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Posts posted by Jameson76

  1. 1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

    IF this is accurate, the last time there was any kind of major overhaul was 1999? 1972?



    1972 was the BIG change.  Many of the core badges (swimming / camping / cooking) were part of the group that could or could not be earned.  That was the change wherein one could become Eagle and not have camped at all and basically not have gone outside at all


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  2. 9 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

    When I ask scouts at their EBOR what merit badges they think are the most important ones it surprises me when they say Personal Management or the Citizenship MB's.  But this answer happens a lot.  I never get the answer of Swimming or Camping.

    Maybe they have learned to give the expected answers, please the questioner.  I typically get they feel first aid, the shooting sports, climbing, and camping as important.

  3. My hope would be (though not likely) is that they actually take one of 2 paths for this new set of requirements.  Whether one thinks the DEI initiative is a good thing or a bad thing, it is likely not going away.  BSA National has opened the door, so they will not be able to close that door

    2 Hopeful Paths

    • Restructure the Citizenship Merit Badges to include some new items.  Some of the DEI requirements could relate to community, nation, or world.
    • Remove the Citizenship in the World MB from Eagle required and insert the (obviously reworked) DEI merit badge in it's place

    Doubt that will happen, but it would be a good path

    • Upvote 2
  4. 3 hours ago, yknot said:


    I think BSA does have something to answer for here regarding its real intentions on why it opened scouting to girls. 

    If you recall Surbagh's Town Hall video, he as much admitted they (National gang) was pretty much out of ideas on how to add members to the program.  The adding girls was a hail Mary.  

    In reality they did not want to do the hard work of figuring out why some units succeed and others fail, that would require maybe a real reflective look at the program.  Nope, it was the easy route they took "let's add girls".  Not saying it was a bad idea, just need to be honest on WHY.

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  5. 10 hours ago, ParkMan said:

    .....the BSA wants to get kids thinking about how they conduct themselves and in act in a country where different races, genders, sexual preferences, and gender identities are the norm.

    I had one of my Scouts ask me about some of the musicians (that they all seem to listen to now) from the late 70's and 80's.  Specifically Bowie, Elton John, and Freddie Mercury.  Did we care they were bi or gay, was that an issue, what did we think of them.

    My answer was that (and this sort of shocked them), they were more defined by their talent and what they actually did than their persona.  Did not recall if they were openly out or swinging at the time, but everyone sort of knew it, but we accepted that they were talented, that is what mattered.

    I see the challenge today is that many are defining people NOT by their talents BUT more by their races, genders, sexual preferences, and gender identities.  It seems more important WHO you are and identify as than WHAT you can actually do.

    We as a society seem to have gone backward to almost the days of who you were being defined by your family (replace family for whatever group(s) people may want to be identified as) and their place in society, not what YOU individually can do and bring to a group.

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  6. 20 hours ago, ParkMan said:

    This seems like a trivial merit badge to earn.  Basically you do:

    • talk about some stuff around DEI - can probably be done in 30 minutes
    • create and give a presentation - an hour maybe
    • attend a local event - an hour or two depending on the event.

    In the grand scheme of things, this seems pretty simple.

    Sadly you do not even have to attend a local event... or learn about such an event that occurred historically. 

    100% Classroom and discussion.  No actual "doing".  Just indoctrination

    • Upvote 2
  7. 32 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:


    We had a visitor at my troop last nite who was an Eagle from the 1990s, and his son is getting ready to Cross Over. he was not impressed with other troops he visited.

    We have had recent visitors (AOL's) who the family definitely wants the Webelos III experience.  Not so much Family Scouting but they want to stay in their group, advance together, etc etc.  They also want the 60 page Troop handbook, specific advancement steps, very scheduled on outings and summer camp; etc etc. 

    Our input is this is a boy led troop.  The method is YOUTH led and each Scout finds their own path.  We can facilitate, but it is driven by each Scout.  Our success (IMHO) is judged by the number of Scouts we have a active that are in High School and come when they can because (wait for it....) our Troop is FUN and they get away from the parents for a weekend.  Also the downtime on the outings in the afternoons is very welcome for them.

