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Sentinel947

"Boy Scouts thrive after lifting of gay ban."

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I understand the topic. Just not following how boycotting a council camp shows your dissatisfaction with a national rule. Kind of runs counter to your assertion that you want local units to thrive.

 

Not at all.  The council is not local.  The council is BSA.

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What benefit do you get from refering to the unit as "Boy Scouts"?  What parts of the the BSA program do you find essential to your school's youth group?

 

Wouldn't you have more freedom to craft a youth program without the guidelines and restrictions imposed by the BSA?  

 

Our church youth group is not affiliated with the BSA and it very much thrives.  Why not just call your youth program the "[Name of School] Outdoor Adventure Program?"  

 

My school does have an Outdoor Education Program.  It is a very good program.  I designed it myself, many years ago.

 

My point is that registration numbers don't tell the whole story.  The new policy has changed things in ways that may never show up on a ledger sheet.

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My school does have an Outdoor Education Program.  It is a very good program.  I designed it myself, many years ago.

 

My point is that registration numbers don't tell the whole story.  The new policy has changed things in ways that may never show up on a ledger sheet.

 

I fully agree with that last sentence, but I have a feeling it means different things to each of us.  I think the new policy has changed things for the better, in ways that will never show up on a ledger sheet.  But I don't think that's what you meant.

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Like David CO's non-BSA organization, my church does more in their outdoor program than allowed by the BSA.  The ease at which these events can be organized and carried out far outweighs the challenges posed by BSA. 

 

TrailLife USA popped up and disappeared in a very short period of time.  Too much organization, but my church youth group (coed) has done more outdoor hiking, rock climbing, boating, campfires, etc. than most BSA troops in the area.  Just this month the group came over, had kabobs on the campfire, hiked in the back 40 and had a great time.  This is a typical event.  They didn't go to summer camp, but they did spend a week at a national gathering in New Orleans.  This is what the BSA has to now compete with.

 

Do I still teach leadership under these conditions?  Yep.  We recently had a neighborhood prayer walk as an activity.  The adult organizer handed me the map for the mixed group of youth and young adults involved.  I took the paper and handed it to a high school sophomore and said, "You be the leader".  To everyone's surprise (but me) she did a great job.  Could this be a Venturing Crew?  Nope, According to church policy this group would never belong to the BSA.

 

It's really interesting to walk both sides of the fence. 

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 my church does more in their outdoor program than allowed by the BSA

 

That's as sad an indictment against the current National program as I've ever seen.

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The kicker on this whole issue is that when the church group went rock climbing, (yes, on open cliff face) the leaders were all well versed in rock climbing.  I was along because of my scouting and emergency rescue training.  The adult leader promoting it was an Eagle Scout and he and his family climbed a lot.  The kids in the group were well versed in climbing as well in that they had training in school.  These people were as well versed and qualified as any BSA Climb on Safely trained group of Scouts.

 

So tell me again why these people sould become a Venturing Crew when they are doing everything a Venturing Crew is already doing and they don't need to register, take training but they don't get any cool patches.

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So tell me again why these people sould become a Venturing Crew when they are doing everything a Venturing Crew is already doing and they don't need to register, take training but they don't get any cool patches.

They probably shouldn't, especially if they see cool patches as the only value to be had in being part of a 100 year old, world wide movement that strives to greater aims than just cool outdoor activities.

 

But of course the BSA cannot assume that all of its units would have the in house capabilities that your church's group has.  In fact, even a casual observation of scouting units in any area, at any level, now or in the glorious past, would show that that kind of in house expertise is rare.  Most of the adults in most of the units I've been involved in are pretty middle of the road in terms of both their outdoor experience and virtually every other facet of their lives, except for one, the expertise they have is a commitment to trying to develop another generation of Americans who can be better people and better citizens.  Scouting gives them a really nice framework to do that, even if, sadly, there isn't a cliff worth climbing within a few hundred miles of where we live.

Edited by T2Eagle

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They probably shouldn't, especially if they see cool patches as the only value to be had in being part of a 100 year old, world wide movement that strives to greater aims than just cool outdoor activities.

 

You're probably right about that, being part of a 2,000 year old, world wide movement that strives to greater aims than just cool outdoor activities should be sufficient.  :)

 

But of course the BSA cannot assume that all of its units would have the in house capabilities that your church's group has.  In fact, even a casual observation of scouting units in any area, at any level, now or in the glorious past, would show that that kind of in house expertise is rare.  Most of the adults in most of the units I've been involved in are pretty middle of the road in terms of both their outdoor experience and virtually every other facet of their lives, except for one, the expertise they have is a commitment to trying to develop another generation of Americans who can be better people and better citizens.  Scouting gives them a really nice framework to do that, even if, sadly, there isn't a cliff worth climbing within a few hundred miles of where we live.

 

And this is why BSA cannot sustain the program simply by sitting back on it's laurels thinking that some vestige of past glories is going to maintain itself in the world of today.  Churches, schools, community organizations are filled with 100+ years of these people with extensive outdoor skills that they no longer need BSA to make those activities available to their children.

