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


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53 minutes ago, mrjohns2 said:

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.  

Okayyyy... but there is more than dollars at stake here. A lot more. We have a vanishing percentage of Americans involved in scouting. These folks are our friends, members, advocates and ambassadors. I wouldn't cut anyone loose who is in the scouting fold right now. Whatever thousands they are costing it is a drop in the bucket compared to the billions being discussed in this bankruptcy. I feel like we need to focus on the relevant stuff here. 

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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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58 minutes ago, mrjohns2 said:

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.  

Again, really? You're going to focus on a few uniforms and books in light of the glacial disaster that is BSA? 

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5 hours ago, yknot said:

Okayyyy... but there is more than dollars at stake here. A lot more. We have a vanishing percentage of Americans involved in scouting. These folks are our friends, members, advocates and ambassadors. I wouldn't cut anyone loose who is in the scouting fold right now. Whatever thousands they are costing it is a drop in the bucket compared to the billions being discussed in this bankruptcy. I feel like we need to focus on the relevant stuff here. 

I think the money is not the reason, but spinning off non core programs still makes sense.  My personal experience... several years ago my organization had a lot of variety of products with low volumes.  Even the low volume products made money, but they distracted our sales and R&D teams from our core products.   We ended the non core products, focused our efforts on the core ones and are growing.  
 
I don’t expect this will happen, BSA is more likely to fade under a slow moving bureaucracy than take the aggressive actions needed.  They are making good choices to reduce number of layers, I just think more aggressive actions are needed.  
- Reduce offerings to core (eliminate Lions, Tigers and only keep Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA)

- Further reduce spending at any layer about Council

- Merge councils, reduce leadership spending... focus spend on programs and DEs

- Offer more options for training 

- Eliminate units that are poor performing and avoid new units until there is clear capacity and leadership to ramp up

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OK I am going to venture into the Sea Scouting/Venturing mess. :)

 

1. Sea Scouting is the second oldest program in the BSA, being founded in 1912, because it is the second oldest Scouting program worldwide, officially being created in 1910 but BP mentions going on sailing expeditions with his brothers as a youth. As @mashmasterhas stated, Sea Scouting folks have been talking care of themselves for an extremely long time as they have been the red-headed stepchildren of the BSA since before I was a Sea Explorer in the 1990s. Volunteers have really picked up the slack that BSA dropped. No way they should be dropped. In fact they saved themselves, or IMNSHO got a reprieve, from the Churchill Plan. And I am willing to bet they saved Venturing because folks at National lump the two programs together.

In all honesty Sea Scouting Volunteers may be the example we need to follow post bankruptcy. They have kept the program alive when national did squat to support them. Heck many folks, including professionals, do not know Sea Scouting exists. I wore a Sea Scout uniform to a council level meeting, and the SE had no idea what I was wearing or that Sea Scouts existed.

2. Venturing is tougher for me. Because we have no crews in the district, and I do not believe any in the council except the summer camp crew, I have not kept up with them. I remember one of the big draws for Venturing was females because they could not be Scouts. Well that has changed. Plus with the ways the 18-20 years olds are now treated in Scouting, I can see a lot of folks not being interested. I could be wrong.

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Ventures/Sea Scouts are fading away on their own regardless of what National does or doesn't do.   V/SS have less than 14K and E less than 17K youth.

More disturbing is that the numbers show that there are more Scouts BSA than Cubs.  

Mergers might work some but as long as Exec Bds have to approve them, no one is likely to want to merge with a failing (cash poor) council.    An ever growing number of councils have less than 1000 youth.

Some parents are hesitant to join as they hear about the bankruptcy and may be waiting it out to see what happens.

 

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, PACAN said:

Ventures/Sea Scouts are fading away on their own regardless of what National does or doesn't do.   V/SS have less than 14K and E less than 17K youth.

We have some very, very different numbers.

The latest I have is V/SS = 23,731 and Explorer = 52,007 as of March 2021.

Historical (pre 2020) data

Year

 

 Venturing & Sea Scouting - Youth

 

 Exploring - Youth

 

1998

188,010

310,000

1999

202,486

331,000

2000

233,858

 

2001

276,434

 

2002

233,858

 

2003

288,395

 

2004

280,584

 

2005

249,948

 

2006

244,266

 

2007

254,259

 

2008

261,122

146,564

2009

257,361

121,407

2010

238,846

113,062

2011

231,127

112,783

2012

219,453

116,589

2013

192,080

114,894

2014

157,655

110,853

2015

142,892

110,445

2016

136,629

119,268

2017

87,827

114,751

2018

55,101

109,613

2019

42,571

101,243

 

 

 

Edited by CynicalScouter
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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, PACAN said:

Cynic....mine are end of March 2021.

Care to share with the class? Is is the KPI report?

