originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus
a reply to: eriktheawful
As someone who is invovled have you seen membership/participation increasing or decreasing and do you think this move will increase or decrease
In all honesty, membership started going down several years before allowing girls to join Cub and Boy Scouts.
There were two main reasons when surveys were conducted:
1) Membership cost went up. It is now at $33.00 per year per scout/adult member. If you only have one child in the BSA, then it's not that bad....but
let's say you have 3 boys....and both parents. That's $165.00 for the year. On top of that the costs to do things period have gone up: camping
reservation fees, cost of food and transportation for camping, etc. Many parents can end up struggling trying to pay for all this.
2) Times have changed: Cub Scouts is not just teaching the boys, but it's a path that the boys take with their parent(s). From Tiger to Webelos 2,
parents are on this journey with their boys....unfortunately too many of today's parents would rather drop their child off, like Scouting is day care,
or when they are there, instead of paying attention and helping their child, they've got their noses glued to their smart phones.
2A) Boy Scouts is "Boy Led", the boys vote on what they want to work on and where they go. They set up things, and the older/higher ranked boys help
teach the newer/ younger boys. Adults are there to manage and keep things safe. However: most boys that join, and have not already been though Cub
Scouts, tend to have issues: They don't like to work for things and seem to think as long as they just show up, they should be given the same award
and badges as those boys who worked hard to earn them.
There are some other issues, which seem to be political and social in nature. For example, we teach the kids to say the Pledge of Allegiance which we
all recite after posting the flags at the beginning of any event. This is an issue for some parents in todays world (which saddens me greatly).
We also do a prayer. As you can imagine, this really upsets some parents that do not go to church or have religion. The thing is, Scouts doesn't teach
a specific religion, but instead teach tolerance for people's beliefs. When we have an opening prayer, the Scout Master says: "A Scout is Reverent."
and everyone bows their heads. This is one of the core values, and the word itself means: "feeling or showing deep and solemn respect.".....it's up to
the scout and their family to believe in what they want to believe in, anything from a certain religion, to simply a faith of something in their life,
even if it's not religion.
But many parents do not understand that and make a judgement from a stance of ignorance. Instead of sitting down and asking about it with the Scout
Master. That no one is actually trying to push any religion on the kids, but simply trying to teach them to understand what it is, and to have respect
for people's beliefs.
So those are 2 of the main reasons for membership going down.