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  • Old Skill Award Belt Loops

    Whatever happened to the belt loops that we got in the late 80s as Skill Awards for T-2-1? I miss seeing that old "Boy Scout Armor".

  • #2
    As a scout I earned all twelve and explain to my sons that they were sort of a warmup for merit badges. They were phased out and I am kind of sad about that. I am not sure why. I think they were a great idea. Now, we have to force first class on scouts within there first year. I think this is too much. Anyway, many times change is not for the better.
    Take care,
    Robert Davis


    • #3

      Boy Scouts returned to having the requirements for the skill awards that were required put back into the Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class badges.


      • #4

        ""Now, we have to force first class on scouts within there first year. I think this is too much. ""

        I think it is 'too much' too, but not the way you phrase it, I think.

        "Forcing" First Class in the first year is the "too much" I think about. There should never be a forcing of the ranks. If the Troop program offers the opportunities for the skills to be learned and demonstrated, it will not matter if the FC is earned in a year, or two or three. It will happen when it happens.
        We had one Scout in our Troop who was Loyal, and Helpful, and Trustworthy, but could not make every activity, but when he was there, he was THERE, if you see what I mean. He was active in his church and school and went off to Scout Summer camp , but somehow did not get all his 'acts' together for his Scout ranks. Just could not seem to get the skill demonstration and the leader sign off in the same place at the same time. He'd do something here, something there, but couldn't get it all finalized.
        Just after his 16th birthday, he got together with some ASMs on a campout, and got everything finally signed off in his tattered well used book. At the next CoH, he was awarded his Tenderfoot, Second class, and First Class. He then went off to work staff at Scout camp. At the following CoH (six months later), he was awarded his Star Scout award. He was active as the SPL, and PL, helped the younger Scouts along. He eventually became a PD at a Scout Camp, the one he had been attending.
        Didn't matter if he "got FC" in a year, I think ultimately that he DID "get it".


        • #5
          Ah the skill awards. A product of the early 70's. Remember the other great changes Sc***ing went through during that time frame? That's when the BSA took the "OUT" from scouting and citified the program.

          But I digress. The race to First Class is because a National study found that those boys who failed to make First Class in their first year of Scouting dropped out at higher rates than those who did. There will always be boys that progress at different rates, and by rushing these boys to first class, they'll have, what, six years left to make eagle? (Assuming they start at age 11, some come to the troops at 10 1/2). The time in grade requirements for star and life are six months each, so if you have a fast mover, you could wind up with 13 year old Eagle Scouts.

          Then what do they work for?


          • #6
            The race to first class was based on an unscientific conclusion.

            Study conclusion: Boys who reach first class within a year stay longer than boys who don't

            Assumption not in evidence: Getting to first class is the cause of them staying longer

            Faulty response to bad assumption: Make all the boys go to first class in a year

            Result: Boys drop out at same rate and BSA membership continues to decline.

            There is no evidence that the cause of them staying longer was getting to first class. The cause could have been some other factor that boys who make first class in one year often, but not always, have in common.

            Actual conclusion: BSA leadership drew a dumb conclusion because not enough science training.


            • #7
              I enjoyed the old skill award program. It gave intermediate goals, and like was said earlier, could be thought of as mini merit badges.

              Thanks for the link. I enjoyed the history at that site.


              • #8
                Me personally I prefer the SA program in which a scout could focus on one entire set of skills, get recognized, and then move to the next set.

                In regards to FCFY, if memory serves they used stats to show that a scout who gets FC wiht in a year remains in the program longer. Problem is they didn't look at one essential element of advancement, a unit's program. As BP said, "advancement should occur as naturally as a suntan, something that just happens in the out doors."

                So I would say it was a scientific study with a serious flaw


                • #9
                  First class rank falls from the unit's program. With a good and active program a boy can't help but earn first class in a year or so. Does the unit have an annual program calendar, with regular outdoor events scheduled in advance? Do they know what they're going to do next month? Do the troop meetings center around getting ready for the next outing? If so, there's a good chance those Scouts will be first class in a year.

                  The "flaw" in the national inititive was in thinking that units would actually follow through and plan a program with activities that would enable boys to earn ranks in a reasonable amount of time.


                  • #10
                    It reminds me of the small videos we use in the Scoutmaster Leader Specific Training. You know, the one's with the "Model" troop. Everything is always perfect (uniforms, timing, boy leaders, behavior, ect.) It was always gets a laugh from the leaders attending to see how national assumes troops operate.

                    But again, I digress...

                    A little real world experance for the folks who make these calls is in order. We've been moving away from BP for years...


                    • #11
                      >>Then what do they work for?


                      • #12
                        "Their 14th birthday so they can join Sea Scouts and then work for Quartermaster?"

                        Which if they run through quickly enough, should leave them time to earn Bronze, Gold and Silver venture awards. Hummmm... maybe there is something to this one year 1st Class thing... NOT.

                        As to sending them out on boxcars...Though National is is short of brain, I would not wish them on a train. I do not like skill awards old bean, I hope that doesn't make me mean.


                        • #13

                          BSA24: The use of logic is a really underused (and badly taught ) skill. I heartily agree that that study, which I had not heard of before, is certainly faulty.
                          I would propose that the longevity of the Scout is not 'caused' by the earning of FC, but rather the reverse. IF a Scout has the attitude to remain in Scouting , then he will earn FC easily and early.
                          If the Troop has a good, fun, challenging program, then the Scout will be inclined to continue in Scouting, and will eventually see the benefit and earn the ranks.
                          Earning the rank is NOT the REASON for, it is the RESULT of a Scout program.


                          • #14
                            Ok. They were phased out. Thanks.

                            I now let you resume hijacking this thread (already in progress)


                            • #15
                              I don't think they were so much phased out as there was someone in the program division who liked the idea so much that it was repurposed for Cub Scouts. :-)