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Cburkhardt

Scouts BSA Up 1.2% Youth Members, up 7.1% Units

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19 hours ago, yknot said:

One interesting thing is that I don't know of any other non-military youth related organization where the volunteers or adult leaders ever earn and wear regalia that reflects on their own achievements, or if they do, it is a very small or subtle emblem. This is one of those things that seems very unique to scouting. I know a lot of people really like the bling but I've never been totally comfortable with it. When scouts and leaders are in a room, I want to be impressed by the scout uniforms, not the adults. 

I mean, they are like 1/2" x 1.25" in size.  It's not like they are individually ostentatious, it's just that some people go overboard.

But the fact of the matter is that the existence of long term, dedicated and trained scouters is where BSA varies significantly from most other youth groups and keeping those people is pretty critical to keeping things running.  (Just witness the average lifespan of a girl scout troop to see the difference)  And when you are trying to keep and motivate a volunteer workforce, small bits of bling and visible recognition are absolutely critical for a number of reasons.

  • First, knots allow the BSA to recognize people for their achievement and involvement with something tangible;
  • They provide a little bit of incentive to become a more well rounded volunteer with the requirements for Roundtables and UoS;
  • They act as conversation starters with new parents or adults to attempt to engage them as scouters;
  • They provide just a little bit of a competitive element among adults to keep them engaged;
  • (this one is marginal IMO)They provide something of an example for scouts to see that even the adults work to achieve badges;

None of those things work well if they aren't large enough to actually be visible.

And I say this as someone who has spent 30 years working with another organization that runs almost entirely on volunteers.  It's an Arts group that has been putting on a weekend festival for 50 years now.  The single most sought after "bling" there is one of the annual official name tag and hat provided to committee members (as opposed to weekend volunteers) and I've met many current committee chairs that have admitted the single reason they started getting more involved was because they wanted one too.  And the single year we lost the most volunteers was the year after we eliminated (budget reasons) custom Committee T-shirts for volunteers working more than 4 hours.  I think we had something like a 20% loss in help the next year after they were surprised with the lack of shirts.  (T-shirts were re-instituted 2 years later and are considered sacrosanct now)

Edited by elitts
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The purpose of my posting was to encourage comment on the membership number progress for Scouts BSA.  Talking about the awarding and wearing of knots might seem to be off-topic

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(Continued) but really is not.  I believe the long tenure of many of our best volunteers is due to our practice of recognizing adults in this manner.  It is a great tradition that provides enjoyment to many.

Now, how about talking about how you are going to help form and grow some all-girl troops?

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57 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

 

Now, how about talking about how you are going to help form and grow some all-girl troops?

Give me a few years. Daughter is only in tigers now. 

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She will love it when she gets there.  The 30 girls and 19 adult men and women in our all-girl, non-linked Troop are loving Scouts BSA just as it is.  

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Some other random thoughts 

I don't care about any particular categorization of professionals or volunteers.   What I want to see from all these folks is customer service by answering in a reasonable time not weeks (if at all) after the question .  Even an interim answer vice crickets is okay.  Also having accurate information as particularly the Commissioner force is not current (e.g didn't know there was a Guide to Advancement).  Wood badgers that never do much after their beading.  This is supposed to be a group that the council can turn problems over to and come up with solutions.

Back to numbers

carebear covered the urban scouting "accounting "

 

girl units....the push to get numbers of units resulting in 5 troops of 5 or even less instead of building one strong unit like cburkhardt sets up units struggling to meet and get outdoors or even recharter.

JMHO

 

 

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PACAN:

I agree with your comment on micro-sized girl Troops.  My experience is that all micro Troops underserve their Scouts and have a high chance of dropping.  In our district we have my larger stand-alone unit and two micro Troops that are linked to historic boy Troops.  My sense is that these tiny units will experience slow growth and will ultimately survive.  However, I now believe that the 3 - 4 stand alone units in our council are far better for the Scouts, because these have committees focused on building a single successful unit.  
 

Even for a guy like me who has 30 years of experience, it was a challenge to kick start a unit where there were no experienced Scouts and only a few experienced adults. Only now after a year of operations do things feel like “normal” operations.  I was pleased our new adults were warmly welcomed into our District operation, and that made a big difference.  I urge everyone out there to be supportive, because these units represent an important part of our future.  They need the help that all units have always needed.

