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RememberSchiff

Flat Council Support fee coming to your unit?

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, fred8033 said:

 

  • Demand for more opportunities.  Larger councils and districts can provide more resources.  Our council's merger doubled the number of available camps and allowed the council more opportunities due to their size. 

A merger is not necessary to attend out-of-council camps, training, or activities. What I have seen is the number of camps halved after a merger. I have seen a STEM-something-or-other created after a merger, the need for this escapes me as we already have schools, public nature centers, science clubs, and museums. 

Edited by RememberSchiff

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I do not know what is up with my council, but they are holding 3 invitation only meetings with the council key three. Suppose to be going over news. Media reports, and plans so we can br "ambassadors for Scouting."

I hope part of those plans do not include a council fee. My part of the state is hurting really bad, with above national average unemployment, and out of date infrastructure. Me personally it was a struggle to pay for summer camp for the 3 hoodlums and myself. I am already saving for next year. Council raises costs, I do not know how we can afford it.

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10 hours ago, fred8033 said:

I don't see fewer distinct and council volunteers.  I see volunteers everywhere in scouting.  There are other driving reasons for mergers and larger councils / districts.

  • Membership losses.  The pure number of scouts is half what it was 15 years ago.  Our district merged ten years ago or so and membership is still smaller than it was in 2004.  The numbers just are not there anymore.
  • Online resources.  Units just don't need as much direct support due to online resources.  Training is mostly online and not requiring the large basic training events.  Schedules, calendars, communication is all online.  It makes round table and direct support less critical.
  • Money losses.  Donations are way down compared to 15 / 20 years ago.  United way, corporations, community FOS and family FOS just are not donating like they did in the past.  
  • Demand for more opportunities.  Larger councils and districts can provide more resources.  Our council's merger doubled the number of available camps and allowed the council more opportunities due to their size. 

It feels like the BSA is missing the key problem - the world has changed and district/pack/troop/crew leaders just don't know how to adjust to the new challenges.

  • Packs & troops that know how to recruit do just fine.  They run traditional programs and have plenty of members.  Yet, we have plenty of units that have no clue how to recruit and so don't bother.  The complain when they don't have enough scouts or volunteers - but yet do little to fix it.
  • Districts have a very similar problem.  They are running a program that was appropriate 20 years ago.  Training - BSA sends us the slides and we present them.  Program - we'll get together a few times, come up with some events, and call it a day.  Membership - does everyone has a roundup night planned?

Time and time I see the same thing.  The quality of what we do matters.  Focus on program quality matters.  Focus on building up volunteers and units  matters.  Unit and district quality matters.

In short, the BSA doesn't have a program content problem, it has a program delivery program.  This will never be fixed by tinkering with the program.  Charging more only makes things worse.  They need to fix the problems that are leading to weak packs/troops/crews and districts.  But, they are not doing this.  As a result, we continue to see a slow, steady decline.

  • Upvote 4

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7 hours ago, ParkMan said:

It feels like the BSA is missing the key problem - the world has changed and district/pack/troop/crew leaders just don't know how to adjust to the new challenges.

  • Packs & troops that know how to recruit do just fine.  They run traditional programs and have plenty of members.  Yet, we have plenty of units that have no clue how to recruit and so don't bother.  The complain when they don't have enough scouts or volunteers - but yet do little to fix it.
  • Districts have a very similar problem.  They are running a program that was appropriate 20 years ago.  Training - BSA sends us the slides and we present them.  Program - we'll get together a few times, come up with some events, and call it a day.  Membership - does everyone has a roundup night planned?

Time and time I see the same thing.  The quality of what we do matters.  Focus on program quality matters.  Focus on building up volunteers and units  matters.  Unit and district quality matters.

In short, the BSA doesn't have a program content problem, it has a program delivery program.  This will never be fixed by tinkering with the program.  Charging more only makes things worse.  They need to fix the problems that are leading to weak packs/troops/crews and districts.  But, they are not doing this.  As a result, we continue to see a slow, steady decline.

I agree with your comments.

  • Recruitment.  Agreed.  It would be good to help units do better recruitment.  But I'm not sure if bad recruitment is a cause or a result.
  • Out dated district programs.  I hugely agree.  The district structure is reminiscent of a 1970s pre-online support program.  I'm not really sure districts are well suited to support units anymore.  
  • Program delivery problem.  I hugely agree on this.  I've seen many many scouting offerings that are not good and often less than acceptable.  District events.  Training.  Advancement.  It's way too hit-and-miss with lots more miss.    

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