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Everything posted by Eagle94-A1

  1. I do not know why my council president emailed us on Friday, but he did. and I am glad. The SE's have had a heads up since NAM. While the pros should be notified in advance, because they will be facing the backlash, the info needs to come out in a timely manner. And I agree the infographic did cause more confusion than helped IMHO.
  2. So what will the fee be for 18 to 20 year old ASSISTANT Scoutmasters?
  3. 'AWESOME! TOTALLY AWESOME!" That sounds like a major project. Good luck to your son.
  4. Where I am at, an extremely rural area with the median household income for 4 is Approx $42K. A lot of folks can barely afford Scouting. And COVID is going to make it worse. On a Positive note, someone is listening,National gave us the price increase for this year 2 months before Round Ups start, and told us the 8-1-21 price and 8-1-22 price in advance, @Cburkhardt, if you passed along my suggestiut folks can bon ot the powers that be, THANK YOU! The price increase will hurt, budget and prepare.
  5. For once, my council is getting ahead of this. this was sent in an email today We just learned this week that on August 1 the following national fees take effect: National Registration Fees - $66 for Scouts and $42 for adults New National Joining Fee – one-time new Scout membership fee of $25
  6. If the 18 - 20 year olds are treated with the same respect as other Scouters, i.e they count towards 2 Deep rules, I am game.
  7. So true. DON'T GO THERE! I thought I read somewhere that a council was either considering an Eagle Application Processing fee, or implemented one,
  8. Today was a long but good day. My Facebook Memory for today was May 28, 2014. My oldest attended his first PLC as the PL of the New Scout Patrol. i commented how he was a little overwhelmed at times, but represented his patrol well. He did a really good job as PL. So good in fact, that when his term as PL ended, he was nominated for, and won the SPL position, beating out slightly older and experienced Scouts (troop he was in at the time was 2 years olds and the oldest Scouts were 13) Well tonight, he had his Eagle BOR. Paperwork is being cent to the council tomorrow, and onwards for national confirmation. Here's the funny thing. I knew since he became SPL at 11 he was going to make it. I admit I tried to talk him out of being SPL at 11. I talked about the challenges he would be facing, especially as an 11 year old. But the last time I tried to talk him out of it, he said something that made me realized he got everything we try to teach these Scouts, summed up nicely as servant leadership. he told me, "Dad, the troop elected me SPL, I can't let them down. I gotta do the best job I can for them." Life at the moment is very good.
  9. My troop growing up did the bare bones type of camping. We went out every month, except December, and costs were in the $5 - $10 to cover food and supplies. We didn't do camporees, or any fancy dancy camps. We went to summer camp, and while we did do MB classes, it was nothing like today's camps. While 6 day sessions were offered, the last 2 period of the day were free swim, free boating, and free shooting sports. Unless a MB you wanted was only offered in 5th or 6th, you were out having fun. Night classes were special 1 nite event like CPR certification, First Aid certification,. and Hunter safety. Obviously Astronomy we every night. And we had fun.
  10. Canada trip, did I think I was going to die? Yes. Did i get lost? No, but I was a might confused. See a bear? No but I saw beaver. Cold? Turned blue like a Smurf due to hypothermia BEST FREAKING ADVENTURE OF MY LIFE!
  11. The most obvious #1 "sacred cow" as you mentioned is Eagle Scout. It is synonymous in the public with Boy Scouts of America as evident by that term in literature and movies. Also there is a large active alumni group, NESA, and even larger number of Eagles who have supported the Scouts in the past. That support would be jeopardized. Further, the BSA has turned it into a goal or "brand" and is the very reason why girls wanted to join the BSA. So it may be considered the "holy of holies," with no prejudice towards our Jewish brethren (why it is lowercase). So I think Eagle Scout is safe. Your reference to the OA is a very valid one. Some would consider it a sacred cow. On the plus side, the OA does a lot of work at the council level, to the point that some call the OA, the BSA's slave labor corps. And that does not include all the small events Arrowmen tend to run and organize. OA also does a lot of volunteer work at the national level with the HA work programs and jamboree service corps. A lot of labor costs are save via the OA. And historically Arrowman tend to be dedicated Scouters providing leadership throughout council programs and financial support through money AND gifts-in-kind, i.e.supplies given and equipment loaned. Plus it is "Scouting's National Honor Society" or whatever it calls itself today. But if BSA is anticipating the lose of camps and HA bases, is the OA still needed? As an old school Arrowman, I would say NO, because camping, both promoting it and taking care of the properties, is a the core function of the OA, the heart if you will. In this politically correct world we live in, is OA's "cultural appropriation" a liability or an asset? LIABILITIES, because we do have lot of lodges doing things l wrong AND we have a general population that refuses to have discussions and are unwilling to listen. After all the OA has helped preserve and promote Native American culture over the years ( see my posts on that topic).While Camping and "Cheerful Service" are the heart of the OA, the spirit or soul of the OA was the Naive American symbolism. And that is slowly dying. Are the membership stats indicative of a successful program or failing program? While individual lodges may be succeeding, over all the OA is a failing program with the moss of membership and failure to retain members. So why maintain a program that will have no purpose (HA bases and camps), its traditions are a liability (AIA), and membership is shrinking? I hate to say it, but I see the OA being sacrificed off the bat. And if it isn't, it will be a slow, painful, disheartening death. I think we are already there in my area. And I am not anti-OA. I am a former youth officer and chapter adviser. I have brought dead and dying chapter back to life twice in my career. So I have drank the OA Flavoraid, and probably would still if it wasn't for my sons. I knew problems were there, and predicted some of them when the election procedures changed. But I ignored them because I was living in the past, thinking of the OA of my youth. My sons's lack of interest, and the reasons for it, made me realize how serious the problem has become. And I don't think recent autoacceptance of SMs and reducing time to become a Brotherhood member will resolve them.
