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Posts posted by ProScouter06

  1. On 10/7/2022 at 9:53 PM, physics32 said:

    During a discussion on unit hats a couple months ago, I showed the Centennial II uniform photos to our Scouts.  They decided that the garrison style cap would be their parade headgear (they lead 4 city parades each year).  We reached out to the Scouter who makes the Centennial II and ordered about 20 caps in various sizes.  This afternoon was their first parade in the new caps.


    This is awesome! Well done!

    Duane was great to work with! 

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  2. Hi all, and happy new year. recently I’ve been getting back into collecting of scouting memorabilia. My time out of the scouting profession has been a good refresh to look back on my experiences with fresh eyes. Especially as I introduce my son to scouting as his lion den leader. 

    That said, I’ve come across this neat item that is being made as a reproduction of this timeless classic scouter dress uniform from 1966.  I’m looking into having one made through battle dress unlimited. 


    Has anyone ordered one or seen any worn? I had a volunteer in my first council that wore one, it was neat. 

    if you’re interested in this, contact Duane at Battledress@hotmail.com


  3. Update, picked up a new shirt in small, and can confirm it does run small! Replaced with a Meduim for a better fit. Seems to be a good material, hopefully will last for many years as I begin the scout trail with my Lion! 

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  4. 2 hours ago, David CO said:

    But it is not the best youth program around.  Scouting is very popular with a small segment of American families, so it has a place in our society.  But it is hardly the biggest or best program around.  

    Yes, you're right, it does have a place in our society,  and is enjoyed by a small segment in proportion to the population; however with that kind of perspective toward Scouting then we can never become the best program for youth that we strive to be. I rest my case on why the BSA, a non-profit among many others, employees thousands of individuals to promote and share the positive story that Scouting can tell. The incredible impact it has had on countless lives, and the necessity of spreading and growing the movement to every child.

  5. 10 minutes ago, yknot said:

    I think there is so much discussion and hand wringing on this site but it is focused on the wrong things. We're all talking about organizational structures and what we think kids need, but what scouting needs is to focus on is why kids don't join in the first place or drop out if they do. If kids loved our program, it would survive bankruptcy and abuse scandals, but the reality is that it's hard to recruit kids. 

    That is very true. IMO it's cultural. Always has been. We could probably start a new thread on this topic alone.

    Scouting, since it's begining and through the 50s and 60's at its peak, were as American as apple pie. It celebrated Americanism, patriotism, and our countries history and origin. It offered an escape for every class of youth to explore, to experience adventure outside of their homes, towns, and cities. Teaching life skills to prepare them for service to their community, nation and world. 

    That cultural phenomenon has eroded for over 110 years.  Look where we are today. We are in a world that in many ways is a polar opposite of when the BSA started and grew. We are over-connected today. Kids have endless opportunities to connect, and explore different worlds, sports, gaming, social media etc... Kids are no longer taught patriotisim in schools, they are taught activisim. Folks, we are in a brave new world, and Scouting is considered a relic to many. Just look at the attacks over the decades of the BSA (for right or wrong, I'm not taking a side either way here) Perosnally I, and I am sure most in the community value Scouting and believe in it's impact on youth. Although to others the BSA may seem like a relic and unpopular, I would argue it is needed today more than ever before. That's why we must endure, and find ways to work together to sustain and grow despite some of our apparent differences as it relates to organizational structure as we have discussed in this thread. We must, as others have alluded to, find a way forward so more kids can beneift from what we know is the best youth program around. 

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  6. 57 minutes ago, yknot said:

    That's today, or at least this December, but next year or the year after might be different.

    Cubs have no commitment to a larger scouting goal that would motivate them to stay involved.  Few Tiger scouts or their parents are thinking I have to keep my kid active in Cubs so that he can make AOL. The higher retention at Troop levels is like due to scouts and their families who are a couple of years in and are focused on making Eagle. That same motivation won't exist a year or two as these scouts Eagle out. My point is that the lower attrition rate isn't a function of the Troop program -- it's likely attributable to Eagle. We have a number of scouts who have moved up their Eagle timetables to be finished as soon as possible. So while Troop numbers have a minimal decline this year, next year won't be the same story.  

