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About vol_scouter

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    Southern US
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    Scouting, church, and my family

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  1. So the only data that anyone has is on Scouting in the UK? I thought that in the past there were vigorous debates about the pros and cons of adding girls to Scouting with many spots about how it negatively affected membership in those countries. Should my conclusion be that there only in the UK was there a correlation and that one is complex? Does that in turn mean that adding girls will be net additional members?
  2. Qwazse, Your last sentence is precisely why I am asking the question. There have been threads about whether the BSA should have units for girls or coed units or family units. My recollection is that, whenever similar changes have occurred in other countries, there was a significant overall membership decline despite the increase in the number of potential members. If my recollection is correct, then is such a change for the BSA a wise move? Can the BSA afford the decrease that has occurred in other countries? So far in this thread there is the case for the UK that did lose about 1/3 of the membership coincidentally with the change to a coed program even though all male units were still allowed. Cambridgeskip and Ianwilkins point to some other factors that likely were also contributing to the decline. However, one would have to believe that the decision to add coed programs was at least in part predicated upon the premise that it would increase the overall membership by expanding the potential members. To see the opposite occur is disturbing. My memory is that the UK experience has been nearly universal and I am wishing to verify those thoughts or to find that my memory is incorrect. The decrease in membership for the BSA is exactly why such information could be important. So, hopefully other Scouters will soon begin to contribute to this thread to answer the question. Yours in Scouting, Vol_Scouter
  3. Cambridgeskip, Thank you so much! This is the information that I want - what happened to the Scouting membership and why when it was opened to girls. Ianwilkins, Thank you for this most helpful extension of Cambridgeskip's information. Qwazse, I appreciate the information about how well a coed program has worked for some time in Sweden, Italy, and the Czech Republic. Do you have any information on what the effect was on the membership when the change from all male gender to coed occurred? Thanks to all of you, Vol_Scouter
  4. Cambridgeskip, Thank you for the excellent reply. Did the change to coed for all programs in 1991 correspond to the large membership decline? Vol_Scouter
  5. There is a thread on family Scouting that discusses some of the aspects of family Scouting. In the past, there has been discussions about 'coed' Scouting in other countries. I would like to know the affect that adding girls to a previously all male program had on the membership. Did it increase the membership or decrease it? Was the change to make everything coed or were girls added in a separate but parallel program? I would like to solicit facts about what has happened in other countries - not opinions as to whether adding girls is a positive or negative for the current members. So facts, please! Yours in Scouting, Vol_Scouter
  6. vol_scouter

    Methodist Statement

    For a doctrinal or policy change in the UMC, both the clergy and the laity must both pass it. Ordaining homosexual clergy and allowing gay marriage would have to both pass the clergy and the laity. The clergy have brought it up many times over the past 30 or 40 years where the clergy in turn passes it but it gets soundly defeated by the laity. So whereas saying many Methodists support those changes might be correct but saying most would not be correct. If past trends continue, it does not look like there will be a change for some time but with the rapid change in the nation there could be a dramatic shift. One way or the other, as the second largest Chartered Partner, the support of the clergy and the laity through the United Methodist Men is certainly a positive for the BSA.
  7. vol_scouter

    STEM Scout pilot program

    I see your issue and can clarify it for you, it is also youth led. Youth are allowed to fail, it is actually part of the program. Teaches the same things: ingenuity, teamwork, perseverance, etc. The program is Scouting - it was designed to be so.
  8. vol_scouter

    STEM Scout pilot program

    So the purpose mentions character traits and values with the lone exception of "to train them in scoutcraft". Thus, the thrust is to develop character and instill values. Scoutcraft would seem to be a method to accomplish those goals. That then matches with the BSA Mission Statement, Aims, and the comments of Baden-Powell. So STEM Scouts meets the Mission Statement, fulfills the Aims, and meets the standards of outlined in the Charter with the exception of the current interpretation of Scoutcraft.
  9. vol_scouter

