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Posts posted by Eagle94-A1

  1. Biggest complaint has been the council level pros for some time. . We are large geographically, but an economically poor region. BUT the folks with money usually were involved in Scouting as youth, knew the need, and gave of both their time for their children, and treasure to help others. Usually those folks would serve in district and/or council roles. Who knows the community better than the ones living in it?

    Well you got pros coming in, wanting things done their way. No amount of explaining that the things they want done were tried before and were failures will get through their heads. You keep questioning them, you get removed from the district/council level.

    Membership stats look off. You start questioning them, you get removed from the district/council level.

    You running an activity and councils starts interfering by adding additional activities at the same location the same weekend.  When you attempt to discsuss the matter, you are yelled at. You decide it's no longer worth volunteering at the district/council level.

    Or you run an event, and the pros do not order the supplies you need. So you get the supplies last minute, which costs more, and go into the "emergency " portion of your budget.

    Or they do not order the quantities you requested, causing you to make last minute purchases, going into the "emergency " portion of your budget. Or maybe they need to make a second order for patches, causing the event to go over budget

    Or when you ask for support for the event, you are completely left alone and left to your own devices. No support whatsoever. Now a district level event can be done like that. Heck my current district operate like that now. But a council level one?

    But that is better than being yelled and cursed out at. I cannot tell you how many volunteers that has happened too. Heck one pro cursed out a key district volunteer via text.

    Which is why my district is in the shape it is. And apparently it was not just my old district. These things were occuring in all the old districts that now comprise the current one. Very few folks want to get involved because of the way they and their friends have been treated.

    And  it still continues. Had a new pro plan an Cub Scout event with 3 weeks notice. Had to cancel one week out when no one  volunteered for the event, and no registration since the even was planned after 95% of the packs stopped meeting for the summer. The email blamed volunteers for the cancellation, and the tone of the email further alienated volunteers.

    And when you alienate volunteers, will they give donations?

    Recruiting has been another issue. We got kicked out of the schools a decade ago. since that time we lost 6 packs, 3 troops any 3 troops on the verge of dying. We have begged the pros to help us with getting back into the schools and with recruiting. No luck with them.

    There was talk at one meeting about starting new units. I stated that national does not predict any growth until 2025 according o court documents, so instead of trying to start new units, could they focus on existing, struggling units. Told no, we are on our own.

    If we are on our own, why should we donate to the council when the money would be better served helping struggling units survive?

    Sorry for the rant, But I needed to get this off the chest.

    12 hours ago, SSScout said:

    Family joke:

    Two old biddies are "regulars" at a restaurant,  but never have anything good to say about the food, even tho they come there every week.....

    Yeah I know. The few district level things I've done have been because my Scouts have asked me to do them. I try to stay out of the BS and focus on my troop. But it is hard. As I said, I spent a long time and treasure on Scouting, and this area in particular. It is both frustrating and depressing seeing what is happening. I had more active units and scouts in one county back in the day, than my multicounty districy has today.

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  2. 6 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    I think your numbers are off.  :)   I was a Cub Scout/Boy Scout in the mid 80s.  I graduated from high school in 1992.  My generation began having kids about that time.  My kids were born in 2008 and 2010, which is about the time my generations kids were grown and getting out on their own.  My wife and I had kids really late.  Anyway, the parents right now that are the pool of leaders are kids that were born into a world where the internet was already going strong and part of every day life.  Adults that were Scouts in the 70s either have no kids in the program or maybe grandkids.  Heck, people I graduated with in '92 have grandkids now.

     ISP generation  has been in the upper levels of BSA for some time. They are your national pros volunteers. While you may see a few with the grandkids at unit level, look at the upper level pros and volunteers.

  3. A few responses, and hopefully commentary about council tonite.


    @nolesrule,  "Instapalms" are an example of national not listening. remember 94% of those polled were either against (18%) or strongly against (76%) them, yet they still happened. and I know they are here to stay.

    As for OA issues, while some of the mandates have come from adults, the overall descent of the OA appears to be nationwide.


    @InquisitiveScouter I kid you not about the MBs! I may be off on the number (old age is getting to me), but this was in one webinar/national online event.


    @nolesrule, I know there were issues back in the day. Heck look at the 1970s fiasco that Green Bar Bill had to come out of retirement to save BSA. But  the overall standard for advancement went from "Master the Skills" and "The badge Represents what the Scout can do, (sic) not what he has done." to "The badge signifies a young person has provided service to others, practiced personal responsibility, and set the examples critical to the development of leadership.."

