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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/17/20 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Dear Cynic, how do we know it would not be embraced.? First, one would have to try it. The Patrol Method - Scouting's Essential Method. BSA started deemphasizing the Patrol Method in about 1960 when, after fifty years, it stopped chartering patrols. Planning forms for patrol meeting went away over forty years ago. Patrol Leader stopped being capitalized (unlike Senior Patrol Leader) and the "Unit Leader" became the Scoutmaster. The literature changed to prohibit patrol activities that conflicted with troop activities sometime more than forty years ago. They made Bill, who invented our version of the Patrol Method, retire in 1969 and went all in on the indoor program. BSA has not coherently explained the Patrol Method in nearly fifty years. It says it expects a Scout candidate to "explain it," but, repeatedly and politely asked, cannot say what it is. What "does not work" has not been tried by BSA in over forty years and BSA does not know what it is that "does not work." Their focus is on revenue, not program . In 2017 , BSA posted on line, in "Orientation for New Scout Parents," that "the Patrol Method is one component of what we call the youth-led troop." That statement is still there as I type. Go ahead, look up the "youth-led troop method." As the then head of training at BSA told me in 2014, "it's not so much a conscious policy change as they misplacing Scouting." The Outdoor Program - "Since its inception, Boy Scouting has relied heavily on an outdoor program to achieve its objectives. This program meets more of the purposes of Scouting than any other single feature." You could make Eagle without starting a single fire under the 1971 "Improved Scouting Program." The camping goal for a troop was lowered to a pathetic five weekend campouts from a modest ten. There were no goals for patrol activities. The awful Handbook , which our Museum cannot give away - literally - taught about answering the telephone and walking home from school. "Better teach about rat-bite than snake-bite" was the rallying cry of the indoor program advocates. Of course, they had never asked the customers what they wanted, only academic former sperts, who endorsed "Urban-centered Scouting." When they finally asked, wondering where all the Scouts and Scouters were going in their tens of thousands, they found they had it backwards. Bill was brought back and wrote a new, more "traditional" Handbook, and stemmed the bleeding, but he was regarded by the folks in the corporate tower as old and obsolete even as he tried to save them from themselves - the "Scoutmaster to the World" as something of a joke. The Fieldbook, when last I looked, said nothing about fire, ropes, woods tools, cooking, or most outdoor skills. The focus was on administration - in the FIELDBOOK! The Journey to Mediocrity in its, Q & A, defines "weekend campout" to include an indoor "lock in" playing video games. As it was explained to me by a representative at National: Camping is desirable; indoor activities are also desirable; therefore, indoor activities count as "camping. " ["You have no idea, said the rep (not born when I had twenty years in as a Scouter)] how hard it is to get kids to do anything." We took 67 kids to our troop-operated summer camp that Summer - six seven entire days in camp plus two more for travel to Twin Lakes, PA. Three Scouts were tied up in high school athletics. A former member got his dad to bring him from Pittsburgh so he could have another campout with his patrol. He earned - EARNED - two merit badges. They built SUPER expedient brush shelters for Wilderness Survival because the Ranger wanted an area "thinned out." Training in the Outdoor program for Scouts and Scouters has declined in breadth and depth. One-third as much time is devoted for basic training of Scoutmasters and SA's in outdoor as was devoted in 1981, when I re-upped as a dad after the move across country/grad school/teaching/law school/start family break. The lake spillway lulled us to sleep each night. All this time of BSA membership decline, public Interest in the outdoors skyrocketed, based on recorded visits to parks and state and federal forests, but not at BSA, based on behavior. A positive effect of the crowds in the back country was the "buy in" by BSA on LNT, although they seem to think it's a set of rules to be memorized. In 2019, the camping requirement for First Class was reduced to a pitiful three days and nights. Since 1981, the Council has sold off three of its four camps, plus 250 acres at the fourth camp, and it sold, solely for revenue, one of the camps that it acquired through merger - a camp that it absolutely needed in Summer, even after adding seven sites at the main camp used for Summer Camp. In 2019, all sites were filled for five of the weeks, but nine of that year's sites are now gone with Camp Stigwandish on the Grand River (sold without open bidding) if anything is left of summer camp for 2021. I live on hope, but the trend has been established for nearly fifty years. The compensation at BSA's top levels has climbed and climbed as youth served declined and declined. Talk about "adapt" or "die." The "good Volunteer," I was told by our very effective middle-manager in charge of capital development, is not about being willing and able to do the work but, instead, almost solely about donating money to meet payroll (She did not say the words. Instead, she rubbed her thumb in a circular motion against her first two fingers of that hand. You know the gesture.) Then she was laid off because capital money that she raised, literally in the $millions as Golden age Scouters died off, does not meet the monthly payroll - it is only useful for the relatively unimportant future. The most common communication that I receive from Council, our districts having been abolished in favor of "teams" led by employees looking for "good volunteers," are reminders to "do my duty" by estate planning to "support Scouting." "Have you remembered Scouting in your estate plan." Indeed, I do remember. Few do.
  2. 2 points
    Or maybe it's because those with some continuity in the program recognize that the BSA keeps adapting without an underlying plan or vision. As a result, the BSA keeps rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic without really dealing with the primary issues. Those issues become apparent when people see it happen a few times and recognize the pattern. History is full of failed organizations that adapted to the wrong trends. It's not simply adaptation that's important - it's making the right adaptations.
  3. 2 points
    Request respected and appreciated. We're all passionate about Scouting and this most certainly is a very difficult issue for all of us.