    STEM Scout pilot program

    So what is Scouting all about? If we look to quotes from Sir Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell:"Field efficiency, backwoodsmanship, camping, hiking, good turns, jamboree comradeship are all means, not the end. The end is character with a purpose.†"Keep before your mind in all your teaching that the whole ulterior motive of this scheme is to form character ..." So the purpose of Scouting in general is character development. For the BSA, the Mission Statement is: "The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law." So Scouting is about values and character development. He also said: “A fisherman does not bait the hook with the bait the fisherman likes, he baits it with the bait the fish likes, so it is with boys.†Camping is a means to instill those values and character but not the only means.
  10. vol_scouter

    STEM Scout pilot program

    Renax127, I have a Venturing Crew full of youth who are interested in STEM but have little to no interest in the woods let alone the backcountry. All children want to explore their world but increasingly that world involves technology derived from science and mathematics that has provided the fuel for engineers to create the new technology. They have far less interest in the outdoors. We have used STEM to get the youth involved and get them into the outdoors. If we turn the paradigm around, we have no Crew because they do not want to join a primarily outdoor activity group. STEM Scouts seems like the same hook - provide high quality STEM experiences with some outdoor activities. It is likely that some of those youth will develop a love of outdoor activities. However, they would never join a traditional Scouting unit.
  11. vol_scouter

    STEM Scout pilot program

    NJCubScouter, The same thing was said of Exploring but it has not occurred. Same thing was said of Venturing but it has not occurred. A new program does not have to affect the membership of any other part of the BSA. If the membership in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts were to ever change, it would only be because the volunteers want the change. The Scouting professionals have no ability to affect such a change.
  12. vol_scouter

    STEM Scout pilot program

    So BadenP opines that a case for a STEM based program has not been made and Eagle 94-A1 quotes Green Bar Bill. However, the movement has experienced declining membership for forty or more years with only adjustments when the age to join has decreased. It has been said that better program would turn that around and the program is better than ever before. In addition to Philmont, Sea Base, Northern Tier, and the Summit Bechtel Reserve have improved the program along with camp COPE and Ropes courses but the decline continues. Others have pointed to training and so there are more trained volunteers and professionals with far better courses but still the decline continues. Get boys to First Class in a year, change the uniform, advertise, etc. Still the decline continues. ​Remember why there is a Scouting program: "Field efficiency, backwoodsmanship, camping, hiking, good turns, jamboree comradeship are all means, not the end. The end is character with a purpose.†Baden-Powell So Scouting is about teaching the values of the Scout Oath and Law. The mission of the BSA is: "The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law." How might Baden-Powell advise us today? He does provide guidance in the quote: “A fisherman does not bait the hook with the bait the fisherman likes, he baits it with the bait the fish likes, so it is with boys.†So the youth of America are not very interested in the activities that the BSA has been offering otherwise there would not be continuous decline. Yet despite doing everything better, the movement has not seen true growth in a long time. The reason to have a program like STEM Scouts is to instill in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law by offering activities that they wish to do. To do less is to deny the need for the youth of America to have the lasting values of the Scout Oath and Law.
  13. vol_scouter

    STEM Scout pilot program

    Mozart, As an EB member in the GSMC, I can assure you that no local council funds re used in the STEM Scouts pilot.
  14. vol_scouter

    STEM Scout pilot program

    Stosh, Many share those sentiments but some of us enjoyed school. Learning is a challenge and fun just like outdoor activities. Some of us were glad for school to start each year and excited by the new textbooks and things to master. Not everyone has the same motivators or interests. Seems like STEM Scouts might attract those youth. My Eagle was earned many years ago but the values have lasted a lifetime. That is the purpose of the program. Maybe STEM Scouts will do the same.
  15. vol_scouter

    STEM Scout pilot program

    It would seem to me that since STEM Scouts is not part of Boy Scouts or Venturing, there is no issue as to the OA membership. They would not meet any joining requirements.