Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Protoclete said:

I think that would be ideal - not only for Scouting, but every organization. Churches, sports leagues, etc. 

I'm also imagining the cost and the difference between what the federal government can throw at this in terms of staff, resources, and authority vs what a much diminished voluntary organization that has spent all its assets on lawyers could do. And the time it would take to get there. 

I absolutely agree.  ... but even further ... in addition to requiring mandatory reporting from all youth serving organizations ...

Federal government should also spin-up an extension/branch of the FBI that would host an intake point for abuse complaints from all sources.  Then based on location and other categories, it could be routed to the correct local authorities, city / state police.  In addition, schools, unversities, etc could be notified too.  FBI would not need to investigate.  Rather, it would route and report patterns and statistics.

Edited by fred8033
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 155
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

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

Bear in mind that my youth scouting was in the UK, while my adult leadership is in the US. My observation tends to agree. Much as I love the Eagle program, and the merit badge programs, I see a lot of

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

Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

Exactly. Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) and NOT the ones with kids in scouting or if they are they are a small, small percentage.

Boomers are 57-75 years of age. They have grandkids, maybe, in scouting. But not kids, or at least not that many. (57-17 = 40).

I think there is a lot more boomer influence in the parent role than you may realize. I know too many women who had kids into their 40s and those kids are mid teens today. Too many dads whose last kid is that age or younger as well.  Not trying to quibble over demographics just saying there is still a generational influence in scouting that is very supportive but is on the cusp of disappearing.  
 

Edit -- Also, it is Boomer age volunteers who are still filling most of the volunteer leadership positions in our units and many district level posts even though their own children have aged out, many for years.  

Edited by yknot
Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

I hugely disagree with that statement.  Especially the generation that were raised indoors with video games and cable tv crave outdoor experiences and skills for their kids.  It's a phenomenon very close to BP's original purpose of introducing city kids to woodcraft skills.  Kids too love new experiences:  hiking, climbing, canoeing, being outside in a torrential downpour.  

Outdoors also teaches conservation, simplicity and ecology.  The newest parents demand that.  

Outdoors is not the issue.  That never gets old.  Fire.  Knives.  Bow and arrows.  

It's the paramiltary appearance of scouting that has definitely fallen out of style.  From the outside, scouting can look creepy and anacronistic:  march, salaute, military like uniforms, etc.  Those deeply involved know that scouting is much more about the outdoors, ecology, etc.  But from the outside, scouting can look a bit creepy.  

I agree that kids like the out of doors but I disagree that scouts really offers much of it anymore. In a previous post I mentioned how nature centers jumped into the gap by offering Covid suitable programming during the pandemic. Their memberships have burgeoned while scouting has tanked. Parents love it when their kids come home talking about hiking and birds and butterflies and trees. Unlike their typical cub scout leader or ASM, the nature center naturalist can actually tell them what animal made that track or the name of the bird they just saw. BSA is really not that outdoors focused. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, yknot said:

I agree that kids like the out of doors but I disagree that scouts really offers much of it anymore. In a previous post I mentioned how nature centers jumped into the gap by offering Covid suitable programming during the pandemic. Their memberships have burgeoned while scouting has tanked. Parents love it when their kids come home talking about hiking and birds and butterflies and trees. Unlike their typical cub scout leader or ASM, the nature center naturalist can actually tell them what animal made that track or the name of the bird they just saw. BSA is really not that outdoors focused. 

Hiking, camping and other outdoor pursuits have grown for sure. Data confirms this.

IMO, you are correct that scouts is really not outdoors focused. On this board many have lamented how scouts is advancement oriented. I agree. Over time scouts shifted from outdoors focus with advancement simply as a natural outcome of doing the outdoor activities to advancement being the primary focus with the outdoors being an option.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, BlueandSilverBear said:

I’m a millennial, an Eagle Scout, a veteran, and a girl dad. I work 50 to 60 hours a week to support my family, serve in my church, and am a military reservist.

Thank you for your service, past and ongoing, and for the example you are setting for your family and others in all respects. Well done, you!

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, fred8033 said:

December 2020 ... airlines also saw a fraction of the flyers.  We should probably close half the airports too.  Probably don't need as many roads either ... major downtowns have not had the business people ... probably reduce the investments in downtowns ... but ya know ... there was a pandemic ... people not meeting face-to-face ...   

Fine, then go back to 2019.

