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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/27/20 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Good question! What the BSA should jettison: Cubs What the BSA would ultimately jettison: Scouts BSA In 2020, the BSA's overall mentality operates on a cub level, even for troops and crews. Lots of adults, easy/low risk programming, tons of badges to present, national supply items galore, and everyone goes home at the end of the day. Many would say a big "no thanks" on the idea of a high adventure backpacking trip in the mountains with a crew of mercurial teens. Even though a trip like that is the true goal of scouting (at least by my definition), it would require a level of leadership, outdoor skill, and risk acceptance that many scouters today cannot tolerate. I don't see STEM being a big calling card for new recruits. And chances are, the BSA would screw up STEM so bad everyone would quit.
  2. 4 points
    The neat thing about the Outdoor program is that (if run correctly) Scouts learn invaluable skills and do not realize they are even in a learning situation. In their mind they are out having fun, spending time with their friends, enjoying the day away from their parents 😀. THAT is the real secret that many do not get. If one tries to turn Scouts / BSA / Whatever the new name may be into just more classes, more instruction and NOT something unique, it will continue to fade. The strength, the differentiation in the crowded youth activity market IS the outdoor program and the activities related to this. Schools / museums / colleges do STEM better than BSA ever could. Similar groups can offer a much deeper effort for Arts type activities. The mass amount of sports programs can offer fitness and team stuff. We are (or should be) an Outdoor based program and by involvement the participant will gain experience in self reliance, life skills, leadership, conflict resolution, citizenship (camp in a state park and you sort of have to learn what collaborative government can provide to citizens), practical first aid, etc etc. This is what we need to emphasize. Not to be all things to all people and literally do none of them very well.
  3. 4 points
    Having only come back to scouting a year and a half ago, I have definitely seen the popularity of MB fairs (and seen them done both very well and less well also)... but I don’t think the days of scouts being the ones making contact with MB counselors are entirely gone. I had my daughter start reach out to a Scholarship MB counselor (not associated with our or our linked troop) as an almost new scout, and when I replied to one of the intervening emails about a location to meet, the counselor politely reminded me (in a separate email chain) that it was the scout’s responsibility to do the logistical coordination. I really respected how he educated me too, and — by her choice, but enthusiastically supported by me — she’s returned to him for another badge he counsels since. As a copied leader on an email from another parent to an in-troop counselor, I saw a different counselor do essentially the same thing. So, still some (admittedly anecdotal) signs of life in that element of adult association...
  4. 3 points
    Computer skills: almost all kids have advanced computer skills. They often know more than their tech teachers in school. Bus and subway navigation: small children can figure this out easily with the help of a parent or older sibling. Math and science: does the BSA propose to teach this subjects? Going to museums to identify flora and fauna: how many youth will sign up for that? The BSA is going to have quite a challenge building an organization around these activities. Who is going to pay dues for the privilege of solving algebra word problems on the weekend?
  5. 3 points
    That may be more profound that we realize. Our troop started out with heavy patrol boxes that required four scouts to carry from the trailer to the campsite. When we decided to become a dedicated backpacking troop (meaning carry all gear into camp with personal packs), we decided to make the switch over 6 month period. We thought the scouts would have a hard time getting away from the patrol boxes. Boy were we wrong. None of the six patrols took a patrol box ever again after the decision was made. We became an instant back packing troop, well except for the adults. Patrol Boxes were "work" in just about every aspect of the word. Camping out of the back pack was fun because it was basic. Patrols liked backpacking so long as they were moving to new camps. But, the dreaded hiking without gear (5 mile hike) or coming back to the same camp with gear as we often did for shake downs was not considered fun. Camping is fun if it isn't work. But only the scouts could define what is and isn't work. Barry
  6. 3 points
    Considering that camping is an integral part of scouting, one wonders why they are in scouting to begin with? Why join little league if one doesn't like baseball. Sure scouts is much more than a camping club, but camping is a fundamental part of the program. I also wonder how many of those adults who made those statements enjoy camping. My guess, is they do not and it rubs off on the scouts. They probably also don't know how to have fun camping.
  7. 3 points
    Just because something is popular doesn't make it right. mB factories are popular b/c it makes it too easy. Not necessarily the requirements (although this is true in many cases) but the process being circumvented. The process is as much a part of providing scouts growth opportunities not to mention the loss of adult association as a result of large groups. How often do we say, "don't do for a scout that which they can do for themselves"; doing all the planning, communicating, logistics of a mB session for a scout is a denial of opportunity. Yes it may be popular, but so would be cooking for them and hauling all their gear straight to the campsite. Oh wait, sadly these are done all the time as well.
