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Posts posted by InquisitiveScouter

  1. To reach 50% female, I believe they will have to significantly alter the program, or create a different program for females.

    There are physical and psychological differences between the genders.  Adequate research exists to substantiate this.  Males and females are built, plumbed, and wired differently.  They have different affinities.

    The more egalitarian a society becomes, the more pronounced these differences become.

    Awesome debate with Steven Pinker and Elizabeth Spelke @ Harvard University...

    A good mind chew...

    [the youtube video can be found at www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Hb3oe7-PJ8]

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  2. Alrighty, Scouters...

    Here's what your Scouts are learning in NYLT, and what your military officers learn as well...

    Aspirations are your "Vision" of who you want to be...the destination.

    Goals (steps you will take to reach your vision... the path you will take to your vision) must be SMART.

    Specific - you have to understand what the goal is, and why it is important.

    Measurable - you have to know when you have reached it

    Attainable - something you can actually reach (here is where the 50% females mark fails)

    Relevant - they must pertain to your mission / purpose

    Timely (or time-definable) - you need a deadline

    @ParkMan has a good start

    57 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    By 2030, we want to achieve 30% female youth membership.

    Just need a bit of the why there...what is the purpose of the goal, so to speak?

    "In order to reach gender diversity" (this is a poor purpose, imho, but it is BSA's purpose in setting this goal...see the Churchill stuff), we will achieve 30% female youth membership by 2030.

    What they have written...50% parity met and maintained, is probably unattainable.  Sounds good, until you look at those with experience like UK.

    So, what happens if you don't meet the goal?  or the "year over year improvement"???

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  3. 17 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    The neuroscientists tell us the prefrontal cortex is still developing until 25.

    And what is the prefrontal cortex for, insofar as we know?

    "Experience plays a role in the development of the prefrontal cortex. Teens exposed to a variety of stimuli and challenges may “mature” more quickly. However, most neurologists agree that the prefrontal cortex is not fully developed until around the age of 25."

    This is what Scouts need mentoring and experience with, and why Scouts from a good program fare better than their peers in adulthood.


    "Conclusions Participation in Guides or Scouts was associated with better mental health and narrower mental health inequalities, at age 50. This suggests that youth programmes that support resilience and social mobility through developing the potential for continued progressive self-education, ‘soft’ non-cognitive skills, self-reliance, collaboration and activities in natural environments may be protective of mental health in adulthood.

  4. 1 minute ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Yes, and in the modern state of legal liability and supervision, the days of yore when you could let 30 scouts out alone in the back country are gone.

    I don't blame National for that.

    @CynicalScouter, to be clear, my comment before about risk and ORM, relating to adults and anxiety were my keying in on something you may not have meant overtly...

    Constant supervision...

    I contend that Scouts do not, and should not be constantly supervised.  The camp I referred to earlier had stated that Scouts should never be out of sight of adults.  This was what our PLC took issue with (and I agree.)

    This is what I meant about risk assessment and youth anxiety.  They need to be allowed to be out of sight, with some freedom and a little risk, or else they will not grow.

    I do not adhere to constant supervision.  Adults set up camp away from Scouts.  We make sure the Scouts know where we are, and that they have an expected program and agenda to accomplish, and we leave them alone.

    As Scoutmaster, usually the only youth I try to interact with is the SPL.  Assistant Scoutmasters mentor Patrol Leaders.

    When young Scouts wander into the adult camp (yes, it happens), and they ask a question, 99% of the time, our response is "Did you ask your Patrol Leader?"  If it's the PL, we ask "Did you ask your SPL?"

    Even if it is a minor injury (burns, cuts, scrapes, splinters, etc.), I task Scouts to handle it, and report back, thru the SPL.  Then, I look in on the wounded later to make sure it was handled appropriately.

    "Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!"


  5. 6 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    Actually, scouts shouldn't need any adults if the program is running correctly. National only recently change the policy where adults are required on campouts.

    Our program was built on a theme of putting the adults out of business. Of course adults are required for some functions like driving and BORs. But, if a patrol is willing to hike from town to a camp site, who needs adults? 

