Jump to content

ParkMan

Members
  • Content Count

    2292
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    51

Posts posted by ParkMan

  1. 7 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    One last point about this. Most of the audience at NAM are BSA professionals and council level volunteers (Council Board members). I would not expect a message of "We are dead, go back to your councils and prepare to be destroyed in court" but I was honestly a tad taken aback by the sheer "We are done! Hurrah!" messaging.

    We come back to the problem when NAM told Local Councils that no matter what, none of the bankruptcy will blow back onto LCs. Either

    1. BSA National knew that was a fiction and proceeded to lie
    2. BSA National knew there was going to be SOME, LITTLE blowback and decided to put on a happy face
    3. BSA National truly did think it would have no impact on LCs and just got caught like deer in the headlights

    We have a similar situation here

    1. BSA National knows this is far from over for BSA National (and forget about LCs and COs, they are so, so up a creek at this point) and is simply lying so as to not scare the local councils leaders
    2. BSA National thinks it is going to be done by August and while it is going to be bad, it won't be THAT bad (read: cramdown toggle)
    3. BSA National truly thinks this is all over for everyone (read: global plan) and is blissfully naive

    EDIT: Or, perhaps option 4: a deal really has been reached and BSA is prepared to come to the June 4 hearing with something that looks like a deal.

    You have to remember that the NAM is not actually a meeting - it's a event designed to generate enthusiasm and encouragements amongst the members.  It's something akin to the big annual stockholders meetings that corporations have.

    All the real information sharing happens outside of these sorts of meetings.

    Yes, activist members could find a way to highjack the meeting - but rarely does that happen.

    • Upvote 1
  2. On 4/22/2021 at 6:13 PM, Owls_are_cool said:

    Fixing one wrong with another wrong might be legal, but there is a point where scouts will not see the value in the program and cut their losses. 

    I fear that people all around miss that fact.  My child joined a pack and later a troop to experience scouting (lower case).  Yes, the BSA program is good and nicely developed.  But most people are not in the BSA because of the organization.  At some point the continual increase in funds to defend lawsuits will only lead to declining membership.

    On 4/22/2021 at 7:42 PM, CynicalScouter said:

    So as I said, if you truly, truly believe paying a penny for the sexual abuse victims means "we'll move to another organization or quit scouting", then there's the (metaphorical) door. Those payments have already been made and it is 100% certain more payments will be occurring.

    Leave.

    Just as in the bankruptcy thread, it will be impossible to discuss this topic because none of us can leave emotions and beliefs out of this.

    • Upvote 1
  3. @MattR - I saw your post and read several of the surrounding comments.

    I suspect that it is impossible to sperate people's feelings of the lawsuit, the BSA, and child abuse.  Even if this topic was simply numbers and motions, those discussions would still be centered around whether the BSA was paying enough or not.  This is simply too charged a topic for dispassionate analysis.

    No matter what we do, people will come back to those core issues around the lawsuit.  I think we have to recognize that fact and do our best to be tolerant of each other here.  Generally this forum does a good job of that.   Yes, I do wish the topic wasn't as negative as it often is - but I think it's simply unavoidable. 

    I, like others, would encourage you not to lock it.  Overall it has been a useful service to have this topic.  People want to discuss it, and this forum provides a useful service in having a place to channel those discussions. 

     

     

    • Upvote 4
  4. 13 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

     

    Maybe? The point is that BSA is asking you to give up any claim you have today OR MAY HAVE IN THE FUTURE regarding your sexual abuse. So, even if NOW, TODAY you have no actionable claim (no SoL lookback) someday, you may. If this plan closes the door on ANY claim against BSA, now (Sol lookback states) or in the future (state legislature approves a SoL lookback), you get a vote.

    At least, that is how I read it.

    But does a potentially future actionable claim matter if the BSA is the sole organization involved after the US Trustee's objection?  Doesn't chapter 11 or chapter 7 really push for a determination of who has claims, what assets are available to settle those claims, and if the organization is financially viable afterwards?   Does a "we might have a claim someday" go pretty low on the list?  If at all?

    Isn't the settlement more applicable only if the LCs are joining so that their future liability goes away?