  4. 1 point
    They need something in place. I went into today to buy 7 Whittlin Chip cards at .19 cents each. I left with a new 3 Burner Propane Camp Chef stove and a new cast iron griddle. Because "Camping Equipment Sale"
  5. 1 point
    Just what do you think they need? Not want, NEED; these are not synonymous. The answers being delivered up are observations that some of us think they need. One of the reasons so many of us think traditional training and organizational structure are the answer is because they worked. Do you honestly think families today are more broken than families in the 1920s and 30s? Scouting got its reputation because it provided not just outdoor skills but genuine leadership training, the ability to plan and deal with the unexpected, etc. The growth of companies like REI, EMS, etc. tells us the modern family is actually interested in the outdoors. Don't you think it would behoove Scouting to really teach outdoor skills? Employers want employees that can think, learn, plan, teach, improvise, etc. All of these were skills that Scouting used to teach. The Patrol Method was a proven method for developing leadership skills which is why a few here keep harping on returning to using it. No, it's not a matter of just wanting things the way they were. It's a matter of realizing that the program did certain things that worked and that catering to contemporary trends has not. This is very much like the difference between the Air Force and the Marine Corps in the 90s and 00s -- the Air Force keeps reinventing itself every decade or so and then wonders why it lost direction. The Marines modernized but kept their identity and core principles (until relatively recently anyway). People knew what Marines were, what they represented, and were shocked when a Marine wasn't what they thought (for good or bad). There's adaptation (the Marines adopted and embraced IT superiority among other things) and being so flexible and adaptable that you have no structure. All the "adaptation" that the BSA has done in the past 3 decades has only weakened it -- and done so at a time when it should have blossomed due to the increase in interest in camping, hiking, and general outdoor activities. Now, I don't believe it's all BSA National's fault because at the same time there has been a concerted effort by various forces who despise American culture and heritage to tear down the pillars of American society. IMO, a great deal of the lawsuit (as well as some of the internal change from National) is driven more by a desire to tear down Scouting as one such pillar than to protect youth today or right past wrongs. As such, no settlement will ever satisfy those forces (IMO) and the bankruptcy will not (IMO) be the end of this. The COs will be the next target no matter what because they represent another pillar of society. The only way to respond to this kind of attack would have been to counter-attack it but Robert Gates and company rolled over and even abetted the attacks.
  6. 1 point
    15 minutes talks at roundtable was just an idea. The picture I keep seeing is roundtable becoming a place with very few announcements and most of the focus on tech talks. Let's discuss going outdoors and make it really interesting for participants. It strikes me that the world today is actually more outdoor focused than it once was. There is greater interest in physical fitness and more people seem to be out camping and hiking than years ago. You look at the rise of companies like REI that didn't seem to be around when I was a kid. There has to be a way to capture that spirit in the adult community. I'm pretty sure you won't capture that with a couple of beginner classes online. My sense is that you can build that in a district or council, but it will take effort. This sounds like a great sequence to me. I would be excited about this kind of progression.
  7. 1 point
    Because there is a large and vocal contingent who want things "the way they were." Except, of course, that that program they remember with such fond memories was developed for a time that no longer exists and for a nation and society that simply will not embrace it. Organisms and organizations have three choices: move, adapt, or die. Since Boy Scouts of America isn't going to move, that leaves adapt or die. And I honestly thing some of the people where would rather see a dead but "pure" Boy Scouts of America vs. one that adapts.
  8. 1 point
  9. 1 point
    We had a claim where the plaintiff supplies copious details. We could find no information within the Telephone Company that the plaintiff existed, much less that one of our trucks hit him in a Cleveland street then left the alleged scene. It was late on the night of a storm, and we had nearly twenty trucks out working, some in that area. All the trucks were carefully inspected - by us and the CPD, with no indication of an impact. He also had a medical reports attesting to his injuries - a fractured pelvis and broken arm included. Fortunately, we could prove he was in jail in Toledo that night, following an automobile accident If his claim was allowed fifty years later, it would have likely gone to a jury.
  10. 1 point
    Refreshing and much appreciated.
  11. 1 point
    Nope. And I don't think that more girl moms or more boy moms are bad either. I've always found the best indicator for success in Scouting is a desire to be a great leader. I'm thrilled with the diversity we see amongst the leaders.
  12. 0 points
    I think my up and coming iceberg is bigger than yours. Mine is based on facts seeing it through the eyeglass. Yours, up this point, appears to be based bias. Barry
  13. 0 points
    I absolutely agree. And if I'm wrong, please correct me, but it seems like the answers that keep being delivered up on this site are connected to returning to or at least harkening back to practices from decades ago. I've been on this forum for years and have yet to see many threads truly examine what modern families and scouters need or want. Every time the topics come up, people freak out. I've read some of the long posts on this particular thread about training and traditional organizational structure and I feel like it is so disconnected from what modern day families are interested in or willing to spend their time on. I realize we're often weaving in two discussions -- how to deal with the bankruptcy with how to survive post bankruptcy -- and if I've confused that I apologize.
  14. 0 points
    Look, the stuff you and some others are talking about from 30, 40, 50 years ago is just not terribly relevant today. The comments you process as negative really are not. Scouting is the Titanic and some people like me for years have been shouting iceberg dead ahead. Maybe try listening instead of getting perpetually offended?
  15. -1 points
    That's not at all what Tahawk was saying. His example was only to illustrate the effect lapsing time can have on claims. Giving feedback, and I mean it with respect. This is the second thread in about a week where you are jumping down people's throats and assuming the worst about what other people say. You're clearly very smart, and specifically on this topic, very well informed. I appreciate the knowledge you bring to these topics. Just relax a little bit. You are ending up arguing against positions that people don't actually hold.
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