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Churchill Plan, Are the BSA programs aligned with today’s young people? - Cub scouting and Scouting BSA Program improvements

This topic relates to Cub scouts and Scouts BSA Program improvements to increase membership and aligning the program with today’s young people.

Chart shows number of youth in Cub scouts youth grades K-5 versus year.
Students are usually 10-11 years old when in 5th grade.
cubscouts

Chart shows number of youth in Scouts BSA ages 11-17 versus year.
Students are usually 11-12 years old when in 6th grade.
Students are usually 17-18 years old when in 12th grade.
bsascouts

Data is taken from the BSA Annual Reports.
From the data ,the retention rate is just dismal. ~40,000 Cub scouts did not crossover to Scouts BSA. year after year. What can be postulated as to the reasons for this reality?

See Developmental Characteristics of 5th Graders and 6th graders.

More data is required to determine at what rank and age Cub scouts drop from the program.

This topic bears on the other recommendations that follow:

  • Hire a youth adolescence expert on the national level to guide program development.
  • Create a membership executive position within councils focused on growth and paid on performance.
  • Evaluate program methods and age parameters to provide an engaging option that enables youth members to transition to adult leadership roles and remain active in Scouting
  • Transition to digital merit badge resources.
  • Leverage High Adventure bases in overall marketing communications strategy.

The community should like a post if he/she believe that the recommendation will optimize the BSA for success. This then will provide a metric to be used in implementing changes to the Cub scout and Scouts BSA programs. The like count is a vote for the recommendation . The more likes indicates the importance of the recommendation .

Target your posts accordingly.

PS:
Using qualtrics to accept input to the Understanding the Churchill Plan and What It Means for Scouting does not improve communication with stakeholders, one of the key areas to be addressed in the plan. Upon submitting a comment, no feedback is provided in nearly real time and no means to discuss the merits of the proposed changes to optimize the BSA for success. Further, no rational for the 26 Proposed RECOMMENDATIONS Being Considered is provided.

Regarding “Evaluate program methods and age parameters to provide an engaging option that enables youth members to transition to adult leadership roles and remain active in Scouting” there are two age parameter issues in Cub scouts and Scouts BSA.

  1. When the student that is in 12th grade but he/her turned 18 then they age out of scouting away from their peer group.
  2. Cub scouts eligibility is based on grade in school while Scouts BSA eligibility is based on age. There is a potential that youth are moved outside their peer group when crossing over from Cub scouts to Scouts BSA.

The characteristics of the 10-11 year old 5th grader are:

  • Have tendency to return to childish behavior, particularly when stressed
  • Experience extremes of emotions
  • Inclusive/exclusion; height of cliques, seek to belong, discovery of telephone

Abandoning a peer group can be a traumatic experience and will have an effect on enrollment.
Scouting should seek to eliminate all outside stress arising from the transitions in the child’s life.

I would say that Scouts BSA eligibility should end the summer after their senior year. That summer would then be the culmination of their scouting career when they would likely attend the National Jamboree or a high adventure base or do a thru hike of the PCT, CDT, OT, or AT before they turn their attention to college. Leverage High Adventure bases.

It’s that senior year where scouts really shine as Senior patrol leaders and Junior assistant Scoutmasters.!

Users should like this post if he/she believe Scouts BSA program should be based on grade in school will optimize the BSA for success.

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Regarding “Evaluate program methods and age parameters to provide an engaging option that enables youth members to transition to adult leadership roles and remain active in Scouting” there is one age parameter issue in Cub scouts:

  1. When the school district elementary school is for grades K-4 then the student moving to grade 5 he/she remains a Cub scout but upper classmates in grades 6-8 have moved to Scouts BSA

Students are usually 10-11 years old when in 5th grade. 5th graders are mature enough today to ascend to scouts BSA. Scoutmasters and Cubmasters have made the following observations and made changes to the program to accommodate the youths maturation.




The characteristics of the 10-11 year old 5th grader are:

  • Have tendency to return to childish behavior, particularly when stressed
  • Experience extremes of emotions
  • Inclusive/exclusion; height of cliques, seek to belong, discovery of telephone

Abandoning a peer group can be a traumatic experience and will have an effect on enrollment.
Scouting should seek to eliminate all outside stress arising from the transitions in the child’s life.

Users should like this post if he/she believe Scouts BSA program should begin in 5th grade and the Cub scout program end at grade 4 will optimize the BSA for success

Regarding “Hire a youth adolescence expert on the national level to guide program development" .

Given the changes to perspective on child development in today’s high tech savvy world and that child development is not yet settled science, hiring a single person may not reap the rewards that BSA seek.

The parent and child relationship and the educational curriculum has changed markedly in just the last 5 years or so as evidenced by current events in 2020. No single entity can be a expert of youth adolescence The BSA Cub scout and Scouts BSA programs are basically sound. Therefore it is wiser to hire multiple consultants to gain insight into where the BSA Cub scout and Scouts BSA programs needs to change to align with today’s young people.

Users should like this post if he/she believe hiring a youth adolescence expert on the national level to guide program development will optimize the BSA for success

I think it would be more effective to invite leadership from other successful youth organizations to offer insights as part of the Churchill Project. For example, 4-H, the various major youth sports organizations, people involved with youth and education outreach at some of the major conservation associations. BSA lacks a universal view. It’s very insular.

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