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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/26/19 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Yes it's complex, and many faceted. And I admit, you need experienced volunteers to help units with program. But what happens when you have volunteers with 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60+ years of Scouter experience who raise concerns and questions, and are ignored, browbeaten, or worse, expelled from the movement? I've seen all three happen, including the expulsion of a longtime volunteer who discovered some financial irregularities. When volunteers do not feel appreciated, they leave. When volunteers are overruled on things, they leave. When volunteers feel like they have been lied to, they leave. Mark Stinnet is the best public example of this. Over 40 years as a volunteer, served on the National Philmont Oversight Committee, and not only was he informed of decisions AFTER THE FACT on something HE HAD OVERSIGHT OF, he was then ignored and told he does not know what he is talking about when concerns were raised . A lot of long time Scouters in my area feel that they have been ignored and lied to, and they have walked with their feet. And when experienced folks leave, there is a very large place that is a void. Many excellent organizers and trainers have left altogether, while some are now focusing solely on their units. People who loved and supported the BSA for years, and some cases decades, no longer want anything to do with the BSA because of the professionals at National. And that hurts everyone.
  2. 2 points
    I think this is getting closer to the crux of the problem. There is training and there is coaching mentoring and encouragement. The troops use both. In fact, it's heavily weighted towards the latter. The councils barely use training. For other than safety related training, the model is one and done. So, how to run a scout troop? It's based on the lowest common denominator and one and done. Outdoor skills? One and done. Everyone here says one needs to seek further on one's own to improve. This doesn't match the problem of having fewer parents with outdoor skills. They don't know what they don't know, just like the scouts. Everyone here knows that when working with scouts and developing their leadership skills it is anything but one and done. So why does anyone expect treating the volunteers the way we would never treat the scouts expect this to work? Also, maybe this is why one and done is considered acceptable in the guide to advancement. Can't retest. Say that to the wilderness first aid people. And when you look at this issue in the larger context of how national works with councils and councils work with units, it's worse. The definition of a good unit is based on JTE. JTE is based on SMART goals from the one and done woodbadge training (simple, measurable goals). And yet, when we work with youth it's much more of a relationship than a form to fill out. What are their goals? What would they like to accomplish? What do they think should be done? How can we help facilitate that? We push for a mixture of bottom up with a humble, wise use of top down. Look at how that matches with the top down approach that defines the BSA. No wonder people say it has to be more than training. In a way, it does. Someone needs to grow the volunteers the same way we try to grow the youth leaders. What a novel concept, the council will work with the volunteers the way they want the volunteers to work with the scouts. Wouldn't that be a great way to learn the program? The usual explanation is that's what round table and commissioners are for. But that doesn't work, because it's not central to the program. You can run a troop without ever going to round table. In fact, most SM's don't because they're too busy as it is. And that round table is usually just a bunch of announcements. As for a lack of volunteers, at least in my council we have lost a good 75% of the best, bleed green, will continue long past their sons, volunteers over the past 10 years because of the idiocy of the CE. Consequently, all we ever hear from our DE's are sell more popcorn, make a bigger donation, and get your numbers up (and this is coming from the CE). Just imagine that approach between the SM and the PLC. Would you call it servant leadership or adult led? So, I'm not saying I know the answer. I just see a problem. Some leadership would be greatly appreciated. I don't think the BSA needs to do much with the methods or aims. However, they should focus on how the methods achieve the aims and, particularly, they should hold up everything they do against that metric and do a massive start, stop, continue, with a lot of input from the volunteers. Just one idea: within a district, make patrols out of the SM's. 6-8 in a patrol (all from different troops or packs) with a patrol leader. They're in it together to help each other out. Round table is the "troop" meeting and it includes plenty of time for patrol meetings. They talk about what they want to do and accomplish. If they want to do their own camporee then great! They trade ideas. Offer help. It helps the units. It also teaches patrol method. Another idea: Make ranks for scouters, or at least ways to recognize and develop scouters based on their interests. In depth outdoor skills? In depth patrol method? Well, in depth anything that the usual training covers. Just two ideas that came from looking at how the methods lead to the aims and applying that to district unit interactions.
