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Merlyn_LeRoy

BSA membership drops by over 400,000 in 2005

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Ed writes:

I read fine Merlyn. You just can't dance real well.

 

No Ed, you can't read footnotes. If you want, you can write to Dave and ask him what he meant. Since I've been corresponding with him (plus I can read footnotes), I know he was referring to the US Census estimates for males 5-17.

 

You're basing your statements on numbers that aren't factual!

 

I'm basing my numbers posted at bsa-discrimination.org; while it's possible they aren't accurate, I think they are.

 

Wait! Didn't you post the statement "The The actual losses will probably be higher" was from your pals web site.

 

Yes; I was wrong. I thought you were still referring to the figures on bsa-discrimination, because you referred to this statement as confirming that my numbers were "not actual", instead of a post I wrote 11 days earlier. Miki101 claims to have "actual numbers", but he refuses to post any of them.

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As I suspected Miki101, you're quoting footnote (1), which is clearly labelled as being the column for "Total Available Youth" figures from the US Census, which is what he's talking about when he says the 2005 estimate is not yet available - the estimate from the US Census Bureau for males 5-17. Sorry, your reading ability is as poor as Ed's.

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The actual losses will probably be higher

 

So you yourself are stating the numbers are not actuals.

 

And this statement still confuses me.

 

As you can tell, there has been no decline in the overall number of boys available to join BSA from 1995-2002, and the declines in 2003-2004, do not correlate with BSA's declining numbers.

 

If there are less youth available, they will effect the BSA numbers. Bad spin!

 

Wait for the cha-cha~

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Ed writes:

So you yourself are stating the numbers are not actuals.

 

No Ed, you still can't read. I didn't write that, David, the webmaster of bsa-discrimination.org wrote that. And what he's writing is that the BSA cooks the numbers to be as favorable as possible, so the actual membership is lower than the numbers put out by the BSA.

 

And this statement still confuses me.

 

As you can tell, there has been no decline in the overall number of boys available to join BSA from 1995-2002, and the declines in 2003-2004, do not correlate with BSA's declining numbers.

 

If there are less youth available, they will effect the BSA numbers. Bad spin!

 

Well Ed, his statement looks pretty easy for me to understand. The BSA's decline in membership doesn't correlate to the changes in the number of boys age 5-17 in the US. For example, the number of boys age 5-17 declined by 0.03% from 2002 to 2003, but the BSA's membership declined by 3.16% in the same time period, so very little of that decline is due to fewer boys available.

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Well Merl,

 

This really is going nowhere. Let's re-cap...

 

Your assumption that the BSA lost 400,000 scouts from 2004 -2005 is dead wrong...it is less than 80,000. You cite someone (webmaster Dave)with no connection the the National office or any other organization with the figures. Instead there is some fabricated "insider" that feeds him the numbers. Okey Dokey.

 

Now, I'm going to let you in on a little secret...the National office makes public the numbers every quarter. Public as in you or me, but you have to know where they are and how to access them. Now, if your buddy at that website was legitimate instead of being a bomb-thrower, he would know where to get the official numbers for his inflammatory website.

 

I just find is so strange that there are some people in this world who find such joy in wanting to bring down honorable programs like the BSA, programs that have done so much for the community, but that is why...I guess...that we have secularists. You may apologize for sensationalizing factual inaccuracies now.

 

Good luck, Mate.

 

 

 

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The statement The actual losses will probably be higher came from your 1st post Merlyn. And it shows up nowhere on the page of the link you posted. And your statement The BSA has lost nearly 1/4 of their cub scout membership since the late 1990s, when the right-wingers in charge made it clear to the public that the BSA was a discriminatory organization. indicates the numbers posted on the link you posted are 100% accurate when you know they aren't.

 

And if there is a decline in total youth available, the BSA numbers will decline, too. The percentages might be different but stating one doesn't effect the other is just not true.

 

Mambo time!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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A while ago someone asked about historical membership data. I have just come across the following troop site which contains an interesting historical summary as well as yearly membership data. I do not know the source of the data or their accuracy. However, the text covers 1910-1993 and looks to be lifted from an earlier (pre-web) document, which I suspect may be official BSA sources.

