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How to market for the BSA

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Dr. James Naismith invented basketball.  William G. Morgan invented volleyball.  Both were YMCA instructors at the YMCA Training School, which is now called Springfield College.  Yes, both of these sports were custom designed with the aims and goals of YMCA in mind.

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One of the problems in marketing scouting is that many of our scouters insist that scouting should be a boys favorite activity, and won't settle for it playing second fiddle on a boys list of activiti

One of the problems the BSA caused with the first year first class program is that it unintentionally steered inexperienced adult leaders to focus on advancement. I can't count how many Wood Badge Sco

A lot of the material I have seen from bsa the last few months has been on just about everything else except outdoors. Things are focused on family stuff and ready made events. Not picking up your gea

Baseball predates the YMCA.  Its exact origins are unknown.  Baseball is often credited to Abner Doubleday, an active duty officer during the American Civil War, but this isn't entirely correct.  


Baseball existed, in some form, before the Civil War.  During the Civil war, the YMCA was very active in providing the young soldiers with sports equipment, so that they could have some recreation during the pauses between engagements.  This often included baseball bats and balls.  They didn't use mitts back then.


Abner Doubleday encouraged his young troops to play baseball.  He thought the game promoted all the positive characteristics he sought in young men, including sportsmanship and good character.  After the end of the war, he promoted baseball as a sport for boys and young men.


So, baseball first gained widespread appeal during the Civil War, with some credit going to the YMCA.  But no, there is no record of the YMCA actually inventing baseball.

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Regarding marketing scouts, why can't bsa develop a campaign that focuses less on the family and more on the main things units are doing? I'd like to see templates that are easy to use and customize. No need to make dual English and Spanish templates. Let the units customize them. Include marketing and outreach training for leaders.

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qwaze: here's a more thorough excerpt from her book:  https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/


I share Eagledad's opinion that Scouting is an antidote to Twenge's thesis (and should be vigorously Marketed as such).  However my prescription differs somewhat in that what's needed is a healthy dose of the Patrol Method.


Agreed that the Patrol Method should occur primarily outdoors - though occasionally indoors for some Service Projects - but my point is that Twenge's argument is that peer-to-peer interactive social skills are at extreme risk.  Plucking boys out of their computer-coma's and plopping them in the Outdoors is definitely a step in the right direction; however the cure (in my mind) is the interaction demanded by the Patrol Method.


Jean Twenge is also quoted in this Time.com article from yesterday: http://time.com/4974863/kids-smartphones-depression/


Additionally the article highlights "the latest statistics on teen mental health":

Between 2010 and 2016, the number of adolescents who experienced at least one major depressive episode leapt by 60%, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The 2016 survey of 17,000 kids found that about 13% of them had a major depressive episode, compared to 8% of the kids surveyed in 2010. Suicide deaths among people age 10 to 19 have also risen sharply, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ... All this followed a period during the late-1990s and early 2000s when rates of adolescent depression and suicide mostly held steady or declined.


Elsewhere though, the article makes an observation which should be a caution to all of us (and work to avoid being "one more thing" in busy parents' lives):

There are doubtless many factors contributing to teen depression. Parents say kids today are busier than ever before—their lives increasingly crammed with the extracurriculars required to gain admission to a good college.

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