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Council too tightly managing communication - Venting

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I'm a gung-ho loyal supporter of BSA and I very much want to march in-step with BSA's direction.  With that said, I was frustrated this last week.  Our DE is a great guy and we're in a good council.  But with all the changes coming and with being a strident volunteer, I expect just a bit more openness and straight forward talk.  Instead, this week it was just too explicitly an emphasis on talking points and controlling the message.  

Us lowly volunteers are going to talk, discuss and debate what we are going to talk, discuss and debate.  The volunteers are already creating content, discussing challenges, making plans and preparing blindly without support from the council.  If the council is not ready, prepared or open for the topics, then the council is not going to be involved.   I really fear the council will come late to the game after the units have made their decisions.  

The key point is there are no units, districts or program without the volunteers.  We are not customers to be managed or voters to be woo'ed.  

BSA and their councils should worry less about controlling the message and invest more in supporting their volunteers and getting information out quick and timely.

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Perhaps the national press releases should have been delayed until they have an idea of how it was to be implemented.  I just read this thread and learned a whole lot more than what has been communica

I wanted to avoid the current topic as it's controversial.  Perhaps I'm no better than the council and DE trying to shield information.  But my frustration is not with the topic.  It's with a repeated

I encourage patrol camping over troop camping. 2 vehicles is usually enough for a patrol (6-8 scouts) and gear plus the two adults driving (3 at most). No need for trailer, or plethora of adults. Most

I wanted to avoid the current topic as it's controversial.  Perhaps I'm no better than the council and DE trying to shield information.  But my frustration is not with the topic.  It's with a repeated pattern that happens every time there is anything at all challenging or controversial.  The volunteers are left out in front of the parents and scouts looking like the bad guy while still waiting for manna from on-high to be blessed upon us.  It gets old.  

Current subject ... Membership changes.  Talking points to share with units in the district, but the units are pretty much beyond those topics and looking now at the further issues of troops and camping and etc.   Now when the information is shared, the units have already been months into discussing the topic.  Argh.  :(


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Our council just announced the go-ed option and invited units to join in a "pilot" program for their units.  It feels like a "day late, dollar short" approach to something as controversial as all of this has been.

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3 minutes ago, Stosh said:

Our council just announced the go-ed option and invited units to join in a "pilot" program for their units.  It feels like a "day late, dollar short" approach to something as controversial as all of this has been.

Is the pilot program just for Cub Scout packs?  That is all that I have seen.

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BSA made their announcement Oct 11th or earlier.  Our council should have started sharing immediately and continually ... even if it was as much as "we don't know yet".  I'd like to give them the "doubt", but our DE and other council staff knew it was coming.  It was just when would the announcement would occur.  We tell our scouts to be prepared, but they were not prepared.  

Now, it's almost three months later and they have their first talking points about cubs.  Nothing about Boy Scouts.  Just limited talking points.  I almost want to skip round table as it's sort of insulting and absolutely a waste.  OR more importantly it reminds me of all the time I've wasted the last three months talking about this with individuals and units without any significant input or support from my council.  They've been mum until now.  And now, they are only ready to talk about one part of the topic. 

Many of the cub units I know have already made their plans.  They are just waiting for the "OPEN FOR BUSINESS" sign to do paperwork.  Sitting through a council presentation is sort of insulting now.  

Ya know, the leaders are going to address the topics and be there in front.  If the council leaders are not up in front, then they are not leading.  They may have the reins, but it's out of control and they are not leading.

I also get the feeling like they want to control this more then they want to help.  

Not prepared.  Not leading.  Not being helpful or friendly.  

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Just a few rules to consider......

As you may be aware, beginning in the fall of 2018 (new school year) girls will be able to join the Cub Scouts program with-in your pack, if adopted by your chartered partner.


If your Cub Scout Pack would like to participate in the early launch “Pilot Program” which will kick off January 15, 2018 we need you to respond to this email by January 4, 2018.


