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Cburkhardt

Major Changes Announced -- Councils Impacted

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Posted (edited)

I find myself wondering where are all the "champions" or "connected" supporters of Scouting at this point?  Those people that call on BSA to be on hand for public events; those people that reach out to BSA for service and that benefit from all the Eagle and other projects?  Where are the loud braggart pols that line their public image with their support of Scouting or even that they were or are Scouters or Eagles?  Where are the legal experts that should be able to combat the overreach of the lawyers that only want to grow rich off the mistakes of a group that has given so much to our society in the past century and a little?  When are the voices of reason that can shed some balanced and fair justice going to appear?  

Can those youth deprived of a fine program, one that has contributed far more to society than most, sue the lawyers that drag their knuckles through the mud while leaning out of their ambulances?  It would be different if BSA had denied making mistakes or had simply said too bad.  But all, or most of us on here, and on other scout panels know how much more BSA has done to try to combat the sleazy people that work to prey on others, especially youth groups. 

I  understand that our legal system is very much responsible for this type of illogical and overly zealous legal attack.  Still, why do we not fix it, making it back into the actual scale of justice that is intended, rather than a bludgeon of destruction and a money grab?

We can only hope that somehow, we in the trenches can survive, and that we elder Scouters will have passed enough to our younger followers to somehow keep the compass needle on target.  

 

Edited by skeptic
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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

As for the survey, maybe you got one, but almost nobody else on this forum did.

I got the survey.  But I remember nothing about Family camping...my responses were primarily in favor of opening the program to girls, and to keep it separate-gendered so as not to be a distraction for youth.  I have participated in co-ed Scouting in Sweden, and boy-girl issues were always at the forefront.  I have friends in Scouting organizations in Germany, Luxembourg, Canada, and Namibia...same story...intermingling the genders has some advantages for "socialization" and learning to interact, but relationships/love spats/breakups tend to be always rearing their ugly heads.  I have seen the same in two Venturing crews.  Scouting can be difficult when there are several elephants in the room.

And yes, most of my issues as a unit leader come from new parents who do not understand that Scouts is not an extension of Cub Scouts.

 

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

Family Camping.  Our traditional programs will continue to be our traditional programs.  Mom, Dad, little Ken and the dog will not attend Scouts BSA and Venturing campouts.  However, the camps that we end up retaining through bankruptcy will fully welcome family camping in the designated family camping areas.  And yes, we'll get family camping fees when these wonderful Scouting-supporters use our best facilities (because we will only keep the very best after the downsizing).  And yes, we'll finally get better utilization of our facilities as a result.  Some of our best camps, like Owasippe, have been doing this for 50 years.  If Mom and Dad happen to be there the same weekend (or week of summer camp) as their kids in the separate Boy and Girl Troops camping on the other side of the property, then great.  They can go pick them up at the end of the event instead of having to make two 3-hour round trips.  Folks, this is what the next generation of Scout parents want, and it was bourn out in the surveys that supported opening up to girls -- and it also is my direct experience with our Troop.   

Can you provide links to the surveys as well as their methodologies? I am still waiting for the results of the last membership survey of members that was taken. They have released some data of non-members about the membership policy changes, but not the members' data.  @Sentinel947 said it best 

19 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

As for the survey, maybe you got one, but almost nobody else on this forum did. Many of us have been longtime volunteers, involved in units, Districts and Councils for quite a long time. Many (although not me) have their kids in the program too. The data collection methods weren't really published, so it's impossible for us to know how valid the survey was, other than assurances from BSA national, and they haven't always conducted themselves with integrity or transparency. 

And if the data contradicts what they want to do, they ignore the results. Don't believe me? Look at "instapalms" where 18% were against it and 76% were strongly against it.  You think BSA would not do something that 94% of those polled were against! Yet they implemented instapalms anyway.

 

Also is the program for the parents, or the Scouts? I thought the program was for the Scouts, and in my experience as youth and Scouter in multiple troops across multiple councils, THE SCOUTS DON't WANT THE ADULTS AND SIBLINGS INTERFERING AND CAUSING PROBLEMS.  (emphasis). @Sentinel947 said it best :

18 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

It's normally a mess of helicopter parenting and demotivated youth. It breaks down the patrol method, and stifles team development and learning of self sufficiency.

