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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/04/20 in Posts

  1. 7 points
    This is a general post, my first on the forum. I have read this thread from the beginning. If you have access, of which I'm unsure as a newbie, you can see my background. I'm both a former high-achieving Scout and Sexual Abuse Survivor Claimant in the Chapter 11. I have many thoughts on this matter overall. Most notably, the potential for Scouting to survive and how the case has evolved, especially as it concerns the incredible - and I use the word advisedly and specifically - number of claims. Like many of you and others I know, my expectation was to see a maximum number of 5,000-10,000 claims, with ten being an unlikely high end. In retrospect, I admit that was probably unreasonably low number given the situation and opportunity it presented. I am one of the 'boys' whose experience was egregious, long-term, varied in the nature of abuse, involved other boys and had devastating life impacts. As of the writing of this post, I am still trying to recover. It's a daily effort. My family has suffered in ways I try not to contemplate. I have two grown boys and it's not infrequent that I weep when looking back over how I failed them, largely as result of my own frailty stemming from the abuse. Having said that, I am grieved at the way attorneys have swooped into this difficult process, 'gill netting' stables of possible claimants which, in my personal and professional assessment, almost certainly contain many specious or absurdly minute claims. I saw one media story where a man discussed his life trauma after a childhood Scout leader, "put his hand on my leg in a suggestive way." Good grief. For those of us with easily verified and highly credible claims, this dilution of the eventual Victims Compensation Trust feels like a repeat of what happened to us - abuse by those who should be taking great care to protect us. Through the greed and opportunism of supposed advocates, many will suffer. I include the BSA in that, as I still look fondly on my involvement with Scouting, which many who know me cannot, and never will, understand. The net practical result of where we are now is a choke point bottleneck. There is no way the Authorized Reviewer will be able to review, verify, assess and quantify damages for this number of claims. Again, in my personal and professional assessment, this becomes a try to slice the kitty and parse out the pennies. I believe it was the goal of one group of claim aggregators and attorneys to create this scenario. The increase of the kitty, forced by the large number of claims, will most likely yield the largest benefit to attorneys, including those representing the BSA, claimants, insurance companies and the various committees. Some are and will continue to amass enormous piles of hourly fees, while the claimant attorneys receive 40+/-% of the awards coming to their stable of men. For me, this is disheartening and discouraging, having hoped for the "equitable compensation" promised as one of the two goals of this reorganization. As it stands, I fear neither goal will be achieved. I am holding out hope that my family will receive a fair measure of compensation for financial devastation caused, not to mention the psychological, physical and emotional wreckage. I'm open to questions. Or, feel free to allow my thoughts stand as a single post adding a new voice and perspective. Forgive any typos or the like. This was hard to write. Thanks, guys.
  2. 7 points
    I have major issues with BSA actively entering the political arena. By mentioning B. Taylor, they have gone way beyond selling war bonds and into anti-police propaganda. That is something that they can't take back. I don't think that scouts should actively engage in any social issues. That's not our role. We should be role models for society through our actions, not our words. I don't like forced anything - it reeks of insincerity. If your troop/pack is open to anyone who wants to join up and participate in this organization, then that's all that should be required. We are probably one of the most open organizations on the planet. We have published a book for 110 years that explains who we are and what we believe. While society may have interpreted it in various ways for us through time, the core has not faltered. Some of this stuff sounds awfully close to bussing. I think that kids in Scouting will get enough diversity training in their lives. Adding in a merit badge does sound a lot like school. The equity thing is a very loaded term. While its focus on equal outcome is debated, it's focus on unequal assistance is not debatable. It goes beyond accommodation for physical handicaps and into social condition. Scouting is all about improving one's lot in life through your own efforts. What does this equity look like in the MB? Lowering a standard because of where a Scout lives? Would anyone accept requiring fewer hikes from Scouts in NYC vs one from rural NC? One big issue is the "lens" one is required, or tends, to adopt with DEI and CRT. It's like having just a hammer in your tool box. I'm currently in a masters program that is heavy in "anti-racism" (as if there is a significant "pro-racism" sector of society). One lecture literally told the students that the hog farms in eastern NC were established out of racism. They showed a slide of the slave population locations in 1860 and one of the hog farm sites from 2019. They did not mention the tobacco buyout in the 1990s. They didn't mention that these farms were converted from tobacco to hogs because the terrain was perfectly suited for them, nor that these farms had been in these families for generations. The story sold to these kids is that these farms were sited in these locations because black people lived there. That is a shameful tactic in my book.
  3. 7 points
    Likewise. Which is all I'm looking for. But by the chosen phrasing, I fear that this is NOT what we are seeing. If "white privilege"/"check your privilege" or "systemic racism" is brought up as a given fact they have to learn about, then we are in an unnecessary fight. BSA has already put out a press release supporting BLM and IMMEDIATELY turned off all commenting. They stated "We condemn the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor..." Taylor's death was NOT murder and George Floyd's death is under dispute. We should NOT be involving ourselves in these matters with such definitive declarations. Instead, we should support the rule of law and ask that justice be served in each of these cases. We can certainly show empathy for the loss of life and strive to ensure that people are held accountable for their actions as well as potentially changing procedures to further minimize loss of life.
  4. 7 points
    In the context of this lawsuit, the BSA isn't rotten, nor does it have a dark side. The organization has given society a program that only intends to build better citizens. It is that simple. People can be rotten and induce a dark side of themselves on unsuspecting innocent families, but that has nothing to do with the BSA or it's programs. If one can't see this reality, they likely need to get as far away as possible so as not to pollute the minds of the innocent. There is no doubt in my mind that if the good of scouting from it's beginning could be measured against the bad that occurred over the same time period, the minuscule bad would be impossible to measure against the vast enormity of the good. Barry
  5. 6 points
    I believe you're talking about therapists encouraging survivors to disclose the abuse they suffered, as a way to shed light on the past, seek a degree of recompense and gain a measure of closure in the doing of both. If so, that's correct from my experience. Unfortunately, for many in this context, the Chapter 11 is the court of 'last and exclusive resort', bringing large numbers to the table asking for their due. Related to closure and addressing another issue raised above, one of the great inequities here is the inability to include the abusers/perpetrators in this process. It's a bankruptcy proceeding and not a civil lawsuit, so that can't be done. The vast majority of living perpetrators are in or near retirement, unscathed by the massive battle of competing interests that's raging. Men struggle for equitable compensation, acknowledgement and healing. An iconic American institution fights for its life. Insurance companies go on offense to protect their assets out of self-preservation, trying to limit their cash bleed. Local Councils are compelled to enter the fray to secure future protection and certainty by paying to dissipate the cloud of future lawsuits. And, attorneys amass further fortunes and build their brands on the backs of trauma and hyperbolic gamesmanship to the detriment of both primary parties. The bad actors themselves lurk in smoke and shadow. For my part, I never wanted anything other than to make my Scout Master, and those complicit with his behavior, pay. (The Scout Executive was at least giving tactic consent, perhaps more.) I only considered the role of corporate and the Local Council when the Chapter 11 was announced and I had an opportunity to be heard and seek quantifiable relief. My abuse took place in a so-called closed state, one that has not yet seen an iteration of the Victims Rights Act codified. With no 'look back window', a Sexual Abuse Survivor Claim against the Victims Compensation Trust was the only way forward. Taking it one step further, many on the Tort Claimants' Committee are said to want the names of the accused made public. I'm really not sure if that's the men or the attorneys talking, since the latter would directly benefit, especially if they hold press conferences to make the disclosures, as was done in NY. Personally, I prefer my abuser remain blissfully ignorant, thinking he again escaped without a scratch. Then, if a look back window is made available to me, I will come with force. As to those who fear Scouting may be irredeemably and systemically compromised, I think that may be falling victim to the trend toward coddled group-think and unfounded, broad brush guilt by association. I very well could be wrong. As I view it from my experience, training and professional lens, the organizational and programmatic structure of Scouting did, in fact, create very fertile ground to attract, cultivate and permit sexual predators to abuse boys. There is no question that is true. Was it more insidious and evil? Is it still? I don't know, but I don't think so. If it had been, there wouldn't have been so many pockets of innocence that existed throughout Scouting, as many of you experienced. If it is infected to the core - cancer living in in the bones - I pray God ensures it doesn't emerge from this. Also, just because Tim Kosnoff and Jeff Van Arsdale tell you they have eight and fourteen year-old clients doesn't mean the overwhelming majority of claimants are other than over 50. I would like to see a chart of the dates of incidence. I'm guessing it drops precipitously after the late 1980's. That's my personal guess, having not looked at any data. Bottom line? It's mess. Therefore, God, please help us. In your grace and mercy, please grant all involved wisdom, insight, direction and justice, as You see fit. Keep evil plans from prevailing and selfish actors from reaping great reward at the expense of the afflicted. Protect the innocent. Care for the needy. Punish the guilty. Elevate the righteous. Bring beauty from ashes... Ok. I'll stop now.