    • Upvote 1
  8. On 12/7/2020 at 5:16 PM, Cburkhardt said:

    ·       YPT policy compliance might not be assumed.  Paid or volunteer YPT policy compliance personnel might make visits to unit meetings and activities.


    Good Lord, that would be the end for many people.  Just want we need, YPT zealots descending on a meeting to "evaluate" and offer their sage advice.  All I can think of is the political officers spread throughout the Soviet Union to keep an eye on stuff and make sure everyone drank the appropriate amount of party Kool Aid

    That would in fact be the end of Scouting.

    Also, the family Scouting concept (for Scouts older than 11 years old or middle school) will be the final nail in the coffin

  9. 6 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

    Now try, however difficult, to to imagine you face accusations of child sexual abuse from ten - twenty - thirty - forty years ago, and the claim is that there was just the two of you there - victim and abuser.  No other eye-witnesses.  No physical evidence.  No incriminating diary or photographs.  Just your accuser's testimony and the expert(s) hired by claimant's lawyer.   Whatever happens to you will be ""OK" to some  despite the abandoning of centuries-old legal rule intended to protect defendants  from "stale" claims.  Why "OK"? Because of the horrific nature of the alleged crime.   You will never get your day in criminal court because no prosecutor would dream of prosecuting due to the risk of a lawsuit for malicious prosecution.

    Reminiscent of Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearings.  No real way to validate or prove truth, you either accept or you are believe in the rule of law want to see evidence.

    There is not an easy answer.

    As was the case for many of these incidents, there was just the two of them there - victim and abuser.  No other eye-witnesses.  No physical evidence.  No incriminating diary or photographs.  Just the accuser's account.  Families, Councils, Law Enforcement (maybe), Chartering Organizations, Troop Committees...did what they could with what they have at that time

  10. 5 hours ago, MattR said:

    The difference between 4H and scouting is the overhead in capital and labor. 4H has little and the BSA has an enormous amount. Properties and staffing are huge for a non profit. 4H sets up a stem program and it's a few documents of ideas for the youth. The bsa does it and it's millions of dollars poured into camps. Bechtel?

    That said, camps used to be profit centers. It reminds me of college dorms. They used to be really cheap and students were okay with it. Now dorms are really nice and come with good food and activity centers. Well, now students are leaving colleges in droves. Community colleges are a much better deal. So, how does the BSA lower costs and still have fun stuff to do?  It's a fine line between too cheap and just right. Rather than pour money into toys I'd rather see a little money poured into teaching scouts how to create their own fun. 

    Another thing 4H has is a definite project. Raise chickens or make a soap box car. I think the bsa could borrow that idea. Make fun MB's for a patrol to work on that takes around 3 months to complete. Something about working towards a final project rather than a patch sounds much more appealing to me.

    Don't forget, we all fund 4-H, so it's not apples to apples on program costs.  Funding is through state budgets and taxes.  It is part of Cooperative Extension offices, likely at the County level in many states.  In Georgia it is run through the University System of Georgia

    This is an advisement from 2019 on budget cuts - 

    Those include a combined $4.7 million cut from the University of Georgia’s agricultural experiment stations, three research centers that teach farming techniques and management in Athens, Griffin and Tifton. The school’s cooperative extension service, which runs agricultural and 4-H programs, is penciled in for a cut of $4.4 million.

  11. 12 hours ago, HICO_Eagle said:

    As with many class action torts, the lawyers are incentivized to get (or create) as many presumed victims as possible.  Some of the abuse was real but how many of the supposed 90,000 cases are mixing things like teasing by other boys in group showers with pedophile cases?  How many of them are a result of the lawyers getting the now-men to attribute their current problems to "abuse"?  If the count vastly exceeds the so-called secret files (at least some of which were unproveable and maybe even innocent people), just what were BSA or the adukts involved supposed to do with cases they didn't even know about?

    It is a challenge with the age of accusations and the time in which they were handled.