  5. Hi @Alaina,

    Can I ask you three questions first so that I can get a sense of your troop?

    1. If you had to describe where your troop is today, what does you troop look like?  How many kids, how active, how many volunteers?

    2. If you could describe what you want you troop to look like in 2-3 years, what does it look like?

    3. Why did you decide to volunteer as a Committee Member?

    Thanks!

    • Thanks 1
  6. 5 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

    The irony I observe is that all those who brush of this issue claiming that Scouting is supposed to be "fun" don't seem to be having very much fun commenting on the subject. 😄

     

    I'm not quite sure what you're referring to here.  But, in general I would encourage that none of us read too much into how any of us writes.  We all have different professional backgrounds and different styles.  I enjoy the discussion on stuff like this.

    5 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

    Again, I will tread lightly on the matter this time around. Those who make a big fuss over compliance with what should be a crystal clear, easy-to-follow protocol that takes only a few minutes of tailoring to obey, reveal more about themselves than a simple desire to "have fun and enjoy themselves." 🤨

    😅

    I theme I'm inferring for your posts is one of obeying the rules.  As an adult, I don't put a whole lot of energy into worrying about obeying a BSA rule on how many knots to wear.  Yes, I do follow the BSA guidelines on uniforming because I have chosen to.  

    For me, obeying the rule isn't the point.  There are somethings in Scouting that I follow without exception - YPT & the G2SS for example.  I do so because it's the right thing to do.  But it is not out of some sense of blind obedience.  

    If I see a Scouter with 4 rows, I smile knowing the rule - but then get to know that Scouter.  Once you get somewhere above two rows, that tends to start signaling someone with a lot of history in the program.  To me that's interesting and I am curious about that person and their story.

    Yet, I don't look at 4 rows and think less of a person because they haven't obeyed an arbitrary rule in the uniform guide.   We're all adults and I'm very comfortable that an experienced adult Scouter can bend a rule like that one.  To me it's those little aberrations that add character.  If someone was breaking a YPT rule, that would of course be a different discussion.

    This is why I refer to it as a youth program.  In my mind I think we can allow a little flexibility in a rule like this one.  I would lobby that the BSA remove the three row rule all together.  What really is the harm if this rule went away?  In an era where we are strapped for volunteers and members is there really a harm to that occasional volunteer with 6 rows?

    • Like 2
  7. 4 minutes ago, MattR said:

    We really need to crank up the contention over this. It might bury the story that USC just agreed to pay over $1B for sex abuse.

    Well, in that case...

    I cannot believe how big a deal we make over what is essentially a non issue.  Why do we need to look down at Scouters because they want to put a few pieces of cloth on their shirt?  Aren't the leaders in the no-knot crowd simply trying to look superior by claiming "real Scouters don't wear knots?"  Are they not themselves breaking several parts of the Scout law - friendly, courteous, kind, cheerful.  Why should obedient trump all these others?

    Is that better?

    • Like 1
  8. 15 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

    Boy, I feel as if I have covered this topic SO MANY TIMES over the past few years ... but suffice it to say, I think that to ask "what's the harm?" is to ask the wrong question. The better question is to ask "what message am I sending to the youth and to other leaders by the way I wear my uniform and its insignia?" 

    When I see somebody with enough knots to make a third-world general blush, I don't feel any sense of awe, nor admiration; nor am I ever curious to know the "stories and experiences" that they feel I should be eager to hear with reverent ears. All I can think to myself is "a Scouter with this much supposed experience should know better. A Scouter with this much supposed experience should, one would think, be aware of current uniforming standards, and be modest enough or humble enough to abide by them."

    A Scout, and Scouter, I hope, is obedient, even when it pertains to such "trivial" details as complying with present-day uniform expectations. So, yes, I agree that wearing an excess of insignia does share something of our journey - but sometimes, it may share parts of that journey that may not necessarily reflect the best or wisest paths that we have trod. 

    The reason this comes up a lot is honestly captured in your response.

    1. Why would you use the phase "with enough knots to make a third-world general blush"
    2. Why do you not see awe from a lot of experience?
    3. Why should "a Scouter with this much supposed experience should know better."?
    4. Why does this "one would think, be aware of current uniforming standards, and be modest enough or humble enough to abide by them." matter?