 

I saw a trip that we planned for a year ruined because it turned into a family trip. A year of planning, preparation, and work wasted because the parents interfered and would not let the Scouts do what we were prepared to do, because the siblings were not capable of doing the trip in the conditions at the time. Further, the siblings caused $1000s worth of damage at the place we were staying out. The troop was told never to comeback. I already stated my older two Scouts had to deal with a "family friendly" troop for 19 months. Parents contradicting PLs and SPL, parents jumping in and doing stuff for the Scouts, parents taking over instruction from the Scouts, parents taking over Scouts duties. The straw that broke their backs was when my Scouts took their own time to organize their patrol gear for a camp out, and discovered that the brand new patrol tents, used on a designated family camp out had mold, tears, and even a broken pole. They sorted out the stuff and had everything marked. And then on the camp out, the adults took over the QM's job, and started handed out gear irregardless of whose patrol it belong too. When my son's complained they did not have their patrol's tents, they were told to  "take it and set it up." Adults also were contradicting .the SPLs instructions that not only created chaos, but also infuriated the SPL so much he had to walk away to calm down. Then the adults had the gall to complain things were taking to long to set up ca

SO I don't care what the parents want, I care about what THE SCOUTS want. I care about keeping a program that allows youth to grow physically, mentally, and morally. I saw at the hospital, and now at the college, what happens when youth are not allowed to do things on their own. 

So if we go to a family model, I am gone. And I believe a lot of expereicned Scouters feel the same way.

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39 minutes ago, skeptic said:

I find myself wondering where are all the "champions" or "connected" supporters of Scouting at this point?  Those people that call on BSA to be on hand for public events; those people that reach out to BSA for service and that benefit from all the Eagle and other projects?  Where are the loud braggart pols that line their public image with their support of Scouting or even that they were or are Scouters or Eagles?  Where are the legal experts that should be able to combat the overreach of the lawyers that only want to grow rich off the mistakes of a group that has given so much to our society in the past century and a little?  When are the voices of reason that can shed some balanced and fair justice going to appear?  

At least in my neck of the woods, a lot of those folks feel abandoned and betrayed by the BSA over the past few years. They are  no longer interested inthe BSA as a national org, although they will support local units. 

 

 

39 minutes ago, skeptic said:

Can those youth deprived of a fine program, one that has contributed far more to society than most, sue the lawyers that drag their knuckles through the mud while leaning out of their ambulances?  It would be different if BSA had denied making mistakes or had simply said too bad.  But all, or most of us on here, and on other scout panels know how much more BSA has done to try to combat the sleazy people that work to prey on others, especially youth groups. 

Sadly, BSA does not have the best PR folks. They should have been ahead of this, talking about  how BSA was a leader in youth protection instead of letting the lawyers lead the arguments

 

39 minutes ago, skeptic said:

I  understand that our legal system is very much responsible for this type of illogical and overly zealous legal attack.  Still, why do we not fix it, making it back into the actual scale of justice that is intended, rather than a bludgeon of destruction and a money grab?

Forgot the date of the NPR interview, and it comes towards the very end of the interview, but the lead lawyer stated he wanted the BSA dissolved, and if a new organization was needed to replace the BSA,it should start from scratch.

 

39 minutes ago, skeptic said:

We can only hope that somehow, we in the trenches can survive, and that we elder Scouters will have passed enough to our younger followers to somehow keep the compass needle on target.  

I hope and pray that is the case.

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10 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

So if we go to a family model, I am gone.

Our Troop was just cutting the apron strings from a Family model when I joined (my son crossed over).  The Scoutmaster who was leading that effort at the time recruited me...  After about a year of transition from Advanced Cub Scouts to youth led/patrol method, the old guard of the committee stopped supporting his efforts and he left.  One of the old guard stepped in to be SM, and tried to return to the old ways. It was a disaster.   I appealed to our Commissioner and DE.  The Commissioner tried to help educate the parents and Committee on what Scouting is, but it fell on deaf ears. We lost a third of the Scouts. I was close to leaving.  The SM had family issues that pulled him away, so I agreed to step in as SM with the understanding that we would do the Scouting program...not Family Scouts.  I preach the Scout gospel to our committee monthly...they all agree, and trust, to get out of the way.  It is working, and in two years (this June) we have made great progress.  Troop has more than doubled in size.  Parents are happy with the results.