    @skeptic agree 100% However too many folks focus on the advancement, more on that in a bit.


    23 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    Now we are to the kids that wanted to be there, kinda sorta in the first place.  Many of them are going to get discouraged quickly.  All those promises of shooing BBs, archery, fishing, etc never come to fruition because the District doesn't plan enough events to fulfill the marketing.  ...

    I don't think its Cub Scout burnout, its just lack of interest in the type of activities that Scouting provides.  I think a lot of folks that were Scouts 30+ years ago have a bias that doesnt allow them to recognize that.  Not saying the bias is bad or misguided, but it does exist.  

    I guess the real challenge is how to develop a program that is attractive to the interests of youth/parents today that doesn't totally throw away the basics of Scouting, but yet is able to complement the interests and desires of those folks.

    Districts/council not supporting program is my biggest complaint by the council now. Again  Hopefully on that tonite after work.

    Regarding burnout, i think it is real because they way the Cub Scout program is designed, they basically repeat the same activity with a few changes every year.

    Sadly we now have adults who grew up in the 1970s Improved Scouting Program fiasco as Scouters. That was the time period camping was optional, and some do not understand why  camping is so impriotant.

    19 hours ago, DuctTape said:

    I think the focus on membership numbers (ie collecting dues for national) has allowed a corruption of the program

    Do not even get me started on this topic. I was a pro, and one of the reasons I left was program corruption due to mandatory membership goals. Greater Alabama Council in late 1990s/early 2000s anyone?

    @MattR, trust me I am trying. But when you have dedicated your live to the movement, serving at the unit, district, council, and national levels, it is extremely hard. Congrats on the granddaughter. I am focused on my troop, and helping them create their program. But I can tell you having an active, outdoor program with the responsibility for advancement on the Scouts is not popular with a lot of parents. I lost 3 Scouts this year because they were not advancing fast enough. We focus on Scouts having fun, and when working on advancement, actually learning the material and doing the work. Funny thing one parent that visited us recently and told us how our troop is more active and scouts are better prepared, but the wife wants his son in the new troop because he is now advancing.

    2 hours ago, fred8033 said:

    Agree.  I'd  take a scout / troop doing fun things any day over an advancement driven program.  Advancement should come more naturally.

    Agree 110%. But as stated above, more and more parents want "high speed, low drag" advancement instead of the Scouts having fun and learning "...as naturally as a suntan...."

  4. So as some may tell, I have been a "Negative Nellie" of late. Between the constant changes at national, and the lack of involvement in my council I have had it. And waht is really sad is that I was probably the biggest cheerleader for the council as little as 7  year ago, having drunk the Flavor aid.

    But National has not listed to it's volunteers. The Instapalms are one I harp on a lot. But look at the Lion Program. Many thought the 4.5 year Tiger through AOL progression was too long. They went ahead and added a Lions anyway. The pilot den in my area started with 10 Lions. They now have 4 And of the 4, 3 MAY (emphasis) Cross Over, and 1 is burnt out and quitting.

    The June 2015 Cub Scout Program was supposed to put OUTING back in Cub ScOUTING. It was supposed to better prepare folks to Scouting. Not only did they change the program in December 2016, the WDL literature has removed content in older training. Only those dens who either had trained WDLs under the older, in person courses, or were mentored by such folks, had Scouts ready for Cross Over.

    The OA has tons of challenges that I won't get into here. IMHO it is no longer the Honor Society it was intended to be. In fact it appears to be a check mark on the way to Eagle.

    Advancement is so focused by National, that quality of instruction has dropped. National actually praised a council giving  over 10,000 in their online MBUs. How can anyone learn in an online class of a 100? Heck I had scouts tuning out when my Troop was doing that for meetings.

    One recent Eagle said that "Advancement seems to discourage Scouting. I just had fun, and said 'why not' and finished [Eagle]."

    Then there is my local council. More on that later.

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  5. 1 hour ago, KublaiKen said:

    True. But that could apply to any number of things in Scouting or elsewhere. Getting rid of roads because people keep speeding would seem extreme, right? 😁 It's in our nature to try to fix things, not throw them out.

    True, but if those who took an Obligation are not willing to follow it,  and fix the things that are broken, but instead are making the problems worse,  is the organization worth saving?

    There comes a time when one is completely exhausted and overwhelmed by the problems that fixing them is not  worth it. 

