Jump to content
oldbuzzard

Our Council's New Gender Inclusive Branding

Recommended Posts

If only I had a dollar for every time a man said to me "I only made it to (insert rank here). Now I wish I earned Eagle."

No, scratch that. If only I were permitted to reply, "Hey, if you are are serious ... Have I got an opportunity for you! For the low low price of just one hour a week ..."

As far as @Eagledad is concerned, we need one, just one, 11 year old in a BSA4G troop to run up to him and say, "I love this scouting stuff."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, qwazse said:

If only I had a dollar for every time a man said to me "I only made it to (insert rank here). Now I wish I earned Eagle."

No, scratch that. If only I were permitted to reply, "Hey, if you are are serious ... Have I got an opportunity for you! For the low low price of just one hour a week ..."

As far as @Eagledad is concerned, we need one, just one, 11 year old in a BSA4G troop to run up to him and say, "I love this scouting stuff."

Hmm, Why aren't you allowed to reply with that pitch line?  It's a good one. 

 

I won't speak for @Eagledad, he can correct me if I'm wrong. but as a third party observing, the gist I always got from him was it was never about girls loving scouting stuff... it was about what the boys lose through the laws of unintended consequences.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Gwaihir said:

Hmm, Why aren't you allowed to reply with that pitch line?  It's a good one.

Because the line would end with "... you could serve a troop, master those skills, and be awarded that next rank."

9 hours ago, Gwaihir said:

 ...the gist I always got from him was it was never about girls loving scouting stuff... it was about what the boys lose through the laws of unintended consequences. 

I'm not picking on @Eagledad in particular. I'm just using a quote that he used to make to help us find a way forward for someone who feels "pushed to the side," so to speak.

I've seen more scouts and scouters encouraged rather than discouraged by enthusiastic female youth.

We don't want to spend so much time on negatives (be they hypothetical or real) from an emptied cup that we miss a deep drink from a well of positives!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many scouters have legitimate concerns about the gender policy change based on their values and why they are in scouting.  Many scouters were also surprised how quick it happened.  Or at least how little notice they were given. 

Civility - I do hope we can keep our frustration though to our selves or to our closest friends.  Civility is important.  Kindness and politeness is important.  Most importantly, it's important to not damage a program we value because we ourselves feel damaged or less valued.  

Our April round table had council leaders attend to take questions.  It was pre-announced and communicated to be an open question format.  One or two scouters came prepared with grievance notepads and really made round table uncomfortable for everyone.  The council leader did an absolute great job staying calm and civil in the face of several less than civil registered adult scouters.  Her composure was outstanding and her communication skills were impressive, but I was sad at an exchanged that happened in a larger open format.  

If I was a first-time attendee, I wonder if I would have ever come back?  Would I stay in a program with such conflict?  My question though is what did it serve?  He vented.  He pointed out every where he had trouble with how the transition happened.  But at the same time, I really don't think you could have done a smooth discussion with as large and diverse membership of BSA.  Sometimes decisions just need to be quick and clean.  

Similar for the transition.  In some ways, I think we just need to complete the transition.  We can move toward fewer uncomfortable situations the sooner the transition is done. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Because the line would end with "... you could serve a troop, master those skills, and be awarded that next rank."

I'm not picking on @Eagledad in particular. I'm just using a quote that he used to make to help us find a way forward for someone who feels "pushed to the side," so to speak.

I've seen more scouts and scouters encouraged rather than discouraged by enthusiastic female youth.

We don't want to spend so much time on negatives (be they hypothetical or real) from an emptied cup that we miss a deep drink from a well of positives!

I felt nothing but kindness in these post. Gwaihir highlighted a lot of what I've been saying, really for years. I guess I'm known as the anti girls member here. If so, than it's because either folks haven't read my posts thoroughly, or I wasn't clear. But I was also the anti gay scout member here, the anti gay leader member, and the anti transsexual member here. But, I'm quite confident that my opinions weren't based on bigotry. Not always, but most of my post were delivered in rationalism, not emotion. Many folks struggled with my posts because they read them with emotion.

