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How would the ideal scout poll work?

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Polling isn't about running things. It's about learning how every stakeholder thinks.

 

Now, a young adult such as yourself (assuming you started at Tigers) had about 11 years of service. That's far more than most scout parents.

But the bitter truth is that most young adults with 11 years of service will stop contributing to the organization after graduation within the next 3 years. That's life in America.

Should that control and justify giving adults control of an organization for boys? How is the fact adults take over at this level any different than adults taking over a troop or lodge? It’s the same excuse being used just on a larger scale. I get that working with kids is tough and it takes longer to get things done because we don’t see the big picture. But isn’t that what Scouting is about and why adults stay in scouting so long? Or is it really about reliving your youth? I’m starting to think for many adults it’s the latter though not necessarily you.

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Should that control and justify giving adults control of an organization for boys? How is the fact adults take over at this level any different than adults taking over a troop or lodge? It’s the same excuse being used just on a larger scale. I get that working with kids is tough and it takes longer to get things done because we don’t see the big picture. But isn’t that what Scouting is about and why adults stay in scouting so long? Or is it really about reliving your youth? I’m starting to think for many adults it’s the latter though not necessarily you.

Adults already have "control", as we have seen with national decisions on membership, insignia, and advancement. What they often don't have, is comprehensive information about what their base thinks? Who is that base? Youth, certainly. But also ...

  • Look at the list of BSA charters (http://www.scouting.org/FILESTORE/pdf/02-507.pdf) how many are owned and operated by youth?
  • Randomly search for a publicly-recognized donor to the BSA -- what are the odds that that donor will be youth or youth owned?
  • Of the years that you have been a scout, how often have your dues been paid from your parent's checkbook?

I absolutely love when youth band together and move adults along. It's a great thing.

 

But, I've seen repeatedly: if the adults walk away, there is no unit.  As a crew advisor in a contentious scouting arena, I field a lot of bluster (often couched in the form of "helpful opinions") from a lot of adults. My only reliable filter has been: who's doing the time?

 

Put it another way ... do you really think I should put the opinion of a tiger DL who's been registered in the past two years on equal footing with yours?

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So where are we?

 

Poll units. Each unit gets one vote as determined by majority of scouts voting in unit.

 

Who constructs poll?

 

OA conducts voting and?

 

Then what?

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People will invest time into these kinds of processes only if they really are interested in the results.  With the recent major changes in the Scout program, it is obvious just how interested they really were in finding out. 

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Another piece to the polling question is potential scouts.

 

To make my point at the patrol level, if the PL only asks his members on the campout about said campout that only gives him the opinion of those who went. If he ignores the opinion of those who did not attend, he might not have the best information for what to do differently (if anything) the next time.

 

While I agree with some others who lament for the old days, what changed was the program at the unit level, and for the most part it was by adults who grew up as scouts in the 50s and 60s, many of them moved away from the patrol method. It had little to do with membership changes, it was a move towards adult led, advancement oriented scouting. The membership issues which arose were because adults' influences, not the scouts. I had patrol mates who were gay way back when, none of us cared. We focused on camping and having fun. We also did not care what religion they followed, if any. The practical religion of scouts was evidenced by us following the oath and law, doing a good turn daily, being prepared to do the right thing all of the time regardless of the consequences.

 

Adults need to focus on program, all the other stuff is a distraction.

  • Upvote 3

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Should that control and justify giving adults control of an organization for boys? How is the fact adults take over at this level any different than adults taking over a troop or lodge? It’s the same excuse being used just on a larger scale. I get that working with kids is tough and it takes longer to get things done because we don’t see the big picture. But isn’t that what Scouting is about and why adults stay in scouting so long? Or is it really about reliving your youth? I’m starting to think for many adults it’s the latter though not necessarily you.

 

Scouting was started by adults. Your unit was chartered by adults. I think you are going just a bit too far when you suggest that adults stepped in and took over scouting. 

 

The role of adults in a boy scout troop is to provide oversight, guidance, and supervision. It is not to run the activities. Scouting is a game for boys.

 

Don't be so quick to dismiss the importance of the proper role that adults play in scouting. Yes, you can and should speak out when you see adults stepping outside of their assigned roles and getting involved in playing a boys' game. Just don't confuse that with the actions of adults who are simply carrying out their proper duties.

 

I had to laugh at the notion that old people like myself in scouting are trying to relive our youth. We are very well aware of the fact that it is not possible. Youth and childhood are fond and distant memories now. 

 

My parents, aunts and uncles, teachers, coaches, and scout leaders are all gone now. All the adults from my childhood have passed on. I don't miss being a boy scout and playing boy scout games.  I miss my leaders. I loved them, and I do sorely miss them.

Edited by David CO

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I had to laugh at the notion that old people like myself  in scouting are trying to relive our youth. We are very well aware of the fact that it is not possible. Youth and childhood are fond and distant memories now. 

