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Everything posted by Eagle1993

  1. I found a posting on Talk About Scouting Facebook page about this slide from the National Annual Meeting. The summary is similar to what I have heard directly from our scouts. What shocked me was the many contributors who stated their scouts disliked camping. Someone mentioned that on Eagle BORs he heard STEM as the leading answer. Others mentioned that their scouts "get their 20 nights in" then never camp again. Then this quote came up. The BSA needs to figure out what our youth DO NEED TO SURVIVE and to get ahead in TODAY'S world. They need computer literacy, math, science, programming. We need scouts with essential "survival skills" going into the 21st century. What do our youth in 50 years, or in 100 years need to know? Youth do need outdoor outings. But many youth live in the city, and camping is a foreign concept to them. City folks can go to museums to identify plants and animals, etc. Our youth need to know how to navigate bus routes and subway systems. Do I live in a completely different BSA universe? My scouts love camping. Kids that don't enjoy camping don't join my Troop … they find other activities. I will not run an after school program that tells kids how to tour a museum...
  2. $7M in advertising seems like a lot … when was the last time National spent $7M on advertising? This fall is going to be rough.
  3. I think this is probably the biggest one, especially given that most of the discussion at National will be about financials. That said, I am in a decent size council that has no Scout BSA summer camp. Our scout numbers dropped much faster than surrounding areas after they sold off the only camp we had and we have yet to recover. FOS numbers dropped and as a unit we have had discussions if we should direct our FOS donations to the council (out of state) that hosts the camp we go to. When there is redundancy, I agree that selling off an underutilized camp probably makes sense. However, councils should be careful about selling off their only camp.
  4. I definitely agree that simply duplicating GSUSA system is not ideal and there are issues if BSA executives can simply generate units (scoutreach & fake numbers). However, I will say that I think my local GSUSA employees have a better idea of what girls & parents want than BSA. Why? Because GSUSA has more direct involvement in recruitment and leadership of units. When parents ask the GSUSA employee (directly) how much it costs … they have to answer (and FYI, their answer is "not as much as Boy Scouts ha ha ha". When camps were too far away, GSUSA employees knew as they are more directly involved with the units and created a bussing system. My council assumes COs are taking care of this (but they and we know they are not). So, their executives spend more time on FOS/popcorn and less on recruiting and leader development. Therefore, each unit is on its own with its current set of leaders and will live and die by that leadership. Councils get out of touch on what is important (as technically they don't own the units, don't recruit, don't find leaders, don't track leader training, etc.). Eventually, they make serious mistakes like selling our one BSA summer camp because there are other camps at other councils. and the "CORs didn't object". @Cburkhardt brings up several valid points as there are unit to unit culture variety that must be balanced and BSA ownership of units could kill that. However, the current CO system is broken for many units and I hope they think of creative solutions.
  5. There are Girl Scout troops in my area who do not sell cookies and their leaders are not dismissed. There have been BSA unit leaders dismissed for "non compliance".
  6. As a unit leader, why should I be driving the active engagement from the CO? Shouldn't that by the CO & COR's role? Our unit leaders have enough to do with managing a unit let alone trying to train the CO on how to be a CO. Our CO has no building. They provide $0 to us. They don't help find leaders. We have been attempting to get a solid COR with no success. The only decent COR we had was also our DE which caused issues. No one from their club wants to be a COR. I agree they don't want to be involved in day-to-day running of the unit … but the fact is they are barely aware that we exist other when we help at their fundraiser. Basically, we ended up with them because our PTO dropped us in the 1990s. We became a friend of unit there but that was risky so a leader at our current CO said they would be willing to sign our charter. If the CO model was working well, organizations would be contacting the BSA to setup and charter units. Every CO would have their COR really own the unit. Instead, most unit leaders are hunting for COs they can convince to take on their charter. Unit leaders are tracking down their barely existent COR and IH to get signatures on a charter app. I have never met my IH as my DE still helps me get his approval. At that point, why even bother with the CO model? I know there are good ones out there, but they seem few and far between. Getting back on topic of sacred cows ... I would kill the CO … or at least allow a hybrid model. Essentially allow the BSA council to be the CO of units. For those units with COs, they can follow the current model. I understand that could impact how COR voting is counted, but at this point I think we have bigger issues to deal with.
  7. COs are already dropping units. I know of a unit (prior to bankruptcy) that struggled to find a new CO when their PTO dropped them. They eventually found a fire station to be a CO. Several others ended up creating "Friends of …" COs. At our district meetings I have seen 1 or 2 CORs attend ever. Very few seem to meet today's requirements. If more work/pressure/liability was put on COs, I expect the whole CO/BSA system to collapse.
