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Everything posted by gblotter

  1. Last night, we had our first Troop Committee meeting since the announcement of LDS exit. As you might imagine, there was full attendance and the meeting ran long with discussion and speculation. The advancement plan for each of our 30 boys was discussed in detail. With a hard deadline of 12/31/19, the trail to Eagle now suddenly feels a lot more serious (even ominous) to our Scouting families. For some of these boys, just one misstep or missed date will derail their train. One parent was very sad because their son has no chance to finish Eagle before the deadline. We discussed the difficult financial position of BSA National and its recent desperate moves to admit girls. Our troop has a lucrative annual troop fundraiser that we will run one more time to fund our Scouting activities to the end of 2019. Any leftover money (unlikely) will be donated to FOS on 12/31/19. One Assistant Scoutmaster spoke postively about the prospect of him joining a non-LDS troop. One boy has already decided he will join the non-LDS troop of his OA buddies in order to continue his OA lodge membership. One parent hoped the council/district would sponsor some sort of outreach expo for LDS Scouting families to learn more about the surrounding non-LDS troops. However, most families acknowledged that their Scouting journeys will end on 12/31/19. The next 18 months will be an extremely busy time, and we plan to take our troop out with a bang - not a whimper. Several big blow-out Scouting adventures are being contemplated for summer 2019.
  2. gblotter

    Breaking Point

    I relate to the "Scouting Addict" label. With three generations of Eagles, I used to joke that Scouting was part of our family DNA. My breaking point was realizing that all levels of Scouting will be moving to co-ed except the individual troop unit. Everything else (every district, council, national event - including summer camps) will be co-ed. BSA's promise of a parallel girl program is yet another lie. Seeing all the new BSA promotional materials focused on girls, it's clear that boys are being left out in the cold in this new "Family Scouting". Boys' needs now take a back seat to inclusion, and that feels like a betrayal. Anyone who disagrees with BSA's new co-ed direction is branded as "unScoutlike" and a "conditional Scouter". While disagreeable, I could swallow the changes for gay/trans because those decisions change very little in a practical way. The decision about girls will change everything. Liberals/progressives will cheer these social victories, but they won't replace the departing conservatives/traditionalists who will vote with their feet and dollars. Abandonment of God is next. In a decade, we won't even recognize this movement. I do not have an optimistic vision of BSA's future. The girl decision won't halt BSA's membership declines any more than gay/trans did. More boys will be lost than girls gained for a net loss of membership. When girls are not attracted in sufficient numbers, more changes will follow to make Scouting more "family-friendly", all while the boys continue to walk away into the arms of the video game culture. BSA's financial desperation will worsen due to huge debts for The Summit. I predict some sort of bankruptcy reorganization in the next decade with possible sale of assets. I am an LDS Scouter with two terms (10+ years) as Scoutmaster. Service at the district level, too. I will exit BSA along with our troop of 30 boys on 12/31/2019. Consideration of me joining a non-LDS troop is out of the question due to BSA shifting its focus away from boys. My Eagle Scout son has had an amazing Scouting adventure with 6 palms, 50+ nights of camping, 150+ miles of hiking, 6 BSA summer camps, National Jamboree, plus Order of the Arrow. I'm so glad that he could experience the best of traditional Scouting before all these changes, and I'm thrilled that I could come along for the ride. We are the kind of "unScoutlike" and "conditional Scouter" family that has been alienated. It's all very sad.
  3. God will be gone from BSA soon enough, but that won't halt BSA's decline anymore than gays/trans/girls did. With the departure of conservatives/traditionalists, BSA will become the Scouting choice of liberal/progressive families (who have fewer children). That doesn't represent a broad enough membership pool to sustain the movement. Given the huge debt load for The Summit, I honestly don't see a future for BSA. I expect we'll see some sort of bankruptcy reorganization within the next decade, with possible sale of assets.
  4. gblotter

    Mike Rowe: Death of Boy Scouts?

    Parallel Scout organizations are not what is being implemented. Local troops can remain single-gender, but everything else in BSA (every national, council, district event) is moving to co-ed. Where is the parallel organization?
  5. gblotter

    Mike Rowe: Death of Boy Scouts?

    Re-orient Scouting toward building manly self-confidence (ala Jordan Peterson) to attract more boys and shed BSA's wimpy image. Young men require a physical challenge to feel accomplishment - a rite of passage. Revamp the Eagle-required merit badge list: Less bookwork - more adventure. Drop Env Science, Communication. One citizenship MB should be sufficient. Instead of Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling, how about Swimming AND Hiking AND Cycling. Make Wilderness Survival MB required. In addition to an Eagle Scout Service Project, add an Eagle Scout Outdoor Adventure Project to the requirements. Let natural competition kick in to see which Scout can craft the greatest outdoor adventure on his path to Eagle. BTW: Introducing girls into the program is the antithesis of everything mentioned above.
  6. gblotter

    Mike Rowe: Death of Boy Scouts?

