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Girls in Boy Scouts in the News (and in recruiting numbers)...

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Posted (edited)
On 3/4/2019 at 2:15 PM, fred8033 said:

Scouts grow far more for each year they are in Boy Scouts than any year in Cub Scouts.

Agreed.  The question is, why?  Some would argue this is purely due to human development during Jr. High / Middle school.  I say its because quality scout units successfully ween over-indulgent hyper-involved Akela's from their newly minted Scouts.

On 3/4/2019 at 2:15 PM, fred8033 said:

The simple fact is the Cub program is long and repetitive.  Scouts and families burn-out before reaching Boy Scouts ...

I fear we could predict troops hurting with the addition of Lion and Tiger...

I see the same thing, but I draw a wholly different conclusion.  During Webelos, if not before, we should be marketing Scouts BSA as "break time" for Akela's  Give these parents the "well done" thank-you's and then invite them onto the Troop Committee, but emphasize that activity involvement is the role of the SM/ASM's and the PLC, with support from the Scoutmaster Corps, "will take it from here".

Successfully delivering that message may forestall Akela's from abandoning scouting altogether and throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Edited by AltadenaCraig
Bringing the point home & emphasizing the PLC

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, SSF said:

You have to admit that' your own anecdotal viewing of some hiking show you saw, doesn't exactly constitute strong data.

It's not just from "some hiking show." Demographic data on Appalachian Trail thru-hikers is freely available, and fairly strong.

And I mentioned my source for the camping demographic data. The Outdoor Industry Association is pretty reputable.

Edited by FireStone

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26 minutes ago, AltadenaCraig said:

During Webelos, if not before, we should be marketing Scouts BSA as "break time" for Akela's  Give these parents the "well done" thank-you's and then invite them onto the Troop Committee, but emphasize that activity involvement is the role of the SM/ASM's and the Scoutmaster Corps "will take it from here".

There's no room for folks to step into new roles in the Troop after Pack life? I'd like to be involved in the troop after my son crosses over. I hope it's not a case of "Thanks, we got it from here."

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3 minutes ago, FireStone said:

There's no room for folks to step into new roles in the Troop after Pack life? I'd like to be involved in the troop after my son crosses over. I hope it's not a case of "Thanks, we got it from here."

It depends on the unit. My Troop is open to allowing recently crossed over leaders to become ASM's, but they're going to get alot of instruction and guidance from the SM or other experience ASM's. There are Crossover parents who have a hard time adapting to the Boy Scout program and the role of adults in Scouting. Some never do. 

@AltadenaCraig comments seems to indicate that Crossover parents often need an adjustment time, and if they want to contribute straight away, the Committee can be a great place for their energy and enthusiasm, but frankly, a lot of the Cub leaders I see cross over with their sons to my Troop could use a few months to a year to relax before stepping into an Adult Volunteer role. I'd argue being a Den Leader or Cubmaster is way harder and more demanding than being an ASM or a Scoutmaster. Both roles have different sets of challenges and demands. 

Most troops I see aren't going to turn away an enthusiastic, willing volunteer. 

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, FireStone said:

There's no room for folks to step into new roles in the Troop after Pack life? I'd like to be involved in the troop after my son crosses over. I hope it's not a case of "Thanks, we got it from here."

Of course there is!  Here's my quote (with emphasis):

57 minutes ago, AltadenaCraig said:

Give these parents the "well done" thank-you's and then invite them onto the Troop Committee, but emphasize that activity involvement is the role of the SM/ASM's and the Scoutmaster Corps "will take it from here".

For most parents that will be enough to assuage their need for involvement.  If you feel you can go farther, you can train for the Scoutmaster Corps.

BTW, I'll fix my quote to read "the PLC with support from the Scoutmaster Corps will take it from here."

Edited by AltadenaCraig
Emphasized PLC
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15 hours ago, Eagledad said:

 I was a little surprised that National took away tour permits. Maybe the bureaucracy was more than the councils could handle, but it was a good preparation checklist for traveling with a troop full of scouts. The PLC filled out the Tour Permit in our troop.

Barry

On the tour permits my assumption is that the lawyers and risk group determined that by presenting the accepted standards, then the onus of compliance is clearly shifted to the unit.  The unit has an issue??  On My!!  The local council and National BSA basically have a hands off fallback and refer to GTSS and basic leader training that the issue is clearly on that unit, they had (or should have had) the need detail and should have followed the accepted guidelines.

Honestly they were really self declaratory anyway.  In our unit we have a checklist to make sure hitting all the high points.  The on-line process was way better, I recall having to go to the office to get them stamped.  Still have my copy of the National Tour Permit I got when my  Explorer Post drove out to Philmont in 85

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31 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

On the tour permits my assumption is that the lawyers and risk group determined that by presenting the accepted standards, then the onus of compliance is clearly shifted to the unit.  The unit has an issue??  On My!!  The local council and National BSA basically have a hands off fallback and refer to GTSS and basic leader training that the issue is clearly on that unit, they had (or should have had) the need detail and should have followed the accepted guidelines.