  8. I should have added … single gender Troops. I think someone mentioned that BSA would focus less on "character" and with the loss of LDS, I expect the declaration of religious principles to fall.
  9. Not saying these will be eliminated, but would think these are Organizational structure about the unit (Districts, Councils, Areas, Regions). Charter organizations Land - Council & High Adventure Bases Ranks - Eagle, Life, Start, etc. Blue Cards Paper books Scout shops Declaration of religious principles
  10. In the video they state … "End youth programs at 18 and build a volunteer corp for adults at 18." I'll be interested to hear what that looks like and if we can leverage them as adult leaders. If so, that could be a win as I think we lose young adults who could serve as leaders. "Create membership category to allow families and individuals to join special programs developed by councils." Also looking to see what this would be. I'm curious what they meant by this statement.
  11. They will just move on to the next turnip patch …. just wait to see how much they make on Covid-19. I don't think they care if BSA exists after the lawsuits or not, they just want another vacation home or a larger boat. If little Billy doesn't have a canoe for summer camp, they don't care. They may claim they are doing this for the better of society, but that is garbage. Look at the cars they buy, the homes they live in … they are about 1 thing, money.
  12. The lawyers for the victims groups have been clear. 85% of assets in BSA are owned by councils, only 15% by National. The 15% is simply not enough to pay all claims. Either councils fork over a big amount of $$ in bankruptcy court or they will sue in state courts. So, if Ohio never changes their law, the risk to your council is probably lower than those in California, New York, Illinois, etc. However, the impact on the brand will continue for many years as state laws change and new lawsuits are filed. I'm not sure I want to keep hearing about lawsuits 10 years from now … but I also don't want to see our local camps sold. Note that Ohio could change its law any time and if that happened, your council would then be at risk. https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/local-news/investigations/new-law-would-eliminate-statute-of-limitations-for-rape-childhood-sexual-abuse
  13. Thanks for the updates … my biggest concern is loss of land. Primarily Philmont, Sea Base and council camps. I'm sure there is probably excess in some councils, but it is tough to put on good camporees (such as Klondike) or summer camp at public facilities or state parks. It was bad enough when we went to a camp with a non private lake. Completely understand there will be some loss, but hopefully we have enough to continue the program. Otherwise, I simply hope we survive in some form. I don't see how national or regional overhead loss will be negative, but time will tell. Scouts BSA needs to go … I haven't seen many fans of the name in my area. Explorers wouldn't be bad and could be used to emphasize the outdoor focus.
  14. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
  15. We did the same … "if you are not comfortable, do not send your son to camp". We also emphasized that while we will enforce rules and expect scouts to follow them, there will be times where there will be no direct adult supervision. I would rather have parents not send kids than have them send them thinking we are guaranteeing 100% chance of no infection. I am concerned as I think this summer may be the best chance to camp within the next 9 - 12 months. The virus spread may actually be higher in the fall, winter and next spring. I think the risk is actually pretty low right now, given number of infections in my area, which is why we are looking to camp now.
  16. JCC camps in my area just cancelled. Surveys just started at my council. I think that ACA guidance document that was just released will accelerate decisions. Hoping my camp stays open, but if it doesn't, decided to take a father/son fishing trip.
  17. Not sure … I think the fact that Covid is a declared pandemic present in our community and the others are not would play a factor. Our ASM asked the lawyer friend as the ASM started to get a bit concerned about personal liability when another parent, lawyer, asked what would be our plan if someone got sick and we were sued. We thought we would be safe from lawsuits by attending a council camp. The lawyer said he wouldn't care … his answer was basically sue everyone and see what sticks. In the end, we decided to still look at going to a council camp and emphasize to parents that there is no guarantees and we will do our best. We also discussed some additional permission slip to reduce our legal liability (I know those don't work well). The bigger impact the conversation had was on us putting on our own camp in the middle of a pandemic. If we could follow the ACA guidance then perhaps … but we know there would probably be gaps that then could open us up the real legal fallout (and also put scouts at risk). Perhaps other areas would have lower legal risk, but our town seems to be lawsuit happy.