I cannot go back to a Family model.  I will go with you Eagle94.  Where will we go?

1 minute ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

At least in my neck of the woods, a lot of those folks feel abandoned and betrayed by the BSA over the past few years. They are  no longer interested inthe BSA as a national org, although they will support local units. 

Ditto...I have made the mental leap of separating Scouting from the BSA.  You do not need the BSA to have Scouting.  So I live in a world of Scouting while wearing a BSA uniform to facilitate the movement.  But BSA currently has the market share, and the crown jewel...Eagle Scout.

4 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

How much is the trademark "Eagle Scout" worth?

Ha!  I was just thinking that!

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This business of parents being encouraged to hang around and interfere during Troop meetings and on weekend campouts is just not in my past or current experience.  I can tell you right now this does not go on in our district.  And don't get the idea that this would happen more frequently with girl Troops.  It is entirely the opposite.  The girls want to be independent from the parents more than the boys.  Again, my 1.5 year experience with a 32-girl Troop. 

I can hardly believe this is what you folks are personally experiencing, so you must be sharing information from others.  Interference like what you describe is not part of "family scouting" as envisioned or promoted by the BSA, and anyone who is promoting that it is doing a disservice to the youth members and should be stopped.  "Family Scouting" is nothing other than encouraging multiple youth in a family to participate in Scouting units so the whole family is involved in BSA programs.  It has nothing to do with Mom and Dad hanging around unless they are also trained Scoutmasters.

The Family Camping aspect of this is entirely different.  In the Chicago Area Council (now Pathway to Adventure Council) we have had a dedicated family camping area since the 50's called Camp Reneker.  My experience is that the families come along and do not want to spend time with the Scout during the week or weekend.  They hang with the other families and their own smaller children.  During summer camp, they generally show to the opening and closing campfires, but the families sit by themselves off to the side and not with the Scouts.  And, families can go there by themselves if they want.

Family scouting is here to stay and will indeed improve the BSA.  Don't cut it off simply because there are some weak-willed Scoutmasters out there that allow their unit program to get messed-around with like that.  This is what the next generation of Scouters want. 

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Intellectual property in a reorganization bankruptcy is "essential" property.  It is only at risk for sale in a liquidation.  Nobody is going to be able to buy our trademarks.

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Cburkhardt....how can we watch the national business meeting?  Do you have a link? Thanks 

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6 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

This business of parents being encouraged to hang around and interfere during Troop meetings and on weekend campouts is just not in my past or current experience.  I can tell you right now this does not go on in our district.  And don't get the idea that this would happen more frequently with girl Troops.  It is entirely the opposite.  The girls want to be independent from the parents more than the boys.  Again, my 1.5 year experience with a 32-girl Troop. 

I can hardly believe this is what you folks are personally experiencing, so you must be sharing information from others.  Interference like what you describe is not part of "family scouting" as envisioned or promoted by the BSA, and anyone who is promoting that it is doing a disservice to the youth members and should be stopped.  "Family Scouting" is nothing other than encouraging multiple youth in a family to participate in Scouting units so the whole family is involved in BSA programs.  It has nothing to do with Mom and Dad hanging around unless they are also trained Scoutmasters.

The Family Camping aspect of this is entirely different.  In the Chicago Area Council (now Pathway to Adventure Council) we have had a dedicated family camping area since the 50's called Camp Reneker.  My experience is that the families come along and do not want to spend time with the Scout during the week or weekend.  They hang with the other families and their own smaller children.  During summer camp, they generally show to the opening and closing campfires, but the families sit by themselves off to the side and not with the Scouts.  And, families can go there by themselves if they want.

Family scouting is here to stay and will indeed improve the BSA.  Don't cut it off simply because there are some weak-willed Scoutmasters out there that allow their unit program to get messed-around with like that.  This is what the next generation of Scouters want. 

I don't think anybody said it had to do with girl troops any more than boy troops. Now I feel like you're trying to paint me and others here as unenlightened reactionaries, which I do not appreciate. I do appreciate the information you are providing from the meetings, and I am trying my absolute best to not shoot the messenger. 

