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Everything posted by Eagle1993

  1. At our Cub Scout level recruitment numbers had dropped but that is a good point regarding retention. In the end, it is critical that the Pack has their program with the perfect combination of kids having fun and parents seeing the value. Some of our dens do better than others. But I still believe there is an image problem with the BSA... we get the funnel from scouting families but that isn't enough. We don't push FOS hard ... more of a soft sell. The only fee requirement we have is the $100 we charge for annual den, pack and membership dues. Our pack is in an affluent area where parents spend $2-$3K per year on baseball camps and leagues so our $100 rarely comes up as an issue. At the Cub Scout level, I tend to believe our ranks will grow if we go coed. I'm not sure about Boy Scouts and if we lose LDS I'm sure total numbers will drop.
  2. Ian.. good points. I remember as a kid when Steven Spielberg was helping at Jambo for cinematography merit badge ... but outside of that the most celebrity mention was the occasional so and so was a former scout. I think BSA does have a marketing problem. Excluding gays hurt for a while (in terms of press coverage) and Billy builds a retaining wall for an Eagle project, while honorable, doesn't bring in the recruits. But the issue isn't just at a national level. Our pack had dropped from 70-80 scouts to 20s over a few years. We created a Facebook put pictures of our outings and advertised with signs outside our school. (We were banned from boy talks and any official school events due to a previous lawsuit filed by a member of the community when we still banned gays). The next year we add 23 new scouts. Several asked if we really camped in a cave, etc. Our national and local image needs to change. If we add girls it may make sense for a brand refresh.
  3. NJ.. the sneaky part they are referring to is an accusation the BSA is badmouthing GSUSA. I have never seen that (outside of GSUSA parents and scouts fed up with their program). As you mention the actual sneaky part is the BSA tactic that is preventing current members of BSA from knowing what is being discussed. Merger or any partnership with GSUSA should be off the table. Campfire scouts may be a better option. I wonder what the female venture scouts think of that resist/persist hash tag. To me it is incredibly condescending. I am confident girls and young women have the strength of character to chose the program or programs that suit them best.
  4. Chicago Tribune editorial board.... http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-scouts-20170824-story.html "An obvious solution to consider is a merger, which would assure strong membership and reflect social change. But if that’s a non-starter, here’s an interesting alternative: Since we’re waaaaay past the era when Boy Scouts went canoeing while Girl Scouts learned to sew, open both organizations to all youths. Both do the same types of activities, from rocketry to rock climbing. Both are good at selling stuff. So let them sell the benefits of membership along with the cookies and popcorn. Allow the kids to sort out how they want to spend their time, and with whom. Talk about equality, and empowerment." Washington Post Opinion (by one of their reporters who is an ex member of GSUSA).. "Girls shouldn’t be barred from the Boy Scouts if that’s where they want to be. But the effort to undercut the Girl Scouts by stealing the lifeblood of their organization is sneaky, pathetic and shameful. #Resist #Persist"
  5. The previous changes were forced through due to massive outside pressure. I can tell you that my corporate (DOW listed company) LGBTQ affinity group would have ensured no facility or funding would have been given to BSA. If the policy didn't change, I expect that even listing Eagle Scout on your resume could have be a blemish if not a sign to screen it out. BSA would have been viewed in the same light as a race based organization. My point above is to not debate our previous policy changes but to emphasize that adding girls is not being driven by outside groups (for the most part). I haven't heard threats of funding being pulled and nothing from our women's affinity groups. Therefore, this is clearly is being looked at solely as a plan to increase membership. First impact that must be considered is our LDS scouts. They are a massive percent of BSA membership and I am sure the BSA already knows their plans. They are either planning to stay after adding girls or have already decided to leave. I don't believe adding girls would offset LDS loss, and since the BSA is investigating this change I don't believe LDS would leave as a result of adding girls (my guess). If that is the case, I tend hope BSA did do the studies that show membership increase. Hopefully they are accurate
  6. While officially quiet their volunteers and employees were vocal pointing out their admission differences and their supporters in the media used this to trash the BSA. They still do it today. I was at my daughters new scout meeting and the question of fees came up. The Girl Scout leader said she didn't know yet as it is a new troop. We threw out some ranges and in response to one of the higher ranges the Girl Scout executive laughed and said they weren't the Boy Scouts. In our discussions with parents for our pack we have always been positive when talking about GSUSA. GSUSA must tread carefully here. BSA can simply state they are opening up another opportunity for girls. I think GSUSA and their supporters will argue this is bad for girls. They are already tweeting news releases pushing this idea and Liberal news organizations (Slate and Daily Beast) and already have opinion pieces on this. I think emphasizing the positive aspects of the GSUSA and girl only organization is fine. The letter from GSUSA went well beyond and attacked even the option of another organization offering an opportunity for girls. I'm concerned that even our venturing girls will feel like traders based on GSUSA's response. That tactic sickens me. We are both organizations with different strengths and GSUSA should remain strong regardless of some girls joining BSA (if that occurs). No organization should attack the BSA (other than our own existing charters) if the BSA decides to offer more programs to girls.
