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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/05/18 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Let's all please call people by their correct names, and not make up nicknames. The CSE's name is Michael Surbaugh, or if one prefers, just Surbaugh, or if you want to just use his title, he's the CSE.
  2. 3 points
    I think this whole thread illustrates why National is interested in membership numbers. The number of scouts is going down and the overhead is not. The result is economic stress and thus everything mentioned in this thread. The long term solution is getting more kids having fun camping with their friends. This is one of those "It's the economy, stupid" messages that should be part of National's letter head. "It's kids having fun, stupid." I don't think the solution is going to come from focusing on what is preventing kids from having fun. It's going to come from focusing on ensuring that kids are having fun. We've been through all the usual problems. Parents are busy. Parents don't like the outdoors. Parents don't volunteer. Kids are doing more. Kids must participate in all these other activities. Girls. Moms. Dads. Single parents. .... Here's another thought. Focus on making it so much fun, rewarding and challenging that most kids will honestly decide that they're more interested in scouts than a second, or third sport, or doing anything else. It's not that I don't want kids doing anything else, I just want scouting to compare favorably. Right now the only support that national provides is getting Eagle. Eagle may be a challenge but it's not fun. It's not enough to keep an 11 year old that likes soccer, football, and baseball to stick around. Eagle is not the fundamental attraction for a kid to stay in scouts. It may be for the parents but for a kid it has to be fun. All the fun stuff, the stuff that scouting is really about, is up to the SM to figure out (not to mention selling this idea to those parents that only see Eagle). But getting back to the OP. The question every council and national employee should be asking them self every day is whether what they're doing helps each CM and SM deliver fun and adventure. If all they come up with is it's important that every scout memorize the USDA My Plate diagram then they're failing and adding no value. Come up with some honestly fun activities that a unit leader can use out of the box and then there's value added. If all these parts were supporting the CMs and SMs then the money problems would fix themselves.
  3. 3 points
    Of course, it was staged. It is a national TV program. Take the positive vibe and work with it, rather than look for reasons to lessen its possible impact and forward moving hope. Each unit, as they accept the challenge, will have a lot to work through. We do not need a constant drum-roll of negative "chicken littles".
  4. 3 points
    Not terribly related to the topic, but I was given this by one of the parents in the Troop.
  5. 3 points
    If everybody, boys, girls, men and women, were going to wear kilts, I wouldn't have a problem with it. Presumably the kilt of my "clan" would have a Star of David pattern.
  6. 2 points
    There are early adopters, then there are EARLY adopters. There was probably some coordination between BSA National or the local council and the tv show. It isn't like the tv show producers could easily call around to find a pack that is an early adopter. The council or Nationals obviously would want to put their best face forward so it isn't overly surprising that some uniform coordination was likely involved. And let's be honest, if this was completely staged and choreographed, there is NO WAY they would have used that first boy to comment on what he thinks about girls in scouts. Even the second boy standing next to his sister looked demoralized.
  7. 2 points
    This is the standard opinion of most scout leaders in the BSA program, and I cringe every time I hear it. When I was the district membership adviser and SM trainer, I taught troop and crew leaders that program is the attraction, or detraction, for older scouts. And, the older scout program is the performance indicator of the "whole" troop program. If the average age of your older scouts is 14-15, your program isn't very good for the younger scouts either. And directing the program toward advancement is a sure killer of a successful adventure program. My experience is troops that focus on advancement for the younger scouts will loose their older scouts to outside programs with more mature mentally and physically challenging activities. Some will go to OA, Venturing Crews, sports, band, and even chess club, depending on how the maturity of those activities are compared to the troop. Venturing is more successful when the program is viewed by it's adults as another adventure scouting program, not as the next step (or higher step) in the BSA ladder. Barry
  8. 2 points
    Will you poach our crew's women? Do they have ear tags? Have you claimed them? Seems really cavemanny
  9. 2 points
    BSA and Councils have rules about Unit Fundraising. We were always forbidden from soliciting corporate donations, because that is the job of the Professionals and is the Council tier of Friends of Scouting. Whatever your fundraising idea is, you are required to complete and submit the Unit Fundraising Application and have your proposal approved by the Scout Executive. Council would prefer you stick to the official popcorn campaign, since they get a cut.
