W. Scott Breckinridge Smith (email@example.com)
Mon Feb 16 15:53:27 1998
Let me say first that I found out about these changes only two weeks
ago (one week ahead of the meeting). At first, I was very upset. I
quickly figured out that being upset would not do any good, so we went
into a damage control mode.
I'm not sure if anyone can be completely happy about this change, but
being hostile is futile. Generally, decisions like this are already
made by the time volunteers (national or unit level) find out.
I guess it depends on what type of unit one has as to how one reacts
to this change. Please don't get mad here--I'm going to make a few
general statements. It is my belief that MOST law enforcement,
fire/rescue, career awareness, etc. posts do not have a strong link to
the Boy Scouts of America. In the Southern Region, for example, many
Explorers do not even know that they are in the BSA. Look mat how many
tan or green uniforms you see at the NELC and you'll see what I mean.
However, it seems that most outdoor, Indian culture, religious, etc.
Explorers have a closer tie to the BSA. A lot of them are older Scouts
and/or OA members (I know--I was an OA officer). This change is going
to affect these posts more, I think.
Basically, program will be the same. Uniforms will be the same (for
the Venturers, at least), patches will have to change slightly, Books
will have to be changed. These are all cosmetic things--the root of
the program will still be there, whether you're Learning for Life or
Somebody mentioned the idea that the resurrection of the Ranger Award
was a precursor to this change. Since my committee is the one
spearheading the Ranger Award project let me say that this IS NOT the
case. We had virtually no prior knowledge of this change.
I wouldn't worry about only having six months to prepare. Basically,
BSA National will notify each council/post on what program they will
be in (LFL or Venturing). Obviously, BSA will not just let us founder
after 1 August. This is a big transition, and they should provide
everything that we need.
Go ahead and plan your year's activities--don't worry. This should be
a relatively smooth transition and we shouldn't lose any youth while
this is occurring.
That was my initial 3 cents. I will try to asnswer any questions that
I can, however, I am not speaking officially for the BSA.
W. Scott Smith
National Outdoor Exploring Committee
Advisor, Post 1776, Lynchburg, VA
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