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Everything posted by gblotter

  1. gblotter

    Condom Distribution at World Jamboree

    I have passion about these issues, and I share the disappointment felt by many. But ... I think the Family Research Council does themselves a disservice by characterizing the situation with such statements. These kinds of descriptions do not advance their cause, and only make themselves look less credible. The facts themselves are strong enough arguments without resorting to ridiculous language.
  2. gblotter

    Condom Distribution at World Jamboree

    From the press release, alcohol will not be offered at Jamboree - bravo! However, I think most of the furor is centered on condoms at Jamboree. I see no direct mention of that hot potato by BSA or WOSM. They were clear about no alcohol, so why not be clear about the most volatile topic (condoms). Maybe I missed something in a veiled reference like "adhere to the existing health requirements developed to address the needs of international health norms in a manner more aligned with local practices"? Is it beyond their ability to just say what they mean?
  3. A loss of 80 percent of Scouts and units is expected for the LDS-heavy councils of the intermountain west. You predict more than that? It is hard for me to imagine a path forward for some of those councils, and consolidations seem inevitable. Somehow folks are able to put the pieces back together after a Cat-5 hurricane.
  4. gblotter

    Breaking Point

    There will be an entirely-expected spike in Eagles next year as LDS Scouts prepare to exit BSA, followed by a big drop off in 2020 and beyond. Who knows how many years it will take to regain previous levels (if ever). If you believe there are too many Eagles (in numbers and percentages), the LDS church just fixed that problem for you.
  5. The frog has been on the stove for some time now.
  6. BSA National can declare that council-owned camp properties do not meet standards, but they cannot force a sale, can they? Speaking of our council only, we have three camp properties where only two are needed. One crumbling camp sits mostly idle - even during the summer camping months. That camp gets rented out to all sorts of non-BSA groups, providing just enough revenue to keep the camp going but not enough revenue to make it an attractive, thriving property. It depresses me to go there because it's decaying hodgepodge of 1960s structures are a maintenance nightmare.
  7. Summit debt is the key factor. Bloated salaries for BSA brass are nothing compared to debt for SBR. Eliminate all BSA executives and the SBR problem still does not go away. I don't know how the debt is structured. If/when SBR goes down, are other parts of BSA insulated to keep the ship afloat - or do they start coming after Philmont and office buildings in Irving? I have no idea. That question will be answered soon enough. If BSA does indeed survive, the new configuration will bear little resemblance to the Scouting we have known in the past. Some may cheer these changes as being long overdue, but I find it all very sad to watch such an icon of American culture unravel like this.
  8. Show me the photo of you wearing that red beret.
  9. I expect we'll see a membership bloodbath over the next five years - not necessarily precipitated by the LDS departure, but because of general disillusionment over recent changes. If non-urban Scouting predictably declines, how can anyone expect that urban Scouting will fill the void? Urban Scouting has always been an awkward fit at best. No matter - Irving will double-down on gender-neutral Scouting with fully co-ed troops. Alienating the BSA base in order to pursue a perpetually elusive periphery.
  10. Yes - I earned my Eagle under the old requirements. I dropped out of Scouting shortly thereafter (along with 2.5 million others). So I guess I am not an ISP survivor at all - I am an ISP casualty. I detested the red beret - almost as much as those Skill Awards.
  11. I finished my last Eagle-required merit badge in December 1973 and passed my EBOR in early 1974. An ISP survivor here, too. Yep. Thing is, BSA cannot sustain those kinds of membership losses this time around and still survive as an organization. The margins are too thin for these kinds of mistakes.
  12. I don't link BSA bankruptcy reorganization to the LDS departure. I attribute it to huge debts and looming balloon payments for The Summit.
  13. BSA will see those kinds membership declines next year just from the LDS departure. The additional attrition over the next decade will be much more severe.
  14. No - not any different in my generation, but back then boys at least had things like Scouting to provide some balance with male role models. Those options are now narrowing (just sports teams?). Not all boys happen to be sporty (I certainly wasn't).
  15. Totally agree - but Irving seems to be acting in desperation these days - grasping at the straws World Scouting. Vision isn't high on their list.
  16. And nobody is surprised.
  17. Females have contributed greatly in their roles in our troop. Personally, I see the influence of male role models decreasing and the influence of female role models increasing in the lives of boys. Scouting now seems to be following that societal trend. I don't view that as a good thing. Absolutely.
  18. I think BSA will continue to exist, but in a very different incarnation than we know today. Some sort of bankruptcy reorganization seems inevitable. Many of the changes ahead will be dictated by courts and creditors and parties entirely detached from Scouting. But setting aside the gloom and doom ... OA will soon be forced to abandon its Indian-themed ceremonies - too much cultural appropriation for this PC era. Whether OA continues to exist at all after that - who knows? God is next on the chopping block. I fully expect that Duty to God will become an optional component, if not eliminated from the oath altogether. Yes - everything seems to point in the direction that BSA wants to emulate the UK Scouting program. With Irving's track record, I personally think they will end up emulating the Canada Scouting program instead. BSA National just doesn't have the wisdom and competence. I wholeheartedly support the idea of this kind of BSA ambassador. I would choose a male role model who exudes outdoor adventure and healthy manhood. That doesn't seem to fit the current trend toward genderless Scouting, so I'm sure BSA will bungle things by picking both a man and a woman. This is the wrong way to go. STEM is currently being pushed everywhere in our society. Who needs BSA for that? BSA needs to differentiate itself around outdoor adventure (something that should already be its core strength). Less indoors - more outdoors. Less bookwork - more adventure.
  19. gblotter

