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FireStone

Putting the pieces together - Where are we headed?

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21 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

FireStone asked that in this discussion, we PUT ASIDE the doom and gloom.  I see later posts here where the doom and gloom has not remained off to the side, but is front-and-center.

Amazing how that happens so easily with these online forums. @NJCubScouter You are absolutely correct, and I am the most guilty offender in this regard.

I apologize for detouring off into the gloom-and-doom weeds with some of my comments.

I think the dark storm clouds have probably dropped most of their rain by now, anyway. Do I see some sun breaking through?

 

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I cannot put aside the doom and gloom because a Scout is TRUSTWORTHY.(emphasis)  National  has not done anything correct since 1972, EXCEPT  bring back Green Bar Bill. Everything has further deteriorated Scouting in the US. And I do not believe these current changes have been well thought out. I do not think we are headed in a good direction. I see a smaller BSA with less resources for serving Scouts.

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Hi, I'm Desertrat, and I'm an ISP survivor!

Wore the infamous red beret.

Camping merit badge earned fair and square, but had the non-required border color.

Earned the mandatory amount of skill awards to progress, only eight if I recall, but dang they were noisy.

Scout handbook had little outdoor material.  Written on a third grade level.

Eagle in 77.

The old time scouters guided us through the valley of the shadow of the ISP.   Sure, we wore funky threads, endured bad literature from National, but we got the old program.

Edited by desertrat77
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11 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

Hi, I'm Desertrat, and I'm an ISP survivor!

Wore the infamous red beret.

Camping merit badge earned fair and square, but had the non-required border color.

Earned the mandatory amount of skill awards to progress, only eight if I recall, but dang they were noisy.

Scout handbook had little outdoor material.  Written on a third grade level.

Eagle in 77.

The old time scouters guided us through the valley of the shadow of the ISP.   Sure, we wore funky threads, endured bad literature from National, but we got the old program.

Problem is, there are fewer and fewer old school Scouters left. Heck some of the Scouters I know are ISP survivors, and see nothing wrong with camping only when it's nice, doing indoor activities, and "one and done."

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2 hours ago, gblotter said:

A loss of 80 percent of Scouts and units is expected for the LDS-heavy councils of the intermountain west. You predict more than that?

It is hard for me to imagine a path forward for some of those councils, and consolidations seem inevitable. Somehow folks are able to put the pieces back together after a Cat-5 hurricane.

@gblotter, it occurs to me that my previous answer was a bit rambling and unsatisfactory.  I do believe the membership losses will be greater than just the LDS and will reverberate beyond the intermountain west.  The LDS church was the counter-balance to the forces fighting for change.  I suspect the Church was instrumental in local option decisions that were handed down in 2013 and 2015 (even though snubbed by the BSA on the latter decision).  The Church, I think allowed non-LDS scouters some hope for stability in a live and let live program.  With the Church's departure, there is no longer a counter-balance to keep the BSA from barreling head long down the progressive path.  The hope for that live and let live program is dead.  And, I think the possibility of a new counter-balance (say the Catholic Church) arising is probably also dead.  That it has been the desire of the BSA leadership to move in a progressive direction has been clear for some time, but the pace will only accelerate after December 31, 2018 and probably sooner.

So, yes, I think a number of long-time, scouters, who stayed in the program through the changes for their boys, will see the LDS departure as their permission to close up shop for the next generation to take over the BSA.  Maybe it will be a glorious revival for the BSA.  Maybe the BSA will recruit a million girls and enough new leaders to fill every position twice.  I hope that's so.  But I fear the BSA that was such an important part of my youth is irrevocably changed and not to the benefit of boys.

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1 hour ago, NJCubScouter said:

What I have quoted above is the first sentence of this thread.  FireStone asked that in this discussion, we PUT ASIDE the doom and gloom.  I see later posts here where the doom and gloom has not remained off to the side, but is front-and-center. There are many, many other threads where doom and gloom is the order of the day.  (Just as an aside, don't people get tired of that?  Day after day, week after week of the sky is falling?  Even if I thought the sky were falling, at some point I would get tired of saying it.  Of course, I know that a couple of people are already thinking, See, there he goes again, the jackbooted moderator trying to stifle discussion, so for the record, I am not trying to stifle discussion, and I never have.  I am mainly expressing puzzlement.)

Where was I?  Oh yes, I was about to strongly suggest that we honor our fellow forum member's request and keep the discussion within the bounds that he has suggested.  We don't have a specific rule in this forum that you have to honor such a request.*  But I think it is the Friendly and Courteous thing to do.  As I said, there are many other threads that have the dark rain clouds hovering over them.  No need to bring the stormy weather in here as well.

*Over the years there have been a few "experiments" in keeping a particular thread very narrowly focused, in which the person who wanted to start the thread made advance arrangements with the moderators, and the moderators enforced those limitations.  But it would be very difficult to make that an everyday thing.

I would encourage the folks who believe the most recent change in the BSA is a good thing to offer me their vision of the future of the BSA.  I can't see it from where I sit.  Change my mind!

