Scouts-L Mail Archive for December of 1999: Re: Why do Scouts leave?
Re: Why do Scouts leave?
Mon, 20 Dec 1999 23:55:35 -0600
Steve Hoar asked us all:
>Years ago I got involved in a major row at a training session when I asked
>a council person 'Why to Scouts leave Scouting?' He couldn't answer and
>was very upset that I would ask. It seemed like the answer from him and
>the rest of the leaders there was 'everyone knows why they leave; girls,
>cars, and sports.' But other than their opinions and judgements, no one
>could point to any factual data as to why boys left scouting (other than
>reaching age 18).
A few years back, that question was asked here and several Scouters
(including myself) offered reasons why youth leave our program. Common to
most of the responses are the lack of a program, the lack of Scouts
controlling their program, and the overall attitude that Scouting is nothing
more than a glorified camping and outdoors club with some rules and "themes"
>It seems to me that it should be a simple enough task. We register the
>boys every year which give us their name and addresses. The next year, we
>again register the boys. All it takes it to print out the list of boys who
>do not re-register and ask 'why?' The asking of why could be as simple as
>a letter and form to check off the reasons. It could be more detailed if
It sounds easy but in reality most polls like that yield very little
results, not enough to provide valid reasoning.
>Most unit leaders can give you their opinion or estimation as to why boys
>leave but they are inaccurate at best.
True, very true....
>Perhaps it has been done. But, I still cannot find the answer. So I ask
>the group...Has BSA ever undertaken a comprehensive and ongoing effort to
>determine why scouts leave scouting? Have they undertaken an effort to
>find out why they lose their customers? Have they used this information to
>produce a product that their customers want and can use?
No to all of those questions, Steve. The BSA has taken polls and have
interviewed potential and present Scouts for various surveys, but they have
never done a survey to determine why Scouts leave the program and followed
it up by modifications in the program. Remember, the Scouting program has
remained basically the same for 90 years.
>No opinions please. We all have our personal opinions as to why scouts
>leave. Has anyone collected and continued to collect the facts at a
>national level? If the facts do exist where are they and can we gain
>access to them? Even though our program may be correct and by the book,
>it may not meet the needs of the customers.
As far as I'm aware, the BSA's Statistical Service and the Council Services
Division would have *some figures* but as I've mentioned before, not enough
to or in the right format to figure out what's "wrong with the program" and
"what needs to be fixed" to make the program better.
Does there need to be such a survey or poll conducted?? Personally, I don't
think so. As many Scouters here already have an idea, and as described
before when we discussed it, the reasoning really boils down to programming,
programming, and more programming, the BSA way.
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
personal inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org,
blackeagle@SCOUTER.net or email@example.com
professional inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org
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