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About yknot

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  1. yknot

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    This has filled me with such a sense of sorrow. Scouts is such an iconic organization, but I do not feel that the organizational leadership has itself modeled the behaviors we try to instill in the boys and now girls at the unit level. I believe if the leadership had made decisions based more on how we expect our scouts to problem solve, prepare, plan ahead, and manage, this outcome would have been different.
  2. Coming late to this discussion, but I am surprised the NYT article did not mention one of the main reasons U.S. soccer lost so many kids in particular. In 2016, U.S. Youth Soccer changed the age determinations for play from school year to calendar year to bring U.S. clubs and players more in line with elite international clubs. So, kids who played together as a team suddenly couldn't play with half their friends. It broke up a lot of teams in our region and caused a lot of kids to drop out. It would be like scouts suddenly splitting cub dens up by calendar age on January 1.
  3. yknot

    Cost of Being a Scout

    That is interesting but the problem is everything has become expensive. When I was a kid, we toured the northeast and southeast on fantastic family summer vacations for free except for the cost of gas and a cheap hotel room. One year we went to FLA and had to pay to get into Disney world. To do the same thing now is thousands of dollars. It's not just scouts, it's everything. Because of insurance liability, informal arrangements that are free are almost nonexistent. Things you never had to account for in a cost calculator now have a price. Oh, we did have one expense when we drove to Florida in June. In our un-air conditioned car, my dad's beloved and (then) pricey wristwatch crystal cracked due to the heat and humidity, so we had to chalk up $40 to fix it to that vacation when we got home, lol.
  4. yknot

    Cost of Being a Scout

    Food has become very interesting as a group activity. Food allergies, food intolerances, vegan, kosher, organic ... we might be moving to a model where everyone just brings their own food. BSA should get with the times and change requirement from cook for your troop/patrol to cook for yourself. It's getting too expensive to accommodate all these needs even if you split them.
  5. yknot

    Cost of Being a Scout

    I love scouts but it's not cheap and people who try and say it's more economical than sports aren't being truthful. Yes, elite club sports can be pricey, but so can high adventure scouting trips that require airfare, etc. Like everything, the costs benefits analysis depends on where you are and what you want to get out of it. I think youth sports and scouting are wonderful, complementary activities and I do not like to see either group bash the other. Scouts teach teamwork, leadership, citizenship, and service, and so do many sports, especially if the same caliber of person is involved with the programs. My kid actually did more meaningful service projects in connection with his sports team than he did with his scout troop. Whether scouts or sports, you have to control the cost. Don't join a Troop that charges high dues, doesn't do a lot of fundraising, and engages in a lot of high ticket special activities. Or, if you do, ask about scholarships. Our unit offered that to a limited number of families on first come, first served basis. Look for cheaper summer camp options. I found an out of council day camp that was half the cost of our Troop's resident camp. Yes, my son did not get to camp out with his friends, but he still was able to get a lot of merit badges done, swim, and meet other scouts. A scout is intrepid! You've got to do what works for your family budget and not get stuck in a Troop or Council scouting "silo". Look around. Talk to other scout parents and Troops. Be innovative. Encourage your unit to "recycle" uniforms and equipment to cut down on the cost. I had a kid who grew like a weed and often had to buy new pants or a new shirt almost every three months. Hand me downs can help. Same deal with basic camping equipment. Ask for donations or share among scouts. Not everyone goes on every camp out, so borrow a tent or a pricey sub zero bag for a winter camp out. Finally, frankly, I cannot afford the $175 or more FOS contribution in my area, so I give what I can and try to volunteer whenever I have time. A scout is thrifty, and that means being willing to think outside the box in order to make sure they get the most bang for their buck and keep things affordable for their family! Good luck to you!