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Posts posted by Eagledad

  1. 9 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

    Barry, your former 10-year Director of Youth Protection said, unequivocally, that "children are not safe in Scouting," that "[he] failed" to protect children, and apologized to survivors. You disagree with him, of course, but are you feeling no dissonance in the Force? No understanding that there is a different position? Words matter. 

    I have experience with the system. I don't believe he does. Or he did it wrong. Scouts are very safe. It's not perfect, and never can be. No system is. There is always someone looking for cracks. 


  2. 2 minutes ago, OaklandAndy said:

    I might have worded that wrong. By saying there are 2 sides of the fence, I meant there are good and bad things that happen in any organization. I didn't mean in terms of absolute, but in terms that we can work though it the best we can.  And yes, public schools are bad IMO 😁

    😂, Yes, there are other aspects of public schools that bring pause.

    But, my words that anti scouting doesn't make sense is absolute. I feel it has to be absolute to balance what I feel are absolute anti scouting comments. For all its shortcomings, the BSA still offers our culture an alternative of hope and peace to counter negative cultural influences. I think it was Baden Powell who said he had a dream of scouting bringing world peace. That is quite a vision. But, those are the kinds of visions that create noble movements.


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  3. 1 minute ago, OaklandAndy said:

    There are 2 sides of the fence in anything. Is Scouting inherently evil? No. Did it make a major blunder and paying for it. Yes. If people didn't believe in its overall values, there would be no memberships, no volunteers, and those of us who are still here wouldn't be fighting like h*ll to stay afloat and grow our units and continue to teach, guide, and mentor. 

    You can find faults in any organization. Like the ol' saying goes, "it's not how you start that's important, but how you finish". Call me naïve, but we will make it. 

    I disagree there is two sides of the fence for an organization that offers so much good for the community. Are public schools bad? There is a story on the news every week of students becoming victims in a public school. Yet, closing all public schools would make no sense. As you said, you can find faults in any organization.


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  4. 13 hours ago, johnsch322 said:

    From someone who is on the fence as to pro/anti BSA it also would make sense if you said the opposite. The BSA has ruined so many lives how could any one be in support of it? 

    There are two sides of the fence?

    I have seen so many lives changed, or even saved by scouting. There is the scout who used the skills learned from the program to save a victim in a car wreck until help came. The the scout who took a drowned baby and resuscitated him back to life. There are the words of a mother who suffered as she watched kids and school teachers bully her extremely awkward son praising the scout program that welcomed her son as he is was and he flourished into a confident adult who became an officer in a submarine. Then there is the rescue of a scout who grew up in an abused home. The troop was his his sanctuary, his life of freedom and the only place he felt safe.

    You can only imagine the complex feeling after call by the police in the middle of the night explaining that a boy of parents arrested for abusing asked for help from his scout leader. Scout Leaders don't sign on for that. Or, maybe some do. But, God's grace seems to find those adults.

    I could go on and on and on because I have many such personal stories. Many. But, imagine, if these are the stories of just one scout leader, how many more from all the other millions of scout leaders over the past 110 years. 

    That is the side of the fence I stand on. It's the side of hope and trust. It is the side of the noble program that has changed the lives of millions of people for the better.

    Scouting is a place where young people can practice making decisions about other people and learn  from the results or consequence. It's and environment where fairness is learned through the guidance of an oath and law. Scouting is where the meek learn to stand up and make a difference. Scouting encourages dreaming and making the world a better place. Scouting saves lives and makes communities better. Scouting is a source for the kind of peace the world is looking for today.

    I have witnessed and experienced the power of scouting and I imagine the best world is one where every person was a scout in their youth. 

    Anti-scouting makes no sense.


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  5. 26 minutes ago, clbkbx said:

    Not sure if I understand correctly but this reads as you saying there’s no scenario one can be anti-BSA that you would understand. I mean this specific portion of the forum is about kids that were sexually abused within the structure set up by BSA. I can think of several other reasons someone could be anti-BSA that I might not agree with but at least makes sense. 

    Correct. The program does so much good for youth and community, being anti BSA doesn't make sense. Of course we all have aspects of the program we don't like, but to come to all discussions as anti BSA doesn't make sense to me. 


  6. 1 hour ago, DuctTape said:

    I agree that one does not prop up their organization by showing how much worse another one was/is.

    Even worse is using another organization to inflate the reputation well above the truth of the issue. There are folks on this forum that have proven their integrity through posts over several topics. And there are others who are obviously anti BSA. Which just makes no sense to me.


  7. 6 minutes ago, yknot said:

     I think by the fall, BSA watered the AOL program back down and took out some of the Scout level camping requirements and the troop reverted to that process. A lot of those kids left from sheer boredom and disillusionment with what they'd been promised. 