  6. 58 minutes ago, KublaiKen said:

    Correct. But it isn't done globally. And given that the OP's Chapter told him he needed 20 for membership and seems to have neglected to mention Scoutmaster approval at all, I would be skeptical of their adherence to standard. Forewarned and all...

    Maybe this is another reason for the OA to die? Why bother having rules if they are ignored.

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  7. 15 minutes ago, KublaiKen said:

    That isn't true globally; in our Chapter all candidates are on the ballot and the SM only uses a strike if the candidate is actually elected.

    According to the Guide to Unit Elections, once the SM approves the eligibility of the, and the vote is take, the SM CANNOT (emphasis) change the election results. Page 17 specificily states


    After the youths have voted, the unit leader cannot adjust the results of the election. The Guide for Officers and Advisers says that lodge rules must include this standard rule:                                                   

    "Rule III.A. The requirements for membership in this lodge are as stated in the current printing of the Order of the Arrow Handbook and the Order of the Arrow Guide for Officers and Advisers."

    The “Induction: Election to Ordeal” section of the Guide for Officers and Advisers, details the procedure to be used for elections. Voting by unit leaders or adjusting the results of the youth votes is not part of the procedure and therefore is not allowed.

    So f it is not global, then those chapters or lodges are in violation of OA policies.

  8. 13 hours ago, MattR said:

     There are two ways to remove them, before or after the ballot is written

    Actually there is only one way, before. Once the SM approves the slate of candidates, it is a done deal. I had a SM try to intimidate an election team into changing the results after he approved the candidate. He then tried to intimidate me, cursing and yelling at me as the team and I left his meeting.

  9. 24 minutes ago, HashTagScouts said:

    I think BSA is headed more in the direction of Scouts Canada/Scouts UK. Eagle will cap as the Scout reaches age 17, and Venturing becomes older Scout program like Rovers age 17-21. Sea Scouts stays as is, a separate program.


    A few things.

    A. Queens Scout, now King's Scout, remained the top award and is given to Venturers/Explorers in the UK.


    B According to the Churchill Plan all programs max age as a youth is 18. While there was major protest and one of the EXTREMELY few times BSA has listened to volunteers and they did not put it into effect in 2020, they did state that the age mandate can be reviewed in the future. 

  10. 12 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

    How will having girls in Scouts BSA impact the BSA over the long term?  By long term I mean your predictions should be of impacts at least ten years distant. 

    The BSA will still be in existence in 10 years? 


    54 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

    I just think National Leadership is going to have to improve how they lead the organization as we are still in financial peril.  Navigating the financial situation while addressing the needs/wants of millennial/gen z parents & gen alpha youth is going to be difficult.  I'm not convinced they have it in them.

    I also do not think BSA's professional leadership know what to do. As to Volunteers, how often does national ever listen to us? I can count on 1 hand the number of times in the past 30+ years they listened to us. Heck they ignored 94% of the volunteers polled on "Instapalms." 

  11. 23 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    In our council unless you are raising money, they could care less.  No marketing, no support to new or old units.  Remember, Scouting is about the cash and keeping the pros paid.  As long as they can keep cashing in on the cache and history of BSA, they are happy

    Pretty much the same in my neck of the woods. No support for recruiting, no marketing etc. Worse, district level events have no professional support except ordering patches. And even then, they will short you on the patches trying to save a buck.

    Only 1 unit had any contact with our last DE, and that was for an FOS presentation.

    • Haha 1
  12. Know quite well the SE is supreme chief of the fire and can do whatever they want.

    But you think the SE would ask why there is $90,000+ in the OA account before making it an "FOS donation," ( or maybe it went to endowment, but nethertheless over $90K was moved out of the OA fund)

    And then when the LA and others question the move, they are removed from office.

    And when the LEC says that a "tradition" is not something they are interested in because it seems dated, the SE may want to listen and not say " We did it when I was growing up, we're going to do it here."

    And when 90+% of the voting lodge members do not want to change a by-law that is in compliance with national policy, you do not compel the LA to the change is going to happen no matter what the lodge thinks (he learned from the mistake above: have the volunteer be the scapegoat. SE was the one who brought it up and forced the vote)

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  13. 11 hours ago, HashTagScouts said:

    Well, actually even "worse" - they are chartered as a Council program. Thy don't have an independent CO that factors into their decision-making, the Council SE is effectively the IH and COR. 

    And the SE can do whatever they want. Overrule  the elected lodge officers, overrule the lodge membership voting results, move designated funds from whatever the lodge and/or chapter designated them for to the general operating fund, remove advisers who question them, etc.

