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Posts posted by Krampus

  1. Would you really recommend that a parent take on a confrontational stance with the unit's Chartered Organization?


    Parent? Depends. Council? You betcha!


    If the SM and CC are so far off the reservation that they are doing the things noted here, I just might...but only after my kid makes Eagle.


    If the CC and SM are this wrong, then BSA owes it to the other kids in the program to talk to the CO, show them what's being done wrong, give them a chance to make the CC/SM "get right" with the program or find replacements.


    This simply cannot be allowed to continue. What they (CC/SM) are doing is not Scouting. 

    • Upvote 2

  2. I see the problem as a lack of marketing direction at the National level. Irving has failed to define, and implement a vision which focuses on what makes bsa unique compared to all other organizations. Without that, all marketing done at the local level is haphazard. There are a whole bunch of burger joints around, what makes ours stand out? I would argue that the failure at the national level to ensure that all franchises implement a boy-led, patrol-method program has diluted the one thing which could be used to demonstrate what makes scouting unique. The brand is losing its luster, and that responsibility falls squarely on the big boys in tx to ensure.




    Leadership development, citizenship, self-reliance, personal growth. Put these in context with all the things Boy Scouts must do to operate and that might help sell the brand.


    Of course, this might also push away those who join looking for that instant gratification which seems so prevalent in today's culture. Would that loss equal a greater gain?

  3. I have to laugh...I live in Mosquito Country but I just don't get that worked up about them. I put the picaridin on in the evening and that does the trick. Doing up my clothes and such just is way too much effort for the slight bother of these guys.


    Now in MN I can see the fuss. You other guys must have clouds of these things. We have tons here but if you do the normal spraying you are fine.


    Must be those eastern, atomic waster, genetically engineered mosquitoes you guys have. ;)

    • Upvote 1

  4. A volunteer run program can hope for at best two years from their average volunteers. After two years, the volunteers are burning out. The Cub program is FIVE YEARS LONG. Yep, raising my voice there. Even if a parent wasn't a leader during the Tiger year, they still are two years in before they reach Webelos. Adding to the problem is that the average Cub leader is a mother who doesn't camp outdoors or understand Boy Scout Skills.


    Just for the sake of argument, wasn't the original de facto Pack leader back in the 50s and 60s, moms?


    Was there a higher crossover rate then? If so, you think it was due to shear numbers going through the system? Less organized stuff for kids to do?


    In our area moms are just as likely to camp as dads. Heck, I've got some guys who won't step foot in "the woods", even if it is a posh state park.

  5. Fortunately I am done with the 56 and down to the 54s. Might just have the 52s altered until I fit into the standard sizes again. That's what really pisses me off about Scout Uniforms, they shrink. :)


    It's the Ding Dongs, my Leige. ;)

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  6. Ducks don't cost as much, and they give you something for your dog to fetch.


    Unofficially, we go hunting. Just not in uniform or as a troop, but we go. Just so happens that all of the folks going are scouters or scouts.

  7. YMCA, Boy/Girls Clubs, City Parks/Rec, KAMO, Trail Life USA, Pioneers, and any number of organizations out there that are in direct competition to BSA and all seem to be doing well, while BSA's numbers drop.


    Too often we BLAME sports, schools, etc. for the problems, but when other programs out there are picking up kids directly using BSA's #1 draw, the outdoors.  What's with that?


    In my area is you want outdoors adventures your direct competition is family and friends. Next would be church groups or companies that put together or specialize in outdoor stuff. Parks and Rec departments have some things and in Texas I have to admit they are pretty good.


    Clubs or groups like the Y are really not that popular here and really don't compete with Scouting. It is really sports, school, church/faith and clubs that compete for time in our area.


    There's just so much to do out there that if you wanted an "outdoor" lifestyle, with plenty of parks, outfitters and companies out there catering to the recreationalist in all of us, you could do every Scouting adventure without Scouts.

  8. It will be interesting to see what kind of interactions occur between BSA Troops and TL Troops. Even between the more conservative and progressive BSA Troops.


    We went to summer camp at a VERY popular camp in the eastern US. It was VERY Christian. From the campfire to the all camp gatherings to eating meals, we prayed and thanked Jesus for everything.


    My non-Christian Scouts simply rolled with it. As my Jewish Scouts told me, "Mr. Krampus, we just substitute 'Abraham' for 'Jesus' and move on."

    • Upvote 1

  9. Wow, well I hope it does not come to that. I will be talking with my parents over the next few months and try and find my replacement on my own. If the new Scout year starts and I still don't have anyone, then I will have to make a general announcement. I don't think it will fold, mainly because the CC has been with the pack since her son was a Cub like 8-9 years ago. She basically said she will be with it forever...except she is the reason people are leaving so we will see what happens. Thanks for the help on that one


    I hope that helps. You sound like you all (pack leadership) are talking to the right people. I would engage the DE early just in case, same with the COR (assuming they are active). Maybe even a nice pre-appreciation gift for those who volunteer.


    One of the packs that folded had been around for nearly 20 years. It just got to the point where the parents could not be bothered. Hopefully your parents sense the urgency, realize you guys will train them and give them support.


    Good luck!

  10. We may have other parents, but all of them either already volunteered to be a leader (only DL) or just hide from volunteering to do things. I am at a point now where our advancement chair wants to step down to be the ADL to the Webelos and asked another parent to take over. The problem is that parent never helps and talks loudly while other are doing the work to make things fun for her son...I am VERY skeptical with letting her become a leader. If she does not do it then what?!?


    I hear ya. It is never easy when there is not a clear succession plan.


