Jump to content
Midwest Scouter

Major Changes For Our Council - District, Venturing, Troops, Cubs, and etc.

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, PACAN said:

They are eliminating the Troop only option which is good especially for badges that there are few MBCs.   MBCs always have the option to tell a scout they aren't available right now.  

They also have the option to discontinue being MBCs.  MBCs who choose the troop only option often do so because, though willing help out the scouts in their local unit, they have no desire to become unpaid employees of the council.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, David CO said:

They also have the option to discontinue being MBCs.  MBCs who choose the troop only option often do so because, though willing help out the scouts in their local unit, they have no desire to become unpaid employees of the council.

 

There's also a strong sense of community in many troops.  We have many merit badge counselors that work with just Scouts in our troop.  These adults have been long standing members of the troop community and want to help.  They're not volunteering for Scouting in general, they are volunteering to help strengthen options for boys and girls they know.  Becoming volunteers for Scouting in general isn't what they signed up for.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, fred8033 said:

District camporees are only going away in name only.  Camporees will still exist.  It's just that council activities team will host camporees.  IMHO, this is better because camporees were never well coordinated between districts and some districts did not do them well.  IMHO, this is also good as you will ... hopefully ... get better attended camporees and a larger mix of camporees from which to select. 

Also, this might better leverage council camps.  For example, our council has six camps.  Three local.  Two within reasonable drive.  One that is three to four hour drive.  Instead of each district reserving part of the local camps and running separate camporees, the whole camp could be leveraged for a camporee.  Instead of a strong inference that you attend your district's camporee that happens once a year on a specific weekend and usually at the same place, you can now select the right location and right weekend that would be a better fit.   

If you've got a small council with just a few districts, fine.  In those councils the district/council distinction is artificial.

But, if you're in a larger council - I don't buy it.  Say you've got a district with 15-20 troops.  Those local troops ought to be working together, under the leadership of the Camporee staff to put on a local, district camporee.  Now, that function moves to a council staff with what 100-200 troops they organize?  The expectations for involvement are now very different.  What, all 100-200 troops are now going to be expected to be involved in those council organized camporees?

Currently our council holds a council camporee and a dozen district camporees every year,  I do not expect that this new, unified council camporee staff is now going to put on 13 camporees every year.  Instead, they will hold fewer camporees - maybe even just one a year.  This process will in turn create fewer opportunities for units to work together to deliver camporees.  That healthy process of pushing unit volunteers to get involved with their district will further dry up.  

Yes, that one Council camporee will probably be better than it is now because a few of the district volunteers will move to the council staff.  But, by and large, I anticipate that most district camporee volunteers will simply stop helping because they will no longer feel needed.

 

Edited by ParkMan
typos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

If you've got a small council with just a few districts, fine.  In those councils the district/council distinction is artificial.

But, if you're in a larger council - I don't buy it.  Say you've got a district with 15-20 troops.  Those local troops ought to be working together, under the leadership of the Camporee staff to put on a local, district camporee.  Now, that function moves to a council staff with what 100-200 troops they organize?  The expectations for involvement are now very different.  What, all 100-200 troops are now going to be expected to be involved in those council organized camporees?

Currently our council holds a council camporee and a dozen district camporees every year,  I do not expect that this new, unified council camporee staff is now going to put on 13 camporees every year.  Instead, they will hold fewer camporees - maybe even just one a year.  This process will in turn create fewer opportunities for units to work together to deliver camporees.  That healthy process of pushing unit volunteers to get involved with their district will further dry up.  

Yes, that one Council camporee will probably be better than it is now because a few of the district volunteers will move to the council staff.  But, by and large, I anticipate that most district camporee volunteers will simply stop helping because they will no longer feel needed. 

I hope that's not the future, but I understand the fear.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would appear that some these changes go against what is laid out the in the "RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA"

Quote

III. LOCAL COUNCILS

District Organization For the purpose of unit service and program administration, a local council may be divided geographically or functionally into such districts as the local council executive board may determine. Districts must operate pursuant to the Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, policies, and guidelines of the Boy Scouts of America. Their purpose is to make effective in the territory the policies and programs adopted by the local council, its executive board, and council committees. The administration of Scouting in each district will be exercised by the local council through a district Key 3, committee, and commissioner staff. The district committee, the operating committees of the district, and the district commissioner staff have no legislative authority.

 

 

https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/membership/pdf/Rules_and_Regulations_June_2018.pdf

Edited by robert12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, ParkMan said:

There's also a strong sense of community in many troops.  We have many merit badge counselors that work with just Scouts in our troop.  These adults have been long standing members of the troop community and want to help.  They're not volunteering for Scouting in general, they are volunteering to help strengthen options for boys and girls they know.  Becoming volunteers for Scouting in general isn't what they signed up for.

I don't see the big deal.  When I signed up as a district level MBC and did it for about 5 years, I had two Scouts from outside of my troop request for my services as a MBC.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, ParkMan said:

There's also a strong sense of community in many troops.  We have many merit badge counselors that work with just Scouts in our troop.  These adults have been long standing members of the troop community and want to help.  They're not volunteering for Scouting in general, they are volunteering to help strengthen options for boys and girls they know.  Becoming volunteers for Scouting in general isn't what they signed up for.

Troop MBCs make me question the value of the merit badge program.  

I'm okay with the troop having some MBCs and such.  But when a troop has an inventory of MBCs for key badges, ... imho ... it really hurts the value of the MBC program.  The MBC program is about getting the scout out of his comfort zone and learning something new ... AND working with someone new. 

