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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/23/19 in Posts

  1. 6 points
    We have a new CSE. Not only that but he's been a volunteer for a long time and has worked outside of the BSA. This is different in a very hopeful way. Maybe we have an opportunity to be a part of the discussion, to have our ideas heard. I'm not sure what the odds are but I'll take it. We'd have a much better chance of making things better if we were part of the discussion. Unfortunately, our collective view of national is, mildly saying, not so good and consequently we probably aren't looked upon very favorably and thus, are not part of the discussion. So, what would it take to change that? What would it take for us to make scouter.com an inviting place for Mr Mosby to participate here? Or at least someone close to him? While many people here would like to give him advice on how to do his job I don't think that's going to be very productive. When I started as SM there were lots of people trying to give me advice and it just wasn't helping me at all. Creating a good relationship where we both listen to each other might be a lot more productive. While we have a lot of collective experience there are certainly things we don't know about. My guess is we also suffer from older generation selective memory syndrome (kids these days!)
  2. 6 points
    We're on the front page of CNN right now, with a photo and everything. https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/06/us/boy-scouts-of-america-lawsuit-could-open-door-to-more/index.html It's nothing all that new as far as I can tell, except for another vivid tale of abuse. I can't fault any of the victims for pursuing this, they deserve their day in court. But what I do take issue with is this part of it: First, I don't raise anyone else's kids. But that's a whole other discussion. More to the point, I'm again absolutely frustrated with the notion that the BSA is still operating in the same way it was years ago. We've come so far and done so much when it comes to YPT. Our YPT program is far ahead of what many other youth organizations, sports programs, etc., have in place. And yet the public perception is that we're a haven for pedophiles. The BSA may have to face these lawsuits and possibly settle them or pay out when they lose. But the thing that baffles me is why they are also losing the PR battle in this when it comes to the modern day BSA and current YP. Why is it not even mentioned in these articles? Where are the BSA representatives to respond to comments when asked for these articles, the people who can and should point to this extensive training program and vetting process that is exactly what victims like the gentleman quoted above are asking for? If the BSA goes under, it's not because the BSA loses a lawsuit, it's because they lost the PR battle of public perception and failed to inform the public about what we're doing now to protect scouts.
  3. 5 points
    Aside from the actual injuries that need to be attended to.... Water is the best medicine for youth, so many times they are just dehydrated Applesauce is a great treat to get things moving.....which can reduce the stomach aches Make sure the leader in camp for the unit is aware the youth has come to the health lodge, many times there may be a backstory to an "illness" No phone calls home by the Scout without consulting the leader Talk to the Scout who needs assistance as a equal, do not talk down to them and if a leader accompanies them, do not let them speak for them Many issues that popup after dark fade away with sunlight
  4. 5 points
    From the Guide To Advancement: "Completed reference responses of any kind are the property of the council and are confidential, and only review-board members and those officials with a specific need may see them. The responses are not to be viewed by or returned to the Scout. Doing so could discourage the submission of negative information. For the same reason, those providing references do not have the option of giving the reference directly to the Scout and shall not be given the option of waiving confidentiality. Once a review has been held, or an appeal process conducted, responses shall be returned to the council, where they will be destroyed after the Eagle Scout credentials are released or the appeal is concluded."
  5. 5 points
    I certenly wish no Ill will on our former BSA CEO, and pray for his complete recovery. I also question the necessity of having such a huge machine devouring tangible resources. A lot of very unpopular decisions were made that has had a negative impact on those individuals who mattered the most, the boys they were supposed to support. As a result many dedicated members, both youth and adult, have elected to leave. As a result the machine has less to do and should be reduced in order to survive the loss of the product demand. Even Baden Powell made the statement that the scouts should never become a professional organization because it will reduce the idea of civic mindedness among the volunteers. I have a slightly different list of necessary professionals that include council and district executives, camp rangers, and administrative assistants. I would also suggest that those professionals be allowed to focus on service to its members and not be forced to concentrate on growth. If the BSA had a good product, to sell, people would buy it and growth would be automatic. The focus and measure of success is now based on numbers and statistics and the idea of fun, fellowship, and personal growth has been burried by the numbers. I wish the new CEO well and I really hope that he will be the guiding light on these stormy seas.