  3. 2 points
    Again - it's a complex issue. We are doing our volunteers a disservice by not being frank with them. To have a quality program, they have to build a quality program. You can't take a couple of BSA courses and have enough knowledge to run a unit. You have to be humble enough to recognize that you have to continue to try, to work hard, to improve the unit. The Scoutmaster of our troop has been at is for 25 years. Yet, he still looks for new ideas and new things to do. He still listens to new voices and grows the program. No amount of training is every going to install the willingness to try. You don't go from someone who hasn't camped before, take a course, and then go camping in January unless you want to do that. Coaching, mentoring, and encouragement can do that. But training - generally it cannot. I know the BSA corporate culture is out of whack. I am fortunate to work with great professionals. But, they are being sold a lie. The success of Scouting does not rely upon them, the success of Scouting relies on volunteers. Professionals need to enable volunteers, not replace them. Councils & districts should be run by volunteers - not professionals. I think the BSA should replace the phase "volunteer led, professionally guided" with "volunteer led, professionally supported." I think that we've all take then "guided" a little too literally.
  4. 2 points
    You think people who come here represent the norm? Think again. Adults are the critical, diminishing resource for effective program., There were a few adult-shortage such issues in the late 1960s, but the membership bloodbath of the "Improved Scouting Program" brought the shortage of adults to the fore. BSA has done nothing to correct this problem. Indeed, as a District Chairman, I got a letter of reprimand for directly recruiting adults, actually only Eagle Scouts, as volunteers. That was, and apparently still is, contrary to policy. Something about safety. I was also told not to ask them for money as that would "interfere" council fund-raising. I had not thought of begging because The Scout Law explained, under "Thrifty," that A Scout did not beg. That was then. Adults today are less and less likely to commit to regular service - or even bowling or card-playing. Therefore, BSA should be trying to get the maximum program work out of each one recognizing good program service to encourage their gift of their irreplaceable time. BSA sees money to meet salary as the critical, diminishing resource. And primarily recognizes donations of money to meet salaries. Our council does not award ten Scouter's Keys a year. Cart, horse. Volunteers are less and less likely to have experienced actual Scouting, since it started to disappear forty-seven years ago. Fewer and fewer adults have experienced sharpening a knife (much less an axe), starting a fire, or tying knots. That suggests, to me, the need for training opportunities. Almost every organization sees training as essential. Not, apparently, BSA, as less and less focus is placed on training in program, as contrasted with bureaucracy. BSA counts indoor overnight activities as weekend campouts. Units that camp monthly, or their leaders and Scouters, are not recognized. What might BSA to to encourage camping? Absence of the Patrol Method results in a non-Scouting program for well-over 75% of youth in "Scouting BSA." Yet BSA does not train adults or Scouts in the Patrol Method - Scouting. Neither does BSA recognize or otherwise encourage the use of Scouting or discourage the use of non-Scouting. The standard BSA "Troop Meeting Plan" teaches the troop method, allocating only few minutes to "Patrol Meeting," and having skills instruction implicitly a troop function - the opposite of Scouting. Blame the inexperienced, untrained, unrecognized "sales force" as you will. There are people being paid, some quite well, to design the "Product" and train the sales force. They get raises as sales decline. They do not see that a poor product, poorly sold, will eventually bring what they most fear.
