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  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. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 3 points
    You're fufilling your destiny @InquisitiveScouter! Become my apprentice, and learn to use the dark side of the force!
  9. 3 points
    The most tragic legacy of abuse scandals in both the Catholic church and scouts is that truly decent adults who want to reach out and help kids in need now often feel that they can't. Not only can't. Shouldn't.
  10. 3 points
    Good point. I looked this up and 4H came out of a 1914 law that set up the cooperative extension programs at land grant universities to help farmers. While the BSA got a charter, 4H got funding. Sounds like a better deal to me. They also have plenty of donors, though. Either way, compare 4H's national budget with BSA's and they still run a tighter program. 4H has revenues much higher than expenses and all of their numbers are in the 10's of millions of dollars whereas BSA is losing money and they're in the 100's of millions range. Think of your favorite expense, the summit. I've been to my local cooperative extension office and they're set up to help everyone. I don't know the relationship between 4H and the Dept of Agriculture, but it just seems to me that there's just enough oversight that when someone proposed this incredible fair ground in WV with zip lines and all sorts of fun for the entire family that kids from all over the country would pay thousands of dollars to go to, that the guy at the USDA would have said, umm, no, get back to basics. Oh, and fix your hiring practices, you're so inbred it's horrible.
  11. 3 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.
  12. 3 points
    It is a challenge with the age of accusations and the time in which they were handled. When I was a DE (Back in the 80's) there was a issue in one of the districts. None of the families wanted to formally involved the police. The CO (a church) did not want the police formally involved. As there was not a required reporter laws NOR shield protections laws, if we (the council) had called the police, that could have opened us up to slander issues. We terminated the alleged abuser's membership in the BSA, put his name in the file, and that was all we could legally and legitimately do AT THAT TIME. Spring forward 30 - 40 years, now the case is being made we should have done something. But in reality we did DO something. Is it comparable to today's expectations, no. Same as when I was in car wreck in mid 70's and got a head injury as there were no airbags. Can I sue GM now as they did not provide that safety feature as standard back then?
  13. 3 points
    That's what it says on paper. In reality, the SE has more control over the council board members than they have on the SE.
  14. 3 points
    A troop scout run, their camp scout built. This rustic bridge, built in 1912 by the Columbia Scouts, made it possible to walk from their camp to the Pequea trolley line instead of trudging a quarter-mile downriver to the Pequea railroad station. Some interesting photos, including one where it appears a SM was fireman carried across creek during a hike. Also there is a photo of a Scout Leader Warrant which appears signed by Dan Beard. This was the official BSA permission for that person to be a Scoutmaster and start a troop. https://unchartedlancaster.com/2020/11/29/welcome-to-camp-pequea-lancaster-countys-first-boy-scout-camp/
  15. 3 points
    I'm not sure where you are or what you do but I have never had anyone from our district or council do anything to ever help resolve any kind of contentious, abusive, or illegal issue. Abusive parents incensed that advancements were perhaps not moving quickly enough to jet their scout to Eagle? Upheld by Council. Incompetent or abusive council employees or volunteers? Upheld by council. Problems with possible embezzlement and CO involvement? No response or involvement from Council. It is as if they do not exist except for FOS time and for the very overworked and underpaid admin assistant who cheerfully processed our paperwork as best she could. Of all the paid positions at council, guess who council laid off this summer? The admin assistant.
  16. 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/
  17. 3 points
    “It’s about giving people the resources and support they need so that everyone can be on equal footing, and then compete on equal footing. Equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place,” she [Harris] said as the video ended. So may we distinguish between equality of opportunity and guaranteed equality of outcomes - e.g. "Eagle for all"?
  18. 3 points
    National can enforce. It can revoke charters. National is management. If management finds it has no way to compel councils to follow its rules, it can legislate new ones. National has relied on a hands off philosophy when convenient when confronted with something it doesn't want to or doesn't know how to deal with. It has confused volunteers by not being honest or transparent about why it is making program changes. There has been almost no communication from the Key 3 to the corps of the organization throughout this latest crisis. That is not good leadership. Perhaps the leaders would be spending less hours dealing with the morass if they were more communicative about their challenges. The thing I fear most is a triumvirate of not very effective leaders in over their heads attempting to navigate this morass in complete opacity. Blindly supporting a national organization that has an extensive history of not getting much right is not the way BSA will survive.
  19. 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.
  20. 3 points
    You misread my statement...I agree with you. My comments are CRITICAL of CRT, not supportive.
  21. 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.
  22. 3 points
    EQUAL OPPORTUNITY VS GUARANTEED EQUAL OUTCOME (EVERY YOUTH AN EAGLE).
