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Everything posted by Jameson76

  1. Sadly Philmont has cancelled for 2020 It is with great disappointment that Philmont Scout Ranch announces the cancelation of all remaining programs for the 2020 summer season. Due to the Governor’s COVID-19 guidelines, and the State of New Mexico Health Department’s restrictions regarding travel, our efforts to secure a portion of the summer season were denied. The safety of our participants, staff and community has been and will remain our top priority. The Philmont staff were relentless in pursuing all options and will continue to assist participants as they navigate their options. Key Points: The Reservation Contact and Lead Advisor for each crew were emailed a survey to complete after consulting with their crew. Philmont will waive the adult to youth ratio (if YPT guidelines are met) to accommodate Scouts who will “age out” by the time they are rescheduled through 2022. Philmont Training Center, Family Adventure Camp Participants, and NAYLE participants will receive a call next week (June 8-12) to discuss rescheduling options or refunds. Individual Trek Participants were emailed a survey to complete. Staff have received communication from the Seasonal Personnel office. https://www.philmontscoutranch.org/coronavirus/
  2. Rumor is Woodruff Scout Reservation for Atlanta Area Council will not operate this summer. Neither is Bert Adams. No formal announcement yet, but the council has not disseminated the National fee increase yet, so obviously communication with the minions and actual customers they are supposed too serve (Scouts and Leaders) is not a high priority
  3. Got the same thing - "It's not official" and still no information from the council. Apparently we will not hear anything from them until it's official. I guess official timelines are different in different councils. Interesting. The call then turned in to an FOS discussion, told him to have a nice day
  4. As I have watched the BSA over these last 50+ years I often wonder Do we raise money to have Scouts OR do we have Scout to be able to raise money? Seems like so much of the professional time is raising money, sort of becomes the WHY of Scouting, and not the program. I am often reminded of the quote from Blazing Saddles and can imagine this being said at Professional Scouter meetings ....We've got to protect our phony-baloney jobs, gentlemen.
  5. Agree that the key is local program and local fun and adventure. Out troop is from what would be considered an upper income community, but we still keep it simple. $100 per year for dues and registration. We do no fundraisers. We charge a nominal fee for outings ($10 -15) and camp 12 times per year. Couple of summer camps, Scouts pay for those, and attempt to make it straightforward. The troop does service projects and we do attend high adventure. Key is to let the Scouts spend time with friends, have fun, hand out in hammocks. With summer camp issues we are running our own camp and "shocked face" our cost is less than 1/2 the council camp
  6. Saw this summary - National Executive Committee commissioned a set of teams to address six key areas to secure the future and our ability to deliver our mission by serving our customers, girls and boys, and their parents, young men, and women. How do we keep young people safe? Are the BSA programs aligned with today's young people? Is the National Council effectively identifying and communicating with their stakeholders? Do we have the most effective organizational structure? Are there changes that will make the National Council more effective? How do we build a solid financial path for the future? Here are some changes that we are announcing today and many more will be made over the summer. Develop a set of onboarding tools that are simple, concise, informative, while streamlining all safe scouting resources to one location. Learn from and share how councils can promote and deliver youth protection programs to build community awareness that BSA is a safe place for young people. If you've not seen what Atlanta and greater NY has done, it's incredible. Streamline the actual chartering process and make the collection of fees easier. End all youth programs at 18 and build a volunteer corps for young adults over 18. National staff levels and costs have been reduced and can be offset by volunteers in a meaningful fashion Use on-demand printing technologies for merit badge books and other printed materials Replace the current region and area structure with one intermediate organization Orient national services to only those that support council operations Create a membership category that will allow for families and individuals to join special programs developed by local councils Combine the national annual meeting and [???] into one annual event which we plan to do in 2021. Unfortunately it will be in August, but we did hear you and in 2022 it will be earlier in the summer. Appoint a national chief marketing & communication position to re-brand the BSA after bankruptcy and develop a national marketing campaign that can be implemented at the council level. This is the one that may be concerning - Create a membership category that will allow for families and individuals to join special programs developed by local councils. Guess we will become some sort of event provider group. Wedding, Birthday Party's, Bar Mitzvahs...whatever to make a buck
  7. Ask them, How does this fulfill the requirements - While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project must benefit an organization other than the Boy Scouts of America.) A project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your Scoutmaster and unit committee, and the council or district before you start.
  8. Saw the same thing Last week, the Boy Scouts of America announced that the annual membership fee for youth and young adult participants will increase from $60 to $66 effective August 1, 2020. There will also be a onetime BSA joining fee for new members of $25. If a Scout has been registered in the last five years, BSA will not charge the new member fee. In addition, BSA plans to increase the membership fee to $72 on August 1, 2021, and to $75 on August 1, 2022. No fee increases are planned past 2022. Sooo.. I thought the effort was to bring in NEW members, I guess they figure that in addition to joining BSA (amidst all the lawsuits) they will feel privileged to give an additional $25. Brilliant thinking
  9. Our Troop did not even discuss the idea of a virtual campout. The concept does not fit our program, and none the Greenbar (we are old school) or Troop leaders would be supportive. We are doing our own summer camp in July, because Scouting involved Outings - actual outings for the Scouts.
