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  1. The bankruptcy discussion is depressing me. So I have need to focus of good news, like last night. While I have been involved in Scouting as a Scouter for almost 30 years now, and have worked with I don't know how many Scouts over the years, last night was special. I sat on an EBOR for a Scout who was in my first Tiger Cub den back in the day. He is the second one in my den to make Eagle (the first being my oldest), and having watched him grow up I am really proud of him. Especially with the challenges at home he faced. This is a young man who will go far in life.
    10 points
  2. The SCOUTER.com virtual campfire has been lighting our community now for more than 25 years. It's hard for me to imagine that so much time has passed, and the thousands of Scouts and Scouters around the world that have learned and shared together. These are obviously incredibly trying times for Scouting and enormous transition for the organization. But I have always believed that the very best of Scouting was at the grassroots, found in the mentoring relationship of a leader and young Scout, honed on cold winter campouts and sharpened by the lessons of leadership and service. And these fo
    9 points
  3. I'll do my best to explain what I have seen in this thread, so hopefully I don't misconstrue the message. The one thing I would say about @ThenNow is that it does seem that he cares about the BSA and sees the value of the program. He has mentioned how impressed he is by what he sees from many of the comments .... volunteers who spend much if not most of their free time working to provide children an experience that is unique and provides life long value. That said, he was sexually abused in the worst way by his Scoutmaster. No one within the BSA prevented it or took action (as far as he ca
    7 points
  4. Scouting was never intended to be family oriented. Scouting was intended to allow youth to develop themselves on their own. It was designed to replace the gangs of Victorian and Edwardian England, and give them a direction and purpose that would make them better citizens. I have seen first hand what can happen with "family Scouting." It is not pretty, and Scouts will leave. They will get fed up by the constant parental interruptions at meetings and on camp outs. They will get fed up with the parents overruling their decisions on their program. They will get fed up with parents allowing th
    7 points
  5. The thing that has bothered and challenged me for a long time is that scouting where I live doesn't even look like our local high school or the local sports leagues, drama clubs, high school bands, etc. in terms of diversity of membership. I live in a pretty median mid-west suburb. If you go to the local high school you see a fair number of kids whose ethnicity is clearly Middle Eastern, Asian, Indian Sub continent, Hispanic, et al. But if you go to our district camporee the ethnicity is almost uniformly white. There's no reason to think there is any disparity between their parents in
    7 points
  6. It would be a whole lot easier to solve this problem if those deciding the value of eagle understood that eagle is nothing but a tool to achieve a higher goal. "So, your resume says you're an eagle scout. Tell me some stories of how that has taught you something useful." A nice, open question. If they talk about specific skills they've been tested on that tells the value of eagle to that applicant. If they talk about taking younger scouts under their wing and helping them out, it tells a very different value. As my son told me, eagle will get you another look, but it's not worth anything if yo
    6 points
  7. I can tell you, having been either DL or ADL for both of my boys from tiger to AOL, (They are two years apart in age) that the cub program is way to long & repetitive. IMO. I'm just an amateur scouter but if I could change it i would say: Drop lion & tiger ranks Keep the Bobcat requirement Have Wolf, Bear & Webelo ranks Make AOL a specialaward for over/super achiever Introduce ALOT more patrol method in the Webelo rank
    6 points
  8. Just stepping in quickly on this topic as clearly this has tentacles into many aspects of the BSA. While the issues are complex and difficult to clearly communicate in a forum, no one here condones or blames the scouts/children that were abused. The abuse was horrific and has life long consequences. The abusers and anyone who did not act appropriately to protect the scouts/children should be held accountable. What is being debated is what legal/moral/financial liability the organization should have from this abuse. That is not an easy topic to debate given the nature of the crim
    5 points
  9. Maybe because I asked him to stay. So blame me. I'm Spartacus. RS
    5 points
  10. It's hard to decide where and how to jump back in to the discussion after the big slow. I think it's still better for everyone, especially the majority of claimants if some universal settlement is achieved. If settlement talks collapse, that really shuts out claimants from any state other than the current states with revival or extended SOL periods, which I believe is somewhere between six and twelves states depending on how you count things. Within those states, filing suits against the LCs will probably lead to bankruptcy proceedings for just about every council. It's true that f
    5 points
  11. Uh, no..... this is stealing the opportunity from the scouts to actually learn from doing the requirements for the merit badge. I am so tired of Merit badges that are just hand waved, Eagle projects that are just a bench, and positions of responsibilty where the scout doesn't actually do anything for six months. My scouts know that I am "a hard grader" but they also know that when I sign of on a requirement, they know it and are proud that they earned it. There are too many people that are awarded merit badges and ranks that they don't deserve.
