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1 hour ago, walk in the woods said:

Golfing, I'll probably go golfing.  Or maybe camping with friends just for fun.  Maybe guitar lessons.  

Now there's some cash outlay....golfing.  $500 for clubs (yeah I know cheap set), $50 for green fees, $20 for a dozen balls...not to mention fees at the 19th hole

 

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Annual fully-loaded cost to run a Troop with a full program here in DC is about $1,000 per Scout, without high adventure.  We raise about 1/3 of that and the families and parents pay dues and camp fees for the balance.  Compared to other youth group expenses this is favorable.  Travel athletic teams, private athletic or music lessons or even purchasing junky electronics devices/toys Are easily double or triple these BSA costs.  In a lower cost area those Annual Troop operation cost figures might be up to 1/3 less.  Adding another $33/year by doubling is nearly meaningless in this context.  If someone migrates over this, they are leaving for other reasons.

Some of this will be solved when the financial restructuring bankruptcy is filed.  The BSA will offload the costly liability of the Youth Protection fails of earlier years and insurance rates won’t be subject to such big swings.  And, that process will probably result in a right-sizing of overall council/national cost structures as well.  I will stay put and all the families in our troop will too.

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I'm just wondering if the problem is that they can no longer get liability insurance. I know they were fighting with their insurers who were balking. Bankrupt or not, if you don't have insurance, I don't think you can operate. That could leave all of us nowhere. Anyone know more about insurance than I do and have a learned opinion? 

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7 hours ago, yknot said:

I'm just wondering if the problem is that they can no longer get liability insurance. I know they were fighting with their insurers who were balking. Bankrupt or not, if you don't have insurance, I don't think you can operate. That could leave all of us nowhere. Anyone know more about insurance than I do and have a learned opinion? 

Travelers listed the extension of the statute of limitations in New York as an exposure on their 10Q  (that is a quarterly report mandated by the United States federal Securities and Exchange Commission, to be filed by publicly traded corporations recently, not sure if that is specifically related to coverage they carry on BSA or possibly other youth / religious groups

Edited by Jameson76

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Wow, wow, wow, another price increase. I think it's pretty obvious that the BSA is not doing very well as an orgination managed by a central entity.   It would appear that many many negative influences have risen up and the BSA is having a hard time dealing with them. I see that it has become very corporate and has lost focus on why people join scouting and why they stay around.  At this time of the year the big focus is on growth and developing new units. Then popcorn season, .......and the cycle continues.  I would suggest that the BSA think about an entirely different approach.   Restructure from the top down.  Look at the salaries of the senior executive staff, look at property holdings, look at programs that are not universaly productive, and support what they have and not worry so much about what we want to have.  Scouting is changing but it just doesn't have "the draw"  that it had when I was a boy; my two sons, both Eagles,  dont have the interest that I have; and my grandson, who has to finish his eagle project, has even less interest. It may be that, like so many successful business, the BSA has overextended and just can't make the money needed to sustain it's assets.  It may be that thay are having trouble with competing markets. It may be that they underestimated the impact of recent, controversial decisions. It may be that they overpriced themselves to the point that people dont think the product is worth the price anymore.   Or, sadly  it may be that the business of scouting, along with its values, standards, activities, adventure, oppertunities, and traditions, has simply run it's course like so many extinct organizations.  (Gimbles, Wanamakers, JC Penny, Woolworths, Packard,  Hudson,  D.A.R.E., Dacor, U.S. Divers, Bob's Candy, and this list could go on for pages). I really think that people with a better prospective on business then I have, should reevaluate this whole thing from top to bottom, bottom to tob,  and every angle, and reorganize the whole thing and try to save what we have.........before the whole show disappears completely. 

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1 hour ago, desertrat77 said:

@Mrjeff, I'm tracking with everything you are saying.

Along those lines, I was looking through the first edition of the Scout Fieldbook the other day.  This printing was circa 1957 if I recall. 

It prompted some reflection.  Scouting used to be focused on the outdoors.  Rustic. Two or three blankets could be safety pinned together if you didn't have a sleeping bag.  You hiked, chopped wood with an axe, cooked over fire, went swimming, built pioneering projects, etc.  There was also a big emphasis on citizenship--US history, civics.  Leadership?  You bet, but not in a classroom.  You learned that OJT as a patrol leader, teaching your patrol members all of the skills necessary to earn first class, practicing for competition at the next troop meeting/camporee, etc....

Though I went through scouting in the '70s, much of this focus was still prevalent.

Sure, scouting has always had a cost factor.  Dues, uniforms, summer camp, etc.  But nothing on the order of what it costs today.

Two factors stand out, if I may springboard from your post:

1.  Perhaps the BSA has run its course and it's time for the bugler to blow taps.  Organizationally, the BSA reminds me of a company that diversified and strayed away from its original core competency.   In our case, being outdoors. 