Between 2010 and 2019 Cubs dropped -27%. Between 2000 and 2019: -44%

Contrast this with Scouts, BSA where the numbers, while not as bad, were not great: -11% drop between 2010 and 2019 and -20% drop 2000-2019.

The idea that we are going to keep as many camps open as when we had back "in the good old days" is ludicrous. It is spending money to prop up an infrastructure based on memories, not math.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, fred8033 said:

If BSA can get past this bankruptcy, scouting will make a comeback.  It might be 10 or 20 years out, but it will comeback ... if done right.  The first thing is it needs to get past the bankruptcy and all the political messes. 

Heads up: it won't be done right. Not with leaders who are prepared to have this bankruptcy go off a cliff in order to save Summit at (literally) all costs.

BSA is dying but will never fully die. BSA will shamble on as a husk and be thought of the way. A zombie organization that is a pale imitation of its former self.

I think a parallel is the Grange. In its heyday, it accounted for 2% of total US population. Well known and well respected. Today, 160,00 total members and barely a blip on the radar.

The landscape is littered with defunct scout and scout-like organizations as well. BSA will remain, as as anachronisitc relic with certain privileges and one big selling point (Eagle Scouts for everyone!) and that is it.

Boomer grandparents and those influenced by them will push their kids to get that Eagle, but that's it.

As for Cub Scouts? I would NOT want to be the people in charge of that program right now. They are just completely up a creek without a paddle.

Edited by CynicalScouter
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

Heads up: it won't be done right. Not with leaders who are prepared to have this bankruptcy go off a cliff in order to save Summit at (literally) all costs.

Not only with folks focused on the Summit, but also if they keep hiring education experts instead of outdoor experts. Comparing training syllabi from a decade+ ago to today's online classes and today's ITOLS class, there is so much left out. Heck When I taught ITOLS in 2010, I had to use older BSA literature that Bill Hillcourt wrote to supplement the instruction. And that's another thing, having a live instructor versus an online session with no interatction.

 

3 hours ago, DuctTape said:

IMO, you are correct that scouts is really not outdoors focused. On this board many have lamented how scouts is advancement oriented. I agree. Over time scouts shifted from outdoors focus with advancement simply as a natural outcome of doing the outdoor activities to advancement being the primary focus with the outdoors being an option.

Turning summer camp into summer MB school has not helped. the constant pushing for Eagle has not helped. Coming up with the FIRST CLASS FIRST YEAR mantra has definitely not helped.  MBUs have not helped. And not all the online ZOOM MB meetings where 100+ Scouts are in a "class" and "earnign the MB just for being there has definately not helped.

 

What I find interesting in my neck of the woods is that those troops that do not focus on advancement, but instead on adventure, are growing. Those on advancements, not as much.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

The idea that we are going to keep as many camps open as when we had back "in the good old days" is ludicrous. It is spending money to prop up an infrastructure based on memories, not math.

 

The dilemma is that while scouting in many regions is indeed over-camped -- I think there are almost 10 within 90 minutes of where I am -- without access to convenient camps, many units will fade away. It's harder to get adult volunteers on weekends when they have to drive more than an hour or so.  And the really sad part to me is the impending loss of all this undeveloped camp acreage across the country. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if they are able to save 3-4 camps per state spaced out evenly it will be fine. Try to make it a 2 1/2 hour drive at most. Today's roads are good allowing quick travel. Pick the best camps and do it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Also sell all council offices. Many are in desirable areas and will bring a good price. Work out of the council camps. Have a local retailer sell scout stuff and online. No need for dedicated scout stores outside of camps. Make the camps the center of everything.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, fred8033 said:

I hugely disagree with that statement.  Especially the generation that were raised indoors with video games and cable tv crave outdoor experiences and skills for their kids.  It's a phenomenon very close to BP's original purpose of introducing city kids to woodcraft skills.  Kids too love new experiences:  hiking, climbing, canoeing, being outside in a torrential downpour.  

Outdoors also teaches conservation, simplicity and ecology.  The newest parents demand that.  

Outdoors is not the issue.  That never gets old.  Fire.  Knives.  Bow and arrows.  

It's the paramiltary appearance of scouting that has definitely fallen out of style.  From the outside, scouting can look creepy and anacronistic:  march, salaute, military like uniforms, etc.  Those deeply involved know that scouting is much more about the outdoors, ecology, etc.  But from the outside, scouting can look a bit creepy.  

Though Scouting is far from the more organized military like meetings in the 1960's, I agree in general with your statements about the uniforms and how often that the uniform is worn..

