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Posts posted by gblotter

  1. 2 hours ago, skeptic said:

    Perhaps I am; one of the drawbacks of getting old and cantankerous.

    You and I are both old enough to be cantankerous.

    10 hours ago, skeptic said:

    take a real look and listen to the voices that are most important, those of the youth being served.

    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.

    10 hours ago, skeptic said:

    Reality is that adjustments will be made and those focused on playing the game will work to smooth it out and move forward.

    The reality is that once people walk away, it is too late for adjustments to smooth it out.

    10 hours ago, skeptic said:

     if heaven forbid one of the terrible things predicted does happen, the few will parade it around with loud "I told you so's".

    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. 7 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

    we are out of state (and out of the country) for the next two camp outs.

    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. 6 hours ago, skeptic said:

    they so obviously are not happy nor understand the basic tenets of Scouting

    So all those who oppose BSA's girl decision do not understand anything about Scouting?

    6 hours ago, skeptic said:

    I too get tired of the negativity a few tend to blather constantly

    Or are you just blathering?

  5. 26 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

    I know from personal experience there are nights at scout meetings where you get 20 boys coming up basically all at once with something they need and you may miss some of those.  The SM is human and most likely wants to do the right thing.  And when you have say 20 boys all wanting SM conferences, even with ASMs handling them there is only so much time in the day and I know I don't like to rush through a SM conference so you never know how long it might take.

    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.

  6. 3 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

    While GSUSA and BSA have a common root (Baden-Powell, in Britain) they have been diverging almost from the beginning.   They even jumped the Atlantic separately, with GSUSA arising out of Girl Guides (in the UK) which came from the Boy Scouts (in the UK).     Looking just at the history of the scout law in both organizations:  the BSA took the 9-point scout law, simplified the wording, added three additional points, and then has kept it unchanged for 100 years.   The GSUSA took the (by then) 10-point scout law and kept it essentially unchanged till 1972 and had a major revision in 1972 and yet another since then.    Until the last few years, critics of the BSA have tended to criticize it for being too conservative.   For as long as I can remember GSUSA has been critcized for being too feminist or too liberal.     The BSA program is (correct me if I am wrong) recognizably similar to that of the 1930s. ( I read an old Handbook for Scoutmasters and was impressed by the similarity between it and what I saw in the current online video training.)  The GSUSA program has changed beyond all recognition.  (Just compare the Girl Scout Handbook of 1930 with any of the current GSUSA materials.)

    If the two organizations were to have worked in close collaboration, at least one of them (or maybe both) would have had to change a lot.


    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.

  7. 1 minute ago, Cambridgeskip said:

    I think one thing worth adding to Ian’s comments is that prior to scouting becoming coed here the scouts association traditionally had quite a strong relationship with Girl Guides. From everything I have read here it was, and indeed still is, stronger than that between BSA and GSUSA.

    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.

  8. 10 minutes ago, ianwilkins said:

    So while in one troop in our town the leaders left en-mass, and the boys were very anti, in another the leaders switched to the new scheme with gusto, and the kids mostly went along with it.

    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!

    • Upvote 2

  9. 35 minutes ago, TMSM said:

    Looking at the definition the word popular - can mean liked by many. This means its not a majority

    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.

    • Upvote 2

  10. 55 minutes ago, HelpfulTracks said:

    I am beyond frustrated with Scouters calling people liars based off supposition, personal bias and no evidence.

    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.

  11. Just now, malraux said:

    Would that really help retain any members that are leaving because of this, or help attract new members?

    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.

  12. 1 minute ago, malraux said:

    Its also likely fairly regional in the different opinions, so hard for anyone to estimate its exact popularity.

    Yep. Like I said, what you see depends on where you sit.

    1 minute ago, malraux said:

    I'm also appreciative of the idea that sometimes organizations have to change even its not what a majority of its current members want.

    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.

  13. 2 minutes ago, FireStone said:

    That's just not true. It's a popular opinion that girls should be in Scouting. How popular? I don't know. But it's not some small fringe group.

    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?

    • Downvote 1

  14. 3 minutes ago, FireStone said:

    The idea that it's "all lies" is simply not true. 

    I never said "all lies". Surbaugh is lying when he claims popular support drove the girl decision while conveniently ignoring huge resistance.

    6 minutes ago, malraux said:

    can you handle it when not everyone joins in your rage?

    Sure. What's your point?

  15. 2 minutes ago, HelpfulTracks said:

    Calling it a minority does not make it so.

    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.

  16. Just now, FireStone said:

    What data says that either opinion was the minority opinion? 

    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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