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Everything posted by gblotter

  1. You and I are both old enough to be cantankerous. As a current Scoutmaster with a troop of 30 Scouts, I do a lot of looking and listening. I hear concern from the boys about losing their program. I see them kicking advancement into overdrive to finish Eagle quickly and then exit. This summer we took 14 Scouts to camp. Based on current polling, next year we will likely get only 5 signing up for a co-ed summer camp experience. Families are making other plans and moving on from Scouting. This "perceived negativity" is not imagined. The reality is that once people walk away, it is too late for adjustments to smooth it out. I'm always surprised when people with age don't have the accompanying wisdom to learn from past mistakes. I earned my Eagle in 1974. I remember well BSA's disaster with the Improved Scouting Program of the 1970s which also attempted to re-engineer Scouting for modern sensibilities. There was a similar "get done and get out" attitude back then in reaction to divisive changes forced upon the masses by the enlightened folks at BSA National. It resulted in a devastating membership loss of 2.5 million, and the CSE was forced into early retirement. There was no parading around and "I told you so's'" - people just left. BSA does not have the robust membership and financial health to survive a similar disaster this time around. I'm beyond sad to see this reenactment happening before my eyes.
  2. If the goal of the Scoutmaster's policy is to encourage campout participation among his older Scouts, that goal has clearly been met with your son this summer. You previously said his heart is in the right place and you support his reasoning. What goal did he articulate to you that is motivating this difficult and inflexible stance? A lesson has been learned the hard way that you need request a Scoutmaster conference at the earliest possible opportunity while working on a rank advancement because this Scoutmaster won't offer any flexibility later on with his scheduling. And you should not wait for the Scoutmaster to initiate the conference - request the conference proactively. It's embarrassing and sad to see a Scoutmaster behave like this. He clearly doesn't understand the philosophy of servant leadership. Our troop once had a Scoutmaster who was attracting lots of family complaints over his rigid policies. He ran a very active program with lots of camping and advancement, but his rigidity was driving families away from the troop and poisoning them toward Scouting altogether. It took a lot of complaints but the CO finally replaced him. He left in a huff, which was sad for all concerned because he sacrificed much for the troop and Scouting. Certainly you can stay and fight this, but the battle may poison your son. Have you considered switching to a different troop?
  3. When was the last time your son attended a campout? Has your son attended any campouts while working toward this rank? The Scoutmaster conference can happen at any time while working on the next rank - it doesn't need to be the last requirement fulfilled before the board of review.
  4. So all those who oppose BSA's girl decision do not understand anything about Scouting? Or are you just blathering?
  5. Your forgot to use the slur "conditional Scouter".
  6. I've got one I won't be reading. Help yourself.
  7. Big troop vs small troop. We have a few mega troops (130-150 boys) in town. Given our size of just 30 boys/3 patrols, it gives me a headache (literally) to think about scaling a program that large. I'm sure big troops have their benefits too, but I love the personal attention afforded by a smaller troop. Wouldn't have it any other way, actually.
  8. Great summary - can't argue with any of that. With BSA's recent left turns, perhaps the two organizations will soon find themselves closer in alignment. I expect more big decisions from BSA National in the coming years after the LDS exit. BSA will change beyond all recognition, too.
  9. If the Scoutmaster is stalling or stonewalling, things could get ugly. Fingers crossed for you.
  10. In my opinion, the best solution would have been a closer collaboration between BSA and GSUSA, but not in the cards apparently. Perhaps with better leadership it could have been negotiated. To frame support for BSA's girl decision, some like to assert that Scouting in the US has been like Scouting in Saudi Arabia or other places that exclude girls (pretending somehow that GSUSA never existed or that they are not real Scouting). How insulting! Scouting opportunities for girls in the US go back more than a century.
  11. With the passage of time, I'm confident that everyone in BSA will be in support or at least go along with these changes ... because those opposed will leave the movement. Voila - problem fixed!
  12. I can accept that definition. Surbaugh could just as easily say that keeping girls out of BSA has popular support. Instead of asserting popularity, I would prefer to have him honestly discuss the reality of BSA's declining membership and ask for unity and support to fix it and thereby save the movement we all love, even if some fixes may not be desirable by all. But no - we get repeated deceptions and insulting manipulations from this guy. I know - too much to ask.
  13. The only person I have called a liar is Surbaugh (because he is). Evidence abounds that he when given the opportunity for honest dialog, he repeatedly chooses to deceive and manipulate instead. You are frustrated by me calling Surbaugh a liar. I am frustrated by Surbaugh being a liar.
  14. Isn't it Surbaugh's job to make that case? I'm afraid that would violate YPT - lol.
  15. Even on this board, it is the same few that are in support. This is not a terribly active board - the same people are posting most of the time.
  16. I actually do believe that some honesty from Surbaugh would help with retention and recruiting. Resentment grows when people feel they are being manipulated. Understanding grows with honest communication.
  17. Yep. Like I said, what you see depends on where you sit. I have no problem with that concept. Can't Surbaugh then at least be honest about the reality of BSA's situation driving this decision? That would be a position I could respect. I cannot respect the insulting manipulations.
  18. If Surbaugh wanted to be honest (not lie), he could at least acknowledge that this was a divisive decision driven by declining membership rather than hiding behind an insulting and manipulative survey. Wouldn't some honest discussion coming from the top be refreshing for a change?
  19. Surbaugh lies by claiming popular support while completely ignoring huge resistance. It's no more complicated than that.
  20. I never said "all lies". Surbaugh is lying when he claims popular support drove the girl decision while conveniently ignoring huge resistance. Sure. What's your point?
  21. Claiming popular support does not make it so. Five years should be enough time for the dust to setting on the LDS exit and judge whether Surbaugh was the savior or the executioner of BSA. I am not optimistic. BSA's current membership is not robust enough to survive another disaster like the Improved Scouting Program of the 1970s.
  22. What you see depends on where you sit. I see exactly the opposite from my vantage point. I know of many Scouting families adopting a "get done and get out" strategy.
  23. Yes - we would all like to see the data. But even if released, the survey was crafted to be so manipulative, designed to elicit only one response - any data from a survey like that would be pointless, in all reality. Can you at least give me room for rage over such an insulting process?
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