Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by gblotter

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Bay Area - Silicon Valley. We are lucky. The ward next door has only 5.
  4. If you have seen the new 14-18 program, it is pretty impressive. I'd be happy with something like that.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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?
  12. He is referencing BSA's embrace of homosexuality and transgenderism - not the inclusion of girls.
  13. 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.
  14. Clarke Farrer is obviously a very good man. What a pity that folks like him are not steering the ship at BSA National. People of Clarke's ability will always be in demand should he decide to make a career change away from BSA as a result of these decisions.
  15. gblotter

    Getting the Value and Pride back in Eagle.

    Agree. It instills the wrong motivation in some current Scouts in my own troop.
  16. The red beret was so emasculating, but for some strange reason those darn Skill Awards repelled me most. In my mind, they seemed childish and redundant compared to merit badges. I earned a few Skill Awards along the way just by participating in my normal troop activities. I threw them all away - they meant nothing to me.
  17. Which is why I, along with 2.5 million other Scouts, abandoned the program. No interest in "Urban Scouting". Unfortunately, BSA does not have the luxury of surviving those kinds of membership loses today with this mistake. (I'm fully expecting Surbaugh to resurrect that despised red beret with the new uniform changes.)
  18. It absolutely does matters what BP did in 1907. He is the founder with the vision we follow today. However, it does not matter one bit what you or I speculate he would do in 2018.
  19. Love it. I show off my Nixon signature with a grin. The early 70s were such a weird period of history (including Scouting history).
  20. And I make the assertion that the man who found the Boy Scouts and the Girls Scouts would have likely kept them as separate organizations if he were starting them today because he had the wisdom to understand the inherent differences between boys and girls and the ways they learn differently. Your speculation is just that.
  21. Ironic comparison, because I was one who finished off my last Eagle-required merit badge at the end of December 1973 and had my EBOR and ECOH in early 1974. Never expected that I'd be reliving that experience in such a literal way.
  22. Same here. I make opportunities available and offer my support, but the boy must have internal motivations for anything to happen. I sit down with each of our Scouts to formulate an advancement plan according to their individual Scouting goals (some are not focused on Eagle and that's entirely fine). How they execute on their advancement plan is entirely up to them. 10 new Eagles is a best-case scenario. In reality, I know that some will falter along the way, and that's ok.
  23. Twisting the conversation disingenuously. GSUSA would remind you that girls are far from excluded from Scouting in the United States.
  24. Absolutely agree. In our first troop meeting after the church's announcement, discussion with the boys resulted in a decision to work with the program we have today and not worry about changes that are still distant. Over the next 18 months, we will take advantage of the very best adventures that Scouting has to offer. We have a full activity calendar with 10 months of camping annually (taking a break only in November and December for the holidays). This summer we will be attending two premier BSA summer camps on the west coast (Camp Emerald Bay on Catalina Island and Camp Meriwether on the Oregon Coast). Next summer we are looking at a high adventure outing (Philmont or The Summit) plus another BSA summer camp plus even a 50-miler in the Sierras. I expect as many as 10 new Eagles will emerge from our troop (only some on an accelerated schedule). We will go out with a bang - not a whimper.
  25. For the LDS voting members, I'm sure their attitude was "do whatever you think is best for the future of your movement because we're out of here anyway". For other voting members, I'm sure they faced the question "if we don't admit girls, then what is the alternate plan to address financial insolvency from the loss of 425K Scouts". They, of course, knew that the decision would be hugely controversial (but I'm not sure they appreciated how vitriolic the commentary would be from conservative sources). A unanimous vote was their way of launching girls into BSA with the best chance for success. However, I believe the effort is doomed. Mike Surbaugh will go down in history as the CSE who drove BSA off the cliff.