  6. 6 points
    This is the second in a planned series of three posts related to past and present crises in Boy Scouting. They reflect my observations as a long-time Scouter and Scouting historian. A few years ago, I received unexpected telephone calls from a New York Times reporter and a CNN producer asking me to comment, from the perspective of a long-time volunteer Scouter in the heartland, about the controversies which were shaking the organization and had now burst out into the public arena. In reality, the storm clouds had been building on the horizon for several years. Almost two decades ago, a prominent national news magazine had featured the cover photo of a Boy Scout with the caption “The Battle for the Soul of the Boy Scouts”. The largest youth movement in the nation had attempted to stay apolitical but rapid social change created a new and challenging environment for the organization. The national decision to allow openly gay boys and adults to be part of the movement came after agonizing years of heated debate that deeply divided the organization. Debates continued about whether to admit girls into the traditional Boy Scouting program at the pack and troop level. Coed membership had long been commonplace in many other international Scouting programs as well as our own Exploring and Venturing programs. Change once again met resistance for various reasons. In a series of actions, all programs were opened to female membership at the discretion of the chartered organization. In reaction to these decisions, some local chartering organizations chose to discontinue their long-standing relationship with the Boy Scouts. Citing a variety of factors, the LDS church announced that it was withdrawing from participation in the BSA effective at the beginning of 2020. This ended a long relationship with the loss of an estimated 18% of the BSA membership nationally. However, the percentage of LDS linked members varied significantly from council to council with some western councils losing almost 90% of their membership overnight. The leading edge of the storm was clearly on the horizon as several states temporarily extended the stature of limitations in past abuse claims. The national BSA and the councils in those states faced an onslaught of abuse claims. This set the stage for the filing of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy by the national organization in an effort to avoid financial collapse and to attempt to reach a fair reconciliation with victims. Yet, there was an element of this storm that no one anticipated. The advent of the coronavirus pandemic rapidly accelerated the growing crisis. It was like a hurricane entering a body of warm water and rapidly building to Category 5 magnitude. Scouting units ceased to meet in many communities, council and national events were cancelled and much fund-raising ground to a halt in many places throughout the nation. The attorney for national BSA stated that cash flow was a major issue and the national operation might not have a sufficient cash flow to continue operations past the 2021 summer unless a settlement could be quickly reached. As of this writing, membership in 2021 seems poised to take a significant drop in many councils. Some Scouting professionals have stated that they are anticipating an estimated loss of 30% or more of the council membership at recharter time. The Cub Scouting program has been especially hard hit with estimates of an 80% membership loss in some areas. Scout troops apparently have been affected to a lesser degree as many of them were able to shift to virtual meetings. Many units have been unable to successfully conduct recruitment events during the pandemic. The deluge of non-stop negative media coverage and advertising related to abuse in Scouting have created a negative and scary image for prospective families. Scout troops will be adversely affected if cub packs have on-going major membership losses. In addition, it is unclear how potentially months of virtual Scouting and no in-person Scout activities due to pandemic restrictions will affect the retention of youth members. The force of the storm upon the organization has been unrelenting. The statement of 90,000 plus abuse claims is stunning. It far exceeds even the “worst case” estimates. If it indeed proves accurate, it is a damning indictment of, at the very least, our past if not present programs. And it will shake the trust of our families, our partners, our donors and even ourselves. Insurance companies have threatened to withhold payment toward past abuse claims due to perceived neglect on the part of the BSA. While this still has a long time to play out, the question may be, has the brand been so damaged that even if it survives bankruptcy, will it be able to successfully function? The storm is still not done with us. Boy Scouting has historically been built around the idea of chartered partners. The impact and willingness of these chartered partners to continue sponsorship has been shaken. Many churches recently received notification from their conference that they needed to immediately have their attorney file a claim against the BSA. The responsibility and liability of hosting Scouting will be perceived in a different way in the future. The days of simply allowing a troop or pack to meet in the church basement on Wednesday nights being your perceived sole duty as a sponsor are behind us. The sheer number of abuse claims will certainly raise a multitude of concerns among our charter partners. These concerns will only accelerate if chartered organizations find themselves as a target of a lawsuit from a program that they may have ceased to host decades ago. From a historical standpoint, this is the most serious crisis that the organization has faced since its formation. A perfect storm of events is occurring that threatens to significantly reshape or perhaps even destroy a program that has been a staple of American society for over a century. My next and final planned post in this series – The reality of the current situation is sobering and disheartening. There are a host of questions. What are possible paths ahead for our national organization? How will these events play out at the council and unit levels? What can we do as Scouters? Does our history offer us lessons for the future? I will discuss my take in more detail on the issues discussed in this post and more.
