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2 hours ago, Oldscout448 said:

Being typed I can't hear the tone of your post. Nor can I judge it's intent by your facial expression.  But sure seems  like a cheap shot at an honest man to me.

Kudos  him for realizing that where he is and where Boy Scouts are going are not in the same place and realizing that it was time for him to go.  That is not a cheap shot.  It is realization that time changes, and that organizations change.   And while his views may be different than mine, it is not intended As a cheap shot.   

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I was extremely dismayed to discover that BSA had created a DEI group, and have considered pulling my son out of Scouting because of it.  Especially when they started pushing the new Eagle-required me

I thought this might be interesting discussion material. Scoutmaster Fred Young recruited Jakayla Armstrong to their church’s troop in 2019. At the time, he had to register Armstrong as a Lone Sc

Late to this post. In my district, cub scouts are done by over half. Virtualized cub scouting did not work. Packs that continued in person activities as much as possible during the COVID fear campaign

19 hours ago, PACAN said:

The demise of Venturing has been going on for a long time.  At one time there were over 200K members. At the end of 2020 there were 24K members. By April 2021 there were 14K.  How many almost a year later...unsure.

Explorers likely not much better. 

Let’s not deceive ourselves … at one time there were maybe 50k venturers with 3 times as many on rolls for the purposes of some club’s insurance purposes. (Worth it when registration fees were less than the cost of a large pizza.) Those youth and their leaders had no intention of engaging the program. When folks like me joined council committees and insisted that the active venturers’ rolls be called up yonder, they weren’t there.

P.S. - that doesn’t mean that Venturing wasn’t a wild ride. It is a thoroughly enjoyable program, but the leadership overhead is far more than most adults can support and youth desire.

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24 minutes ago, qwazse said:

P.S. - that doesn’t mean that Venturing wasn’t a wild ride. It is a thoroughly enjoyable program, but the leadership overhead is far more than most adults can support and youth desire.

This is the problem. Venturing Crews are generally started by adults with the passion for the activities. And more often than not, these are adults burned out with the troop program. But, once the sons and daughters of those passionate adults move on, so do the parents and they leave a void of adult leadership with the same passion. The average life of a Venturing Crew in our district is 3 to 5 years. Troops that create Venturing Crews for their older scout program do a little better, but even they struggle to keep the program active. 

Barry

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36 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

…. But, once the sons and daughters of those passionate adults move on, so do the parents and they leave a void of adult leadership with the same passion. The average life of a Venturing Crew in our district is 3 to 5 years. Troops that create Venturing Crews for their older scout program do a little better, but even they struggle to keep the program active. 

Barry

@Eagledad, it’s worse than that … now that adults of the appropriate sex are required for every meeting and activity. No late teen needs or wants that. It is therefore far more easier to venture without a crew than with. (Obviously, some do given the incidence of sexual abuse, substance abuse, and depression by age 18, which is why more demands have been put upon scouters. But, this is not a formula for healthy development.)

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Late to this post. In my district, cub scouts are done by over half. Virtualized cub scouting did not work. Packs that continued in person activities as much as possible during the COVID fear campaign are the ones that are healthy today. Packs that did not, lost a bunch of cub scouts. Another factor driving scouts out of the program is the push towards more classroom type activities instead of more outdoor activities. 

Recruitment has been significantly down. It has to be all the advertisements looking for victims of sexual abuse, because of the BSA. My chartering organization will no longer recharter a pack and my troop, because they are getting letters from victim lawyers. We are working on finding a troop to merge with by August to keep scouts in the program.

My scouts would much rather camp by a river and explore, than to do most of the required merit badges for Eagle rank. In terms of character development (an aim of scouting), campouts like that are 100 times more effective in developing character than any of these classroom activities. I think the BSA needs to go back to the basics if they want to save the program and its aims. 

 

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18 minutes ago, Owls_are_cool said:

Late to this post. In my district, cub scouts are done by over half. Virtualized cub scouting did not work. Packs that continued in person activities as much as possible during the COVID fear campaign are the ones that are healthy today. Packs that did not, lost a bunch of cub scouts. Another factor driving scouts out of the program is the push towards more classroom type activities instead of more outdoor activities. 

Recruitment has been significantly down. It has to be all the advertisements looking for victims of sexual abuse, because of the BSA. My chartering organization will no longer recharter a pack and my troop, because they are getting letters from victim lawyers. We are working on finding a troop to merge with by August to keep scouts in the program.

