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Reminds me of my niece's birthday party when she was 7 or 8 years old.


My sister-in-law booked the party at one of those indoor gymnasiums with the super version of the MacDonalds play climbing contraptions. The place also made the cake and served pizza as well as "X" number of tokens for games.


WEll, my niece, as well as a few other cousins and a few friends were running around gplaying and having a good time.


My sis inlaw was fussing because about 8 kids didn't show up due to previous obligations, soccer games, being sick, etc...

She sdaid the pizza was cheap and not very flavorful, the fruit drink was kinda bland but over sweetened too. THe games were kinda hokey and boring, etc...


Just over all, it was a failure of a party>


Until my niece runs up and hugs her mom and tells her this was the best birthday party to have ever been held in the entire histry of the world! Ever! Of EPIC proportions!


I guess nobody thought to tell the birthday girl rthat she was wrong and actually having a miserable time. :)


I have always rememberedn that day and always remind myself that - just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder...fun or quality ( or whatever it may be) is in the mind of the individual.


So as a 40 year old person, I could nit pick and find fault with a ton of stuff that has to do witrh scouting.....but I have to remind myself that the scouts themselves might be having a blast and really getting alot from the program.

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I do find tons of valuable ideas and info here.


I guess my point is that it's easy to get into reading the Nth page of a discussion and get the impression that not only is scouting going to hell in a hand basket, but today's scouts don't even have the skills to make the basket. (yes, I did earn the "basketry" badge back in the day, don't ask me why.) Sometimes it's good to close the laptop and go toss the ball around for a while.

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I do get what you are saying 83...


Reminds me of NASCAR - yes, I am a NASCAR fan.


If you listen to trhe fans, about 50% of them will tell you each and every day , what is wronmg with the sport, what should be done, what should be completely changed and why their way would be better.


I used to be on the NASCAR forums quite a bit. Everyday , and especially after races, fans would write about why trhe sport is dying, why it wouldn't lkast another year and why fans were leaving by the thousands...


Yet, teh sport is thriving as much as any sport can under the economic conditions we have> For every fan that "claims" to leave, 3 or 4 take his/her place with as much spirit and enthusiasm as any fan could ever have.


Funny thing is, not only have these fans been making these claims for at least the past 7 years ( that I know of) and the sport is stil around..but those same naysayer fans are still watching NASCAR with every one of it's horrible flaws and problems.


I guess BSA is the same way: Still going on strong with not only the economic conditions we are experiencing, but going on strong with all the rival oppertunities that didn't always exist in the past - ie: Computers, chat rooms, sports, school, other civic activities and groups, peer pressure, etc....



So what does it really come down to? People are not satisfied that BSA isn't run exactly the way they want it to be run. Everything isn't exactly to their specs.


I know I will never agree with every aspect of anything in my life, but that don't mean it isn't great!


By the way, I am having a blast working as CM of my pack, MBC of our sister troop and district, District committee and Council camp promotor for my district.


Let them complain, I'm tooo busy having fun!




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Definitely NOT "going on strong." I know the numbers here and nationally, and they are grim. My Council has about the same number of Scouts is had in 1912 when Scouting was just getting started. Happily, we have more Cubs, ho didn't exist in 1912, than we have Scouts and a chance to get those Cubs crossed-over in due course.


The first step in dealing with a problem is admitting there is a problem. There is a problem. Scouting is not as popular with its "customers" as it once was, and Scouting's "sales force" (adults) is woefully understrength.


However, having admitted there is a problem, the next step is to work on making things better, NOT getting stuck in a slough of despair and negativism. There ARE units that are strong and healthy. There ARE good things happening. We have an opportunity to make things better.


Or we can compile lists of everything we think is wrong and congratulate ourselves on our, individual righteousness.

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All Scouting is Local.


I serve my troop to the best of my ability and time available. There are a few things that regular posters on this forum would point at and complain. But for the most part, the troop is healthy and thriving. The lads are learning new skills and sticking with the program. There is a fully staffed committee and enough uniformed ASMs to have one assigned to each patrol. There is money in the treasury and a scout shed full of gear.


Could the troop fine tune some aspects? Sure. Overall I am amazed at the number and breadth of issues that other units seem to have and discuss here that the units I have served did not or do not have.


