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OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE: Girls as Youth Members, All Programs

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Jameson76 wrote:  "Remember what they said in All the Presidents Man...Follow the money "

 

I absolutely believe that's true, but it's an incomplete insight.  BSA has a large structure of camps, staff and other resources.  If membership drops continue, we need to sell / divest many prized resources that make scouting scouting.  We see it all the time.  I think about my own counsel.  I'm amazed they have not been forced to sell a camp yet even though membership is way down compared to 1999, pre BSA-v-Dale.  

 

To stabilize or increase membership, BSA needs to keep relevant to the times.  An organization for boys only looks like a relic from the past.  Out of date and out of touch.  T

 

his is a chance for renewal.  Yes, it's absolutely about money.  But it's about way more than that too.

I agree with this. My personal opinion is that this is all part of a process to get rid of the three Gs and get the BSA out of the culture wars. If you look at the pre-Dale BSA, who were the largest group of charter orgs? Public schools and the US military. Both of those are gone because of the fallout around the Dale case.

 

If the BSA can put the three Gs too rest, then they can get back into the public schools and the military. I think National is willing to trade short term losses in order to position itself for long term gains. The problem (in my opinion) is that National knows where it wants to get, but doesn't really know how to get there. Which partly explains why National is handling the switch to coed so poorly.

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This is all about money.  BSA is just a business.

 

The scout law and scout oath is being used to shame scouters into toeing the line for national as they use the BSA brand to maximize profits.   You can count on national to make more decisions to increase income down the road.

 

The only time you will see the pros do anything that will make the program better for the boys is when such a change will increase their bottom line.

 

They have picked money over being trustworthy and loyal to the current members.  

 

And you have summed up the issues, the Professional and Board Room of Scouting versus (sadly that is the case) the front line Scouters providing program at the unit level to the youth.

 

- One group feels we needs Scouts so that money can be raised

 

- One group feels we need to raise money so there can be programs delivered to Scouts

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And you have summed up the issues, the Professional and Board Room of Scouting versus (sadly that is the case) the front line Scouters providing program at the unit level to the youth.

 

- One group feels we needs Scouts so that money can be raised

 

- One group feels we need to raise money so there can be programs delivered to Scouts

 

I fail to see how this decision necessitates someone impugning the motives of the professionals.

 

I think both groups (pros and volunteers) feel we need to raise money so there can be programs delivered to scouts - and scouts will now also includes (more) girls.

 

If camps are closing because BSA is losing money, then programs are not being delivered to current scouts. If this change helps reduce the bleed or helps us to actually grow, then we both raise money and deliver more programs to more scouts.

 

It just might turn out that adding more programs for girls helps an existing Boy Scout keep his local summer camp.

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And you have summed up the issues, the Professional and Board Room of Scouting versus (sadly that is the case) the front line Scouters providing program at the unit level to the youth.

 

- One group feels we needs Scouts so that money can be raised

 

- One group feels we need to raise money so there can be programs delivered to Scouts

@@cocomax @@Jameson76, as elegant as a 99%-er's false dichotomy may sound, I would contend that, lacking proof, it remains just that.

 

We have one group that feels that scouts are needed so that money can be raised so that there can be programs delivered to scouts.

 

I have had personal dealings with multiple SE's, two of whom have gone on to be CSE's ... all of whom could be making more $ running for-profit businesses, or have more power in public office.

 

I'm not blindly defending them.  But attributing motivations to pure materialism and then using that as a reason to discount policy just doesn't add up. Maybe I've heard from too many Trotskyists during the Cold War years ...

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My personal opinion is that this is all part of a process to get rid of the three Gs and get the BSA out of the culture wars.

Anything is possible, but I see no movement on the "third G", except in the opposite direction. They have now enshrined Duty to God in the requirements for every rank. I also don't really hear a lot of clamoring to change that particular membership policy.  I also think there are a number of "secret" atheist and agnostic Scouts, which the BSA seems to fine with as long as they don't come out of the closet. So to speak.