My scouts would much rather camp by a river and explore, than to do most of the required merit badges for Eagle rank. In terms of character development (an aim of scouting), campouts like that are 100 times more effective in developing character than any of these classroom activities. I think the BSA needs to go back to the basics if they want to save the program and its aims. 

 

I think you are missing the point on the important of the class room badges. Sadly most of the new jobs/careers are in office spaces we need to prepare our kids for this new economy. The camping is as important as ever but class room badges are not the enemy at the boy scout level. For cubs we need them to be using their hands and doing activities as much as possible

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Mixing multiple topics ... 

9 hours ago, Tired_Eagle_Feathers said:

I believe DEI is sinister.  Diversity inevitably starts having metrics.  Metrics that presuppose some kind of quotas that should be met.  This invariably results in punitive measures taken against whoever is not in the favored class.  It's today's Affirmative Action.  It always ends up discriminating against someone in the misguided attempt to help someone.

Equity is the most sinister.  Equity of what?  Equity of opportunity?  Equity of outcome?  Most usually, "Equity" is code-speak for "equity of outcome".  And if the outcome isn't in favor of the favored group, then a thumb is placed on the appropriate scale to achieve the desired outcome.  This naturally comes at the expense of those groups who don't get the thumb on their scale.  It is decidedly Marxist in the literal sense - "From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs."  In any case, chasing "equity" is a fool's errand.  You can never assure equality of opportunity as there will always be some people who have better parents than others.  And you can never assure equality of outcome because not everyone has equal talent, ability, or ambition.  Attempts to enforce equity always come at someone else's expense.

Inclusion is the only part of DEI that is reasonable.  I have always thought Scouting was inclusive.  With the exception of the religious angle, I always thought of it as one of the most inclusive organizations I have ever known.

Interesting ...   I'm not a DEI fan either. 

  1. The last training I saw was drastically watered down, but it is very much about political indoctrination.  The good in the badge was already everywhere in scouting.  The rest crosses the line into politics.  
  2. Always thought scouting explicitly taught good citizenship and specifically inclusiveness.  All are welcome.  ... The issue was scouting had trouble getting people to show-up when invited.  Specifically, scouting always had trouble recruiting from poorer families or those who's heritage did not include scouting.  
  3. The good of the Citizenship in Society badge is that ... I'm hoping ... is that it will cause the five Citizenship merit badges to be re-thought.  ... I count Family Life as Citizenship in the Family.  :)  ...  I had an outstanding high school education.  Public school but many of my textbooks were used by the state university for their courses.  ... If I was in 10th or 11th grade looking at the Citizenship badges, I'd just have mostly contempt and wonder why I was sitting thru them.  

 

 

21 minutes ago, Owls_are_cool said:

My scouts would much rather camp by a river and explore, than to do most of the required merit badges for Eagle rank. In terms of character development (an aim of scouting), campouts like that are 100 times more effective in developing character than any of these classroom activities. I think the BSA needs to go back to the basics if they want to save the program and its aims. 

Hugely absolutely screamingly agree.  

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On 2/22/2022 at 7:54 AM, Eagledad said:

This is the problem. Venturing Crews are generally started by adults with the passion for the activities. And more often than not, these are adults burned out with the troop program. But, once the sons and daughters of those passionate adults move on, so do the parents and they leave a void of adult leadership with the same passion. The average life of a Venturing Crew in our district is 3 to 5 years. Troops that create Venturing Crews for their older scout program do a little better, but even they struggle to keep the program active. 

Barry

Yep. We have loved our experience with Venture Crew.   It was started by the parent of a Boy Scout who has three daughters.  His youngest is just about finished, though, and I don’t see the program surviving without him.

He is, hands down, the most dedicated and capable scout leader I’ve met.  Every cool tip or fact, and any slight leader ship ability I possess, is something I learned from him.  

 I’m still willing to be involved (my daughter is off to college in the fall), so that there is an adult female for this all girl crew, but there’s no way I can do what he did, and the younger girls who have joined recently have no parent involved at all.

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33 minutes ago, fred8033 said:
  • The last training I saw was drastically watered down, but it is very much about political indoctrination.  The good in the badge was already everywhere in scouting.  The rest crosses the line into politics.  
  • Always thought scouting explicitly taught good citizenship and specifically inclusiveness.  All are welcome.  ... The issue was scouting had trouble getting people to show-up when invited.  Specifically, scouting always had trouble recruiting from poorer families or those who's heritage did not include scouting.  

