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Tampa Turtle

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Posts posted by Tampa Turtle


  1. @codger I agree that the program may change (I do not think females are a foreign species but they are female) but that does not AUTOMATICALLY equate with "morphing into a pale shadow". That seems to be happening, arguably,  quite nicely without the introduction of girls.

    • Upvote 1

  2. It is not a question of just the dedication of the Scouters it is two different questions IMHO:

    (1) Is Boy Scouts of America, a Corporation able as it is currently configured and organized, and with current revenue streams and debts a financially and organization sustainable organization. This question which includes social issues such as a national decline in membership organizations, etc. I think there is a reasonable case to be made for the financially viability of BSA the corporate institution given the evidence of consolation of many Councils due to falling membership and declining finances. This is true in areas such as Florida where the the 10-18 population from 1990 (and projected to 2030) has been constantly growing. Others have commented on this forum about BSA's looming debt load on the Summit.

    (2) The second is the question is Scouting, as a concept (the boundaries of which are constantly debated) , regardless if single-gendered or mixed is still an attractive people "movement" able to attract, sustain, or grow youth membership in the modern era irregardless of existing conditions and nostalgia. IMHO I think the answer is yes given the proliferation of world scouting. However the next question is 'in what form" and how many would be members? A smaller leaner more traditional structure? A loose confederation of local units with little National structure? How many assets (Camps, High Adventure Bases) should Scouting need or even have? Or a more expanded inclusive school based program? Or a complete reconstruction of ages and program to mirror the UK? Are the social forces, which also impact many youth sports programs and traditional structured religious denominations, represent a more powerful drag that will whittle away scouting altogether? (I call that last one the "we're all doomed" scenario.) 

     

    • Upvote 2

  3. 11 hours ago, Pselb said:

    If an organization doesn't have the resources to run the program, why does it think it has the right to continue?  Businesses go out of business every day.  Organizations close down all the time.  Churches stand vacant all around the country.  It's the cycle of life.  Things come and go.  Why in the world does BSA think it is exempt from such things anymore than General Motors thought itself to be too big to fail at one time.  Maybe with the emphasis on adult involvement, adult volunteerism, etc. the boys think it's dorky and not fun and too expensive, could it be said that the organization is really not in a position any longer to sustain itself?

    I think this may be the start of a new thread.

    • Thanks 1

  4. 5 hours ago, Cambridgeskip said:

    Only once a year photo update? I'd suggest you need to go for more than that.

    We are moving to, if we're not already at, a world where if an organisation is not on the internet they may as well not exist. You want to find info on something or someone and the internet is the go to source. And your troop website is the first thing a prospective member or their parents or a potential adult volunteer will see. So yes keep it simple, make everything easy to find the important information (with THE most important being how to get in touch and join or volunteer) but also make it look fun and positive. Lots of photos of the most recent events. And I mean camps, high adventure, action packed stuff. Not courts of honour or stiff photos in uniform. And I don't think once a year cuts it.

    I agree. We get about 1/4 of our new member 'traffic' from web searches almost never from "Be a Scout". The adventure picks and summer camps snaps need to be there and if the pictures are too dated it makes it look like you are inactive. We get another 1/4 from folks that call council! The rest is a mix of face to face word of mouth, the occasional news article, and the weird word of peer to peer sharing via social media. The scouts still text a lot. 

    We have little luck with Facebook (mostly internal to the Troop) and Twitter (folks just get overwhelmed...our High School alone puts out 30 tweets a day). 

    The most effective use of time is actually have scouts and scouters going to the cub scout packs and having real world relationships! Figure that. Maybe we should have special "scout ambassador" training.

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  5. 13 minutes ago, ianwilkins said:

    So glad we're known for something of such high worth and value to society. Forget the contributions to history, art, science, etc etc. It's Pickled Onion Monster Munch that's the thing. Marvelous!

    I think I've said on here before, Worcestershire Sauce flavour crisps really confuse Portuguese Scouts. The pronunciation, the flavour, everything. Opinions ranged from "hmm, okay, I guess" to "why would you even do that?". Cultural exchange at its finest.

     

     

    (Well we did hit every museum that was free back in 2015. When you travel with teens cultural highlights need to be interspersed with snacks and candy) Like to go High Brow and Low Brow. Family was backpacking and hosteling so we had to eat a lot of cheap stuff a lot. A sit down at a pub was the highlight of the day.  When my family did the same in Israel/West Bank the holy sites were interspersed with the hunt for the perfect Falafel, Ice Cream bar, and --once again--crisp flavors. The arabs have an endless versions of Lay's with spicy peppers. Never could read arabic so it added to the expense. There was some spicy cheetos that were so hot I couldn't taste anything for 5 hours. 

    Cultural exchange is great. Some Aussie scouts introduced me to the joys of the "Jaffa Iron". Israeli scouts to the weirdest genre free radio I ever heard. And they had girls too.

