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Is Scouting in Canada Dead?

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In part, this is what eagle said about what is wrong with the Canadian Boy Scouts:


"Management has created National Fund raisers. They are

sending kids 5 to26 years of age into the street to sell popcorn and hot chocolate. In my view, the kids did not sign up to be uniformed door-to-door salesman. They joined to learn by doing, have fun and become responsible citizens. As a Scouter, I signed on to try to deliver quality program for the kids, not supervise inventory and collection of money while I chauffeur them around the neighbourhood selling what amounts to overpriced goods so that National can take their percentage to pay another salary or deficit. We, a small

group of ordinary members, have now organized this association in order to try to save Scouts Canada from itself and bring back management accountability."


Some in the BSA may recognize what he has said.



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  • 1 month later...

I object to the closed-clique dictatoriality of both the BSA & Scouts Canada. The National Councils operate like Soviet Politburos in that when a member retires, resigns, or dies, the Council picks another one just like themselves.

I would like Scouting leadership to be democratically elected for fixed terms and answerable to the membership.

Both in Scouting & the State, we need leaders who say, 'If you don't like my policies, then vote for my opponent!' instead of, '...then get out!'

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It scares me to think of the reality of what is happening and has happened to Scouts Canada. I am also scared that in this politically correct world this could be the future of the BSA. SR540Beaver, really hit the point saying we are at the mercy of those in charge. And who says that one day, just like any other place in American Society those in charge of the BSA will lose their beliefs and convictions and head toward being politically correct. We see the 80% of media leaning towards the left, and once strong staples in our society like the Catholic church lose any and all political and moral control. College campuses are filled with leftist retoric and political correcteness that I am drowning in it and holding tight to the paddle to stay above the BS.


What can the BSA do besides stay in tune with what is happening to Scouts Canada, and be sure to hire people that truly believe in the Scout Oath and Law? How did those leading Scouts Canada fall to their knees at political correctness and lose sight of the real meaning of the Scouting Movement?




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Venture Scout,


I agree with you 100%, the BSA is already undergoing changes similiar to Canada, councils are folding or being absorbed for economic reasons, poor management etc. Priorities in many councils are no longer the boys or program. Many volunteers feel that their contributions and opinions are ignored by council who are selling camps and other assets because of mismanagement of funds, my former council for one. I for one would love to see National get more direct feedback from volunteers before they set policy, rather then rely on the watered down version they get from council. As a former DE I am ashamed to see the quality of many of the council execs today. If you have a good one now do all you can to hold on to them for as long as possible.

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VentureScoutNY I very much disagree with your premise that the Catholic Church has lost any and all political and moral control. If you want, I can list all the catholic priests who have not sexually abused a child, but space would make that prohibitive. yes, the Catholic Church has had its share of problems in the past, but to dismiss it as no longer relevant is a colossal mistake. Unfortunately the Catholic Church suffers from a condition known to anything built by man, it has flaws, and it is trying to correct those flaws. To say it has lost moral control is an absolute untruth

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OldGreyEagle, I think that you misunderstand what I said. I did not mention anything about the Catholic Church and the Sex Abuse Scandal. I am a devout Catholic and do not want to send the impression that I believe they have lost all control. I should have been more clear. I believe the Catholic Church has lost political ground and isn't the Juggernaut it once was. When it comes to the loss of moral control, I meant that society today is not as morally correct as it once was. Declining membership in churches shows this is true. People are not as reverent as they used to be. Becasue of all of this and I really should have mentioned the cultural revolution, today is the bi-product of the winners of the cultural revolution, the leftists. This is where political correctenss stems from. This is why I believe many sacred organizations and institutions(not the catholic church) are being destroyed from within.


BadenP is right. We need to hold onto the Councils that are being run the right way and hope that National continues to hire people that are consistent with the teachings of the Scout Oath and Law that we have all taken and live by daily.





