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  • Skill Awards

    I was reading my husband's scout book (published 1979) and came across skill awards, which are like cub scout belt loops. I gather that they were discontinued. Did anything replace them? I guess this book isn't much use for scouting today. I will have to suck it up and buy a new one...

  • #2
    Nothing replaced them. Keep the old book though. It could come in handy. Also be sure to get the 2013 requirements. The requirements in the handbook are superseded.

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    • #3
      Skill Awards came about with the Improved Scouting Program of the 1970s, aka "Urban Scouting," as it took the " OUTING out of ScOUTING," and was a major fiasco. From 1972 to 1979, it was possible to get Eagle Scout with out camping. William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt had to come out of retirement and write your husband's handbook in order to save Scouting.

      The concept behind the Skill Awards was that the scout mastered certain set of skills on one topic and received immediate recognition. IMHO, Skill Awards are the only they got right.

      As for the book not being useful today, I completely DISAGREE (emphasis not shouting). While the advancement sections may be useless today, the book has more info on traditional Scoutcraft than the current handbook. In fact I had to copy sections of the book to teach IOLS b/c the current book is inadequate to useless on some topics.

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      • JoeBob
        JoeBob commented
        Editing a comment
        The SM Handbook on my nightstand was published in 1967. Other than advancement, it's better than the current version. Great old-fashioned scouting games, etc.

      • christineka
        christineka commented
        Editing a comment
        I have a really old girl scout handbook I picked up at a yard sale. It's full of useful information- out of doors, and indoors stuff. I am a bit of a hoarder... I have my old girl scout handbook (also has useful info in it), my brother's webelos book, and my husband's bear book. (From reading the webelos' book and talking to my dad (old scouter), I finally figured out why the old guy at webelos' camp said the boys were earning most of outdoorsman at his station, but in reality only marked off one requirement for the badge.)

    • #4
      Not really important, but I have my brother's belt with some of his skill awards. My Cub Scout son thinks it is cool.

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      • qwazse
        qwazse commented
        Editing a comment
        I earned them as a scout. My kids thought they were neat, but after the first four, they just weighed down your belt. Since I never did scuba, I never saw the need.

    • #5
      I earned skill awards as a scout, too. I think the idea was a very good idea especially as an introduction to the required merit badges of the day.

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      • #6
        The wierd thing is that I was a Scout at that time. I even have my old Handbook that has the skill awards on it. I can't recall anybody in my troop getting one. I also got Tenderfoot, and have no idea what I had to do to get it.

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        • FrankScout
          FrankScout commented
          Editing a comment
          I remember that---your ranks were signed off in a separate "Progress Awards Record Book" that fit in your shirt pocket and was washable! I remember the hardest part of Tenderfoot was having to earn one merit badge. Mine was Rowing--got it at summer camp. (1975 or 76)

          Skill Awards-good memories!

      • #7
        I had Skill Award requirements on my trail to Eagle: 1985-1992. The Skill Awards were discontinued at about the time the rank patches got redesigned. We called them the "diarrhea brown" ranks. Anyway, the lower rank advancement required Skill Award completion. Once you got to 1st class, the focus shifted to merit badges. Still have my handbook from 1979 and its my best resource for teaching scoutcraft to my Weblos. I haven't looked at the current Boy Scout advancement. The skill awards were a nice primer for Camping, Cooking, Envi Sci and other merit badges. Have the "skills" which comprised the old Skill Awards found their way into the new advancement?

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        • qwazse
          qwazse commented
          Editing a comment
          Most of the requirements are still part of trail to first class. NOT part of the skill award system:


          - Introduce a friend to scouting

          - EDGE

          It's a wonder we had any membership or learned anything at all!

      • #8
        Yep I didn't like the color change of the ranks in 1989, and was very glad I got Life prior to that. The weight of the Skill Awards wasn't bad. In my troop, only folks wearing leather belts were adults as the Skill Awards were advancement, and you were expected. stressing expected, to wear them, even in you were an Eagle. Minute you turned 18, most folks wore a leather belt of some kind:

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