  6. 5 points
    Happy Holidays to all of my Scouter Forum friends! Dale
  7. 4 points
    Hey all, I haven't been as active here over the last year or so, but have done my best to keep up. When I first joined the forum I posted quite a bit for advice, and got some great help from some folks like @Eagledad and @LeCastor. I forgot who it was, but I remember there being a topic a few years ago about when it was time to hang it up. I attempted to search to for it, but couldn't find it. This is mostly me just having a sympathetic group to post to, so feel free to skip over this post if you don't like long stories that don't really lead anywhere. 😂 More or less, the poster at the time said "When it's become another job, or a chore you don't want, it's time to be done." I hit that point this year. I became an adult volunteer (Unit reserve) in 2011, and an ASM in 2012. 2020 will be my last year involved in my Troop week to week. The last few months have made me realize that while I still have a passion for Scouting, I've become stagnant in my Troop, I've become a crutch for the other adults, and as an ASM, I don't have the time, energy or authority to implement the organizational structure or procedures I feel are necessary. Other adults tend to defer to me because I've been around for 15 years now and will happily share my opinions, and that's not always healthy. When I first became an ASM, I realized that my experience as a youth in my Troop had been good, but had really missed some great opportunities for me and my friends to take ownership of our Troop and work the patrol method. We had a Scoutmaster who was new, inexperienced and open to change. He bought into the vision I had, we both attended Wood Badge together, and he built a great team of ASM's. The Troop grew quite a bit, we were able to get the patrol method back into place and mostly functional. (We never quite solved the ad hoc on outings aspect of the running the patrol method.) It was the experiences of many of the posters here, far too many to name, and the resources suggested that helped me grow as a Scout leader, and helped my troop grow through that. My role in my troop has changed multiple times over the years, but mostly what I've settled into was coaching one of our ASPL's who has the Instructors and guides report to him. Basically an ASM of weekly program. In 2018, the Scoutmaster handed off to a new guy (The previous Scoutmaster and I discussed me taking it, and determined it wasn't a good idea.) He's still learning, but I think he's moving in the right direction. I get frustrated sometimes, but I have to hold him to realistic expectations, and not what I expect the old Scoutmaster to do, or what I would do. He's entering his third year on the job, and is starting to build his own team. In 2019, I started graduate school while continuing to work full time. I took about 5 months out off from the Troop. I missed it sometimes, but I was busy and NYLT staff scratched the Scouting itch just fine. Late in the spring, I attended a few meetings, and the Scoutmaster seemed like he was pretty alone on the island trying to hold things together, so I stepped back in. Over the rest of the year things improved. Towards the end of the year the new(ish) Scoutmaster traveled regularly for business, and I covered for him for about two months. While I think it went well, and proved to myself I would have been fine as Scoutmaster, it's not my gig and I'm not going to make decisions that are up to the Scoutmaster to make. Then the holidays came, and I felt relief at not having Troop meetings to go to. I realized being involved in the Troop meetings has become a chore and an obligation, instead of something I was really looking forward to. I was separately offered the join the district Eagle advancement team as well as take over the district training committee. I declined both jobs. Late 2019 was when I finally learned to flex my "no" muscle and turn down volunteer roles that aren't the right fit or time for me. Tonight our SM and our ASM's got together and discussed our responsibilities and roles for 2020. I will continue in my ASM role this year, but I'm having another ASM split my assignments with me, so by the end of the year it'll be entirely handed off to him. I've also committed to compiling documents and resources I've collected from the previous 3 Scoutmasters into a google drive for future use. There are two new ASM's identified who have committed to joining the Troop, and they are excellent Scouters. Hopefully I put my mild savior complex to rest and go off to other things. They'll be fine without me. It's not a decision driven by politics or changes in the BSA, but my life situation. I hope with the politics, the changes and the lawsuits, that someday there will be a BSA for me to put my own kids into. Beyond a few small once a month/quarter Scouting commitments, I don't have anything on my plate for 2021. It's a weird space for me to be in and I'm looking forward to it. So here's to 2020 and new things in 2021!