  7. 6 points
    Let's start with the "equity" portion. Equity is an impossible goal to achieve. No matter how we strive we will never achieve equal outcomes. The goal of "equity" is a myth, an impossible achievement cooked up by Marxists/Postmodernists. We will ALL make choices in our lives that result in fortunate/unfortunate outcomes. In the US, the VAST majority of what we achieve is due to our personal choices, not the opinions of others. DEI philosophy is not merely "creating a culture that welcomes and respects diverse perspectives" or "creating a sense of belonging and build communities where every person feels respected and valued". If that's all it was, I'd be fine with it and no one in their right mind would oppose it. Should scouts not denounces racism, discrimination, inequality and injustice? You keep posing this question as if it is a neutral topic and people have repeatedly explained that the issue is not general definition of the words " Diversity" and "Inclusion". No one in their right mind is against that. The problem is the application of these topics, the material surrounding it, and the methods by which we achieve those laudable goals; they are highly slanted with leftist propaganda. I don't disagree with diversity as a laudable goals as long as they aren't at the cost of our values or mission. Example: If we utilize funds to recruit more POC, I'm all for it, but if we do so by shuttering camps and reducing opportunities for everyone, then we've gone too far. There is a balance between these. Denounce racism? Absolutely! Denounce injustice? Sure! Let's start with BSA categorizing the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd as "murder" when one was not and the other is (at a bare minimum) under some dispute. We can neutrally state with complete confidence that we want justice to be served without taking sides in a matter or inflaming hostilities. Denounce inequality? Probably, but that depends on what you mean. If you mean equality of opportunity, solid "yes" from me. If you mean equality of outcome, that's a hard "no"; it's an impossibility. There will NEVER be equal outcomes no matter what. Denounce discrimination? That depends. We discriminate ethically and legally all the time. That guy that offers you a deal of a lifetime? Yeah, we're reasonably skeptical. That Nigerian Prince in your email? Yeah...hard pass. You say "that's not what I'm talking about and you know it!", well, it really isn't that simple. Obviously we talk about discrimination based on race as being something pretty much everyone is against, but what about discrimination based on ability? Is it reasonable to expect that we have all camps and high adventure modified so that someone in a wheelchair can attend? There are some who believe this should be the case. So, in general, yes, I denounce discrimination, but within reason. I'm sorry, but no. Blind adherence to terms that are vaguely defined and can mean a WIDE range of things is NOT what scouts are part of. Again, if we are talking general terms, then yes, we're on the same page AND there's no opposition. However, the trend (from "Diversity and Inclusion" to "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion") seems to indicate a movement toward mandating the teaching of "check your privilege", promoting "anti-racism" , fixing "systemic racism", and a host of leftist mantras. Teaching that America's core principles are "racist" is both absurd and, by definition, antiAmerican. while it's true America was indeed founded during times of racism and oppression, that was the world they lived in. It isn't a reflection of America or its ideals.
  8. 6 points
    You just described the values of the Scout Oath and Law quite well. Maybe we should just stick to scouting. Barry
  9. 5 points
    @vol_scouter, you seem to be a grief magnet. I suspect that's because you're as close to national as we see. Anyway, here's a slightly different perspective. I don't really care about insta-palms, the cubscout changes, the LDS, the membership changes or any of the other hot topics on this forum. But all these issues are really just side stories. There's really only one story that, at this point, raises the question of whether the BSA will even exist a year from now. The story is a steady decline in interest in the BSA for some five decades and what the BSA is doing to change that. If there were a lot of interest in scouting then all of these other issues would fade away, so they are not the issue. After watching this for so long it appears that the BSA is mostly just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. They thought it was getting eagle so there's been a push to crank out more eagles. There was scoutreach. Now there's Bechtel and STEM. Nothing is really sticking. Everyone may claim they know the answer but until anything is tried out it's all just arm chair quarterbacking. You had mentioned that all the volunteers should get behind the leadership. After 50 years of doing that I think the volunteers have lost faith in the leadership. That's why they're nitpicking every decision. And you have to admit, Mosby has not been creating any sort of optimism. Sure, he's dealing with a fire and things are so far gone that we don't know what the BSA might look like, or if it even exists, a year from now. But still, I haven't heard anything. A lot of people here say get back to the basics or core competencies of the BSA. I suppose there are different opinions as to what that looks like. How about just leadership? You took woodbadge. The very last day I was told that good leadership is servant leadership. Look out for what the people want. That might be a good place to start. I will add one thing to consider, though. There is nothing more impressive in scouts than seeing a scout that finally gets it. It's the confidence, the desire to help out cheerfully, the responsibility, just knowing that this young person will do fine. Every parent that sees this in their child knows the power of scouting. Some are happy, some are proud and some are relieved. That's what every other parent should understand as the goal of scouting. That's what every volunteer and employee of the BSA should understand as the goal. It is what makes scouting unique. Get everyone on that page and fight off the nitpicking, and everyone will start following the leadership.
  10. 5 points
    Logic like this is part of the problem. YES, we've had racism...in the past. The past will never go away. We could completely eliminate racism and do absolutely everything that BLM, et al want...and it would still be there. I'm not saying the racism of the past won't go away. I'm saying the past will always have existed. A thousand years from now, the racism of the past will have still existed. We are among LEAST racist countries in the world. We are among the most racially diverse countries in the world Racism definitely still exists in the US, but it also is NOT socially tolerated. Even suspected racist acts are universally condemned. Free speech IS part of our country's core, so racism WILL always be visible and legally allowed within our country, but it isn't socially condoned. I will fight for the right of racists to speak their mind as much as I will fight for BLM, Black Panthers, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, etc. Free speech is more important While I want to be inoffensive, there are some people who are looking to be offended and will go so far outside what is reasonable that their demands to be inoffensive are themselves offensive. Example: while in the military, I had a complaint filed about me because I had an apple on my desk. Apparently calling a Native American an "apple" is an insult...red on the outside, white on the inside. The member felt the daily fruit from my lunch was personally directed at him despite the fact he was NOT in my flight and NOT even in my unit (he just happened to regularly go through our unit). So, no, I'm not going to go THAT far out of my way to be inoffensive. Intent matters. Context matters. Things that are offensive to some are inoffensive to others. In our melting pot, we should talk about it and understand each others' intent OVER how offended someone may be.
  11. 5 points
    Though I'm late to the game, I just read the BSA 2019 Nov/Dec advancement news. Great article for ALL unit leaders in it. I'm putting this under "Program" as it's a comment about focusing on "program", not advancement. Read "Advancement Is Based on Experiential Learning" on page 6 in BSA 2019 Nov/Dec Advancement News. https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/advancement_news/2019_Nov-Dec.pdf A few comments Advancement is natural outcome. Program over advancement. Scouts attend because of program. Growth is tracked thru advancement. Keep inside the PLC the planning / mapping of advancement to troop program. The troop scouts should be motivated by the excitement of the program. Don't expect them excited because it fulfills a requirement. Example: Troop program should not have a calendar entry for a five mile hike for second class scouts. Instead, it should have a hike to local attraction (waterfall, dam, overlook, etc) where the trail ends at a local ice cream parlor. Just so happens the round trip length, starting point, etc are five miles. Give the tenderfoot scouts the maps and compasses. Let the older scouts hang back and chat and enjoy the event. The PL should be coached that they can ask to see the scout's handbook and sign off on requirements the scout has demonstrated even if the scout didn't know he was fulfilling a requirement. Even though PL is ideal, I'm okay with SM/ASM doing same if that's the personality of the troop. My favorite memory is a local SM years ago who every year took his scouts on a long canoe trip. During the trip, new scouts would be coached on canoe strokes and parts of the canoe. Each would canoe with the SM at some point. ... The SM and scout would be in the canoe for hours together. Relaxed conversation. And periodic discussions about canoeing ... At the end of the trip, the SM would award the canoing MB to any scout that had not already received it. Scouts kept going on the trip year after year. ... IMHO, that's the type of SM I'd like to be. My key thought ... Avoid saying XXXXX fulfills an advancement requirement. That's not motivating.
  12. 5 points
    For “why”, you need to look at the source ... https://scoutingwire.org/bsas-commitment-to-act-against-racial-injustice/, specifically, the signatories. This bypasses the usual MB process and comes from the top down. The CEO’s bio https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2020/01/28/getting-to-know-roger-c-mosby-the-new-president-and-ceo-of-the-boy-scouts-of-america/ explains: In the past decade, HR folks have benefited greatly from mandatory D&I. It stands to reason that if you put a person with that background at the top of your organization, this is the solution he will push down to every level he can.
