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vol_scouter

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vol_scouter last won the day on September 30 2018

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About vol_scouter

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    Scouting, church, and my family

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  1. vol_scouter

    Methods in Scouting

    One must define what is being requested as the most important. What is the point of view? Is the question about the most important methods in regards to youth development? If so, then the answer is defined by the 'Big Three' for Positive Youth Development (PYD): Opportunities for skill building Sustained youth-adult relationships Youth leadership where failures have consequences that points to: Youth leadership, association with adults, and the things that you associate with skills building - arguably the outdoor program, advancement, and the patrol method. In order to have sustained involvement to provide more time for PYD to occur, the program must be fun and rewarding so outdoor program and advancement. Some youth might like the patrol method (connects them with a 'gang' as B-P observed). Research is pointing to the Oath and Law as being very important for the whole program and likely for PYD and personal development. Seems as though there are several important methods. Uniforms are essential to develop identity and a sense of belonging. All of these lead to personal growth. For me, Personal growth and PYD is why we all do the program. Seems to me that while some of the methods might be more important than others, that they are all important. It is a well designed program.
  2. True that CO's are often disinterested in their units. That is not the issue. The issue is that there is no person (entity) that can adjudicate such an issue. When such issues arise, having a CO/IH who is disconnected can help to get a fair hearing though it is not guaranteed. If the CO does not even exist, then someone is filling out the recharter forms attesting to a CO that does not exist. The boat in question, if actually given to the Troop, is owned by the CO - not the Troop that is not a legal entity. So the boat might belong to a fictitious CO. If there is an incident involving liability, the lack of a legal owner could place members of the troop committee and troop leadership into jeopardy. In my view, this is not rational. So while CO's might be disengaged, they still exist. My view is still that the lack of a CO is a major problem that must be rectified. I would not remain in such a unit but that is just my opinion.
  3. There are several issues of significance that excellent comments have been made by others. Perhaps a summary and a few observations would be helpful. The boat can have only one owner and that is whomever holds the title. The owner, in this case appears, to be either the CO or an individual. If owned by an individual, it might be time to work out an arrangement whereby the Troop compensates the owner whenever the boat is used. Whoever owns the boat is also responsible for insuring the boat, especially liability coverage. I wonder if an individual has saddled the Troop with insurance and costs so that the individual can use the boat without usual costs. It needs to be clearly established by viewing the title who owns the boat and be certain that it is properly insured. Whoever owns the boat is responsible for determining whether to scrap the boat or repair it. As a boat owner of a boat about the same size, it cannot be so old that the engine has worn out and be worth $20,000. The boat is more likely worth about the cost of repair - the engine. Unless your Troop is well to do, I would recommend selling it if the CO owns it. The first person to begin to work this out is the CC (Committee Chair). If there is no satisfaction there, the IH and COR should be next. You must get an actual Chartered Organization (CO) for your Troop that will have the Institutional Head (IH) and assign the Chartered Organization Representative (COR). The current situation does not meet BSA policies and might be fraud (I am not an attorney but this is misleading the council and someone is signing for an entity that does not exist) that could be a serious issue if something bad ever happens. If the Troop does not wish to find a CO, I would not remain in the Troop. If the CC and current COR do not wish to rectify the situation, I would recommend a group of parents to go to the Scout Executive (SE) of the local council and lay out the issues. There should be a consensus that either the current Troop gets a true CO, IH, and COR; determines boat ownership; and establishes a new Troop committee; then the current parents will request council assistance in establishing a new Troop. Scouters whose own youth have aged out of the program are a valuable resource so ever effort should be made to ask them to stay involved and that they are valuable to the Troop and the Scouts. Do not push them away. Be clear that such large decisions must be made with input from the current parents upon whom the bulk of the fund raising and the effects of spent funds (if money for the $4,000 repair comes from current Troop funds) will fall upon. Try to always remain Kind and Courteous. Be a good listener to their arguments and ask the same for yours. Appoint a spokesperson to avoid to sides talking over one another. The lack of a real CO is very troubling. The possibility that someone is taking advantage of the Troop with the boat is very troubling. The lack of a CO makes such an issue possible to arise and cause many problems. Good luck in resolving the issues. Let us know what decisions are made and the eventual outcomes.
  4. vol_scouter

    What's in a name?

    The OA was surveyed. I do not recall the method by which the members were surveyed, but there was a good response. For the survey that went out to the councils, some councils asked invited everyone in the council to participate - that occurred in my council. Some councils selected a smaller group, some only the board, and some only the Key 3. That survey was controlled by the councils. All of the others was much more broadly surveyed.
  5. vol_scouter

    What's in a name?

