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Modified Requirements

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It seems to me that the new leadership we were hoping for is nowhere to be seen. Disappointing but not surprising.

 

 

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3 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

Yep.  There's nothing so permanent as a temporary program.

This "temporary program" is the camel's nose under the tent flap.

 

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I get and respect every one of the above comments, each of which is well-placed and merited.  My welcoming the flexibility is not really tied to a philosophy (First Class in first year, etc.).  It's tied to the flexibility I need to have to keep an urban troop of 37 ambitious young people together and "moving" for six months -- during which time we will not actually be in physical proximity to each other.  Our Mayor is not going to open things up until late June at the earliest, so there is no real hope of face-to-face programming until September.  I can envision how I might do things differently if I was in my suburban youth circumstances (Eagled and Quartermastered in suburban Chicago in the 70's), but I really need that flexibility in urban Washington, DC, where some of our Scouts live in inner-city conditions.  Many Scoutmasters would have developed ways to deal with these things individually if flexibility had not been provided.  It is better to have the BSA provide this so such efforts are expressly blessed.

To the SM thinking of leaving, please don't disband your Troop out of frustration over this.  If you can do things more rigorously in your circumstance, please do it. 

I hope we can recover as much optimism as we can.

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10 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

This "temporary program" is the camel's nose under the tent flap.

 

I personally don't think they are that smart. But,........, no no I tried to give them some credit. I really don't think they are that smart.

43 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

I get and respect every one of the above comments, each of which is well-placed and merited.  My welcoming the flexibility is not really tied to a philosophy (First Class in first year, etc.).  It's tied to the flexibility I need to have to keep an urban troop of 37 ambitious young people together and "moving" for six months -- during which time we will not actually be in physical proximity to each other. 

Well, to be open and fair, you and I have been on the opposite side of the "Aadvancement" method since you joined this forum last year to brag about how your girls were better scouts than the boys because you drilled them on advancement skills. We both have a track record on this forum of our styles of scoutmastering. I also know we adults are hard to change, so this post isn't really pointed at you as much as it is for new scout leaders who haven't been set in their ways yet.

Flexibility is OK I guess. But most of us old-timers (I know you think of yourself as an old-timer too) have experienced the difference between the youth scouts ambition for scouting and the adult scouters ambition for scouting. And the first red flag for unbalanced flexibility by the adults is "Advancement". Makes sense when you think about it, the ambition of adults by their nature is self centered. It's a primal instinctive drive for self survival. However, the primal instinct of youth on the other hand is playing games with the herd. Playing games is how youth learn the skills they will use as adults to survive. The herd mentality is natures way of protecting the individual youth until they mature enough to protect themselves. 

Add that Advancement is easy for adults because they only have to read a list of requirements to set their scouting program forward into motion. Camping, even before the Covid is harder and more complex for new adult leaders. Pushing a scout to learn a knot is a lot easier than organizing youth to plan a campout.

But, we have to remember that Advancement is only one of Eight Methods. Are you dividing your balance and flexibility into Eight parts. Let's think, how can we get the scouts to practice Patrol Method while shuttered at home? 

All that is to say, adults need to think like a youth playing games with their herd. Use your flexibility and balance to get the scouts to learn skills by games at home to prepare them for real life while camping. Give them task that will prepare them for the next campout. Give them a theme and some fun skills to practice like planning menus and cooking or ......... Not to get signed off at home, but to prepare them for having fun on the campout, and then getting signed off. Shift the adult drive of using the Stature as motivation and instead use games to prepare them for their out doors adventure in the woods. You think yourself creative, so create ways for the youth scouts to do scouting at home in all the Eight Methods. Not for the sake of gaining some advantage for rank, but for the sake of getting excited about being a Scout. Leave the sign offs for the campouts with the patrol. 

Frankly, developing exercises for scouts to practice all Eight methods at home might be the best leadership development an adult could do for their career in scouting. 

Barry

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1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

To the SM thinking of leaving, please don't disband your Troop out of frustration over this.  If you can do things more rigorously in your circumstance, please do it. 

 

I have taken the advice to just keep these changes to myself. We are working on knots, First aid and gear in a virtual world, we even did 10 plant identification challenge (outdoors with cameras) Its the disregarding of the Patrol method I just can't stand. Mom and Dad are not patrol members, camping in the backyard is not a scout campout and planning a hike vs doing the hike is the biggest joke in the world.

I'll wait until a parent or the commitee demands we follow these new rules and then I'll offer up my resignation.

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

I personally don't think they are that smart. But,........, no no I tried to give them some credit. I really don't think they are that smart.

If you are referring to some parents, oh yes some are that smart. Some parents will do anything for their Scout to receive a badge, and will attempt to use any and all policies and procedures to get their child the rank. These parents will see an small, temporary opening, a try to drive a M1A2 thought it with all guns blazing, taking out any adult who gets in their child's way.

