Scouts-L Mail Archive for December of 1999: Re: Ed's Web Site
Re: Ed's Web Site
Thu, 16 Dec 1999 00:04:40 -0600
Dan Hammond wrote in part:
>Recently, Ed has been run-down by some members of this
>list. I can understand some putting him down based on his
>posts to the list. I visited his site, admittedly with more
>than a little prejudice about what I would find, and read
>most of it.
I have taken the time yesterday between closet cleaning and tossing of
boxes to read the entire site and all of the charts and graphs he provided.
>He presents what I believe to be factual charts and graphs
>about Scouting membership numbers. Assuming they are
>correct in their depiction of declining membership numbers,
>we may be in trouble.
I'm not so sure about the membership numbers, Dan. We've talked here about
a couple of years, 95 and 92, in which membership numbers went upwards. Ed's
contention is that we shouldn't be counting the Career Awareness Exploring
(CAE) numbers because it inflates the overall Council and national
What I would have preferred him to do, which I've asked him to do but he
couldn't or didn't want to, is to provide solely Boy Scout and Cub Scout
numbers EXCLUDING EXPLORING PERIOD and compare those numbers over the years
as they go up and down.... Why? Because when we count Explorers, we're
counting males AND females, and we're also "double counting" in several
years, those members whom are also Boy Scouts. By taking Exploring
completely out, a much clearer "transition picture" can be obtained about
the true status of "traditional Scouting" in this country.
>It would appear that the Scouting
>Movement is not getting to as many boys as it should, and
>could. I fear we may not be getting to the boys that need
>our program the most.
I differ; I feel that through programs like In-School Scouting, Career
Awareness Exploring and other non-traditional programs as well as through
off-shoots like Varsity Scouting, we're reaching a larger number of YOUTH
(males AND older females) and are cutting into the programs of several other
national youth programs.
For instance, take a look at the FFA program. While much of the FFA's
decline in membership can be attributed to farm programs and the loss of
family and community farms and ranches; we in the BSA can also share a piece
of the FFA's decline by the increase in our membership base both at the Boy
Scout and Explorer/Venturing levels. We have many more Lone Boy Scouts and
Lone Cub Scouts registered in our Councils now than before and in-school
Scouting has really made a big difference in many rural and innercity areas.
>Ed doesn't present any quick and easy solutions, for indeed
>there are none. But the thoughts that he can provoke are
>many and substantial. It's certainly worth a look.
As Ed states in his many pages, there are some inflation of numbers even
today....but I disagree with him that the program is in trouble *now*. I do
agree with him, however, that if we as volunteers don't demand to take our
program back and place it in our control and actually agree to MANAGE OUR
PROGRAMS, with our professionals teaching and coaching us as we go
along....that there's a great deal of potential problems.
I do agree that it's worth a look. At least he doesn't publically cuss in it!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
personal inquiries via email@example.com,
blackeagle@SCOUTER.net or firstname.lastname@example.org
professional inquiries via email@example.com
-----FORWARD in service to youth and the nation-----