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fred johnson

Council too tightly managing communication - Venting

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1 hour ago, NJCubScouter 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.

Well maybe the Truth is in Here.  :D

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I'm gonna counter-vent here.  When the BSA announced this, with the barest sketch of what they thought would be how things would shake out for the Cub Scout program (and giving no details on what the Boy Scout program might look like), they also made it pretty darn clear that they would be releasing the details later - sometime in 2018 for the Cub Scout program and a stay tuned for the Boy Scout program.

Ok - I get it - folks are frustrated by what they see as a lack of communication on the details but my question to everyone is simply - why is it National's and/or your local Council's fault that people have been jumping the gun, and doing their planning, etc. etc. well before National was releasing any details on what the program would look like.  They told us they would have the details of this later - sometime in 2018.  It's only the 4th of January 2018- they've clearly not released any details (except to perhaps a few councils to run a beta test).  Everything the volunteers have been planning may all be for nothing - it's based purely on speculation - their own - and not on anything that National has planned.    Frankly, it's like anticipating the release of the next Star Wars movie when you know nothing of the plot and so you sit around thinking of everything you would like it to be and then get disappointed when the actual movie comes out.

Am I defending National and the Council's here?  Yes - yes I am - because it is not their fault that the people out in volunteer-land either can't comprehend their statements that details will be released in 2018 or don't have the patience to just sit back and wait until the details are released.  

If you should be frustrated with anyone, it should be with yourselves.  You are jumping the gun - it's not the starter's fault when a runner starts before the gun fires.  Its not that difficult to tell parents/prospective parents that the BSA hasn't release the plan yet and that you're all just patiently waiting.

 

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People have been jumping the gun on this issue for many years now.  Maybe National is just scrambling to catch up.  I'm thinking there are a lot more dynamics going on here than what can be seen from the surface.

If people are simply doing what they want, BSA lost control over this whole issue a long time ago and did nothing to stop it.

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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 communicated to the Scouters by my Council.  I have had extensive training in the field of "Risk Communication"...BSA National and local Council Executives need a crash course.  In a nutshell...1) identify your stakeholders, 2) communicate early and often, 3) tell the truth, 4) if you don't know, say you don't know., 5) get out ahead of the rumors and quash them.

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9 hours ago, CalicoPenn said:

.

Am I defending National and the Council's here?  Yes - yes I am - because it is not their fault that the people out in volunteer-land either can't comprehend their statements that details will be released in 2018 or don't have the patience to just sit back and wait until the details are released.  

If you should be frustrated with anyone, it should be with yourselves.  You are jumping the gun - it's not the starter's fault when a runner starts before the gun fires.  Its not that difficult to tell parents/prospective parents that the BSA hasn't release the plan yet and that you're all just patiently waiting.

 

The problem is that National said they would release info in 2018, and I know I and other locally expected the info at RTSs like they did the new CS program. But then National allows council to start allowing girls January 15th if they want to AND packs meet criteria. Council next to us is an early adopter, and I know of at least one girl who is not fully outfitted with her uniform. This announcement and the criteria came out in apparently an invitation only email to a webinar on the topic, and that was just before Christmas. Not only is there a lack of confusion on those of us in the field who are hearing all kinds of different things ( I was told June 1st, what you mean January 15th?), but it seems as if national has no clue as to what it is doing. I don't know why I am shocked by this. I knew national would screw up the roll out. I didn't think it would be this bad.

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11 hours ago, CalicoPenn said:

If you should be frustrated with anyone, it should be with yourselves.  You are jumping the gun....

I disagree.  Hugely.  People are going to discuss, plan and make decisions.  It's 100% natural.  It's human nature.  

I think Stosh has it right in that there is probably much more going on behind the scenes than we can see.  BUT this is hardly a surprise.  Our local DE knew and hinted in August that there was an imminent announcement.  If he knew then, then it was known much longer in advance at national.  

IMHO, national should have invested in staff well in advance of Oct 11th getting stuff thought through, in-place and ready to be distributed.  BSA did not need the final product, but BSA should have had way more than a single page press announcement.  Sort of a like --->  "we might do this" ... since we have a million members, let's invest, plan details and create details and materials well in advance.  

The issue is huge.  People are going to talk and discuss and plan.  To not have a discussion at every district's Nov and Dec round table is not acceptable.  To think you can limit the agenda is a dream. 

BSA says "be prepared" and scouting teaches leadership.  From what I see, they did not prepare well and they are not leading now.  Yes they "control" the results, but they are not "leading".  There is a big difference.  

 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, scoutldr said:

I have had extensive training in the field of "Risk Communication"...BSA National and local Council Executives need a crash course.  In a nutshell...1) identify your stakeholders, 2) communicate early and often, 3) tell the truth, 4) if you don't know, say you don't know., 5) get out ahead of the rumors and quash them.