If you are referring to the folks at national, the majority have little to no experience in the program. Again out of the 5 full timers I worked with at a national Scout shop, I was the only one who had experience in the program, whether it was youth or adult. 

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I was referring to National. And looking back, I wasn't being very scout like speaking of their intelligence. I should have said that based from past observations, they don't typical have that kind of vision. There, I feel better.

Barry

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4 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I was referring to National. And looking back, I wasn't being very scout like speaking of their intelligence. I should have said that based from past observations, they don't typical have that kind of vision. There, I feel better.

Barry

Sadly, many at national, and in councils, view the movement as a job, and have little to no experience with the program. They know the program benefits the youth, but they can not fathom how. They do not realize the damage they are doing with their decisions because they are lacking knowledge. 

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1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

It's tied to the flexibility I need to have to keep an urban troop of 37 ambitious young people together and "moving" for six months -- during which time we will not actually be in physical proximity to each other.  

There are many MBs and individual requirements that can be completed in an online setting without compromising requirements or significant loss.  The absolute easiest ones are chess merit badge and finger printing.  Plant identification.  Many others.  ... It's more about being creative.  

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2 hours ago, TMSM said:

I have taken the advice to just keep these changes to myself. We are working on knots, First aid and gear in a virtual world, we even did 10 plant identification challenge (outdoors with cameras) Its the disregarding of the Patrol method I just can't stand. Mom and Dad are not patrol members, camping in the backyard is not a scout campout and planning a hike vs doing the hike is the biggest joke in the world.

I'll wait until a parent or the commitee demands we follow these new rules and then I'll offer up my resignation.

You don't need to resign.  I'd hold fast with the same investment, planning, effort, growth, etc that need to happen.  BSA says in the same statement ... "Even when using video conferencing, all virtual campouts and activities should consist of as many elements found on a normal outdoor campout or activity as possible. The most significant difference is that patrol or troop members are not all in the same location. All existing youth protection policies and digital safety guidelines must be followed."

So ... where it says "stove" ... I'd strongly interpret that as a "camp stove" or a "fire".   I would NOT accept a kitchen stove as I've only seen one troop bring a kitchen stove on a camp out.  AND YES, I did take pictures.

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15 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

The most significant difference is that patrol or troop members are not all in the same location.

Sorry - This is ridulous of National to say this. Its Patrol based camping and that means you are in the same place. What are they thinking? 

Its like taking a virtual tour of Philmont and saying you went to Philmont. https://media.boyslife.org/philmont/philmont.html

 

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Posted (edited)

"X Scouts earned Y badges/ranks/geegaws in Z period of time."

Apparently, this is scouting at the council and national levels. 

The few folks left at HQ in Irving TX will still be leaning on councils for such data until their laptops and powerpoint projectors are liquidated in the settlement.

Edited by desertrat77
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2 hours ago, TMSM said:

Sorry - This is ridulous of National to say this. Its Patrol based camping and that means you are in the same place. What are they thinking? 

Its like taking a virtual tour of Philmont and saying you went to Philmont. https://media.boyslife.org/philmont/philmont.html

 

Can I wear a  black bull on my jacket if I take the tour?

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3 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Sadly, many at national, and in councils, view the movement as a job, and have little to no experience with the program. They know the program benefits the youth, but they can not fathom how. They do not realize the damage they are doing with their decisions because they are lacking knowledge. 

Yes, I've known this for many years. But one has to wonder what kind of education or experience National looks for in hiring  their employees because the way they run the program doesn't fit any business model I've seen. Oh, they use polls and data to justify some of their actions, but the actions seem to be driven more by a management goal than the data. For example, First Class in the First Year was justified by data that showed scouts in the more successful troops earning their first class in one year. Well, ok, but what defines a successful troop and what criteria is common among those troops.

My observations over the years are that the BSA looses more scouts in the first 6 months of a troop program than any other time in the BSA program. The issue for those scouts is the giant leap from an adult led culture to a self reliance culture. If they are scared of the dark, how in the world is the 12 year old patrol leader supposed to protect them?

My data showed that a scout who stays with the troop after summer camp usually stays for at least 3 years. In my mind, a troop that keeps 70% of their new scouts for a year have a very organized program with a communication system between the scouts, their parents, and the troop youth and adult leadership. It took our troop four years to make that work. Rank development had NOTHING to do keeping our first year scouts interested, but that was Nationals approach to the problem.

But as I have said for many many years, if National seriously wanted to significantly improve membership numbers, they need to scale the Pack program to the 1960's model.They don't seem to realize that a burned out cub adult who quits scouting usually takes their kids with them and doesn't come back later. Troops typically get about 30% of families that started out as Tigers or Bears. What if that 30% could get pushed to 50, 60 or 70 percent? That has to happen at the cub level.

And that doesn't fix the first troop drop out rate, but that is a different problem that requires more complex solutions.

If a simple engineer can see these things from just looking at membership data and observing unit programs, why can't National? Who are they?

Barry

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