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LDS Dropping Senior Youth Scouting


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#21 Ankylus

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 10:45 AM

Yes, and so it begins. To date, national has chosen the least painful path. They were fools if they thought it would have no consequences. So now it's all pain all the time. I am not inclined to increase my level of commitment in time or in money given the direction of the program, and so they can go find some new sources for those things. 

 

“A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once. It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.”

― William ShakespeareJulius Caesar


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#22 Ankylus

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 10:45 AM

We've got a long way to go to the bottom.

 

 

That's what they said on the Titanic.


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#23 Ankylus

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 10:50 AM

I am likely a lone voice with my opinion, but I would rather see more civic orgs, and other "friends of" orgs as COs instead of religious groups using bsa as a tool to recruit for their congregation or as their own "youth group". Either the Org holds the Charter to further the mission of BSA, but not using BSA to further your own mission. In my opinion, that is/was the crux of the problem. I am sure I am alone in this opinion, but that is ok. I am used to it.

 

That's all well and good. Out of curiosity, which "civic organizations" and "'friends of' organizations" do you think those might be? I mean, national needs to find these organizations ASAP. It seems to me that if those organizations were inclined to support BSA, they already would be. 

 

And, among the organizations you identify, which will step up sufficiently to fill this hole left by LDS?

 

I don't think anything is wrong with your opinion, except that I really doubt that church's anywhere use BSA for their "youth group". Oh, that, and it flies in the face of reality.

 

But what is the mission of BSA now? That, to me, is the critical question. I don't think even BSA knows. They spout a lot of platitudes, but when the rubber hits the road, they just kind of flounder around.

 

So, what is the mission of the BSA? And which new civic organizations are going to step up now that are not already actively supporting BSA?


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#24 Snow Owl

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 10:56 AM

Do you have a source for that statement?  I guess I assumed that the LDS church paid the same fees to National, per unit, per youth and per adult registrant, as everybody else.  But we all know what happens when you assume...

The LDS  Scouting Handbook for Church Units  states: 8.2 All registration fees for youth and adults.... are paid directly from Church headquarters to the BSA National Council.  8.3 goes on to say: All fees for chartering, unit liability insurance, and national registration, including fees for those of other faiths....are paid directly from Church headquarters to the BSA National Council.  The Church does not sponsor Scouting for girls or young women.

 

LDS also pays for uniforms, camp fees, handbooks etc.  * I have found conflicting LDS documents on this it appears there is a distinction between what is paid by LSDS at the national level and the local (stake and ward) level

 

I read specific language where LDS paid a negotiated fee to BSA   it is stated in the article "The national BSA normally charges a $24 registration fee for each Scout and adult leader per year. However, a 2015 statement from the three BSA councils in Utah says those fees "are negotiated between the national BSA and the LDS Church. All registration fees are retained at the national BSA level."  but I also have read that a few times previously.

 

I know when I have asked our SE about the LDS units he will not give me any specifics but that is his response to most things unless you are handing him a check.


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#25 Ankylus

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 10:58 AM

It's my understanding that, prior to this change, the LDS Church required boys in its units to move from a Boy Scout Troop to a Varsity Team when they turned 14 and to a Venturing Crew when they turned 16.  I am presuming that some of these Varsity and Venturing members were/are still working on Star, Life and/or Eagle.  So what the LDS Church seems to be saying is that kids in a Boy Scout troop can stay in the troop past the age of 13, in order continue advancing through the Boy Scout ranks. 

 

One overlooked point is that a lot of LDS boys join BSA because LDS tells them to do so. "This is a good organization for boys, and you should join it." And so they do. Will some of the boys stay in BSA outside of LDS units? Undoubtedly. But I bet most of them will leave for whatever church-approved activity is next promoted by LDS. Most of those boys are gone.


Edited by Ankylus, 11 May 2017 - 11:00 AM.

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#26 Snow Owl

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 10:58 AM

If they drop all programs in Scouting that would be 20% of the total number of Scouts. Given BSA hasn't been able to stem a 3% or 7% drop in membership, what makes you think they can back fill a 20% drop?

