I agree with much you have said. I am concerned about the recent response to our social issue — Black Lives Matter. I agree in theory, but ALL lives matter. And I still have an issue with the letter that National sent out. Is BSA supporting the IDEA or the organization? They are definitely two different things. The organization (or at least some members) are burning flags, wanting to defund our police, and creating chaos in the name of change. If BSA is supporting that, all I can do is shake my head and walk away.
The BSA organization is also making it very difficult for some families to participate. The added costs are just frustrating. For our Scouts in Crossroads of America Council, the fees have gone up to $78 per Scout and $54 (+/-) for each leader because of a $12 per person insurance bill). Add to that a “first time” $25 fee for a total of $103 for a new kid, not counting the fee for the necessary Akela for Lion kids. And then there was the big push to add girls to the youth program. So now, you have perhaps 3 or 4 members (or more) to pay for? I realize that for some, that isn’t a big deal, but for our area, it is. And recharters are due in November when families are just getting over the hump of school fees and then Christmas. I understand that some may give the opportunity of Scouting as a Christmas gift, but then you also have the costs of uniforms etc. and Summer camp costs are also going to be going up… between my grandkids in Cubs, my husband (the Troop Committee Chair), and I as Troop Scoutmaster, I easily fork out $1000 every year just with registration fees and camp fees for the 4 of us. That isn’t even counting fundraisers and extras…(including uniforms)… on my now even more limited Social Security budget, it is getting cost-prohibitive. My daughter is a single parent who works very hard to make ends meet and we do the child care, to help her out. Scouts has always been a great investment (my husband and son are both Eagles), but money is getting stretched very thinly.
Popcorn sales are way down due to the high cost (who in their right mind will pay $70 for a tin of 37oz of popcorn? Or $25 for a 12 pack of microwave popcorn?) yes, it is a fundraiser, but our troop of scouts are hit by constant fundraisers for school, band, sports, and church. And we have been told that this should be (“will be”) our only fundraiser (according to Council). If we have 25+/- cubs and 30+/- scouts in our county of less than 26,000 residents (not families), how does that work? BSA has become a monster big business and it is going to Sink the ship.i personally think that Lord Baden Powell, Dan Beard, William Boyce, Ernest Thompson Seton, and others would be appalled at what has become of the organization.
You may disagree with me, and that is ok. But unless something changes, the only ones I see left in BSA in 5 years are the ones who have money, the ones who are financed by contributions, and the paid professionals.