Jump to content


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/29/20 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    Today was a long but good day. My Facebook Memory for today was May 28, 2014. My oldest attended his first PLC as the PL of the New Scout Patrol. i commented how he was a little overwhelmed at times, but represented his patrol well. He did a really good job as PL. So good in fact, that when his term as PL ended, he was nominated for, and won the SPL position, beating out slightly older and experienced Scouts (troop he was in at the time was 2 years olds and the oldest Scouts were 13) Well tonight, he had his Eagle BOR. Paperwork is being cent to the council tomorrow, and onwards for national confirmation. Here's the funny thing. I knew since he became SPL at 11 he was going to make it. I admit I tried to talk him out of being SPL at 11. I talked about the challenges he would be facing, especially as an 11 year old. But the last time I tried to talk him out of it, he said something that made me realized he got everything we try to teach these Scouts, summed up nicely as servant leadership. he told me, "Dad, the troop elected me SPL, I can't let them down. I gotta do the best job I can for them." Life at the moment is very good.
  2. 6 points
    There are several threads going about how to deal with all of the problems but I wanted to focus on just one thing - money. Or more accurately, why and how to do scouts with little money. Not just belt tightening but cutting the budget by a lot. I have two assumptions. First, scouts for the most part don't really care about eagle or any other skill they might gain from being in the program. Their parents might but that can be more of a negative if the kid doesn't like camping. Scouts like to advance but I don't think it's as important as having fun with their friends. Back in the 60's, at the supposed height of scouting, how many scouts actually completed Eagle compared to today? I can answer that. In 1960 there were 21k eagle ranks awarded and last year there were 61k. Few people cared for eagle back then so why is it such a big deal now? Who is driving that focus and what is it taking away from? Second, what scouts will gain from the program, and it's quite a bit, is not the rank. What scouts learn is not a STEM skill like programming, science or engineering. It's not even a sport that can, many parents believe, be traded for a college education. It's a lot of soft skills like learning how to fail the right way and how to make decisions in a group. It's even how to just take a day off and, as one scout told me, get away from the usual high school drama. Anyway, not many parents are going to pay for it and I can't blame them. There are other ways to gain these skills. This is the crux of the BSA's problem. Their program and budget depends on selling a lot of something that not enough people want. What they're really good at nobody knows about and wouldn't bring in the income they need to stay afloat anyway. Consequently they have been in this downward spiral of spending more time and resources failing to increase membership and donations for something that is not their core product. They say scouts want bigger adventure so they pour money into Summit. They say scouts want to get Eagle so they push for FCFY and insta-palms. They say scouts want hi tech uniforms so they charge a lot of money for that. They say eagle is so important that there's a constant push to crank out eagles even though that's not what scouts really want. Councils are doing the same thing with climbing walls, zip lines and robot classes at summer camp. It's unsustainable and the covid/bankruptcy just sped things up. The only sustainable option that I see is to focus on what the scouts want and keep it cheap enough such that any kid can participate without causing a financial burden. Scouts want to have fun with their friends in the outdoors. The BSA can't compare scouting to premier sports clubs. They have to compare it to 4H (which only has costs for the projects). So what does it take to reduce the cost of scouting down to, say, gear, food and $50-$100 per year to cover trips? No FOS. No council or national fees. No $30/camporee fees. No merit badge fairs. No more dining halls. No donations. No council profits on every event they organize. And the scouts still have a fun time. If they really crank down the costs and include all kids then they can probably write grants for helping out. Donations are welcome but there is no drive for it. The down side? We might not get a DE? I doubt if anyone at council will ever answer a phone call again. When parents are really upset with the SM they might just have to walk away or find another troop. Camps are going to be rustic and few. I'm not sure about how maintenance will be done at camps. All scout shops will be replaced by an Amazon portal. The only thing I'd like to see improved is training for adults on how to run a troop in this environment and a system to support them if they ask for help. How to make fun calendars that the PL's own. How to incorporate advancement and skills as fun and not the goal. All the rest can get scaled down and I'd be fine with it.
  3. 5 points
  4. 3 points
    Today, Judge Silverstein concluded "that Sidley may continue to represent BSA generally in this bankruptcy case... Haynes and Boone (another BSA attorney) must handle all matters adverse to Century that address the substantive treatment of BSA’s insurance policies with Century, claims there under, proceeds there from or that otherwise implicate insurance coverage." https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/821723_728.pdf
  5. 3 points
    There is a sense that bigger is worse. Growing up, our default camping locations: Adjacent a water dam (no swimming, just hiking and fishing) Lakes on conservancy land (again no swimming) The trail that cut across our county. The back of a farm The county fair grounds (our campsite actually was an "exhibit" for the Bicentennial) Town/township parks A church camp that needed a trail built during the off-season The county airport (SM put a gnarly orienteering course there) The nearest summer camp ... we'd do Klondike there in the winter We had so many low-budget options that state park rangers would have to ask us to camp in their primitive sites.
