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Being a Negative Nellie


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A few responses, and hopefully commentary about council tonite.

 

@nolesrule,  "Instapalms" are an example of national not listening. remember 94% of those polled were either against (18%) or strongly against (76%) them, yet they still happened. and I know they are here to stay.

As for OA issues, while some of the mandates have come from adults, the overall descent of the OA appears to be nationwide.

 

@InquisitiveScouter I kid you not about the MBs! I may be off on the number (old age is getting to me), but this was in one webinar/national online event.

 

@nolesrule, I know there were issues back in the day. Heck look at the 1970s fiasco that Green Bar Bill had to come out of retirement to save BSA. But  the overall standard for advancement went from "Master the Skills" and "The badge Represents what the Scout can do, (sic) not what he has done." to "The badge signifies a young person has provided service to others, practiced personal responsibility, and set the examples critical to the development of leadership.."

@skeptic agree 100% However too many folks focus on the advancement, more on that in a bit.

 

23 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

Now we are to the kids that wanted to be there, kinda sorta in the first place.  Many of them are going to get discouraged quickly.  All those promises of shooing BBs, archery, fishing, etc never come to fruition because the District doesn't plan enough events to fulfill the marketing.  ...

I don't think its Cub Scout burnout, its just lack of interest in the type of activities that Scouting provides.  I think a lot of folks that were Scouts 30+ years ago have a bias that doesnt allow them to recognize that.  Not saying the bias is bad or misguided, but it does exist.  

I guess the real challenge is how to develop a program that is attractive to the interests of youth/parents today that doesn't totally throw away the basics of Scouting, but yet is able to complement the interests and desires of those folks.

Districts/council not supporting program is my biggest complaint by the council now. Again  Hopefully on that tonite after work.

Regarding burnout, i think it is real because they way the Cub Scout program is designed, they basically repeat the same activity with a few changes every year.

Sadly we now have adults who grew up in the 1970s Improved Scouting Program fiasco as Scouters. That was the time period camping was optional, and some do not understand why  camping is so impriotant.

19 hours ago, DuctTape said:

I think the focus on membership numbers (ie collecting dues for national) has allowed a corruption of the program

Do not even get me started on this topic. I was a pro, and one of the reasons I left was program corruption due to mandatory membership goals. Greater Alabama Council in late 1990s/early 2000s anyone?

@MattR, trust me I am trying. But when you have dedicated your live to the movement, serving at the unit, district, council, and national levels, it is extremely hard. Congrats on the granddaughter. I am focused on my troop, and helping them create their program. But I can tell you having an active, outdoor program with the responsibility for advancement on the Scouts is not popular with a lot of parents. I lost 3 Scouts this year because they were not advancing fast enough. We focus on Scouts having fun, and when working on advancement, actually learning the material and doing the work. Funny thing one parent that visited us recently and told us how our troop is more active and scouts are better prepared, but the wife wants his son in the new troop because he is now advancing.

2 hours ago, fred8033 said:

Agree.  I'd  take a scout / troop doing fun things any day over an advancement driven program.  Advancement should come more naturally.

Agree 110%. But as stated above, more and more parents want "high speed, low drag" advancement instead of the Scouts having fun and learning "...as naturally as a suntan...."

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22 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Funny thing one parent that visited us recently and told us how our troop is more active and scouts are better prepared, but the wife wants his son in the new troop because he is now advancing.

That is so sad.  Form without substance...  The lesson for that son is that the outward man is more important than the inward.  We will all suffer from the fruits of that mentality.

22 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Agree 110%. But as stated above, more and more parents want "high speed, low drag" advancement instead of the Scouts having fun and learning "...as naturally as a suntan...."

See above...

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51 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Sadly we now have adults who grew up in the 1970s Improved Scouting Program fiasco as Scouters. That was the time period camping was optional, and some do not understand why  camping is so impriotant.

I think your numbers are off.  :)   I was a Cub Scout/Boy Scout in the mid 80s.  I graduated from high school in 1992.  My generation began having kids about that time.  My kids were born in 2008 and 2010, which is about the time my generations kids were grown and getting out on their own.  My wife and I had kids really late.  Anyway, the parents right now that are the pool of leaders are kids that were born into a world where the internet was already going strong and part of every day life.  Adults that were Scouts in the 70s either have no kids in the program or maybe grandkids.  Heck, people I graduated with in '92 have grandkids now.

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On 1/24/2023 at 11:51 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:

 

Advancement is so focused by National, that quality of instruction has dropped. National actually praised a council giving  over 10,000 in their online MBUs. How can anyone learn in an online class of a 100? Heck I had scouts tuning out when my Troop was doing that for meetings.

 

Most charge $25/MB so that would be $250000 in revenue....Criminal

 

GTA 7.0.4.7 certainly applies to every one of these MBs.

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6 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

I think your numbers are off.  :)   I was a Cub Scout/Boy Scout in the mid 80s.  I graduated from high school in 1992.  My generation began having kids about that time.  My kids were born in 2008 and 2010, which is about the time my generations kids were grown and getting out on their own.  My wife and I had kids really late.  Anyway, the parents right now that are the pool of leaders are kids that were born into a world where the internet was already going strong and part of every day life.  Adults that were Scouts in the 70s either have no kids in the program or maybe grandkids.  Heck, people I graduated with in '92 have grandkids now.

 ISP generation  has been in the upper levels of BSA for some time. They are your national pros volunteers. While you may see a few with the grandkids at unit level, look at the upper level pros and volunteers.

