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Cburkhardt

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Cburkhardt last won the day on April 11

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About Cburkhardt

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  1. Let’s have some fun. I predict that the November 2022 membership numbers will reflect that Scouts BSA will have net grown boys very slightly compared to year end 2018 — effectively replacing the 65% of Church of JC of LDS Members I think will depart. And, I believe we will have no less than 200,000 girl members. This is because we will no longer be carrying cultural war baggage and the family scouting approach will have been proven to draw membership. Okay folks, what do you think? Don’t just make wild predictions. Have rationale for your views.
  2. Cburkhardt

    Council Annual Report - Interesting Numbers

    What I mean is that the CORs should insist on effective change in the failing council or advocate merging with a nearby council that is well-run. We need to avoid irrational attachments to the status quo if there are better ways to run Scouting. Doing more of the same gets us to membership and financial bankruptcy in those situations. What has been proven to be very difficult is for CORs to expect that they themselves can substantially correct organizational deformities in a consistently failing council. We are volunteers and do not have the time and resources to do that. We do not want to have exhaust ourselves being negative for many years. Even if it means merging OA lodges, re-drawing district lines or even realigning properties, it is better that a slow, fading disintegration. What is important is that we have strong, vibrant units and knowing when to cut bait is critical. A very good way to evaluate the capability of a council right now is to look at how many girl Troops have been formed. This is, absolutely, the membership and program priority of the moment. Even if you are a Scouter that has not yet embraced the concept, you will agree with me that a council that has not successfully acted on this has a fundamental difficulty. These girl units can nearly sell themselves. I am Scoutmaster of one and these are already popular. Any council mumbling an explanation as to why they can’t pull this off is telling you: “We are not able to execute basic things”. If they are saying that by their actions, believe them.
  3. Cburkhardt

    Council Annual Report - Interesting Numbers

    I am really glad to hear that people are making those kinds of changes. That is so much better than insisting on continuing under-powered councils and seeing them go down in membership and financial bankruptcy.
  4. Cburkhardt

    Scouts BSA implementation for girl troops

    The 40+ all girl Troops in our council are almost all linked troops. What we are seeing is that the girl troops are getting access to the equipment as long as there is sufficient supplies to get around. It also depends on whether the girl and boy Troops are camping on the same weekends. The experience is that sharing the program equipment has not been much of an issue in my observation. The girl Troop parents should be obligated to help raise funds for the additional equipment that is necessary. As I noted elsewhere on the Forum, our own Troop is one of the few that are not linked, but we are blessed to have some boy Troops willing to lend us equipment as we ramp up independently. I think we will have everything we need within about a year. Perhaps the more sensitive item would be the use of savings that have been built through the years by boy Troops, which technically belong to the CO. If I were the Scoutmaster or CC of an a linked girl Troop, I would never request to use those funds directly. I would begin building a new account and be happy to benefit from the ability to borrow/use equipment from the boy Troop, and be advantaged by the existing reputational goodwill of the boy Troop.
  5. Cburkhardt

    Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

    The capital acquisition budget is separate. We are modest there and are going the "minimalist" route. Less than $10K over 2 years for the basics and no trailer. We are an urban Troop with some under-resourced families and are accessing a lot of contributed individual equipment for their Scouts. We are really blessed by having established troops willing to lend us things as we ramp-up and a very generous group of scouters who gather, organize and re-deploy used uniforms and equipment. I hope those reading this who have access to lendable equipment proactively reach-out to these new all-girl Troops and offer help. Most of them are not going to be led by a 30-year Scouter like me and will have no idea how to get the help.
  6. Cburkhardt

    Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

    Our $40,000 yearly budget includes everything for 40 Scouts. So, the all-in expense to the Troop of a Scout is about $1K/year. Includes all program and recognition, weekend campouts, summer camp, but not the annual special trip. This is less than the cost of a single "travel team" away game where a child and parent fly somewhere. Scouts BSA is truly a bargain in comparison to just about any other youth activity. We can all be very proud of this. Our special annual trip is modest. This year a 4-day camping trip including a day visit to the World Jamboree (will probably charge somethin like $200). Next year a trip to Michigan to another Scout Reservation (Owasippe) to experience their incredible horse program.
  7. There is a very balanced, intelligent article in Bloomberg today. It is, perhaps, the best factual and neutral piece of reporting on Scouts BSA I have seen in months. Just google Scouts and Bloomberg. Highly recommend it.
  8. Cburkhardt

