Scouts-L Mail Archive for September of 1999: Re: Council Communications - Back to Pro Bashing?
Re: Council Communications - Back to Pro Bashing?
Wed, 8 Sep 1999 11:59:20 -0400
> The responses that I can't even make sense of tell me that this group
> has no interest in the facts, only wanting Scouting to continue. I find
> it unbelievable that so many can respond and say that Scouting is doing
> fine. Everybody knows better! But I guess we all must maintain our
I choose to believe that you are as passionate about this as you are out
of a genuine desire to see Scouting improve, but you are shooting your-
self in the foot.
Many subscribers from many districts and councils have written to say
that their traditional membership is growing. National figures have
been posted here indicating the same thing on a nationwide scale. I can
tell you that while I was a District Commissioner, the professionals I
worked with were extremely forthcoming about virtually any information
I wanted. You see, I didn't view them as the enemy, but as partners.
Why shouldn't they be forthcoming with me, when by meeting our common
goals we were also coincidentally meeting the DE's "criticals?"
Yet you continue to insist that we are all kidding ourselves.
I will concede several points:
1. This list is not a representative sampling of Scouters. I assume
that we are more dedicated and active than the average. This
might tend to skew the results of any survey here toward the "BSA is
fine" end of the spectrum.
2. We may be hearing only the success stories. The other 99% of the
list that has not weighed in may be suffering a decline in membership.
(But I doubt it.)
Ed, if you have figures that refute a growth in membership, I'd love
to see them. If you have constructive suggestions for improving
Scouting, I'd love to hear them. But if you want to enlist me to your
cause, you're going to have to say more than, "Scouting isn't like it
was XX years ago, and it's the fault of the pros." Nothing is like it
was XX years ago, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's time to throw
the baby out with the bath-water. Considering the increase we have in
competition from XX years ago, I think the case could be made that our
membership numbers are actually pretty darned good.
I'm not a Pollyanna. I realize that there is room for improvement in
BSA. I actually think you may have some good points. But unless you
make them, you run the risk of coming across as just plain bitter.
John Conley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ganeodiyo Lodge Adviser
Finger Lakes Council (NY)
*Better to build boys than mend men*