    When I was a DE (Back in the 80's) there was a issue in one of the districts.  None of the families wanted to formally involved the police.  The CO (a church) did not want the police formally involved.  As there was not a required reporter laws NOR shield protections laws, if we (the council) had called the police, that could have opened us up to slander issues.  We terminated the alleged abuser's membership in the BSA, put his name in the file, and that was all we could legally and legitimately do AT THAT TIME.

    Spring forward 30 - 40 years, now the case is being made we should have done something.  But in reality we did DO something.  Is it comparable to today's expectations, no.  Same as when I was in car wreck in mid 70's and got a head injury as there were no airbags.  Can I sue GM now as they did not provide that safety feature as standard back then?

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  12. Do not underestimate the damage done in the 70's with the ISP (Improved Scouting Program).  That was a pivotal misstep and lack of direction and understanding by Ivory Tower National Leadership on how the program works.

    So many left youth and so many youth NEVER became Scouts and while that immediate loss was epic, the longer term an effect that has driven the quest for the golden ring of "membership" lo these last 50 years.

    Without being members as youth, many were not invested in the program.  As adults they did not involve their kids, so less members.  Rinse, lather, repeat.  National then embarked on many misbegotten and NON CORE efforts that really degraded the "fun with a purpose" thrust.  Sort of like Moses wandering in the desert.

    Now the National movement organization is bankrupt, there are 90,000 abuse cases (thought that may have come about anyway) and membership has to be way less than the 2 million youth declared at the end of 2019.

    I fear that Gloria Gaynor's words "I Will Survive" will not ring true for the BSA.

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  13. No matter how you may feel on this, biggest challenge is this is the continuing move away from our CORE COMPETENCY.  Is this "Fun with a Purpose"?  I would say no and it does not add value to the program.

    I am not suggesting that the possible issue may be important to society, but there are many many issues that may be important to society.  The BSA cannot be all things to all people.  The more we try the more we wander aimlessly with each special interest group looking to "mold" the Scouting movement in America to what they "feel" is important and critical.

    Stick with the basics, focus on fun and outdoors, differentiate the Scouting movement in the market place.  Drill down to the WHY kids join.  This is like houses, not every house one builds may suit everyone.  Deal with the reality and be good at what we do and narrow focus on that.

    Bending and moving to the winds of whatever is current will continue to kill the movement.

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  14. 1 hour ago, T2Eagle said:

    A scout leader from the mid eighties would be in his late seventies or early eighties today. 

    Or younger.

    A 22 year old leader in 1985 would be 57 today.  Mid eighties (83 - 87) is only (only...God I sound old) 37 years ago.  I've got a Philmont belt older than that

  15. 21 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    From the article and doing the math, the 93 year old suing the BSA was abused sometime between 1936 when he was 9 years old and 1944 when he was 18. That is over 80 years ago. Folk involved are long dead, including the parents who would have made the decision to press charges or not. And from my research many parents chose not to.

    Not dismissing the potential accuracy or validity of this claim, but how can the BSA (or any group for that matter) put up a reasonable defense again this claim?  No real way to even verify the claimant was active in a unit at the time of the alleged abuse.  As many have noted, unless there was an actual criminal complaint and conviction pre about 1980, the accuser could be liable for accusations.  

    Basically a no win scenario now.

  16. On 11/10/2020 at 7:45 PM, CynicalScouter said:

    Posted to reddit just now.

    This is just. Wow.

    BSA Council Basic Standards

    •Adhere to brand standards

    •Adhere to rules, regulations, and policies of BSA

    •Current on national fees

    •Council governed by volunteers

    •Provide programs consistent with BSA Guidelines

    Council Performance Standards Charter

    The council performance standards committee identified and recommended following items to measure:

    •Youth Safety –98% Youth Protection Training

    •Youth Market Share –2%

    •Youth Retention –62%

    •Financial Sustainability –minimum of three months of cash liquidity for operations

    •Youth Ethnic and Gender Diversity –10% of membership is female; membership reflects community’s youth of color percentage

    Leading Indicators of Successful Councils


    •Net camping operation surplus (inclusive of direct and indirect costs, and depreciation)

    •Growth in endowment fund and appropriate earnings distribution


    •Multi-year plan based on data and year over year growth

    •Youth in market share, strong volunteer engagement, emphasizes and identifies youth markets with growth potential (ethnic, gender, socio-economic, religious, various communities, etc)

