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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. Reminds me of my of my sad moments as a Scouter. Had a bunch of Webelos visiting the troop one night. While the scouts were off doing something, the parents were talking with the SPL. One of them asked the SPL what his job was. He thought for a moment and responded - "to do whatever the Scoutmaster tells me to do."
  2. You'd think that for such an important document, 6 people must have reviewed it too.
  3. I'd agree with that too. Look at how much time we all spend here discussing the nuances of boy led. For such a simple concept, it sure takes lots of analysis. Given the amount we talk about it, I guess about 1 troop in 10 acutally gets it right. Agreed as well! Yet, it feels to me like the single biggest challenge to Scouting today is crappy troop programs. They're too smart to need training, but yet cannot get a decent program together. How many Scouts quit because of boring program?
  4. Perhaps we have Every so often some of the troop leaders will get into a discussion such as "we need to figure out how a planning meeting should be run." I'll smile, say "already done", and point to one of those. Maybe instead writing "define", I need to write "train on".
  5. Vice-chair? I'm not surprised that the new adults are running over the SM.
  6. I hear you - but it strikes me that the BSA needs to focus on defining program mechanics. Advancement, how patrols work, how to organize a camping trip, what you do on a camping trip, etc... The program is the same for a boy troop, girl troop, linked troop, co-ed troop, whatever. @Eagle94-A1 - you need to promote yourself to Scoutmaster or CC. The stuff going on in your troop is the result of troop leadership that isn't translating the program into operational decisions. There's lots of materials defining how camping trips work. This whole family camping thing is some marketing bullets. Some new parents coming in and upending BSA program because they heard something about family camping is not correct. Someone once told me "a Boy Scout troop is not a democracy, it's a benelovent dictatorship." You encourage engagement from parents, but the CC ultimately needs to keep the adults pointed in the right direction. If the CC isn't doing that, then the troop needs a new CC or you need to find a new troop.
  7. I'm not so sure that they do need to come out with more specifics. The BSA is basically providing us a program that we implement locally. Perhaps it would just be better if the BSA let's us all sort it out locally. Does it really matter if some particularly progressive people in one part of the country want to have closely linked troops whereas some very conservative people in another part do not want boys and girls to mix at all? Doesn't that really give us all the freedom to run troops according to our own values? I do understand that this won't sit well with those who want the BSA to stand for a particular moral position. But, perhaps it's best for the BSA to simply provide a program for us and to stay above the fray.
  8. I would be too. Would be interesting to see if they'd go that far. That's a pretty controversial topic these days. I get the distinct imoression that the current leadership team doesn't want to be that involved in these kinds of social controversies anymore. I get the sense that they just want to focus on program delivery and not so much what the program content implies. They seem happy to leave it to us to decide the moral issues locally.
  9. ParkMan

    Goodbye and Thanks for all the Fish.

    Tampa Turtle, I am sorry to see you go. The forum will be poorer without your voice. It is sad to see the casualties of the recent changes. I hope the moderators reflect on your statement. There is nothing that could be posted here that would cause me distress and I hope the moderators don't feel undue pressure on our behalf. I hope you continue Scouting and have many happy days of camping ahead of you.
  10. This is a silly game. Let's find a way to parse what the CEO said so we can ignore the reality. Let's see... The specific program formerly known as Boy Scouts is not going co-ed. The BSA is starting a parallel implementation of the same program in which girls can participate. Overall, the membership policies of the BSA will now allow both girls and boys the ability to fully participate in it's offerings. In Cub Scouts, the girls and boys will participate in the same program, but in parallel dens. In Scouts BSA, the girls and boys will participate in the same program in parallel troops. Both Venturing and Sea Scouts are already fully co-ed.
  11. I think folks misunderstand what is really going on here. The BSA is going co-ed. While you can have boy troops and girl troops, it is becoming a co-ed activity. It's not circling of the wagons, it's a clear choice of the executive board of the BSA. Girls are becoming equal members of the movement. That's why the name changes and admittance to the OA don't surprise me. They shouldn't surprise anyone else either. These things are not program. Program is activities, camping, youth led, advancement, etc. Program is not the name of the magazine or who can belong to the OA. Program is what the OA does and how it does it. You can have all the outrage at it that you want, but it's just the evolution of the decision they made last year.
  12. I just was watching the video with Bryan and Anthony Berger (sp?). What was the deal with the neckercheifs they were wearing? Did I miss a topic somewhere?
  13. Respectfully, I see it differently. The program of the BSA really have never been the primary problem for the BSA. It's been loss of interest. Changing the basics of the program won't help. What will help is a concerted effort to make it more fun. Not fun through different badges, but more fun through a better understanding and application of the program we already have.
  14. That's one of my few purist hopes. I do not want to see the uniform go away.
  15. ParkMan

