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ParkMan

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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. I do believe that JTE needs to exist in some form. I was a long time Troop Committee Chair of a solid "Grade A" troop. Were we perfect - no, certainly not. But, when we got to JTE time we always achieved gold because we were doing most of the things on the form already. We had high participation, great program, lots of advancement, were the largest troop in the district, had a lot of adult volunteers, etc. We achieved all of this because we had a solid team of adults volunteers who were minding the ship. When I retired and started helping in the district, I realized the same thi
  2. While we can point to other institutions such as schools that require a lower adult presence, the BSA is simply not in a position anymore to do that. We can mourn what once was, but the reality is that even if the BSA had the ability to go back to the way it ran 30+ years ago, it really should not. Perhaps one day down the road trust will return and processes will improve, but that is unlikely to occur in any of our lifetimes. The best thing for Scouts now is to figure out how to best operate in this new reality.
  3. If I look at the JTE requirements, 5 of 11 are program related. Pointwise, they contribute 900 points towards the total. You only need 1,000 points in 2021 to achieve gold and so almost all of the focus of the troop could be program and they'd get gold. I am sure there are other measures that would define a troop with a good program. Should we: replace some of the existing program items with new program items? replace some of the non-program items with more program items? add more program items keeping the scores the same? add more program items and increasing t
  4. I am sure this is the trade off of all such strategic goals. Do we set an attainable goal or do we set an aspirational goal? I believe the BSA went for aspirational, not attainable. Both approaches have merits. I think it's just a choice in style.
  5. I was thinking something more like: By 2030, we want to achieve 30% female youth membership. But, you are correct - simply saying that councils should show annual improvement towards the goal does allow for councils to claim success prior to achieving the 50%.
  6. RIght - it strikes me that they believe the Scouting membership should mirror general population trends. We saw something similar with minority recruiting. I think one could argue that they could have introduced a series of graduated steps with milestones for councils to achieve. It looks to me like they just took the overall goal and said - "councils, make this your goal too." We can differ on whether it's the right goal or not, but it does seem to be what is happening.
  7. Possibly it's a mistake - but also perhaps not. Scouting membership is in the range of 3% of total available youth today. Female membership is certainly much, much lower. It would strike me that there is a good probability that increasing the number of female Scouts is an achievable goal.
  8. Hi @Chadamus, Sorry to be a few days late here. It's probably also worth noting the BSA publication, "Troop Leader Guidebook, Volume 1" describes a role of Assistant Scoutmaster for Advancement In the same manual, it also says: My interpretation of the BSA's materials is that a Troop can assign most of the traditional duties of an advancement chair/coordinator to an ASM. There still should be someone overseeing this on the Troop committee, but the week to week work can indeed be done by an ASM. Hope this helps.
  9. Pardon a very off topic post... And thank you for being such a tremendous member here as well. Your posts are always well thought out and bring a lot to the discussion. Thank you for all your contributions over those five years!
  10. Again - this continues to point to nothing but sour grapes from the GSUSA. I don't think anything. As far as I can tell, everyone here agrees on this topic.
  11. Thanks! That mirrors what I've seen too. I'm happy to let the lawyers battle out who needs to pay what as a result of these mistakes. Myself, I'm willing to chalk to up to mistakes were made as long as the BSA does the right thing going forward. To me, that would seem the Scouting way to handle it. Somehow I do not expect that the GSUSA sees it the same way.
  12. I have no doubt that when the BSA first started the programs for girls at the Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA levels, some mistakes were made. It did not take long for us to receive clear instructions that we were in no way supposed to represent that were "Girl Scouts". Usually instructions like that come because someone made a bad choice and people recognized that more needed to be done. Though I am not a Scoutmaster like @Cburkhardt, I've seen enough of what has gone on in the formation of our troop for girls to know that everyone involved knew that this was not the Girl Scouts. Let's
  13. Fully agree. I've made it a point to stop using labels myself whenever I can. If I sense myself about to add a label, I try to catch myself and internally ask - "why am I adding this label to the description?" I found that after a while, I really don't miss the labels at all.
