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Everything posted by dkurtenbach

  1. Well, it looks like the youth adolescence expert must not yet have turned 18.
  2. I think two likely standards will be: (1) No debt; (2) summer camps consistently generate an operating surplus.
  3. Looks mostly like administrative tidying up -- much of which should have been done long ago. Innovative? Visionary? Well, they are combining the National Annual Business Meeting and the Top Hands Meeting. 🤪 It is quite a boring document, really. Not Churchillian. But, it is pure BSA. For example: "Create a membership executive position within councils focused on growth and paid on performance." How many hundreds of times has that been tried in councils all across the United States over the last forty years of declining membership? Maybe tens of thousands, if you count District Execu
  4. To cut way back on the number and styles of uniform parts and insignia that BSA has to produce, distribute, and maintain in inventory, I'd suggest: The same color and style of shirt for all programs. No epaulets, no shoulder loops, only cloth badges/patches with no backing so they are easy to sew on The only insignia allowed are the BSA and Council name strips (lettering only), World Scout badge (without Messenger of Peace ring or other embellishment), unit numeral, den/patrol patch, rank badge, position patch, OA arrow strip All insignia are at least one-third smaller
  5. The need to stock blue shirts and tan shirts in the same sizes, and the need to stock green shirts and tan shirts in the same sizes.
  6. How about using the same color shirt across all programs?
  7. If adults have position patches and youth have rank/award patches that reveal their program, do we need shoulder loops at all?
  8. Suppose that one of the effects of the BSA's current difficulties is a determination that it is too expensive on an ongoing basis for BSA to develop, produce, maintain, and update all of the various versions of BSA uniforms, accessories, insignia/badges/etc., handbooks, other publications, and program supplies and equipment currently in the BSA catalog. You are asked what "stuff" could be eliminated or slimmed down without changing any substantive aspect of the current program (such as rank requirements, adult positions, different programs, etc.). What would you recommend?
  9. The Improved Scouting Program; STEM Scouts; NOVA awards; ATVs at summer camp; a "Tech Center" at summer camp; "Cub World" summer camps; merit badge clinics/universities; "Leadership" as an addition to the Aims of Scouting and the purposes of the Order of the Arrow; Soccer and Scouting; Explorer Clubs; Journey to Excellence; "Scout" as a rank; geocaching; the Summit; uniforms designed for indoor and ceremonial wear only; . . . to name a few. It is not about detracting from the goals of Scouting (although some do). It is about pouring resources into things that don't really matter and i
  10. Another sad reminder that the only way to grow Scouting is organically: strengthening existing units so that they grow and give birth to strong new units that grow. And the only way that happens is through active, high-performing units with strong outdoor programs. Those units attract and retain youth without gimmicks and without flavor-of-the-week activities. If BSA at all levels would stop tinkering with the program content and new faddish programs and focus on improving delivery of the existing program by existing units, membership will grow.
  11. One thing in particular struck me about the video, in a good way: the small number of adults camping and mingling with the youth.
  12. As soon as BSA said, "this is what we're going to do," anything else BSA had say was irrelevant. All that matters is what BSA is going to do, and what it is going to do is next to nothing: a merit badge, a class, a review of names.
  13. BSA must be willing look to its own house, and identify any aspects of its organization, operations, and program that could be considered discriminatory or racially insensitive or belittling, or a cultural misappropriation, or a condition that -- however unintentionally -- results in exclusion or inequality in access to or benefits of the Scouting program. That would mean looking at things like: Rates of earning Eagle Scout rank by race, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, etc. The use of Native American / Indigenous Peoples themes in the Order of the Arrow and in every oth
  14. Something much more like this: https://www.scouts.org.uk/news/2020/june/a-statement-from-chief-scout-bear-grylls/ A statement of support; of the idea that justice, empathy, and peace are part of the very fabric of Scouting; that these events reinforce the necessity for each Scout, each Scouter, each unit, each Council, and every other component of the Boy Scouts of America to ensure that we are living and acting every day in accordance with those principles. It must be deep, open-ended, and continuing. By responding with steps that are minor -- a merit badge, a sensitivity class, a r
  15. So we're going to introduce a new MERIT BADGE???!!! Could there be a more trivial response to murder, anguish, and heartbreak?
