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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/25/19 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    If I thought the post was disingenuous I would have. The OP is in a unfamiliar environment and in need of skills to succeed or reconsideration of his involvement. IMO. the instructive, scoutlike discussion by multiple members which followed was a better solution to the insensitivity and prejudice expressed by OP. This does not always work but we try to help first. @desertrat77 , @MattR
  2. 2 points
    The posts by @RememberSchiff, @Sentinel947, & @Eagle1993 are very well taken. I'm pretty sure we're seeing high level BSA politics play out online. Not knowing any of the players directly it is hard to ascertain motives. However, looking at this as objectively as possible I sense that Mr. Stinnett has simply had enough. It's not that he's trying to destroy the BSA, but he's fighting for it. At that level fights can be nasty and so you get quotes like Ms. Blanchards. My feelings mirror those of the other posters. I have been a defender of national on this forum a great many times over the years. But, it is growing increasingly difficult for me to support their actions here. We are asked to blindly accept these decisions as good members of the BSA - yet they forget that a great many of us devote hundreds, if not thousands, of hours a year in service of Scouting. For many of us that service has been continuous over a period of 10, 20, 30, or even more years. The BSA is a unique place. About 99% of people who work to make Scouting a reality are volunteers. We are not professional Scouters who have to follow because it's our profession. You cannot simply manage this group, you have to lead it. Leadership is all about communicating a vision and inspiring people to follow you. Management is about making effective choices in running an organization. From what I can tell, the BSA professional style is one driven by managers. Decisions are made and we are expected to follow. Maybe that works for professionals, but not senior volunteers. Someone like Mr. Stinnett is bold enough to take decisive action as a result. I don't doubt that the senior managers in the BSA are all very smart, accomplished people. But, if the professional culture of the BSA is really about promoting good managers, then maybe we should not be surprised that the most senior executives in the BSA are not strong leaders of both volunteers and professionals. Leading an organization where 99% of your staff is volunteer based requires a completely different set of skills. I really don't care where it comes from, but we need some leadership here. As mentioned, I have my doubts that the BSA professional system can produce such a leader - but am willing to be proven wrong. As mentioned before, today I'm of the belief that the BSA needs to look externally. Bring in someone with very strong leadership skills and then support them with accomplished managers. Perhaps someone like a former governor or cabinet secretary.
  3. 2 points
    I keep hearing the "selling data" issue come up. I think this concern is kinda silly being most of us provide data to facebook and google willingly on a daily basis. Being self employed for most of my life, I was amazed how much paperwork I had to sign when I became an employee three years ago. Point being, many employers require the same checks, if not more. I suspect some may want IP addresses soon.
  4. 1 point
    A grandmother driving her two Cub grandsons to a state conservation area, a railroad crossing without gates or flashing lights or stop sign... https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20191124/amtrak-crash-boy-scout-trip-ends-in-tragedy-at-gate-less-rail-crossing Scout salute and farewell,
  5. 1 point
    Can I verify it for him? I looked her up as well, and I would considered myself a pretty good researcher. As Evie O'Connell said, "I am a librarian. "
  6. 1 point
    I'm a rural DE. Supporting scout units is what I do (or at least try to do). Anything specific you neeed help with?
  7. 1 point
    Censorship for political correctness does no good. Depending on the mod, your indignance might be muzzled -- such requests most always end badly. The OP is a scouter who boldly states his biases. You think he's wrong, but he doesn't seem to think so. If this is some flight of fancy of some DE, he may be be spot on. If some members of the target community have been asking for such a program, he may indeed be allowing his worst-case perceptions to get the better of him. Either his perception of the situation or the situation itself is the obstacle. (We've seen both on this forum.) We've more to gain from guiding the OP through that than we have demanding he not say those mean things. I speak as an erstwhile deplorable. My more recent observations have been that the rural venturing crews in our area have been more successful than the urban and suburban ones.
  8. 1 point
    One of my former Explorer Scouts (And Queen's Scout Award holder) is one of the team on this. Not that I'm taking any credit mind you. Looks like an amazing trip.
  9. 1 point
    I am sure its not what everyone in the district "wants" me to do, BUT... so I don't miss out on training opportunities coming up I went ahead and signed up for our University of Scouting that happens Jan 4. There is also an IOLS course Jan 11. I took BALOO/IOLS last March together, but I feel like I could do a repeat and it would be worth my time.
