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Posts posted by InquisitiveScouter

  1. 13 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    Im not sure what you mean by cohort attrition, but I agree with the rest of your post.

    The parents have to be on board to get the scouts pasts the first year, so we have an ASM team up with a TG or PL to work with and educate the parents. The ASM is there to give the scout and parents comfort that an adult is around for support. But, all communication goes through the TG or PL to show the family that the scouts manage and run the program. The ASMs main responsibility is to show outward trust of the youth leadership. All decisions go through the TG or PL. 

    And yes, if a scout stays in the troop a year (really after summer camp), than they are likely to stay several years. 


    We are saying the same thing...

    By age cohort, I simply mean first year Scouts who are in the age group of 10.5 to 11 years old.

  2. 2 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    I have often thought the way to light a fire under National would be to get a group of adult Scouters to file a brief in the bankruptcy court indicating that BSA does NOT take YPT seriously, as indicate by the fact that when we as registered adult leaders ask questions we are given a) multiple answers or b) blown off.

    Of course, any scouter who did that would a) be purged and b) if they had kids in program would see any chance they had a Eagle voided on the spot.

    I think a pervasive malady at National (and many Councils) is simply not understanding who their primary customers are:  Adult Volunteers! Without them, you don't have youth membership, YP, program, or anything else...

    • Like 1
  3. On 3/18/2021 at 10:04 AM, CynicalScouter said:

    No, that answer has precisely 0% to do with safety it simple says Scouts, BSA is a "youth led program."


    Let me say it again.


    How is my tenting with my son a safety issue? A protection issue?

    And my S.E. told me "Ask national". And when I emailed I was given the above. When I asked the follow up, the email was ignored/I received NO response. Not a boilerplate response. Not the response you just gave (which is to blow me off and not answer the question). Simply IGNORED.

    So, as I said, I'll start to believe BSA is serious about Safe Scouting when it starts to answer some questions.



    @CynicalScouter, I have had many questions, also.  One particular question was regarding 72 hour rule and MBCs (whether they were "registered leaders" or not, and what was the difference if our CO approved them to camp with us.)  I asked our DE (when we had one), who did not have the answer.  Asked a more senior DE, and the FD, who had different answers (one of them was "blow it off" ;) ).  Asked the SE, who said ask National.  Asked DE friends and another SE in separate council...another different answer!  

    When I asked National, the YP person said right out, that I was trying to circumvent National's membership policies, and that I should just ask my SE, and that they questioned the leadership of our council.  He also included the SE in the email.  I thought it was really nasty, and I called him out on it.  Later, our SE used some very unScoutlike language to describe the National person.  LOL

    In this particular case, it seemed to be about the money... not YP or Program

    • Upvote 1
  4. 20 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    That drop has been consistent since National started tracking drop outs. The cause is a human nature reality that is hard to get around.

    I'm saying the 21% would be a lot less if not for the first year drop outs, which would expose the cub program problem to be even more significant.

    I believe about half of the Scouts we see enter at 10.5 to 11 years old (and their parents) are not really psychologically ready for the shift towards more personal responsibility and less parent involvement.

    Over the years I have seen attrition in that age cohort of about a fourth, at most.

    If they make it through the first year , their retention rate thereafter is high...over 90%.



  5. 3 minutes ago, Owls_are_cool said:

    @InquisitiveScouter We plan separately our campouts, so we meet the spirit of the requirement. We have several adults duel registered. I do appreciate the heads up to keep myself out of trouble with the district and council.

    No worries... I think the "policy" is not well thought out, nor articulated, much like the no co-ed thing or co-ed buddy pairs... 

    When you do a Webelos recruiting day, for example, isn't that program for a separate unit if packs other than your CO's show??

  6. 44 minutes ago, Owls_are_cool said:

    My Boy's troop has partnered with a Girl's troop and go to the same campouts in the local area. Instead of two troops, it is more like two patrols. Each group camps in a different area, plans/cooks their own meals, etc. 

    If the girls are working on rope lashing requirements, I may have some of my boys head over to their camp to earn some requirements and vice versa. The scoutmaster corp of both small troops can help each other out with our unique expertise. We also have two sets of parents with scouts in both troops, so they do not have to choose between far separated campgrounds or have double the weekends to camp if they want to service at the event. 

    I think we over emphasize the SPL/Troop when the real scout growth happens in the small patrols.

    Don't tell your council ;)

    "Chartering organizations are not authorized to plan, promote, or deliver programs for units outside of their charter."


    • Upvote 1
  7. 7 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Branding irons can only be used by adults now?!?!?!?!?!?!

    Guess Philmont, and other camps need to  get rid of their branding irons since the Scouts can no longer do it.

    Yeah, that one has me scratching my head...

    I did say "some" sensible changes :)


    • Upvote 1
  8. Here's something interesting to peruse...it's the YMCA insurance questionnaire the Great American Insurance Group uses to begin the underwriting process.


    Take note under abuse/molestation coverage.... "Is your organization Praesidium Certified?"

    Never heard of this with BSA...