@Eagledad @Eagle94-A1, @InquisitiveScouter and I have all told you of similar situations that we have personally experienced. Your inability to believe it has no bearing on whether it is true or not. 

Many of these Scout leaders you describe as "weak willed" are members here or members here served with those Scoutmasters, and that was an exceeding poor choice of words. I'm glad you have parents that are cooperative with your troops programs. 

"This is what the next generation of Scouters want." Since you aren't offering any actual data to support your claim, I suppose we could start an exceedingly flawed survey on this forum and find out what this subsection of Scouters want. If it was invite only, I could skew it to say whatever I'd want it to say. Especially if I don't need to publish my data, only the results. I've created organizational surveys as part of my job. Statistics/ statistical analysis is part of my professional career. But you are correct, this forum tends to be older, it's not a representative sample of what future parents would want. 

There's also a delicious level of irony here, because I can guarantee you, I'm younger than you. I am the next generation of Scouters, unless the BSA destroys what makes this program worth having youth participate in. There are small handful of other youth and young adult scouters here, and I have a pretty good guess what their opinions are. 

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26 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

Especially if I don't need to publish my data, only the results.


You wouldn't even need to publish the results - just make claims about what the results are.

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29 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

This business of parents being encouraged to hang around and interfere during Troop meetings and on weekend campouts is just not in my past or current experience.  I can tell you right now this does not go on in our district.  And don't get the idea that this would happen more frequently with girl Troops.  It is entirely the opposite.  The girls want to be independent from the parents more than the boys.  Again, my 1.5 year experience with a 32-girl Troop. 

 

Well in my  35 years as a Scout and Scouter, whenever parents had been encouraged to attend, I described the results. I can tell that NONE of the Scouts involved in the camp out that took a year to prep for and was ruined by parents and siblings NEVER allowed another troop family camp out.

 

29 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

I can hardly believe this is what you folks are personally experiencing, so you must be sharing information from others. 

If you don't believe me, check out my posts from around May 2017 to November 2018. 

 

37 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

 Interference like what you describe is not part of "family scouting" as envisioned or promoted by the BSA, and anyone who is promoting that it is doing a disservice to the youth members and should be stopped.  "Family Scouting" is nothing other than encouraging multiple youth in a family to participate in Scouting units so the whole family is involved in BSA programs.  It has nothing to do with Mom and Dad hanging around unless they are also trained Scoutmasters.

 

Doesn't matter how BSA interpret's "Family Scouting," but how the general public interpret's it. And after all the family camping done at the Cub Scout level, a lot of adults, including some trained but inexperienced Scouters, view what I described as "Family Scouting."

 

37 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

The Family Camping aspect of this is entirely different.  In the Chicago Area Council (now Pathway to Adventure Council) we have had a dedicated family camping area since the 50's called Camp Reneker.  My experience is that the families come along and do not want to spend time with the Scout during the week or weekend.  They hang with the other families and their own smaller children.  During summer camp, they generally show to the opening and closing campfires, but the families sit by themselves off to the side and not with the Scouts.  And, families can go there by themselves if they want.

Sadly that has not been my experience. Before the YP rule change in 2018, we had parents attend summer camp. And I have never heard of anything like you describe at any of camps I have been to over the years.

 

37 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

Family scouting is here to stay and will indeed improve the BSA.  Don't cut it off simply because there are some weak-willed Scoutmasters out there that allow their unit program to get messed-around with like that.  This is what the next generation of Scouters want. 

 

If by Family Scouting you mean girls, yes I know. But if by Family Scouting you mean allowing mom, dad and siblings to tag along, I am dead set against it. I will be spending more timne keeping them from interfering than working with the youth. And I stated, I don't care what adults want, I care about what the youth want.

 

 

29 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

The Family Camping aspect of this is entirely different.  In the Chicago Area Council (now Pathway to Adventure Council) we have had a dedicated family camping area since the 50's called Camp Reneker.  My experience is that the families come along and do not want to spend time with the Scout during the week or weekend.  They hang with the other families and their own smaller children.  During summer camp, they generally show to the opening and closing campfires, but the families sit by themselves off to the side and not with the Scouts.  And, families can go there by themselves if they want.

