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A lot of negatives in the media, is scouting in danger?

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Posted (edited)

I’ve recently paid more attention to what has been going on and finally wanted to find a way to at least weigh in.  It can be difficult to reach a larger audience.  
 

There are those individuals who would torch it all and I get that.  No payment will erase the pain and the crime and justice won’t be done on most of the perpetrators or their abettors.  I don’t have a good solution for them because I would want severe retribution for a lifetime of scarring too.  

But as we know there is a lot of good to be had.  I suppose that scouts was originally local and limited.  Maybe there is value to returning to local/ district control without destroying traditions.  Much of my personal growth is tied to scouts and I’d just assume a ‘reborn’ organization exist with the same traditions. 

But like a lot of things, society changes and associations, groups and organizations are forced to change or shrivel up.  So many alternatives now exist for young people that zeroing in on a few can be difficult.  It seems that as the generations move forward, the shift in values makes tradition much more difficult.  The work place reflects this as anti-discrimination laws of all types demonstrate.  Growing up into those new workplace realities inevitably shifts to how kids are raised and how peers react to each other. This, of course, is only one dynamic.  The peer groups and internet life goes far beyond anything I could have ever imagined and is a staggering force and influence.  
Civic groups in general have faced a decline and the lack of example by parents and adults must reflect directly on the desire of children to do or not do the same.  These, among other, forces already have put Boy Scouts on the back foot. 


It may be that the organization has to contract for a while to preserve its core.  In this case, local/council control might well be the avenue to take.  It may be that focusing on achievements like Eagle, God and Country, civic pride, specific values and patriotism at all levels will be the best standards to embrace.  All organizations are in a hurricane of advertising, marketing and information overload.  At this point, keeping a healthy core alive at local levels seems the best solution. 

it may mean getting investors together to buy and put camps in trusts so they will be around.  I’m not sure but the proverbial gauntlets have been thrown down.

Edited by John-in-KC
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Is scouting in danger?  BSA is definitely in danger.  If you feel that scouting can only take place under the corporate seal of BSA, then it would appear that scouting is doomed.  But I don't look at it that way.  I see scouting as a movement, not a corporation.  Scouting is alive and well.

We need to be preparing to reboot scouting in a post-bankruptcy world where BSA no longer exists.  

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From a strictly business standpoint, the Virus has stopped all meaningful cash flow and is choking recruitment and retention.  This increases the risk of nationwide liquidation of BSA and councils (including properties)as a reorganization requires a strong financial basis for a going-forward organization.  I don’t think we are there yet, but Scouting will be astrikingly different organization after this.

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35 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

Scouting will be a strikingly different organization after this.

We can only hope.

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There are several  of silver linings...no lawsuit can strip scouting out of existence...It’s traditions, history, culture, uniforms, awards, names, etc.  People would flat reject that and fight against it even if the name was bought and tried to be suppressed.  

The real test of character would be the people.  As we all know, Scouting is an idea with form and tradition that cannot be destroyed.  It’s shape and appearance could and it could require rebuilding but there is merit (in a tough sort of way) of putting an idea through a test.  It can emerge stronger and more pure in its followers and substance.  This is putting a great spin on a shitty deal but it’s a reality in many situations.  

People set up scholarships and volunteer assets like they do churches and parks.  There are many many people with assets and who believe in the mission who would step up and buy new property or donate.  That would be the mission.  It would tie people together and energize in a new way and give a lot of people focus.  I would be moved to contribute time and resources for that.  Masons had to do this after a terrible time in the 1840s.  Gymnastics and other sports, like other activities can’t be destroyed only reforged. 

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Amen my friend...Scouting has been changed by people on national committees in an attempt to keep up with social norms. People who were interested in scouting didn't agree with current social norms so they quit.  If Scouting would reinstate the mandate that every member MUST follow the Scout Oath and Law, get outside and camp, hike, swim, build fires, cook.....and focus on having a good time, there is a good chance that we will recover, to a degree.  Scouting in it's current state is falling apart.  Make it what is was and can be rebuilt. 

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6 minutes ago, Mrjeff said:

If Scouting would reinstate the mandate that every member MUST follow the Scout Oath and Law, get outside and camp, hike, swim, build fires, cook.....and focus on having a good time, there is a good chance that we will recover, to a degree. 

This is up to the unit. No one from national or even a district can make this happen. They can try, but they can’t force it. As a side note, I wonder how few days and nights camping a unit can have and still get a hold JTE. I know our troop will still be gold even with missing 4 months of camping this year. I don’t know if a unit should Be listed as “gold” with summer camp and 7 campouts. 