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Some politically right leaning scouters left in 2013. More of them, their units and Charter Partners that told the units to go find a new CP because we will not recharter you left in 2015. LDS is soon to leave.  I think the politically right leaning have left already. The LDS numbers are known. The unkown number of losses are how many “red coats” and scouting alumni with children in the program now will leave due to their thinking this new BSA is unrecognizable or foreign to me and I don’t want any part of it anymore is the real question.  A poll on this forum might give an indication of the red coat/alumni loss.  How many of you will stay or leave with what we know now about girls, “boys” life, and OA changes?

Edited by FormerProfessional

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Thanks for the doom and gloom, folks.

Some of us are optimistic about the future of the BSA. I was hoping for just a minute we could focus on that, or at least those of us who believe that could discuss it. But of course in this forum it's not possible without people tearing things down again. Oh well, it was worth a try. 

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1 minute ago, FireStone said:

Thanks for the doom and gloom, folks.

Some of us are optimistic about the future of the BSA. I was hoping for just a minute we could focus on that, or at least those of us who believe that could discuss it. But of course in this forum it's not possible without people tearing things down again. Oh well, it was worth a try. 

Share your vision then.  Why are you optimistic?  What am i missing?  Why will the new BSA be better?  I just rechartered as a UC for the next year.  Why should i be excited?

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2 minutes ago, FireStone said:

Thanks for the doom and gloom, folks.

Some of us are optimistic about the future of the BSA. I was hoping for just a minute we could focus on that, or at least those of us who believe that could discuss it. But of course in this forum it's not possible without people tearing things down again. Oh well, it was worth a try. 

Yes, please share your vision with us. Maybe others who are supportive of girls in the program. @WisconsinMomma, what do you see in the future?

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1 hour ago, desertrat77 said:

Hi, I'm Desertrat, and I'm an ISP survivor!

Wore the infamous red beret.

Camping merit badge earned fair and square, but had the non-required border color.

Earned the mandatory amount of skill awards to progress, only eight if I recall, but dang they were noisy.

Scout handbook had little outdoor material.  Written on a third grade level.

Eagle in 77.

The old time scouters guided us through the valley of the shadow of the ISP.   Sure, we wore funky threads, endured bad literature from National, but we got the old program.

@desertrat I am an ISP graduate too! Red beret and you forgot the knee high green tube top socks with shorts. For some reason I earned a TON of skill awards.

Old timers guided us too: Eagle Scout former USMC Scoutmaster and former Army ASM. We were hard core campers who always did a lot of pioneering. So we got the old program too

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Well, my son’s Troop (in a rural but very liberal state) already has mixed patrols.  And....nothing.  No membership,loss, nobody has complained.  Son enjoys Scouts, is enthused, and the Troop is growing.  It’s been great.  They currently have six girls, out of a troop of thirty.  I’d add that son has recruited two friends to join— in both cases, their parents expressed concern over the history of Scouts.  Sat down with the Scout aster, talked about where the program is and is headed, and signed their sons up.

As to what it looks like— I think normal.  The Troop is transitioning to Scout-led, which has its hiccups.  But the Scouts are learning and growing.  They are proud of their accomplishments and motivated to continue.  Adding girls has changed nothing, as far as I can see.  

It was interesting, a few of the leaders were talking about girls coming in, being better leaders/more mature, outshining the boys, being a distraction.  One of them asked my son if he thought that would happen.  He said “Well, it depends on the girl. Some will, some won’t”.  I think that is the perspective of most kids.  If the grownups can get out of the way, the kids can handle it fine.  Just like camping, cooking, hiking—same principal applies.  Let them lead.

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5 hours ago, gblotter said:

I detested the red beret - almost as much as those Skill Awards.

Maybe it was being in a troop on a military base in the 60's (Eagled in '71, a month before turning 18), but those berets reminded us of the Green Berets on base.  My troop went to the beret and we loved it.

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My Pack added two boys because their sisters joined.  The girls joined because they were friends with other girls joining.  When I talk with parents they mentioned they really like having one organization for all of their kids.  My area parents have kids in sports all the time but scouts offers them the one opportunity to do something together as a family (Cub Scouts).   It sounds like a commercial for Nationals but I see what they are talking about on the ground.

My parent survey showed 0 negative comments about adding girls from a pack of 65 boys.  They have complaints... but not about girls or most of the stuff brought up in these forums.   The complaints are about individual leaders and tactical issues... not about the downfall of society.

I expect my pack will continue to grow.  We were 26 a few years ago.  We are at 75 (after cross over and before recruiting).

Now time to beg for FOS donations... 😀

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32 minutes ago, an_old_DC said:

@desertrat I am an ISP graduate too! Red beret and you forgot the knee high green tube top socks with shorts. For some reason I earned a TON of skill awards.

Old timers guided us too: Eagle Scout former USMC Scoutmaster and former Army ASM. We were hard core campers who always did a lot of pioneering. So we got the old program too

Ah those knee high socks!  after a few weeks at summer camp, your suntan looked very strange indeed.

I had just made first class when the ISP was rolled out , so I never earned any skill awards.  But as a PL I found them very useful when I needed to find my scouts in the dark.  clink-clink

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