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Not trying to start rumors and cause issues, but...

If the BSA fee got too high for you to pay, what would you do? Quit altogether, find another program? Try to move your whole group to another program? Just curious if anyone has gotten that far yet in the "what if" scenario. Be Prepared...

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Several here have mentioned Trail Life. Maybe Baden Powell Service Association.

I haven't done any homework on the subject yet. Might need to do so soon.

Can anyone with experience with those groups (or others) chime in?

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On a practical level, for me, a fee increase means postponing some gear purchase. Not a big deal. On a troop level, I think that's the same thing. But, if not ...

TL/USA has delivered the promise of scouting to my young relatives. Not sure about their price structure.

BPSA looks good on paper. Never camped with one in person.

Campfire was very good to my Aunt ... nearly a century after she participated. That should count for something.

There will always be youth who want to camp and hike independently with their mates. It's only a matter of who will lead them.

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Leaning towards BPSA-US. Just curious if anyone has any experience with them, or another group.

Leaving the BSA is not a easy decision or one to take lightly...

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"Where would you go?"

I actually thought about this a good bit,  pre-2017, in relation to where would I go if I left GSUSA.    And I read about BPSA and AHG.   These organizations had, in my mind, two or three very very big drawbacks. 

(1)  lack of good camps in the vicinity of where I live -- this area is rather built up and the scouts (both BSA and GSUSA) have owned properties for years which have remained relatively undeveloped and available for nearby camping, while suburbia has swallowed up a lot of land. 

(2) lack of existing units in the area.    While the program material and/or the fees might be appealing,  the lack of infrastructure  (not just camps, but also nearby units for mentoring purposes, for interaction,  for a summer camp program) seemed like a problem.  

(3)  AHG also lacked the international scouting connection.   

I decided that the best option was to stay put with GSUSA.   Then in 2017 BSA announced it would be admitting girls, and my daughter starting reading a BSA handbook . . . .

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I know not quite the question you're asking, but...

I'd plan a fundraiser.  Even if the BSA fees doubled (or tripled), I think it is still payable.  I also do not think the services of the BSA national organization warrant such a fee.  However, I think that the overall value I get from being involved with the BSA is significant.  I think it will be a harder to recruit into these other organizations and question their ability to provide a similar level of infrastructure to the youth I serve.  So while they me be more economical, I don't think I'd jump over the amounts being discussed.  

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5 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I know not quite the question you're asking, but...

I'd plan a fundraiser.  

While I am fine with that, it takes adults to run that, especially at the Cub level. Most of my parents are have Fundraiser fatigue (we had 4 this year)

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From my observation/conversations, folks aren't thinking about leaving solely because of the fee increase.  The increase is the proverbial straw.  They are tired and worn out.   I think many scouters can handle changes and challenges.  What they are tired of is the continual red tape from National and inefficiency and/or indifference from their local council.

Being a scout leader has always been challenging.  But it seems to me that more than ever, National and local councils ignoring the needs of unit scouters.  It's assumed unit scouters will just salute and accept whatever ridiculous notion is thrown their way from higher headquarters.

So I think many are seeing the fee increase as a natural termination point for this chapter in their lives.

Edited by desertrat77
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Just now, desertrat77 said:

From my observation/conversations, folks aren't thinking about leaving solely because of the fee increase.  The increase is the proverbial straw.  They are tired and worn out.   I think many scouters can handle the change and challenges.  What they are tired of is the continual red tape from National and inefficiency and/or indifference from their local council.

Being a scout leader has always been challenging.  But it seems to me that more than ever, National and local councils take unit level leaders for granite.  It's assumed unit scouters will just salute and accept whatever ridiculous notion is thrown their way from higher headquarters.

So I think many are seeing the fee increase as a natural termination point for this chapter in their lives.

Where I believe a fee increase will hurt the BSA harder is the cub program. Parents coming in at the Tiger and Wolf ages are hit with a lot of youth programs. Raising the cost is adding one more consideration.

