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Posts posted by gblotter

  1. 10 hours ago, Chris1 said:

    I know quite a number of girls who will be ticked off if they don't get the same patrol-method, traditional program the boys get.

    During this entire discussion with my father-in-law, I kept reminding him that national leadership was in such a rush to announce a BSA4G program that had not even been defined. This wasn't half-baked - it wasn't even in the oven yet. All they could say about the new program was "trust us, it will be wonderful". Why do it like this? BSA National has acted with an urgent disorganization that speaks of desperation. The fact that they are talking out of both sides of their mouth about Family Scouting and the integration of girls is only further evidence. Even now - 6 months out - confused messages emerge from those involved with these inside conversations. Is the Family Scouting program even the same thing as the Scouts BSA girl program? - I'm not convinced that it is. These bumblers in Irving are making this up as they go along. My father-in-law is only relaying his interpretation of a program that still being formulated (with less than 6 months before rollout). Nothing in this process inspires confidence.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong (and I may well be wrong on this point), but nowhere has BSA National leadership said that the Scouts BSA program will not change in order to integrate girls. They have never said that the traditional Scouting program will be preserved in Scouts BSA. They have only said that the path to Eagle will be the same for boys and girls.

  2. 1 minute ago, an_old_DC said:

    I am barely holding on now. If what your FiL says does indeed come to pass, I am done.  


    I had told my father-in-law that I would be done with Scouting when the LDS exit on 12/31/19. Ironically, he was using these arguments to urge me to stay on with assurances that Family Scouting would not affect my traditional all-boy troop because we wouldn't be operating according to the Family Scouting rules of heavier family involvement, so I had nothing to worry about.

    Then when I started airing my grievances with Surbaugh and recent decisions, my father-in-law first became defensive, then animated, and finally aggressive. Telling me things like Scouting must change to remain relevant to today's immigrant and millennial families or die. Accusing me of contributing to BSA's demise by resisting these changes (but not calling me a Conditional Scouter).

    Even though my father-in-law and I are both long-time dedicated Scouters, there are reasons why we normally avoid discussion of these topics.


    6 minutes ago, LVAllen said:

    I'd be curious to know why he thinks the term "Family Scouting" refers to an entirely distinct program, a la Scouting and Soccer. The curriculum will remain the same for each group, which means the Rules for the Great Game of Scouting remain the same.

    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.

    6 minutes ago, LVAllen said:

    Scouts do mist everything by patrols.

    My father-in-law was the first to admit that Family Scouting objectives are not necessarily compatible with the Patrol Method.

  4. 8 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

    I don’t think he is correct.  We should learn soon from the girl’s Scouts BSA book.   I can tell you they updated the Webelos book to add girls and they still require them to teach the Patrol method under Scouting Adventure (to earn AOL) ... even to 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 3 hours ago, ParkMan said:

    The BSA's biggest problem is the poor job that we do in explaining our program.

    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.

  7. 3 hours ago, ParkMan said:

    As a Scouting community, we really need to stop with the negative comments about moms.

    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.

  8. 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.

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  9. 6 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

    You missed the first part of the quote, where she was criticizing BSA: She said "We are disappointed that Boy Scouts of America has chosen to open its program to girls in contravention of its charter, rather than focusing on the 90% of American boys not being served by Boy Scouts.


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

  10. 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.

  11. 3 hours ago, Treflienne said:

    We believe strongly in the importance of the safe, all-girl, girl-led and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provides. Sounded defensive to me.

    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.

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  12. 27 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Thanks for the additional information but that's not for us.

    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.

  13. 16 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Advance Camp - arrive Friday night and  instead of conducting a bonfire as part of the camp, the Scouts will be turned loose on the amusement park. Spend Sat  earning meritbadges ( a long list). Meals provided. No patrol cooking, no patrol competition, no patrol method period. One night camp?


    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?

  14. 17 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    The WB beading is symbolic of the problem with today's adults. I have never understood adults wanting to this.

    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. 1 minute ago, Hawkwin said:

    OK, sure. Your clarification makes more sense. But that isn't what you stated in your first reply. You built your own strawman when you stated:

    You are the only one that made such a claim. Building a strawman* seems just as dismissive.



    an intentionally misrepresented proposition that is set up because it is easier to defeat than an opponent's real argument.

    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. 25 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

    Only you my friend, only you.

    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. 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. 2 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

    Our local camps have had co-ed staff for years, female venturers as participants, and foreign visiting Scout troops that were also co-ed.

    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).


    2 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

    So I'm not in on the sky is falling.

    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.


    2 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

    It's not girls that have ruined or will ruin Boy Scouting, it's weak leadership from some pros, sex abuse, declining demographics, and a safety/parenting culture that strangles adventure.

    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. 2 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

    It's not changing just because girls are allowed in separate troops in 2019.

    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. 1 hour ago, qwazse said:

    It just makes no sense (except for deluded rich and powerful men who think they have a right to "locker-room" talk).

    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".

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  21. 6 minutes ago, FireStone said:

    I personally don't think youth experience is all that helpful as an adult leader.

    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.



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