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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/15/19 in Posts

  1. 6 points
    @Mrjeff, I'm tracking with everything you are saying. Along those lines, I was looking through the first edition of the Scout Fieldbook the other day. This printing was circa 1957 if I recall. It prompted some reflection. Scouting used to be focused on the outdoors. Rustic. Two or three blankets could be safety pinned together if you didn't have a sleeping bag. You hiked, chopped wood with an axe, cooked over fire, went swimming, built pioneering projects, etc. There was also a big emphasis on citizenship--US history, civics. Leadership? You bet, but not in a classroom. You learned that OJT as a patrol leader, teaching your patrol members all of the skills necessary to earn first class, practicing for competition at the next troop meeting/camporee, etc.... Though I went through scouting in the '70s, much of this focus was still prevalent. Sure, scouting has always had a cost factor. Dues, uniforms, summer camp, etc. But nothing on the order of what it costs today. Two factors stand out, if I may springboard from your post: 1. Perhaps the BSA has run its course and it's time for the bugler to blow taps. Organizationally, the BSA reminds me of a company that diversified and strayed away from its original core competency. In our case, being outdoors. 2. If we are going to fight to stay relevant, we need to get back to our best selling product: outdoor adventure. And encourage thriftiness. Jettison the "Gucci Gear" mentality. Cease the big push for earning Eagle. Sell off or mothball everything that doesn't help scouts get on the trail, in the campsite, on the lake or atop the mountain peak.
  2. 6 points
    I spoke with my attorney and he told me that this document is too broad and open ended. I am ok with criminal background checks but this appears to be an agreement allowing the BSA and their employees to look into every aspect and area of my private life (my attorney agrees). I plan to make several pen changes, and have that form notarized before turning it in. I also dont like the idea of them sharing information. I'm a retired Marine and law enforcement officer and held a final top secret security clearance so clearly I have nothing to hide. But I dont think that the BSA should have access to all of my private information.
  3. 5 points
    I think any attempts by BSA to legally squelch her so-called board of review would just give Ireland more gasoline to throw on her "BSA is systematically oppressing me" fire. If Ireland has no problem with inventing her own illegitimate EBOR and claiming it was done correctly, she might as well just buy a Eagle patch off e-bay. In other news, I've awarded myself a sixth bead this morning.
  4. 4 points
    Wow, wow, wow, another price increase. I think it's pretty obvious that the BSA is not doing very well as an orgination managed by a central entity. It would appear that many many negative influences have risen up and the BSA is having a hard time dealing with them. I see that it has become very corporate and has lost focus on why people join scouting and why they stay around. At this time of the year the big focus is on growth and developing new units. Then popcorn season, .......and the cycle continues. I would suggest that the BSA think about an entirely different approach. Restructure from the top down. Look at the salaries of the senior executive staff, look at property holdings, look at programs that are not universaly productive, and support what they have and not worry so much about what we want to have. Scouting is changing but it just doesn't have "the draw" that it had when I was a boy; my two sons, both Eagles, dont have the interest that I have; and my grandson, who has to finish his eagle project, has even less interest. It may be that, like so many successful business, the BSA has overextended and just can't make the money needed to sustain it's assets. It may be that thay are having trouble with competing markets. It may be that they underestimated the impact of recent, controversial decisions. It may be that they overpriced themselves to the point that people dont think the product is worth the price anymore. Or, sadly it may be that the business of scouting, along with its values, standards, activities, adventure, oppertunities, and traditions, has simply run it's course like so many extinct organizations. (Gimbles, Wanamakers, JC Penny, Woolworths, Packard, Hudson, D.A.R.E., Dacor, U.S. Divers, Bob's Candy, and this list could go on for pages). I really think that people with a better prospective on business then I have, should reevaluate this whole thing from top to bottom, bottom to tob, and every angle, and reorganize the whole thing and try to save what we have.........before the whole show disappears completely.
  5. 4 points
    I am not involved in any other activities at school, nor is my wife. The bargain argument of other activities is not relevant to leaders who are looking at a significant increase. From my perspective its not a matter of what it costs my Scout. It will impact our entire family since we are all registered. Right now at $33 we are looking at $132 for all 4 of us, IF they go to $100 a year then we are talking $400 just for National fees before anything else is factored in.
