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Everything posted by dkurtenbach

  1. Well, what is the difference between the troop level virtual meetings and the patrol level virtual meetings? Top-down presentations to a larger number of individuals versus small group interactions. Your observations are right on, and those experiences could help shape post-COVID Scouting, *IF* adult leaders and youth leaders in troops are willing to put an end top-down presentations to the whole troop or any segment of a troop that is not a patrol. But part of the problem is Scouts BSA doctrine strongly favors presentations and skill training at the troop level or in groups based upon skil
  2. Bringing a few of these thoughts together and adding a few tweaks: Signup/registration is with a district or other organization covering a geographic area Signup/registration on a quarterly (seasonal) basis Signup/registration by grade or age Each season, Scouts can sign up to join a patrol working on a particular specified program with a set time commitment and schedule, or a "general" program working with one or more counselors on the Scout's own schedule, or both The youth can express preferences for friends to be in the same patrol with, neighborhood or town t
  3. Friends of Lone Scouts of America - on Facebook - www.facebook.com/lonescoutfriends "This page dedicated to the memory of those Lone Scouts who kept their friendships alive through newsletters and magazines. The Lone Indian Fraternity, Boy Scouts of America and scouting history, Information about members and events of the time."
  4. I think that is a fair description of BSA's current Lone Scout program as described in the Lone Scout Friend and Counselor Guidebook, https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/boyscouts/pdf/511-420.pdf , which is different from the original Lone Scout program as described by @David CO. Page 5 of the Guidebook says, "It is preferable for the friend and counselor to be one of the Scout’s own parents, but this individual also could be the Scout’s minister, teacher, neighbor, a friend of the family, an interested Scouting volunteer, and so forth." And page 6 of the Guidebook discusses the relatio
  5. Well, here's a proposition to start discussion on such a topic: If Eagle Scout rank was used as a measure of success of the BSA, BSA would be a failure. Eagle Scout rank is designed to be achievable by any Scout -- no special qualities required. It could be earned by Scouts as young as 13. Yet only a small percentage of Scouts follow through, despite the iconic status and value of the award.
  6. A few thoughts: Quantity (BSA membership) may not be a measure of BSA program quality, but it is a measure of something (or more than one something) about BSA. Membership is the lifeblood of the Scouting program. It would be useful to try to pin down the causes of membership decline and figure out if there is something that can be corrected or improved, and at what level. Personally, I think the program is not quite as good as it used to be because BSA has lowered its standards for successful performance -- as documented in the changes to the Guide to Advancement over the ye
  7. It is really broader than just registration and supervision of leaders. Whether it is sexual abuse or a broken leg from falling while on a hike, a key question is whether the injury occurred at least partly because of the organization. Did a victim and a perpetrator meet because they were both involved in the organization? Did a member get injured at an activity that is part of the organization's suggested program? Did a member involved in an organization activity injure some someone not involved? Then, if there is some connection to the organization, did the organization have the respons
  8. @David CO Thanks for the clarification. In the litigious and risk-averse society of today, I don't know that such an organization could exist as a practical matter. But it reminds me of my friends and I, half a century ago, hiking all over our small town, nearby pastures, and in the little bit of woods we had, defeating invasions by imaginary hordes, building huts and treehouses, digging tunnels (a la "The Great Escape") in backyards and vacant lots, building campfires, and riding bikes 14 miles on a two-lane highway with semis roaring around us in order to get to an old mine to explore.
  9. With the Lone Scout structure, you would lose the leadership opportunities of Positions of Responsibility and the team-building opportunities of patrols. But there must be other pros and cons of such a structure. For example, you wouldn't need the facilities (meeting rooms, group campgrounds), group equipment (trailers, chuck boxes), or a corps of adult volunteer leaders (den leaders, Scoutmasters, unit committees, chartered organization). And with a parent serving as Friend and Counselor to the Lone Cub Scout or Lone Scout, there would be a lot of flexibility in arranging activities.
  10. Putting all the badges on a functional cargo/utility vest worn over a knit shirt makes it easy to go from meeting or ceremony (with the vest) straight to activity (without the vest) and back again, and without having to tuck in shirt tails.