  8. 4 points
    This is something that boggles myself and my colleagues minds. I had the opportunity to ask one of the ACSE something similar to this. The answer I got was that National likes to rely on the local councils to do their own marketing and PR. Personally, I think that's a huge mistake. GSUSA kicks our butts in terms of national marking. They have TV commercials and a sweet deal with Dunkin Donuts. The best local councils can do is maybe a few paid Facebook posts. Some larger councils are rich enough to have a marketing staff, but that's the exception, not the rule.
  9. 4 points
    UPDATE: Before Christmas there was a meeting between the former CC, the incoming CC, and myself. We talked for an hour, aired complaints, and left the meeting able to at least work together on a friendly basis. In yesterday's Committee meeting we pretty much told the Den Leaders they had to be there and encouraged parents to attend. We got all the committee positions filled by people that are not me and it was explained I am not doing everything anymore. Also, I have been trying to do a better job of telling the Den Leaders what I need for them to do and pass on to their parents. We had a Christmas party before school let out in mid December and I gathered them before we started and told em the station plans and it was on them to run it, I had other things to do. I am making a significant effort at delegating rather than just doing it myself to make sure it gets done like in the past.
  10. 4 points
    I used the cub scout advancement poster-boards multiple times. It worked well ... or as well as the den-leader worked. For troops, advancement is personal. Individual. I would not encourage sharing detailed progress. Advancement is not competitive. ... Leave the detailed progress to the scout and his scout book. ... BUT ... our troop does have an advancement board. During Courts of Honor, scouts move their own name to the next rank as part of receiving their recognition. This is NOT our board, but we have something very similar. Ours was a family wood working project and is more portable, but also uses the large patches sold in the scout store. Our troop name, city and numbers were hand-cut by a scout using a jig saw. ( ... ummmm ... Wood was cut by hand with a jig saw ... not the scout's hand cut by the jig saw....) ... Our board also keeps a name tag on for all our recent Eagle alums. Scouts really liked moving their names. Adults leaders really took pride in all the scouts and where they were on their journeys.
  11. 4 points
    It is not enough that they preside over steady failure? OK 1. I believe that good unit-level program, and nothing else, attracts youth customers for BSA and for Scouting. BSA seems to focus on everything else, including to the detriment of program. The first question before anything new is adopted or anything is discontinued should be, "How will this impact sales?" We need BSA leader who focus on program or we need Scouting to leave BSA. 2. BSA seems to believe that easily obtained "bling" is the key to membership growth, even as making bling easier to obtain tracks declining membership. 5-7 times as many "Eagles"; summer camp merit badge mills; merit badge "colleges"; OA for ALL. It may not be causing membership decline, but it is not correcting it. It is, rather, the pursuit of illusion. We need sane and honest leadership at BSA or we need to leave BSA, 3. BSA focuses on $$ to meet payroll, and risks to that $$$ $$ $, to the near total exclusion of concern for any other factor. So, in the four Ohio councils that I have studied since 1981, volunteer positions in the district and council within the gift of the paid Scouters increasingly go to the sources of the biggest donations (See "Good Volunteer") without consideration of performance. Staff payroll is important, but the obsession is short-sighted. No customers is the end of the jobs as surely as lack of revenue from begging. Our Museum account, for which I was Treasurer, went short $2,000 donated to support the Museum. There was no inquiry. I was told, "Not to worry. " (I did not worry. I resigned.) Gifts to the museum of Scout memorabilia have been sold off to fund payroll. What was that "Trustworthy" thing? We need leadership at BSA and councils that is trustworthy or we need to leave BSA, lest we be as tainted as they already are. 4. For years, lack of adult volunteers has crippled program. I see no effort to correct this shortage. Instead, BSA absolutely discourages direct recruiting of adults who do not have youth in the program, even though adults with children no longer in the program are disproportionately volunteers beyond Cubbing. This is not explained; simply decreed. (I am told enforcement is uneven.) Some YPT theory? My friends in Canada, India, Australia, and the Philippines find this policy bizarre. It is, and it needs to change. We need more adults. (Donors are, of course, aggressively recruited. I do get monthly appeals for $$$, including "estate planning opportunities." 