  13. 4 points
    I am a Scouting historian. This is what happens when your time in Scouting equals half the time that the program has been in existence. An unpaid but gratifying position (like most of our positions). My focus has primarily been my local council in which, in a fit of madness, I began a two-year process which ended up with a 500 plus page book. During that process, I went through literally thousands of local and national documents over two years trying to get a feel for the program at different time periods. I conducted countless interviews. And I came away with a very different understanding of the program. As I did my research, it appeared to me that there were three separate past periods in the past century in which the Boy Scouts were in a time of serious crisis. Times that threatened the very existence of the program. Historians like to think that perhaps we can learn from history. And there are lessons to be learned from crises. I am hoping to do three separate posts: (1) A look back at past crises (2) Observations on the current crisis (3) What lies ahead and lessons from the past I welcome your thoughts and comments. Our first crisis unfolded soon after the formation of the BSA. The Boy Scout movement had spread like wildfire initially. Newspaper features captured the excitement of a new movement whose aim was to develop American manhood and virtue. It was a program based upon the highest ideals of the time. Boy Scouting was largely a grassroots movement where civic minded individuals and organizations almost raced to form a troop in communities throughout America. Organizational meetings were held in school gyms and church auditoriums. Local committees often selected an “outstanding” individual to lead this program. Most of the new units did not charter with the New York City national office which was grossly undermanned and ill prepared for the deluge in interest. Instead they launched out on their own in hopes of being a part of this glorious new movement. This interest reached fever pitch when Baden-Powell, who had international superstar fame, made his journey by train across America in early 1912. He drew crowds of hundreds and thousands at his stops and was received as a hero and celebrity. Yet by 1914, Scouting had almost disappeared in many of the communities in which it was initially organized. Troops ceased to function and many of the early efforts to establish councils collapsed. What happened? It was the lack of organizational support at the national level, a collapse of the early efforts to organize local councils due to a lack of monies and a shortage of training courses and materials for the fledging unit leadership. A revival occurred after James West established a much stronger national presence and support system. National organizations such as Rotary encouraged their local clubs to provide key leadership and support including funding for camps. The advent of World War One created a surge of patriotism. The positive image of the Boy Scouts increased as they took part in Liberty Loan campaigns, grew Victory Gardens and were very visible in their local communities. As the war ended, Boy Scouting was on solid footing in many areas and the stage was set for rapid growth. A second crisis emerged during the Great Depression. Across America, councils were unable to successfully fund raise to support a professional. Many professionals worked without pay for weeks. Efforts to raise money were often met with letters to newspapers and even editorials criticizing Scout leadership for fund-raising for “camping programs” when communities could not even feed their families. Several camps were closed or threatened with closure when they were unable to pay the mortgages. Families struggled to send their sons to summer camp at the cost of a dollar a day. Some troops purchased a week of summer camp and rotated different boys each day. Yet, we saw amazing creativity in local troops and councils in maintaining a very visible presence and supporting the youth. Local businesses would offer “jobs” to Scouts such as distributing telephone directories and funds would go toward camp. Fathers, Scouts and friends would travel to camp to help prepare it for the summer and to build new structures using donated materials. Following the end of World War Two, Boy Scouting was posed to enter its Golden Age of rapid growth and tremendous public support. The third crisis seemed to emerge with little warning. By the mid 70’s, America was in the midst of enormous social change. There was American disillusionment with the Viet Nam war and the military. Boys in uniform conveyed an image that made many parents uncomfortable. Non-conformity was the movement of the day among many youth and Scouting no longer looked “cool”. Scouting had new competition for family time and money including new youth football and soccer programs. And the national leadership, in a well-intentioned effort to make Scouting more relevant and to outreach to underserved youth, made dramatic changes in the program structure Unfortunately, there was little buy-in from many of the current unit leadership. The new Scouting program that featured rodent control in apartments and how to ride a subway moved the program away from an outdoor focus. Scout leaders reacted by quitting in frustration. Several councils saw a nearly fifty percent drop in Boy Scout membership during that period. National reacted by bringing back the legendary Greenbar Bill and a new outdoor focused program and handbook but the damage was done. Scouting would continue and undergo several changes in the next decades in an effort to maintain its relevancy and to recruit and retain youth. Yet, by the beginning of the 21st century, new threats were emerging. And a “perfect storm” of events was forming that would threaten the very existence of the program. Post Two – The Perfect Storm will follow.
  14. 4 points
    My wife's first husband had nothing good to say about Scouting. Don't know why, of no consequence now. Wife had been a Brownie for a short while growing up, but her father was a researcher for the Fish and Wildlife service, so her family had a good lot of experience in the "great outdoors". When we met and married, my Scout experience became hers (Eagle, OA, many summer camps). My newly enlisted stepsons were a little old for Scouts, and daughter had no use for GIrlscouts (too fashionista and tea partyish) so when youngest Scoutson came along, and he SAID he wanted to be a Cub Scout, we jumped. I became a Den Leader, Cubmaster, wife became Cub Scout Day Camp Director. Eventually, I became Assistant SM, went to WB, served as Chaplain (fully approved by my faith, the Chaplain corps, National too ) at the Nat Jam. and so forth, etc. etc. Scoutson went to Philmont twice (once as a Crew Leader), Jambo Staffed, earned Eagle. Then I applied to be a Nat Jam Chaplain again . I received an email (!) stating I was not approved as Nat Jam Staff. When I inquired why, I was told it was a "Private matter" and the reasons could not be disclosed. Huh? It's MY "private", you can't tell me WHY I am not suitable as a Scout leader? I've already BEEN a Chaplain. What changed? After dozens of emails and phone calls, I was finally told that my local Council had given me a bad rating. Huh? The year before I had been Staff for the WB course, served as BALOO and IOLS instructor. What did who say about me? Sorry, can't say. Let me say it looks like you made an enemy somewhere. Huh? My faith wishes to name me as a Chaplain. After alot more back and forth, the National Staffer (his name was Green) finally read me the rating sheet. I marveled at the comments he noted. Would it help to get some different opinions on my Scoutspirit/attitude/character/skills/interpersonal dynamics? He didn't think so, but he would welcome them. I had 22 friends/bosses/Scout co-workers/faith leaders/educators willingly (eagerly, even) write embarrassingly complimentary letters for me. Still didn't help that year. Mr. Green told me the letters were "enlightening", but the decision could not, would not be changed. But , I said, that means that somewhere in the BSA bowels, there will be a file detailing how unsuitable I am, when it is not true. He said it will be destroyed after the Jamboree, try not to worry about it. Huh? As an added mystery, my would've been fellow Chaplain, with essentially the same type of history, (but from a different Council) was approved and accepted "instantly". Next Jambo, my faith org, The Friends Committee on Scouting, and I, did the same application thing, and PRESTO, I was "approved" very quickly. Owing to the way National and Council had treated me, , lovely wife FORBID me to EVER donate anything extra via FOS. Lack of transparency? Lack of open phone numbers? Names responsible for what? Lack of response to a "volunteer's" earnest inquiry? Yes, and it has happened more recently. Stonewalling? Hope you will just go away? Follow the Scout Promise and Law? Ability to face/confront one's accusers? And people wonder why the National organization should be considered separate from the local Scouting. Yes, I am still a Scouter. I Commish, I train, I explain, and I hike. See you on the trail.
