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Stosh

Food For Thought...

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Revolutionary moments attract those who are not good enough for established institutions as well as those who are too good for them. -- George Bernard Shaw

 

So where are we headed with the revolution?

 

And where did the adventure go?

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover. -- Mark Twain

 

Along with losing our way in the American Dream, have we also lost our way in the world of Scouting?

 

If your biggest dream today is anticipating the new release of the next generation of WII, X-Box or Play-Station, you really have to work on your dreams.

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Stosh, how is this thread any different from the last doom-and-gloom-and-where-do-we-go-from-here thread that you started? And as I look back on that other thread, I see you started it LAST Saturday. Is there something about Saturdays that is getting you down recently? And do you expect the responses to be any different this time?

 

I ask these questions as a fellow forum member, not as a moderator. The 8th point of the Scout Law is generally not enforced in Issues and Politics, otherwise the whole area would have to be shut down. (Somewhere, a couple of my fellow moderators suddenly and inexplicably decide this would be a good time to check up on recent posts - except that this won't appear there.)

Edited by NJCubScouter

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As long as you are answering as a member and not a moderator, feel free to pass on the personal attack and ignore the posting just like vast majority of people on this forum.

 

So for the rest out there what doom and gloom dreams do you have about the future of Scouting?  I happen to think Scouting has a pretty good future if given a chance.  I'm thinking the premise it was founded on 100+ years ago is just as valid today as it was back then.  But then that might be a bit too much doom and gloom for the more modern sophisticated world in which we live.

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I didn't see a personal attack, only concern. But aside from that, what do you mean by "...if given a chance"? How do you propose that scouting should be given this chance, what form would the "chance" take (aside from allowing Twain and Shaw as members, posthumously, lol). Could you be more specific?

 

Edit: NJ, I have a theory...it's a sort of 'Saturday Night Live' kind of theory...or maybe 'Saturday Night Fever' theory...or maybe 'Samurai Night Fever' kind of theory.....

Edited by packsaddle

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Eh.

 

The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg?  Irving is killing it as fast as they can.  Could they do a better job destroying Scouting if they were actually trying?

 

Dilute the value of Eagle.

Over sell Eagle.

Once and done to speed advancement = ignorant scouts.

No adventure.  

Water pistols banned = wussy scouts.

Revolving door on membership standards.  Next they'll recruit Caitlyn Jenner as our national spokesperson.

Poor training.

Required.

At ridiculous repeated intervals = Volunteer drop out.

Sell properties to prop up salaries.

Emphasize fund-raising over program.

 

I think that BSA will last at least 2 more years; and that's about how long my boy will be involved.  After that, I'm gong to find it hard not to laugh when Irving spirals into the ground and all the bean-counters have to find real jobs.

 

I will regret the death of BSA's reputation, as having been a Scout won't mean as much to my boy as it has meant to me.  The saddest thing is that this electronic society that we live in really needs a program like scouting.

  • Upvote 1

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Gotta say I'm with @@JoeBob. I think the death of BSA as we know it will take longer than two years, but I think we've seen the fatal blow. I think those who remember "the old days of scouting" will leave as soon as their scout is out or when the next "change" comes. They won't be back filled with some unseen ground swell of volunteers and the program will begin to severely erode.

Edited by Bad Wolf

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Interesting that some see the death of bsa and their own involvement so related to each other. It may be hard to believe, but there are quite a few volunteer scouters who do not have boys in the program, either at present or never did. There are some adults who give back to scouting for other boys, not just for our own kids. The future of scouting will require more of these adults, as those who are only there concurrently with their sons drop out. These scouters have always existed, and will continue to exist. I know the best SMs I have ever worked with did not have boys in the troop. Some did in the past, but no longer. Others never did, but were involved in Scouting as a youth and see their service as giving back.

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DuctTape, I have made the same observation. Before we start talking about the so-called 'death' of BSA, we need to define what would constitute that 'death'. For some of us, it's already happened. For others, I suspect there is a fairly long outlook but scouting will have evolved into something different, perhaps with many fewer members. But if those bean counters are eventually forced to start asking people if they would like to supersize their order, I won't feel that bad. Scouting, I suspect, will live on even without Irving and while it might be slimmer in numbers, it could be just as good as we volunteers want to make it for our boys. Do we REALLY have to have Irving to have scouting?

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The Death Knell for the BSA was sounded when the BSA created the Cub Scout program....still waiting

 

The Death Knell for the BSA was sounded when the BSA created Den Mothers...still waiting

 

The Death Knell for the BSA was sounded when the BSA allowed Girls into Exploring...still waiting

 

The Death Knell for the BSA was sounded when the BSA changed the program in the early 1970's to attract more urban youth because the demographics of the country were changing...still waiting

 

The Death Knell for the BSA was sounded when the BSA started selling the Red Beret...still waiting

 

The Death Knell for the BSA was sounded when the BSA accepted Oscar de la Renta's French Air Force design for the BSA uniform...still waiting

 

The Death Knell for the BSA was sounded when the skill award program was dismantled...still waiting

 

The Death Knell for the BSA was sounded when the BSA eliminate the Red Beret...still waiting

 

