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Eagle1993

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Everything posted by Eagle1993

  1. Eagle1993

    Policy on going through scout totes

    27! I think they made a movie about that kid...
  2. So it appears I will be taking over as SM of a fairly large Troop (70 - 80 scouts). The previous SM has been looking to step down the last few years and has not been present for most of this year. My son recently crossed over into this Troop and after a few adult leader meetings the CC asked me to take the role. After declining twice, I had further discussions and found that while the Troop is large they are becoming less active and there is concern they will collapse. Several Troops in my area have already died (over 4 packs feed this Troop) so I accepted. I have a general idea of this Troop’s culture and don’t want to rock the boat, but there are a few areas I think the scouts could change. My primary thought is that we can improve the use of the patrol method. Currently: patrols are set by the leaders PL and SPLs are set by leaders A scout told my son that Patrols only really matter at summer camp, Klondike and a few Troop meetings. This sounds like a lot of Troops where patrols are used, but not in the original concept. Given we have 70 - 80 scouts I think the Patrol method is critical. Any thoughts on a plan to increase usage of the patrol method?
  3. Eagle1993

    How to increase usage of Patrol Method

    Had the start of a conversation during our annual planning meeting (adults only, but SPL and a few other senior scouts were invited). Overall it went well, but I can see this could take several years to get a really strong patrol method Troop. The issues go back years where a previous adult intentionally broke up groups of friends between patrols. This came up when I asked if patrols go on their own outings. One of the other leaders said his son would hate that as none of his friends are in his patrol. I asked about camping arrangements and they never tent with Patrol members. I asked why and once again... the current patrols are not groups of friends. There was really no reason behind that.... other than a leader from years ago. So, one of the first tasks is to relook at how we divide up our scouts into patrols... then build from there. We talked about other changes and overall received support from the adults to increase usage of the patrol method. ... now I need to talk with the SPL to get his thoughts.
  4. I was reading through our annual report and found some interesting numbers... Cub Scout Membership dropped 25% (18% drop in number of packs) Boy Scout Membership dropped 12% (11% drop in number of Troops) Venturing Membership dropped 21% (26% loss of crews) Exploring and LFL also dropped over 30% each But on the advancement side... Cub Scout advancement went up 10% Boy Scout advancement was up 55% Merit Badges earned went up 14% So... is this a clear indication of clearing out ghost members? At first glance the numbers are concerning showing a large drop in members. But the raw numbers in advancement show increases... which doesn’t make sense unless the members dropped were not real members. The financials didn’t look great as well... showing falling numbers everywhere except Management & General.
  5. Eagle1993

    Council Annual Report - Interesting Numbers

    Follow up... sounds like the drop off was due to elimination of some inactive ScoutReach groups and very late rechartering by many units. Those units didn’t charter until the numbers had to be set.
  6. Eagle1993

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    The BSA said in their letter this week that they are going to formally announce in the coming days a new youth protection education initiative. "Through animated lessons and age-appropriate learning materials developed specifically for younger audiences, the 'Protect Yourself Rules' program will educate children on recognizing inappropriate conduct...," Surbaugh wrote. He also described a multi-layer screening process for all applicants 18 years or older, which has recently been enhanced, and said BSA has recently expanded its background check policy. https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/447107-democrats-want-more-information-from-boy-scouts-on-lobbying-effort
  7. Eagle1993

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    The CSE just stated in a letter to Congress that they have discovered instances where the BSA reinstated leaders after creditable claims of sexual abuse allegations. Now this is decades ago, but if they did I have a hard time defending the BSA in those specific instances. Most of this does sound like simply a race to money and they only ones hurt are those who never were involved in the program when the majority of the instances occurred.
  8. Eagle1993

