Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Merlyn_LeRoy

BSA membership drops by over 400,000 in 2005

Recommended Posts

I tend to agree with klflintoff. There are many factors involved. I dont' agree with the coolness factor though. Scouting hasn't been "cool" probably since 1965. Other factors do include competing activities. When I was a youngster, the only organized youth sports available were Little League Baseball and Pop Warner Football and an in town recreational basketball leage, where we didn't even get uniforms. Remember shirts & skins? They were also one season sports with minimal practice sessions. Now, not only are there more youth sports starting at younger ages,(Lacrosse, Soccer, Hockey, Tennis, Golf, Martial Arts, etc.)many of them run year round, and have practices several days a week.

 

Add that to parents who work more hours generally than our parents did and generally take more time to get to & from work and you get a smaller pool of potential adult leaders. A smaller pool will among other things reduce the availability of quality leaders that might have helped run a better scouting program, providing a greater incentive for scouts to join and stay in scouting.

 

In my own situation, it's only been the last 5-6 years in my career that I have been able to commit the kind of time I can to scouting as an adult leader. The first 15 - 20 years of my career I was just not in a position where I had the time to do so.

 

There are many factors, and I think the religious/political issues are only one of them.

 

SA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kids have so many choices today that we should be surprised at how well Scouting is doing when compared to all of the competition. Even if March was a drag on membership, June Scout Camp will give it a shot in the arm.

 

The Scouts were on the bus ready to go to camp. A few kids from the neighborhood came riding by on their small bicycles and sighted a Scout in uniform. They began to circle the bus while calling out names and making fun of the Scouts. I came from inside the Church and stepped up inside and noticed the Scouts laying low, trying not to be seen. I put it together and stepped back outside and asked the cyclists what they were going to be doing for the next week. They didn't say anything; they just stopped and looked at me. I told them that we were going to camp where we would be cooking, hiking, riding horses, sleeping outside, and having some great fun. I invited them to our next meeting. They quietly rode off. As I got back on the bus, I noticed that the Scouts had straightened back up. I guess we all just need to be reminded occasionally. FB

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was a great move, FB! Nothing else you could have said would make those kids realize what they could be doing in Scouts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Merlyn,

I have numbers for April! Wanna compare?

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not been following this thread and have not read all the postings.

I do have the Membership numbers for April:

In April 2005 we had:2,290,266 Traditional Members.

In April 2006 we had:2,149,887 Traditional Members.

A loss of 140,379

In April 2005 we had 1,619,842 in LFL /Exploring.

In April 2006 we had 1,593,705 in LFL/ Exploring.

A loss of 26,137

I think if my math is right we have a loss of 166,516.

Eamonn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Ed, do you have figures for end-of-year 2005, to compare to end-of-year 2004?

 

By the way, there still seems to be quite a large number of BSA units chartered to public schools, and the Illinois ACLU is still interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eamonn,

Excellent on the math! And that translates to a 4.3% decrease.

 

Merlyn,

No I don't. Those numbers are actually useless now. Remember they are dynamic!

 

More power to those units chartered by public schools! But you should make sure they aren't chartered by the PTA or other group & only meet at the public school before you get all nuts about it! And you should make sure it is actually a public school before get all nuts about it! Cause your track record for accuracy in this area isn't stellar!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ed, I thought you disputed the end-of-year 2005 figures from bsa-discrimination.org; now you're saying they're irrelevant. As the BSA uses their end-of-year figures for things like their report to congress, I think these figures are still significant.

 

By the way, Ed, what are the numbers you have for total membership? You didn't seem to think my figures of 2.77 million in scouting and 4.4 million overall were accurate for end-of-year 2005, so what figures do you have for April?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Merlyn,

My numbers agree with the numbers Eamonn posted.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So Ed, as you didn't seem to like my figures of 2.77 million in scouting at the end of 2005, what does April figures of only 2.15 million have to do with anything? It seems your figures are even worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never said I didn't like your numbers, Merlyn. I just questioned their validity.

 

If you compare 4/05 to 4/06 there is only a 4.3% decline. If you take into consideration there are less youth available (I think), that's not bad.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, you can be happy about a 4.3% drop (or a 6.13% drop if you only look at scouting membership and don't include L4L), but I don't think the BSA is too happy. The drop in total available youth for 2005 vs. 2004 was only about 0.1%, so that's not a major factor, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is 2006, Merlyn.

 

It seems decline is being driven by less Tigers! This number was down 7.7% from April 2005. Less are joining therefore driving down the totals. But it looks like the trend could be reversing.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A 400,000 member drop from 2004 is what my SE told me, too. It doesn't prove anything, but . . .

 

Ed, I say this with all love: Your saying "This is 2006" and putting up 2006 numbers doesn't answer the thesis posed--"BSA mebmership drops by over 400,000 in 2005." To answer it, you need to subtract 2005 numbers from 2004 numbers. I may have missed it, but I don't recall any of you doing that.

 

And of course, refusing to put up any numbers at all tells me the prospective author (I forget his name) doesn't have any that are favorable to his position. (I'm interested in reading that future book of his, though.)

 

Fellows, I gotta say, with respect to the numbers, Merlyn's convincing me.

 

Adam

Cubmaster

California

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upon recruiting another Commissioner, we discussed, "Were you ever in Scouting?". His reply was, "Yes, I was a Life Scout." He also commented on how irritating it had always been to him that he had never reached Eagle. That got me to thinking about how many young people over the years that Scouting has affected. We think we know the numbers from year to year but it is not a straight forward addition problem.

 

Maybe we should only count those that have a connection to the Scout Oath and Law. It is by these standards that we measure our thoughts and actions in or out of a Scout uniform. If we have done our best to achieve these goals, then obtaining a badge would no longer be an irritation. If we change our method of accumulating data to include only those that have been affected with the Scouting Spirit, then I am sure there would be far fewer numbers than we now see but it would serve as a reminder that quality program should always be our primary guide because without it, we would miss the boat entirely.

FB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...