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Everything posted by MattR

  1. When we stopped pushing useful skills? BTW, I've fought gear creep, with some success. I did get our chuck boxes reduced to a tote. I tried to get the First Class cooking requirement (make a list of gear needed) part of what we had to do, to no avail.
  2. Concerning DE's and districts altogether how about look at the needs of the unit and let that drive how it's delivered. Different units have different needs. A few are really strong and don't need any support. They can do their own training and run their own program. Most are muddling along and some are new (we hope!). They need help maturing. The goal should be to grow the unit's maturity, just like working with a PL. What does that look like? The current model is training, turn-key program (just write a check and show up to a camporee, summer camp, or a high adventure base), and wise gu
  3. Another idea: What would it look like if the DE's could do what they thought was right, what they hired in to do, rather than chase numbers? I've met really great people that were destroyed by the get-money-or-die directives.
  4. NotNot sure this was discussed and it covers a couple of these threads, but there's an important question that needs addressing. If the BSA membership drops to between .5M and1M, what will the program and structure look like? I'm not saying it will go that way but it could get ugly. And even if it doesn't get that bad it would certainly help make the BSA stronger if it could deliver a good program with fewer resources and fewer people. Random thought spewage: Fewer DE's covering the same territory. Fewer units will be near each other. All those units in rural areas will be typical. Neighb
  5. Just to add another way of what @Eagledad and @yknot seem to be saying, scout led doesn't mean adult ignored. Ask questions. Keep them out of ruts. Keep them about the law and oath. One size of adult participation does not fit all, it really depends on the maturity of the scouts.
  6. True, but when the BSA tried to cover things up, can we blame that on society wide ills? If, instead, the BSA had brought it out and explained what it was doing to solve the problem they would have a lot more credibility now. The mindset should have always been that a proven abuse results in a ton of very visible repair going on: Helping the abused youth, prosecuting the abuser, and understanding how it happened to improve the unit, the council, and the BSA. Anyone hiding an event should have harsh consequences as well. I just wish there were some concrete numbers put on when these abuses
  7. An idea for a great service project: help a girls den, or two, run fun meetings. Make them all den chiefs of a AOL den and invite them to scout events. Point is create a relationship between the den and the troop. Whenever we do that we get lots of recruits. When we stop, things dry up. If it's appearance that counts then there's no relationship.
  8. Is there a precedent? Is there another financial web that is this tightly dependent on each node and yet claim independence? Mary Kay? Franchises? If a couple of franchises of a restaurant sell burgers with mouse feet in them and the main company covers it up what happens? Especially where, if a franchise looses it's licence, all the assets go to the parent company.
  9. It sounds like you're going with B) Be Prepared for when the phoenix flies. I hope you're right. And you're not the first person that has told me this.
  10. @David CO, that's a rather broad brush, and given that we have scout executives on this forum, let's think courteous. You may see this as a great opportunity to fix things, but for the people working for the BSA, through no fault of most of them, this is a kick in the teeth. Well, that just stuck a pin in my friend's argument.
  11. Because of the mortgage on Philmont the creditors can't go after it. The bank owns it.
  12. Ahhh, a scouty question There are quite comfortable backpacking pads. Get an insulated one. That and a down quilt and you should be quite comfortable with little weight. And, when you finally get your troop backpacking, you'll have the right gear.
  13. I have some positive questions for you. You've started a few thought provoking threads about restructuring. I've gone along with it because it's cathartic. However, it seems to me that any restructuring that happens will be entirely about the lawsuits. I don't see how any restructuring can encompass the issues we've discussed in these threads. All I can see is that the BSA, and maybe some (or all?) councils, will just have less money. There will be less staff and less properties but the fundamental organization, and certainly the program, isn't going to change. Even if the court appoints a new
  14. We tell the scouts their book is the record. When they tell us it's in the computer we tell them to ask one of the many adults that have access to the database to help the scout update their book. It doesn't take more than a few minutes. Often, someone in the BOR can do it right there.