    Perhaps it is better to actually read MIke Rowe's response. He is not against girls in Scouting. Rather, he doesn't think inclusiveness is going to fix what is wrong with Scouting. "So I’m not opposed to building a program within Scouting for girls. But I am very worried about the future of Scouting in general."
  7. gblotter

    Mike Rowe: Death of Boy Scouts?

    Who doesn't love Mike Rowe? "When I left the organization in 1979, there were 5 million active members. Today, there are 2.3 million. With the recent departure of the Mormon community, that number will soon drop to under two million. Clearly, something is wrong. The question is what? Is it the past sexual scandals? Is it the more recent admission of gay and transgender members? I would imagine those are factors. But a 60% decline? That seems very unlikely. Besides, the drop-off started long before all that. Likewise, girls have always been excluded from The Boy Scouts, so I’m skeptical that welcoming them now, will fix whatever’s broken."
  8. That was the beauty of LDS Scouting. There was no firewall with church teachings. Sunday School lessons flowed seamlessly into Scoutmaster minutes and campfire programs. In my experience with non-LDS Scouters, any mention of Duty To God would inevitably cause awkward silence and staring at the floor - some even bristled with resentment. I was considered out of line for even raising such a personal topic. No such awkwardness existed in LDS Scouting. A quote I mentioned elsewhere ... “There is no religious side to the Movement. The whole of it is based on religion, that is, on the realization and service of God.” Lord Robert Baden-Powell, November 1920
  9. gblotter

