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

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2 hours ago, Mrjeff said:

We are mandated to have both male and female leadership

Male leadership is never required, you can have 2 female leaders for an all boy Troop.

The only gender requirement we face is the fact that BSA mandates a female leader is present if girl participant is present.

2 hours ago, Mrjeff said:

if we have LGBTQ members present, by reason there must be LGBTQ adult leadership, so should it be male, female, or transgender

LGBTQ leaders are not required.  Simply look at the application.  If they selected "boy" then 2 adult leaders any gender.  If they selected "girl" then at least 1 adult leader must be female.  Sexual orientation of youth participants does not play a factor in the gender requirements for adult leader.

 

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33 minutes ago, Mrjeff said:

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.

Now here is a thought.  That’s spot on as far as I see it.  I guess many don’t think that’s a good thing. Pity isn’t it.

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Why not? What's the difference? How does it fit with YPT?  This whole damned thing is a mass of inconsistencies and confusion. You know, other countries just dont sweat any of it.  Boy, girl, men,women, LGBTQ,  it doesnt matter. They camp together, they sleep together, they all hand out together, and at the World Jamboree they went to medical together to pick up condoms and "the morning after pill".  Then, if that wasn't enough fun, they went to the trading post in search of beer.  If Scouting is going to be an all accepting organization then why stop the progress.  Pull out the stops, in four years just give out the eagle award for participation and just dont worry about who hooks up with who.  Come on BSA get with the program, everybody else is doing it.

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4 hours ago, David CO said:

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. 

I'm sure there are plenty of people who would find me absolutely intolerable to be around. 

But I want to clarify, I don't simply avoid anyone who thinks homosexuality is immoral.  If someone thinks it's wrong and decides they need to pray for the person's immortal soul, I can respect that.  We are probably too far apart culturally for us to be great pals, but that doesn't mean I'm going to treat them like a foul odor and turn up my nose and leave the area.  Where I start running into a problem with being around someone is when they follow up "I think homosexuality is immoral" with some statement about which aspects of life that person should or shouldn't be allowed to participate in.

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Posted (edited)

Here's another question.  Who mandates anything in the present BSA.  The national organization has disavowed ownership and control of the local councils.  I don't care about charters, permission to use a brand, or anything else about what "National" can and cannot do.  In reality, and according to the mysterious "National" all they own is 4 campgrounds, which are mortgaged to the top of the pine trees, and a brand.  If a parent finds out that their little boy spent the weekend being supervised by a gay man, get really pissed off, and through a fit, they are not going to "National"......they are heading right to the unit leader,  not assistant leaders or committee members, the one and only unit leader.  Then they will probably see the head of the organization that sponsors the unit.  It's that simple, mandate what you will, there are no scout police or scout courts.  This whole pile of s%:t has blown up into one big mess.  What started as a couple of dads taking some boys on a campouts and teaching them how to build a fire has turned into one of the biggest, most controversial,  politically minded, and self serving institutions in the country, and now that house of cards is falling down.  I just hope that the dedicated unit leaders have enough pieces to pick up.

Edited by MattR
Removed swearing.
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Mrjeff said:

Here's another question.  Who mandates anything in the present BSA.  The national organization has disavowed ownership and control of the local councils.  I don't care about charters, permission to use a brand, or anything else about what "National" can and cannot do.  In reality, and according to the mysterious "National" all they own is 4 campgrounds, which are mortgaged to the top of the pine trees, and a brand.  If a parent finds out that their little boy spent the weekend being supervised by a gay man, get really pissed off, and through a fit, they are not going to "National"......they are heading right to the unit leader,  not assistant leaders or committee members, the one and only unit leader.  Then they will probably see the head of the organization that sponsors the unit.  It's that simple, mandate what you will, there are no scout police or scout courts.  This whole pile of s%:t has blown up into one big mess.  What started as a couple of dads taking some boys on a campouts and teaching them how to build a fire has turned into one of the biggest, most controversial,  politically minded, and self serving institutions in the country, and now that house of cards is falling down.  I just hope that the dedicated unit leaders have enough pieces to pick up.

It’s been a long time since I’ve noses around about scouts but I see there is a program called Traditional Scouting that harkens back to Braden Powell’s day.  It seems to really be the fundamentals upon which the entire program started and isn’t burdened by the modern culture wars.  It’s easy to see how it could be though antagonists have the BSA to pick on.  It’s quite fascinating to look back at all the tradition, discontinued merit badges (Master-at Arms and Blacksmithing are my favorites).  I can only imagine the reaction if scouting brought back master at arms and made it a required badge for eagle.  Considering what the organization has been put through, it would almost be worth doing just to poke a stick in the eye. The next step of twisting the organization will be content of merit badges.  Once these things start, they never seem to stop.  There are some good satires to be written about all this.

Edited by MattR

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1 hour ago, elitts said:

I'm sure there are plenty of people who would find me absolutely intolerable to be around. 

