Re: patch trading
(no name) ((no email))
Mon, 18 Nov 1991 09:39:00 EDT
This is to conclude the discussion on the changes to Scouting's program
in the past ten or so years....
The ALL OUT FOR SCOUTING! program that Green Bar Bill and a group of veteran
Scouters put together brought Scouting back to the outdoors and re-established
the Boy Scouts of America (not this "Scouting/USA stuff that quite frankly,
confused many contributers ("you guys are letting in girls now??" , You and
the Girls Scouts together???) and SME givers to points where lots of Councils
started questioning National's intent in "changing to meet the needs of the
youth of the 80s"). Up until this time, Boy Scouts were called "scouts"
(racial mores at that time said that the word "boy" took on a negative
connotation....they tried to do the same thing with "high adventure areas"
to "outdoor adventure areas" (the term I personally like), because the
word "high" also invoked negative ("getting high") connotations) and the
program that they followed was called "scouting/USA". (2.4 mil was spent
on converting everything to this new name....Adrian's statement that "we
could have spent that on program" is very approviate here)
Still, with bringing Scouting back to its outdoor roots and the reversal
namechange, Scouting was not "back to where it was beforehand". So, after
a taskforce (in those "key Councils I spoke of a while back...I would love
to see them go to Iowa City or Logan, Utah or Johnson City, Tennessee)
told us the obilious ("We want the old program back!"), we again changed
to attempt to match up what we "looked like" back then (One colored background
on patches to match the uniform...the Army uses it....it looks good....why
don't we do that??....They forgot about the research that stated that Scouts
WANT to look like they have done something, even though they just started
out...that was the reason why we went to sixteen colored patches with varied
backgrounds...and WORDS on the patch to say what it is we are looking at!).
NO skill awards...they were costly and "if we wanted to go back...those were
part of the rank requirements for Tenderfoot, Second and First Class!
The cutting of many uniform options ("Scouts looked the same back then...you
knew a Scout when you saw one"!) like the beret, the floppy hats....allowing
Cubs to camp (we are losing many to the "idealized statement" that Scouting
is a camping and outdoors program...Cubs join (after ten years of ads that
state that Scouting is outing) and instantly want to go camping!)...and the
de-emphasis on advancement (until four years ago, when we were losing Scouts
at First Class like bottle rockets....and the "First Class Emphasis" program
came into being!) and "highlights" on camping and outdoor skills.
Kathie, you are right in your statement. But expect once again, as Scouting
searches for ways to reach EVERY boy in EVERY community, that we will see
some more radical programs. We already have Varsity Scouting (a real loser
except amoung the intercity and the Mormon Churches), Tiger Cubs (which would
work if the Tiger Cubs were FULL PARTNERS in ALL Cub Packs instead of the
hodge-podge we have right now....), Career Awarness Exploring (one of my
specialities and in my little opinion, is nothing more than "extra numbers
for membership and units" for many Councils and Exploring divisions/districts
since the program duplicates what many school districts already do (and I may
add, a lot better than what a one or two person staff can do); "Prepared for
Life" (a latchkey program for youth....it works but not without lots of staff
support....) and on and on....
Two bottom line points...and I will close.
First, the BSA must TAKE ONE PATH AND FOLLOW IT. We don't tell our Scouts
that if you don't like the path, you can cut through the briars and find
another one and follow it. No, we tell them that we must take our bearings,
look at our maps, and follow the course that will get us there safely and
quickly. I think that the national organization needs to do the same thing.
Taking people to court is expensive....for "chest-pounding things" that
to most Americans, they could care less about. Scouting needs to see what
EXACTLY it wants to be to our nation, and travel that course to get there.
Perhaps, that should be a goal to reach by the new century.
Second, the BSA is OUR PROGRAM. Yes, there are about 4500 professionals that
MANAGE the program...and yes, we ALLOW them to have the final say about a lot.
But Scouting is a volunteer program...that is the way it was set up in 1910
and the way it was chartered by Congress. We rely too much on the professional
to do what we as volunteers can (and are supposed to) do. We need to do without
the many "extra" layers (Adrian, does this sound strikingly familiar to your
point of view four weeks back???) of professional services and concentrate
on three key areas: service to volunteers (done by the field directors,
the Scout Executive and directors of support and field services); service to
the community (done by new professionals called "support directors" which
would raise the dollars, promote the camp, promote the programs and run the
trading post and other support facilities of the Council..right now, this
is being divided among DEs, Field Directors, special directors for finance,
camping, program, and development); and service to the units (done by
volunteer commissioners and a professional District/Exploring Executive).
We can trim the regional staffs by two professionals....the national staffs
by about 70 (bring them on for the National Jamboree or allow "fast tracker"
DEs, Field Directors and Scout Execs the chance to "intern" with the national
staffs on such events...) and save Scouting a bundle.
"what goes around comes around" is something that my Grandmother stated whenever
I was the subject of some form of discrimation or unfairplay. Scouting will
get theirs...unfortunately, it will be at the detriment and downfall of many
units and lots of volunteers. We need to stop fighting about every little thing
that "changes our program" and instead to move on FORWARD with what we are
really all about...creating youth leaders with approviate experiences along
citizenship, personal and character development....youth leaders that will
hold their heads up high way after they leave us and state "yes, I was a part
of the Boy Scouts before...and I enjoyed it. "
Settummanque!@HEY! Maybe this guy needs to go on the road and preach this!
Scouter, Explorer Leader, et all...
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City