    Knots are .75" x 1.75" pieces of cloth you sew on a shirt. 

    So you have 1, 2, 9, 20, or 30 - really so what?  Why do we infer that this means anything more than - hey, this person's done a lot of stuff?

    It's a youth activity.   People have fun and dress up their uniforms.  Perhaps part of the issue with uniforms and Scouting isn't that people put a bunch of color on it - but that not enough people put a bunch of stuff on it.  Why do we make light of people and refer to them as third world generals?  It's all for fun.  Why try to make it all serious and haughty?

    This isn't the Jr. Jr. ROTC.  It's Scouting - a game with a purpose.

     

     

    • Upvote 1
  9. It's a volunteer activity - uniforms can be a fun way for a volunteer to share something of their story.

    If someone wears 0 knots, 3 knots, or 20 knots - I don't see the harm.

    I say - if you've got the knot, wear it if you want.  We should not be making people feel guilty about wearing their knots and sharing a little about their journey.

    • Upvote 1
  10. 1 hour ago, BlueandSilverBear said:

    West Point still has gymnastics as a core PE requirement for all cadets (although they call it "military movement") and they have the infamous Indoor Obstacle Course Test that is essentially a series of gymnastics events.  I have to assume the inclusion in the Master-at-Arms badge came from that same school of thought.

    I just think you have to show the Scouts the move the Matrix and they'll be ready for all the martial arts the BSA could throw at them.  

  11. Around where I am, the council has very little impact on recruiting.  Recruiting in our area is driven almost entirely by units.  If there was a path to recruiting older Scouts, I think our troops would try it.  I just don't think they see a path.  Maybe if we could figure out how to recruit those older kids into the program this wouldn't be such a big deal.

    The obvious path for recruiting is still to recruit tigers & wolves and then keep them in the program.

     

    • Upvote 2
  12. 5 hours ago, David CO said:

    OK.  My concern has always been that councils do not have enough independence from national.  Councils are supposed to be separate entities.  But they're not.  They are totally controlled by national.  The new territory plan is just more of the same. Read the target goals.  Why is the territory setting council targets?  If councils are independent entities, shouldn't they be setting their own targets based on local needs?

    If the bankruptcy court needs proof that BSA actually runs the councils, it has to go no further than the new territories plan.

    I think you have to define "totally controlled by national."

    I've been involved long enough now at the district/council level that I know well that our council is most certainly not controlled on a day to day basis by national.  I seriously doubt that national even cares about our camporees or other council level activities.

    Sure, there are some places where national has established firm rules that must be follow - such as YPT.  But those are not all that prevalent.

    I can tell you that in my volunteer work, I see almost no control by national.  

  13. 53 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    BSA's Reorganization Plan involves BSA AND the LCs AND the insurance companies paying into the Settlement Fund.

    That Reorg plan literally spells out, in black and white, that LCs and Insurance Companies will be paying along with BSA.

    Only, that's the problem.

    1) LC's are being asked for "voluntary" contributions equaling $300 million by BSA and they ain't volunteering much if at all. The TCC is insisting that LCs be MANDATED to give SPECIFIC amounts that far exceed $300 million. And by the way, this BSA reorg plan concludes with both BSA National AND THE LOCAL COUNCILS having all abuse claims prior to 2020 ended. Meanwhile, the LCs are still palying games/being coy about how much they'll pay, if at all. And the Ad Hoc Committee does NOT legally speaking speak for all 200+ LCs. From a technical standpoint, they only speak or 8 of them.

    2) Insurance Companies are not keen to just hand over cash by the bushel. First, they don't think they have to pay a DIME to cover the sexual abuse claims against BSA because (they say) BSA lied to get the insurance policies. But even if the insurance companies DO have to pay, they insist many/most of the 80,000 claims are B.S.

    So no, cutting a deal with BSA alone is not going to mean anything if MOST of BSA's deal consists of "Go get money out of the LCs and Insurance Cos". That's not going to fly at all.

     

    I follow - thanks.

    But, as this is a bankruptcy case for the BSA, isn't the real question on the table what to do with BSA national?  