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Biggest complaint has been the council level pros for some time. . We are large geographically, but an economically poor region. BUT the folks with money usually were involved in Scouting as youth, knew the need, and gave of both their time for their children, and treasure to help others. Usually those folks would serve in district and/or council roles. Who knows the community better than the ones living in it?

Well you got pros coming in, wanting things done their way. No amount of explaining that the things they want done were tried before and were failures will get through their heads. You keep questioning them, you get removed from the district/council level.

Membership stats look off. You start questioning them, you get removed from the district/council level.

You running an activity and councils starts interfering by adding additional activities at the same location the same weekend.  When you attempt to discsuss the matter, you are yelled at. You decide it's no longer worth volunteering at the district/council level.

Or you run an event, and the pros do not order the supplies you need. So you get the supplies last minute, which costs more, and go into the "emergency " portion of your budget.

Or they do not order the quantities you requested, causing you to make last minute purchases, going into the "emergency " portion of your budget. Or maybe they need to make a second order for patches, causing the event to go over budget

Or when you ask for support for the event, you are completely left alone and left to your own devices. No support whatsoever. Now a district level event can be done like that. Heck my current district operate like that now. But a council level one?

But that is better than being yelled and cursed out at. I cannot tell you how many volunteers that has happened too. Heck one pro cursed out a key district volunteer via text.

Which is why my district is in the shape it is. And apparently it was not just my old district. These things were occuring in all the old districts that now comprise the current one. Very few folks want to get involved because of the way they and their friends have been treated.

And  it still continues. Had a new pro plan an Cub Scout event with 3 weeks notice. Had to cancel one week out when no one  volunteered for the event, and no registration since the even was planned after 95% of the packs stopped meeting for the summer. The email blamed volunteers for the cancellation, and the tone of the email further alienated volunteers.

And when you alienate volunteers, will they give donations?

Recruiting has been another issue. We got kicked out of the schools a decade ago. since that time we lost 6 packs, 3 troops any 3 troops on the verge of dying. We have begged the pros to help us with getting back into the schools and with recruiting. No luck with them.

There was talk at one meeting about starting new units. I stated that national does not predict any growth until 2025 according o court documents, so instead of trying to start new units, could they focus on existing, struggling units. Told no, we are on our own.

If we are on our own, why should we donate to the council when the money would be better served helping struggling units survive?

Sorry for the rant, But I needed to get this off the chest.

12 hours ago, SSScout said:

Family joke:

Two old biddies are "regulars" at a restaurant,  but never have anything good to say about the food, even tho they come there every week.....

Yeah I know. The few district level things I've done have been because my Scouts have asked me to do them. I try to stay out of the BS and focus on my troop. But it is hard. As I said, I spent a long time and treasure on Scouting, and this area in particular. It is both frustrating and depressing seeing what is happening. I had more active units and scouts in one county back in the day, than my multicounty districy has today.

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1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Biggest complaint has been the council level pros for some time. . We are large geographically, but an economically poor region. BUT the folks with money usually were involved in Scouting as youth, knew the need, and gave of both their time for their children, and treasure to help others. Usually those folks would serve in district and/or council roles. Who knows the community better than the ones living in it?

Well you got pros coming in, wanting things done their way. No amount of explaining that the things they want done were tried before and were failures will get through their heads. You keep questioning them, you get removed from the district/council level.

Membership stats look off. You start questioning them, you get removed from the district/council level.

You running an activity and councils starts interfering by adding additional activities at the same location the same weekend.  When you attempt to discsuss the matter, you are yelled at. You decide it's no longer worth volunteering at the district/council level.

Or you run an event, and the pros do not order the supplies you need. So you get the supplies last minute, which costs more, and go into the "emergency " portion of your budget.

Or they do not order the quantities you requested, causing you to make last minute purchases, going into the "emergency " portion of your budget. Or maybe they need to make a second order for patches, causing the event to go over budget

Or when you ask for support for the event, you are completely left alone and left to your own devices. No support whatsoever. Now a district level event can be done like that. Heck my current district operate like that now. But a council level one?

But that is better than being yelled and cursed out at. I cannot tell you how many volunteers that has happened too. Heck one pro cursed out a key district volunteer via text.

Which is why my district is in the shape it is. And apparently it was not just my old district. These things were occuring in all the old districts that now comprise the current one. Very few folks want to get involved because of the way they and their friends have been treated.

And  it still continues. Had a new pro plan an Cub Scout event with 3 weeks notice. Had to cancel one week out when no one  volunteered for the event, and no registration since the even was planned after 95% of the packs stopped meeting for the summer. The email blamed volunteers for the cancellation, and the tone of the email further alienated volunteers.

And when you alienate volunteers, will they give donations?

Recruiting has been another issue. We got kicked out of the schools a decade ago. since that time we lost 6 packs, 3 troops any 3 troops on the verge of dying. We have begged the pros to help us with getting back into the schools and with recruiting. No luck with them.

There was talk at one meeting about starting new units. I stated that national does not predict any growth until 2025 according o court documents, so instead of trying to start new units, could they focus on existing, struggling units. Told no, we are on our own.

If we are on our own, why should we donate to the council when the money would be better served helping struggling units survive?

Sorry for the rant, But I needed to get this off the chest.

Yeah I know. The few district level things I've done have been because my Scouts have asked me to do them. I try to stay out of the BS and focus on my troop. But it is hard. As I said, I spent a long time and treasure on Scouting, and this area in particular. It is both frustrating and depressing seeing what is happening. I had more active units and scouts in one county back in the day, than my multicounty districy has today.

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