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gblotter

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Everything posted by gblotter

  1. gblotter

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    My father-in-law was animated but not always consistent in making his arguments. I think his response would be: With "Family Scouting", the whole family is playing the Great Game of Scouting together. My father-in-law was the first to admit that Family Scouting objectives are not necessarily compatible with the Patrol Method.
  2. gblotter

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    My father-in-law claims that the Family Scouting program was crafted in response to immigrant families and millennial parents who want to participate in Scouting the way they participate in soccer. The whole family shows up to experience the activity together. They demand greater involvement (helicoptering?) and are opposed to just dropping off their child. Apparently, this is supported by Surbaugh's surveys of non-Scouting families. I suppose greater parental involvement means lots of new leaders to support lots of new Mixed-Den Packs and Linked Troops. But this kind of parenting would also nullify any attempts at running the Patrol Method (regardless of what appears in handbooks). My father-in-law was emphatic that Family Scouting is not about offering a traditional Scouting program to girls. The traditional Scouting program is dying by virtue of losing membership at 2-5% per year. Family Scouting is about offering a new and different (non-traditional) Scouting program to the entire family so they can participate together. Even though Family Scouting makes the Patrol Method difficult/impossible, BSA must move in that direction to remain relevant to these target groups (immigrants and millennials). Traditional Scouting families (non-immigrants, white, older) do not constitute a growth market because they have fewer children and are fragmented between various activities and thus they are not being targeted by Family Scouting. During an animated discussion, he pointedly said that the traditional Scouting program will die out along with old white men like me who won't change and adapt. If inflexible Scouters like me leave, it is regrettable but necessary for BSA's survival (he didn't call me a Conditional Scouter, but close). This is the kind of information he gleans from sitting in meetings where the National Key 3 are present.
  3. My father-in-law is a past council president with information not available to most Scouters. He is very supportive of BSA's girl decision (I am not), so we generally try to avoid discussion of the topic to preserve family harmony. He claims that there is only one chartering organization in our entire council that is considering a linked troop arrangement. Every other chartering organization intends to keep their troop boy-only (at least at this early stage of the game). He doubts that girl membership in Scouts BSA will ever exceed 20 percent, and girls will certainly not offset losses from the LDS exit. He did not have statistics for girls in Cub Scouting, but he knows there is already much greater acceptance of girls in that program. He sees little resistance to girls in Cub Scouting, but girls in Boy Scouting is a different story. He acknowledges that traditional Scouters have cause to feel alienated, but traditional Scouters are not viewed as a growth market for BSA.
  4. gblotter

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    My father-in-law is a long-time Scouter. He is a past council president, and a current Western Region committee member. He has sat in meetings with the National Key 3. Tonight he explained to me that the term "Family Scouting" applies only to a Cub Scout Pack with mixed Dens, or a Scouts BSA Linked Troop arrangement. Traditional single-gender Packs and non-linked Troops do not operate according to the rules of Family Scouting. People would join Family Scouting Packs and Troops with the expectation of bringing moms, dads, and younger siblings to Scouting events, and the Patrol Method would not apply. People joining traditional single-gender Packs and Troops would have no such expectation, and the Patrol Method would continue. I'm not saying he has the correct understanding of what BSA National is doing, but his interpretation is interesting. If he is right, then BSA National has done an incredibly poor job of explaining the program changes for Family Scouting.
  5. gblotter

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    100 percent agree. In our LDS troop, moms provide vital support and hold key committee positions. However, moms do not hold SM/ASM positions, and moms do not attend campouts. In our LDS pack, moms shoulder most of the burden - dads focus only on the Webelos Den. At least in the way our units operate, moms are nothing but a positive influence.
  6. gblotter

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    My stance is evidence that it is possible to be pro-girl AND pro-boy without supporting BSA’s girl decision. My wife and three daughters also oppose what BSA has done. In another forum thread, I just expressed support for GSUSA and their attempts to craft a Scouting program tailored for the unique needs of girls. I am very much pro-girl but anti-BSA4G.
  7. gblotter

    Business Insider interview - Sylvia Acevedo, CEO GUSA

    I share her disappointment and I echo her criticism of BSA.
  8. gblotter

    Council and District Support?

