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32 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

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

I'm not really sure what to make of that comment. 

Again, I'm suggesting is that we put disagreements with council & national in some context.  It would be very easy for me to get myself very demoralized by all of this - but I chose not to because I'm pursuing a bigger, much more important goal.  That goal is bringing Scouting to the youth in my community. 

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14 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I'm not really sure what to make of that comment. 

Again, I'm suggesting is that we put disagreements with council & national in some context.  It would be very easy for me to get myself very demoralized by all of this - but I chose not to because I'm pursuing a bigger, much more important goal.  That goal is bringing Scouting to the youth in my community. 

Agreed.  To clarify:  when two layers of an organization, whatever we wish to label them, engage in one-way communication, show a lack of interest in feedback, publish policies that constrain units, and demonstrate little empathy for unit challenges...I'd hardly call this a culture of "service."

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Personally...will hike off into the sunset remembering the good times, content I provided the best program I was able to for the youth in the local unit.

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13 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

Agreed.  To clarify:  when two layers of an organization, whatever we wish to label them, engage in one-way communication, show a lack of interest in feedback, publish policies that constrain units, and demonstrate little empathy for unit challenges...I'd hardly call this a culture of "service."

Agreed as well. 

Lest I seem like I'm downplaying this struggle - I'm not.  In fact, I think that unit <-> council relationships have really been strained and that's a big problem for Scouting.

 

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Just now, ParkMan said:

Agreed as well. 

Lest I seem like I'm downplaying this struggle - I'm not.  In fact, I think that unit <-> council relationships have really been strained and that's a big problem for Scouting.

 

@Parkman, your points are well taken, especially your thoughts on balance/focus.

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The elephant in the room is that the organizational structure of National/Council/ Units isn't working. National seems oblivious to this and isn't doing anything to address it. That's my biggest concern out of this whole mess. The organization will only continue to be dysfunctional no matter what we do or how much money we charge until that is addressed. It makes me think that the only way to refocus the organization -- and the best thing to do for the future of scouting -- is to stop subsidizing it until they are forced to self examine. 

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3 hours ago, prof said:

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?

My local Trail Life troop doesn't seem that much different than BSA in function. (To be honest, it was previously a BSA troop and pack. I can see that affecting their program.) The troop charges $50/yr. in dues plus camping expenses. Officially, you have to be trinitarian christian to join as an adult but all youth are welcome. Unofficially, I don't think this troop is too much of a stickler on the triune detail.

I've tried to visit my local BPSA group a few times, but no luck. I think this particular unit might be foundering. 

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Gave this some thought last night after my last post.  This fee increase has the potential to be an enormous hardship for my family.  I guess we'll explore financial aid first, but from what I've seen from both BSA and other financial aid programs, it doesn't usually help quite as much as we've needed.  Still, we won't go anywhere.  My kids like scouting too much, and I like what they gain from it.  We'll just have to find a way to work it out.

At the same time, I'm worried about our Troop.  For the last five-ish years, we've had scouts from two towns.  The second town now has it's own Troop that has been doing well, so we don't have any incoming scouts from that town anymore, and our incoming group is already smaller than even before the towns combined.  After this year, eleven of our 44 scouts are aging out - a full quarter.  If the financial end of things further restricts the number of scouts coming in, my youngest isn't going to have anyone to be a leader to.  Not sure he'll get as much out of scouting at that point, so I may revise the 'not going anywhere' in a couple years' time.  We'll see.

Daughter's Crew is doing well, and is based in an affluent town.  Any fee increase might affect them less.

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I agree 'scholarships' don't always work well. For anyone who really wants to stay but will find a fee increase a financial hardship, I wonder if you could find a way to reach out to scouting alumni in your area and ask for sponsorships?  Or instead of a unit asking for dollars to be donated to an anonymous scout fund, maybe you could ask for sponsorship of individual scout registrations?  A unit could ask to have a tree put up in town hall or home depot or the feed store or someplace that has supported scouts with Please Sign Me Up! cards for Scout J, Scout R, Scout B... 

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If the fee reaches a point where I feel its not something my family can afford I will just teach my kids the skills at home.  We live in the country and can shoot BBs guns and archery in the yard  There is a state park within 30 minutes where we can fish without a license.  There are numerous places we can hike and camp.  Opportunities abound in our town for community service.  For that matter, what's keeping me from telling some folks I know we might be going on a nature hike on so and so day, maybe we will see them there.  Wink wink nudge nudge.  There is a lot that can be done just maybe can't get a patch for it.

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I am pushing oldest to finish Eagle before Dec 31st. Hopefully after this weekend, 1 MB left and BOR.

Depending on the fee, an if I can get aid or not, I may stay. I may give middle son 1 year to get Eagle. I hate that.

As for youngest, may move to Trails Life.

Overall I see a lot of units folding, and membership plummeting in my area. 

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10 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Overall I see a lot of units folding, and membership plummeting in my area. 

I don't expect the same here.

A Cub Scout program today costs about $80 a year on average here.  This includes $33 a year for BSA dues.  The average family spends another $60 on a uniform every few years.  The probably add another $120 to pay for camping trips ($20 per person for Scout & parent twice a year).  This nets about $200 a year for Cub Scouts in my area.

A Scouts BSA program costs about $80 a year on average here (including National dues).  The same family spends about $100 on a uniform every few years.  They add about $300 for summer camp and add another $200 for camping trips ($25 per Scout 8 times a year).  This nets about $580 a year for Scouts BSA in my area.  Of course, add in high adventure and this goes up quickly.

If the BSA dues double that add $33 a year to the fee.

I don't see many Cub Scout families dropping because that $200 now turns into $233.

I don't see many Scouts BSA families dropping because that $580 now turns into $613.

 

Maybe I'm wrong - but I don't think so.

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4 hours ago, Treflienne said:

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, . . .

I have been very impressed with the Lithuanian Scouts Association in the Boston area .  I believe they have enclaves in Chicago and a couple other US cities. 

 

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1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

I don't expect the same here.

A Cub Scout program today costs about $80 a year on average here.  This includes $33 a year for BSA dues.  The average family spends another $60 on a uniform every few years.  The probably add another $120 to pay for camping trips ($20 per person for Scout & parent twice a year).  This nets about $200 a year for Cub Scouts in my area.

A Scouts BSA program costs about $80 a year on average here (including National dues).  The same family spends about $100 on a uniform every few years.  They add about $300 for summer camp and add another $200 for camping trips ($25 per Scout 8 times a year).  This nets about $580 a year for Scouts BSA in my area.  Of course, add in high adventure and this goes up quickly.

If the BSA dues double that add $33 a year to the fee.

I don't see many Cub Scout families dropping because that $200 now turns into $233.

I don't see many Scouts BSA families dropping because that $580 now turns into $613.

 

Maybe I'm wrong - but I don't think so.

In my neck of the woods, median income is approx $37-42K, depending upon which set of stats you use. There are a lot of families that can only afford Scouting. one council's SE sent out a letter to expect up to a 300% increase. And I heard from another person the fee could go up to $125.

 

Grant you it is all speculation at this point.

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