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Yes, those are great approaches national eventually need to take. But before that, we need to understand the source of 17% numbers. When I was involved with the numbers side while volunteering at the council level, I found that nobody really had a grasp of the real numbers because there wasn't an accepted uniform method of acquiring good data. Add to the fact that a lot of Councils and Districts were double counting some of their scouts to inflate their numbers. I dont know how big that problem was, but the clean up of that mess could be part of the 17%.


Also, when I got away from that side of the program five years ago, the Tigers program was taking a huge hit. I had also heard that Bears and Webelos I were loosing more scouts than ever before. Now that was third hand information, but it seemed to have folks concerned.


My point is: are the problems mainly at the Cub level, or all over the board? Does the 17% include those double dipping problems? Are the numbers total numbers or are the calculated based from an average of losses? Are the problems a result of an image problem or an internal logistic problem?


Once we figure that out, then we learn what and where the problems are. Then we can attack the problem with professional polling and surveys for those areas of scouting.


Not an easy task.




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Gern wrote: "However, the environmentalists are the ones out in the back country. They are the ones appreciating nature and wanting to preserve it. The anti-enviros are the ones standing in their fenced backyards, sucking down a cold one and spouting "drill, baby, drill". Most have never set foot more than 20 ft away from their SUV, but are experts on the environment because they watched Man Vs. Wild.

Once you take the modern suburbanite into the wilds and expose them to the beauty and fragility of nature, they become environmentalists.


Sorry, but I disagree. I'm an anti-environmentalist and I'm camping at least once a month, in addition to spending at least two weeks in the woods. I spout "drill, baby, drill." I'm a conservationist, not an environmentalist (and that is HUGE difference). The environmentalist I know locally hang out at the local city park, but never venture into the backcountry, and would never think of spending the night in a tent. IMO, they are "big hat, no cattle." But they sure can tell you how "green" they are, all the while patting themselves on the back for saving the world.


If you want to see what happens when a typical environmentalist goes into the backcountry, tune into The Discovery Channel next Tuesday evening at 10:00 PM Eastern. It should be entertaining.

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that's interesting brent. The environmentalists I see in the woods EVERY weekend sure don't resemble the ones you spot at the city park. In fact, when standing on the summit of Mt. Bierstadt at 14,060 ft on Monday, nobody was a "drill, baby, drill" type. Just a bunch of fellow tree huggers, well there weren't any trees up that high, but if there was one, we would have hugged it. now when we returned to trailhead, there were a few of those standing outside their SUVs enjoying the holiday. Maybe its just your part of the country.

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OK, I'm trying to get these stereotypes clear. I remember sitting at the table listening to a division chief rant about environmentalists opposing the nuclear plant we had under construction, when the president (of one of the largest power companies on the planet) leaned over and told him and me that he considered himself to be an 'environmentalist'. And I am quite certain that he did not drive a Prius nor did he ever, in his adult life as corporate president, sleep in a tent.


So help me out. Was John Muir a conservationist or an environmentalist? Olmsted? Aldo Leopold? Give me some clearly-identifiable characteristics and examples that conform to those characteristics. Show me how to separate the two groups. It isn't that clear to me.

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Thanks, I accept those examples but I need the characteristics, the reasons that those are the examples. The reason I ask is that for a stereotype to work well, the groups must be capable being segregated in a clear and objective manner. If there are two groups the distribution would be bimodal and if more groups, there would be multiple modes. On the other hand, if the population was composed of a large mode about some mean but with representatives in small numbers out in the 'tails' of the distribution, I would not support the creation of stereotypes if they were based on two 'lunatic fringes'.

Here's the important part: If there WAS only a single mode with two lunatic fringes, is it possible that members of those two fringes would 'think' in terms of stereotypes? ;)

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I thought you said you drove a gas-hog pick-up or SUV. Was I wrong?


A conservationist recognizes that oil companies can drill without destroying the environment. We recognize that oil is still a good energy source, and that wind farms are not going to be very economical or aesthetic (for all those electric cars that are going to magically appear in the near future). Might as well go get the oil while we are still using internal combustion engines.



The following is from wikipedia - sorry, this is a quick and easy answer:


"Environmental preservation, chiefly in the United States, is viewed as the strict setting aside of natural resources to prevent damage caused by contact with humans or by certain human activities, such as logging, mining, hunting, and fishing, only to replace them with new human activities such as tourism and recreation. It is different from conservation; conservation allows for some degree of industrial development, albeit it within sustainable limits. Regulations and laws may be enacted for the preservation of natural resources."


"Contemporary environmentalists are often described as being split into three groups: Dark, Light, and Bright Greens.


Light Greens see protecting the environment first and foremost as a personal responsibility. They fall in on the reformist end of the spectrum introduced above, but light Greens do not emphasize environmentalism as a distinct political ideology, or even seek fundamental political reform. Instead they often focus on environmentalism as a lifestyle choice.[9] The motto "Green is the new black." sums up this way of thinking, for many.[10]


In contrast, Dark Greens believe that environmental problems are an inherent part of industrialized civilization evident in both state socialist and capitalist societies, and seek radical political change. As discussed earlier, 'dark greens' tend to believe that dominant political ideologies (sometimes referred to as industrialism) are corrupt and inevitably lead to consumerism, alienation from nature and resource depletion. Dark Greens claim that this is caused by the emphasis on growth that exists within all existing ideologies, a tendency referred to as growth mania. The dark green brand of environmentalism is associated with ideas of Deep Ecology, Post-materialism, Holism, the Gaia Theory of James Lovelock and the work of Fritjof Capra. The division between light and dark greens was visible in the fighting between Fundi and Realo factions of the German Green Party.[citation needed]


More recently, a third group may be said to have emerged in the form of Bright Greens. This group believes that radical changes are needed in the economic and political operation of society in order to make it sustainable, but that better designs, new technologies and more widely distributed social innovations are the means to make those changes-- and that we can neither shop nor protest our way to sustainability.[11] As Ross Robertson writes, "right green environmentalism is less about the problems and limitations we need to overcome than the tools, models, and ideas that already exist for overcoming them. It forgoes the bleakness of protest and dissent for the energizing confidence of constructive solutions."