    The crux of the problem is the modern fear that youth must be 35 years old to have the maturity for activities without adults like camping. Programs with those adults will never mature to wear their scouts have the maturity to safely camp without so called adults. Those troops are basically advanced Webelos III programs. Anyone that is treated like child will not mature beyond a child. 


    I miss the days when we could send out patrols on their own.

  6. 7 minutes ago, yknot said:

    BSA requires you to follow your CO's guidelines.  United Methodist Church requires 2 adults per 13 youth; Catholic Church basically requires 2 per 8 youth unless everyone is above 14.  Most school districts require more stringent ratios. Most third party campgrounds and facilities as well. Not sure how you are able to get around that. The blog I posted noted that BSA sorta kinda does require upping the adults as the scout head count goes up and it was in the old online TAP.  Like I said, I don't understand the resentment to something that is common sense and part of being prepared. 


    "Not sure how you are able to get around that."?

    Ummm...never said we did...and we don't.  If a campground requires more, we comply, or find a place that doesn't require it, at the level we are comfortable with.

    Again, you use the word "resentment."  I have no resentment for those CO's or units that want to self-impose additional restrictions.  As I said before...fill your boots ;)

    It is common sense to me to evaluate the risks and take precautions where necessary.  If I think 2 adults can handle the task, then that is what we go with.


  7. @TAHAWK,

    Sorry, don't know how to drag your comments over to here...

    I do like the metrics they have, but I agree that JTE should be modified, and think that it is a bit off the mark...

    Never said there wasn't room for improvement ;)

    And, there is some Patrol measurement there...

    Maybe focus on that one...how would you improve it?

    1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Bronze Level


    The troop has patrols, and each has a patrol leader. There is an SPL, if more than one patrol. The PLC meets at least four times a year.


    Silver Level


    Achieve Bronze, plus PLC meets at least six times.  The troop conducts patrol leader training.


    Gold Level


    Achieve Silver, plus PLC meets at least ten times. At least one Scout has attended an advanced training course, such as NYLT or Order of the Arrow Conference.

    I'd remove that last part about Youth Training and make that a separate section all together.

  8. 1 hour ago, yknot said:

    You have loaded an awful lot of things onto the backs of the suppositional 3rd or 4th adults along on this imaginary outing we're talking about. If I'm reading you right, you are saying that having an extra adult or two turns a scout outing with 20 or 30 kids into a risk desert?  That 20 or 30 kids will somehow not find something risky to do? You're saying that having "an heir and a spare" along is contributory to youth anxiety? 

    I don't know how to interpret opinions like yours -- and I've read similar ones elsewhere on this site. I don't know  where the resentment towards adequate adult supervision comes from. I can recall many conflicts and sometimes it was blatant parental interference and sometimes it was leadership negligence rightfully being called out -- like setting up camp under deadfall in a windstorm. 

    I also cannot follow your logic regarding BSA. To most of the public, scouts is a generic term. They hear or see someone doing something questionable, and their reaction is  -- Well,  there they go again...  They don't know or care whether you are part of BSA or not, they just know you are "a scout."

    Nope...didn't imply any of that...maybe I'm not understanding you...

    You said your CO requires additional adults.  Fine.  Our CO does not.  BSA does not.  I am comfortable with 30 Scouts and 2 adults in some situations.  I think the max I have ever had with one other adult is about forty.  That included Scouts of all age ranges.  The older Scouts provided the leadership and program.  We were there for health and safety. 

    I have no resentment toward additional adults or "adequate adult supervision".  Please don't ascribe sentiments to me that I did not state. I have never excluded additional adults on trips.  They are always welcome.

    "I can recall many conflicts and sometimes it was blatant parental interference and sometimes it was leadership negligence rightfully being called out -- like setting up camp under deadfall in a windstorm. "  I don't see your point with this...

    You seem to be stating a belief that 2 adults for 30 Scouts is never "adequate."  If so, I respectfully disagree.  It depends on the outing and the Scouts attending.