When the scout mostly works with troop MBCs, the MBC program really changes from an individual scout focus into a troop run program.  IMHO, it fully subverts the program. 

Edited by fred8033
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

At that point, I question the value of the merit badge program.  

I'm okay with the troop having some MBCs and such.  But when a troop has an inventory of MBCs for each badge, ... imho ... it really hurts the value of the MBC program.  The MBC program is about getting the scout out of his comfort zone and learning something new ... AND working with someone new.  If the MBCs are the same scouters that you camp with every month, it really really subverts the program.  

I think we may be talking about troops of different size.  Our troop, for example, has 75 scouts.  That's a hundred troop parents and other adults who almost never camp with the troop or serve as a leader in another capacity. 

Some benefits:

  1. Provides for a healthy supply of merit badge counselors.
  2. Having those parents engaged in the merit badge program is a great way for a parent who doesn't otherwise help out to contribute. 
  3. Serving as a MBC can often be the first step towards a larger role in Scouting.

Just my .02.  Rather than seeing councils scaling back, I'd rather see councils out looking at what units like ours are doing and them attempting to build off that.  Our merit badge program has been pretty successful for us.  It's also very easy to replicate in other, smaller troops.  Then those smaller troops could work together to build up a larger, district merit badge program.  This would be a great way to see volunteerism grow and a stronger merit badge program in a district.

Edited by ParkMan
typos
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ParkMan said:

I think we may be talking about troops of different size.  Our troop, for example, has 75 scouts.  That's a hundred troop parents and other adults who almost never camp with the troop or serve as a leader in another capacity. 

No.  I meant that exact situation.  Scout's should be reaching out to MBCs, not handed to them on a silver plate.  It subverts the program.  Scouts should be experiencing MB programs in many different environments and styles. 

At some point, I question the MB program and wonder if troops should fully focus on skills at each rank ... plus nights of camping ... and plus leadership.  Maybe every 5 more nights of camping could replace one MB.  

Edited by fred8033
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, ParkMan said:

These adults have been long standing members of the troop community and want to help.

Back when I was a SM I talked to any number of teachers at our local Jr. High and High School, and other members of the community, about being MBCs.  They were of course happy to work with the boys, right up to the point that I said great, fill out this application and take YPT.  Then, to a person, they declined.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, fred8033 said:

No.  I meant that exact situation.  Scout's should be reaching out to MBCs, not handed to them on a silver plate.  It subverts the program.  Scouts should be experiencing MB programs in many different environments and styles. 

At some point, I question the MB program and wonder if troops should fully focus on skills at each rank ... plus nights of camping ... and plus leadership.  Maybe every 5 more nights of camping could replace one MB.  

Ok - to that point then. 

If a Scout wants to earn a MB, he/she goes to the SM and inquires.  The Scoutmaster has a list of names and points the Scout to a name and tells the Scout to initiate contact.  You believe that it subverts the program if the Scoutmaster looks at the list and says to the Scout: "You wanted to work on the forestry merit badge.  On my list here I see that Mr. Smith, Tommy's dad, is a forestry MBC. Please go contact him and see what you can arrange."  

Yes, it's a good skill in life to be able to call someone up cold and talk to them.  But, I don't see that it subverts the whole idea of merit badges if you develop a group of merit badge counselors with a connection to your local troop.  The Scout still has to initiate a conversation with an adult that they probably don't really know all that well. They still have to be self directed to do the work.  They still have to have youth/adult conversations about their progress.  We've decreased that adult association part of the merit badge process by a pretty small amount.

On the flip side - I see lots of good from a troop developing a cadre of merit badge counselors.  In addition to what I wrote before, you generate more parent involvement and you make the merit badge program more visible to families as well.  This further prompts parents to encourage and reinforce their Scout's efforts.  It also helps that with some more visibility of the merit badge program you get more quality control.  You know these counselors and these counselors know how things generally work in the troop.  In addition, because you have a more active merit badge program, Scouts are inclined to earn more merit badges.  As a result of more merit badge activity, Scouts actually increase their adult interaction.  These all seem like good things.  No?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, walk in the woods said:

Back when I was a SM I talked to any number of teachers at our local Jr. High and High School, and other members of the community, about being MBCs.  They were of course happy to work with the boys, right up to the point that I said great, fill out this application and take YPT.  Then, to a person, they declined.

It's a whole lot easier to walk up to a parent with a kid in the troop, ask them their interests, and then get them to be a merit badge counselor.  Hey, Mr. Smith I hear you are an arborist.  Would you be willing to be a forestry merit badge counselor?  I see that your son has been working on several merit badges already.  It's free of charge and the rewards are huge.  Since it is a role where you'll interact with kids directly we'll need you to fill out this application and take the online YPT class.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, David CO said:

Male MBCs might not want to council female scouts.

I cannot fathom a reason that a MBC would not want to council a female scout.  At least so long as the MBC is meeting all the Youth Protection requirements.   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Navybone said:

I cannot fathom a reason that a MBC would not want to council a female scout.  At least so long as the MBC is meeting all the Youth Protection requirements.   

Really?  I can think of several.

A MBC might not agree with the decision to include girls in scouting.  While he can't change the decision, he doesn't have to cooperate with it, and he doesn't have to donate his valuable time and skills to assist it.  Passive resistance.

YP protects the youth.  It doesn't protect the MBC.  

The Chartered Organization might not want him to be working with girls.  

 

Edited by David CO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×