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Cburkhardt

Predicting Nationwide Shutdown Continues to Sept.

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Prediction:  The Nationwide Shutdown will continue until September.  No camporees, summer camp, high adventure bases or unit face-to-face events.  When we re-open, we will be a different organization.  Overwhelmingly led and operated by volunteers at all levels.  

Operating with a skeletal professional staff of only critical field and camp maintenance personnel.  Many current professionals will never return to the paid ranks because we will only bring back 25-30% of the pre-bankruptcy/corona level.  The national professional and volunteer organization will focus on maintaining our program and little else.  Council volunteers who cluster together in territories will finally negotiate the sale of underperforming council properties and consolidate investment and usage on the finest properties.  Camps foolishly built on credit or heavily mortgaged will sell first.  

Cash flow has ceased.  Dues, uniforms, camping fees, event fees, fundraising shares, fundraising events, pretty much everything above the unit level.  Corona has put a bullet in what was going to be a spectacular reorganization of the BSA from foolish membership standards decisions and our inability to detect and remove evil-intended perpetrators of child abuse.  We will continue as an organization, but this particular virus event is going to intensify all of the challenging impacts of bankruptcy discussed these past months.

As I am the eternal optimist of Scouter.com, you have probably only now picked yourself off the floor to hear me opine in this manner.  I am still an optimist, because the volunteer-driven organization we belong to is still be a great organization.  Units will continue to thrive and we still achieve great, important things.  I discourage embittered comment.  This is happening because of the random arrival of an historic event that is disrupting our best efforts to reorganize in challenging circumstances.

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@Cburkhardt. Curious on what you believe the spectacular reorganization of the BSA was going to be.  Thanks.

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14 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

Camps foolishly built on credit or heavily mortgaged will sell first.  

@Cburkhardt, would Summit and Philmont also fall in this category?

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Counter prediction: council professional staffs will actually grow in numbers, or at minimum stay stagnant. 

The BSA will be a shell of itself after this over and done. What's the number #1 killer of units? Not meeting or no activities. Well, that' what is happening across the nation right now. I'm willing to bet that 1/4 of all Cub Scouts Packs will never meet again post-corona. 

The professionals will essentially be tasked with rebuilding the BSA. Frankly, and i know this sounds bad, a vast majority of volunteers do not care about growing membership. They don't have the time to dedicate starting units or growing numbers. I mean, that's one of the main job function of a DE.

What you will see is a massive selling of camps, especially if they aren't able to open their doors this summer. All the capital that would've gone to camps will now go into professional salaries. 

 

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Counter-prediction (which you all would have placed in the realm of sci- fi- last year):

BSA and various councils cut a deal with the US to maintain their properties for use in time of pandemics as internment camps. Compared to the $Trillions to execute state-wide shelter-in-place, the cost of maintaining a container of medical supplies and modular housing (in addition to the cabins at most camps) would be trivial.

Being nearest (yet sufficiently far from) our WV's (and the nation's) capital, SBR and all buildings on it become "available for emergency service" by the national guard in exchange for payment of any outstanding liens.

In effect we become the inverse of AP Hill. Instead of a military base occasionally on loan to scouts, it becomes a scout base occasionally on loan to the military.

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I do believe this is going to be the death knell to a lot of scouts/units.  Hardest hit group: AOL kids that were supposed to crossover & potentially those 16 1/2-17 year old Life Scouts that were starting to work on their Eagle Projects.   Very good chance those 2 age groups could just fade away.  

We are going to try and get the applications filled out for those who were supposed to crossover this weekend and work on getting them engaged and start to work on some rank advancements and earning those stay at home badges.  

Summer camp is currently a big ? in our group right now.  Crossover parents haven't paid any money yet and we aren't sure we will even be able to go to summer camp if this keeps up  Our council is asking nothing doing till at least May 11.  

However this could potentially have a bright spot.   We could heavily advertise online and on t.v.  and see if we can't suck in some kids to start scouting since things like sports are currently suspended.   The BSA has that  "rainy day' activity potential.  But then would they want to continue as Lone Scouts once this lifts?  Will they want to go camping with their unit in the future?  That's unknown.   So many variables. Realistically, if you are looking for things for your child to do, you can just google the what we do an do it for free.  Just wont get all the snazzy awards and patches. 

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10 minutes ago, Jackdaws said:

...  Just wont get all the snazzy awards and patches. 

The insignia dorks shudder at the thought!

