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Everything posted by Eagledad

  1. I always struggle with this explanation because it's not about female that set the program back, it's the large influx of adults without any scouting experience. I was there, so I know the passion and enthusiasm moms brought to the troop program. I personally trained many female Scoutmasters. But, like just about all male and female leaders without a scouting experience, they didn't have the experience as a youth to guide them into what drives youth to scouts, ADVENTURE!. Adults by their nature look at stature as the goal of their adults decisions. Adults strive to be better at everythin
  2. I believe the pros at National did loose focus on the boys and the ideals of developing character. They lost the concept of scouting and it’s values, so they justified their existence with Greed for money and members and change the program in two areas that hit the program hard. First, they went after first graders to increase cub recruitment. That blunder brought in boys with a toddler maturity, which didn’t mix well with the advanced maturity of the rest of the age groups. The increased overhead pack management burned out the adults and they left. Second, National brought in femal
  3. I agree, but the killer is Tigers. Most of the Tigers are still Toddlers and should be split from the Pack program. The difference of listening skills and reading skills is night and day. That one year of a classroom experience creates a night and day difference for behavior between the two ages. In fact, we did reduce our Tiger program to just two meetings a month and our membership retention rate went from 30 percent to 95 percent. Ironically, the Tiger program demands so much adult management that is drains the adults resource pool to the point that adult burnout is the main cause of
  4. I'm not sure what you are saying here, but the discussion of this rabbit trail is about the ideological images of scouting, not the activities of the program. Most scouts also haven't heard the BSA Mission, Vision, Aims, and Methods. But, those ideals and program strategies hold the program on the ideological course of developing scouts to make confident decisions based from the Oath and Law. I do agree you that many scouts have been disappointed by a program that isn't presented in the FUN of outdoors as they were expecting. But, that is different discussion. Barry
  5. Hi All. I rarely, rarely ever disagree with Fred, but I believe he is not looking at the leadership image correctly. And I really don't think we are disagreeing, but I need to express my opinion on the Scouting leadership image. I will start off by saying that if one were to poll the average person outside of the BSA of the 3 most important traits a scout gains from the scouting experience, the majority of the that polling would say leadership is one of the three. Leadership IS an image of the scouting program. Leadership is the image of a Scout. The image is so powerful that the des
  6. The problem with ideas like this along with Defund The Police is that proposals without details come off as emotional venting. What are the staffing positions? What are their responsibilities? How much do they make? Where is the real fat? Barry
  7. Not at all personal. I don't harp on the visionary stuff because I think it will turn on a light, I say it often to make sure it remains as an idealistic principle. I also don't spend enough words separating the main goal or vision of the unit separately from the main goal of the BSA, the Vision. I believe success is based from a team agreeing on the same goals. Our troop initially set the goals that the scouts will be the leaders, it will be boy led and FUN. You're right Matt, making moral decisions makers doesn't really explain how the program makes good leaders. So, we made a checklist that
  8. Yes, it is a lot to unpack. The thing to understand is that there is an opportunity here for your scouts to practice making adults decisions. I understand there will be challenges, but it's the heart of intent for the adults that is the challenge. The adults can come up with a lot of reasons to not let scouts make independent decisions, but where there is a will, there is a way. The adults need to have the will. The other suggestion to take to heart is have fun. Adults struggle with fun at summer camp because they are used to being methodical and responsible. Adults look at fun as a rew
  9. A lot depends on the maturity of your scouts, but summer camp is the best patrol method experience a troop can get if you take advantage of it. Our troop request two camp sites near each other; one for scouts and one for adults. We ask adults to not walk around camp with scouts so that they have the experience of finding their way around without adults and practice the discipline of getting to their destinations on time. AND, experience the consequences of failing in both cases. The scouts are required and expected to always have a buddy and tell their Patrol Leader or SPL where they
  10. Makes sense, we typical look for a GS in our neighborhood and purchase A LOT of cookies from her. They were nowhere to be seen this year. Out-of-sight, out-of-mind. I need to remind my wife about the 12 month shelf life because we are still nibbling on last years batch. Or are they year before? Barry
