Shana's Q&A time (fwd)
Robert Murphy (Robert.Murphy@Colorado.EDU)
Mon Feb 23 15:36:14 1998
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Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 14:21:04 EST
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Subject: Shana's Q&A time
Before all else, I apologize for the bandwidth and all, but what little I have
either confirms or adds to what we did know:
I want to tell everyone I did not take notes, so we're going from a rather
shaky memory here - well, you bring together 600+ kids from parts of four
states and both sexes for a weekend and tell me *your* mind wouldn't be shot.
After Matt reads this he may correct something or tell all of you I heard or
remembered wrong, so wait until he gets a shot at me after he gets his e-mail
about 4p.m. CST.
Matt talked to her first, and stayed the whole time - the only youth who did.
I joined in and asked my questions and, to be honest, stayed around with Ron
Fox - who always keeps a cooler head and has a better thing to say than I - in
case there was someone who was really incensed rather than curious (Sorry,
having read some of Matt's Explorer-net messages, I didn't know what to
As to this being a rection to the court case in Chicago or San Diego she would
only state that the BSA is trying to be pro-active. We were told this was
*not* a reaction to the court challenges directly. As to this being a kick in
the head to some at National Office, there must be some wearing blinders and
living like ostraches, since she said this has been discussed and worked on
for a couple of years at this point.
She apologized for the CSE's letter and how little it told us. She also said
she'll be back in Texas to work on it some more (I think next weekend) and
that she has one goal in particular, more details for us grunts.
As STC my questions were more around the things that affect my end of things,
but I did learn the following:
1. Young American will be retained and possible expanded to more winners. Not
worked out who will pick the winner in a council yet.
2. ELA will eventually either become available only to career units with an
equivalent award for the outdoor units OR it will be renamed on both sides.
3. All Advancement and Awards - including GOLD, Silver, and Ranger - will be
limited to outdoor units. Those who wish to continue to advance or be in the
OA will have to be multipled into a troop or a outdoors/religion/hobby/sea
unit. I questioned why this was necessary when with the computer plans for
2000 would give us all one registration number no matter how multipled we are,
and therefore we could easily track who could be allowed in OA and
Advancement, but it appears that is not the case. I didn't bother asking, but
one can assume from that those Advisors becoming part of LFL will no longer be
eligible for BSA awards such as ELA, DAM, Silver Beaver, or Spurgeon either,
but that is an assumption on my part.
4. Exploring will become a division of Learning for Life, which currently has
four divisions, this will make it the fifth. And Exploring Division Head will
be Bill Rogers (just confirming). Bill Evans is one of I believe 5 in
considration for the head of Venturing.
5. Career units will supposedly find additional support and backing. Among
those items are: school credit for Exploring and Corporations providing
funding for specific programs and scholarships within programs. An example
would be my cable company CO providing a scholarship for youth from
6. Area representatives and Regional Reps would not change, nor should
NELC/NLEC- at least not in the near future. However the potential is there for
there to be separate National bodies with separate representatives down the
line, depending on how things work out. The time line for this total
changeover is ten years, folks, so fasten your safety belts, put your trays in
the upright position, adjust for turbulence, and be prepared for several
twitches, tweaks, and adjustments over the next few years.
7. This is, in essence, a touch and go field test of everything at once. Plans
are to move slowly and if something doesn't work out it can always be switched
back - with the exception of the main split.
8. Conferences like PACE can continue and are in fact ENCOURAGED to continue
and to be expanded to other areas and regions - however it was the outdoor
guys who were first to point out that their youth might not feel wanted in the
future because of the name change and may stop attending. (I felt better I
wasn't the only one seeing that possible problem.)
9. While Venturers is a strange name to learn and adjust to, realize that the
name was first (and probably best) choice because BSA owns the rights to the
name. There were several other names that were presented as possibilities, but
many BSA would've had to acquire rights to. Shana said she had held on to
leaving the outdoor units Explorers and renaming career units but that she
couldn't get that done.
10. A lot of this was done without complete planning as to transition, etc.
done ahead of time. There will be bumps and continued questions and a bunch of
"I don't knows".
What shocked me the most was Matt mentioned the whole thing in his speech on
saturday at lunch (no, he didn't win, but he is now VP-Administration for the
Area) but when Shana offered to talk about it on Saturday evening very few
raised their hands as knowing what she was talking about.
Other points of interest: Ron, calm as always, pointed out the fact that we
should always remain optimistic and see this as a chance for growth. That was
also Shana's opinion. I added that I see it as that evangelism program I
mentioned before, we can get people into career programs and get those most
interested and get them into Scouting as well, using Sylvester Tan as an
example (And should this get forwarded to him on explorer-net by someone:
"Ohio gozaemashita!" If you'd told me you were going I could've gotten you A#1
Tokyo connections to BSN since I served on a camp staff with the man who now
is responsible for testing the youth they send to overseas activities. Hope
you enjoyed the trip and the Olympics. But always check your resources, man).
I also pointed out that the people most upset are the Troops with Venture
Crews. Shana looked confused and said the BSA would support venturing, so
obviously the name duplication won't confuse just us. We finally worked
through it to where she understood that what I was talking about was the older
boy program in the troops and she was apparently talking about the new
Venturer designation. She said that *BSA will be supporting the older boy
program* but to possibly expect some changes. I assume starting with the name.
My personal opinions, based on all of the above:
Encourage anyone working advancement or GOLD award requirements to complete
If you have a district level position, prepare a Post that is in the
"Outdoor" category but that doesn't do more than the minimum QU requirements
for any youth who wish to continue a Scouting membership for continued
advancement, awards, and OA membership. Ditto for any adults who have been
long-time Scouters and who may also be eligible for an award.
Above all, encourage units to continue their unit program and not worry about
the changes UNLESS they have youth or adults with a Scouting affiliation who
need that added membership, and multiple them into the other unit.
Finally, don't design anything that has both the "Big E" and a fdl on it for
your unit if you are career-based and make sure your EE/DE knows to help units
keep from making that mistake.