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After reading this thread I have to say sometimes we all do allow ourselves to get sidetracked because of our emotions. The notion of "cupcake scouts" is simply Kudu's opinion which he is entitled to express, as we all are. A SM from 1910, or 1950, or even 1970 might look at the boy scout program of today and express similiar opinions, but no one should take them personally. It is a fact that there are many more "Eagle Mill" troops in exsistence today, that you would not have seen 20-40 or more years ago, that attempt to get their boys all the way through to Eagle with MINIMAL effort.


Kudu quoting the CSE on the outdoor aspect of scouting is also very true and accurate, the question then becomes what if any part will the outdoor skills part of scouting play in the BSA of the future? As the "old time" scoutmasters begin to step down will the succeeding generation of scoutmasters, and National personnel, raised with the modified or scaled down outdoor programs try to preserve this backbone of the scouting program or continue to allow it to diminish in both importance and practice. That's the question that really concerns me.

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Just finished our OA election tonight and the OA rep commented on how our Troop is always one of the most well attended. (Which, ironically, makes it difficult for boys to get elected into OA, but thats another topic.) I'm sure there are many reasons for our success, but I am convinced the major one is our outdoor program.


I very much apprecaite Kudu's information, even if he does rough up the 5th point a bit. Without a challenging outdoor program Scouting looses its appeal for most boys unless they are just looking for Eagle as a resume builder (its usually more the parents anyway at that point).


I expect the pendulum will swing back towards the outdoor adventure as Troops without good adventure programs lose membership. Boys generally aren't out looking for a character overhaul, they want adventure and it is only then that we can really get their attention for the character development.

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Indeed--leadership sets the tone.


National's not-so-subtle indifference towards adventure/outdoors sends signals.


If birds of a feather don't like to camp, they won't. And they will be more prone to recruit other birds of the same feather. This impacts the organization as a whole.


Some folks like to be outdoors. Others like to be indoors and hold meetings.


Yes, a troop can decide to buck the trend and be outdoors--thank goodness, that is still true.

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Yah, I gotta agree with sherm.


Honestly, I think it's an age and fitness thing.


As we get older, we all get a bit slower and less adventurous. Many of our national fellows also become very well rounded. :)


If we aren't getting outdoors and being adventurous ourselves, if we hold back from the rock climb or da whitewater raft or the snow camp, that does send signals. Even more, we start to think those things are optional. They're not necessary. We can do scoutin' without 'em.


Only a small step from that to "and they're risky." Need to write more rules. We can, perhaps should, cut 'em. Only a few people would miss them, but not any of the people we know. I never did paintball. Cub scouts don't need to canoe. Teenagers can't be expected to camp on their own.


Sound familiar?


I reckon that's why in much of international scouting, unit leaders and officials are young folks. They often consider it odd and disadvantageous to have older, slower, more well-rounded folks leading.




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Amen, Brother Beavah, no truer words were ever spoken.


I feel that we as scout leaders need to know, as Kenny Rogers would say, when to hold em and know when to fold em. As we get older are we really doing the youth a favor when we know we aren't quite up to energy level we once were. It was one of the hardest things for me to step down as Venturing Advisor for a crew I started and watch grow from 10 teens to 65 teens. Now as CC/COR and still playing an active role in the crew, going on occassional outings, watching the new Advisor and Assoc. Advisors, who were founding members of the first 10, growing into and thriving in their new roles assures me that I made the right decision. Now I have the best of both worlds, working behind the scenes to help get the crew the support they need, acting as a counselor for the Advisors when they have problems, questions or need advice, and to be constantly invited to go on outings with the crew, which I do on a limited basis as a guest and not the leader.


Too many leaders hold on way too long, maybe out of fear of losing part of their identity or feeling their way is the only way to run the unit. Letting go is always hard, but we all have to at one point or another. Otherwise we risk being asked to step down by the committee, the parents, or even the youth.

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A little more cognitive dissonance - if you don't do outdoor stuff and you know you should, blame "national", thus it's out of your control "not my fault", and dissonance is thus reduced. There's a million and one excuses for not being outdoors; take your pick or make up a new one.

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Always out of touch with what is being said. Ok just for Frank, first and foremost the responsibility for a solid outdoor program in your troop or crew is the responsibility of the units adult and youth leadership.


Now to what was being discussed here, if National continues to de-emphasis the outdoor program, continues to modify or eliminate outdoor skills and rank requirements the scout leaders in turn will get the message very quickly that outdoor skills are NO longer important and begin to eliminate them from their programs, especially when they are no longer included in the handbook.

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"National's apparent indifference to the outdoor program," sherminator?


"National's not-so-subtle indifference," desertrat?


"INDIFFERENCE"???????? :)


How many millions of dollars do you think our "leadership" experts spent on their 1970s program to deliver "no campout" Eagle badges to our nation's poor "urban youth"?


That is not an exaggeration: The Leadership Development final solution to the "problem" of the outdoor program was to strip the path to Eagle of any requirements that force our nation's poor "urban youth" into a tent.


Now in the same "inclusive" tradition our current chief millionaire executive's final solution to the "problem" of camping is to provide our nation's poor "Hispanic youth" with "entire-family pilot programs" that offer "leadership skill growth" alternatives with the "cultural sensitivity" not to force any poor Hispanic's "twelve-year-old son" into a tent.




When he says that "giving traction to these programs is a major resource issue for us and one that we are willing to invest in as we go forward," the only real question is whether by "major resource issue" he means millions of dollars or tens of millions of dollars to finally solve the problem of camping.


Indifferent? Leadership Development's 46 year war on Scoutcraft has NEVER been "indifferent." :)


Yours at 300 feet,





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