    I don't know why they would have watered the program back down except they found that Bear leaders weren't crossing over to Webelos because they didn't want to do that outdoor part of the program. Cooking and sleeping in the heat or cold doesn't appeal to a lot of adults. We saw this problem at the council level. Units were forced to find new Webelos leaders and those leaders tended to lack the enthusiasm for planning and leading a fun program. Most of them only did minimal training. We tried several approaches including asking troops to help with the Dens. But, that was an extra responsibility that many troops were reluctant to take on. And, there was no planned program for it, which made it more problematic.


  8. Personally I don' think graduating early or late makes much difference. Our data shows that Webelos in a fun program will join a troop whenever their crossover comes. Scouts who are in a boring den with a burned out leader are likely to quit after webelos no matter what. Webelos pretty much know what they are going to do by the Fall of their last year.

    As I said, nationally less than 50 percent of Webelos IIs actively join a troop. That high rate is the result of a demanding 5 year program on the adults. 

    A little more perspective is that in most cases, scouts go where their parents encourage them to go. So, the issue isn't burned out or bored scouts. The issue is burned out parents. As has been said, 5 years is way to long for a cub program. It's harder on the adults than the scouts. This sounds off balanced, but if the pack changed its activities to make it enjoyable for parents, the crossover numbers would increase dramatically at all ages. I know this because we did it.

    If the BSA wants to make a dramatic jump in membership at ALL ages, National needs to trim the Cub program to 3.5 years.


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  9. 18 minutes ago, ramanous said:

    Now, I wonder if this is at least partially the result of unreasonable expectations. The idea that a scout should make First Class in a year? I question how many 11 year olds are mature enough to complete the laundry list of requirements to the letter (I've read guide to advancement, 


    I approached expectations and maturity by teaching the scout to set his own goals. I started by teaching his first skill, maybe the square knot. After he mastered the knot, I asked him if he would like to learn more? Which knots? And set a goal to when. It's easy with something like the knots because he can pick any knot and learn it immediately. But, as the scouts works toward higher level skills that take more time, I encouraged him to set a date and write in his book. There is no penalty for not meeting the date, it's not a test, I'm just getting him in the habit of setting goals, no matter how small. I want our scouts to be dreamers and creators.

    By the time they get to a leadership age, they have practiced and developed some level of skills for setting goals and timelines. And, it is the scouts initiative to pick the goal and create the timeline. I taught in the adult leadership classes that the scouts should be dreaming of their scouting future and build goals and timelines, especially in advancement. In fact, advancement is perfect for scouts envisioning themselves in their future of the program. We don't want a scout to follow the adults dream of being the ideal scout, We want them to dream of the ideal scout they want to be, and to initiate setting goals toward their dream, at their pace. The average age of  scouts were awarded Eagle in our troop was 16. That is because they weren't really all that interested getting the eagle until 14 or 15 years old. They were having too much fun camping, hiking, canoeing, and so on. And then when they had the maturity to see themselves on top of that mountain, they had the skills to plan their goals and timeline. Which in reality, is the adult skill we want them to have anyways.


  10. 9 hours ago, fred8033 said:

    The original question is too broad and circling around a root problem.  


    Key statement.  

    Well said.

    Agree.  ... I wish we'd de-emphasize the aims and structures.  Focus more on the game and developing active scouts.  Hike.  Camp.  Explore.  A variety of activities every month including a weekend overnight.  New experiences regularly.  Past favorites repeated.  Higher experiences periodically.  ... The rest will happen..

    I'm not sure what to think about this. I'm up for discussion, but I believe 95% percent of scouters couldn't even quote the Aims (character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness). or Methods (ideals, Patrols, Outdoor Programs, Advancement, Association with Adults, Personal growth, Leadership Development and Uniform). .And, those who can quote the Aims and Methods generally believe that the adults are responsible for both the Aims and Methods. 

     I don't think knowing the Aims and Methods is the problem. I personally believe that not knowing how to use Aims and Methods is the greater problem. And I blame our National Leaders. First example, I purposely left out one of the Aims, "Leadership Development". How can leadership development be tool for developing character habits and goal of developing moral and ethical decision makers at the same time? Talk about confusing and complex. I'm ashamed for our National Scouters ignorance of our program. If the top leaders don' t get it, how can they translate it to adults in the trenches?

    I fully agree with your suggestions of "Hike.  Camp.  Explore.  A variety of activities every month including a weekend overnight.  New experiences regularly.  Past favorites repeated.  Higher experiences periodically". You get it. And I believe those are synonyms of the 8 Methods we need to pass along to new scouters. But, there is more to developing a scout than your list like duty, serving and honor. Those are the noble actions of the scout law . 

