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Everything posted by Eagle1993

  1. Eagle1993

    National Leadership, Surbaugh Leave of Absense

    I just went to council two weeks ago post Eagle BOR. They only needed the advancement sheet and the 2 page signed application to go to National, not the workbook. So perhaps this did change.
  2. Yes, private organization can discriminate if they can prove it conflicts with their organization mission/values. The Supreme Court has been fairly consistent. While I personally believe BSA made a mistake banning gay youth in the first place and an even bigger mistake fighting it so publicly in court, I don’t believe it was a primary cause of our massive membership drop. Nor do I believe that reversing the decision was the primary cause for further loss. If this was the case, the Coed Campfire program and the conservative Trail Life program would each have hundreds of thousands of youth. Both are barely the size of an average council. I’ve never had a youth leave the program that brought up the social issues. Only once, with a close friends who don’t join, was the gay ban brought up. They said they wouldn’t sign up their scout because of it... I explained that changed... they still didn’t sign up. BSA, outside of Eagle Scout, is not in the formula for getting little Jonny into the best colleges. STEM or STEAM education has replaced the Scout Law as the National crisis. Patrol method is messy, parents are not patient to let it work. Youth have plenty of other opportunities for entertainment and are typically already over scheduled. Done right, scouting is a fun experience that does teach critical values and skills our nation needs. Unfortunately, too few know this and I see further declines in membership ahead.
  3. Eagle1993

    National Leadership, Surbaugh Leave of Absense

    These things don’t magically happen. It takes dedication of many volunteers inside and outside the units at the District level to put on good programs. Yes, our unit has a lot of our own events throughout the year but it is greatly enhanced by broader outings. I could add some districts have talented unit commissions that help out struggling units. If districts and councils don’t matter, then why do certain council areas flourish and over perform in terms of youth participating in scouting and others languish? I don’t believe that is random. I believe when councils and district professionals find and support their experienced/solid council and district volunteers, it absolutely helps units perform well and deliver and improved program. Perhaps I should amend my initial summary... good Districts and Councils are vital to scouting.
  4. Eagle1993

    National Leadership, Surbaugh Leave of Absense

    At our District level, camporees have added a lot of value. Our Klondike, our on by district, is a Troop favorite. Council level summer camps, merit badge clinics (some) and a variety of partnerships with local universities and professional sports teams have helped provide solid experiences. In addition, my council has definitely helped on recruiting tasks. National... improving IT systems (Scoutbook linkages & online applications) along with high adventure plus program material. Now, I do question if our fees and fundraising are going to these areas in the most efficient way possible and I question all the layers of leadership.
  5. Eagle1993

    BSA Mortgages Philmont Scout Ranch

    Wikipedia battle continues. The info has once again been removed.
  6. Eagle1993

    BSA Mortgages Philmont Scout Ranch

    It was updated yesterday. Then deleted today as false information. The updated again. Wikipedia is fast.... Note that it is being edited by a user that was created 3 days ago and these are their only edits. Not stating it is false, but where this is included is clunky in the report so I expect more experienced Wiki users will continue to edit.
  7. Eagle1993

    LDS Youth Program for 2020

    Ha! Now, if you said Wilderness Survival I’m all in!
  8. Eagle1993

    National Leadership, Surbaugh Leave of Absense

    I wish him a full and speedy recovery.
  9. Eagle1993

    Scouter.com Slogan Contest

    In a web of trolls, talk Patrols here!
  10. Eagle1993

    Fee increase - observations

    The issue is what services does National provide that we are paying to receive. National does not provide facilities for meetings, any of the District or Council paid staff, most camps any scout goes to, etc. National provides the program outline (actual program materials comes with extra cost), insurance (but not the insurance that councils provide for injuries at outings), IT systems, and administrative overhead. The actual program is put on by units, districts and councils. The correct comparison is GSUSA, Trail Life, 4H, etc. who’s National fees are much less than BSA. My disappointment is not necessarily the increase, but the lack of any transparency on what they did to ensure their financial house gets back in order.
  11. Eagle1993

    on the trail to ... Scout?

    We have a lot of members stuck prior to Scout due to this Cyberchip requirement. As an individual or with your patrol, use the EDGE method and to teach Internet safety rules, behavior, and “netiquette” to your troop or another patrol. You are encouraged to use any additional material and information you have researched. Each member of the patrol must have a role and present part of the lesson. In general, the Cyberchip is the primary reason we end up with some backlog. The other requirements are easy and can occur at nearly any outing. Cyberchip also requires watching videos at home that tak an hour or so plus creating a contract with your parents. To me, this should be a Tenderfoot or even Second Class requirement. Let’s keep focus on basic scout skills and Patrol structure for scout rank. When I’ve talked with the scouts, all already cover internet safety in school, and they said the videos are outdated and goofy. The only valuable portion is going over the Troops electronic device policy.
  12. Eagle1993

    Troop t-shirts for summer camp

    Our shirts have an upside down camp map on the front. That way, they can lift up the bottom of the front of their shirt and have a camp map ready at all times.
  13. This topic came up after a recent PLC. My son just crossed over to the Troop this spring and I was asked to be SM. After refusing multiple times I reluctantly accepted. The first PLC meeting three adults were present (CC, a very experienced ASM and me). We sat at a table next to the scouts. After the meeting, I mentioned that I thought in general the scouts were very quiet. In addition, the one topic they talked about, asking for a change in electronic policy, their idea was shot down the the CC immediately. They asked me for some clarification and I had to correct some errors the CC made in his argument. I talked with the CC after the meeting and suggested we sit in a far off area, out of ear shot. The SPL can come over if needed, but in general we would come over for the last 10 mins to close out any discussions. The CC didn’t agree and that ended the conversation. Your point that scouts act differently when adults are around is 100% correct. I remember as a youth this is true and can see it as a new SM. Unfortunately, some adult leaders who claim units are youth led are afraid of actually allowing a youth led unit.
  14. Eagle1993