  6. 4 points
    I'm also rural. When folks look at the cost scouting I'd argue they aren't comparing it to other youth programs, but rather a cart of groceries or tanks of gas to heat the house.
  7. 4 points
    I live in a rural area as well. There aren't many deep pockets around these here parts. Those with resources are bombarded with requests from well-meaning organizations in need of funds. Our community is generous but folks are financially fatigued, in every sense of the phrase.
  8. 4 points
    Personally...will hike off into the sunset remembering the good times, content I provided the best program I was able to for the youth in the local unit.
  9. 4 points
    Agreed. To clarify: when two layers of an organization, whatever we wish to label them, engage in one-way communication, show a lack of interest in feedback, publish policies that constrain units, and demonstrate little empathy for unit challenges...I'd hardly call this a culture of "service."
  10. 4 points
    I think a lot about the movie "Follow Me Boys". Whether it was historically accurate or not, it reminds me that Scouting is really about the youth experience. When I was a kid, I knew councils & national existed - but they were irrelevant to me. In my decade Scouting, most of it has been as either a Cubmaster or Troop Committee Chair. In those experiences, I've never really worried about what the council or national thinks or wants. Both of those groups are really just here to provide me support as I run my program. I want to write a sticky post for this forum that says "Remember - units are in charge." The council and national are NOT higher headquarters (to use your phrase)and they are NOT in charge. They are in essence a franchise system that provides you a program and resources to help you implement that program. This is why many council scouters I know talk about the inverted pyramid model The unit is at the top of the organization chart. The rest - districts, councils, & national are here to provide you support. Now, that doesn't mean that those groups don't have goals - sure they do. They all have employees and budgets. They want to see Scouting grow and have money available to do interesting things (like have council camps). Councils will always ask you for money, they will always encourage you to recruit. Further, national is going to impose rules to keep the program uniform. National is also going to create rules to satisfy the underwriters of their insurance program. Yes, we often live at the intersection point of this. But, I would encourage you to put that in context. First and foremost it's all about unit leaders bringing Scouting to youth. I would encourage you to devote only an hour or two a month to worrying about council & national. Don't let your frustration with them get in the way of what's important.
  11. 3 points
    Pete, I've been long convinced that the cub program is going to be one of the leading causes of the BSA's failure to thrive. The cub program, as I went through it, was this: Bobcat/Wolf/Bear: Okay cubs, you've got 2 years [for all three ranks] to learn how to get along with people and do some age appropriate stuff. Webelos: 1 year! You've got 1 year to grow up and get ready to join a troop! See that troop over there? Hiking, backpacking, building big signal towers, cooking delicious food on fire? That's what's in store. And no slacking! Now cubs is a several year slog. I've heard that the pros are pondering why there is such a big drop out rate after cubs. Apparently over half of the kids decide to drop after crossover. The best reason I've heard came from a scout. We're at a district function. I'm setting up some food, and I heard two scouts talking about their tenure in scouting. One said to the other "Do you know how long I've been doing this crap?"
  12. 3 points
    Last cost increase was approx 50% I am hearing everything from $50 to $125 now, which is 51% to 378% increase, with one council anticipating a 300% increase. That is not chump change for some families with 1 person involved, let alone those families with multiple registered. There are families in my area, long time Scouting families I might add, that are looking at alternatives.
  13. 3 points
    This whole waiting game national is playing has been a huge stressor for our Troop. I get it, BSA is getting hammered on insurance costs. But what about us poor, rural folks trying to keep a program going on an already shoestring budget? If our Council exec doesn't give a damn, I guess I should expect nothing more from a guy in Dallas make 500 grand a year...
  14. 3 points
    I wish there was a clearing house of background checks that organizations could subscribe as a member. I swear there was one year I had five organizations run background checks ... work, school, multiple volunteer organizations, etc. It added no value to the purpose of the organizations, but it added alot of cost. We need something like a LinkedIn for background checks.