  23. 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.
  24. 3 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.
  25. 2 points
    You are exactly on point. It seems people don't think much about that, instead focusing on the other two. It is an absolutely critical piece. Further, deterence by virtue of locking the doors and being on high alert isn't completely effective without repercussions. If someone does manage to pass through undetected and commit a crime of abuse, it must be met with the other side of deterence - grave consequences. There is a reason you see surveillance cameras next to statements to the effect that, "Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law." From my reading of massive amounts of data and history, down to reading 50 year-old individual reports from parents to Scout Leaders to Troops to Local Councils and then to local police, the failure to prosecute was equally as destructive as was inadequate vetting and training. Vetting only goes so far if someone has not been caught or credibly accused before they apply. Knowing that previous perpetrators have been aggressively prosecuted, sued and publicly disclosed, is a powerful weapon in combatting child abuse. Is it enough on its own? No. Is a multi-pronged approach to background check, train, enforce rigorous requirements of 2 adults person, and etc., coupled with prosecution a worthy adversary against would be perpetrators? Absolutely. A complete program to protect and deter has to include prosecution and public disclosure. And, it has to be swift and decisive. That requires empowering kids and youth to know what is right, wrong and how to have a voice. No easy task. In fact, it may be the most difficult thing in the moment, especially knowing that boys abused by men often don't report for years after the abuse. Over-reporting and false accusations are possible, but less likely in the context of child sexual abuse than other crimes. (Per the data I've reviewed.) If I were in charge, I would include in the training process a summary of law enforcement and legal processes in the case of an accusation. Leaders should know what is involved, as should parents, to my thinking. Because most people 'know' what they know about law and the judicial system from what they see on television, it is neither accurate nor helpful in a real world situation. In fact, it's counterproductive.
  26. 2 points
    we could build a bridge out of it.
  27. 2 points
    About as much as an unladen swallow?
  28. 2 points
    Having grown up Catholic (directly across the street from the Cathedral), involved in music, theater and sports, I can offer my view. I also have degrees in sociology and psychology and have considered the question, both on my own and as spurred by the topic interwoven throughout the forum. After considering it for a while, Scouting is unique even amid other many other vulnerable activities involving adults and children, before the late 1980's. It occupies different category because of the sheer range of activities that create opportunity. We had/have swimming, overnight camping, hiking, myriad merit badges, boating, fishing, shooting, wilderness excursions, skill awards and on and on. Add to those contexts and opportunities wicked motive, and you have a very bad scenario. Compare that with focused activities like those I mentioned. Priests have limited proximity and opportunity, though many created new contexts. Most extracurriculars are in group settings and, again, with fewer opportunities in remote locations apart from both adults and, in many cases, other children. Again, predators find ways and means. Private lessons. Staying late after practice, and etc. That's what they do. I do think Scouting had an enormous vulnerability and was, therefore, extremely 'attractive' to sexual predators. In the case of my Scout Master, he basically showed up and became an Assistant and soon SM. Just ten years older than me, he was 20 when I joined. He was married, with no kids. What was he doing there? Who vetted him? Why was he there other than to be around boys? Was he a Scout? To my knowledge, none of the parents knew him. Obviously, he passed through some gate, but which and with what degree of rigor I don't know. Having said all that, it was a very different time, without question. To the point, decades after the fact I became aware that at least one adult had an inkling, but did nothing but made sure his boy was protected. As to the attorneys, they will certainly make a great deal of money. If the Victims' Compensation Trust is funded with $2B, they will be splitting in the range of $700M. The self-proclaimed, Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice, claims to have tens of thousands of members. Everyone knows it's really a group of attorneys aggregating their claims and they are the actual coalition, but whatever. If they control 2/3 of the claims, you can do the arithmetic. Honestly, I don't like to think about it. However, I know some of the attorneys who represent claimants and they are excellent people and great counsel.
  29. 2 points
    I disagree with you here. I think we need to be truthful and transparent about the risks. All youth programs have inherent risks. Football has risks. Baseball has risks. Scouting has risks. We should not say scouting is safe. We should give the scouts/parents the facts, and let them decide if scouting is an acceptable risk. BSA really messed up by not being transparent about the risks. In an attempt to recruit more scouts and increase numbers, scouting officials told the parents that scouting was safe. It wasn't true, and the scouting officials knew it wasn't true when they said it. We should not continue that mistake by communicating a message that scouting is safe.