    Informal Observations on LDS Scouts

    Rough numbers. We have about 25,000,000 boys in scouting age in USA and about 2,000,000 members today... so about 8%. If 10% of LDS remain that would roughly be consistent with other groups.
  15. Eagle1993

    BREAKING - Fee Increase Numbers

    My area, summer camp is just under $400 but a one week YMCA overnight camp is over $800 (but they ask those that can afford to pay the true cost $900). In terms of overnight week long camps, BSA summer camps are a great value in my area and there are scouts I seem to only see during summer camp. Many parents are dual income and look to sign their kids up for week long camps throughout the summer when school is out. Hopefully this increase will be the end for a while. I do think some of my intermittent Cub Scouts may drop as the fees continue to increase.
  16. Eagle1993

    possible fee increase coming

    At our pack meeting last night, several parents started talking that they don’t want to bail out the BSA from their past sins (sex abuse). The discussion came up as I had to stop parents paying registration fees until we hear from National BSA. It will be a tough message if they see a large fee increase tied to anything related to creating a victims fund. I mentioned insurance and they scoffed. A couple parents told me their sons play football and they sign waivers as the football teams no longer have insurance for head or neck injuries. I mentioned health insurance and they pushed back saying they have their own health insurance and don’t need it from BSA. These parents can afford it (median income in my area is 6 figures) but they don’t like the idea of paying for overhead or items they don’t see any benefit. For example, many paid $100 for an outing we went on with no pushback, but they would be upset to be charged $25 in additional fees if they don’t see a value in return.
  17. Eagle1993

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    https://www.nj.com/news/2019/04/50-pedophile-boy-scout-leaders-from-nj-are-about-to-be-exposed-in-bombshell-reveal-law-firm-promises.html https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Sex-Abuse-Boy-Scouts-of-America-Lawsuits-BSA-508934291.html
  18. I’m a bit pessimistic. More wealthy families no longer see scouting as critical to their children’s success and they don’t see how scouting can fit in their schedule between mandarin classes, coding clubs, sports and music. Middle class families are being priced out with national, council and camp fees. Yes, there is fundraising, but scouting is not about fundraising and if that takes up considerable time just to pay registration fees you’ll lose interest. Lack of quality new volunteers is my biggest concern about long term health. Several Troops in my area are led by older scouters who would like to back down, but they cannot find parents willing to take on the work. Public schools seem to be at best, agnostic to BSA. LDS loss willl be a big blow. Fraternal lodges seem to be in decline as well (Moose, Elk, etc. are shutting down in my area). National needs to focus on what is the core mission of the BSA, help reduce overhead on volunteers outside that core mission and market it. Scout Me In was a swing and miss. Clarify how scouting is unique, fun and important to youth development and market that. I don’t see that happening, I see the opposite which is driving my concern.
  19. Eagle1993

    possible fee increase coming

    I’ve seen some rumors on FB coming out of the Alaska region; however, I’m not sure what to believe. My parents are pretty smart. If they greatly increase fees to while not declaring bankruptcy it seems like simply throwing money into a bottomless pit. If they are facing such a large fee increase, they need to declare bankruptcy. Yes, BSA national fee is cheaper than other activities; however, that fee doesn’t pay for uniforms, facility rentals, camps, equipment, outings, etc. In our relatively inactive pack our annual cost per scout is in the range of $170 above the fee ... excluding $140 for day camp. Scouts BSA is much greater than those numbers. But I guess we can simply sell more popcorn.
  20. Eagle1993

    possible fee increase coming

    We received a note from our council that states the BSA is looking at its options regarding financial restructuring to appropriately support those affected by abuse in the Scouting program. Any decision on this will likely come in October or November. (I think this clarifies what our CE said at round table). So while insurance and loss of members may be driving the fee increase, it looks like they have to delay any announcement until the consider the totality of the situation including financial restructuring.
  21. Eagle1993

    possible fee increase coming

    Last fee increase was $9. Not that we allow gambling, but if we did, I’d place a large wager on the over. Delaying an announcement of a fee increase until Nov makes no sense. Pull the board together tonight and vote on it. If the internal debate is between a massive fee increase and bankruptcy then declare bankruptcy. No fee increases will cover the massive lawsuits on top of our current tenuous financial situation. Laying the financial burden of the failures of the past on the backs of parents of your current membership is wrong. Fees are a small part of the total cost of the program... I know there are fundraisers, but there are limits. Now, if this is a small increase, get over with it and let us know now.
  22. Eagle1993

    possible fee increase coming

    Last time they raised fees, they let us know early Sept. That was late but at least before recruiting. Why do they need to wait until Oct 23? This doesn’t make sense at all unless they are considering other options.
  23. Eagle1993

    possible fee increase coming

    This sounds bad... if they have to setup a fund to help some cover the fee increase, it probably will hurt a bit. https://mailchi.mp/bsamail/important-scouting-news-please-read
  24. Eagle1993

    Completed MB?

    “There’s a form for that!” Under section Merit Badge Program In the event unit leaders or other volunteers discover that any merit badge counselors are not following mandated procedures regarding the use of blue cards or working with the requirements as they are written, they should complete and submit to the council advancement committee the Reporting Merit Badge Counseling Concerns form (found in the appendix) . Unit leaders should regularly review the policies and procedures related to the merit badge process with Scouts, parents, guardians, and leaders, and counsel them on proper methods as the need arises.