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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/12/19 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Membership numbers are out and reflect continued growth for the Scouts BSA program. End of November 2019 is +1.2% for youth Scouts and up 7.1% for units, in comparison to end of November 2018. This certainly reflects the influx of female Scouts and LDS departures. The figures that will count will be year-end figures, as that is when the LDS relationship officially ends. After the LDS departures take effect, I'm thinking we will have a 10% Scouts BSA youth membership drop (comparing 2019 year-end with 2018 year-end). If we continue to grow female Scouts BSA units and all youth at the current rate and retain 5% of our current LDS youth members, we could replace the losses within 1.5 to 2 years and return to net growth in this program. Given the challenges we have faced in recent months and years, this is better than I expected. What is your prediction? Please explain your opinion with reasoning and facts.
  2. 3 points
    I am convinced that if the earth was indeed flat, the housecats would have pushed everything off the edge with great satisfaction.
  3. 2 points
    Absolutely. I mean, they'd need a translator for a start. Chip? That's a crisp right? Or french fries?
  4. 2 points
    While there might be a quick temporary fix to the immediate challenge (created by needing the extra youth protection form and the national fee increase), there is no easy fix when a geography has an abundance of under-sized units and scant unit leadership. If this is common in your locale it means that there is likely a district volunteer leadership fail going on. The councils in good shape that I admire began re-emphasizing the importance, function and volunteer "prestige" of the district chair, commissioner and other district leadership and committee positions a few years back. It really is that simple. When I was a Council President I looked around and saw an abundance of under-utilized volunteer talent at the council level and reallocated those resources to the key district positions. At the same time I increased the expectations, resources and visibility of those positions. That council was a large metropolitan council, so some of these districts effectively became "mini-councils" A District well-stocked with volunteers just does not allow this situation to develop to this extent. Take urgent action now to preserve those units by having another round of recruiting in January. Then turn immediately to figuring out what is happening at the district level. So this by having a quiet and businesslike meeting with your council membership chair and council commissioner. Suggest solutions appropriate to your community. Be a class act and bring along at least one experienced Scouter who is willing to work as a new district volunteer.
  5. 1 point
    Butter knife, as in an 80% finished lower blade?
  6. 1 point
    To be fair though. The LDS loss is not indicative of anything about the program. That we're up 1% in membership is 1000 times more important to the longevity of the BSA than a 10% drop due to their departure. I say this not to demean the LDS church - not at all. They made a strategic decision to part ways and that is their right. That we nationwide are seeing growth exclusive of that loss is very, very promising. Thanks for sharing the news @Cburkhardt!
  7. 1 point
    Just to de-fuzz the math, remember that to break even from a ten percent a ten percent loss, one needs a subsequent eleven percent gain.
  8. 1 point
    It sure is a good thing we're a forum where we welcome scouter's from all around the world. That way, when we don't understand how something works in a foreign culture we can ask them rather then do a Google search for useless info that confirms our ideas. @mrkstvns, maybe posting topics that just look like you're trying to get a rise out of people isn't very productive.
  9. 1 point
    Well... I took care of the siblings stuff myself. I wasnt going to let one get their stuff and not the other.
  10. 1 point
    I'm the Equipment Coordinator for my troop and I can tell you that we handle things in a variety of ways depending on the item. For most equipment, I wait for the SM to tell me there is a need, then I go find whatever the need is at the lowest possible price. If I happen to see something we could really use, but maybe don't absolutely need, I'll send a quick email to the SM, CC and Treasurer to see if anyone wants to veto and if not, I'll buy it. If I happen across a fantastic "till the end of the day" price, I'd probably just buy it on my own "authority" and hope no one pitches a fit. If there is a major purchase to be considered, it will get discussed at the committee meeting, but it's typically not a "What should we buy" discussion, it will be a discussion of "The EQ. Coord. is recommending we do X. How does everyone feel about that?". If I'm weighing a couple of options with pros and cons to be considered, I'll discuss that as well for input, but mostly, I just tell them why I've made the selection I have. The two most aggravating discussions we've had about gear/equipment over the last couple of years have been when "What kind of trailer do we need" and "What kind of tarps/canopies do we need" were brought up for discussion in committee. The trailer issue is going on it's second year of consideration at this point. I know that my primary qualifications for being the equipment buyer are the fact that I'm good at internet research, I have accounts on dozens of discussion forums and I get a positive joy out of finding the cheapest way to buy things. (this doesn't mean buying the cheapest thing) So if you can find that parent in your troop who is constantly talking about "buying the best value car/shoes/outerwear" and is always recommending sales and whatnot to people, I'd see if I could dragoon that person into the job. Tents are a tricky issue in general though. There are often serious considerations to be made regarding quality vs price. If I had unlimited funds, we'd be using entirely Timberline 4 Outfitters with the vestibules because they will last decades if properly maintained and I just like the quality and footprint. However, in my troop most of the people using the tents are the 10-12 year olds and "proper maintenance and care" is a tough battle to fight, not to mention the $300+ price tag on the outfitters. So what has tended to win the argument instead are the Taurus 4 from Alps Mountaineering because if you buy them on sale, you can get them for around $50-$75. And while I KNOW they won't last as long as the Timberlines, I only need them to last 4-6 years at that price to be the better value. I will say, I'd never go back to buying tents without a vestibule. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ @Hawkwin Check out Hikerdirect.com Basically you can buy anything that Alps Mountaineering, Browning, Cedar Ridge at 45% off or more.
  11. 1 point
    Bottom up and scout-driven. All Scouting is local. Provide an adventurous, scout-run scouting program in our units and our enthused scouts will spread the word. My $0.02,
  12. 1 point
    Frankly, this topic should be shut down. People on each side are not going to change their opinion and it will just end up pissing everyone off in the end. I for one am Jewish and for a long time National were actively advising against temples sponsoring units because of the overall focus on Christianity as the basis for National decisions. That is much less now. IMHO, Scouting is supposed to be interfaith. The believe and faith in God is what is asked of scouts from the beginning. Once a particular faith has too much influence the interfaith nature will go away. The scout program is good for preparing scouts for life which is also interfaith. I welcome people of all faiths into the program and that they should follow their believes and not impose or evangelize them onto others. I have my own beliefs about the Church of Latter-Day Saints and will hold those to myself.
  13. 1 point
    For the life of me, where does a families permissive or non-permissive sexual ethic come into BSA? I do not equate being an inclusive organization as being a reflection of any sexual ethic.
  14. 0 points
    If we kick every leader out for a momentary lapse in judgement there won't be any leaders.