 

I don;t think we will fill that drop. We may need to accept a smaller, but maybe better, organization


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#27 Ankylus

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 11:00 AM

Go to the actual LDS announcement and follow the various links,  Spend some time reading and I think you can read between the lines, this is about coed.  Look at the offering for boys verses those for girls.  The more I read, and the more links I followed, the more I am convinced BSA may be better off without LDS.

 

You may very well be right. But national is not prepared for that and assume LDS will be there.  Scouting may be better off, but it will have to survive LDS' departure, first.


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#28 qwazse

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 11:06 AM

What is this about?

 

BSA over the past two decades investing in Lion Cubs and STEM scouts and divesting from Venturing and Varsity scouts.

 

Most Mormon Venturing crews were male-only. No problem. But, the venturing program, especially the new ALPS has nothing to offer LDS in terms of the spiritual growth their parishioners expect from their youth. (E.g., there is no national conference of venturing males, there was a disconnect between what LDS women would like to see in their growth and what Venturing had to offer, etc ...) Why pay BSA for a program that detracts from what their parishioners want to see in terms of youth development? Especially one that BSA itself is not heavily invested in? That the youth of the nation have not embraced with enthusiasm?

 

I think we'll still see a lot of Mormon boys working towards eagle. Just skimming their extensive list of "Young Men 14-18 Activities", there remains "Accomplish Rank Advancement" (https://www.lds.org/...ements?lang=eng). It refers to the http://www.scouting....tandAwards.aspx -- a page that makes no mention of venturing awards.

 

The LDS did not drop BSA. BSA dropped venturing for LDS.


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#29 David CO

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 11:07 AM

The image next to Snow Owl's name is that of a Chartered Organization Representative patch.  I find it ironic that a COR is advocating against the Chartered Organizations.


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#30 Snow Owl

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 11:11 AM

The image next to Snow Owl's name is that of a Chartered Organization Representative patch.  I find it ironic that a COR is advocating against the Chartered Organizations.

 

Just the opposite I am advocating for the Chartered organizations, the local COs.  I must have missed something.


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#31 Eagledad

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 11:30 AM

I don;t think we will fill that drop. We may need to accept a smaller, but maybe better, organization

Smaller, better? Before political correctness was driving decisions at National, BSA's largest membership decline issue was it's program. The Cub Program alone looses over 75% (I think it's more) of it's families before they even get to the troop age. None of the program changes I have seen or experienced in the last 25 years addresses the issues forcing the decline. In fact, the changes and proposed changes actually require more adult volunteer time, not less. National hasn't shown and inclination of going leaner and meaner. I don't see how taking a large group of boys sponsored by a religious organization improves that outlook. 

 

Barry


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#32 Ankylus

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 11:36 AM

National hasn't shown and inclination of going leaner and meaner. 

 

It is a sad fact of life that any organization over time begins to exist for itself and those who comprise its bureaucracy rather than those it ostensibly is formed to serve. Over time it will manifest a will to survive rather then to serve, or profit, or whatever is supposed mission is. BSA had a better run than most.


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#33 Eagledad

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 11:59 AM

It is a sad fact of life that any organization over time begins to exist for itself and those who comprise its bureaucracy rather than those it ostensibly is formed to serve. Over time it will manifest a will to survive rather then to serve, or profit, or whatever is supposed mission is. BSA had a better run than most.

Agreed. And they had a good run because of the passion of the volunteers. If the BSA were only manned by paid employees, it would have folded years ago. 

 

Which leads to another thought; until the last 15 years where I lost track, the major source of revenue and assets for the BSA came from alumni. In fact I read several years ago the BSA used to brag, that other than religion, it had the largest alumni support of any volunteer organization in the U.S. Maybe even the world. Rumor is that the BSA lost that bragging right after the gay membership change. Who knows, you know how rumors go. But for volunteer organizations, alumni asset support are like stock holders, they hold the organization accountable for its performance. If the alumni bail on the BSA, what leverage is left to hold National accountable?

 

Barry


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#34 RememberSchiff

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 12:02 PM

Mormons and Scouting explained in 5 graphics

 

http://www.deseretne...5-graphics.html


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#35 RememberSchiff

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 12:08 PM

Agreed. And they had a good run because of the passion of the volunteers. If the BSA were only manned by paid employees, it would have folded years ago. 