  15. 4 points
    In my experience, National exerts control by merging Councils and controling the SE selection. When a local council board here voted down a merge, National was stunned and redoubled pressure. The merge occurred the following year. The statement had been made that the NEC and NEB are all volunteers, let's confirm that. Who are they? I could not find a listing on scouting.org nor in the last two Annual Reports. If we don't see or hear from leaders, it is hard to follow them. If they don't provide fact-based, rational explanations for their decisions, it is hard to support them. My $0.02
  16. 4 points
    1. "Charter and Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America June 2019 © Boy Scouts of America ... Section 3. That the purpose of this corporation shall be to promote, through organization, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in Scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods which are now in common use by Boy Scouts [1915 language readopted in 2019]." So was it "sound" for BSA to pursue increasingly different purposes? 2. BSA fought for years and won the right, good or bad, to assert its view of "Timeless Values] by excluding gay persons, then relatively quickly abandoned that position for stated reasons that applied equally when they were fighting admission of gays. Was that "sound."? 3. BSA is driven almost solely by raising money to meet payroll - 97% of the expenditures in my council, making corporate donors more important than almost any number of Scout parents. Yes an opinion, based on observation, experience, documents, and admissions by "professionals." My council has turned down $millions because it would have been restricted to supporting program, such as by improving and maintaining camps. The council laid off it's VERY successful capital program professional because the $millions she raised could not be used for payroll. Is it "sound" not to make program - product - of highest priority? 4. BSA consciously allows awards to be given on a massive scale regardless of whether they have been earned or not. What message does this behavior send to youth? Is it '"sound" not to be "trustworthy"? 5. BSA "professionals" have repeatedly falsified membership numbers, leading to criminal investigations and convictions ("FBI called in as 'ghost' scouts boost numbers - and funds.") My councils first Scout Exectutive was merely fired for doing tthat, as was the Scout Executive I inherited when I rejoined in 1981. Then there is "In School Scouting, which one of our Scout Executives candidly called a "Scam." "Sound"? 6. BSA says volunteers run Scouting. That statement is disingenuous at best. "Sound" ? 7. The BSA position on "Reverent" is claimed to be very important, yet, in practice, BSA acts inconsistently. Some theists are excluded because they worship the wrong God or gods. It is said that one must believe in God - not "a" higher authority but "the" higher authority, and are to be excluded if you do not so believe; yet, some atheists, mainly Buddhists, but also non-theist Unitarians, have been allowed in BSA, the Buddhist continuously for generations, and their religious awards are recognized by BSA. Other atheists, such as Humanists, are excluded. On October 21, 2003, Greg Shields, a national spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America, statement to Fox News, said: "The Boy Scouts are not a religious organization. We cannot be described as a religious organization or a religion." Yes, that was wildly inconsistent with BSA's position in court papers in prior law suits. E.g.: "Although Boy Scouts of America is not a religious sect, it is religious, and, while the local council is not a house of worship like a church or a synagogue, it is a religious organization." E. g.: "Bill, I don't think you or the Boy Scouts have anything to apologize for. The Boy Scouts are proud to be an organization of people who believe in God." ( George Davidson, lead counsel of record, Boy Scouts of America v. Dale.) Is it "sound" to "double-talk" an "important" issue? 8. YPT The first version of on-line training commanded that reports of "incidents" be made solely to your Scout Executive. I, and I am sure many others, pointed out that the law was otherwise, and the commandment changed. But how could any "sound" leader require such a indefensible practice in the first instance? These have been tough times for most volunteer organizations. That makes sound leadership critical.
  17. 4 points
    BSA is nuts to make this badge required. The issue is part of one which has the US bitterly divided and has zero chance of attracting more scouts to replace those who leave or are pulled out by their parents. This "like it or leave" stuff can fly in a company where people rely on employment to get paid, but not in an organization dependent on volunteers who pay for the privilege. Oh, and in other news, costs are going up again. Whether or not we individually agree or disagree is besides the point, a hefty chunk of scouts won't be coming back because of forced idealogy like this. It's like BSA is trying to suicide the organisation.
  18. 4 points
    I don't think so. The problem isn't that BSA is getting bad press. The problem is that many thousands of scouts were sexually molested in scouting. There is no faux outrage here. The outrage is real.
  19. 4 points
    Nope. I believe in valuing individuals for themselves. I don't seek out individuals based on their group identity. "I need a black friend." "Why?" "Because he's black." Duh. "I need a girl friend." is a different topic... Attributing value to people because of their group identity is setting them up for failure.
  20. 4 points
    Nope. I have a very open mind. In fact, I invite you to convince me. I ask that you use simple words that an adolescent would understand. (We are talking about a Boy Scout merit badge, right?) Inherent truths such as Diversity and Inclusion should have no need for cerebral academic studies. Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, et al. were easily explained in layman's terms without high minded government funded research papers. These new three ephemeral precepts should be easy, yes? Go for it. Before you dismiss me as an avowed racist chauvinist, know that I have served with / work with blacks, women, and Hispanics. The color of their skin and their gender were/are irrelevant; they all earned their way into my circle of highly esteemed friends because of who they were and what they could do. @Navybone, now it's your turn.
  21. 4 points
    No matter how you may feel on this, biggest challenge is this is the continuing move away from our CORE COMPETENCY. Is this "Fun with a Purpose"? I would say no and it does not add value to the program. I am not suggesting that the possible issue may be important to society, but there are many many issues that may be important to society. The BSA cannot be all things to all people. The more we try the more we wander aimlessly with each special interest group looking to "mold" the Scouting movement in America to what they "feel" is important and critical. Stick with the basics, focus on fun and outdoors, differentiate the Scouting movement in the market place. Drill down to the WHY kids join. This is like houses, not every house one builds may suit everyone. Deal with the reality and be good at what we do and narrow focus on that. Bending and moving to the winds of whatever is current will continue to kill the movement.
  22. 4 points
    Check out the butt of the axe carried by "The Ideal Scout." The story is that the sculptor was told to be sure it had a "fawn's foot."
  23. 4 points
    I am saddened by this MB, but not surprised. Irrespective of the value of this MB it does not help the core program: fun with a purpose. This will likely be one more boring MB. Purpose without fun is just homework and kids can get that for free. It's one more reason not to join scouting. It's not helping units run a better program.
  24. 4 points
    I like how that presentation deflects all blame off National and puts it on the Local Councils. It kinda assumes Councils are below these "quotas", for lack of a better term, because the field staff simply aren't trying hard enough. Want to make scouting more accessible to low income families…..maybe stop raising the membership fee and get rid of that horrendous new member tax.
  25. 4 points
    I really should clean up the attic....
  26. 4 points
    I'm not clear on why this is a merit badge. Surely the basic tenets of Scouting already incorporate these ideas. I suppose if one wants to explore them, fine, but I don't think it needs to be required for Eagle. American Cultures isn't required, but it is essentially a diversity merit badge.
