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  1. 11 points
    LDS units form a HUGE percentage of Scouting units in the Western region especially. States like Idaho, Arizona and Wyoming, and large portions of California and Oregon have exceptionally large numbers of LDS units. I am sorry to hear you have had those kind of experiences, but in all my time Scouting as both a youth and an adult, and having observed the MASSIVE size and rich dynamics of Scouting in thickly LDS areas like Utah and Idaho, I can say confidently that, in the majority of cases both historically and regionally, LDS units are powerhouses both in membership and advancement. The Utah National Parks Council is the largest in Scouting, and they do amazing things there. It's been pointed out already, but for over 100 years the Church has supported and enriched the Scouting program. Don't count on too much crossing over into non-LDS Troops. The new activity program will inevitably be as involving and fulfilling as Scouting has been for the past century, and there will be a huge, worldwide coordinated effort to implement it entirely without leaving much time for Scouting as well, and besides, this new direction will absolutely deliver the same benefits to our youth as Scouting has in the past, so the need to do both will become a redundancy. Now, I am of course looking at this with eyes looking towards a bright future and a heart filled with optimism. But make no mistake - I am also grieving in a way that I cannot even describe with words yet - not that the Church is leaving Scouting; no, we will be fine and carry on as ever - but I am heartbroken that with all these new changes, the Boy Scouts of America, as conceived by Lord Baden-Powell and nurtured and cultivated by the likes of Beard, Seton, West, and Hillcourt - is dead. It is a new, gender-neutral program which will continue to wither away with each concession to popular opinion. And its most powerful of all beliefs, the idea that boys need a program all their own to help them grow into better citizens, leaders, husbands and fathers, has now been made to look as old-fashioned - if not irrelevant - if not even "inequitable." And it's the boys who lose when the rights to their own program are taken from them to make way for the girls who do not learn as they do, and will by necessity bring with them changes to accomidate their unique natures. The BSA has now made a powerful statement - that girls learn just the same as boys, and so they should get to enjoy the same program, which should be made to teach both genders the same. The Church firmly stands by the belief that boys and girls, and men and women, are inherently different from each other, that gender is an eternal part of our divine nature, and that men and women have different needs and learn in different way in order to best fulfil their roles in the family. The Boy Scouts of America has now effectively moved away from this belief which for over a century it fought to protect, and as such, it no longer aligns with what we believe. It will be a bittersweet separation, to be sure. But the Church's doctrines and principles have never changed, while those of the BSA have. I personally am sorry to no end that these changes have been made, and that the program no longer offers the best options for out youth. But they have taken their stand, and now we have to take ours. Mind you - we have until the end of next year before the change, so you still have another 18 months with me! And unlike some others I know, I don't plan to drop off the face of the Scouting planet. It will always be a part of me, and I will always care about how the program continues, even my time and energies will be needed elsewhere.
  2. 11 points
    Three generations of Eagle Scouts happened tonight.
  3. 10 points
    1- Stop driving their existing membership away with ridiculous changes to their core principles in order to be 'liked' by a fickle politically correct group of progressives who HATE what the BSA stood for. 2- Do what they say that they are going to do, and stop changing their 'written in stone' positions every six months. 3- Reduce the redundant CYA paperwork and useless training that drives away seasoned volunteers. 4- Push a program that goes back into the woods. BSA needs to compete against digital and social attractions, not try to emulate them. The outdoors and nature were a solid attraction that boys could find only in scouting. The wilderness is still there, waiting.
