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19 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Hand in hand with Association with Adults goes Personal Growth.  The Aims are not discrete functions, they are a unified whole.  Again, you know that.

If we just pushed them out the door without the Adult Association (as many are doing outside of Scouting), they will rarely develop desirable character...  Lord of the Flies?

Some of these youth are indeed characters! And, come opening day of trout season, some are quite literally lords of flies.:laugh:

Personal growth is aided by adult association. (In GBB's revision of the BSHB, boards of review were called "Personal Growth Conferences.") But, those adult-associated moments should be a fraction of a scout's time as he/she ages. Personal growth also comes from facing obstacles and helping your peers face obstacles. I think those obstacles come in several forms:

  • Adult-generated simulations. Sports, skills challenges, theater, choir, interviews, chores, etc ... all persist because adults replicated them. They felt better for doing them themselves, saw little harm, and felt they were things children could take and use to grow into better people.
  • Peer-generated simulations. Son #1 is receiving "bite reports" from Grandson's daycare. I told him to expect more until one of the kid's buddies masters a right hook. Hopefully 10 years from now, it will be exhortation/encouragement from a patrol leader.
  • Nature: A trail doesn't hike itself, food doesn't cook itself, and death won't check the rescuers' birth certificates when it dares them to forestall it.
  • Self-reflection: through reading, listening to media, listening to elders, and prayer, a youth may discover the character he/she want's to emulate, and may discover there is a vast gulf between their current character and the one they envision.

So, we adults are one leg of the table. But scouting leans heavily on the other three.

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You are likely to hear/read a post-modern nomad say, "Adulting is hard." But, they are also doing some astounding things: Serving multiple tours in military reserves. Learning busin

Same here, well except the other half sounds like the bad advice I gave them.

You guys seriously meet with commissioners? Unless there are pics, gonna call that "unproven" We are in a large council and they seem to have professional staff all over the place (at least 5 in

17 minutes ago, qwazse said:


  • Self-reflection: through reading, listening to media, listening to elders, and prayer, a youth may discover the character he/she want's to emulate, and may discover there is a vast gulf between their current character and the one they envision.

Yes, stated very elegantly. We want the scouts to see who they are through their actions and decisions in scouting activates. Then compare their character to the character they want to have and make a purposeful choices to develop habits of that character.

Parents do it all the time. Just about every parent can give examples of how the experiences of raising their first kid motivated them to raise their other kids differently. That is scouting. 

The struggle is getting adults to see that noble mission.

Thanks again qwazse.


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On 6/3/2021 at 1:29 PM, Eagledad said:

And while I agree, role models of good character contribute to building good character, a good Patrol Method experience is the main driver of growth, even among role models of bad character. Patrol Method forces the scout to make decisions for other scouts that reflects their character back at them. Now, try to explain how that works to a new parent.

I absolutely agree. Sports can also teach fair play and how to lose well, if the adults understand that it's an important skill to teach. But in scouting there's not agreement about what the game even is. 

The outdoors is to scouting what the rule book is to sports. And if done right, the patrol method is to scouting what fair play and honor is to sports. Any parent understands this about sports. I'm not sure many know all this about scouting. 

I think burnout is an important subject that is not just about parents. Kids get tired of all these activities as well. I was thinking of cub scouts and one thing that would have kept it fun would just be to make each rank a 4 month season and give the scouts a break for the other 8 months a year. A parent that only had to plan a 3rd as much time would have a much easier time and the scouts wouldn't get bored of doing the same things over and over. 

Just my opinion, but the underlying issue seems to be about money. My council says it costs $600/scout/year, whether it's a 4 month year or a 12 month year.  So the focus seems to be more on justifying that price than anything else. And that includes what you call the noble mission of scouts.

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On 5/8/2021 at 1:48 PM, yknot said:

It seems kind of obvious but you do hope.

I don't know about Gen Z. First off, I see them putting off having families as have Millennials. Frankly, I look out over the units I see and there are still a lot of Baby Boomer parents here with adolescents and teenagers, especially dads.  We're still riding the membership connection to that generation.  


On 5/8/2021 at 4:38 PM, yknot said:

I kind of disagree. The biggest supporters of scouting in my neck of the woods are younger boomers who still have relatively young kids and then to a lesser degree, Gen X'ers. We are still out there supporting things like scouts and sports and all the legacy community organizations. I think when the last cohort of younger boomers with scout aged kids, which I'm in, ages out in the next few years, it's going to be noticeable. 

Which is to say I agree that BSA is going to have a tough time producing a business model that supports retaining all these camp and HA bases. 

Our Troop is rather large...we have 16 newbies signed up since about March.   So...in some places those youth...and their parents are still coming.  I'm glad of that...because I believe it is unethical to punish the innocent for the sins of the guilty.

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