I found you! I'm new to this subreddit. I need advice.
2020.07.21 19:31 stillpissyI found you! I'm new to this subreddit. I need advice.
My husband has chronic pain from multiple ailments and diagnoses, some of which include: nerve pain due to 15 metal brackets on broken ribs; slipped disc; a few hand tendonitis and resulting surgeries(forgot what that's called); hip replacement after years of pain; ulcers / hiatel hernia; berretts esophogus; years of ulcers; and a few psychiatric diagnoses. He is soooo over suffering. He goes to several doctors, a pain management center, physical therapists, and others I’m probably forgetting about. NO ONE is helpful with his pain. NO ONE will prescribe pain meds on a regular basis or at a therapeutic level. He has to absolutely beg for any relief when his chronic pain becomes acute (such an awful point). He takes a ton of Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen a day. The ‘professionals’ ask him if he’s iced his neck! I mean, really?!?! Can’t they offer more than what’s in the Cub Scout Handbook? Why won't they regularly schedule shots for his nerve pain from the bulging disc? Why won't they perform surgery? Why do people have to live in pain year after year? Why does it fall on chronic pain sufferers to help the medical community reverse its reputation of a previous era of overprescribing? He has yet another MRI next week along with another appointment to see the spine surgeon. He can hardly manage to endure MRIs because they are so painful. We nearly had to twist the Nurse Practitioner’s arm to get these two appointments scheduled. The surgeon previously denied surgery. What can we say differently this time to advocate for true change and improvement in his pain level? He is truly at his wits end. He is ready to try street drugs. Didn't the medical community at one point overprescribe which caused an epidemic with opioid addiction? But now with the medical community’s refusal to prescribe they are again leading people to street drugs. Please advise. Thank you.
2020.07.19 18:59 MyrddinWylltTalk to me about the Girl Scouts!
So, a bit of context. I'm way jumping the gun here, my daughter is only 2. Scouting has been on my brain recently (it's an outlet for being stuck at home quarantined). I'm a dad, and all in on the BSA with my son. Hugely active when I was a youth, very active now. I'm definitely going to enroll my daughter in the cubs when she's old enough, and at this point I'm about 90% sure I'm also going to enroll her in a girl scout troop as well. The programs offer different things so I'd like her to experience both, as much as she's willing. I know the BSA program very well, being involved as a leader at the Den, Pack and District levels (dens are generally single age sub units of packs, packs are like GSUSA troops, districts are roughly GSUSA service units as I understand it). I know our warts, I know our strengths, I know what the program provides and where it falls short. I've been trawling through this sub and see a lot of the value. I... Just don't really know what you do in your programs! I like how the troops are generally single age group, and how that gives the girls leadership experience much younger than the BSA does (when you have a troop of 11-17 year olds, the 16 and 17 year olds run the roost usually). There's a lot more input from the girls with where their cookie money goes than the BSA scouts have with their popcorn money. I'll probably pick up a couple of the different level handbooks at some point for a read. Assuming my daughter joins, I'll almost certainly be offering my services as a co-leader, leader, volunteer, whatever is needed. I do it for my son, I'd do no less for my daughter. So.. I guess my questions are what do you do? What are some of your favorite memories? For the adults, how has your past experience as a Girl Scout informed your adult life? How the heck do you find a troop (our cub packs in town are all over school and town events, I don't see the girls as much). What else should I know? Thanks! Edit: Thank you everyone for the great discussion! It's definitely untwisted some of my misconceptions abut the organization. Keep 'em coming!
2020.03.30 06:47 scoutermikeSample Zoom den meeting agenda
Bear den leader here. Had my first virtual den meeting tonight and it was a great success. Feel free to use my meeting agenda as a template. Be sure to log in to Zoom several days prior and schedule a meeting. It will generate the meeting link which you can advertise ahead of time. Include some instructions in your emails/posts:
Date/time of meeting
Dress: Uniforms or activity shirt optional. Funny hat encouraged.
Have handbook, paper and pencil ready.
