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Owls_are_cool last won the day on January 1 2021

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About Owls_are_cool

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    Scouts BSA
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    Scoutmaster for one year

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  1. Hypothetical...If I am selling Scouts BSA to a prospective scout, would bringing up this merit badge increase or decrease the chances of them joining the program?
  2. Correct, some scouts like a smaller group. Let distractions during meetings and more say in what goes on. On the other hand, hard to do an outdoor program when only 2-3 scouts want to participate. Leadership skill development is harder. Larger group? Easy for scouts to fall through the cracks and leave the program.
  3. I let my son choose another troop, so I went to the adult leadership of that troop and asked them where they want me to serve. Initially it was an assistant scoutmaster, but the current scoutmaster's job makes it hard for him to participate, so I got the scoutmaster job. I was ready to step back, but I can do that job for a year.
  4. I think we are all running against the headwinds of the current Scouts BSA program. The Eagle Rank has become the Aim instead of scouts deciding and running their own activities (hopefully in the outdoors)...which leads to character development, better citizenship, etc. By the end of this year, 6 of my scouts will get their eagle rank, but the negative of that is my troop will be down to 3 scouts. We did recruit extensively, but the cub scouts went to another troop. It comes down to relationships with packs or other youth groups. Since there is really no replacements for me as SM and for
  5. I have a really good job in IT, but I do not have a computer related degree or certification. 1) I grew up on a dairy farm where I learned work ethic, problem troubleshooting and solving, and how to be productive when tired or sick. 2) During study hall in the 80s, I went to the computer lab and started writing computer programs. I was really good at finding subject matter experts that I can learn from. 95% if the stuff I have learned on IT was done outside of the classroom. Training is expensive. Employers love employees that can teach themselves new skills and use them to further the unit. 3
  6. Late to this post. In my district, cub scouts are done by over half. Virtualized cub scouting did not work. Packs that continued in person activities as much as possible during the COVID fear campaign are the ones that are healthy today. Packs that did not, lost a bunch of cub scouts. Another factor driving scouts out of the program is the push towards more classroom type activities instead of more outdoor activities. Recruitment has been significantly down. It has to be all the advertisements looking for victims of sexual abuse, because of the BSA. My chartering organization will no lon
  7. My son just got his drivers license as a freshman in high school, so he is less safe today driving himself to school and to baseball practice. However, in the long run driving is an important skill to have and the more he drives, the better driver he will become. As parents, we could bubble wrap our son, but in the long run, it will be bad for our son. The program does put scouts in challenging positions, by design, so they grow in character. So by design the program is not as safe as sitting on the couch watching TV or playing video games. Did this Director of Youth Protection do n
  8. I do know that in my unit and district, youth protection is taken seriously. Compared to sport teams that myself and/or my son is associated with, the scouts are safer today. In the end, it comes down to vetting adult volunteers, which will never be a perfect process. When I coach basketball, I do have players go places in pairs and I avoid being alone with a player as much as possible. It is a good habit I picked up from scouting. Knowing that the vetting process is never perfect, it is important that those directly responsible for sexual abuse are sent to prison for a long time.
  9. My assistant has a job that requires a lot of travel. Other active adults are having trouble finding time for scouting, because they are single parents or have jobs where they work 50-60 hours a week. Cub scout numbers in my city is down 66% over the past two years, so it has been a struggle to find parents to join the committee/scoutmaster corp. I am actually looking forward to joining another troop and contributing at a smaller role.
  10. Our chartering organization (a Catholic Church) has notified us that they will no longer be our CO at the end of 2022. They got a pile of letters from lawyers stating that they are next in being forced to contribute to the victim fund. I am actively moving my scouts to another troop in the city, so scouts in my troop can continue to benefit from the program. My council has offered to charter us, but I no longer have the energy to keep my troop going after two tough years keeping the troop afloat through the covid panic and the constant advertisements on radio and tv looking for boy scout
  11. I just signed up a scout to join my troop last week and I paid his registration fee out of my pocket ($37.50) and bought him a manual. I just do not want money to be an issue for a scout to join the program and they will have a chance in Sept/Oct to sell popcorn to fund their own program the next year. Many organizations give introductory deals to get membership numbers up and the BSA should also. At some point, scouters like myself will have to give up bailing out national for their bad decisions to keep our troops/packs alive.
  12. This is an excellent list. Never a good idea to judge a generation as a group.
  13. First step is to determine who is your unit commissioner, then set up a meeting with him/her. Easy for me, because my unit commissioner attends the same roundtables and district committee meetings that I do. Sometimes we meet after roundtable, to be efficient with our time. Granted not all councils have their act together, but I learned what is required of unit commissioners in my district, so I make sure I am available to him and ensure he meets those requirements in regards to my troop.
  14. Much of this word for word gold standard for Journey to Excellence. 9 short term camps. 75% of the troop go to a long term camp. 2/3s of troop advance a rank. Recruitment goals. Etc. While I do attempt to achieve gold in JTE every year, it says nothing about character growth of scouts which is one of the aims of scouting. This is hard to measure, but much more important. JTE likely needs a rewrite to measure what is important. We (the Key 3) meet with a unit commissioner yearly and identify areas where my troop needs to improve (maybe needs more focus?). This document points to thi
  15. Rethinking program should be done. Scouting is too much like school, when the focus should be outdoor activities. Cub scout day camp is what got my son hooked. For my troop, work schedules of parents make it hard for them to volunteer. Father out of town frequently for work, we cannot expect mother left behind with multiple kids to volunteer for the pack or troop. Then the requirements the BSA loads on a potential volunteer is a lot! Parents that have children with behavioral issues are drawn to the BSA for its character development. Most volunteers are not ready for this. So a simp
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