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34 minutes ago, Chadamus said:

While that's not my personal experience as a volunteer, you've summed up this forum fairly well of late, IMO.

All I have to go on is what is put on this forum.  Knowing more about what is going on is my intent of being on this forum.  DOING more about it remains a big question mark that I don't have the expertise to deal with.  Even at the school where I work, we have administrators.  I'm just a teacher doing his job.

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There is the other side: 1) You have a boy (girl) in scouts. 2) You slowly get sucked into the myth and re-discover your inner boy. 3) Some old scouters or real boy scouts teach you som

I think this whole thread illustrates why National is interested in membership numbers. The number of scouts is going down and the overhead is not. The result is economic stress and thus everythi

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Clearly the organizational structure at all levels is poor.  National has no real say in Council operations as we have seen where councils have thumbed their noses at National policies with no penalty.   Rolling out new programs with no implementing guidance is nuts and breeds confusion and pushback.   Councils badger their customers but do not follow the Chartered Partner Agreements themselves when it is inconvenient to do so.    Councils are their own feifdoms and have units trapped where they can't join another council when they get poor or no service.  The BSA professionals are overwhelmed when it comes to how to make efficient organizations and DEs are cannon fodder and leave in droves due to poor upper management an unresponsive Executive Boards who vote "aye" in lieu of asking the hard questions.  In theory the EB members are hot shots in their own businesses but don't bring best practices to the BSA.   Most units view them as rain makers only.    Districts are also poorly managed  and do not leverage the talent of those who want to help.   Again, you can't change your district to get better support.   You can go to Lowes if Home Depot isn't meeting your customer needs but not in the BSA.     270+ councils need to be realigned to cut the overhead.  6 councils within 100 miles is crazy as each of them struggles with resources but there can be no merger without consent of the EBs and units so national can't direct them to happen so they spiral downward incapable of providing any quality customer service or programs.  So units retrench and do their own program.       Units also thumb their noses at the council and national as we have seen in the recent membership decisions.   The discussion of "giving advancement credit"  is an example when the policy is clear.

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6 hours ago, Back Pack said:

If something is dying out like districts why do we think bringing them back or recessitating them is a good thing. Maybe there is a better way and maybe it’s pods or maybe it isn’t. Things die for a reason and when they die all over at the same time that might be a sign that they don’t work anymore.  

One might distinguish between "dying" and negligent homicide. 


The olduns' recall the "Improved Scouting Program" of 1972 .  Volunteers who resisted at the onset were run out of BSA.  That they proved to be correct was regarded by our lords and masters as even worse.   "Obedient," with the part about trying to get change written out, has replaced "Trustworthy" as the most important gauge of a "Good" volunteer.  Well that and $$$$$.

Maybe there is a better way.  BSA has followed the West Plan.  Things die for a reason, and BSA is dying under the West Plan.   Of course, past results are no guarantee of future results - one sincerely hopes.

Why would anyone think the current people in charge at National know what a better way would be?   If they did, could they effectively communicate it?  Could they lead a panic in a burning theater?  Would they - should they - be trusted?  Of course, past results are no guarantee of future results - one sincerely hopes.

Not all change is improvement; ask the American Indians and the Poles. (Google    Poland partition   if you don't capiche.) 


BSA and Scouting COULD try what worked and was willfully and negligently abandoned over the decades - Boy Scouting as envisioned by the most influential figure in Scouting's history.  Perhaps going back to the future would work.

Times ARE tough and getting tougher.  Many, if not all, volunteer organizations are spiraling downwards.  For any chance of even modest success, BSA needs talented and inspiring leadership at National. 


And training?  Some is awful, much is mediocre, and some great.  Training in my council has been the red-headed stepchild for decades.  We had no Council Training Chair for 2.5 years  We have no functioning Council Training Chair for the last five+ years.  I will spare you the details, but our training "leader's" desk is where plans/ideas/suggestions/routine events - even hope itself - go to die.  "No _____ this year.  Nothing was done to plan it or make it happen."

At National, there does not seem to be passion for excellence in training.  It  seems to be  just another box to check off on the bureaucrat's punch list.  The typical BSA syllabus can be saved by a strong staff, but it is highly unrealistic as to material to be covered in the time allocated and, overall, uninspiring at best.


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Wouldn't life be so much more tolerable if everyone left their dramatic political agendas at home?  I would think things would be a lot more fun if they did.  I get enough of that at work and even a bit of it at church, I don't need to go out looking for more to fill up my limited free time.  :)

I forgot to add: when my boy was learning his 12 point scout law part, I do believe one of the words was Cheerful.  Might be more enjoyable if that became a higher priority.


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