This plan takes advantage of Zoom's screen sharing feature, which is VERY useful. When used in combination with PowerPoint, you can really do a lot of cool stuff. To get some practice, simply launch Zoom and click the New Meeting button. It will start a meeting with no one in it except you. Here you can test your camera and mic settings, and you can play with the screen sharing feature. You can share web pages including YouTube, or other software like PowerPoint. Also familiarize yourself with the audio muting features. Under the Manage Participants button you can mute and un-mute everyone (except yourself) with one click. And take a look at Chat, which you can use in the Charades game below. Here's the agenda... 00:00 Gathering activity: open chat. Leader off camera or camera muted. Let the boys chat with each other for a few minutes. 00:05 Welcome/opening flag ceremony. Scout lead. Pledge of Allegiance, Scout Oath, Scout Law. Screen share YouTube video of a flag waving (link below). 00:10 Talk time. Sharing. Give each scout an opportunity to talk about what they've been doing related to a) schoolwork, b) scouting, and c) having fun at home. Den Chief Minute. If you have a den chief, ask him or her the same questions. Discuss scouting opportunities at home, ie finishing up remaining required adventures, doing additional electives, Cyber chip and youth protection exercises, virtually all of which can be done at home. Discuss any programming or live streams put on by yours or other councils. 00:20 Activity – Watch Forensics video (run-time 4 minutes, link below, be sure to enable "Share computer sound" option on the sharing screen). Perfect intro to the Forensics elective adventure. Read first page of Forensics elective in Handbook. Discuss. Counts as Requirement 1. The remaining requirements have options that can be done at home. Mention that forensics relies heavily on the power of observation, segue into first game... 00:30 Game – Kim's game. Review the rules, then share a PowerPoint slide of the items for one minute (image link below). After a minute, stop screen sharing and give the den another minute to write down the items they remember. Go around the room and ask each scout to give their item count and list their items. When everyone is done, show the slide again to see what they missed. 00:40 Game – word scramble. Have a few PP slides ready of scrambled words. Example words to scramble: kind, loyal, brave, cub scouts, do your best. Show each scrambled word, then ask scouts to raise their hand as soon as they figure it out. After a few moments, call on the first scout to give the answer. 00:45 Game – animal charades. This is a lot of fun! One by one, use the private chat feature to assign each scout an animal they have to portray. The other scouts have to guess the animal. Here are some animals to use: Bull, Fish, Monkey, Dog, Cat, Rabbit, Snake, Pig, Chicken, Duck, Elephant, Cow. 00:50 Announcements 00:55 Sing Happy Birthday to any scouts who had/are having birthdays. 01:00 Closing with prayer and/or scouting benediction: "May the Great Scoutmaster of all Scouts be with us until we meet again." Done! Note – with a Zoom free account the meeting time may be limited to 45 minutes. It's possible they are allowing extra time given the current situation. But you may want to consider upgrading to the paid account which is only $15/month. I plan on keeping the paid account going until we can have regular in-person meetings again. Links/resources: Flag waving video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I37tVDprjh0 Forensics video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwcyy3jgZ9I Kim's game image: https://katiefindleyportfolio.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/screen-shot-2014-07-03-at-8-02-19-pm.png Word scrambler site: https://worksheets.theteacherscorner.net/make-your-own/word-scramble/ Good luck! Yours in scouting, Mike EDIT: Be sure to have at least one other registered adult monitoring the meeting to stay compliant with YPT.
2020.02.19 18:24 Tommy_2ToneWhat book does my new scout need?
Quick question, my son just crossed over from Cub to Boy Scouts. We've been to one meeting with our new Troop and so far so good. They told us that we need to get his book ASAP. But now I see at the scout store "Scouts BSA Handbook" and "Scouts BSA Requirements" Perhaps I'm dumb but which book do I need?
2020.02.13 16:26 laztheinfamousKindle Versions of Books
Hey Everyone, I am debating getting the Kindle editions of the Cub Scout and Scout handbooks. How evergreen are they? Do they update with changes or am I just getting the current version? The reason I am thinking of doing this is because the cost almost balances out, but the space/weight savings are huge.
I have two boys in Scouts. They are required to have these spiral bound handbooks. But they are not holding up well. These are the books. Webelos Cub Scout Handbook https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D55SWSM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_JzM6DbQGMK2GD Most parents purchase book covers for this reason. Of course I don't want to purchase more stuff. But I also don't want to have to replace the books. The covers are expensive and I can't afford two right now. I was lucky enough to thrift most of their required stuff but it's still expensive ( plus Christmas is coming) Does anyone have a solution? A way to make low waste sturdy book covers? Preferably reusing old stuff to keep it out of land fill. Here are some links to covers Compass Med Book and Bible Cover https://www.amazon.com/dp/0310806607/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_LvM6DbN3JDQQ6 Scout Handbook Cover & Field Book Cover https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015D7IQ1O/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_czM6Db0STRXHS EDIT. I took the advice and went to two thrift stores today. I was able to find one cover that fits and needs minor mending for only 99 cents. I am thankful for the advice about making home made covers. I did the brown bag in school. With these specific handbooks the issue is the pages tearing from the spiral. Which is why the sturdy case is the best bet.
2019.11.15 16:55 calton97Cover for Cub Scout Handbooks
I know that they make covers specifically for the Scout Handbooks, but I've come across one I'd like to get for my son. I don't happen to have his book handy for measuring (since I'm at work). Does anyone know the dimensions of the handbooks? Specifically BeaWebelos? Just to share: Looking at the Battle Board Scout https://battleboard.us/products/battle-board-scout?variant=2553022087202 It has a clear vinyl front (good for maps or camping checklists) which I thought would be handy for him.
2019.02.07 22:22 JoNightshadeI'm a den leader and I feel completely lost
My older son joined cub scouts last year, and this year my younger son was the only kindergartner coming in, so I became Lion den leader by default. I recruited a couple of other kids and I've been doing this since September, but I have no idea how anything works. I mean all the bureaucratic stuff - I'm fine with the kids themselves. Like, nobody told me I needed to do online training, or what forms I was supposed to fill out, or that I needed to have emergency info forms for my Lions and their families, or -- ANYTHING. I went to a training conference last month and took some courses and it was like there were all of these things that I'm supposed to be doing procedure-wise that everyone else seemed to be aware of that I was not. Basically I was just given the Lion handbook and told to go for it, but without any guidance whatsoever. But on the BSA website I am not listed as a den leader, I get no emails, no instructions, and only one of my kids is even showing up as being on my account. I go to this conference and people are like "blah blah and of course take your A and B forms" and I'm just like WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT AND WHERE DO I EVEN GET THIS INFORMATION? I'm so confused.