  4. 10 points
    Well, that's sort of where I am going with this, and I do not think the "gender correlation" is anywhere near 100% - or more to the point, is not likely to be anywhere near 100% with the girls who are going to join the Cub Scouts or the Whatever (11-17) Scouts. Boys (and girls) are already pretty different just within their own genders. Some are much more athletic than others (and everything in between.) Same thing with their enthusiasm for different parts of the program. (I have seen boys who actually liked the Eagle-required "homework-badges", and liked camping and hiking and backpacking a little less - and vice versa, of course. I will never forget the kid who, at age 15 or so, brought the book "C++ for Dummies" on a camping trip, which I thought was hilarious.) Same thing with their interest in being leaders. (My son was never interested in being THE leader, either as PL or SPL. He was an APL and then his POR's were Den Chief and then Instructor. But there were times he was thrust into being the acting PL or ASPL, and 2 or 3 times, acting SPL, and in my unbiased opinion (ha ha) he did a great job. I thought he was a "natural" leader - he just wasn't that interested in leading.) Same thing with every other part of being a Scout. Girls have the same differences among themselves, although one might speculate that the "average" girl who decides to join the BSA might be more enthusiastic about the more strenuous outdoor activities, and might in general be a little "bolder" (perhaps even "tougher") than the "average" girl in general. Even if one accepts that the "average boy" is different from the "average girl" (and I do), I think that if everybody calms down and just sees what happens, the transition will be smoother - and the pressure to "adjust" or "modify" the "program" will be less - than a lot of people here expect.
  5. 9 points
    I am not at all squeamish about BSA having separate units for boys and girls. I just don't believe it is going to happen. Once these linked units are firmly established, BSA will announce that they no longer see any reason for separate units, and they will all be officially merged into co-ed units. BSA is taking an incremental approach to changing over to co-ed scouting. It has no intention to keep the girl units permanently segregated.
  6. 9 points
    You raise some interesting points that I'd like to address from many years running coed scouts in the UK Will girls being around influence how boys behave? Sort of. And by that I mean in a good way! It doesn't stop boys being boys. The noise and the fart jokes and the banter are still there. It does though take the edge of certain things. You made specific reference to taking a pee. I actually think that is a fantastic example. Whether there are girls around or not I think it would be polite if, while on a hike or a camp, when a scout needs a pee they slip behind a tree or some bushes and do it out of site (and of course downhill from camp and well away from any water supply etc) of other people! Having girls around encourages that kind of polite behaviour. Does it stop the horse play? Certainly not. This is one of the videos on our troop youtube channel. I've always loved it. They didn't realise I was filming till the last few seconds. Shows what the kids are really like with the boys and girls mixed up together. They're just a gang, as patrols and troops were always meant to be. We typically have separate boy and girl tents on camp but half the time they end up mixing up when it actually comes to it. Are boys and girls different? Yes of course they are. They have physical differences they hit pubity at different times, there are some character differences. Is there are an argument for having single sex activities? Yes there is and I fully respect many of those arguments. I think it's particularly strong, for examples, in sport. While I don't think there's a moral reason as such for coed scouting I do actually see it as better that way. Why? Scouts is not an end in itself. We are not taking them camping for the sake of learning to camp, fun though it may be. The outdoors, patrols, hiking, community service, they are just the method by which we are preparing young people for life. And life is coed. The last bastions of male only professions have tumbled with only some specific religious leadership roles remaining. Wherever today's scouts end up working, whatever profession or vocation they go into, it will almost certainly be coed. When they go to work they won't be separated, when they go to university they won't be separated. So why separate them now? Learn how to manage or be managed by someone of the opposite sex when they 12 and it becomes less of a problem when they are 22.
  7. 9 points
    Well, our 83 year old Pack just had our first girl den meeting... and I believe the Earth is still rotating. No media present but we did have some pictures taken of the girls. Most were in uniform and no skorts. Overall it was a lot calmer than a boy den meeting. We have 3 den leaders working the 3 separate age groups present. All of us we experienced in the Pack and we remarked that we need to prepare more as the girls got through the material more quickly than we planned. That could be due to smaller groups, but they were also a bit more focused. Several of the girls were talking about getting friends to join, so we will see if this grows before the fall. The skit I planned to work with them on was a failure (it dealt with fake spitting into buckets but the young ones didn’t quite pull off the fake part and and kept spitting on me). There may me some media (all optional) later in the week as we are one of a few Packs in the area doing the early adopter program. I’m greatful that our council let us run a standard den meeting without pushing for media access and the TV cameras I’ve seen in other markets. They were very hands off and simply thanked us for taking this on.
