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

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25 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.   

I volunteered as an MBC because I feel boys are underserved. Nothing against girls in BSA but I would rather spend my limited time on boys.

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13 hours ago, ParkMan said:

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.

True but that unnecessarily restricts the pool of MBCs in small units and small population centers.  My local auto body guy and welder and blacksmith and volunteer firemen and teachers are perfectly happy to work with the scouts in their town on merit badges but have zero interest in being members of BSA and working with scouts from other towns.  As a result the boys either have to travel great distances to meet a counselor, avail themselves of MB fairs, or go to local venues offering mass merit badge classes.  The system disincentives local experts from getting involved which restricts the adult association method

Edited by walk in the woods
Typos

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10 hours 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.   

I would have possibly thought the same thing, what possibly could the issue be??  That is until I had a conversation with some of our council professionals about the leader requirement for girl troops, had to have a female.  I felt that was gender biased as no requirement for a male leader for boy troops.  Why can't two dads of girls BSA members be the leaders?

So the professionals go into a dissertation about statistics, and adult male incidents with females, etc etc.  My initial feedback was "well they should be following YPT so what would the issue be?". Then some doublespeak on optics and stats, and historical cases studies yada yada.  Then I said so "Basically you (The BSA) do not trust male leaders", more double speak, etc.

Not saying I agree or disagree with what they said / believe - but after that exchange...not sure what to think but would err on the side of caution.

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3 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

True but that unnecessarily restricts the pool of MBCs in small units and small population centers.  My local auto body guy and welder and blacksmith and volunteer firemen and teachers are perfectly happy to work with the scouts in their town on merit badges but have zero interest in being members of BSA and working with scouts from other towns.  As a result the boys either have to travel great distances to meet a counselor, avail themselves of MB fairs, or go to local venues offering mass merit badge classes.  The system disincentives local experts from getting involved which restricts the adult association method

I would most certainly not look at it as an either/or situation.  A troop can certainly build up a MBC list from within their parents and also have outside counselors.  

In a different topic @Cburkhardt mentioned the value he sees in a larger troop.  I'd echo the same thing here.  In our troop of 75 Scouts, we've got enough adults that we've invested in things like having an adult to co-ordinate our MBC list.  In our case we don't go out and solicit other local volunteers - but we could.  If were were a smaller town troop and we had a bunch of Scouts who'd been asking about the automotive maintenance MB, I'm sure our MB coordinator would be thinking about where he could find such a person.  Now, there's nothing that says a smaller troop cannot do the same thing - but I do recognize that there are less likely to be adults around who you could enlist to take that on.

It would make perfect sense for a district volunteer to do this kind of thing.  But frankly - I think the problem is too big there.  A volunteer or two trying to line up enough MBC for 500-1000 Scouts would be doing this all the time.  So there, I think the district MB coordinator really should be building a network with troop MB coordinators and working with them to get the list populated.  This another reason why I think retrenching this to the council level doesn't make much sense.  If it were too hard for a district MB coordinator to build a program for 500-1000 scouts, how will the council MB coordinator do it for 3,000 to 10,000 scouts?

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1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

.not sure what to think but would err on the side of caution.

Good comment, thank you.  I would strongly urge any MBC working with youth to err on the side of caution.  Be it a male or female scout. 

 

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1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

Then I said so "Basically you (The BSA) do not trust male leaders"

I wouldn't single out BSA.  Our society doesn't trust male leaders.

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1 minute ago, Navybone said:

Good comment, thank you.  I would strongly urge any MBC working with youth to err on the side of caution.  Be it a male or female scout. 

 

Yes, I agree on the need to err on the side of caution. But I'd also question the appropriateness of refusing to work with a Scout based on that Scout's gender, race,  or religion.  That said, it's still a free country and we have the ability to associate freely with whom we wish. 

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12 hours ago, David CO said:

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.  

 

Interesting argument - you are essentially saying that it is OK for a CO or a MBC to openly and actively work counter to the efforts, the goals, and the mission of Scout BSA.  Wonder why there may be issues is Scouts BSA.  I cannot help but look at this and think about the message that the scouts in troops like this are receiving and learning.  And then to look at the purpose behind scouting and what it hopes to instill in youth. 

 

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1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

I would most certainly not look at it as an either/or situation.  A troop can certainly build up a MBC list from within their parents and also have outside counselors.  

