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Posts posted by Jameson76

  1. 1 minute ago, 69RoadRunner said:

    We had some seasickness (including me), rain every night that forced us all to sleep down below where it was hot, stinky and frankly a youth protection issue.  We had a captain who thought he was a drill sergeant and 2 scouts (no longer in the troop) causing problems.  

    Some of those things would not happen again.  Some might.  Some certainly would.  Anyway, it all leads those who would be going again to not want a sailboat adventure.

    So if we can't get the island adventure, we'll investigate other 2021 options.  We did Philmont in 2019 and are doing NT in 2020.  Summit isn't one we're considering no matter how much BSA wants to push it on us.  

    MOHAB and "roll your own" are some alternates for 2021.

    Not sure of where you are geographically or your local school schedules, our experience has shown that due to our public school schedules (ends before Memorial Day), we have been able to get crew slots late May early June when needed.  You camp so no seasickness at night.  The war canoe out is not bad, same with trip back.  The deep sea fishing day can be rocky and rolly, but it is only for 1 day and can be calm, depending on the wind.

    Shark fishing at night is cool, until you realize you are walking back in water you just fished in...gives pause.

    Seabase open registration is starting 1/15/2020

  2. 15 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

    All entry level professional training has now moved to the Summit. 

    Lord - no wonder turnover is so high

    Hey...join our organization and go to training in WEST VIRGINIA!!

    Current slogan: Wild, Wonderful West Virginia

    According to its tourism website, West Virginia is a place to make childhood memories. Slightly blurry, distant memories that likely end in a trip to the ER, which turn out to be pretty great memories after all, when you're taking off your shirt and answering onlookers' questions about those wild, wonderful surgical scars criss-crossing your torso.

    Better slogan: Only Makes You Stronger

  3. 3 minutes ago, 69RoadRunner said:

    Out Island Adventure.  We did the big sailboat with 20 people in 2018.  Not enough interest in SCUBA and they don't want to do sailboats a second time.

    We do those adventures.

    I do not think they start every day, but I may be incorrect.  I thought they started on only a couple of days during the week.  There is limited space on Munson.  Our guys have always enjoyed Seasbase.  They can do a lot of different activities.

    We are in the Southeast.  Our crews fly down on SAT, use a tour group for SAT night then to Seabase and start the trek on Sunday, this means the crew stays at base SUN, then on the island MON - THU, back to base on FRI night and fly back SAT

    • Upvote 1

  4. 14 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Back in the day, Professional Development Level (PDL) 1 had to be done at the 3-4 month mark for 2 weeks. And some DEs didn't make it to that mark. At my PDL-1, one person had her resignation letter already typed and prepared to be submitted after she returned. As CareBear said the reason  she was quitting was a lousy manager,and she felt she deserved a vacation putting up with the lousy manager. 12 to 16 months after PDL-1, was PDL-2 for a week. I know of 2 DEs compatriots went to it, the rest either quit or had it cancelled on them. Do not know of any coworkers going to PDL-3. We also went through 9 DEs and 2 midlevel managers in the 19 months I was a pro.

    All you youngsters...really back in the day is was NEI 1 and 2.  Even then you took NEI 1 after 90 - 120 days.  NEI 2 was taken at least a year or so later.  Mine was in Irving, big thing was to go to National Office and see the CSE office

    • Haha 1

  5. 1 hour ago, FireStone said:

    When it comes to marketing for recruitment, I'm not all that opposed to leaving a lot of it in the hands of local councils and units. It would be nice to see the occasional regional or national TV spot, but I think a big part of recruitment is local appeal and local messaging.

    While I agree in part, the effectiveness of marketing is multi-layered 1) Brand Awareness in general 2) Regional general brand awareness 3) Locally focused brand awareness and acceptance.  It would take a concerted effort to layer this and being about a good brand awareness for the BSA

    Take for example our good friends at say Mercedes Benz.