💀 ) 5. Most of the officials at BSA are unfamiliar with the substance of BSA program "methods." I have officially asked three times for guidance on what BSA wants me to teach about the Patrol Method at the district, council, and area levels, because the training syllabii do not approach covering the topic. They have not done so for over thirty years - closer to forty-five. BSA is unable to define the Patrol Method since Marc Griffin left Information Delivery several years ago ( and he ran out of time to correct the problem before being transferred, eventually to Salt Lake City to try and save LDS membership). BSA is too busy with things other than Scouting - things less important to BSA survival, much less important to Scouting. I tried to discuss with our SE why Leadership, formerly though to be an aspect of citizenship, was a separate "Goal" now. He was totally confused. He could not distinguish methods from goals and did not understand the methods. Leading a "business" that you do not understand produces Sears. It too peddled off assets before the end. 6. Membership figures in BSA are often false. Our just-previous SE, an honorable man, had to take a 30% membership hit his first year when he closed down numerous fake units. My home council's first "Executive" was fired over this issue decades ago when 25% of the membership is fake. The FBI has formally investigated phony membership figures from other councils. Membership numbers once drove United Way contributions, motivating lying about membership. It's called "Digging deep for Scouting" because the liar pays the registration fees to improve his performance metrics. When I tried to recognize the SMs of my district's two oldest troops some years ago, I found they, and their troops, had been dead for years. I could not get the crooked DE fired but I got a new DE. We now have units in one suburb for sure that have not had advancement in many years - none, but they re-register with exactly five youth and three adults every year. I am assured they do not meet. I went to there "meting place" one "meeting night" and found only the janitor, who knew nothing about Scouits. Competent, honest leaders demand that the "numbers" be reliable so they can make rational decisions. The recognition of that need motivated our immediately-past, and honorable, SE to chop heads when the fraudulent numbers did not immediately stop as he had demanded. Good for him! Accurate performance numbers are NOT essentia for "pretend" leadership.
  12. 4 points
    The advancement chair is correct. Someone writing a letter of recommendation will be more open about a scout if they know the scout will not read it. For the purpose of the requirement we want to have both the positive and negative. Otherwise it becomes a mere box checking.
  13. 3 points
    I think I mentioned this before, but the #1 reason Professionals leave is due to a bad manager. It's just a culture thing. I don't think any amount of training would help a DE "survive" or not. I was lucky to know what I was getting myself into and landed in a great council. I think that's the big reason the National board went outside the Profession and hired a career HR guy in Mosby. The Professional cadre is in desperate need of a culture shakeup.
  14. 3 points
    My recurring nightmare is that my husband will make me use the chainsaw. I can, but I hate it and it scares me.
  15. 3 points
    Respectfully...means I respect his brief/opinion, although it is different from mine. It's okay that we can have different opinions because we live in America, not China! Like you said, we come from different backgrounds. Living in this country, I want this country to be strong and great. IMO I don't think PC helps with the cause. Instead of avoiding the topic, why don't we just tell the truth & teach the reality to the kids?! Men & women are indeed different in so many ways but we can be complimentary to each other. Each gender brings unique strengths & abilities to the world. First of all, I don't tell the kids that our den lacks a strong male leader, why should I? I just discuss that with adults. I just know a strong male leader is what all the moms in our den want. We all want the best for our sons. That's our instinct. I don't understand why you think I shouldn't teach girls that they need help from guys. As a woman, I know I need help from guys, such as making babies, hauling a heavy tree trunk, plumbing, fixing the roof, changing the car oil, repairing all the problems in my house. Can women do it? Absolutely (except the baby one). But do we really WANT to do it, mostly not! We (women) want a strong male leader for our sons in scouting, but that doesn't make boys to disrespect (not fully respect) women because I believe women bring other values to the table. I apologize that I need to use plain English because English is my 2nd language and I am no lawyer here.
