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Everything posted by MattR

  1. Maybe it's also be the only thing holding scouting back from being something much more enjoyable and meaningful? A point of discussion is whether burning down BSA national will help it get back to the basics. Some think that's extreme, myself included. But I have to admit that bling is a double edged sword in this program. While I agree that the adults are the last line of defense from Lord of the Flies, they have more use than that. If they weren't so caught up in bling they might be easier to train to help impart wisdom to the scouts. But why even consider creating a new program
  2. Wrong question: At what speed is the train shorter than the tunnel? To answer the original question, follow the money. Big city council's camp is starting to lose customers and hence money, thus putting it into a death spiral. Rich council has the more enjoyable camp because it has an endowment to hire good staff, and hence troops start going there, thus helping rich council's financials. They can buy and run one of the other camps so distance is no longer an issue. Their funders are not interested in merging with other councils. So, final answer: Rich council keeps
  3. Sounds like a cool building. Anyway, a couple of unorganized thoughts: Your title might give you your answer. What do you think about "scout reach?" If you're looking down on that then don't do it. If you're unsure about what scout reach could be then you're not ready to answer your question - time to do some research. Is it possible that you are tied to the building more than the scouts? If so, that's a warning sign. What kind of help are you getting from the church? Does anyone know these kids and can they help you? Are there any other adults around to help that have a lo
  4. I think you should start a new thread. There were some threads about scouting with covid but you might be bringing up a bigger issue?
  5. So you're equating optimism with propaganda? That doesn't sound right ... Ah, now I see where you're coming from. You just want to start with a clean slate. As others have pointed out that's going to take a lot of leadership. There are roughly a million volunteers involved with the BSA and in order to make this new program work you would need to convince a big chunk of them about your vision. Right now there are roughly a 100 people paying attention to this forum. You need to grow this by roughly four orders of magnitude. How are you going to do this? I'm a lousy salesman but one
  6. I don't know, Barry, anyone that can be positive about scouting these days deserves some respect. Has anyone noticed the marked drop in both posts and participation of different people on this forum? We always wish more people from National would listen to us but maybe we're not that big of a voice. Maybe we're not as wise as we'd like to believe. Maybe some chuckling at ourselves, some Cheerful and Friendly, might be more inviting. I know that I sure haven't had fun scouting on this forum. No amount of pontificating here will make up for the loss of one fun campout. Between that and the
  7. We did as well, but not nearly as high a percentage in the troop as that of the regular population. Scouts sells fantastically well to some people that know what it's about. For those that are unsure, all that added time and cost seems like a real barrier. If the BSA could crack that nut I think the national charter would carry a lot more weight. Rather than parents being so involved a mix of college aged kids and retirees could cover things. It could give some people on this forum something to do.
  8. I disagree, to a point. This program requires parent participation, evenings and weekends, money and gear. For single parent families, those with multiple gig jobs, and those not making much money, this program is a hard sell.
  9. Not all adults. I always insisted there be a big block of time for scouts to figure out their own amusement. Some would explore. Some would work on advancement. Some would play cards or just talk. Most of them really enjoyed that time. I never made it to Philmont but a common comment was that it's a constant push. Get up and get going so you can get to the next event in time. It's a great way to encourage teamwork but not my idea of how to enjoy nature. I'm sure it would have been fun, don't get me wrong, but I do enjoy the tranquility after playing hard.
  10. What a perfect fundraiser for boys. Catch rats. Kill them, with fire no less. Get paid.
  11. My troop is doing outdoor activities. Bike rides, rocket launch, just anything that sounds fun and takes lots of room. No meetings in buildings but they are doing Discord meetings.
  12. I remember in Junior High, when we learned how to write checks, that the teacher said you could write a check on anything, and assuming the bank trusted you, would pay it. We thought that was cool. Never thought it happened, though.
  13. I watched the video. Good stories. I was a scout in the Transatlantic Council so it brought back a few memories. Something that would be good to hear about would be about the Kurdish culture.
  14. Kind of like how this one is? Unfortunately, I haven't used bills or coins since covid started. Neither the hardware stores nor grocery stores are too keen on them. Ahh, to go someplace that uses cash .... Some day.
  15. What are coins? I mean, credit cards are starting to become obsolete. My wife would go nuts if I started a collection. I already have many collections - old tools, old cameras, old calculators and the biggest: old junk.
  16. I'm not a popcorn fanatic and I only ever get kernels so I can pop it myself. I do know that after letting half a bag sit in my cupboard for a few years it doesn't pop so great. But what does pop is good. All the other stuff is no fun or too sweet. That all said, if you can sell more of one variety over another, I think that's what I'd push for. If you feel bad about the money not going to council then just figure out what their cut would have been and make a donation. Which approach would bring in more money for your unit?
  17. It does sound like a fair amount of overlap. The BSA has always been interested in the intersection of science and outdoors. I like science so I'm good with it. However, the Hornaday award was always an odd duck. The lowest level was do a conservation based eagle project and the highest was do four of them. It just competed with eagle too much. So I'm curious about this one.
  18. Speaking of whining, let's remember that nobody has actually proposed changing the scoutmaster title to something else. This thread was started based on some real estate person saying the term master bedroom should not be used. So maybe a hand full of people put up an idea about how to sell houses and this forum produces nine pages of commentary. It might not be whining but maybe making mountains out of mole hills.
  19. Yes it does. But it really helps when people like you try to make it better. Thank you for helping me keep my glass half full. Some day you will have that campfire.
  20. It may depend where you're at. We once went to a county campground and nothing could be tied to trees. The reason was it was a high use area and, just like staying on trail, they didn't want wear and tear on the trees from every camper tying up dish nets.
  21. That's nonsense. We have competitions all the time. One on one, whether a single scout, patrol or troop were always the highlight of every campout and camporee I went on or organized. From axe competitions to tug-o-war, fire building to relay races through the woods, home made sleds to lashed travois, scouts have a lot of fun competing. I suppose fencing could be fun with good leadership but I could see a lot of mangled equipment, so this is a non starter for me.
  22. Maybe you could dig into that a bit. Representative of what? Do they have an organization? An address? Is there a way to ask them a question? A contact page? A FAQ? Is there leadership, ways to solve problems, voting, a way to come to consensus, make decisions, anything that is more than just a hashtag and a vague description of what they want? The answer to all of this is no. As best I can tell they have a website and a wiki page. The website is very vague and the wiki references web pages that no longer exist on the website. At one point in time the website had a list of 13 guiding prin
  23. I've only read the introduction so far. My first impression is that, for the majority of issues, nothing has changed, at all. It's the same arguments about program, council, national, parents that "Molly coddle" their kids, "the good ol days" when kids were self reliant, struggle with incorporating minority immigrants and more. 1920 and 2020 look surprisingly similar. It might have some good insights into how to move forward with less national resources as they had little. Only warning: this is a real thesis and not a scouter U thesis.
  24. Another way of looking at @skeptic's point: If you're sure the BSA is going to fold then why are you still here?
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