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AZMike

Poll shows decline in support for Boy Scouts

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Of course, these restrictions are symptomatic of a large organization which exercises strong central command and large potential liability. If the freedom AND responsibility were transferred to... (need I write it?)...local option....that might actually allow some more, you know, freedom.

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No, it does not assume. Youth have come to me with plans for weekend campout or hike. They have various qualifications (certified EMT, seasoned hiker, etc ...) and I would advise them on their plan, loan gear (sometimes give keys to the car), and bless them as they went on their way. Who am I to gainsay a solid plan by requiring them to take on two more persons who may add cost and risk to the venture?

 

Just because the BSA no longer supports the pinnacle scouting experience, doesn't mean I have to.

 

Scouting happens. Inasmuch as BSA supports it, folks will support the BSA.

 

Scouting happens to a trivial extent outside B.S.A. That does not mean extra-BSA scouting has no value qualitatively.

 

Who are you to apply B.S.A. rules to a "pinnacle scouting" experience? I dunno'. A registered B.S.A. leader?

 

Declining the insurance coverage on principle? For claims arising on a trip, that usually means you are self-insured.

 

Yes, "control" has been an issue for B.S.A. ever since Darth West.

 

My problem with all this focus on how adults just must detract from the Patrol Method is experience.. See, as a Scout I never felt adults were a serious problem because the Scouters would not allow them to be one. As I have posted, it was behave or begone. Behave including camping separately (but within scream) from the Scouts. Certainly, it was worlds different from any of the high school sports. I was trained that if adults were planning or leading, that was not Boy Scouting. There were troops under thraldom to adults in the 1950's. We felt sorry for them. They did not get the "Patrol" streamer for their troop flag at the Council assembly during Scout Week - a great embarrassment. Following that, their Neighborhood Commissioner would visit the Committee and explain why they did not get the "Patrol" streamer. Was that coercion? Darned right it was, and it worked. Only one (huge) troop consistently failed to get the streamer, and everyone know about them. (Never sent leaders (Scouts) to training either - too many "bad" ideas there. Tremendous at drill and formal ceremonies. Consistent losers at Camporee competitions when the adults could not run the patrols.)

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Clearly BSA sheds liability in these cases. But, at what cost? Obviously there is a perverse calculus that the losses in registration fees (from boys who would rather spend them on a weekend out with their buddies) will be offset by decreased exposure to litigation. Yep, I remember troops like that in the 80s. As a country youth, I chalked it up to "citification." Now that I live in suburb/hood, and volunteer with a variety of adults, I realize that there are parents who will allow certain levels of independence to foster, and others who just can't bring themselves to do so. SM just told me about counseling camping MB for a boy who left our troop right after his first year a while back. Not one backpacking night in the four years since! There are lots of reasons why his troop never did this (so far), but it is discouraging to hear because these are scouters who could make it happen, and they oughtta know I'd loan them the youth to make it so. :(

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I don't think you can blame BSA corporate, politics, publicity or competition for more than part of the decrease.

 

IMHO, BSA is caught in national trends. Kids don't fish on their own anymore. Zero. When I was in junior high school, kids went fishing all the time.

 

Average age of Boundary Waters visitors has nearly doubled in forty years from 26 to 45 (or higher now).

 

DNR statistics in our state that show in the ten years from 2004 to 2014 that fishing is down 18.4%, hunting down 11%, cross country skining down 50%, and wildlife viewing down 22%.

 

These are society trends.

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I see scouting on the decline. Locally we are competing with year round sports teams and the belief that scouting is for dorks. Competing with X-box, X-Box 1 and PS4 is also becoming more difficult.

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Youth sports is also on the decline, BTW. Pretty much by middle school, all the non-athletic boys are harassed out of sports anyway. Also, I don't know if you realize this or not, but nerds are taking over the world.....

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