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Eagle1993

Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

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17 hours ago, Terasec said:

i am leaving scoutint for this reason too much arts and crafts

lack of emphasys on outdoors

my son learns more about the outdoors without scouting

scoutint has actually diminished his outdoor knowledge/experiences

I agree.  I want my sons in scouts because of the outdoor aspects.  Outdoors is the meat of the program.  Arts, tech, STEM, leadership, etc can be explored in many channels (academic teams, robotic teams, etc).  Outdoors is the special part.  I view the merit badges and awards as a really good side dish, but it's not the meat of the program.  

BSA's competitive advantage is the outdoor program.  Camping, hiking, cycling, shooting, etc, etc.  For me as a parent, it's also the draw.  I want my sons to be comfortable in parks, camping, etc.  I really don't think they would grow that comfort and skill through my wife and myself.  I view BSA as opening up many possible future experiences in their future.

Edited by fred8033
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7 hours ago, fred8033 said:

I agree.  I want my sons in scouts because of the outdoor aspects.  Outdoors is the meat of the program.  Arts, tech, STEM, leadership, etc can be explored in many channels (academic teams, robotic teams, etc).  Outdoors is the special part.  I view the merit badges and awards as a really good side dish, but it's not the meat of the program.  

BSA's competitive advantage is the outdoor program.  Camping, hiking, cycling, shooting, etc, etc.  For me as a parent, it's also the draw.  I want my sons to be comfortable in parks, camping, etc.  I really don't think they would grow that comfort and skill through my wife and myself.  I view BSA as opening up many possible future experiences in their future.

A wise man once said that "OUTING is three-fourths of ScOUTING." 

Sadly the folks at national cannot do math, nor can they remember history. Anyone remember the recent BSHB that said outing is 2/3s of Scouting? And I agree, lose the outdoor emphasis, you lose Scouting. Anyone remember the 1970s Improved Scouting Program fiasco that took the "Outing out of Scouting?" Anyone remember when camping was not required to earn Eagle? Anyone remember the drastic membership decline that forced a CSE to retire early, and bring back William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt out of retirement?

I am so glad I was a Scout in the 1980s and used his last BSHB. While my original copy with all my advancement signatures is long gone, My most prized treasure is the copy of that edition one of my Eagles tracked down and got me, long before Ebay and Amazon were popular.

Edited by Eagle94-A1
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Yep, I remember.  I had to earn first class the old way Morse code included.  Took about two years in my triip as a rule.  Im still very proud of my rectangular rank badge. As a den leader I took my cubs on short hikes and on a whim showed them some of the old trail signs we used to use. The ones using rocks, sticks, or even grass.  

They were just ecstatic , Super secret woodsy Scout signs!  Yay!

The lesson seemed simple. Give them what they want. So I started teaching more Woodcraft, edible plants, animal tracks, stars, tree identification they loved it. Crafts were reserved for cold rainy days.

I have two sons who are both engineers and Eagles. They think the stem program is the dumbest thing scouting has ever done. But then they weren't Scouts in 73.

Edited by Oldscout448
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3 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Anyone remember the 1970s Improved Scouting Program fiasco that took the "Outing out of Scouting?" Anyone remember when camping was not required to earn Eagle? Anyone remember the drastic membership decline that forced a CSE to retire early, and bring back William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt out of retirement?

Eagle, I recall the ISP well.  I crossed over from Webelos to my first troop in 1974, right near the start.  Ah, the anemic handbook...pajama-like uniforms...scouters and older scouts quitting in disgust...new Eagles upset over the overhaul of the Eagle patch, which went from the traditional design to the stark "chicken in the mess kit with red/white/blue grease"....

My camping MB from '76 has the non-required border.

I was in four different troops in the '70s.  Military family.  My various scoutmasters had their foibles but they all believed in getting the troop outdoors as much as possible.  Especially our troop in Alaska.   Minimum one weekend camping a month, no weather cancellations.  Two campouts in December:  the regular camping/backpacking trip, and one for the older scouts above the tree line with ice axes, crampons, etc.

I'm rambling, but my point is there were enough traditional/outdoor-minded scouters back then to guide us through the ISP until GB Bill was called out of retirement to fix the mess. 

A troop that camps regularly is a troop that is alive.  If there is no hiking, camping, backpacking, boating, and fishing, what is the point of all this?  An agenda of exclusively attending meetings and classes and occasional car-camping will not sustain an organization like the BSA for very long.

Edited by desertrat77
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" Chicken in a mess kit" !?

That's MY badge you are talking about,  old friend.  The one that took 24 Merit badges. Still I just had to laugh.  Never heard THAT one before.

Now I need to go look at my camping MB. 

Edited by Oldscout448

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29 minutes ago, Oldscout448 said:

" Chicken in a mess kit" !?