 

http://www2.powercom.net/~stolerd/about/ahistory.html#top

 

The numbers look like this:

1911 61,495

1912 97,495

1913 115,364

1914 127,685

1915 182,303

1916 245,183

1917 363,837

1918 418,984

1919 462,060

1920 478,528

1921 513,015

1922 534,415

1923 587,578

1924 696,620

1925 756,857

1926 783,574

1927 785,633

1928 819,791

1929 833,897

1930 847,051

1931 878,358

1932 878,461

1933 904,240

1934 973,589

1935 1,027,833

1936 1,069,837

1937 1,129,841

1938 1,242,009

1939 1,357,993

1940 1,449,412

1941 1,522,302

1942 1,553,080

1943 1,613,783

1944 1,866,356

1945 1,977,463

1946 2,063,397

1947 2,141,984

1948 2,210,766

1949 2,579,515

1950 2,795,222

1951 2,942,779

1952 3,183,266

1953 3,395,884

1954 3,774,015

1955 4,175,134

1956 4,526,302

1957 4,751,495

1958 4,950,885

1959 5,043,195

1960 5,160,958

1961 5,210,294

1962 5,322,167

1963 5,446,910

1964 5,583,700

1965 5,732,708

1966 5,831,521

1967 6,058,508

1968 6,247,160

1969 6,183,086

1970 6,287,284

1971 6,427,026

1972 6,524,640

1973 6,405,225

1974 5,803,885

1975 5,318,070

1976 4,884,082

1977 4,718,138

1978 4,493,491

1979 4,284,469

1980 4,326,082

1981 4,355,723

1982 4,542,449

1983 4,688,953

1984 4,748,511

1985 4,845,040

1986 5,170,979

1987 5,347,098

1988 5,377,493

1989 5,363,593

1990 5,445,899

1991 5,319,226

1992 5,339,660

1993 5,355,401

 

For each year, the value is total annual membership, with the exception of 1911 which is total to date.

 

 

 

 

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Miki101, if you're so sure you have the right numbers, and if they're so easily available, why do you refuse to post any? And by the way, I'm not trying to "brign down" the BSA, I'm preventing public schools from discriminating against atheists - any public school that charters a BSA troop is discriminating against atheists.

 

Ed writes:

The statement The actual losses will probably be higher came from your 1st post Merlyn.

 

Ed, by "actual losses" I was referring to losses due to the BSA losing public schools as chartering organizations, because at the end of 2005 there were still public schools chartering units, so the losses for losing those schools won't show up until next year.

 

The BSA has lost nearly 1/4 of their cub scout membership since the late 1990s, when the right-wingers in charge made it clear to the public that the BSA was a discriminatory organization. indicates the numbers posted on the link you posted are 100% accurate when you know they aren't.

 

No, Ed, I say they are accurate. You can't read footnotes.

 

And if there is a decline in total youth available, the BSA numbers will decline, too. The percentages might be different but stating one doesn't effect the other is just not true.

 

Nobody has said that, Ed.

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I read fine Merlyn. You just can't dance real well. You're basing your statements on numbers that aren't factual! If they were, you would be able to site a source better than "inside BSA national". That could be a janitor who works there! But then again, not having the facts have never stopped you from slandering the BSA & it's members. You certainly are a classless act, Merlyn.

 

Wait! Didn't you post the statement The The actual losses will probably be higher was from your pals web site. Ten you posted The statement The actual losses will probably be higher came from your 1st post Merlyn.

 

Ed, by "actual losses" I was referring to losses due to the BSA losing public schools as chartering organizations, because at the end of 2005 there were still public schools chartering units, so the losses for losing those schools won't show up until next year. Make up your mind!

 

Hoedown time!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10(This message has been edited by evmori)

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"Miki101, if you're so sure you have the right numbers, and if they're so easily available, why do you refuse to post any?"

 

Because they are public numbers and I'm not going to do your homework for you. "Physician, heal thyself."

 

David C. Scott

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Keep in mind that the WAY BSA calculates members has changed over the years. You used to have a spread-out re-chartering effort on the anniversary of a unit's founding. This provided a reasonably accurate picture of current enrollments at any point in a year.

 

Now you now have a year-end effort with new numbers posted at the BEGINNING of a calendar year. So the 12/31 numbers quoted are of ALL youth enrolled in Scouting at any time during a calendar year (for however short a time). Since new members are added throughout the year BUT not removed until the next year, BSA's count inflates active membership by the incoming cohort of youth every fall. This change in counting methods goes back to the 1970's and falling membership then. SO BSA counts have been inflated by 15% or so since then.

 

Learning for Life is a contrived program set up to receive funds from government and charities that BSA is NOT elegible for. BSA goes to great lengths to say that "Learning for Life" - which now also has the career oriented "Explorers" program under its umbrella - is NOT "Traditional Scouting." Yet BSA rarely issues a count that does NOT include "LFL" as part of their total "youth served."

 

Like it or not, BSA had a serious drop in numbes in 2005. Much of that was likely due to disappearing bogus members that voluteers would not sign off on. WHat ever the count - 2.77 million or whatever - it's pretty likely there are under 3 million youth in "Traditional Scouting programs" as of 12/31/05. In truth the actual count of "Active" youth is likely close to - or under - 2.5 million. Membership - drawing from a SMALLER age range - hasn't been that low since before 1950. And even with "increased" competition from other activities, there is a FAR larger pool of available youth to recruit from.

