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

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I think scouting is missing a huge opportunity right now. I was reading a discussion about positive ways to reform police departments and there was a really interesting observation. A study was done on ways to reduce crime in poorer sections of cities and they tried 3 things: increase police, increase social aid, and just tearing down abandoned buildings and putting in parks. The most effective was putting in parks. It created community and places for kids to play. They then mentioned that youth programs greatly help police. They mentioned Boys and Girls Clubs but didn't mention scouts. That kind of hurt. It hurt even more realizing that, as scouts currently stands, it would likely not work. And yet if there's ever a part of our cities that could use scouting, these are the places.

Put another way, if scouting can't figure out how to work in these places then I think scouting has become irrelevant. And it's not because parents don't care for character development, it's that the current program is all twisted out of shape from what it started as. Didn't scouting start for kids in cities? To me it seems that the target group of kids are those in suburbs.

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10 minutes ago, MattR said:

I think scouting is missing a huge opportunity right now.....

You ain't kidding they are missing a huge opportunity:

https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2020/03/05/on-the-100th-year-since-the-19th-amendment-lets-look-how-scouts-stood-with-suffragists/

Who want's to volunteer their kids to slap on uniforms and relieve the lines of riot police?

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44 minutes ago, MattR said:

They mentioned Boys and Girls Clubs but didn't mention scouts. That kind of hurt. It hurt even more realizing that, as scouts currently stands, it would likely not work. And yet if there's ever a part of our cities that could use scouting, these are the places.

Put another way, if scouting can't figure out how to work in these places then I think scouting has become irrelevant. And it's not because parents don't care for character development, it's that the current program is all twisted out of shape from what it started as. Didn't scouting start for kids in cities? To me it seems that the target group of kids are those in suburbs.

Cub Scouts:  $$ - uniforms, handbooks, badges, pins, belt loops, parental presence, adult supervision.   Scouts BSA:  $$$ - uniforms, handbooks, badges, pins, sleeping bags, backpacks, personal gear, troop camping gear and supplies, adult supervision, transportation, hiking trails or routes, campgrounds.  Both:  progressive development of skills and experience over long periods of time via the rank system, often operated on planned timelines to complete all of the requirements for a particular badge within a certain number of months.

BSA Scouting has become very "heavy" with all of the stuff needed to run a standard program.  It is also, on its face, very complicated with all of the ranks and requirements and awards spanning a wide variety of topics -- before you even get to the merit badge program.  And, particularly in Cub Scouts, if you miss some meetings or activities, it is difficult to "catch up" to complete the requirements for the rank badge.

So much easier to go play some basketball or soccer (minimal equipment, not many rules) -- while learning about teamwork and fairness and sportsmanship.

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7 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

BSA Scouting has become very "heavy" with all of the stuff needed to run a standard program.  It is also, on its face, very complicated with all of the ranks and requirements and awards spanning a wide variety of topics -- before you even get to the merit badge program.  And, particularly in Cub Scouts, if you miss some meetings or activities, it is difficult to "catch up" to complete the requirements for the rank badge.

So much easier to go play some basketball or soccer (minimal equipment, not many rules) -- while learning about teamwork and fairness and sportsmanship.

I used to tell Webelos leaders that if games was half their meeting, they will have no problem with scout attendance. 

While I was SM, I would visit my  younger sons Bear meetings just to watch. The leader was like me in that he wasn't good at details. Details like advancement. So, the first half of his meeting was doing some scout stuff, then the rest was basket ball, baseball, or whatever he could think of for that meeting. The games usually involved the boys getting sweaty, Those scout couldn't wait to got to his next meetings.

I took over his scouts as their webelos leader and I kept basically the same pattern. Fun scouting stuff followed by games. If the fun scouting stuff turned out boring (not me), the game always save the day.

Dkurtenbach is right, at least for the Cub Scouts. I've been preaching for years that Cub Scouts is way way to complicated and actually driving families away from scouting before they even get to the Troops. Troops are different problem of adults interfering with the intended program.

Barry

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18 hours ago, Mrjeff said:

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. 