  5. 2 points
    The Professionals share a substantial amount of blame for why the BSA as a whole is where it is currently. Respectfully, I have to disagree that volunteers do not have a part of it. Is the official BSA training inadequate? Yes. But I'd wager at least 50% of troops are failing at the basics (Having an outing at least once a month, attending summer camp, youth planning activities and leading the Troop.) At some point, that's on volunteers, many of who should know better. We all know volunteers in other units in our councils who despite taking all the required training and then some, and still do not get it. Even when the training in their council or district is good (typically being supplemented by the additions of experienced and motivated volunteers), there are many units that are not getting their Scouts outdoors, and aren't giving their Scouts opportunities to grow and lead their own troops. When a Troop puts on a lackluster program and bores Scouts out of Scouting, that's not really on Irving or the Council professionals so much as it is on the volunteers. Should Irving put out better materials? Yes. But this forum is full of Scouters who's Troops have succeeded despite what does or does not happen in Irving. Irving may end up successfully dragging the entire organization into the financial abyss soon enough, but we as volunteers ultimately determine whether Scouting continues in our communities.
  6. 2 points
    It's only silly if you haven't bothered to educate yourself about what companies like Facebook and Google are actually doing and if you do not care at all about your own personal privacy. Speak for yourself. There are many of us who do *NOT* use Facebook precisely because we do not agree with their socially irresponsible terms and conditions. Instead, we advocate for government to step up and enact RESPONSIBLE privacy laws and date security laws. In the EU, baby steps in the right direction have taken place, and companies and software professionals talk about how they will respect new laws like the GDPR (except Facebook, which likes to break the law and just pay the multi-billion euro fines out of petty cash). If you actually take a little time to investigate and find out what Facebook is REALLY doing with your data (and how much of it they have collected without your knowledge and consent), you might change your tune. Let's remember the immortal words of Emil Faber, "Knowledge is good."
  7. 1 point
    I like this idea. IMO, it should not require a SM give up more free time . Just as public school teachers allocate school days to professional training maybe so should scouters with their troop meetings and activities... No troop meeting this week, I'm at training. Service project instead of campout this month as I will be patrol camping with other SM's (patrol camping? ).
  8. 1 point
    I'm a railroader, and this breaks my heart. Please just pay attention, don't try to beat the train. Look both ways, whether there are lights, gates, wooden crossbucks, whatever. Not only does this affect the family, but the crew on the train as well. We are helpless when this happens, we can't stop in time. The guilt you live with is overwheming.
  9. 1 point
    National financial problems - You are correct, these are due to the sexual abuse cases of the 70's, 80's, etc. The SBR was a bet that hasn't worked out too well - so yes, throw that in there too. Though volunteers did the abusing, that's not really the issue. That "the BSA" allowed it to happen for so long and go undealt with is the issue. These problems are not created by volunteers you are correct. Yes. National is here to build functioning councils. Councils are here to build functioning districts. Districts are here to support and enable strong unit programs. Part of enabling strong unit programs requires that district volunteers understand how to effectively talk to unit leaders. We all need to be treated with respect. Simply getting up there in front of the group and yammering on about how unit leaders are doing things wrong is a mistake. Whomever is sitting there waiving their finger at you for not attending the council cub camps needs to sit down. Those cub camps need to be organized by volunteers. Those volunteers should be listening to unit volunteers and building cub camp programs that people want to attend. If they are not then that's an issue.
