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MattR

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Everything posted by MattR

  1. The difference between 4H and scouting is the overhead in capital and labor. 4H has little and the BSA has an enormous amount. Properties and staffing are huge for a non profit. 4H sets up a stem program and it's a few documents of ideas for the youth. The bsa does it and it's millions of dollars poured into camps. Bechtel? That said, camps used to be profit centers. It reminds me of college dorms. They used to be really cheap and students were okay with it. Now dorms are really nice and come with good food and activity centers. Well, now students are leaving colleges in droves. Community colleges are a much better deal. So, how does the BSA lower costs and still have fun stuff to do? It's a fine line between too cheap and just right. Rather than pour money into toys I'd rather see a little money poured into teaching scouts how to create their own fun. Another thing 4H has is a definite project. Raise chickens or make a soap box car. I think the bsa could borrow that idea. Make fun MB's for a patrol to work on that takes around 3 months to complete. Something about working towards a final project rather than a patch sounds much more appealing to me.
  2. Not at all. I think you've just clarified what I'm thinking. Really bad things happened. And yet there is no simple answer. Social norms have changed. The BSA has done a lot of good. The only way forward I see is to be honest, get a complete understanding of what happened and go all in for preventing it from happening again. I hope you stick around. I'm sure you'll have lots to add. Oh, and welcome to the forum.
  3. @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.
  4. Well, I suspect different sports carry different risks. That's why I was wondering about hiking in particular.
  5. Do you know if any of the 20 got covid? We're talking about replacing meetings with patrols doing outdoor activities on weekends or after school if we can get the adults. Great excuse to do patrol activities.
  6. It seems that threads that wander either discuss what went wrong or how to make it right. Lots of existential angst these days. That's why I'd really like some honest historical analysis. Sometimes I wonder if we're not just a bunch of blind men trying to understand an elephant.
  7. Entomologists are all kids at heart. I visited the local ag school's dept. when my son was a cub scout and they were just so into it. They were bragging about how you hadn't been stung until you've been stung by this one insect that had a 5" long stinger and they only knew it existed in this one remote corner of the state that few people ever went (hence why it wasn't extinct). Anyway, if they want to change the name of the MB, it's the kid in them and I'd let them change it to whatever they wanted because it would be a great MB.
  8. Is placing blame really doing anything? While a lot of politicians may be lawyers (I don't know if that's true anymore), all judges are lawyers and it's those lawyers that are keeping our democracy together right now. It's also a lawyer, the judge in this chapter 11 case, that will decide the BSA's fate.
  9. Hey all, let's get back to Chapter 11.
  10. You're leaving yourself open for a really nasty insult and I want to stop that from happening right now. Let's all stop the name calling. It's time for everyone to start thinking about what they're thankful for.
  11. Okay everyone, I smell panic in the air. You are, however, being very polite. So thank you for that. I have no doubt there will be change. We just don't know what that change will entail. Isn't change one of the topics covered in Wood Badge? Things are unsure and that causes stress. That's all I remember. I probably got bored after that. I don't even remember what the syllabus said about dealing with change. What I do know is there's a fundamental idea of scouting and that won't change. I don't care if the camp I went to as a kid gets sold off, I'm done using it. The absolute best fun my scouts ever had, and myself when I was their age, was finding fun in new places. Mud, water, snow, rocks, sticks, fire, ice, sunsets, stars, friends, and in my case a WWI cemetery. New scouts will find new places but the basics will still be there. Talk to the UK scouts, they go hiking through and camping in farm fields and I'm sure they have as much fun as we do. People don't like the idea of after school scouting but maybe after school is a perfect time for patrols to meet and the troop only meets once a month for a night of competition. Change might not be so bad. It's not that we will lose donors because the donors are long gone. Figure out how to include kids from lower income families and a lot more charity funds will become available. This isn't the end of the world, it's just the end of how we used to do things.
  12. I'd be more interested in knowing how many of the cases where after 2000. Just my opinion but the only hope the BSA has is to prove that they've solved this problem. If the number is substantially lower than, say, at schools, then maybe the judge will be able to look at what good the BSA has done.
  13. And thus started the long history of not quite following the regulations😁. Great story, though. Thanks for sharing.
  14. These metrics are not very well thought out. Units are struggling to increase membership in any unit. Asking for an increase in some demographic without the skills needed just reminds me of old Soviet 5 year plans. It's a great source of corruption. If they want to increase minority membership I think a better approach would be to encourage SE's to create a relationship with community leaders of minorities. And, rather than ask them to volunteer to create scout units they should ask them what parents want for their kids. Assume that scouting is not it and just be helpful and friendly. Just a hunch but my guess is parents are more worried about their jobs and help with schooling/day care. The reason I say that is that just about every parent I know has that issue right now. Creating a relationship will create trust and that will do more for creating units than just asking for units. Of course, it's hard to create a metric for friendly and helpful, so, never mind.
  15. I am saddened by this MB, but not surprised. Irrespective of the value of this MB it does not help the core program: fun with a purpose. This will likely be one more boring MB. Purpose without fun is just homework and kids can get that for free. It's one more reason not to join scouting. It's not helping units run a better program.
  16. That's not a goal. That's just a threat. I mean, how did JTE work? Why will this be any different? How about improving units. Or even what a quality unit is. So, nothing about serving units. Nothing to see here. Everyone will just ignore it.
  17. I think you need a running sum. And since we've been watching elections for a week, graphs and pie charts and confidence ranges
  18. Congratulations, especially for thinking that it was such a great achievement that you hung onto the certificate. (Even if it was your mom that gave it to you when you were 21 years old)
  19. I smiled to myself. I voted last week. Yet there are still polling places to drop off the ballots. They smiled. It was like passing someone on a trail. They don't get nearly the rush of voters of having them all in 12 hours.
  20. You did not post a valid url. It would help if you included the part in front that has "https://www. ...." so at least the domain name shows up.
  21. While that may be true, I've noticed that the best volunteers are self motivated. For the position of SM I think this is more critical than other positions. SM's that don't really want to be there shouldn't. People, when asked and respond with no, should be left alone. Now, if someone says they're not sure, that starts a conversation. The next issue is what environment is needed for someone to see themselves as a future SM before anyone asks? I think that's the harder problem to solve.
  22. I just read this. Thank you for the inspiration. Sounds like these scouts have created a great memory for themselves. I hope the ceremony is (was?) a success.
  23. I certainly understand why you're unhappy with how this bankruptcy is going. Any time anything gets into the court system rules take precedent over ethics. The only reason it makes sense to me is that, given our society is based on a system of rules then we have to follow them. I think the ethics comes in to play when the rules are created and this is where the failure is, just as you have mentioned. I'm not sure how much freedom the judge has to handle this in a balanced way. However, all is not lost. Your grandkids will still be able to create some great memories in the outdoors with their friends in a program called scouting. It's one of the reasons I've posted about finding joy in scouting and simplifying the program. Make the program simpler with less requirements for large infrastructure and it becomes much more resilient. What we have now is very fragile and complicated. It's time for a change. I'm fairly sure the joy of watching kids grow, learn and create great memories will far out weigh the loss of camps and huge org charts.
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