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Anything is possible, but I see no movement on the "third G", except in the opposite direction. They have now enshrined Duty to God in the requirements for every rank. I also don't really hear a lot of clamoring to change that particular membership policy.  I also think there are a number of "secret" atheist and agnostic Scouts, which the BSA seems to fine with as long as they don't come out of the closet. So to speak.

 

Two years max.  Once the LDS money dries up, and we don't see enough membership growth from adding girls, the third G will fall.  We'll start a "discussion" at the National meeting in May 2019.  The CSE will tell us there's no pressure to change.  It's just an internal discussion. 

 

Think about it, if our new focus is to better serve families, then the argument will be we aren't fully serving atheist/agnostic families.  The BSA will try to calm the fears of the remaining religious COs by offering the local option.  People in favor of the change will argue character development isn't just for the religious; people opposed will argue it changes the fundamental nature of the program.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

Edited by walk in the woods

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Whatever the claimed motivations of national are do not matter.  The path BSA National is on is one of survival by any means necessary, money is the life blood of the BSA National. Anything in the way of making more money will be thrown overboard.  Anything they can think of to make more money they will do.  The dishonesty of national over the last year is a mountain of proof that they do not care one wit about being trustworthy. Money is more important then being trustworthy.

 

Just being up front and honest with the scouters would have been a much better way to do things.

 

I can not even get a straight answer from any of the higher ups as to what they mean by "family camping" and "family scouting".  They claim it does NOT mean co-ed scout camping, but they can not tell me what exactly it does mean.   We are living in a fog of lies, left wondering what national really means and what they are planing to do next and not tell us, what mind games they will be playing on the scouters to get them to go along with the plan.

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I can not even get a straight answer from any of the higher ups as to what they mean by "family camping" and "family scouting".  They claim it does NOT mean co-ed scout camping, but they can not tell me what exactly it does mean.   

 

In reading this forum over the past few weeks, it seems to me that what people are most concerned with about "family camping" or "family scouting" is not necessarily the presence of girls, but the presence of PARENTS.  (That is, in Boy-Scout-age programs; there is already "family camping" in Cub Scouts, and when my son was in Cub Scouts, ALL of the camping was family camping.)  I think most people realize that "coed" camping (i.e. male youth and female youth; we already have "coed camping" for leaders) is probably inevitable in units that choose to do so - and it already takes place at the Venturing level.

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@NJScouter

 

I think you have hit the nail on the head. I have lots of experience with the BSA, GSUSA, Girl Guides of Canada and a little less experience with Scouts Canada. The BSA is the only program that I've been involved in for over 12 years that is 'family friendly/heavy family involvement'.  Before everyone flips out let me explain.

 

GSUSA, GGC and SC all encourage families to be active in the programs but they want the scouts to grow and develop without the parents present every moment of the time. All 3 organizations encourage the parent to drop off the scout at the meeting room, leave while the meeting is going on and come back at the designated time to pick their scout up. Parents aren't normally in attendance for unit meetings and on site activities. When it comes to camping and field trips the same method applies. Parents may be invited to camp or go on a field trip with the group if extra adults are needed for ratios or transportation, but the scout doesn't go to camp/field trip with a parent in tow. Scouts learn independence from a very early age (first grade). Scouts in these programs even go to summer residence camps of 3-7+ days in length without parents and depending on the association without unit leaders too. Leadership in these programs (especially GGC and SC) also tend not to be parents of current scouts either. Parents are free to observe anytime they want but it is highly discouraged. Drop and go.

 

BSA wants Mommy/Daddy/other adult with each scout for Lions and Tigers. Most packs want the parent around through Webelos. Then it is culture shock when the scout reaches the troop level that parents aren't truly 'welcome' anymore. On top of the burn out we all talk about on these forums this culture shock IMHO is a main driver in the drop out rate between AoL and first year troop. I had 12 scouts from Tiger to AoL. Only 3 stuck with the program after AoL. 4 scouts were only children and their parents weren't keen on letting their darlings out of their sight. One actually told another parent and myself that since we had more than 1 child that we had a spare kid if something happened to our boys. They didn't have a spare so they were going to protect him at all costs and not let him out of their sight for a few more years. Lost touch with those families after that.