    I can tell you that two of the packs that folded in my area did the following:

    • 1 Year Out: Met with the Pack parents to let them know who was leaving in a year. Asked for volunteers to under study roles.
    • Monthly: Continued to ask parents to help out, train them. Noted that if no one stepped up the pack would fold.
    • 8 Months Out: Brought in the DE to help get parents motivated. Showed parents how easy it was to take over.
    • 6 Months Out: Continued to encourage parents to volunteer. 
    • 3 Months Out: Told parents the pack was folding and gave them the list of packs near their house. 

    The leaders had to just walk away. You can't drag people to volunteer and you can't worry about how good a job they will do. No one will ever do it as good as you did.

  11. My only concern is that the CC is our former CM and she does not want to do it, she also does not want the pack to die (I do not either). She never did anything worthwhile during pack meetings and never planned anything extra nor did she communicate with the parents very well. I feel guilty because I feel bad for the kids in that pack because they may lose interest if no one steps up and the CC has to take over as CM...


    But you can't think like that. Your pack has other parents, let them step up. We did, didn't we? We did it so our kid (and the other kids) would have a pack and den.


    I have seen three packs locally fold from such ambivalence by parents. It is easier for them to pick up and move to another pack then step up and take over the existing pack. 


    You can only do so much for others until they have to do for themselves. At some point you need to just walk away and move on, knowing you've done all you can to help position them for success. The rest is up to the remaining parents.

  12. Well apparently I the bad person for saying up front that I will be leaving with my son at the end of next year...I will be leaving and they know it...not sure if they are willing to accept it yet though


    You gave them notice, that's considerate. The CC and CM should be putting 2 people in each role so that the second person can under study the primary person. Succession planning is one of the goals of JTE. If you are in a "gold" unit then this should already be in place.


    In Cubs you need to just stand up, give notice of your intended departure, take steps to transition your knowledge (either in person or via a document) and then you leave. There should be no guilt in your leaving if enough notice is given and knowledge is transferred.

  13. The sad part of the whole process is that scouts that threat them nicely are the exception.  We must have Paper Scouters, too.


    I have seen some units (regardless of ethnic background) isolate themselves from others and treat any friendly outreach as an imposition. Odd since that is not what Scouting is about...but it happens.

  14. @@Krampus, what's your source for the 2014 numbers? Here's part of a reply to my posting of your figures on Bryan's blog.


    ... From the “Reports to the Nationâ€, available here: http://www.scouting.org/About/AnnualReports.aspx, which include headcount by program, I pulled the following:

                     2015      2014      2013      2012

    Cub Scouts  1,261,340 1,295,527 1,417,034 1,528,673

    B.S/Varsity   840,654   854,692   888,947   910,668

    Venture/SeaS  142,892   157,655   192,080    219453

                     ————      ————      ————      ————

    Total Trad. 2,244,886 2,307,874 2,498,061 2,658,794

    Change from

    Prior Year      -2.73%    -7.61%   -6.05%    -2.39%


    To be fair, I followed that link and, in the 2014 annual report, cant find these numbers either! (Only round numbers are presented :mad: )

    The 2014 numbers came from the published annual report.


    The 2015 numbers came from someone involved in the collection of the numbers before they were submitted to the group responsible for putting together the annual report which will be released shortly.


    The 2015 numbers you have represent memberships reported before duplication are eliminated. Odd that they elected to report such numbers this year and never in years before. 

  15. Anyway, the downside to our 100% cross over rate was a significant drop out rate.

    The troops bear some responsibility here. We usually talk with the guys crossing over to see what type of fit they will be for Boy Scouts. It does not happen often, but there are times we actually talk guys out of going in to Scouts. By that I mean there are obviously a few kids that are only signing up because they think they should or that's what comes next, not because they love or even like Scouting.


    Our first year retention rate is about 90-95%. Second year rate is about 85%. This year we have 70% of our guys who joined in 2010 still in Scouting. Nearly all made Eagle. Of that lot nearly all stayed active during their entire career in Scouting.

  16. :)  My ASM and I did something a little different this year with the adults.  They were all given an adult registration form along with their youth's registration form and told that we will be holding YPT and Committee member training along with boy-led, patrol-method orientation this summer so we'll be up and ready as soon as we can be.


    It's kinda surprising how much more effective telling is over asking.  :)  It'll be interesting to see how things work. 

    My Pack and then Troop did this every year. We would require one parent to register and volunteer for something. This helped the parents get involved more.

  17. I will amend my comment with this: There is a *HIGH* correlation between Scouts that move on to Boy Scouts and the level of involvement of their parents in Scouting.


    We observed that when parents are actively involved in helping their Cubs complete requirements and activities (and not just let the DL and Pack do all the work), the boys were more likely to move on. If the parents were leaders the correlation was even higher.

    • Upvote 2

  18. @@UncleP, also be sure to check with the Cub Scout unit, or district or even council for "scholarships" that can help your nephew. Many units, districts and councils provide financial support for families who cannot afford uniforms or going to day camp/summer camp. When he hits Boy Scouts, may camps have financial aid for underprivileged scouts.


    Of course, many units also have fund raising programs too, so the scouts can learn to pay their way through their own work.


    Together both mechanisms can help teach your nephew valuable lessons on his trail through Scouting. Good luck!

  19. We got the 3000 flags placed one evening earlier this week. I think we had 15 units (packs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts) and 150 youth.


    When riding the bus by there in the evening I tell my fellow passengers, "Those flags? our scouts."


    Just saw a picture of my nephew doing the same with his troop!


    We do the same thing. We put out around 200 flags (5'x3' flags on 8' poles). Project has grown so much over the last 6 years. The neighborhood loves it...and so do the boys.

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