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Everything posted by Cburkhardt

  1. 94-A1: I do not question your experience or representations. However, since starting as a very active adult scouter in 1981, I have not witnessed yelling, screaming, cursing and other such behavior you discuss. That does not mean I have not witnessed or personally experienced deep conflict and disappointment. We each have our own experiences and viewpoints about things that are troubling, but I believe we do not have fundamental disconnects because most of us understand each other. When I was council president of a newly-merged council I had to lead evaluation and ultimate closure of 4 of
  2. Fred: You are kind to say those things. I certainly have been told and know I am not perfect. But, if it is one thing I think I do right in Scouting and elsewhere is to offer to fix things. I am careful about how often I say this, because the result is that I am often taken-up on my offer. These end up being unseen tasks that are usually time-absorbing, but the satisfaction in seeing the anonymous fix in-place makes it worth it. This is not the formula to get the Silver Buffalo. However, it gets around that I am a positive man of my word. Maybe that is why people generally return my ca
  3. Inquisitive: No offense appears or is intended in my posting. I only told my own story without reference to you, so I fail to understand the rage you expressed toward me. The mysteries of human interaction are such that I would never try to advise on your negative relationship with your Scout Executive. I don’t profess to know much about humanity, but one thing I do believe is outside of intentional, repetitive criminals, nobody is 100% wrong or evil. It looks like you have established the guardrails of your relationship with the man with your views on FOS. I hope your Scout Ex
  4. Disconnect between local-national and volunteer-professional has been vanishing. I am sure you have good reasons to say some of these things. We all form views based on experience. My experience is that there is not much disconnect across the movement, whether it is the local-national or volunteer-professional issue. I am a dual unit leader (Troop and Ship) and yet have very productive conversations with volunteers and professionals across all levels of the movement. Of course I restrict my communications to matters appropriate to the person I am conversing with and watch the frequency.
  5. Best to wait a while before attempting to re-write a “general” program for young adults? Perhaps because our society is going through such an extreme political and social upheaval, it might be best to wait a bit before attempting to write a program focused on a broad spectrum of young adults. It would be good to have a thorough understanding of what societal challenges need to be addressed before designing another BSA structure of activities. Simply re-designing badges, uniforms, structures and titles to fit immediate BSA circumstances would not bring the vision needed to help our country
  6. My predictions on the older teen programs. Thanks for the many thoughtful comments. For a while there were only a few of us posting, which by itself was indicating lack of overall interest in continuing Venturing. I have deep personal background in the older-teen programs since I was both an “outdoor adventure” Explorer and Sea Explorer (sea Scouts was called Sea Explorers for a temporary period and reverted back) from 1973-1977. As an adult Council Exploring Chairman in the late 1980s I spearheaded formation of 14 career-oriented Explorer Posts in Illinois — some of which are still in
  7. I agree that the corps of adults in these specialized programs really believe in the programs and bring their professional expertise to them. They are typically active or retired military or law enforcement people who are encouraged by their professions to be involved. This has not really changed -- the Skippers of the Sea Scout Ship of my youth were WWII combat vets from the Navy and Coast Guard who belonged to our local Coast Guard Auxiliary and veterans organizations. Now that Sea Scouts is the official youth program of the Coast Guard Auxiliary (which so far operates 27 Ships) I can se
  8. Drop the dark green shirt and grey pants? A commenter on last week's post suggested the dark green shirt and green pants be dropped. It might need to happen anyway, as the post-bankruptcy organization cannot afford to stock separate uniforms for the now-tiny Venturing membership. Should Venturing Scouts wear the Scouts uniform with a different color shoulder loop and distinctive patches?
  9. A related issue is what to call Venturing in the future. I believe "Venturing Scouts" or "Venture Scouts" is the way to go. We are probably going to brand the national organization and the current "Scouts BSA" program as simply the "Scouts" after the bankruptcy and GSUSA cases are concluded. It makes no sense to have any of our programs not expressly identified as "Scouts" in some manner.
  10. I favor the Venturing "patrol in a troop" format, because that would allow the current Venturing groups to continue their outdoor adventure programming in association with stable "feeder" troops that also focus on outdoor adventure. If I use my own Scouts BSA Troop for Girls as an example, that would mean the scouts would continue their twice-monthly Saturday morning all-girl meetings and monthly all-girl campouts as they currently are. A co-ed Venturing "patrol" in association with our troop would meet separately on other days and have its own separate campouts. I could foresee having a fe
  11. Should co-ed Venturing Crews be folded into Scouts BSA as Venturing “Patrols”? My posting last week sought ideas to upgrade prospects of “stand-alone” Venturing attracted little interest except for some good comments focused on diagnosing the problems. This is not a surprise, as membership numbers and program support structures have plummeted or entirely disappeared in many councils. For purposes of this posting we will assume that Venturing is no longer sufficiently numerous to continue as the current “stand alone” program. Assuming non-viability is the case (even if you disagree with the
  12. What Keeps Sea Scouts and Law Enforcement Exploring Running So Well? COVID, the bankruptcy, and other operational and program deformations have severely impacted Venturing, but Sea Scouts and Law Enforcement Exploring seem to just continue on with sufficient numbers of young adult and adult members. There is not much in the way of needed BSA professional time or financial investment. What are the factors about these teen-focused programs that have quietly kept them operating for decades?
