Now, when did it actually work? in Open Discussion - Program Posted November 3, 2004 "All the BSA suggests is 'this is the program and it works'. 'Do this and you will have a scouting program'. Why would you expend the time and energy to change what works, and what Scouting says is Scouting? Hi Bob, You seem to be saying that ALL troops were experienceing the problems that led to the creation of New Scout Patrols, and First Class/First Year Program. I don't beleive this is an accurate interpretation. I'm sure there were MANY troops out there, that through a quality program, were not experiencing the dropout rates that the others, with weaker overall programs were. These troops that did maintain membership are also saying, "Why would you expend the time and energy to change what works". You go on to state, "Why risk doing something that might not work? Has changing it worked for your troop Ed?" This has been a common theme in many of your statements both to, and about Ed recently. Are you certain that Ed changed to mixed aged patrols? It seems possible that he never changed away from them. Many troops haven't. As far as I can tell, Ed stepped down from the SM position a little over a year ago, based on the way he signed his posts prior to that time, and the fact that his Member Profile page lists him as an ASM currently. I can see MANY reasons that a scout might have to leave a troop, other than the mere lack of a NSP program, particularly in an area hit with economic misfortune in the way that the Pittsburg area was after 9/11/2004. Without knowing ALL of the facts regarding the loss of members in that particular troop, nor the level of involvement that Ed maintains within the troop, it seems highly unfair to characterize the loss as being caused by any particular thing. For all any of us know, Ed may have experienced tremendous success with mixed aged patrols for many years prior to stepping down. You go on to state, "I am not the expert, the BSA is, I did nothing more than what thousands have done and continue to do...follow the program. I just don't understand your resentment about that, or your determination to continue to do things differently when it has obviously not worked." The only thing that is obvious, is that there is ALWAYS more than one way to skin a cat. Every Troop Program is different to a degree within the BSA. Every troop does not have the same successes, problems, failures, resources, or even boy personalities. I can see that; in rural areas where boys of varying age groups are placed together in school or athletics quite often, it would be more suitable to utilize mixed aged patrols, as opposed to larger urban areas, where they are continually with boys either their own age or within a year of their age, might be better suited to the NSP system. No system is perfect in all situations, ncluding the BSA. P.S. Our troop is experiencing tremendous success with 3 mixed aged patrols and 1 Venture Patrol, where we define success as high percentages of happy boys in all age groups staying in the troop while advancing, leading, and grasping the Ideals we are trying to impart.