Family scouting is here to stay and will indeed improve the BSA.  Don't cut it off simply because there are some weak-willed Scoutmasters out there that allow their unit program to get messed-around with like that.  This is what the next generation of Scouters want. 

 

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Several messages got me thinking, but here are 2 of them.

9 hours ago, 69RoadRunner said:

We can't be nostalgic. We have to figure out how we can serve today's youth. Lots of people think they have the answers. I don't claim to know who has the right answers. I suspect adults younger than me with younger kids will know better than people 50 - 70.

 

1 hour ago, Thunderbird said:

Me, too.  We joined for the character building.  Camping and other activities keep the youth interested, but if it becomes just a camping club, then we can do that much cheaper and with no "red tape" on our own.

I hope there's enough flexibility to get more input from the parents as to what they really want for their kids. To me, the current program seems tailored to a narrow slice of society: The BSA is targeting parents that were scouts in their youth, those that want to camp every month, and those that want to advance. But I can see other parents that just don't understand this program. A lot of parents want their kids to be responsible and able to take care of themselves, to solve their own problems and own their own decisions. Doing that with character should be the starting point. My guess is that would be interesting to at least half the parents I know of that aren't in scouting. And, if it were economical, a lot of parents that can't afford the current program. I believe scouting can do that if the definition of success is opened up.

For example, why is it that a troop should go camping every month? Honestly, going on a hike twice in one month or doing a service project at a lake could be just as beneficial. Why the push for advancement? When scouts are young they want recognition but come 13 or 14 years old, it's no longer what keeps them around. So why does JTE push advancement?

I would much rather start teaching scouts how to generate their own ideas and their own definition of success. Yes, I'd like to keep the outdoors central, but if a group of scouts wants to focus on environmental restoration, yoga on a mountain top or mastering white water kyaking, they should be encouraged to go for it. If they can't find the merit badges that excite them and instead they find a local science teacher that gets them interested in growing food in their gardens then let's drop the push for merit badges. While I certainly enjoyed pioneering merit badge as a youth, who is to say that we should still be doing these activities?

 

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31 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

There's also a delicious level of irony here, because I can guarantee you, I'm younger than you. I am the next generation of Scouters, unless the BSA destroys what makes this program worth having youth participate in. There are small handful of other youth and young adult scouters here, and I have a pretty good guess what their opinions are. 

I wonder what the 18-20 year old ASMs think would be best since they are the future.

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

I don't think anybody said it had to do with girl troops any more than boy troops. Now I feel like you're trying to paint me and others here as unenlightened reactionaries, which I do not appreciate. I do appreciate the information you are providing from the meetings, and I am trying my absolute best to not shoot the messenger. 

@Eagledad @Eagle94-A1, @InquisitiveScouter and I have all told you of similar situations that we have personally experienced. Your inability to believe it has no bearing on whether it is true or not. 

Many of these Scout leaders you describe as "weak willed" are members here or members here served with those Scoutmasters, and that was an exceeding poor choice of words. I'm glad you have parents that are cooperative with your troops programs. 

"This is what the next generation of Scouters want." Since you aren't offering any actual data to support your claim, I suppose we could start an exceedingly flawed survey on this forum and find out what this subsection of Scouters want. If it was invite only, I could skew it to say whatever I'd want it to say. Especially if I don't need to publish my data, only the results. I've created organizational surveys as part of my job. Statistics/ statistical analysis is part of my professional career. But you are correct, this forum tends to be older, it's not a representative sample of what future parents would want. 

There's also a delicious level of irony here, because I can guarantee you, I'm younger than you. I am the next generation of Scouters, unless the BSA destroys what makes this program worth having youth participate in. There are small handful of other youth and young adult scouters here, and I have a pretty good guess what their opinions are. 

I will concur with you.

 

Here is the real problem of the narrative to me- Boy Scouts (Scouts BSA) is about the youth running things, so what the parents want is not the opinion that should be the main opinion.  

While you would never get 100% response on any survey, you still should be asking them, as THEY are the customer, not mom and dads checkbook.  if it means a smaller organization sticking to the core fundamental of youth led, for me, so be it. 

Edited by HashTagScouts
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