    1. For the Brand awareness in general there are the commercials for the cars, what you can get, nice looking people enjoying the car, etc
    2. For the regional for example they sponsor sports stadiums, golf tournaments, get their name mentioned not specifically in a car commercial
    3. For local the area dealership will have an ad that tells you where you can get the MB and how that will change your life, and maybe Karen who lives in local community will do a testimonial 

    Now could BSA do something similar

    1. National develops ads that develop the brand; Fun, Outdoors, Leadership, Adventure etc etc (Scout out doing things)
    2. At the regional level you talk about specific camps and adventure opportunities in the area
    3. Locally you highlight councils and even specific units in areas and what they are doing

    Honestly see all the marketing folks at councils and national, I assume they are marketing to get donations so they can keep their jobs, not sure what else they may doing.

    Question for the professionals and volunteers is - Do we raise money to have Scouting - OR - Do we have Scouting so we can raise money??  It's all about perspective

    • Upvote 1

  6. 18 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

    Well, additional numbers for my district as of 1/2/20 (according to the report):

    Total traditional membership: -10% (Cub Scouts: -13%, Boy Scouts -5%, Venturing -12%)

    For my sub-district:

    Total traditional membership: -15% (Cub Scouts -18%, Boy Scouts -4%, Venturing -30%)

    And before anybody yells about my use of "Boy Scouts" that's the word on the report.

    Edit:  The good news is we're having a one-year celebration event of girls in Scouts BSA.  Boys are invited for the day, but, they can't spend the night.

    I think sadly that will be the story for many troops / districts / councils as the year end numbers are posted.  There has been a lot happening these past several years, not all of the messaging has been handled effectively.  Yes many units continue to do well, but many long term volunteers have quietly folded their tents and moved on.

    Honest question:  there is an event for to celebrate the girls joining Scouts BSA.  We are one big happy family.  But if the Boy units want to attend, that's great. but just can't spend the night?  Why the exclusion?


  7. 2 hours ago, ParkMan said:

    Again - my suggestion is that we focus on the problems that we they need to solve.

    To help, here are the positions on that list:

    • Chief Scout Executive
    • Chief Financial Officer
    • Chief Technology Officer
    • General Counsel
    • Deputy Chief Scout Executive
    • Asst. Chief Scout Executive of Development
    • Asst. Chief Scout Executive of Outdoor Adventures
    • Director of Human Resources
    • Director of Information Technology
    • Director of Marketing
    • Director of Outdoor Adventures
    • Director of Supply
    • Director of Support Services
    • Director of the National Jamboree
    • Director of the Summit
    • Director of Philanthropy
    • Director of Government and Community Relations
    • 2 Regional Directors (not sure where the other two are)

    Many of these I can see would have little to no impact on unit serving people.  (i.e., General Counsel, Human Resources, Development, and Philanthropy).  But for the others, what do you think that their departments need to be doing that is not being done?

    I would be intrigued to know what these folks actually do on a daily basis to support the units and grow Scouting?  Also, for every one of these there are the minions that do the actual stuff.  Sure the average is $322 K annually for this staff, but how many other staff does this in fact spawn?

    What does the Director of National Jamboree do the other 3 years?  What exactly doe the CSE and Director of Outdoor Adventures do?  Maybe High Adventure bases, but those all also have GM's, wonder what value they bring and how many new members (you know the actual youth) this brings or members their efforts retain.

    I worked for a company, about 1 billion of so in sales, we had 12 locations (a distributor business) and handled about 40K orders daily.  Our overall executive load was easily 1/2 of this, and no high end retirement plans.  Point is I am sure these folks are busy, but what are they actually busy doing to drive sales (more youth)?  Do they even have an idea what that work entails?  When I ran one of our sites I would be out on the floor picking orders daily, seeing what our customers were ordering, working with the staff who actually did the front line work each and every day.

    On what do they do, this is the same question we ask about our DE when, on the rare occasion, actually have a question and may need some support...crickets...unless it's about Benjamins.  Then he's all in.

    • Upvote 3

  8. 28 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

    Makes sense, gotta wonder what those folks do to be making 100k. 

    For 2017 it is actually 19 staff that were listed.  The average W2 reportable compensation for the 19 was $332,000.  

    Interestingly there is a John Mosby who is now an Assistant CSE of Development as of March 2019 ($310K in salary for 2017 as a Regional Director).  Wonder if he is any relation to the new CEO Roger Mosby?

  9. 1 hour ago, Sentinel947 said:

    Just at National? That sounds like alot of employees. Or does that count the Councils, which too me sounds really low (A council CSE should probably make at least 100k in most American cities.) There is a long age-old argument about getting what you pay for. And non-profits do need solid leadership with strong education and work experience, and that doesn't come cheap. There is a balancing act however, where those expensive salaries can bleed resources away from where they are needed. 

