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14 hours ago, fred johnson said:

I fear much written here does not reflect the comments I hear from active members.  

The one point that I will fully and enthusiastically agree with is that we have way too much focus on advancement.  Advancement is important as a motivation, but it's just one part of the program.  The outings and activities are more important.  From the outings, advancement should be a natural result of actively going on outings.

In recent years, I've seen multiple youth aging out going for Eagle that need help fulfilling their camping requirements.  This always baffles me as the best parts of scouting are in the outings.  In my opinion, why even be in scouts if you don't do the outings.  Meetings may be fun, but it's the activities and events that provide value.  If you are active, then it should be easy to get many many nights of camping.  

Fred, you are spot on.

I think an example of the over-focus on advancement is the constant hype concerning the Eagle rank (Eagle94 mentioned this earlier).  "X Eagle Scouts are in the Olympics" and "Y Eagle Scouts are playing in the Super Bowl."

I think it would be more impressive--and scout-like--to report the total number of scouts participating, instead of just the number of Eagles. 





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On 4/10/2018 at 10:48 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:

NSPs officially came about August , 1989. Same time they did away with Skill Awards, time requirements for T-2-1 ranks,, no more Scouts on BORs, etc. But some troops apparently did it like your troop prior to that, and it influenced National. Although I bet how the LDS troops do it, i.e. 11 year old Scout Patrol, caused national to create NSPs. I know my troop tried it in 1986 at the request of the council, and it was a complete failure. Every time I've seen NSPs in action, it is either a failure, or turns into Webelos 3. But that has been my experience.




Once they cross over, put them in a regular patrol.   Yes, there will be bumps, bruises, growing pains, confusion and mistakes.  But that's how we grow.  And at the end of the day, the best memories!

Long ago (before the NSP concept), my first patrol was a regular group of scouts who adopted me as one of their own.  At the age of 11, I was finally a Boy Scout and not a "little kid."  I felt 10 feet tall.

Family moved shortly thereafter.  New troop, all the newbies are dumped in the Eagle patrol.  It was demoralizing.  We didn't learn a darn thing and we were treated like little kids.


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6 hours ago, desertrat77 said:

Once they cross over, put them in a regular patrol.   Yes, there will be bumps, bruises, growing pains, confusion and mistakes.  But that's how we grow.  And at the end of the day, the best memories!


We sort of do a hybrid approach.  After crossover they are in a NSP for the spring, working on the basic new scouts stuff.  At summer camp they are rolled into the the camp patrols for the week, also in the new scout program at camp

First meeting of the new school year they are parsed into the existing patrols.  

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Hi all - back from a busier than expected work trip.  I was reading over answers to my question of what would you change.  Thanks for that.  I read them all and picked up on a few that strike me as very good things we could do:

On 4/9/2018 at 2:27 PM, Eagledad said:

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.


That's an interesting statistic.  If your pack is spending that much energy on the Tiger program I can see why burnout is a problem.  When I was a Cub leader, we spent about the same energy on Tiger's as any other level - so I'm surprised to see others with a different experience.

On 4/10/2018 at 11:48 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:


2) Less Focus on Eagle/Advancement. Yes I'm an Eagle. But Eagle is not everything in Scouting. I have seen folks whose parents are pushing their sons to get it, even if the son has no interest. I've seen parents do shortcuts and "pencilwhipping" to get their sons to Eagle. I've seen parents know more about their sons' Eagle projects than the sons do.


3) Get rid of the "One and Done" mentality in training. Last time I did ITOLS, they wanted folks to hand out paper rank badges for just observing and doing the skills one time. get back to 'master the skills" and " the badge represents what the Scout CAN do, not what he has done."


Yes - I'd agree with there.  I'd think #2 woudl work if you had something to replace advancment with.  i.e., focus less on advancement - but more on outdoor activities.

I like what I've heard some other countries doing where leader training is much more of a program - multiple classes over time.  Basic training + IOLS + Wood Badge is not enough.

On 4/12/2018 at 10:25 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:


5) make the Webelos Program less Cub Scout and more Boy Scout. I am seeing so many ill prepared Webelos crossing over, then leaving. I do not know why this is happening, whether the current training is poor, or people do not care and want to continue doing things the way they arr comfortable with. But I am seeing those packs that continue to treat their Webelos as Cub Scouts, and not preparing them for Boy Scouts by increasing standards and upping the ante so to speak as the having the most new Scouts quitting.

I agree with #5 here.  Yes - have a clear difference between Cub Scouts & Webelos.  Make it fun and fresh again.


These all strike me as things that would change the makeup of scouting enough to either attract or retain more scouts and to also make it easier to keep quality volunteers around.  It would strike me that National mandating these could make them happen.  I also wonder if these are the kinds of thing that need to happen first at the district level?  

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