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Cburkhardt

National Changes/Smaller Board/Ntl. Program Council

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9 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

I hate to say it, but I think Sea Scouts, the second oldest program in the BSA ( since 1912) may be one of the "sacred cows" that will be sacrificed. Between cutting off program at 18 and doing away with area and regions, I got a real bad feeling about this. The only way I could see it being saved is if they allow the area volunteers these events. And as good a program as Sea Scouting is, I would hate to lose it. But someone either here or elsewhere, said that BSA could possible hand it over the the USCGA to run since it is their official youth program.

Don't kill the messenger. I was an Ordinary Sea Scout. Sea Scouting kept active for a while after turning 18.

I hope you are wrong.  It is such a good program.  I know many youth this is by far a better fit for them over regular Troop scouts.  The maturity level is just so much higher and they really own their experience.

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15 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

I hope you are wrong.  It is such a good program.  I know many youth this is by far a better fit for them over regular Troop scouts.  The maturity level is just so much higher and they really own their experience.

This used to be the expectation of Explorers before it was pushed as Troop older scout program. I know my scuba Explorers was very much a higher maturity experience. I grew up a lot in that program. I think what has to change is first get rid of the Troop Venture Patrol program and then bring back Explorers in the context of specific sponsors who associate to the  specific theme like Law Enforcement, Rescue, Emergency care, Aviation and so forth. Leave the general outdoor adventure activities like backpacking and canoeing to the Venturing program for troop programs.

Barry

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

This used to be the expectation of Explorers before it was pushed as Troop older scout program. I know my scuba Explorers was very much a higher maturity experience. I grew up a lot in that program. I think what has to change is first get rid of the Troop Venture Patrol program and then bring back Explorers in the context of specific sponsors who associate to the  specific theme like Law Enforcement, Rescue, Emergency care, Aviation and so forth. Leave the general outdoor adventure activities like backpacking and canoeing to the Venturing program for troop programs.

Barry

I think it could work as a troop program provided so we don't continually try to force it into a one-size-fits-all system. In the sixties a fair number of troops had what we called a senior Scout program. I'm not sure if it was official or not but it basically worked like this two or three times a year there would be a special camp out just for the older Scouts, it could be a survival camp out, (you could only bring what you could fit in your pockets) a 50-miler, a canoeing trip anything to keep the older Scouts challenged and excited about the program.

Then it was decided that we had to be more "inclusive" and if the newest Scouts couldn't handle it we weren't allowed to do it. Within a year we lost most of our best hikers and campers.  

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13 minutes ago, Oldscout448 said:

I think it could work as a troop program provided so we don't continually try to force it into a one-size-fits-all system. In the sixties a fair number of troops had what we called a senior Scout program. I'm not sure if it was official or not but it basically worked like this two or three times a year there would be a special camp out just for the older Scouts, it could be a survival camp out, (you could only bring what you could fit in your pockets) a 50-miler, a canoeing trip anything to keep the older Scouts challenged and excited about the program.

Then it was decided that we had to be more "inclusive" and if the newest Scouts couldn't handle it we weren't allowed to do it. Within a year we lost most of our best hikers and campers.  

I see this a lot, but IMO is a symptom of failure to use the Patrol Method. The idea that a patrol cannot do a specific activity unless the rest of the troop is able to attend is the antithesis of the patrol method. 

 

The future of Scouts should be Patrols. A lot of discussion has been about structural changes. Start with patrols and design the rest of "next-generation-scouting" with the primary (sole?) purpose of engaging scouts in their patrols. I would even consider tossing "troops" and "packs" out the window. All scouting is done at the patrol and den level first. Maybe once/twice a year patrols/dens have combined activities like summer camp or pinewood derby. But bring back the primary unit... patrols/dens. 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Oldscout448 said:

I think it could work as a troop program provided so we don't continually try to force it into a one-size-fits-all system. In the sixties a fair number of troops had what we called a senior Scout program. I'm not sure if it was official or not but it basically worked like this two or three times a year there would be a special camp out just for the older Scouts, it could be a survival camp out, (you could only bring what you could fit in your pockets) a 50-miler, a canoeing trip anything to keep the older Scouts challenged and excited about the program.

Then it was decided that we had to be more "inclusive" and if the newest Scouts couldn't handle it we weren't allowed to do it. Within a year we lost most of our best hikers and campers.  

In the late seventies, our troop in Alaska followed a similar plan.  Our troop camped once a month, snow included.  But between Christmas and New Year's, the SM would take the senior scouts on a trek above the tree line.  Ice axe, crampons, self-arrest practice, traversing ice fields, etc.   One summer we senior scouts went through a mini boot camp experience for advanced outdoor skills such as rock climbing, living off the land and the like.  Then we took a trek over tundra, birch forest, and mountains. 

Indeed, the BSA decided to be more "inclusive" and I think it was to the detriment of the program.  Check out this spin from National in the publication "Questions and Answers, The Improved Scouting Program" copyright 1972:

Page 12, question 23:  "Q.  Does this mean a different kind of man is needed for Scoutmaster?"

"A.  No.  But we hope the improved program will attract the kind of men who might be put off by the present image of the Scoutmaster as chiefly outdoor-oriented, as well as the type of man who is an outdoorsman.  In the new program there's room for both types...."

And this gem from page 1:

"Scouting Study Made"

"...the National Executive Board recently commissioned a study.  Researchers found that although 83 percent of all boys like Scouting's emphasis on outdoor activities [Italics mine], between 25 and 33 percent think it's too organized, restricts initiative, is fun at first but not later, and makes too much of being rugged and strong."

A couple conclusions:

- Apparently there wasn't "room for both types" of scouters in the BSA.  Many of the old school leaders left in droves.

- Even though 83 percent of scouts liked the outdoor program, National decided to overhaul the BSA anyway in an attempt to satisfy a much smaller audience.  So we can see that National's  flawed "methodology" of surveying and then leveraging the results to suit their predetermined outcomes is not a recent development.

Edited by desertrat77
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1 hour ago, Oldscout448 said:

Then it was decided that we had to be more "inclusive" and if the newest Scouts couldn't handle it we weren't allowed to do it. Within a year we lost most of our best hikers and campers.  

Sadly, this is basically the model of the majority troops. I call them 1st Class troops because they do is 1st Class requirements type of program. The older scouts get bored because after surviving 3 years of following a 1st class type program, they are expected to repeat their experience as the leaders of the same program designed for the younger scouts. It's is what many adults call a babysitting program. Ironically, it's the program they made and support, but don't understand how limits scout maturity. A troop that focuses on activities that challenges all levels of maturity and experiences are the programs where older scouts enjoy mentoring younger scouts while still enjoying challenging mature activities.  

Barry

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Ultimately, I think where we are going with Venturing/Sea Scouts is to have them as Senior Scout programs, much as Leadership Corps and Explorer BSA was in the 70's.

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