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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/12/19 in all areas

  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. 6 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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! "
  8. 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.
  9. 5 points
    The statement you posted says: That's because they got outed in 2018:
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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?
  14. 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.
  15. 4 points
    Kind of sad. My best friend growing up had two older brothers, so he had a stack of Boys Life magazines that dated back into the 50's. We used to lay on his bedroom floor for hours reading Boys Life and Mad magazines. We almost bought the Hovercraft plans in the back of the magazine. We had a 3.5 horse Briggs and Stratton waiting to be used for the hovercraft or minibike. We ended up getting into scuba and joined a Scuba Explorer Post instead. Scuba had the girls in bikini's that the hovercraft would never had attracted. Barry
  16. 4 points
    defcon 1 here at the office. Phones are unplugged and doors are locked. We are sacrificing the interns (kidding of course)
  17. 4 points
    I'm curious. Other than what you think National has handled incorrectly, what do you want from National that they are not providing? What "more" do you want? This argument has come and gone. Scouts is not the holder of some specific moral code (and I'm not sure it ever should have been). Why are you so opposed to gay youth and scouters? Should those youth not have the opportunity to experience scouting? Has the BSA forced you to accept scouters you didn't want as leaders in your troop? The girl thing is decided, get over it. No one is forcing you to lead girls. Again, outdoor emphasis works best at the UNIT level. No one is keeping your troop from hiking, camping, canoeing, repelling, and what ever else you want to do. Real men? Are real men only interested in the outdoors? Are men (young and old) who are interested in other things less real men? I kind of hope the BSA runs people with your attitude out. It certainly isn't helping.
  18. 4 points
    Yes! Our district made it a weekend camping program. We had 6 scouts complete the radio merit badge and 4 begin pioneering. We are in NJ and we connected to folks, some scouts, in Maine, Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Canada and Germany. It was open to cubs, scouts and venturers. It was cold, but lots of fun!
  19. 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.
  20. 4 points
    Leave? No. I’m going to be right where I am, as CC of my daughter’s troop until she ages out, then working with my sons’ Cub pack as they get older. The program is solid at its core. I’ll take care of my local kids and they’ll have a great time. National can do whatever National does, and it doesn’t affect the day-to-day unit program a whole heck of a lot. I do agree that Cubs has gotten far, far too long. If my boys join, they’ll be waiting until Tiger or more probably Wolf. Lions is pretty ridiculous. There are only so many times you can visit the police station and go pumpkin-picking and play fitness games over five years to complete what are basically the same achievements. I understand that the pros did it to scoop kids up sooner and compete with toddler T-ball and preschool soccer - but sports are seeing youth burnout as well! Kids’ interests change and they get bored.
  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
    Wow, wow, wow, another price increase. I think it's pretty obvious that the BSA is not doing very well as an orgination managed by a central entity. It would appear that many many negative influences have risen up and the BSA is having a hard time dealing with them. I see that it has become very corporate and has lost focus on why people join scouting and why they stay around. At this time of the year the big focus is on growth and developing new units. Then popcorn season, .......and the cycle continues. I would suggest that the BSA think about an entirely different approach. Restructure from the top down. Look at the salaries of the senior executive staff, look at property holdings, look at programs that are not universaly productive, and support what they have and not worry so much about what we want to have. Scouting is changing but it just doesn't have "the draw" that it had when I was a boy; my two sons, both Eagles, dont have the interest that I have; and my grandson, who has to finish his eagle project, has even less interest. It may be that, like so many successful business, the BSA has overextended and just can't make the money needed to sustain it's assets. It may be that thay are having trouble with competing markets. It may be that they underestimated the impact of recent, controversial decisions. It may be that they overpriced themselves to the point that people dont think the product is worth the price anymore. Or, sadly it may be that the business of scouting, along with its values, standards, activities, adventure, oppertunities, and traditions, has simply run it's course like so many extinct organizations. (Gimbles, Wanamakers, JC Penny, Woolworths, Packard, Hudson, D.A.R.E., Dacor, U.S. Divers, Bob's Candy, and this list could go on for pages). I really think that people with a better prospective on business then I have, should reevaluate this whole thing from top to bottom, bottom to tob, and every angle, and reorganize the whole thing and try to save what we have.........before the whole show disappears completely.
  24. 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.
  25. 4 points
    Personally...will hike off into the sunset remembering the good times, content I provided the best program I was able to for the youth in the local unit.