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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/17/19 in Posts

  1. 7 points
    A lot lot lot of focus on Cubs. Looking on my council website; picture of a Cub, Lots of Cub Training, Lot of Spook-o-ree stuff. When they put in Tiger Cubs in 82, a good number of us thought that was a bit much. As many have noted, Cubs is less a fun program and more of a slog. We have had many boys over the years that bailed on Cubs / Webelos but came into Scouts. They were just tired of the same thing over and over. Input also is that 5th graders are not really into the family camping, they want to build fires and tell crude jokes The BSA's strength and distinction in the market place is the Outdoor Focus. If a unit does this, they will recruit and retain Scouts. The STEM stuff, Schools do it better. Duty to God, the Church youth groups likely has the better program. Leadership and independent thinking, learning life skills outdoors, yeah, THAT is what we do and what we SHOULD be focusing on. National is doing it's level best to limit the risk and activities, but many units plunge ahead. They have also WAAAAY over sold the Eagle rank. Yes it is good and yes it is a long term project, but that is not WHY we are running units, that is not the reason. Ranks advancement is a by product of good program, not the reason for it.
  2. 6 points
    So for good news from this weekend. We are a small, one patrol troop. The SM had some serious concerns about the patrol as they were your typical Scouts: having fun, not focused on practicing for the events, etc. But he followed Green Bar Bill's adage: "Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!" Over the past 2 months as they prepped, he had some major concerns, and thought he was setting them up to fail. Took all of his self control not to step in. And to his credit he did not interfere. At camporee, our Scouts had no adults following them around events. In fact we saw them only at 2 events the entire weekend: the event our adults were running, and the one right next to us. The success or failure of the weekend was all on them. They came in 3rd overall. And that was with one event they were DQed from for safety issues. They built a catapult at camp, using a shovel as part of the arm instead of some type of basket end. Scouts will surprise you , if you let them.
  3. 6 points
    This just in from my Coucil. (Circle 10) https://circleten.ihubapp.org/posts/34541/the-national-executive-board-of-the-bsa-just-approved-a-new-membership-fee?fbclid=IwAR3XPx25zXr6Caf_KUgxzGXLJ4MKX1tpT023gvKAPuf51Jx9DF3BUTiWTjg Beginning with the 2020 recharter (due December 31, 2019) the following fees will be collected by the National Council (no portion will remain within the Circle Ten Council): Cub Scout, Scouts BSA, Venturing youth - $60 Exploring youth - $36 Stem youth - $250 Adults - $36 Unit Charter Fee - $60
  4. 6 points
    @Mrjeff, I'm tracking with everything you are saying. Along those lines, I was looking through the first edition of the Scout Fieldbook the other day. This printing was circa 1957 if I recall. It prompted some reflection. Scouting used to be focused on the outdoors. Rustic. Two or three blankets could be safety pinned together if you didn't have a sleeping bag. You hiked, chopped wood with an axe, cooked over fire, went swimming, built pioneering projects, etc. There was also a big emphasis on citizenship--US history, civics. Leadership? You bet, but not in a classroom. You learned that OJT as a patrol leader, teaching your patrol members all of the skills necessary to earn first class, practicing for competition at the next troop meeting/camporee, etc.... Though I went through scouting in the '70s, much of this focus was still prevalent. Sure, scouting has always had a cost factor. Dues, uniforms, summer camp, etc. But nothing on the order of what it costs today. Two factors stand out, if I may springboard from your post: 1. Perhaps the BSA has run its course and it's time for the bugler to blow taps. Organizationally, the BSA reminds me of a company that diversified and strayed away from its original core competency. In our case, being outdoors. 2. If we are going to fight to stay relevant, we need to get back to our best selling product: outdoor adventure. And encourage thriftiness. Jettison the "Gucci Gear" mentality. Cease the big push for earning Eagle. Sell off or mothball everything that doesn't help scouts get on the trail, in the campsite, on the lake or atop the mountain peak.
