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Jameson76

2018 Membership numbers are in

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, TMSM said:

Venturing dropping like a rock. 

Our troop has doubled in the last 3 years. We focused on getting into the Weblos heads early that the boy Scouts program is awesome and then focused on doing the program the way it is said to be done. 

Forget about focusing on girls (or gender) - focus and program and access to webelos and we will be fine. National or Council needs to sell the value of the outdoors and scouting to parents. We need more positive publicity and relavance so where is it? Our District cant even hire a DE!

1. Yes, venturing is dying. Which is incredibly unfortunate because I think it's the best program the BSA has to offer. When I was a kid, I heard so many other kids say "I quit scouts because I just wanted to camp and do fun stuff, I didn't care about the badges". Well that's exactly what venturing offers!! To make it even more gloom, every council has a "Camp Crew" where you register camp staff who are not involved in traditional Scouting. So the total number of actual ventures is even lower than the national report. 

2. National BSA is making the same stupid mistake GSUSA is doing by focusing on STEM as opposed to the outdoors. The whole concept of "STEM Scouts" is idiotic. That's not why you join Scouting. 

 3. Surprised you can't even manage to hire a DE. Usually the problem isn't hiring them, its KEEPING them lol. 

Edited by carebear3895
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I'm not sure your graph is exactly accurate. Exploring is under the LFL umbrella, they should not be separated. I believe those 109,613 Explorers are already included in the 313,020 LFL report.

 

It's very sneaky the way national reported it. 

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18 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

2. National BSA is making the same stupid mistake GSUSA is doing by focusing on STEM as opposed to the outdoors. The whole concept of "STEM Scouts" is idiotic. That's not why you join Scouting.

I discovered my career because of the BSA. And it has nothing to do with the outdoors.

The BSA has been in the business of offering exposure to a wide variety of topics for a long time now. STEM is just the latest addition. It's certainly not "idiotic".

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10 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

2. National BSA is making the same stupid mistake GSUSA is doing by focusing on STEM as opposed to the outdoors. The whole concept of "STEM Scouts" is idiotic. That's not why you join Scouting. 

You are too kind and gentle on National BSA.

Even though I support STEM initiatives in this day and age, scouting's value is still in its core outdoor program. That's what kids (and the public at large) expect.

Nova is okay as a purely optional program for those scouts (or parents) who want to do it, but the outdoors is the crux of scouting.

Turning STEM into the entire focus of a BSA unit is indeed "idiotic". STEM Scouts really doesn't belong in BSA. 

Maybe BSA and GSUSA could settle their legal differences with a fair trade: we'll give them all the namby-pamby indoor boys (and their helicopter parents) who can't deal with camping, and in return we'll take as many of those outdoor-loving girls as they can manage to bore senseless with STEM, sewing and cookies.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, FireStone said:

I discovered my career because of the BSA. And it has nothing to do with the outdoors.

The BSA has been in the business of offering exposure to a wide variety of topics for a long time now. STEM is just the latest addition. It's certainly not "idiotic".

Agree with what you say....BUT I also agree with carebear3895...

Science and technology are a real part of today's world, and no kid growing up can "Be Prepared" without knowing how to deal with it. BSA's inclusion of merit badges in STEM fields is great --- it lets the boys who want to explore those fields do so.  The Nova/Supernova awards are great too --- they help foster awareness of STEM and might also help a boy discover something he wants to pursue as a career.

BUT I agree with carebear3895 because he is referring to "STEM Scouts", which is not a purely optional award within the normal BSA program (where the focus is still on outdoors). STEM Scouts is an entirely different beast in which kids never have to get out in the woods. STEM Scouts is a type of unit (like a pack, a troop, or a ship).  They don't have to camp. They don't have to hike. They don't even have to learn about Environmental Science. It's indoors. It's academic.  Instead of field green uniforms, they have lab coats. Instead of fun, they get extra science classes....YECH!   

Edited by mrkstvns
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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

Agree with what you say....BUT I also agree with carebear3895...

Science and technology are a real part of today's world, and no kid growing up can "Be Prepared" without knowing how to deal with it. BSA's inclusion of merit badges in STEM fields is great --- it lets the boys who want to explore those fields do so.  The Nova/Supernova awards are great too --- they help foster awareness of STEM and might also help a boy discover something he wants to pursue as a career.