  30. 2 points
    I still question if admitting girls was a response to the LDS leaving. The LDS had to be working on their alternate program for years and I expect informed the BSA of their decision well ahead of any public announcements. Giving the timing, it seems like the BSA added girls as they knew they would be losing LDS membership. Would be interesting to hear the details once they all come out. Covid has devastated our Pack. Our Troop shrank by 24% but our Pack will shrink by 80%+. I expect we will recover some next fall when we can return to normal … but it will take 2 - 3 years to get back to our original membership, if at all possible. That said, Covid & the lawsuits while massive impacts, may simply be pulling in the end date of the BSA. If BSA was healthy going in, I'm sure it could survive both. The real issue is that BSA has been in decline for decades. In my area, the groups that seem to be expanding have hired staff. Travel sports have paid coaches. After school programs have paid staff. Non BSA overnight week long summer camps cost $800+ but have well compensated staff, cabins and nice equipment. Their commonality …. no or limited time commitment from parents. Volunteer organizations that thrived in the 1900s are dying in the 2000s. I wonder if this is a symptom of 2 income households. Moms and dads both working and then are expected to both share in household activities after work. Neither have time/energy to spend with volunteer organizations (like Boy Scouts, youth sports, etc.). This isn't true 100%, but finding good volunteers is tough these days. I wonder if it was a model that worked well in the past but doesn't work well going forward and also explains the decline of the fraternal orders. Look at the rise in dual income households since 1960. While BSA membership has other causes & effects, I expect this was a huge headwind.
  31. 2 points
    ... physical evidence to prove that we—a rogue, high-adventure Boy Scouts of America Explorer troop of teenage girls in the 1970s—existed. As a group, we hiked the Appalachian Trail, paddled more than 1,000 miles of rivers in the Carolinas, and climbed some of the highest peaks in the Smokies on horseback. My quest was spurred by the October announcement from the BSA that it would begin accepting girls as Cub and Eagle scouts for the first time in its 107-year history. The media trumpeted that the gender barrier was falling, but I knew the Girl Rangers brought it down more than 48 years ago... Interesting article with photos. https://www.outsideonline.com/2300691/lost-legend-girl-rangers
  32. 2 points
    OK, death threats are uncalled for, need to be investigated, and punished by the law. That is way over the line. Too far over the line. Obscene calls are also over the line. And need to be dealt with. As for abusive, it depend on the definition the pro is using. I had a SE state that publicly disagreeing with the council is abusive, and had the individual removed from Scouting. Whereas i have been yelled at and told I do not know what I was doing, etc by volunteers, but to told to grow a tougher skin by the same SE. The reason why folks are upset with national is that there is no transparency. Decision are made, and no one knows who is making them or why. When asked for input from volunteers, the results of that input are ignored, never posted, or responded with "double speak." Volunteers were ignored regarding Instapalms as 94% Against (18%) or Strongly Against (76%). The poll regarding membership changes by the members and volunteers has never been published AND a segment of the Scouting population, Western Region LDS members were excluded form those results. And look at the "double speak" of the Churchill Plan survey that national had to do because someone posted a slide. A lot of folks think Sea Scouts, OA, and Venturing are safe for the 18 to 20 year old members, when the "double speak: says they will continue talks on the matter. Further there are times when the national level volunteers making policies are overruled or uniformed of the decisions National has made or plan to make. Philmont being mortgaged but not informing the National Philmont Committee, nor the Trust about the mortgage is an example of National pros not being transparent with national volunteers. Another example is the National Sea Scout Commodore being completely taken off guard when the Churchill Plan was leaked. Not only should he have been informed, he should have been on the Churchill Committee. IMHO. Then there is the 411 Committee that redid the Cub Scout Program in June 2015. They were not informed prior to the December 2016 Cub Scout program changes. Volunteers are upset and angry at they way they are being treated by councils and by national. You have volunteers who will do anything in their power to help Scouts and units, but will do absolutely nothing for council, let alone National because of the treatment they have experienced.
  33. 2 points
    I have only served in three councils, and time in TAC was not really more than on base troop level, and it was limited. A transfer took me away, and did not return until 1976. Since GWC?WLC and VCC. The biggest issue with local volunteers and professionals is disconnect in many cases, or poor communication. There is no consistent method of getting basic info out anymore, especially now. But the council web site is pretty much useless as there is not consistent updating. Calendars are not dependable, and staff now consists of two pro's, and two or three office people. Our district is covered by the council exec as well. Over the years, I have observed the ignoring of volunteers by a number of pro's, twice the head one, and often the district, though much of the time it was more him not getting updated by his bosses, or simply overwhelmed. The COR's seldom are made aware of meetings, and often they are made into executive modes that does not include all. The current exec seems like he is trying to reach out to them, as he has to try with the lack of staff. Scary time, but are some positives just the same. We have seen some really novel service the past few months, and some units are doing okay. Ours are not, however, and I am concerned with recharter, especially since next year is the troop's centennial. Not sure we will get very far beyond the beginning of the second hundred year. But will not throw in the proverbial towel.