 

Which leads to another thought; until the last 15 years where I lost track, the major source of revenue and assets for the BSA came from alumni. In fact I read several years ago the BSA used to brag, that other than religion, it had the largest alumni support of any volunteer organization in the U.S. Maybe even the world. Rumor is that the BSA lost that bragging right after the gay membership change. Who knows, you know how rumors go. But for volunteer organizations, alumni asset support are like stock holders, they hold the organization accountable for its performance. If the alumni bail on the BSA, what leverage is left to hold National accountable?

 

Barry

 

I think that boast disappeared around 2008, after the NESA hired Harris Connect to send out postcards to all Eagles. They got a disappointing low (30%?) response and not all positive.


Edited by RememberSchiff, 11 May 2017 - 12:13 PM.

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#36 qwazse

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 12:13 PM

I think that boast disappeared a few years ago after the NESA sent out postcards to all Eagles and got a low (30%?) response and not all positive.

In what marketing universe? My book-learning may be outdated, but I was trained that the typical response rate to postcards is about 4% or less.


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#37 NJCubScouter

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 12:38 PM

I read specific language where LDS paid a negotiated fee to BSA   it is stated in the article "The national BSA normally charges a $24 registration fee for each Scout and adult leader per year. However, a 2015 statement from the three BSA councils in Utah says those fees "are negotiated between the national BSA and the LDS Church. All registration fees are retained at the national BSA level."  but I also have read that a few times previously.

 

Well, I guess you are right.  I mean, if I wanted to be a lawyer about this, I might point out that it says the fees are "negotiated", not that they are "reduced", which creates three possibilities, (1) they negotiated for a higher fee, which nobody would ever do, so forget that one, (2) they negotiated but agreed to pay the same fee as everybody else... in which case they probably wouldn't say anything about it at all, so that's probably out too, (3) it's a reduced fee, but I wonder how much?  

 

So I guess this is the second "something new" I learned in the forum this week.


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#38 scoutldr

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 12:55 PM

Well, with the influx of all the gay and trans youth flooding our ranks, it should balance out.  There have been thousands begging to join, right?  Is that the sound of violins playing "Nearer My God to Thee", playing in the background?


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#39 gumbymaster

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 01:19 PM

In the short term, while it will be a membership hit, the Scouts who really want to are supposed to be allowed to continue in the Troop. 

 

This would imply that LDS units would start to have some older boys in leadership which may help and encourage more boy-led, boy taught programs at the Troop level (and I do not mean to indicate that that is not happening now, I have only limited direct experience with LDS units). 

 

It would also allow those troops that remain to be a little larger - I know several stakes have problems keeping up their Troop membership.

 

From a discipline point of view, having boys there that WANT to be there, should be another positive.

 

On the down side, some of the most reliable venues and best motivated, district, volunteer leadership comes from LDS units.  I would hate to see a reduction in those resources as well.


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#40 Col. Flagg

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 01:32 PM

It would also allow those troops that remain to be a little larger - I know several stakes have problems keeping up their Troop membership.

 

[snip]

 

On the down side, some of the most reliable venues and best motivated, district, volunteer leadership comes from LDS units.  I would hate to see a reduction in those resources as well.

 

Our unit has taken in a few dozen LDS transfers over the years. From what I have experienced and been told, the LDS Boy Scout units generally do not have adult leaders familiar with how the higher ranks work, or utilizing the patrol method in a unit that has 11-17 year olds. In fact, most Life Scouts are amazed when they transfer at how organized and detailed Boy Scout units are compared to the Crews they were in. Forget the Eagle process. The LDS troops (11-14 units) don't have to deal with Eagle so they have little clue on how it works.

 

Again, this is based on the transfers we've had over the last 5-10 years. Maybe others have had different experiences.

 

Most districts around me are hosted by LDS Churches. Looks like we will need to look for someone else to host us monthly. Good luck with that.


Edited by Col. Flagg, 11 May 2017 - 01:33 PM.

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