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Changing Times & Demographics

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Well, to pull the hijack back into the spirit of the thread, I think one of the issues we (the BSA) have is a general perception by the public, especially the left half of the country, that the BSA is a tool for right wing conservatives who discount environmentalism for theocratic ideals. That makes us look silly to the progressive crowd.

The BSA has adopted LNT as its outdoors ethics, but do they promote that in their marketing literature? No. I think its one of their greatest selling points. They are just out of phase with the public.

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Brent, GAD! I almost reacted the way students often do when I begin to explain why urine is the color that it is. I guess what I was looking for was a dichotomous key or something like that to distinguish plain old conservationists from plain old environmentalists. I'll have to think some more about those 'varieties' or 'subspecies', LOL. The politics of it all are probably going to make me ill but what's new there?

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I think all of you are going to be pleasantly surprised in 2010 as the BSA rolls out some changes. They are going on offense with their message. They feel that their message was being written by everyone besides the BSA. I think Arrow Corps 5 was a way to focus attention on all the conservation work scouts do. I had a chance to ask people at national whether putting the outing back in scouting matched their goals and they said absolutely. As for Scoutreach, that's being replaced with something intended to bring all sorts of people that don't understand the scouting culture into scouts. My understanding is that scoutreach failed because it didn't bring Hispanics all the way in to a regular troop. For example, Scoutreach districts never had OA. There is also agreement that different troops have different issues. I talked to a few excellent scoutmasters and whereas I'm competing with band camp and soccer they're competing with meth labs and gangs. Flexibility and being nimble is a new push at national, but they are rock solid on keeping the core values of scouting.


I'm optimistic, but it's going to take time.

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I'm a conservationist, not a preservationist. That oil has been conserved for thousands of years, it is time to use it. Why do you want to preserve it?



My statement about the spill site was correct - it cleaned up nicely. May not be exactly as it was before, but it sure isn't a brownfield.

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Gern- Sorry to offend and touch off the great conservation vs. environmentalist debate... that was not my intent. My point is, there are factions within the environmentalist movement that a over-zealous in their application.


The fact that some advocate for absolutely NO USE of certain areas. Well, if we can't entice folks to go out on a hike and SEE what is worth saving / preserving, then its dang hard to get them to realize the value in doing so.


Hyper-enviornmentalism has led to me having a 2nd grader who can speak to you ad nauseum about the hole in the ozone and "global warming" and how "bad" we humans are about our "carbon footprint". Yet, if I ask him to name any of the 5 to 6 animal species on the endangered list right here in San Diego county, he can't do it. But he'll tell you all about the depletion of the rain forests in far off countries.


I agree the environmentalists aare out there in the backcountry, so are the conservationist, so are the hunters and those that see nothing but undeveloped sub-divisions where the trees now stand. Thats not the point. The point is, some in the "green" arena have raised the fear level to the poin that LNT has become 'don't tread at all'.


That does nothing but a disservice to those who hope to have a positive impact on saving our wilderness areas, because as I stated earlier - people will have little interest in saving / preserving what they are not allowed to see and interact with.


It was one point of a long post - sorry it turned into a hijack... I now return you to your regularly scheduled banter about how BSA needs to change to keep up with the times...


However, I still say people are afraid of the outdoors now more than a generation ago.

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DeanRx I agree with you, read the awesome book, "LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS" it talks about those that are afraid to even go into the woods. They want to look at it afar off like a museum display. The woods are there to experence,(not exploit) but experence. Kids today need to get out of the house not stay in it with the new teckno junk. They get that stuff everyday, why reenforce something that makes them set on their rears all day. put OUTING back into SCOUTING.

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I for one want to know from a troop level what can we do to get the w'2 to cross over that's still where i see most kids leave the program. lion scouts for the kindergarten boys isn't going to do it. minimizing the gay thing would probably help I think if we let it alone. it would help and my guess is on a unit level parents and kids would vote with there feet if sexual orientation was flaunted. national can do better to help os than they do now.


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Tony- I agree, but I'm not sure I have a good answer.


My expirience the loss of W2 before transition to a Troop can be directly linked to 3 factors:


1) Parental burnout by the time Webs comes around

2) Kids choosing different activities that compete for time / talent (i.e. sports, band, drama, etc...)

3) The fact that these boys are placed in limbo, somewhat by national BSA policy.


They've already DONE all the cute craft stuff and shot BB-gun / Archery a bunch. They want to go canoing on a river, they want to rock climb, they want to shoot a .22-cal, they want to do high COPE. However, BSA national and G2SS restricts many (if not all) these activities until a scout is at least 14 years old.


So, what to DO with the W2's? I think msny get bored b/c they view a LOT of the cub activities as "baby stuff" and their parents have already been in a leadership role for multiple years. This leads to boredom and burnout, which lends itself to an attitude of getting AOL and out.


I would like to see some effort on the part of councils and national to examine WHY webs leave before bridging to a troop and WHAT can be done ot revamp program to provide a more challenging and exciting time for boys of the W1 and W2 age range, so they are looking forward to the next level.


Last Fun w/ son I was on w/ my cub, the camp director was giving a impromtu tour of summer camp activities. A great deal of what was stated was, "once you are in Boy Scouts and at least 14, you can x, y, z....". Thats all well and good, but kids and parents want to know what exciting things they can do NOW. Not what might be around the bend if they hang out in the program for another 2 years.

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