    The BSA will run out of money - so either it goes into Chapter 11 or Chapter 7.  In order to negotiate a settlement, the BSA  has made a proposal that is larger than just BSA national - it includes the LCs as well.  This settlement, if agreed, is the "neatest" way to close all the issue on the table.

    However, if the parties cannot agree to a settlement - we are still left with BSA national going bankrupt.  We've all been thinking that if not settlement is reached, then a Chapter 7 occurs.  However, given the judge's comments isn't it just as likely that she'll impose a settlement that will allow a Chapter 11 to occur.  

    In short - isn't she telling all the lawyers that they need to come to an agreeable settlement.  It's not just a case where the claimants can say they want more and force Chapter 7.

  14. 4 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

     

    When this mediation session happens:

    1) Literally WHO is sitting at the table/Zoom session?

    2) Of the people listed in #1, WHAT parties do they, or do they not, represent? Or, put another way, what is the authority of the people in that room to negotiate of behalf of BSA, LCs, COs, Insurance Companies, and/or Abuse Claimants?

    I can very easily see another round of "Well, I'm here, but only on behalf of X, but not Y." and "No, you don't represent X's interests, I do!" and a half a dozen hours of fighting over that.

     

    But isn't the only party here that really matters the BSA?  Maybe also the LCs - maybe.

    The judge is telegraphing she wants the BSA to continue and so that means Chapter 11.  Let's say that she has mentally ruled out Chapter 7.  That means that she'll determine the assets the BSA has to divide and to then continue.   Everyone else is secondary.  No?

  15. 36 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Right, the judge has been clear she wants a BSA to emerge. My concern this whole time has been that won't happen because of a) inability to get 66% of abuse claimants to agree to a plan and b) Kosnoff driving for liquidation and c) Local Councils not willing to cough up the money needed to get to a settlement.

    In other words, it may be that MOST parties involved (other than the Kosnoff team) want to see the Boy Scouts mission continue, but no one can agree on a way forward, so it dies anyway.

    Is that when she might entertain a cramdown approach?  Would she not be able to let BSA national complete a chapter 11 bankruptcy and declare the amount they have to pay to creditors? 

    To her point, if she did focus on the 100 million in legal fees the BSA has already paid, she may be getting frustrated with the insurance companies and lawyers for the claimants.  From my amateur viewpoint, that would seem a scenario where a judge might impose a settlement.

  16. This seemed a promising quote from the judge:

    Quote

    “I don’t want to hear that someone decided it was inconvenient or they couldn’t show,” Silverstein added, noting that professional and attorney fees in the bankruptcy case have already cost the Boy Scouts more than $100 million.

     

    “I think that is a staggering number, and progress needs to be made,” the judge said. “Victims need to be compensated appropriately, and the Boy Scouts’ mission needs to continue.... Every dollar to professional fees is a dollar that comes out of some creditor’s pocket.”

    I know I'm looking for a silver lining, but this was promising.  "the Boy Scouts' mission needs to continue".  Sounds like liquidation isn't an end she favors.

  17. 5 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    Yes, but suggesting that both groups are equal is just as stereotypical and neglects possible advantages of single gender approaches. You're is attempting to shut down a thought process again, which is condescending to the other members on the forum.

    Until folks are willing to have an intellectual discussion on the subject, it will continue to be a two -sided debate.

    I wonder how a discussion on this discussion among intelligent minds would go.

    A discussion presupposes that there is a way to draw a conclusion on the topic and decide if co-ed is better or not.    There are so many different factors in deciding whether to go co-ed or not.  Each segment of the population is going to have different factors they favor over others.  

    Trying to make a decision at the BSA level because "girls mature faster and tend to take over" generalizes two genders overall.  Not every girl is going to take over.  Not ever boy is going to mature more slowly.  It also takes away the opportunity for boys to learn from girls and vice-versa.  

    I think it is simply impossible to arrive at general answer to a topic like this.  Different people will want to focus on different things.

    Myself - I think we allow individual COs to decide what works best for their members and to pursue the model that is best for them.

    5 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    Seems pretty close minded, even hostile. Do you really believe yours's should be the only one opinion counts in the group? Forget the question, you gave your opinion.

    Folks are tired of being discounted and demonized for having a different opinion.

