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Posts posted by InquisitiveScouter

  1. 1 minute ago, ProScouter06 said:

    UNREAL. Herein lies some of the root of the animosity we've referenced. No wonder people are turned off by FOS when the SE makes that kind of salary. I'm sure the field staff are paid under the median ... Leading to turnover, which leads to another can of worms for everyone. 

    Yup... DE's start around $35K here.  (That's what current SE offered me.  I declined :) )  And compounded with the COVID crisis, all our DE's have been let go.  Not furloughed, mind you, ...dismissed.

    We now have one FD covering our council.

    Volunteers are not happy.

    • Sad 1
  2. 3 minutes ago, ProScouter06 said:

    Revenue is necessary to operate the council.

    Agreed, but not on the backs of adult volunteers who are paying for their own training.  Program events (camporees, summer camp, etc.), I get it... training events, especially required ones (like IOLS and BALOO) should actually be given for free.  If BSA requires me to have some sort of training, then they should figure out how to offer mandatory courses for free.  This would really show volunteers that you value their time and service.


    4 minutes ago, ProScouter06 said:

    Agreed about SE's. Those salaires need to be brought in check. Let's face it, in many areas, Scouting is a small non-profit often struggling to survive and keep the the lights on. When the SE makes $150k it's a bit hard to justify IMO. 

    You have won me over with this...thank you!!

  3. 1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

    it's within the volunteer ranks too.

    There is a toxic WB culture in this council.


    1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

    Is the impact of professionals overstepping their boundaries and directing volunteers at the unit/district/council level worth the value that this direction brings? 

    Heck no!  When building budgets for training events, we always had to build in extra to the fees to provide revenue to the council (at the direction of professional staff advisers to whatever event it was.)  Made me sick to my stomach...

    And now, how many events are we going to cancel because we don't have a Short-Term Camp Administrator? (Yes, this was pushed from national, but councils will be the enforcers.)

    1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

    Unit commissioners are our ambassadors and coaches to the unit leaders.  Having DEs prop up a poorly functioning unit commissioner system reduces some of the immediacy of the problem, but it doesn't resolve the issue.

    Can't even tell you who our UC is this month (or is it this week??)


    1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

    underpaid, and overworked

    ??? DE's, yes.  But SE's??  Not buying it.  I have recommended to our board on several occasions that we reduce the SE salary, and pay our DE's more...we might keep them around longer than six months 😢  Answer back was that National set salary window, and they had to pick one of National's candidates.  Again, 🤢

    • Upvote 1
  4. 9 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

    Will this quickly follow into scouting?

    Yes, you can expect that soon.  Remember when they hopped on the bandwagon after George Floyd's death back in June?


    • Reviewing every element of our programs to ensure diversity and inclusion are engrained at every level for participants and volunteers by applying a standard that promotes racial equality and denounces racism, discrimination, inequality and injustice.
    • Requiring diversity and inclusion training for all BSA employees starting July 1 and taking immediate action toward introducing a version for volunteers in the coming months.
    • Conducting a review of property names, events and insignia, in partnership with local councils, to build on and enhance the organization’s nearly 30-year ban on use of the Confederate flag and to ensure that symbols of oppression are not in use today or in the future.
  5. On 12/10/2020 at 4:01 PM, Cburkhardt said:

    I hope the treatment of volunteers by professionals will rapidly fade as an issue and that we can begin to envision how volunteers will more-fully run things at the District and Council levels.  The tragic "perfect storm" is providing us an opportunity to make some very significant adjustments.  Many higher-salaried people with hardened viewpoints are already choosing to move on.  We have all been part of a system that has not functioned well for an extended time.  Let's put our operating expectations and behavioral standards firmly in place fairly soon.  I want my fellow volunteers and me to be treated appropriately.  We remind the girls in our Troop that they ascribe to a higher standard of kind behavior when they swear the Scout Law.  Let's hold ourselves as well as to pros to this higher standard and assure that your concerns are not a dominant aspect of our experiences.  

    When I first met our new council SE, in conversation I asked him what his biggest headache was.  He said (closely paraphrasing), "Volunteers who think that when they put on the uniform, they are equal to me."

    I knew right then we were headed down the road to dysfunction...and I have not been wrong these last five years.

    • Upvote 1
  6. We did not re-register 13 out of our 51 Scouts.  So, overall ~25%, but, broken down, we are about a normal year...

    Five of the 13 "aged-out"; six of the 13 were "chronic inactives"...those just not interested in Scouts anymore; one of the 13 was disciplinary (we will not re-register him due to behavior), and the last was due to COVID (family has significant health challenges).

