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desertrat77 last won the day on May 27 2020

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  1. @MattR, your thoughts are timely. We need this dialogue more than ever. I watched the general session of the National Annual Meeting today. Right off the bat, three pros talked at length (about 15 - 20 minutes) about big dollar fundraising. National is launching a new program to help councils raise money. They made other points, but the upshot was definitely "the show must go on." And by "show" I mean "keep those dollars rolling in." Overall, the general session had this one stark theme: the virtual absence of any discussion about the challenges families and units are going th
  2. The delusion that scouting "works" in the living room and backyard is spreading. It was there pre-virus, but it has been fueled by the hype of councils and national--X badges earned, Y number of clicks on a website, Z people sleeping in the backyard. Sadly, I think this high-tech, lame version of scouting is here to stay. Think of the stories that scouts brag about it. It's not about the easy stuff. It was that day when it 100F, they ran out of water, got lost, the bear took most of their food so the crew shared one Cliff bar, etc. Who brags about backyard camping? Nobody. Because
  3. @carebear3895, I concur with Sentinel947. More than anything we've discussed about the BSA's possible implosion, this retirement situation is the biggest red flag that @Cburkhardt's prediction will come true: the BSA is going to be liquidated, right now to the last basketry kit. If the retirement plans of the front-line pros are in jeopardy, so is everything else.
  4. Good question! What the BSA should jettison: Cubs What the BSA would ultimately jettison: Scouts BSA In 2020, the BSA's overall mentality operates on a cub level, even for troops and crews. Lots of adults, easy/low risk programming, tons of badges to present, national supply items galore, and everyone goes home at the end of the day. Many would say a big "no thanks" on the idea of a high adventure backpacking trip in the mountains with a crew of mercurial teens. Even though a trip like that is the true goal of scouting (at least by my definition), it would require a level o
  5. Computer skills: almost all kids have advanced computer skills. They often know more than their tech teachers in school. Bus and subway navigation: small children can figure this out easily with the help of a parent or older sibling. Math and science: does the BSA propose to teach this subjects? Going to museums to identify flora and fauna: how many youth will sign up for that? The BSA is going to have quite a challenge building an organization around these activities. Who is going to pay dues for the privilege of solving algebra word problems on the weekend?
  6. I agree. Sounds like some gold-tabbers still have their red beret tucked in their back pocket.
  7. Proclete, thanks for the opportunity to round out my ramblings.... - WB: I'll give Gilwell credit where credit is due. They have toned down the hyperbole and egotism. Somewhat. In my council there seems to have been a conscious effort to be more respectful toward non WBers and realistic about the course. Other councils I've been in have been as you described, cliquish and cult-y, if not downright arrogant. WB still seems to be a feeder program for the Good Ole Boy club at district and council levels. There are scouters that do not appear for or support anything in scouting unless
  8. Carebear, can't we find another fundraiser to replace popcorn, a product that buyers want? Volunteers hate popcorn because customers are quite indifferent to it. MB fairs: point well taken. However, if we must have them, they should be more challenging. Recharter: I understand your point, but events may overcome this clunky process. The staff and infrastructure needed to carry the old process along may not exist soon.
  9. Carebear, how so? Are they sacred to the units, the council, or both?
  10. 1. Skip the slaughter house and send to the glue factory: - STEM - Popcorn - Merit badge fairs - Rechartering process 2. Dignified burial with honors: - OA (45 years an Arrowman too, ouch) - Venturing (rarely works to potential) 3. Administer diminished rations and strict fitness regimen: - Cub scouting: reduce overall program, ranks/badges and overhead by 50 percent (a never ending program that pleases execs and national supply) - Uniform items overall: reduce by 90 percent (buy Dickies work clothes instead, pants and shirt, and sew or pi
  11. This a good question. However, I think it generates another: after the smoke clears, will there be sufficient council or national staff left to instruct/rule units? The way things are going, I doubt it. Units will probably be more autonomous than ever. I've never seen a CO operate "as advertised." COs are usually quite distant. The construct also allows council to say to units "you belong to us, do as we say" or "you don't belong to us, see your CO" as it benefits the council and the BSA, not the units.
  12. In the late seventies, our troop in Alaska followed a similar plan. Our troop camped once a month, snow included. But between Christmas and New Year's, the SM would take the senior scouts on a trek above the tree line. Ice axe, crampons, self-arrest practice, traversing ice fields, etc. One summer we senior scouts went through a mini boot camp experience for advanced outdoor skills such as rock climbing, living off the land and the like. Then we took a trek over tundra, birch forest, and mountains. Indeed, the BSA decided to be more "inclusive" and I think it was to the detriment o
  13. @carebear3895, congratulations on your promotion!
  14. @dkurtenbach, I like your "to be jettisoned" list! A few thoughts: - Venturing: as much as I love the potential of the program, I rarely see it actually practiced. Most of the crews I'm familiar with have either folded or are close to it. A darn shame because there are so many opportunities for youth-led adventure. But the youth aren't interested. Many crew advisors I've met would be better suited as den leaders. And councils I've been in never utter the a word about Venturing or lend resources. However, let's keep the green Venture shirt--it looks great, especially compared to th
  15. Old Scout, I've had the same thoughts myself here of late. The very elements that drew and kept membership: outdoor adventure, OA, patrol method--pros and like minded volunteers have done their very best for decades to dilute these activities. And unfortunately they've finally succeeded. Especially the OA. We're at the point where top-tier scouts decline nomination to the OA because the organization has so little credibility. The exact opposite of what the founders intended.
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