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Scouting Going Forward - 2022 and Beyond

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As we near the end (hopefully) of the bankruptcy and abuse case I want to look forward to where Scouting goes from here and what we, as volunteers, can do to help Scouting recover and hopefully thrive.

Moving forward we will clearly have a leaner national structure, and most councils will have leaner structures as well. Some councils will not survive and be merged in with other councils.

I am a firm believer in the Boy Scouts of America’s mission, aims and methods, and the Oath and Law. I don’t think there is any organization out there that does a better job of building character and citizenship in our youth.

My son is an Eagle Scout and even though he is a sophomore in college, he is still involved in a Crew, Ship and the OA. I am struck by how many adults that have met him and know about his scouting career have commented they wish they had gotten their kids into Scouting. I am also struck by the support he receives from this college classmates as he continues in Scouting.

Looking forward to 2022 and beyond, I am thinking about how I, as a volunteer, can help BSA recover and continue to make a positive influence the youth of this country.

Here are some initial broad stroke thoughts.

  1. Volunteers will be needed more
    1. I think volunteers will be asked, and will need to, take more of a leading role in activities that have primarily been handled by professionals. Recruiting being foremost among those.
    2. I have always felt that there is not enough emphasis on recruiting at the middle school level. While I still think recruiting cubs is important, I think there are many more youth that could be introduced to Scouting at this age level.
    3. I also believe that we miss the boat by not recruiting more in high school for Crews and Ships.
    4. I think a more organized effort to recruit these age groups is imperative for Scouting to recover, as well as making an positive impact on youth.
  2. Greater Emphasis on the Outdoors
    1. I know all the various programs that BSA offers are good and have appeal, but among the non-Scouting youth I speak with the outdoor element is the biggest draw. Far too many kids do not get that experience at home.
    2. There is not better way to learn about the earth than experiencing it outside the confines of the city and suburbs. With the environmentalist mindset of many youth these days, I think there is a huge opportunity to get then in the outdoors and really learn about nature.
  3. Get back to the Patrol Method
    1. The Patrol Method is one of the greatest teaching tools ever, but we have gotten away from it. We need to make it a primary element of Scouting again
  4. Youth led
    1. This goes together with Patrol method. Rebuild an emphasis on Unit leaders being unit mentors and letting the youth lead.
    2. Make sure the youth are planning the programs they want to experience, not allowing adults create programs that they think they youth want.
  5. Talk more about service
    1. One thing I have noticed about this generation is how much service work they do, some of it is instigated by requirements for school, clubs and scholarship, but it seems once they get a taste of service todays youth make it a priority. I don’t think we, as an organization, talk enough about how much we do in the community and what opportunities exist for youth to serve.
  6. Bring the Total Cost of Scouting down for the family
    1. Dues only go up, never down. The cost of equipment, food and other Scouting related cost is only likely to go up. But we need to find better ways to lower the cost of Scouting. This item could cover pages, but we need to find ways for the Scouts to better raise funds, for donors to support Scouting effort directly
  7. Recruit the City and Rural areas with same intensity as the suburbs
    1. Not only do we need to lower the cost of Scouting, particularly for poorer rural and inner-city youth, we need to speak to them directly and more frequently.
  8. Speak to Youth
    1. Let youth of all Scouting ages know what the program really is about
    2. Let them know how it can improve their everyday life and their future lives
  9. Speak to Parents
    1. Emphasis on how Scouting can help their children – how can it help their youth grow, what it can do for them now and in the future
    2. Reassure them that as leaders we take Youth protection very seriously and exactly what we do to help keep their youth safe.
  10. Speak to Potential Volunteers
    1. We have a massive body of alumni, and we need to harness that manpower to get more and better volunteers involved.


Again, these are broad stroke, 30,000-foot ideas, but I am hoping this will spark a discussion on moving forward with Scouting

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