    This is a good point. Not to mention, if you're in a Troop, as a scout, and as parents, there is much higher buy-in to the program to be able to suffer through virtual programming as so many have been forced in to. Cub Scouts on the other hand requires social interaction. Not to say Scouts, BSA does not, however, those kids have adjusted for lack of a better word to the vitural world. There is no doubt that this past fall would result in a massive membership loss in Cub Scouting, and with recruiting. It's a tragedy that will be felt for the next few years. 

    Since I know the Scouting world, I will be joining this flal with my son as a Lion. Ideally we are back to gateherings by then. If not, it will be an uphill battle convincing parents to pay for and participate in an online program.

  7. 7 minutes ago, David CO said:

    Charging scouts a $50 council fee has zero value to those scouts whose units don't attend council events.  For the boys in my unit, there would have been no return on that fee.  It's just another tax.


    The program fee I would imagine also covers the unseen, beyond events. For example administrative costs at the council office, facilities, properties etc. The overhead to mainatin camp properties, insurance, taxes etc are some of those unseen costs assocaited with the program. Most councils have a registrar that must process scout applications, that's an unseen adminsitrative cost. Staff time supporting and promoting scouting locally in the community etc.

    Again I can only speak for the experience I've had in mutlple councils. For example in the council where I live, it is free to tent camp on the camp properties. That is a nice beneift, value added for our units. However there are still costs related to those properties. Other councils may not be in a position to show the value-added. If so it becomes diffuclt to see the value for the program fee. 

  8. 27 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    I agree that program fees are preferable to FOS.  Yet, we need to recognize that program fees need to be accompanied with tangible value add from the council.  Charging a Scout $50 per year to fund council operations need to then be accompanied with some sort of obvious return on that fee.

    One of the challenges with the transition to program fees is that the funding structure is designed to show value to people who donate to Scouting.  DEs and staffs who are focused on building and growing Scouting are working to accomplish goals that are interesting to people who are donating to Scouting.   

    Families who are paying a "per scout" fee are looking for a different kind of return.  Paying $50 to fund a DE who is trying to start new units and solve unit issues is adding a return that is not directly apparent to parents.  From a program fee basis, it doesn't matter if there is one scout or 1,000 scouts.  Each scout needs to derive value from that fee.  This will challenge how councils communicate and demonstrate value to families.

    Yes, all valid points. Development folks need to tailor their messaging to the right audience so that the philanthopic support is not lost in lieu of the program fees. You're correct that each group must see the value in what they are either buying, or supporting. That will boil down to proper stewardship of gifts, and proper engagement opportunities for members as part of their program fee. 

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  9. Next fall, (considering the BSA survives the bankruptcy , which I do believe it will) I'll be signing up with my son for his first year of Scouting! To say I'm excited about sharing this program with him would be an understatement! 

    Just looked online and see there's a new uniform shirt. https://www.scoutshop.org/new-uniforms/leaders/scouts-bsa-men-s-uniform-short-sleeve-shirt-khaki-s-4x.html 


    Does anyone have this, any reviews? I have a couple of centennial uniforms that I remember buying back in '08 at the BSA All Hands conference in Nashville. They served me well for years and still may. However, I will probably upgade to be more current. 


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  10. 1 minute ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    Ours gets over $210K, with the median income per family (not per capita) in our area at $88K.  Parents balk at donating to FOS when they hear those numbers...

    UNREAL. Herein lies some of the root of the animosity we've referenced. No wonder people are turned off by FOS when the SE makes that kind of salary. I'm sure the field staff are paid under the median ... Leading to turnover, which leads to another can of worms for everyone. 