The Death Knell for the BSA was sounded when the BSA allowed women to be Cubmasters and Scoutmasters...still waiting

 

The Death Knell for the BSA was sounded when the Order of the Arrow admitted women leaders as members...still waiting

 

The Death Knell for the BSA was sounded when the BSA was granted protection to discriminate...still waiting

 

The Death Knell for the BSA was sounded when the Mormons made their way to top leadership positions in Councils and at National...still waiting

 

The Death Knell for the BSA was sounded when schools and governments stopped chartering BSA units because the BSA discriminates...still waiting

 

The Death Knell for the BSA was sounded when the First Class First Year program was initiated...still waiting

 

Doom and gloom predictions for the BSA have been bandied about almost from the beginning, and yet the BSA has perservered.  Some day, the BSA won't exist anymore but then someday, the Sun won't exist anymore either.  Neither disappearance are likely to take place anytime soon.

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I'm sure there's always been plenty of doom and gloom, but my intent with the thread was to garner some ideas as to what might be done to move things forward and provide something of quality to our youth.  @@CalicoPenn is correct in that we have a ton of doomsayers, but not many prophets of hope out there.

 

Revolutionary moments attract those who are not good enough for established institutions as well as those who are too good for them. -- George Bernard Shaw

 

So where are we headed with the revolution?

 

So with everyone bellyaching, where are we supposed to be going?

 

And where did the adventure go?

 

What's being done with putting the adventure  back into the program?  Or are we just going to continue to wear our ashes and sack cloths and wail and gnash our teeth?

 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover. -- Mark Twain

 

Along with losing our way in the American Dream, have we also lost our way in the world of Scouting?

 

Jeopardy, this is in the form of a question.... there's two answers, either we have or we have not lost our way in the world of scouting.  I'm sure not everyone is experiencing the same thing.

 

If your biggest dream today is anticipating the new release of the next generation of WII, X-Box or Play-Station, you really have to work on your dreams.

 

Without a vision, the people parish....   Is our vision myopic?

 

This thread was hijacked as doom and gloom but it was not intended as such.  Where do we go from here to regain the importance of scouting once again?  I think there's potential out there, does anyone else or is it really just doom and gloom?

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Well Stosh, I first read your OP as a bit random, so I could see how someone could get a D&G message. But now that you've clarified it....

 

Honestly, the scouts in my troop are getting more adventure and leadership than what I got out of scouting. So maybe things aren't all that bad.

 

The dumb stuff from national (squirt guns!) I mostly ignore. Well, squirt guns are completely ignored. When lighting a fire became optional I said no, it wasn't. I'm changing the rules and that's dangerous. There are a wide range of troops and I've seen some that also change the rules and I'd be very much against the way they change it but I have to respect it and just walk away. I'm okay with making a scout dance for lost items and others aren't okay. I respect that. If the membership rules do change in October there's going to be a need for a lot more respect. Lotta happy and a lotta sad gonna be blowing in the wind.

 

The idea that SMs can improve their skills and troops can improve should be pushed. The idea behind JTE is good, it's just that JTE is measuring the wrong things. The idea that roundtable and a troop commissioner can help a SM improve is a great idea but in practice has been a failure as there don't seem to be a lot of adults that know how it's supposed to work.

 

So, on the one hand SMs are encouraged to do their own thing because National is micro managing what we do, and on the other hand SMs are living in a bubble where they are positive they are doing it right. Bottom line is there are no clear pictures of what good is. Solve that and I predict good things will come from it.

 

BTW, there's a vacuum at the top so your revolution will have to be grass roots based.

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Interesting that some see the death of bsa and their own involvement so related to each other. It may be hard to believe, but there are quite a few volunteer scouters who do not have boys in the program, either at present or never did. There are some adults who give back to scouting for other boys, not just for our own kids. The future of scouting will require more of these adults, as those who are only there concurrently with their sons drop out. These scouters have always existed, and will continue to exist. I know the best SMs I have ever worked with did not have boys in the troop. Some did in the past, but no longer. Others never did, but were involved in Scouting as a youth and see their service as giving back.

...is that why so many of them have left year on year in such droves?

 

The year on year membership decline is acceleration not flat lining. Some times it takes things a while die.

Edited by Bad Wolf

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  I don't think the answer is always pointing at National and blaming them for all that may be going down. Although I do agree the water gun thing is just wrong. I happen to be one of the scouters that DuctTape is talking about. I became SM 3 years after my son left scouting and stayed on for 11 years at that position. The reason I stepped down and out of scouting really had nothing to do with Irving. Burn out, frustration, no support from parents, I can go on and on. I remember hearing many of the things that Calico listed too. What's saying the core program of scouting doesn't evolve into something else that the next generation of youth will enjoy. I just don't think that we survived over 100 years in spite of National.

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@@eagle77 how long have we lived under the current model where national is acting like it is today?

 

My point being, we haven't lived 100 years with national being the way they are today (constant tinkering).

 

Membership for youth and adults has been on a steady decline. Most recently that decline has doubled -- coincidently with the recent changes.

 

Could BSA survive? Sure, but in what form. Certainly not in the form many of us grew up with and came to embrace....and THAT is what JoeBob and I (and perhaps others) were addressing.

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