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Breaking Point

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2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

18 is the age limit for being labeled a youth in the BSA, but it’s not the limit for the game with a purpose. I became a better father, husband and community citizen because of my scouting experiences at age 45.

This is where I disagree with you, Barry.

 

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Scouters of different ages help create a richness in the adventure. Yes, a younger adult can strap on a pack and lead the boys on a great hike.  Any older Scouter can help at Camp, telling stories, imparting wisdom to the boys. 

One of my most memorable conversations as a scout was with an older Scouter who helped me through a time on a trip when I got myself in a 14 year old snit.  He helped me to see the bigger picture.  Explained to about how I was technically correct, but was missing the bigger picture.  I think of him to this day.

I hope the experienced Scouters continue to keep coming back to our troop.  They add so much to the experience for the boys.

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It's all about balance I think.

When it stops being fun, or becomes too stressful, or life away from scouting is suffering then it is time to take a step back. Whether than means standing down altogether or just dropping some of what you are doing. I went through a phase where I took on too much. It didn't do me any good at all. I made a conscious effort to step back and delegate. In other circumstances I may have stood down altogether. For the OP I'd say take a step back, pause for breath and be ready to say no to things. And take it from there.

With regard to age I think a spread of ages works best. I have a 19 year old ASL who the kids look up to as a young role model. She is a teenager just like them and knows exactly what is going on in their lives because its happening to her as well.. I also have 74 year old ASL who the kids look up to as an older role model. He has children and grand children and knows whats going on in the scouts lives because he's seen it three times over! He also loves The Big Bang Theory and most scout nights start with him comparing notes with kids who are fans on the latest episode. Both bring different things to the troop. The 19 year old can swing her rucksack onto her back one handed and run like the wind. My 74 year old is physically slowing down but has a 65 year back catalogue of experience, wisdom and fantasically funny stories to tell.

There's a place for everyone in this game.

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My breaking point is going to be 2019. I'll be starting graduate school, and I just won't have time any longer. When that's over, I'll reevaluate what the situation looks like. 

My life mentors I've met in Scouting. My closest friends I've met through Scouting. Scouting has been the biggest influence in my life, just behind my family and my church. 

Looking forward to NYLT Staff this summer, and providing the incoming Scoutmaster in my unit with the experience and institutional knowledge I've gathered from the last 13 years with my Troop. 
 

As for girls, I'm all ok with girls in the Boy Scouts, so long as Troops that want to be all male can stay that way. I'm not sure what my Troop is going to do, and frankly, I won't be there for it, so it's not my decision to make. 

Edited by Sentinel947
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12 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

My breaking point is going to be 2019. I'll be starting graduate school, and I just won't have time any longer. When that's over, I'll reevaluate what the situation looks like. 

One of our post-docs and a male friend of hers lead a GS/USA troop.

But, I agree that some points in life require one to take a break. I did while I was halfway through college until Son #1 turned 6.

However, my biggest regret was when during that "break time" an Italian young lady asked if we could start a scout troop in the town where she was studying. I could have at least asked around as at that point I was conversant with quite a few locals.

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Yeah, Scouting and grad school can be challenging. I had to miss some fun stuff due to school and other obligations the first time around.Second time around was a lot easier as I was just involved in the OA.

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58 minutes ago, qwazse said:

One of our post-docs and a male friend of hers lead a GS/USA troop.

But, I agree that some points in life require one to take a break. I did while I was halfway through college until Son #1 turned 6.

However, my biggest regret was when during that "break time" an Italian young lady asked if we could start a scout troop in the town where she was studying. I could have at least asked around as at that point I was conversant with quite a few locals.

Yea. I'm working full time while taking classes. I'll look out for ways I can still contribute, but it won't look much like what I currently am currently doing. 

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for me it was when it was clear that there was no way of talking son out of quitting.   That's when I told the CC to find another person..... I still worked the job for several months after, but just did a minimum effort job.....