  6. 3 points
    @MattR, your thoughts are timely. We need this dialogue more than ever. I watched the general session of the National Annual Meeting today. Right off the bat, three pros talked at length (about 15 - 20 minutes) about big dollar fundraising. National is launching a new program to help councils raise money. They made other points, but the upshot was definitely "the show must go on." And by "show" I mean "keep those dollars rolling in." Overall, the general session had this one stark theme: the virtual absence of any discussion about the challenges families and units are going through. It was a completely inward-look/ivory-palace session. At the end, Roger Mosby expressed his thanks to unit level leaders. And sure, there was some breathless enthusiasm about badge earning via Zoom and camping in the backyard, but that was more of a victory lap for the pros. Unless I missed it, only Roger addressed the unit leaders directly. If those deep corporate pockets are out there and ready to donate, great. But on a family and neighborhood level, the dollars are going to be far fewer from this point forward. I understand National and councils have started to tighten the belt, but the financial pain has only just begun.
  7. 2 points
    If the 18 - 20 year olds are treated with the same respect as other Scouters, i.e they count towards 2 Deep rules, I am game.
  8. 2 points
    A few days ago I stopped checking this thread because of what I sensed was irrational negativity. I was going to post something back then but had one of those "write the letter but don't send it" moments. In the end we need to be optimistic in the most challenging of times and generally have an openness to seeing how we can move forward to another, better day. Relitigating policy decisions already made and making sweeping generalizations is just not going to be helpful to anyone. I wish everyone well who comments here and hope they can find ways to continue serving young people, whether it is going forward with us or elsewhere. It will be tough, but we will live through this and come out on the other side a Scouting organization that uplifts the lives of our young people.
  9. 2 points
    My troop growing up did the bare bones type of camping. We went out every month, except December, and costs were in the $5 - $10 to cover food and supplies. We didn't do camporees, or any fancy dancy camps. We went to summer camp, and while we did do MB classes, it was nothing like today's camps. While 6 day sessions were offered, the last 2 period of the day were free swim, free boating, and free shooting sports. Unless a MB you wanted was only offered in 5th or 6th, you were out having fun. Night classes were special 1 nite event like CPR certification, First Aid certification,. and Hunter safety. Obviously Astronomy we every night. And we had fun.
  10. 2 points
    I think we need to keep things in perspective here. First off, BSA has green lighted virtual campouts and even hosted them. BSA realizes - as should each of us - that Scouting needs to adapt to the environment we live in to stay relevant to our audience - children. Waiting until COVID is over to return to the way things were is bass-akwards and we will loose the attention of every child, even the most dedicated. Some will return for a while and try to recapture the magic, but they won't return forever. We are running them off when we hold back the tools they need to continue their journey and their joy. To condemn children - and don't ever forget they are just children, no matter how much we think we can expect from them - for wandering off during a virtual campout for an undetermined reason is not ok. Maybe they were instructed to leave. Maybe they got bored. It does not matter. Celebrate what they did stay for and let the rest go. Have less involvement in the next virtual campout because that one must have been ill-tuned to the audience. To assume that a parent who marks off a child's progress in scoutbook/wherever without photo evidence is being dishonest flies in the face of the Scout Oath and Scout Law - a Scout is trustworthy. Trust them, and if we need more proof, call them, talk to the child, and inquire how they completed the task. If we can't do that for now, for whatever reason, let it go until you can, but err on the side of people doing the best they can. Scouting isn't something that any child signs up for because they want to please a leader, jump through red tape, or otherwise impress someone. They do it for the adventure, for fun, and we need to assume that all regular advancement that they quite possibly did on their own doing what they truly thought they were supposed to do under published BSA guidelines is checked off for a Scout following the Scout Oath and Law.
  11. 2 points
    I think there ought to be a moratorium on scouts complaining about what is fair or just during the pandemic. 100, 000 of our countrymen have died. 40 million are unemployed. Under these circumstances, whining about advancement seems selfish and un-scout-like.
  12. 2 points
    To even use the word unjust is inappropriate- unless they are in only for the Eagle. I also see flawed logic in the postings regarding camping nights. When someone starts a post saying their unit is enthusiastic, and camps monthly, you have to do the math. Assume they started right out the gate 2/1/19. Say monthly camping March, April, May, summer camp in June or July, and a weekend trip the other month, then weekend trip in September, October, possibly November. In any event, that means likely 5 weekend trips minimum, plus summer camp = 16 camping nights? Getting 4 more by the end of 2020 is totally out of the question? And, with the extension option already there, I hardly see anything that is not just. The choice of words, for me, highlights the uber-Eagle problem. We all are missing on momentum right now, but take it as part of the journey.
  13. 2 points
    The delusion that scouting "works" in the living room and backyard is spreading. It was there pre-virus, but it has been fueled by the hype of councils and national--X badges earned, Y number of clicks on a website, Z people sleeping in the backyard. Sadly, I think this high-tech, lame version of scouting is here to stay. Think of the stories that scouts brag about it. It's not about the easy stuff. It was that day when it 100F, they ran out of water, got lost, the bear took most of their food so the crew shared one Cliff bar, etc. Who brags about backyard camping? Nobody. Because it really isn't adventure. Backyard camping isn't camping. At least not for humans above the rank of Bobcat. If scouts can go back and forth into the house to get a forgotten spatula or replace the batteries in their flashlight, it's not adventure and shouldn't count for anything but training.