I don't have a problem with people who think homosexuality is a sin.  I think those people are wrong and probably won't want to spend much time with them, but there are people who believe much stranger things, so there you go.  And I'd even go so far as to say that, on it's own, the belief that it's a sin probably isn't inherently homophobic.  What IS homophobic is the belief that homosexual people should be banned from activities and groups on the basis of their sexuality.   

I mean, if actively behaving in a sinful manner was made a bar to membership in the BSA we'd REALLY have a problem with keeping older kids because we'd have to be kicking out every teen engaging in pre-marital sex.  Not to mention getting rid of all the re-married Catholic adults and any adults who have a live-in significant other.

But we don't do that.  Instead we just say, "Sexuality has no place in Scouting, so as long as you leave it at home, it's not a problem".  Given that fact, the only conclusion I can come to is that the people advocating the ban of gay scouts and leaders do so NOT because it's a sin and therefore incompatible with Scouting, rather they do it because of how THEY feel when they know homosexuals are around them.

 

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18 minutes ago, elitts said:

I don't have a problem with people who think homosexuality is a sin.  I think those people are wrong and probably won't want to spend much time with them, but there are people who believe much stranger things, so there you go.  And I'd even go so far as to say that, on it's own, the belief that it's a sin probably isn't inherently homophobic.  What IS homophobic is the belief that homosexual people should be banned from activities and groups on the basis of their sexuality.   

I mean, if actively behaving in a sinful manner was made a bar to membership in the BSA we'd REALLY have a problem with keeping older kids because we'd have to be kicking out every teen engaging in pre-marital sex.  Not to mention getting rid of all the re-married Catholic adults and any adults who have a live-in significant other.

But we don't do that.  Instead we just say, "Sexuality has no place in Scouting, so as long as you leave it at home, it's not a problem".  Given that fact, the only conclusion I can come to is that the people advocating the ban of gay scouts and leaders do so NOT because it's a sin and therefore incompatible with Scouting, rather they do it because of how THEY feel when they know homosexuals are around them.

 

I gotta say this is one of the more bigoted and ignorant post I've read here in a while. Too much misunderstanding to even start bring balance, but in context of morality and character,  just because the culture accepts bad behavior doesn't mean it isn't bad for the culture.

Barry

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, elitts said:

I don't have a problem with people who think homosexuality is a sin.  I think those people are wrong and probably won't want to spend much time with them

 

You can say that with impunity, but it would probably be considered very bigoted for them to say that they wouldn't want to spend much time with you. 

Edited by David CO

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I gotta say this is one of the more bigoted and ignorant post I've read here in a while. Too much misunderstanding to even start bring balance, but in context of morality and character,  just because the culture accepts bad behavior doesn't mean it isn't bad for the culture.

Barry

This entire discussion line on homosexuality baffles me.  I understand the social context, the cultural values, forced changes and all but when I went through, such matters never once surfaced that I could tell.  As it turns out, two people in my troop did later in life come out as gay but such notions and concerns never surfaced.  The worst we had was one scout that got suspended for apparently drinking wine.  That was indeed a scandal at the time in the mid 80’s.  I suppose I was either blind or the matter was just not an issue.  I suppose the difference is that the current generation feels they have a right to trumpet the fact and put others in the very awkward position of having to become political and ask questions.  
 

politics certainly is reflected in many of the merit badges but more from a skill or civic awareness rather than advocacy and debate standpoint.  These cultural things seem to be geared towards encouraging people to risk infighting.  That is horribly destructive.  It’s one thing to introduce a youth to Disability awareness or environmental science, they certainly can lead to larger discussions of personal civic responsibility.  It’s entirely another to want to bring explosive issues within a troop to force parents and youth to circle the wagons against each other and the community.  That is a point all Scouts and supporters ought to remember.  

Edited by Troop75Eagle

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, Troop75Eagle said:

That is horribly destructive. 

As are all of the anti-Catholic comments I hear in scouting.