 

That is pathetic. BSA has managed to lose 60 years of growth?

 

BSA "professional" management has done an abysmal job for decades. Their focus on "numbers" has led only to a continued decline in Scouting enrollments - offset only by the contrived "Learning for Life" program. If BSA wants to be open and honest about who they are, they should break out "LFL" completely into a separate organization.

 

Meanwhile the professionals and volunteers that DO work hard to provide a quality Scouting program see their efforts undercut with continued property sales and a singleminded focus on numbers and money. Looking at some councils you'd think BSA was a variation of Amway - selling popcorn instead of soap and pushing endlessly to "add members." No matter if they stay. Just sign them up. Lots of incentives.

 

No matter how you look at things, BSA has done a horrid job in even keeping pace with the population of available youth. Yet National Execs and SE's are very well paid.

 

And for all that talk about character, there are far too many scandals about too many issues surfacing regularly........

 

BSA has gone to great lengths to obfuscate information. They file multiple 990's for separate corporate entities. Their "Disabilities" 990 has a huge amount of money in it. And when BSA has too much money being retained - like when the market ran up a decade back - their solution is not to dump money back into local Scouting but to pay executives to retire early.

 

Spend some time going through BSA financials. Make comparisons to other youth organizations. BSA is a scandal waiting to blow. And given the difficultite their friends in high places are having of late, BSA may be losing the political pull they once had to keep things under wraps.

 

It's not just "discrimination". It's not just "God" and "religion." It's NOT any "different" youth. Some Councils are doing a great job with Scouting. It CAN be done. But if anyone thinks all the scandals and issues DON'T hurt....... you're wrong. We've lost dozens of Chartering organizations and I've had people quit over "issues." More than a few long serving leaders locally were appalled at the Soveign Smith thing last year.

 

And put in an autocratic professional who throws his weight around - we've lost over 400 adults (REAL leaders - not the paper ones) in the past couple years. THe ONLY 'growth' was in LFL - and we haven't seen new numbers which are expected to show serious overall drops. You can make $100,000 off popcorn, but if you come up short $200,000 in FOS and drop 35% in total contributions...... it's hard to claim "success" - but in BSA it happens.

 

Our BEST Scouting units are run by leaders that remain IN SPITE of all at Council and National. They run a great program for kids and use "Council" for patches. That's it. A Silver Beaver winner walks out of FOS and popcorn pitches and brings his unit out of state to camp now. We rarely use Council facilities - but then there's not much left we own any more so it's not like we have a real choice. Truth is we could do pretty much all we do WITHOUT the "support" we really don't get from BSA anyway.

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"All Politics Is Local" I forget who first said that.

"Its For The Kids" Bob the Tomatoe said that.

"If your'e going on to Boy Scouts with your son, you can't stay a Cub Master" My wife said that.

 

Three years ago, when I was an ACM and DL, we held a membership drive at our school. Held a PineWood Derby exhibit at the PTA picnic. Info table at "Back to School Night". Presentation at PTA meetings. Posters in the hall ways. (our pack was chartered to the local hospital thru the Board of Directors). We gained three wolves,( Wolf and Bear and Webelos dens ok) and 14 Tiger families expressed interest, so we called a special meeting to explain the program. 12 Tiger families showed up. Boys went over there and had a good time at a "Den Meeting". Parents over here for discussion. Pre planned activities. Each parent responsible for one activity a month, per year. Tiger and parent together. Go to fire house, museum, zoo, model railroad lay out, nature hike, etc..One Pack meeting a month for 1 1/2 hour a month. A Den meeting extra, if they wanted, up to them, but here's all the planning and resources and ideas. Boys love it. All buddies at school. NO ONE SIGNED UP. Not one. "Oh, that's too much time. Joey has soccer/violin/drama/rocktry/football/computer club/etc. I have to work OT too often. Our basement wouldn't make a good meeting space. I don't know anything about Scouts. Isn't that messy? I don't know how you find the time for this. It's so good of you.......". No tigers.

 

Webelos went on to Scouts. Bears became Webs. Wolves ALL went to other packs (parents very honest, said closer to home, home church, etc. nothing personal. No wolves). Now our pack is 12 boys: 6 Webelos, 6 bears. Same routine the next year, Interest expressed at PTA, etc. Folks come and NO ONE SIGNS UP. "Too much time" is the main complaint I heard. (Wife is Comm Chair).We had 4 very loyal Committee people. I had one father say he wants his son to be a Scout, and then he's called to IRAQ. His wife works and ...