2018.12.20 21:49 mattar12I am taking over as Tiger den leader due to absentee former den leader
I am an Eagle Scout (1997), but unfortunately, this is my first experience with cub scouting. All our den has done is sell popcorn. There has been no communication from the Den Leader yet this year & the pack leader has asked me if I would take over the den. I figure anything is better than nothing...so I'm happy to try. I went to the council today and bought the leader guide and a handbook. I really want to have a solid plan together by the end of Christmas break. I am fortunate to be rich with resources. Our pack is very well funded. I'm still on the committee for my old boy scout troop, so I have many friends willing & trained to help on occasion. My brother and brother in-law were both previous pack leaders of large, active packs. I'm just looking to get any input on where do I start with these kids. Currently a majority of these scouts (and their parents) have zero interest in participating in cub scouts next year. One of them told me they feel like they were taken advantage of for popcorn sales and then abandoned. I feel like it's my job to show them how much fun this can be. So, do I just not worry about meeting every requirement and just work on the more exciting things we can do? I really appreciate any input!
2018.11.13 02:05 Midknight81New Den Leader here... Looking back, what do you wish you knew when you first started?
Well, title says it all really. I'm a new Den Leader. My son is six and a will be working toward his Tiger. I agreed to take over leadership of his den from the overworked Cubmaster (leading two dens). I am exceedingly excited to be back in the uniform (Eagle '99). I am always eager to learn from people that have come before me. What do you wish you knew when you started the leadership journey? Any other big tips for somebody starting out. I have already gotten the Tiger Den Leader and Cub Scout Leader handbooks from Base Camp in Milton, MA. I have my uniform almost squared away (will get my old neckerchief to wear). Thanks in advance for any and all help!
2018.10.03 22:22 _Scouter_Den Leaders, do you sign the cub's handbook?
Trying to poll other den leaders to see if you go to the trouble of signing all the tasks you do at den meetings in the cub's handbook and the benefits you see from it. I am a den leader and my son keeps asking me why I don't sign the activities we are doing. Going around and signing all the cub's books seems like a bit of a task (when I am already trying to channel their energy to the activity we are doing); but on the other hand it might help them see that they are working towards the adventure and advancement requirements. Thoughts and advice? edit: I didn't mention it earlier but I also track their advancement in Scoutbook; the signing of the book would be just for the scout so they could see it. I think I am going to try to offer signing the book for scouts that are interested. I might look for a wolf/scout rubber stamp that would be cool. I'll report back on the excitement it generates from the cubs.
2018.09.06 19:46 dognitive-cissonanceSo I got some *real* youth protection training
I had been looking for something to do that can help my kids see that there is a real life and community outside of Jehovah's Witnesses. Also, something that would help to make them strong, independent, capable, and teach them real life skills that they could use for years. Also, something that I could do something to help rebuild my social network, and even volunteer. My son started second grade this year, and we walked past several booths that were displayed on the school's "Meet the Teacher" night. Cub Scouts caught my eye. Now, I know that the Boy Scouts of America (and Boy Scout organizations in other part of the world) have had their own issues with child abuse in the past. However, I also was somewhat familiar with the many benefits of scouting. I considered it for a while, and I realized it checked all my boxes. So we signed up. And I signed up to volunteer. I'm not here to extol the virtues of scouting, to give a glowing review, or to make apologies for mistakes that the Boy Scouts organizations have made in the past. But what I can tell you is that this organization takes Child Sexual Abuse VERY SERIOUSLY. In fact, add to that all forms of abuse, as well as bullying. First thing off, all adult volunteers MUST submit to a criminal background check. Everyone who joins the program has the opportunity to buy the handbook for their particular grade (rank?), and the very first thing pasted in my handbook was the policy on youth protection. Everyone else who doesn't get a handbook (I think the vast majority of people do) is still issued this small (but comprehensive) guide on the policies and procedures regarding youth protection, which include definitions, warning signs of abuse, and even exercises that parents can do with their children to help them learn to identify risky situations and ensure they have a safety net of no less than 5 people that they can tell anything. All volunteers must also complete a Youth Protection Training seminar. While you can do it online, they strongly encourage attending a live session. We had ours last night. It's mandatory for all volunteers, but all parents who have kids in the program are welcome to come as well. Ours was given by an experienced Scoutmaster who has been in scouting for over 20 years. He was kind enough to present his material in a way that respected both the sensitivity and the seriousness of the topic, as well as encouraged discussion among our group. Most importantly, he gave us a handout that included all of the relevant statues for our state that outline the mandatory reporting laws here in Tennessee. We talked about reasons why people don't report when they suspect or even know that a child is being abused or neglected, how to prevent false accusations, what type of behavior is and is not acceptable for adult-on-youth and youth-on-youth interactions, how to recognize signs of abuse and what steps to take if we suspect abuse or if a child trusts us enough to open up to us about abuse. This training was very thorough, and I feel very prepared as both a parent and a volunteer to handle these sensitive issues if I should ever have the need. I have nothing but the highest regard for these youth protection policies, and am so far thoroughly impressed with both the Cub Scouts program and with the Boy Scouts of America as an organization. WATCHTOWER TROLLS: READ THIS (Luke 16:8) "And his master commended the steward, though unrighteous, because he acted with practical wisdom; for the sons of this system of things are wiser in a practical way toward their own generation than the sons of the light are." Watchtower: Take a lesson from an organization that, while - it may not be perfect, and it may not be God's one true organization - it IS IN FACT taking the issue of child safety SERIOUSLY. You say you abhor child abuse and all it's forms? Prove It. Change your policy How dare you put your own incompetence ahead of the safety of children? How dare you insist on adherence to policies that protect, attract, and enable abusers? If you want to pretend that your policies are inspired, guided, or blessed by Jehovah... well then, Jehovah is getting shown up by the Boy Scouts.