    That is 20 just at the National BSA office.  This is shown in their form 990.  Each council is required to file a 990 form.  You can do a Google search and likely find the PDF of the document.  The requirement is to show salaries over $100K

  10. What I find interesting is that his title is CEO and President, and not Chief Scout Executive.  Not sure if that is purposeful or just the new direction.  I know those of us in corporate America notice when there are changes in titles at the top levels or a large organization.

    His real challenge will be the bloat at the top and the overall lack of business acumen.

    Looking at form 990 for 2017 - https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/221576300/12_2018_prefixes_20-22%2F221576300_201712_990_2018120315968954  reveals a good bit

    • $266 million in revenue
    • $307 million in expenses
    • A loss of $41 million

    $78 million in salaries

    • Also insurance
    • $66 million in insurance
    • $25 million in claims

    Looking at part VII you will see the salaries of those over $100k

    20 or more over $100K in salary

  11. 7 minutes ago, Oldscout448 said:

     it's just that what you seem to see as scouting and what I see as scouting are two entirely different animals called by the same name. 


    And therein lies the issue.  Many people see Scouting in many different ways.

    Scouting, as @ParkMan noted is a "a youth development activity, Scouting is designed to put youth into new and challenging situations in a safe environment.  Because these situations are challenging, Scouts often try them, struggle, fail, and then try them again.  Along the way, youth often have to assume more responsibility then they are accustomed to"  We cannot and should not try to be so many things to so many different constituencies.

    Concentrate on what we as an organization do well, focus on that.  How many companies have all of us seen that start out doing one thing, then see the next new shiny thing and head in that direction, only to have the whole enterprise collapse.

    Rather than focusing on winning youth with the core program, BSA seems to be constantly trying to vary the program, to chase the next shiny thing.  Whether that be STEM (STEAM??), now Family Scouting, and who knows what's next.

    • Upvote 1

  12. 2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    To paraphrase the late Princess Leia Organa Solo,

    The more National focuses on family camping, the more Scouts will slip through their fingers


    Oh yeah - National sees this as the great untapped masses, sadly that is NOT what draws youth to Scouting

    2 hours ago, TMSM said:

    What happened to the focus on outdoors and individual accomplishments? I see family camping more as a Cub Scouts thing.

    I would agree.  Most Scouts and teenagers will tell you that one of the great things about Scouts BSA is they get away from Mom and Dad

    2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    More money in family camping. :o

    That which can be monetized will be prioritized

    2 hours ago, ParkMan said:

    Some slick messaging around families will not get families to participate.  Great programming will get families to participate.

    That is so true, a family can definitely go camping without the BSA, that will be a lesson learned no doubt

    36 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

    It's all part of National's big push to turn the BSA into One Big Tiger Cub Den.  

    Sadly we are seeing that in many Webelos and their families crossing over.  We talk patrols, boy led, individual pace; and they want advancement outing, focus on keeping all at the same pace, and making sure all Scouts are monitored at all times.  Basically how can they win / finish at Scouts and then go to the next thing. 

    • Upvote 3

  13. Wow - I guess the new focus is officially FAMILY CAMPING if you look at Scouting Magazine

    • The cover is all about Family Camping
    • Note from the CSE is Family Camping at Philmont (gotta pay the new mortgage I guess)
    • Commissioners Corner is Family Camping
    • Some article about Madcap Family (not sure if it's Scouting related)
    • MB article on (you guessed it) Family Life (Hey...we should all go camping!!)
    • Main FAMILY TIME article (6 pages)

    So I guess that's where we're heading....

  14. Honestly do any actual Scouts (or Cubs / Venturers / Explorers ) really care if they are Bronze - Silver - Gold - Chartreuse??  Do they even know if they are Bronze - Silver - Gold - Chartreuse??  Do they even know what JTE is??

    My point is that JTE seems to be (is??) adult leaders reporting things to other adults leaders who then report to other adult leaders who then report to more adult leaders.  

    The intent is good and at it's heart there can be benefit.  In practice it's a form that unit leaders fill out as another leader finalizes the recharter form(s).  One more piece of paperwork.

