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gblotter

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Posts posted by gblotter


  1. 1 minute ago, Saltface said:

    I'm generally opposed to 13 year old Eagles, but I'm going to find myself mentoring a few next year. These boys won't get the chance to lollygag through Star and Life like their brothers did. I'm not going to push anyone through an Eagle mill, but if the boys want it, we're going to have to attack this thing fiercely.

    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.


  2. 4 minutes ago, The Latin Scot said:

    Be that as it may, I will ensure that the boys in my Webelos den get every ounce of benefit I can squeeze out of Scouting until the minute we switch to the new program - including preparing them to cross over into the Boy Scout program. Even if they don't ever go into Boy Scouts after this, I feel it would be cheating them out of essential and valuable lessons if I watered down my program just because we won't be continuing with Scouting in the future. So in my den, Scouting will live on at least for another year and a half - and for boys this age, that can still be a mightly long time to make a mighty big difference. 

    1

    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.


  3. 34 minutes ago, David CO said:

    It's hard to understand their motivations. It was a unanimous vote. In an open and honest system, you never get a unanimous vote. 

    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.

    • Upvote 1

  4. 1 hour ago, LegacyLost said:

    The LDS decision appears to have been made long before the co-ed option appeared regardless of what was publicly said.

    Agreed. I personally believe that BSA's girl decision was formulated in desperation after the LDS church gave BSA internal notice of their planned departure. BSA brass had an "oh crap" moment when faced with the prospect of paying the bills with 425K fewer Scouts on the rolls. That explains the manipulative surveys to elicit coerced support for an unpopular decision, followed by a rushed announcement of a half-baked idea with few program details available (i.e. "we don't know yet what it will look like, but trust us - it will be awesome"). 

     

    1 hour ago, LegacyLost said:

    For my family, the scouts died in 2013. The decision this last week was just the final nail in the coffin.

    For the LDS leadership, BSA's decision back in July 2015 to admit gay adult leaders seems to have been the turning point. There was no nuance or restraint in the official LDS reaction after BSA's vote.

    "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today’s vote by the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board. In spite of a request to delay the vote, it was scheduled at a time in July when members of the Church’s governing councils are out of their offices and do not meet. When the leadership of the Church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with Scouting will need to be examined. The Church has always welcomed all boys to its Scouting units regardless of sexual orientation. However, the admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy Scouts of America."

    LDS Scouting died in July 2015. There was just a delayed funeral due to the time required to formulate a replacement youth program.

    • Upvote 3

  5. 55 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

    It's true that we can't know what BP would have thought if he was around today, but it seems foolish to look to a world so full of wrong headed views about the nature and capability of women as having any wisdom to impart to us today.

    That wrong-headed world had enough wisdom to give birth to Scouting. Overreach (in thought and deed) is a typical reaction to injustice.


  6. 1 hour ago, FireStone said:

    The BSA is a business, and an expensive one to run. Lots of big paychecks need to be cut to top-level execs. The BSA could function perfectly well with 1/10th of current membership, if it wasn't for the costly overhead of the organization. Scouts UK has far fewer members. Other scouting organizations have even smaller numbers. There are scout organizations that have no paid leadership, 100% volunteer-run, and they can sustain their programs with miniscule numbers compared to the BSA. 

    I firmly believe this change is based in a strategy designed to stop the bleeding and save the BSA as a "company". There is some minimum number of members that we need to stay above to continue to operate our big costly National office. That number was probably getting dangerously close based on year-over-year membership declines and projections. Hence the big change. 

    Its a bet on a future of Scouting in the US that adding girls to the program will affect membership numbers in a way that slows or stops us from hitting that critical low-membership number. 

    Or some variation of this idea, but still based on membership numbers and money. Surbaugh basically said as much in the initial presentation of the idea girls in the BSA, showing those charts with lines heading downward for BSA, GSUSA, etc. 

    1

    @FireStone You capture the situation accurately.

    It is clear that this girl decision is a calculated gamble for financial survival of BSA the corporation, necessitated by bloated salaries, foolish over-spending, and a $700M debt load for construction of The Summit. Reprogramming BSA for girls is a move of desperation now compounded by the departure of 425K LDS Scouts. The pessimistic side of me wonders if the LDS leaders (who are wise financial stewards) didn't want to stick around to be responsible for cleaning up the financial mess of BSA.

    Progressives may cheer these "inclusive" changes and celebrate their social victories, but they won't step forward to fill the void created by the departure of Scouting traditionalists. BSA's gamble will be followed by even more desperate decisions upon realization that more boys are lost than girls gained for a net drop in membership. Within the next decade, I predict that GSUSA may become as irrelevant as Campfire Girls, and that BSA will seek some sort of bankruptcy protection/reorganization with likely sale of assets. How much will Philmont bring?

    BSA loses, GSUSA loses, everyone loses - but especially the boys and girls lose. Truly a sad state of affairs.

    • Upvote 1

  7. 3 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    I'm someone sticking up for BP.  Looking at what he created and the core principles principles contained in the oath & law, it's a small step to ascribe the single gender nature of the program as a byproduct of the times.  I find it very difficult to believe that BP living in a world that is moving in the direction of treating boys & girls equally would create a program and specifically excluded them.   It's unfair to BP to try to lump him in with the "girls will ruin scouting" argument.   

    3

    It is pure speculation to assert what BP would do in current times. However, we definitely can say what he DID do in his day ... that was to create parallel programs - not mix boys and girls together. It is obvious that BP did not believe girls would ruin Scouting, but he also did not believe that a single program for both boys and girls was the right way to meet their needs. That much is clear.