  8. 2 points
    Let me say, when this actually happens, it works *chef kiss* PERFECTLY To bad CO's only do what they are supposed to probably only like 20% off the time.
  9. 2 points
    I see none of these sacred cows going away. The closest one I can see are STEM scouts Certainly everyone of them on the list need to be evaluated and streamlined. For example...the scout rank requirements have gone beserk over the past 5 years. 2 pages of TF and 3 pages each for 2nd and 1st in the annual requirements books. Example...first aid requirements in each rank...just have FA MB required for TF. Unless your argument is since your can work on all three rans at the same time, why have three. Eagle scout projects procedures and approvals can be streamlined. The process got this way due to units running boys through sucj a meatgrinder to get approval, they gave up. Most of the time it due to one individual who didn't like the scout. CORs are like any other part of the organization, some are great, some are lousy. Turning this over to the councils would be a disaster as the CORs/IHs are one of the few ways units can call foul on their antics. Commissioners and District Committees....problem here is that these individuals do not stay current. I have seen district advancement people who had never cracked open the GTA and Commissioners who didn't know there was a new Eagle WB years after it came out. KILL the Doctorate of Commissioner service program. MB Fairs...the reason there are bad ones is because no one does any oversight from the council and SMs don't do their part to call them out on them. Same goes for summer camps. when the standard on the camp inspection is "do you have MBs here?" it's game over on execution. Council Executive Boards need to step up and do their jobs and not rubber stamp powerpoint presentations and fail to communicate with the units. Enough rambling...as I said the professionals will be so focused on staying alive, they will not do much effort on the rest. No one asked the new guy to tell us what sacred cows he thought should be eliminated either. 🤨
  10. 2 points
    This seems like an overly broad characterization. Just because we as scouters are used to doing things a certain way doesn't mean that's an innate preference. Lots of youth organizations have either tighter or looser controls from their parent organization, but I doubt you would find much difference in personality or motivation between the median volunteer in any of them. A strength I do think the CO system brings is continuity and institutional knowledge. Many, probably most troops that survive their first 10 years or so build up a coterie of scouters who remain with the program past the point when their own scouts have aged out. I don't see that in many other youth-serving organizations, certainly not in the same numbers or degree. I don't have any direct experience with GSUSA, but what I see in the troops in my own parish is that they really lack any coherent structure or ongoing organization. The GS troops themselves wax and wane almost entirely on the basis of the strength of the parents of any given year, and there is little or no support from any antecedent leaders. Whereas our troop and pack, serving the same families and often with the same adults, has scouters who are still part of the program when their own grandchildren become scouts. There is tremendous strength in that continuity of both support and knowledge. I think that would be very hard to duplicate without the CO system .
  11. 2 points
    @DuctTape You are probably correct. One of the quotes "Now, I believe the majority of Americans don't want to go camping. It just isn't fun." This is form The hiking one is interesting. Many of our scouts did indicate they were not fans of hiking, including one of our scouts going to Philmont. I looked at him a bit odd after he told me hiking was his least favorite activity. I then asked … aren't you registered to go to Philmont … you realize they are not going to drive you down those trails? He smiled and said … well, I like Philmont hiking, but not our Troop hiking. Made me think that if Troops have scouts who don't like camping, it could be the type of camping they offer.
  12. 2 points
    I agree. I polled our older scouts (14 and older) at the height of our troop program as to why they liked our troop, less than 25% said it was for the activities side of the program. First on their list was hanging out with their friends. I believe there was more to that because what would make our program more attractive than other Troops if it were really only about hanging out with friends. At the time, we had more age 14 and older scouts than any other troop or Venturing program unit in the council. But that is still a pretty awakening statistic. Barry
  13. 2 points
    I do have a few boys that hate camping and most are pressured by the parents to stick with it. They are delighted with scouts the last 3 months and liking all the changed to MB and the ability to do tours virtually. I would prefer that they drop out of scouts so that I can have full patrols at campouts and less disruptions because they don't want to be on the campout. I am all for spinning off STEM scouts, you can still achieve citizenship, character building and leadership if you modified the program. You could build a STEM skills program with different ranks and reinforce STEM princlples in weekly meetings. But keep it out of Boy Scouts and stop wtering down the program. Polling parents that have no clue how/why scouts works is the wrong way to data to improve the program unless you are just looking for $$$$
  14. 2 points
    This is the new version of the ISP Urban Hike.
