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Everything posted by gpurlee

  1. I have been very surprised at the number of active, long-term Scouters in our community who have little idea of what is playing out. I think that the executive board has an understanding of the potential risk but have been warned not to share information. At the district and unit level, most are (blissfully?) ignorant. This has entered the radar of some of the larger CO's but for the most part they also appear oblivious or at the very least uncertain if and how this could affect them for something that they sponsored perhaps 20, 30 or 40 years ago.
  2. It our area, at least, it is my understanding that the many of the chartered organizations which sponsored a unit named in a bankruptcy claim have not yet been notified that there is a potential claim looming for their organization. Add to that shock, the fact the BSA has stated in court filings that there may not be any insurance coverage available or that the CO will be responsible for very high deductibles. There is a tsunami approaching for the chartered organizations that will affect even those that have no current claim or are located in a state without extended statue of limitations.
  3. A friend of mine sits on various national mediation tables. There are apparently multiple "tables" that change composition and deal with specific issues. It is a position that he could not have imagined himself being in two years ago. We never discuss specifics because of confidentiality. Just impressions sometimes. Words like "contentious" and "mess" come up. How could this not be a mess? Tens of thousands of traumatic abuse claims. Billions of dollars at stake. Camps, councils and programs that Scouts and Scouters have poured their passion, time and energy into are
  4. One of the things that immediately jumped out at me as I quickly skimmed the video of the national annual meeting is that the public face of Scouting, in terms of leadership, is a bunch of middle to senior aged white men (full disclosure I also fall into that group). This is one of the challenges that we face if we hope to rebrand as a 21st Century organization that values diversity.
  5. The Michigan Crossroads council was the second largest council in the nation. If I recall, it is a merger of several Michigan councils a few years ago. I think that the number one council in size was Utah National Parks and the third largest was Great Salt lake Council, both of those two are in heavily LDS areas. I suspect that the Michigan Crossroads Council is probably now the largest council in America, probably by several thousand Scouts. Just because of sheer membership numbers, it would not be unexpected that they would have a large number of claims.
  6. As I glanced at Crossroad's Promise to Parents, several random thoughts flickered across my mind: (1) We continue to deal with the same issues on providing quality Scouting as we did fifty years ago when I was a (very) young Scout leader. Only with a lot more issues and distractions today. (2) Quality Scouting is hard! It takes a lot of time, commitment and other resources over a prolonged period of time. (3) There are very few chartering organizations that view Scouting as more than a community group housed in their facility. And this has really affected the consistency of the
  7. Welcome to the forum 100thEagleScout. We are glad to have you here.
  8. I agree with many of the previous posts. The BSA has sustained a record setting loss in membership in the past 12 months. In our council, the Cub Scout program has suffered an 80 percent loss in membership. Many Cub Packs have ceased to meet in any form for a full year now. This pack leadership which is critical to the success of a unit is no longer there. In addition, many previous sponsors are hesitant to welcome Scouting back into their organization. The traditional recruitment method of back to school nights has been disrupted, Last year's local efforts to use social media for recru
  9. Muttsy - welcome to the forum. There are some very good, diverse and spirited discussions here. We are glad to have you as a part of them.
  10. Buried on page fifty-two of document 4108 in the court filings is a series of statements that have the potential to shake the relationship between the BSA and the chartered organizations, both past and present, to the core. Historically, the relationship between the BSA and the chartered partners has rested upon the assumption that each party would uphold its commitments. For decades most chartered organizations have had the understanding (or at least the strong belief) that the BSA would provide legal defense and BSA provided insurance coverage in the event that a lawsuit was brought
  11. I attended a national conference on youth protection with the top experts in the field present. In terms of Scouting, it was reported that the number one category of abuse is now youth on youth. I would anticipate that any revisions in youth protection training would see an increased emphasis in this area. Already several scouting units have apparently implemented single person tenting only among youth.