  10. 2 points
    You seems to dismiss from the calculation all the work of all the Scouters and Cubbers in their units, without which there would be no paperwork to push. Unless you drink the "hour a week" Kool Aid, that effort exceeds all paid hours, even if including hours devoted to raising funds for council, by orders of magnitude. Our new SE says only units Scouting counts. One hopes. Ending the scandal of Council merit badge mills and rationalizing paperwork requirements would reduce the "Eagle paperwork" load that you mention. Camp? In our council, and many others (each of our bordering councils to my personal knowledge - and often participation), volunteers put in thousands of hours a year for camp upkeep, often buying the materials out of their own funds and supplying almost all the tools. many are Union tradesmen - "professionals" in the correct sense of the word. Camp McKinley, near us and used for its own summer camp by a troop I volunteered with, had a $0 maintenance and operating budget for three years and no ranger. Yet the camp emerged in tremendously good condition. Mere volunteers. They renewed the septic bed BY HAND. It was the "home" of a district and used heavily on weekends for camping (All sites in use often.). They WOULD NOT let the camp fall to pieces, council to the contrary notwithstanding. In 2017 I put in over 400 hours recruiting volunteers for summer camp program, and served over 300 hours at camp delivering that program with dozens of other mere volunteers. We had no camp ranger at our council Scout summer camp for five months last year after the incumbent ranger, very good with fixing but poor with people (especially his superiors on the TofO), was discharged. (There was also his habitual, loud and public use of the "F word" to modify "Scouter or "Scouters." By using the camp, Scouters and their units necessarily added to his work load, unlike the WIlderness Engineers who replace roofs and place pipelines. Ideally, we would have gotten the Camp in great shape and then closed the gate.) I was with the same troop in my present council for 25 years. I never once saw a council employee at the troop for any purpose. (I did the FOS presentations.) I did see them as a district volunteer and I did ask the two ladies at the Service Center front desk (Who knew everything bureaucratic that was worth knowing) how to do some stuff. ( I miss one - just deceased - terribly, but the other happily came back after "retirement" to soldier on for a few more years.) I valued several council employees. Got to actually know only a few as they left so quickly and spent so little time with the district or unit Scouters. One I did know is perhaps my best Scouting friend since my old patrol. He retired at 25 years - earliest possible. In short, all in all, council employees have not been a big part of my Scouting since 1981. The same was true from 1954-1967 in California. The California troop was eighteen years old when BSA arrived out there. My longest hitch here was with a troop also founded in 1908 and four year old when BSA arrived in what became the Greater Cleveland District. Scouting without B.S.A. As a district leader I had a choice of who to rely upon on issues of health at district events - a mere volunteer with a PhD in microbiology and another PhD in Public Health (Later worked for the WHO) or any of the DEs who passed through in an average of weeks. Pioneering events? George, who ran the pioneering at CanJam last year, or a newly-minted DE? Legal issues? The people who said I should report abuse only to the SE (In fairness, that bizarre direction came from National.), or the Ohio Revised Code, with which I, at least, was professionally aware? I could go on. We are relatively weak on bureaucracy, but, some of us, professional, if financially uncompensated, on unit and district program. In the rest of the world, our council would have two office/store employees (I did not count the BSA employees running our Scout Shop) and two field reps to help with starting new units and helping with interventions at "sick" units if asked. All else is done by volunteers. Somehow, with all the paid help, our membership plummets just like the bowling leagues and garden clubs. In the UK, membership has been climbing smartly - without the massive personnel budgets - just those volunteers. If we reduced to a world standard of payroll, most of our need for council funds would disappear. Based on historic data, a 75% reduction in salary and benefits expense translates into almost a 70% reduction in my council's general funds expenditure. (Our super and very professional "development" specialist has raised piles of money for capital expenditure as the Scouts of the Golden Age become the honored dead. The camp has not had better physical facilities ever, so far as the oldest memory can recall.) I am not advocating drastic change in how BSA staffs as we have enough change with which to deal. And I do not see it happening soon, but those are the numbers and necessity may produce change will he nil he.
