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CricketEagle

Path To Save Bsa?

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Like many here I look far more than I comment. Here is a topic I consider important. How to save BSA.

 

I fear, and am already seeing deeper drop off in adult and youth membership than others want to admit. Often religious and social conservatives gave the most of their time to support BSA events in our district. I have yet to see any well intentioned more liberal persons fill gaps. Sorry to speak in generalities. All our welcome, but the effect has been far fewer people doing the heavy work. And yes a few of those that left are now busy in the new competing organization. It is more than a religious or social difference. They lost all trust in BSA.

 

One of the most disturbing things I have seen in the membership change is how national BSA has managed this change. Reports of LDS membership asking for a delay and then being denied a delay on this vote some they could consult religious leaders speak of disrespect and a lack of courtesy at a minimum. As a management of change this was poorly done at best, at worst a deliberate act. In either case those parties negatively impacted likely feel unrepresented. This results in a lack of faith in the organization (Pun intended).

 

What would restore confidence in BSA? If I were the LDS I would be demanding a major change in BSA leadership in exchange for staying. No Gates. New bylaws and structure that insures changes cannot be do easily made by a small group of voting members. Reduce power of board. In corporate speak the shareholders will want more control.

 

My bet is that they will push for an organization change while quietly begin to distance themselves more from BSA.

 

My two cents

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Well, FWIW, I think Mr. Gates will be stepping down from President as they typically only serve one 1-year term. I'm not exactly sure when that takes place, but I think it will be in August. There will be a new CSE taking up his position soon as well. 

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Given that organizations like this one are not satisfied with the end of the ban on gays, now they say they need to change the entire culture of Boy Scouts.

 

It has no end. They will not be satisfied until BSA resemble something THEY want. I don't think you can save BSA. If these groups are going to continue to bash BSA until it resembles what they want it to, there won't be enough people around to make being in BSA worthwhile.

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Given that organizations like this one are not satisfied with the end of the ban on gays, now they say they need to change the entire culture of Boy Scouts.

 

It has no end. They will not be satisfied until BSA resemble something THEY want. I don't think you can save BSA. If these groups are going to continue to bash BSA until it resembles what they want it to, there won't be enough people around to make being in BSA worthwhile.

BadWolf, unless you can travel through time like a certain fictional character who you seem to be a fan of, you don't actually know what's going to happen in the future.

 

I think the BSA can make this work and that we, the volunteers, can help make it work by continuing to deliver and support the program and making whatever adjustments (switching units, finding new CO's, etc.) need to be made. That is, if we want the BSA to succeed. I know I do.

Edited by NJCubScouter
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BadWolf, unless you can travel through time like a certain fictional character who you seem to be a fan of, you don't actually know what's going to happen in the future.

 

When you hear groups advocating the end to the gay ban continue to call for "cultural change" within BSA, that says to me they are not satisfied with what has happened.

 

What do you think they mean? They have the ban lifted, what more do they want?

 

[What do you mean "fictional character"? Are you implying something? ;)]

Edited by Bad Wolf
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In contrast, the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT-rights organization, said the Boy Scouts should not allow church-sponsored units to continue excluding gays.


“Discrimination should have no place in the Boy Scouts, period,†said the HRC’s president, Chad Griffin. “BSA officials should now demonstrate true leadership and begin the process of considering a full national policy of inclusion.â€


 


http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2015/07/28/bsa-allows-gay-leaders-churches-can-still-be-exclusive/


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I find it amusing that some people in here suddenly care so much about what certain outside groups think.

 

I care about what the BSA thinks, and what it is willing to do, and not do.

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In contrast, the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT-rights organization, said the Boy Scouts should not allow church-sponsored units to continue excluding gays.

“Discrimination should have no place in the Boy Scouts, period,†said the HRC’s president, Chad Griffin. “BSA officials should now demonstrate true leadership and begin the process of considering a full national policy of inclusion.â€

 

http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2015/07/28/bsa-allows-gay-leaders-churches-can-still-be-exclusive/

 

 

Yup. So not only is local option not satisfactory to them but once they change that they want to "fix us" by changing the scouting culture. Lovely.