  34. 2 points
    This year is the 50th anniversary of the Girl Rangers! Article below follows Outside article by former Ranger Betsy Teter. “We always knew we were doing something groundbreaking," Teter said. “I wish this sort of outdoor experience existed for everyone. It was formative.” Dunlap and the other former Girl Rangers agreed. “At the time, I knew, you couldn’t be a girl in the 70s, in a Boy Scout uniform, and not think I am doing something different,” Dunlap said. “We did everything in terms of outdoor adventures that the boys did. It felt like a nice leveling of the playing field. I did not miss having to sell Girl Scout cookies and we didn’t do crafts and we didn’t get badges, it was just ‘where could we go?’ and that was exciting and liberating and equalizing.” Spartanburg Girl Rangers broke gender barrier in 1970. What happened to them is a mystery https://www.goupstate.com/story/lifestyle/2020/11/27/decades-before-boy-scouts-went-coed-girl-rangers-broke-gender-barrier/5960676002/
  35. 2 points
    Equity is a KEY component of critical race theory. Anything short of an equal start (which is impossible as everyone doesn't have the same life experiences) is discrimination and falls short of "equity". Offering some event to everyone regardless of race, gender, etc is not enough. You have to correct for all disparities or it isn't "equity".
  36. 2 points
    Tightly written, well done. Perhaps mention that many summer camps, a major source of local council funding and retention of scouts, were closed due to covid. "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." Scouting units ceased to meet in many communities, council and national events including local summer camps were cancelled and much fund-raising ground to a halt in many places throughout the nation. My $0.01
  37. 2 points
    Hence why I said we need to wait and see, with the caveat that I am not optimistic about it.
  38. 2 points
    No, that's equality of opportunity. Equity is very different. I know this seems like splitting hairs, but it is important to properly define the key issue of topic if we're going to discuss it. "The terms equality and equity are often used interchangeably; however, they differ in important ways. Equality is typically defined as treating everyone the same and giving everyone access to the same opportunities. Meanwhile, equity refers to proportional representation (by race, class, gender, etc.)" It is in fact a Marxist idea, one that has become increasingly popular among people who don't know it is a Marxist idea because they think Equity is a synonym for Equality of opportuinity, the same way you do. Originally Marxism was all about class, but this grew to include any potentially divisive "identity" group in the 60's and 70's. The allure of Marxism is that it sounds like everything people say they want, prosperity for all, fair treatment, etc. The effect of Marxism on a population, it turns out, is the exact opposite. But this appeal, being a natural human desire, is intentionally used to lead people in a Marxist direction without the Marxists typically telling those people where they are being led. You see, Lenin's tactics were effective enough to be used around the world and proven to be more effective the more ignorant a population was about Marxism, hence the common term Leninist-Marxist to describe those who use them.
  39. 2 points