  12. I hate to say it, but I think Sea Scouts, the second oldest program in the BSA ( since 1912) may be one of the "sacred cows" that will be sacrificed. Between cutting off program at 18 and doing away with area and regions, I got a real bad feeling about this. The only way I could see it being saved is if they allow the area volunteers these events. And as good a program as Sea Scouting is, I would hate to lose it. But someone either here or elsewhere, said that BSA could possible hand it over the the USCGA to run since it is their official youth program. Don't kill the messenger. I was an Ordinary Sea Scout. Sea Scouting kept active for a while after turning 18.
  13. 2 of my coworkers had nervous breakdowns due to the job. Also 3 of my coworkers, and a DE I had in another council, all had wives leave them because of the job. Heck my wife, whom I dated and was engaged to while I was a DE, after 1.5 months of marriage gave me an ultimatum: her or the job. One of my coworkers, who not only served in combat and was a recruiter, which is an extremely stressful job I am told. He said his time as a professional was more stressful than the 22 years he spent in the Corps.
  14. Mixed emotions on the Webelos program. I have found that when packs utilize it like it was meant to be, preparing them for Scouts, it keeps interested. These packs start distancing parents at events and making sure the Webelos are doing it. The Webelos are doing camping on their own or with a troop, and have the Webelos doing the work instead of the parents. Pack I was with usually did Cross Over in the December/January time frame. It was long enough for them to meet the time requirements. Plus they started doing more with the troop. Middle son's den did a join Castaway/Wilderness Survival weekend with the troop oldest was in. They had a blast. And the Scout who taught them did a VERY good job. He taught them prior to the camp out. So when they got there, the Webelos knew exactly what to do. They had shelters built, and cooking fires going before some of the Scouts! A couple of their shelters were so well built, over a year later, the shelters were still usable if you added a little more debris to them. And while Youngest was ready to Cross Over in December, a few of his den mates were not, and that pushed it back to February, Thank goodness he was able to visit the troop he is in a few months as a "guest." So I know the Webelos Program does work. But I also know most packs are not doing it correctly. They are continuing to treat the Webelos as Tigers through Bears. They are not telling the parents to let the Webelos start doign things on their own. They do not let the Webelos camp on their own, or wait until 5th grade before camping with a troop. And when they do camp, parents are still doing everything for them. Remember the Castaway/Wilderness Survival camp out my middle son went to above? Another pack's Weeblos also went. In fact the Scout doing the teaching had arranged with the two DLs to do joint meetings with both dens at the same time, since both met on the same nite, they would alternate lcoations for a month. Long story short, not only did the parents NOT want to have joint meetings, they didn't think the Scout had the knowledge, skills, or abilities to teach wilderness survival. Especially since one of the dads went through some survival school and got some instructor certification. So that den did their own thing When the time came, that den had a bunch of unneeded stuff they had to lug around, parents complaining the entire time. The while my son's den went right to work, the other den had no clue what to do and was goofing off, not listening to the Scout in charge. Instead of the Scouts building shelters cooking food on fires, etc they parents decided to build one giant shelter for them, and busted out a stove to cook for them. Then they left while my son's den stayed overnight. And I have seen this scenario, parents still doing stuff for their Webelos, over and over again. So I know why people complain. BUT here is the thing. When the Webelos program is done right, AND if you have an active troop, you will retain Scouts. 3 years later ALL of my son's den are still active in Scouting. Within 6 months, 1/2 the other den quit, and 3 years later only 1 is still active.