  10. 1 point
    Sorry, but National cannot blame volunteers for this and the current financial mess the organization is in, they can blame certain volunteers with a predilection and drive to molest the youth entrusted to them and they can blame their predecessors for not being more proactive in eliminating those individuals from the roles of volunteers. They can blame those who were spending the money at the National level for properties like SBR. They can take a long hard look in the salaries at the top level of national and the council execs (who should NOT be earning more that schools superintendents in their region) Since the announcement of the new National fees and this Philmont Mortgage there has been lots of unhappy grumbling in my district. Our council charges a ‘Program Fee’ per youth or adult registered. When pressed over the past years as to what portion of program it covers they finally came clean and said the council offices and salaries. They were offended at the suggestion it be called a Council Membership Fee or Council Joining Fee like National does. When they were pressed about what kind of cub programs (day/weekend events) they will offer, the answer was “depends on what the volunteers want to plan, organize and then we will help them figure a budget and an attendance fee”. No staffers available to come help with the event. Sorry but I’m a little skeptical about the future. We go to Roundtable and get finger wagged about about all the things we could/should be doing to make things better for the organization and a lot of the smaller units want to make things better for the kiddos they are serving first. Show me one adult volunteer who wants to be told by council about all the stuff they aren’t doing right or enough of and here is more paperwork/online training that you need to do so we have data on the program. Case in point: this month the report was how the cub camp at council camps have declining numbers for resident and day camp. This is because, strangely a lot of the packs in our district are opting to hold Weekend Pack Campouts because it’s less $$ for families and program can be tailored to the group. BSA should decide if they want to use camping as a money maker or skills/leader maker. To blame volunteers for the financial problems is wrong. The people at the top control the purse not the volunteers
  11. 1 point
    The formula for volunteer engagement has not changed. When followed, it is as powerful as ever, as we can see in strong units with lots of active volunteers. Adults spend their time and energy and resources on things that they value. What do they value? Activities that are fun for their kids, especially if the activities have some greater value. Activities that are fun for the particular adult, especially if the activities have some greater value that is understandable to whoever that adult reports to (spouse, significant other, boss, children). Activities that are not really fun but that are necessary because they have a what the particular adult sees as significant value. The first two are the ones that draw them in and keep them. Without the first two, the third one is not enough to motivate a parent. If the unit program doesn't appeal to the kids, you probably aren't going to get the parents. So a fun program for the youth is the threshold. Then, the adult has to see Scouting as having some greater value; but we can't depend on adults just knowing what Scouting is or why it matters today -- we have to show it. And then adults have to see that they can have fun with Scouting too: friends in the unit; special activities for adults at campouts; fun skill activities for the adults where they can learn the same skills the Scouts are learning; things that they can enjoy doing; and things in which they, too, can make a difference. And when adults are having fun and feel like they are making a difference, they will want to do more.
  12. 1 point
    The cause of what is going on in the BSA is complex. But make no mistake, much of this is because of volunteer and program issues. My district has 15 packs. The largest 5 account for 70% of all the Cub Scouts in the District. The smallest 5 account for 10%. The largest pack is bigger than the smallest 5 put together. Each of these small packs recruits 2 or 3 kids a year. Do they do school talks - no. Do they put of flyers - no. Do they recruit at their CO - no. Do they spread the word through social media - no. All of those things our local council trains on, encourages, and provides DE support for. They all complain about not having enough Scouts or volunteers - but what are they doing to fix the issue? On the other hand, the larger packs are doing great. They are growing, thriving, and have absolutely no issues with recruiting. Do I blame the small unit volunteers - no. They're volunteers and I'm thrilled that they care enough to be here. But, if they wanted to grow it's within their power to do so. Energize the program and get the word out. But, it's got to start with the desire to do so. Scouting in my area is getting smaller because 1) you've got to be willing to try, 2) pack/troop size matters, and 3) stuff happens. I could spend hours talking about this. National and councils are culpable in this because they've never figured out how to address this. I believe that the single best thing we could do to reverse the trend is to invest in functioning district teams led by volunteers. Small to mid size packs & troops need support and encouragement. If the unit is struggling they need a helping hand. They need a network of people they can lean on for moral support and training. They need ideas and encouragement. Yet, what has national & council done. They've replaced live training with online training. In struggling districts they've replaced volunteers with professionals instead of fixing the volunteer issue. As volunteers we all complain about the heavy handedness of national and councils. The mindset of national and councils is all wrong. National is here to build functioning councils. Councils are here to build functioning districts. Districts are here to support and enable strong unit programs. Yes - I understand it seems like I'm arguing two different things - but I am not. For packs & troops to thrive, they have to want to. But, national and councils need to do what they can to create a supportive environment where people want to, are equipped to, and are supported to thrive.