  8. 3 minutes ago, allangr1024 said:

    I am a Christian believer, but I am not prepared to say that the BSA going coed is akin to violating the law of God.

    I do not mean to speak for @LegacyLost but perhaps he was referring to BSA's earlier embrace of homosexuality and transgenderism in his comments about violating the laws of God.

    @allangr1024  I do agree with your appraisal of the folly of BSA going co-ed. Mature, well-behaved girls will always be preferred over squirrely, rowdy boys of the same age. My son suffers the consequences of this on a daily basis in his school classes. That is only one reason why I oppose the idea of co-ed summer camps.


  9. 5 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    25 years from now, kids will look back and be surprised that there was ever a time where Scouting was not co-ed.

    25 years from now, kids will not even recognize the remnants of BSA from what we have known in the past. The real surprise will come in wondering why BSA chose to self-destruct by departing from its core mission and values that helped develop boys into men for more than a century.

    • Upvote 3

  10. 2 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    The only reason there was a separate group was because the world was much more segregated then.

    The only reason - really? Who are you to state the motivations of Baden-Powell so definitively?

    Could it possibly be that Baden-Powell recognized the value of single-gender Scouting and appreciated how boys and girls learn differently? Nah.


  11. 1 minute ago, RememberSchiff said:

    In your own words on 3/9/2018 in topic Family Scouting Update

    "I wouldn't want our boys sharing merit badge classes, evening campfires, flag ceremonies, or dining hall times with girl troops. I seek to continue the same summer camp experience our boys have enjoyed before these announcements. "

    What I describe is the same boy-only summer camp experience that every BSA troop will have this summer. How heretical is that? In theory, BSA still recognizes the value of single-gender Scouting - thus boy-only troops and girl-only troops. But such value does not extend to summer camps?

    It is your smear that says I am not "a friend to all" simply because I disagree with a co-ed vision of summer camp.

    • Upvote 2

  12. 9 hours ago, LegacyLost said:

    For what it's worth as a son of a family with a more or less casual scouting legacy (brother made eagle, other brother and myself made star for various reasons, father a scout) and as non LDS individuals we are also done with the BSA permanently.

    @LegacyLost  I understand the bitter tone you express, and I'm sorry for it. There are many of us in the same boat who feel disillusioned by these recent changes.

    We are an LDS Scouting family (three generations of Eagles), and we'll soon exit BSA too. However, we depart not with bitterness but with sadness over what has been lost. I'm glad my son could experience the adventures of traditional Scouting at its best. He is an Eagle Scout with 50+ merit badges and OA. Six summer camps plus National Jamboree. He's had a wonderful ride, and I'm especially grateful I could experience it with him as Scoutmaster (two terms, 10+ years total).

    As I've said before, I'm not walking away from Scouting - rather Scouting walked away from me. With these changes, BSA wants to appeal to a different kind of Scout and a different kind of Scouter with a new program based on the co-ed model of "World Scouting". Sadly, when BSA does not attract girls in sufficient number, the program will change even further to make it more girl-friendly, all while our boys keep walking away into the arms of the video game culture. Absent the anchor/annoyance of LDS, BSA will continue drifting off course. Further changes in the not-distant future will include: boy-only troops eliminated (exclusionary), God jettisoned (repressive), patriotism de-emphasized (jingoistic) and OA disbanded (cultural appropriation). Progressives will continue pressing in their demands until the movement is unrecognizable in its programs and minuscule in its membership.

    My plans for an earlier departure have changed. I have been asked to remain as Scoutmaster until the LDS exit on 12/31/19. There is much to be done over the next 18 months, with up to 10 of our boys targeting Eagle before the deadline. By hanging on, I will disappoint @RememberSchiff who has declared me unworthy to wear the purple crest because I desire a traditional boy-only summer camp experience for our troop. Or @CalicoPenn who has urged me to quit now because my affinity for traditional Scouting is a poison to the program. Anyone who doesn't embrace these changes is shamed as "unScout-like" or "conditional Scouter". So be it. Ironically, this new "inclusive" Scouting is not inclusive enough for the likes of me.

    Trail Life might be more appealing if our church did not already have plans for a robust youth program to replace BSA. There is life after Scouting.

    • Upvote 4
    • Downvote 1

  13. On 3/11/2018 at 11:13 AM, ItsBrian said:

    I’m a youth still, and I’m sure you all know that we know how to use technology well. I would just instruct the webmaster what he has to keep updated, and whatever else a webmaster does. It’s not really needed to use district resources to train one of the least important and easiest job.

    Sure - no sweat. Who needs training? These days anybody can create cool websites. https://www.theworldsworstwebsiteever.com/


  14. 2 minutes ago, Cambridgeskip said:

    You're quite right it's different flavour. It's not a cheap flavour, but it's a unique one. You can't really anticipate it till you get there.

    A Scout from our troop attended an earlier World Jamboree. His feedback is primarily what deterred us. Among his Jamboree cohorts, he reported very crude behavior with lots of swearing and pornography. Adult leaders seemed unconcerned and unwilling to address it. Perhaps the addition of girls into their contingent actually would have moderated that unsavory aspect.


  15. 1 minute ago, Hawkwin said:

    There were girls at the Jambo last year. There have probably been girls at the Jambo for decades - just a guess.

    The girls from our council were part of a separate Venturing Crew. They Venturing Crew ran their own Jamboree program were never seen except at the airport.


  16. 1 minute ago, Cambridgeskip said:

    Also it is rapidly approaching previous levels. The best estimates, before proper censuses were done is that  membership peaked at about 650K. Last census we were at 618K, widely expected to be up again this year.

    So yes, growing and thriving.

    I stand corrected. I am happy for the successes of UK Scouting.

    • Like 1
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