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Cburkhardt last won the day on September 14 2023

Cburkhardt had the most liked content!

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About Cburkhardt

  • Rank
    Skipper and Assistant Scoutmaster

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  • Location
    District of Columbia
  • Biography
    Founding Scoutmaster and now Assistant Scoutmaster of Scouts BSA Troop 248 for Girls in District of Columbia. Skipper of Sea Scout Ship for young adults in District of Columbia. AOL/Eagle/Quartermaster/Vigil as Scout. Past Positions: District Chairman, Area Venturing Advisor (Central), Council VP (Abraham Lincoln, Springfield IL), Region Membership Chair (Central), National Venturing Committee V Chair, National Second Century Society Chair, Area President (Central Region Area 8), National Income Development Chair, Council President (Pathway to Adventure, Chicago), National Advisory Council, Assistant Webelos Den Leader.

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  1. Realistic National Leaders Willing to Take Action. Those who served as principal national BSA leaders in the last two decades have addressed simultaneous diminishing membership, financial decline, an angry cultural left, and angry cultural right, hostile litigation over membership standards and child sexual abuse, a worst-case relationship with the press, angry volunteers with every imaginable complaint, disappointed councils, departure of national chartered organization membership, diminished brand equity, hostile youth service competitors and reorganization bankruptcy. With perfect hindsig
  2. Outdoors and Camps. Our movement teaches our young people how to master the outdoors. The thought of heading outdoors for the weekend is very positive and that helped us get through the difficulties. Some of our camps approach matching the beauty of our national parks. This is what comes to mind for many when they think of Scouting.
  3. We are Inexpensive. The annual expense of involvement in our Troop is about $1,000 per year. That includes annual national dues, our council program fee, summer camp and fees for troop participation (campouts, etc.). That is under $100/month, which in my experience as a parent is indeed quite inexpensive. You cannot name another youth organization that provides anywhere near that deal for a quality year-around experience. My Sea Scout Ship is a bit more (around $1,200/year). So yes, we are inexpensive. Our unit always supported the Friends of Scouting effort, so our families cont
  4. I think the fundamental activity of the BSA, which is working with and helping to form the character of young people, is an underlying reason why we continue to move forward. As long as we are believed to be doing a good job on this, we continue to have support. We cannot take that support for granted though. Local volunteers are the face of the BSA. People and parents know and like our local volunteers. They generally have good reason to trust them Another key attribute of the BSA which has led to survival is that it is a local organization. Local chartered organizations with l
  5. What is it about the BSA that has allowed it to survive? The BSA as a whole (from the unit through national levels) has processed significant challenges during the past thirty years. For purposes of this posting I include the discrimination lawsuits (Dale v. BSA, etc.), changes to membership standards, institution of YPT, youth abuse lawsuits, inclusion of girls in Cubs and Scouts, COVID, bankruptcy, establishment of the Summit and rebranding. It would seem impossible for a not-for-profit organization to survive such a combination – yet the BSA moves forward. What attributes of t
  6. New name is good, but our mission remains most important As a lifetime BSA Scout and Scouter I have done it all in every program as a youth and adult – and at all levels of the movement. Today I’m a unit leader of a Sea Scout Ship, having turned-over the Scoutmaster position of an all-girl Troop I formed in 2019. I’ll be attending our District of Columbia roundtable tonight (yes, the “District” is its own “District”) and will enjoy hearing feedback about the name change from our local folks. I continue to be consistently optimistic about the future of the BSA. This, despite the im
  7. Councils are intended to support Units. A unit exists to work with a Chartered Organization to operate unit programming for young people. A council exists to grow, improve and preserve Scouting at the unit level through its professional and volunteer staff. It also exists to provide program opportunities that a unit cannot conduct by itself (like summer camp and certain activities). Councils exist to protect the overall organization and members (especially youth) by assuring adherence to policies on things like advancement, life safety and YPT. Essentially, councils exist to serve units,
  8. I was under the impression that these international Scouting organizations (which I know relatively little about) concentrated on assisting the Scouting organization in countries around world and did not engage in political and policy advocacy. I took a three-minute peek at their web site and see mention of political and policy matters on which countries would take varying positions. Does anyone know if the BSA has granted this organization authority to adopt and express policy positions on behalf of the BSA and its members?
  9. My two units (a ship and a troop) are considered an important part of the services offered to the community by our COs. The COs believe that we are internal to their organization and directly relevant to the achievement of CO objectives and missions. Our CORs for both units are respected and active members of the COs and are effective communicators. We perform service projects each year for our COs. We agree with and advance the priorities of our COs. The idea that they would charge our Scouting units a facility use fee would be like charging a 6th grade Sunday school class a fee to use m
  10. A good District Committee provides a solid interface between Scouting and the local community. Members can be critical in the placement of units with new COs and the successful formation of sustainable units. A good District Committee assures there is a competent commissioner staff to maintain good unit practices and intervene when there are difficulties. A good District Committee helps raise funds from the local business community for the Council. Finally, a good District Committee organizes and operates supportive services like camporees and training conferences. Beginning with a
  11. With our Council's new service fee of $80/year, our Council will no longer do FOS at the unit level. Prior to this, I had my 2 units (a Troop and a Ship) make an annual unit contribution to the Council to offset our not participating in Council-organized fundraising. We will discontinue this annual unit contribution practice as a result of the new fee. It would be difficult for conduct a unit FOS and charge a service fee, because the FOS solicitation was always presented as a way to pay for the things the service fee now handles.
  12. Units should collect “all-in” dues to pay for operations and national/local fees. Everyone participating on this site knows we provide a huge financial bargain for our member families. This becomes very apparent when comparing Scouting fees to other activities for youth. When we started our all-girl troop in DC in 2019, we decided to calculate the all-in cost of our year long-program (with the exception of campouts and summer camp). This included purchase of things to keep our equipment inventory up-to-date, program materials and special activities and our annual dues to council
  13. Our mega-sized girl troop (that is not paired with a boy troop) does not rely on crossovers. We recruit at least 80% of our new members through simple open houses and similar tactics. I would focus on effectively recruiting girls. Solely relying on "crossovers" does not provide plentiful membership for girl troops. I would spend time figuring out how to recruit bunches of girls who have not been in Cub Scouts instead of figuring out how to operate a micro-sized girl troop. Your heart is in the right place and you will figure this out. Proceed with confidence. You have a wonderful progra
  14. When I serve on a council board or district committee, I want the senior responsible executive present to report on activities and be questioned on critical projects. The CEO of a company is always present at board meetings and is normally a member. Attendance of a paid employee is appropriate and not a key issue. It is the ability and willingness of volunteer council board or district committee members to fulfill their roles without allowing themselves to be overly influenced by anyone -- including professional staff. Paid employees are in the position to have more-extensive knowledg
  15. When a Council becomes fundamentally dysfunctional, it is because the council board is not doing its job. This is usually coupled with professional leadership that either overly-dominates the board or is incapable of inspiring its volunteers to fully embrace their board roles. The volunteer Board Chair (formerly known as "Council President") and other principal volunteer leaders are responsible to set policies and priorities for the operation of Scouting within a geographic territory. The Scout Executive is paid by and reports to them and not the other way around. Board members who all
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