    CHANGE IS INEVITABLE, BUT NOT ALL CHANGE IS IMPROVEMENT. ASK POLAND. CHANGE THAT AMOUNTS TO LESSENING PRODUCT/SERVICE QUALITY SELDOM LEADS TO SUCCESS. HOW WAS GM SAVED (AT LEAST FOR NOW)? QUALITY, QUALITY, QUALITY, AND THE BIG SHOTS WHO SAID NOTHING COULD BE DONE TO END THE ROT? GONE. IMMEDIATELY. THE BSA SOLELY DETERMINES THE REQUIREMENTS AND KNOWINGLY ALLOWS THE REQUIREMENTS TO BE DISREGARDED. SOME COUNCIL PROFESSIONAL ARE MORE RIGOROUS, AS YOU SUGGEST. BSA IS NOT. A LARGE MINORITY OF COUNCIL CAMPS STATE ON THEIR WEBSITES THAT "CAMP X IS NOT A MERIT BADGE MILL." WHY IS THAT NECESSARY? WHY IS THERE EVEN AN ISSUE? IF EVERY OTHER BUILDING IN A TOWN HAD A SIGN, "NOT A HOUSE OF PROSTITUTION," WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE TOWN.? THE CAMPS THAT WARN AWAY THOSE EXPECTING A MERIT BADGE MILL ARE YOUR "MORE RIGOROUS." BUT THEY ARE, AGAIN, A MINORITY LAST TIME I COUNTED (2016). THIS SCANDAL IS AN "OPEN SECRET." IF VOLUNTEERS ARE NOT INCLINED TO FOLLOW THE RULES REGARDING REQUIREMENTS, THEY ARE IGNORED OR REMOVED. THIS HAS HAPPENED TO THREE OF OUR COUNCIL ADVANCEMENT CHAIRS OUT OF THE LAST SEVEN. THE OTHERS WENT ALONG, SOME GRINDING THEIR TEETH. EAGLES ARE UP 600-700% ACCORDING TO BSA. BECAUSE THE YOUTH ARE THAT MUCH BETTER? ADVANCEMENT BAUBLES ARE THE PARTY FAVORS THAT HELP DRIVE ATTENDANCE. CAMP ATTENDANCE ($$$) IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TRUSTWORTHY. GUIDE TO ADVANCEMENT RULE 7.0.4.7 IS A MONUMENT TO A PROBLEM EASILY SORTED BY BSA AS IT DETERMINES WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO BE A COUNCIL EXECUTIVE. "ANYONE CAUGHT RUNNING A MERIT BADGE MILL IS HISTORY, AND WE ARE LOOKING FOR THE FIRST EXAMPLES TO MAKE." BSA COULD ALSO ENFORCE THE RULE THAT NO MB MAY BE OFFERED UNLESS AN ACTUAL REGISTERED MERIT BADGE COUNSELOR- 18 OR OLDER BY RULE - HAS BEEN RECRUITED FOR EVERY WEEK THAT MERIT BADGE IS OFFERED. THOSE OF US WHO HAVE GONE TO SUMMER CAMP FIFTY AND MORE SUMMERS KNOW THAT ACTUAL REGISTERED MERIT BADGE COUNSELORS ARE RARE COMPARED TO YOUTH STAFF WHO ACTUALLY "TEACH THE SESSIONS" AND DECIDE WHO GETS (NOT EARNS) THE BADGES. BUT NOW WE "VISIT" RATHER THAN INSPECT AND THE "A" FLAG IS OFTEN MEANINGLESS. I WAS AT CAMP ALL SEVEN WEEKS IN 2017, RUNNING SCOUTMASTER TRAINING AND THERE WAS NEVER MORE THAN ONE - 1 - ACTUAL MERIT BADGE COUNSELOR ON THE PROPERTY FOR ALL FIVE DAYS. SOME DAYS THERE WERE TWO. ONCE THERE WERE THREE. NEVERTHELESS, OVER NINETY MERIT BADGES WERE "OFFERED." PLEASE. NONSENSE. SCOUTERS IN WILKES BARRE WHO OBJECTED OVER CAMPING TRUST FUND MONEY BEING DIVERTED TO MEET PAYROLL CONTRARY TO THE TERMS OF THE TRUST, INCLUDING A FIFTY-YEAR VOLUNTEER, EAGLE SCOUT AND CHAIRMAN OF THE CAMPING COMMITTEE, WERE BANNED FROM SCOUTING AND NATIONAL BACKED THE LOCAL CRIMINALS. HE LEFT SCOUTING. WANT MORE EXAMPLES? I WAS A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL EXECUTIVE BOARD. IN MY THIRD YEAR, WITH MY DISTRICT LEADING THE COUNCIL IN EVERY METRIC,MOST DEFINITELY INCLUDING FOS, I HAD THE TEMERITY TO SUGGEST AT THE ANNUAL BUDGET MEETING THAT WE BUDGET A "NOMINAL AMOUNT" TO IMPROVE DRAINAGE BECAUSE SO MANY OF OUR SITES WERE DISHED OUT AFTER THIRTY YEARS OF USE AND HAD STANDING WATER WHEN IT RAINED. THINK: TENTS - STANDING WATER. AND THIS IS OHIO, NOT ARIZONA. I OPINED THAT WE NEEDED TO PROVIDE A BASIS TO SAY WE HAD STARTED ON SOMETHING PROMISED ANNUALLY FOR SEVENTEEN YEARS. THE "COUNCIL PRESIDENT" THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA AND CALLED FOR A MOTION BUDGETING A PIDDLING $2000 OF CAPITAL FUNDS TO IMPROVE DRAINAGE,. (WE HAD AMPLE CAPITAL MONEY BUT, IT DEVELOPS WERE RUNNING IN THE RED ON OPERATING EXPENSES, AND CAPITAL MONEY WAS