BUT I agree with carebear3895 because he is referring to "STEM Scouts", which is not a purely optional award within the normal BSA program (where the focus is still on outdoors). STEM Scouts is an entirely different beast in which kids never have to get out in the woods. STEM Scouts is a type of unit (like a pack, a troop, or a ship).  They don't have to camp. They don't have to hike. They don't even have to learn about Environmental Science. It's indoors. It's academic.  Instead of field green uniforms, they have lab coats. Instead of fun, they get extra science classes....YECH!   

Yup. I like STEM Merit Badges and the NOVA stuff too. I have a problem with the program "STEM Scouts". It's not Scouting. The Unit destination is "Lab" for future reference. A couple of bigger Councils have even tried out STEM executives. Basically a DE just for STEM Scouts. 

Edited by carebear3895

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26 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

I'm not sure your graph is exactly accurate. Exploring is under the LFL umbrella, they should not be separated. I believe those 109,613 Explorers are already included in the 313,020 LFL report.

 

It's very sneaky the way national reported it. 

That may in fact be the case, but they do list is separately in all the annual numbers reporting

  • Exploring career-based programs is one group
  • boys and girls in elementary through high school in Learning for Life character education programs is a second group

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1 minute ago, carebear3895 said:

Yup. I like STEM Merit Badges and the NOVA stuff too. I have a problem with the program "STEM Scouts". It's not Scouting.

I have never seen a STEM scout.  We have a STEM Scout mobile lab here which is pretty outdated.  I work for a tech company.

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3 hours ago, FireStone said:

Did anyone really think we'd see that jump in less than a year? I certainly didn't. I always figured this was a 5-year minimum to get any real sense of how things would go.

I never even looked at it as a "jump". It would always be a long, slow progression and a leveling-off after the early years of ups and downs.

The BSA is tapping into a whole new demographic the size of half the youth population and you didn’t expect to see a jump the first year? 

Ive said many times here that Nationals membership numbers are complicated and confusing, but there should be a bump. I’m good at analyzing these things, but I’m clueless on this one.

My first thought is National really bungled the introduction. 

Barry

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It would be great to see the regional breakdown.   Did councils who promoted girls and pushed hard on recruiting see growth or did they see backlash and net loss of members.  Did the councils who ignored girls or didn’t have a good roll out plan see limited losses?  No clue, but I know the girl numbers are not spread even across the country and council efforts varied.

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5 hours ago, carebear3895 said:

1. Yes, venturing is dying. Which is incredibly unfortunate because I think it's the best program the BSA has to offer. When I was a kid, I heard so many other kids say "I quit scouts because I just wanted to camp and do fun stuff, I didn't care about the badges". Well that's exactly what venturing offers!! To make it even more gloom, every council has a "Camp Crew" where you register camp staff who are not involved in traditional Scouting. So the total number of actual ventures is even lower than the national report. ...

BSA dragged venturing down by a thousand cuts. The worst being last years' youth protection mandates. What group of 14-20 year old co-eds would want to be dependent on the presence of two adults for every meeting and activity? Before that, the distinction between adult and youth participants put an effective wedge between members of a crews with a wide age span. Before that, the jump in registration fees exceeded the average cost of a weekend in the woods on borrowed gear.

For late teens, it is now easier to fulfill the vision of a pinnacle scouting experience of hiking and camping independently with your mates --- without the BSA.

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8 hours ago, mashmaster said:

Ventures lumps in Sea Scouts which I would like to know the numbers for,  I know our numbers nationwide are up but a blip.  Were Teams bundled in with Ventures?  If so, the drop would make sense. 

Look for a big drop next year overall, when the LDS church is fully out of BSA.


If anything, I would think that Varsity Scouts would be bundled in with Boy Scouts, because the Varsity program was basically a subset of the Boy Scout program.  Sea Scouting became its own program (separate from Venturing) in early 2016, so maybe that's why they decided to post the numbers for both programs together.

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2 minutes ago, qwazse said:

BSA dragged venturing down by a thousand cuts. The worst being last years' youth protection mandates. What group of 14-20 year old co-eds would want to be dependent on the presence of two adults for every meeting and activity? Before that, the distinction between adult and youth participants put an effective wedge between members of a crews with a wide age span. Before that, the jump in registration fees exceeded the average cost of a weekend in the woods on borrowed gear.

For late teens, it is now easier to fulfill the vision of a pinnacle scouting experience of hiking and camping independently with your mates --- without the BSA.

Exactly what I've been hearing,  "We want to go have fun with our friends, hiking/camping/fishing, we have  our own cars, gear, and $.

Why do you  imagine  we need you and your silly rules?

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