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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/16/19 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    I am Scoutmaster for a 22-member all-girl Troop that is "stand-alone" and not linked to an existing unit. In fact, we are the only youth program at the church that serves as our CO. I'm a 30-year Scouter and have done it all. I will observe that the girls attracted to our group represent a normal cross-section of girls in our city in terms of income, race and interests. 8 crossed-over from an all-girl Webelos den at anther CO, which they just loved. 5 came over from GSUSA for a variety of reasons. Two remain dual-registered. We have had four troop meetings, one day hike and go on our first camp out this weekend. We have a very full program outlined for the next 20 months. We have attracted a 15-person Troop committee and have a Scoutmaster staff of 7. I am here to tell you that even at this early stage I sense this is going to be a very successful move for the BSA. First, the Boy Scout program is working perfectly with the girls. They love it and as an earlier commenter forecast, they really like to "do stuff". Second, the parents are thrilled with BSA-style organization and program implementation for an all-girl program. The welcome from our community has been crazy-approving. Third, our district volunteer Scouters and fellow Scoutmasters of nearby all-boy Troops are thrilled to the point where they went out of their way to entirely outfit five of our girls from under-resourced families with gently-used uniforms, sleeping bags, packpacks, the works. The naysayers with the nasty blog comments have not in any manner impacted popular and supportive opinion in our local Scouting movement or city. The folks who departed after the membership policy changes are not taking people away because of the move to include girls. My experience is so counter to the things those folks have been writing over the past year that I am starting to conclude many must not be actual active Scouters -- I just have not experienced negativity and I would have noticed it. I believe that as long as the generally-smaller linked girl troops scale up quickly and the BSA does a better PR job when the financial restructuring is announced, we will be looking at significant growth that can reverse our recent membership losses. These conclusions are based on my experience in planning, organizing and now operating a best-practices Scouts BSA Troop for girls. We should do at least as good as the girl Cub Scout numbers.
  2. 7 points
    We were coming back from an outing last week, stopped for lunch, saw the Girl Scouts were selling cookies nearby so we wandered over and bought some cookies, talked about our recent outing, heard about their projects, and we went on our way. The sky did not open, everyone was pleasant, and we ate several boxes of Samoas before we got back to the church
  3. 7 points
    It’s almost official! My EBOR went fantastic, the scouter from the district was amazing. We talked for almost 2 hours about all different kinds of stuff and it was great! Thanks to everyone who answered my questions on here. My scouting journey has only just started. Now the final thing to do is to drop off the application at council to get sent to national.
  4. 7 points
    "You are no longer a Cub, you are now a Scout."
  5. 6 points
    Not a prize that I was looking for, but it's the world we live in. 😪 Just a reminder, folks: use that "Report" button for posts that seem a little "off". (Not off base - that could be my posts on any given day!) That just don't add up logically. Feel free to look at a user's other posts to see if they "hang together" like they are something that would come from a single scout or scouter. That's tough because we all have multiple positions, official and unofficial. This poster's give-away was when he/she/it reported volunteering in a BSA program, then started a thread purporting to be in a country that did not use that program. Didn't add up. I noticed the obtuse replies before I noticed that each reply had a quotation of an established forum member had links to vile content in it. Then, I clicked "report" for each similar post (i.e., all of today's from this one account). Thanks @John-in-KC for prompt action! I'm sorry for everyone else who got hijacked.
  6. 6 points
    JTE is definitely a corporate Lean type site measurement that was brought it. We typically get Gold status, but not sure it's something we focus on, but moving on... In JTE measurement the challenge I have is that Budget for the unit has the same equivalency as Short Term camping. A troop can be a Gold unit and in a year do only 4 short term campouts and going to summer camp. The JTE certainly does hopefully move units to do certain things, but clearly (IMHO) any unit that is "GOLD" should be camping 9 -12 times per year as short term, some of those campouts should be backpacking or hike in, they should be somewhat physically challenging and involve some HA type activity (kayaking, climbing, etc), and some of these should be 2 night activities. Rather than outdoor be only max of 20% (400 points max for #6 and #7, out of 2,000 max for the 11 items) that should be a much much larger component. Have a robust outdoor program or a unit is not "Gold". That simple. This is what can and should differentiate Scouting in the marketplace. On Mondays at school when a 7th grader is talking to friends rather than "I played 2 soccer games on Saturday", maybe a kid is telling how he went "hiking down in some gorge and was sliding on rocks into a pool of water and it was great!". That is what sells the program, not budgets, etc.