 I'm talking about program quality for all those issues. 

National in my view has been, for a very long time, out of touch with scouting at the unit level. Even worse I feel National has lost sight of the BSA Mission and Vision. How can passion be nurtured, if one hasn't ever spent the time to watch the process produce fruit? Bringing in a Girls is just another mis-action toward breaking down a program that has only survived this long by it's reputation of changing boys into men of nobility. I say nobility because what scouts take away from this program is more than just ethical character. Its an attitude of selflessness. I don't think the BSA can hold out by reputation any longer. Just the word Girl changes everything about the Boy Scouts Association.

That National has stated the decision has a lot to do with raising numbers to save the program just highlights their shallow approach to management. Isn't that like sending more buckets to the Titantic for bailing water faster?

If girls could enhance, or just even maintain the "present" quality or boys in the program, I would support it. I believe girls are a benefit at the Venturing Crew ages of scouting. But I have been working with youth and parents long enough to know that adding more complex elements of individualism to an already challenging program intended to shape behavior requires a discipline that National has never shown us to have. I'm confident that National's goals are self-serving. That never goes well in a volunteer organization because volunteers aren't paid enough endure the stress of following the directions of which they don't agree. Motivation of followers is only as good as the inspiration of the leaders.

As for what I have to offer, Patrol Method, while the concept is simple in it's application, requires patience and trust to be fruitful. It's not their fault, but I see less of those attributes in todays scouters. You can see it in some of the discussions, patrols is more of a name of how to divide the kids than the method for developing independent decision makers. Patrol Method is quickly becoming an out dated philosophy.

Barry

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But isn't a lot of what's wrong in Scouting a problem at the unit and district level? Not enough boys, not enough adults, boring programs, disorganized unit.

How does national fix that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

But isn't a lot of what's wrong in Scouting a problem at the unit and district level? Not enough boys, not enough adults, boring programs, disorganized unit.

How does national fix that?

It is what's wrong and also what is so right with scouting, the unit level.  Your question "How does national fix that?" is that National (and Council and District) recognize that it is the unit level that is what drives the program.  And PROGRAM is the key.  Too much is the top heavy down from on high and not enough unit level pushing up

The units that thrive, do so because they are NOT waiting for anyone to lead them, they are leading.

That comes down to the right leader being in place and providing the right leadership to the youth and letting them run the show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with your themes here.  But what you describe sounds more like a unit/district problem.

How would you want national to help with that?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

But isn't a lot of what's wrong in Scouting a problem at the unit and district level? Not enough boys, not enough adults, boring programs, disorganized unit.

How does national fix that?

I'm not sure how you conclude that observation. Since units are where all the action is, they are by default where program performance is measured. Whether the results represent local or national application of program depends on what the local performance is measure against. Membership numbers are one indicator of program performance. If our district was the only district in the nation where less than 50% of Webelos crossover into the troops, I would look at how our district is failing to provide the units a program at least to the level of national's average. But since our district numbers are representative of national's numbers, I've would conclude it is not local. 

Now I guess one could suggest that Nationals numbers are a success and our district is providing a successful unit programs. But then there is that bothersome national membership decline.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not blaming units, but that is where to problems are felt:

- declining unit membership

- difficulty in finding adult volunteers

- misapplication of the program

- higher attrition

The way scouting is setup today we have three distinct levels: national, councils, units

Given that structure, what would you have national do (or stop doing) so that we see:

- unit membership increase

- adult volunteer increase

- well applied, fun programs

- decrease in attrition

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To say that national is doing fine and it's all just a local issue is kind of like saying the board of directors are all doing a good job but the employees are all just bad.