  12. I would agree with the other moderators that we need everyone's help to: (1) Be respectful of each other and to value diverse opinions. This is one topic that not all of us will share the same perspective. And that is the value of this forum. (2) Take a moment to reread what you have just written and make sure that it says what you intend it to say (and refer back to point one) (3) Try to avoid reposting the same point over and over again. After a while it really detracts from the forum. A lot of us are emotionally very invested in the Scouting program and wish for the be
  13. You could build an argument that the growth of the BSA was in significant part a Boomer phenomena. The following generations have not gravitated toward Scouting or longer term activities nearly to the same degree. You can see that also with Rotary, Lion's Clubs as well as churches. Our Cub Pack (at least when it was meeting before the pandemic) still has a lot of Boomers who are the primary parents even though in reality they are the grandparents. Without that group of Boomer grandparents, the pack would be half the size it is. My daughter who is in her 30's and her peers seem to se
  14. In the early 1980's we had a leading church consultant work with our congregation. Lyle Schaller, the consultant, had worked with hundreds of churches across the nation and was a prolific writer, authoring almost fifty books. I remember his comment regarding Scouting programs. He stated that the vast majority of congregations whom he had visited, treated Scouting programs as an outside group housed by the church rather than an active part of the church's ministry, even if they proudly called it "our troop." A Scout Sunday service and an annual chili supper fund-raiser often were the only fac
  15. Welcome to the forum. Hope you can find some peace in the knowledge of the positive contributions that you made in the lives of youth and adults served through Scouting.
  16. This drone camp looks like a lot of fun. Our troop's experience has been that Scouts are really engaged in these STEM projects and they provide great hands on experiences. They also provide very positive public relations opportunities and are a valuable recruitment tool. Our troop has work to integrate STEM activities into our troop program on several occasions. Some of our activities have included: Launching a camera equipped weather balloon during a total solar eclipse Sending a balloon to an altitude of over 100,000 feet. You can clearly see the curvature of the Earth.
  17. Thanks for following up on the lead! Some interesting findings on retention: "By far the biggest family-related factor affecting both retention and recruitment was the cost of Scouting, which arose in 20% of interviews. Several leaders commented that Scouting can be quite expensive when accounting for membership fees, uniform and supply costs, and the costs of summer camps or high adventure experiences. " It raises the question of whether we are pricing a significant number of potential and current Scouts out of the program.
  18. The future of the national high adventure bases in the bankruptcy proceedings has been a repeated topic. The newest base, the Summit was planned as a cornerstone to an effort to stem the membership decline and to attract a new generation of Scouts. It was envisioned as “Disney World for Scouts” that would have the impact in the 21st Century that Philmont had in the 20th Century. It would be a blend of high adventure, state of the art facilities and technology. The Summit would become the permanent host site for the national jamboree and would have the capability to host the world jamboree. It
  19. Thanks for sharing this study. For a hundred year old organization that has impacted millions of youth and adult, the Boy Scouts of America has had an amazing lack of serious, rigorous research. Instead we have relied upon anecdotal evidence to build our case that we are an effective program. It was announced in 2019 that Montclair University was launching an in-depth study (Building Evidence in Scouting Together) of the impact of Scouting which was funded by a multimillion grant through the Bechtel Foundation. I am not sure where that study currently stands.
  20. Welcome to the forum! We are glad to have you here.
  21. To the original poster, it historically has been difficult to find a good, active chartered organization who will actively participate with your unit. The vast majority, despite the charter agreement, have viewed the relationship as providing space for a community organization, not the ownership and accountability for the program. And this is likely to haunt several chartered organizations in the not too distant future - perhaps for decisions that were made decades ago by a whole different set of leaders. Keep in mind that there is an option now that the council can be the "sponsor" of yo
  22. Lots of great opportunities. Our first trip into the Boundary Waters was through the BSA northern Tier base. The rest of them have been with private outfitters once we had the skills and confidence to go on our own. We have enjoyed the Gunflint Trail south of Ely a lot. Great trips in the past to Colorado and the Rocky Mountain High Adventure Camp. Rode Amtrak out of Chicago to Denver which was an experience in itself (both very good and very bad). Stayed in beautiful Salida, Colorado. Rafted the Arkansas River, rode mountain bikes on a world class trail, hiked to near the summit of
  23. Welcome to the forum. I am not familiar with the proposed camp. To my knowledge, it has not been discussed at any of our International Representative recent teleconferences. It looks like it is aimed at a Rover age group, similar to a moot encampment? Appears to be a beautiful region, reminds me a bit of Kandersteg in Switzerland.
  24. Probably worth at least $0.02.
  25. Lol - not sure firing everyone is within the Judge's domain. However, I suppose a liquidation achieves almost the same result. Seriously, there will be a lot of questioning and second guessing for years to come of what could and should have been done differently at the national level from sixty years ago to today.
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