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I went to Blue Speings this past summer for their annual Gilwell reunion and there was a ot of complaining, most of it about Some but not many scout camps being sold, but mainly about regestration and insurance going crazy in the last couple of years. All of this has nothing to do with homosexuallity it has to do with they are hurting badly for funds, there has even been talk of the two French {assocation Les Scouts Du Canada} and the English {Scouts Canada} going together, but that is now gone the french do not want it. You must remember that the Scouts Canada Organization has never had Sustaining Membership Enrollment {SME} or Friends of Scouting{FOS} they are now visiting some US councils and trying to get something like this started. They have always traed to make it ona few donations and their membership dues. This is going to have to be changed quickly, they told me or they would be in very very bad sahape.

But as I state homosexuality has nothing to do with it. They admit homosexuals and they have no problems with it that I have ever been told. Most of the gripes are they initiated our checks on people and that has made a few of the old timers of 30 or 40 years mad, some may have had a DUI when they where a teenager or done something small and this has cuased them to get an exception or maybe even be released from scouting, it has a lot of feathers ruffled.



Oh by the way anyone who knows how to change a brithdate let me know, I apparently put mine in wrong because I some where I was listed a a JR Forum member and at my age I wish.


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  • 1 month later...

While Hans certainly has a right to his own opinion, I'm not happy that he touts himself as an 'Eagle Scout' and then promotes his views of racial hatred, chauvinism, intolerance and bigotry. In his 'article' entitled The Death of Canadian Scouting, his views do not do justice to the Scouting principles.


As a parent of children of both sexes active in Scouts Canada, and a Beaver and Scout leader myself, (and YES a woman!) I'm ashamed that the Scouting organization has members who still hold prejudices such as Hans. How can the following paragraph, which I've taken word-for-word from his article, be a bad thing?


[scouts Canada's new non-discrimination code reads: "Scouting is a worldwide, multicultural movement. We welcome people to membership regardless of gender, race, culture, religious belief, sexual orientation or economic circumstances. Youth members are strongly influenced by the behaviour of adults. We need to be sensitive to the traditions and beliefs of all people and to avoid words or actions which "put down" anybody."]


We teach our Beavers to share, help family and friends, and help take care of the world.

We teach our Cubs to do a good turn for somebody everyday

We teach our scouts to help other people at all times, to be helpful, kind, trustworthy and considerate

Venturers are challenged to help other people at all times

Rovers promise to help other people at all times

Leaders, as role models, are to uphold all of these beliefs


The Scout Law states:

A Scout is helpful and trustworthy,

kind and cheerful,

considerate and clean,

wise in the use of all resources.


Hans says "I say good riddance to Scouts Canada. They ceased to serve any useful purpose the day they became all-inclusive, all-sensitive, and all-tolerant. The Scout Oath and Scout Law are obliterated in the land of the red maple leaf north of Parallel 49."


I guess Hans doesn't believe that the scout law should encompass EVERYONE, not everyone except (in Hans' words) "females, atheists, agnostics, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals". Hell NO! In Hans opinion, Scouts should only be helpful and trustworthy, kind and cheerful, and considerate to other human beings only if they meet a certain criteria. I, naively, thought that his type of thinking went out a few generations ago. At the very best, I believed that it existed only in the deep south of the USA where discrimination runs rampant. Since I see that Hans is an American, maybe I'm not wrong. I'm deeply ashamed that we have a person such as this in the Scouting organization. Thankfully, as an American Hans doesn't directly influence children in Canada. I certainly wouldn't want my children to be taught this type of discrimination by a person with such intolerant views and racial/sexist bias'.


My children, both the boy AND the girl, do serve a useful purpose every day of their lives, as a member of and in the service of Scouts Canada. I'm proud of Scouts Canada's views and tolerances. I'm proud to belong to an organization that is open to fighting discrimination of gender, race, culture, religious belief, or sexual orientation. I'm proud of my son, who is a Scout in Canada, and I'm proud of my daughter who is a Scout and also a member of the Saskatchewan Service Corps.