  7. NY Times reporting.... "The letter, which BuzzFeed reported about on Tuesday, came after a tense phone conversation last week between executives of both organizations, including Mr. Stephenson and Ms. Hopinkah Hannan, about possible substantial changes at the Boy Scouts. " "...Ms. Hopinkah Hannan had a different interpretation of the phone call, according to her letter. She believed the Boy Scouts had already decided to encroach on the Girl Scouts’ territory." "..,(BSA spokeswoman) She said that Boy Scouts executives had reached out to the Girl Scouts since the letter was sent and hope to set up another meeting to smooth over concerns. “There is an opportunity for both of us to do more,†she said."
  8. @@The Latin Scot ... thanks for the insights, it is better to hear information from someone within the faith. I'm sure it is somewhat like having those outside the BSA srite about its culture. I guess time will tell and I'm sure LDS leaders are keeping BSA informed. Thanks....
  9. For GSUSA to come out and I don't know if you actually read both articles but the Washington Post had separate quotes from both organizations than the buzzfeed article. In addition the Washington Post article covered both organizations membership drop and went into more depth. The GSUSA letter was a laugh! GSUSA through their loyal reporters/advocates have attacked the BSA at every opportunity... just look at their preening after the BSA Trump speech. Their letter and behavior over BSA considering girls is incredibly disappointing. If you believe in your organization, promote it and be comfortable that you wil have members flock to join. This letter is an attempt to build a wall to in prison American girls and prevent them the freedom of choice in organizations that fit their needs!
  10. @@Stosh. I was told the same... decision made, "local option". I asked when and was told they are working on logistics and it wasn't clear how they would handle the Boy Scout plan. I pressed a bit and was told they were looking at recharter time Jan 2018. Apparently there was a vote on white boards at the national meeting by SEs and >70% voted yes immediately pursue this. Who knows.. it wasn't the official statement but I trust the source.
  11. Washington Post now running with this with headline "Scout Wars...". Not much info beyond buzzfeed but did have some more comments about GSUSA comments and indicated they also have seen a major membership drop. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/08/23/scout-wars-girl-scouts-accuse-boy-scouts-of-recruiting-girls-to-increase-membership/?utm_term=.c3679e002e2e
  12. There was nearly universal support for accepting girls into the program at our district meeting; however, a lot of complaints regarding the parallel paths. We had a former U.K. leader in who stated that they tried that method and it failed in 2 years and they went full coed. Most complaints were that we don't have enough volunteers to create independent Dens and Troops and there may not be enough girls in the program to even warrant them. Basically, if you are going to go coed, go coed... don't try and have an in name only single gender attempt. We also had complaints about the "covert" nature of the discussion... just be upfront with the proposal. I will say the above is based upon who attended and was vocal... it is really hard to know where the majority stand in the district.