    I would say MUCH worse.

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  14. 7 hours ago, HashTagScouts said:

    I really hope that Councils at the least have real, practical conversations with the units that are limping along (packs and troops) to engage in productive decisions on what is best for the youth they have to be successful, and we aren't just "keeping units around" for the sake of a few $'s in the Council/National pocket (which often translates to an awful amount of $ and energy spent by the unit/parents to keep something going until it hits critical mass).

     I do not know about other councils, but in my council the perceived attitude is you are on your own. Not only is there no support helping existing units that are struggling, but there is no support for creating a needed second girls' troop in my district.  There is a lot of interest for a girls troop in one section of my district, but instead of the pros helping start the unit, instead they send them to a units 45+ minutes away one way. It doesn't work like that.

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  15. Maybe it is time for the OA to die.

    First and foremost, it is no longer truly an honor organization. Prior to the 1995 when I became a  chapter advisor,  the election process limited the number of elected, i.e if you had 2 Scouts eligible, you could only vote for 1 Scout, 3-4 eligible = 2 names allowed, 5-6 eligible = 3 names on the ballot, etc. When the change was made, many of us thought it would degrade the significance of the OA over time. And IMHO it has.

    Since that time the quality of Arrowman had dropped.  I have seen all eligible members of a troop get elected, about 8 of them.

    I have seen an entire group of candidates stop working, saying "no more," and still go through the Ordeal Ceremony.

    I have seen a candidate refuse to stop talking go through the Ordeal Ceremony. we actually had him in a work of party of 2: the adult candidate and an adult elangomat.

    I have seen Brotherhood eligibility drop from 10 months to 6.

    And I Now see that a candidate is eligible to complete the Ordeal up to 18 months after their election.

    As for the regalia issue, For every Native against the OA, I can give you Native pro OA. I mentioned the elder who started dancing due to the OA n a previous post. One of the guys I did ceremonies with was not only Native, but the nephew of a tribal councilman. Regalia, when done right, was impressive and inspiring,

    The ceremony I recently saw sucked. No other way to put it. Not only were they in incomplete Scout uniforms lacking the medallions ( regret ever mentioning that idea now), they could not even memorize the script. Instead they red off sheets, easily visible. There was no inspiration or memorability.

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  16. 5 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

    This is not true.  OA is struggling for many other reasons.  One is council mergers.  OA meetings prior to our council merger were a 30 min round trip away.  Now they are 1 hr and 45 mins.  OA ordeal used to occur at our council summer camp.  Our council no longer has a summer camp.  Service was at a local camp (35 mins away).  That camp has been sold and service is now not linked to camps.  

    Agree with the importance of camps. One of the reasons we had a decent OA chapter was because of the local camp. Between the OA and local units, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of dollars have been invested into the camp. Now that we lost it, no one cares. Going to find out if the chapter advisor was able to divert money from that camp's OA  maintenance fund to the campership fund. I doubt it though.


    5 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

    Yes, AIA is one aspect that should be discussed, but changing that won't mean OA has solved it's long term role or relevence.  In fact, removing AIA without lodge involvement could kill OA.

    I can tell you that mandating the AOL Ceremony and Cross Over Commercial Ceremony helped kill off chapters in my area.


  17. Regarding Natives being offended. Yes, some are. AND some aren't.  One of the best powwows I attended had an elder talking about dance to people and showing his regalia over the years.  He had 50+ years of regalia, with one item looking vaguely familiar an Ordeal sash: He started dancing as an Arrowman. We had a wonderful conversation about Scouting, and the OA over the years. Best part was for me when he showed up to Grand Entry with his Old Style regalia and is Ordeal sash, and singled me out to show how proud he was of being an Arrowman. Yes, he wore that outfit and sash the entire session.

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  18. 5 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

    The program belongs to the young adults who are involved.  We cannot go wrong by letting them take the lead on what form the Order of the Arrow needs to take in the future.

    Respectfully, and vehemently, disagree. While the program SHOULD BELONG  (major emphasis) to the young adults who are involved, it doesn't. While chapter and lodge youth leaders have an impact, sadly I have seen some chapter and lodge advisors take over and rule with an iron fist. Worst example was when the Scout exec and lodge advisor wanted to amend the of the lodge's by-laws, which required a majority vote of lodge members to amend. When the overwhelming majority voted against his proposal, the LA point blank stated to all present and voting that "I don't care what you think, this amendment will go into effect." sparking protest and outrage.