  10. 1 point
    That is super cool. Here is the info on the Barque Eagle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USCGC_Eagle_(WIX-327)
  11. 1 point
    @ParkMan, well said. However, I'm doubtful that even a former governor or any highly accomplished leader could help the professional scouter corps in its present state. Individually, there are many great pros. Collectively, because the pro staff has become so insular and bureaucratic, they'll figure out a way to appear to be on board with the new direction, all the while keeping the status quo. I think a bigger broom is going to be needed to enact the changes you've recommended.
  12. 1 point
    No doubt yall all know more about the Scouting world than I do, but this was on FB this evening...
  13. 1 point
    This morning I picked up a newspaper and this story made the front page. The BSA cannot seem to help getting itself more and more bad publicity. I'm generally pretty supportive of national as I know they have a tough job right now. But the way this was handled was awful. Risking the crown jewel of the BSA, not even discussing this with the oversight board, and all this news now of these arrogant statements to the board. You put all of that on top of the poor marketing and commimications national does anyways. I really do think that it's time for a serious influx of outside leadership into the BSA. This process of promoting from within is not working. I fully agree. Can we sticky this?
  14. 1 point
    We are not at bankruptcy yet, there is no court involvement, no Chapter 11 trustee overseeing and reorganizing us, the debtor. Seven months ago, National secretly extended their credit line by $446 million to spend as they wish, though presumably for liability insurance. Not legally necessary? to discuss this action before or after with the Philmont Ranch Committee or the Waite Phillips family and maybe not the Executive Board, and certainly not the members. I doubt former BSA President Rex Tillerson was informed. As Philmont Scout Ranch Committee Member and attorney Mr. Stinnett wrote. “The first point of the Scout Law is ‘A Scout is trustworthy.’ I am distressed beyond words at learning that our leaders apparently have not been.” So $446 million more for National to spend as they wish and faced with the loss of that control and executive job loss when bankruptcy reorganization arrives, will the money be used for insurance or/and pay raises, pensions, severance packages, and golden parachutes? Merry Christmas. “...Waite Philips magnificent gift has now been put at risk.” Save Philmont for future generations. Please contact Mark Stinnett and ask him to take legal measures to reverse this “betrayal” of agreements made with the Phillips family. mstinnett@stmmlaw.com My $0.02,
  15. 1 point
    This is what frustrates me the most. It's not the higher fees, I can deal with that. It's what appears to be blatant disregard for volunteer input, something that the BSA supposedly prides itself on. Obviously that's not true. No more than right now is it more important to focus on the unit.
  16. 1 point
    After taking a hard and professional look at everything going on and all the problems we are facing. I think we're going to need more popcorn.
  17. 1 point
    I am quitting because of poor self esteem and depression. I am going to use the free time to sit at home and not burden others with my incompetence. Honestly!!
  18. 1 point
    As I recall, back in the 70's BSA was hard on the ropes due to an unpopular war, declining numbers, a negative image and program changes that the rank and file were unprepared for. But, overtime National was able to save it's self. The waters may be rough, but the ship is still afloat. I've a feeling it's still too early for the eulogy, and that the storm can be endured...
  19. 1 point
    Nor should you even worry about doing so. That would be missing the point (rely on the "authority of the resource"). LNT practitioners generally regard snow as a "durable surface". Build those snow shelters! Stomp down a tent platform for the night! It's all good because the next snowfall is going to cover up your traces and when things thaw out, not a trace remains. The only reason to worry about knocking down snow structures is to minimize the aesthetic changes, purely as a courtesy to anyone else who might be passing through.
