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Questions and answers for parents and leaders new to Scouting.

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    • HICO, you are fighting physiology there...the point is, that part of the brain isn't done growing in yet...they do not have the physical structures needed for that kind of "adult" thinking.  But, what we can do, is train them in the processes and form the habits of planning, forecasting, and leading.   Eagle94, please do look for that!  I'd like to read that one (as a lifelong learner  )   Qwazse, right on!  Even BP said " First-class Scout A BOY does not really get the value of the Scout training until he is a First-class Scout. The Second-class is only a step to that standing. But it is a lamentable fact that a good many are content to remain as Second-class Scouts once they have gained a few badges of proficiency. It is for that reason, mainly, that the All Round Cords are now obtainable only by First-class Scouts. This move has been welcomed by Scoutmasters as giving an incentive to the lads to keep progressing in their training.       Of course, the main objection to it is that it necessitates the boys learning to swim, and facilities for this do not exist in all centres. It has, therefore, been suggested in one or two cases that this rule should be relaxed. I am afraid that I have been very "sticky" about it, and although I generally make things as elastic as possible, I may have appeared unnaturally obstinate in this one particular; but I had reasons, and experience has now shown that those reasons were right.       When a boy has become a First-class Scout -- but not before then -- he has got a grounding in the qualities, mental, moral, and physical, that go to make a good useful man. And I look on swimming as a very important step, combining as it does attributes of all three of those classes ? mentally it gives the boy a new sense of self-confidence and pluck; morally, it gives him the power of helping others in distress and puts a responsibility upon him of actually risking his life at any moment for others; and physically, it is a grand exercise for developing wind and limb.       Every man ought to be able to swim; and in Norway and Sweden, the home of practical education, every boy and girl is taught swimming at school.       The fact that swimming has got to be learnt by the Boy Scout before he can gain his first-class badge has had the effect of putting the character of the lads in very many cases to a hard and strengthening test.       At first they complained that there was no place near where they could learn to swim. But when they found this was not accepted as an excuse, they set to work to make places or to get to where such places existed. I have heard of boys riding five miles on their bicycles day after day to swimming-baths; streams in many country places have been dammed up, and bathing-places made by the Scouts; the summer Camp has been established at some seaside or river-side spot for the special purpose of getting everyone trained in swimming.       It can be done if everybody sets his mind to it. If the boys are put to extra trouble in bringing it about, so much the better for their character training. In any case, I look upon swimming as an essential qualification for First-class Scout, and for every man.   Also, I don't consider a boy is a real Scout till he has passed his first-class tests. February, 1914. (copied from http://usscouts.org/history/bpoutlook2.asp )
    • Not coming back? I can tell my little supremacists that they don’t have to earn the badge, stop chasing bling, and look at the trail map and plan our next hike ... preferably to a cafe I know that serves the best gumbo in town.
    • The beatings will continue until morale improves.  
    • Back to the OP...my 3 cents. One major crisis early in the BSA was to get all the many splinter groups to agree to come into one organization, One being the Rhode Island Boy Scouts which still exists today as a trustee organization.  Another crisis faced  (this will be requirement number one of the new DEI MB), was the pushback of the YMCA  to allow Catholics, Jews, Indians and "Negroes" and other ethnic and racial boys into the program. In 1972 the BSA membership peaked at 6.5M youth.   What to do about this?  I know let's start the ISP.  I was part of a 50 Eagle Scout group who went to Schiff to evaluate this new program.  Everyone of us said it wouldn't work and we all know how that worked out.   Membership has never recovered and could fall below 1M at the end of 2020. The 18 year old cap for Eagle was set in 1952 when they did a major overhaul of the MB program.  The BSA allowed those men who had gone off to WWII before they could finish their requirements to do so.  This requirement was essentially ignored until 1965 when the BSA added the Troop Warrant Officer and Eagle Project.  Since adults could not hold a troop youth position, that basically shut the door on adults although there were still councils who defied that.    The exception to 18 is for Youth with Disabilities for which there is no age limit.  The 18 year old cap is also since the BSA requirements are essentially written for 11-14 year olds.  
    • Definitely regional. Like most things with advancement, some councils set a particular tone, and eventually it was echoed nation-wide, until it was codified. (Which directly violates my Rule #1: Don't ask for a rule. You'll live to regret it.) I personally don't see the need for a special designation. There aren't going to be a lot of adults who do go all the way to Eagle, which is already a "silver" award. They just get to be called Eagle Scouts like the rest of us. But, more to the point, we would strongly encourage everyone to be 1st Class Scouts. The patch would synchronize with the concept. Most every adult would make an effort to at least nail that. And yes, it's a shame BSA has oversold Eagle almost to the exclusion of this "middle" rank. One side effect: there might be fewer youth who make Eagle because, lacking a deadline, the natural procrastinators will keep doing what they do. However, I think youth who see new adults (their moms and dads, even) struggling to master 1st Class skills will be inspired. My experience is with renewing BSA Guard, it just gets harder to knock out those sprints every three years, and one particular year I came back defeated a couple of days in a row. That third day, the few scouts from my troop in the aquatics area cheered me on when I finally nailed it.
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