 

The scouting program doesn't function well with adults present in too large a number. Kids can't grow and become confident in their abilities when adults hover. The BSA for all its fussing that helicopter parents aren't what is appropriate sure does push that to happen when they insist on parental attendance at meetings/events/camps. 

 

Girls in the BSA isn't what we all need to be afraid of. Too many parents that don't understand the program and don't know how to let go is our real issue. The BSA has made a leap to be like the rest of the WOSM, but how long till they adopt policies that will actually help scouting improve? It sounds harsh but we need to ditch more of the adult attendance/interaction at activities. Let the scouts work the program with just enough adults to meet ratios, get the rest out. No unit should be registering more adults than kids. Adults need to be trained and parents need to keep their distance. 

 

My only fear with girls coming into the program is more parents that want to meddle with scouting. 

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@NJScouter

 

I think you have hit the nail on the head. I have lots of experience with the BSA, GSUSA, Girl Guides of Canada and a little less experience with Scouts Canada. The BSA is the only program that I've been involved in for over 12 years that is 'family friendly/heavy family involvement'.  Before everyone flips out let me explain.

 

GSUSA, GGC and SC all encourage families to be active in the programs but they want the scouts to grow and develop without the parents present every moment of the time. All 3 organizations encourage the parent to drop off the scout at the meeting room, leave while the meeting is going on and come back at the designated time to pick their scout up. Parents aren't normally in attendance for unit meetings and on site activities. When it comes to camping and field trips the same method applies. Parents may be invited to camp or go on a field trip with the group if extra adults are needed for ratios or transportation, but the scout doesn't go to camp/field trip with a parent in tow. Scouts learn independence from a very early age (first grade). Scouts in these programs even go to summer residence camps of 3-7+ days in length without parents and depending on the association without unit leaders too. Leadership in these programs (especially GGC and SC) also tend not to be parents of current scouts either. Parents are free to observe anytime they want but it is highly discouraged. Drop and go.

 

As a father of a GS and a BS, I have to say that my experience differs significantly.

 

The adult leaders in every GS troop my daughter has been a part of (4 in total), a mother of a GS was the leader and all other leaders where moms of GS in that troop. I also often dropped off my son at his cub scout meetings and picked him up later when it was over. Parents that were not volunteers came and went as they pleased during our meetings but were in no way involved.

 

As a man, I can't say that my attendance at any GS event was EVER "high discouraged" and I would find such behavior by any volunteer leader to be both very off-putting and suspicious to the point that if it continued, I would either confront them or seek out a new troop. I have participated in literally dozens of GS events as a father and never once felt pressure to leave or not attend (though I take make a stink twice with the fact that their GS surveys always ask if my daughter feels like that she spends more time with her "mother" due to GS instead of asking if she felt that she spent more time with her "caregiver" due to GS - which would be the more politically correct and gender/family neutral term).

 

 

BSA wants Mommy/Daddy/other adult with each scout for Lions and Tigers. Most packs want the parent around through Webelos. Then it is culture shock when the scout reaches the troop level that parents aren't truly 'welcome' anymore. On top of the burn out we all talk about on these forums this culture shock IMHO is a main driver in the drop out rate between AoL and first year troop. I had 12 scouts from Tiger to AoL. Only 3 stuck with the program after AoL. 4 scouts were only children and their parents weren't keen on letting their darlings out of their sight. One actually told another parent and myself that since we had more than 1 child that we had a spare kid if something happened to our boys. They didn't have a spare so they were going to protect him at all costs and not let him out of their sight for a few more years. Lost touch with those families after that.

