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Twocubdad

BSA Communications....

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... or the lack thereof.

 

So in the parent thread we read that BSA has announced -- well not really announced, more like let it slip, sorta told a few people, but you kinda have to know the right people and where to look, if you know the right questions to ask -- that youth protection training is now required BEFORE an adult may register as a leader.

 

This is effective YESTERDAY. It seems clear to me at either, 1) this really wasn't effective yesterday and there will be some leeway in implemention, or, 2) there will be a whole bunch of ticked off people showing up at councils for the forseeable future.

 

My question is, why is it so dad-gummed difficult for BSA to figure out how to launch a new program and communicate that to it's members? If I can get an email from ScoutStuff.com letting me know that BSA fly paper and Cub Scout shot glasses are on sale, why the hell can't they communicate something substantive to us?

 

Twice now we've received emails from national about jamboree staff registration that was later recinded because they used the wrong distribution list?

 

How about the whole debacle surrounding the roll out of the historical merit badges this winter?

 

Did anyone else just get the online survey from scoutingmagazine.org about what you would like to see in the magazine and on their web site? How about fewer breathless articles about the Tiger Den climbing Everest and more meat-and-potatoes articles about the program.

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Bacchus,

try CS toothpick holder ;)

 

2Cub,

The following is my opinion. One problem IMHO is that the folks making the decisions in regards to tech don't what they can do with it, or do not undestand it. Best example is the former SE who was put in charge of SCOUTNET in 1998 and had 0 IT experience. Yep the guy didn't know squat, but was put in charge of finding a company and implementing SCOUTNET. Don't know if that's still the case, but I wouldn't doubt it.

 

In reference to the New YPT guidelines, don't know why it came out as fast as it did, but speculation is that the Oregon lawsuit spurred it. I wouldn't doubt it as, again my opinion, Venturing split off of Exploring after a lawsuit. Now I've heard that the split was coming, but was accelerated b/c of the lawsuit. let's face it the literature was rushed out, there were no shorts until 9 months after Venturing came out and pants 2 years after Venturing came out, lot sof errors in the literature, or so I'm told, etc.

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Twocubdad - I believe you were referring to the three-piece flashing cutlery set - "all the bells and whistle for celebrating at a Blue & Gold banquet." The leader or parent who gets those for their kids has got to be certifiable.

 

Sorry, back on topic now. I think part of the reason Scoutstuff is so good at its communications is because it's an entity focused on sales & marketing. Your customers can't buy if they don't know what you're selling.

 

Generally speaking, by contrast, the program and rules people who promulgate stuff like the new YPT rule aren't in the business of marketing. And IMHO, they need to take a page from the people who are. Part of the challenge, I'd guess, is that National leaves it up to the councils to spread the word. And depending on where you are, the council staff can be awful in spreading the word.

 

Another challenge is that once upon a time, like back in the '70s or '80s, it was OK to take a month or longer for word to filter down from National to the Council HQ to the DEs and DCs to Roundtable to committee meetings to the rank-and-file leaders to the parents. Nowadays, we want (even need) information immediately, and I don't think National (or the bulk of Councils) have caught up with that concept. The throwback MBs are a perfect example. Scouts shouldn't have to wait three months for requirements to come out about something that's only available for one year. Because even once the requirements are out, you have to recruit MBCs, the MBCs have to check out the requirements ... and it's already June and half the year's vanished. Imagine if this were the '80s - it'd be September before anyone started working on them.

 

There really is no good reason for National - or a decent Council - to be lagging in the internal communications department. There are plenty of youngsters around who could create and oversee e-mail lists, Facebook pages, blogs and Twitter feeds to keep folks up to date without having to bother any SEs who are still afraid of teh intertubes.

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Welll,

 

I just got a constant contact from National by way of myscouting. It's the same Jim Terry letter we've already seen.

 

It's official.

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According to our Council Commissioner this evening, they were informed at the Annual Meeting on the 26th -- so, in many respects this may be the quickest information has gotten from National to the field!

 

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I received an email from one of the DE's in my council June 1, was forwarded the same email by my SM and the Troop Secretary and this morning (June 2) at 5:00 I received an email from MyScouting informing me of the change of policy. I think that is a pretty quick response time, especially from National. I think using MyScouting is a rather inventive way to handle it.

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Just for your information, the Boy Scout Toothpick Holder is exactly two shots. Perfect for my double Old Fashioned!

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I don't think the issue is that it took 5 days for policy to be made public. I also don't think it is a bad idea to make YPT mandatory for all would-be leaders.

 

I think the issue is that, once again, the BSA is making policy in a very reactive sort of a way instead of thinking big-picture. Why did it (apparently) take a lawsuit to bring about this change? I'd have preferred to see BSA behaving in a more pro-active way. This reactive behavior is kind of like what happens when a kid misbehaves on a campout and all of a sudden, the troop committee comes up with 14 new "troop policies" about behavior. Maybe, had someone been a bit more thoughtful in the first place, such knee-jerk thinking wouldn't seem necessary now. And knee-jerk thinking nearly always results in logistical challenges that could have been avoided.

 

As for how to deal with it - well, YPT isn't really THAT big an imposition. Poll your unit leaders to see who has laptops and whether your meeting location is internet-capable. If so, bring some laptops to sign up night, your first committee meeting, your first pack meeting, etc., so people who do not have computers at home can access the training. Or hold a special YPT event in your local public library. Or request that your district training team visit your first unit committee meeting in the fall and deliver YPT in person. There are ways to handle this. (If it were me, I'd get every parent in the unit to do YPT so that, in the next 2 years, if they decide they want to become a leader, it is already taken care of)

 

 

 

 

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"I wouldn't doubt it as, again my opinion, Venturing split off of Exploring after a lawsuit. Now I've heard that the split was coming, but was accelerated b/c of the lawsuit. let's face it the literature was rushed out, there were no shorts until 9 months after Venturing came out and pants 2 years after Venturing came out, lot sof errors in the literature, or so I'm told, etc."

 

This is what I know, so take it for what it is, but AFAIK, there were no plans for a split of Exploring & Venturing. Yes, the lawsuit spurred it on, but AFAIK, all the stuff that became Venturing was really planned for Exploring. The people behind what became Venturing were putting it all together under the aspices of the Exploring Outdoor Committee.

 

Yes, things were rushed. My understanding was some of the early issues was due not just to the rush, but a Program Director that was a bit of a micromanager, and died suddenly during the early years. (Charles Holmes was brought in to replace him, but why they just didn't promote Brad Harris or Bill Evans, I have no idea).

 

 

 

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Thanks Emb for some details. I can believe "Microboy" caused some problems. I know that he raised about 40 new DEs blood pressue that caused some unScoutlike commentary from them when he annouced the Venturing Silver Award was going to replace Eagle as the BSAs top award. I was one of those. Also heard some other things about his mangement style.

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