2018.06.07 04:40 adam051671No Place in Scouting for a Fossil Like Me
I am a dinosaur, a sexist, a misogynist, or whatever you want to call me. The world has officially passed me by. The new Cub Scout Handbooks have pictures of girls on every other page. A collision between #MeToo and Boy Scouts is probably only a few years away. I cannot support these new changes, which have been borne out of a mindless obedience to a politically correct ideology that wants to dismantle a barely breathing patriarchy. I have been beaten down by a world that apparently doesn't want my opinion on anything. As for my boys? I hope there is still some space for them to call their own. I hope they can still be aggressive and play rough with other boys. I hope they can still get in touch with their masculinity, without being labeled as "toxic" or "inappropriate" or in need of Ritalin. But for the most part, I just can't figure out why we have turned so vehemently against our nation's young men. Why can't they keep something that was created for them?
2018.05.23 19:40 dexterroseEmail Template for People asking about Cub Scouts
Here is a template that I use for parents that ask about joining our pack. I usually just paste the whole thing into an email message and then delete the lines that do not apply... i.e. if it a 2nd grade boy, I'll delete all the lines about lions tigers bears and webelos. Thank you for your interest in Cub Scouts! My name is <NAME> and I am the Cub Master of Pack <PACK#>. Our pack is a family pack. That means that both boys and girls can join Cub Scouts. Who can join Cub Scouts? Any boy or girl between the ages of five and ten years old. Usually from Kindergarten to fifth grade. If you have a child that is between 11 and 17 years old, I would highly recommend Scout Troop _____ in <CITY>, lead by <NAME>, <EMAIL>. <LINK TO SCOUTS BSA SITE> We have our meetings at the <CHARTER ORG> in <CITY>, <STATE>. It is located at <ADRESS> When we meet: Each Den meets separately once a week. The Den meetings are where the kids do their advancement work. This includes field trips, learning, and just having fun. Some of my favorite things that I did with my son as a Tiger cub were visit a radio station and tour the fire house. Kindergarten has the rank of Lion. They are Den <#>. Parents take turns running the adventures for Lions. 1st Grade is Den <#>. Tigers meet on <DAY> nights at 6:30pm. The Den Leader is <NAME>. 2nd Grade is Den <#>. Wolves meet on <DAY> at 6:30pm. The Den leader is <NAME>. 3rd Grade is Den <#>. Bears meet on <DAY> at 6:30pm. The Den Leader is <NAME>. 4th Grade is Den <#>. Webelos meet on <DAY> at 6:30pm. The Den leader is <NAME> 5th Grade is Den <#>. Arrow of light meet on <DAY> at 6:30pm. The Den leader is <NAME>. Once a month, all the Dens come together for a Pack meeting. The Pack meeting is where we recognize any achievements in rank and awards that have been earned. Pack meetings are usually on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm. The Cub Master is <NAME>, <PHONE>, <EMAIL>. As rule of thumb, if the <SCHOOLCORP> schools are not in session, we do not meet for Den meetings. This could be for bad weather, holidays, or summespring/winter break. However, over the summer, we do have some outings scheduled. These have included a trip to an Indian's game, family camping, and a visit to Holiday World. How to Join: Cub Scout membership is $36 per year, prorated. If you joined in August, the cost would be $15.00. Just come to next meeting and fill out a youth application and give it to the den leader. What you will need for Cub Scouts: Your son would need a uniform shirt and handbook. Both can be purchased at the Bloomington Scout Shop, http://www.hoosiertrailsbsa.org/854 To reduce the cost of the uniform, we only ask that boys have the uniform shirt with neckerchief and slide. Uniform pants, belt and hat are optional. Most boys will wear blue jeans with the uniform shirt. The store will need to know that we are part of the Hoosier Trails Council, Wapehani District, Pack 129, and your Den number. If you are wondering where to put all the patches on the uniform, look here: http://bsauniforms.org/ The lions uniform is a t-shirt and optional hat. They also have a handbook that includes an adult leader guide. Lion parents take turns leading meetings with the boys. Hoosier Trails Council / Scout Shop 5625 IN-46 Bloomington, IN 47401 Map: https://goo.gl/maps/E6vcZNvmWpo Monday - Friday 10:00am - 5:00pm Saturday 10:00am - 2:00pm Sunday Closed Our Facebook page: <LINK to FACEBOOK GROUP> The facebook group is a closed group. To join, you will need to click the "Join Group" button. I'll approve you once I see the request. Our website can be found here: <LINK TO WEBSITE> Please contact me to join our Pack. We can set a time to meet and fill out the application. Thank you, <NAME>, Cubmaster, Pack <PACK#> <EMAIL>
For those waiting for the new Cub Scout Handbooks, our Scout Shop has them in. They are selling the old versions for $9.99, so if you don't mind having old ones with the b/w addendum, it's not a bad way to save money. Something to take note of - Apparently BSA is only printing these in the Spiral Bound version now. This means that books just went up $4/ea for our Scouts. Not a huge deal overall, however it would be nice to have known this was a change, since we had previously provided the less expensive version of the books. Got a sarcastic response while I was there as well that all of our Scouts should have full uniforms (we only ask for shirt / belt). I said we have some low-income families, and I didn't want to put a burden on them for an official $130 uniform. Got lectured. Was told that the store just had their camping sale, and why wasn't I in to buy stuff. Wanted to say that even with 25% off it's still cheaper at Walmart, but didn't want a lecture on how the store is a fundraiser for the Council. If they made their prices reasonable, I would have more families buying from them. Sorry, just venting. I love BSA and am glad my kids are in Cub Scouts. Just wish that they would be more transparent on changes so that units could better accommodate for them when budgeting. The books going up is going to catch some units unaware after they finish their yearly budget. And just like registration fees mysteriously going up last year with no notice, it will drain more accounts.