BEING RAIDED - STILL RUNNING NINE MONTHS IN DEFAULT ON BILLS ON AVERAGE - NOT ALLOWED, BUT THERE IT IS. I SIGNED THE LETTER WARNING TELEPHONE SERVICE WOULD BE CUT IN TEN DAYS IF "PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS" WERE NOT MADE. ELECTRIC AND GAS WERE IN THE SAME SHAPE.) THE MOTION WAS MADE AND SECONDED BY MANY. IT PASSED BY A UNANIMOUS VOICE VOTE. AT THE END OF THE YEAR, HE AND I FOUND OURSELVES NO LONGER NEEDED IN ANY CAPACITY ABOVE THE UNIT LEVEL, IN MY CASE FOR THE NEXT FOURTEEN YEARS, DESPITE THE SE's REMOVAL IN ONLY SIX YEARS WHEN THE AUDITORS ARRIVED (THOU SHALT NOT OPERATE IN THE RED AND THE MEMBERSHIP NUMBERS WERE WAY OFF. [LOTS OF TROOPS WITH EXACTLY THREE IMAGINARY ADULTS AND FIVE IMAGINARY SCOUTS.]) (I SAT ON AN EAGLE BOARD FOR A SCOUT WHOSE TROOP HAD NOT MET IN FOUR YEARS AND WAS, FINALLY, OUT OF CHARTER. YES, "HOW?") I WAS ONLY CONTACTED DURING THAT PERIOD TO CONTINUE MY GENEROUS FOS CONTRIBUTIONS. THROUGH VOLUNTEERS, I HELPED WITH DISTRICT TRAINING WITH MY NAME OMITTED FROM THE PHONY REPORTS THAT LIST STAFF AS "PARTICIPANTS" TO PAD THE TRAINING NUMBERS. THEN, HAPPILY, THE SECOND SUCCEEDING SE CALLED ME PERSONALLY TO ASK FOR MONEY, HE ASKED, IN PASSING, WHY I WAS NO LONGER ACTIVE OUTSIDE MY TROOP, GIVEN MY PRIOR SERVICE, DAM AND SB, AND ALL THAT. THAT CONVERSATION LED TO MY BEING LET BACK IN, UNTIL THE SM OF OUR TROOP, ALERTED BY A PATROL LEADER, 7.0.4.7'D A PIONEERING MB FOR A SCOUT WHO LITERALLY COULD NOT TIE A SQUARE KNOT AND RESPONDED "WHAT PROJECT" WHEN THE SM QUERIED HIM ON A TIP FROM HIS PL. HE HAD SHOWED UP WITH A SIGNED BLUE CARD AFTER ONLY FOUR DAYS AT CAMP. TURNED OUT THE THE OLDEST "SCOUT CRAFT" STAFFER WAS SIXTEEN. THE PIONEERING "COUNSELOR" WAS FIFTEEN. AS I HAD ASKED ABOUT MERIT BADGE COUNSELORS WHEN SHOWING UP TO HELP IN THE "SCOUT CRAFT" AREA, IT WAS ASSUMED I HAD 'RATTED" ON THE COUNSEL ("RATTED" WAS THE WORD FOR MY ASSUMED TELLING MY SM THE TRUTH.), AND I WAS BACK ON THE BLACK LIST. WHEN THAT SE TRANSFERRED, AND THEN WAS FIRED FOR FAKING MEMBERSHIP ( BEFORE "TALKING" TO BSA AND SOMEHOW BECOMING THE SE OF A VERY LARGE COUNCIL), I WAS STILL REGARDED AS "RADIOACTIVE" PER PROFESSIONALS WHO WOULD STILL TALK TO ME. SO I SOLDIER ON WHERE I AM ALLOWED. "SUCCESSFUL"? BSA LEADERSHIP IS "SUCCESSFUL" BY WHAT MEASURABLE STANDARD? LET'S PRETEND THEY ARE ACTUALLY ACCOUNTABLE" - HAD TO WRITE THE TICKET WE SAY THAT WE REQUIRE OF WOOD BADGE "PARTICIPANTS." I WOULD LIKE TO SEE A "TICKET" FOR THOSE BIG SHOTS AT NATIONAL WHO HAD A BIG PUSH ON FOR LATINO SCOUTS BUT SENT ONLY ENGLISH-SPEAKERS TO MEET WITH THE ADUTS IN THE BARRIO. I KNOW WHAT TICO THOUGHT OF THAT, BEFORE HE QUIT IN FRUSTRATION. HE HAD BEEN A MANAGING PARTNER IN A BIG LAW FIRM, AND WAS STUNNED BY THE INEPTITUDE. AS A VOLUNTEER, HE WAS ANOTHER OF THE "MERE" CLASS TO MANY "PROFESSIONALS." WHILE YOUR AT IT COMMENT ON THE "SOUNDNESS" OF HAVING NO EMERGENCY PLAN FOR VIOLENT WEATHER AT THE 1985 JAMBO IN TIDEWATER VIRGINIA IN AUGUST. NO CHANCE OF VIOLENT WEATHER THERE. 0___0 OR DISH-WASHING METHODS THAT VIOLATED STATE HEALTH LAWS IN ALL FIFTY STATES, AND THAT STAYED IN PLACE TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AFTER THE VIRGINA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TOLD BSA, IN MY PRESENCE, TO CHANGE ITS TWO-TUB METHOD TO WASH, RINSE, STERILIZE OR GET SHUT DOWN. THIS WAS A NEEDLESS SCANDAL AS THE "PROFESSIONALS" HAD BEEN WARNED BY A MERE WITH A PHD IN MICROBIOLOGY AND A SECOND PHD IN PUBLIC HEALTH, LATER A DEPARTMENT HEAD AT WHO, BUT HE WAS A MERE, SO, HE WAS IGNORED, UNTIL