 

Who puts out the best literature on wild plants and animals?  It's not the BSA, it's the DNR.

 

Who puts out the most variety when it comes to camping opportunities?  It's not the BSA, it's the National, State and County Parks.

 

Need outdoor equipment?  is it going to be the Scout Shop or maybe someplace like REI, Gander Mountain, Cabelas, or even Walmart?  How many olive drab Levi cargo pants are being worn by "full uniform" Boy Scouts today?

 

Beads and shiny objects aren't going to be purchasing Manhattan today. 

 

BSA has an opportunity to redefine itself and it has chosen such things as Co-ed Exploring, Learning for Life and STEM. to shore up it's BSA program.  Expansion of Cub Scouts by two years to increase membership with little or no forethought other than numbers isn't going to be the long-term solution.

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LOL, Stosh, they don't HAVE to go into politics....

 


"It's okay for the boys to associate with liars, cheats, gossipers, adulterers, homosexuals, bullies, etc. the kinds of morality that doesn't show up on a background check. "
Edited by cyclops

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And this is why BSA cannot sustain the program simply by sitting back on it's laurels thinking that some vestige of past glories is going to maintain itself in the world of today.  Churches, schools, community organizations are filled with 100+ years of these people with extensive outdoor skills that they no longer need BSA to make those activities available to their children.

 

Who puts out the best literature on wild plants and animals?  It's not the BSA, it's the DNR.

 

Who puts out the most variety when it comes to camping opportunities?  It's not the BSA, it's the National, State and County Parks.

 

Need outdoor equipment?  is it going to be the Scout Shop or maybe someplace like REI, Gander Mountain, Cabelas, or even Walmart?  How many olive drab Levi cargo pants are being worn by "full uniform" Boy Scouts today?

 

Beads and shiny objects aren't going to be purchasing Manhattan today. 

 

BSA has an opportunity to redefine itself and it has chosen such things as Co-ed Exploring, Learning for Life and STEM. to shore up it's BSA program.  Expansion of Cub Scouts by two years to increase membership with little or no forethought other than numbers isn't going to be the long-term solution.

So, what you're saying is being an outdoor club is no longer an exploitable niche.  In that case the logical solution is to take advantage of the exploitable commodities and expand into other exploitable niches.  The largest youth-serving organization in the country (4H) has widely expanded their program from their ag roots.  So has FFA.  Models are out there.

 

I can't afford the dues for an organization that's going to try to compete with the Federal, State and Local governments for creating outdoor literature and spaces (can't really afford the taxes either!).  Nor can I afford the dues for an organization that's going to build retail space and logistics to compete against Walmart.  

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And this is why BSA cannot sustain the program simply by sitting back on it's laurels thinking that some vestige of past glories is going to maintain itself in the world of today.  Churches, schools, community organizations are filled with 100+ years of these people with extensive outdoor skills that they no longer need BSA to make those activities available to their children.

 

Who puts out the best literature on wild plants and animals?  It's not the BSA, it's the DNR.

 

Who puts out the most variety when it comes to camping opportunities?  It's not the BSA, it's the National, State and County Parks.

 

Need outdoor equipment?  is it going to be the Scout Shop or maybe someplace like REI, Gander Mountain, Cabelas, or even Walmart?  How many olive drab Levi cargo pants are being worn by "full uniform" Boy Scouts today?

 

Beads and shiny objects aren't going to be purchasing Manhattan today. 

 

BSA has an opportunity to redefine itself and it has chosen such things as Co-ed Exploring, Learning for Life and STEM. to shore up it's BSA program.  Expansion of Cub Scouts by two years to increase membership with little or no forethought other than numbers isn't going to be the long-term solution.

 

This is certainly not unique to BSA.

 

As I've mentioned before one of my ASLs (Like your ASMs) is 73 and been with the group since he was an 8 year old cub. Fascinating man to talk to.

 

The big thing he emphasises is that when he was that age he joined cubs and then scouts because frankly there was nothing else to do. It was that or do chores at home. Kids these days in the western world have an extraordinary range of choices whether that is in the realm of outdoor adventure or the myriad of sport, creative or other clubs that they can join. Any organisation that sits on its laurels in that environment is going to find itself with a membership problem.

 

The thing that has made scouting successful, in nearly every corner of the world, is its ability to adapt and to serve the youth of the local community in which it finds itself.

 

I won't pretend to know what American kids need. I know that here in the UK the issues is what we call "cotton wool" parenting, with parents scared to let their child take any kind of risk, to get dirty, pick up cuts and bruises, do something with fire or sharp tools or just go into the street on their own. It has adapted to fill that void.

 

I doubt that BSA needs to compete with the national parks or big publishers to be successful. What it needs is to identify the needs of the nations youth, just like BP did here 109 years ago, and find a way of serving them.

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So instead, BSA adds on the Lion program to increase membership, uniform sale revenue, and literature sales.....  ?  This is how they hope to turn around the decline in membership?