    Part of the problem is that adults don't respect youths mature nature to want to serve and grow in character. In fact, you will find that puberty drives that desire of youth, but troops don't provide activities to exercise it. I tried something with my PLC's that I didn't know where it would go. I challenge our PLC to set goals at each campout that would Develop Character, Practice Citizenship and develop mental and physical fitness. I gave them the Aims, of which I believe really belong to the adults. But I was trying to build a troop where the adults didn't have to show up for the program to function. 

    It turned out to be no big deal to the scouts. Character development was working together to make decisions. Really what that turned out to be was scouts respectfully listening to each other. Citizenship was doing community service projects like picking up trash monthly by a section of road or camp improvement projects at campsites. There were many others, but these were routine. Fitness was easy because the PLC just planned hikes, swimming and other typical outdoor exercises. 

    But, here is what I observed that surprised me; the PLC got use to planning camp service projects on every campout. They would ask the owner or manager of the area we camped for some service needed to clean up or improve the area. Camps always need some maintenance and clean up and a troop of 80 scouts can get a lot done in an hour or so. Well, when we went to summer camp, I noticed the scouts planning campsite projects just a couple days into the week. Nobody was asking, they just started doing projects that improved our campsite.  One project was building retention walls where the rain was washing the ground away. That was a troop effort that took almost the whole week. The camp director was amazed because nobody asked and it was a large effort.

    The adults didn't encourage the scouts to take on these projects. It wasn't even our the adult radar. The scouts just got in the habit of doing service projects and initiated the tasks themselves, without even asking the camp director or troop leaders. The projects weren't burdens that required begging, The scouts found the work to be rewarding at several different levels. The monthly trash pickup turned into opportunities for young scouts to lead for experience. They weren't getting leadership credit, but it was opportunities of experience. I took advantage of it by training new scouters to assist the scout for the experience of letting the scout lead and work the task and only stepping in when the scout requested. The activities motivated from aim of citizenship was turning into a huge growing opportunities for the adults and scouts. 

    Now, these things aren't always as easy at they sound, but all I'm saying is if the program is struggling because the scouts aren't having fun, it might be because the scouts aren't being allowed to define fun. And, a program doesn't need to ignore actions of character like discipline, regimental tasks and schedule routines to be a fun program. 

    Scouting for adults is hard and it takes practice. But, if the adults don't like what they see, they should fix it. And more than likely the change needs to be simpler and giving the scouts more ownership.  Stepping back is hard for adults. It has to be practiced to be perfected. And it will never be perfect.

    The simple issue is the program has to be fun, but the scouts should be involved of defining fun. That doesn't mean the actions that define the nobility of scouting should be ignored for fear of not being fun. They just need to be defined as part of scouting and developed in a fun way. 


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  11. 9 hours ago, yknot said:

    With 70 million Catholics in the US today even in membership decline, it's a number significantly higher than scouting. No one can know specifics. But when you are comparing numbers that are many orders of magnitude above the other, you can make some general inferences.  


    I don’t think so. I’ve had to balance many of your posts over the years because you present micro analogies. You basically take local data, which is a sliver of the overall picture and present a confident analogy as the overall big picture. It’s not. General references can only be interpreted as reflections of personal biases at best. That’s ok if the author starts their opinion with “In humble opinion” ………… . But, when the analysis is intended to sway general opinion, we’ll, you know.


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  12. 21 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    Haven't seen any...anecdotally, ~80% cross over (primarily because their membership is already paid for the year, and there is a good deal of build up to the ceremony, so many go with the flow...)

    After a year, I see about 75% stay.  That's an overall 60% staying from AOL until after first year.

    Would love to see some stats with more granularity.

    This must be local or recent. When I was tracking crossovers 20 years ago, an average of 50% of Webelos crossed over to troops in our council. National average at the time was slightly less than 50%. We did not track AOL because that wasn’t important for us. I can’t remember the average for 1st year scouts dropping out, BUT, 1st year dropouts has been the highest dropout rate of all BSA ages since National has been tracking that data. At least since the 60s.


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  13. 17 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

    The 18 - 30 year old age group is prime to help if approached.  One of my biggest complaints of the BSA is that they seem to ignore that demographic.  When I was in my 20s, I didn't have kids, had a TON of free time (compared to now) and was volunteering for various organizations.  BSA never reached out (and I never even thought of it).  I volunteered for sports clubs & FIRST robotics.  If BSA reached out, I could have been a district volunteer or even unit.  I'm convinced that there is huge potential in that group.