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    https://www.scribd.com/document/412383206/Letter-Representative-Jackie-Speier-5-28-19 New letter to Rep Speier from CSE. It goes on to state that the BSA has hired a law firm to investigate further. “... I have the highest respect for this organization and the vital role that it plays in American life. When I sent my response to your November 20, 2018 letter, I believed in good faith, and with deeply felt conviction, that BSA would never have knowingly allowed a sexual predator to work with youth. I told you that in my response. Since then, I have learned that my response was incorrect. I have reviewed information that now makes clear to me that decades ago BSA did, in at least some instances, allow individuals to return to Scouting even after credible accusations of sexual abuse. I am devastated that this ever occurred.”
  9. Mr. Kosnoff said the abusers they have identified victimized more than 400 boys or men, who are now aged 14- to 97-years-old, while they were members of the Boy Scouts. The abuse took place in 49 states and Puerto Rico from the 1950s to 2017, the lawyers said. The lawyers said they were taking as many as 30 intake calls a day from potential new clients who say they were abused. “Nine out of 10 are identifying perpetrators who do not appear in the perversion files,” Mr. Kosnoff said, referring to the ineligible-volunteer files. On Wednesday, during the Boy Scouts’ annual meeting in Denver, a bankruptcy lawyer and a turnaround expert spoke on a panel about how bankruptcy would work, should the organization choose to file for chapter 11, the Boy Scouts said. https://www.wsj.com/articles/list-of-accused-boy-scouts-abusers-grows-lawyers-say-11559253681
  10. Sad story. I have fairly good knowledge of the river in my area and can tell you when I would and wouldn’t take scouts out based on flow rate. I know my river can go from canoes scrapping the bottom to life threatening rapids after a heavy overnight rain. I don’t know this river nor what was done to prepare for the trip. Water levels across Wisconsin rivers are high, flow at this river seems nearly 3 times historical average. https://waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/uv?site_no=05429500 Regardless, it is a very sad story and even if mistakes in planning were made it is a horrible lesson for all involved.
  11. Eagle1993

    How to increase usage of Patrol Method

    Great feedback, thanks! I will need to plan working with both the parents/adult leaders and PLC. My first conversation with adult leaders about patrols was interesting. I asked how leaders are selected and they said annually by the adults. I asked about having the patrols vote for their own leaders and the reaction of was mixed. One parent in particular was not a fan (“we don’t want this to be a popularity contest and the boys never asked for this anyway”). A very active ASM who was a prior SM (a great leader) was more reserved, indicating that it was discussed and decided previously ... but perhaps we should reconsider. So, I definitely can see that I need to come in with a strategy and work with both adults and youth on any changes. Your inputs are very valuable!
  12. Eagle1993

    Tenting: 2 years apart

    This is second hand but Many years ago our (20+) our Troop took a multi day horseback camping trip. The first night they forgot to hobble the horses. When they woke up, all the horses were gone and no where in sight. They ended up hiking (quickly) back 15 miles or so with the leaders worried how they were going to tell the owner they lost all of their horses. As the they approached closer to the ranch, they found the owner on the trail who yelled... you forgot to hobble the horses, didn’t you. The leaders admitted it and told the owner they lost all of the horses. After letting the scouts sweat a bit, the owner said the horses all walked back to the ranch in the middle of the night and they could restart the trip. I was told it was a great experience and they never forgot to hobble the horses again.
  13. Eagle1993

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    I think I’ll have to go into hiding after sharing this link. I’ve tried a couple of these.... they are identical cookies to the point the space between chocolate drizzle lines are identical. I still recommend buying the cookies as at least part of the funds help local scouts. https://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/girl-scout-cookie-equivalents-grocery-store-alternatives-to-thin-mints-samoas-tagalongs
  14. While I think it is foolish, the marketing argument doesn’t upset me. The underhanded comments that BSA is not safe seems to border on slander. It is definitely not scout like.
  15. We have a marathon winner with similar rules. It is great for scouts on their 4th or 5th PWD that are bored with the other awards. Also, it’s great for those that just have slower cars and keeps them interested. We give the slowest car the “Es-Car-Go” award...
  16. Eagle1993