  11. 2 points
    Let’s talk about some of the metoo “victims” #1st tweet was on Harvey Weinstein by Ashley Judd (Oct 5) Roy Price was taken out Oct 11... Larry Nassar Oct 18... Kevin Spacy Oct 29... Roy Moore Nov 9.... Louis C.K. Nov 10... Matt Lauer Nov 29... Garrison Keillor Nov 30... at first I thought perhaps this one was a reach, until MPR came out with a bit more info... Russell Simmons Nov 30... Al Franken Dec 7 Mario Batali Dec 11 Gary Goddard Dec 20.. Read about these. Which men should be put back in their position? What I see is man after man in positions of power sexually abuse, assault and harrass men and women for years and decades with no fall out. I’m sure there are some (I think the figure published is 2% but it’s probably higher) that have false acquisition. The beginning of this thread was that metoo was bad for women and men. I call BS. Status quo is bad for good people. Taking a stand against individuals who abuse their power is always a good thing. As scout leaders it should make us relook at and ensure we are enforcing YPT. Larry Nassar was able to sexually abuse countless girls including Olympic athletes for years. Girls parents believed the abuser instead of their own daughters. No 1 on 1 contact must be strictly enforced. In my home time in the 1980s a child accused a Catholic priest of rape. A few days later it came out that he lied. I remember my parents saying what a sick boy that kid was for lying. Only he wasn’t... Years later that priest was found with another boy. I don’t think now is the time for scout leaders to send messages that are being sent in this thread. Many of the posts seem to be much more about judging the accusers than encouraging openness and getting to the truth.
  12. 2 points
    I routinely hear that the drop in membership in 70's was caused by the program change. I can't say for sure, because I was not involved at that time, certainly not as an adult leader. So I went in search of some numbers. I found some here http://www.allcountries.org/uscensus/443_boy_scouts_and_girl_scouts_membership.html I decided to chart the numbers for BSA and GSUSA. The dates are a bit strange in the spacing 10 years, 5, 5 then one year increments after that. The gaps in the data can hide a few things like actuall peaks and valleys, but the general trend line remains fairly accurate. The data ends in 1999, so there are no status for this century. A few things I noticed. 1. BSA and GSUSA both take a similar dive in numbers from 1970 to 1980. BSA's drop is marginally worse. 2. BSA's numbers recover more robustly - great gains than GSUSA each year following 1980 3. BSA's numbers eventually exceed the 1970 peak, GSUSA's do regain their 1970 level That begs the question, if BSA's membership drop was primarily about the program change, then why did GSUSA's numbers follow an almost identical decrease trend?
  13. 2 points
    I think I have said this before, but I wish that the BSA, as its first decision after letting girls into Cub Scouts, had NOT issued a new article of clothing for the girl-Cubs that emphasizes differences between the genders. Why couldn’t they just let the girls wear the regular blue shorts and long pants? And if necessary, offer a girls’ version, the same thing the boys are wearing, just a different “cut.” I really hope that when the Girl Boy Scouts starts, they just let them wear the uniform pants or shorts and not have a green “skort.” Is there a “skort” for female Venturers?
  14. 2 points
    Yeah, I didn't like them putting those two segments together. It seemed like they were trying to imply that, until recently, we would have excluded Burmese boys from scouting.
  15. 1 point
    that's exactly how I used to put it. I'd make the case that we were an extension of their youth ministry. I remember when i first thought of it that way... I was the CubMaster and basically also the CC and several committee member jobs too.... and I was having a discussion with the GS leader. They were being very stand-offish about letting non-parishioners into the troop. I made a strong case that i look at it as a ministry. That our hope should be that we engage in families not currently coming to church. That it would be a blessing if through our activities even just one family found a church community that they might even considering to join. Sadly, i think it's the other way around from their perspective, at least to a degree. The pastor likes and verbally supports scouting, and I believe he would echo the same sentiments that I did, but basically the general 'machine' of the church "staff" sort of treats us as you put it "renters"..... We always seemed to have a lower standing when compared to youth and other uses of the building.... and we certainly never had our own room. I never really understood that... I've honestly thought it comes from the catholic tradition...."think the stereo typical nun in an old catholic school"....mean and strict. It's just the way they are. Like a drill sergeant. Anyway, in our case the COR was never engaged so that may have been a factor.
  16. 1 point
    How did you come across all that information if you don't mind me asking? No one in my council, not even the professional staff, have received anything like that
  17. 1 point
    Read the thread about BSA and their love of poor process and paperwork to keep council and district staff busy. That's why they do it. Right hand, meet left hand.
  18. 1 point
  19. 1 point
    I want to say I'm overthinking this, but sadly I'm probably not... It is more than a tad bit suspicious to me that every girl in the group pictured on the original post is wearing the new skirt, and they're out doing outdoorsy stuff in front of BSA banners. Because we know how easy it is to get every kid to show up in identical uniform and we all make sure to take our regulation BSA banners with us on all outings, right? Why do so many of these media pieces reference some girl being the first to register in their area/council/region? What is going on here? I wanted to be optimistic about this early enthusiasm we're seeing from girls, but I'm concerned we're getting too many media-opportunist parents as early adopters.
