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Membership, Mergers, and a Plan?

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The single biggest challenge faced by DE's is to convince volunteer unit leaders that they can provide some kind of benefit to the units. When I mentioned to our DE that most of the units didn't think the District or Council did anything for them, the response was "well, they need to tell me what they want me to do." Not exactly the response I was looking for there.


As I mentioned above, I spent the last several years spending quite a bit of time on Cub Scout recruiting in my District. I spent hundreds of hours on this, outside of my work with my unit. My reward was to have my decisions as a unit leader questioned.


Running a volunteer organization as a professional staffer (something I've been doing for 25 years outside of Scouting) takes the right kind of professional staff.

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Excellent discussion.


The BSA's winning formula is sitting right under its nose.


Kids want to be outdoors. (Most anyway...some are bona fide couch potatoes, but that is true of any generation).


Kids want to camp, hike, chop wood, start fires, cook a kebab, swim, boat, shoot rifles and look at stars. Interesting that these skills and activities haven't changed that much over the decades. Nor a scout's enthusiasm to be outdoors. A scout from 1920 could show up to a good BSA summer camp today and fit right it with only a minor learning curve.


However, for the last couple decades, the outdoors has been a sideline activity in the BSA's overall strategy. Management 101/micromanagement/metrics/church basement scouting/merit badge fair/fundraising/powerpoint training has taken the forefront. Frankly, not many people find these activities very fulfilling. These things are supposed to be a means to an end, but they became the primary focus. So adults and kids find it easy to drift away, or not sign up at all.


Scoutergripper is absolutely right, the BSA does a poor job at marketing. Whether it is the baggy, ugly official uniform, or the clique-like, exclusive clubby mentality of long-term scouters who view themselves as The Very Best Scouters in the World who drive off new volunteers (along with new energy and fresh ideas), or the certified non-outdoorsmen/women on the professional staff, or the invisible units in many places that do no public service, there is no end to the list of things that need improving if the BSA is going to turn the trend around.


I'll give National some credit, as I've seen some effort to focus back on high adventure and the outdoors and general.


But that trail is steep and has many switchbacks. By openly encouraging the ideal that scouting is sedentary (starting with WB), there are many scouters, at all levels, that really aren't sold on the outdoors, and don't like their Centennial Uniforms to smell of campfire smoke.


So that's the challenge. The solution is hidden away in the darkest archives of the National Museum. Only Green Bar Bill and scouters like him will save the BSA.


The Dr. Deming fans and the powerpoint crowd will still be looking at metrics and talking about FOS goals as the curtain closes.

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To Many Rules....

Not Enough Outdoors...

To Many Rules

To Many Cliques among-st the Volunteers


Not Every Council is the Same...Not Every Council Camp is the Same..

BSA is not a Sandals Resort or "Canned" Facility....


Can a Council exist and function with out paid professionals....Yes

Can a Council exist and Function without Volunteers....NO

Can a Council continue to function and Grow if only certain people are allowed to Volunteer....NO

Will Youth remain in scouting after it is no longer Fun.....No

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