Thursday, October 12, 2017

There Are a Lot of BSA Elephants in the Room

There have been a lot of huge changes in the BSA recently. I haven't said much because I am still trying to wrap my head around it but yesterday's change and a message from my brother in law this morning asking me when I was going to say something spurred this post.

First change - the LDS Church has dropped the Varsity Program as well as the Venturing program. This blog was based on my love of the Varsity program so you know I hate this change. I think if leaders had used the Varsity and Venturing program right this wouldn't have had to happen but we are past that point. Dead point in fact. The fact that leaders were not getting trained and sucked at their calling and helping youth run the program has been the reason it has died. I am not bitter at all.

Second - the new program the LDS Church is running for the 14 - 18 year old is lame. It provides no leadership skills for the leaders OR the boys. Learning to become a leader is a huge key to success. The Scouting program had a leadership learning skill element for both adult and Scout. I mean no one got trained but at least they had the opportunity to get trained. The good thing I do see about this is that maybe now the money usually spent on the Varsity/Venturing program will actually be shared with the Young Women program of the Church. I have actually heard of ward ditching Scouting as a whole after Cubs and telling Scouts who rank under Life that they can't continue to Scout. These are lies.....

Third - the BSA announced that they are admitting girls with the potential of  being able to earn Eagle. You would think I wouldn't like this idea but I do. I know a lot of Scout leaders who also serve as Girl Scout leaders who will now probably just sit in one program who serves their kids as a whole. Girl Scouts has not been doing so hot lately so the BSA was smart to tear away another huge part of their leaders and Scouts. I want to say girls are going to do awesome in this program. In fact I am pretty sure the number of Eagle Scouts are going to shoot up because of them. This change probably was an option for a while but the LDS Church not registering a lot of boys probably fed this fire to drive up registration. I do think this will create some small gender issue problems but to remind some of my thousands and thousands of readers girls have been here for years - in Venturing, in Exploring and in Sea Scouts.

Fourth - This change will have NO effect on the new version of limited Scouting the LDS Church does. Girls won't be admitted in the LDS program and that is probably a good idea because girls will outshine the boys in their own program. This will be the last nail in the LDS BSA relationship and I want everyone to write this date down because three years from now the LDS Church won't be using the BSA's program.


robmba said...

I think the key to think about the new program is that it's not actually new and nothing different. It's the same stuff. It's not called Varsity Scouts anymore, but it is all the same stuff they should have been doing in that program anyway. I do think Varsity was the best program. Venturing was too big and too complicated and hard to get the older boys out. Varsity was simple on its own and was supplemented by advancement as one of the 5 fields of emphasis. The pins and Denali award were pretty straight forward and flexible. But the thing some people don't understand is that the older boys should still be registered as part of the troop. And they can even form a Varsity Patrol within the troop. There's no reason at this point to not register all the 14-18 year olds in the troop, since the LDS church pays a blanket license to cover all the youth, so it costs no more and no less to have or not have all those boys registered in the troop. And that means all the teacher and priest leaders need to be registered as assistant scoutmasters or committee members or chaplains or quartermasters or something and should still get trained and go to roundtable. The last thing you want is for a boy to be not registered from 14-16 years old and then all of a sudden want to earn his Eagle and he hasn't been registered and doesn't have enough time to finish things off.

Buckwheat Picard said...

Three seems optimistic to me. The two programs are competitors. We know which will win.
But I agree with RobMBA: The new program is Scouts without, uniforms, ranks, training or detailed resources.