game; more announcements; closing; PLC run by SM or ASM. JTE could actually encourage use of the Patrol Method.
    • Thanks for the insights, @HashTagScouts.  I've always felt that the proposed bankruptcy/sunny days ahead was more or less pie in the sky. Right now the BSA, as an organization, is like that person with a low credit rating that needs to buy a car, but is going to have to accept whatever interest rate and conditions from wherever they can get the loan.  Long term grim.  
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