"Anti-environmentalism is a backlash against the environmentalist movement. Anti-environmentalists believe that earth is not as fragile as environmentalists maintain, citing its 5 billion year existence versus the 50 year environmentalist viewpoint. Some also believe that environmentalism is born of mankind's exaggerated sense of importance, that environmentalism is an extremist viewpoint due accordant scrutiny, and/or that some environmentalist factions use pseudo-science and scare tactics in an attempt to force their philosophical/religious values and political agenda on others."


"Some say the conservation movement is part of the broader and more far-reaching environmental movement, while others argue that they differ both in ideology and practice. Chiefly in the United States, conservation is seen as differing from environmentalism in that it aims to preserve natural resources expressly for their continued sustainable use by humans."


"For President Roosevelt, the conservation movement was not about the preservation of nature simply for nature itself. After his experiences traveling as an enthusiastic,zealous hunter, Roosevelt became convinced of "the need for measures to protect the game species from further destruction and eventual extinction".[9] President Roosevelt recognized the necessity of carefully managing America's natural resources. According to Roosevelt, "We are prone to speak of the resources of this country as inexhaustible; this is not so".[10] Nonetheless, Roosevelt believed that conservation of America's natural resources was for the successful management and continued sustain yield harvesting of these resources in the future for the benefit and enjoyment of the American people."


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I keep the Dodge Ram 2500 Hemi for roundtables and other fancy dress scout functions when I need to blend in.


So is the Exxon Valdez an example of classical Rooseveltian conservationism or just the exception that proves the rule?


What's the difference between conservation and exploitation then?

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Before this turned into a environmentalist vs conservationist rant someone asked about what the 17% represented. The figures are broken down on in the 1999 and 2008 reports. I calculated the percentage change from the total figures. It didn't look like there were hugh differences between cubs, scouts and venturers but I didn't do the math.




Interesting that BSA did not publish the numbers every year. Maybe they didn't want to publicize the decline in membership.


One benign explanation of the numbers could be that they cracked down on councils that were inflating numbers. There were a couple of law suits about that in the last ten years. It may be that the 2008 numbers are real and the 1999 numbers were exaggerated. The real difference may not be as much as 17%. I doubt that changes in counting methods would account for the whole difference.




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So I guess since there was at least one plane crash in the history of aviation, you never fly? There are car crashes every day - how do you manage to drive? Since they happened once, they can surely happen again, right? Better stay home and lock the doors. It's a scary world out there.


The Exxon Valdez spill was caused by a drunk captain. Thousands of tankers travel the seas every year without an accident. The spill area cleaned up pretty nicely. Sorry, but we really can't destroy the world.


Conservation involves the study of healthy herds and the amount of land needed to support a healthy herd. It involves the harvesting of animals to help maintain the healthy herd, and using the revenue from license fees and taxes on ammo, guns and hunting gear to buy land for WMAs.


Exploitation is when a bunch of bleeding heart liberals give up all common sense and decide to follow "consensus science" instead of real science, led by their fearless leader, Al Gore. :-)

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Does the BSA gather racial demographics? People here claim that we are a white, middle class group but that is NOT what I have in my Troop. My Troop is White (US born and foreign born), Korean, Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Middle Easterner. The income is decent, but that is due to my area.


I hook kids with an annual shooting campout, high adventure, white water rafting and some car camping.

I sell parents on leadership, morals, self-reliance, and that Eagle is the one of the best recognized signs of achievement a youth can earn.


My son is joining Sea Scouts (and heading to the UK this summer for the 100th anniversary for his FIRST Sea Scout trip). He was hooked by an older Sea Scout at Camporee who spotted him at the competitions, and then sold him on taking the Ship to Catalina Island and up and down the California Coast.


I am getting one of my Cub Scouts back with the Venture Crew I am putting together. He didn't want the dork Boy Scouts, but backcountry hiking in the Sierras interests him with the Venture Crew.


As for the program, kids like the outdoors. Keep that.

Parents like leadership training. Keep that.

Strong values are important. Keep that.


However - we are going to continue face the discrimination issue, and pay for it. I know an Eagle Scout who claims that he will not enroll his son (my Godson) in Scouting due to the prohibition of gays (my Godson is only 5, so we will see what happens). My church will not charter a Troop for the same reason.

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So how does conservation play into the exploitation of finite oil reserves?

How does that play into the study of healthy herds and the amount of land needed to support a healthy herd.

Sorry for the hijack, but Brent is just not making any sense to me.

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BrentAllen is also wrong about the impact of the Exxon Valdez. I kayak the Sound every few years (including before the spill), and the impact is still visible if you know what is missing (and what is missing is still significant levels of wildlife).

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