  16. Cub Scouts: $$ - uniforms, handbooks, badges, pins, belt loops, parental presence, adult supervision. Scouts BSA: $$$ - uniforms, handbooks, badges, pins, sleeping bags, backpacks, personal gear, troop camping gear and supplies, adult supervision, transportation, hiking trails or routes, campgrounds. Both: progressive development of skills and experience over long periods of time via the rank system, often operated on planned timelines to complete all of the requirements for a particular badge within a certain number of months. BSA Scouting has become very "heavy" with all of the st
  17. I think of it like a rental unit in an apartment complex: plenty of room to change the furnishings and decor, but don't start knocking down walls.
  18. To introduce my nominee for a sacred cow to be sacrificed: I don't think that BSA's biggest problem is the sexual abuse liability, the bankruptcy, the pandemic, or membership standards. I believe that units with well-trained leaders and active outdoor programs attract and retain youth members. I think that the biggest problem BSA has is that a large share of its Cub Scout and Scouts BSA units are not delivering their programs in a way that attracts non-Scout youth or that holds the interest of youth already in the program. The result is ever-declining membership. I don
  19. My concern is that BSA after bankruptcy will be very different organizationally and financially, but will carry on with no real changes to Cub Scouting or Scouts BSA. That is, steady membership loss will continue. The pandemic is a big problem but is a distraction from BSA's biggest problem. The bankruptcy is a huge -- indeed, existential -- problem, but is neither a result of nor a symptom of BSA's biggest problem. BSA's biggest problem is not the substance and content of the program at the Cub Scout and Scouts BSA levels. It is that BSA is not delivering the Cub Scout and Scouts BS
  20. BSA National? In the words of Lem Siddons (Follow Me, Boys!): "They'll gum everything up." It needs to start on the local level, with some older Scouter friends getting together -- without youth -- to show each other outdoor skills, take hikes, and sit around campfires enjoying each others' company. Then they invite some of the younger Scouters in. It's not long before they are setting up model campsites at IOLS sessions and camporees, teaching whittling and map reading and how to cook foil dinners -- and telling tall tales. Eventually someone asks them, "Who are you folks? What is
  21. "One-and-done" rank requirements and their partner in crime, the "no re-testing" rule, are so ingrained in our advancement-centered Scout culture that they will never be changed. The only way to keep Scouts current in their skills is through practice and competition. Now, suppose an adult Rovering organization were to catch on, with BPSA-like "skill proficiency" badges that required annual or bi-annual re-testing. The pride of the Scouter/Rover adults in their skills, and the cool badges to accompany them, could inspire (what else?) more new non-advancement awards that youth could earn
  22. It's a question of character. Many people believe that conservation and environmental stewardship is a fundamental moral obligation. As an ostensibly "outdoor" organization, an organization increasingly interested in promoting science, and an organization focused on the development of future generations, BSA is ideally positioned to be a leader in this area. If it chose to do so, BSA could show the public that it is a serious organization with a serious mission that directly affects the modern world. And that it is not just a dwindling, old-fashioned after-school activity in which ki
  23. I hope that being back on topic is not the kiss of death. 🤪 Baden-Powell developed a game with a purpose. Now we seek to preserve the game in order to continue fulfilling the purpose. Before BSA decides to "pivot from valuing the past," like the outdoor program, or sacrifices the outdoor program as a "sacred cow" no longer relevant to a couch-sitting, screen-watching society, let's consider how we might keep it: How do we take urban and suburban youth (and parents) who have no use for camping and hiking (if they even knew how) and lure them out into the wild? These days, youth w
  24. Much of traditional Scouting is not at all dangerous, and as @Sentinel947 notes, can be carried on effectively in the presence of adults, as long as the adults exercise restraint. I sometimes wonder if the differences between the Boy Scout program of 1970 (before the Improved Scouting Program) and the Scouts BSA program of today are really differences at all. Or are they just the result of changes in technology, transportation, and family practices that don't really matter once we get the youth out to a camp or hiking trail? Is the difference that it is just harder today "to wean them from
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