  20. 1 point
    Instead of viewing it as reducing bureaucracy at the Council and National levels, view it as restoring TRUST in unit volunteers. Train'em, trust 'em and maybe even treat them as adults. Some thoughts... Units can easily tract advancement themselves either with the old paper scout advancement record or whatever software they are using. No need for a National database. No need to send Eagle workbooks to National either (what do they do with them?) Actually the whole Eagle workbook should be replaced with just a signoff sheet and one page project description. Units can also discreetly decide alternate advancement requirements on their own. No need to violate the privacy of special needs families who are being asked to send documented requests to strangers on a Council Advancement Committee. My $0.02,
  21. 1 point
    As I discussed above, I agree that there has to be a certain limited professional infrastructure to provide particular resources that are beyond the capabilities of individual units or area or regional collections of units and unit volunteers. But when you are talking about organizing multi-unit programs, or promoting Scouting in communities, or assisting units and leaders via training and commissioner service, volunteers are doing all of that already. They don't need a council or district structure, or council or district professionals, to make it happen. I've dealt with some fine district executives and other professionals, but they weren't doing program or commissioner work. They were overseeing fundraising to pay for council operations, administering membership paperwork flow between the council on one hand and units and volunteers on the other, and encouraging/nagging district volunteers to do things to ensure that the district hit all of its council-established performance targets. We continue to need volunteers working individually and in teams and committees to provide programming for units beyond what individual units can do on their own; and to provide training, help, and advice to develop unit leaders and improve unit quality; and to promote the program in the community so that units will have fertile ground for recruiting. But we don't need a professional Scouting bureaucracy to do those things, and we don't need layers of organization that have their own goals (such as fundraising) that are disconnected from supporting and developing unit Scouting.
  22. 1 point
    This is a list I compiled in another thread of functions requiring professional staff at the Council or National level. Liability insurance protecting Scout leaders when claims are made against them Medical insurance protecting Scouts and other participants injured in Scouting activities Uniform youth protection and conduct policies Adult applicant background checks, screening, reporting, and enforcement of conduct policies Uniform health and safety policies, incident reporting, and research Relationships with local, state, and national agencies and organizations that can enhance Scouting programs Scouting news and policy publications and communications Local Scout properties available year-round for camping, hiking, campfires, and other basic Scouting outdoor activities Beyond these functions, I don't think there is much that requires the kind of bureaucracy we currently have. Camporees and Klondikes don't need districts - they need units. Merit badge clinics can be run by units (if not abolished in a reformed Scouting organization). Summer camp programs - do we need them? Especially since they have become primarily merit badge clinics? Units are capable of banding together to sponsor a week-long program at a Scout property. Is there anything the Council has done on recruiting that a unit or group of units could not do? We don't need Scoutbook and other nationwide IT systems: There is no reason that there has to be a national list of all BSA youth members, much less a national database for all advancement. Units did very well with Troopmaster and TroopWebHost and the many other unit management products developed in the last 30 years. Many units "roll their own" high adventure programs or work with commercial outfitters. We don't even need uniform national advancement requirements and procedures and uniforms. All we need are goals, a short list of "Must Haves," and a short list of "No-Nos" -- which democratically elected volunteer committees can agree upon, based upon local conditions. Then leave it to units and collections of units to pick and choose from the vast treasury of more than a hundred years of Scouting lore and materials already out there, plus newly developed program. We already have the goals and some "Must Haves" in the BSA's Congressional Charter, United States Code Title 36, Section 30902: "The purposes of the corporation are to promote, through organization, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods that were in common use by boy scouts on June 15, 1916."
  23. 1 point
    I would start with recruiting at least a small cadre of adults before recruiting scouts. You need engaged adults to help shoulder the burden or you will burn out quickly. Get your leadership together and then start reaching out. As someone who lives in a rural(ish) area with, as kids say, "nothing to do", offer a vibrant program that dovetails into the rural culture. Be willing to bend your vision to meet the community at least half way. Oh, and get your program out there --- newspaper articles, Facebook page, IG, etc. <--- Kids are very social these days.
  24. 1 point
    A fool's errand? Of course it is. So when has that ever stopped us? I've been a part of such an attempt twice, once in a poor part of Maryland (tobacco fields and 20 year old pickups), once in a urban setting where ankle monitors on the scouts were not uncommon. From my very limited experience 1- you can NOT help someone who does not want to be helped. All you can do is make sure they know the offer is there. 2- parents have more influence than a scout leader. 3- there are some who are looking for a way out, something better. Even if they try to hide it in order to fit in or act tough . These are the kids you are looking for. The few who make it worth the stress and the effort. 4- start with the churches.
  25. -1 points
    I was looking over the 20 questions tonight. HA HA HA. Nevermind. Woodbadge is obviously designed for individuals who have high self worth and are optimists. I'd just like some additional training.. not a way to further beat myself up.