    5 points
  12. You've nailed the attitude that I think is so counterproductive to ever resolving youth protection issues in scouting. There are too many who want to rationalize away the situation because they somehow believe scouting is somehow the victim or that the good that it does is worth the cost of the damage.
    5 points
  13. Wherever there are adults that can charm insecure youth, which includes all those places you mention above, there is abuse. That mindset is one ingredient to reduce abuse. Just like car safety, look at the FAA. If everyone dies on a plane the first thing they look for is the black box. Learning what exactly happened is another important ingredient. Rather than general, vague rules about safety, very specific rules based on known cases can address specific ways that failures occured. Next, there's an understanding of the paradox that zero failures is the goal and yet there are f
    5 points
  14. Sorry about that folks... we had some gremlins running wild in the server... should be resolved, and I will try to monitor more closely!
    5 points
  15. Each victim gets about 6k, the lawyers get about 5k, the perverts who committed these terrible acts go unpunished, and future generations of american youth are abused by being deprived of a scouting program. Yup, sounds like a real good solution to me.
    5 points
  16. No, that's not what the "estimation" would be for. Right now we can multiply the number of claims times the Michigan State University settlement amount per survivor in the Larry Nassar and say the total combined liability of all parties should be about $155 billion. BSA and Local Council assets combined are literally 1%-3% of that. Even Century's reserves are only about 50% of that. Or we can multiply it by an average over some group of Catholic diocese abuse settlements, various ones over a series of years, which I think I saw above in this thread as $200,000 per survivor, and get a
    5 points
  17. I actually agree with you that in the BSA today, the CO is the organization responsible for the unit and they should be vetting leaders. They should be interviewing them, ensuring they are trained, etc. However, I expect that rarely happens. The problem is that many COs are barely present. In my area, 40% of COs are churches, 22% are PTOs (PTOs have been dropping units left/right), 20% are fraternal groups, 10% are "Friends of...", 8% are odd balls (barber shop, doctor's office, fire station, etc.). Many units struggle to find their COR to approve the adult leader application and re
    4 points
  18. It's hard to know where to start, but I I want to look at two ideas that I see as somewhat related. 1) that today's scouts are being punished and 2) that somehow these crimes are being judged too harshly because things were different then. My council owns two camps, one is over 100 years old and the other is over 50. Neither I nor my scouts are entitled to those camps by virtue of anything I or they have done. I've invested some time, treasure, and talent towards them in the last 20 years, but that's certainly only a small part of them. If I and my scouts are going to benefit from those
    4 points
  19. So I read through the new Plan, and the major differences from before are: An estimate of total abuse liability from $2.4 billion to $7.1 billion, prepared by Bates & White after analysis of a statistical sample of the abuse claims and comparison with "comparable" settlements and judgements The Trust Distribution Procedures, with a rough guide to how much different levels of abuse would relatively be worth, and a list of factors the Trustee might use of increase or decrease a particular claimant's payout The "Toggle Plan", under which neither COs nor LCs would pay in anyt
    4 points
  20. Until a decision is made about HA bases, legal status of LCs and an estimate of the abuse claims, the proposals and voting should stop. I'm surprised we are 14 months into this and we have yet to have a single court rule on these critical aspects of the bankruptcy.
    4 points
  21. The IVF existed because law enforcement had no such mechanism. If all BSA did was notify the police, any number of things could have happened, but none of them would have included registering these perpetrators nationally. At the time, the most likely lawsuit would have been from those ineligible volunteers who would sue for libel, should the list be made public. The thought of the FBI tracking a hundred thousand citizens KGB-style would not sit well with anyone in the 70s. That BSA undertook this, with great difficulty, on its own is a credit to its tenacity. It is also betrays a bit of
    4 points
  22. To me, all of these should be reported. Reporting shouldn't be reserved for actual crimes, it should be any violation. In EHS, we are expected to report "near misses". Those are then used to improve training & processes. The written communications is a great one. So many times, I receive an email from a scout directly to me with no one on the CC. I immediately respond to that scout + parent + leader and remind them to never email me without an adult. We use Troop Track as it automatically includes parents on all emails (so this only happens when they email me from their personal
    4 points
  23. Historically, the BSA added people to the IVF, at least some times, based on just a report that they were talking about starting a Scout unit, not only if they had already been registered. And it also added people to the IVF for conduct that had happened several years before. For example, I remember reading one file about a man who was the wintertime supervisor of the horse-tending program at D bar A Scout Ranch (Michigan) in the early '70s. In the early '80s, the local council got a letter from a now-man who accused him of drinking, drunk driving, giving alcohol to underage boys, and cer
    4 points
  24. Many kids do. Have you ever seen the Race to Nowhere documentary? Pretty tragic but it is the reality and is part of what is driving the push to Eagle at all costs in some regions.