  8. 8 points
    IMO, if there is "no gender" in Scouting, USA then the uniform - shirts and pants style should be the same for all.
  9. 8 points
    If this was a different thread, on a different topic, I might tend to agree with some of the statements that I have read here about retention. I cannot agree with them in the context of this thread and this topic. When scouting loses a large number of boys, en masse, because a Chartering Organization pulls out of scouting, it is not the fault of unit scouters. It was not a failure of the unit scouters when a Catholic diocese dropped out, it is not a failure of the unit scouters that LDS is dropping out, and it will not be a failure of the unit scouters when the next big group drops out.
  10. 8 points
    There are a great many of adults in our district that think Woodbadge is BSA4Adults. Barry
  11. 8 points
    My son will be a Scout, like I was in the 80s and 90s, at least in how I referred to myself, how my parents and friends referred to us, etc. We were "scouts", our leaders called us "scouts", they addressed us, instructed us, woke us up, yelled at us, got us in line, as "scouts" ("Scouts, gather 'round," "Scouts line up!" "Scouts, attention," "Scouts, rise and shine!"). I don't care if officially he'll never be a "Boy Scout". The name is the least important part of the program for me. All that matters is what he becomes as a result of going through it.
  12. 8 points
    ... physical evidence to prove that we—a rogue, high-adventure Boy Scouts of America Explorer troop of teenage girls in the 1970s—existed. As a group, we hiked the Appalachian Trail, paddled more than 1,000 miles of rivers in the Carolinas, and climbed some of the highest peaks in the Smokies on horseback. My quest was spurred by the October announcement from the BSA that it would begin accepting girls as Cub and Eagle scouts for the first time in its 107-year history. The media trumpeted that the gender barrier was falling, but I knew the Girl Rangers brought it down more than 48 years ago... Interesting article with photos. https://www.outsideonline.com/2300691/lost-legend-girl-rangers
  13. 8 points
    One of the grandkids explained it to me tonight. She always has dinner with us before going to Religious Education on Wednesday evenings. She doesn't play with "Magic" cards, but she knows about them. She has a completely different take on the issue. She thinks that those of us who are opposed to having girls in boy scouting should embrace the idea of boys playing nerdy fantasy card games at scout campouts. Nothing could be more effective at keeping the girls out.
  14. 8 points
    Boy did I ever derail this thread. Back on topic, my daughter earned her Bobcat last night.
  15. 8 points
    I think we're way off topic at this point, but on the subject of advancement... It kind of seems like no matter what pace a kid takes, it will bother someone. Go too fast and you're missing out on the journey. Go too slow and earn eagle in the 11th hour before turning 18 and they didn't take it seriously, didn't plan ahead, procrastinated, etc., etc., etc. My feeling is if this is supposed to be about the journey, let it be a journey that fits each scout. No two journeys end up being the same. The kids have their list of requirements, but even within that there is a lot of choice and different angles of approach. We want them to become leaders but we don't want then to lead on their own advancement trail? If we're going to say this is still a youth-led program, we should let up on the criticism of how they approach their own advancement. If the benefits of the program are so heavily dependent on time spent in the program, then we should have a requirement on the books that puts more time between ranks. Unless/until that happens, the boys should decide their own pace, whatever works for them, even if that means fast-tracking.
  16. 8 points
    Update: of 17 Tigers 10 will be awarded the rank. 4 never showed up after recruitment and 3 didn't show up but a couple of times. AND I can call em all by name too.