    Barry

    I didn't intend my post to be close minded or hostile at all.  I've always favored local choice on this question.  I am not forcing co-ed nor and I saying that single gender is wrong.  I am saying that the BSA should allow for co-ed if a CO wants it.

    I do have an issue with that the statement in the video where they said "no one on our committee has even asked about co-ed."  We talk co-ed here on this forum on a regular basis.  I am very surprised that committee that is dealing with this topic doesn't have members that have even asked about it.  It makes me wonder if the committee is inclusive enough in it's representation of Scouting's communities.  If they said "we discuss it periodically and have decided against co-ed Scouting, I could believe."  That they said no one asks about it surprises me. 

    My offer was somewhat tongue in cheek - but only slightly.  I have no idea how one gets on a national committee.  But if it's anything like my council's committees - it is all about who you know.  People on committees that decide things are often very entrenched, long time Scouters.  That is often good as experience matters.  Yet, it can also create something of a bubble.  I suspect the number of long time Scouters who want to see co-ed Scouting is lower than the number of general Scouters and even the populace at large.

    • Upvote 3
  18. 1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Just to put the fear of whomever into people that are not taking this seriously and reading/lurking this forum:

    1) Three Fires Council in its last annual report indicated $3.3 million in support and revenue and $3.5 million in expenditures.

    2) There were 126 abuse claims within Three Fires Council + 2 more that were in multiple councils including Three Fires.

    3) Wisconsin's statute of limitations on abuse claims wasn't lifted or changed since 2007! Victims have until they day they reach 35 to file a claim.

    What this means is LCs are starting to see the writing on the wall. Camp sell offs are going to be happening at a rapid clip.

    And not only that, read this

    As of 2018 that was around $2.8 million dollars (Part X, Line 27 "Unrestricted net assets").

    So what they are saying is that $2.8 million PLUS the sale of their camp is what is going to be required for the settlement fund. Assume they get $1 for the camp, that means payment for the 126 claims ($2,800,000/126) = $22,222.

    If you are with a local council, if you are a local scouter, if you are ANYONE who cares about scouting and reads this: be prepared to lose a LOT of your LC.

     

    If I were a betting man...

    - 50% or more of local camps that exist now will be sold.

    - In the next 18 months we'll merge down to one council per 10,000-15,000 scouts.  Each will retain a camp

    - all other council owned buildings will be sold to preserve whatever camps we can.

    • Upvote 2
  19. 13 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    During the February 2021 Scouts, BSA Office Hours, Scott Berger (a Scouts, BSA National Leader) was asked why no coed Troops.

    This was his response video from 28:30-31:00

    That [coed troops] is not in the plan. Nobody supports that [coed troops]. And there's good reason for it. The reason that the program is laid out the way it is currently is because we realized that in many respects girls mature quicker than boys. And having a coed program would disadvantage the boys. And we don't want that. I'm making a joke now. Lot of married people out there. You understand. You know why. Females take over sometimes. That was a joke.

    But what I really want to say is that we looked at the experience not only in Venturing, where young women will often assume leadership roles, but we also looked at other countries where they went towards coed troops and a coed way of doing things and it really hurt the young men to the point that the young men quit scouting by about 50%. We don't want that to happen here in the BSA.

    So there is no plan. Whenever anybody asks about it, we say very firmly, that's not happening. So, take it to the bank as best you can. But that [coed troops] is not happening.

    That was an awful answer.

    1. That "girls mature faster than boys" and "we don't want to disadvantage the boys" is the reason, that's an offensive and insulting reason.  That stereotypes each group and neglects the notion that boys and girls can influence each other.  Both genders will benefit from begin around the other.

    2. If no one on their committee is talking about co-ed troops, they have the wrong people on that committee.  How do we get someone a bit more current on that committee?  I've got no time, but I'll volunteer.  Just PM me.

  20. 58 minutes ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    I was asking my Webelos aged son yesterday what games they play in PE at school so I would have some Den Meeting ideas.  He asked me if they could play Dodgeball.  Of course I had to explain that it wasn't allowed in Scouts even if they can do it at school.  He then proceeded to ask if "Scouts" want them to have fun or just take our money.