  14. This looks to me like simply legal posturing by the GSUSA. Having seen a couple of years of recruiting girls now, it's all been what you expect and it's all quite ethical. It's a big country and so I'm sure they'll find a few cases where this has happened - but it's far from a systemic issue.
  15. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and feelings on the subject. I would simply offer that while there is a truth in much of what you write, this day had to come. There was no way that the BSA would ever be able to indefinitely continue to have a magazine called "Boys Life" in a true co-ed program. Youth today benefit from Scouting. Youth participating in Scouting need outstanding adult leaders to help them benefit from the program. We can all mourn what once was - but it doesn't help the youth of today to benefit from Scouting. I would hazard a guess that there is more
  16. Thanks. This looks like a good decision by the BSA.
  17. For a newer troop, I would think a model like ours would be more challenging. Our system relies on the notion that our fixed costs are fairly low. We don't need to acquire equipment. We have a healthy stockpile of awards. I believe to make a model like ours work you'd need to increase the core dues and run pretty lean while you build up supplies. Angel donors are always a bonus if they exist. The downside to our model is that it financially discourages participation in events. Our low fixed costs make it easier for youth to join, but then backload many of the fees over the course o
  18. I imagine our troop is somewhat traditional but has evolved to a model that appears to work well. In short, we have a budget model that attempts to separate fixed costs with those costs incurred from activities. Fixed expenses are shared by everyone, activities expenses are covered by people participating in activities. Fixed budget - We have a modest fixed budget that covers things like advancement, meeting supplies, adult leader training, new equipment purchases, and some upkeep on major equipment. The fixed budget comes out to $35 a year per scout. Activities budget - Every e
  19. That's good to hear. That would be smart of them. Yes - I concur that having it first would have been preferred. I couldn't agree more.
  20. I'm sorry to hear about the impact of this badge on LEO. In prior discussions on this, I had not recognized that law enforcement officers were feeling offended by the badge itself. Yes, I can understand that. I would think the challenge to us all now is that we have to find ways to instruct on this merit badge that are productive and thoughtful. This merit badge needs to not be a platform for the politics of the instructor, but instead a way for youth to think through the underlying issues here. Perhaps the BSA national professionals who read this will find some way to incorpora
  21. Growing up as a kid in the 80's, I understand exactly what you are saying. Where I lived in the 80s (metro Atlanta), the kids I grew up with did a pretty good job of respecting each other based on race. It wasn't until I got to college in New England that I saw my first real examples of people age being racist - something I will never forget. In that same time as a kid in the 80s and even in the 90s it was pretty well accepted to make fun of someone for their sexual preference. Being gay was a slur that got tossed around even if you were not. Being transgendered wasn't even really
  22. Maybe it's a regional thing. We know to "prepare" those scouts who might struggle with this question. Of course prepare is a funny word because it's not a test - but still, we want it to be a positive experience and so we've always worked under the assumption that a Scout who has not religious affiliation ought to have some way to answering the question "How do you demonstrate your Duty to God?"
  23. Which is probably an important evolutionary point for a kid to recognize. So, as they are conducting themselves in their lives they cannot presume that everyone acts or thinks like they do. If you look at so much of what is discussed nationally, it is really about people saying that they do not feel that people recognize the challenges in their lives or that they get treated differently because of some group that they are a member of. It's a good skill for all of us to be self-aware enough to recognize how what we say and do impacts others. This seems to be one of the main learning po
  24. Sure - make the list: ethnicity, faith, financial background, races, genders, sexual preferences, and gender identities. Doesn't really change anything though. This MB is about getting kids to think about how they relate to others that are different from them. What is the harm in getting kids to want to think about how they relate to those who are different from them? That is where the instructor needs to be focusing their skills and abilities. How to conduct a conversation that gets kids thinking about how they relate to others in the world around them.
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