    Probably best posted under YP thread...sorry

    moved here by RS

  9. 33 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Do Councils have to show Proof of Insurance at Re-Charter?  Is it documented on their recharter forms?

    Don't groups (like councils), by law, have to have insurance to conduct activities?


  10. 8 minutes ago, gpurlee said:

    Yea, you might be able to get coverage in the future for a local group. The cost, high deductible and the limited coverage may give pause to whether the leaders want to place their homes and other personal assets at risk.

    I'll check with a buddy who helps with the local youth soccer travel team...  it seems, whenever I talk to him, that another kid on the squad has a concussion.  Their accident and health insurance premiums must be high.  But you don't really need accident and health...  BSA is only a supplementary in that regard anyway, unless you are a military dependent. (Then they are primary.)

    It's the liability you need.  And, I'd bet, if you present good documentation and transparency that you are exercising due diligence, the liability premiums may be reduced.  Again, I'd have to talk with the underwriter...  This site says $29 to $47 per month, depending on some variables.  So, at $5 per youth per annum, with 50 Scouts, we are paying $20.83 per month already, thru council/national.

    https://generalliabilityinsure.com/small-business/youth-groups-insurance.html#:~:text=How Much Does Youth Group,offered%2C claims history and more.

    Finally, your home and assets are always at risk with "gross negligence".  Of course, there are elements of proof for that.  A personal injury lawyer advised me an umbrella policy is always wise ;)


  11. 8 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

    I bet it would be a lot easier to get insurance than one would think. Same group that insurers outward bound etc. Insurance for a single unit and specific adults, I assume is much simpler than a large random organization. Now they would drop you after your first incident, but you would be good up to that point. 

    Insurance, schminsurance... just kidding...

    What @mrjohns2 said... companies will sell you insurance for just about anything.  Now, the premiums for that insurance...that's the real question that I don't have the answer to. 

    Anyone out there know a ballpark figure for insuring a youth group for $1M in liability??  (that is the usual amount asked for on our COIs; occasionally we get an organization asking for $2M, but our council has always provided that COI with about 2 weeks notice.)

  12. 54 minutes ago, gpurlee said:

    I met a girl who sang the blues
    And I asked her for some happy news
    But she just smiled and turned away

    American Pie

    Don McLean

    We seem to have quite the shortage of happy news at the present time. The bankruptcy is perhaps the most visible of the threats facing the BSA but I wonder if the impact of the pandemic may be the ultimate factor that leads to the demise of the organization.

    In scanning our midwestern council’s most recent membership statistics, it appears that our total youth membership has plummeted almost 70% compared to the end of 2019! The Cub membership has been decimated with a loss of 80% of the total membership. Venturing is essentially gone. This will impact our FOS program, other fund-raising efforts, as well as activity and camp income. It will be very difficult to recover from losses at these levels. Many of our packs are for all intents simply gone even if they are still listed on paper. This is our feeder system for our troops. I fear that the welcome mat at schools may no longer be out for us. It will be a tough sale to recruit members as the BSA is bombarded with negative stories.  A perfect storm of events threatens to envelop us.

    How do you justify the operation of multiple camps when just two years ago they were under-utilized? How do you justify current staffing and support levels with a program a fraction of the size it once was?

     How do you deal with over 350 claims of abuse even if half of them are not valid?

    Scouting, when done correctly under the leadership of caring, committed adults, can be a life-changing program. I have seen it open a wealth of opportunities, provide unforgettable adventures and superb leadership development opportunities. It certainly has made a lifelong difference in the life of our family. I fear and mourn that my young grandsons may never have the opportunity for this experience.

    And it saddens me that there seems to be no happy news.



    There is happy news...it's over a hundred years old.

    There was a time when there were no "Scouts."  And the movement started with idea from an old crusty British Army guy.

    No need to worry...kids want Scouting, and it will happen.  Be there for them.  Take them camping.  You already know the like-minded people around you.

    BSA is not the be-all-end-all of Scouting.  Just the current major market-share provider.  If they go away, be a grass roots startup.  You will have a blast. 

  13. 32 minutes ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    I was asking my Webelos aged son yesterday what games they play in PE at school so I would have some Den Meeting ideas.  He asked me if they could play Dodgeball.  Of course I had to explain that it wasn't allowed in Scouts even if they can do it at school.  He then proceeded to ask if "Scouts" want them to have fun or just take our money.

    And your answer was?? 😜

  14. 22 minutes ago, scoutldr said:

    Following a few of the other Scouting pages on FB, there are MANY Scouts BSA units flagrantly violating the Co-ed policy.  Units separate on paper only, and they are adamant about it..."this is what works best for us, so bugger off."  Meeting together, camping together, same PLC, same Committee.  Reminds me of the early days of YP...units ignoring it because "that just doesn't work for us."  If this is so important in terms of safety, liability and optics, why do the Councils permit it?  And don't tell me they don't know about it.  THey will still look the other way if it means retaining members and units.  That's how we got in this mess.

    And, btw, this whole "separate but equal" thing was a pipe dream from the start.  We had thorough discussions about this in our unit when we looked at creating a girl troop.  We all knew it would come to that...

