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Questions and answers for parents and leaders new to Scouting.

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  1. New to Boy Scouts

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  2. Pack Budget

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  3. Transferring Troops

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  4. My son is a Boy Scout now!

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  5. merit badge pow wow

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  6. merit badge counselor

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  7. The boy scout uniform

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • The camping requirements change as of August 1st 2017, to what you read in the new book. 
    • A Scout is thrifty! Sounds like a great plan. You will want to read my butt about the two requirements where I noticed changes since she will have to use those updated requirements when ranking up. I have the new book in my hands because the Scout Shops are now selling them, which is a bit earlier than I had hoped. A quick rundown of the changes: All images of Scouts were updated to be girls. Several other photos containing people were changed to use females or are simply different. They still all have the same theme and often very similar poses. Colors behind headers, like section headings, have changed. The white text is more readable because the backgrounds are darker. Boy Scouts, when referring to the program, now typically says Scouts BSA. When referring to the individual, it is now Scout. The youth protection booklet in the front has more content. Likewise the safety chapter has much more about sexual abuse, plus the topics were slightly rearranged. Two pages were added here about dangers, warning signs, and what to do. I could find no updated hygiene section. Everything there looked the same. The instructions for tying a necktie are still in the book too. Structurally the books are identical up to chapter 13. That means each page in the 13th edition looks identical to the 14th edition. As mentioned earlier, there is more content in chapter 13, so chapter 14 starts on page 412 instead of 410, and we are back to nearly identical content. If you refer to any page before 396, those page number references, paragraphs and sentences are still spot-on. The only changes I noticed in the rank requirements were for Second Class 1b and First Class 1a. They seem to have relaxed the requirement a tiny bit, though I suspect the boys edition will have the same wording. Second Class 1b: "Since joining Scouts BSA, participate in five separate troop/patrol activities, at least three of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least two must include overnight camping. These activities do not include troop or patrol meetings. On campouts, spend the night in a tent that you pitch or other structure that you help erect, such as a lean-to, snow cave, or tepee. (See pages 260 and 276-277.)" First Class 1a has 10 activities, six outdoors and three overnight camping. The rest is the same  Oh that brings up another change. The requirements all now have page numbers listed for relevant information. I may have missed some stuff, but I did page through it for the past two hours and that was everything I saw. Overall I am very pleased with this book.
    • An old copy of the Handbook for Patrol Leaders. And by old I mean a printing stemming from the 1929 version (eg, 10th printing is from 1941). Also, an old copy of the Handbook For Scoutmasters. I just have volume 1 but the original printing is from 1936. These books are dripping with enthusiasm and common sense. Hillcourt wrote them both (and likely the 2nd volume for SM's). For more information about Hillcourt, go to the home page.
    • E94, NO! Just no! This is not about her. (Well it is, but that's between her and the Almighty.) Just talk up what your boys are getting in the new troop (i.e. the promise of scouting) that wasn't being delivered in the old one. And tell her that if she wants to roll out the red carpet for the next leader, she'll work on delivering that promise to all the scouts in her troop.
    • Our Troop at Summer Camp has our first-year Scouts work on Leatherwork MB in camp, as we have an ASM who is a registered counselor for that badge. He spends more time on it than the group offering that the camp has and the Scouts tend to enjoy it more, we've found. We used to also offer Wood Carving MB in camp as we had a registered counselor for that badge as well, but that ASM has retired so we don't offer that in the campsite anymore. But it was very popular and well-enjoyed by the Scouts. They would each make a walking staff as one of their projects. Scouts still bring those staffs with them wherever they go. My son entered his at the County Fair the year he made his at Summer Camp, and took home a blue ribbon. We also have the first-years work on other badges we're confident they will be able to complete during the week, so we work with them to schedule badges such as Art, Basketry, and Sculpture. If they're a strong swimmer, they could take Swimming, if they'd like. Other badges we will work with them on whether it would be appropriate or not as a first-year Summer Camper. For example, we might discourage an 85-pound 11-year-old from taking, say, Shotgun Shooting, because they might have trouble with the heaviness of the gun and dealing with the recoil, unless they could demonstrate that they'd be okay with it. As others have noted above, we also tend to discourage all our Scouts from taking First Aid at Summer Camp, because the group setting makes it difficult to devote the individual attention this badge requires. As we tell our Scouts and their parents, this is one badge that we give greater scrutiny to because it's one life skill you will learn that could very well save someone's life. And while merit badges at summer camp are not the be-all-end-all, it has reached the point, unfortunately, where you see a lot of scrutiny from families expecting their Scout to come home with merit badges, because they see it as a justification for the hundreds of dollars they're paying to send their Scouts to camp.
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