2018.05.10 09:43 ZfriskeA Mormon Divorce – The Ending of a Boy Scout Era by the Numbers
There has been a lot of active discussion as of late on the reasons behind why the BSA National Executive Council would move to welcome young women and the LGBT community into its scouting ranks, and what these actions could mean for the future of Scouting including changes to its position on religious belief. Many reasons have been postulated by media pundits and the public at large – from the BSA bowing to political correctness and public pressure to the BSA reacting to shore up its financial position. The ugly truth is the Boy Scouts of America on a national level is dying while at the same time fending off a takeover by interest groups within the organization. Let’s look at the BSA membership numbers through history, from 1960 to 2016:
BSA Members (In Thousands)
1960-1999 Source;2006-2016 Source [Edit: The above chart has been revised since posting this morning to account for only Youth membership (before both adult, youth, and Learning for Life membership was counted between 1960 - 1999 while only youth membership was counted between 2006 - 2016). Special thanks to 00001000bit for a keen eye and noticing the data misalignment.] PBS has a very nice graph of this data from 1911 to 1999 here. This graph includes "Cub Scouts, Sea Scouts, Explorers, and Adult volunteers", so the graph differs slightly from the chart above which only includes Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Explorers, and Venture Scouts. From 1960 to 2016, BSA membership went from a high of 4,683,000 members nationwide to 2,341,000 members today. This is a 49.98% drop in membership across almost 50 years of scouting (with two prominent troughs in 1970 and again in 1989). In spite of this incredible bleeding of membership, one demographic within the BSA has not only remained stable within the BSA, but has also grown its membership and influence within the Boy Scouts – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (also know by the moniker Mormons or LDS). Boy Scouts does not release a publicly available breakdown of its membership demographics, but it is estimated by The Salt Lake Tribune that there are 470,000 LDS boys enrolled in Boy Scouts in 2016. Mormon youth account for 20% of total BSA membership to date. While BSA does not release publicly available data on the demographic breakdown of its membership year by year, a few data points hint at the growing number of Mormon youth participating in Scouts. One data point is following statement made by the BSA in its Environmental Scan 2014 document:
Many of the larger faith-based institutions are experiencing flat to slightly decreasing membership trends. The faith-based organizations that have had growth in membership in the past few years are the Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Membership in civic organizations has been declining during the past decade. Implications and Recommendations for the BSA Councils should continue to recruit new traditional faith-based and civic chartered organizations and to grow membership in the existing units. Because of limited access to public schools and declining membership in civic organizations, councils need to foster relationships with nontraditional organizations that have goals and values similar to those of the BSA.
Another interesting data point is the overall growth of the LDS Church’s own membership from 1960 to 2016:
LDS Members (In Thousands)
Source The growth rate of the Church is incredible – over the same timeframe the BSA lost 49% of its membership, Mormons grew their congregation by 938% - from 1,693,000 members in 1960 to 15,882,000 in 2016. While these numbers do not reflect (1) the growth of boys over this same time period or (2) the number of these boys who joined the BSA membership, the overall growth of Mormon congregations can serve as a surrogate for the rapid growth of Mormon youth in Scouting based on the simple fact that until this week, Boys Scouts was viewed as an almost universal requirement for young Mormon men – one of the only independent activities largely outside the LDS sphere of influence that carried the same expectation of participation as did missionary work. Jarom Shaver, Marketing Executive of Utah National Parks Council, writes:
Of course, Scouting has much to offer to prospective missionaries. That’s obvious; the Church wouldn’t include it in their youth programs if it didn’t. A survey was done in 2014 of 62 recently returned Elders ranking resources that helped prepare them for the rigors of their missions. Scouting ranked number one above seminary and mission prep class. Scouting done right will help youth stay on missions. Source
The leader of the LDS Church, President Thomas S. Monson, has this to say about Scouts:
“Scouting brings out the best in each of us,” President Monson says. “You’ve learned much from Scouting. Live what you’ve learned and will continue to learn. Help others to hike the trails, to keep steadfast in the paths of truth, of honor, of duty, that all of you can soar together on eagles’ wings. You are part of a mighty army of youth, even a royal army, and every organization, to be successful, has an honored tradition to uphold. May you uphold Scouting’s tradition, for it can be as a lighthouse beacon in the world of stormy seas, it can be a motivation to prepare for your role in life, it can be a yardstick against which you measure your accomplishments.” Source
And in a quote that has not aged well in light of recent news, President Thomas S. Monson stated in a 1991 address entitled “Called to Serve”:
“Brethren, if ever there were a time when the principles of Scouting were vitally needed—that time is now. If ever there were a generation who would benefit by keeping physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight—that generation is the present generation.”
