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    • Agree with @qwaze on not just automatically giving the Scout rank badge. For us, the very first campout that the AoL crossovers attend with the troop, they can breeze through "reviewing" all of the Scout requirements and most will have no issue with being ready that night to have their SMC and be awarded the rank on Sunday morning. And that is appropriate. For the small number that struggle with a requirement or two, they are not massive issues and the kid can still have their SMC and get encouraged to come to the meting that week and 99.9% of the time they will receive their award that night. We aren't solving some massive crisis of "holding kids up on advancement" if BSA makes this change.
    • Setting aside that I thought turning Scout into a rank was pointless, now that it is a rank ... We had several AoL crossovers who were still struggling with square knots. That's not to disrespect the program. We had a dozen crossovers, about half of them knew their knots well enough to quickly demonstrate them. I think the pandemic was part of the problem. But, also, it's not in the nature of 10-year-olds to retain those kinds of motor skills. Scouts who are camping every month have greater odds of actually needing those skills. No rubber stamps. It's a good life lesson to know that it's not about the patch. You have to be prepared to actually demonstrate the skills you claim to have.
    • If you see that as the point, then please, follow your beliefs and never go into the woods again.  Also, please stop using electricity, because the windmills are killing far more birds... As for me, until something more conclusive than your concoction emerges from scientific study and observation, I'll happily bring out my laser pointer to educate Scouts. Happy Scouting 
    • If, for some reason, you put a few hundred kids in flying monkey suits in the night sky above you, and you knew they were there and unseen in the dark, you wouldn't risk pointing your laser up there during an astronomy lesson, would you? I would think you would want to give their eyes a wide berth. I'm not a Leave No Trace instructor, but I think the whole point of LNT is to universally leave things that are out there in their own habitat unharmed and undisturbed within it as much as possible. At least by scouts.  Googling pretty much confirms that lasers are harmful or at least disruptive to the normal activity of avian wildlife, and used to haze and disperse them; birding experts only use lasers in daylight when they can see what they are doing and know they are not hitting or disturbing anything. If there's any lingering doubt that migrating birds are in the skies at night at high concentrations during certain periods,  consult this web site anytime after March 1: birdcast.info. It's a joint project between CSU and Cornell and uses weather surveillance data, radar, and other tools to issue migration forecasts. You can look at the radar and actually see the density of birds overhead during migration. Somewhere around four billion birds migrate in our portion of the hemisphere spring and fall. You might not see them unless you are looking at a fairly full moon through binoculars, but they are there. They are impossible to miss, in more than one way. 
    • There is a subtle difference between AOL, Scout, and Tenderfoot knot requirements. AOL is ultimately "Do Your Best". Scout rank is "show" and "explain". Tenderfoot is "demonstrate" a practical use. Each step is a little harder and adds a proficiency. I think it makes sense for scouts to show the skill several times because it is something they are going to have to practice. Also once they bridge into a troop it shows them they need to work with other scouts to earn the rank. They aren't showing the skill to an adult den leader. If a scout earns AOL and is proficient with their skills, they can earn Scout rank right away. I have seen AOL scouts bridge into a troop and earn it in one or two meetings. Most take a little longer because they have to work on some things. I'd rather younger scouts take their time, learn the skills, and not rush through ranks.
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