  27. 4 points
    Well, it turned out I was not needed in a "transport" mode, so tuesday night I first spent my time before 8pm helping to direct voters to the right table, I then spent most of tuesday evening folding up and stacking tables, chairs, pulling blue tape arrows off the floor, and re-packing a supply cart the size of a small walk-in closet on wheels::: (Boxes of pencils (eraser end used for tapping screens), hundreds of pens (used and unused), Boxes of PPE, extension cords, signs, paper clips, markers, zipper bags empty and refilled, cardboard and plastic privacy screens, various official forms, blank note pads, magnifying screens (pretty nifty, I thought), clip boards, mylar face shields, everything a small government office might use EXCEPT the computer stations... TETRIS practice is a useful skill. I must remember to mention it on my next resume..... The ePollbooks were packed up and stacked THERE.... the Ballot Scanners were packed in their rolling vaults THERE . . . the Ballot Marking Devices went over HERE.... Ballot collection boxes sealed and clipped shut. Security forms vouched for and signed off on. Security seals on the locks and those numbers vouched for and signed off on. The BoE truck will arrive later, the Chief Judges and Closing Judges must stay until all is accounted for and the Evidence Trail noted. The rest of us were thanked and excused. Our CJs had nothing but praise for the crew. It was noted that about half of them had also worked the Early Voting Sites the previous week. Long hours, not much monetary pay, but still.... We applauded our Chiefs, bid goodnight to our fellow workers, and departed. I got home just before 10pm.
  28. 4 points
    It is not just judgement it is understanding risk exposure. If BSA outlines a policy and you deviate from it, you increase your risk of being held personally liable if something happens. That's why all those annoying rules are there -- BSA is trying to avoid risk. All of us at one time or another have likely bent a rule that didn't seem to make any sense. Just make sure you understand that you are not simply being a rebel and following the "old" ways but that you are possibly exposing yourself to enhanced liability.
  29. 4 points
    For fear of repeating myself, my "master plan for scouter training" beyond youth protection would include no "basic" training should be considered complete until 1st Class Skills are signed off by an SPL/JASM. There are lots of reasons for this -- the simplest being that a scouter should be "all that" to scouts first and foremost. It's irrelevant what some district/council trainer says. But I digress. Yes, cubmasters, committee members, and crew advisors should master those skills. Some will need a district training weekend, others will need to visit a troop, or invite a skilled youth to their troop to help train them. The one-size-fits-all IOLS will be tossed aside. Position-specific instruction will come to the fore. Second, only open Woodbadge to "1st Class Scouts." This means that everyone goes through the trail to 1st class before the course starts. That's the starting point. Sitting with your patrol and reviewing what went well (or not) about your journey to 1st class rank. What kind of leadership did you experience along the way? Who along that trail would you like to emulate? Whose example would you want to avoid?
  30. 3 points
    11/29/1944, Hancock County, Maine ... two men, underdressed and carrying large suitcases, trudging through the snow along the side of the road. It was just before midnight on a Wednesday, on the then sparsely populated Hancock Point peninsula. What on earth were the two men doing? As it turns out, what both Mary Forni and Scout Harvard Hodgkins had separately spotted were not two people simply lost in the snow. They’d seen two Nazi spies — William C. Colepaugh, a 26-year-old native of Niantic, Conn., and German native Erich Gimpel, 35, who around 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 1944 made landfall in the U.S. after a two-month journey across the Atlantic Ocean in a German U-Boat.... rest at source https://bangordailynews.com/2020/11/29/news/hancock/how-a-down-east-boy-scout-and-his-neighbor-helped-foil-the-plans-of-two-nazi-spies/
  31. 3 points
    My Responses will be in red Do you really believe that national has little input into the councils? National narrows down the choices a council has for SE and DFS that a Council Executive Board (CEB) chooses. National provides the growth opportunities for the professionals. National provides the training that professionals take. National sets the goals professionals need to meet. National [provides the recognition professionals get. As for executive boards and committees, why is it that SE's push "yes men" into those postions, and encourage DE's to push "yes men" into district roles instead of the best qualified? Why is it that when things do not go the way the council professionals want because the volunteers oppose the decision, national intervenes by threatening to revoke the council charter unless the pros get their way, i.e. Chicago and the camp sale a number of years ago? If that is the case, why wasn't the National Philmont Committee informed of the Philmont mortgage until several months after the fact? Why did members resign in protest? Why was the Trust not informed of the mortage and is now involved in the lbankruptcy? Why was the 411 Committee on Cub Scouts, the ones whos pent years working on the June 2015 program, not advised about the December 2016 Program changes? If policies and decisions are made by volunteers, why are the volutneers not being informed? From some of the decision national has made, this does not seem to be true. Unless the NEB is hiding things? There is no doubt that volunteers care at both the local and national levels. But I have seen volunteers manipulated on the local level, and that example must be coming from somewhere?. I have also seen volunteers forced out of positions at the local level because there have disagreements with professionals. That too has to come from somewhere? I have seen at both the local and national levels professionals overrule the decisions of volunteers,. And I have seen local and national volunteers resign in disgust over decisions of the local and national council. Instapalms, 411, and Churchill Plan, are some of the examples I can give of professionals ignoring the volunteers. Sadly this is not just a local issue. You may not be seeing it at this time in your council, but that can change with the next SE.
  32. 3 points
    So no one "starts" "equal, ' as you say, and, thus "equity, "a KEY component of critical race theory" is "impossible,. as you say. That being agreed, your "critical race theory' is an illusion - a slogan divorced from reality - an excuse for throwing responsibility for the inevitably unequal outcomes, on someone(s) other than the individuals themselves. If you speak for BSA, we owe you sincere thanks. You have explained the evil we must utterly crush. "On my honor, I will do my best ....." "A Scout is ...." "Discrimination," by the way, is largely legal and ethical. It is through discrimination that we do not voluntarily contribute to the funds to pay "leaders" who produce bad results for the organization, as baseball teams discriminate against "every day" players who cannot hit a breaking ball.
  33. 3 points
  34. 3 points
    That's a good and relevant question. You address the ideas of what divesity and inclusion are supposed to be, bit not Equity and how D and I support it in the context it is given. Equity is the idea that everyone should get the same outcome regardless of their ability or effort. This is completely counter to equality of opportunity, as well as not possible to accomplish. For example, does BSA now give every kid an Eagle regardless of the effort they put in? No, and if they start the Eagle becomes valueless. In this context "Diversity" is not what you described. It is a justification for Equity and takes the form of disfavoring individuality, which is how we teach scouts to see other people - as unique individuals - and replaces that with a concept of group identity so that some groups are 'oppressors' and others 'oppressed', which in turn gives direction to Equity in the form of moving resources such as jobs or tax dollars from members of one group to another. Inclusion is not about including everyone, it is about choosing who to exclude - namely anyone who disagrees that Equity is a good idea. Inclusion is also about ensuring that ideas which are not supported by sound principles (such as Equity and other things we wouldn't consider "morally straight") are allowed into the culture rather than excluded. Ultimately these are Marxist ideas, and Marxism is hugely contentious, mostly because the last 100 years proved these ideas result in millions of dead people. That's not trivial, therefore neither are the concerns about it.