  17. 8 points
    The same reporter broke the news of the Girl Scout letter back to the BSA. She has a source. What I learned is that BSa leadership are clearly struggling with how to create a Boy Scout level parallel program and read scouter.com. *whistles quietly* *opens profile* *changes location to Alaska*
  18. 7 points
    I've never felt compelled to write on a forum until today. In my view, it is abundantly clear that the BSA knew this was coming and thus opened membership to girls in an attempt to shore up numbers and balance out the anticipated losses from LDS departure. What I find incredibly frustrating is that the BSA, as an organization, has taken the position of looking out for the BSA's best interest (member numbers, $$$) versus looking out for the people it is meant to serve (boys and young men). This shift in priorities is the hallmark indicator of a failing organization and is a an example that has been repeated time and time again across many spectrums of organizations. From public companies, to religious entities to athletic teams and more, when the original mission takes backseat to the organization's interest, then it has failed. The BSA will begin a slow downhill slide as a result of this, no doubt. We all know the program, over time, will become watered down, gender neutral, and thus the original spirit will die in favor of a more politically correct and progressive curriculum. Shame on our leadership for losing focus on the original mission and charter of the BSA which was to provide a means of developing our young boys into virtuous confident and independent young men utilizing principles of the Scout Oat and Law.
  19. 7 points
    I can sympathize with your situation. I can also understand why you and he want to be active in this aspect of your scout's life. But, let's keep in mind that scouting is not for us. It isn't for the adults or the parents or our close loved-ones. It is for the kids and there may be, and will be circumstances where we do things for the kids that may either disadvantage the adults or otherwise not be in the adults best interests. If you and your boyfriend feel this strongly about him being an attending adult in activities then I encourage you to do two things. 1. Have him register as an adult volunteer. 2. Have him request an expungement and/or a pardon. This could a strong life lesson for your scout as well as other scouts in the unit. Demonstrate that he is taking the steps to correct his prior transgressions and that he is willing to do the hard work necessary to be an active member of the unit. Lastly, this isn't about what the other adults do in their personal time or what they might be guilty of. This is and should be about your boyfriend "doing his best" to be the best role model he can be to your scout and if that means his involvement is limited due to past behavior (even past behavior that might otherwise be legal today in some states), then what better way to illustrate that actions have consequences and that sometimes life is not fair. How the two of you respond to this situation can either be an exceptional opportunity for growth or an exceptional opportunity to create resentment.
  20. 7 points
    The major point here for me (setting aside the criminal record for a moment) is that this is your boyfriend. He is not a parent, step-parent, legal guardian, or registered adult leader. For this reason alone he should not attend a cub function unless invited by the cubmaster and only within his /her parameters. I think you might be focusing too much on the criminal record piece and missing this important facet.
  21. 7 points
    ::Putting on moderator hat combat helmet:: This discussion of who (if anyone) is "dishonest" is over. Now. The discussion of who or what is a "terrorist" or "terrorist organization," at least in the context of people and groups who have not been convicted of such an offense, is also over. Also Now. Thank you all for your cooperation. @RememberSchiff @LeCastor
  22. 7 points
    There is the other side: 1) You have a boy (girl) in scouts. 2) You slowly get sucked into the myth and re-discover your inner boy. 3) Some old scouters or real boy scouts teach you some skills, you get just enough 'official' training to stay our of trouble. 4) You deliver the best program you can, make friends, and gain 100 unofficial nephews. Some inspire you, most are memorable, and a few break your heart. 6) You ignore national unless you hang around the forum or there is a press release. Look the whole world seems to be falling apart, some of us on the front lines are trying to keep the faith in our little corner. Because when you get down to it all real life us local. BSA might implode (and that is what we are mostly griping about here) but Scouting will one way or another will continue. (You know that would sound a whole lot better if Tom Hanks or Jimmy Stewart was saying it.)
  23. 7 points
    But no one says a thing when girls don't want boys in their club house. Then it is a safe space and empowering.