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I doubt a nationwide shutdown will occur until September.  This will go to a state by state, city by city call.  Many countries, including China, are operating with the virus.  This is a pause while we catch up on testing to find out what areas are actually hit hard.  Areas not hit hard will release and monitor. If the testing shows cases rise above a certain level, they shut down again.   I would expect limits, but most scout camps are probably <1000 people, so hopefully they could go on.  Just a guess … probably more hope … of what will happen.  

I do agree that many units will fold, especially those that were on the brink.  Perhaps there will be some sort of surge as well, especially if BSA can ramp up service aspects that could come out of this.

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1 hour ago, Jackdaws said:

 The BSA has that  "rainy day' activity potential.  But then would they want to continue as Lone Scouts once this lifts?  Will they want to go camping with their unit in the future?  That's unknown.   So many variables. Realistically, if you are looking for things for your child to do, you can just google the what we do an do it for free.  Just wont get all the snazzy awards and patches. 

This is where BSA is missing the PR boat. We absolutely have tons of engaging online content and plenty of ideas for at home activities that could introduce non scout kids and families to scouting. Some of them might be interested enough to sign up when this is all over. I don't know why this isn't showing up on lists of things to do with your kids at home in major media. Why BSA isn't pushing any of it out on social media platforms (that I can see)? There is no risk of a child predator while doing a fun cub or scout activity from a rank achievement list or merit badge at home, and there are a ton of fun, interesting, or challenging ideas and activities in our program for all ages. 

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32 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

I doubt a nationwide shutdown will occur until September.  This will go to a state by state, city by city call.  Many countries, including China, are operating with the virus.  This is a pause while we catch up on testing to find out what areas are actually hit hard.  Areas not hit hard will release and monitor. If the testing shows cases rise above a certain level, they shut down again.   I would expect limits, but most scout camps are probably <1000 people, so hopefully they could go on.  Just a guess … probably more hope … of what will happen.  

I

I'm sure we'll come out of a shutdown for a time if things start to look better. But then I expect we'll go back to some version of it because the virus does not show signs of being containable or seasonal. The amount of effort that is going to be required to deal with the fall out of it are going to be substantial and limiting for many aspects of our daily lives. Unless there are clear cut medical recommendations indicating it is completely safe for children and adults to gather in significant numbers, or there is some kind of medical breakthrough fast tracked on either the prevention (vaccine) or treatment front, I'm not sure much of anything will go on this summer due to liability and health concerns. 

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6 hours ago, carebear3895 said:

The BSA will be a shell of itself after this over and done. What's the number #1 killer of units? Not meeting or no activities. Well, that' what is happening across the nation right now. I'm willing to bet that 1/4 of all Cub Scouts Packs will never meet again post-corona. 

 

 

If units do not adapt and remain connected to their scouts, then yes, this will happen.  Sure, scouting is about being outside.  But it does not stop because cannot get outside.  This to shall pass and the scouts will be able to go back to camping and backpacking.  When -  who knows.  But we will.  And I am willing to bet that the units that are able to adapt and remain connected with their scouts at this time will see the scouts return.  At a minimum, virtual meetings provide an opportunity for some scouts (and their parents) to do and learn something.  A great way to weather this storm is to help provide structure for the scouts -  and advancement and merit badges are great ways to help parents who need help. 

Its not perfect, but if BSA does not learn to work through and thrive in this current crisis, then it will die.  And it is not national or the councils that will make this happen.  It will be the local pack or troop leadership who take their one hours a week (ha) and think creative.  It will be the "front line" leaderships who share resources, tips, and best practices, that make this occur.  What National needs to be doing is removing barriers and pushing capability down to the local level.  Not charging $5 for whatever fees for council led virtual merit badge sessions, but virtual sessions where they SEE their friends in the troop/pack.

 

 

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19 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

Prediction:  The Nationwide Shutdown will continue until September.  No camporees, summer camp, high adventure bases or unit face-to-face events.  When we re-open, we will be a different organization.  Overwhelmingly led and operated by volunteers at all levels.  

Operating with a skeletal professional staff of only critical field and camp maintenance personnel.  Many current professionals will never return to the paid ranks because we will only bring back 25-30% of the pre-bankruptcy/corona level.  The national professional and volunteer organization will focus on maintaining our program and little else.  Council volunteers who cluster together in territories will finally negotiate the sale of underperforming council properties and consolidate investment and usage on the finest properties.  Camps foolishly built on credit or heavily mortgaged will sell first.  