  13. 1 point
    So you are saying these are not issues? How do expect new adults, especially ones with NO (emphasis) Boy Scout/Scouts BSA experience to provide a productive program for the youth. Training should be the answer, but it is a joke as others have pointed out. I have seen "trained" adults nearly destroy troops. Remember this is a brand new troop, only in existence since February 2019. It is one of the hundreds that have arisen this past year. The only experienced Scouter is the SM, everyone else is new to Scouts BSA. But every adult is "trained." Apparently there was was some "discussion" among the the "trained" ASMs scheduled to go camping and the "trained and experienced" SM who worked with the youth, and got them prepared to go. The "trained" ASMs had no experience cold weather camping. The "trained" ASMs had been camping since March, including summer camp. Plus their time with Cub Scout family camping. Plus SM had been working with his Scouts, and his ASMs, on the matter. The Scouts were indeed ready, it was the "trained" adults who were not. Why "back to basics" training, training that is no longer done, is so vital for having a productive program. Especially with all the new troops coming into existence. ITOLS is suppose to "" Futher I am sorry, but something is wrong with the training program if "trained" adults do not want to go camping, except for health, safety, and emergency reasons. And don't try and blame their trainers, I know them well. I helped trained them, and used one of them as staff for my ITOLS course. The other took over my job as Training Chair. Yes, a Scouter with drive and vision is important. But Scouters having the Knowledge, Skills, Abilities that come from both TRAINING and EXPERIENCE are vital to the success of a program. When a bunch of "trained" but inexperienced ASMs argue with the trained and experienced SM, and force his hand to cancel a trip by pulling out at the last minute, there is a problem. BSA's current training syllabi are no effective and need to be redone. But I know that won't happen unless changes at National occur. I, and other former pros, know BSA's corporate culture regarding volunteers: recruit ones that agree with you 100% and use them until they burn out or they start disagreeing with you and need to be removed. I was encouraged to use that approach as DE. I saw it in several districts and councils I was involved in. I have friends who have been involved on the regional and national levels that this has happened to them. Until someone at National realizes academic theories are not working, and BSA needs to get 'Back to Basics" and folks on the committee are all on board, change won't happen. So I do not blame the volunteers, but the professionals.
  14. 1 point
    I guess the Sixteen Nineteen Council wasn't on the ballot.
  15. 1 point
    "These are really volunteer and program issues." So let's blame the volunteers, who can only "vote with their feet" and their pocketbooks. That should raise morale - and contributions. The beatings will continue ...... Why do we need BSA if the people we collectively pay many $millions have no responsibility for results? We had ninety-nine troops in the Cleveland, Ohio, area before BSA even arrived in 1912. One hundred and five years later, with a much larger population, I doubt we have that many - actually meeting - in the same area today. We have sold off three camps and part of the fourth to meet payroll. The Service Center building is in bad shape and getting worse. Leadership is often not immaterial to organization results. If they are not leaders, if it's all on the volunteers, what value do the "professionals" add for their $millions? Members of the National Board may soon be having conversations with their personal lawyers about "fiduciary responsibility" - the duty owed under law to the entity rather than it's management. I hope so. I wish them well, as the fate of a program I have served for over fifty-one years (and contributed to pretty generously) is on the line. I still hope, against hope. But I see no basis to be impressed by the performance of National employees, and some council employees, since 1970, and I am less impressed by the year. But they ask me to invest more money every month, on declining results.
  16. 1 point
    It's easy to point at these cases and blame the lack of youth experience or training as the problem. These are really volunteer leadership and program issues. A Scoutmaster should be cultivating the adults in the program so that they build up to cold weather camping. With your typical Scout in the program for 4-5 years, there should be a bunch of experienced adults who have cold weather camped before - even if they were never Scouts as a youth. When a new parent joins, the Scoutmaster ought to say - "why don't you come on this camping trip in April". Then again in September, then November, then January. Now the parent says "January - wow, that's too cold." So, the Scoutmaster says - "no problem, I got a couple of leaders who's kids started 3 years ago that now like to camp in January & February - maybe you'll be up to it next year." Perhaps around a time in history where many parents had been in the military there would be lots of adults who show up with a lot of outdoor experience. But, in an industrialized country like ours it's going to be the exception to find parents with a strong outdoor background. So, a troop has to build up to it. If I see a trend around here, it's that effort, preparation, and program pay off. The strongest troops I see are often those with some leader who has the drive to make it happen. It has little to do with training and prior Scouting experience.