  5. 5 points
    By Larry Geiger on January 25, 2012 in Scoutmastership,The Patrol System Adult leaders often say things like; “I don’t override the boys decisions at all. ” “I asked them what they wanted to do.” “This was their decision.” What most of us fail to recognize is that many of these ‘boy led’ decisions were probably coerced, at least in part, by the presence of adults when they were discussed. It’s not that the adults shined bright lights in their eyes or twisted their arms behind their backs – it is much more subtle than that. When adults are present youth leadership – the Scouting way- is not happening. Say what? You mean when I am in the room listening and not talking I am somehow affecting the outcome of their decision making process? Yes! So I want to suggest that you lead by walking away. Let Me explain: When adults are listening, watching or talking Scouts are instinctively looking for the assent and approval of the adults. This is a result what they do at School and at home; listen to adults and seek their approval. So even if you say absolutely nothing at all your presence is somewhat coercive. It’s not that you are a bad person or anything – it’s just the way things are. So if we are not supposed to be around and not supposed to talk to them and not supposed to watch what they are doing, how do we do our jobs as adult leaders? Excellent question. We use very specific, scheduled, regular, and commonly understood opportunities to interact with youth leadership. Otherwise we leave them alone; alone enough that sometimes we cannot see them or hear them. I have found that one good opportunity to exercise this concept is when patrols go grocery shopping. The Scouts create a menu, estimate how much money they need, schedule a time and place, their parents drop them off and leave them to shop. No adult leaders or parents accompany them into the store. They work totally autonomously until they exit the store after successfully shopping and paying. Are you comfortable with doing something like that? What do you think would happen if you did? No adult is assigning, watching, checking, offering oversight or any other means of interference or intervention. Drop them off at the door and pick them up when they exit the store. Only the patrol leader works with his guys to get it done. A patrol leader given this opportunity is leading; if adults are present he is looking for their approval. In my experience his is true of all Scouts up to around age sixteen or so. Here’s a few of the times when adults and youth leaders talk with one another: 1. Occasional reflections with a senior patrol leader or patrol leader after a Scout meeting. 2. Scoutmaster Conferences. 3. Scoutmaster senior patrol leader two-minute chat before a patrol leader’s council. 4. Scoutmaster’s minute. 5. Troop Leadership Training. This is the Scoutmaster’s show. [BSA says the SPL should help lead the training .] 6. When a senior patrol leader or patrol leader walks over and asks the Scoutmaster a specific question or asks for help. [Note: "senior patrol leader" vs "Scoutmaster. How about "Senior Patrol Leader"?] Here’s times when you should refrain from interacting with youth leadership: 1. During patrol and troop meetings. 2. During patrol leader’s councils. [Even if they ask a question?] 3. During campouts. 4. During the troop annual planning conference. 5. During summer camp at meals/around the picnic table during the day/etc. 6. During patrol shopping trips. 7. During patrol and troop activities when a Scout is in charge. I cannot overemphasize how important it is to realize that when adults are physically present Scouts are looking for approval – not leading. Think about this, think about it a lot; When adults are physically present Scouts are looking for approval – not leading. Start observing how this happens and change the way you do things; I’d be interested to hear the results!
  6. 5 points
    Imagining a young @Eagledad and his Flaming Arrows floating up to the boardwalk intersection, idling the engine, and showting: "Hey, ladies! Throw your tanks on this here hover craft of ours, and we'll get you to that dive site in sixty seconds flat! "
  7. 5 points
    No matter what the registration is for 2020 and beyond, I will continue to work with an inner city pack and troop. The youth need Scouting and I am helping to fulfill their needs.
  8. 5 points
    The statement you posted says: That's because they got outed in 2018:
  9. 5 points
    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.
  10. 5 points
    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.
  11. 5 points
    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.
  12. 4 points
    It was not required, because it WAS, largely THE program. "Scouting is Outing" was the motto. Boy Scouting was camping and hiking. Requiring camping is a valid effort to try and get adults to do what they should be doing voluntarily. That effort peaked, then crashed in 2017. Scouts are growing less as people because we reach so few of them The "bait' as B-P out it was the outdoor program in the patrol context - so different from school and all the other adult-run activities. They can get to computers anywhere. "Sales" are WAY down over the previous "models," but the advocates of what worked are old fogies nostalgic for the good old days. Darn right. It worked, and we will never know if it would still work because our lords and masters don't even know what it was that worked, and "risk management" trumps sales.