Outdoors is the issue.  Most BSA volunteers like the outdoors and are a little blind to some of the messages from today's youth.  They are reluctant to go into the real outdoors.  Most are not allowed unstructured play time, especially in the great outdoors, so the outdoors that we all embrace is foreign and scary to the children of today.  When I was working with a venturing crew from ~2011 through 2015, the youth always enthusiastically and overwhelmingly wanted to do outdoors activities - hikes, canoe trips, camping, etc.  However, the attendance was near zero or zero on the actual outings.  If the emphasis was all about learning STEM topics, we had near all attend.  They were thinking about the STEM activities and not concerned about their fears of the outdoors.

Growing up in the 1960's, my grandparents still used a wood burning stove and had a small farm.  Being able to start and maintain a fire appropriate to the needs (warmth, cooking, metal working, etc.) and all men carried pocket knives as boys did too - even to school.  All of that has changed.  A fully competent adult male or female may never have a need to build and maintain a fire.  Though I use my pocket knife all of the time, I know few people (no females) who carry a knife who are not Scouts or in manual fields of endeavor.

Someone said that other organizations offered outdoor programming and were swamped.  The programs named were all STEM oriented.  Few lasted more than a day at a time.  We all know that a day trip to someplace accessible by car or bus is very different from backpacking.  So the parents saw the value in being outside and learning STEM topics.  This is provided by someone like their school teacher - safe and friendly.  Scouting can sometimes be led by an imposing adult who is not like their teacher - a scarier person who wants them to go into a scary environment.  We do not see it this way.

Our society has changed.  It is more maternalistic than the 1960's.  Think about the dynamics of a mother who has a son or daughter in Cub Scouts where she is an integral part of the program.  She is comfortable as she is a part of everything that occurs.  When her daughter or son crosses over, it is likely she will feel less wanted or told that she is not welcome as a leader.  She has little or no outdoor experience so has fears for her child.  Additionally, she may have had issues with a male in her life so might have trust issues.  Then the males tell her to trust them to take good care of her child on the outdoors that is foreign to her.  She might pull her child then or it might be the first issue that occurs.  We must welcome mother and encourage them to be leaders.  Some units do this but most do not.

Children want explore their worlds.  It is natural.  They are also afraid of things that seem foreign and mysterious to them.  Their world is full of electronics, astounding scientific discoveries, and movies about exploring the universe that is all provided in a safe environment.  Scouting must have STEM activities to appeal to the parents AND  their children because much of the other things are seen as irrelevant by society (note that I am not saying that I do not see the relevance but that most parents and children cannot).

We must remember that our mission is:  "The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law."  The outdoors is just a means but it is not the only or sole means to achieve the mission.  We must appeal to the youth of today and pay less attention to what drew us to Scouting when we were children.

We all know the Robert Baden-Powell quote:  “A fisherman does not bait his hook with food he likes.  He uses food the fish likes.  So with boys.”  Today's youth want STEM in their programming - not courses or lectures but showing the STEM aspect to the world in which they live - how the rope is made and why, the science of ziplines, the chemistry of a campfire and cooking, etc.

Scouting will not cease to exist but it will limit the number of members unless we adapt to the desires of today's children and their parents.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, vol_scouter said:

Scouting will not cease to exist but it will limit the number of members unless we adapt to the desires of today's children and their parents.

On average, what do you guys estimate is the average weekly time commitment for a Scout and, separately, a volunteer? I realize the outer will be wildly variable, likely more so for volunteers, but a guesstimated average. For me, this is a critical part of any equation considering involvement and long term commitment to any youth activity. Curious. I know what mine was, but that was decades ago and irrelevant...before the age of the microchip, resume building from birth and the panoply of menu options.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

This interesting reading. My observations are that when female leader are given direction over a troop program. They tend to steer away from outdoors. I’m wondering if that is why STEM is being pushed so hard.

Barry

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

This interesting reading. My observations are that when female leader are given direction over a troop program. They tend to steer away from outdoors. I’m wondering if that is why STEM is being pushed so hard.

Barry

STEM is not being pushed hard. If it is true that female leaders do less outdoor programs is likely multifactorial. Part could be because the males are really critical, especially in the outdoors and the female leaders wish to avoid the criticism.  
 

I know of nothing that would lead me to believe that females are better prepared or able to lead STEM programs that have been male dominated in the past.  
 

STEM is where the job growth and upward mobility lie.  The BSA could be a powerful after school competitor in this area. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...