  18. Note … after reading this 82 page document, there is no way our Troop will be willing to take on putting up our own summer camp. We were initially talking about this option, but it is a no go now. If our summer camp is cancelled or if there are not enough families interested, we will cancel this year. We talked with a lawyer friend about this issue… he said that if his kid ended up with Covid-19 from a camp, he would sue the Troop leaders, charter org, council and national and let the courts figure out who pays what. It will be tough enough for council camps to comply with all 82 pages … I know our Troop will not be able to without a council camp structure.
  19. Many camps were waiting on guidelines to be published by ACA, the guidelines (82 pages) were just released yesterday (use link below and click on - Download Field Guide for Camp). I expect camps will be reviewing these and releasing their own guidelines. https://www.acacamps.org/resource-library/coronavirus/camp-business/camp-operations-guide-summer-2020
  20. Unexplained is the key word there... 🙂
  21. Philmont's Facebook page is pretty active since the May 15 update. - They are working on releasing the COVID Mitigation and Operation plan within 1 week (including mask requirements) - They were asked directly about New Mexico's requirement that youth summer programs are limited to "local geographic area only". Philmont's response "...The ranch management is working with state officials to determine our classification and what we'll be allowed to do."
  22. June 1 seems really late. I don't understand how they have not already reviewed their plans with the state. I understand that there could be changes, but Philmont states "Philmont will be meeting with the NM Department of Health to review the Philmont COVID-19 mitigation and operating plan. We will obtain their suggestions and input and confirm that we can operate within state guidelines. " … so they do not even have confirmation that they can operate yet? People are spending a ton of money and time planning, I would think they would have already reviewed this with the state. I hope they already have the go ahead and just need to close out some details. "Participants who fall in the high-risk category (as defined by the CDC) should not attend Philmont this summer. If you are in this category you should stay home." CDC states the following are at high risk. Does this mean Philmont will prevent anyone in the group below, based on their health forms, from going out on a Trek? Are they going to stop anyone with diabetes or 65 and older? Are they really going to stop anyone with moderate asthma (so if they see you are going with an inhaler you are out)? I'm ok with this policy, but they need to make it clear if they plan to enforce this. Based on what we know now, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are: People 65 years and older People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including: People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma People who have serious heart conditions People who are immunocompromised Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher) People with diabetes People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis People with liver disease
  23. Philmont Scout Ranch Update: May 15th Philmont continues to forge ahead with a July 1 opening date. Philmont is monitoring to monitor the recommendations from the CDC, NM Governor Lujan Grisham, State and local health departments, and the American Camp Association. May 15th updates are below: As we prepare for opening on July 1, we know there are potential barriers such as spikes in new cases that could affect this opening plan. Any changes regarding the July 1 opening will be announced no later than June 1. Philmont will be meeting with the NM Department of Health to review the Philmont COVID-19 mitigation and operating plan. We will obtain their suggestions and input and confirm that we can operate within state guidelines. There will be changes to programs and itineraries. We will not be utilizing all backcountry camps. In support of social distancing requirements, elements of programming will be different. Examples include: no opening or closing campfires in base camp, church services, or confined activities such as mine tours. Other activities that involve enclosed spaces will be suspended or altered. We are still working through the more detailed portions of this planning. Every crew member attending Philmont should bring their own mask (face covering) and a pair of leather gloves. Each crew will be taking part in a conservation project during their trek. Many will also go rock climbing or spar pole climbing. All these activities require leather gloves which are difficult to sanitize between uses. Everyone bringing their own gloves will eliminate this sanitation issue. All crews that were arriving in June and have been cancelled should make sure they received and responded to the email that was sent to lead advisors and reservation contacts. It has specific information about transferring and cancellations. It is also posted at https://www.philmontscoutranch.org/coronavirus/ Participants who fall in the high-risk category (as defined by the CDC) should not attend Philmont this summer. If you are in this category you should stay home. The Philmont Covid-19 Mitigation and Operating Plan is being finalized and will be posted on the Philmont website within the next week. While we continue to plan and prepare for summer, Philmont will remain closed to the public through June 1st. We’d like to thank all crews that replied to the May 1 survey. Please know that our camping registrars are still working diligently to follow up with all remaining crews. We greatly appreciate the patience of all participants and staff for the 2020 Summer season. We wish you and your families good health as we all work to overcome the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Deliver Wilderness Adventures that Last a Lifetime.
  24. @Cburkhardt Does Summit offer a patrol cooking summer camp option? Our Troop has a history of patrol cooking summer camps and one year went to a summer camp that was dining hall based. The difference was huge and the scouts and scouters decided they never wanted to do a dining hall camp again. We know long term most camps are headed to dining hall, but if summit offered a patrol cooking option, it could be a great option.
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