  15. 2 points
    As regards Chartered Organizations, I have had mixed experienced. My units have almost always been chartered by churches (Catholic, Methodist) and there it usually works really well. The Church sees Scouting as part of its youth program, and though some are better than others, clearly understand their role as COs. Usually the youth minister or religious education director or family programs minister is the COR. The pastors are supportive, whether active and directly involved or not. On the other hand, in my district now, we have international schools that either struggle with the statement of religious principle, or can't be bothered to put any effort in at all. Just getting CORs from schools to have a phone call or do 45-min of training/orientation videos is a bit like pulling teeth. Another set are military base units that struggle to find COs, and half the time make up some "Friends of..." org just to fill out the paperwork. Perhaps having a couple of options would be best. Keep the CO model for where it works (like churches) and allow for direct 'ownership' where it doesn't.
  16. 2 points
    Popcorn is a money maker. Like, I get it. Volunteer hate it.....but it's low overhead and a money maker for councils. I would reckon no council is in a good enough financial state to cut one of their largest fundraisers. I hate it, unit leaders hate it, but "merit badge factories" are just not going away because they are so popular. The day of little johnny scout calling up a merit badge counselor are long gone unfortunately (which is sad because I think that's a great skill for a scout to learn) I would love to see national simplify the recharter process. It's one of those those things where the answer seems so simple, but I think it get's complicated because of the current charter system. I'm all on board with simplifying it, but if it hasn't happened now, will it ever?
  17. 2 points
    1. Skip the slaughter house and send to the glue factory: - STEM - Popcorn - Merit badge fairs - Rechartering process 2. Dignified burial with honors: - OA (45 years an Arrowman too, ouch) - Venturing (rarely works to potential) 3. Administer diminished rations and strict fitness regimen: - Cub scouting: reduce overall program, ranks/badges and overhead by 50 percent (a never ending program that pleases execs and national supply) - Uniform items overall: reduce by 90 percent (buy Dickies work clothes instead, pants and shirt, and sew or pin on a couple badges) - Eagle process and emphasis--simplify red tape, refocus on outdoor leadership of peers. PR should focus on all scouts in scouting, regardless of rank, and not just this over-hyped rank - Infrastructure and staff at summer camps that do not relate directly to the outdoors (computer labs, Citizenship MBs, etc.) 4. Wake up these insular communities and remind them they are part of the BSA: - Wood Badge - Commissioner corps
  18. 2 points
    This a good question. However, I think it generates another: after the smoke clears, will there be sufficient council or national staff left to instruct/rule units? The way things are going, I doubt it. Units will probably be more autonomous than ever. I've never seen a CO operate "as advertised." COs are usually quite distant. The construct also allows council to say to units "you belong to us, do as we say" or "you don't belong to us, see your CO" as it benefits the council and the BSA, not the units.
  19. 2 points
    I personally think that way too much emphasis has been placed on "character building " and " lesson teaching" anyway. I have never heard a youngster say that they joined scouts to "have their character built" or to "learn the lessons of life". Way too much time and money has been wasted developing a bunch of academic bu*&l s&#t that should just flow naturally in conjunction with a fun outdoor program. You want to teach "fairness", just have a string burning contest. You want to teach self reliance, just keep your fat adult nose out of their camp planning and have the brass to let them suffer through two nights of of a camping trip. Academics and school house techniques have little place in Scouting, but it is the EASY way to be a scout leader. The proof is in the pudding. I have seen scOUTing become shINing over the past several years and this automated and academic program has failed. The fact that these ideas are reflected in our adult training (Woodbadge) certenly doesn't help our cause.
  20. 2 points
    Get rid of popcorn! Sacred Cow that I'd love to be part of the slaughter. We're still in suspension of all in person activities here in MA until June 15, but, yup, today we got the email from Council about the start of the Trail's End selling season...
  21. 1 point
    I think you're right. Cub Scouts is incredibly flexible when it comes to subject matter, so you don't have the same problem as Scouts BSA and its association with the outdoors. And those Cubbies are so darn cute in their uniforms, especially the youngest ones, and they sell a lot of popcorn. Now, I could see Scouts BSA being cut down to a strictly two- or three-year trail-to-Eagle program: Forty or so merit badges (that seems to be about the average these days) earned at monthly merit badge fairs, a few token campouts (but cabins are okay) and hikes (though you could substitute snowboarding, motorboating, or zip-lining) a couple of no-responsibility leadership positions, and a service project. The one sensible thing about it would be that practically everyone who joined would earn Eagle Scout.
