Are the Cub Scout and Boy Scout Forums Gone for good?

If so, that’s very disappointing. It’s a good place to exchange ideas.

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It is truly sad. I could make a guess at why, but really, what maters, is if we can get them back. I am not hopeful. You could ask your Scout Executive to put in a word with National.

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It has the feeling of censorship…

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It does. Many / most of the non-IT items seemed to stem from confusion or dislike of program/safety/policies. This type of feedback could provide the information for a virtuous cycle of improvement. National commissioners could look at the questions and really know where we need to focus training and information. It is a loss.

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Maybe Elon Musk will buyout the BSA… :joy:

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I was/am saddened at the removal of the Cub and Scout program topics. Here was a place for volunteers to share experiences and learn from each other and yes, sometimes just vent a bit but many individuals found it valuable. While many of the topics placed in those topics were perhaps better suited in the tools or Scoutbook section there were many others that deserved consideration and where that was the best place to address them. I vote to bring back those topic areas.

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What happened, and why? Is it temporary? It would be VERY disappointing if this is a permanent change. Those forums were a repository of useful information, not to mention a place to seek answers to questions about BSA programs. Most frustratingly, removing those forums negates all the time and effort people gave to share their ideas. It would be an insult to permanently hide or delete those discussions. It certainly wouldn’t be kind, considerate, or helpful. I expect some kind of explanation.

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I read the announcement as a permanent change:

The BSA is apparently determined to eliminate the most useful parts of what it puts its metaphorical hands to. I guess that just means fewer of us are available to help with things because fewer of us will be on the site regularly (since it’s generally the same issues arising time after time due to decisions to implement obfuscated interface designs). Very disappointing.

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For what it’s worth, I also use Reddit https://www.reddit.com/r/BSA/

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Why has this change been made. This is more stable and less full of cranks than Facebook forums.

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How do we get access to the conversations taking place just yesterday?

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Regrettably, it looks like we don’t. Unless you happen to have been subscribed to the forums via email notices, it seems like the great information previously available is now gone. Even my bookmarks to the previous conversations are gone.

In a time where the BSA is struggling with membership to the point that Councils are having to run much leaner one would think that a robust forum provides that “12th Man” to be there to support each other.

People don’t need to take up the Councils time for simple answers that this fine group of experienced Scouters offer. In fact we’re much more likely to get direct answers in theses forums than the political side-step answers from Council. I also can’t chat to the Council at 9PM when others are online.

More communication is always a good thing. Why suppress it in such lean times?

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The header says:

For program or health and safety questions, please reach out to your local council.

My impression is that local councils are short-staffed and overburdened. And national expects us to send our questions about program to them?

The program forums were really one of the best things about BSA’s online presence. I knew I could post a question and get helpful responses, usually the same day!

And what about @Bill_W 's replies? I liken the guy to a human bot. In almost every post he commented with relevant quotes and links to supporting documentation, all meticulously formatted. Where are we supposed to get similar service? (Thank you Bill W for all your effort!).

The other problem with asking local councils to answer program questions is that only one person (unless others are CC’d) gets to see the answer. What about everyone else who has a similar question? We’re asking councils to send individual replies to the same questions, again and again? How inefficient is that?

What if the local council representative doesn’t know the answer imminently and has to research to discover the answer? The beauty of the forums was that questions were outsourced to a community of veteran scouters who had the knowledge and time to provide answers, for free. Frankly, asking “in-house” resources to field all program questions seems like a significant waste of time and money.

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I’m afraid you’re preaching to the choir on this thread, @MichaelK.

Wow, this is terrible. Does BSA expect us to only get information from peers at council round tables? What about the rural units that don’t have good access to round table events? To me this seems like some old timer with too much scouter bling longing for the days of old when information was siloed to your local community for the most part.

Already on reddit. Looks like that’s going to be the go to spot.

Truly a sad day.

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It’s too bad, but I think way too many people were ignoring the big red warning flag reminding them that this forum was run by volunteers, not BSA professionals. I imagine that misunderstanding could result in some liability to the BSA, given how litigious some people are.

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@SteveCagigas , I have ZERO inside knowledge, but my guess is you are correct. What’s disappointing is that this could have been resolved by having a couple people at National or from Councils who were flagged as the ones giving “official” statements. This would have drawn a clear distinction between the official answers and everything else, and it would have allowed a couple of people to provide official answers in a searchable location for people all over the country. Instead, as has already been noted, deleting the forums forces the Council staff at every office to provide one-off answers that are not searchable or widely available.
Unfortunately, we are all preaching to the choir here…

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I wonder if the powers that be will allow conversation in this area? While not as specific, it would work.

will our own troop [group] forum be gone too?