  16. 3 points
    That is such a latitude-ist statement! How offensive! It clearly implies that South is inferior to North! Please stop! Oh, for pity sake, please stop! [sob]
  17. 3 points
    You forgot #4: Volunteer is replaced in their position by someone who will do the professional's will (Not only have I seen this, I was even encouraged to do this when I was a DE to have more compliant members of the district committee) #5: Pro, specifically SE, finds some reason revoke volunteers membership ( seen that happen twice, and it almost happened a third , all because the volunteers he did stand up to the professionals) As Desert pointed out, chairman have been usually figureheads who do the professional's bidding. Heck I was even told to look for malleable people of influence and affluence by my SE back when I was a DE. Personally I would rather have a loyal opposition who had the best interests of the Scouts as their #1 concern. I know when I was DE, there were indeed challenging meetings with disagreements. But everyone respected each other since we all shared #1 goal.
  18. 3 points
    I am very glad to hear your council does things like it is suppose to do. Sadly not every SE does that. I can tell you in my some councils I have been in, pros will ignore volunteers in charge of activities, make additional demands, and even overruling volunteers who are in charge of events to the point that they take over. It has gotten to the point the point that some longtime volunteers no longer have anything to do with the council because of the professionals.
  19. 3 points
    In the various councils I've belonged to, I've generally found the professional staff (above DE level) to be quite resistant to input from the field. They are either in problem admiration mode or dismissive. I fully understand that sometimes the answer is no, but open dialogue is not their strong suit. One way communication. This culture extends up to National as well. As @Eagle1993 mentioned earlier, this is a definite need for more transparency.
  20. 3 points
    I would be intrigued to know what these folks actually do on a daily basis to support the units and grow Scouting? Also, for every one of these there are the minions that do the actual stuff. Sure the average is $322 K annually for this staff, but how many other staff does this in fact spawn? What does the Director of National Jamboree do the other 3 years? What exactly doe the CSE and Director of Outdoor Adventures do? Maybe High Adventure bases, but those all also have GM's, wonder what value they bring and how many new members (you know the actual youth) this brings or members their efforts retain. I worked for a company, about 1 billion of so in sales, we had 12 locations (a distributor business) and handled about 40K orders daily. Our overall executive load was easily 1/2 of this, and no high end retirement plans. Point is I am sure these folks are busy, but what are they actually busy doing to drive sales (more youth)? Do they even have an idea what that work entails? When I ran one of our sites I would be out on the floor picking orders daily, seeing what our customers were ordering, working with the staff who actually did the front line work each and every day. On what do they do, this is the same question we ask about our DE when, on the rare occasion, actually have a question and may need some support...crickets...unless it's about Benjamins. Then he's all in.