    Loosey-goosey here in California, too. Our district/council events typically get scheduled about 3 months in advance. It does introduce calendaring frustrations because we need to make campsite reservations 6 months in advance for desirable locations. Partly for this reason, we have changed our troop planning from an annual cycle to a semi-annual cycle.
  9. gblotter

    Business Insider interview - Sylvia Acevedo, CEO GUSA

    That doesn't sound defensive to my ears. Frankly, it sounds enviable. I wish Surbaugh could describe BSA in the same way: "We believe strongly in the importance of the safe, all-boy, boy-led and boy-friendly environment that Boy Scouts provides". To me, that is a focused and tailored mission.
  10. gblotter

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    Thank you for your insightful comments and understanding attitude.
  11. gblotter

    Lawnmower Parents

    This is the first year our troop will be attending AdvanceCamp, so it’s entirely possible our boys will discover that it’s not for us, either. Particularly because of the event’s size (3000 Scouts), I’m approaching this as an experiment.
  12. gblotter

    Lawnmower Parents

    Our troop will be there at AdvanceCamp (along with thousands of other Scouts), and the boys voted enthusiastically in favor of attending the event (partly because of the amusement park adventure on Friday night). Meals are provided only for the staff and merit badge counselors. The boys do their own patrol cooking. It is a one-night camping experience (on Friday night) before earning merit badges on Saturday. So what? That seems better than just doing the merit badge workshop only (which is what would usually happen). AdvanceCamp is more akin to a regional Jamboree experience with merit badges - not a Camporee. If the event includes camping, cooking, fun, and advancement - and the boys vote for it - why is that worthy of sarcasm just because it doesn't fit the stale and rejected model of a District Camporee?
  13. gblotter

    Lawnmower Parents

    We don't do ANY Camporees.
  14. gblotter

    Lawnmower Parents

    I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to experience Scouting adventures alongside my son and his troop friends. But it is clearly their program while I am along for the ride. Wood Badge transforms the program to have the adults playing the game - that just seems awkward and weird to me. I don't even notice beads - if they are worn at all, any perceived prestige is entirely lost on me. Frankly, I want to spend as much of my limited Scouting time as possible with the boys, and I seek to spend as little of my Scouting time as possible with other adult Scouters doing things like Wood Badge.
  15. gblotter

    Business Insider interview - Sylvia Acevedo, CEO GUSA

    All I can say is that you completely misinterpreted my comment. I was praising GSUSA attempts to craft a tailored Scouting program for girls in defense against other derisive statements in this thread. How you ever interpreted that as me saying BSA is the only true Scouting program is beyond me. Check your bias.
  16. gblotter

    Business Insider interview - Sylvia Acevedo, CEO GUSA

    This quote from another forum member certainly seems dismissive to me: "What I found hilarious was the statement where they said they are experts on the outdoors, then hired The North Face company to create a bunch of new outdoor MBs for them." If arrows need to be slung at GSUSA programs and leadership, let it come from their own Scouts, parents, and leaders. When BSA folks say such things, it comes across as petty and unScoutlike. That is my point.
  17. gblotter

    Business Insider interview - Sylvia Acevedo, CEO GUSA

    I'm frankly surprised at the derision of GSUSA by some on this thread. I would expect those who are pro BSA4G would be supportive of all Scouting opportunities for our daughters. Who ever said BSA is uniquely qualified to carry the torch of true Scouting? Frankly, it seems quite petty and unScoutlike to deride and dismiss the efforts of GSUSA to craft a Scouting program uniquely tailored for girls.
  18. gblotter

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    Female participation of that variety is peripheral and does not change the core of the program. Full integration of girls will fundamentally alter the landscape for boys at all levels of Scouting (including the program as defined for individual troops). Five years should be enough time for the dust to settle on the LDS exit and determine whether Surbaugh was BSA's savior or executioner. I agree with all you say about strangling adventure. Now that BSA is making the program gender-neutral, these kind of program changes will continue (and even accelerate) in order to attract more girls. Girls are the future of BSA as we clearly see in Scouting Magazine. Family Scouting = Safety/Parenting Culture - thus strangling adventure even more. That's my take, at least.
  19. gblotter

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    Let me know how the experience of your separate boy-only troop changes when you attend your next summer camp, Camporee, or Merit Badge Midway. Except for the instance of a non-linked troop, every BSA program at the district, council, and national level will be moving to co-ed, and thereby the unique program tailored for boys will be lost as distinctions between boys and girls are eliminated. Even within your separate boy-only troop, these co-ed program changes are inevitable.
  20. gblotter

