Re: Why Scouts Quit
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Wed, 28 Jun 1995 11:25:48 CDT
I've got only a few minutes today to reply to this, so I'll be brief
(Mike Walton...brief? Nah!!!)
To answer the last part of your question, the BSA *does* conduct some
research into why Scouts leave the program, but that research is very
dated (the last time was in 1975, and as we all know, that was before
mainline PCs, Sega Genesis, rap music, Skinheads, and even Kuwait.
All of those things have, IMO, have more of an impact today than just
"cars and girls").
To answer the first part, Scouts leave because of THREE IMPORTANT
reasons, two of which the BSA is trying to beat our collective heads
in getting the message to us all. Here it is in American English:
* Scouts leave because we FAIL TO DELIVER WHAT WE PROMISE. The BSA
has been trying to tell us to stop "promising the sun, the stars, the
moon and everything else in between" when describing the amount of
enjoyment Scouts will get from the participation in our programs.
I've witnessed Scoutmasters tell kids "We'll go rappelling, jump from
helicopter platforms, learn how to survive in the jungles...." and all
other assorted junk and the kids snap it up, fill out the applications
and get Momma or Pappa to sign it and fork over the money and *another
number*. That's overselling what we have to offer.
If a kid don't want to join us for the adventure, for the personal
challenge, then don't try to sell him on stuff your unit CANNOT do.
The BEST ways to get kids to join Scouting is to capitolize on what
your unit has done IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS and show pictures.
In "Delivering the Promise", a BSA publication and emphasis, the BSA
wants us to tell Scouts and their parents about the local, national
and international resources that the BSA has. We want them to know
that the adventure just don't stop at the doorstop to the Scout hut.
At the same time, we want to assure Scouts and their parents that when
we say that we will be going to England to camp for a week, that we
are not misleading those potential Scouts and their parents with high
hopes that ALL of the Troop or Post or Ship will be going to England
or that it will ONLY cost airfare for each Scout or Explorer.
* Scouts leave because WE DON'T RUN A SCOUTING PROGRAM but instead
something of a cross between a high-end child care center and a
"Discovery Zone" (tm). Scouts join Scouting to do Scouting things.
The core of what we have to offer. By discarding the basics of what
we have tried and worked over the past 85 years, we do a disservice to
both the kid, that expects to go camping, to learn how to cook over a
fire, to learn basic knots, citizenship, represenative leadership,
pride in himself and others, basic map and compass skills,
identification and conservation of enviornmental hazards and
plant/animal life, basic first aid and safety, sanitation and public
health and basic swimming.....
...and his parents, that view Scouting as this special place whereby
he can try independence and self-reliance in an atmosphere of caring
and concerned individuals, adult and youth.
When we don't run a Scouting program and something else other than a
Scouting program, we risk losing not only those kids but also public
community support which can make or break a unit and eventually the
impact that the BSA has in that community.
* Scouts leave because THEY ARE BORED. Even with a girlfriend and a
car, the most senior boys will stick around if they know that there's
something that they can do. When we stick our senior boys into a room
and tell them "you're the senior patrol", all we're telling them is
that "you've served your purpose, now get lost until we need you".
Those are the young men that need to be visibly OUT THERE, around
those younger guys so that they can see that Scouting doesn't end at
14 or 15 (as the prevailling rate is presently....note that one gets a
drivers' license at 16!). Those are the ones that we need to appoint
as Junior Assistant Scoutmasters at 16, and take them to those "adult
things" with you and the other adults in your unit. Those are the
ones that we need to create Varsity or Venture crews for and if
neccessary, find them an Explorer Post or Ship if they are bored of
"the Scouting stuff".
That's all I have time today to respond. Hopefully in the morning, and
through the day tomorrow, I can add to this and answer the questions
more completely than this summary. Sorry for being so short!!
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services ___)_
(h) 502-782-7992 (f) 502-781-7279 (w) 502-782-7467 |-=-|]
5350 Louisville Road, #52, Bowling Green, KY 42101-7211 -=====-
Internet: WALTOML@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU/America OnLine: KYBLKEAGLE@AOL.COM
Windoze Wobbles?? We use GeoPublish (shareware) & Ensemble (commercial)!
Fast & easy & *full* GUI. Try it! ftp://188.8.131.52/pub/geos/publish
Blackeagle Services is NOT affiliated with & does not speak for Western
Kentucky University but is the home to Leaders Online! Ask us about it!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City