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    I think the reported possible bankruptcy got the trial lawyers kicked into high gear to find clients before the BSA files. I think it should be made clear that the BSA’s perversion files were intended to keep predators out of scouting. Recent testimony indicates the BSA has 17 employees checking annual adult registrations against this list to help ensure they didn’t register as leaders. This is a bit different than the Catholic Church who just moved priests around. The BSA was operating in a time of no national background checks and in many ways should be commended for some of this work. If there are specific cases where they ignored reports or violated standards at the time, they should be held responsible. However, it seems like much of this is now about trial lawyers trying to hit a payday before bankruptcy.
  17. Eagle1993

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    https://www.apnews.com/e1ccae7cfce749169db80adf83a267cb Attorney Tim Kosnoff, a veteran of major sexual abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Church, said Tuesday that he and his team have signed up 186 clients from dozens of states in just the past few weeks who want to be part of litigation against the Boy Scouts. Kosnoff said 166 of them identified alleged abusers who have not been named in any of the Boy Scout files made public in past years. Both the Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church say they now have policies in place to sharply curtail abuse that abounded in past decades. In the Boy Scouts ′ case, the steps included requiring criminal background checks for all staff and volunteers, and requiring two or more adult leaders be present with youth at all times during scouting activities.
  18. Eagle1993

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    So it appears that January 30 this year a researcher hired by the BSA to go through their files indicated some of her findings in an unrelated trial. The trial was against a children’s theater in Minnesota. The expert indicated that the BSA required no one on one contact since 1987... whereas the theater only started this in 2017. In any case, the researcher stated some of the BSA prior processes and numbers that are coming out from her research. This is what the law firm is jumping at. In addition the law firm has released a report on their website of NY and NJ accused and asking for the abused to come forward. So I agree, appears to be a fishing expedition.
  19. Eagle1993

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    Just watched. This is in prep for the August 15 date where the statue of limitations is dropped in New York for child abuse. They indicate there are over 12,000 victims and 7,800 abusers...based on detailed analysis of the files...
  20. Eagle1993

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    I’m not sure if we have seen 100+ names released publicly before. This law firm is also going after the Catholic Church for similar issues... naming large numbers of the accused. Edit... actually looks like previous reports dating back to 2010 indicated 1,200 volunteers are listed. This law firm is indicating 7,000...
  21. Eagle1993

    Council Annual Report - Interesting Numbers

    Our council numbers were steadily declining over last 7 years (~2% per year), but nothing like this. I was told there are a large number of units barely getting by and many are folding. Nearly 80% of our DEs have < 1 year in the job. Several were fired or resigned last year. My district was the only one that grew from 2017. Our council supports adding girls, but wasn’t aggressively helping. We only have a few Troops formed. I’ve talked to a few Troop SMs who are saying they are having trouble finding ASMs that want to take over. All of this is concerning...
  22. Eagle1993

    Privacy of Health Forms

    Forgot about that one... yep, that would be a nice add as well!
  23. Eagle1993

    Privacy of Health Forms

    To be clear, I agree this is not a major issue. However, IT infrastructure is the 21st century storefront of many businesses and organizations. I would expect the BSA to create the IT software for councils and units to run efficiently. If the fee is $5, it must be covered by $25 annual fee we pay GSUSA or the camp charge (which is competitive with BSA). That said, I understand financial priorities have to me made and agree health forms are not the top priority. BSA has made some good progress on their IT investments over the last few years. I never deal with paper youth applications anymore and the process has been great over the last 12 months. We’ve been using Scoutbook, and while it can improve, the advancement sync is working flawlessly (I was pleasantly surprised the sync with ScoutNet seemed to be almost immediate and it saved extra paperwork and a drive to the scout center). I would love to see future improvements in charter renewals, health forms and adult applications. They should continue to see why Troops or Packs are using other IT packages than Scoutbook and help address the perceived gaps. All are possible (and again, the BSA is making progress) and it would help improve the storefront while maximizing volunteer hours on activities instead of paper.
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