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desertrat77 last won the day on December 15 2019

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About desertrat77

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  1. Good question...unfortunately, we volunteers will be the last to know.
  2. Thank you @Cburkhardt, much food for thought. 2020 is going to be an interesting year.
  3. @Cburkhardt, I am intrigued and hope your predictions become reality sooner than later, especially returning the focus back to servicing units. While I am in favor of girls joining Scouts BSA, I have my doubts about the total number that will ultimately sign up. Many will join, but I don't think the numbers will even come close to making up for the loss from LDS departure and all of the usual reasons. I hope I'm wrong. I agree, the BSA cannot survive another year like the last. The revenue loss is one factor. There are several others, namely the lack of transparency from our professional staffers in the upper parts of the hierarchy. Example: the mortgaging of Philmont without notifying the National Oversight Committee. And when called into question, National dismissed concerns as if everyone--including those on the oversight committee--didn't need to know. This is a red flag, the sign of an organization where the senior execs are out of touch with reality. People will start voting with their feet, many already have.
  4. desertrat77

    Rumblings of Time Ahead

    When I was a scout, one of my mentors was a DE. Outstanding gentleman, scouter, humorist. He was waterfront director each summer, attended camporees, involved with every OA function, and well thought of by all. He got things done. Though he never said anything, I also noticed (even as a lunkhead teenager) what his job entailed. Many long hours, mostly performing duties that were a long way from the campfire. I also noticed that the SE was not very scout-like toward the DE. Again, nothing was ever said by the DE to us scouts, but I saw the SE/DE dynamic as a multi-year camp staffer and lodge VP. When the DE got married, he resigned from scouting. So that was 40+ years ago. Nothing has changed. Unfortunately, I'd say the DE's lot in life has gotten worse. And it won't change, barring wholesale updates in council structure. After all, so the warped tradition goes, today's SEs (and above) ran the gauntlet and ate a lot of crow. The SEs' empathy level for reshaping DE duties probably isn't very high. Instead, they'll ensure the DE's apprenticeship will be equally as miserable as theirs.
  5. desertrat77

    Headline news again...

    I agree. The BSA has traditionally been rather flat-footed when dealing with negative publicity. I'd fully support the hiring of a high-speed PR pro. Money well spent. Stop the puff-ball/favorite color stories for the internal audience ("Top 7 MBs Earned in Months with the Letter 'R'"). Instead, let's start telling the world who we are. A couple of dynamics: - The desperate need for external PR aside, National also needs to have a complete re-look at how it communicates within our organization. What's really going on? Are we nearer bankruptcy that we think? What is the status of our mortgaged high adventure bases? We really don't have a clue because we volunteers (and many council pros) are treated as if "you don't have a need to know." A good example is the dues increase fiasco of last fall. Stony, imperious silence by National. Then "Sell more popcorn." Really? I think we deserve more. I don't expect to be given every little detail, but a frank update and words of encouragement from our pros would go a long way. - Mr. Mosby's hiring is a good step. It's an unspoken admission by National that their career progression plan for senior executives doesn't work. Just because Mr./Ms SE runs the gauntlet and is pulled up by their bootstraps to National, doesn't necessarily mean they are qualified to lead our organization at that level. We have a national staff that is consistently three steps behind. The media, the legal world and public opinion are shaping the entire discussion, and our National staff doesn't utter a word.
  6. desertrat77

    Headline news again...

    I understand, vol_scouter, the media is no friend of the BSA. But organizations that are facing negative publicity usually launch a proactive PR campaign to tell their story. I don't think an organization like the BSA, with the challenges it faces, can survive by simply being quiet.
  7. desertrat77

    Headline news again...

    I see your point. But I'm also wondering where one can find the positive information from National sources? As noted earlier, the BSA newsroom has published very little in the last year.
  8. desertrat77

    Headline news again...

    Whatever National's strategy may be (if indeed they even have a strategy) it's not working. The vacuum of information from Irving portrays an organization on the ropes. It hardly inspires the men and women who are working in the field, doing their best. Even if Irving doesn't answer the articles directly, I see no initiative on their part to externally publicize the good news stories that do exist--records numbers at Philmont, etc. As @carebear3895 pointed out, National execs prefer local councils to tell the story. Some local councils do a good job of this; many others make as little effort as Irving does. Either way, it's a rather clueless PR plan on National's part.
  9. desertrat77

    Headline news again...

    Here is the link to the "Official Newsroom of the BSA" https://www.scoutingnewsroom.org/ A summary of their activity for 2019: Articles/News releases: 7 (one addressed bullying and one discussed child abuse prevention) Blog posts: 0 (the last was from July 2018, about STEM) Frankly, a very weak effort. True, the BSA publishes human interest stuff on social media, but it's mostly for internal consumption (merit badges, the best kind of flashlight, etc.) Two possibilities: 1. The BSA is sinking faster than we think, and folks at National are so focused on getting a seat in the lifeboat they are neglecting their duty. ("It's quiet, too quiet....") 2. National is profoundly detached from reality.
  10. desertrat77

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    Absolutely, I concur 100%.
  11. desertrat77

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    Ideally this is how it should work. But here are the usual results, from my personal experience: 1. Pro shouts down volunteer. Sometimes in public. 2. It isn't always the DE. It can be another pro throwing their weight around, sometimes the SE. 3. The district chair is often no help because a) they are a name on a spreadsheet and not a real chair b) they meekly go along with the pro and won't back the volunteer, usually because they aspire to be a future WB CD, have an award pending, etc.) or c) they're completely in cahoots with the professional staff and won't back their district volunteer staff. As mentioned earlier, if you are in a council that functions soundly, please count your lucky charms. I've been in six councils and some of them were absolute chaos for volunteers.
  12. desertrat77

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    It may indeed be simplistic. But it's true for many.
  13. desertrat77

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    Very true. There are lots of great volunteers who have been disrespected by pros, and they vote with their feet.
  14. desertrat77

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    Agreed, in the camporee example, the pro should talk to the Key 3. But many pros either they don't care or there is a crew of unpleasant but long-tenured district vols that are difficult to deal with. They are running things into the ground and it's easier just to avoid the subject altogether. Or their responsibilities at the council level are such that even if they wanted to bolster the next camporee or heaven forbid even attend, they don't have the time. If professional responsibilities have ballooned to the point where they can't or won't care about unit level scouting, it's time to reevaluate what is truly value added.
  15. desertrat77

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    I've found pros that don't care how bad their council service is in these areas. They only deal with peers or those above them. Vols and vol concerns are dismissed or held at arms length. Not an ideal way of motivating your leaders in the field.