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Posts posted by eagle77

  1. Not disagreeing.

    I am just seeing alot of skills training and no thought as to "why" we are going on hikes and campouts for example.

    Scouting is not supposed to teach scouts how to live in the woods, the outdoor program is one method of achieving the main objectives.


      Problem is there are many leaders out there that do not even know "how" to plan or do a campout. Scouting is an "outdoor" activity. So to me before we can send our scouts into the outdoors we need to train our leaders. What makes it even better is if the leaders share with the boys the different steps required to do certain activities. I think too many time4s some guy watches one of theswe survivalo type shows and just says to himself "sure I can do that".

    • Upvote 1


    Is there such a thing as adequate training for someone who thinks fishing out of a bass boat, deer hunting once a year for a week  and camping at the KOA qualifies them as a potential SM even if they have Eagle marked on their registration form?


    Good topic.



    Yet how many SM and ASMs are out there that don't even have these qualifcations? To them being outdoors is a walk along the concrete or black top trail in the nearby park.

  3. Training is fine.  I've taken a lot of it.  Some is good,  some is worthless.


     I actually find much of the training to be too basic and needing some detail to it.


    EXPERIENCE is priceless!


     True, but I'm going to want some type of training to keep it priceless.


    Training without experience isn't worth much.  You are just a beginner.


    I hope then that I will always be a "beginner" should anyone have a heart attack, but would sure value more having the training to know what has to be done if it should ever happen.


    Someone who has done a lot of an outdoor activity is likely an Xpert,  even if he has taken no formal training.


    I do alot of outdoor activities and would in no way consider myself an expert.


    Everyone should have some kind of First Aid course,  but I wouldn't require a specific course. 


    First aid in the wilderness is far more challenging and different then something happening on the street or in the parking lot.


    Before approving someone to lead a trip,  I would want an EXPERIENCED leader to assess the training and experience of the person proposing to lead the trip. That person is FAR better prepared to assess whether someone is ready to lead the trip than any number of required training courses.


    This is what parents are saying before they send their sons on a trip and are hoping the SM and CC are "honest" in thier choice.


    You are mainly a cub person, when one gets to Boy Scouts its not scout and parent, its scouts and leaders. if I'm sending my son on a trip no matter what type I am trusting the troop leaders to have the proper training to hopefully make sure that the time my son has is fun and challenging, but more then anything "SAFE"

  4. Whoa hoss!


    I think you need to consider who you're asking to do the training.  The QUALITY of the training most everywhere is woefully inadequate.  So you're thinking about giving the same boobs a bigger role?


    Come up with some mechanism to enforce the content transfer of the current training and you'll have come a long way.


    Instead of lecturing from a Powerpoint about getting lost or running out of water, drop your ITOLs class in the woods with minimal water 2 miles from somewhere.  No phones or GPS.  Give them a topo map and a compass, so that they can learn the IMPORTANCE of knowing where you are, or how to find where you are, and having enough water. 


      This is an excellent point. I would like to add something else to it. I was asked to take on a training session at one of our councils training sessions. For the last 15 minutes I put together a 20 question, multiple choice quiz for the class to take. I actually wanted to see if what I was teaching was getting through. This quiz would be animous and would have no effect on whether they would get credit for the course. In the morning session 3 refused to take the quiz stating that I was "adding to the requirements". The afternoon session had 2 that refused and gave basically the same excuse. When I got home I looked through all of the quiz's and found that less than half of either session would have passed. Needless to say I was never asked to do another training session. So just as much as you may have the "boobs" doing the training i also think there needs to be someway to make sure that the "boobs" taking the course also be accountable as well.

    • Upvote 1
  5.  That's a shame. Hopefully the new SM will allow your son to have both a fun and learning  chance in scouting. I love how people take on, what I consider, an important job or hobby and feel no need to learn how to do it. Problem with that is although he misses out the scouts miss out even more, or simply walk away never to return. Good luck to you and your son with the new SM.