  13. I thought the news report out of Iowa was a much better tactic for GSUSA. This letter seems defensive and petty. I don't think this will go over well as it appears GSUSA wants to limit choice for girls. That is too bad because I was hoping GSUSA would make the necessary changes to allow it to be on par with the BSA program... given this letter I don't think that will occur.
  14. I'd recommend skipping to the section titled "You can go your own way". The rest is a retelling of the actions leading up to opening up membership and leadership to LGBTQ. While I do agree with those changes qwazse is correct that the article is incomplete in its reporting regarding membership decline pre and especially post. What I found interesting and new were the latest info regarding LDS continued partnership with BSA and how that might be influencing their expansion to accept girls. Through discussions with LDS officials and various religious and BSA researchers and historians it seems clear that LDS would create their own youth organization and leave BSA and that the BSA is probably aware of this. They then speculate that the loss of 1/3 of their membership is driving them to open up Scouts to girls. This article in addition to the Buzzfeed article today releasing a letter from GSUSA to BSA accusing the BSA of coverterly undermining them in preparation for expanding membership to girls would indicate they already made their decision. BSA released a statement they didn't make a decision yet and that they are disappointed the GSUSA broke off talks to align in the future. I'm on the fence of letting girls into the program. While I think some may enjoy it and succeed, I don't want to see BSA try to be everything to everyone ... at that point you do nothing well. I do think the decision has been made and is likely due to LDS leaving Scouts.
  15. The GSUSA would agree with you Col Flagg ... https://www.buzzfeed.com/tasneemnashrulla/girl-scouts-letter-to-boy-scouts?utm_term=.soL2MEPKG#.vclnmRoGW
  16. Agreed. For the most part, attrition seems to come down to our den leaders. Those who have fun and engaging den meetings and outings have actually added heads each year. Our den leaders who have had inconsistent meetings and no den outings have lost members. I like the idea of the high five line and expanding scouting gradually to the younger ones to keep them exited and wanting to come back each year for more. There is definitely a risk that 5-6 years of full Cub scouting is too much for most youth and parents.
  17. Interesting article from Think Progress that walks through the history of LGBT admission into scouting. While primarily focused on the actions and events that led to the changes in membership policy it does talk to some who have studied the Morman faith and seems to conclude it is likely that LDS will completely leave the BSA. It also states that the BSA leadership is likely aware and that could be a primary driver in opening up membership to females (to help offset the loss). While the article is written by a former member of Scouts for Equality and I don't agree that our membership loss was due to our admission policy in the 1990s through early 2000 (GSUSA also dropped during that time) I thought the article raised some interesting points and may be another reason BSA is looking to open up membership. https://thinkprogress.org/boy-scouts-lgbtq-lds-policy-changes-3b6f6fcdce4a/
  18. We had 18 Lions in our pack last year and most will become Tiger (18 of our 50 member pack). We had the Tigers attend about half our Pack meetings including the Blue & Gold but kept them out of any overnight activity, PWD and popcorn sales. Those limited pack activities plus their own den meetings seemed to be the right mix of exposing scouting to them without letting the Pack meeting/outings descend into chaos. We saw no impact or loss of our existing Scouts due to adding Lions. One reason I think we are seeing a lot of Lions Is because GSUSA starts at the same age and parents are starting to think about Cub Scouts at the same time. Obviously we don't know the long term retention rate of this group but the first year went well.
  19. I think the concerns extend beyond periods and sex. I think the concern I have would be turning Boy Scouts into a watered down camping club for the older youth and a glorified day care for the grade schoolers. I don't believe adding girls would have to result in those changes but it is a risk based upon some of the language being used. I think it also depends on which girls join Boy Scouts. If the tomboys, for lack of a better term, join I don't see an issue. If girls join and push scouting to more about STEM and other non outdoor activities ... it could permanently damage Boy Scouts. If Boy Scouts keep their patrol method and continue to be an outdoor driven program with minimal changes, I would welcome adding girl members. We had a few girls go with us on a 100 mile canoe trip in the BWCA with no issues.... they were considered one of the guys. However, I could also see this go south fast.
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