  20. 1 point
    Was it a Scottish person?? I know I know...not a skirt
  21. 1 point
    Agreed. There should been a freeze on any girl uniform items for at least a couple of years. They don't need them, at the cub level the clothing is universal enough to fit a boy or a girl. If they wanted to roll out girl-specific products later, fine. But at the launch of the program, it just sends the wrong message. The opposite message of what we've been trying to express, really, that girls want the boy program as-is, and we're giving them that same program and experience. Except we're not, if you're a girl, you should wear this impractical gender-specific uniform item.
  22. 1 point
    Fair enough and true. So I recalculated. But, since Explorers were effectively split (in this statistical report) with School/Career based Exploring moving to LFL and some staying under Exploring program, I removed exploring altogether. This was to compare apples to apples. Leaving Explorers in, but not LFL, creates an impression that there was a significant drop in participation rather than a reclassification of what was a member. That said, the comparison of the 70's membership drop is still valid and between BSA and GSUSA and both still suffer very equivalent drops. Clearly there were factors in the membership decline beyond the program change, else GSUSA would not have suffered the same decline. I am not saying the program change had no effect. Perhaps without the change, the decline would not have been as drastic, now way to know for sure. But it appears that other factors were also involved. It is not as simple as saying the program change was the reason.
  23. 1 point
    Agreed, refugee and immigrant scouts are not a new face (membership) of the BSA.
  24. 1 point
    @HelpfulTracks, we don't usually count Learning for Life members - as many of those participants aren't even aware that their school registered them in the BSA. Excluding that (as well as 18+ year-olds in Venturing and Exploring), we see steady declines in the traditional program - going back to the nationalization of the 18th birthday requirement for Eagle.
  25. 1 point
  26. 1 point
    The bulk of services - like 99% - is supplied by volunteers. The money is raised by council to meet council payroll. Our new SE tells us that the model that most of the council employee time being devoted to raising funds for council is going to change to spending time on unit service. Alternative? Follow the model of the rest of the world and spend lot's less on employees. I once met the entire paid staff of a Canadian "district" that served more youth than my council - all four of them. Windsor District. Our council employed twenty-seven at the time with a couple of vacancies, spending 93% of its income on salaries and benefits..
  27. 1 point
    Regarding my neck of the woods, the PTB want us to budget 10% "miscellaneous" for any last minute unexpected stuff. Whatever is not used goes to the council coffers. In my experience with CSDC and camporees, something ALWAYS comes up last minute that the 10% misc helps. One year at day camp supplies were "diverted" to the main summer camp. Didn't realize this until after day camp was over. But off I went to get supplies at the local Hobby Lobby. At camporee this year, I had to buy of unexpected supplies since the DE double booked the camp with a Cub Scout event. Yep, the flagging, signs, and stakes to keep Cubs out of Scouting areas, and vice versa, ate up a lot of that line item. But I was also on the other end, going in the red. My day camp was anticipated to go into the red $600 based upon the previous 3 years expenditures the first year I was PD. I pinched so many pennies, that we were in the red less than $10. next year, we had a profit of a whopping $17 and change.
  28. 1 point
    No plaques for me please. On the other hand if, in my name, you create a $600 campership for scouts or scholarship for scouters' training or even a gas buy-down for parents who transport scouts, I would be truly honored.
  29. 1 point
    Actually, the presumption of innocence was the law in England at the time of the Revolution. Part of what the colonists were rebelling against was the fact that many of the rights enjoyed by those in Britain, including the presumption of innocence, were being denied in many parts of the colonies. So you are partly correct... from a certain point of view.
  30. 1 point
    That article ends What we owe all people, including women, is to listen to them and to respect them and to take them seriously. But we don’t owe anyone our unthinking belief. “Trust but verify” may not have the same ring as “believe all women.” But it’s a far better policy. Sounds fair.
  31. 1 point
    I don't think so. I haven't seen any great conspiracy by women to use false accusations to gain dominance over men. I think the vast majority of women are well intentioned and are attempting to find an adequate response to a real problem. That said, I think most women are unaware of the number of false accusations that are made against good men.
