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The most obvious #1 "sacred cow" as you mentioned is Eagle Scout. It is synonymous in the public with Boy Scouts of America as evident by that term in literature and movies. Also there is a large active alumni group, NESA, and even larger number of Eagles who have supported the Scouts in the past. That support would be jeopardized.   Further, the BSA has turned it into a goal or "brand" and is the very reason why girls wanted to join the BSA. So it may be considered the "holy of holies," with no prejudice towards our Jewish brethren (why it is lowercase). So I think Eagle Scout is safe.

Your reference to the OA is a very valid one. Some would consider it a sacred cow. On the plus side, the OA does a lot of work at the council level, to the point that some call the OA, the BSA's slave labor corps. And that does not include all the small events Arrowmen tend to run and organize. OA also does a lot of volunteer work at the national level with the HA work programs and jamboree service corps. A lot of labor costs are save via the OA. And historically Arrowman tend to be dedicated Scouters providing leadership throughout council programs and financial support through money AND gifts-in-kind, i.e.supplies given and equipment loaned. Plus it is "Scouting's National  Honor Society" or whatever it calls itself today.

But if BSA is anticipating the lose of camps and HA bases, is the OA still needed? As an old school Arrowman, I would say NO, because camping, both promoting it and taking care of the properties, is a the core function of the OA, the heart if you will. In this politically correct world we live in, is OA's "cultural appropriation" a liability or an asset? LIABILITIES, because we do have lot of lodges doing things l wrong  AND we have a general population that refuses to have discussions and are unwilling to listen. After all the OA has helped preserve and promote Native American culture over  the years ( see my posts on that topic).While Camping and "Cheerful Service" are the heart of the OA, the spirit or soul of the OA was the Naive American symbolism. And that is slowly dying. Are the membership stats indicative of a successful program or failing program? While individual lodges may be succeeding, over all the OA is a failing program with the moss of membership and failure to retain members. So why maintain a program that will have no purpose (HA bases and camps), its traditions are a liability (AIA), and membership is shrinking?

 I hate to say it, but I see the OA being sacrificed off the bat. And if it isn't, it will be a slow, painful, disheartening death. I think we are already there in my area. And I am not anti-OA. I am a former youth officer and chapter adviser. I have brought dead and dying chapter back to life twice in my career. So I have drank the OA Flavoraid, and probably would still if it wasn't for my sons. I knew problems were there, and predicted some of them when the election procedures changed. But I ignored them because I was living in the past, thinking of the OA of my youth. My sons's lack of interest, and the reasons for it, made me realize how serious the problem has become. And I don't think recent autoacceptance of SMs and reducing time to become a  Brotherhood member will resolve them.

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Not saying these will be eliminated, but would think these are 

Organizational structure about the unit (Districts, Councils, Areas, Regions).  

Charter organizations

Land - Council & High Adventure Bases

Ranks - Eagle, Life, Start, etc.

Blue Cards

Paper books

Scout shops

Declaration of religious principles

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The purging of the godless.

Egregious ageism embodied in the now-60 year-old ban on anyone above a certain age earning rank.

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I should have added … single gender Troops.

I think someone mentioned that BSA would focus less on "character" and with the loss of LDS, I expect the declaration of religious principles to fall.  

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3 hours ago, Protoclete said:

But I wonder about program - what about something like the Order of the Arrow? Is it a sacred cow or something important and essential? I've seen several posts about the drop in membership alongside the loosening of requirements. Perhaps the question is, does it still make sense in the way it is organized, perceived, and conducted? Could it evolve into this proposed volunteer corps for 18+ young adults, should it be more like the national honor society where it is just a kind of recognition instead of an active group, or should it combine with venturing to become the program for high school youth, or something else entirely? 

 

I kind of like that idea. A large group of adults (50/50 men and women) become scouters for their own personal adventure. Right or wrong, there are A LOT of them. Wood Badge was a natural temptation for these adults because it was an adult oriented honor society that doesn't fit with the unit level volunteerism. But, as a volunteer corp with the prestige of outdoors expertise with the actions of selfless noble service, it might have an attraction for adults that would keep them out of the scouts way. Hmm, thinking, thinking.

Barry

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3 hours ago, Protoclete said:

But I wonder about program - what about something like the Order of the Arrow? Is it a sacred cow or something important and essential? I've seen several posts about the drop in membership alongside the loosening of requirements. Perhaps the question is, does it still make sense in the way it is organized, perceived, and conducted?

OA has been around almost as long as the BSA has.  I would agree that there are problems with maintaining the type of active membership that it once had, but that is a solvable problem.  I the 51 year mark as an Arrowman on the first of this month.  For those of us who have been members that long, we know that it was not a given that you were elected upon reaching First Class and having the required days and nights of camping. 

