Jump to content

desertrat77

Moderators
  • Content Count

    2637
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    36

Everything posted by desertrat77

  1. desertrat77

    What Have You Learned About Yourself

    I've found I like simple camping the best. Less gear, gear that is elementary/low tech, food that simple fare but high quality. A real camp fire...for cooking..conversation...listen to the wind blowing through trees. Acceptable number of hissing, over-bright propane lanterns: zero. Etc.
  2. desertrat77

    First Campout...

    Congratulations! I completely understand re the kids and their amazement at the word "no." As a former JROTC instructor, I saw the same dynamic.
  3. desertrat77

    First Aid Kit Gadget: Tick Remover

    From my old handbook, the famous ISP edition, 1972, coat tick with grease or oil. After it lets go, wash with soap and water. I recall a lit match or cigarette held close was also recommended back in the day. These days I find good success with the tweezers from my Swiss army knife and forego the grease/oil/gasoline/ammonia/match/cigarette. Soap and water is still adhered to.
  4. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    @Cburkhardt, thank you, much appreciated. In all seriousness, this is the best summary of the BSA I've read in a long time.
  5. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    @Cburkhardt, I appreciate and respect your perspective. There have been some positive steps recently. However, I'm interested in your comment that we're in the process of "working out our financial, liability, program and membership fails." Maybe I missed something but I haven't seen much of anything lately, from a strategic level, that addresses these issues. Could you please provide some details or steer me to a source? Thanks!
  6. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    Spot on, JoeBob. Never have so many people in the BSA been on the payroll...and never have things been so inefficient.
  7. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    You're right, it wouldn't solve much. I am in no way suggesting the pros control our units. Unit leaders definitely can chart their own course. Edited: Deleted dead-horse commentary.
  8. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    Parkman, we are indeed doing these things. But there are only so many hours in the day, very few volunteers to do the work, a limited amount of dollars (most of out of own pocket), and a finite amount of patience. We have the training, experience, vision and grit. Our bona fides are right up there with everyone else's. There comes a point where one remembers the tale of Three Legged Pig: "A pig this nice, you don't eat all at once."
  9. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    I agree, dialogue with professionals and the volunteers is an absolute must. But have we seen any movement in that direction? Especially by the pros? We've got multiple examples right here on the forums of pros not listening to the unit level leaders. Given the crisis at hand (and I don't think I'm overstating the case by calling it such), I'd thought there would be a concerted effort to rally everybody, display at least a little transparency, cut some costs where needed. I haven't seen or heard anything aside from boilerplate PR messages. I believe in the professional scouter corps. One of my favorite mentors was a DE who also served as waterfront director at the camp where I staffed as a youth. He was both professional and personal, honest, and displayed respect for all, from the newest Tenderfoot to the most seasoned scoutmaster. What we don't need are the bloated committees (hey districts, you need four different membership chairs now!), bean counting everything (quantity over quality) and much of the mile wide/inch deep stuff that has permeated the BSA. Yes, there is a necessary corporate aspect to scouting. Always has been and it is still needed. But it has lost touch with its customer base and its best selling product. That to me is the single biggest issue I have with the culture of professional scouting in the BSA. Individually, I've met many a great pro. Others...not so much. They have other priorities, and helping units get outdoors is not one of them.
  10. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    Thanks for the insights, @HashTagScouts. I've always felt that the proposed bankruptcy/sunny days ahead was more or less pie in the sky. Right now the BSA, as an organization, is like that person with a low credit rating that needs to buy a car, but is going to have to accept whatever interest rate and conditions from wherever they can get the loan. Long term grim.
  11. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    I'm also thinking of the new neckerchief slides, etc., that go along with each new cub rank. I recall we had one slide/hat/neckerchief for Bobcat/Wolf/Bear. Webs was a big deal--new slide/hat/neckerchief. Plus the colors on the right sleeve. Uniforming seemed simpler.
  12. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    Pete, I've been long convinced that the cub program is going to be one of the leading causes of the BSA's failure to thrive. The cub program, as I went through it, was this: Bobcat/Wolf/Bear: Okay cubs, you've got 2 years [for all three ranks] to learn how to get along with people and do some age appropriate stuff. Webelos: 1 year! You've got 1 year to grow up and get ready to join a troop! See that troop over there? Hiking, backpacking, building big signal towers, cooking delicious food on fire? That's what's in store. And no slacking! Now cubs is a several year slog. I've heard that the pros are pondering why there is such a big drop out rate after cubs. Apparently over half of the kids decide to drop after crossover. The best reason I've heard came from a scout. We're at a district function. I'm setting up some food, and I heard two scouts talking about their tenure in scouting. One said to the other "Do you know how long I've been doing this crap?"
  13. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    I agree! I'll also throw in Coca Cola and Old Spice after shave. To get Coke with the decent taste of yesteryear (not the cocaine-infused formula, I'm talking 60s/70s), you've got to buy the product bottled in Mexico. Old Spice, after decades of success, changed its after shave formula and it's not even close to the original. Companies make excuses of various kinds. But sales and customer loyalty falter. As for the BSA, it has tried for decades to tinker and stray away with its original formula. Without much success. Being outdoors is timeless, and it shouldn't cost a bundle to be there.
  14. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    @Mrjeff, I'm tracking with everything you are saying. Along those lines, I was looking through the first edition of the Scout Fieldbook the other day. This printing was circa 1957 if I recall. It prompted some reflection. Scouting used to be focused on the outdoors. Rustic. Two or three blankets could be safety pinned together if you didn't have a sleeping bag. You hiked, chopped wood with an axe, cooked over fire, went swimming, built pioneering projects, etc. There was also a big emphasis on citizenship--US history, civics. Leadership? You bet, but not in a classroom. You learned that OJT as a patrol leader, teaching your patrol members all of the skills necessary to earn first class, practicing for competition at the next troop meeting/camporee, etc.... Though I went through scouting in the '70s, much of this focus was still prevalent. Sure, scouting has always had a cost factor. Dues, uniforms, summer camp, etc. But nothing on the order of what it costs today. Two factors stand out, if I may springboard from your post: 1. Perhaps the BSA has run its course and it's time for the bugler to blow taps. Organizationally, the BSA reminds me of a company that diversified and strayed away from its original core competency. In our case, being outdoors. 2. If we are going to fight to stay relevant, we need to get back to our best selling product: outdoor adventure. And encourage thriftiness. Jettison the "Gucci Gear" mentality. Cease the big push for earning Eagle. Sell off or mothball everything that doesn't help scouts get on the trail, in the campsite, on the lake or atop the mountain peak.
  15. desertrat77

