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The purpose should determine the method

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  • The purpose should determine the method

    Kudu often reminds us of the wording of the original Congressional Charter. We all know the BSA Promise and Law, which we regularly reaffirm, both publicly and privately.
    We should all know the "official" Eight (9?) Methods of Scouting.
    There is the Mission Statement and the Vision Statement (fairly recent, each).
    And of late, we have discussed the recent (alledged) despoilment of the O/A by it's becoming a "Honor Scout Society" rather than a "Honor Camper" society.
    Too much Bling? Bling for the wrong purpose? Bling in the wrong place? Bling unappreciated? Unearned?
    Bare uniform vs south american general's uniform?
    I am beginning to think this is all somehow related. Symptoms of the general social malaise? Need for more "look at me! Look at me!" ? Jealousy of those that haven't vs those that shouldn't have but did?

    Things I have heard/discerned from eavesdropping, asking questions, discussion with boys and other adults (anecdotal):

    Why do boys join Scouts?
    >Heard it was fun...
    >Want to go camping/hiking/rock climbing like my brother/dad...
    >Mom made me...
    >My buddy asked me, friends were there...
    >Got nothing else to do...
    >Church youth ministry, (see #2)...

    Why do they stay in Scouts? See above, and...
    >It is fun...
    >I like getting awards I can earn myself...
    >I learn stuff that's useful...
    >Get to go/do stuff other kids don't...
    >I like to see mom/pop smile...
    >Like hanging out with my buds...
    >I get to boss little kids around...
    > Didn't expect it, but other guys are jealous of me...
    >My girl thinks it's awesome, the stuff we do...
    >Eagle looks good on the resume/college app/job app...

    Older Scouts sometimes admit, the leadership/organization practice is good. The service to others? Seems to come up last on the listing, but I have rarely (if ever) heard a Scout say they WON'T when asked to help in a service project.

    Folks learn from example as much as by instruction. We want the boys to be "boy led", but they still need to see and feel the example of "selfless service". From whom?
    If the O/A is to be a "Scout Honor" society to recognize and reward those Scouts that exemplify the ideals of Scouting, so be it. If the O/A is there to point out boys that "get it" about selfless service, then let that happen and don't be surprised when the O/A is never a BIG organization.
    Pocket flaps and sashes: Some folks will always want recognition. Others just want to do the job and feel good about that. Isn't there some inherent conflict about these things? Some rewards you work for , some are awarded because others think you deserve them, without you specifically EARNING them, altho you do.

    It was snowing here in Murlin awhile ago, now the suns bright again...


  • #2
    Our only mission should be the "Three Purposes of Scouting," as set by statute in our Congressional Charter:

    The purposes of the corporation are to promote, through organization, and cooperation with other agencies:

    1) The ability of boys to do things for themselves and others,

    2) To train them in Scoutcraft, and

    3) To teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues,

    using the methods that were in common use by boy scouts on June 15, 1916.

    Yours at 300 feet,

    Kudu
    http://kudu.net


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    • #3
      "... and kindred virtues"

      I always saw the above as akin to Job Descriptions that end with "Other duties as assigned"

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      • #4
        As usual Kudu has Congressional Charter syndrome.


        BSA is not limited in what it does by its Congressional charter.

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        • #5

          A Scout is OBEDIENT. A Scout obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks a statute is unfair, he calculates the likelihood it will be enforced should he disobey it.

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          • #6
            "We should all know the "official" Eight (9?) Methods of Scouting.
            There is the Mission Statement and the Vision Statement..."

            "Our only mission should be the "Three Purposes of Scouting," as set by statute in our Congressional Charter:"

            Strange how some of us adult type members can get our knickers in a twist about this stuff.
            As SSScout posts kids join and remain in Scouts for a lot of different reasons.
            But so far I've yet to meet a Lad who joined to have a character rebuild or become more ethical or because he wanted to do his bit to live up to the Purposes of Scouting, as set by statute in our Congressional Charter.
            For the most part Lads join to have fun and take on new and exciting challenges.
            They leave when they don't have fun and they become bored.
            Maybe it's a good thing that us adults discuss and at times do get a little worked up about what we see as the purpose of what we are doing?
            Still I'll bet my last dollar that if asked SSScout, Kudu and maybe little old me plan and carry out a Scouting event where the Scouts do have fun, do face new challenges and might more than lightly learn a little something along the way.
            Should this ever happen? I'll bet that we'd be so busy with the event that all these great ideals might have to take a back burner.
            Of course I could be wrong? - But I doubt it.
            Ea.




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            • #7
              "For the most part Lads join to have fun and take on new and exciting challenges.
              They leave when they don't have fun and they become bored. "

              The Congressional Charter defines (by statute) those "exciting challenges" to be "Scoutcraft."

              The distaste with which most red-blooded American "lads" now view Boy Scouts is a perfect barometer of our "leadership skills" mission to break that law.