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I find it amusing that some people in here suddenly care so much about what certain outside groups think.

 

I care about what the BSA thinks, and what it is willing to do, and not do.

 

But that's the point, isn't it? These are the groups active in tightening the screws on BSA. They are the one leading the charge to influence BSA, and the (spineless) leaders of BSA are merely falling over themselves to either accommodate or get out of the way of these people. Lately, it appears that BSA is influenced by these groups, so yeah, I'm very interested in what these groups say. If they said, "Great, live and let live...let the local option apply" I'd be okay. But they are not satisfied with the local option, so I am very interested in what they have to say. I am also interested to see what the religious organizations have to say.

 

If you listen to these various groups you can hear the future arguments being forged. 

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I find it amusing that some people in here suddenly care so much about what certain outside groups think.

Glad to be of service.

 

I care about what the BSA thinks, and what it is willing to do, and not do.

It took BSA less than 3 years to move from "Gay scouts only; no leaders" to "Oh, what the heck, Gay leaders, too." 

So how long do you trust them to hold this time?

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JoeBob, I don't trust National at all. But what I think is more likely than the doomsday scenarios I see being painted in this forum recently is the possibility that if things start looking too bleak (like the LDS and the Catholics and the Methodists all deciding on a nationwide basis that all of their churches will dis-affiliate from the BSA), National may suddenly "discover" a little-known codicil in the BSA bylaws that they can interpret to require that a decision like this must be made by a full vote of the National Council. (I know they have already said that that's not required, I am saying that as a subterfuge, they might suddenly decide it is necessary.) Or some other mechanism to allow them to "take back" their decision. I'm not saying it will be pretty, but I am supposing that they would prefer creating a huge mess to watching the whole ship go down, taking the top execs' 6-(or 7) figure salaries with it.

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I know y'all think that this permissive vs. restrictive sexual ethic thing is what's dooming the BSA, but that's not where the ship needs to be righted. In theory BSA could have gone more restrictive, and the membership drain would continue.

 

There's one thing that would restore value to the BSA that would undermine every micromanaging adult:

Move aggressively from a vision of "adventure boy"  and toward A Vision of Hiking and Camping Independently with Your Mates.

 

Think about it. If my Johnny or Jane is never going to Jambo, or an HA Base like all the glossy photos talk about all the time, but instead is finding a little nook just outside of town (or even in town) where he or she can grow and learn do some good in the world, I won't give a care about who some crack-pot troop on the other side of the nation is letting be their leader.

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@@CricketEagle, you're close. We don't need a path so much as we need a patch. Everything in scouts has a patch for it.

 

In our neck of the weeds it's not a left/right split on volunteering it's an indoor/outdoor split. All of my ASMs love the outdoors. Most keep their faith to themselves. If the religious groups all started their own program it would not hurt my troop at all because everyone likes scouting. The really religious kids in my troop already go to their church youth group activities. If they were so great then the kids would not be in scouts. They are not in scouts to learn religion.

 

To answer your question, we need to get back to having fun in the outdoors.

 

If the pie splits up among all the religious organizations then the resulting programs will all suck. It's nothing against the LDS but a lot of their troops are not very good for a reason. Mainly it's because the focus is foremost on religion whereas the BSA focus is foremost on the outdoors. 

 

Okay, I guess I just repeated what qwazse just said.

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Trust is built by a pattern of actions over time.  The decision that had to be made is made and the impact will be what it will be.  If National is serious about restoring trust with the remaining members of the conservative wing of the organization it will be done over time, one decision at a time, one defense of this policy at a time, regardless of the internal or external pressure brought to bear by SfE or HRC or rogue councils inside the BSA.  Whether the rift becomes a full blown schism depends on whether National rigorously defends this policy, including aggressively defending the religious exemption, over the next many years.

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