    • Like 1

  6. 1 hour ago, Tampa Turtle said:

    Well you got some excellent crisp flavors and I will concede your Kit-Kat is superior to ours.   :)                               
     

    Aye..I dream of the crisps I am missing..., English Breakfast, Prawn and Curry, Ham and Pickle, Roast Beef and a hundred variations....what kind of flavor mad scientists does your school system produce? The UK may no longer have an empire but still is a Snack Food Superpower!

    • Haha 1

  7. 3 hours ago, ianwilkins said:

    Cor blimey squire, strike a light! I can't adam and eve you said that! We ain't so bad is we? 

     

    Well you got some excellent crisp flavors and I will concede your Kit-Kat is superior to ours.   :)                               
     

    • Like 1

  8. Mrs Google asked Mr Wickipedia and WOSM is for Boys only and co-ed and something called WAAG's (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) is for Girls only. GSUSA and Girl guides, UK appears to be part of WAAG's. 

    Much smaller group then WOSM. Does demonstrate that other groups must have fear of opposite-sex cooties.


  9. Personally, I could live with girls in the Troop. I still think it would be to the detriment of some boys who would benefit from a single sex environment but I agree, as many others do on this site and in my district and council that we will end up with some sort of co-ed system really fast.

    What wounded me, stupid idealistic person that I still am well into middle age, is how badly National made this decision and how little regarded experienced scouter's opinions are on this and many other issues (outdoor method, merit badges, patrol method). I am getting worn down by the greater institution's incompetence and I too am debating taking my services elsewhere. Because I really enjoy working with the boys it will be a real personal loss.

    Most sadly, my CC told me since I have less than 20 years in as an ASM (unlike some of you guys) I am not vested in the ASM pension plan. Bummer.


  10. 4 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

    Except as adult volunteers, we are not consumers. Our scouts are the consumers. We are the instruments of the Law and the Oath. When we remove our expertise from this process, we are not deciding to buy a cheaper or better product, we are deciding that we longer want to help this group of youth learn the Law and the Oath. Quitting on our existing scouts might be the final "lesson" about the Oath and the Law that we ever teach them.

    Huh? The business model view does not mix well with the values and members of a movement view.

    If a guy -who is a volunteer- wants to walk away after many years it is his right. Say thanks and let him go. Why make him drink the flavor-aid? No need to vilify someone. 


  11. 18 hours ago, qwazse said:

    Don't succumb to the "Yes, but's ..."

    Tell every such service that they must find a way for your designated youth to work with them to reserve sites on certain dates, for him/her to secure confirmation from his responsible leader, and for him to get that confirmation back to the service representative. Otherwise, you'll take your camp fees elsewhere.

    It's amazing what people will do for a kid once they see cold, hard cash walking out their door to a competitor.

    The only "yes, but" should be the unit leader's comfort level.

    True story: a few years ago the ski lodge changed it's rental to some goofy electronic system for signing off on liability. For the life of me, I couldn't figure it out. Fortunately my youth went to the representative, got help, and went around to each adult showing us which parts of the screen to tap in which order.

    That would not work at many sites here. Great competition for the best ones and they will just walk away. 


  12. 5 minutes ago, scotteg83 said:

    Do you take them to a BSA Summer camp that staff girls as councilors? I know its not the same, but I would assume it has similar issues.

    Yeah, I have not been to one in the last 5 years that did not have a few young ladies (venturers, sea scouts, foreign exchange scouts) as counselors.


  13. 55 minutes ago, fred johnson said:

    I understand what you are saying, but it's not about poor messaging or creating a program that won't be followed.  

    The "linked troop" concept was created to dance a fine line alientating as few as possible.  This "linked troop" concept is transitional and will fade out over the next 5 to 20 years, after the contention and stress over this huge change has gone away.  

    More like 5 to 20 months.


  14. 19 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

    Because 11-14 girls and 11-14 boys naturally separate and don't want anything to do with each other.

    Even at church we have coed elementary school stuff,  coed high school stuff, and separate boys and girls groups for the 6th-8th grades.  

    Also, in a coed environment tasks can easily divide along gender roles, depriving the kids of a chance to learn valuable skills more commonly associated with the other gender.

    The linked-troop option seems very nice in reducing the overhead involved in getting a new troop off the ground, and in providing institutional know-how.  But I can see families of girls (like mine) as well as families of boys wanting to keeping kids' experience single-sex.

    My observation as well. They are like separate solar systems that orbit around some mysterious mid-point. Occasionally a member from one gender may shoot across in an eccentric orbit for a short visit but then go back. Even in High School band (which is 14-17) where sections are coed there is significant 'clumping' of males and females. However there are coed friendships (duh, of course), as well as attempts at flirting.

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