  13. 4 points
    There are different priorities at every level of the BSA and every constituency of the BSA. At the National level currently, I would say that its priority is corporate survival. (Not survival of the Scouting program, which can exist at the local level without a national corporate existence.) Corporate survival on a national level is largely a financial issue, but is also a reputational issue: BSA must have a significant, loyal constituency that will not abandon it despite the publication of lurid details of past wrongs committed by Scout leaders. But beyond that, to rebuild, BSA also needs significant public sentiment that it is an American institution worth having -- not because of the good things in its past, not because of what current Scouts will be later in life, but because of what Scouting can contribute right now. Because as a practical matter, making a "we develop character" argument is not particularly effective when you are being publicly flogged for the sexual abuse of youth members. And on the question of public sentiment for keeping BSA around, I think BSA has several hurdles: the notion that Scouting is old-fashioned, saw its best days when Leave it to Beaver was on television, and is out of touch with 21st Century society; negative publicity over many years, with the worst ongoing now; the departure of the LDS church; a vague, aspirational sales pitch ("to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law") that is unlikely to impress a "what have you done for me lately" society; a multi-faceted program that is hard to describe in one sentence (What do Cub Scouts do?); and activities that are often not visible to the public because they take place indoors or out in the woods somewhere. So I would suggest to BSA National that it should be a top priority to show the country that yes, Scouting is not only relevant, but ordinary Scouts are making a difference that people can see now and every day. Not Eagle Scouts walking on the moon in the 1960s. Not business executives and actors and professional athletes who were Scouts. Your neighbor's kid. Your granddaughter. Your son's friend. The kid at the Wendy's drive-thru window. Show the important, concrete contributions that Scouts everywhere are making for the community, the country, and the world. Issues that a lot of people wring their hands over, but that Scouts are working on right now. Things like cleaning up the environment, fighting obesity, collecting food for local food banks, reversing Nature Deficit Syndrome, and being prepared for emergencies like injuries and natural disasters and technology failures.
  14. 4 points
    Pure desperation on the OA's part. The lodge's actions are completely contrary to everything we've be taught about our Order. What would E. Urner Goodman and Carroll Edson say if they saw the OA today?
  15. 4 points
    That is what might happen if you overcorrect to solve problems. Add to it the misunderstanding of many regarding OA and Native American cultures, and you end up with the proverbial milk-toast. I have posted before that the main issue I see is, as you put it, the gimme and no limit elections. But, it is mostly the lack of true mystique due to the fear of "secret societies"and the flack regarding regalia that seems most damaging. Pure lack of pride also often seems present to me. When we old guys were inducted, ceremonies not only had the regalia, but all of the players knew their parts without reading them. Ordeals had consequences if candidates chose to violate the restrictions. I have no answer though. Maybe I am becoming too jaded.
  16. 4 points
    I also taught Woods Tools at IOLS and found one hour challenging just because so many adults were so uncomfortable with handling them. Looking back on the last few generations of adult leader courses, I believe the BSA had it right in the 90's because the basic classes were pretty good a defining the big picture, and WB was advanced teaching skills. Instead of reinventing the courses and their structure, they should have added one day specific skills courses. Each course would spend several hours specifically on Outdoor Tools, First Class First-aid, Cooking, leadership development, Patrol Method, Character development and so on. That would give adults more time on specific skills. Or course there would be the challenge of creating these courses several times a year, but if each district took one month with the purpose of offering it for the whole counsel, then adults could count on the course being offered one every month or two. Barry
  17. 4 points
    Our standard is patrol's setup tarps, they have a table, and a patrol box for each group. They setup patrol gear before they setup tents and tarps. Troop uses a roughly 12 x 16 tarp (available at Home Depot). Typically set up between trees, but the Scouts like to use poles. We looked at actual expandable tarp poles ($15 to $20 each) and bought a bunch of 2" x 2" x 8' lumber (also from Home Depot) for about $2 each. Put a nail in the end and we had tarp poles. The nice thing with the tarps is the Scouts set them up, gives them an area to congregate, if there is rainy / damp weather good to have cover. For backpacking we have a couple of lighter trail tarps Here we are recreating Norman Rockwell's painting.."We Thank Thee O Lord" (Our's is on top, original for reference)
  18. 4 points
    I was looking at one of my Boys Life issue from the 80s. They should be embarrassed by the product they are trying to sell now.