  15. These two statements really hit home. I was super involved in the OA as a youth and adult. I got in the OA under the old rules the third time I was on the ballot. Yes, it took me 3 years to get elected. And not because I was a horrible Scout either. It was because there were older, more experienced Scouts who I was running against. Heck the first time I was on the ballot, I did not vote for myself because the other two on the ballot were role models and mentors to me and deserved the honor more than i did. But now it is a joke.Heck I have found out that SMs are encouraging troops to vote in all of their First Class and above nonmembers. Because I use to be the OA chapter adviser, my oldest son had helped the OA out a few times in the past. He's noticed the change from honor camper society to being a check mark. He's declined multiple times. because he does not see any value in the OA. He was upset when the OA election team left his name on the ballot, despite stating he had no interest in the OA and wished to remove his name from the ballot. And middle son had some reservations about joining too. He allowed his name on the ballot, and also got elected. But 2 things did in his interest in the OA. First the Call Out Ceremony, or lack there of, did not go over well with him as it was just an adult call out out names. (an aside all of the Scouts I talked to were also disappointed, because something that is suppose to be special, wasn't. a lot of adults in the audience were furious because there was no planning for it, despite it being known and advertised in advance). But the biggest reason was seeing two Scouts from his old troop get called out. One Scout was only involved because he was forced, and he caused more problems than anything else. The other was the Scout who kept abandoning his patrol to sleep with dad and/or family on camp outs. His comment was "how could someone who camp by themselves even be First Class, let alone get elected into the honor society."
  16. Do not know the turnover rate. But I was a DE for 20.5 months. In that time period in my council, 9 DEs left, and 2 middle managers. 6 of those professionals joined after I did, and left before me. Full Staff was 10 DEs/Exploring Exec, 3 middle managers, and 2 upper manager. And it was not just my council. A lot of people at PDL-1 had similar issues in their council. One DE had wrote her resignation letter and was planning to turn it in the day she returned from PDL-1. Rational for even going to PDL-1 was "I've been through hell the past three months. I've never been to Texas before. I am going to enjoy my 2 week paid vacation." Also there were approximately 80 people in my PDL-1 class which finished in May. By the August "All Hands Meeting" less than half showed up at the PDL-1 reunion party that was part of the conference. Since it was a mandatory meeting, every professional showed up to that one.
  17. Where to begin. I no longer trust professionals in general. This is sad because I used to be one, and know there are some out there who do care about the movement. But they either burn out trying to have a successful program and meet goals, get frustrated and leave, or get corrupted by the system in order to advance. I have seen proffessionals at the council level ignore the long time volunteers who know the program, know the community, and have established relationships that can build the movement. And the movement suffers with a loss of experienced volunteers who made it successful. And national is no better. They hire people with no experience or knowledge of the program, and put them in positions where they have no idea what they are doing. Look all the stuff supply has try to sell over the years. Arrow of Light beltbuckle anyone? Or how about the training director with only academic credentials and no Scouting experience? Or how about a former national IT director with no IT experience, just being a former SE? And National has misled, ignored, and hidden things from the volunteers, including those they have handpicked. There is enough evidence for me to show that membership changes were going to be made without any regard to existing members. From the selection of the last CSE, the gender neutral language of the June 2017 applications, to the timing and requirements of the townhalls, to the lack of releasing the results of those polls, National has not inspired trust. Add onto that Philmont's mortgage without telling the Philmomt committee and a host of minor stuff like the "instapalms," shows that national does not care one bit about what the members think. And now BSA is reaping what it sowed. When DALE was in the courts, you had people defending and supporting BSA. National has alienated so many folks, that people do not care what happens to the BSA any more. In fact, some longtime volunteers are looking forward to bankruptcy because they feel it is the only way to fix BSA problems, not thinking about the impact on their units bankruptcy will have. I am very concerned about the movement. I have invested over 35 years of blood, sweat, tears, and treasure to the movement. I drank the Flavoraid at times and supported BSA even when I disagreed with it, because the program has so much to offer. I want my sons to have the same, if not better, opportunities than I had. And I feel like I was betrayed by the professionals.
  18. For those that think 18-25 year olds need adult supervision, I say tell it to these folks.
  19. I think Area directors are where they put pros while they either wait for a SE position in a metro council, or place a lousy SE until they retire. The AD when I was a pro ended up a metro SE a few years later. And my lousy SE ended up being an AD until he retired.
  20. We have lost a lot of respected Scouters over the past few years. Don't ask them for FOS, council Eagle/UoS luncheon, popcorn, etc. But they see you selling spaghetti dinner tickets for a troop fundraiser, they'll pay for dinners to be given to local first responders.
  21. Actually the lead lawyer stated in an NPR interview on the Diane Rheem (sp) Show that he wants the BSA dissolved . It is towards the end of the interview, and if you end early, you miss it.
  22. We lost scouts in my area because of the EXTREMELY (emphasis) last minute price changes. We were told by our SE it could be $100/person last year. I would not have been able to afford it, and was thankful it was only $60. But this year ANY increase will hurt. I'm lucky, I am considered essential and still working. But we have folks who have been furloughed, lost their jobs, or cannot open their businesses back up. My wife works part-time has been partially furloughed, she is working 1 day a pay period. But the way things are going, she may lose her job. I honestly do not know what I will do if the fees increase yet again. I do know I am glad my oldest has his Eagle Board of Review next week. As much as he wants to stay involved after Eagle, I do not know if we could afford it.
  23. @Cburkhardt, yes THANK YOU VERY MUCH for the sharing and insights. ( And yes that is me shouting at the top of my lungs in appreciation, ). I admit I am extremely skeptical of national. I am just wondering how this will affect my troop.
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