Scouts-L Mail Archive for December of 1999: Re: Why do Scouts leave?
Re: Why do Scouts leave?
Kirk and Nena Barley
Tue, 21 Dec 1999 19:46:38 -0500
I conducted a survey of inactive Scouts to determine why they dropped.
The results were so different from my expectations that I doubt the
validity of a survey of leaders unfortunately. As one, I know why a few
of my boys leave. I watch them become disaffected or attracted by
another activity. The boys and families that I surveyed usually had
tales of how their units had mistreated them. Some just chose another
activity or didn't continue for other reasons, but I found that nearly
half had been failed by the program. They had verifiable tales that
were often corroborated by their unit leaders.
We failed most on "Round-Up" night by not having leaders in place. Some
developed a disregard for Scouting when their Pack could not place them
with a leader, or haggled over the process until it failed. Many gave
up after months of waiting for contact and a place. Sure the parent
could have taken the mantle, and I do not have a perfect solution. I am
concerned that we do ourselves more of a disservice by some of the
alienation that we allow in an effort to get membership regardless of
the quality of the program. It reminds me of how CPA firms used to
operate. Hire'em all for a year and keep the strongest that survive.
They found the costs and attitudes that followed this practice were more
expensive than investing in the right few.
This is one specific problem, but there are more. Each District has its
The best way to find out why kids quit it so call them. Track them and
try to fix the problems. Some are beyond us, but I think we may find
that many are created by our own business practices.
Virginia Beach UMC
Virginia Beach, VA