    So, I look at it as six "eligibles" lost out of 44 "eligibles", or  ~14% attrition.  We are usually around 10% per year...

    We have not had any Webelos declare intent to join our Troop yet.  Those notices don't start coming until mid to late January.

  7. 41 minutes ago, yknot said:

    I think BSA needs to stop relying on infrequent Bryan on Scouting blogs to kinda sorta clarify unclear YPT issues.

    Our previous COR is a law professor.  When I asked him why he thought BSA policies are often ambiguous, he said they most likely WANT some ambiguity, because it protects them in court.  That is, if a case ever arises under a particular policy point, the lawyers for National will be able to argue whatever interpretation suits their interests best.

    And don't bother reaching out to National for any policy clarifications.  If you use some email account not tied to your BSA profile (to try to maintain some anonymity), you will be ignored.  If you can be identified, you will be reported to your SE.  And, National will defer to your SE to interpret any policies that are ambiguous, anyway.  So, just work any policy issues through your SE.  And if you don't get a good answer from the SE, live with it...or be labeled a troublemaker of some kind, especially if you are not up on your FOS donation.

    BSA is only really worried about the money.  They have gone down the YPT route because of fiscal reasons, not for some sort of altruistic desire to protect kids.  If they weren't facing massive lawsuits, they wouldn't have acted.


    • Upvote 3
  8. 3 minutes ago, mrjohns2 said:

    It is Stetson branded hat?

    No, my original is not a Stetson...there is an ink stamp inside at the crown of the head saying "Leisure Felt 100% WOOL"

    Ordered it from the BSA catalog through my local Scout store.  The catalog entry (in the 90's) was "Expedition Hat", now called the "Brimmed Hat, Adult" in online catalog


    Guide to Awards and Insignia still refers to "campaign and expedition hats", page 69, bottom right, Universal Hat Pin


    And, yes, it is too much to ask for the merchandising nomenclature to match the G2AI nomenclature, in case you were wondering ;)


  9. Insofar as I understand it, in Buddhism, if there is a "god", then you are it, or it is you, or both.


    If you read through the eight beliefs of Buddhism, you will see they are in harmony with the Scout Oath and Scout Law.


    And nothing in the DRP prevents you from claiming that you are the "god" you believe in.

    The Dalai Lama called his local pizza joint. When they asked him what he wanted, he said, "Make me one with everything."

    (Hope my tongue-in-cheek does not offend ;) )

    Buddhists are not "atheists"...they are best described as "non-theists".

  10. I love this hat.  I have the same one since the early 1990's.  Yes, it is hot in the summer.  Also, it bleeds some color when it gets wet or sweaty.  So, mine is a little faded and sun-bleached.

    As a first time Scoutmaster in the 90's, I bought this hat for each Scout when he reached First Class.  Troop funds paid for his First Class pin.  They loved them.

    This was also the time when Scoutmasters could let a Patrol camp without adults.  My standard was, a Scout had to reach First Class before he could go on such a camping trip.  They worked hard for that rank, and wore those hats proudly on their adult-less overnighters!

    In 2016, I met one of those Scouts at Philmont.  He was a Scoutmaster with a crew from his Troop there, and was wearing his same hat from his time as a youth!

    Current Troop is not so much into hats...


    • Upvote 1
  11. 2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Volunteers are upset and angry at they way they are being treated by councils and by national. You have volunteers who will do anything in their power to help Scouts and units, but will do absolutely nothing for council, let alone National because of the treatment they have experienced.

    Uncanny! It's almost like you know me!  Lol...

    I have been asked to serve on five separate council committees because of my experience and belief in what Scouting can accomplish.  Yet, because I do not support FOS, our SE has denied my positions on those committees. I only suspect this because our SE has never told me he has denied my participation, nor why. I only hear the negative from the volunteers who have asked me to serve.

    Was also asked to serve on a neighboring council WB staff, and a regional and national committee, only to be later told "thanks, we're full".  I suspect my SE torpedoed those, and that the course director and committee chairs we trying to spare my feelings.

    I have some schadenfreude with BSA (the organization) circling the drain...knowing that Scouting (the movement) will continue.  I can wait ;)


  12. 9 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    I also want to suggest something else: BSA Scouting has run its course,

    I do not believe it has "run its course."  Rather, flip the script...Is there a need that Scouting fills?  Or better yet, in the big picture, What is the problem we are trying to solve with Scouting?