  14. 1 point
    When a son shows you that he is changing from a boy into a man ... Well, there are very few things in life that touch a father more deeply. A scout salute to your son! OldScout ( Eagle class of '76)
  15. 1 point
    GUESS WHAT, EVERYONE? IT"S TIME TO LOCK THIS THREAD AGAIN! It's hard to type while holding down the shift key so please just assume I'm shouting at you. I'm not really shouting but, for the following people: @HashTagScouts, @MikeS72, @desertrat77, @Eagledad, @Mrjeff, @Jameson76, @BAJ ( @SSScout and @TAHAWK get a pass for trying to make light of it), and everyone else that is complaining about parents complaining about how unfair this virus is to our children. I'm fairly sure that there's another thread for that. Go find it and post there. This thread is supposed to be about chapter 11 and all the lawyer stuff. Well, that and I don't want to split this thread apart again. Just let the whiny parents go, please? But you know, @David CO has a point. 100,000 people have died, a lot more will, and 40million people are newly unemployed. Everyone is struggling. It's time for our better angels to come out. I will unlock this thread as soon as it seems like those that want to post have figured out that won't work. And for those that do post about non legalistic stuff, I'll just hide your post as that's easy.
  16. 1 point
    Upon reading your prefacing arguments, I thought I knew where you were going; but I came to the opposite conclusion. Faith based organizations as COs have been a long and true friend to the BSA. What have 'certain external advocacy organizations' done for you lately?
  17. 1 point
    It's a reasonable question, and I'm inclined to argue that an LDS Scout who completes the prior requirements as written is still eligible to obtain and wear a religious knot and count it toward rank where applicable (that is, for Cub Scouts, not Scouts BSA). But the LDS emblems program was a footnote/annotation in the larger LDS youth progression programs, such as Faith in God for Boys, starting with: So there are some potential problems with keeping it as the only way for LDS youth to earn a Religious Emblem: The old program was gender-specific. There was no corresponding footnote in the Faith in God for Girls booklet. I gave a link to the requirements above, and my family has a paper copy of the booklet somewhere, but eventually those requirements will be harder to find. The new youth programs are a complete overhaul, with a lot less emphasis on specific "requirements", so there's no obvious direct correspondence between the old square-knot-tagged requirements and anything in the new program.
  18. 1 point
    I accessed the forums on Scoutbook this morning, looking for any tip on editing a feature. First time in probably two years since I had accessed those forums, and the first before they made the forum more than just about SB itself... OH. MY. LORD. The threads going on and on about how unfair it is that camping in the backyard doesn't count for Camping MB. How unjust it is that some of these kids will miss out on "getting Eagle" (one of the absolute worst phrases that makes me want to slap someone when I hear it- Eagle is not supposed to be 'got', it is supposed to be earned).
  19. 1 point
    In 1993, I was introduced by a friend to her friend, the regional gay activist. In a brief discussion about the BSA, he said they were taking down the organization because of it's moral ideals that are contrary to the modern culture. I thought the guy was nuts at the time. Now, I understand. I feel sorry for the future families who will miss out on the scouting program that my dad, my sons and I got to experience. While is was a values program, it didn't have any foothold in the political nature. Activism has changed that. I'm feeling especially sorry for the more liberal families that would enjoy even today's program because I can see that Scouting is becoming more projected as a conservative program. In this political climate, I'm am not sure that scouting can ever appeal as a non political program ever again. Barry
  20. 1 point
    As I and others have stated multiple times, this is not now, nor has it ever been, about compensating victims. The BSA has been identified by the postmodern deconstructionist as a target to be destroyed due to perpetuating a male-dominated power structure. Once so identified, no amount of change will satisfy because historical grievances will always outweigh. The BSA also runs afoul of the postmodernist by using such outdated ideas as a Scout Law (Trustworthy and Loyal are just a social construct built by the powerful) and Scout Oath (Duty is only due to oneself). Other organizations get a pass because they adapted to the My Personal Truth narrative voluntarily at first pushback.
  21. 1 point
    Thanks for the updates … my biggest concern is loss of land. Primarily Philmont, Sea Base and council camps. I'm sure there is probably excess in some councils, but it is tough to put on good camporees (such as Klondike) or summer camp at public facilities or state parks. It was bad enough when we went to a camp with a non private lake. Completely understand there will be some loss, but hopefully we have enough to continue the program. Otherwise, I simply hope we survive in some form. I don't see how national or regional overhead loss will be negative, but time will tell. Scouts BSA needs to go … I haven't seen many fans of the name in my area. Explorers wouldn't be bad and could be used to emphasize the outdoor focus.
  • Create New...