Edited by David CO
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Ok, let's look at it from another angle.   In the US girls dont tent with boys,  because.........boys can't be more then two years apart in age to tent together, because........men dont tent with women because...............a gay boy or girl tents with who?  We are mandated to have both male and female leadership if boys and girls are participating so if we have LGBTQ members present, by reason there must be LGBTQ adult leadership, so should it be male, female, or transgender?  Do the parents of the Scouts approve of their youth renting with a LGBTQ Scout, or going on a camping trip with LGBTQ adult leadership.  These are questions that must be answered by the sponsor.  It is totaly up to the sponsor who can participate and rather than fight a battle or risk a law suit many sponsors simply decided that participating in the Scouting program is no longer acceptable.  Jeezzzz the National Executive Board managed to alienate the whole body of LDS Churches.  But, some of the past sponsors have embraced other youth programs and are being quite successful.  I didn't cause the mass exodus from the Scouts, but I don't keep my eyes closed and pretend that the reasons the Boy Scouts of America is failing, don't exist.  

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1 hour ago, David CO said:

As are all of the anti-Catholic comments I hear in scouting.

That surprises me too.  I guess I just liveD in a privilege world.  We had a broad cross section of people in my troop in Memphis and none of these things or issues did I Ever hear of.  Of course the big issues I recall were Reagan, war in Lebanon, Cold War the birth of CNN and the just say no movement.  Maybe I have selective memory.  The big desks to us were rarely winning the blue ribbons slim knots at camporee, working on advancement and planning for next campout.  I’m sure adult leaders sat around campfires and discussed things but we were too busy having fun to get swept up in that.

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53 minutes ago, Mrjeff said:

Ok, let's look at it from another angle.   In the US girls dont tent with boys,  because.........boys can't be more then two years apart in age to tent together, because........men dont tent with women because...............a gay boy or girl tents with who?  We are mandated to have both male and female leadership if boys and girls are participating so if we have LGBTQ members present, by reason there must be LGBTQ adult leadership, so should it be male, female, or transgender?  Do the parents of the Scouts approve of their youth renting with a LGBTQ Scout, or going on a camping trip with LGBTQ adult leadership.  These are questions that must be answered by the sponsor.  It is totaly up to the sponsor who can participate and rather than fight a battle or risk a law suit many sponsors simply decided that participating in the Scouting program is no longer acceptable.  Jeezzzz the National Executive Board managed to alienate the whole body of LDS Churches.  But, some of the past sponsors have embraced other youth programs and are being quite successful.  I didn't cause the mass exodus from the Scouts, but I don't keep my eyes closed and pretend that the reasons the Boy Scouts of America is failing, don't exist.  

It seems the LDS has a system that survives scrutiny.  From what little I have read (and it is little) They have Decided to focus a little more on the religious angle and less on camping or out doors.  That is good for them but certainly takes on a more sectarian character but with 400,000 scouts and a existing template of scouts, it’s ready made for tweaking to their needs.  The country has excelled in faction building  so why not. I guess maybe that’s the future of scouts.  Sectarian offshoots with a rump organization that is open to traditional cross sections.  

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5 hours ago, Eagledad said:

Dkurtenbach is right, at least for the Cub Scouts. I've been preaching for years that Cub Scouts is way way to complicated and actually driving families away from scouting before they even get to the Troops. Troops are different problem of adults interfering with the intended program.

Nicely stated.  I've been a scout leader for 15+ years and I'd definitely be challenged to keep any cub den running.  It's ALOT of work and confusing to understand if you are doing it "RIGHT".  I think that's why so many adults are relieved to cross into troops ... if they make it that far. ... But then troops have a different issue.

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Perhaps its because when we were young we were left to our own devices.  Members of a Boy Scout troop went to school together, played in the neighborhood together,  road bikes together, and just hung out together.  Scouting taught us that we were all equal and had the same oppertunity as everyone else.  We joined scouts to have fun and we did.  We enjoyed each others company and we worked together rain or shine.  We had respect for all adults and followed the rules.  We didn't get involved in major social issues and had no idea what racism was because we wernt mature enough to understand an invisible concept that we didn't care about anyway. Like you said, we were too busy having fun to worry about grand social experiments and learning wonderful lessons.  The lessons came disguised as fun.

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I've been in a variety of volunteer and professional positions lover the years.The #2 hardest job in Scouting is being a den leader. I did it for 6  years and was burned out.

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