BUT

I'm still logging in here now and then....so it's clear I have an interest

I think that IF I was retired and didn't have 3 young kids and already too much to do, I can imagine being willing to stick around and fill a role if needed.  In fact, even since back in our days with the pack I have been very surprised at the lack of Grandparent involvement

re. the coed thing.... I'm still not sure if that would have run me away or not.....I think probably not.

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18 hours ago, Cambridgeskip said:

It's all about balance I think.

...

There's a place for everyone in this game.

 

I agree there is a place for everyone in this game. I just get concerned when the adult components start to take priority over the youth components. 

Even stuff that people do in what they believe is in the best interests of the Scouts, but it ends up being more about the adults. I've seen it in the BSA and another scouting organization. I don't think people even realize they are doing it. But when adult activities are better planned than those involving the whole unit (I've seen leaders spend more time planning their Wood Badge weekend or leader retreat than the Pack camping trip), or when your unit website or facebook page or photo gallery shows more adult activities than youth activities, something is definitely wrong in your unit priorities. I've seen a discussion forum for a scouting organization that has more topics around adult programing, Rover advancement and ceremonies, adult uniforms, etc., than about the youth program. That's just weird to me.

Scouting may be available in various ways to adults, and internationally the many scouting organizations out there have varying levels of adult opportunity and participation available. But at the core this is a youth-focused movement. Youth should always be the priority. 

So I guess I'd say that I do believe there is a place for everyone in this game, but I also think that the place of any adult in Scouting has to come from a standpoint of youth-first, and anything else as it fits in around that. 

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Breaking point for most will be when substantial change that you are not in favor of or cannot support comes to roost in whatever part of Scouting where you personally find satisfaction and reward.

For me that satisfaction and reward is working with the troop at the unit level.  Changes in membership requirements a few years back, really did not effect the unit.  Adding girls, we do not do any district or council camporees and also plan to be single gender (no linked either) so again does not really effect the unit.  Name changes ( to loosely quote Starship -  Someone always playing corporation games; Who cares they're always changing corporation names) really does not effect the unit.  Summer camp may be a different thing in 2019, will have to see and we will adjust plans as needed. 

Are there things that would effect the unit?  Absolutely.  Requirements could change, less outdoor focus (we really need more), maybe Coed is not optional, substantial membership fee increases, and other myriad items.  Then that could be a breaking point

Real challenge is that with these changes how does this effect potential families and boys perception of the BSA?  Obviously depends on what you are looking for in a group.  Not sure if a 10 year old boy who maybe is one the fence will now rush to join since girls can join.

Edited by Jameson76
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I agree. It's about smiles. The things that bother me are those that get in the way of those smiles. To be honest, requirement creep and lack of patrol support at summer camp bothers me a lot more than any of the membership changes.

 

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13 minutes ago, gblotter said:

I have been passionate about Scouting for my whole life, but my motivation is driven entirely from interaction with the boys.

I know there are many Scouters out there who derive great personal satisfaction from their relationships with other Scouters. BSA seems almost like a fraternal order to them. This is going to sound terrible and I mean no offense to anyone on this forum, but I really hate hanging out with other Scouters. That is why I have always dodged things like Wood Badge. If a Scouting event is not centered on the boys, I'd rather spend my time at home remodeling my kitchen - lol.

Once again - please forgive my offense with this honest confession.

I'm in a similar boat. I was asked recently if I'd ever want to do Wood Badge and I said "No." Apparently I was a little too quick to respond, think I kind of surprised the guy asking. He was looking at me as if it was somehow odd that I wouldn't want to do Wood Badge. 

This was the same guy who asked me what my goals were for my own scouting career. I had no answer, I don't think about it like that. All I've thought about since I started is the Pack program and my Den. I don't know if that will change over the years, but right now I just don't see myself taking an interest in the Scouter stuff that is more focused on adults than kids. 

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