In a different topic @Cburkhardt mentioned the value he sees in a larger troop.  I'd echo the same thing here.  In our troop of 75 Scouts, we've got enough adults that we've invested in things like having an adult to co-ordinate our MBC list.  In our case we don't go out and solicit other local volunteers - but we could.  If were were a smaller town troop and we had a bunch of Scouts who'd been asking about the automotive maintenance MB, I'm sure our MB coordinator would be thinking about where he could find such a person.  Now, there's nothing that says a smaller troop cannot do the same thing - but I do recognize that there are less likely to be adults around who you could enlist to take that on.

It would make perfect sense for a district volunteer to do this kind of thing.  But frankly - I think the problem is too big there.  A volunteer or two trying to line up enough MBC for 500-1000 Scouts would be doing this all the time.  So there, I think the district MB coordinator really should be building a network with troop MB coordinators and working with them to get the list populated.  This another reason why I think retrenching this to the council level doesn't make much sense.  If it were too hard for a district MB coordinator to build a program for 500-1000 scouts, how will the council MB coordinator do it for 3,000 to 10,000 scouts?

To be clear, I agree that consolidating the MBC process at the council level is bone-headed.  Given the district I served is 100 miles end-to-end I don't know that a district coordinator makes any more sense.  I never had any problems recruiting local people to work with the boys in any number of topics.  They just weren't going to become members of the BSA to do it and they weren't interested in being called by scouts other than those in the local unit.  That's the rub, requiring membership and forcing people to be available beyond their desire to do so.  

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26 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

To be clear, I agree that consolidating the MBC process at the council level is bone-headed.  Given the district I served is 100 miles end-to-end I don't know that a district coordinator makes any more sense.  I never had any problems recruiting local people to work with the boys in any number of topics.  They just weren't going to become members of the BSA to do it and they weren't interested in being called by scouts other than those in the local unit.  That's the rub, requiring membership and forcing people to be available beyond their desire to do so.  

Gotcha.  Actually, I think we are mostly in agreement here then.  I do understand the YPT concerns.  But, other than that, I think we can trust that merit badge counselling can be done without a ton of process.  District/Council lists, registration, mandatory training is more than we really need. 

I do agree that training is most often a good thing.  But, making it mandatory is a bit much in my book.  Create a decent 3 page flyer that explains the process for those that need the highlights and put the full training out there for those that want it.  Make training optional.  If you've not taken YPT and are not registered, then you need another registered adult present +mom/dad.  If you are registered & have YPT, then you can fill that roll.  Scoutmaster,ASM, or advancement chair is responsible for making sure the process is followed.  This seems like a pretty reasonable plan to me.

 

Edited by ParkMan
clarified a thought

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1 hour ago, Navybone said:

Interesting argument - you are essentially saying that it is OK for a CO or a MBC to openly and actively work counter to the efforts, the goals, and the mission of Scout BSA.  Wonder why there may be issues is Scouts BSA.  I cannot help but look at this and think about the message that the scouts in troops like this are receiving and learning.  And then to look at the purpose behind scouting and what it hopes to instill in youth. 

 

Yes.  This is because Scouts BSA is now openly and actively working counter to the goals and mission of my religion.  The message our scouts are receiving is very clearly articulated.  There is no hidden agenda.  Our boys should put their religion first.  

 

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24 minutes ago, David CO said:

Yes.  This is because Scouts BSA is now openly and actively working counter to the goals and mission of my religion.  The message our scouts are receiving is very clearly articulated.  There is no hidden agenda.  Our boys should put their religion first.  

 

Any response and continuation of this line of thinking would probably be more applicable in a different thread.  

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35 minutes ago, Navybone said:

Any response and continuation of this line of thinking would probably be more applicable in a different thread.  

I agree with @Navybone

On this topic, I would only try to bring it back to the initial line of discussion in the thread to say that I believe it's important for Councils to remember that our roles here are to deliver the Scouting program to Scouts.  For most of us, we got involved with a specific unit to help there.  Sure, most of us are willing to help another unit from time to time when asked.  But, there are practical limits to that.  I believe councils need to tread very lightly in how they conscript unit level volunteers into council level programs.

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Looking down the road, I think it is almost inevitable that, sometime soon, merit badges will be entirely taught (not counseled) by council employees, in a classroom-like setting (just like school).  Safe and efficient, standards-based, and totally boring.  

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