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FireStone

Putting the pieces together - Where are we headed?

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1 minute ago, gblotter said:

I don't link BSA bankruptcy reorganization to the LDS departure. I attribute it to huge debts and looming balloon payments for The Summit.

Agreed.  I didn't word that section very well.

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24 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

I'm a survivor of the ISP.  Luckily I had a SM who ignored National's direction.  Modernized programs, simplified uniforms (don't want to look military), non-traditional badges (have to appeal to all the youth we don't serve) and activities (the outdoors is nice but there's lots of other activities).

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I finished my last Eagle-required merit badge in December 1973 and passed my EBOR in early 1974. An ISP survivor here, too.

26 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

It's deja vu all over again.  But I suspect you're right we'll head down that path again.

Yep. Thing is, BSA cannot sustain those kinds of membership losses this time around and still survive as an organization. The margins are too thin for these kinds of mistakes.

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5 minutes ago, gblotter said:

BSA will see those kinds membership declines next year just from the LDS departure. The additional attrition over the next decade will be much more severe.

I was being kind...also haven't you been paying attention???  THOUSANDS of GIRLS are signing up, plus the LIONS, plus the FAMILIES, and did I mention the GIRLS, and STEM, and SOCCER, and LEARNING FOR LIFE, why the tent is HEEWGE and will need to get HEEEWGER, what with all of this influx BSA (current corporate name but not married to it), will need to no doubt add (wait for it) SUMMIT WEST to handle the need for High Adventure

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1 minute ago, gblotter said:

I finished my last Eagle-required merit badge in December 1973 and passed my EBOR in early 1974. An ISP survivor here, too.

If you finished Eagle December 1973 (NOTE - as did I and we took paperwork to Council office on like Friday 12/28 or Monday 12/30, stood in line, and got it filed) then you were under the original requirements and hopefully avoided ISP, berets, and asking the kindly policeman for directions while out on a hike.

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1 minute ago, Jameson76 said:

If you finished Eagle December 1973 (NOTE - as did I and we took paperwork to Council office on like Friday 12/28 or Monday 12/30, stood in line, and got it filed) then you were under the original requirements and hopefully avoided ISP, berets, and asking the kindly policeman for directions while out on a hike.

Yes - I earned my Eagle under the old requirements. I dropped out of Scouting shortly thereafter (along with 2.5 million others). So I guess I am not an ISP survivor at all - I am an ISP casualty.

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

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16 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

I was being kind...also haven't you been paying attention???  THOUSANDS of GIRLS are signing up, plus the LIONS, plus the FAMILIES, and did I mention the GIRLS, and STEM, and SOCCER, and LEARNING FOR LIFE, why the tent is HEEWGE and will need to get HEEEWGER, what with all of this influx BSA (current corporate name but not married to it), will need to no doubt add (wait for it) SUMMIT WEST to handle the need for High Adventure

I laugh every time I hear the "thousands" line being thrown around.  2,000 whole girls joined! whoa!  

Wait.. how many girls are in America?  millions?  oh... shh, don't say that part

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12 minutes ago, gblotter said:

Yes - I earned my Eagle under the old requirements. I dropped out of Scouting shortly thereafter (along with 2.5 million others). So I guess I am not an ISP survivor at all - I am an ISP casualty.

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

Eagle in 79 (started scouts in 74) but I did have camping, swimming and lifesaving MB so, you know, don't judge me too harshly :).

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39 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

The LDS departure vortex may spread into the non-urban central parts of the nation before the damage is finished.

I expect we'll see a membership bloodbath over the next five years - not necessarily precipitated by the LDS departure, but because of general disillusionment over recent changes.

If non-urban Scouting predictably declines, how can anyone expect that urban Scouting will fill the void? Urban Scouting has always been an awkward fit at best.

No matter - Irving will double-down on gender-neutral Scouting with fully co-ed troops. Alienating the BSA base in order to pursue a perpetually elusive periphery.

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2 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

don't judge me too harshly

Show me the photo of you wearing that red beret.

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I don't know about timing, but I predict the "linked troops" concept turns into co-ed troops fairly quickly, maybe with separate patrols.  The option for boys troops / girls troops will still be there for a while, but having them as an option will probably go away more quickly with the departure of the LDS troops.

And duty to God will be next on the chopping block - they will just make it "optional".

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13 minutes ago, gblotter said:

I expect we'll see a membership bloodbath over the next five years - not necessarily precipitated by the LDS departure, but because of general disillusionment over recent changes.

I didn't mean to imply blame on the LDS departure.  I'm just thinking it will trigger a lack of critical mass in the intermountain west that will be larger than expected.

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Already know about "linked troops" that will in reality be a coed troop. Only thing stopping my troop from doing just that, at the moment, is the fact that the majority of Scouts, parents, and others are completely against it, and some will leave over the matter. However if the separate girls' troop does not work out, the CO will revisit the decision.

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I think you're going to see A LOT of council mergers in the near future. For some reason, and I can't wrap my head around why, national seems to like the GSUSA "mega council" approach.  The days of small councils are going to be long gone, unfortunately. 

I also think your going to see a lot of council camps close. National has made it no secret they think the BSA owns way too much property. I predict more than half of council properties will try to be sold off. 

As for the Summit, yea that's gone. 

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47 minutes ago, gblotter said:

...Thing is, BSA cannot sustain those kinds of membership losses this time around and still survive as an organization. The margins are too thin for these kinds of mistakes.

 

I've never thought that any of this was about saving the organization. This is about saving a bunch of jobs in one Texas office.

The BSA can live on as a volunteer-only scouting org, like others around the world. Under 100,000 members we could keep right on scouting along. We just can't sustain the bloat of the big salaries, SBR debts, etc. 

The BPSA-US has, what, a couple of thousand members, maybe? They still go camping, have Camporee-type of events (Hullabalo I believe they call them), wear uniforms, give out badges, do service projects, march in parades, hold fundraisers, pay dues, have training sessions, etc. It's all done on a smaller scale (no big summer camps, no jamborees), but it works. A handful of national staff volunteers oversee the bigger operations, making program changes, writing handbooks, getting badges manufactured, etc. But the vast majority of the work happens on the ground at the unit level. Not all that different from what most of us already do anyway.

Scouting will endure in America for a long time. The BSA specifically can endure, but not if we lose a lot of members and National isn't willing to change their business model to something more thrifty.  

I don't believe it will come to that, I have faith in our new trajectory and that this thing will work in it's new configuration. But if I'm wrong and things do go bad, I hope National will do the right thing and not sacrifice the whole ship just to keep a few captains well-paid for a few extra years. 

Edited by FireStone

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