I'm glad that Hans is not a Canadian, and I wish he were not a Scout member. Hopefully the majority of the Scouting members in the United States do not hold such a poor attitude as Hans. I think all of the websites publishing this article should be ashamed to be a party to spreading such hatred and intolerant views.



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Mr. Zeiger certainly has some weaknesses.


For starters, he does seem to look at the world wide movement through the lens of the BSA. Though, that would be natural since he was (or is) a member of the BSA, and probably hasn't had a terrible lot of exposure to Scouting in other places.


Also, the Oath and Law are not the same in each country, so what an American Scout thinks are core, bedrock parts of the ideals of Scouting, a Scout from another country could think of as completely alien ideas.


Further, he is certainly a politically and socially conservative person, or so his writing indicate. Therefore he would place the Oath and Law, and a strict, traditional reading of them, as very high priorities. It would also cause a predisposition against "political correctness" which many on the right in this country think of as a sort of rot in the system.



So, now on to his analysis. There is no refuting the fact that such a downward trend (if true) is quite distressing. Often downward trends in membership cause organizations to institute radical changes. Sometimes these changes are good, sometimes they are bad, but they quite often change forever the identity of a group.


It would appear that Scouts Canada did react by instituting some radical changes. Going co-ed is a very big thing. Going co-ed to the extent that units had no option is an even bigger thing.


Making the uniform optional is also a significant change.


Creating sweeping non-discrimination code could also turn out to be a major change as well, depending on how it is interpreted, how it is applied, and what sort of decisions wind up having to be made because of it. It could also turn out to be a non-issue.


Ultimately, how you see these changes doesn't really matter. If you think they are good, then great. If you think they are bad, well, it is too late now.


What matters is if these changes cause the organization to survive, thrive, or wither away. Equally important is what sort of organization Scouts Canada becomes.


It would seem that the reaction to these policies has not been completely positive. As to weather or not it will help the membership numbers in the long run, that is difficult to tell. It would seem it certainly didn't fix the problem over night.


As to weather or not the character of the organization is now better, worse, or equal is even more difficult to determine. There is no objective means of determining this.



Now, let me boil it all done to this. Mr. Zeiger seems to think there is a great risk that Scouts Canada has, through these changes, put in jeopardy its very identity. He seems to think that with the uniforms becoming optional and the forced co-ed move that tradition is being thrown out for no justifiable reason. Further, the non-discrimination policy could, particularly from the perspective of a traditional coservative sort of person with experience in the BSA, place the very values that Scouting is built on in danger of being pushed aside.


Its sort of like the old joke about being opened minded, but you shouldn't be so opened minded that your brains fall out.




I should also point out, that there is nothing which even suggest the members of the organization are useless or bad. Rather, he is suggesting the organization itself has gone in the wrong direction.


I also don't see wear he suggests that we should be unhelpful or unkind to any particular group of people.


I think what he is saying is that there are people that do not believe in the values of Scouting, at least not as traditionally interpreted, and so it wouldn't be such a good idea to let just anyone into the Scouts.


As to the allegations you make in your first sentence, I certainly can not find any evidence of racial hatred or chauvinism in this article. As to being intolerant, that is open to debate, but remember their is a difference between tolerating someone and accepting their beliefs. The bigoted charge, I think is again open to considerable debate, though I see no direct evidence of it in this article.


Finally, I should note that your characterization of the South would be seen by some as intolerant and prejudiced. (Notice I am separating your characterization of the South from you as a person?)



In any case, many of the Scouting organizations around the world have gone in a direction similar to Scouts Canada, but for the time being at least, the BSA does not seem to be joining them, nor do most of its members have any desire to join them. There is pressure from certain outside groups to change, but most of these groups would be at least nominally opposed to BSA even if it made the changes they are pressing for.


I hope all is well and good with Scouting in Canada, but there does seem to be at least a bit of evidence suggesting it is not.

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