That's MY badge you are talking about,  old friend.  The one that took 24 Merit badges. Still I just had to laugh.  Never heard THAT one before.

Now I need to go look at my camping MB. 

Lol, no offense intended, I was just recalling what the old timers discussed around the camp fire.  When I was a "career Tenderfoot" for a long spell, I wasn't very good at much, but I'd find a log or big rock at the fire and listen for hours. 

As a young scout, it seemed to me that many Eagles didn't like the new, wordless patch.  It represented everything wrong with "new" scouting.  The chicken/mess kit/grease comment was remembered from a campout in the Sonoran desert of Arizona.  A new Eagle was on a roll, a true rant, and that was one of things he said.

Some troops with military leaders who still had connections with patch makers in the Far East ordered unofficial/copies of traditional Eagle patches for their new Eagles to wear. 

When I earned Eagle in '77 the design had changed again, a bit of old and new. 

 

Edited by desertrat77

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Oh, no offense taken. I admit I liked the older badge better.  In fact I got one at a patch auction in "78 for $13.25. Just to have a complete set of the "old" ranks.

First round is still on me.

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Follow up article from Forbes...

They are hiring more consultants and reviewing both financial and operational plans....

https://www.forbes.com/sites/debtwire/2019/01/08/boy-scouts-of-america-seeks-survival-skills-to-deal-with-abuse-allegations/amp/

“The organization’s financial state could be in peril should its insurance reserves not adequately resolve the litigation claims, the sources noted. In addition, BSA’s efforts to be more inclusive— by dropping the ‘Boy’ in its main program and welcoming girls and transgender scouts to join— has not resulted in a membership spike.”

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36 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

In addition, BSA’s efforts to be more inclusive— by dropping the ‘Boy’ in its main program and welcoming girls and transgender scouts to join— has not resulted in a membership spike.”

Shocked face

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

Follow up article from Forbes...

They are hiring more consultants and reviewing both financial and operational plans....

https://www.forbes.com/sites/debtwire/2019/01/08/boy-scouts-of-america-seeks-survival-skills-to-deal-with-abuse-allegations/amp/

“The organization’s financial state could be in peril should its insurance reserves not adequately resolve the litigation claims, the sources noted. In addition, BSA’s efforts to be more inclusive— by dropping the ‘Boy’ in its main program and welcoming girls and transgender scouts to join— has not resulted in a membership spike.”

Also this is the really really important quote from the article:

BSA’s debt load has ballooned in recent years to help fund the Summit’s development. In 2012, the organization issued $175 million in bonds due 2022, and increased its revolving line of credit by $25 million.

Yes the insurance issues and settlements can be tough, but the ego project of Summit is the real issue

Edited by Jameson76
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And that's not to mention potential environmental liability to restore the strip-mined areas.  What were they ....    Woops, I almost said "thinking." ☢️

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43 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

In addition, BSA’s efforts to be more inclusive— by dropping the ‘Boy’ in its main program and welcoming girls and transgender scouts to join— has not resulted in a membership spike.”

This is an incredibly misleading slant by the article’s author. Cubs has been open to girls for less than a  year and resulted in a six percent gross membership increase in the Cub program. (The net / total membership numbers, accounting for retention and new recruiting of boys, won’t be available for a while yet.) And Scouts BSA won’t even get off the ground for another few weeks, so there’s nothing to look at there numbers-wise.

The girl Cub numbers are entirely respectable and nothing to hide under a rock. As of late December, there were 73,000 girls in Cubs, or about 0.7 percent of all girls aged 5-9 in the entire country. (5-9 is how the Census divides it up.) Remember that from January to June, only early adopter packs were allowed to take girls - so it’s been really up and running on a truly national basis for only six months.

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@shortridge  Note that the author was referencing two sources.  These sources are indicating membership didn’t surge.  I agree that the 70,000+ growth was healthy and a good start, but I’m not sure what National was expecting or hoping for.  

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

Note that the author was referencing two sources.  These sources are indicating membership didn’t surge. 

Those unnamed sources may have said one thing, but the numbers indicate another - and the framing of that assertion (which is specifically not attributed to a source) is flatly incorrect and lacking context.

When Truman ordered the military integrated, it took several years for an impact to be seen in the ranks. It wasn’t until three years later that the Army’s training divisions were integrated. And it wasn’t until Korea that many minds were changed in the military. It will take several years for Scouts BSA to become the new normal.

Edited by shortridge

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So, really nothing new to report.  We have local programs to work on and with for the betterment of our youth.  We cannot change much with constant chest pounding about things over which we have little control.  Be Prepared.  That seems to be pretty much what is going on here, or at least to me.  Got an outing to work on and charter to finish.  Good Scouting.🤗

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