  35. 3 points
    I'm going to disagree with the premise that the fact the brain is still growing means they don't have the physical structures necessary to start thinking like adults. If we want youth to start thinking like adults, we have to start treating them like adults. Yes, you make allowances for their age and inexperience but you don't coddle them. They aren't infants. Heck, the term "young adult" USED to refer to this particular age group (as opposed to 18-25 year olds) -- and I think still does in the book publishing world. One of the reasons I said that the skills needed in years past were at least as great as today is that the challenges kids face today are ones of convenience or desire or entertainment, not literal survival like in the years I cited. Having to do something in order to ensure you eat or live for tomorrow tends to force concentration in a way that deciding whether to use TikTok or Instagram or Snapchat don't. I am NOT saying to resurrect the exact program of the 1950s and 1960s. I don't want to teach Scouts to chop off living tree branches to build their wilderness beds. However, teaching them self-reliance and skills for dealing with the outdoors and each other will go further than all the touchy-feely SJW emotionalism that they're being indoctrinated with today. The wilderness skills aren't just to enjoy the outdoors, it's to teach them to plan and think without relying on a smartphone or tablet to tell them exactly what to do. My experience has been that youth generally enjoy being able to do things themselves and realizing they are capable of doing more than they thought. THAT is exactly what the Patrol Method is all about (IMO). BSA has had STEM merit badges for decades and has even updated the qualifications to keep up with technology. I got the computer merit badge nearly 40 years ago. I was a registered counselor for it until my retirement from Scouting 4 years ago. One factor you all are missing is that Scouting has had a target on its back for decades from various factions of society. 4-H has never been targeted that way (to my knowledge). This wasn't a factor in the first 2 crises the OP mentioned but it has been an ever-growing factor in the third crisis -- and it's been given a boost recently by the way social media, the entertainment industry, "journalism", "education", etc. have dealt more in influence (particularly in social trends) than in actually connecting, entertaining, or informing. BSA can't fight all of that by itself but it doesn't need to. My contention is that the older program of teaching youth self-reliance, enjoyment of the outdoors, planning, leadership, etc. will do more than kowtowing to the social activists. At the very least, it could have stanched the loss of members from the politically correct changes made or led by Robert Gates and Randall Stephenson. Why is it we can teach triage techniques like "stop the blood loss" in First Aid (well, we stopped being able to teach the use of tourniquets in the FA merit badge but we still taught the concept of dealing with the most dangerous conditions like blood loss first) but National takes policy steps to INCREASE the loss of critical resources in order to appease adult political activists? I would really like a continuation of the OP's essay but IMO Scouting will not get past this latest crisis unless or until it is willing to ditch the top-level leadership that sacrifices membership and resources to political activism and prioritizes PhDs over real concrete field experience in shaping the program.
  36. 3 points
    The beatings will continue until morale improves.
  37. 3 points
    Thanks. You need to, however, reference oft-forgot starting points for each policy, just like you did when you referenced the improved scouting program. Hunt down the years for: The declaration of religious principle. The policy on homosexual adults (specifically, scoutmasters). The (different) policy on homosexual youth. The first SM who wanted to confer Eagle Scout to a female. The important thing to note here, is that these were not generated in a vacuum. Somebody in one part of the country didn't like how somebody in another part of the country was proceeding, and the picked BSA for a cudgel.
  38. 3 points
    Obviously you have a strong opinion. But it's just an opinion. After watching the last national elections, my opinion is judgement will be whatever the national media says it is. Barry
  39. 3 points
    I disagree with most of what you are saying, but I do agree that it was a different era. Attitudes were once very different than they are today. One of the most successful movies of 1971 was Summer of 42. No matter how beautiful the music and photography was, it is hard to get past the fact that it was about a 14 year old boy who has a sexual encounter with an emotionally damaged war widow. At the time, many called it a coming-of-age film. I saw it as a child molestation movie.
  40. 3 points
    You're leaving yourself open for a really nasty insult and I want to stop that from happening right now. Let's all stop the name calling. It's time for everyone to start thinking about what they're thankful for.
  41. 3 points
    Using racial slurs like "black sister" or "male cracker" in reference to degrading the comradeship of seven white boys is what I am referring to. You have in no way, shape, form or fashion hurt my feelings. You have not challenged my world view at all and I am simply talking about basic human decency. I speak out because it is the correct thing to speak out when people start using racial slurs in the name of Scouting. Scouting is about "to help other people at all times" and "Friend, Courteous, Kind, Cheerful". Knock it off. You want to debate this merit badge - that's fine. But, do not do it by using racial slurs and claiming to do so in the name of Scouting.
  42. 3 points
    Actually diversity and inclusion have been proven to not be effective with many global studies disproving this theory. I think the reason is that that these terms are too high level and allow someone to play with the meaning of diversity. Its easy to point to a specific use case where it does or does not work.
  43. 3 points
    I never claimed they were an academic institute of any kind dismissing content as a "conservative mouthpiece" and "propaganda" without discussing substance effectively shows you aren't interested in discussing any points that conservatives have. Very convenient for discussions in which you want to dismiss all opposing views Indeed, they are stating opinions, but I don't see them stating such opinions as facts. I would HIGHLY dispute that "none are backed but any academic-level research". This speaker in particular, Jordan Peterson, is particularly noted for his highly researched materials/presentations. "None of its research or writings meet the minimum academic standards." I would dispute that, but they aren't an academic institution either, so...
  44. 3 points
    Over 2 years ago, PragerU posted a video which warned of the dangers of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion philosophy. https://www.prageru.com/video/dangerous-people-are-teaching-your-kids/ In short: "Diversity" doesn't mean "a wide ranging group of ideas". It means "increased influence by people more generally aligned with leftist ideals" (usually from groups that deem themselves "oppressed") "Equity" doesn't mean equal opportunity (a laudable goal!), but is instead a focus on equal outcomes, something NO society has EVER come close to achieving. Anything short of it is "evidence" of discriminatory bias; the choices that people make that cause most of these inequities (not all) are merely byproducts of more discrimination. "Inclusion" doesn't mean "be open to others joining your group". Instead it generally focuses on identity based quotas in order to achieve the aforementioned malformed concept of equity. Recently (yesterday?), BSA released a video regarding a new Merit Badge: the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Merit badge...if that doesn't raise a red flag, I'm not sure what does. https://vimeo.com/476454128?fbclid=IwAR2EfbOR-YLmhoDdKVztS0SpP73fJuEK49iua3_xiPJ7ps_VDDxcCDO4vYI I will grant you, they have NOT released the requirements for the MB, but the title and video content alone should be alarming. The video does nothing to dispel such alarm. This is an attempt to appease the leftists in our society. Appeasement NEVER works. They will only demand more. Despite claiming the material will be taught in an "apolitical manner", its title alone makes me question that assertion. Making such a hyperpolitical concept a REQUIREMENT for Eagle Scout Rank is more than absurd, it's pushing a political agenda. Unless this is a poorly phrased title and the video doesn't match the content of the Merit Badge (which doesn't appear likely), I call on all friends of Scouting to speak up and say "no" at your next Roundtable. This top-down directed Merit Badge is an attempt to usurp Councils/Units without input from the scouting community at large and dictate political correctness.
