When I was a teenager, my best friend's parents bought a Dairy Queen franchise. The very first thing the corporate trainer taught us? Always use the term "product" instead of "ice cream."
By law, soft serve is not ice cream, in the same way that (in the absence of a free market) the BSA's "product" is not Scouting.
Perhaps it is helpful to refer to our mess as the "BSA's product," since most of the problems we discuss stem from the fact that (hidden by BSA training) we have replaced Scouting with stuff that boys hate, have always hated, and will continue to hate until the end of time.
"But so many adults are Rank driven....If we removed that component of the program, which it seems brings the worst out in some folks, what would the Boy Scouting Look like......"
Actually, "rank advancement" refers to two components, neither of which are Baden-Powell's Scouting (which is to say "Scouting" in the rest of the world).
"Rank" in Scouting refers to a leadership position. In real Scouting, the central Rank is "Patrol Leader." The purpose of a Patrol Leader is to get a Patrol into the backwoods without adult supervision. Or, when Patrols camp together as a Troop, the purpose of a Patrol Leader is to camp a Patrol 300 feet from the nearest Patrol. The purpose of a Patrol Leader in the BSA's product is as a generic, interchangeable six-month "POR" to teach office cubical success formulas using trained, two-deep helicopters and "controlled failure."
There are no "POR" requirements in Scouting. A natural leader freely gives his time to others. Patrol Leaders are appointed by the Scoutmaster in consultation with the Patrol and/or Court of Honor (PLC). A Patrol Leader is chosen for his ability to move a Patrol through the backwoods without injury to the Patrol members, and his ability to run a Troop without a "Committee" of indoor mommies and daddies. For this reason alone most Wood Badgers point with pride to the fact that the BSA's product is the opposite of Scouting, designed instead to "teach boys about democracy" through six month popularity contests and (as a natural consequence) constant adult surveillance.
There is no "Advancement" in Scouting. The closest equivalent would be "Current Proficiency," or "Progressive training in Scoutcraft and Public Service skills." Current Proficiency means constant retesting. To wear any award patch in Scouting, a Scout must repass his "qualifying badges" (such as a first aid Public Service badge) every 12-18 months. The BSA's product is the opposite of Scouting, represented neatly by the slogan of Scoutcraft incompetency "Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle." In other words the ability of an Eagle to tie a clove hitch or save a life is trivial. What's important is "character and leadership:" Which boils down to an Eagle's opinions, and his ability to build a park bench using pop CEO-wannabe theory.
There are no Boards of Review or Scout Spirit requirements in Scouting. In the BSA product, "Boy Led" means adult-controlled.
There are no hated schoolwork badges in Scouting. Scouting is designed to appeal to outdoor boys. The BSA product is the opposite of Scouting, designed for parlor boys by the morbidly obese: Professional BSA millionaires who hate camping.
There are no "service hour" requirements in Scouting. A Scout freely gives his time to others. Baden-Powell called that "Practical Christianity." In the BSA's product, boys are taught to extract compensation for services rendered. Why not just pay them to love Jesus?
Yours at 300 feet,