 

I agree 100%

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10 hours ago, Tired_Eagle_Feathers said:

... Equity is the most sinister.  ... You can never assure equality ...

@Tired_Eagle_Feathers, it seems that people have forgotten plain English. From Webster ...

Quote

equity: 1. the quality of being fair and impartial.

That's from the online version which is an oversimplification, so from the Collegiate Version (1980, omitting #2 for the sake of brevity) ...

Quote

1. a. justice according to natural law or right, b. something that is equitable,

2. b ... : a body of legal doctrines and rules developed to enlarge, supplement, or override a narrow rigid system of law

Anyone who has ever been accused of so much as a parking ticket hopes for an equitable judge. In our county's perverse system of taxation, I've relied on a judges equity more than once. (Which eventually translated into home equity ... which is #3 in the definition.) How dare I expect to walk into court and expect equity? Well ...

  • In college, a judge who was invited to speak to our Sunday school told us that from the bench he owed defendants and plaintiffs both justice and equity.
  • A few years prior to that, my troop took a day hike to the county court house and met with our judge, the sheriff, and a few other public officers.

In other words, I strongly encourage your scouts to learn plain-English definitions of equity -- from people who have to meet it out when our fellow citizens might be facing cold justice -- and proceed from there.

(A bonus would be if you can find a nice camping spot in reach of the magistrate's office.)

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What if Venturing became something like a Venturing Patrol at each Troop? Or perhaps turn it into a college club like program?

 

My only issues with the DEI is that it breaks from the mold of other Merit Badges; there is literally no way to test the knowledge. The Merit Badge is just another requirement thrown on the heap.

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37 minutes ago, qwazse said:

In other words, I strongly encourage your scouts to learn plain-English definitions of equity -- from people who have to meet it out when our fellow citizens might be facing cold justice -- and proceed from there.

Oh I know what "equity" is supposed to mean.  That's why I said:

Quote

The co-opting of these terms has been ingenious.

At face value, everyone should love equity - equality.  The devil is in the details, though.  If your idea of equity/equality means that everyone has the right to participate in something and give it the old "college try" with whatever they came to the game with, then sure, that's my idea of equity/equality.  Everyone deserves a shot at the prize.  That's equity to me.

But today, "equity" has been co-opted to mean something else entirely.  Equity now generally means "equity of outcome" (or sometimes "equity of opportunity").  Which means that if someone doesn't do as well as someone else, then the game has to be rigged to make sure that everyone ends up with the same result.  This inevitably disadvantages someone while giving an advantage to someone else.

This is why the term "equity" is so insidious today.

In my experience, the "E" in DEI always ends up being the equity I have described instead of it's traditional meaning.

 

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27 minutes ago, Tired_Eagle_Feathers said:

Oh I know what "equity" is supposed to mean.  That's why I said:

At face value, everyone should love equity - equality.  The devil is in the details, though.  If your idea of equity/equality means that everyone has the right to participate in something and give it the old "college try" with whatever they came to the game with, then sure, that's my idea of equity/equality.  Everyone deserves a shot at the prize.  That's equity to me.

But today, "equity" has been co-opted to mean something else entirely.  Equity now generally means "equity of outcome" (or sometimes "equity of opportunity").  Which means that if someone doesn't do as well as someone else, then the game has to be rigged to make sure that everyone ends up with the same result.  This inevitably disadvantages someone while giving an advantage to someone else.

This is why the term "equity" is so insidious today.

In my experience, the "E" in DEI always ends up being the equity I have described instead of it's traditional meaning.

 

You've revised the definition of equity. Equity does, in fact, take into account that some of us came into the world with an inability to give "it the old college try." For example, when I was getting manipulated by my school district to pay more taxes than my neighbors did because I had just arrived and lacked the privilege of a lower home assessment due to a rising market, I could ask for an equitable decision in spite of the letter of law that was written in favor of long-time residents of the district. The judge saved me thousands.

Equity lets someone who has come lately to the game take their swing. Not merely because seasoned players might have an unfair edge, but because the newbie might bring something to bat that could be a blessing to us all who love free markets.

My point: scouting teaches boys how to find equity (in the plain English sense of the word) ... for themselves and others.

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