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14 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

National Annual Meeting

http://nam.scouting.org/Activities/Events/Sessions.aspx

Strategic Initiatives 

Thursday, 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

After the Business Meeting, join us for a discussion of Strategic Initiatives that will help chart the course for the movement’s future.  Discussions will include an update of the Game Plan, Youth Protection efforts, and information on the progress of Family Scouting. There will also be time for questions and answers.

 

 

They are really committed to this effort, I see that an WHOLE Hour and 15 minutes is allotted, and yes there will be time for questions so you know this will be an in depth disussion

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2 hours ago, AZScoutLeader said:

I've never felt compelled to write on a forum until today.  In my view, it is abundantly clear that the BSA knew this was coming and thus opened membership to girls in an attempt to shore up numbers and balance out the anticipated losses from LDS departure.  What I find incredibly frustrating is that the BSA, as an organization, has taken the position of looking out for the BSA's best interest (member numbers, $$$) versus looking out for the people it is meant to serve (boys and young men).  This shift in priorities is the hallmark indicator of a failing organization and is a an example that has been repeated time and time again across many spectrums of organizations.  From public companies, to religious entities to athletic teams and more, when the original mission takes backseat to the organization's interest, then it has failed.  The BSA will begin a slow downhill slide as a result of this, no doubt.  We all know the program, over time, will become watered down, gender neutral, and thus the original spirit will die in favor of a more politically correct and progressive curriculum.  Shame on our leadership for losing focus on the original mission and charter of the BSA which was to provide a means of developing our young boys into virtuous confident and independent young men utilizing principles of the Scout Oat and Law. 

They have  forgotten the faces of their fathers

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4 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Have not seen the results of our troop's poll, but this is what I am hearing. Small die hard group against a "Linked Troop" girl's and a small die hard group for "Linked Troop" with girls. While the overwhelming majority think this is a mistake, they d do not have a problem with girls starting a separate troop and having nothing to do with the boys.

 

Yes, I am hearing complaints from the Scouts about too many parents and a Cub Scout sibling constantly camping with the troop.

This "Family Scouting" thing really isn't what it's being made out to be.  The "Scouts BSA" isn't a family camping club - it never has been, it never will be.  That just makes no sense for the BSA to even try that.  Any units that are doing that are just misusing the term.

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5 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

First of all, I think that if there were ANY "program changes" made at exactly the same time as the transition to accepting girls as members, some people would scream to the high heavens about the program being "watered down" to accommodate girls - even if the program was actually being strengthened.  Second of all, I think the reason that changes are not made to increase retention is that there is no consensus as to what those changes should be.  That is played out in this forum all the time.  Every time a a program change is suggested, there are arguments against it.  There probably IS consensus that there should be fewer "homework badges" required for Eagle, but when a specific badge is being discussed, it is a different story.  Then there was the discussion of going back to the 1911 camping requirements (50 nights for Camping MB, I believe.)  Ok, but it's not going to happen.  Then there was the discussion of "classical Scouting" (or some similar term), where a lot of people were all for going "back" to an earlier decade, but then it turned out that everyone wanted a different decade, usually the decade in which they were a Scout.  (Except for the 70's, probably.)

I continue to believe though that the retention problem stems from crappy programming.  It's made worse because the BSA doesn't really have a plan for the 14-17 year old crowd.  

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4 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

National Annual Meeting

http://nam.scouting.org/Activities/Events/Sessions.aspx

Strategic Initiatives 

Thursday, 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

After the Business Meeting, join us for a discussion of Strategic Initiatives that will help chart the course for the movement’s future.  Discussions will include an update of the Game Plan, Youth Protection efforts, and information on the progress of Family Scouting. There will also be time for questions and answers.

 

 

Any chance this will be live streamed? :)

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55 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I continue to believe though that the retention problem stems from crappy programming.  It's made worse because the BSA doesn't really have a plan for the 14-17 year old crowd.  

I don't make it a habit of quoting myself.  But, I hit send on this earlier than I meant to and wanted to expand a bit.

My point on retention is really just that as I look around my district, I see a drop off as boys get older.  Folks use terms like FUMES to describe it as if it's just an accepted thing.  However, there are other activities (such as sports) that I don't believe suffer the same problem.

My working theory for a while has been that at the boy scout level, the retention problem has stemmed from:

1) There are a lot of bad troops out there.  Sorry guys, but I look around my district and see it.  We read it here too. Troops that camp only ever so often, have boring meetings, have more drama than program, etc.  There was a time 40 years ago that you probably could put out a sign that said "Scouts wanted" and folks just showed up. But, now there is so much more competition that this no longer is a given.  I split the blame equally here between national/council/and units.

2) The Boy Scout program is tailored to 11-13 year olds, not so much the 14-17 year olds.  Yes, there are leadership opportunities are one gets older which retain some.  But, for others - after you've camped at the same spot 3 times, it just tiring.  A trip every two years to Philmont, the Summit, wherever isn't enough.  I fault national here for not focusing the discussion on how to retain these scouts.

I'd love to see national put concerted effort into fixing this.  I think it's not just a change in advancement requirements, but a concerted focus on quality & program.  Program materials, training, district level operations can all be improved.  Instead, I feel like we're getting quick fix band-aids, but not real solutions.

 

 

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1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

...But, now there is so much more competition that this no longer is a given...