  11. 4 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    Agreed, but not on the backs of adult volunteers who are paying for their own training.  Program events (camporees, summer camp, etc.), I get it... training events, especially required ones (like IOLS and BALOO) should actually be given for free.  If BSA requires me to have some sort of training, then they should figure out how to offer mandatory courses for free.  This would really show volunteers that you value their time and service.

    Agreed. To me that is why the program fee will hopefuly offset costs.  I can only reference my own experience. In the councils I worked we only charged an overhead fee on program events, camporees, day events etc. Training was and should be 100% no charge IMO. Higher, more elevated trainings like wood badge does need to have a fee considering all the food, and supplies needed. And National also charges for some of their trianings, I never had any experience with those though. They seem like good opportunites for those that wish to make that investment.  My guess is if training has a cost realted to it, I'm wondering if that council is operating properly. Do they not have another source of revenue? 

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  12. 3 minutes ago, David CO said:

    I wouldn't expect that you would tell a volunteer how to run their unit if you thought they were doing everything right.  Why would you?  I think we can take that as a given.  You only interfere when you disagree with someone.



    Let me clairfy this. In my almost ten year career I never had to tell anyone how to "run" anything. In almost all cases I was notified of a probelm that needed a solution, which I would then work with my district volunteers to sove. For example,  a leader that quits and the unit or COR asked for support. Or a situation where alcohol was being consumed by adults at a scouting activity. That is when I would have to try to remedy a situation. 

    For me, and I woukld assume most staff, as long as the guide to safe scouting was being followed, we never told anyone how to run a program. We offered assitance and trianing when asked. 

  13. 7 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:


    Heck no!  When building budgets for training events, we always had to build in extra to the fees to provide revenue to the council (at the direction of professional staff advisers to whatever event it was.)  Made me sick to my stomach...


    ??? DE's, yes.  But SE's??  Not buying it.  I have recommended to our board on several occasions that we reduce the SE salary, and pay our DE's more...we might keep them around longer than six months 😢  Answer back was that National set salary window, and they had to pick one of National's candidates.  Again, 🤢

    @InquisitiveScouterI'm not sure how to reply to specific quotes, so I'm replying to your quotes removed from the body specifically.

    Revenue is necessary to operate the council. Every event must make some money in order to operate the council. We usually had a 20% overhead fee. Think about the costs that are unseen. Staff time, facility usage etc... If not, where would the funds come from? Fundraising does not cover it all. I was so glad to hear that local councils are now charging program fees rather than investing in more FOS. The time and effort for FOS spent on by staff is unreal compared to the return. I like the idea of the program fee. However as a current higher ed fundraiser, councils cannot lose philanthropic support. They will need a new game plan to solict, cultivate and steward their donors. The good news is, the fundraisning program can become more targeted, aimed at those who have a high inclination to give rather than the current FOS strategy which was seen by some folks as begging. 

    Agreed about SE's. Those salaires need to be brought in check. Let's face it, in many areas, Scouting is a small non-profit often struggling to survive and keep the the lights on. When the SE makes $150k it's a bit hard to justify IMO. 

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  14. 28 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    This is open for some discussion.  

    First, I don't think many people have a concern with professionals in roles such as fundraising, camp property management, marketing, and accounting. 

    When the professionals start to move into roles where they take on similar responsibilities to volunteers, then there become questions.  Does the DE role, as it exists today - add enough value that it is worth the financial expense?  Is the impact of professionals overstepping their boundaries and directing volunteers at the unit/district/council level worth the value that this direction brings?  I believe there is a lot of room for debate and discussion on these points.

    Yes, I've commented on other posts with a smiliar assessment. The jobs need to change and become more service oriented, and targeted. Many councils are making these changes, hiring unit service support people, development people, program people etc... DE's being a jack of all trades is a nice concept, very popular among non-profits, but it's not sustianable. We always talked about how when you buy a washing machine from a salesperson, that same person does not come to fix it when it's broken. I always thought that wa sa good analogy for what we need in Scouting. 