  6.  I understand that. My point being the previous SM should not have doen it either. Was he trained? I have found in many instances whether a leader is trained or not doesn't really matter. To me it's all part of raising our youth. They will never learn responsibility if it is never given to them.

  7.   Some really good opinions and ideas on this. Now, what if their are other councils out there that did or are doing the same thing, or similar to what was going on in Alabama? How many of the members that National says it has are actual members? How many are "ghost members"? I think until those questions are asked, anything concerning the decline percentage is just speculation. What's saying that there aren't councils out there trying to "fix" things and are shaving "ghost members" off its rolls in a gradual manner as to not draw any attention to what was done in that council at one time?  So until National does a good house cleaning of its councils and SEs any number is just a speculation. I mean in all reality that 6% decline may only be a 2% or 3% decline in actual numbers. I know right now though its all we have to work with.


      In addition I think National needs to stop "tweaking" things and adding new things to the program until they first make sure that the rules and trainings that are in place today are being followed and taught by the rules that they have set in the first place. Instead of worrying so much about the public image, National needs to improve its image amongst its own membership. Once that is done the public image will look better too. Can they please all? NO, but getting a better rep with its own members would be a good start.


      I've seen on these forums before and truly believe that until National runs the corporate part of our program under the same Oath and Law that we members are told to live by things will not improve.

  8.    In my years as a scout leader this was the only time parents had ever told me their sons were not joining because of money issues. As many of you have suggested there was some other reason for their refusal to join Boy Scouts. I scaled the program costs so far back that one of the dads told me out of frustration "stop trying to sell us on joining, its not happening". Even parents that I thought may have a legit money problem would never come out and say that was the reason. At the end of the meeting the CC told me that she felt I had scaled it back too far, I told her that I could have went even further and they would not change their mind. They just did not expect me to be prepared for the "we can't afford this" line. Had more respect for the other 2 parents who admitted up front that their sons were not joining. Our SPL and PLC put on a great "join our troop" type meeting. All the cubs enjoy and are involved in the process. Selling the kids is the easy job, selling parents, especially those who have already made their decision is the tough part.


       I guess the reason I brought this up was because as a Boy Scout our troop grew more from walk in scouts rather then cub scouts moving up. In my 11 years as SM we only had 3 walk ins 2 friends and 1 cousin of scouts in the troop. Now to answer it further we get plenty of community exposure, our troop runs the canoe races at the 4th of July community picnic (most popular event) we have a large banner with our name and where we meet plus handouts, local paper always has differnent projects or services that the boys have done, prepare and deliver holiday meals for the less fortunate, etc.


        Nobody feels that the economy has any major effect on BSA declining numbers?

  9.   You know I've been reading this subject and  all the different reasons that some of us have given for the decline in numbers and what scouting needs to do for the future the one that I was thinking of is not mentioned once and I really find it hard to believe. Doesn't anybody out there think that scouting is more expensive then many of the other activities that compete with us? I had an entire Webelos den come to one of the troop meetings and all 8 of them were there only for AOL requirement, not one single one was moving on to Boy Scouts. This really surprised me and while the boys were interacting I talked with the parents. Two of the parents just didn't want them to move on any further, the remaining six simply said Boy Scouting was too expensive for their budgets. There was nothing I could say that would change their minds on this. They were tired of fund raisers, they wouldn't take handouts of any sort, and said they just couldn't afford all the added costs associated with moving into Boy Scouts.With unemployment the way it is and lower paying jobs that are replacing the old time production type jobs that existed at one time. Now I know this can vary greatly according to what part of the country you live in, but I sure as hell think it is a major reason for our declining numbers.

  10. TAHAWK,


       What I was referring to is the "honor" that when I sign a blue card for a scout to do a merit badge the signature that comes back on it is the counselor. I've had parents sign cards for their sons. You seem to be keying more on camp badges, please don't get me started on that one. I have yet to take the boys to any camp that follows those rules. These camps today are more concerned with numbers of boys in class and number of badges offered than quality of instruction. As a scout I did very few badges at camp, 2 was most on any week I went. I went to camp to have fun and try things out not sit in class did enough of that in school. It was more fun and educational to do it at home and sit and talk with the counselor.