OA was an honor camper organization, and it was much tougher to get into than it is today.  While there have always been those who never participated in a chapter or lodge event after completing their ordeal, the fact that there were limits on how many scouts could appear on a ballot, and then a limit on how many of those scouts who could be elected, made it more meaningful than many scouts today would consider it to be.

A return to those limits on elections would go a long way toward restoring the prestige that wearing the lodge flap carried.  It would take time, but it would happen.  Someone with the power to make those changes needs to remember that there is a big difference between quantity and quality.

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This is my list from the "Major Changes Announced" thread, but slightly re-ordered and with topic headings added:

Uniforms and Insignia

  • Uniforms that include button shirts
  • Uniforms that include official pants/shorts/skorts/skirts, socks, or belts
  • Sashes
  • Badges, patches, pins, loops, danglies, and other standard insignia normally attached to uniforms or uniform parts (but keep ceremonial awards attached to pin-on ribbons, and items worn around the neck)

Program Elements - Cub Scouting

  • Terminology:  "Webelos"
  • Terminology:  "Arrow of Light" (as a rank)

Program Elements - Scouts BSA

  • Teminology:  "Tenderfoot" 
  • Terminology:  "Second Class"
  • Terminology:  "First Class"
  • Boards of Review
  • Eagle Scout leadership projects, applications, special rules and procedures, and the entire Eagle Scout bureaucracy
  • Knots as separate requirements

Entire Programs

  • STEM Scouts
  • Venturing

Organizational Structure

  • Separate types of units (packs, troops, crews, posts, labs) 
  • Adult leader registration in specific positions (adult leaders should register as adult leaders, not Scoutmasters, Den Leaders, Committee Members, etc.)
  • Separate district/council committee and district/council commissioner organizations (everyone not in a unit should be a commissioner - period)
  • Chartered organizations, so that (1) innocent community groups are not sued for what happens in Scouting, and (2) BSA is not beholden to any outside constituencies
  • Rechartering
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, DuctTape said:

I think one of the sacred cows will need to be the Chartering Organization concept as the "middle man" in the bureaucracy. Authority of Scouting units will need to be controlled by BSA and not outsourced to a CO. There could still be a relationship of some sort with these other organizations but final authority and control will need to lie with BSA. 

edit: as far as recharter, the problem was an amalgamation of re-charter and membership. These are two separate items and need not exist together as paperwork. The Charter (if it continues) is an agreement between a CO and the BSA and does not include any membership info.

I thought much the same, then Chapter 11 started and problems with our multitude insurance providers surfaced. I wondered if the BSA can continue to provide liability insurance? Who would sell us a "thrifty" policy?

Perhaps liability shift downs to CO or units - who would obtain insurance, do background checks as they now "own it"? The BSA version 2.0 would not "recharter" rather just yearly "license" CO's or units to use BSA program and access training material. Imagine the EULA for that? :blink: 

I could see market competition to license local youth groups as happened with baseball - Little League or Cal Ripken or local town leagues.

My $0.02,

Edited by RememberSchiff
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28 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I kind of like that idea. A large group of adults (50/50 men and women) become scouters for their own personal adventure. Right or wrong, there are A LOT of them. Wood Badge was a natural temptation for these adults because it was an adult oriented honor society that doesn't fit with the unit level volunteerism. But, as a volunteer corp with the prestige of outdoors expertise with the actions of selfless noble service, it might have an attraction for adults that would keep them out of the scouts way. Hmm, thinking, thinking.

Barry

There is definitely a market for some sort of relaxed organized structure for adults to get together in small groups (patrols?) to go hiking and camping together for their own pleasure and camaraderie, at their own speed, without at the same time having responsibility for youth members.  There is definitely a need for adults (and especially adults with handyman skills and more) to assist Rangers with camp maintenance needs.  There is definitely a need for training new Scouting parents and leaders in basic outdoor skills in an no-pressure, no embarrassment environment -- with more time and attention than can be provided in an IOLS course.  There is definitely a need for a vehicle for modeling the real patrol method for Scouts and leaders alike. And all with these adult members being able to work individually on developing and improving and demonstrating their own Scouting skills and earning some kind of recognition for it.

For the Joy of Scouting.

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24 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

Perhaps liability shift downs to CO or units - who would obtain insurance, do background checks as they now "own it"? The BSA version 2.0 would not "recharter" rather just yearly "license" CO's or units to use BSA program and access training material. Imagine the EULA for that?

COs are already dropping units.  I know of a unit (prior to bankruptcy) that struggled to find a new CO when their PTO dropped them.  They eventually found a fire station to be a CO.  Several others ended up creating "Friends of …" COs.  At our district meetings I have seen 1 or 2 CORs attend ever. Very few seem to meet today's requirements. If more work/pressure/liability  was put on COs, I expect the whole CO/BSA system to collapse. 

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2 hours ago, dkurtenbach said:

Well, most of them aren't very tall to begin with.  😁

 

We so so so need more of this in scouting.  ... A little bit of good humor and taking things not as serious goes a long way.

 

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