    I think it’s a cultural thing. I worked a lot with the 14 to 22 year olds and gained so much respect from them, as well as pleasure with the experience. They are the noble product of patrol method and have so much to give back. But, our culture expects them to go out into the world and get educated and find their place in the community. Like some here, many at National and others outside looking in see scouting as nothing more than an after school babysitting program. Move on from youthful play time and get busy with serious adult life. I agree the BSA doesn’t give the older scouts any vision of scouting beyond 17 and that cripples the adult’s vision as well. We can do more at the local level. I did do more. But, the effort is an uphill challenge that wears one down. Can you imagine working with dozens of Eagle94s? The experience is a reward from God and makes all the hard work at the younger ages worth it.


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  14. 5 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

    My thought was primarily Cub Scouts.  They have Squirrels (4 - 6), Beavers (6-8) and Cubs (8 - 10.5).  I wonder if by keeping these groups in smaller age groups, they may see less drop off when they go on to Scouts (10 - 14.5).  I do wonder how the patrol method works by moving 14.5 year olds to Explorers.  Most, if not all, of my PLs are >14.  My SPL is 16 and my JASM is 17 (Eagle).  


    I do agree with your Cub thoughts. Especially the squirrel age. Squirrel?


  15. 53 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

    I have forever been a fan of UK scouts.  Their transparency, their smaller board, their media, etc.  I also like how they separate their age groups.  Their result ... 3% of available youth in scouts.   BSA is at 1%.  

    I’m now sure how any of that enhances the program towards growth, I’m willing to to listen. But, I don’t like how they separate the ages after the cub ages. Character growth is very dependent on older scouts mentorship and they don’t do a good job there. The UK scouts believe in Patrol Method, but without the older mentors, their program relies heavily on adult mentorship. And that is not the same. 


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  16. Just now, johnsch322 said:

    Yes, some posters are calling for the end to scouting, but not many. How many ruined lives are acceptable to add good moral decision makers to the world? You should answer this question as it is a question of morality and I am sure you consider yourself a morale person.

    How many lives are saved from the program. I’m a personal witness to many.

    I wouldn’t be standing up for it if it weren’t true.

  17. 2 minutes ago, MYCVAStory said:

    Okay, so please provide the context that will help some people come around to supporting the BSA's continuance.  I'm not calling for its termination, or encouraging its continuance.  Being a Survivor for decades whle your abuser walks free means getting pretty good at accepting to some extent things you have no control over.  But, I'm interested in understanding better the context that will help those who don't agree with you come around to the thinking that "in context" the abuse was what, not so bad?  Acceptable?  Better than other organizations?

    Some here are supporting killing the program. I believe scouting is a noble program that adds good moral decision makers to the world.


  18. 9 minutes ago, MYCVAStory said:

    Ahhhh....great idea....let's keep "giving context" to the abuse so it will make it seem much less devastating than it was to those of us abused.  Just so we're all clear, please remind us what percentage is the over/under line for when the abuse rate doesn't seem so bad.   Sarcasm mode off now.  The abuse, whether you believe the number of claimants or not, is more than a total number.  It was a number over time and the BSA knew it had a problem.  For those of us abused while files were kept, and refused payoffs to drop our suits and go away, "context" is irrelevant.  At some point a Trust may be validating claims.  Then there will be a better understanding of the abuse but there is no reason to believe it will not be significant and historic in its scope.  Then, the BSA will be able to better make its case every year that compared to the past it has improved.  Not yet though.

    When folks want to kill a program as a result of personal harm, context and truth is very important.


  19. 14 hours ago, ThenNow said:

    If 82,500 people are killed at one type of traffic light in a particular type of location or context, that type of light either doesn't work flat out or is utterly ineffective and/or dysfunctional in that context. On that basis I don't think the analogy is apt either, but don't really care so much if it is or isn't.

    My concern is with the second sentence. There can be a tendency by some to switch tenses in mid argument. When a post is addressing the past, a sleight of hand switcheroo rebuttal inserts present and future. Two different arguments entirely. That swap out is unfair, invalid as a rebuttal and, most importantly irrelevant. I'm not poking, just using this example to illustrate what I see as a fault line in one side of the debate. That's all. Carry on...

    One type of light! I’m travel in Europe at moment and they use the same Red Yellow Green traffic signals as the rest of the world. And, we are warned to watch out for drivers who run red lights. The whole world knows the rules and they know when the rules are broken. 

    if you want to keep using the 82,000 scouts sexually abused number (which I don’t believe), can you include the total number of BSA members during the same time? I don’t know what that is, but you seem to have insight in these details. 


  20. 17 hours ago, johnsch322 said:

    And here is another fact if or when this settlement is done it will be the largest CSA settlement in history.  Yet there are still people saying that the BSA did a better job at YPT than other organization's, Hmmm?

    Isn’t that like saying traffic lights don’t work because someone got hurt by a drunk driver running a red light.

    Scouting is very safe. Not perfect, but very safe.


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