    BP saw a problem in the structures (or lack thereof) that society used to bring youth into full adulthood, with the physical, spiritual, emotional, social, fiscal, (and more?) accoutrements (aka character) necessary for a well functioning society.  He thought Scouting could address those problems.


    Do those selfsame problems exist for youth in our society today?  I would posit they are even more pronounced.  That is why I am a Scouter...I am deeply concerned with the future of our country, upholding our founding principles, and our way of life as Americans.  If we do not raise them to replace us, then, will all we have built be lost?

  13. 6 hours ago, HICO_Eagle said:

    That is precisely WHY they need help forming that brain early as teens and the coddling needs to stop. 

    HICO, you are fighting physiology there...the point is, that part of the brain isn't done growing in yet...they do not have the physical structures needed for that kind of "adult" thinking.  But, what we can do, is train them in the processes and form the habits of planning, forecasting, and leading.


    5 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Regarding the brain  and development until age 25. Something that appears to be conveniently forgotten is that is that lifelong learners and folks starting new professions, basically anyone still learning stuff, has the same brain scan patterns as those under 25. If I can find the study's report, hopefully on PubMed Central, I will post the link. Unfortunately I no longer have access to the medical databases since I left the hosptial.

    Eagle94, please do look for that!  I'd like to read that one (as a lifelong learner ;) )


    4 hours ago, qwazse said:

    One side effect: there might be fewer youth who make Eagle because, lacking a deadline, the natural procrastinators will keep doing what they do. However, I think youth who see new adults (their moms and dads, even) struggling to master 1st Class skills will be inspired.

    Qwazse, right on!  Even BP said "

    First-class Scout

    A BOY does not really get the value of the Scout training until he is a First-class Scout. The Second-class is only a step to that standing. But it is a lamentable fact that a good many are content to remain as Second-class Scouts once they have gained a few badges of proficiency. It is for that reason, mainly, that the All Round Cords are now obtainable only by First-class Scouts. This move has been welcomed by Scoutmasters as giving an incentive to the lads to keep progressing in their training.

          Of course, the main objection to it is that it necessitates the boys learning to swim, and facilities for this do not exist in all centres. It has, therefore, been suggested in one or two cases that this rule should be relaxed. I am afraid that I have been very "sticky" about it, and although I generally make things as elastic as possible, I may have appeared unnaturally obstinate in this one particular; but I had reasons, and experience has now shown that those reasons were right.

          When a boy has become a First-class Scout -- but not before then -- he has got a grounding in the qualities, mental, moral, and physical, that go to make a good useful man. And I look on swimming as a very important step, combining as it does attributes of all three of those classes ? mentally it gives the boy a new sense of self-confidence and pluck; morally, it gives him the power of helping others in distress and puts a responsibility upon him of actually risking his life at any moment for others; and physically, it is a grand exercise for developing wind and limb.

          Every man ought to be able to swim; and in Norway and Sweden, the home of practical education, every boy and girl is taught swimming at school.

          The fact that swimming has got to be learnt by the Boy Scout before he can gain his first-class badge has had the effect of putting the character of the lads in very many cases to a hard and strengthening test.

          At first they complained that there was no place near where they could learn to swim. But when they found this was not accepted as an excuse, they set to work to make places or to get to where such places existed. I have heard of boys riding five miles on their bicycles day after day to swimming-baths; streams in many country places have been dammed up, and bathing-places made by the Scouts; the summer Camp has been established at some seaside or river-side spot for the special purpose of getting everyone trained in swimming.

          It can be done if everybody sets his mind to it. If the boys are put to extra trouble in bringing it about, so much the better for their character training. In any case, I look upon swimming as an essential qualification for First-class Scout, and for every man.   Also, I don't consider a boy is a real Scout till he has passed his first-class tests.

    February, 1914.

    (copied from http://usscouts.org/history/bpoutlook2.asp )

  14. 3 hours ago, HICO_Eagle said:

    My point is that we need to stop extending their youth. 

    I understand the desire, but the science isn't there (pardon the phrase.)  I would advocate that we need to extend their youth.  We know that the brain is not fully formed, with the seat of executive function not being developed until about 25.

    Historically, young men had to rise to the challenge earlier because of life expectancy.  That, and the needed skill set for a 15 year old to succeed was not as great or complex as it is today, imho.

    As a commander in the military, guess which age cohort I dealt with incurred most judicial punishments, substances problems, domestic violence or assaults, and accidents???  18-25

    Is this similar in the civilian world??  You bet...cannot even rent a car until you are 25!!

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