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Everything posted by desertrat77

  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.
  16. Indeed, we see this on many episodes of Kitchen Nightmares with the aforementioned Gordon Ramsay. The failing businesses share common traits: - Dwindling customer base - Lousy food (low quality, processed, microwaved, heat/serve) served at high price - Poorly maintained plant/property/equipment - Bad reputation in the community yet feeble or non-existent PR efforts - Complicated menus and service options - Too many rules for customers and staff - Demoralized, poorly paid, overworked staff - Confusing IT - High debt - Condescending, out of touc
  17. I concur with your entire post, but I can't resist focusing on your inspired thought: Gordon Ramsay in a new series, "BSA Nightmares" Can you picture Gordon listening to a pro explain the BSA's registration and rechartering process? Gordon (interrupting the pro): "I have to ask...serious question, right...does any of this make sense to you?" Pro (slightly off balance): "Well, sure it does." Gordon (rubbing his eyes): "Oh my...unbelievable...."
  18. Thanks, much food for thought. Perhaps they included infrastructure in the Philmont valuation? Villa Philmonte is probably worth something, as is the infirmary and trading post on the CHQ side. The rest of the buildings are cabins, shacks, and prefab structures. Some of the senior staff housing is nice. But that still doesn't seem to account for high premium on the Philmont land.
  19. If I recall correctly, JP Morgan has a 450 million dollar lien on Philmont. I'm not sure what JPM would do with the land, but as you know it's pristine wilderness. There may be a developer or two that would like the opportunity to turn it into exclusive properties for hunting, vacations, etc.
  20. Thank you RS! A thousand surveys? Doesn't sound like much. And it was probably another "ask your buddy" group-think special. "...the National Executive Committee commissioned executive teams (10 members each) to deliberate on one of "six key areas" to "secure the future" that effort was called "Project Churchill" addressed." I'd like to know who sat on these committees. If they were all pros or highly-place volunteers, I don't have much hope for the results. If the BSA was serious about this initiative, it would have brought in independent business and civic leaders who have
  21. Thanks for the great summary! A few reflections: - "Are the BSA programs aligned with today's young people?" I believe this is the line of thinking, in the late 60s, that led to the Improved Scouting Program. Instead of making necessary changes that still complimented the BSA's traditions and primary draw (outdoors), they tried to get clever and threw out the baby, the bathwater, and the tub. They didn't "stick to the knitting." It was a new organization that matched the their vision and catered to their vanity. So we ended up with a revamped BSA that didn't interest youth, and
  22. I think you're right...maybe even a bit more than that....
  23. True, I didn't think of that! Wouldn't that be the ultimate capper?
  24. It's this line of thinking by legal counsel that got me thinking about BSA trademarks yesterday. If everything gets liquidated, I could foresee a wealthy individual who is anti-BSA buying the Eagle Scout TM. Then they'd hold on to it, not using it themselves, and but granting anyone else the right to use it either.
  25. I too hope the young adults are offered meaningful roles. It would be a shame to run them off by not giving them any responsibility. "Special programs"...this sounds suspiciously like the BSA's failed attempt at soccer. Perhaps it's another attempt to gain dollars and membership without the youth participating in traditional scouting. Of course, the problem with things like BSA soccer is that other organizations are already offer programs, and do so in a more efficient manner.
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