  22. 1 point
    Welcome! Thanks for the clarification!
  23. 1 point
    The PBGC will not pay what was owed to the employee unless the pension was fully funded (not likely given the COVID market crash) and the recipient was retirement eligible at the time of default. The PBGC pays me about 65% of what I would have gotten without my employer defaulting - my pension fund was 86% funded and I was 25 years into my career, so not retirement eligible at the time of default. The other nugget is that PBGC payments are fixed - once you start drawing your pension, they will never go up. Also, the PBGC is not exactly financially robust, either.
  24. 1 point
    Pension funds (defined benefit) are to some extent guaranteed by the Federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. If an employee is vested, they will likely get some benefits, but the PBGC DOES NOT have to pay what was promised to the employees. It typically is the full amount, but given all the craziness with COVID-19 and possible bankruptcies related to that, I can't say with certainty. Defined contribution plan, any employer matches that are vested are the employees to keep. Matches can be reduced or cut at any time. The future of the BSA is uncertain, and I'd never gamble my livelihood and future by hitching my wagon to an organization like that. It's on a list with a handful of other legacy companies that are circling the drain, that COVID or no COVID, I won't work for.
  25. 1 point
    You likely have some marketable skills. It's clear the BSA isn't looking out for you as an employee, and future decline is likely inevitable. You should make for the exits before everybody else gets the same idea. It's noble to "go down with the ship" but I like being able to pay my bills and retire someday.
  26. 1 point
    I found a posting on Talk About Scouting Facebook page about this slide from the National Annual Meeting. The summary is similar to what I have heard directly from our scouts. What shocked me was the many contributors who stated their scouts disliked camping. Someone mentioned that on Eagle BORs he heard STEM as the leading answer. Others mentioned that their scouts "get their 20 nights in" then never camp again. Then this quote came up. The BSA needs to figure out what our youth DO NEED TO SURVIVE and to get ahead in TODAY'S world. They need computer literacy, math, science, programming. We need scouts with essential "survival skills" going into the 21st century. What do our youth in 50 years, or in 100 years need to know? Youth do need outdoor outings. But many youth live in the city, and camping is a foreign concept to them. City folks can go to museums to identify plants and animals, etc. Our youth need to know how to navigate bus routes and subway systems. Do I live in a completely different BSA universe? My scouts love camping. Kids that don't enjoy camping don't join my Troop … they find other activities. I will not run an after school program that tells kids how to tour a museum...
  27. 1 point
    The only reason that it is not sustainable today is because the BSA bowed down to the social principals that resulted in the loss of funding provided by big business. As a result the precepts of the Scout Oath and law were watered down or completly ignored. During the successful years Boy Scouts was for boys. It was available to anyone but not everyone was compatible because they did not adhere to the Scout Oath and Law. Now the model is Scouting is everything for everyone, everybody should be able to do whatever, however, and whenever and get a prize for doing it. If it's hard, let's make it easy, because we dont want to upset anyone. Proficiency in Scouting skills really doesnt matter and as long as some imaginary life lesson is learned the mission was completed. Obviously the current sustainable model for today has failed. Programs for younger and younger children were developed, first came the Tigers for little boys, then came the Lions. When all else failed, membership had declined, people just quit, chartered organizations left, the LDS church had enough, and financial ruin loomed, the Boy Scouts attempted to save themselves by allowing young ladies to participate in all programs. What a success story, Philmont is mortgaged, Sea Base is mortgaged, membership is still down, participation is low, the famous Summitt Bechtel Reserve is bleeding money and will never be able to recover the losses, and even the youth membership fees were doubled. What a great sustainable model, and grand record of success! and this obviously doesnt work.
  28. 1 point
    While this may be technically the way it works, it's the wrong model and it sets expectations that inherently unsustainable today. Successful packs and troops build themselves. They encourage parents to volunteer. They create camaraderie amongst volunteers so that they stay engaged. They focus on youth membership and quality of program. It's too easy in the BSA to say "I focus on program" to the detriment of adult volunteers and youth membership. In my district, the strongest units are those that focus on these aspects. The weakest are those that do not.