  7. 5 points
    Or most likely, the boots-on-the-ground don't give a rip over their respective organization's battle for brand identity. So, they are leveraging their collaboration to do good in the world.
  8. 5 points
    Urgh! Under the collar? What's wrong with you people?
  9. 5 points
    I wouldn't say I'm disturbed, but a bit disappointed. National sometimes has challenges getting the verbiage crystal clear on the first roll out. When the changes to the tenting rules and YPT were made in 2019, that language was updated to: "Youth sharing tents must be no more than two years apart in age." Which is clear, concise, and decisive. It leaves no room for interpretation. YPT is important and shouldn't have grey areas and interpretive "wiggle room" in it. I get it. National doesn't really have that much staff. Less than volunteers would think there are. Those folks are underpaid and overworked, and they aren't doing the work to become rich, but because they love and care about Scouting. I think it's important for both the pros and the volunteers to recognize in each other that we both love and care about this program, and that requires an extra dose of patience, some honest discussion and disagreement. Consider this, if the members of this forum, who are likely some of the most engaged and active Scouters in the country, are having these discussions and confusion regarding the rules, what does that mean for the typical unit?
  10. 5 points
    This reply doesn't really apply to the OP, but this is one of the few times where I disagree with malraux. At my first Blue and Gold as a CM, I went over to talk to the two Webelos dens who were crossing over that night. Most all the scouts were going to one troop. I asked the scouts why they chose that troop, and the general answer was that troop had the best game of all the troop meetings they visited. A year later I checked and 90% of those scouts had dropped out. I believe adults should have at least 50% participation in finding a troop. There should be a family discussion along with the Den Leader, but sons and parents have two different objectives for joining a troop. Both should be considered. While malraux gives a good example of why the parent needs to listen to the son, my experience is his example is generally the opposite. The Webelos doesn't see the whole program because he is focused on the few minutes of the visit. Make the choice a family decision, otherwise the risk are huge. Barry
  11. 5 points
    The BSA leadership really needs to separate out the LDS numbers. While it seems like Scouting is declining rapidly, I suspect much of that is around the LDS decision. Would be better to be more transparent here. Our district had steady membership the past two years.
  12. 5 points
    That was in fact the bet, that the girls will be a growth opportunity. All the chips for the future were put on G and the wheel was spun. Honestly the ball is still bouncing and we do not know if that bet will pay off. As was noted in the bankruptcy conversations several months back with the exposure on insurance, dwindling numbers, spending at the Summit, and unfunded pension liabilities the BSA needed more members. The registration fee went up significantly in 2017, so that was a lifeline toss. Recruiting more boys to the program has been a challenge. During his listening and speaking tours CSE Sourbaugh admitted as much, in that they were out of ideas, so heck fire, let the girls in. Possibly the program folks need to look at all the stem focus, continuing efforts by many well intentioned councils for more class focus activities (MB universities come to mind), and troops making Boy Scouts just more school and less adventure as possibly reasons for lower numbers. Adding more girls seeking outdoor adventure may nudge the organization back to it's roots, hopefully. The BSA can be great part of a well rounded youth's activities (sports, school, religious, hobbies being some others). There is a lot of outdoor adventure out there, it's where we can differentiate in a crowded marketplace for a youth's time and efforts. Rather than Scout Me In our marketing should be We Go Do Stuff. Let the program sell itself at the local level. Get away from JTE, uniform police, leaders focused on district/council and not youth and laser focus back to Scouting outdoor activities and youth (Cubs, Scouts BSA*, Ventures and Explorers) doing things. * really think changing the flagship program's name to a generic name was a monumentally bad decision...