    • Upvote 1

  15. I guess my issue or heartburn with JTE is that it reaks of corporate culture hamstrung into a youth program.

    JTE is really just KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) warmed over and put into a format for units..  In business and in working with contractors and remotes sites you have KPI's.  How long to get stock received, inventory accuracy, turnover, time to get orders out, accidents (technically lack of accidents hopefully) etc etc.  This give the managers objective and consistent measurements to see how the process is working.  Note that these are in fact NOT self reported but typically pulled from the system(s) governing the operations and can assist to make improvements.  The data drives the results reported (KPI's) and then actions are taken as these are reviewed.

    The JTE "scorecard" should record and reflect the subjective measurements of how a troop is functioning.  That is the hard part, it needs to be subjective as Scouts are not cartons going across a dock or an item picked from a bin.  So BSA National took the easy route and quantified it so it was all nice and tidy.

    The Short Term camping "goal" is a great example.  Are all outings created equal?  Well that is a great debate.  If the Scouts choose where to go, plan their menus, plan the activities, etc that is an outing.  If the leaders tell the Scouts where they are going and what they will be doing, that is also an outing.  If you camp 2 nights or only 1 night on a weekend, is one outing better than the other?  Car camping or hiking?  Stay on a ship or do a lock-in...are those "outings".

    Not sure what the solution may be, but the scorecard and numbers are likely not the best method.


    • Upvote 1

  16. 19 hours ago, MattR said:

    I'm struggling with scouts. Recently a  few things have made it clear to me what that struggle is and I'm wondering if others have the same challenges.

    The paradox is simple. On the one hand when I see a scout that grew, or had fun, or helped another scout, or just did something that showed our goals were being met, it's great. It encourages me to go on. It's pure heart when a scout says "I get it!". On the other hand, the BSA program has become a set of trigger words that just scream bureaucratic pain because none of it seems to be really helping me or anyone else help scouts. A few examples are JTE, wood badge, roundtable, membership, popcorn, ILST, council, explain-describe-and-discuss requirements, complaints about SM's on this forum, fees, MB universities, Trainer's EDGE and summer camp school classes. When I talk to adults in my troop it's usually about helping scouts. When I talk to adults in my district or, heaven forbid, my council, it's like watching an infomercial - I don't care anymore.

    I can't change the bureaucracy and don't even want to try. I've done my part before and it's just a way to burn out. Rather, I just want to work with the scouts. I don't want to help them advance. I want to help them achieve their goals. If they want to learn a skill so they can advance I'm more than willing to help them learn the skill, but I don't want to sign scouts off. If they just want to learn how to cook pancakes without burning them I'd really like to help them do that.

    So do any of you have similar issues? If so, how do you deal with this paradox?

    Pretty easy solution, don't deal with the adults in the district or council.

    Anytime I've had to deal with the DE, District folks, council folks, or Council professionals it becomes painfully clear that we have vastly different perspectives and vastly different reasons for being involved with Scouting.  Just say NO to roundtables, JTE targets, the wood badge cult, non specific membership drives, popcorn sales, getting worked up over district training targets, council "demands", MB universities, camp cards, Trainer's EDGE, etc etc etc

    For me, as you seem to note, Scouting is great way to be part of developing (in our case) young men and seeing them grow and take on challenges.  Camping out in the dirt, the mud, and the burned or forgotten food.  Seeing a Scout who is incredibly upset that the rain is heavy and  cannot get his tent setup in the dark, but then an older Scout assists.  Seeing that same young Scout the next day having the best time paddling about the lake in a canoe.

    For many not at the unit level my perspective is they have not seen an actual Scout out in the wild for a good bit.  Many have forgotten the "why" of doing Scouting and are just busy doing Scouting.  They feel that what they are doing is the most critical part of Scouting.  While it is important, the most vital part is youth facing leaders assisting and guiding the Scouts as they run the program.  

    Be the best leader you can be at the unit level, watch the youth mature and sit in on some BOR's and it is always encouraging.

    • Upvote 1

  17. 1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

    IMHO, if the BSA  goes Chapter 11, the BSA appointing an  outside, "responsible person" * as CEO (CSE) will not fly.  Following the Bankruptcy Code, a court will appoint an independent Chapter 11 trustee.  This may explain the year-long "considering bankruptcy",  BSA executives are trying to maintain control (organization destiny and their jobs) during bankruptcy.  All companies want to do this, but ... You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometime you find. You get what you need.  