  29. 1 point
    The "OUTING" in SCOUTING applies to everything else, without a classroom, pedagogical situation. THAT is Scouting's advantage. Math? Physics? Compass, mapping, rough surveying..... Electromagnetism? That's the compass, flashlights & batteries. Simple machines? Action reaction? Ropes and Pioneering and set up a tent/dining fly in the rain.... Psychology? Interpersonal relationships? outside of the family, dealing with "work to be done to survive (Patrol cooking? Duty roster? )", contests to test your skill? History? Citizenship, Patriotism? depends on where you take your hikes and camping. Biology? Naturestudy? Ecology? Camp sanitation, trees have certain purposes. Some burn better, some stay straight better. Birds can tell you things if you listen well . . . It is all involved. Why do we have to keep relearning all this?
  30. 1 point
    This really is not very complicated. The charterd organization owns the unit and it IS their responsibility to recruit adult leadership. The adult leadership KNOW that they represent the charterd organization and MUST abide by the dictates of the charterd organization AND the BSA. After that it gets even easier, the adult leaders provide a leadership and program model that is strictly governed by the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. That's it... Advancement has gotten ridiculous. Tenderfoot focused on learning about Scouting, Second Class focused on hiking and getting outside, First Class focused on camping and camping skills. It was the goal of every Scoutmaster that EVERY Scout achieved First Class. After that it was the responsibility of THE SCOUT to advance to Star, Life, and Eagle. Cub Scouts were not permitted to camp except for an occasional trip to a council event or when the Webelos camped with a troop. Now, Cubs camp all of the time which reduces their interest in participating in the Boy Scout program. Brand new scouts go to merit badge clinics where they can earn every merit badge without ever learning about Scouting or developing the outdoor skills needed to be scouts. The current leadership requirements are little more then sewing a patch on their uniform. This results in untrained, unskilled, and unmotivated young people coming before an Eagle board and being awarded the once prestigious award of Eagle Scout. Then the same individual "Eagles Out" and really hasn't accomplished much. In some cases these young people then join the military and proclaim that they are an Eagle Scout. This is where their difficulties begin because they are EXPECTED to have had some leadership experience, outdoor skills, and the ability to be self reliant. Where does the blaim fall ? Not on the kid that just "slimed" their way through but on the adults who let this happen, and the current BSA policies and program that made it available. I realise that this isn't ALWAYS the case but it happens all too often. I had the privilege of working with a very successful and competent young man who traveled around the country, located merit badge counselors, and earned every merit badge offered by the BSA. He is just one example of a young man who truly is an Eagle Scout. There are many of these, there are many of the other kind, too. I think it would be great if the program, including advancement, were to return to the ways of bygone years and make the Scouting program something to be proud of. I know this will never happen and the BSA is a direct reflection of what our society has become, good or not so good. This is my opinion and just that.
  31. 1 point
    I don't see what eliminating the CO model will do to address any of the issues in the BSA today. To me, it's kinda putting another band-aid on a big wound. Same with popcorn, the OA, merit badge colleges. The big problems in the BSA are: attracting and retaining you members and adult volunteers national lawsuits are fundamentally destroying the image of Scouting and enthusiasm of members the cost of the organization designed to support the youth programming is too high for the value it brings Seems to me that all these sacred cows need to be looked at in this light. For example, the OA isn't a problem. The OA is almost irrelevant to the issues above. Me, I'd go down the list of sacred cows and measure each against these three.
  32. 1 point
    Change in attitude... My mom grew up in Boston in the 1920's and 30's . Bus and interurban trains were her thing. When it came to visiting the city, we often drove to the local bus/streetcar terminal(20 miles away) and rode the car into the city to the museums (Washington DC.). No more streetcars, but DC had to fight to gain the Metro it so appreciates now. True story: One of my assignments before I retired was to close up the local bus service. Last bus came into the depot around 1:15am. One friday night, about 11pm, I answered the phone. Man's voice asks if I could answer some questions about using Metro. I said I'd be glad to, what was his question? He said his son was going from Colesville (a MD suburb) into George Washington University to attend a special "honors" class. I asked him, are you going with him? He answered "of course not !" "How old is your son? 14. Then shouldn't I be talking to him? . >>>Silence...... He said, just a minute.... A younger voice came on. "hello?" "Hello. You going down to GW tomorrow?" Yeah. Do you know how to ride the Metro? No. How did you expect to get there? . . . . . We had a good conversation, and I HOPE the kid got to his class and home successfully. It is multi block walk from the closest Metro station to GW's campus , which itself covers several city blocks....... When I was "walking the platform" in the Metro stations, I often saw sub teens , loaded with backpack, on their way to school mornings.....
