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Posts posted by gblotter

  1. 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."

  2. 10 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

    We, as scout leaders / scouters can help out with the practical training, even if we need to leave the philosophical foundations of morality to the families and religious institutions.

    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

  3. 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.

  4. 10 hours ago, gblotter said:

    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.



    22 hours ago, Hawkwin said:

    No, removal of a specific ban is not the same thing as an affirmative statement that something is morally straight. There are many things we don't outright ban that many faiths would believe are immoral behaviors - like premarital activities and consumption of alcohol. BSA doesn't ban either of those - but then not every faith believes such behavior is immoral. Could toss in "swear words" in that bucket too - not a banned behavior.

    Morally straight is and always should have been in line with your personal faith - which is why we don't have some long code of behavior that either bans various activities or states that others are allowed.

    @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?

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  5. 10 hours ago, ParkMan said:

    From the BSA website:
    We work to ensure every youth and adult member has the opportunity to join a local unit that aligns with his or her beliefs and with the experience he or she wants within the Scouting community. 

    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.

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  6. On 5/9/2018 at 8:51 PM, HashTagScouts said:

    I personally think you may have a small percent of LDS boys continue on to wrap their Eagle rank, but by 2022 we'll probably be counting LDS youth participation on our fingers and toes.


    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.

  7. On 5/8/2018 at 7:49 PM, mashmaster said:

    they don't camp or participate in district activities

    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.

  8. 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.

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  9. 1 hour ago, T2Eagle said:

    this description is pretty accurate for the 80% of us who are not part of LDS.

    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.

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  10. 28 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

    I'm in Ohio and there aren't more than a handful of LDS units in my council all of them relatively small.

    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).

  11. 2 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

    I find it interesting that, as far as I can tell from the Church's statements, they are neither attributing their decision to recent BSA decisions

    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.


    2 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

    nor are they giving any instruction that LDS youth not participate in scouting.

    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.


    2 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

    I wonder at the number of people who claim that they loved scouting but are leaving now that it is not a mandated part of their worship.

    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.


    3 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

    I long wondered whether the relationship between the LDS Church and BSA was both a strength and at the same time an Achille's heel for the BSA.

    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.

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    On 11/3/2017 at 6:14 AM, RememberSchiff said:

    Regular members - no more than 64, elected at annual meeting for one year terms.

    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.


  13. 3 minutes ago, David CO said:

    True. If their council voted for the recent changes in BSA policy, then they deserve to face the consequences. 

    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.

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  14. 1 hour ago, T2Eagle said:

    The hopeful was that he thought that long time scouters who were also members of the LDS would remain members and supporters of scouting, hopeful because he believed many LDS families would continue to have their sons (and daughters) in scouting because they loved and believed in scouting not just because it was mandated by their church, and also hopeful in that he believed that the council was positioned to survive financially because of some sound investment strategies they had made.


    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.

  15. 56 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

    This was a fascinating, thoughtful,  and excellent interview.  Really gave some great answers on the practical side and the hopeful side of the changes coming to our org.

    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?

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  16. 1 hour ago, FireStone said:

    There was a time when I was anti-BSA for my family, but I never wished for the collapse of the BSA. I was looking at another Scouting organization that fit what I wanted for my family. But I can't imagine ever having wished for the BSA to completely go away just because it didn't fit my morals and beliefs at the time. That logic just doesn't register with me, wanting something to go away just because you don't like it anymore. 

    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.

  17. 1 hour ago, Eagle1993 said:

    A good (and sad) interview explaining some of the impact to an Idaho council.  😥

    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.

  18. 10 hours ago, fred johnson said:

    Plus ... if you really want Eagle to be meaningful ... Get it off the college application check box.  Stop ranking up enlistees because of it.  Get it off the resume.

    Agree. It instills the wrong motivation in some current Scouts in my own troop.

  19. 8 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

    PS  The red beret worked pretty darn good as a pot holder on campouts.

    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.

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  20. 11 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    The wonderful world of Skill Awards, Camping and Cooking MB were not required.  You could easily earn Eagle Scout and never camp, never start a fire, never leave your neighborhood.  In fact you could not even go outside

    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.)

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