    4 points
  25. This is off topic, but perhaps someone would give me a brief recap. I received my Eagle in 1975. It was not easy and there weren't many of us, or so it seemed. In the past 15+ (?) years has there been an escalation of "win the prize" orientation, driven by Units and parents? I had no particular push or encouragement from my parents, though our SM was keen to have his "first Eagle." As I said back there somewhere, it seems like it's become part of the, "Thou shalt build the college resume at all cost!" culture to me. I both understand and marginally despise it.
    4 points
  26. Thanks to Terry and his admins!
    4 points
  27. Seems to be fixed! Site it flying again! Thanks!
    4 points
  28. News release: Dateline April 1, 2021, Irving Texas.... The Boy Scouts of America in line with the ongoing simplification and re-organization announced the following Merit Badges would be merged, thus allowing the Scout to earn them easier and quicker: Pet care and Cooking. American Labor and Mining in Society. Family Life and Animal Science. Welding and Fire Safety.
    4 points
  29. Because of the confidential nature of mediation there should be little news of the proceedings the next three days. The TCC will be holding its April Town Hall on Thursday April 8th. I suspect there will be some discussion then to the extent possible. Remember, mediation has been on-going and will be continuing so while the next three days are more "intensive" they aren't the start or end of the process and confidentiality rules will continue. Town hall starts at 8PM on the 8th. Link is https://pszjlaw.zoom.us/j/84324072960   TCCBSA.COM for links to past meeting recordings.
    4 points
  30. I suspect there is no grand plan. Rather, there's chaos, just like there usually is. Another hunch is that for the bulk of councils, like mine, all of the property wealth is really a house of cards. Over the past couple of decades it's been spent. Certainly there are councils with money but it's not many. If my council can get silver jte then there are a lot of broke councils. Consider that the bsa declared bankruptcy when the assumed number of cases was in the small number of thousands, when the expected payout was in the few hundreds of millions. Maybe they're not playing bluff. Ma
    4 points
  31. I like having your perspective, so consider that an invite. Of course, the more any of us say, the more we find someone starkly opposed to it in whole or in part. But that's the point. Most of us put things out here because it prepares us to have cogent discussions with other scouts, scouters, and concerned community (and even victims of abuse) in real life.
    4 points
  32. I haven't read the full thread (work conference call in a few minutes) but an observation from here in the UK. I run a coed troop and a few years ago we had a joint meeting with the Girl Guide troop who use our building. And sure enough some of my boys started acting up in just the way you describe. And this was inspite of them all already having girls in their patrols and the troop more widely. In addition the both in scouts and guides were girls they went to school with. My observation is the problem isn't girls as such. The problem is girls in an unfamiliar situation. Put the girl
    4 points
  33. I apparently didn't handle it well. My kids suffered because I did not have as much time for them as I devoted to other kids. I was determined not to give them preferential treatment because they were mine and in retrospect was actually harder on them than I was on other kids. They also could never have a day off because if I had to be there, they had to be there although I did miss some critical moments in their lives outside of scouting because I had to be at the scout event while they were elsewhere. This created some resentment towards scouting on my part. Further, if I was trying to be n
    4 points
  34. Covid is a whole new experience, but in the past scouting families don't come back. However, good marketing can do wonders if this a Covid response. I don't get the feel the public cares much about the law suit, so my gut is Covid just pulled families back from a lot of activities. My neighbor has two scout age boys and the parents pulled them from everything a year ago. We've rarely see them out. Families might be ready to jump into a scouting type program. Great marketing opportunity, but National has never shown themselves to be marketing savvy. Barry
    4 points
  35. I do wish the BSA was working more directly with the TCC, but I see this as BSA attempting to get all of the payers (LCs, insurance companies, COs and National) to pull together a settlement offer. On the other side of this is really the TCC & FCR who are likely working on detailed expectations of what they think the National BSA, LCs, COs and insurance companies should pay. This will be a negotiation back & forth. I'm just happy to see that we have finally seen an offer from the insurance companies (understanding it probably isn't high enough for an agreement yet). The reddit
    3 points
  36. Personally, I think the most crucial thing the BSA could do is actually restructure the whole G2SS and fix all the problems with whole monstrosity. The primary issue at this point is with compliance, not with having rules that address the primary issues. And while getting people to follow rules is always tough, BSA makes it much much worse by committing several major rule making errors that I think lead directly to a lackadaisical response to the rules in general. If you need more than one or two clarifying sentences for a rule, it's a bad rule. This means that word choices become cri
    3 points
  37. Sounds like the making of a fun game. First, teach everyone how to send and receive the gps data in a photo. Next, play some sort of tracking game. The "fox" has to send images/gps info to the "hounds" every 5 minutes. The hounds try to run the fox up a tree while the fox just tries to get away.