 

Adult patrols, IOLS that mirrors TFC, district award dinners that are 90% adult recognition and 10 youth recognition, bloated council recognition event, units doing MB and rank advancement work at meetings, MB colleges, tools guidelines, age-appropriate guidelines, etc. These are all things that either are focused on adults playing Scout or adult ideas thrust upon Scouts.

 

Not saying you are doing them, but clearly BP's point of too much adult involvement being an epidemic in Scouting today *is* relevant. I can understand wanting to take it back. No, you can't take adults entirely out of Scouting...but you don't need the intensity of involvement that you have today. I can see how one would think that's adults trying to relive their youth and I would not be so quick as to dismiss it.

Edited by Col. Flagg
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 I can see how one would think that's adults trying to relive their youth and I would not be so quick as to dismiss it.

 

I can see this point of view as well.

It reminded me of a thread, about 10 years ago, entitled "Manscouts and WB"

  • Upvote 1

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Not saying you are doing them, but clearly BP's point of too much adult involvement being an epidemic in Scouting today *is* relevant. I can understand wanting to take it back. No, you can't take adults entirely out of Scouting...but you don't need the intensity of involvement that you have today. I can see how one would think that's adults trying to relive their youth and I would not be so quick as to dismiss it.

Weren't you the one arguing for adults to be restricted from leaving a summer camp. I guess one mans patrol method is another mans heavily involved adult troop.

 

Maybe we are a generation of helicopter scout leaders and just don't know it.

 

Barry

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This is why us old timers are convinced that we really aren't leaving Scouts, Scouts left us along the way.

Of course, many of us "old timers" (a phrase I had never really thought of as including me, but at this point I guess it does) are not leaving Scouting at all. I don't believe Scouting has "left" me, either. The opportunities are still there to help the boys find a good path in life. And regardless of my reservations, if the youth members in my unit include females at some point, that's just more of an opportunity to help youth.

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I don't think most Scouters are involved in order to "relive their youth", but I think a certain amount of that is inevitable anyway, and it's not necessarily bad. I think it's natural that if a person was a Boy Scout, and is now helping Boy Scouts as an adult, to think back to one's younger days sometimes and to compare it to how things are today (for better or for worse.) I will admit that at one point, one of my fellow Scouters caught me using the phrase "when I was a Scout" a little too often in conversation. I suppose it can be annoying when done in excess. So I try to say it less now, but I still think about the old days sometimes.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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When i see adults forming patrols and stepping in too often to help Scouts I can’t help but feel they are doing more than just being helpful.

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When i see adults forming patrols and stepping in too often to help Scouts I can’t help but feel they are doing more than just being helpful.

 

I think the motivation of the vast majority of Scouters is to be helpful to the Scouts.  Sometimes that "help" can be counterproductive, mostly because Boy Scouts is supposed to be boy-run.  It would not be the only area of life where the effect of one's actions do not match the good motivations that drive those actions.  I have also seen at least one instance of a Scouter whose life outside Scouting was not going so well, and who held onto a position longer than they should have, in order to fill a "void."  That was good for neither the person or for the troop, especially since the person was Committee Chair.  Hopefully those kinds of situations happen rarely, but they do happen.

 

As for the "adults forming patrols" thing, I have always thought that was kind of silly, but mostly harmless.  Most of the adults in our troop wear an "Old Goat Patrol" patch on their uniform.  I never have.

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Of course, many of us "old timers" (a phrase I had never really thought of as including me, but at this point I guess it does) are not leaving Scouting at all. I don't believe Scouting has "left" me, either. The opportunities are still there to help the boys find a good path in life. And regardless of my reservations, if the youth members in my unit include females at some point, that's just more of an opportunity to help youth.

 

I guess there are always going to be those who use a screwdriver as a pry bar, or a hammer to pound in screws.  A tool (or program) is designed to do a certain function (BOY scouts), but I'm sure there are those that will get some mileage out of pounding screws.

 

If I was a hammer and was tasked with pounding nails, I could get really good at doing what I'm supposed to be doing.  However, if the boss hands me screws and expects me to do the same job, it'll work, but not as well.  I work with both same-sex youth groups and co-ed youth groups.  They are hardly the same thing.  Many different variants.  The Boy Scout program is not designed for co-ed, never has been, that's why Exploring and Venturing struggle.  So, the handwriting on the wall says, Cubs and Boy Scouts will struggle, too.  Sure, a screw that has been pounded in with a hammer will work, but never as good as one that has been driven in with a screwdriver.

Edited by Stosh

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When i see adults forming patrols and stepping in too often to help Scouts I can’t help but feel they are doing more than just being helpful.

 

It all depends on what help is being given.  Helping them manage the task by stepping in or helping them develop leadership on their own by NOT stepping in.  An adult can always help when it comes to managing a task, but there is never any room for an adult to step in to help lead when it is leadership one is trying to convey to the scouts.

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