2.  If we are going to fight to stay relevant, we need to get back to our best selling product:  outdoor adventure.  And encourage thriftiness.  Jettison the "Gucci Gear" mentality.  Cease the big push for earning Eagle.  Sell off or mothball everything that doesn't help scouts get on the trail, in the campsite, on the lake or atop the mountain peak.

 

Maybe BSA is like Butterfinger. 

The name is there, the product appears to be there, but when you take a bite its just not there anymore.  And all the loyal Butterfinger fans are abandoning the product.

(Nestle sold off Butterfinger and the new ones are NASTY)

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35 minutes ago, 5thGenTexan said:

Maybe BSA is like Butterfinger. 

The name is there, the product appears to be there, but when you take a bite its just not there anymore.  And all the loyal Butterfinger fans are abandoning the product.

(Nestle sold off Butterfinger and the new ones are NASTY)

I agree!  I'll also throw in Coca Cola and Old Spice after shave. 

To get Coke with the decent taste of yesteryear (not the cocaine-infused formula, I'm talking 60s/70s), you've got to buy the product bottled in Mexico. 

Old Spice, after decades of success, changed its after shave formula and it's not even close to the original.

Companies make excuses of various kinds.  But sales and customer loyalty falter.

As for the BSA, it has tried for decades to tinker and stray away with its original formula.  Without much success.  Being outdoors is timeless, and it shouldn't cost a bundle to be there.

Edited by desertrat77
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1 hour ago, desertrat77 said:

 

2.  If we are going to fight to stay relevant, we need to get back to our best selling product:  outdoor adventure.  And encourage thriftiness.  Jettison the "Gucci Gear" mentality.  Cease the big push for earning Eagle.  Sell off or mothball everything that doesn't help scouts get on the trail, in the campsite, on the lake or atop the mountain peak.

 

Yep, lost its way. The program is not what it used to be. My W2 leader and I had that conversation this summer at our pack campout. They won't be bridging over to Scouts BSA. That's not the only reason, but one if them.

Here is the rub, other programs like BPSA-US are still doing it the old, traditional scouting way. And the BSA is the heritage organization, and it doesn't look like that at all. It's frustrating and damn near impossible to support and organization that, apparently, doesn't have the willingness to change...or just can't. 

 

I'm tempted to ditch the current Cub advancement program, dig out the old stuff, and use that instead. What are they gonna do, fire me?

Edited by Cubmaster Pete
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26 minutes ago, Cubmaster Pete said:

I'm tempted to ditch the current Cub advancement program, dig out the old stuff, and use that instead. What are they gonna do, fire me?

Pete, I've been long convinced that the cub program is going to be one of the leading causes of the BSA's failure to thrive.

The cub program, as I went through it, was this:

Bobcat/Wolf/Bear:  Okay cubs, you've got 2 years [for all three ranks] to learn how to get along with people and do some age appropriate stuff.

Webelos:  1 year!  You've got 1 year to grow up and get ready to join a troop!  See that troop over there?  Hiking, backpacking, building big signal towers, cooking delicious food on fire?  That's what's in store.   And no slacking!

Now cubs is a several year slog.

I've heard that the pros are pondering why there is such a big drop out rate after cubs.  Apparently over half of the kids decide to drop after crossover.

The best reason I've heard came from a scout.  We're at a district function.  I'm setting up some food, and I heard two scouts talking about their tenure in scouting.  One said to the other "Do you know how long I've been doing this crap?"

 

Edited by desertrat77
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4 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

The best reason I've heard came from a scout.  We're at a district function.  I'm setting up some food, and I heard two scouts talking.  They were talking about their tenure in scouting.  One said to the other "Do you know how long I've been doing this crap?"

Add in Cub  Family camping, and it could potentially be longer. My youngest has been camping in the Scouting program since he was 20 months. 

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8 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

Pete, I've been long convinced that the cub program is going to be one of the leading causes of the BSA's failure to thrive.

The cub program, as I went through it, was this:

Bobcat/Wolf/Bear:  Okay cubs, you've got 2 years [for all three ranks] to learn how to get along with people and do some age appropriate stuff.

Webelos:  1 year!  You've got 1 year to grow up and get ready to join a troop!  See that troop over there?  Hiking, backpacking, building big signal towers, cooking delicious food on fire?  That's what's in store.  So we're going to take one year to get you ready to join the troop.  And no slacking!

 

I was in for the beginning of Tigers, but I dont remember much of it because Tigers was in its infancy.

There is too much repetition over the years, too much doing the same crap. And some if that crap is BORING. The kids want to be outside, exploring. Current program does not do enough of that. Oh it's there, but just not enough.

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