    Makes me wonder if we never had the abuse lawsuits if the BSA would allow more things like this.  I imagine that with all the abuse suits, the BSA is a bit gun shy on more suits.

    When I started, a leader reminded me that the most dangerous activity in the BSA is biking.  Even with helmets they have seen more and worse accidents from biking than anything else.

  21.  

    18 hours ago, Armymutt said:

    Some of my Cub Scout leaders have not completed all the training to be considered "trained".  How big of a deal is that from the stand point of the district/council/national?  Our YPT is 100%, which is a non-negotiable for me.  I'm not sure about the other.

    Depends on the district & council to be honest.  As others have said, some councils require it and so I expect that in those councils it's a big deal.

    In general, from the district & council perspective, the goal is well run packs & dens.  Knowledgeable, engaged leaders can have a big impact on the quality of the programs.  Training is one of the best ways to increase leader knowledge.  To that end, having trained leaders is important to improving Scouting which is important to a district.

    The problem you run into is that a single leader can probably do fine by picking up the concepts somewhere else.  So, for a given individual the training may not be critical.  However, one individuals start to skip the training, it sets the expectation that others can as well.  It's not too long before you have a culture where training isn't important.

    So long roundabout answer to say - yes, encourage you fellow leaders to take the training.  They can be part of the culture that leads to better trained leaders overall in your pack.

    • Upvote 1
  22. 1 hour ago, yknot said:

    I understand what you are saying but almost all of us on this forum are looking at things from our scouting perspective when that is not the perspective that counts. We're different from a lot of volunteer programs because, fair or not, virtually no one trusts us and the coming headlines are only going to make that worse. We have to be like Cesar's wife. 

    Right - and that's much of the problem discussing the YP program here on this forum.  People here are looking for the what they feel are weak spots and are amplifying them.  When people here start to think bigger picture, they start to let the worry creep in.  Are we enforcing it enough, are we making sure everyone is 100% trained at all time, and so on.  

    We're all trying to find out how to make it perfect, but are glossing over the fact that it's already good now.  When I've explained YPT to parents, they are all generally quite happy with what we do.   That's why I give it a B-.

  23. 42 minutes ago, yknot said:

    What this thread illustrates for me is that it's clear that BSA's YP program is pretty problematic. I don't know if analyzing the program and any known statistics is part of the bankruptcy/reorganization process but any critic could easily prove that it's ineffective, inconsistent, and haphazardly applied. As important, if BSA does survive bankruptcy in some ways and continues to use a similar YP program without fixing it, there are bound to be more cases.  

    The problem is always one of perspective.  Many see as a solid program that is working and yet someone will always come along and point to something that improve safety.  Yet, may of these safety increases do come at a cost.  We will always be asking ourselves if the cost is worth the gain.  Since we're talking about kids and safety, we'll almost always say the cost is worth it - but we need to be honest that there's is a cost.

    I would submit that the BSA's YPT program is not ineffective nor is it inconsistent.  Yes, there are places where interpretation can occur and in those places it is inconsistent.  But it generally is pretty clear on what is meant.  This will happen until the G2SS is 10 times longer.

    All volunteer programs have the same question.  How much supervision and oversight is appropriate.  I don't believe there is a general consensus on this question for any group at this point.  Whether it's the BSA, GSUSA, sports, youth group, or any other youth program.

  24. 56 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    We don't get in to such details.  A Scout may work on the requirements for things at any time.

    Again, I am only pointing out the policy, as written, is ridiculously worded.

    I've never heard of anyone suggesting that you cannot work on advancements outside of a Scouting activity.  This is a very conservative reading of the text in the G2SS.  Yes, the G2SS could be clearer, but it is not as stringent as is being suggested.

    If two Scouts who are friends get together and work on a requirement together, no-one is going to tell them to stop or that the activity doesn't count.  The problem is that if two scouts who are friends get together and something happens, a lawyer is going to try to pull the BSA into the lawsuit.

    Feels to me that we need some sort of better tort guidelines on what constitutes negligence in volunteer youth activities.  Perhaps something that says that the BSA has some responsibility for safety, but so too do the parents.  A parent who blindly trusts the BSA and it's volunteers without doing parental oversight is themselves negligent.   

×
×
  • Create New...