  19. 4 points
    defcon 1 here at the office. Phones are unplugged and doors are locked. We are sacrificing the interns (kidding of course)
  20. 4 points
    After being a leader what have you found out about yourself? District / Council campouts that are packed 8 am to 10 pm with program have shown me I do A LOT of "boredom eating" and sitting. Yesterday over the course of an entire day I walked ten miles only eating at the designated times. I don't need to nap, I don't need to scrounge for candy all day. Big revelation for me really.
  21. 4 points
    I do not agree with the overall negative tenor of comments in this posting. We are in the process of working out our financial, liability, program and membership fails. We have changed more in the last few years than the last couple of decades -- and for the better in my view. We are no longer a cultural punching bag. We are indeed limiting our future liability by tightening-up things and will soon deal with the liability of the Youth Protection fails through the bankruptcy. Our over-reliance on a particular national chartering organization is being replaced by a more-balanced membership effort, including girls. In our council of 13,000 Scouts BSA members, 800 are now girls -- in 75 Troops. That will swell over the next few years as the Troops naturally grow and more troops are added. The program works for girls as-is I am a Scoutmaster of a new 30-girl Troop and know that first-hand. Program? The BSA now has Al Lambert in charge of the bases and program -- he is about the finest outdoor programmer we could ever want at the very top. I'm not some Pollyanna either. I have all the top awards as a youth and served simultaneously in council and national roles for 30 years. I have indeed been in the dark valley and we are no longer in it. We are climbing out to a new and better circumstance and many of the commenters here are just blind to it. If you want to go off and be all alone in the woods with a few kids to have fun, then go do it. I will be with the BSA and that is where we will continue to serve millions of Scouts.
  22. 4 points
    But how large does national need to be? I bet we could improve the program by cutting Irving down to 20 people: 1 Boss to be in charge. SE 1 lawyer. 4 people to keep the lawyer out of the way and in his closet. 2 folks to direct updating the BSH every 5 years and merit badge pamphlets as needed. (Direct: as in soliciting informed volunteers to get together and provide experienced input from boots on the ground.) 1 person in charge of Philmont 1 person in charge of Seabase 1 person in charge of Northern Tier. 1 person in charge of renting out Summit. 1 person helping the less famous HA venues. 2 people ordering uniforms and badges for the Scout Shops. 1 person to refer fund raising offers/donations to the appropriate local councils/ districts. 1 person to answer the phone and forward eMails. 1 ombudsman to make sure that every BSA decision is aimed at getting boys/girls into the Outdoors to experience Nature. 1 expert to answer local questions and augment real world experience into National best practice. 1 person to sweep, empty the trash, and turn out the lights. Fee increase? Shucks; we can reduce fees and deliver an better program. And have fewer assets for money grubbing lawyers to target...
  23. 4 points
    I am not involved in any other activities at school, nor is my wife. The bargain argument of other activities is not relevant to leaders who are looking at a significant increase. From my perspective its not a matter of what it costs my Scout. It will impact our entire family since we are all registered. Right now at $33 we are looking at $132 for all 4 of us, IF they go to $100 a year then we are talking $400 just for National fees before anything else is factored in.
  24. 4 points
    I live in a rural area as well. There aren't many deep pockets around these here parts. Those with resources are bombarded with requests from well-meaning organizations in need of funds. Our community is generous but folks are financially fatigued, in every sense of the phrase.
  25. 4 points
    I spoke with my attorney and he told me that this document is too broad and open ended. I am ok with criminal background checks but this appears to be an agreement allowing the BSA and their employees to look into every aspect and area of my private life (my attorney agrees). I plan to make several pen changes, and have that form notarized before turning it in. I also dont like the idea of them sharing information. I'm a retired Marine and law enforcement officer and held a final top secret security clearance so clearly I have nothing to hide. But I dont think that the BSA should have access to all of my private information.