  15. We need a way to measure or gauge scout-led, older scout enthusiasm, and things closer to the fundamentals. Not sure how but it would make a lot of things easier for everyone to see issues. Scouts, Scouters, Parents, District. Who is doing the cooking (and buying the food)? Who is deciding on the events and how well are they attended? I don't even know how to do that so I'm afraid metrics can get out of hand, kind of like uniform inspections. If it were part of the regular program, say start, stop, continue, and the troop regularly did this then it would be easier to find. We talked about thi
  16. Many people have personal and professional accounts. Not a problem for me.
  17. Curious about commissioner best practices: is there supposed to be a big feedback loop between units and the district staff? For example, there are 4 packs that can't get anyone to step up, let's have a barbeque and talk about how easy it is to run a pack. My district doesn't have the power to do that but I'm just wondering if that's the idea. As best I can tell the focus is mostly on fixing i's and it's. The issues most units have are people related - get more that know what they're doing.
  18. Oops, forgot the most important item: Remove the silos. National seems to consist of disparate groups that are so focused on their small fiefdoms that, collectively, they just chip away at the most fundamental aspects of scouting. It seems there are silos for safety, future jobs, lifelong learning, not having fun with toy guns or anything that looks like it, advancement, citizenship, JTE/WB/training/EDGE, and leave no trace. In the meantime we've been wondering what happened to the Patrol Method, Scout Led, and Fun silos. These are really fundamental ideas and they've been crowd
  19. We've had a couple of commissioners over many years. One was totally useless, but we got him because our troop was very strong. Our troop is still good and we have a commissioner that shows up at all of our committee meetings. He is a good source of information about the district. He hasn't been asked to solve any of our problems and does not attempt to. @Beccachap, there might be other reasons for a quick change in cognition, such as something to do with meds. As for kids that want to join but the parents don't speak English, you can ask the kids to translate for you. Or ask them to ask
  20. It could be, in general. But I suspect that neither the council or area people know how to run a business. Just a few examples. The 2018 financial numbers changed between reporting the 2018 numbers and the 2019 numbers such that in both cases things looked great. That's a huge no-no. Although our membership has dropped markedly in the past 5 years there has been no attempt to lower staffing, especially the staff that do nothing, or reduce capital expenses. Currently, my council has less than the equivalent of a month's salary in the bank and there is no money expected for a couple of months.
  21. I also told scouts they need a way to take notes. 5 points!
  22. A few things: 1) Entry into scouts at different ages. There seems to be this model that we have to grab youth when they're young because after that we'll never see them again. Hence tigers and lions. Rather, I like the idea of splitting cubs in 2 and encouraging the idea that the older cub and scout programs are a great time to enter scouts. Less burnout for one. Also, a lot of kids are starting to drop out of sports just about the time scouts starts up. That's a big, untapped group of kids. I don't know how to encourage this. I think too many parents, that don't understand scouts, j
  23. Perfect timing, @Cburkhardt. I just spent last evening talking to a financial guy about how totally screwed up our council is. The SE hires the board, so they will never complain. A capital fundraiser of $6M is in progress and the SE is already siphoning money off of it for other things (he can't explain what, though) The council president is a yes man. And the area leadership is chummy with the SE, so they will never do anything about the issues. The point is, for at least 20 years our council has been run by 2 different SE's that have no expertise in how to run a business. It used to be that
  24. I won't flame you, but I do have a slightly different experience. We had two different scouts that were on the spectrum. One might have been co-morbid with ADHD. Anyway, one scout had a parent that was heavily involved, knew the issues, and taught us how to work with his son. Everything worked great. Another parent didn't want to admit their son had challenges. They did volunteer for a while but eventually their son got in so many fights that they took him out. So, it depends on the parents. I will add that kids with hyperactive ADHD likely will not sit still for advancement. They should have
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