  10. The neat thing about the Outdoor program is that (if run correctly) Scouts learn invaluable skills and do not realize they are even in a learning situation. In their mind they are out having fun, spending time with their friends, enjoying the day away from their parents 😀. THAT is the real secret that many do not get. If one tries to turn Scouts / BSA / Whatever the new name may be into just more classes, more instruction and NOT something unique, it will continue to fade. The strength, the differentiation in the crowded youth activity market IS the outdoor program and the activities related to this. Schools / museums / colleges do STEM better than BSA ever could. Similar groups can offer a much deeper effort for Arts type activities. The mass amount of sports programs can offer fitness and team stuff. We are (or should be) an Outdoor based program and by involvement the participant will gain experience in self reliance, life skills, leadership, conflict resolution, citizenship (camp in a state park and you sort of have to learn what collaborative government can provide to citizens), practical first aid, etc etc. This is what we need to emphasize. Not to be all things to all people and literally do none of them very well.
  11. Skymont (Cherokee Area Council) has cancelled for the summer. Atlanta has cancelled Bert Adams for the Summer while Woodruff is delayed until Week 5 (June 28). Also a slew of program adjustments (see below) What kind of changes are you looking at for Summer Camp? We know this is a fluid situation and it will continue to change, Summer Camp will look different. At this time, we are evaluating the following likely scenarios at camp: Screening Robust screening of all participants and staff upon arrival including temperature check and specific screening questions Elimination of Family Night at camp and ensuring that all people coming onto camp are medically screened Twice daily temperature checks performed and recorded by Troop leadership Food Service 1 meal a day cooked in your campsite 1 meal cooked and delivered to your site Lunch served in a “grab and go” manner Troops being asked to bring some of their own cooking supplies Tenting Single occupancy or limited to family members sharing a tent. Some larger Troops may be asked to bring their own tent to accommodate their campers. Program Areas Limit class size to enable social distancing Conduct some programs with social distancing including Outdoor Skills, Mountaineer (1st-year camper) and Nature Not offering some programs where social distancing is not practical including COPE and Climbing, Lifesaving and Welding Aquatics and Shooting Sports with greatly reduced capacity, limited program offering and robust cleaning of equipment No campfires or mass camp activities (i.e. evening camp-wide games, etc.) No whitewater rafting or offsite activities such as Horseback riding Modified “free time” Enhanced cleaning of all camp areas Staff would clean and sanitize common areas multiple times per day Participants would be asked to assist (as usual) in ensuring camp is clean These scenarios will change as additional guidance is released. We appreciate your continued understanding as we adjust to this fluid situation.
  12. I saw that in the Scouting Wire e-mail Are they implying that if two Scout troops want to camp together and do something together, they can't? That seems a bit far reaching in the control area and possibly stepping into unit program decisions.
  13. So Atlanta Area has advised (and this is a summary) for the Scouts camps - Don't know what's coming Focused on safe program Changing food (cook or delivery to site) Cope and Climbing may not offer No whitewater rafting Aquatics is difficult Shooting sport are difficult Seems like not much to be offered
  14. Pretty much that is it. End of story, focus on the outdoor and youth development. HAVE FUN. (Also sell the millstone that is Summit but that's another story) The Boy Scouts of America was never intended to be All Things to All People. It was founded (as noted) to be focused on having fun in the outdoors as a means to develop responsibility and good character. Simple and straightforward. Sometimes the BSA reminds me of the lifeboat station story, a group that seems to have forgotten why they were founded in the first place.. ‘On a dangerous sea coast where shipwrecks often occurred, there was once a crude little lifeboat station. The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat, but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea and, with no thought for themselves, went out day and night tirelessly looking out for lost people. Some of those who had been saved, and various others in the surrounding area, wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time, money and effort for the support of its work. New boats were bought and new crews were trained. With commitment and energy the little lifeboat station grew. Some members of the lifeboat station were unhappy that the building was so crude and poorly equipped. They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge of those saved from the sea. So they replaced the emergency hammocks with beds and put better furniture in the enlarged building. Now the lifeboat station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they decorated and furnished it beautifully, and started using it as a sort of club. Fewer members were now interested in going out on lifesaving missions, so they hired lifeboat crews to do this work. Lifesaving pictures and mementos decorated the club’s walls where official meetings were held. About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast, and the hired crews brought in boatloads of cold, wet, and half-drowned people. They were dirty and sick, with different personalities and temperaments and from other cultural backgrounds. The beautiful new club was in chaos. So the committee immediately had a shower house built outside the club where shipwreck victims could be cleaned up before coming inside. At the next meeting, the club membership was divided. Most of the members wanted to stop the club’s lifesaving activities, since they were unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal social life of the club. But some members insisted that lifesaving was their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a ‘Lifeboat Station’! However, they were finally outvoted, and told that if they wanted to save the lives of all types of people who might be shipwrecked, they could begin their own lifeboat station somewhere else, further down the coast. This they did. As the years went by, similar changes took place in the new station as well. It also evolved into a club, and consequently another lifeboat station was founded elsewhere. History continued to repeat itself and on that sea coast today, you will find a number of exclusive clubs along the coastline. Shipwrecks are still frequent in those waters, but most of the people are never reached and saved.