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And here lies the proverbial rub.  We could have a girl patrol in our unit, one that would allow us to offer the program to a small group and hopefully grow from there.  But we do not have the resources to have a separate unit, nor at the moment the minimum 5 to start it.  Our small cub group has a den of girls and they will need to go to another unattached unit if they want to bridge, unless we somehow are able to make the "new" unit happen.  I personally am still of the opinion that we need to adjust the requirement of a separate unit, while still tweaking the way to handle it.  It should be a viable option for small units like ours that have a long history but small boy size.

 

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On 12/11/2019 at 4:31 PM, Cburkhardt said:

Membership numbers are out and reflect continued growth for the Scouts BSA program.  End of November 2019 is +1.2% for youth Scouts and up 7.1% for units, in comparison to end of November 2018.  This certainly reflects the influx of female Scouts and LDS departures.  The figures that will count will be year-end figures, as that is when the LDS relationship officially ends.  After the LDS departures take effect, I'm thinking we will have a 10% Scouts BSA youth membership drop (comparing 2019 year-end with 2018 year-end).  If we continue to grow female Scouts BSA units and all youth at the current rate and retain 5% of our current LDS youth members, we could replace the losses within 1.5 to 2 years and return to net growth in this program.  Given the challenges we have faced in recent months and years, this is better than I expected.  What is your prediction?  Please explain your opinion with reasoning and facts.

Was there ever a citation of where these numbers came from and what period of time they were calculated against?

 

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Just saw a FB post by a fairly well connected volunteer on number of girls in BSA.  Will be interesting to see total numbers including boys.  
 

Troops

31,041 girls in Scouts BSA

3,346 Girl Troops

Average Troop is 9 girls

Cub Scouts

15,375 Packs with at least 1 girl

8,513 Packs with 5 or more girls

129,830 girls in Cub scouts (2018 ended with 77,784) so a 67% increase 


Total number of girls hit 160,871.   I agree I expect this number to increase year over year.  I’m not convinced that it will outpace the loss of boys, even excluding LDS.  In my area, boy decrease is outpacing the increase in girls (so far) and we have limited LDS units.  
 

Edit:  These are end of Dec numbers for each year.

Edited by Eagle1993
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Jameson:  The numbers came from the monthly distribution of membership reports to national volunteers.  Those particular numbers were month end November compared to previous year month end November.  Until month end December, we have the unique opportunity to see the effect of girl membership before the significant LDS drop of January.

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There was a scouting wire posting a couple of months ago that showed number the top ten districts by number of girl troop's .

 

a friend of mine told me the total numbers for all programs he saw compared end of 2018 and end of November 2019

2185209  vs 2048964.     -136245

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1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

Jameson:  The numbers came from the monthly distribution of membership reports to national volunteers.  Those particular numbers were month end November compared to previous year month end November.  Until month end December, we have the unique opportunity to see the effect of girl membership before the significant LDS drop of January.

Thanks - 

With month to month the real indicator will be January 2019 numbers (after recharters) versus January 2020 numbers (after recharter, registration increase, press on abuse claims, and LDS departure)

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9 hours ago, skeptic said:

And here lies the proverbial rub.  We could have a girl patrol in our unit, one that would allow us to offer the program to a small group and hopefully grow from there.  But we do not have the resources to have a separate unit, nor at the moment the minimum 5 to start it. 

 

Less than 5 isn’t much of a patrol either. 

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9 hours ago, skeptic said:

And here lies the proverbial rub.  We could have a girl patrol in our unit, one that would allow us to offer the program to a small group and hopefully grow from there.  But we do not have the resources to have a separate unit, nor at the moment the minimum 5 to start it.  Our small cub group has a den of girls and they will need to go to another unattached unit if they want to bridge, unless we somehow are able to make the "new" unit happen.  I personally am still of the opinion that we need to adjust the requirement of a separate unit, while still tweaking the way to handle it.  It should be a viable option for small units like ours that have a long history but small boy size.

 

 

You can have a troop with only 2 paid youth members, if you get permission from your Scout Executive.  That's what the Registration Guidebook of the BSA says, anyway.

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