  24. 6 points
    I would slightly differ in that view. BSA National and pretty much every interview CSE has had emphasized and at times over emphasized family. He talks about families doing things together, that families want programs they can do together, and that scouting can be the program they can do together. The surveys tell them family is key and they want to do things. As a family. One can infer that if the new families that come into Cubs with the family transition to Scouts, the expectation is the family will come along. Those of us that are dinosaur troops, all male leaders on outings, using patrol methods, scouts off by themselves, referring scouts to their SPL for questions, will be (I assume) be expected to welcome the families. Even if we are all male and the Scouts potentially crossing over are male, this family focus will be a challenge.
  25. 6 points
    First of all, thank you for the link to that article @Eagledad. I found it well-written, level-headed, and much-needed voice of sense in society's ongoing war against families. As for the idea of Scouting focusing on "leadership training and character development," and those being "gender-neutral" (never one of my favorite terms) -you will find after reading through Scouting's published materials over the years that those have been pushed and emphasized far more now in the past two decades than they ever were before. Yes, they were always a part of it, but you are failing to recognize that the very idea of Scouting, the core of its foundation and the center of all its facets, was the idea that boys are different from girls, with a greater need for active, adventurous learning, and that society lacks, indeed, desperately needs, a channel through which restless boys could learn the skills and knowledge they need to become strong, intelligent, honorable men. Who would dare presume that masculinity is important to Scouting, that "making boys into men" somehow matters in our programs? Oh yes. Lieutenant-General Robert Stevenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell. Or just Old BP as the kids called 'im. If you do not understand the central place masculine development has in Scouting, and the massive importance it had to Baden-Powell, Daniel Carter Beard, William Hillcourt, Earnest Thompson Seaton, and all the early founders of Scouting, then you do not understand what Scouting was meant to accomplish. The very impetus of Scouting was the recognition that more and more boys were growing up in urban or suburban settings without opportunities to develop in ways that align with masculine development. Boys learn differently from girls, and new trends in lifestyles made it increasingly difficult for millions of boys to get the physical, intellectually stimulating and involved experiences they require to prepare themselves for life. This became painfully clear at the end of the 19th century, when tens of thousands of boys, scions of the industrial revolution, wandered the dirty and polluted streets of cities around the world looking for whatever activities might keep them busy in a world of stifling urban development and increasing poverty. They needed something to pull them out of the slums and gangs and troubles of their situation so that they could become good and honest men who could learn to work and provide for their families and contribute to their communities. They needed to be rescued. It was the general recognition of that need that caused multiple Scout-like organizations to suddenly appear all over America at the same time Baden-Powell was refining his "Scouting project" in England with one purpose in mind - not to create a leadership factory, but to help boys avoid the pitfalls and bleak futures of a continually emasculating society by creating a program that would counter the disturbing trends of the day with a program that would help active boys become strong men, help curious boys become intelligent men, help honest boys become honorable men. So effective was his model that soon all the other organizations in America adopted his program, added to it their own structure and cultural flavor, and created the Boy Scouts of America. Its immediate explosion of growth can be attributed to one single idea - boys want to become good men, and Scouting can help show them how. That was the heart of Scouting - boys could enlist in a Troop, have exciting adventure and run their own groups all while having loads of fun - and all of it was designed to help those boys become better men, by tailoring it specifically to how boys learn, what boys love, and what boys need. You cannot take that idea of "making boys into better men" out of Scouting unless you completely and utterly ignore its very raison d'etre. It is meant to help develop positive masculine virtues in boys to create better men, who then become better leaders, citizens, and family members. And the trend of the last two decades towards taking that part out of it, as can be seen in the changes to the Scouting Handbook over the past few editions, has affected the BSA in negative ways. Scouting was truly a place for boys to explore their world and channel their energies in safe and productive ways as they figured out what it meant to be a man. Now that it is slowly feels the pressure to become just another activity program to put on a resume, it is losing the very thing it tries so hard to build in its member - confidence. And the declining numbers of the past few years is reflecting that. If National would ignore the boo hoos of the far left and stick to its central purpose, of making boys into better men, it would probably surprise itself with how successful the program could be again.
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