 

Again, not my experience at all. The Patrol Method should not equal exclusion of parents. We often have non-volunteer parents at meetings and at camp events. Doesn't mean that the patrol method changes based on their attendance. As far as burn out or drop out rate, I can only speak from anecdotal experience but my son's patrol has not lost a single scout since they crossed over from Web 2 last December.

 

The scouting program doesn't function well with adults present in too large a number. Kids can't grow and become confident in their abilities when adults hover. The BSA for all its fussing that helicopter parents aren't what is appropriate sure does push that to happen when they insist on parental attendance at meetings/events/camps. 

 

I agree with the hover but attendance need not equal hovering.

 

Girls in the BSA isn't what we all need to be afraid of. Too many parents that don't understand the program and don't know how to let go is our real issue. The BSA has made a leap to be like the rest of the WOSM, but how long till they adopt policies that will actually help scouting improve? It sounds harsh but we need to ditch more of the adult attendance/interaction at activities. Let the scouts work the program with just enough adults to meet ratios, get the rest out. No unit should be registering more adults than kids. Adults need to be trained and parents need to keep their distance. 

 

My only fear with girls coming into the program is more parents that want to meddle with scouting. 

 

Meh. Train the parents like you train the scouts. We had at least two parent meetings when my son crossed over that dealt with how Boy Scouts are different than Cub Scouts. If your troop does a good job of teaching new Boy Scout parents, then I don't see why this would be an issue. If parents are inappropriately hovering then the problem is that the parents haven't been properly educated.

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I have had personal dealings with multiple SE's, two of whom have gone on to be CSE's ... all of whom could be making more $ running for-profit businesses, or have more power in public office.

 

 

 

If they can make more money or have more power by going elsewhere, then let them do it. That is not a good reason to overpay them or give them too much power in BSA.

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@NJScouter

 

I think you have hit the nail on the head. I have lots of experience with the BSA, GSUSA, Girl Guides of Canada and a little less experience with Scouts Canada. The BSA is the only program that I've been involved in for over 12 years that is 'family friendly/heavy family involvement'.  Before everyone flips out let me explain.

 

GSUSA, GGC and SC all encourage families to be active in the programs but they want the scouts to grow and develop without the parents present every moment of the time. All 3 organizations encourage the parent to drop off the scout at the meeting room, leave while the meeting is going on and come back at the designated time to pick their scout up. Parents aren't normally in attendance for unit meetings and on site activities. When it comes to camping and field trips the same method applies. Parents may be invited to camp or go on a field trip with the group if extra adults are needed for ratios or transportation, but the scout doesn't go to camp/field trip with a parent in tow. Scouts learn independence from a very early age (first grade). Scouts in these programs even go to summer residence camps of 3-7+ days in length without parents and depending on the association without unit leaders too. Leadership in these programs (especially GGC and SC) also tend not to be parents of current scouts either. Parents are free to observe anytime they want but it is highly discouraged. Drop and go.

 

As a father of a GS and a BS, I have to say that my experience differs significantly.

 

The adult leaders in every GS troop my daughter has been a part of (4 in total), a mother of a GS was the leader and all other leaders where moms of GS in that troop. I also often dropped off my son at his cub scout meetings and picked him up later when it was over. Parents that were not volunteers came and went as they pleased during our meetings but were in no way involved.

 

As a man, I can't say that my attendance at any GS event was EVER "high discouraged" and I would find such behavior by any volunteer leader to be both very off-putting and suspicious to the point that if it continued, I would either confront them or seek out a new troop. I have participated in literally dozens of GS events as a father and never once felt pressure to leave or not attend (though I take make a stink twice with the fact that their GS surveys always ask if my daughter feels like that she spends more time with her "mother" due to GS instead of asking if she felt that she spent more time with her "caregiver" due to GS - which would be the more politically correct and gender/family neutral term).

