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National releases membership numbers. All programs down 40-48%


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I am a scoutmaster that is pro-sports, so I work around each scout's other activities. My son now has baseball practice on troop meeting nights, so he is taking a break from scout meetings for a bit. A bunch of older scouts were gone for basketball, so younger scouts had an opportunity to be SPL for that time. 

I do think BSA needs to rethink everything, because most requirements are to much like school. Develop a scouts character in the outdoors.

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There are also regional breakdowns http://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/commissioner/newsletter/2021_winter/KPI_NatlRegion.pdf

I can tell you, having been either DL or ADL for both of my boys from tiger to AOL, (They are two years apart in age) that the cub program is way to long & repetitive. IMO.  I'm just an amateur sc

As a Skipper for a ship that is connected with the people at national that run this because we are basically already running on our own.   There isn't inventory for Sea Scouts, the amount that BSA pay

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Some Wisconsin numbers (not a big LDS state)...

2018

  • 63,283 Youth
  • 830 Packs
  • 652 Troops
  • 128 Crews
  • 18,576 Adults
  • 9,567 Learning for Life/Explorers

2020

  • 33,457 Youth
  • 641 Packs 
  • 658 Troops 
  • 79 Crews 
  • 12,560 adults
  • 2,178 Learning of Life/Explorers

The loss of Packs is concerning as is the ratio of Packs to Troops.

Venturing is dying.  There is no pipeline that feeds the program.  I also think that adding girls to Troops likely cut off some of the interest. 

I hope the 2020 numbers are post recharter.  If these are pre recharter ... UGH!  We better have a great recruiting this fall.

 

 

 

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I wish there was more focus on quality rather than quantity. The number of quality programs is probably a better indicator of the future then the number of current youth.

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1 hour ago, MattR said:

I wish there was more focus on quality rather than quantity.

In the absence of a) a universally agreed upon definition of quality that b) can be quantifiably measured, you will still get quantity data.

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1 hour ago, MattR said:

I wish there was more focus on quality rather than quantity. The number of quality programs is probably a better indicator of the future then the number of current youth.

When you see quantities drop like this, it is hard to argue we have a lot of quality units. 

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3 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

I wish they would just spin off / stop Explorers, Sea Scouts, and Venturers. The carrying cost can’t be zero. 

Agreed.  I think these programs should continue, just not under BSA.  When in crisis, it’s good to relook at the mission and refocus.   Merge councils, let the best take over weak ones.  Same with units.  With focus, you clarify the mission and improve performance of the organization.

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4 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

I wish they would just spin off / stop Explorers, Sea Scouts, and Venturers. The carrying cost can’t be zero. 

When even trying to discuss merging Sea Scouts into Venture was part of the Churchill plan, Sea Scouts rallied and saved their program.

I cannot image that BSA will touch that hot stove again, at least for awhile. And going after Venture? No, I don't see that happening anytime soon.

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42 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

When even trying to discuss merging Sea Scouts into Venture was part of the Churchill plan, Sea Scouts rallied and saved their program.

I cannot imaging that BSA will touch that hot stove again, at least for awhile. And going after Venture? No, I don't see that happening anytime soon.

That is because the programs are pretty radically different other than the age.

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46 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

When even trying to discuss merging Sea Scouts into Venture was part of the Churchill plan, Sea Scouts rallied and saved their program.

They caved to a tiny portion of the program. It was disappointing and showed how the national committee was / is not willing to take any radical steps. Keep doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same results. 

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25 minutes ago, mrjohns2 said:

They caved to a tiny portion of the program. It was disappointing and showed how the national committee was / is not willing to take any radical steps. Keep doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same results. 

If it's a tiny portion of the program how is it even relevant in the middle of this massive mess. Spinning off these programs is hardly going to make a dent in any issues the BSA is facing right now. 

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11 minutes ago, yknot said:

If it's a tiny portion of the program how is it even relevant in the middle of this massive mess. Spinning off these programs is hardly going to make a dent in any issues the BSA is facing right now. 

My bet is there are meetings, discussions, legal and insurance aspects, IT, etc.  Heck, they spent time trying to merge with Venturjng and debating age limits... so they are spending time on the program.  It causes lack of focus... same with Learning for Life, Explorers and I would argue STEM.  Many worthy and great ideas... but we need to get back to basics and have the entire BSA professional and volunteer Corp focused on providing the best 2nd grade through 18 YO scouting program. 
 

Again, I love many of these programs, but BSA is in serious trouble and needs to focus.  

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17 minutes ago, yknot said:

Spinning off these programs is hardly going to make a dent in any issues the BSA is facing right now. 

I think I agree. I would effectively not do ANYTHING with them and down staff any professional staff / move them into other holes. Maybe that has already happened. I guess you could starve them without announcing it. I can now see the point. Vocal tiny tiny group wins hearts and minds and distracts from the real work. That would be more of a resource drain than to just let them fade away (as they are). 

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6 minutes ago, mrjohns2 said:

I think I agree. I would effectively not do ANYTHING with them and down staff any professional staff / move them into other holes. Maybe that has already happened. I guess you could starve them without announcing it. I can now see the point. Vocal tiny tiny group wins hearts and minds and distracts from the real work. That would be more of a resource drain than to just let them fade away (as they are). 

I agree with focusing on the key problems. However, throughout this whole sorry process, there has been so much deflection of blame and responsibility to things that really aren't all that relevant to the bigger issues at hand. I hardly see how Venturing or Explorers or Sea Scouts have any significant bearing on what is happening to scouting. 

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1 minute ago, yknot said:

I hardly see how Venturing or Explorers or Sea Scouts have any significant bearing on what is happening to scouting. 

When an organization is bleeding funds, one looks to cut costs. Not just dollars, but resources. So while Ventuering and Sea Scouts are neat, I assume they don’t pay the bills at all. From a uniform and insignia inventory standpoint, to a Scoutbook programming standpoint, and any portion of any staff members time. When you can’t pay the bills, it is hard to justify charity to programs that clearly aren’t going to be cost neutral or better anytime soon.  

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