    I was shown the official survey results. Many groups were surveyed and the results were similar. Some groups were over 85% positive. There were a number of questions to elicit quite a bit of information to have confidence in the results. That the results for all surveys were all highly supportive of adding girls gave me confidence that the decision is well supported in the field. People tend to socialize with folks who have similar views so I have no doubts that some folks will be aware of views overwhelmingly pro or con. I know some who only have heard supportive views. In my area in the conservative south, the support is very high with also no one opposed.
  6. vol_scouter

    What's in a name?

    Their response makes little sense. Their troop is not affected - it remains all male. Since they have invested so much time in Scouting, why should they leave? Allowing girls to become Scouts in the BSA at younger ages than 14 does not affect their troop. Trademark issues required a name change of the program. Surveys of the youth (and absolutely every group measured including volunteers, donors, Eagle Scouts, the OA and others showed a similar level of support) in Scouting showed a 75% or greater support for the addition of girls so they had a voice. The youth were in favor of adding girls. The focus has not changed from developing character and leadership in today's youth for tomorrow's citizens. So they have a voice, their platform was not successful, so they should have learned that is life for all of us. They should be encouraged to continue as perseverance and resilience is something that we all hope as volunteers that we are helping the youth to do. Obviously, I have no first hand knowledge beyond units that I am a volunteer, but this kind of reaction seems to represent the adult volunteer views influencing the boys. It is sad that because the program is being offered to more youth that some now wish to discourage youth from participating in a positive life changing program.
  7. Merlyn, As far back as we have been able to document human groups, there is evidence of religious practices. Even if you discount that, there have been well documented religions for several thousand years. All atheists today have been raised in a climate where there have been thousands of years of religious traditions. No atheist exists in a vacuum where they were not exposed to moral values derived from religious traditions. You cannot make a cogent claim that atheists have moral values that have not originated in religious traditions because they have all been exposed to religious moral values. So unless you want to take a lot of young children and drop them on an uninhabited jungle island and see what their moral system is 20 years later, there is no group of people who were not exposed to religion derived morals.
  8. Barry, It seems to me that you made my point in that gender dysphoria is not a new condition and we, as volunteers, have been having issues with youth since the inception of Scouting. Society has changed in many significant ways since the BSA was founded that has made dealing with youth more challenging at times. The privacy laws and far different standards now prevent handing some issues to the parents. Since this thread is all about whether the BSA should allow transgender youth. My contention is that transgender have been in Scouting since its founding just as have gay youth and adults. Likewise, abused youth, youth affected by chronic illnesses, and youth with alcohol or drug problems. Volunteers have and will continue to have to deal with such problems. The problems might be declared by the parents or discovered by the volunteers. There was no viable way that the BSA could have made any other policy at this point in time. It is the reality. Your other point has to do with the morality of some situations. Like you, I do not believe that atheists would have a moral code without religions that define right and wrong. The natural order would be for the strongest to dominate the weaker ones. So I agree with you. However, the BSA cannot choose a set of morals. Transgender is a condition that has not been addressed by most religions. While most religions would explore us to be more like the God(s) that are worshipped, such specific behaviors are frequently open to considerable interpretation. As a physician, I have often seen the long term harm from rejection due to disabilities, illness, or psychological conditions. We, as volunteers, need to treat all youth in an equitable manner to provide them the best opportunities to develop into a functional citizen of character. Excluding certain youth does not seem to be the best course. vol_scouter
  9. Barry, Gender dysphoriais an emotional and psychological condition experienced when a person's gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. It is a recognized condition. So to not support a youth with gender dysphoria will harm that youth. There have been some people who believe that some youth are being diagnosed as gender dysphoria who might not actually have the condition. One must be an expert to determine what is the appropriate diagnosis - something that adult volunteers are not able to do unless they are a child psychiatrist or psychologist. So to best support youth, we as adult volunteers should leave such determinations to true experts and support their conclusions. As to morality, I agree with others - whose moral standards do you use? The BSA does not prefer any religion and is, thus, non-denominational. As a Christian, I am not aware of a scriptural reference to people with gender identity issues. The BSA's stance seems well reasoned and the correct course for this time in history. In the future, there could be research that modifies what is best for a youth with gender dysphoria. At that time, the new policy might need adjustment. I doubt that will be the case but it is possible.
  10. A little late to this discussion but a couple of points. First, there was not a policy change by the BSA because there had never been a policy. So this established a policy where there had been none. Next, the parents have always determined the gender on the membership form for the BSA. We as volunteers or professionals have never done physical exams to make a determination and accepted the parents word on filing out the application. Another point is that many states allow the parents to determine the gender of their child and they can change the gender whenever they wish. So the legal determination in some states is whatever the parents. Those same states have anti-discrimination laws that would result in multiple lawsuits that the BSA would most likely lose and would certainly be very expensive. The BSA did the only reasonable thing, establish a policy that does not violate state laws and keeps with current standards whereby the parents determine the gender on the membership form.
  11. 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?
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
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