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Jameson76

2018 Membership numbers are in

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Posted (edited)

The numbers are in for 2018.  Apparently the addition of Girls into Cub Scouts did not result in the overall jump start that was hoped for in the program

https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/2018-Report-to-the-Nation.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3j99qbIlquBwh9QR2FCQwQQMLtzmhDOyTPsBndc4v8g1RgoC65hgYW7p0

As a comparison 

(Note that 2014 numbers were a little imprecise in the annual report)

 

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image.png.8a09763d110c01770e66254b2895826a.png

Edited by Jameson76
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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!

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29 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

The numbers are in for 2018.  Apparently the addition of Girls into Cub Scouts did not result in the overall jump start that was hoped for in the program.

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.

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Actually I read somewhere that National predicted a 2% increase in Cub Scouts in 2018 with the addition of girls.

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23 minutes 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!

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.

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8 minutes 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.

Agreed.  The inference was "jump start" which would imply a move in a better direction.  As noted, this was only a short time for the girls in Cubs for 2018, but it was a 1.1% drop.  Maybe that is better than it would have been.

For BSA as a whole the I believe the goal was a 2% increase, which would have been a net increase from 2017 of 53,188 youth.  

As for the expectation, if you review CSE Surbaugh's messages and the famous survey, (97% of families want to be involved in a program LIKE the BSA) then this is not great news

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6 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Actually I read somewhere that National predicted a 2% increase in Cub Scouts in 2018 with the addition of girls.

National does some interesting math. :)

Everyone knew there would be some fall-out from admitting girls, there was almost no way that we'd see any kind of increase in overall numbers. That's at least a few years out. I'd be surprised if we even see a leveling-off in a couple of years.

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The interesting side note to me, is all the banner years for Eagle scouts recently....   I certainly feels that getting Eagle must be easier now than it was with larger amounts of scouts.

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Posted (edited)

Ouch.  The Venturing number represents the final departure of the LDS scouts from Venturing/Varsity.  The Boy Scouts bump in 2017 is the few LDS Venture/Varsity scouts who stuck but are now clearly out.  The Cub Scout number is painful.  If we in fact gained 75,000 girls, the numbers imply we lost 90,000 boys......

Edited by walk in the woods
Clarification: 2017 bump
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4 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

Agreed.  The inference was "jump start" which would imply a move in a better direction.  As noted, this was only a short time for the girls in Cubs for 2018, but it was a 1.1% drop.  Maybe that is better than it would have been.

I still never thought there would be any "jump" involved, a jump in numbers or a jump-start of any kind. This is going to be a long process, rolling out the opportunities for girls and building a culture of girls in the Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA programs. That's ultimately what will drive membership increases, more girls seeing other girls doing things in Cubs, SBSA, etc.

There are still a whole lot of those "Well how is this going to work?" questions on the minds of parents. I hear them often, from parents of girls who are interested but still unsure about participating. Because they haven't seen it in action yet, other than in the stock photos the BSA put out last year. Now when I do recruiting this year, I'll have girls in uniform at my open house, girls in school talking about Cub Scouts, and Pack girls in photos on my website, flyers, etc. I think that will start to resonate more with prospective new parents.

We're definitely moving in a better direction. I'm better off this year than I was last year in terms of being able to speak to how this all works and potentially bring in more new girl members this year. I think if we look at a "jump start" in terms other than raw membership numbers, I'd say we're already experiencing that jump.

And I still believe that the numbers jump will follow. It just needs more time.

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

The BSA leadership really needs to separate out the LDS numbers.

I agree.  LDS needs to be split out.  Are they already leaving or mostly still there or ... 

Data analysis is really hard to isolate cause.  When I see those numbers of only down 14,000 (approx) cub scouts, that's great news.  I'd expect much worse with LDS stepping away.  I'd expect LDS wards to immediately not recharter (units or individuals) as the program is imminently ending.  Rechartering is thousands of dollars for large units.  

We need four to five years to see how the numbers work out. 

Edited by fred8033

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1 hour ago, mashmaster said:

The interesting side note to me, is all the banner years for Eagle scouts recently....   I certainly feels that getting Eagle must be easier now than it was with larger amounts of scouts.

Or lots of boys looking to wrap up and move on......LDS or otherwise.

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1 hour ago, fred8033 said:

I'd expect LDS wards to immediately not recharter (units or individuals) as the program is imminently ending.  Rechartering is thousands of dollars for large units.  

The national church pays for unit recharter fees.  From https://www.lds.org/callings/aaronic-priesthood/leader-resources/scouting-in-the-church/ward-leaders-responsibilities?lang=eng

Quote

Together, the Church and the BSA have decided that all LDS unit charters will be automatically renewed with an expiration date of December 31, 2019. Since LDS units will be automatically renewed, it is important that the Updating Rosters process outlined in the resource “Updating BSA Rosters for LDS Units” be followed. This process will ensure that all youth and adults participating in Scouting are properly registered and are eligible for all benefits of the full Scouting program.

All fees for unit liability insurance and annual registration, including the fees for those of other faiths who join Latter-day Saint units, are paid directly from Church headquarters to the BSA National Council.

So to the extent there are costs to the Ward/Stake, it doesn't appear to be recharter fees.  And, it appears their boys would be counted in membership regardless of whether they are active in the program.  If you click through the link in the quote you'll find this process:

Quote

4. Update and Submit the BSA Roster • Identify those who are on the Church list but not on the BSA roster who should be registered. A new online or paper application must be completed for each of these boys and submitted to the local BSA council.

Original estimates were 400 - 500,000 boys in LDS units.  If you add up all the membership losses in the last two years, and incorrectly attribute them all to the LDS decision, we still have 200-300,000 to go next year.  We'll be lucky if the Boy Scout program doesn't drop under 500,000 total membership next year at this time.

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1 hour ago, fred8033 said:

I agree.  LDS needs to be split out.  Are they already leaving or mostly still there or ... 

Data analysis is really hard to isolate cause.  When I see those numbers of only down 14,000 (approx) cub scouts, that's great news.  I'd expect much worse with LDS stepping away.  I'd expect LDS wards to immediately not recharter (units or individuals) as the program is imminently ending.  Rechartering is thousands of dollars for large units.  

We need four to five years to see how the numbers work out. 

Isolating LDS numbers wouldn't paint a true picture of activity.

On paper, everyone is still engaged. There wasn't a recharter for LDS units this year, our charters were just extended out to 2020 with the current roster. Church headquarters pays a lump sum every year so individual wards have no budget benefit to drop out early. Furthermore, there are good reasons for finishing strong regardless of whether individuals want to continue in BSA or drop it. 

In reality, it's a mixed bag. Attendance at my district's roundtable has dropped off to about 50-75 people or so (about 25% of normal attendance). Council has shut down one camp for the summer and halved the number of sessions available at another. 

In June, BSA is going to start a fairly large-scale LDS retention campaign. I'm not sure what good it would do, people already have enough information to decide if they want to stay or leave.

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