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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/06/18 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    No disagreement at all that the well-being troop members and their families should be the top priority for unit leaders. Absolutely true. However, lower overall BSA membership is (or should be) a concern for folks at all levels of Scouting (including individual units). When money is tight, facilities are not maintained, staffing is cut, training is shortchanged, and money pressures start forcing decisions to be made for the wrong motivations (i.e. not for the good of the boys and the program, but for the survival of BSA the corporation). In our little corner of BSA, I'm seeing this everywhere I go. Our heroic district staff is stretched so ridiculously thin that I keep wondering how long they can continue in this mode. Our council owns three camp properties but one sits almost completely idle (even during the busy summer camping season). Enough council funds exist to maintain only one camp property so all three are all in a state of slow decay. Paid, trained, professional camp directors have been eliminated, with their jobs now filled by seasonal volunteer replacements. The resulting lack of continuity in camp leadership leads to all sorts of cascading problems with camp staff recruitment and retention. And camp staff problems naturally result in declining camp program quality. When troops notice the poor condition of our camps and programs, they quite logically start looking elsewhere at summer camp options which only worsens the revenue problem for our council. Many more examples could be cited. Such problems do not remain hidden indefinitely. If quality drops enough, people take notice (and not just us Scouting enthusiasts who hang out on Scouter.com). Once the stink of a failure takes hold, people flee to other higher-quality alternatives. After that happens, it is nearly impossible to ever get them back. Without being too dramatic, I worry that Scouting is getting close to that tipping point (the LDS exit is what initially spawned such thoughts in my head). Our troop was strong in tradition and attended the same in-council camp every year for 30+ years. Then we started noticing a different camp director each year. We started overhearing grumbling and dissatisfaction from camp staff. Each year there was a "new and improved" camp program that was in reality getting worse with fewer offerings. Each year, we noticed fewer troops and Scouts in attendance at that camp. Finally things got bad enough for our troop to start investigating other summer camp options and we discovered a whole new world of possibilities. We never looked back and there is little chance we will ever return to our old council camp. A loyal customer has been permanently lost. I apply the same analogy to the loyal multi-generational Scouting families who are being alienated by BSA's recent decisions. Once lost, these Scouting loyalists will be gone forever as they move on and devote their time and energy to other worthy pursuits. I very seriously doubt the number of new girls joining BSA will come close to replacing the membership losses resulting from this alienation. Thus, the original problem of declining BSA membership will be compounded rather than fixed, hastening even more desperate decisions. It's all so very sad for me to watch. I hope you can see how declining overall BSA membership creates problems for all levels of Scouting (even at the unit level). Declining membership results in less money which results in constrained resources which results in degraded quality of the Scouting experience for everyone (even if an individual troop happens to be large in numbers and well-funded). Not to be insulting, but the phrase "All Scouting is Local" is frequently deployed to dismiss hard problems and bad decisions that folks just don't want to think about or deal with.
  2. 2 points
  3. 2 points
    I have never really considered myself overly religious, but do consider myself to be quite reverent. I rarely attend church now, I have attended regularly in spurts over the years, but not now. I work with people of several faiths and beliefs and respect their customs. I am not closed to their thoughts or actions. I respect their needs to pray, say grace before meals, attend services,etc. I participate in such activities when I am with them but not usually at home with family. It was not the way I was raised or my husband. The Scout Law says be reverent not be religious. There really is a difference. I know several religious folks, very religious folks that aren't the least bit reverent. They have no use for anyone that isn't their religion, and they mock others for their beliefs. I'd rather be reverent than religious any day. The world needs way more reverence and maybe a little less religion. Or at least we need religions to teach its okay to be reverent.
  4. 1 point
    If they don’t have an official sock, then why did I spend around $50 on socks to staff a summer camp? 😁
  5. 1 point
    We ended having to reject a girl from joining our Pack since we didn’t have a female AOL den leader. Well, actually we gave the girl’s parents two choices. Either join our 4th grade den or have her mom register as a leader and come to all the Den meetings. She is definitely not interested in the 4th grade den and her mom is too busy. This is a biased rule that will hamper the experience of female scouts. I typically can get moms to go on campouts... but at a much lower rate than dads. I think moms willing to go on HA will be even rarer.
  6. 1 point
    Presumably it’s the asymmetric way that women can supervise boys but men cannot supervise girls.
  7. 1 point
    Interesting. My wife has asked the same thing. All I could think of as a response was: "I am really, really tired." For some reason that was good enough. But the truth is that...I really am really, really tired. No one in their right mind would want this old bag of bones. Children have active imaginations and they develop the ability to lie very quickly. I'm not sure if it's innate or if they're taught but false accusations are serious and I'm fairly certain that young people don't take this seriously enough. A false accusation creates multiple victims, including the accuser. I don't have a solution after the accusation has been made other than to make sure that the truth comes out and that the accuser knows how wrong it is.
  8. 1 point
    Sadly, I've heard your view from scouts too. Add also discussions from them on why many different types of laws need to change. Laws on everything from liability to the oldest profession laws. ... I've always been amazed what we can overhear as adult leaders when you are good at blending into the background.
  9. 1 point
    Only for the perpetual victimization crowd. The message it sends otherwise is: - Different people value different things. Some scouts value an all-male experience. It's diversity that makes us great - Voluntary association is a hallmark of free societies. - Nobody is invalidating you, you're doing it to yourselves if you let this bother you Besides, if the BSA really believes in the value of single-gender scouting (that's why we have separate gender troops in Scouts BSA), then boys-only and girls-only weeks are logical extensions of that stated goal.
  10. 1 point
    I do propose moving to the language of “Cubbing” and “scouting” to refer to the different programs.
  11. 1 point
    Two grandsons new in a cub pack. There are (horrors!) girls. No one seems to notice. They do stuff together. It's almost as if it's not unnatural.
  12. 1 point
    While I firmly oppose BSA's girl decision, I strongly support kindness and sensitivity in personal interactions. Even though their Cub Scout Pack is at fault for breaking fundamental rules about mixed-gender Dens, a kind approach is still merited as the situation gets resolved. A Scout is friendly, courteous, and kind, and nobody should be made to feel like an outcast. First, I'd explain in the friendliest way possible to the girl and her parents that we are excited for her interest in Scouting. Then I'd also explain in the friendliest way possible that because we are a boy-only troop, we are not structured with the right organization and leadership to provide her the Scouting experience that BSA has designed for girls (providing as many or as few supporting details as they like). Finally, I'd offer assistance to help her find a girl-only troop or a linked troop in the area that *is* structured with the right organization and leadership to provide her that great Scouting experience (with an explanation about the rollout beginning in February 2019). If these good-faith gestures made in friendliness are rejected, it would seem clear to me that this girl and her family are not looking for a solution - they are looking for a fight.
  13. 0 points
    I don't like the new YPT rules either and it doesn't have anything to do with girls. It looks like I am going to have to cancel our first Troop Event on Monday. I don't have two 21 year or older YPT trained leaders to go on our five mile hike and orienteering course. I usually put together some type of hike or bike ride on the Holiday's like Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Presidents Day etc. It is a good chance to knock out some of those Advancement and Merit Badge Requirements for the new boys. This time I have seven Scouts and five adults going one of which is a YPT Trained leader (ME). Just can't seem to get the adults to take the class. Had a couple of them attempt to take it and the web site crapped out and they gave up. Thanks BSA!
  14. 0 points
    Hi NoW, Are you commenting about THIS website or the one linked in the original post?