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walk in the woods

2017 Report to the Nation-Membership

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I worked with statistics through most of my professional life, and looking at the numbers given my main impression is that they are not very useful for any kind of analysis.  

The numbers are too general for any valid comparisons to be made with previous years.  The numbers for each group needs to be broken down to show more specific details.  Once again examples have already been brought up by other forum members:                                                                                            

Cubs:  What percentage of the total numbers is composed of the new "Lion" program.                                   

Scouts:  How much of the 12K increase was do to LDS Venturing Crews reverting to Scout troops.             

Venturing:  How much of the decline was caused by LDS crews leaving the program, and will be a one time loss.

From a strictly financial standpoint the question arises, how much membership is required to support the BSA's current infrastructure and fixed costs.  

In future reports, it would be interesting to see what the number of girls who join the various programs will be.  The current report seems to me to be more for PR than for analysis and management.

Thank you

PS Being a "Numbers Geek" is not easy.

 

 

Edited by UncleP
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@UncleP l feel your pain. During the rechartering process, I have generated far more detail than BSA has ever published. For example, for each member who doesn't renew, I have to explain why. There are some check-boxes and one open-ended field. Those data of how many quit for which reason have never been in this report to the nation.

The annual report does include financial statements. If you have nothing better to do, you could fish through those and see how they stack up over the years.

I don't like the belligerent tone this POTUS takes, but I wouldn't mind if he asked our VIP scouts, "Where have the rest of your mates gone?"

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55 minutes ago, qwazse said:

@UncleP l feel your pain. During the rechartering process, I have generated far more detail than BSA has ever published. For example, for each member who doesn't renew, I have to explain why. There are some check-boxes and one open-ended field. Those data of how many quit for which reason have never been in this report to the nation.

The annual report does include financial statements. If you have nothing better to do, you could fish through those and see how they stack up over the years.

I don't like the belligerent tone this POTUS takes, but I wouldn't mind if he asked our VIP scouts, "Where have the rest of your mates gone?"

I think THIS is what is critical.  All of us have some idea, but in aggregate it would be interesting for DEs to share some details to unit leaders on common themes.  While I wasn’t able to get a report on why from my DE, he did share a print out of every unit in my district and their past 8 year membership numbers.  I was able to use that as a new CC to reach out to the successful units (in terms of attrition) and get some recruiting and org structure ideas.  

Attending district meetings I’m shocked that Boy Scout Troops do not have high adventure activities every year.  Some never do HA.  Why?  As a kid, I remember the HA outings were a big reason why I stuck with my Troop for several years after Eagle (I could care less about palms).  

In the end, units vary greatly and over the last 20 years there are successful units and those that fold.  BSA should be more open with existing units on these reasons vs protecting the data and making their own conclusions.

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On 2/23/2018 at 5:38 PM, Eagle94-A1 said:

Regarding the 1998 stats, take them with a grain of salt. I know there was some inflation, i.e. Ronnie Holmes and Greater AL Council. While that is the largest one known, there were inflated stats all over.

Problem is.....even the current numbers are inflated. 

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On 2/24/2018 at 8:54 AM, Eagle1993 said:

I think THIS is what is critical.  All of us have some idea, but in aggregate it would be interesting for DEs to share some details to unit leaders on common themes.  While I wasn’t able to get a report on why from my DE, he did share a print out of every unit in my district and their past 8 year membership numbers.  I was able to use that as a new CC to reach out to the successful units (in terms of attrition) and get some recruiting and org structure ideas.  

Attending district meetings I’m shocked that Boy Scout Troops do not have high adventure activities every year.  Some never do HA.  Why?  As a kid, I remember the HA outings were a big reason why I stuck with my Troop for several years after Eagle (I could care less about palms).  

In the end, units vary greatly and over the last 20 years there are successful units and those that fold.  BSA should be more open with existing units on these reasons vs protecting the data and making their own conclusions.

Never have I seen or been aware of ANY council or district professional or volunteer actually going out and meeting with successful units.  Success being either sustained growth or maintained membership.  Also they can check within the council on regular advancements for a unit.

Do some benchmarking.  What is this or that unit doing.  Not all situations are repeatable, but likely with enough data points there will be some commonalities that can be used

Some of these may be:

  • Strong outdoor program
  • Regular high adventure
  • Outings where scouts have fun 
  • Youth led unit
  • Regular meetings where scouts lead
  • Regular TLC meetings where scouts plan
  • Youth decide where to have outings and events
  • Engaged leaders that mentor
  • Adult leaders that realize scouting is part of the scouts activities and may not be their only activity

 

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Compare to the Eagle Scout numbers(total and percent of scouts), it seems to point to this being reason. I know in my neck of the woods there is a troop that has a track program for eagle. 

1998      1.9%  

2017      4.5%

 

1998 41,167
1999 47,582
2000 40,029
2001 43,665
2002 49,328
2003 49,151
2004 50,377
2005 49,895
2006 51,728
2007 51,742
2008 52,025
2009 53,122
2010 57,147
2011 51,933
2012 58,659
2013 56,841
2014 51,820
2015 54,366
2016

55,186

 

2017  55,494 

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