    Unit Service

    •Effective commissioner team serving every unit

    •Continually knows health of every unit

    Board Governance

    •Diverse board (gender, ethnicity, age, professional experience, Scouting & non-Scouting, backgrounds, tenure, etc)

    •Clear understanding of status on all performance standards

    •Understands the council’s strategic priorities

    Strategic Plan

    •Developed as team (staff & volunteers)

    •Rolling 3 years

    •Living document that drives annual priorities and budget

    •Guides executive board and staff agendas



    BSA_Churchill_Plan-Proposed_New_Territory_Structure_and_Council_Standards_presentation_10.6.20.pdf 2.9 MB · 2 downloads

    Again - the priorities continue to be way off base.  Clueless being led by more clueless and being led by consultants with stock powerpoints so it seems they did something.

    Under BSA Council Basic Standards - they put the only mention of  anything related to PROGRAM at the bottom.  That is insane.  THAT IS NUMBER ONE..PROGRAM DRIVES EVERTYTHING!!

    Under Council Performance Standards Charter they put RENTENTION way down the list.  That is an indicator of (wait for it) PROGRAM...THAT NEEDS to be BE NUMBER ONE!!

    Under Leading Indicators of Successful Councils they do not even mention PROGRAM!!

    Painfully obvious the vaunted Churchill group does not understand how PROGRAM is what drives SUCCESS!!


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  17. 1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Didn't National give out recruitment goals  back in the 1980s and 1990s and some pro came up with "creative ways" of meeting those goals? 

    The powers that be do not appear to have a clue what is going on.


    Boypower Manpower...worked so well in the late 60' and 70's.  Basically DE's registered all the names one could find in the graveyards.  That was followed by the always popular In School Scouting in the 90's, which got you lots of Scouts that had no idea they were Scouts as they used donations to provide registration fees.

    They will keep trying and trying quotas until they get it right

  18. 4 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

    I like how that presentation deflects all blame off National and puts it on the Local Councils. It kinda assumes Councils are below these "quotas", for lack of a better term, because the field staff simply aren't trying hard enough. 


    Want to make scouting more accessible to low income families…..maybe stop raising the membership fee and get rid of that horrendous new member tax. 

    But .... but .... we are always told Scouting's a great value, less than sports..yada yada yada.  Worth WAAAY more than being charged.  Also they (National) did a survey and 129% of families want a program *like* Scouting (note that does not actually mean they want to join Scouting...but we digress).

    If the Brain Trust does not truly understand and accept the reasons for Scouting's decline (muddled program initiatives, Zero National marketing, no real "benchmarking" to determine best practice for successful units, etc etc) they will never be able to correct, improve, and move forward.

    I am thinking 16 National Subset ZONEs will have NO impact on actual units and improvement in membership rolls.

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  19. Agree -

    Just because a Troop does not have advancement centric outings does not mean advancement may not occur on outings.  It should be organic.  

    As an example, these are requirements 9B of the Camping merit badge

    On any of these camping experiences, you must do TWO of the following, only with proper preparation and under qualified supervision:

    1. Hike up a mountain where, at some point, you are at least 1,000 feet higher in elevation from where you started.
    2. Backpack, snowshoe, or cross-country ski for at least four miles.
    3. Take a bike trip of at least 15 miles or at least four hours.
    4. Take a non-motorized trip on the water of at least four hours or 5 miles.
    5. Plan and carry out an overnight snow camping experience.
    6. Rappel down a rappel route of 30 feet or more.

    Annually we do 5 of these in the normal course of our normal outdoor program.  That is what Scouting should be, going out and doing stuff.  Sadly we rarely if ever are able to PLAN a snow camping experience what with being down south and all.


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  20. Our troop does  knife throwing on a regular basis.  Have a mobile target, ribbon off space, use the smaller knives to throw.  Here's a pro-tip, make sure your knives have bright orange on them, or they will in fact get lost in the leaves or ground cover.

    We have some throwing hatchets, but have not come up with a decent target that can be mobile.

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