  17. 1 point
    "Useless" training should be replaced by useful training. The BSA position-specific syllabus since 2000 does not allow coverage of the topics in sufficient depth so it is often boring for those with Scouting experience and shallow for those with no Scouting experience. Excellent staff can ameliorate the time deficiency only slightly with "home-work" materials and high energy. Wood Badge does not "explain," or "demonstrate" the Patrol Method. Many participants see it as modeling the adult-run troop method. After all, the "adults" (staff) run almost everything and almost all training is run by "adults, the vast, vast majority in troop sessions. Even after the big changes in 1972, and until 2001, Wood Badge patrols camped, cooked, ate, did "Spare Time Activities," and studied as patrols. Largely, that experience has passed from Wood Badge with the deemphasis on Scouting.. Wood Badge does virtually nothing with the Outdoor Method. Wood Badge once (pre-1972) covered Scoutcraft through First Class, and how to effectively teach it, in two fractions of a day and six full days. BSA pretends to cover the same, less first aid and how to teach Scoutcraft, in a single day. Change is said to be coming to Wood Badge. Change is not always improvement, as we have seen. The motivated may find "other" training on outdoor program or Scoutcraft at "universities of scouting," Baden-Powell Institutes, or Area training conference. Relatively few Scouters, and fewer Scouts, find their way to "other" training. Our last Area training conference was 300 round-trip miles away, plus accommodations and a reasonable conference fee, and we were closer than most. Some came almost 1000 round trip miles. Our council, managed by an Executive who sees the solution to uninspired training as eliminating training, has cancelled our last three council "other" training events. Neighboring councils soldier on. BSA literature on the Patrol Method or outdoor program does little or nothing to address the shortcomings of live training. The Patrol Method has not been coherently discussed in over forty years, and the Outdoor Method, once covered beyond First Class in Field Books that focused on Scoutcraft, is less and less emphasized. Some few Scouters, bless them, help correct these glaring deficiencies on the unit level, but the average Scoutmaster serves for less than a year and is pressed to get "up to speed" before he is replaced. It may be that Scouting would not "sell" in today's society. Paid Scouters have told me with confidence that it would not sell. Only one thought otherwise, and he retired after forty years at BSA. We will never know as it is not "for sale" at BSA. We can only do what we can and may do. Pray for Scouting, if you are so inclined.
  18. 1 point
    That's because most of the units have Scouters who have had experience as youth and know how the program is to run, or came into established units, and were mentored by the experienced Scouters, and then took over as the experienced folks stepped down. Problem is we are now getting a lot of adults with little to no experience as youth, forming new units. We had a new troop locally whose new adults complained so much about camping in the cold, that the experienced SM was forced to cancel a trip. And these are "trained" new adults I might add.