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    Ah, I see. The only folks who could possibly support a Scouting program tailored for the unique needs of boys are rich and powerful men who want to preserve a right to "locker-room" talk. You forgot to mention privilege, patriarchy, and toxic masculinity in your argument. I'm glad to understand the color of your glasses. You are deluded if you do not believe that boys behave differently than girls and develop differently than girls - especially at these ages. A "mere" 5-9 point disparity in college enrollment is only one of many symptoms of the failure of boys in our society. By your dismissal, you are obviously one of the masses who don't care about this "non-problem".
  21. gblotter

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    Thank you @DeanRx I regret my assault on Surbaugh being a liar only because it diverted discussion away from my main point - that boys have now lost one of the few remaining programs tailored specifically for their needs. Schools judge boy behavior by the girl standard. Boys are treated like defective girls. Result: Boys earn lower grades, fewer honors, and are far less likely to go to college. Boys account for 70 percent of school suspensions. If these statistics applied to girls it would be seen as a societal crisis, but nobody cares because it is boys. With boys dropping out and girls racing ahead, just who will be the partners of our daughters to build the next generation? As boys fail, so does our collective future. I cheer on the opportunities and achievements of my three daughters, but it's my son who occupies most of my concern. He already struggles in navigating the world of women - at home (with his three sisters) and at school (with almost all female teachers). Scouting was his refuge to be a boy among boys, but no more starting February 2019. All of that is now sacrificed on the altar of inclusivity. It's terribly sad for me to see.
  22. gblotter

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    Perhaps that is true for a Cub Pack (can't really say because I'm quite ignorant about the Cub Scout program), but I see definite advantages to youth experience for Boy Scout adult leaders. Speaking only of my own situation, my passion for Scouting comes directly from my youth experience. It would be hard for me to generate the same level of dedication as an adult leader without that youthful passion as reference. In a very selfish way, I want my son (and by association his Scouting friends) to have the same kinds of opportunities and experiences that shaped and influenced me so profoundly. How could I be the same kind of adult leader without those youth experiences? Perhaps that also explains why I have no appetite for things like Wood Badge and hanging out with other adult Scouters.
  23. gblotter

    Scouting Magazine - betting the farm on girls

    You and I are both old enough to be cantankerous. As a current Scoutmaster with a troop of 30 Scouts, I do a lot of looking and listening. I hear concern from the boys about losing their program. I see them kicking advancement into overdrive to finish Eagle quickly and then exit. This summer we took 14 Scouts to camp. Based on current polling, next year we will likely get only 5 signing up for a co-ed summer camp experience. Families are making other plans and moving on from Scouting. This "perceived negativity" is not imagined. The reality is that once people walk away, it is too late for adjustments to smooth it out. I'm always surprised when people with age don't have the accompanying wisdom to learn from past mistakes. I earned my Eagle in 1974. I remember well BSA's disaster with the Improved Scouting Program of the 1970s which also attempted to re-engineer Scouting for modern sensibilities. There was a similar "get done and get out" attitude back then in reaction to divisive changes forced upon the masses by the enlightened folks at BSA National. It resulted in a devastating membership loss of 2.5 million, and the CSE was forced into early retirement. There was no parading around and "I told you so's'" - people just left. BSA does not have the robust membership and financial health to survive a similar disaster this time around. I'm beyond sad to see this reenactment happening before my eyes.
  24. If the goal of the Scoutmaster's policy is to encourage campout participation among his older Scouts, that goal has clearly been met with your son this summer. You previously said his heart is in the right place and you support his reasoning. What goal did he articulate to you that is motivating this difficult and inflexible stance? A lesson has been learned the hard way that you need request a Scoutmaster conference at the earliest possible opportunity while working on a rank advancement because this Scoutmaster won't offer any flexibility later on with his scheduling. And you should not wait for the Scoutmaster to initiate the conference - request the conference proactively. It's embarrassing and sad to see a Scoutmaster behave like this. He clearly doesn't understand the philosophy of servant leadership. Our troop once had a Scoutmaster who was attracting lots of family complaints over his rigid policies. He ran a very active program with lots of camping and advancement, but his rigidity was driving families away from the troop and poisoning them toward Scouting altogether. It took a lot of complaints but the CO finally replaced him. He left in a huff, which was sad for all concerned because he sacrificed much for the troop and Scouting. Certainly you can stay and fight this, but the battle may poison your son. Have you considered switching to a different troop?
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