  33. 1 point
    Mrjeff is, I believe, addressing program, not goals. BF warned against asking youths to join an educational program to make them better citizen of the Empire. "So with Boys"
  34. 1 point
    And as it happens, we already have a corps of volunteers at the district and council levels who are dedicated to building high-quality units. Units owned by the Council, supervised by the volunteer Commissioners.
  35. 1 point
    I would agree with this statement for sure. My son does like camping, but at age 17 he likes camping that involves allowing him to be in fairly in control of what he does while camping. He appreciates his first few years in his former troop that it helped him get to where he is advancement-wise and with some of the skills he has, but that troop is about advancement 90% of the time on their camping trips. Most of it is car camping only, the SM dictates that he wants a schedule from the SPL on what time breakfast is, what advancement activities are being offered from 8:30-noon, what is being done in the afternoon, what time dinner is, who's running the campfire program on Saturday night, etc. Kids are never allowed to leave the campsite unless the whole troop is doing so. At dusk, no one leaves the site unless they are going to the latrine. If you are an older scout, say 14+, you are expected to be teaching advancement. There is no real time given for kids to make an adventure of their own, whether it be fishing with a few of their buddies, or taking a hike to scenic spot, or playing ultimate frisbee, etc. No going on a star gazing walk at night. So, it becomes a rather one-flavor boring affair after a few of those outings. I would say that in my time with the troop, about 30 kids received Camping MB. In reality, less than 8 of them actually did the type of camping required by requirement #9b and only because they had been in the troop for 4-5 years and the once a year "special camping trip" overlapped with some of those options. The troop he is with now encourages advancement, and the older kids helping with it, but otherwise it is up to what the PLC wanted for the afternoon. as long as the kids are doing what they want safely, and understand that that if we observe something being done that should not be they will lose the privilege, they go off and do what they want. If the theme of the weekend is a backpacking trip, then obviously it is going to involve backpacking, and it is up to the kid to decide to attend or not. We strive to have at least one camping trip a year cover one of those options from requirement 9b, so we know that every kid will have options to complete those things. We strive to have balance, so some not-so-comfortable experiences will be had, some car camping experiences will be had, and some HA will be had.
  36. 1 point
    "Don't Ask-Don't Tell" was adopted by National in the 1990's at the insistence of certain subgroups active in the BSA. This caused internal conflict, because faith groups had different positions on the matter. So, we had certain faith groups insisting on adoption and enforcement of membership standards that were not agreeable to other faith groups. Certain external advocacy organizations that had positive or neutral views of the BSA instantaneously despise us. This catastrophic policy change is among the major causes of our big problems today. Those of us at the grassroots level can never allow Scouting to officially recognize religious dogma of particular faiths in our membership standards again.
  37. 1 point
    Said document https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/820848_695.pdf contains a revised victim application and claim procedures from those in use from the start of bankruptcy. Specifically, page 14 12. The General Bar Date Notice, the Abuse Claims Bar Date Notice, the Abuse Claims Publication Notice, a form of the Abuse Claims Publication Notice adapted for email format (the “Abuse Claims Email Notice”), and the form of television spot copy (the “Abuse Claims TV Spot”) attached to this Order as Exhibits 1,2,3,4, and 5 respectively, are hereby approved. A transcript of the corresponding hearing discussions with Judge Silverstein may be available later, perhaps August.
  38. 1 point
    The problem I have with popcorn is two-fold. 1. It violates the BSA's own rules on fundraisers. (product price much be in relation to product value) I realize they have the authority to authorize any fundraiser they want, but "We can do this and you can't" just always sours the ears of people who hear it. 2. The fact that it seems easy because "This is what we've always done" seems to be the primary motivator for councils. At this point, this fundraiser is NOT a product sale, it's essentially a donation drive. Given that fact, why continue using a product that is as fundamentally "Blah" as mediocre popcorn? Popcorn's only redeeming quality is that it's not going to be viewed as offensive or unpalatable to anyone. Basically anything you stick cute little cubbies out selling will serve the same purpose as the popcorn does, which is to provide an opportunity to talk people into a donation.
  39. 1 point
    The above graph 100% matches my experience. I challenge the ability to separate the 1st (camping) and 2nd (time with friends). Many scouts see camping as fun because they hang with their friends away from the normal world / adults / homework / etc. They get to create their own world that they control ... until the next big thunderstorm.