Honestly they were really self declaratory anyway.  In our unit we have a checklist to make sure hitting all the high points.  The on-line process was way better, I recall having to go to the office to get them stamped.  Still have my copy of the National Tour Permit I got when my  Explorer Post drove out to Philmont in 85

I'm sure litigation was the motivation, but we had a scout break his arm during an activity that we forgot to submit a tour permit. When I reported the incident and that we forgot the tour permit, the response was "No Biggy". I was told later that the professionals knew that any good lawyer could hold the BSA to their word of taking responsibility. 

I can see that you are skeptical of councils big brother approach to forcing units to follow a check list, I was too. But when I volunteered at the district and council level, I learned that more adults than you would think are very thoughtless of safety in their activities. At some point, it's not as much about litigation as it is the safety of other parents sons. It's great that your troop creates such a checklist for your activities, but I assure you, your troop is not the norm.

Barry

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46 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

 The JTE certainly does hopefully move units to do certain things, but clearly (IMHO) any unit that is "GOLD" should be camping 9 -12 times per year as short term, some of those campouts should be backpacking or hike in, they should be somewhat physically challenging and involve some HA type activity (kayaking, climbing, etc), and some of these should be 2 night activities.

One might go even further.  Simply holding 9 - 12 camping trips a year might be insufficient if only say 10-20% of scouts are attending.  Some percentage of scout-nights-camped would be a better pure metric to track.

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2 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

In JTE measurement the challenge I have is that Budget for the unit has the same equivalency as Short Term camping.   A troop can be a Gold unit and in a year do only 4 short term campouts and going to summer camp.   The JTE certainly does hopefully move units to do certain things, but clearly (IMHO) any unit that is "GOLD" should be camping 9 -12 times per year as short term, some of those campouts should be backpacking or hike in, they should be somewhat physically challenging and involve some HA type activity (kayaking, climbing, etc), and some of these should be 2 night activities.

Rather than outdoor be only max of 20% (400 points max for #6 and #7, out of 2,000 max for the 11 items) that should be a much much larger component.  Have a robust outdoor program or a unit is not "Gold".  That simple.  This is what can and should differentiate Scouting in the marketplace. 

I agree with your sentiment.  Mkaking the outdoor program a bigger percentage would be .a good thing.  I'd welcome another 200-400 outdoor outdoor oriented points.  Overall in program there is 900 points now.  While I get what you're saying - the BSA can distinguish itself by increasing emphasis on the outdoor program. I'd suggest that we add them and then raise the minimum needed to get Gold by most of that amount.

It may be worth noting that having a budget only gets you 50 points.  In the "planning and budget" category, to get more points you also have to add on:

  • the scouts conduct an annual planning conference (another 50 points)
  • the troop committee meets 6 or more times a year to review plans & budget (another 100 points)

In the short term camping category 9 or more short terms campouts gets you 200 points.  4 campouts only gets you 50 points.

SInce program quality is the most important thing we do, having some additional outdoor program goals to guide troops would be a good thing.  I agree with the sentiment that we don't want non-program things to hide the fact that outdoor program is really, really important.  However, most of the rest of the criteria make sense and certainly help to have a well run troop.  Other categories are: recruiting, retention, Webelos crossovers, advancement, service projects, patrol method, family engagement, and leader training.

 

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As long as we're dreaming about changing national, here's another option for cub scout burnout: Take webelos out of the cub program. The first year of scouts could be mixed in with it as well. The idea is to have an intermediate stage between cubs and scouts. The only purpose would be to develop teamwork and start doing a consistent outdoor program. Adult led patrols would be fine. The mantra would be "as soon as you get to scouts you'll do this on your own, so learn."

Before anyone says that's what webelos is supposed to be, I agree, but for the simple reason that a webelos den looks a lot like a cub den under the same committee with the same cub master, there's no push to differentiate the two. UK Scouts has 4 age ranges where we have 2. I don't think 4 is right for us, but 3 might be worth considering.

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We are giving consideration to that very idea with a twist under current rules.  We are considering a Webelos-only cub pack for girls to link with our all-girl Troop.  Same meeting times, girl den chiefs, participation in Troop activities when it makes sense under the current structure.  Maybe this fall, but the following year if not then.

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2 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

We are giving consideration to that very idea with a twist under current rules.  We are considering a Webelos-only cub pack for girls to link with our all-girl Troop.  Same meeting times, girl den chiefs, participation in Troop activities when it makes sense under the current structure.  Maybe this fall, but the following year if not then.

I like your idea.  IMHO, it sounds like a great concept.  IMHO, troops should offer a similar program for boys.  

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9 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

We are giving consideration to that very idea with a twist under current rules.  We are considering a Webelos-only cub pack for girls to link with our all-girl Troop.  Same meeting times, girl den chiefs, participation in Troop activities when it makes sense under the current structure.  Maybe this fall, but the following year if not then.

I'd like to know your motivation for this. Is the normal Webelos program not challenging enough for them?

1 hour ago, MattR said:

As long as we're dreaming about changing national, here's another option for cub scout burnout: Take webelos out of the cub program. The first year of scouts could be mixed in with it as well. The idea is to have an intermediate stage between cubs and scouts. The only purpose would be to develop teamwork and start doing a consistent outdoor program. Adult led patrols would be fine. The mantra would be "as soon as you get to scouts you'll do this on your own, so learn."

Easy, now. The LDS 11 year-old program has often been disparaged for being exactly that.  :) 

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