  15. 3 points
    From my observation/conversations, folks aren't thinking about leaving solely because of the fee increase. The increase is the proverbial straw. They are tired and worn out. I think many scouters can handle changes and challenges. What they are tired of is the continual red tape from National and inefficiency and/or indifference from their local council. Being a scout leader has always been challenging. But it seems to me that more than ever, National and local councils ignoring the needs of unit scouters. It's assumed unit scouters will just salute and accept whatever ridiculous notion is thrown their way from higher headquarters. So I think many are seeing the fee increase as a natural termination point for this chapter in their lives.
  16. 3 points
    I know not quite the question you're asking, but... I'd plan a fundraiser. Even if the BSA fees doubled (or tripled), I think it is still payable. I also do not think the services of the BSA national organization warrant such a fee. However, I think that the overall value I get from being involved with the BSA is significant. I think it will be a harder to recruit into these other organizations and question their ability to provide a similar level of infrastructure to the youth I serve. So while they me be more economical, I don't think I'd jump over the amounts being discussed.
  17. 3 points
  18. 3 points
    I was wondering about the author's tone of amazement, then he got down to his scouting experience: It breaks my heart every time I hear of adults sacrificing the promise of scouting on the idols of lossless hikes and perfect meals.
  19. 3 points
    I bet they won't send you anymore surveys now.
  20. 3 points
    No SE, national or council wide should see a raise or bonus for this year or the next till everyone sees how it all plays out. Its reminiscent of the government bailout of 2008 where we footed the bill but the big wig CEO's of those companies still got bonuses and came out smelling like a rose but their company and employees took the brunt of the mess. If our troop camps every month next year and my son and I both go it would cost me about $600 for just for the food costs. Depending on where we camp if there are fees. It will be more. Then you have our current monthly dues of $10 so that makes it $720. Add another $600+ for summer camp and transportation costs we are at over $1300. If we go to a district camporee or University of Scouting, that's another $100+. Factor in a few other events and maybe a uniform part and we are at minimum $2,000 a year and that is not including the current membership fee. That's a lot of money just for 2 people to participate in something if you ask me. I agree with the "we should not have to pay for past sins" of abuse. I am very sorry and appalled it happened for those involved. But the BSA should have been saving their pennies over the years for payouts instead of churning out stuff like Scouter magazine. I enjoy reading it but it takes maybe 20 min. at most to read and I could do so online for free. God only knows how much it costs to produce it and mail it out.
  21. 2 points
    I was in for the beginning of Tigers, but I dont remember much of it because Tigers was in its infancy. There is too much repetition over the years, too much doing the same crap. And some if that crap is BORING. The kids want to be outside, exploring. Current program does not do enough of that. Oh it's there, but just not enough.
  22. 2 points
    Annual fully-loaded cost to run a Troop with a full program here in DC is about $1,000 per Scout, without high adventure. We raise about 1/3 of that and the families and parents pay dues and camp fees for the balance. Compared to other youth group expenses this is favorable. Travel athletic teams, private athletic or music lessons or even purchasing junky electronics devices/toys Are easily double or triple these BSA costs. In a lower cost area those Annual Troop operation cost figures might be up to 1/3 less. Adding another $33/year by doubling is nearly meaningless in this context. If someone migrates over this, they are leaving for other reasons. Some of this will be solved when the financial restructuring bankruptcy is filed. The BSA will offload the costly liability of the Youth Protection fails of earlier years and insurance rates won’t be subject to such big swings. And, that process will probably result in a right-sizing of overall council/national cost structures as well. I will stay put and all the families in our troop will too.
  23. 2 points
  24. 2 points
    Now that's the ticket... ....Say that's a ticket idea for aspiring WBers. With pride, I was part of a group of scouters that built a latrine. It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far,far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known. A lot of Field of Dream whisper lines during construction.
  25. 2 points
    I don't agree with the idea that $1000/year is still a great deal. It may be a great deal for those kids that are on crazy competitive soccer, or marching band, or mill your own robot parts. The parents of these kids can more easily afford this. But scouting is supposed to be for all kids. In the land of under employed, $1000/year is still a lot of money. Sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better. Maybe it would be better if the BSA just filed chapter 11 now. I'm optimistic enough about scouting that something good will come up from the ashes. Again, the problem isn't scouting.