 

Three Webelos become Scouts(one drops out), we gain 3 Bears, one Web 2. I double as CM and WDL. I announce that after this year, I will not be CM. (son moving on to Scouts. See above). Parent offers to PAY ME to stay on as CM (!) Pack has folded. All remaining families transferred to other packs. Father who promised to be WDL never called meetings. All Webs transferred or dropped. No one would take up reins as CC or CM.

 

When we rechartered, each year, we filled out the names, BUT COUNCIL NEVER DELETED the old members. In my last year of CM, the charter form STILL showed our pack with 26 members.

 

After Pack dissolved (still chartered!) DE and ADE made many efforts to recruit from the school. NO ONE. Charter is still "active", but now no boys.

 

I only had ONE parent (otherwise very active) express angst about signing the Adult application because of the "Expression of Faith" paragraph.

 

What does all this say about.... Volunteers? ... Policies?... Scandals?...

 

YiS...

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For example, the number of boys age 5-17 declined by 0.03% from 2002 to 2003, but the BSA's membership declined by 3.16% in the same time period, so very little of that decline is due to fewer boys available.

 

Yah, yah. But you have to remember that while the age 5-17 numbers nationally haven't declined appreciably overall, the demographic has shifted (and continues to shift) significantly. There are fewer suburban/rural/caucasian kids. There are more low-income immigrant children. There is a baby boom echo now moving through high school, so numbers in elementary schools in a lot of places are tapering off, affecting the BSA's biggest program, Cubs. So while overall numbers of available youth are nominally steady, the available youth in the BSA's traditional demographic has been declining.

 

And competition has been increasing.

 

And if we're honest, we all recognize that the BSA's reported numbers have been inflated through a variety of not-particularly-honorable means for a number of years, even when not out-and-out lying. As pressure builds to deal with that, there will be "unusual shrinkage." But that has more to do with decades of abuse and neglect than with membership policies.

 

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Someone posted these numbers not too long ago and though they were not exactly the same as the ones my council gave us at the Membership meeting they were close enought that it didn't matter.

total

Year Cubs Boy Scouts exp/ven traditional LFL

1991 2,145,870 988,270 367,262 3,501,402 648,257

total

4,149,659

1992 2,110,633 975,589 367,093 3,453,315 696,833

total

4,150,148

1993 2,067,279 979,192 380,903 3,427,374 737,799

total

4,165,173

1994 2,031,282 978,608 393,444 3,403,334 784,689

total

4,188,023

1995 2,063,547 989,343 407,905 3,460,795 837,407

total

4,298,202

1996 2,095,811 1,000,078 422,366 3,518,255 880,422

total

4,398,677

1997 2,152,387 1,016,383 455,268 3,624,038 949,850

total

4,573,888

1998 2,171,987 1,023,442 188,075 3,383,504 1,161,733

total

4,545,237

1999 2,181,013 1,028,353 202,486 3,411,852 1,373,615

total

4,785,467

2000 2,114,420 1,003,691 233,858 3,351,969 1,589,988

total

4,941,957

2001 2,043,478 1,005,592 276,434 3,325,504 1,697,701

total

5,023,205

2002 2,000,000 1,000,000 315,296 3,315,296 1,721,957

total

5,037,253

2003 1,914,425 997,398 288,395 3,200,218 1,555,226

total

4,755,444

2004 1,875,752 988,995 280,584 3,145,331 1,680,522

total

4,825,853

 

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Someone posted these numbers not too long ago and though they were not exactly the same as the ones my council gave us at the Membership meeting they were close enought that it didn't matter.

total

Year Cubs Boy Scouts exp/ven traditional LFL

1991 2,145,870 988,270 367,262 3,501,402 648,257

total

4,149,659

1992 2,110,633 975,589 367,093 3,453,315 696,833

total

4,150,148

1993 2,067,279 979,192 380,903 3,427,374 737,799

total

4,165,173

1994 2,031,282 978,608 393,444 3,403,334 784,689

total

4,188,023

1995 2,063,547 989,343 407,905 3,460,795 837,407

total

4,298,202

1996 2,095,811 1,000,078 422,366 3,518,255 880,422

total

4,398,677

1997 2,152,387 1,016,383 455,268 3,624,038 949,850

total

4,573,888

1998 2,171,987 1,023,442 188,075 3,383,504 1,161,733

total

4,545,237

1999 2,181,013 1,028,353 202,486 3,411,852 1,373,615

total

4,785,467

2000 2,114,420 1,003,691 233,858 3,351,969 1,589,988

total

4,941,957

2001 2,043,478 1,005,592 276,434 3,325,504 1,697,701

total

5,023,205

2002 2,000,000 1,000,000 315,296 3,315,296 1,721,957

total

5,037,253

2003 1,914,425 997,398 288,395 3,200,218 1,555,226

total

4,755,444

2004 1,875,752 988,995 280,584 3,145,331 1,680,522

total

4,825,853

 

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