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  9. 1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

    What's the distinction between the two in your mind? Systemic vs. pervasive? Since the draft merit badge requirements had a requirement that scouts define these terms, I'm curious what the distinction is?

    Systemic racism holds that our societal and governmental structures are all synergistically designed to be racist.  (But you will find other varying definitions, which is why putting this term in a merit badge is bad news right now. ) It is still a "neologism."

    Here's an opinion piece (some of which I disagree with, btw) from USA Today recently


    For example, saying that our all our schools, language,  justice system, etc. is racist...combined in toto.  That is, our whole societal and cultural structure is designed to target purple people for persecution.  I find no proof of this.

    When I say pervasive racism, I mean that widespread individuals, people from different cultural backgrounds, use their power or influence to deny opportunities to people who are not like them.  I do not deny that this exists.  The resume study you cite is evidence of this.  But it is a cultural issue, not a systemic or institutional one.

    Institutional racism should be charged to a specific institution, like the school system only, or to a corporation.  For example, say the corporate board at XYZ, Inc, and the senior executive leadership created a climate of racism and instructed their hiring department to "be more careful when selecting ethnic sounding names for interviews", I would call that institutional racism.  Again, definitions vary widely.

    In this piece, written last Feb, the author equates the two.


    If society on the whole is confused about these terms, how can we clarify them for Scouts??

    People in the sphere of public and corporate organizations who engage in racist practices should have consequences for their behavior.  If it can be proven, consequences do already exist in our laws.

    If you are a private racist, then fear, sarcasm, ridicule, and ostracism are our collective tools to address and correct their behavior.

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  10. 1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Of course, research has shown that just having an African-American sounding NAME or other indicator that the person is an African American leads to fewer job interviews.

    Yes, I saw that study...and the results were horrible.  But that is not systemic racism.  It does show pervasive racism, which I would agree exists.  But you have to identify those companies, call them out, fire the interview screeners who did it.  Sue them for violating your civil (human) rights for triple the damages...hit em where it hurts.

    Also, you might want to clarify...this study identified several different types of ethnic sounding names that generated fewer call backs.  It was not just about African Americans.


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  11. 5 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    So, instead set the goal to develop a program where any scout of any age could earn First Class in one year if the scout chooses to make that their personal goal. 

    It doesn't occur to many people that improving the program has more long term benefits than just trying to push one group of scouts to a goal they may not like. With the irony that the scouts leave the program as a result

    That is the secret sauce, my friend.  We have a program wherein a Scout may earn First Class in one year.  But, you would have to participate in every activity, and take responsibility for your own advancement.  (Like seeking out older Scouts to show your skills to and get them signed off.)  The vast majority do not.  And, IMHO, they are better Scouts for it.


    6 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    These goals they are setting or a reflection of their mindless approach to changes in the program. 


  12. 1 minute ago, ParkMan said:

    Possibly it's a mistake - but also perhaps not.

    Scouting membership is in the range of 3% of total available youth today.  Female membership is certainly much, much lower.  It would strike me that there is a good probability that increasing the number of female Scouts is an achievable goal.  

    Agreed, that increasing the number is an achievable goal.  But to target it at 50% may not be.

    Basically, the question is...why 50%??

  13. There is a potential huge error in that Churchill plan goal of "try to achieve 50% of your membership male and female"

    It assumes that females want the BSA program in the same numbers that males do.  Or, another way to put it...it assumes that, of all the youth out there who want to do this Scouting program, that half of them are female.

    If empirical market research does not back that up, it is a doomed proposal. Do you think they did that market analysis?

    Here's some reasonably good stuff...


    Read the 12 themes...sound familiar?

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  14. Just now, RememberSchiff said:

    IMHO, Councils should be scrambling to deliver their summer camp 2021. Otherwise Councils will meet the above percentage quotas of new demographics by default - losing existing demographics.

    Meeting new Churchill membership metrics by losing existing members, what a thought. :confused:

    Another diversion from National? :unsure:

    Reminds us of A Modest Proposal ;) 

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  15. Here's a good one in the survey:


    9. Which of the following best describes you?

    Asian or Pacific Islander

    Black or African American

    Hispanic or Latino

    Native American or Alaskan Native

    White or Caucasian

    Multiracial or Biracial

    A race/ethnicity not listed here


    I chose the last one....identifying people like this is part of the problem.  Until we stop the underlying divisions, you will always perpetuate the underlying divisions.