    Unit Leader Award of Merit

    I would approach your District Executive and explain what a great job your COR has done. Then ask for suggestions on what might be the appropriate award to recognize her. Our troop recently hosted our annual District Awards dinner (which is mostly a thinly-disguised fundraiser event IMHO). They give out awards like candy at Halloween (more awards = more people who buy expensive tickets to sit in the audience). I had never heard of some of these awards before. Your District Executive might have some creative recognition ideas for you.
  10. @Hawkwin This is a thoughtful argument that deserves further consideration. I'm not saying I necessarily agree, but I need to think more about what you have said. But if morally straight is entirely dependent on personal faith and individual interpretation, does the term mean anything at all?
  11. BSA needs to try harder if they are serious in making that statement. Our troop desires the same boy-only Scouting experience that we have always known. On the local unit level only, that is still permitted, but at every other level of Scouting, events and programs will now be co-ed (including summer camps). For national, council, and district, co-ed is now the norm. Boy-only is a fringe option for local units only. Girls are now heavily featured in all BSA promotions. Boys are being left out in the cold, and that is very sad for me.
  12. Yes - fingers and toes. From the perspective of our LDS troop, you have it right. Out of 30 Scouts, I can identify only one likely candidate for joining a non-LDS troop in 2020. That particular family has already participated in a non-LDS pack. Out of all our adult Scouting leaders, I have identified nobody who is likely to continue in a non-LDS unit in 2020. My discontent with recent BSA decisions is generally shielded from our boys, so there was some surprise that I, as a gung-ho Scouter, have no intention of crossing over to a non-LDS troop. Our troop has been in existence since 1962, and our Eagle legacy plaques list approximately 75 Eagle Scouts during that time. There is sadness among some our boys to see that legacy end. Some boys even proposed that we seek a non-LDS chartering organization to give future life to our troop, but there is no adult appetite for that idea. Who knows what will happen to items like our Troop flag and our Eagle legacy plaques - that part does make me sad. Not surprisingly, there is a new urgency in our Scouting families to sprint toward Eagle before the 12/31/2019 deadline. We may see as many as 10 Eagles over the next 18 months. Crossover may be different for LDS Cub Scouts - I'm only talking about Boy Scouts here.
  13. Don't assume that avoiding such district activities means a poorly-run troop. In our LDS troop of 30 boys, we camp 10 months out of the year. This summer we will attend two BSA summer camps (same as last summer). However, we skip district events like Camporee and Klondike Derby (district winter campout) because they always cross over into Sunday. LDS units are given strong instructions about respecting the Sabbath. Some western councils bend over backward to make those Sunday accommodations, but ours generally does not. I attended OA induction earlier this month with three of our Scouts. The OA leaders were quick to ask me why we are the only LDS troop in decades to participate in OA. The simple response is because OA induction weekend always crosses over into Sunday. After some head scratching, we were then given permission to head home on Saturday night.
  14. In my mind, it boils down to the declaration “a Scout is morally straight”. In earlier days, it was clear that BSA placed gay/trans outside the boundaries of being morally straight. Now reversed, BSA has declared gay/trans as morally straight. It’s no more complicated than that. BSA has made a conscious choice. In a calculated gamble, BSA deliberately changed sides in the culture wars (to the joy of some and the disappointment of others). It is impossible for BSA to serve two masters on this issue. In earlier times, liberals/progressives voted with their feet and dollars against BSA. Is it any surprise that conservatives/traditionalists are now doing the same? The recent decisions about girls also fuels passionate disagreement, not over morality but over wisdom. I personally believe the inclusion of girls fundamentally compromises BSA’s ability to deliver for boys. Others think there are no appreciable differences between boys and girls. This kind of flawed gender-neutral thinking will be the downfall of the movement. That is where the sense of betrayal lies when I think of our BSA National leadership.
  15. Bay Area - Silicon Valley. We are lucky. The ward next door has only 5.
  16. If you have seen the new 14-18 program, it is pretty impressive. I'd be happy with something like that.
  17. If you say so. I've read enough threads on this forum to understand that plenty of non-LDS Scouting units struggle with parent engagement and adult leader recruitment. I kinda doubt that all 80% of non-LDS can be described as Scouting enthusiasts, but I accept that as your appraisal.
  18. That sounds about right, reflecting the general strength of the LDS church in Ohio. The quality of LDS Scouting units varies widely based on local leadership and conditions. Some are excellent, some are barely functional, with everything in between. Small LDS congregations struggle to come up with enough critical mass to operate a Scouting program. I know of some LDS troops with just the bare minimum of 5 boys required to register a unit - that's a tough situation. My own troop here in California does ok with 30 registered Scouts divided into three age-based patrols. From what I understand, a key characteristic of the new church youth program will be flexibility to meet the needs of both large and small congregations. Youth can select activities from a cafeteria-style menu of categories including outdoor adventure, skill building, leadership, service, physical fitness, spiritual development, etc. An absent component will be badges and rank advancement (which some here decry as in impure motivation, anyway).
  19. It is my opinion that both sides are using polite language as this divorce is settled, but I believe there is plenty of dissatisfaction to go around. BSA resents LDS blocking progressive changes. LDS resents BSA abandoning core values. LDS is motivated to play nice to avoid getting tagged with the "hater" label as they exit. BSA is motivated to play nice to avoid poisoning the LDS pool who might consider joining a community pack/troop. The church bulk-registers all LDS boys and young men in BSA, but not all LDS love Scouting. Some LDS avoid Scouting altogether. The LDS exit represents no change to them. Some LDS participate in Scouting as a duty of church membership. The LDS exit will relieve them of a burden. Some LDS like Scouting well enough, but considered it the responsibility of the Scoutmaster. The LDS exit will be no big deal to them - meh. Many LDS are supportive of Scouting but have reservations about recent BSA decisions. They will sprint to Eagle before the LDS exit, and then embrace the new church youth program. A relatively few LDS (less than 10%) are Scouting enthusiasts with motivations independent of their church membership. They are the most likely candidates for joining a community pack/troop after LDS exit. Each organization has a right to self-determination, and each organization will suffer without the other (although I personally believe that BSA will suffer more in this breakup). It is all very sad, but that's life.
  20. gblotter

    National Executive Board Q&A

    Who does the nominating and electing of these 64 regular members at the annual meeting? It appears that local councils are not granted any voting representation at all.
  21. I'd be happy if someone here can educate me about who the voting members are at BSA National. Aside from the "Key 3", who are we talking about? If each council has voting representatives and the voting was unanimous - then, yes each council absolutely deserves to face the consequences of unpopular decisions.
  22. Being hopeful is a wonderful quality to carry us through life. In my LDS troop, I know of only one Scouting family that is likely to continue with a non-LDS troop in 2020. This particular family has already participated in a non-LDS Cub Scout pack. Everyone else intends to sprint toward Eagle before the exit deadline. Your mileage may vary.
  23. Practical, yes. But I didn’t get the hopeful side. Their council will likely be losing around 80 percent of their Scouts/units. Friends of Scouting donations are plummeting. Layoffs are inevitable. Giving up camp properties that they can no longer afford to maintain. Going from a top performing council to one struggling for survival. Where is the hopeful side?
  24. He is referencing BSA's embrace of homosexuality and transgenderism - not the inclusion of girls.
  25. I don't wish for the collapse of BSA, but I predict that it will happen as the organization becomes more separated from its core mission and values. Unlike @LegacyLost , I don't view BSA as a force of evil or a vehicle of societal corruption. Rather I believe that BSA's desperate grasps at financial survival have severely compromised its ability to be force for good in the lives of boys.