So you are saying that between December 2020 and March 2021, V/SS dropped from 23,731 to 14,000? and Explorer from 52,007 to 17,000? In 3 months?

http://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/commissioner/newsletter/2021_winter/KPI_NatlRegion.pdf

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Edited by CynicalScouter
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8 hours ago, mashmaster said:

... There isn't inventory for Sea Scouts, ....   Our manuals are all PDF's, uniforms are purchased directly from Dickies or 5.11.  ,,.

I wish that was the same for all the programs.  :)   I know materials have been moving that direction, but I'll be glad to see more and more move that direction.

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The current drop in Venturing and Sea Scouting is directly attributed to the fact that a lot of Crews and Ships stopped doing anything in person last year.  The youth are mainly high school age and done with doing more online stuff.  My son is in a Ship and a Crew.  The Ship has been active sailing since last June and we have held steady on our membership, scouts aged out and we gained a few new scouts.  If we didn't have to modify, I think we could have grown more.  The Crew did online meetings and dropped membership by 50%.  The youth are bored out of their minds for online meetings.

Recovery for those programs will not be easy, a lot of scouts and leadership have left the program.  For Sea Scouts, the partnership with the Coast Guard Auxiliary could be utilized as a benefit.  I wish we could have a tighter relationship with US Sailing.  The future is unclear, but from the number of troops reaching out to me about doing things together for their bored older scout is increasing.  So, maybe that will be Venturing, I feel that it may go to more of a program that is part of troops as a patrol for older scouts.  The hard part will be the co-ed part of it with the troops being single sex programs.  The age group of 14-19 really need something for themselves.  In my experience, very few stick around after High School.

The fact that Packs have basically shut down is the scariest part.  If Packs die, BSA dies all together.  Older units should be reaching out to Packs to help them recruit and run program.  

Exploring is very healthy and most likely will be sold off to some other entity.  They are so profession based, they have different factors.  From what I have heard, that program brings in money.

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1 hour ago, PACAN said:

Ventures/Sea Scouts are fading away on their own regardless of what National does or doesn't do.   V/SS have less than 14K and E less than 17K youth.

More disturbing is that the numbers show that there are more Scouts BSA than Cubs.  

Mergers might work some but as long as Exec Bds have to approve them, no one is likely to want to merge with a failing (cash poor) council.    An ever growing number of councils have less than 1000 youth.

Some parents are hesitant to join as they hear about the bankruptcy and may be waiting it out to see what happens.

 

I think Venturing may fade away but Sea Scouts will remain fairly stable in or outside BSA.  I see almost no value to them staying in BSA.  When I talk with our local Ship, the leader spent an hour complaining about the BSA and that it provides nothing.   I guess I question why stay in the BSA at that point ... create a stand alone organization without the burden of BSA overhead.  On the BSA side, if they are not going to invest or do anything with Sea Scouts ... then why keep them?  It is definitely concerning based on the comments above that leaders in BSA don't even know they exist.  At that point, it is simply a $50M liability waiting in the wings...

Again, I'm 100% pro Sea Scouts and think its a great program.  I hope my son joins when he is old enough.  The leaders I talked to are great.  I just question if the marriage with BSA is the right fit going forward.

FWIW, this debate is meaningless as BSA is headed in the opposite direction.  I didn't realize it, but they expanded into STEM Scout Labs.

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4 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

I wish that was the same for all the programs.  :)   I know materials have been moving that direction, but I'll be glad to see more and more move that direction.

I think it is a good option.  The biggest problem is finding pants that fit our female scouts and leaders.  We need 5.11 and Dickies to figure that part out

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5 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

I think Venturing may fade away but Sea Scouts will remain fairly stable in or outside BSA.  I see almost no value to them staying in BSA.  When I talk with our local Ship, the leader spent an hour complaining about the BSA and that it provides nothing.   I guess I question why stay in the BSA at that point ... create a stand alone organization without the burden of BSA overhead.  On the BSA side, if they are not going to invest or do anything with Sea Scouts ... then why keep them?  It is definitely concerning based on the comments above that leaders in BSA don't even know they exist.  At that point, it is simply a $50M liability waiting in the wings...

Again, I'm 100% pro Sea Scouts and think its a great program.  I hope my son joins when he is old enough.  The leaders I talked to are great.  I just question if the marriage with BSA is the right fit going forward.

FWIW, this debate is meaningless as BSA is headed in the opposite direction.  I didn't realize it, but they expanded into STEM Scout Labs.

I am not sure what group would be a good fit.  Probably a combination of Coast Guard Auxiliary and US Sailing.  What is missing is the character piece that scouting bring to the table.  

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1 hour ago, PACAN said:

Cynic....mine are end of March 2021.

Do you have true March 2021 post recharter total numbers that would be an update of the December 2020 numbers? I've been looking for that. 

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