Lowering age cap for Venture, Sea Scouts, OA and/or moving the programs.
Dan Ownby, National Chair-Elect of the BSA, stated during the BSA Virtual National Annual Meeting that Scouting will " End all youth programs at 18 and build a volunteer corp for all young adults over 18 " (Jump to 56:53 of the video)
57:30 “Create a membership category that would allow for families and individuals to join special programs developed by local councils” - Does this mean special diversity programs?
What kind of special programs?
54:40 - "While preserving useful traditions we must pivot from valuing the past to looking to the future. Not allowing tradition from giving our members what they value. We must invest resources in those programs that our customers most value, allowing others to be cut from the vine."
Dan Ownby says “our ox will be gored” and it’s “not a time to hide sacred cows”. Is it hiding sacred cows or preserving tradition?
This raises a bunch of questions for what Venturing, Sea Scouts, Explorers, and the OA are going to look like going forward.
It appears that BSA National is proposing or considering or plans to implement major changes on all BSA programs, Sea Scouts, Venturing, Order of the Arrow and Explorers and move programs around. I understand that Sea Scouts would be moved under the Explorers program which does not have an advancement mechanism. This would almost end the rank of Quartermaster as the requirements to attain it are extensive and, in most cases, take until after the scout has turned eighteen. It would also pull scouts away from Sea Scouts who are working toward Eagle but not in a traditional troop. Finally, it would take some of the most extensive leadership opportunities available to scouts completely off the table.
Many scouts want to stay in the scouting program, when they age out of regular scouting. So they transition to Sea Scouts or Venturing. Our young people need good, wholesome organizations to be involved with. They need to be able to hang out with other young people with good, wholesome ideals, youth who follow the Scout Law and the Scout Oath. We have witnessed too many young people over the last few years and especially the last several months being pulled into organizations that don’t exhibit those ideals.
I think gutting Ventures, Sea Scouts, and OA will really hurt BSA and our youth.
Here’s some further discussion on the topic.
I hope they can be convinced to not do this. Please contact the National Office and ask them to reconsider this move. Ask them to keep Sea Scouts, Venture Scouts and OA as they are. Having advancement mechanisms is important to scouts. It keeps them interested and motivated. Our youth need those programs.
If money is an issue, then proper fundraising can be the key. If over $15million was donated to George Floyd’s brother in less than 4 weeks and BLM received commitments of a billion dollars in a few weeks, then Scouts BSA should be able to raise the cash it needs. Instead of cutting programs, BSA should reach out and raise money.
Our society seems to be undergoing a cultural purge and BSA is under attack. We need to raise our voices and stand for our BSA.