 

"I can't afford the dues for an organization that's going to try to compete with the Federal, State and Local governments for creating outdoor literature and spaces (can't really afford the taxes either!).  Nor can I afford the dues for an organization that's going to build retail space and logistics to compete against Walmart."

 

I can't, I can't, I can't,  but what one can do is create opportunities that no one else out there provides.  Instead of putting all of one's eggs in some Lion program basket as the solution to their problems, why not notch up the existing program to the next level?  No, they have not notched it up, they have rolled it back.  What scouts did 50 years ago or 100 years ago is no longer allowed.  They have become litigiously cautious to the point they are afraid of their own shadows. They don't set the pace, they only follow the demands of others to conform.  They are PC so as to not offend.  They promise adventure and never deliver.  The list of negatives continues ad nauseum.  So what CAN BSA do to improve what it is already doing instead of adding more and more questionable programs onto a once successful organization?

 

1970 - lets take the Explorer program out of the woods, make it co-ed and move it into the hospitals, the law offices, the fire departments, law enforcement agencies and turn it into a career opportunity instead of a new and improved outdoor program that used to be successful.  1998, let's take that now failed career program, turn it into Learning for Life and re-do the old Explorer program that everyone used to really like.  We'll do a hyped up Madison Avenue approach and hope for the best.  Well, how's that working out.  But we can shore up the Cub program by adding Tigers.  That worked so well, we'll add Lions..... and the experimentation goes on and on, but NONE SEEM TO BE CENTERED AROUND THE CAMPFIRE IN THE WOODS!

 

Is the problem the youth have abandoned the program or has the program abandoned the boys?   

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I can't afford the dues for an organization that's going to try to compete with the Federal, State and Local governments for creating outdoor literature and spaces (can't really afford the taxes either!).   

 

Why should this cost the BSA a thing?  I've pointed this out before, but the BSA is horrible, absolutely horrible, at taking advantage of the skills that Scouters bring.  I work in IT for a company at the top of the Fortune 500.  I know several other Eagle Scouts in my department, which is only one small part of our IT operation.  I know people in marketing, training, and almost every other career who are Scouters.  Yet almost no part of the BSA takes advantage of the skills that these volunteers bring.  It isn't happening at the national level, virtually never at the Council level, only occasionally at the District level, and perhaps slightly more often at a unit level.  These are the same Scouters who don't hesitate to pay their hard earned money to teach at Scout Colleges and Philmont!

 

If the BSA put out a call for writers, and said "Hey, we need an expert on outdoor cooking (or camping, hiking, backpacking, trees, mammals, etc.) to write a book that the BSA will publish,"  I'm sure that many people would step up not because they expect to be paid, but just for the chance to be published and help out the BSA.

 

It makes me wonder how merit badge booklets are written... is there some behind the scenes process reaching out to a select group of Scouters to write them?  Is it a... dare I say it.... Committee?  Or does the BSA contract out the work?  If it isn't an open call for experts and writers, I suspect that while we have some good merit badge books, that unfortunately we probably don't have the best Scouter possible writing them (since the odds are likely low that they are finding the single best person in the BSA on any given topic without a public process to find/select them).

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Wayback when, when Scouting had little competition,

"The big thing he emphasises is that when he was that age he joined cubs and then scouts because frankly there was nothing else to do""   Rings true to me.

 

My Cub Pack was part of a Softball League of Cub Packs.  We did combination hikes,  showed up at school in uniform, no problem.  Now....

 

If the parent gives the child a iPad, what is the kid going to do?  If the parent takes the child on a hike with his Cub Den, what is the kid going to do?  If the kid is given a smartphone with a Pokémon app, what is the kid going to do?   If the dad or mom sits down with the kid and builds a bird house, what is the kid going to do?   It is a matter of choice.  My parents did things with me, in a Scout unit.  It is what they did.    Now, my observation is very often, the parent expects, nay seeks out other things for the kid to do and learn from without the parent's participation.  They look for an expert to take charge.  Often, when the parent  seeks out a Scout activity (Pack, Troop, VC) it is too late. The kid has his /her mind already set on what the cyber profiteers want rather than what  an involved parent might want.  

 

Why are you and I communicating on this key board thing?   Because we have too much free time and seeing others react to our words makes us feel good?   Very possibly, but I would like to think we are here because we think Scouting is worth a kids interest and participation.  The ideals communicated, the skills learned and practiced, the community and cooperation realized.... Maybe we can inspire each other to keep on inspiring some others locally ("All Scouting Is Local.")   

When we see these things relegated to the side in favor of the accountants'  "bottom line" , we react and shake our heads sadly. 

If Irving truly sees Scouting as a means to a six figure income, as number of "Scout" times $24 equals success, then  BP and GBB might truly have reason to roll over in their graves. I would like to think they (pro-Scouters) are better than that.   

I teach Cub Leader next month (in person!)   and Knife and Axe in IOLS (haven't found away to do that in espace) .   I think it is still worth while and so long as Irving doesn't interfere too much, I guess I will continue.  

 

See you on the trail!   Buen Camino!  

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