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FireStone

Putting the pieces together - Where are we headed?

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39 minutes ago, an_old_DC said:

knee high green tube top socks with shorts

Those socks (with the garters/green tabs) were the bane of every camp staff member, when at the end of a long summer we had that tiny tan that went from the bottom of the shorts to the top of the socks.

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19 minutes ago, MikeS72 said:

Those socks (with the garters/green tabs) were the bane of every camp staff member, when at the end of a long summer we had that tiny tan that went from the bottom of the shorts to the top of the socks.

I was fortunate to be on camp staff in Alaska...the green uniform pants worked best.  Mosquitoes galore and chilly, rainy days most of the week.  One of the staffers wore the shorts/knee socks in spite of it all, but he was a bit eccentric by nature anyhow.

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I'm heading for more fun than any scouter deserves to have.

I told my troop about openings in my WSJ contingent and one boy approached me and said his dad cleared it for him go. While placing flags at the cemetery last night, I caught up with him, and he confirmed that he completed his application the minute he got home from our meeting.

If the BSA finds a way to affirm athiests fulfill a duty God as they understand it, my own church will jump on sponsoring a unit. (Lots of unbelievers and sometimes their kids darken their doors.)

If BSA's longest standing exclusion, the agist 18 year deadline for Eagle, is lifted, I would look forward to more direct-contact adults, a much simplified training stream ... less IOLS ... 1st class required for WB.

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I have to admit - the last few pages were an interesting read.  80% losses because we admitted girls?  Really?

Fundamentally - almost nothing has changed in the program.  We have the same ranks, same merit badges, same advancement process, same volunteer structure, same youth led troop, same camping plans, same high adventure bases, same patrol structure, same awards, same just about everything.

So they change the name from "Boy Scouts" to "Scouts".  They changed the name "Boys Life" to "Scouts Life" .  Cosmetic changes.  This isn't program.  The BSA just admitted girls - what did you think would happen to the word "boy"?

4 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

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.)

Oh my goodness yes.  I'm not so much a supporter of the recent changes as I am a supporter of Scouting and the BSA.  I am so very tired of the constant prediction of the demise of the BSA & the constant derogatory comments about the BSA leadership and professionals.

I can't help but feel I could post about the color of Scout socks and it would be turn into a discussion about how the BSA will be dead in 5 years.

4 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

*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.

Sounds like a nice idea this one time.

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Now, where do I see the BSA In 5-10 years.

Coed - all units will be fully coed.  No-one will think twice about it starting in 2022.  By that time the old "boys only" folks will be aging out and members will only know a co-ed Scouting program.  Boys and Girls will get along just fine.

Membership numbers - membership will decline until 2021.  At that point, the new girls joining will offset the natural decline in the number of boys joining.  We will see modest growth in the 2021+.

Program - it will be exactly the same program we have now.  Maybe a few new merit badges.

Outdoor activities - same outdoor program we have now.  

Uniform - there will be a new uniform.  It will look much like the old uniform - just as every Scout uniform has for 50 years.

OA - the OA will still be called the OA, but they will move past the Native American costuming and ceremonies.  The group will invent new ceremonies around the underlying themes, they just will look a little different.

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14 hours ago, MattR said:

I'm in England at the moment. I visited @Cambridgeskip's troop and really liked what I had a brief view of (thanks for the tour, Skip!). However, if the BSA plan is to emulate the UK plan then we're in trouble. This is nothing against UK scouts. Their program is great for them. Our program should be great for us. There are cultural differences that won't translate. We are hung up on eagle. I've read their forum and have never seen the types of arguments we have. They don't have summer camps like we do. I'd much rather see a return to GBB. Fun with a purpose. I ran a camporee based on that and the response was great. My DE said he loved it and he wants more and bigger. We need our own vision that our people can get behind. If it turns out to be similar to UK scouts, or Latvia, or Argentina, fine, but we need to figure it out for ourselves.