              Yours at 300 feet,

              Kudu




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              • #8
                Kudu, amen.

                While I have to cajole the boys to finish up their MB work (which is getting more and more like school between camp and MB academies) we have a 20 miler multi-day hiking campout. I never so many boys fuss over planning what to carry, eat, etc. Such passion!

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                • #9
                  "The Congressional Charter defines (by statute) those "exciting challenges" to be "Scoutcraft.""
                  OK!
                  I might just call it "Program" -But it's as long as it is wide.
                  Scouts don't care much if something is called a Statement, a method or a statue. They just want to be part of something that they deem to be enjoyable.
                  Us bashing each other over the head and quoting things that long dead English Lords might or might not have said might be fun for us adults.
                  But that 12 year old little fellow? Not so much.
                  Ea.


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                  • #10
                    Us bashing each other over the head and quoting things that long dead English Lords might or might not have said might be fun for us adults.

                    Of course, Eamonn, that is your job.

                    As Course Director your duty is to kick the Scoutcraft out of Baden-Powell's Scoutcraft course, and by your example here teach adults to hold the law in contempt: The law that defines Scoutcraft not as a mere "Method" of Scouting, but as its Purpose.

                    Yours at 300 feet,

                    Kudu
                    (This message has been edited by kudu)

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                    • #11
                      This borders on being an eponymous thread. But it raises a valid question- what is the point of the exercise that is Scouting? For the first several decades of Scouting's existence, the message was fairly consistent and mirrored the Congressional Charter; self-sufficiency, Scoutcraft in the outdoors, and preparation for citizenship guided by good values.

                      When we as an organization decided that good management theory demanded we formulate "vision, mission, and values," things got a little goofy. We ended up with a mission statement that focused on values but neglected the importance of those values to effective citizenship. We stopped promoting Scouting as a common good and began marketing it to certain target demographics. Finally, we let sloganeering replace statements of purpose (that whole "Honor Society of Scouting" thing is a good example of this).

                      I realize that there are probably more posts to come criticizing Kudu's "purist" stance followed by more posts by Kudu in defense of that stance, but I would hope we don't forget that there are legitimite questions underneath it all that need to be addressed intelligently for the good of the movement.(This message has been edited by sherminator505)

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                      • #12
                        In response to SP's statement that the BSA is not limited in what it does by its Congressional Charter, I sincerely hope he does not mean that it is no longer bound by its original promise to the American people.

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                        • #13
                          Kudu
                          Help me out a little.
                          I said:

                          "For the most part Lads join to have fun and take on new and exciting challenges.
                          They leave when they don't have fun and they become bored. "

                          You replied:

                          "The Congressional Charter defines (by statute) those "exciting challenges" to be "Scoutcraft."

                          A little time later you say:

                          "As Course Director your duty is to kick the Scoutcraft out of Baden-Powell's Scoutcraft course, and by your example here teach adults to hold the law in contempt: The law that defines Scoutcraft not as a mere "Method" of Scouting, but as its Purpose."

                          Seems to me that in one breath you and I are in agreement and then you have a change of heart and want to see things in a different light.
                          Maybe we need to look at what is meant by the word Scoutcraft?
                          Are we talking about skills?
                          If that's the case? Then I've never lost the skills I learned as a little fellow and as an adult I've been happy to include and use them as part of a program that offers fun and excitement along with challenges for the Scouts that I've led.
                          Are we going deeper? Are we talking about the Lad who learns the importance of living the Scout oath and law, who performs a good deed each day and sees why doing so is important and very much part of being a Scout. Again I'd have to say that I've not given up on any of that.

                          Your dislike for the new WB is known. I am a little surprised that you chose to get a little dig in about it in this thread.
                          Sure I've been involved in WB courses, Boy Scout, Cub Scout old courses and the 21st Century course.
                          While I do think that all the courses had and have value, I've never thought that spending six or seven days on a course teaches everything you need to know about anything.
                          While I don't hold myself up as being anything special I do see that I was very fortunate, in that I joined a very well run Troop as a little Lad. I did learn the outdoor skills, I worked under different P/L's some who were even at a very young age good leaders, some who were just terrible! Still I learned from both. While back when I was a Lad there wasn't so much talk about Leadership and Leadership Skills, leadership was part of what we did. Patrol Leaders were in charge of their Patrol and were expected to lead and live up to the expectations placed upon them.
                          So yes I was fortunate, I learned all of this over a number of years.
                          As a WB Course Director, I presented different tools that participants could use or might use that might help them understand leadership and might help them become better leaders.
                          Leaders not only of our youth members but also of the adults.

                          While at this time there isn't much talk about Congress taking away the charter, it has been talked about in the past.
                          I'm not sure what the lightly hood of it not being around really is?
                          But I'm wondering what would happen to your argument if it was rescinded?
                          Ea.


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                          • #14
                            Still wondering about SP's comment...

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                            • #15
                              The silence is deafening...

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