    As for overstepping, of course that's an area that ideally could be better through proper profesional development. I would never tell a volunteer how to run their unit, unless they were offering a poor product. But I would try to work within our system, through volunteers to help them succeed. In some situations, you have to pay staff to run units, in urban areas for example. My opinion was that we were working with a very antiquated system, that needed a refresh. As I said, some are making progress, I'm sure not everywhere. With National now in flux I would not expect anything ground breaking, but then again, they may be forced to create a more sustainable staff structure. We will see. 


    (Apologies for the typos!)

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  15. 1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

    I don't know the answers. I believe the hierarchy design is right. The problem is there aren't enough checks and balances for egos and ineptness.  That is goes for volunteer positions as well. I watched one District Chairman build a tremendous scouting recruiting program only to have it wrecked in one year by a new chair that wasn't qualified to do anything except work under the CC at the cub level. Talent is out there, but a good recruiter is required. And that is rare.

    Well said. Need the right, talented people for the right jobs on all levels. BSA is not alone, many non-profits face the same challenegs. 

  16. Interesting tone to this thread. Certainly sounds like everyone’s experience has been a mixed bag as it relates to the volunteer/professional relationship. Too bad since we all wear the same uniform and should all be focused on the same thing, a quality program for youth. When we’re all working toward that goal in our respective positions from the scoutmaster to the committee member, from the DE to the den leader and from the camp cook to the cub master. No ones perfect, there are great examples of each of these people and bad examples too. Of course if you’re jaded, you’ve been poisoned with implicit bias that will only seep out to effect others, right?

    As a former professional, I can remember the bias I felt from many volunteers. It was as if I had done something wrong for choosing to work for the scouts. To me, as a young working professional this left a lasting impression that has stayed with me as I ventured into new careers. It taught me hard lessons about people and what kind of treatment to expect, in work and in life. On the other hand, I also remember the kindness shown to me by the volunteers I worked with. Lifelong friendships were formed. People I still exchange Christmas cards with. By some volunteers I was shown incredible kindness that I’ll never forget. 

    Bringing this back to the discussion. The fact of the matter is that, in reality, the DE, the staff, the organization is necessary to be sustainable and to grow. The BSA learned this many years ago. Would it be great if we didn’t need the professional organization and could rely on volunteers? Of course. But that’s not the reality whether we like it or not. We struggled ten years ago trying to find more volunteers, quality volunteers. I’d imagine it’s the same if it harder in today’s atmosphere. Two examples come to mind that I experienced that speaks to the need of professionals. 

    1) I walk into a cub scout rally night to visit, offer help, greet new families etc. the cub master whom I did not know well walked up to me upset about something I cannot remember what, and she quit. The event was about to start and there were no other leaders present besides some den leaders. I was relatively new to the district and the community. It was terrible. But I couldn’t let everyone’s first experience with scouting be an angry cub master who walked out. So I did the best I could. Led the kids in a few fun scout songs. Shared a bit about what scouting was all about and we got into questions/answers and the night was salvaged. The attendees did not notice any problem. Of course now we had a lack of kids with no cub master. Story for another day. The point is who on earth would want to handle that, with a smile if it weren’t their job? 

    2) This speaks to the argument that commissioners can and do all the things the DE does. I had a commissioner attend a pack meeting. Older gentleman, nice guy but rough around the edges. Well,  he yelled at some cub scouts for not saluting properly during a flag ceremony. Kids quit and I had to deal with the fall out. The commissioner didn’t not lose his role, since we needed more volunteers not less. He wasn’t exactly a great brand ambassador. Without accountability he kept volunteering. 

    Instead of contempt, or distrust, we should be thankful there are people willing to work in a non profit, underpaid, and overworked for the benefit of an organization we all believe in that will impact the lives of our children.