First to say thanks to Matt and Mrs Matt for swinging by last week. It's always nice to have visitors! The necker you gave us is now hung up in our HQ alongside others from foreign visitors.

Secondly Matt is completely right. While looking at how other countries do things is good in terms of getting fresh ideas and seeing things from a different perspective whatever BSA comes up with has to work for BSA. It's no good pointing at any one country and saying "lets do that" because it may not work for you. It should be a case of saying, country X has age ranges that work like this, why does it fit that country and are there enough parallels that it works for us? If the answer is no move on to countries X, Z and so on. Same for the award scheme, same for summer camp etc.

The other side of that coin is to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water. You've got well over 2 million members. Second biggest in WOSM if I remember right. Clearly you are doing something right! Whatever that is be careful not to ditch it.

When TSA had its big shake up it wasn't done quickly. I was a venture scout when they were piloting it. They did an awful lot of research first. I remember taking part in it. They then piloted the proposed changes in a number of places round the country. By district was one of them and moved to the explorers/network model in 1996. We tried it, gave feedback and what eventually fell out it in 2002 when it went nation wide had a lot of what we'd tried but also had been tweeked and further adapted. It took time. You need to take your time as well.

As I've said before though I don't think you should consider the current round of changes to be the last. I suspect more will come in due course.

Just on the point of summer camp, to clarify what Matt said, we do have summer camp, just not the same way you do with the same set program. Our summer camps are typically for about a week and are just like another camp but longer. Typically camping in patrols, cooking for themselves, usually on a scout owned campsite doing a mix of on site and off site activities. We don't have dining halls (although a limited amount of indoor accomodation is typically available, it doesn't come cheap though) or fixed booking periods. You just book for the days you want to be there.

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13 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

New uniforms, Venturers and Sea Scouts in the OA are both program changes.  Changes to two deep is a program change.  The military has different PT requirements for men and women so expect changes to Personal Fitness MB and Tenderfoot requirements.  Family Life MB used to have a requirement to discuss with your counselor what it means to be a good father.  That will change.  Rumors of the OA dropping NA regalia will be a program change.  New magazine name is a program change.  But the program is more than rank and badge requirements and logistics.  The program is made by all the intangibles of a single-gender environment and all that will end.

Those are not program changes. Program is the program, what kids do and learn, not what they wear or the title of the magazine they read. YPT is not program, it's YPT. 

What is something that kids used to do that they don't anymore because of the recent changes? 

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38 minutes ago, FireStone said:

Those are not program changes. Program is the program, what kids do and learn, not what they wear or the title of the magazine they read. YPT is not program, it's YPT. 

What is something that kids used to do that they don't anymore because of the recent changes? 

that list is very long if you go back to my time in scouts, but, you asked for this to be an optimistic thread about the future of the BSA, not me defending the past.

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Where should we go from here?

- Dump all STEM activities and awards... yes some go to these events but most of the time BSA is simply working with s college or science center (in my area) to put those on.  I know of 0 Scouts in my unit that join for STEM.  

- Sell learning for life to some external group.  Yes it brings in some $ but it isn’t our core program and it distracts the professionals from supporting our key (Cub Scouts, Scouts, Venturing,Sea Scouts)

- Reorganize staff by consolidating councils.  Keep more of our $ at the District level.  Let Districts have more local authority (no need to review every minor communication to the media with council, etc.).

- Open Summit to the public and private investment.   It is a money pit and few scouts will ever see it.  Admit the mistake and move on.

- Allow units to go coed.  They will anyway and if the CO, unit leaders and parents all desire that model I see no reason to continue to block it.

- G2SS & YPT ... safety is first but there are many threads here showing examples of how it can be overly burdensome.   Probably not a major issue but something 

-Get some good young faces to represent the BSA... mentioned before

The list goes on.  BSA will survive and could thrive depending on what actions take place going forward.