  11. Give up discussing ideas and opinions simply on grounds of supposed futility? Yet your statement itself expresses why we do it: Weariness over the status quo, certainly, but also hope that somehow the potential of the forum can be achieved. So it is with discussions about BSA and Scouting topics that appear to be beyond our control. We want to express frustration. We want to find out if others share our views. We want to test our views to see if the premises are valid, or if we are missing something. We want to see if someone can tell us something to help relieve our concerns or offer h
  12. To me, the nightmare scenario is that BSA comes out of the bankruptcy poorer and smaller, but otherwise determined to run Scouting as much as possible exactly the way they did pre-bankruptcy. With exactly the same steady decline in membership.
  13. Spoiler alert: Yellowstone season finale On last night's episode of the tv show Yellowstone, Kevin Costner's character, John Dutton, is driving on a road far out in Montana ranch country and comes across a car with a flat tire. The 30ish driver from Encino and her 8-year-old son are stranded, unable to get a phone signal to call for help. Dutton opens up the rear of her car and finds the spare tire, jack, and tools. The driver tells Dutton that she doesn't have any money to give him for helping them. He responds that out here, people do things because it's right, and that's enough.
  14. The whole Churchill Plan thing is symptomatic of BSA's continuing problems: In the face of an existential crisis, it is asking ordinary business questions about how it can be more efficient and do a better job marketing and recruit more volunteers and continue operations on a tighter budget. That lack of perspective is bad enough given the potential crippling outcome of the bankruptcy. But the bankruptcy is not the existential crisis that BSA faces. The real crisis is the devastating and ongoing loss of youth membership. The number of youth members in Scouting programs affects everything,
  15. Reading the text of the three priorities, it is clear that National retains the delusion that all Scouting flows from the professionals: "Recommendations that help engage and empower more volunteers to deliver and support Scouting locally will move forward, which will be vital to our Movement’s sustainability since financial challenges prevent us from being able to meet demands with professional staff alone." And: "[C]ouncils can focus on bringing Scouting to youth, families and communities with the support of local volunteers." (Emphasis added.) Scouting exists only because individ
  16. The NEC [National Executive Committee] also agreed that the following three recommendations will not be considered at this time: Combining Sea Scouting into Exploring, Ending all youth programs at the age of 18, and Sunsetting the Learning for Life curriculum
  17. https://scoutingwire.org/update-moving-some-churchill-recommendations-forward/ Update: Moving Some Churchill Recommendations Forward
  18. I thought these were two interesting recommendations: "Greater reliance on volunteers to offset national staff reductions," followed by "Rotate national volunteers back to local councils or new intermediate organization." So, greater reliance on volunteers at the National level, but NOT the current National volunteers, who should be sent home. Is that right?
  19. That sounds cynical. 😄 And you're probably right. But a Scout is Loyal, so we have an obligation to speak truth to the organization we are loyal to. A Scout is Helpful, so we have an obligation to at least try to help them onto the right path. A Scout is Cheerful, so even in the worst of times we should act with optimism. And a Scout is Thrifty, so spending a few minutes writing comments where there is a one-in-a-million chance they could improve Scouting for millions of youth in the future is an investment worth making. 😁
  20. The survey gives you a 2,000 character comment box for each recommendation that you'd like to comment on. No canned responses.
  21. By using the feedback link in the Scoutingwire article, and writing and submitting comments, you can tell them how you would like to see the proposed changes implemented, or killed.
  22. In the Scoutingwire article, when you click on the feedback links, you are taken to a list of the recommendations. You can click a checkbox for each of the recommendations that you would like to comment on. Then you are taken to a page with the recommendations you selected, and a 2,000 character comment box for each one. So you can really let loose, if you want to. Then you submit, indicate your relationship to Scouting (volunteer, parent, etc.), and your Council.
  23. https://scoutingwire.org/understanding-the-churchill-plan-and-what-it-means-for-scouting/# July 17, 2020 In 2019, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the BSA asked six teams of volunteers and professionals from the local, area, regional and national level – including current or recent youth members and subject-matter experts – to develop plans on how to optimize the BSA for success in key areas based on input provided by more than 1,100 local, area, region and national volunteers and professionals, including: Youth Safety: How do we keep young people safe? Program:
  24. True. Also true. In our current society, we have to strike a balance between the real purposes of the program and enough self-protection to keep the program going. BSA is in survival mode (maximum protection) now because it didn't do enough in the past to keep kids safe. The balance has tipped in one direction now as a result of being tipped in the other direction in the past. An added complication is that the law (the fulcrum, for purposes of this analogy) has moved in a direction unfavorable to BSA. But wait, there's more. The pandemic has come out of nowhere and c
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