  19. 1 point
    How many mortgages on Philmont and how much equity does the BSA have left in Philmont? What are the "agreements" the BSA made with the Phillips family for ownership transfer? So far I have found these two sources OA history website (text in black) and http://www.sccovington.com/philmont/trek_info/philmont_overview.htm (in blue) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waite_Phillips In 1937 (1938?) Phillips made one of the most magnanimous gestures in philanthropy – the family donated 35,857 acres of their UU Ranch – much of what Philmonters call “the South Country” to the Boy Scouts of America. That generous donation included the Villa de Philmonte, cattle, horses, hunting cabins and more ($50,000 to develop). His only requirement was that it be used "for the benefit of the members of the Boy Scout organization." This was named "Philturn Rockymountain Scoutcamp" and was developed as a "he-man" wilderness camp. The headquarters for the camp was at the current Ponil camp. Scouts first visited Philturn in March 1939. That summer, ninety-nine boys from Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma stayed for a full twelve days, taking part in such varied activities as gold panning and wildlife study. Ninety additional Scouts camped at Philturn for shorter periods. In all, 1,863 camper days were spent at the property that season. There were just three stipulations: --that it remains a working cattle ranch, which it is. --that his favorite horse “Gus” be allowed to roam freely and live out his life on the ranch. He did. --And that the Phillips family be allowed to visit whenever they please. They have. The first couple of years were limited operations, but seeing the potential and the enthusiastic response in 1941 Phillips added another 91,520 acres bringing the total to 127,395. The gift included the best of Phillips’ camp lands, as well as the ranching headquarters and the Villa de Phimonte – the family’s mountainside home with its majestic view of the Tooth of Time. To help the BSA finance the annual operations of the ranch he added the Philtower Building* in Tulsa. In 1962, the National Council of the BSA purchased 10,098 acres in the Baldy area to expand Philmont to over 137,000 acres. This also preserved the mining relics around Baldy Town so Scouts could experience what life was like during this period of history. * A group of Tulsa investors purchased The Philtower from the Boy Scouts in 1977, and a Partnership known as Philtower, LLC. became the owner of record. Source http://www.philtower.com/about/history/
  20. 1 point
    Ah a Pittsburgher! The capital of Scotland will be shocked to learn that it has lost its "h," having had it for centuries. Not to mention Edinburgh, Ohio, Greenburgh, New York, Hamptonburgh, New York, Plattsburgh, New York, Newburgh, New York, and Edinburgh, Indiana, - at least some of which have residents who know how to properly pronounce "burgh" [no "g" sound]. 😃 But here's hope: Prince Valiant appears weekly in more than 300 American newspapers, according to its distributor, King Features. https://www.comicskingdom.com/prince-valiant/archive
  21. 1 point
    I really hate to be a cynic, but I don't know if the origin of the debt matters. They're losing money and in the red, and they used Philmont to get more money. If they're lucky membership will stop declining, but for now it won't go up. Eventually they will run out of money, file for bankruptcy, and then it gets interesting. I'm more curious about what happens after they file for bankruptcy. In particular, would a judge say "you guys are clueless, it's time for you to get better leadership?" The BSA keeps saying the problems are all external; membership, volunteers, society, whatever. Yet they've never said boo about the possibility that some of the problems are with them. The same thing holds for my council. I keep wondering if it would be so bad if the BSA just folded. Other scout organizations would benefit and there'd be more competition. Parents could also find what they're interested in. Christian, secular, Latvian, whatever you want. Maybe they'd even start having camporees together. Wipe the board clean and start over. I would be sad if scouting ended in the US. But if scouting kept going and it wasn't called the BSA, I think I could get behind it.
  22. 1 point
    I wish I had your optimism. Unfortunately I have seen pros take over and ignore the boots on the ground. Not only at the local level, but national as well. One example is the "instapalms" that 94% were either against (18%) or strongly against (76%). And to this day, they still have not released the results of the last membership poll they took. I have seen a few pros that have a passion for the movement. Sadly they tend to leave quickly and the ones that remain and move up tend to view it as a job. And they willdo anything to keep their positions.
  23. 0 points
    The council was named after Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson in the late 1920s. The new name, Virginia Headwaters Council, represents the fact that the James, York, Rappahannock, and Potomac Rivers all begin in the area covered by the council. Pete Fenlon, president of the executive council, said the connection to nature is fundamental to the scouting organization. https://www.whsv.com/content/news/Local-scouting-council-changes-name-from-Stonewall-Jackson-Area-Council-to-Virginia-Headwaters-Council-565449041.html