    * Who is Responsible here?  "Responsible Persons" in Chapter 11 Cases


    My $0.02,

    Good Lord we've started quoting the Rolling Stones to help explain what the BSA executives may be up to.

    I did not see that coming :rolleyes:

    • Haha 4

  18. 22 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

    The BSA model's for selection of leaders is stuck in the seventies.  There's probably no organization of comparable size that uses this model.

    Stuck in the 70's...try the middle ages.  BSA has been succession by the royal heir that survived the intrigue in the kingdom.  The leader is not the one who can lead and move the BSA to greater heights, it's the best politician who can make backroom deals.  No challengers or boat rockers allowed.  Also no outside ideas.  Must.Drink.The.Kool.Aid

    We can all see how great this model has worked out in Congress and Federal Agencies.

  19. 6 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

    If National or Councils want confirmation every year the least they could do is just offer a recert test.  Pass the test and move on. No reason to sit through the same two hours of videos year after year after year.

    At least the former YPT training was in fact training.  To be compliant you need to do A B C, if you see non-compliance do X.  If you are aware of issues report to cops and council.

    Now we have 90 minutes of agenda indoctrination to make sure we know that child abuse is bad.

  20. 1 hour ago, scotteg83 said:

    Our council has an every year rule.  They want to make sure your YPT does not expire during the full charter season, which yours does.  Meaning if you do not take your YPT on or before December 5, 2020, you should have no contact with youth, period.

    So...with that type of logic, and in that world, I can be a leader, taking youth on outings and adventures, doing all the Scouty things one does, then...suddenly....on December 6 I will (I guess like Mr Hyde) transform into some sort of raving lunatic endangering youth?

    Better solution is for BSA to figure out the calendar foolishness, because either it's good at the time or recharter or it's not.  It is up the the Scouter to be current when the annual recharter rolls around.

    Remember...BSA does not exist just to support and promote YPT training, this is just part of the overall program training.  It is part of who we are, not WHY we are.

    • Upvote 2

  21. On 12/11/2019 at 4:31 PM, Cburkhardt said:

    Membership numbers are out and reflect continued growth for the Scouts BSA program.  End of November 2019 is +1.2% for youth Scouts and up 7.1% for units, in comparison to end of November 2018.  This certainly reflects the influx of female Scouts and LDS departures.  The figures that will count will be year-end figures, as that is when the LDS relationship officially ends.  After the LDS departures take effect, I'm thinking we will have a 10% Scouts BSA youth membership drop (comparing 2019 year-end with 2018 year-end).  If we continue to grow female Scouts BSA units and all youth at the current rate and retain 5% of our current LDS youth members, we could replace the losses within 1.5 to 2 years and return to net growth in this program.  Given the challenges we have faced in recent months and years, this is better than I expected.  What is your prediction?  Please explain your opinion with reasoning and facts.

    Are you looking at the numbers for the year as compared to last year (November 18 vs November 19) or are you looking at Jan 2019 vs November 2019?  The reason I ask is that BSA does not adjust any numbers out for crossovers or age outs until recharter at the end of the year.

    For example, if you have a pack of 45 and 10 Webelos crossover in March and you add 10 at School night, BSA will indicate 55 in the pack, while the pack (correctly) would say they were at 45.  Those 10 Webelos would now be also showing in the Scout troop they crossed over to in March

    That troop that had 50 Scouts and 10 aged out while they added 10 new crossovers would show as 60 on the books, operationally the unit leader would say they had 50

    Real indication will be the annual report for 2019 which will be reflective of the recharters actual numbers, units not rechartering, and importantly the 20% loss (+/-) from the LDS departure.

    2018 Annual Report numbers

    • Cubs - 1,231,831
    • Scouts - 789,784
    • Ventures / Sea Scouts - 55,101
    • Explorers - 109,613
    • TOTAL - 2,186,329


    • Cubs - 1,108,648
    • Scouts - 631,827
    • Ventures / Sea Scouts - 52,345
    • Explorers - 98,652
    • TOTAL - 1,891,472

    Drop of 13.5%

    • Upvote 1
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