Barry

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15 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

From my observation/conversations, folks aren't thinking about leaving solely because of the fee increase.  The increase is the proverbial straw.  They are tired and worn out.   I think many scouters can handle changes and challenges.  What they are tired of is the continual red tape from National and inefficiency and/or indifference from their local council.

Agreed. I would get tired and worn out doing any scouting program, no matter what organization it is. But the constant bs from National and Council is sometimes overwhelming.

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1 minute ago, desertrat77 said:

From my observation/conversations, folks aren't thinking about leaving solely because of the fee increase.  The increase is the proverbial straw.  They are tired and worn out.   I think many scouters can handle the change and challenges.  What they are tired of is the continual red tape from National and inefficiency and/or indifference from their local council.

Being a scout leader has always been challenging.  But it seems to me that more than ever, National and local councils take unit level leaders for granite.  It's assumed unit scouters will just salute and accept whatever ridiculous notion is thrown their way from higher headquarters.

So I think many are seeing the fee increase as a natural termination point for this chapter in their lives.

I think a lot about the movie "Follow Me Boys".  Whether it was historically accurate or not, it reminds me that Scouting is really about the youth experience.  When I was a kid, I knew councils & national existed - but they were irrelevant to me.  

In my decade Scouting, most of it has been as either a Cubmaster or Troop Committee Chair.  In those experiences, I've never really worried about what the council or national thinks or wants.  Both of those groups are really just here to provide me support as I run my program.

I want to write a sticky post for this forum that says "Remember - units are in charge."  The council and national are NOT higher headquarters (to use your phrase)and they are NOT in charge.  They are in essence a franchise system that provides you a program and resources to help you implement that program.  This is why many council scouters I know talk about the inverted pyramid model  The unit is at the top of the organization chart. The rest - districts, councils, & national are here to provide you support. 

Now, that doesn't mean that those groups don't have goals - sure they do.  They all have employees and budgets.  They want to see Scouting grow and have money available to do interesting things (like have council camps). Councils will always ask you for money, they will always encourage you to recruit.  Further, national is going to impose rules to keep the program uniform.  National is also going to create rules to satisfy the underwriters of their insurance program.  Yes, we often live at the intersection point of this.  But, I would encourage you to put that in context. First and foremost it's all about unit leaders bringing Scouting to youth. 

I would encourage you to devote only an hour or two a month to worrying about council & national.  Don't let your frustration with them get in the way of what's important.

 

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11 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Scouting is really about the youth experience.  When I was a kid, I knew councils & national existed - but they were irrelevant to me.  

 

11 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

council & national.  Don't let your frustration with them get in the way of what's important. 

Let's say you really have a kid who wants to do scouting,  and you think scouting is valuable, "Scouting" as in the whole broad Scout Movement.   Choice comes down to do we quit scouting entirely?  (I hope not)  or do we see which scouting organization will best help us provide a good scouting experience for the youth?   Depending on where you are,  and who, locally, is involved with what scouting organization, it might be:  the Hungarian scouts  (there are some around here),  BPSA,  AHG,  GSUSA, BSA, Trail Life, Campfire, . . .

 

Edited by Treflienne
typo
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5 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

... This is why many council scouters I know talk about the inverted pyramid model  The unit is at the top of the organization chart. The rest - districts, councils, & national are here to provide you support. ...

aka, "servant leadership".   

 

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33 minutes ago, Cubmaster Pete said:

While I am fine with that, it takes adults to run that, especially at the Cub level. Most of my parents are have Fundraiser fatigue (we had 4 this year)

I know this is a national forum and that we all have different levels of financial ability.  I make no expectations of what people should pay into this program.

I'd encourage you to sit down with your other adult leaders and review your expenses.  I agree that four fundraisers a year is too many already.  Maybe you could make some different choices that will help you keep costs down somewhere else.

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@ParkMan, what National and councils are supposed to do and what they actually do are sometimes two different things....

 

 

 

Edited by desertrat77
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