  13. 5 points
    @ItsBrian enjoy your last day as a Life Scout! 😉
  14. 5 points
  15. 5 points
    Sorry, folks, I just found this thread, and feel I want to make a contribution with my own story. This is a story about the unseen, unknown fruits of your efforts over a very long time. But please excuse me if this seems like I am boasting, or tooting my own horn - I am typing this with tears in my (middle-aged) eyes, as this story chokes me up when I tell it (which is rarely). Bear with me, it is long: In 1978 I was a young Life Scout in my troop in Central NJ - chartered by a Catholic church in a typical NY suburb. Casting about for a suitable Eagle project, none of the "build a ____ at the park" or "raise awareness by ___" type projects resonated with me. I had already earned my Ad Altari Dei, and as part of that, my troop's advisor had us volunteer periodically at the Woodbridge (NJ ) Home for Boys in their Scout troop, working with boys who had Down's Syndrome and other handicaps. I enjoyed working with them, and felt moved to explore service to people with mental handicaps. I am not sure who brought it to my attention, but I realized that my church had a Sunday school program (called CCD- Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) for regular children, but nothing offered for mentally handicapped kids was available. So for my Eagle project I started a religious education program for these unserved kids. I advertised to families in our parish and surrounding parishes for children who could enroll, recruited volunteer teachers, obtained classroom space in the church school on Saturdays, and with the help of the John Newman society at Rutgers University came up with a curriculum and teacher training materials. We started in September with a dozen students and a 1-1 teacher ratio. I was one of the teachers. by the end of the year in June, we had about 20 students, of which half earned their first communion, and one was confirmed. You see, no one had made the effort to teach these children before. At the end of the year, I wrote that up for my Eagle project, and earned my Eagle rank a year later. I arranged for the nuns who ran the regular CCD program to maintain the program for handicapped children after I left for college. Payoff number one: In 1981 I graduated from high school, and went to college. I wrote my college admission essay about my CCD program. I was accepted to an Ivy-League school, and was placed in a class taught by the president of the college. I found out later that year that I had been admitted (despite only ranking in the top fifth of my high school class) largely on the strength of the CCD program and my essay - when he bragged about me in a letter he sent to our 10,000 alumni. Unexpected dividend! Payoff number two: About ten years later I go to a funeral of a family from church, and one of the parents of a student in my program comes over to my parents and relates how grateful their family was that I started the program (their daughter received her communion in the program). More dividends! Payoff number three: And why I have tears in my eyes as I type this: A long time passes. I go to work at one career, get married, have kids, switch careers, and find myself working back in my home town in 1997. I get introduced around to the new co-workers, nearly all of which are a good deal older than me. None of them do I recognize, nor do they know me. I sit down on a coffee break with a woman in her early sixties who somehow gets on the topic of the Catholic Church and it's shortcomings. She goes on and on, not even asking if I am a churchgoer or Catholic or anything, but then stops, and reconsiders. And she starts telling me that the only thing her church has ever done for her and her family was that many years earlier they started a CCD program for handicapped children - and her son could finally get religious instruction and not feel left out or shunned. Literally, that was the ONLY thing she thought her religion had done for her and she was quite adamant about it. She had no idea that I was the 16 year old kid that did that for her. I was floored, and still am, that something I did in Scouting had an effect on generations to come, and was thought of so warmly over so many years. Big time payoff number three! And a lesson I have never forgot about the power of Scouting to change lives. Thanks for listening.
  16. 5 points
    That's ridiculous. I run recruiting for my Pack and I'd quit the job in an instant if my district wanted that much control over how we recruit. Guess I'm lucky. My DE showed up at our last recruiting night and the only time he talked to me was to just say that he was impressed with what we were doing. Beyond that he watched from the sidelines and that's exactly where a district rep belongs at a recruitment event.
  17. 4 points
    Go with him! Go with him and make some memories. At camp, don't let him velcro to you, he can go off with the other Scouts but see you back for whenever the adult leaders and youth are in proximity -- meals? (I don't know, I have not been to summer camp yet). But be there, but when you are there he has his own schedule and stuff, and you have your own stuff. Talk to the counselor and the Scoutmaster about it. Your son should be working with his patrol leader and that kid will be the point person for your son at camp, NOT you. I hope that helps! After his first time he may be much more comfortable.
  18. 4 points
    Lesson there, at least for me , is not to give a Like , UP- arrow, Thanks, etc until more than an hour later so poster does not change content under ones nose. RS P.S. Also thanks to @ParkMan and @Sentinel947 for reporting the same problem with that same member!