I have zero statistical evidence to back up what I'm about to say, it's based purely on my own observations and conversation. 

I kind of think things are changing on the competition issue. Sports will always be a bit of a competitor to scouting. I just put out an email about a late-addition to my Den calendar for an event this Saturday and of course the replies are already coming in about sports conflicts. But I also talk to a lot of local parents, both in and out of Scouting, and there seems to be much more willingness to encourage kids to participate in things other than sports, and even give them equal (or greater) preference over sports participation.

In my day as a kid (in high school 94-98) you went for sports first, and if you weren't athletically inclined you did other things almost as a "plan B". Now those other things are sometimes "plan A" for many kids. 

To be frank, nowadays it's quite a bit "cooler" to do some things that would have made your social life a bit more challenging 20 or 30 years ago. We had a popular tv show just a few years back about a Glee club that made the kids look like rockstars in their high school. That kind of social status for anything other than a sport would have been unthinkable just a couple of decades earlier. 

Maybe we're coming back around to increased social acceptance (and hopefully increased popularity) of these non-sports activities. I don't expect that being a Scout will ever supplant the social status that being a starter on the football team would afford a kid, but I kind of think the balance of that social power might be shifting slightly. Even among parents, there seems to be more of a desire for kids to do things other than sports, or in place of sports entirely. Or to hear a parent say, "I'd really rather Johnny not play football," because of all the discussion about injuries. 

It's probably too soon to say for sure, but maybe the competition with Scouting is going to become less of a problem in the years to come. 

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1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

2) The Boy Scout program is tailored to 11-13 year olds, not so much the 14-17 year olds.  Yes, there are leadership opportunities are one gets older which retain some.  But, for others - after you've camped at the same spot 3 times, it just tiring.  A trip every two years to Philmont, the Summit, wherever isn't enough.  I fault national here for not focusing the discussion on how to retain these scouts.

It's interesting, I just saw in another thread that the average age of Eagle Scouts in the 1940s was 14. Has the program always been tailored to "peak" at 14 and it just never really adapted to the longer timeline we put scouts on these days by encouraging them to stretch out their Scouting careers an extra 3 years? 

Has there ever been a concerted effort to address this 14-17 year old program gap? Is that what Venturing was supposed to do? 

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2 hours ago, ParkMan said:

I continue to believe though that the retention problem stems from crappy programming.  It's made worse because the BSA doesn't really have a plan for the 14-17 year old crowd.  

I think at the unit level you have to provide program that meets the different needs  You can all go on the outing, but they each can have the opportunity to participate as they need  Older scouts may camp apart a bit  Also with HS schedules they may want to crash in the afternoon.  We go to the lake and do tubing, older scouts may get a rougher ride  We go backpacking and look for loop options  Younger less experience do a 4 mile while older guys do a 9 mile .  Also do high adventure every summer in addition to camps to keep older scouts engaged  

Last point is understand you may not see them for a season.  That is what it is, welcome them when they are there

Engaging older scouts in solely on the local units

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12 hours ago, mashmaster said:

The problem is that this requirement is a slippery slope.  Atheism is probably the only thing that distinctly  differs from the law.  Unless BSA were to say you must be religion A and fulfill requirements 1,2, and 3 what does this requirement really mean?  We all know many Christians that either never go to church, or go twice a year, or even worse go often and the minute they leave church they don't follow the golden rules.

So in my mind, someone that is honest and declares being Atheist carries more weight than Christian (or others) that are completely fake.

The fundamental requirement to being a Christian is faith in Christ as the savior. Not "going to church", not following golden rules... those things flow from a faith in Christ,  and faith without works is dead as James said, but they are not what makes a Christian a Christian.  There may be a reason they can't make it to church, but they remember the sabbath day and keep it holy far better than the pious that attend church every Sunday.  A scout is trustworthy and taken at their word. It's hard to call someone fake, Christian or otherwise, without knowing the fullness of their life.   

A scout is reverent stems directly from Lord Baden Powell himself... do we divorce this thing call Scouting from the father of scouting once and for all, and just claim it as some thing modernity created out of whole cloth? 

"Development of outlook naturally begins with a respect for God... Reverence to God and reverence for one's neighbor and reverence for oneself as a servant of God." - BP

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9 minutes ago, Gwaihir said:

The fundamental requirement to being a Christian is faith in Christ as the savior. Not "going to church", not following golden rules... those things flow from a faith in Christ,  and faith without works is dead as James said, but they are not what makes a Christian a Christian.  There may be a reason they can't make it to church, but they remember the sabbath day and keep it holy far better than the pious that attend church every Sunday.  A scout is trustworthy and taken at their word. It's hard to call someone fake, Christian or otherwise, without knowing the fullness of their life.   

A scout is reverent stems directly from Lord Baden Powell himself... do we divorce this thing call Scouting from the father of scouting once and for all, and just claim it as some thing modernity created out of whole cloth? 

"Development of outlook naturally begins with a respect for God... Reverence to God and reverence for one's neighbor and reverence for oneself as a servant of God." - BP

Our faith in another deity, no all of us are Christian

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6 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

Our faith in another deity, no all of us are Christian

Indeed, I didn't say everyone was, but the first part of your post was directly commenting on Christians and I was replying to that statement.  The second part of my statement was directly commenting on atheists in scouting. 

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