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59 minutes ago, FireStone said:

Those are not program changes. Program is the program, what kids do and learn, not what they wear or the title of the magazine they read. YPT is not program, it's YPT. 

What is something that kids used to do that they don't anymore because of the recent changes? 

Actually Youth Protection does affect program. Up until May 2018, a patrol could do day activities on their own without any adults. I remember doing patrol meetings, patrol shopping, and patrol hiking without any adults around. That is not more. Oh and not to mention no more patrol camping without adults, but that happened in 2012.  Those are some of the YOP changes that have affected Scouts since my day.

Oh and let's not forget, you must have TWO 21+ year olds who are  registered, a parent or 18 year old Scouter no longer counts. I know of units that will affect, and it would have affected my troop growing up, especially in regards to summer camp.

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15 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

New uniforms, Venturers and Sea Scouts in the OA are both program changes.  Changes to two deep is a program change.  The military has different PT requirements for men and women so expect changes to Personal Fitness MB and Tenderfoot requirements.  Family Life MB used to have a requirement to discuss with your counselor what it means to be a good father.  That will change.  Rumors of the OA dropping NA regalia will be a program change.  New magazine name is a program change.  But the program is more than rank and badge requirements and logistics.  The program is made by all the intangibles of a single-gender environment and all that will end.

A new uniform hardly effects the program.  

The tenderfoot requirements are just to do certain physical tasks (run a mile, stretching, pushups/sit-ups), make a plan for improve,ent, try again in thirty days and show improvement. Physical fitness is basically the same, but your improvement plan lasts twelve weeks.  I don’t see any reason that would change for girls.    The Family Life merit badge will probably be amended to say parent.  I hardly think a one word change to one merit badge is a program change.  

As I said earlier, my son’s troop has mixed gender patrols now, with the blessing of the CO.  I assume in paper they will be two different troops, but in practice it is one troop, three patrols, all mixed gender.  None of the boys seem upset.  I don’t see any changes to the program.  I think you are vastly overestimating how much Scouts care about this.

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1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Actually Youth Protection does affect program. Up until May 2018, a patrol could do day activities on their own without any adults. I remember doing patrol meetings, patrol shopping, and patrol hiking without any adults around. That is not more. Oh and not to mention no more patrol camping without adults, but that happened in 2012.  Those are some of the YOP changes that have affected Scouts since my day.

Oh and let's not forget, you must have TWO 21+ year olds who are  registered, a parent or 18 year old Scouter no longer counts. I know of units that will affect, and it would have affected my troop growing up, especially in regards to summer camp.

My last year of summer camp (between my Jr. and Sr. years of HS) my SM asked me to tent with and generally buddy with a first year camper.  He was our only first year and his parents were concerned about home sickness.  I was in camp to hang with my Tribal brothers so no big deal to me.  For that week I was his big brother and he was my little brother.  If there had been a two-year age differential tenting restriction at the time that relationship wouldn't have been a beneficial for him or me.

Program goes way beyond activities, merit badges, and rank requirements.

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43 minutes ago, bearess said:

A new uniform hardly effects the program.  

The tenderfoot requirements are just to do certain physical tasks (run a mile, stretching, pushups/sit-ups), make a plan for improve,ent, try again in thirty days and show improvement. Physical fitness is basically the same, but your improvement plan lasts twelve weeks.  I don’t see any reason that would change for girls.    The Family Life merit badge will probably be amended to say parent.  I hardly think a one word change to one merit badge is a program change.  

As I said earlier, my son’s troop has mixed gender patrols now, with the blessing of the CO.  I assume in paper they will be two different troops, but in practice it is one troop, three patrols, all mixed gender.  None of the boys seem upset.  I don’t see any changes to the program.  I think you are vastly overestimating how much Scouts care about this.

Well, first, the program for girls hasn't started at the Troop level yet.  Second, you don't get to argue there will be no program changes, then, when program changes are pointed out, also argue program changes don't matter.  Pick a position.

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