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Advancement Resources

Scouting ranks, merit bades, and the advancement programs

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    • @ParkMan why would I start a 15 year old at Star who hasn’t mastered 1st Class? If a 12 year old masters 1st Class, why withhold work on Star? But this is the critical distinction — the switch, if you will — that distinguishes BSA’s ascending first 6 decades from the declining latter 6: For a scout, what is rank (or as GBB put it in his handbook, a progress award)?  a set of skills that enables one to overcome the challenges of life and even forestall death, no matter when and at what station one masters those skills. a developmental track for teens and pre-teens to complement what they are not getting taught in school? If the former, then it might be important for an ASM or SM age 19 or 59 to secure that foundation. If the latter, then that person-of-a-certain-age should leave the finger paints on grandma’s fridge and go tag a trestle. My point is, the more we insist that the trail to Eagle is a “youth thing”, the more we will delude ourselves by creating requirements for the sake of youth development (EDGE, bean counting nights and service hours, bookwork MBs etc ...) that youth will more than happily abandon in order to fulfill a vision of the pinnacle scouting experience of hiking and camping independently with your mates. I see no point in extending the age limit for that youth/adult boundary. Youth may be PLs etc..; adults, SMs etc ... there is something to be said for years of life lived defining your roles. And we now know that power relationships conferred by age can be greatly abused. So on that level, we are stuck with what we have.
    • Do you have some sort of data that suggests that young adults are more likely to be sexual predators than older men? The articles I've seen on abuse in Scouting and the Catholic church doesn't seem to show that's a consistent trend. 
    • From  6 to 21 ?   Mustn't forget our Little Brothers and Sisters.   
    • The age could be extended, but we would need to redefine the program a bit. There's no great reason for a program to run from 11 to 21 - that's too large an age range for people to be in the same sets of activities.  I would find it unusual to send my 11 year old child off with a bunch of 19 year olds for the weekend. I would support a young adult program if we learned the lessons of the UK and had better age separation.  Something like: 5-8: Cub Scouts (Lions, Tigers, Wolves) 9-11: Webelos (Bears, Webelos/AOL) 11-14: Scouts aka "middle school scouting" (Scout through First Class) 15-18: Venturing aka "high school scouting" (Star through Eagle) 18-22: Rover Scouts "college scouting" I do agree with @David CO - as people mature, focus them on more "grown up" things.  The limit for Eagle is 18 and should remain 18.  How many kids do we lose during the high school years because they get bored of doing the same stuff since they were 11...
    • Entomologists are all kids at heart. I visited the local ag school's dept. when my son was a cub scout and they were just so into it. They were bragging about how you hadn't been stung until you've been stung by this one insect that had a 5" long stinger and they only knew it existed in this one remote corner of the state that few people ever went (hence why it wasn't extinct). Anyway, if they want to change the name of the MB, it's the kid in them and I'd let them change it to whatever they wanted because it would be a great MB.
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