    Committee Members for BORs

    Committee works the same for our LDS troop. Few formal committee members, more parent volunteers who are not registered leaders. For our troop, BORs are scheduled by the Committee Chair in consultation with the Scoutmaster and the Advancement Chair. We have a list of "usual suspects" (both committee members and other volunteers), but we will take almost anyone who is willing to participate and learn the process along the way. For efficiency, we try to batch up our rank advancements and hold a BOR once every three months or so for any Scout who is ready, but of course we will do it more frequently if there is a pressing need.
  20. Of course boys need to respect and learn how to work with women. Who disagrees with that? These days, boys are surrounded by women in every aspect of there lives. During 7 years of schooling, my son has had a grand total of one male teacher so far. You don't think the idea of working with women as his superiors is getting pounded into his head hard enough yet? The great thing about Scouting was that boys could learn from male role models (for a change) as they negotiate a path through life. *sigh*
  21. gblotter

    Breaking Point

    I have the opposite problem. Our DE seems to be a nice guy who has general knowledge of who I am and what our troop does. However, I have no idea who he is. I was in the Scout office doing some paperwork. The DE approached me and greeted me by name. Clueless, I had to take note of his name badge and later look online to see who he was and what position he held. I'm not a great people person, so that doesn't help either. He sees our Eagle applications cross his desk, and our troop recently hosting the annual District Awards Dinner, so that is probably how he knows me.
  22. I previously knew almost nothing about OA. A few weeks ago, I attended induction weekend with three of my Scouts. It was a meaningful event for all of us. However, when observing the various Indian-themed ceremonies, the first thing to enter my mind was "this piece of cultural appropriation won't be around for much longer". I agree - it will surely be dropped soon (heck - I'm frankly surprised it has endured so long in this PC era). I'm glad we could experience it before it's gone.
  23. gblotter

    Condom Distribution at World Jamboree

    That sounds like a simple enough message to convey. I hope that gets communicated clearly to BSA participants and also their parents, but I have my doubts. Our ideas on this forum really mean nothing - it's not like we are writing the script that will be used in pre-Jambo meetings. Do past WSJ participants on this forum recall if this topic (the differences between WOSM and G2SS) was ever mentioned at all? I'll bet not. I can only speak about the experience of my son at National Jamboree last year where the adult contingent leaders from our council were extremely hands-off in addressing behavior issues that arose. That is the single biggest reason why we have dismissed the possibility of him attending WSJ.
  24. gblotter

    Condom Distribution at World Jamboree

    It seems G2SS applies at WSJ only when it does not conflict with WOSM requirements. BSA contingent leaders at WSJ are required by WOSM to notify Jamboree participants about condom availability. But then those same BSA contingent leaders at WSJ should also notify those same Jamboree participants that actually using those condoms could land them in big trouble with G2SS rules. Is that what you are saying?
  25. gblotter

    Condom Distribution at World Jamboree

    How about this for a central policy: If you want condoms for your national contingent attending WSJ, bring them with you and distribute them to your Scouts as you see fit. That seems more adaptable, more flexible, and less oppressive.