So what does the growth of membership within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints mean within the context of an overall decline of general membership within Boy Scouts? As the Boys Scouts lose more and more boys each year across all demographics except the LDS demographic, this one demographic suddenly wields increasing influence within the BSA by leveraging both its growing majority membership and contributed funds. Today the Latter-Day Saints make up both the largest and fastest growing demographic within Boy Scouts organization seeing a general decline in membership. With just 20% of total BSA membership, LDS Boy Scout Troops are given a number of privileges by the BSA National Executive Council not given to other non-LDS Troops. The BSA National Executive Council allows the LDS Boy Scout Troops and Cub Scout Dens to diverge from all other Troops/Dens in the following areas:
A discounted membership dues rate
The national BSA normally charges a $24 registration fee for each Scout and adult leader per year. However, a 2015 statement from the three BSA councils in Utah said those fees "are negotiated between the national BSA and the LDS Church. All registration fees are retained at the national BSA level." Source No DUES are collected. (Traditional packs often assess dues for each boy.) Source
Adult Troop Leadership is determined by the LDS Church Leadership. Parents are welcome to volunteer on committees, but the roles of Scout Master and Assistant Scout Master are assigned by the Church.
The LDS Bishopric calls men or women (they do not have to be members) to serve as Cub Scout leaders for Primary age boys. Parents are always welcome to volunteer on committees and with activities. (In a traditional packs leaders are recruited). Source Friends of Scouting has been controversial because of sometimes-high salaries for leaders of local councils. For example, the most-recent public income tax filings by those councils show total compensation (including benefits) of $341,789 a year for Rick Barnes, now-retired leader of the Salt Lake City-based Great Salt Lake Council; $236,267 for David Pack, head of the Orem-based Utah National Parks Council; and $210,528 for Allen Endicott, who guides the Ogden-based Trapper Trails Council. Source
LDS Church forbids overnight camp outs for boys under 11 years old. Any campouts in general must receive permission from the Church leadership. The Church also does not permit any hiking or scouting activities for all age levels on Sunday or Monday evenings.
LDS Church policy states “No Scout sponsored overnight camping should be planned for boys under age 11”. The BSA requirements state “If your chartered organization does not permit Cub Scout camping, you may substitute a family campout or a daylong activity.” Seek the Bishops council for permission for scout related activities at a ward campout or father-son campout. Family camping is always allowed. (Traditional Cub Scouts may attend Resident Camp, Webelos Den Overnighters, and/or Pack overnighters). Source The LDS Church does not approve of hiking (or other such scouting activities) on Sunday. And Scouting events are not held on Monday evening, the night designated for family home evening. Source
LSD Church forbids the use of candles in BSA ceremonial events.
It is against LDS Church policy to light candles inside the building. (Many BSA ceremonies use lit candles). Source
LDS Church does not implement the full BSA program, instead choosing a ‘selective implementation.’
So, if Scouting is an inspired program that works, what does my ‘full declaration’ of what is wrong with Scouting consist of? One simple truth – we don’t implement the full program. From my observation, many wards and stakes treat Scouting as if it were a buffet dinner, taking a little of this, a portion of that, and a side of something else. They implement only some of the program and then proclaim, “It doesn’t work! We’ve tried it!” They indict the program as a failure when in fact the failure arises as a direct result of the elements of the program they did not implement. Let me illustrate with a few examples of perceived problems within Scouting that arise from our ‘selective implementation’. Source
BSA Councils are tasked with respecting the religious beliefs of its scouts by not favoring one belief over another. Visit the Utah National Parks BSA Council webpage and select the “Church/Council Leaders” tab. Notice how the Boy Scout handbook is called the “LDS Scouting Handbook,” how Boy Scout Leaders are called “Stake Leaders,” and how Boy Scout camping sites are called “Stake Encampments.” The use of LDS language on an official BSA Council webpage is an unacceptable example of religious favoritism the BSA National Executive Committee has, until late, turned a blind eye towards. Compare this webpage to another BSA Utah Council, the Trail Trappers, and one can see the difference – not a single mention of LDS religious terminology is present despite having a large majority of Mormon scouts.
Allegations of the BSA National Executive Council turning a blind eye to LDS Troops running so-called “Eagle Scout Factories” and devaluing the meaning of the Eagle Scout Award.
(1) New Eagle Scout Awards Stats By State
Utah has a state population of 2,985,000 in 2015. Also this year, 5,765 scouts earned their Eagle Scout Award. This means almost 2 out of every 1000 Utah residents earned an Eagle Scout Award in 2015.
The next highest new Eagle Scout Awards by state was California with 4,887 new Eagles Scouts and a state population of 39,030,000 residents. Compared to Utah, 1.25 out of every 10,000 residents earned an Eagle Scout Award in 2015. Other states show comparable numbers to California.