 

 

BSA wants Mommy/Daddy/other adult with each scout for Lions and Tigers. Most packs want the parent around through Webelos. Then it is culture shock when the scout reaches the troop level that parents aren't truly 'welcome' anymore. On top of the burn out we all talk about on these forums this culture shock IMHO is a main driver in the drop out rate between AoL and first year troop. I had 12 scouts from Tiger to AoL. Only 3 stuck with the program after AoL. 4 scouts were only children and their parents weren't keen on letting their darlings out of their sight. One actually told another parent and myself that since we had more than 1 child that we had a spare kid if something happened to our boys. They didn't have a spare so they were going to protect him at all costs and not let him out of their sight for a few more years. Lost touch with those families after that.

 

Again, not my experience at all. The Patrol Method should not equal exclusion of parents. We often have non-volunteer parents at meetings and at camp events. Doesn't mean that the patrol method changes based on their attendance. As far as burn out or drop out rate, I can only speak from anecdotal experience but my son's patrol has not lost a single scout since they crossed over from Web 2 last December.

 

The scouting program doesn't function well with adults present in too large a number. Kids can't grow and become confident in their abilities when adults hover. The BSA for all its fussing that helicopter parents aren't what is appropriate sure does push that to happen when they insist on parental attendance at meetings/events/camps. 

 

I agree with the hover but attendance need not equal hovering.

 

Girls in the BSA isn't what we all need to be afraid of. Too many parents that don't understand the program and don't know how to let go is our real issue. The BSA has made a leap to be like the rest of the WOSM, but how long till they adopt policies that will actually help scouting improve? It sounds harsh but we need to ditch more of the adult attendance/interaction at activities. Let the scouts work the program with just enough adults to meet ratios, get the rest out. No unit should be registering more adults than kids. Adults need to be trained and parents need to keep their distance. 

 

My only fear with girls coming into the program is more parents that want to meddle with scouting. 

 

Meh. Train the parents like you train the scouts. We had at least two parent meetings when my son crossed over that dealt with how Boy Scouts are different than Cub Scouts. If your troop does a good job of teaching new Boy Scout parents, then I don't see why this would be an issue. If parents are inappropriately hovering then the problem is that the parents haven't been properly educated.

 

Correct you have to train the parent just as you have to train the scouts.  With youth and parents crossing over from the cub scouts we stress with them that we operate differently with the troop than the way a pack operates.  Also if a parent is a Merit Badge Councilor they can only be the councilor for there on child with all work being done in a troop setting with other unit leaders present. and only if we have no other Merit Badge Councilor for that badge.   

 

As a unit leader I would never tell a parent that they could not stay at a meeting or go on  a camping trip.  So far we have not had any problems with any of the parents that have attended any of these events.

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If they can make more money or have more power by going elsewhere, then let them do it. That is not a good reason to overpay them or give them too much power in BSA.

Those who actually make their money/power "elsewhere" become board members ... and they determine compensation for the execs based on their experience with free market forces. If you'll do the job for less, send them your resume!

 

There is no scenario where any BSA policy shift is linked directly to executive compensation. Now a policy that actually does increase membership will lead to more personnel. Get more youth? You'll get more units, more execs and smaller counsels. But, this in itself does none of that. At best it will placate litigants and actuaries.

 

Anyone is welcome to dislike the policy. They aren't welcome to reduce motives to mere cash flow, or the number of blue moons, or some Illuminati conspiracy just because they don't like it.

 

I'm coming up with a post framing this on Camping MB requirement 9a that could be linked to cash flow. Stay tuned.

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Decreased membership is decreased revenue. Increased membership is increased revenue. If the former happens eventually program and staff and salaries go down. If that latter happens those things go up.

 

That’s not conspiracy theory. That’s business economic.

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Those who actually make their money/power "elsewhere" become board members ... and they determine compensation for the execs based on their experience with free market forces. If you'll do the job for less, send them your resume!

 

 

There are no free market forces involved at BSA. It is a rigged system.

 

I have no idea who these board members are or how they are selected. All I know is that they seem to rubber stamp anything the execs put in front of them. 

 

BSA doesn't hire from outside. You know that. 

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