Cash flow has ceased.  Dues, uniforms, camping fees, event fees, fundraising shares, fundraising events, pretty much everything above the unit level.  Corona has put a bullet in what was going to be a spectacular reorganization of the BSA from foolish membership standards decisions and our inability to detect and remove evil-intended perpetrators of child abuse.  We will continue as an organization, but this particular virus event is going to intensify all of the challenging impacts of bankruptcy discussed these past months.

As I am the eternal optimist of Scouter.com, you have probably only now picked yourself off the floor to hear me opine in this manner.  I am still an optimist, because the volunteer-driven organization we belong to is still be a great organization.  Units will continue to thrive and we still achieve great, important things.  I discourage embittered comment.  This is happening because of the random arrival of an historic event that is disrupting our best efforts to reorganize in challenging circumstances.

 

Ok.  I'm bored.  I'll take the bait.  

  • Agree
    • "The Nationwide Shutdown will continue until September.  No camporees, summer camp, high adventure bases or unit face-to-face events." ... Yep.  The country won't be back to normal for years.  Only a vaccine or herd immunity will end it.  And only a vaccine will let parents send their kids to large groups with other kids.  
    • "Operating with a skeletal professional staff of only critical field and camp maintenance personnel." ... Yep.  Staff won't have time to prepare for summer camp.  When camps do re-open, I could see it very much with a volunteer rangers and only the barest minimum maintenance personnel.  When camps re-open, units would have to provide their own food and provide their own program.  If the camps have significant staff, it will only be because of historical unemployment.  
    • "Many current professionals will never return to the paid ranks because we will only bring back 25-30% of the pre-bankruptcy/corona level."  ... Yeah.  I hope it's not that bad, but it will definitely be bad.  Period.  
    • "Cash flow has ceased." ... That is scary.  I agree.  Cash is king.  Also after the crisis is over, debt will be killing many families.  Many won't have the optional money for scouting for years to come.  
  • Disagree
    • "When we re-open, we will be a different organization." ... No.  We'll be smaller.  (and for many reasons).  We'll have lost a few years of scouts, but scouting has a structure, concept and an ideal.  That will still be there.  It will be a rebuilding time.  We thought scouting was sinking as far as it could.  Well, it will go a bit lower.  
    • "The national professional and volunteer organization will focus on maintaining our program and little else." ... Once the crisis is over, I believe BSA will quickly turn back to how can we give great experiences to scouts.  One might call it maintenance.  I'll call it re-building and re-energizing scouting. 
  • Maybe
    • "finally negotiate the sale of underperforming council properties and consolidate investment and usage on the finest properties.  Camps foolishly built on credit or heavily mortgaged will sell first." ... Cash will be king, but property values will be down drastically.  But camps are the heart of scouting.  If the camp has been struggling for a long time, probably it will sell.  But if the camp was being used and anywhere near close to self-sustaining, then scouters will work their hearts out to keep the property. 
  • Tangential ... I don't see the connection.
    • "Overwhelmingly led and operated by volunteers at all levels."
    • "Council volunteers who cluster together in territories "

 

I'm an optimist.  Scouting will continue.  It's a great program.  But now is the time to focus on family, friends and the care of our fellow neighbors.  I prey the crisis is over quick and we can rebuild scouting.  But, for now, the health of scouting can take a backseat to the health of our fellow man.  

 

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9 hours ago, carebear3895 said:

The BSA will be a shell of itself after this over and done. What's the number #1 killer of units? Not meeting or no activities. Well, that' what is happening across the nation right now. I'm willing to bet that 1/4 of all Cub Scouts Packs will never meet again post-corona. 

The professionals will essentially be tasked with rebuilding the BSA. Frankly, and i know this sounds bad, a vast majority of volunteers do not care about growing membership. They don't have the time to dedicate starting units or growing numbers. I mean, that's one of the main job function of a DE.

"1/4 of all Cub Scout Packs will never meet again" ... Yeah.  A huge number of units were already on the edge.  This will absolutely kill a good number.  Membership will crash for years.  

"#1 killer of units?  Not meeting or no activities." ... Yep.  Absolutely.  I'd focus more on no activities, than no meetings.  But absolutely.  

Focusing on "growing membership" ... This is always BSA's big mistake.  We focus way too much on how do we fix the membership issues.  The issue is really how do we fix the program.  If you have a bad product, people won't buy your product.  So if you want to grow membership, focus on the best camps, best activities, best reasons for being a scout.  Only that will grow membership.  Recruiting for the sake of recruiting will kill any organization.  But selling a great product will only drive more sales.  

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