No state produced more Eagle Scouts in 2015 than Utah. Thanks in large part to the strong support Scouting receives from the LDS church there, 5,765 young men became Eagle Scouts in Utah in 2015. Utah is No. 1 on the list for at least the seventh year in a row. That’s every year since 2009 — the first year for which detailed Eagle Scout statistics were made available to me. Source
(2) New Eagle Scout Awards Stats By Age
In 2015, the average age a scout first earns his Eagle Award across the US was 17.34 years old.
In 2017, the Utah National Parks Council stated that within their Council, 3% of their scouts earn their Eagle Scout Award before the age of 14, 26% of their scouts earn their Eagle Scout Award before the age of 16, and 67% of their scouts earn their Eagle Scout Award after age 16. Nearly 1 and 3 Utah National Council Scouts earn their Eagle Scout Award before the age of 16.Source
(3) New Eagle Scout Awards Stats By Council
In 2015, the top three Councils with the most new Eagle Scouts where (1) 591 Utah National Parks, (2) 590 Great Salt Lake, (3) 589 Trapper Trails – all Utah-based BSA Councils consisting 97% - 99% of Mormon scouts.
Source At just 20% of the total BSA membership, the LDS Church already retains a huge amount of influence on how Boy Scouts troops in their area are run and financed. For the BSA National Executive Council, this has been a major source of concern as the LDS Church had moved to assert more and more control over how local Boy Scout Troops operate. One of the biggest areas of concern has been a big push by the Church for the establishment of LDS-BSA Relationship Committees across the nation. From the LDS-BSA Relationship Committees Website:
“An LDS-BSA Relationships committee should be organized in each BSA local council to help maintain and strengthen working relationships between the Church and the BSA local council. This committee includes a member of each stake presidency within the BSA local council.”
And even more alarming is this example on their webpage:
”The Denver LDS-BSA Relationships Committee is functioning effectively because of priesthood leadership provided by the Area Seventy. This powerful arrangement has been a tremendous blessing to both the Church and Scouting. The Area Seventy serves as the chair of the LDS-BSA Relationships Committee. He leads out in this meeting and the BSA council representatives provide support. Because of the strong leadership provided by the Area Seventy, re-chartering, the quality of the Scouting programs, and relationships between the Church and the BSA local council have improved. This has opened up other doors for the Church.”
The LDS Church keeps a database of all BSA councils across the nation and the success of establishing LDS committees within each council here. Of the 283 councils listed, 155 have established LDS-BSA Relationship committees active within them. Hence, more than 1 out of every 2 Boy Scout Councils across the United States are impacted by a LDS Relationship Committee geared towards “opening up other doors for the Church.” What can be taken away from the above information? Circa 2006, the BSA National Executive Committee realized the Boy Scouts of America sat at a crucial junction in its vaunted 120 year history and had one of two paths to consider in moving forward: (1) Maintain the Status Quo
Retain the tradition of focusing on the character development of young men.
Continue to deal with declining general membership in the face of rising LDS Church membership and influence. Note: As fast as the LDS membership is rising, its youth alone cannot stem the declining general membership.
The LDS Church will continue to expand its influence on the local level by penetrating more and more Boy Scout Councils with LDS Relationship Committees geared towards opening doors for the Church.
The LDS Church will continue to ask for special provisions for its Boy Scout troops, and gear all BSA troops towards teaching values important in both missionary work and the LDS faith – not necessary Boy Scout ideals focused on the great outdoors.
Alienate minorities within Boy Scouts – especially the non-religious but also those who are not members of the LDS Church.
(2) Shift Directions
Retain the tradition of focusing on the character development of young men. At the same time, expand this mission to include fostering the character of young women, the LGBT community, and other minority groups.
Address decline in membership by tapping new membership sources. Lose 20% of members in the short-term to religious interest groups. Gain more members in the long-term who do not seek to exert undue influence or extract privileges for a particular interest group.
Remain free from third party influences and true to Scouting ideals. Maintain fairness and consistency across all BSA Councils – no Council gets special privileges due to their majority membership or fund raising status.
Give the LDS Church an opportunity to create its own youth organization better suited to training missionaries rather than throwing its weight around to try and change the Boy Scouts into something its not.
In choosing Option #2, both the Latter-Day Saints and the Boy Scouts win big. The Latter-Day Saints finally have an opportunity to create from the ground up a perfect youth organization to address the Church’s needs in preparing its young men and women for missionary work. The Church has long been criticized for funding men’s youth programs at a much high level than women’s youth programs. Creating a new youth organization will allow the Church to address these concerns as well. The Boy Scouts are free to pursue the original mission of the organization established in 1910 - "to teach patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred values." While a loss of 20% of its membership will hurt in the short-term, the BSA must take actions to preserve itself as an independent youth organization not subject to the influences of any one membership demographic. While some scouts and their families may feel disappointed with the BSA National Executive Council decision to incorporate young women and minorities into its ranks, diversifying Scouts is a much better alternative to being subjected to the will of a majority third-party interest.
2018.04.29 20:14 Rick_EmptyQuestion about Religious Emblems
My son, a Wolf, just earned his first religious emblem. I understand that entitles him to wear the knot on his uniform but my question is about the Cub Scout device that goes with the knot. Should he wear the device even for his first emblem award or does he only wear the device if he earns a second emblem? I've looked in the handbook but it's not entirely clear to me. Can anyone help? Thanks!
2018.04.24 21:31 dimwellLooking for Pack handbook examples.