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9 minutes ago, Mrjeff said:

 If Scouting would reinstate the mandate that every member MUST follow the Scout Oath and Law.

Not sure what you are referring to here. Can you provide some details about when the BSA said that Scouts don't have to follow the Scout Oath and Law?

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

Not sure what you are referring to here. Can you provide some details about when the BSA said that Scouts don't have to follow the Scout Oath and Law?

 

While I suppose I could be wrong in this case, this type of language is usually code for: "Gay people shouldn't be allowed". (and occasionally "Christians only)

Edited by elitts
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The Boy Scouts has never been a christian centered organization.  It has always mandated an acknowledgment and duty to God. There has never been a mandated diety.  As far as the LGBTQ and transgenders,  many people do not agree or support this lifestyle and they have been labeled homophobic,  which is not a crime.  For a long time Boy Scouts did not allow LGBTQ participants and the members were ok with that. Loss of funding as well as membership caused the National Executive Board to open the doors to anyone who wanted to pay the price of membership, weather that be the LGBTQ community or girls joining the Boy Scouts. They even went a little further in starting a ridiculous program for 5 year old babies who quit after 3 months. Because the LGBTQ community was accepted, a whole lot of experienced Scouters and Scouts just quit.  Long time sponsors and donors closed their doors and cut of funding because the Boy Scouts was no longer the type of organization they wanted to be affiliated with.  Even people who have never been associated with the Boy Scouts think that allowing girls to join the Boy Scouts is a bad idea.  The numbers of LGBTQ Scouts and girls Scouts has not been able to keep up with the numbers of people who have thrown up their hands and quit.  Then out of the clear blue that same national executive board doubled the fees, which I would guess didn't help retention at all.  I really didn't want to get into this but you kept picking at an ugly scab until it bleed and I hope this clarifies the opinion that the Scout Oath and Law has been watered down and in some cases, been removed.

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I so hope that Scouting can get on the other side of these huge problems and thrive.  As others have mentioned, I believe its success will come from the work of local leaders.  Scouting has been a great positive for my son and my family. I want that opportunity for other kids and their families.  As I mentioned on another thread, I really believe that the program needs to be laser focused on getting kids out into the woods, adventure, and service.  

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I agree about the religious angle.  It has god and country award that is available to just about every denomination and belief system (maybe not paganism) that one can conceive of.  I wish I had done it.  The discussion about oath and law, while personal and meaningful to the sense of values each member has, can begin to look like the council of Nicaea when early church authorities had to sit down and hammer out a creed.  Or, in alternate, the Anglican Lambeth conference  or Protestant denominational National  conventions that periodically meet to review and discuss doctrine. 
 

As I see it, this particular stage of scouting history is an opportunity to confirm its beliefs with a great emphasis on tradition. The challenge is clearly like many Conservative vs progressive conflicts in a give no quarter culture war and that is unfortunate.  Not every institution and organization has to be shattered and twisted beyond its solid roots.  The reality is that forcing change on one group suggests cultural superiority and an expectation of a complete unconditional acceptance of the ideas being forced from others.  
 

Paradoxically, while the new changes are expected, the traditionalist seem to not only be vilified but denied their own traditions.  I honestly don’t understand how this is being allowed to play out.  ‘Traditional Boy Scouts’ may need to be a new trademark name with clearly defined expectations.  it will take smarter people than me to figure this out but there are ways to find paths forward. 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Troop75Eagle said:

The real test of character would be the people.  

So true. 

Scouting is hung up in political and legal battles that are tearing the program apart.  Maybe it is time to let the scouting program shrink.  Too much contention.  Too many arguments. Too much confusion on what scouting really is.  

It should never be about who is allowed or not allowed to be a scout.  Or specific beliefs to be a scout.  The test is about people living the scout oath and law in an outdoor oriented program that develops character.  Of course, the personal beliefs are important and scouts should be able to find a unit that has compatible set of people.  

I really believe scouting would be best served right now by focusing on the basics.  Outdoors.  Camping.  Skills.  Fellowship in the outdoors while camping and developing skills.  

 

 

Edited by fred8033
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16 hours ago, elitts said:

While I suppose I could be wrong in this case, this type of language is usually code for: "Gay people shouldn't be allowed". (and occasionally "Christians only)

I prefer to let people explain themselves rather than jump to conclusions, but your hunch was correct in this case. 

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