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  17. It’s certainly the way our culture is moving. When scouting began we were a society that produced and built, now we’re one that consumes at a level unknown to history. Scouting was a way to connect and associate with others. Now we’re all connected, all the time whether we like it or not. The bright side in my opinion is that  I believe people will began yearning to disconnect eventually  we’re already seeing it. The question is will scouting meet their needs? 

    It’s really not a good situation, but if the BSA can come out of this I think they will take a hard look at the overall operations of scouting at a national and local level.

    Councils are already merging and streamlining. Staff need to become more specialized to support our needs. The days of the DE doing it all is over. We need highly specialized staff to support membership, program and revenue generation. of course that won’t solve the volunteerism concern. My only thought there is we need the program, especially Cubs to be so easy to deliver for new volunteers and parents. I haven’t been involved since I left the profession but what I’ve seen from the sidelines, scout book, den in a box, it seems as if we’re moving in that direction. 

    I’m praying scouting will be around next fall. My son will be eligible to be a lion and I’ll volunteer to be his leader. Scouting at its core still is the only program that offers parents the chance to grow up with their kids. We need that message to be made clearly, loud and often to all prospective members in ever community across the country. 

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  18. On 12/1/2020 at 12:53 PM, Eagle1993 said:

    I still question if admitting girls was a response to the LDS leaving.  The LDS had to be working on their alternate program for years and I expect informed the BSA of their decision well ahead of any public announcements.  Giving the timing, it seems like the BSA added girls as they knew they would be losing LDS membership.  Would be interesting to hear the details once they all come out.  

    Covid has devastated our Pack.  Our Troop shrank by 24% but our Pack will shrink by 80%+.  I expect we will recover some next fall when we can return to normal … but it will take 2 -  3 years to get back to our original membership, if at all possible.


    That said, Covid & the lawsuits while massive impacts, may simply be pulling in the end date of the BSA.  If BSA was healthy going in, I'm sure it could survive both.  The real issue is that BSA has been in decline for decades.

    In my area, the groups that seem to be expanding have hired staff.  Travel sports have paid coaches.  After school programs have paid staff.  Non BSA overnight week long summer camps cost $800+ but have well compensated staff, cabins and nice equipment.  Their commonality …. no or limited time commitment from parents.

    Volunteer organizations that thrived in the 1900s are dying in the 2000s.  I wonder if this is a symptom of 2 income households.  Moms and dads both working and then are expected to both share in household activities after work.  Neither have time/energy to spend with volunteer organizations (like Boy Scouts, youth sports, etc.).  This isn't true 100%, but finding good volunteers is tough these days. I wonder if it was a model that worked well in the past but doesn't work well going forward and also explains the decline of the fraternal orders.

    Look at the rise in dual income households since 1960.  While BSA membership has other causes & effects, I expect this was a huge headwind.  





    Very well said, and great points. When I worked for the scouts we discussed this often. I left right around 2015 but we could all see what was happening to the current model and how unsustainable it is. It’s a shame that that is the reality. However in order to survive we must adapt without losing our core values. 

  19. 20 hours ago, David CO said:

    I agree.  It is not unexpected.  The council execs have always wanted to have direct control of the units.  The current crisis is the perfect opportunity for them to justify a take-over.

    I’m not sure I’d agree that council execs have always wanted to have direct control of units... I worked for the BSA professionally for almost a decade and never once heard this sentiment across the four states I worked or at any regional or national gathering.

    I will say that we often wished that units could offer more consistency in quality, but that never meant we wanted control. I think there’s a difference. 

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  20. On 1/10/2018 at 6:40 PM, Eagle94-A1 said:

    A youth protection issue.  That was legit. The 12:30 AM call was not. It was a CM vs CC issue that definately could have waited.

    As a former pro myself, thankfully in my years I never received the urgent late night calls however did receive the ‘non real issue’ early 5am call on my cell. I cringe remembering those days. I think the call was about a patch...!

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