  11. Like most of the youth programs, OA is the vision of the adults in the moment. I have seen OA programs cross the spectrum of what the handbook says they are. Sadly, many adults see their part in the program as the key to the image and they take out the honor of the OA. As scoutmaster, I supported the elections, but stayed away from the program because I didn't care for the adult side of the program. That being said, the scouts in my troop were in leadership roles for about 10 years. Since our troop wasn't involved with OA other than holding elections, I attribute the success of our scouts
  12. My problem with OA today is that the program drivers (adult sponsors) don't plan a program where the activities practice growth toward the honor of serving others and camping. As a scout in the 70's, young scouts learned quickly that Arrowmen where experts in the outdoors and they could ask any question for help. And, since serving was their other character traits, they were usually easy to approach and lacked the arrogance many of the older scouts had. Frankly, the election process back then filtered out immature scouts and scouts who only wanted the Arrowmen status. Those are the main m
  13. Sounds like the unit is starting with a good CC. That is a step forward many units don't have. I've been in your shoes; a new unit with new adults. There are two important contributors to a new unit starting in the right direction; vision and humility. I was assigned to working with struggling units and the one contributor that just about all these units had in common is lack of vision. The adults didn't know where they were going, so they didn't know what part to take in the team. Instead, they all tried to just fill in where the program appeared to need help, It was chaos. There i
  14. Yep. Even if there was some value from the old SMs comments, it lost any integrity by the way it was delivered. Changing scoutmasters is tricky because the new scoutmaster has to find their footing without the heavy shadow of previous SM hanging in the air. Yet, the old SM can be a great resource. But, it’s tricky. At the request of my replacement, I took six months off from the program. And when I did give advice, it was in person or through the CC. Actually, the CC was the person who sought out most of my advice with some of the challenges the new SM found himself in. I th
  15. Done correctly, commissioner is both fun and rewarding. But, that kind of program requires good leadership. District Commissioner was my dream job after I retired from Scoutmaster, but council and district burned me out the next few years and I retired completely from scouting. They came to my door and offered me the job 3 years later, but I developed to many new habits with the family to jump back into the program. My loss. Barry
  16. That is rare, but the way it should be. How do you rate your commissioner corp.? Barry
  17. Good point. The reason for the mistrust is because most of the actions unit leaders see from commissioners has the perception of authority. Right or wrong, commissioners are perceived as disciplinaries for the districts. Most participants of adult leader training classes express that a major benefit of the classes is making new friends. How many of those participants or teachers are commissioners? Commissioners don't mingle enough within the activities to build a friendship and trust. If we choose to recruit experienced scouters for the role of commissioners, then they need to show
  18. Your opinion is certainly just an opinion. As an engineer who has to think logically every day in big pictures to work problems, your opinion doesn't makes sense because you don't have any information, proof, or data to show that your theory is killing scouting. None. There are a lot of dynamics going on in the world, culture, and BSA, at the moment, so how could anyone determine what is killing scouting? Or if scouting is even dying.; Sure, the BSA is taking hits right now, but can we really say that is the result of actions within the BSA. The world is in a mess and a lot of organizati
  19. I think you would find the discussion surprising. When we were involved chaperoning, attending and transporting youth in church, school, sports and so on, we found their youth protection polices very limiting compared to the BSA youth protection, if they had any guidelines at all. Often the on the spot ad-hoc policies came from scouters who were used to the BSA youth protection. My wife was always the most nervous youth getting hurt when she chaperoned the annual school group to New York City. But the teacher who led that activity many times took the concern in stride because she never ha
  20. My experience is adults who limit their program from typical scouting activities did not have a scouting experience as a youth. They see these activities, especially outside unit activities, as competition, not as additional program opportunities. They likely would not want their orders scouts to join a Venturing Crew either. And I agree, likely this is a pretty adult run program. Barry
  21. Im not thinking competition, or judging, or potluck. I’m thinking adults get together to cook the meal. We did this at a trooperee where the adults roasted a whole pig. It’s an all day job. You could have several shifts where each member of the shift is from a different troop. There are adults that love that stuff. Barry
  22. We have had the troop adults cook the Saturday night meal for everyone. But, you could also do training for swimming, rappelling, boating and so forth. Fun stuff that would pull all the adults into the same group. Barry
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