Exactly.  I remember a graduate course I took on communication.  It showed the video of the CEO of an oil refinery taking a horrible beating in a press conference after his refinery polluted the local water supply.  It was ugly.  But, the guy stood up there, took the questions and did his best.  That's leadership.  And was used as an example of how to get in front of challenges.  

I agree with your points.  Communicate early and often.  Tell the truth.  Get out ahead of rumors.  ... It's human nature that people are going to debate, discuss and plan.  BSA was poorly prepared.  Three months with little info after the biggest evolution in BSA's history.  

BSA has a million members.  More should have been prepared beyond just the press release.  

Edited by fred johnson
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

But then National allows council to start allowing girls January 15th if they want to AND packs meet criteria. 

We heard some about the cub early adopter program at Jan round table, but the natural follow-on is ... Well, will there be a Troop early adopter program?  Can I kick-start a girl's troop earlier than Fall 2019?  We have girls ready-to-go now waiting.  What if the venturing crew girls who are 14 want to form their own troop?  Will there be an early adopter program for them?  

Edited by fred johnson

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2 hours ago, fred johnson said:

Our local DE knew and hinted in August that there was an imminent announcement.  If he knew then, then it was known much longer in advance at national.  

IMHO, national should have invested in staff well in advance of Oct 11th getting stuff thought through, in-place and ready to be distributed.  BSA did not need the final product, but BSA should have had way more than a single page press announcement.  Sort of a like --->  "we might do this" ... since we have a million members, let's invest, plan details and create details and materials well in advance.  

The issue is huge.  People are going to talk and discuss and plan.  To not have a discussion at every district's Nov and Dec round table is not acceptable.  To think you can limit the agenda is a dream. 

BSA says "be prepared" and scouting teaches leadership.  From what I see, they did not prepare well and they are not leading now.  Yes they "control" the results, but they are not "leading".  There is a big difference. 

 

I talked to a DE who went to Dallas either in January 2016 or '17, I can't remember which. But he was told "Big changes" were headed our way in 2018.

Yes National screwed up, and screwed up hugely. The town halls were a farce, ticking off volunteers and pros alike. As for national's survey, I would love to see the results from members and volunteers , even with the obvious pro-girl slant of the questions.

And unlike the June 2015 Cub Scout Program, they can't change things  17 months later. Girls and parentswill be ticked.

As to "Separate but Equal" it won;t work. And volunteers in the trenches are already stating that. Heck the CSE spoke out of both sides of his mouth when asked that question.

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16 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

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.

Vice President for Family Scouting - Those oranges are not slicing themselves and the participation ranks will not award themselves...somebody has to take the lead

The emphasis on "Family" which appears to be the new buzzword for success (articles in Scouting magazine and Boys Life) is what will no doubt cause much confusion and derision in the next 24 months.  There is no real definition on what it means and if you question what it means one may be accused of not living up to the Scout Oath and Law

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4 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

As to "Separate but Equal" it won;t work. 

Absolutely correct.  

Plus, BSA keeps trying to play both sides of the fence.  Sometimes charter orgs own the units.  Sometimes BSA acts as if they own the unit.  As for now, BSA is inserting itself as if BSA owned the units when it announces cub scout dens have to be single gender and troops have to be single gender.  IMHO, the charter org will work around and pretty much ignore BSA on these topics.  And, how would BSA know or enforce the issue.  ... Pack XXX will have den 9B and den 9G.  They meet at same place and have same leaders and same calendar, etc.  Troop ### and troop ###+1 will have same leaders, meet same place, etc. 

IMHO, the issues are youth protection and facilities.  IMHO, youth protection should already be there.  We've had siblings participating for years and crews have always been co-ed.  If youth protection rules need improvement, then why the rules not deficient 5 years ago ?

Like many other things, this change is best done fast.  Just get it done.  Waiting till fall 2019 for troop changes is not going to work.  

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A program for females needs to be in place by December 1, 2018 when the first batch of Webelos are eligible to earn the Arrow of Light and Cross Over.

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If all the gal wants is AOL, she can be ready to cross over well before 12/1/18.  If she gets into the program in January, is 9 or 10 years of age, knock off AOL be 10 and AOL, she can join the former Boy Scouts program.

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On 1/4/2018 at 5:43 PM, NJCubScouter said:

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

As Dr. Evil would say, "Riiight".

Presumably there are all sorts of things units shouldn't do, yet they do anyway. "Family troops" are already a reality. Adding girl troops (if it actually gets implemented as such, but I suspect units will combine anyway) just gives those units an "out" to go that next step further.

BSA has always missed the mark in executing such changes. Doubling the need for volunteer leaders is not a successful model for an organization hemorrhaging members and volunteers. And let's not pretend that units are going to successfully "leverage" already over-leveraged leaders. That hasn't worked for crews, troops or packs yet. It only INCREASES volunteer burn out.

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On 1/4/2018 at 5:43 PM, NJCubScouter said:

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

I just made that connection.  I did not make the connection.  Absolutely right.  Can't have "family" focus if forcing genders to be in different troops.  

Inconsistencies are aggravating.  

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