    Separate on paper, combined in reality...

  15. 19 minutes ago, scoutldr said:

    Following a few of the other Scouting pages on FB, there are MANY Scouts BSA units flagrantly violating the Co-ed policy.  Units separate on paper only, and they are adamant about it..."this is what works best for us, so bugger off."  Meeting together, camping together, same PLC, same Committee.  Reminds me of the early days of YP...units ignoring it because "that just doesn't work for us."  If this is so important in terms of safety, liability and optics, why do the Councils permit it?  And don't tell me they don't know about it.  THey will still look the other way if it means retaining members and units.  That's how we got in this mess.

    This is the dirty little secret for most councils...turn a blind eye until something happens.  And, even though our Scouter Code of Conduct says "I will take steps to prevent or report any violation of this code of conduct by others in connection with Scouting activities.", if you do (even anonymously), you are outed, ostracized, marginalized, labeled, shunned, etc....

    We are not a self-policing group, even if touted as such.

    • Upvote 2
  16. 1 minute ago, Eagle1993 said:

    Why is this youth protection?  They are mixing up "integrity of program" with "youth protection".  So if a Scoutmaster brings his Scouts BSA daughter to a Boy Scouts BSA Troop meeting, then that is a YPT violation?

    OA election ... so how does a girl Troop hold an OA election if there is no girl youth in OA?  A boy cannot go to their meeting?  So no youth OA can be present at a Girl Troop meeting election until there is a girl in OA and then she will be the only one allowed at future Girl Troop elections?

    No coed buddies .. fine, file that under YPT.  The other half of this is crazy to put under YPT.  

    Ready!  Fire!  Aim!!!

    • Haha 1
  17. 6 minutes ago, 5thGenTexan said:


    ♦ Q. Are there times when youth can gather, meet or conduct activities without adult supervision?  

    A. No. Two-deep adult supervision by registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required for all Scouting activities and must meet the leadership requirements outlined in Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse. This includes patrol activities.  



    At least this one makes some sense:

    ♦ Q. Can I share a tent with my son or daughter who has special needs?

    A. Youth and adults tent separately in the Scouts BSA, Sea Scouts, and Venturing programs. Youth who have a special need or disability who may require a parent or legal guardian to tent with them must develop a plan in conjunction with their local council Scout Executive to address their specific needs. 


    This one does not:


    Q. Can a leader bring their Scouts BSA son or daughter to an opposite gender troop activity?

    A. No. Scouts BSA program integrity requires single gender units and single gender buddy pairs. 

  18. On 3/13/2021 at 4:25 PM, GiraffeCamp said:

    A person's heinous acts does not mean they didn't also perform kindnesses. And a person performing kindnesses does not mean we can trust that person with opportunities to hurt and abuse, especially the vulnerable, especially if the person has a history of such behavior. Kindnesses do not negate hideous abuse. 

    We were discussing just yesterday the adults in our lives who took us under their wings as children and of how their innocent behaviors would never fly today. A neighbor of mine basically functioned like an aunt and I went on random shopping trips and such all the time.

    The difficulty is in having the broadest healthy social circle while keeping it safe for all. Grooming absolutely happens. How do we on the outside tell the difference between that and healthy neighbors BEFORE abuse occurs so we can include one and protect from the other? I understand this thread to be navigating that tightrope, which is a healthy discussion. 

    And that is exactly why abusers use this strategy to gain the confidence of their victims and the public.  They do great acts of kindness and seem to be genuinely concerned for the well-being of youth.  Wolves in sheep's clothing.

    Unfortunately, the ones who are truly kind and genuinely care can get lumped in with the abusers as  "groomers."  I have seen this, and have had to defend several people's reputations.

    The behavior of mis-identification is also greatly discouraging some adults from getting involved. 

  19. 55 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Let me be blunt:

    There's a reason I post anonymously. I have sons in the Scouts, BSA program. They'd like to make Eagle and I'd like to see that happen.

    I am not about to give National, or my Council a SINGLE reason to threaten their advancement because their dad stuck his head up and spoke out about something.

    I believe BSA's likely dead. But in the off chance it isn't, I am NOT going to see them come after me or my kids for speaking up. The risk is too great.

    Dear daughter and dear son both just earned Eagle...there is a bit of a weight lifted off the shoulders ;)

  20. 1 hour ago, ThenNow said:

    There is always the risk of personal backlash, I guess, but is it worth it to lead and possibly see change enacted?

    Yes, they have shot this messenger on several occasions.  I have too much scar tissue to engage again...happy to play in our little sandbox at the unit level...

    • Upvote 1
  21. 1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

    This was something that I saw came up in the Office Hours video and in FB.

    The only people who have been allowed access to even a DRAFT of these are

    1) Scout Executives

    2) Handpicked volunteers/yes men and women who are simply going to nod their heads up and down and do what National tells them

    When people asked during the video (via Zoom chat I would guess) if they could be part of the review team or even see a copy, they were told no.

    He said "high level volunteers"...guess I am a "low level volunteer"???  LOL

    Just so you know your value to the people running things ;)

    Start at 19:55



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