  19. 4 points
    The dissonance comes from a deep understanding that the newly imposed "minimum leader requirements" directly clash with what the majority of us were led to believe was "age- and program- appropriate supervision" required for an average patrol meeting/activity. When I was a scout, the appropriate supervision for a meeting was a patrol leader and an assistant. That continues to be the case, on some visceral level, for the majority of 11-18 year old boys in this country, and they will find ways to form their "patrols" outside of the auspices of the BSA. This is the crux of the problem. The core program at its best will ensure that adults don't need to be present at a gathering of Scouts or Venturers. The youth will maybe invite us join them for some brief opening, then we adults could literally go on an hour hike (most of us should) and come back for closing then get a re-cap from the officers regarding plans, questions, etc ... But, that ideal program butts up against the tragedy of a perverse and litigious society -- one which is setting a moving target as to how to defend against its worst actors.
  20. 4 points
    Thanks for the update. It's not surprising that the background check came back with problems. It was hard to imagine he wasn't avoiding it, with so much time having gone by and it was still not done. Hard to imagine someone isn't trying hard to avoid a background check when they act like that. This still seems like a massive failure at the district and council level to adequately support the Pack in this. You essentially had an unregistered, non-background-checked adult pretending to be a CM. And seemingly refusing to allow a background check. That should have been a huge red flag for everyone, all the way up the chain. And yet it took this long to finally resolve the matter, and only really because of what happened in the guy's personal life. While it is generally true that DEs tend to be slow to action with Pack affairs, preferring to let units and COs resolve these matters, in this case I would think that this would be the kind of thing that just had to be dealt with immediately. That a Pack was operating with a rogue CM, who clearly was causing chaos among the committee and Pack operations, with known past legal issues and refusing to take a background check, how they managed to let it go on this long is baffling. For all of the emphasis we get these days on YPT, that something like this was allowed to go on for so long just defies all logic. I still think someone (probably the DE in question) should be removed from their post for failing to adequately address this and protect the scouts in this Pack.
  21. 4 points
    Some of my best Scouting memories have been helping Scouts to earn the Rifle and Shotgun merit badges.
  22. 4 points
    While it's a shame they dropped it my guess is there might be some history behind the decision to not allow publicity for any outside group. Imagine the worst of groups that you'd clearly not allow. Now think of all those that you'd clearly allow. Now find the sweet spot in the middle where the school is just going to get a bunch of people angry deciding yes or no. That's likely what they don't want. They may like cub scouts just fine. How about having your son go ask the principal why they have that rule? Coach him to be respectful and that alone may just put a seed in the principal's mind to reconsider.
  23. 4 points
    The new program name is "Scouts BSA", but the Scouts themselves are just called "Scouts": Scouts BSA Program Resources: FAQ (page 10) Also the Guide to Advancement: https://www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement/mechanics-of-advancement/scouts-bsa/
  24. 4 points
    I was a Cub Scout earning AOL and a Boy Scout briefly in the early to mid 80s. We didnt have siblings tagging along nor did we have sisters doing the same stuff we were but not getting credit. So the girls have always been there reasoning has not been a convincing factor for me. I was against girls in Cub Scouts and Boy... Uhhh Scouts BSA. What's the logically next step for someone with my views on the subject?? Yep, I had a lenghtly discussion with my CM about laying groundwork for a female Troop in our area. My daughter is a 5th grader this year and a member in another national scouting organization. The have been working on their drawing badge. <eye roll> My daughter and one other girl want to camp and do outdoor things but no one else in the Troop wants to do those activities. So, they make posters and stuff at their meetings. With my training and experience I almost feel obligated to create the opportunity for my daughter and what I assume are other interested girls to have the scout experience they want.
  25. 4 points
    Forty two years ago.... We mostly worked. As @MikeS72 well said, it was still fun, even the work weekends. Conclaves and the '79 NOAC were enjoyable. Looking back, I think the prime motivator for me was OA camaraderie, rather than an emphasis on fun. Quiet pride. To make the cut at the troop level, complete a difficult ordeal, and associate with like-minded honor campers whose outlook was "give the us the tough jobs", that to me was more important than fun. To be around those types of scouts and scouters made me strive to be a better camper and leader. Taking on the dirty jobs that no one else wanted to do became a habit that helped me quite a bit in adult life.... "...seek to preserve a cheerful spirit, even the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities...." It's amazing how often I still remind myself of these words. The OA could readopt the old criteria. If it wanted to.
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