  11. Ask the 16 year old me if I'd rather lie around, eat and watch movies or get up and do ANYTHING and the answer was always the former.


    Kick my butt out of the house and tell me to hike 50 miles and I loved it!!!


    Don't you remember the apathy, yet excitement, of being a teenager? ;)


        Remember when the TV was called the "boob tube or electronic babysitter? Todays parents, I think, see it more as a protective thing. In my house, no drugs, no gangs, and no danger. When they need to go out they are only put into adult supervised activities. Want to socialize? Here open a facebook account. Even if you had parents today that might let you out, you would have to hope that some other parents felt the same way so you had someone to do something with. I would hate growing up today, but a kid growing up and being raised in this manner may not see any problem with it at all.

    • Upvote 2


    At present, the only MB Police are "troop leaders," whoever that is.  BSA continues to assert that it has no way to enforce the rules.


       The MB program, as any advancement is based on an "honor" type system. The scout promises to do the requirements and the MBC promises to uphold the requirements (no add ons). What do you think BSA needs to do to enforce the rules?

  13. @@eagle77 how long have we lived under the current model where national is acting like it is today?


    My point being, we haven't lived 100 years with national being the way they are today (constant tinkering).


    Membership for youth and adults has been on a steady decline. Most recently that decline has doubled -- coincidently with the recent changes.


    Could BSA survive? Sure, but in what form. Certainly not in the form many of us grew up with and came to embrace....and THAT is what JoeBob and I (and perhaps others) were addressing.


     National has been changing, updating, and tinkering since it first began. When I was a scout SOAR stood for "save our american resources" today its some computer program for tracking advancement or something. I also can't blame National for taking a CYA (cover your a**) attitude in todays world of law suits.I look at it like when my XBox gets an update, do I actually need it for what I do on the box? Maybe not but it may affect what other things it can do that someone else is using it for.


      I think to just blame National for declining membership is to easy. There are many other factors that have to do with this. The increase pressure from those that cannot be members (gay and athiests), changes in the way parents are raising their children. When I was a kid I just went out today I would be called "free range". Now the main question is: What can BSA do to slow or stop the decline? Whatever choice or decision that is made there will always be those that agree or disagree with it.


      Sorry to say when I came back to scouting it wasn't the same program that I grew up to love, but the core part was still there. Helping and guiding our youth for the future. That's what scouting is about and as long as there are volunteers that care for that it will survive, in spite of anything that comes out of National.



    My only concern about national is the same concern I have about my government: Stop making silly policies and leave me alone to manage my local unit.


    I'd be happy if national went away (not just talking BSA here ;)).


      I fully agree, but when or if anyone attacks our country I am going to want the government to be there and protect me. Problem is you just can't go with an all in or all out attitude, gotta take the good with the bad.

  14.   I don't think the answer is always pointing at National and blaming them for all that may be going down. Although I do agree the water gun thing is just wrong. I happen to be one of the scouters that DuctTape is talking about. I became SM 3 years after my son left scouting and stayed on for 11 years at that position. The reason I stepped down and out of scouting really had nothing to do with Irving. Burn out, frustration, no support from parents, I can go on and on. I remember hearing many of the things that Calico listed too. What's saying the core program of scouting doesn't evolve into something else that the next generation of youth will enjoy. I just don't think that we survived over 100 years in spite of National.

  15. Welcome Jimbo,


        BSA does not provide meeting places for our troops or packs, they do have scout camps and council properties, but the COR provides the place to meet. For the most part this is an area or rooms at the COR that they allow the groups to meet. BSA does not pay for it. Next you put BSA under government control and you will have a quicker exodus then ever. The government would then be required to allow ALL to attend, not what many out there really want.  Besides that I think our government already has its hands full trying to run our country.