    Committee Members for BORs

    We have an assistant Advancement Chair the serves as the Board of Review Coordinator. He's generally at meetings twice a month. We ask scouts to contact him ahead of time to let him know, but it's not a strict rule. If a scout shows up and requests one, he'll organize it on the spot if possible. Part of the role of the BOR Coordinator is to develop training materials for adults. We will have any non ASM sit on a BOR. It could be a parent or Committee Member. Over time, the BOR Coodinator has built up enough folks that are knowledgeable in conducting a board that we always have a lead adult who is experienced and two other adults who may or may not be. This has worked very well for us and has been a great way to get an outgoing parent involved.
  16. ParkMan

    Just curious about background

    I think it has less to do with Scouting history and a lot more to do with geography. I'm east coast born, raised, and educated. I live in a pretty progressive city and have for 20 years. I'd suggest if we do that, let's start a separate thread. I think that cuts down on the tendency to try & convince others.
  17. ParkMan

    Just curious about background

    I'm excited about the recent changes as well. Initially I was apprehensive about girls, but after a couple of months I thought it through and am very excited about it. I'm a father with a son and two daughters. I love my daughters dearly and want them to have the same opportunities that I did. They are both Girl Scouts now and may stay that way - it's their choice. But, I'm very excited that they have the opportunity to benefit from the program that I did. I was a Cub Scouts and earned Arrow of Light. I was a Boy Scout and stopped at Star. I was not OA. As an adult, I've not been a Scoutmaster - but have been: Asst. Cubmaster, Cubmaster, Den leader, Pack Committee Chair, Troop Committee Chair, Crew Committee Chair, and District Committee member. My brother is a Life for Life and OA member. My father was an Eagle, Webelos Den leader, and Cubmaster. My grandfather a Scoutmaster and Silver Beaver recipient. Scouting has very deep ties in our family.
  18. And as a boy, I'd have been just as comfortable reading a magazine called Scouts Life. It's not the BSA changing it's name to accomodate a few people. The intent of the BSA is to be co-ed. Strikes me that they are making it pretty clear to girls that it's their program too now.
  19. ParkMan

    Breaking Point

    I'm not sure if you're talking about today or in the future, but I don't find the Eagle to be the chief marketing tool. Honestly - I don't see a lot of BSA marketing at all, so I don't think "Join Scouts and earn Eagle" is that much of a thing. In my area, Scouts generally join because it seems fun. Many stick around to earn Eagle, but I've never seen a Scout openly say - "I'm only, or even primarly, here to earn Eagle"
  20. Or removing the word boy from the name and magazine of an organization for girls and boys would just be the logical thing to do.
  21. Somehow I don't think the girls give two hoots whether it's called "Boys Life" or "Scout Life". Since it looks like the editors did a search and replace on "Boys Life" and replaced it with "Scout Life". They add a few more pictures with girls. Sounds exactly like the same magazine to me.
  22. Now, where do I see the BSA In 5-10 years. Coed - all units will be fully coed. No-one will think twice about it starting in 2022. By that time the old "boys only" folks will be aging out and members will only know a co-ed Scouting program. Boys and Girls will get along just fine. Membership numbers - membership will decline until 2021. At that point, the new girls joining will offset the natural decline in the number of boys joining. We will see modest growth in the 2021+. Program - it will be exactly the same program we have now. Maybe a few new merit badges. Outdoor activities - same outdoor program we have now. Uniform - there will be a new uniform. It will look much like the old uniform - just as every Scout uniform has for 50 years. OA - the OA will still be called the OA, but they will move past the Native American costuming and ceremonies. The group will invent new ceremonies around the underlying themes, they just will look a little different.
  23. I have to admit - the last few pages were an interesting read. 80% losses because we admitted girls? Really? Fundamentally - almost nothing has changed in the program. We have the same ranks, same merit badges, same advancement process, same volunteer structure, same youth led troop, same camping plans, same high adventure bases, same patrol structure, same awards, same just about everything. So they change the name from "Boy Scouts" to "Scouts". They changed the name "Boys Life" to "Scouts Life" . Cosmetic changes. This isn't program. The BSA just admitted girls - what did you think would happen to the word "boy"? Oh my goodness yes. I'm not so much a supporter of the recent changes as I am a supporter of Scouting and the BSA. I am so very tired of the constant prediction of the demise of the BSA & the constant derogatory comments about the BSA leadership and professionals. I can't help but feel I could post about the color of Scout socks and it would be turn into a discussion about how the BSA will be dead in 5 years. Sounds like a nice idea this one time.
  24. ParkMan

    Breaking Point

    While it might be nice for the DE to do a little more proactive outreach, this sounds about right. The DE is a district level player. If you guys are not involved at the district level and just focus internally - then why would he interact with you?
  25. ParkMan


    I've had Scouters try to jump through hoops before to get around G2SS rules by saying - we'll, if I do it and it's not really Scouting - is that OK. My guess is that's what they are trying to get around.