    As for professionals, I have seen a SE take OA money designated by the Lodge Executive Committee to improve camp for conclave being turned into the lodge's FOS contribution because the money was sitting there.

    I do not know what happens at the section and regional levels, but look at the current  National OA Committee at the link posted above. Of the 36 members, only 4 are youth members of the OA. As I stated previously, that is better than the 3 youth members on a 60+ national OA committee. That committee made the decision to mandate the cheesy ceremonies for AOL and Cross Over that sparked outrage in my neck of the woods. We had one of the 3 members attend a lodge function since he is from our section. He was constantly being asked why the decision was made, and he refused to discuss to answer the question.

    So no, the OA does not belong to the youth.

    • Upvote 1
  19. This is a problem that has been bugging me since before COVID. WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH THE WEBELOS PROGRAM AND WDL TRAINING? ( caps for emphasis and extreme frustration)

    Webelos is supposed to be the transition period from Cubs to Scouts, not once they get into the troop. BSA in the 1990s realized the 9 to 12 month Webelos program from the 1980s and earlier didn't work, and created am 18 to 24 month program.  When I did the old Cub Scout Leader Basic Training, which was a day long class to train for ALL (emphasis) pack positions, it reiterated the fact that Webelos is different than the other Cub Scout programs, parents are suppose to start letting go and allowing the Webelos to do more. Training had language to that end. Even with the old Cub Leader Specific Training, the WDL training had specific language to mark the differences. When New Scouts had issues with transition, it was usually a result of WDLs not doing the WDL Specific Training.

    Lately I see almost NONE of the Webelos being ready for Scouts BSA, unless they have an old School WDL who went thru the older training. I've talked to, and had disccussons with folks on the topic, sometimes heatedly, because most of the stuff I was taught appears to no longer be part of WDL training. When I reviewed the syllabus, whole sections that should have been different, appeared to be cut and pasted from Wolf and Bear training materials to the point that the word "Webelos" was not mentioned in some sections.

    I know COVID screwed things up. This problem has been ongoing. Locally I knew what packs emphasized training, and which didn't. And I am seeing even the pro training packs not preparing their Webelos like they used to. We had  Webelos visit this past week, and from what my Scouts are telling me, we may get 1 out of the group because the others appeared to have no idea what Scouting is about, or are interested in Scouting.



  20. 12 hours ago, KublaiKen said:

    @Mrjeff, if you Google "order of the arrow national committee," here is the very first thing that pops up:


    On a positive note, I see that 4 youth members  are on the committee of 36 members. That is a big improvement from a few years back when it was 3 youth members on the committee of 60+ members.

    However it is still too many adults, even if I personally know some of them, and in one case worked with one of them back in the day. I know decisions that National has made have ticked off the youth as well as long tenured Scouters. I have seen an entire lodge protest some of those decisions in the past.

    As for OA being the "All Stars" sadly that is no longer the case, and has not been in quite some time. When OA changed election procedures back in the mid 1990s, a lot of old timers predicted what we are seeing now. "Sash and Dash" is rampant, and the OA has lost so much prestige as a result. NONE  of my currently eligible Scouts are interested. And the only reason why the last 2 OA members from my troop did it was because Dad was OA back in the day. Between the loss of camps, no inspirational ceremonies, and everyone who wants to be in can be voted in, OA is a pale shadow of itself.

    As for ceremonies, while they should not be the focus of the OA, they were what inspired members. Between essentially doing away with AOL and Cross Over Ceremonies, to the gradual removal of regalia, we are losing our heart as an Order.


    I too have kept the Vigil.

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  21. Dues covered registration, awards, and other supplies. Pack was old school in that Cross Over was not in conjunction with Blue and Gold. So those who had the Cross Over Ceremony in December or January actually registered with the troops they were joining, not the pack. Ceremony was just that, ceremonial.

    When youngest Crossed Over, some Cubs were behind for a Dec/Jan. Cross Over due to baseball. Plus Cub Scout Day Camp, which helped a lot with advancement, was cancelled by council that year because they did not want to send anyone to NCS (we later learned the council was in the red, but that is a different story). A few folks went to an out of council CSDC, which was a heck of a lot better than our district's, including the ones I ran. (a lot more support from the council). So the decision was to push Cross Over to BnG that year. My youngest stopped going to den meetings, and instead went to troop meetings as a guest starting in December because he was A. finished everything and B. chomping at the bit to be a Scout with his brothers. The $60 fee ( $72 with BOYS' LIFE) covered registration, AOL awards and plaque.  That was before the major jump in price though

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