  16.  Like I said I'm still sitting on the fence with this issue, I think both sides have reasonable and valid points. I liked some of JoeBob's points too. Can we all agree though that even chopping some of the higher ups doesn't eliminate the fact that there still is a large amount of money that would be needed to sustain or keep a good part of the program still operating. Then look at how many members we will need and how much it would cost per member to do it. Do we just want to become some "rich kid" program? I guess it would be like saying how far are we willing to go with the lame horse before we finally shoot it and put it out of its misery?.

  17.  JoeBob,


     There is no thinking outside the box with National, THEY OWN THE PROGRAM AND COPYRIGHTS TO IT. Caps for emphasis. You can bet National had a real hard look at what was going on when Trail of Life started, making sure that none of their program infringed on the copyrights that we have for BSA programs. How much would we save then if we were to lift the restrictions and all those groups would no longer be taking us to court? You make it sound so easy to just walk away and start up a new program. My entire point is that whatever decision BSA makes it isn't going to be an easy one and there are going to be those out there that will not like it on one side of the fence or the other.

  18.  Would just like to add. You make it sound like anyone who is a "pro" scouter is making big money. Maybe from say SE on up. The next time you are in the scout office ask the person behind the counter or the one answering the phones, how much are you paid? What kind of benefits, if any are you receiving? Then tell me you would have no problem stepping into their shoes. Heck for the most part the only real good DE are the ones that also share a strong dedication to the program and a real understanding spouse. Oh and that additional background check that I need is not because of some National flunkie, it's a law in this state. I'm still sitting on the fence with the issue of change, but that does blind me from the simple reality of what could happen to BSA.

  19. JoeBob,


      Do you have any idea what a DE gets paid? How much those "useless staffers" are paid? We are already in the process of elimenating overhead by merging councils and enlarging districts. Councils are already cutting paid staff positions to the bare minimal which as we have seen on the forum has an affect on the camping. I live in Pa. and in order to be a volunteer in scouting I'm going to have to shovel out more money for an additional background check. How do you think that will affect scouting here?  I agree that having some sort of online purchasing would save some costs, but are volunteers willing to do all of the work that would be needed to ship and stock as well as costs for storage buildings. Troops paying for upkeep and taxes? Again what about having someone who would be like a caretaker or ranger of these camps? Who's going to pay for them? Oh you said the troops. Now how much is it going to cost the troops to do this? Without numbers the price per boy would simply sky rocket. Your missing the most important part, NATIONAL owns the program, copyrights, etc.

  20.   Numbers are what keeps scouting affordable.. Volunteers are what keeps scouting affordable. How many of us already have many in our packs or troops that can barely afford to do scouting now even with fund raising.  Scouting would become so expensive to do that it would basically price itself out of existence. Like it or not National owns the rights to  the program. Why do you think that Trail of Life can not just take the requirements and rank titles and run their own scouting. No they had to alter it a little and rename all the ranks that they have. BSA is a business and will need to make whatever adjustments it feels will keep that business going. Let's ask ourselves this. How many of us would be willing to pull up to McDonalds and pay $40 or $50 for a happy meal. There may be some but not enough to keep McDonalds going. It would definately change the meaning of paper Eagle, because only the rich and well off would be able to do it.What if some group or person were to come along and simply buy BSA and the rights to its program and make the changes? 


      Let's see the saying after the big 1972 change was "taking the outing out of scouting" , the new saying would be "taking the scouting out of scouting"

  21. So then which of the options is causing good and what is causing bad for BSA


     I think the real question is: Does BSA need to conform to the changes and demands of society? or How long can BSA survive without changing?


      There are people out there and right here on this forum that can give you good arguments on both sides of the fence.


     We are already seeing some of the affects of standing our ground decrease in membership, merger and in some cases re-merger of our councils, and the selling off of scout properties. If things were thriving we wouldn't be doing any of these.  Now the question is: Are these things happening because we refuse to change?


     The most important question now though is: How far will BSA go before they feel the need to give in to society?


     That's a whole lot of questions, my opinion on this is I think there is a certain point or shall we say number, that when we hit that they will have no choice but to give in or simply shut down.

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