    Council Annual Report - Interesting Numbers

    I will comment as a former council and area president who spent 30 years on the front lines of these issues. Those membership declines are catastrophic and not sustainable. The units in this council should favor moving into a functioning council. Unless there is a one-time disaster that explains this, I'll guarantee that this is a council that either has been issued a "conditional charter" or will soon be issued one. These councils are given a year or two to turn things around or they are merged into better-performing councils. More recently another technique has been to remove the charter of the council, disband the board and transfer assets and performing personnel to other councils as seems logical to the Region. CORs can either allow this kind of performance to continue or take action to stop the bleeding. As this is Central Region I'll assume this is not related to loss of units formerly affiliated with the Church of Christ of LDS. In the Western Region there will be a lot of this situation prior to right-sizing the councils in a businesslike way after December 2019.
  9. Cburkhardt

    Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

    We used our Webelos II Den to jump-start our all-girl troop. We started with about 6 Webelos girls and had 10 by the end of the year. All crossed-over into our new all-girl troop in February, which now numbers 26. Those 10 Webelos were the ones who provided the basis for our new Troop open house/welcome parties. Through them we gained another 10 girls and have picked up another 6 over the last 2 months based on word of mouth. It is easier to get girls to join the Webelos group, so I urge you do recruit them now. It will make your planned new troop a lot easier to start. One thing I learned is that girls are more likely to bring their friends into a Troop than my experience with boys. Open house -type activity where a prospect girl member sees her friend in a uniform and having fun with peers really works. I would allocate a good amount of recruiting effort to peer-to-peer activity..
  10. Cburkhardt

    Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

    Our own Troop received about $2,000 cash from two Episcopal Churches to help pay costs of under-resourced Scouts. The volunteers who started the troop absorbed about $5,000 of start-up costs. Starting brand-new Troops is expensive and time-absorbing. Our first year budget is $40,000. There are good reasons why so many new Troops fail in their first five years, but the principal reasons are lack of experienced Scouter involvement and failure to plan. New Troops need to raise more and charge higher dues, which puts them at a recruiting disadvantage with historic troop with well-build financial stability and low dues. Our group is well-staffed and has a good plan. I hope experienced Scouters reading this will step forward and actually assist new Troops now forming. There is no substitute for direct involvement.
  11. Cburkhardt

    When To Elect SPL in Brand New Units?

    Our all-girl Troop now numbers 26. Up from 19 that we had on Feb. 1 without any recruitment activity. Sometimes girls and families just show up based on word of mouth. We have 3 PL and 3 APL positions so far. We now have a cohort of 5 girls 14, 15 and one 16. None have scouting experience , but there is good leadership potential there. We are going to begin rotating SPL duties between them now and during summer camp (we have 17 going so far). We will have an SPL election the first week of September with the members we currently have, and just before our big recruiting open house at mid-month. I find that the girls are intensely interested in the leadership slots we will have in the fall, as we will expand to other Troop positions at that time (QM, Scribe, etc.).
  12. I think GSUSA is probably trying to get a handle on the number of its youth who are dual registering with the BSA. We’re the results of this survey promised to be compiled in the aggregate only or do you believe this is an effort to develop a marketing list to do “comparative” outreach to the dual-registered families?
  13. Cburkhardt

    Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

    I think we are going to first do a minimal version of the rolling tool box (especially in cold weather) and the backpack approach when temperate. I cringe getting back into the heavy camping business.
  14. When a new Troop starts from scratch and the Scouts are all inexperienced 11-13 year olds, I think it is best to delay election of an SPL and for the Scoutmaster Staff to temporarily provide a bit more of the “leadership”. The goal would be to transition to a SPL leadership model as soon as possible, but not so soon as to implode the experience of youth during the earliest months. There is a lot of this fact circumstance currently in the formation off all-Girl troops.
  15. Cburkhardt

    Family Scouting Coming to You!

    At Owasippe the practice during the main season has now spanned many Scouting generations and absolutely has a vibrant life of its own. I think if there are usable facilities available, councils are crazy not to allow people use them during the main season. I go so far as supporting the idea of establishing carefully-managed trailer use in segregated parts of camps. The Memorial-Labor Day approach is a good introduction to our properties for families, but does not let families and younger siblings experience the wonder of a huge closing camp fire, for instance.
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