  40. 1 point
    Another aspect of the Chartered Organization structure is the influence that it gives to outside organizations (such as churches) that sponsor many units. When the institutional views of the BSA and the institutional views of the outside organization are compatible, the relationship is productive. When those views diverge -- which we have experienced a couple of times in the last decade -- it is not just major donations to BSA that suffer. It can reach all the way down to the unit level, with the loss of meeting places and even the loss of membership.
  41. 1 point
    $7M in advertising seems like a lot … when was the last time National spent $7M on advertising? This fall is going to be rough.
  42. 1 point
    It is great when you have a CO that is interested and engages in some manner to their unit(s). There is a lot that the COR is theoretically supposed to be involved in- they are supposed to be actively participating in the district/council level as well. They are supposed to be the most informed of the unit key 3, in theory. And i don't doubt that there are a good number who are. I just haven't seen that in practice around my area. I think as others have said, for a new unit there may be engagement, but ongoing engagement is probably where more can/should be done. For American Legion units, posts hold elections annually and the post commander theoretically is the IH/COR by default, so if you have someone new in that position every year, the institutional knowledge getting passed on is iffy. This is the COR Guidebook if anyone was curious what their role is supposed to be: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/511-421(16)_WEB.pdf
  43. 1 point
    It really looks like our CO / Pack / Troop relationship is a little different. We have been chartered by FUMC for many many years in town. I am not even sure the duration really. Our current COR (who is looking to get out of the position after a lengthly time) was a Scout and will come to events in uniform. I do have the COR in my contacts on my phone and I do text or call him directly if I need something, and he does know who I am. He also will attend committee meetings on occasion. IH- as it is in the Methodist Church they switch out pastors on a fairly consistent interval. That happened here last year. I took it upon myself as Cubmaster to invite the new IH to our Pack Thanksgiving "feast". Think potluck / Pack Meeting. He did attend and he said a few words to the Pack. I felt it was important to meet us and see a Pack event like that. Now... Our CO allows the Troop to use their van to transport the Troop to events, as we are allowed to use their gym or sanctuary if we need it. However our Scout Hut is not connected to the church and is owned by the "Friends Of".. I know.. the CO owns everything. (I'd like to see that aspect go away for sure) I am fairly new as a leader.. End of my third year now. I will be Webelos DL soon and continue as CM. So, I am not really sure of what should stay and what should go I know the application process is tedious as been mentioned.I have had to fill out new apps 2 or three times for the Pack and once when I became a Troop Committee member. I have absolutely no use for STEM in Scouts. I think the Lion program is silly and should go away, maybe Tigers. ( I started as a Wolf in the early 80s, so I think that is a good age to start) Just make Webelos - AOL a 18 month program. I have another thought, but I am reluctant to express my views on many of the volunteers I witness.
  44. 1 point
    5/26/2020: Judge Silverstein's Order regarding (I) ESTABLISHING DEADLINES FOR FILING PROOFS OF CLAIM, November 16, 2020. 5pm Eastern Time (II) ESTABLISHING THE FORM AND MANNER OF NOTICE THEREOF, (III) APPROVING PROCEDURES FOR PROVIDING NOTICE OF BAR DATE AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO ABUSE SURVIVORS, AND (IV) APPROVING CONFIDENTIALITY PROCEDURES FOR ABUSE SURVIVORS https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/820848_695.pdf But the USA Today story is more readable Initially, the Boy Scouts had proposed 80 days for survivors to come forward. The agreed-upon date provides more than twice that much time: almost six months. The Boy Scouts will be required to run a nearly $7 million awareness campaign encouraging people to come forward. The campaign will include mail and email to those who have filed complaints, as well as national television and print advertisements. ... In bankruptcy proceedings, survivors who file claims are considered unsecured creditors. The Boy Scouts, as the debtor, will have a fiduciary duty to equitably pay out those claims based on the organization's total assets and the amount of money the nonprofit group owes to other entities, along with a consideration of how payouts will affect the organization's survival. It will do so via the creation of a Victims Compensation Trust. How the trust will be funded is shaping up to be the central argument in the proceedings – namely whether assets owned by the more than 260 Scout councils will be included in funding for survivors. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2020/05/26/boy-scouts-bankruptcy-deadline-abuse-survivor-claims-set-november/5229497002/ https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/2020/05/27/november-deadline-set-sex-abuse-claims-boy-scouts-case/5259464002/
  45. 1 point
    Most chartered organizations are not involved in their units and never will be. That means is that a poor operating style in a unit that is doing a disservice to its members is protected by the indifference of the chartered organization. The interests of a district or council leader are money, members, and manpower (volunteers), and those three things only come from high performing units that have trained leaders and active outdoor programs. I want the boss to be somebody who knows what the program is supposed to look like and has the authority to put the right people in the right spots.