THE FORT HOSPITAL FILLED WITH DYSENTERY CASES, AND THE VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DESCENDED IN NO MOOD TO BE TOLD THEY HAD NO AUTHORITY ("YOU CAN'T TELL US HOW TO WASH DISHED."). SOME NAVY DOCTORS (WOOL DRESS UNIFORMS IN THAT STEAM BATH!) OTHER MERES, CONVINCED THOSE IN CHANGE THAT THE EVENT PERMIT COULD BE PULLED VERY QUICKLY; THIRD TUBS WERE DISTRIBUTED (WITH NO INSTRUCTION); AND THE JAMBO LURCHED ON. "SOUND" ? OR COERCING MILITARY PERSONNEL TO BRUSH-HOG FIELDS OF POISON SUMAC FOR TENT CAMP SITES. OH, THAT WORKED WELL. 0___0 AND THE FOOD DISTRIBUTION WAS NOT ADJUSTED FOR THREE DAYS, LEADING TO WILD NIGHTS AT THE COMMISSARY IN OUR SUBCAMP WITH 800 EXTRA MOUTHS TO FEED. GOOD THING THE TRUCK OF WATERMELONS FOR NATIONAL STAFF ENDED UP AT OUR "DOOR" AT 3AM, WITH THE DRIVER JUST BEGGING FOR SOMEONE, ANYONE, TO TAKE DELIVERY. WE TRADING WATERMELON FOR OTHER FOOD TO FEED THE KIDS. BIG INVESTIGATION WAS GRIST FOR THE LAUGH MACHINE. STAFF LOST THEIR WATERMELON; KIDS GOT FED., THANKS TO THE MERES. SOME OF THE FINEST PEOPLE AND SCOUTERS I HAVE KNOWN WERE SCOUTING EMPLOYEES, EVEN A DEPARTMENT HEAD AT NATIONAL. SOME HAD MORE HORROR STORIES THAN I HAD EVER IMAGINED, SOME OF WHICH I HEARD ONLY AFTER THEY RETIRED OR QUIT. I NEVER ASKED, AS SUCH. THE RECOLLECTIONS JUST CAME OUT IN CONVERSATIONS. "YOU WERE AT A.P. HILL IN '85?" EVER HEAR ABOUT "PROFESSIONALS" SITING A JAMBO IN THE BOTTOM OF A BOWL WITH NO DRAINAGE, EVEN WHEN PARK EMPLOYEES TOLD THEM IT WAS A BAD IDEA? IN PA. IN SUMMER. ASK ABOUT MORE-RAIN. "SOUND." HA!
  40. 2 points
    As you pointed out the obvious, those values were already in the Scout Law. Was it suddenly not adequate after 110 years? Perhaps we should fix that, rather than force-feeding a new required merit badge. I have been in Scouting since 1963. I have seen a lot of change, and not all good. Some was change for the sake of change ... solutions in search of problems, like Urban Scouting of the late 70s. Society changes, and Scouting needs to decide what it wants to be. It is not all things for all people, nor should we try to be. We once had a SS Ship that was all Muslim. Were they forced to be inclusive and welcoming? No. That would be politically incorrect. I remember when the only job a female volunteer could hold was Den Mother. That changed as society changed. Now women can be Boy Scouts and Brotherhood Arrowmen. I was a member of an Explorer Post that welcomed the first female Explorers. Did it work? Sure...but what went on after Taps would have given the YP police a stroke. I just completed a 40+ year career in the federal government. I can't tell you how many times we were all herded into the auditorium for "mandatory training" because someone hurt someone's feelings, or dared to tell the truth and rate someone honestly on the quality of their work. An honest appraisal was considered "insensitive". I was even called a racist because the lowest graded individual in the Command was a minority. The fact that he had a low IQ, refused to take training offered to improve his skills, refused to even apply for higher graded positions with greater responsibility, was immaterial...it was OBVIOUSLY racial discrimination. You can't provide "equity" if someone refuses to accept it. Likewise, if someone wants to partake of Scouting and all it has to offer, they are welcomed with open arms, in my experience. BUT...we should not be forced to alter our program because it doesn't appeal to all equally, just as the Muslim unit was not required to change theirs.