  45. 3 points
    Like Eagle1993, I plan to continue Scouting working with a Scout Reach Pack and Troop. Here is my perspective from what I have read beginning in the 1990's through today. It represents my understanding after integrating all sources that I have found. The youth still need the values and lessons that Scouting teaches. Scouting has benefitted tens of millions of youth to be better people. Scouting has had 130 million individuals in its programs since founding in 1910 so even if one were to round up 100,000 injured that is only 0.08%! Not even a tenth of a percent. This is not to say that that is acceptable but rather to put it into perspective. Also, the cases that were made public in the past showed that many times that actual acts of abuse occurred outside of Scouting. Perpetrators used Scouting as a way to meet children and establish trust. This does not change the reprehensible actions of the criminals but it was grooming most often occurring in Scouting that is much better understood now. Growing up in the 1960's, sexual abuse of children was entering into the public discourse. Of course it had been occurring since there have been people, but 'nice' people would not publicly discuss it. In the 1960's, if a child accused a respected adult of abusing them, it would be the child who was scrutinized for making up the allegations. Let that sink in - it was the child who was not truthful at that time in American history. People cannot put themselves into that mindset but it was the way people thought. It was not until the late 1980's that many states passed legislation to protect those who reported concerns of abuse. Before that, if one reported someone of possible abuse, the reporter could be sued for defamation of character. Had the BSA reported every case, there would have been numerous defamation suits unless the person was convicted of child abuse. If you were a SE and had a concern reported to you, would you really report something that was second hand possibility of abuse (that is now covered by state laws but not before ~1990) and risk being sued for defamation of character risking large sums of money for your council? If you had that possible concern about a volunteer, would you as the SE put the volunteer on a list to keep him from ever being in Scouting again? That is what happened. SE's had to report it but there was no enforced reporting standard so some reports were very short - this should have probably have been corrected in those years long ago. The Ineligible Volunteer File also has people who needed to be excluded for other reasons such as safety issues or not handling money appropriately. The file was never called the perversion file by professional Scouters - that is made up by plaintiffs attorneys to imply malfeasance. The file has limited access but it is important to never allow names to be released for someone who was removed on a suspicion. This system erred on the side of protecting children while acting in the realities of the laws of the day. Such a system is exactly what the CDC is recommending now. One cannot look at things that happened in the past and draw accurate conclusions unless their view is taking into account the norms and values of the day. The actions that others did in the past were doing the best that they could under the laws of the day. One must evaluate their actions with that view - not today's. We believe that we are doing the right thing now in regards to youth protection and we are by today's rules. What if in 30 years, what is required changes and what we are doing now is no longer adequate? Do you want to be judged by your compliance with today's laws and views or some new set that we cannot even predict? We can all say 'why didn't the BSA do some specific thing back in some particular time?', but very good, dedicated, successful, and smart people have been directing the organization. They did their best as would we if in that situation. Also, it is likely that if we were in that seat to steer the BSA at that time and with only the data available at that time, we would have done something similar. Scouting can help to rescue at risk children, allow children with disabilities to find a place to succeed or even excel, provide an ethical and moral code to define their lives, learn teamwork, learn grit and resilience, and learn outdoor skills. Those things change lives. I encourage everyone to continue to work with children and, hopefully, do it through Scouting even if things structurally change.
  46. 3 points
    I cannot fathom that the BSA nor councils will ever attempt to seize unit funds as part of what happens. This whole business about what happens to unit funds when a unit folds is so nebulous that no-one in any kind of official capacity should ever consider them as anything tangible.
  47. 3 points
    My thoughts. #1 Looks like Kosnoff is vying to take over as lead attorney against the BSA in this case, and he will get his wish for the complete dissolution of the BSA. #2 Regarding the name change, I do not know. I do know we need change at the National Office. Kosnoff is right, BSA did not handle the bankruptcy process correctly IMHO. #3 Corporate donors are gone and will not be coming back. They have moved on, and the current negative publicity would hurt them, even with a name change. #4 I think BSA has been looking at family camping since before allowing girls, hence the term "Family Scouting" when they allowed girls to join, and the push to create family camping programs. This would be a tremendous loss to BP's vision, and everything thousands of Scouters have worked towards over the past century: developing youth physically, mentally, and morally. I have seen first hand the problems "Family Scouting" can cause, and left a troop over the matter. If "Family Scouting" is the future, then like @Sentinel947 , I too will be out. I have fought too hard to preserve Scouting as I had experienced it as a youth. I will not allow my sons to suffer from 'Family Scouting" any longer and will leave if this become the norm. I have dealt with national ignoring volunteers in the field. I have dealt with the loss of the true Patrol Method. I will not deal with the death of true Scouting as envisioned by BP, expanded upon by "Green Bar Bill," and practiced in the rest of the world. if you compare the experiences of foreign Scouts to BSA's Scouts, it is a vast difference.
  48. 3 points
    Lots of stuff out there to learn. I was a Scout starting in 1953. A "Neighborhood Patrol" camped with us a couple of times so they could experience patrol competition. Turns out "Neighborhood patrols" were chartered into 1969 at least: No sponsor No Committee "Scoutmaster is selected by three fathers from the community." As few as two boys "NEIGHBORHOOD PATROL: a small neighborhood group of from 2 to 8 Scouts may be organized as a 'Neighborhood Patrol." A Neighborhood Patrol requires no sponsorship. Three fathers in the community must approve the Scoutmaster. Meetings are held in homes or other suitable places as often as the membership desires to meet." Boy's Life, June, 1938, at p. 27. Gettysburg Times June 12, 1940: 13. Enlist and train a boy as a Tenderfoot for his own or any other Troop, Tribe, or Neighborhood Patrol, or as a Lone Scout; or enlist and train a boy as a Bobcat in a Cub Pack, or as a Lone Cub. OR If such enlistment is impossible because of Local conditions, train another Scout in at least three Second Class requirements involving Scout Skills." First Class Requirement September 1944 until June 1948 SEE "WANTS TO START SOMETHING." Be sure to let me know if you want more examples. More information. http://www.troop162nh.org/about/history https://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20150601/NEWS/150609905 https://chestofbooks.com/outdoors/scouts/Rural-Boys/The-Neighborhood-Patrol-Budget-Plan.html https://goreadingberks.com/history-of-holy-guardian-angels-boy-scouts-of-america-troop-161/ https://prezi.com/dieoyh11ywrh/boy-scout-troop-700/ See Dr. Briscoe's fouth paragraph: https://oa-bsa.org/history/arrowmans-profile-desegregation-oa
  49. 3 points
    Again - the priorities continue to be way off base. Clueless being led by more clueless and being led by consultants with stock powerpoints so it seems they did something. Under BSA Council Basic Standards - they put the only mention of anything related to PROGRAM at the bottom. That is insane. THAT IS NUMBER ONE..PROGRAM DRIVES EVERTYTHING!! Under Council Performance Standards Charter they put RENTENTION way down the list. That is an indicator of (wait for it) PROGRAM...THAT NEEDS to be BE NUMBER ONE!! Under Leading Indicators of Successful Councils they do not even mention PROGRAM!! Painfully obvious the vaunted Churchill group does not understand how PROGRAM is what drives SUCCESS!!
  50. 3 points
    There are good days and bad days. For instance today was a good day. I have a scout working on his Quartermaster project and eager beaver adults that kept presuring this young man to get started even before he was there. I had to tell them to stand down, even though these adults have many years of scouting. One is even in on the national committee. Grumbling happenned but the scout showed up when he said he would and directed them to work on what he wanted them to do. Afterwards, the three previous Skippers in our unit and the scouter on the National committee, thanked me profusely for doing everything I do for the kids. That felt nice. Much better than any other the silly knots on my uniform I have been given. My advice is have bad days, learn from them. And realize that is you work with the kids first, you will have great days. Even SMs that have been there forever need a reminder about the purpose every once in a while.
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