Scouting reimagined

Our Friends of Scouting theme last year was Imagine… The conversation revolved around imagining not just what Scouting could help your son or daughter realize, but to also imagine what the world would be like without Scouting.

As the Boy Scouts of America proceeds into bankruptcy proceedings as it struggles with the fallout from decades of improperly handling abuse allegations by volunteers, we can actually begin to realize what the world would be like if Scouting – the organization, not the movement – were no longer around. And even though bankruptcy is intended to shield the remaining assets, it’s not inconceivable that Scouting as we know it could diminish to the point where it is no longer sustainable.

The national organization is taking some steps to try to shore up its revenue and its membership. Continue reading “Scouting reimagined”

A Scout Salute for Memorial Day

This year, Memorial Day is an opportunity to think less of beaches, parades and barbecues, and more about remembrance.

With that in mind, our council has passed along the following information from the BSA about how Scouts and Scouters can mark the occasion.

Dear Scouting Community,

In response to necessary adjustments to traditional Memorial Day plans, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to ensure every fallen hero is remembered this year with a special tribute and salute. Continue reading “A Scout Salute for Memorial Day”

What to do instead

The worldwide health crisis has changed and is changing the way of life. It’s no surprise that it has touched Scouting and affected it in ways we could not have imagined. Even the “any old thing” that Baden-Powell suggested we Be Prepared for probably didn’t anticipate what we’re going through.

It should be evident that our traditional unit meetings need to be approached very cautiously. Continue reading “What to do instead”

Bullying prevention: it’s our job

We usually think of bullying as taking place between youth. Whether they lack the filter of age and experience or just don’t know that it’s wrong, young people – particularly teenagers – can be genuinely mean-spirited at times.

But it’s not just young people. One of my readers wrote to me a few weeks ago to relate a situation in his troop where the Scoutmaster was, in his description, verbally and mentally abusive to Scouts in the troop. He didn’t go into specific detail but from the circumstances surrounding the incidents, one could describe the behavior of the Scoutmaster as bullying.

After making progress toward greater awareness of bullying and its effects and consequences, it seems like the discourse is becoming less civilized. Continue reading “Bullying prevention: it’s our job”

What do we tell the children?

Bankruptcy imageBy now, you’ve heard the news, along with the rest of the country, about the national Boy Scouts of America filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. “The Boy Scouts are bankrupt!” made its way across the country, along with allegations and suspicions and lots of finger-pointing.

While it’s bad news for our movement here in the US, it’s not entirely unexpected. We’ve known for months that the BSA retained a bankruptcy law firm to explore the Chapter 11 avenue. The US court system refers to Chapter 11 as “reorganization”, meaning that the corporation voluntarily petitions the court for the ability to restructure its debt while operating under the supervision of a court-appointed trustee.

In the case of the BSA, the reorganization was undertaken to be able to manage the pending and future cases of alleged child abuse against BSA volunteers and the way the organization handled them. Continue reading “What do we tell the children?”