To be eligible to participate in the “Pilot Program”, you must commit to the following:

  1. Approval by the Council The Cub Scout Pack is in Good Standing and has the capacity (Leadership, Facilities, etc.) to participate.
  2. The Chartered Partner and Pack Committee adopts the use of the Family Pack Model (Both Boys Dens and Girls Dens in their Pack).
  3. All Leaders in the Pack must be trained in their positions and current on Youth Protection training.
  4. Must abide by the Two Deep Leadership Requirements.
    1. All Boy Den – No Change.  One registered adult leader and one other adult; on of which must be 21 years old.
    2. All Girls Den – One registered adult leader and one other adult, one of which must be 21 years old, and Youth Protection trained, and adult female must be present.
  5. Advancement – A written program plan must be developed with a time line to accomplish all rank requirements by May 31, 2018 in this compressed time frame.
  6. Register a minimum of 4 girls (grades k-4) into the existing pack in an all-Girl Den.
  7. Use the current Cub Scouting program and resources.
  8. Uphold membership policies.
  9. Provide data & statistics on their activities and experiences to help improve the formal roll out.
  10. Cub Scout Packs must participate in either Cub Scout/Webelos Resident Camp on July 29 – August 4 or Week-long Day Camp on August 13 – 17. 

We are very excited about this new venture for Cub Scouts and if your Cub Scout Pack is interested in participating in the “Pilot Program” or if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me.



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I have heard National and Councils call this January enrollment - "soft launch", "pilot program" (not to be confused with the Lions program), and "Early Adopter". Whatever the name, the confusion is the same.

Patriots' Path (NJ), Baltimore Are Council -  Early Adopter program



Early Adopter Program Q & A ( wide timelines?)


National Capital Area Council appeared to have most detail as follows:

To better help you decide, here are two questions your Pack Committee should consider with your COR. If your Pack can answer “yes” to these two questions, you may be ready to move forward as an Early Adopter of the Family Scouting Program:

  1. Do we have excitement in our community to begin a Family Scouting Program?
  2. Can our Pack meet ALL the Early Adopter Program Requirements, as outlined by BSA?
    1. The Council approves your Pack as being in “good standing”. Your District Executive can help you to facilitate this designation.
    2. Your COR and the Pack Committee activates your BeAScout.org pin prior to March 15.
    3. Your leaders are 100% trained, including current Youth Protection Training (YPT), and have female leadership in place for any Pack or Den activities involving female members.
    4. Your Pack will have a program plan in place that will enable all members (both new girls and current boys) to advance by May 31.
    5. Your Pack agrees to abide by the rules established by the BSA including a minimum of 4 girls in a Pack, and a minimum of 4 girls in any one Den. (For this soft launch Packs can create an “All Ages Den” with at least 4 girls)

Whether you are launching in January or August, the Early Adopter Program gives you a good idea what you’ll need to do to “Be Prepared!” for Family Scouting. Similar to the introduction of Lions a few years back, this “soft rollout” framework is sensitive to the needs of all families while providing a comfortable starting point for those Packs who are ready to embrace the new program. And like the Lions rollout, the Family Scouting Program will continue to develop and evolve as feedback is received and new challenges are identified.

More information will be coming early next year. Watch for a program-focused webinar on January 8!

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I mainly want to vent.  I've been pretty much a BSA cheerleader and wear rose color glasses.  But sometimes even I can get jaded. 

The slow roll out is killer.  Nov and Dec round tables with no discussion.  Now only some on cub scouts.  Many people asking questions and all we can say is we haven't heard anything yet.  

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2 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

Family Pack Model???  Oh BOY.  I cannot wait for the rollout of the Family Troop Model...

Well, since (officially, anyway) boys and girls will be in different troops, there will not be a "family troop model."  Presumably.

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2 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

Hmm, the name of that council sounds familiar, where have I heard it before?  :D

I had not received this letter, presumably because I am not involved in Cub Scouts.  But I will send a copy to our person in charge of recruitment, they should at least know what is going on with the packs.

I also was not aware that my council had a "Vice President for Family Scouting."  Which is more evidence that the BSA is NOT de-emphasizing the term "family scouting," by which they mean only the sons-and-daughters part of the family.  They don't seem to understand what "family" means in normal, non-jargonized English.

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