  21. 3 points
    ***UPDATE***** For those of use who have been following the long-drawn-out conversation regarding the background check.... After one of our fellow users revealed to me who the BSA was contracting. ( Incidentally nobody in Irving would give me that information)... I reached out and have a nice conversation with 2 different employees of the company and was directed to several valuable pieces of information that have satisfied my concerns regarding the background check....... I will summarize to keep it simple and post a link to their website where you can read the.... 1st....First advantage, enterprise. Is primarily a screening agency for new and existing employees of organizations in over 200 countries. 2nd. I confirmed By reading their declared policies and by conversations with 2 separate employees that they are limited to accessing the data that the client requests. 3rd. I discovered that in their own writing and through the same conversation that their organization does not in any way shape or form sell personal data to any other organization that is not an authorized customer or client and does not have a need to know that information..... In other words if Google tried to contract them for personal data you would have to have a separate authorization and you can opt out. Furthermore creditors and debt collectors are not allowed access to the information without your consent for those of you who were concerned about that part of it. 4th When I press them about mode of living... They are able to ascertain if somebody is for example living in a homeless shelter or has significant socio economic disadvantages..... And yes they are able to identify marriage records for people who Are gay and have legally registered a marriage..... However since the BSA has stated they will only be requesting information that is related to somebody is criminal and driving record.... The BSA will not be granted access to any mode of living information. 5th 1st advantage States very clearly that if any client is found to be using the background information for unauthorized or even nefarious purposes they will be scrutinized and terminated as clients from 1st..... In other words if the BSA goes back on its word and starts looking into people's personal financial information they can be held both legally and financially responsible for the damage as well as being terminated from 1st advantage. So the final general understanding is that 1st advantage is a world recognized... Has top echelon security in place for data.... Limits itself by contract with its client to what data will be accessed and released to the client..... And does everything in its power to maintain security and privacy over the information to prevent 3rd party or 4th party tertiary sources from having access to it..... I was able to get all that information in less than 30 minutes of research.... I strongly feel that had Irving release the same information when they 1st came out with this background check we would have avoided the last 3 months of heated and often crazy conspiracy level discourse...... As I said above I am now comfortable and confident in the nature of this background check and him happily signing it..... For those of you that still Unease..... I strongly encourage you to call 1st advantage and have a conversation and look through their website they are very very open about disclosing. Thank you for your time in reading and I wish you all the very best and 2020 Read First Advantage Corporation's Privacy Policy. First Advantage is committed to the responsible use of information and protecting privacy rights. FADV.COM Privacy Policy | First Advantage Read First Advantage Corporation's Privacy Policy. First Advantage is committed to the responsible use of information and protecting privacy rights. Read First Advantage Corporation's Privacy Policy. First Advantage is committed to the responsible use of information and protecting privacy rights. 88
  22. 3 points
  23. 3 points
    I expect his first job will be keeping BSA alive through bankruptcy. This will include saving our high adventure bases and major cost cutting. He should read Bullsh*t Jobs by David Graeber and Six Simple Rule by Yves Morieux. Both talk to how corporations (and private enterprise) create inefficient and ineffective solutions to solving problems. Centralize what makes sense for consistency or cost needs (IT, uniform, program requirements, marketing (some)). Distribute the rest back to councils, districts, units. Lay off most if not all assistant chief scout executives ... I see no reason why their high salaries are needed. Find ways to revitalize our volunteer ranks. They (unit, district and council) are the key to our success. Consider dropping non core items to our methods or aims (learning for life, STEM) so focus can remain on the program. Reach out to long term volunteers who quit to find out why... if it is girls/gays, not much you can do, but I expect there are other reasons that may be able to be improved. Just a few thoughts. This will be a significant challenge and I wish him the best of luck.
  24. 3 points
  25. 3 points
    A puzzling discussion, as if freedom to explore 100+ merit badge topic areas and associate with adult experts was contrary to aims of Scouting. What of those scouts who earn elective merit badges and have no interest in rank advancement as they find some of those required merit badges a waste of time and money? I have a few of those, they have found their joy in scouting. My older son was one. He didn't earn Eagle or even Star, so what, the aims of Scouting were more than fulfilled with him without the Advancement Method. In my misspent youth in Scouting, I earned Woodwork, Chemistry, Home Repairs (should be required), Metalwork, Metallurgy, Marksmanship, Archery, Electricity, Electronics (first year offered), Atomic Energy (no I'm not that guy), Geology, Coin Collecting, Stamp Collecting (don't judge). None of these were earned at summer camp or Merit badge universities, rather MBC home, front porch, garage, sportsman club, or place of business over 3-6 meetings. Later, one of these counselors, wrote a college recommendation for me. The number is not 8 but 18, as in age 18. My $0.02,