  15. Agree that has been part of the issue. I would also argue the big step off the cliff for the BSA was in 1973 - 74 as we implemented The Improved Scouting Program. Literally one was able to attain Eagle Scout at that point without ever going outside. This moved the program so far away from it's purpose it was ridiculous. The 1974 Scoutbook actually advised that if you are on a hike and get lost the Scouts should ask a policeman for directions....oh how far we slid.
  16. Agree - The reason for the BSA CANNOT be YPT, that is NOT our purpose. It is part of the mechanics of program (like Guide to Advancement) and not the reason for the program. We run the program to HAVE FUN, and engage the youth to be better leaders and citizens. Anytime I hear that our NUMBER ONE PRIORITY is to protect youth (basically holding this up as a sacred talisman and selling point), I shudder and realize someone may not fully understand the real reason for the BSA
  17. We are doing (or planning) or own summer camp for later in July. Not sure of all the details and not 100% sure of the protocols, but we are stepping off the porch and working the plan. Thinking we will have +/- 20 - 25 Scouts, plus leaders Some of our initial thoughts No group transportation, parents drop off and pickup Every Scout brings their own tent You can hammock but no stacking hammocks Still figuring out meals, cook some, disposable items, bring in other meals (Pizza night) Instruction will be in smaller groups We are tapping into former leaders, troop alumni, and Eagle Scouts to help as possible with MB classes and skill instruction. Lots to do but our feedback from families showed overwhelming support for a Troop Camp this summer. Will be somewhat old school
  18. Indications are they will refund all fees. Send a note to the council and they should process quickly
  19. These are all great intent, but they will be executed by young staff, so it may or may not happen The biggest challenge will be dining halls, for the larger camps it's a non-starter. If you have 800 in camp (staff / leaders / Scouts) that is 2400 meals a day. Assuming you cut your dining hall capacity by 1/2, which is optimistic, the camp will need to be serving cleaning in a minimum of 6 cycles daily which will be 8 to 9 hours of time needed and varying dinner times. Maybe go all meal pickup and eat in sire While needed, the elimination of campfires and and assemblies will really cut into the summer camp experience. Also some merit badge classes will have to cut capacity significantly, adversely affecting program. Not sure there is a good solution
  20. Atlanta Area Council has cancelled first two weeks of summer camp (Week 1 - 5/30 and Week 2 - 6/7). This is for both Woodruff and Bert Adams. They will update 30 days out, so I guess 5/14 for week 3 which is scheduled to start 6/14.
  21. We are in the planning stages for a Troop summer camp at a State Park about 40 minutes from us. We may get +/- 20 - 25 Scouts. There is a large committee to support and the park has lake, swimming beach, trail, mt bike routes, etc. Should be fun and will likely be about 1/3 the cost Our council needs to to move beyond "planning" to have camp and give a firm YES or NO. Though honestly a firm YES is unlikely, so we may go on our own.
  22. They (Atlanta area council) seem to be looking to modify the program, which is why one would go to camp, so agree not a good sign. The ones the Scouts want are aquatics, COPE, shooting and field sports, and rafting trips. Take away or limit those, it's a challenge First question was very revealing, what would you do if camp is cancelled or delayed.....
  23. Saw that Arizona Closed, GA / Carolina council closed. Flint River Camp Thunder will announce at 3 today. Cherokee Council - Skymont Scout Reservation they are meeting today and should update next week. Atlanta Area is "planning" to go ahead but is also floating the late start possibility. Due to earlier school calendars the first week would start in 30 days. Philmont will update today, but no information yet.
  24. I have voiced some concern over the way this has apparently become our mission. The BSA is around to protect youth. In many conversations that seems to be (in some Scouters opinion) the REASON we have Scouting and not part of what we do as Scouters. We are here to protect youth, that is the goal. Certainly important but not the end all be all. We are an organization whose mission is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. Part of working towards that mission is YPT, as are many other parts of the Scouting program. All of these tenants are important. Just saying that we need to remember WHY we as Scouters really are involved. No family or Scout/Youth is going to join an organization who has as their main stated mission that they protect youth. In no way am I underscoring the importance of YPT. We just cannot (IMHO) let this DEFINE the BSA, this needs to be PART of what we do.
  25. There was a line from the original Jurassic Park that was similar. Ian Malcolm: Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if they should
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