    3 points
  38. As I understand it, the amount that the claimant could get if they took their case individually though settlement or a jury verdict, on the merits of that case alone, not limited by the amounts due all other claimants. So for example, consider the following pleading by a claimant lawyer who posted the exact same document twice to the docket (once for each of his two clients; although maybe he has others who weren't on board with this particular motion), and appears to be working from a template that was shared among multiple claimant lawyers: https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/c
    3 points
  39. I think there is a big difference between identifying vulnerable kids and blaming them. I've never met a kid who consciously chose to be vulnerable. Schools identify at-risk kids all the time. We are trained to recognize them. We have meetings about them. We have counselors whose primary job is to work with them.
    3 points
  40. I think you've jumped in the deep end of victim blaming and then failed to tread water. Blaming a child victim of sexual molestation or rape and saying the antidote is to keep them out of the program instead of fixing the environment is a non-starter across the board, at least for me.
    3 points
  41. There’s always a variant ... most years we just aren’t bothered. My pandemic guy gets on a call with his buddies, and they pull a mix from their war chest that they think will match whatever’s spreading around. We tease him badly if he’s wrong. He tries harder the next year. It’s the highest-stakes gamble on the planet. Pediatric trials are starting. Meanwhile get your scouts out camping. We’ll know by autumn if a vaccine for the youngn’s does more good than harm.
    3 points
  42. It is interesting. Have to be careful though, National has a reputation of using research to justify changes that they wanted to implement before the research was started. Barry
    3 points
  43. Howdy! It's been a long time since I've been active on this forum. I was active when forming my son's scout troop about 7 or 8 years ago. We decided on a new troop because most of the other troops in our district were large, troop-method, very adult-led troops. It's been a challenge for sure: Some of the adults that thought they wanted a youth led troop and insistence on "no less, no more" would bolt after their scout ran into his first challenge. We evidently received a reputation in the district for prioritizing our own unit over district activities. Through it all
    3 points
  44. Naw. The producers of these shows want the audience to be rooting for at least one of the contestants to survive.
    3 points
  45. Even I have to admit that practicing their marksmanship skills with live torpedoes might have been slightly over-the-top.
    3 points
  46. Yeah. I've seen that. We left a troop because of how another leader was treating my son's friend when it was really that the leader did not like the dad. It was their way to get rid of the dad. It damaged the son. Still makes me screaming mad today. An absolutely great comment. Scouting is supposed to be one part of a rich childhood. For us adult volunteers, we often get pulled in deep and it takes a lot of our personal time. I wonder if we could apply an analogy here. Supposed you and your wife talked about being extremely tight with money all the time when the k
    3 points
  47. People (you, me, parents, just about everybody on this site) still want the BSA org to go back to what it once was. I concluded that ain't gonna happen, maybe a year ago. Not trying to be my usual negative self here, just going to share what I've done to keep moving forward. I'm still the Cub Scout enthusiast, but now I'm a Unit Commissioner for anybody who wants me. I've helped a group of students in a homeschooling pod two doors down, gave my neighbor's kids wood to assemble a toolbox, lent out my PWD tracks several times, along with my balloon launcher. I'm also making how-to video
    3 points
  48. BSA enrollment is dropping like a rock. I guess BSA has gotten an answer. Not the one it wanted, but an answer all the same.
    3 points
  49. Yes, I think the integrated unit ship has sailed. Units should be free to do what works for them much the same BSA allows them to deal with religious issues. Do you want an integrated unit? Fine. Do you want linked units? Fine. Do you want separate girl and boy patrols? Fine. Do you want integrated patrols? Fine. Also, that guy who was on that zoom meeting needs to be retired, as do probably most of the upper echelon leadership. They've been in an echo chamber and it's hurting scouting. When BSA first opted to include girls, I briefly mourned the loss of some boy space for my sons.
    3 points
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