  32. 1 point
    Wow I thought this was a joke at first ... As a den leader, I would be appalled if I wasn't invited into the monthly committee meetings. In fact all parents, den leaders, and interested parties expected to be at our committee meetings, and we have a great program going. But I would hesitate to be part of any program where the den leaders, the very core of the Cub Program, are not welcome.
  33. 1 point
    If you’re not a proficient swimmer then skip Seabase. Any of their programs require being. Good swimmer and being able to demonstrate it.
  34. 1 point
    In our pack, we always wanted the den leaders to attend. So much of what we covered involved them. Pack meeting plans, campout plans, join Scouting plans, advancement, etc. These always had some impact on, and needed the involvement of, the den leaders. So, we were glad to have them. If your pack is organized in a way that you cover this in a different forum, then it may be less important.
  35. 1 point
    Love Daniel Boone. I have so many memories from summer camp there twice. Great camp.
  36. 1 point
    You are somewhat right... I did receive the email. To be fair this email could have matched the last 7 years of email for this even just change the name of the sender.! No! I did not go to this event this year! But! my responses are not with out merit, I did follow up with others on what I missed at this years meeting ( I have been staple at these in the past ) and I do have well over 12 years as a district and council volunteer serving in several positions. District Vice Chair, Assistant District Commissioner and F.F.O.S. Chair to name a few. If you read my post.. I state most volunteers (District and Council) in my area are afraid to comment publicly, for they will be Bullied by the Council Heads in a closed door meetings or Black Listed by the Council's very own Talent Committee. "So is this a regional phenomenon or is it national." We have very unhappy volunteers in our district, and most are walking on egg shells just to stay in the game and some are walking out.... Our Council has put off requested District training for Years... most of the Districts are fumbling around being lead by this years DE (High turn over of course) and not able to function (as the district program manuals state) with out being micro managed by Council. Focus on money drives who is recruited to District positions (A game of Who and How much $$ are they worth ) no joke. So read into it what you will but my question stays the same and if this is not a place for such a question to be aired, then tell me where...you'll be the first to answer ! I have resigned from the Council and District programs, and have chosen to only help the units directly. So I now have freedom to inquire with out penalty... If this is a common problem we are in trouble.. if it's just my area hopefully it can be turned around. I'm not here to polish my halo , just air out what is a major concern. FrankBoss
  37. 1 point
    Oh, I thought that was a blood pressure cuff for people who like to read constantly.
  38. 1 point
    Maybe there should be a square knot for some of these other eagle-equivalent ranks. We've got that new Scouting Service Award square knot that is used to recognize several awards into this one square knot. There could be a square knot for international rank recognition, listing approved ranks/programs that the award would cover.
  39. 0 points
    The message of this CBS piece is clear: The Scouting movement as a boy organization is dying. The future of Scouting is girls. The demise of yet another traditional American institution (no wonder the media is so gleefully reporting it). Benedict Surbaugh is actively promoting this message in his full-access interview with CBS. Let's see how this works. Sales of Pontiac cars are dropping. Pontiac diehards love the brand because of storied performance cars like GTO, Firebird, and TransAm, but the new models have been unexciting sedans and even generic minivans. In desperation, the Pontiac division head (an account who never really loved cars) decides to pick customers from the dying carcass of Oldsmobile, a brand known for its retiree cruisers. In the end, both Pontiac and Oldsmobile fail even faster because of brand confusion which attracts few new customers but alienates many long-time loyalists. Pontiac and Oldsmobile executives bail out with self-congratulatory high-fives and huge golden parachutes.
  40. -1 points
    Yep, and it is that very file that no other organization had anything like for protection that caused much of the legal issues when the courts decided to open them up to the legal scavengers so they could drag stuff into "the light". It mattered not that it was a different time and most of the cases had been put away at the request of families who did not want to put their kids in the public theater of the time. Yes, there were some that today would have immediately been prosecuted, but it was not up to the BSA to make that decision, and most of the cases in the files had gone to authorities who chose, for whatever reason to bury them. As I have reminded the forum previously, have we so easily forgotten the MacMartin cases and the related paranoia that ruined so many lives twenty years or so ago? Hopefully YP will do what it is intended to do in most cases; but reality is that there are always mistakes and things that go out of bounds.
  41. -2 points
    I can't believe what I'm reading here. From Scouters no less. We're an organization that suppressed abuse claims for decades, and now we've got people here suggesting that the current openness and dialogue around very real sexual abuse cases is a bad thing? Just when I think this forum can't possibly shock me anymore...