But I want to clarify, I don't simply avoid anyone who thinks homosexuality is immoral.  If someone thinks it's wrong and decides they need to pray for the person's immortal soul, I can respect that.  We are probably too far apart culturally for us to be great pals, but that doesn't mean I'm going to treat them like a foul odor and turn up my nose and leave the area.  Where I start running into a problem with being around someone is when they follow up "I think homosexuality is immoral" with some statement about which aspects of life that person should or shouldn't be allowed to participate in.

I’m long winded...
 

I hear what you are saying and understand the distinction you are drawing.  When it comes to matters of ethics, morality and reverence, they are indeed stated objectives of scouting.  This certainly is a slippery slope.  I had the honor of being chaplain as a scout and was very conscious of various denominations.  The leaders were conscious of behaviors such as any tobacco use and drinking which were not allowed and one scout who drank on a campout  was suspended. Things of a sexual nature were simply not brought up much though when I was fairly new I told another youth about a partial nudity scene I’d seen in a movie and got reprimanded for it.  I think appropriately.  Having said all this, at the time there seems to have been a generational and social understanding in Memphis, TN where controversial moral issues just weren’t discussed.  I’ve no doubt that if atheism arose, if gay conduct were discovered...there would have been consequences.  frankly, I think the atheist conduct would have been the more severe simply because it was a public and conscious rebuke of the tenants of the organization.  I’m not sure how the gay issue would have played out at the time but quietly dismissing us a reasonable guess.  

The adults were the WW2 and silent generation.  Morality and patriotism was high with wars and the Cold War having been the defining motivators.  Children of those households in the south, it seems to me, would have reflected a lot of those attitudes and quiet discretions.  Moral guidance was soft power but with firm borders.  
 

with the changing generations, the acceptance of those moral limits are obviously no longer accepted as truisms or tolerated.  In many cases, they are not acknowledged as humane or soundly based. they have, in many cases, been weaponized and applied to human beings and their conduct.  Responsible adults do try to give moral and ethical guidance to the young.  Who would doubt that it would be wrong to teach a youth that theft is wrong, pushing down an elderly person for giggles is wrong or wantonly destroying property is wrong?  One of the problems now is defining the limits of ‘educating another’ for moral and ethical behavior when the traditional norms no longer hold (good or bad).  
 

Because scouting is traditionally community based, the fact that so much weight has been shifted to a national headquarters has been a mixed bag. Institutions on a national level can clearly have benefits in many ways local and districts can’t compete with.  But as we clearly see, there are disastrous drawbacks too.  When it comes to morals and moral behaviors, the landscape is nothing short of a minefield for all...regrettably.  
 

I happen not to agree with your position on homosexuality on a theological level, but that’s ok.   Our convictions are what guide us and make us good people. You clearly go further in your explanation to distinguish your position from that of someone’ who actively wants to discriminate.  You appear to want the best for someone and that is a good thing.l, one would hope everyone is that way.

here I am simply acknowledging what you are saying and the distinction you are making.  With the range of opinions expressed here, one quickly sees how complicated the circumstances have become.  I tend to want to believe most parents and leaders are good people wanting the best for youth and that does require guidance in morals and ethics.  They sign up for it.  At some points, local people will again come together with a common understanding of community morals as a starting point.  Most of us are not backwoods stump preachers and wouldn’t want them in troops.  But there are foundations for common ethics and I think adults do have the job to safeguard while they grow, but not dictate.

 

 

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Wow.....very well said and greatly appreciated.....thank you and God bless.

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14 hours ago, MattR said:

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.

Scandals are a part of the decline. Cost is another. The cost factor combines with another: it's a program reliant on unpaid volunteers in a time where more and more parents have to work outside the home. Particularly in lower income communities, this double effect puts Scouting in a position where it's hard to operate. 

I don't see a solution to that. I have even less confidence the BSA can fix it, but simplifying and reducing the cost of the program is a good place to start. 

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10 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

it's a program reliant on unpaid volunteers

This is key to the issues across the BSA. This is an issue for both low, medium, and high income families. The amount of time that everyone works is high. Programs for low income kids (Boys and Girls Club), the kids either walk there or it is in their school. For high income kids, the parents just drop their kids off at baseball or hockey. For Scouts, 10-50% of the parents are needed to make the unit work well. Without those parents, it has no chance of working. If there aren't a few superstars among the parents that can help, the unit will struggle and fade. Few to no other activities for families work this way. 

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You certenly make valid points.  This is especially evident when recruitment time comes around and piles of cub scout age kids are recruited, pay their fees and discover that they dont have any leaders.  Those kids are finished with Scouting, period.  And now with the unreasonable fee increases it's going to be a lot harder to tell the check writers, "sorry".  The local councils have placed the priority on creating new units when the focus should be on supporting existing units. They should know exactly how many kids the units in their districts can handle and recruit that number. Then thay can work on locating leaders for one or two new units and work on developing those leaders before recruiting the youth members. 