    possible fee increase coming

    I live in a rural area as well. There aren't many deep pockets around these here parts. Those with resources are bombarded with requests from well-meaning organizations in need of funds. Our community is generous but folks are financially fatigued, in every sense of the phrase.
  16. desertrat77

    possible fee increase coming

    @jpb6583, welcome to scouter.com!
  17. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    @Parkman, your points are well taken, especially your thoughts on balance/focus.
  18. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    Agreed. To clarify: when two layers of an organization, whatever we wish to label them, engage in one-way communication, show a lack of interest in feedback, publish policies that constrain units, and demonstrate little empathy for unit challenges...I'd hardly call this a culture of "service."
  19. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    @ParkMan, what National and councils are supposed to do and what they actually do are sometimes two different things....
  20. desertrat77

    Where would you go?

    From my observation/conversations, folks aren't thinking about leaving solely because of the fee increase. The increase is the proverbial straw. They are tired and worn out. I think many scouters can handle changes and challenges. What they are tired of is the continual red tape from National and inefficiency and/or indifference from their local council. Being a scout leader has always been challenging. But it seems to me that more than ever, National and local councils ignoring the needs of unit scouters. It's assumed unit scouters will just salute and accept whatever ridiculous notion is thrown their way from higher headquarters. So I think many are seeing the fee increase as a natural termination point for this chapter in their lives.
  21. desertrat77

    And the Teens Shall Lead

    I made a bunch of mistakes as PL and SPL. I'll always be thankful to my SMs and ASMs for allowing me the leeway to do so. Sure, I didn't appreciate the wire-brushing they gave me on some occasions. But I'm grateful now they did.
  22. The public relations department of the BSA is like that linebacker that is usually out of position and two steps behind every play....
  23. desertrat77

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    Our lodge has not published a camping guide. You can see where this is going!
×