  41. 2 points
    You'd be surprised. For a good many people "diversity" and "equity" translates into "oppress white people." While OVERALL the nation is more accepting of diversity, there is a very large segment that rejects it. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/10/01/americans-are-more-positive-about-the-long-term-rise-in-u-s-racial-and-ethnic-diversity-than-in-2016/ Moreover, the question will be how it is delivered. Ask some folks and they are prepared for this to turn into some kind of Maoist forced struggle sessions where white, male scouts are told to feel guilty for their transgressions and must publicly renounce their "crime" of "white privilege." Even MENTIONING the idea racial privilege is going to set some leaders, adults, and parents off. Until we know what is in this MB, I am withholding any and all judgement. .
  42. 2 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.
  43. 2 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.
  44. 2 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.
  45. 2 points
    You make some excellent points. But I don't think this is an either/or situation. We can pursue all groups that molest children.
  46. 2 points
    Correct it is not a new concept. I was advisor for a coed Explorer post in the early 80's. We were chartered as High Adventure. It was what would now be Ventures I suppose. This was before YPT etc, but we did need a female over 21 for outings if the girls wanted to attend. That was an ongoing challenge. This was before I got married (actually getting married was not a help to my camping efforts) and I burned through some girlfriends when I asked them to go camping with us.
  47. 1 point
    One would hope. However: "From: Victor Iwamura To: Graham Holland You bring up an interesting topic. The BSA in the USA is predominantly a Christian organization and have strong support by them. As Buddhists in the BSA, we have told our Scouts that they may substitute or be silent when it comes to saying "under God". We are trying to influence the powers that be here but it is a difficult struggle. I am going to the BSA meeting in October and will mention to them what you do. Victor Iwamura, Chair National Buddhist Committee on Scouting From: Victor Iwamura To: Graham Holland I tell them when it's not comfortable with them. BTW: My only minor victory was when the PRAY organization which handles the religious awards [for BSA] was developing a religious patch for BSA, they were calling it "Duty to God". I objected and got consensus from the BSA Religious Committee and we agreed to "A Scout is Reverent" or A Scout is Faithful". The chair went and discussed it with others and they decided to keep the Title and work it outside the BSA sponsorship and promote it under PRAY. Basically the[y] circumvented the decision by the committee and did it their way anyhow."
  48. 1 point
    It's just a bad situation all around. Between the bad publicity and the bankruptcy spiking up fees, it's been tough. As has been stated, most other youth programs reduced or refunded fees in the face of offering reduced programming. BSA has increased fees, and that is a tough sell. It's also been very hard to accommodate varied expectations. Some families are completely spooked by in person activities even when outdoors; others are angry that more activities aren't being offered. Committees and leaders have had to grapple with the fact that they and their COs are potentially liable if someone gets sick and they are not following the most conservative guidelines.
  49. 1 point
    The impact of COVID on membership really cannot be understated. Even in Packs like mine where we have tried to maintain an active outdoor program, we've taken a hit to membership (both previous and new) because of covid. Some parents even openly complained that we weren't delivering the outdoor group activities they had come to expect. We did the best we could but we had to dial things back a bit, and for some families that made scouting no longer living up to expectations. With new parents it was hard to sell the promise of adventure when we were hamstrung on how much outdoor adventure we could really do. While our new signups were less than half of what I'd expect in an average year. Really probably about 25% of what I'd ideally hope to see. How much of that added to the crisis or just acted on its own as a sort of crisis on top of another crisis, I'm not sure. But I think we'll be discussing the covid effect for a long time, while trying to recover from it and hopefully build back new membership next year.
  50. 1 point
    You make a good argument with that Ford quote, however with Ford and BSA both adopting a stance that supports BLM's (the organization) narrative, and with BLM being an openly Marxist organization, I do not find that argument compelling.
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