  13. If I was council president again and based my views on the membership implosion, non-interest shown in this post and few suggestions offered, I would conclude that outdoor adventure “green shirt” Venturing is not going to work anymore as a “stand alone” program. A national program lacking broad internal interest and support cannot be rebooted by resource-lacking 18-to-21 year-olds or adults (such as parents) who are not already deeply engaged with Scouting. If it has a future as a "stand alone" program, Venturing might need to become a council-optional program dependent entirely on volunteer
  14. If you think parents of potential youth members are unlikely to serve or are otherwise inappropriate to be a Venturing crew Advisor or Committee member, then where are these people going to come from to reboot an entire program? I might prefer others, but of the many units like this I formed over the years, there were always at least a few parents among the most effective Advisors. That is my observation and experience, not necessarily my experience.
  15. Are there sufficient numbers of capable adult volunteers to save Venturing? Commenters are sharing that a principal challenge for continuing a stand-alone Venturing program is recruiting a sufficient number of adults to vigorously support Venturing Crews. The reality is that Venturing youth and adult membership has shrunk so much that a stand-alone Venturing program probably would need to be fundamentally re-established in many localities. My observation is that the professional and volunteer structures above the unit level will continue to focus on re-establishing Cub Scouts and Sco
  16. Fred8033: I am similarly sad to read the documents revealing the actions GSUSA was taking at the time of our most-extreme peril. I recall the ferocious things their national leadership said publically about volunteers in the BSA (like the posters on this site). Most regretfully, I am troubled by how these attitudes were directly transmitted to their professionals and volunteers at the local level. Despite the bad behavior displayed and harshest words spoken to us nationally and locally, I have not heard one anti-GSUSA peep from anyone on this site, on my Scoutmaster Staff or around our
  17. Qwazse: Please be very direct. Which ages are you in favor of being in a continuing "stand alone" program? There have been several age-range ideas floating around and I'd like to know the format you favor and why. Thanks, Cburkhardt.
  18. Other than getting Bankruptcy Court permission to pursue their trademark case, I think the only connection to the bankruptcy was that they filed a claim.
  19. I will start with broad observations and policy views on Venturing. I was not part of the “Churchill” effort, so these thoughts are my own. A scouting-type program for older youth has existed in in the BSA in some form for many decades. I believe the BSA should serve these older youth as a matter of fulfilling its organization-wide purpose if it can do so without undermining its ability to strongly re-establish and support Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA. With the exception of Sea Scouts, older youth programming has been inconsistent and dramatically overhauled every twenty years or so. This re
  20. Ochoa's main point is that the court did not hold National BSA vicariously liable for instances when local units or councils errantly used the term "girl scout" during the early weeks implementing the new program. He thinks that is a potentially appealable legal issue. GSUSA would have to prove that the local actors were acting as employees of National when they took the actions, that the actions were a requirement of employment and that a tort occurred. I think it is fairly weak, in that the employment link is very distant, the action was not a condition of any employment and the facts al
  21. Venturing enrollment has decreased significantly during the course of recent BSA challenges. This thread will focus on: What could or should be done now to increase the membership and prospects of the Venturing program as in independent BSA program unit? Feel free to comment on both administrative and programmatic elements of Venturing, including its advancement program. Please focus only on Venturing and not Sea Scouts or Exploring. Next week I will post a thread asking for suggestions on how Venturing might be structured as part of Scouts BSA – so please defer that discussion until then.
  22. Few lawyers would “bank on” winning a fee petition. That said, I like the BSA’s chances in this case. I read the Complaint when it was first filed, the Dismissal Order and Fee Petition and a few things stick out. There was an overall lack of evidence of consumer confusion. Only a few copies of mixed-up local church bulletins or unit-produced fliers and some conclusory allegations that misuse of the GSUSA trademark had been encouraged. In the dismissal order the judge found that after many GSUSA witnesses, no single instance of confusion or brand tarnishment was proven. Not good. Th
  23. BSA Seeking $16+ Million from GSUSA regarding dismissed Trademark Suit Below is introductory text of a BSA Motion to recover $16+ Million of attorneys fees and costs incurred by the BSA during the recently-dismissed trademark suit filed by the GSUSA against the BSA. The link to the full motion document, which provides granular information of what organizational moves GSUA was making proximate to the Scouts BSA announcement, is pasted below. It is worth the read. “Preliminary Statement By any measure, this trademark case is “exceptional” under the fee award provision of the Lan
  24. Correction: My final paragraph about Lone Scouts was directed to "Scoutmaster Fred" cited in RememberSchiff's post.
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