Put your focus on your unit. Make it the best you can. If you spend too much time listening to all the woes and complaints here, you won't have time to serve your unit. Try to implement the good ideas here.

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"Definitely NOT "going on strong." "


No, I stand behind what I said - taking into account of all the other oppertunitis clubs, organazations and the internet competing with scouting.


In our council this year, 13 new troops and 8 new packs were created this year alone. Membership increased by 17 %.


I have no clue what the numbers are regarding crews or ships as I mostly stick in the troop/pack circles and the troops comprise alot of the crew/ship numbers.


So, considering all the competition, all the other things that youth could do, all of the other oppertunities snatching up youth and in the social and economic world we live in right now...scouting is going on strong.

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Ya know Eagle.......it is easy to get depressed. Adults who forget about who they serve or why they are involved......


someone pointed out that Basement is only in scouting for the outing. Well the outing removed my boys from the inner city and less than traditional homes. Their problems are more in their control, something like making sure they don't burn the pancakes or pick a good tent site. Broken homes, violence, theft and discrimination are my boys norms.


Scouting is their escape and it probably is mine as well.

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Let's not classify all complaining as mere complaining.


In some places, scouting is indeed grim. In these instances, the person voicing the complaints should not be summarily dismissed as a malcontent.


Further, "all is well/don't worry be happy" is sometimes an outright denial of reality, or a misguided satisfaction with mediocrity.


Neither position is all/nothing, black/white, but rather a spectrum.


OGE's description is spot on--this is an employee's lounge. We cuss/discuss, vent a bit, and then get back in the game.

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You never know what you've missed if you never had it. Sure, the old timers bemoan what Scouting is today, but the kids today weren't scouts 50 years ago. Things change. Always have, always will. My dad (God rest his soul) was born in 1925 and plowed the family farm with a pair of mules. I hear tell today that farmers ride around in air-conditioned tractors with GPS units and connections for their iPods so they can listen to their favorite tunes. My dad was a Marine in WWII. Things weren't always easy. I hear tell that today's Marines get to email back home or do video chats with their family and they get to watch first run movies. I could go on with a million examples. I won't.


The past generation always had it harder and things were always better. Today's generation is always losing out because things are done differently than the way we used to do it in the good old days. I quit scouting as a Webelos in 1967. I wasn't a Boy Scout. My son joined as a Webelos and aged out of Boy Scouts as an Eagle earlier this year. He had a blast. He served as a PL, ASPL, SPL, TG amd JASM. He staffed summer camp, a council camporee, cub day camp and served as SPL of his Jambo trip. He attended two Jambos, backpacked Philmont and the Pecos Widerness and paddled Northern Tier. He staffed two NYLT courses. He is a Vigil Honor in the OA where he held Lodge and Chapter leadership positions and served on the ceremonies team. Please don't tell him that he had a lousy Scouting experience or a sissy Scout experience. He'd do his best to behave in a scoutlike behavior, but he'd stronly disagree with you. And yes, some day when he is my age with a son in scouting, he'll probably be telling him how this scouting program isn't worth a bucket of warm spit compared to when he was in scouts at the turn of the century.


It's all about perspective and your perspective changes depending on which hill your standing on.

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I understand the frustration. When in your troop concentrate on the most important things first and the boys. There will be good times and depressing times.


We just had a successful camp-out so I am feeling more optimistic. I saw:


1- Usually the adults put on the Friday cracker barrel for the boys. We had 5 boys volunteer to do all the prep (with minimal snacking) without asking.


2- Did some boys first backpacking hike. Some did not take advice on pack weight and distribution and suffered accordingly. Adult leaders let them and boys suffered but did not whine. Listened attentively to advice at end.


3- 2 Patrols forgot food, equipment. Adult Patrol had a surplus of food but turned boys away to beg and barter with other patrols. A year ago we would have fed them.


So bit by bit progress is being made.


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I forgot the best one!


4- SM asks the boy how to stop severe bleeding. One wag yells out "use the EDGE method, but make sure he doesn't bleed out before he is enabled!". Much eye-rolling and muttering over EDGE training and my faith in humanity is restored.

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