  46. 1 point
    You presume that the COs are actually engaged and it is operating that way. I will say for my unit, but also my district, it is not. There has been only 2 COs from my district that have attended a district or council wide meeting in the past three years (as admitted by our now past-District Chair). Our CO has never met with nor spoken to anyone from council/District in the past 5 years. The model is not working.
  47. 1 point
    Hey, these are certenly unique ideas. Wow, let the CO be responsible or take the CO out of the picture and allow a BSA Committee dictate how the units are administered. Chop the OA or turn it into some kind of money making labor force. Get rid of the classic BSA uniform or just wear polo shirts. Why have ranks at all and and just give everybody recognition. Scout handbooks? That's a preposterous idea since EVERYTHING is automated and can be accesse5on line. Campgrounds and Scout Reservations are outdated and expensive, how about just creating a virtual world where you can go on a camp out without leaving your home. How about Jamborees? Wow the money that can be saved if we just have virtual Jamborees. What are the "sacred cows "? Philmont, Sea Base, Northern Tier, the Summit, The OA, Exploring, Venturing, Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Commissioners, Executives................Maybe, just maybe, the kids who are members of the orginization should be asked what THEY want. They weren't asked a few years ago about all of the changes made by some national committee that has resulted in our current state of affairs. This is just food for thought.
  48. 1 point
    I should have added … single gender Troops. I think someone mentioned that BSA would focus less on "character" and with the loss of LDS, I expect the declaration of religious principles to fall.
  49. 1 point
    The most obvious #1 "sacred cow" as you mentioned is Eagle Scout. It is synonymous in the public with Boy Scouts of America as evident by that term in literature and movies. Also there is a large active alumni group, NESA, and even larger number of Eagles who have supported the Scouts in the past. That support would be jeopardized. Further, the BSA has turned it into a goal or "brand" and is the very reason why girls wanted to join the BSA. So it may be considered the "holy of holies," with no prejudice towards our Jewish brethren (why it is lowercase). So I think Eagle Scout is safe. Your reference to the OA is a very valid one. Some would consider it a sacred cow. On the plus side, the OA does a lot of work at the council level, to the point that some call the OA, the BSA's slave labor corps. And that does not include all the small events Arrowmen tend to run and organize. OA also does a lot of volunteer work at the national level with the HA work programs and jamboree service corps. A lot of labor costs are save via the OA. And historically Arrowman tend to be dedicated Scouters providing leadership throughout council programs and financial support through money AND gifts-in-kind, i.e.supplies given and equipment loaned. Plus it is "Scouting's National Honor Society" or whatever it calls itself today. But if BSA is anticipating the lose of camps and HA bases, is the OA still needed? As an old school Arrowman, I would say NO, because camping, both promoting it and taking care of the properties, is a the core function of the OA, the heart if you will. In this politically correct world we live in, is OA's "cultural appropriation" a liability or an asset? LIABILITIES, because we do have lot of lodges doing things l wrong AND we have a general population that refuses to have discussions and are unwilling to listen. After all the OA has helped preserve and promote Native American culture over the years ( see my posts on that topic).While Camping and "Cheerful Service" are the heart of the OA, the spirit or soul of the OA was the Naive American symbolism. And that is slowly dying. Are the membership stats indicative of a successful program or failing program? While individual lodges may be succeeding, over all the OA is a failing program with the moss of membership and failure to retain members. So why maintain a program that will have no purpose (HA bases and camps), its traditions are a liability (AIA), and membership is shrinking? I hate to say it, but I see the OA being sacrificed off the bat. And if it isn't, it will be a slow, painful, disheartening death. I think we are already there in my area. And I am not anti-OA. I am a former youth officer and chapter adviser. I have brought dead and dying chapter back to life twice in my career. So I have drank the OA Flavoraid, and probably would still if it wasn't for my sons. I knew problems were there, and predicted some of them when the election procedures changed. But I ignored them because I was living in the past, thinking of the OA of my youth. My sons's lack of interest, and the reasons for it, made me realize how serious the problem has become. And I don't think recent autoacceptance of SMs and reducing time to become a Brotherhood member will resolve them.
  50. 1 point
    Approximately 1650 year end.
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