    "Human" isn't one of the categories...

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  16. Ha...just got this email this morning from council

    Dear Scout Leader,

    If you have not already done so, please take a moment today to complete this brief survey about your experiences with diversity and inclusion in the local Scouting program. Please take 10-15 minutes to complete this survey between now and December 31. Your responses will help us identify areas for improvement over the coming years. 

    Thank you for all you do for young people in our community!


    Yes, this morning (31 Dec deadline??)...I'm going to do the survey now...

  17. 6 hours ago, yknot said:

    I get that in one sense but on the other hand given the bankruptcy situation we are in and all our current challenges, PR and otherwise,  that is kind of an irresponsible viewpoint. If your unit parents were able to read this forum, is that what you would want them to read  how you selected your summer camp location? That you chose it specifically because the camp did not require adequate adult supervision? Sometimes I think scouters have a death wish... 



    We are not in any bankruptcy situation...that is squarely on a non-profit corporation called BSA.  I am a part of the Scouting movement.  BSA is just the current purveyor of Scouting I use.

    Current challenges?  Too nebulous to address...

    PR...Again, that is on BSA and another non-profit, this council.  The only PR we concern ourselves with is for our Scouts, our unit, and our CO.  We are not here as showpieces for either the local council or National.

    and otherwise?  Again, too nebulous.

    "Kind of irresponsible"...no.  Parents are fully informed on the complement of adult leaders and the numbers of Scouts going on every outing.  Parents also sign a Permission Slip for every outing, where they acknowledge 

    "I understand that participation in Scouting activities involves the risk of personal injury, including death, due to the physical, mental, and emotional challenges in the activities offered. Information about those activities may be obtained from the venue, activity coordinators, or local council. I also understand that participation in these activities is entirely voluntary and requires participants to follow instructions and abide by all applicable rules and the standards of conduct."

    Before and during each outing, I perform a modified Operational Risk Management approach.  I allow Scouts to take lots of risks.  Parents understand my approach, in that I have Scouts take risks a lot of the time.  (...like letting an 11 year old use an ax!!)

    Most people who know me or camp with me think I am too cautious ;)  (Rather than making snap judgments based on a few lines in a forum.)

    Adults don't select our Summer Camp location...Scouts do through the PLC.  In the case mentioned, that supervision requirement was but one factor in the decision process, albeit a significant one that steered our PLC away from that camp.  Please don't read too much into comments made.  Ask questions first before jumping to conclusions and resulting to hyperbole.

    "adequate adult supervision" is outing and activity specific.  I would be fine with 30 Scouts and 2 adults, depending on the situation.  (If we are camping at our local camp, or in our CO's field.)  Would I go into the backcountry with 30 kids and just two adults?  Nope.

    Young people need adventure and risk.  Do I let them go too far sometimes?  Yes.  From time to time, I look at an activity or situation and say, "OK, stop...let's pull back here."

    Do I not let them go far enough sometimes?  Yes.  From time to time, I look at an activity or situation and say, "OK...you can go a little farther here."

    Here's a good read for you...


    Best quote from it? "In other words, if kids don’t run to the edge every once in a while, that sense of limitation will harm their brain development." 

    Wanna know why anxiety, fear, and depression are on the rise in our country?  It is because adults aren't adequately managing risk for their kids (or Scouts).  Having an adult constantly watching everything they do sends this message, "You cannot succeed without an adult."  Not taking risks sends this message, "The world is too dangerous for you, and you cannot handle it."


    The only way to eliminate all risk is to not do Scouting.  I choose to identify, evaluate, and mitigate risks.  And where acceptable, I take risks. This makes life (and Scouting) very fun...you should try it ;)

    I comply with all BSA directives regarding adult supervision.  You and your CO have the prerogative to impose more stringent requirements.  Fill your boots :)



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