I'm working on a couple of projects for my pack.
Pack Handbook -- This is a go-to guide for parents and families, especially those who are new to Scouting or to the Pack. It will provide info on uniforming, introduce the Cub Scout methods and program, introduce pack leadership, and cover our basic calendar for the year. In other words, "Here's what you need to know, and this is what you can expect."
Committee Playbook -- This is a go-to guide for unit leaders, den leaders, and committee members on how to successfully plan and run any of our typical events (Blue & Gold, Pinewood Derby, Popcorn Sales, pack overnighters, etc.). The basic idea is that any reasonably competent adult can take this guide and be reasonably well prepared to run any of our standard events.
Do you have examples of this from your pack that you can share? Please send them to me! I'm obviously willing to finish mine once they're done. :)
2018.02.28 18:37 Tapir_TimesThis was emailed out to the group list in my stake.
Brothers and Sisters: April General Conference is approaching and I would like to touch on one subject that will come up. Spring conference is when the membership data is announced, and I believe there will be much discussion about this. 2017 will show one of the weakest growth numbers in the modern era, and there are several concerning reasons for this. To give a single example of this, 2017 was the first year in the modern era of the church in which the net number of new wards in the United States was zero. ZERO!! Certainly there were new wards formed in the United States, but those gains were offset by the closing of an equal number of wards. Worldwide, the number of converts per missionary is significantly down, and the number of missionaries serving is down. In March 2015, Elder Holland predicted that the number of missionaries would rise to 100,000 by 2019, but instead the number has slowly dwindled, to roughly 65,000 today. Much of the Church's growth in 2017 came from children of record (Children born to members of the church), and converts in Africa. Converts within first-world countries showed significant decline, particularly in Europe where we have had to discontinue many missions. There appears to be an inverse relationship between access to the internet, and success in missionary work- the greater access to internet in any given country, the less successful we are in creating and retaining converts. Whereas we value converts from everywhere in the world, the decline in success in the first world is particularly concerning because traditionally our converts and growth in the first-world have provided the financial backbone for the Church's operations. Even the children of record are down compared to prior years. Our membership are starting to have children later in life, and are choosing to have fewer children overall. Our members are not consulting their priesthood leaders before having sterilization procedures performed, as instructed in the handbook. However, this is a topic for another time. This brings us to the question of why the missionary effort is faltering. Is the stone cut out of the mountain without hands faltering, or just taking a brief pause before filling the earth? We've done a lot of thinking about praying about this, and we've turned to look for answers in quarters where we've not looked before. Namely we've spoken with, and more importantly listened to critics of the church and former members who chose to leave the church. We've found some useful information. Let me share the thoughts of one former member who offered some cutting commentary that perhaps rings too true for some of our members (emphasis mine): Here it is in a nutshell - The problem is the product. The problem is that the members wouldn't wish the church on their worst enemies let alone their friends. Most members - even the active ones - do not leave church on Sunday feeling measurably better than when they went in. They are not "uplifted." They are frustrated, saddened, and upset. Nearly everything is done halfway, because people's motivation is guilt, not love. The EQ President is only doing his calling because he was guilted into it. The Cub Master doesn't want to be in Scouts, but feels obligated because his son is in the program. The RS President is trying to be a funeral organizer, guidance counselor, principal, mother, wife, and welfare consultant all rolled into one and wonders why she isn't "good enough." The YW have a budget that wouldn't run a lemonade stand, and the idea of a fun ward activity is a potluck dinner in a smelly gymnasium that hasn't been cleaned effectively because the members are supposed to do that too, in their spare time. The Home Teachers and Visiting Teachers (a.k.a. all the adults in the ward) are spending 3 evenings a month chasing down people that don't want to be visited. Not to mention the lies that they are forced to tell themselves in order to fit into their supposed ward family. They can't tell the truth that they find the temple weird, that they support gay marriage, or that they really don't want to spend two years of their life pushing religion on people that are perfectly happy without it for fear of being labeled a social pariah. The problem isn't the sales force folks. The problem is that the product does not work as advertised. If the membership of the church was actually getting out of their church experience what they say they are getting out of it, then you wouldn't be able to stop them from dragging their friends in the door, and more importantly, their friends would quickly recognize it. Why does everyone have an iPhone or an Android in their pocket? Because they work. Because they add value to their life. Because there is a real and measurable benefit. Why is the missionary program stagnant? Because it doesn't deliver what it promises. And so my friends in the COB, until you fix this very fundamental problem, it won't matter what you do with the missionary effort or what cool new program you try. Until you fix that flaw, anything else is doomed to failure, and to make matters worse, repetitively blaming the members for the church's woes only exacerbates the problem. While I don't personally agree with all of the criticism offered by this former member, I must recognize that his sentiment resonates with many of those we've talked with. And thus, brothers and sisters, I would like to invite each and every one of you to help combat this problem. Let's try to make church an inviting place where all are welcome, a place we look forward to being, and a place we would feel comfortable bringing our friends. I challenge each and every one of you to find joy in your calling, and to serve with cheer in your step and a smile on your face. We live in trying times, but it is up to us to be the beacon on the hill! Stay strong and we shall prevail, and the missionary effort will pay off! Keep the faith! Edit: This was almost certainly sent by an exmo, anonymously. No one, including the emailer, claimed this was from the Stake.
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