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Posted (edited)

I have read a lot of the posts and am glad to see the scope and depth of passion and dedication to keeping scouting to its core missions (albeit even that isn’t entirely agreed upon).  Naive or not, I want to advance the idea of what must be done.  It may be self evident but I haven’t seen it expressed as such.

it seems to me, the most reasonable choice of action is to revert to community control and NOT ask for permission to do anything.  A national organization embroiled in its own legal trouble will more than likely just say no, wait till things are settled.  It’s the safest route.  
 

Instead, local leaders in the community just do what is best for the boys and focus on the standards of the community avoiding conflict.  There are certainly some practical things to do like background checks and maybe liability coverage but local fathers (at least) often can know each other and have certain ethical codes and common standards that are unspoken.  I can’t imagine a troop that actively courts controversy or wants to expose boys to conflict.  
 

I recognize that certain legal realities demand change, I don’t know how to fix that.   A court order is the final required fix. It seems that local leaders should not have to wait for approval to be fathers and mentors to young boys.  I also know that problems don’t generally arise among like thinking people until someone forces the issue.  Conflict resolution, quietly and locally, has often has been the the most beneficial approach.  If, unfortunately as probably will be the case, the main issues of the day don’t allow for resolution, then the local fathers simply NEED to start something on their own.  

The term ‘courageous’ comes to mind.  That is something Powell and other founders and leaders would definitely agree with.  One might reasonably say you have to have courage to change...but that isn’t the only valid use of the word.  Courage to create and preserve system that meets the needs of young men on the local level that fits ethics, values and fundamentals like Powell’s Traditional Scouting.  The LDS has a system that apparently withstands scrutiny.  They are teaching their sons and young men that it takes courage to break from a system that no longer represents what it once did.  One need not be a member of the LDS to accomplish this.  But it takes courage on the local level among like minded men and leaders to solve the problem themselves.  If one truly wants the fundamentals of a system and mission to remain, then the Name alone need not be a barrier.  What an epic tale and example for young men where adults and scouts re-claimed and renewed a central idea.  Let the world challenge each troop and each community, but I bet they won’t. 
 

 

 

Edited by Troop75Eagle
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I believe that is the answer.  In fact it is happening now.  Troops have decided not to worry about the national level views and are doing what they want to do.  As long as the leaders, kids, and parents are good with it then it's fine.  I just wonder how many troops go on camping trips and invite dads along, registered or not.  I wonder how many units plan high adventure activities that dont exactly follow national policies.  Has anyone gone to a local gun club and had a shooting event without jumping through BSA hoops? I have always said that people on some national committee have no business trying to dictate how the Scouting program should be delivered in a community they know nothing about.  Scouting is not the same everywhere.  Scouts in the north east don't do the same things as those in the south west, and that's fine as long as the units are meeting the needs of their community.  Who better to make decisions then the dads and parents of the kids involved.  I applaud your logic in suggesting a very viable solution to a very convoluted situation.

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Posted (edited)

Often referred to as  "local option" on this forum. Here are some previous discussions; there are more.

 

Edited by RememberSchiff

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11 minutes ago, Mrjeff said:

I believe that is the answer.  In fact it is happening now.  Troops have decided not to worry about the national level views and are doing what they want to do.  As long as the leaders, kids, and parents are good with it then it's fine.  I just wonder how many troops go on camping trips and invite dads along, registered or not.  I wonder how many units plan high adventure activities that dont exactly follow national policies.  Has anyone gone to a local gun club and had a shooting event without jumping through BSA hoops? I have always said that people on some national committee have no business trying to dictate how the Scouting program should be delivered in a community they know nothing about.  Scouting is not the same everywhere.  Scouts in the north east don't do the same things as those in the south west, and that's fine as long as the units are meeting the needs of their community.  Who better to make decisions then the dads and parents of the kids involved.  I applaud your logic in suggesting a very viable solution to a very convoluted situation.

Thank you for the endorsement.  I relieved others are doing that.  It used to be that the NRA had marksmanship awards/ medals you could earn at summer camp.  Shiloh Battlefield has medals for Historic, military and 20 mile hikes.  
 

Not sure what happened to these or if they are still around.  But I am willing to believe there are other organizations that would leap at the chance to craft activities to challenge and reward effort and accomplishment.  

The God and Country award was handled through each church, synagog or other belief structure albeit with the simplest forms from national to give some measure of guidance.  It was up to the local religious leaders of the scout to guide in their traditions.

I’d like to see the outside group that dared try to invalidate a boys accomplishments in his own troop, district  and community simply because it wasn’t according to National or because such a group was not within PC guidelines.  The only response should be, ‘who cares.  We are doing what is right by the effort, spirit and dedication of our young men.’

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