To answer your question, it's simple, focus on making the program easier to understand. This will help recruit and keep volunteers. Where does it concisely state what the program is so a new volunteer can get up to speed and productive quickly? This is why there are few volunteers. It's hard enough to volunteer but if you have no idea what the program is and how it works then forget it. Volunteers need to see results or they will drop off and quit. Then there's the parents that get the program wrong. It was a constant struggle with new parents because they thought the program was getting eagle. So, that's where I'd start.

The program is simple. It's fun with a purpose. And the purpose is developing responsibility. So, scouts having fun while taking on more responsibility. That's the program. JTE does not reflect that. The training does not reflect that. The Aims of Scouting do not reflect that.

Or maybe I'm just wrong and I should find something else to do. Please tell me if that's the case because it would make things easier for me. Seriously. I get really tired of telling people "But what scout will think that's fun?"

@ParkMan, I'm not trying to pick on you. I'm just getting frustrated. There are fewer and fewer people helping out. The fallback is always advancement. I visit other troops and I can't see patrols in any of them.

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, we found that at least 40% of total pack adult effort is directed to making their Tiger program successful. My polling, and national membership numbers, concluded that Webelos crossing over into the troop program is directly related to adult burnout.

Barry

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The program has become quite complicated. Another proposal I would personally suggest from my experiences in scouting is stop the den group crossovers and start sending boys to the troops by age or completion of Webelos rank requirements. This would end the need for NSPs and Troop Guides. 

Crossovers by dens became a tradition when National concluded that NSPs would help first year scout membership dropouts because the scouts are joining with their friends and feel more confident in the group. NSPs and Troop Guides add a heavy burden on the boy run structure that is both difficult to manage in a patrol method program, and shifts leadership management of new scouts from the patrol level to the troop level. More often than not, the added effort is taken over by the adults.

I was told that the first year scout drop out rate was the same after 20 of implementing the NSP.  So, what is the point? By bringing new scouts in smaller numbers, they will be given to patrols where the patrol members managed the new scouts at the patrol level. I don't have numbers, but I'm guessing it would reduce troop workload a minimum of 25% at both the youth and adult levels. Of course the patrols would have to relearn how to be more active in new scout growth, but that responsibility is positive behavior growth for all the scouts in the patrol. 

There are many other benefits, but I'm sure this suggestion will not be received with much applause.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

Another proposal I would personally suggest from my experiences in scouting is stop the den group crossovers and start sending boys to the troops by age or completion of Webelos rank requirements. This would end the need for NSPs and Troop Guides. 

@The Latin Scot  does it this way too IIRC. I was intrigued by that change and I too think there would be some benefit in this. In hindsight, I think my son would be better integrated with the Troop and that the patrol method would likely have worked better during his 1st year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

The program has become quite complicated. Another proposal I would personally suggest from my experiences in scouting is stop the den group crossovers and start sending boys to the troops by age or completion of Webelos rank requirements. This would end the need for NSPs and Troop Guides. 

Crossovers by dens became a tradition when National concluded that NSPs would help first year scout membership dropouts because the scouts are joining with their friends and feel more confident in the group.

I am not sure when the terminology of "New Scout Patrol" started - I assume that, like many other changes that greeted me when my son crossed over, it happened sometime between the end of my brief tenure as an 18-year-old ASM in 1976, and my son's crossover in 2003.  But "group crossovers" started before the "NSP" terminology did.  I believe it was around 1972 when the Boy Scout membership requirement was changed from age 11 (in which you crossed over all by yourself, as I did in 1969) to something similar to what it is now (but not exactly the same, I don't think), resulting in a whole den crossing over at once.  I was what would now be called a Troop Guide, without a title, for about six months, with a patrol composed entirely of a den that had crossed over about six months before I became involved with them.  (There is a reason for the odd timing,  but it is beyond the scope of this trip down memory lane.)  Then, when the next "class" crossed over, I became a patrol leader:  Seven or eight brand-new crossovers, with 14-year-old me as their PL.  Was that a New Scout Patrol, or a mixed-aged patrol?  I don't know, we just called it a patrol.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×