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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/22/19 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Do you think our rush to critique is just old-timer emotional whimsy? Hmm, maybe so. But our scouts are free to do what ever they want, and I would guess that our Eagles probably average 1 MB from a MB college at best. So, while the opportunities for scouts may be popular, the popularity is from the adult perspective. Scouts do not want to spend a full Saturday sitting in class like they have done all week at their school. If district would just run it like a university under the BSA advancement guidelines, I wouldn't mind. But, they run it like an middle school treating scouts like children instead of adults attending a class at a university. Plus they don't follow the BSA guidelines. District sets the vision of a quality boy run troop program for all their troops and their vision based from MB college is terrible. Great for the adults, terrible for the scouts. Barry
  2. 1 point
    I am still wondering who knew about this and when. Looking at our Federal Charter, hmmm, the entire BSA National Executive Board has 72 to 76 members, 2/3's would be 48 or more consenting? Sec. 30904 Powers General. - The corporation may - adopt and amend bylaws and regulations, including regulations for the election of associates and successors; adopt and alter a corporate seal; have offices and conduct its activities in the District of Columbia and the States, territories, and possessions of the United States; acquire and own property as necessary to carry out the purposes of the corporation; sue and be sued within the jurisdiction of the United States; and do any other act necessary to carry out this chapter and promote the purpose of the corporation. Limitations on Exercising Certain Powers. - The corporation may execute mortgages and liens on the property of the corporation only if approved by a two-thirds vote of the entire executive board at a meeting called for that purpose. The corporation may dispose in any manner of the whole property of the corporation only with the written consent and affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the corporation.
  3. 1 point
    B.S.A. Guide to Advancement (2019) The Benefits of Merit Badges There is more to merit badges than simply providing opportunities to learn skills. There is more to them than an introduction to lifetime hobbies, or the inspiration to pursue a career—though these invaluable results occur regularly. It all begins with a Scout’s initial interest and effort in a merit badge subject, followed by a discussion with the unit leader or designated assistant, continues through meetings with a counselor, and culminates in advancement and recognition. It is an uncomplicated process that gives a Scout the confidence achieved through overcoming obstacles. Social skills improve. Self-reliance develops. Examples are set and followed. And fields of study and interest are explored beyond the limits of the school classroom. . . . The Scout, the Blue Card, and the Unit Leader A few merit badges have certain restrictions, but otherwise any registered Scout, or qualified Venturer or Sea Scout, may work on any of them at any time. Before beginning to work with a merit badge counselor, however, the Scout is to [note absence of "must"] have a discussion with the unit leader. That a discussion has been held is indicated by the unit leader’s signature on the Application for Merit Badge, commonly called the “blue card.” Although it is the unit leader’s responsibility to see that at least one merit badge counselor is identified from those approved and made available, the Scout may already have one in mind with whom he or she would like to work. The unit leader and Scout should come to agreement as to who the counselor will be. Lacking agreement, the Scout must be allowed to work with the counselor of his or her choice, so long as the counselor is registered and has been approved by the council advancement committee. However, see “Counselor Approvals and Limitations,”, for circumstances when a unit leader may place limits on the number of merit badges that may be earned from one counselor. . . . The Process of Counseling Earning merit badges should be Scout initiated, Scout researched, and Scout learned. It should be hands-on and interactive, and should not be modeled after a typical school classroom setting. Instead, it is meant to be an active program so enticing to Scouts that they will want to take responsibility for their own full participation . . . The sort of hands-on interactive experience described here, with personal coaching and guidance, is hardly ever achieved in any setting except when one counselor works directly with one Scout and the Scout’s buddy, or with a very small group. Thus, this small-scale approach is the recommended best practice for merit badge instruction and requirement fulfillment. Units, districts, and councils should focus on providing the most direct merit badge experiences possible. Large group and web-based instruction, while perhaps efficient, do not measure up in terms of the desired outcomes with regard to learning and positive adult association. . . . Because of the importance of individual attention and personal learning in the merit badge program, group instruction should be focused on those scenarios where the benefits are compelling. There must be attention to each individual’s projects and fulfillment of all requirements. We must know that every Scout—actually and personally—completed them. If, for example, a requirement uses words like “show,” “demonstrate,” or “discuss,” then every Scout must do that. It is unacceptable to award badges on the basis of sitting in classrooms watching demonstrations, or remaining silent during discussions. . . . If, after consulting with those involved in the merit badge program—such as an event coordinator, the camp director, or a merit badge counselor—it becomes plainly evident that a youth could not have actually and personally fulfilled requirements as written, then the limited recourse outlined below is available. . . . In most cases, with a fair and friendly approach, a Scout who did not complete the requirements will admit it. Short of this, however, if it remains clear under the circumstances that some or all of the requirements could not have been met, then the merit badge is not reported or awarded, and does not count toward advancement. The unit leader then offers the name of at least one other merit badge counselor through whom any incomplete requirements may be finished. Note that in this case a merit badge is not “taken away” because, although signed off, it was never actually earned. . . . For example, the recourse could be allowed when it would not have been possible to complete a specific requirement at the location of the class, event, or camp; if time available was not sufficient—perhaps due to class size or other factors—for the counselor to observe that each Scout personally and actually completed all the requirements; if time available was insufficient for a “calendar” requirement such as for Personal Fitness or Personal Management; or if multiple merit badges in question were scheduled at the same time . . . Upon encountering any merit badge program where BSA standards are not upheld, unit leaders are strongly encouraged to report the incident to the council advancement committee, preferably using the form found in the appendix (see “Reporting Merit Badge Counseling Concerns,”" [But they very seldom do so.] [emphasis added]
  4. 1 point
    Sorry about repeating many of the valid points made above, but perhaps it might help to build a wall. "Efficiency" "Efficiency" - whatever that means to the reader - is not an objective or method of Scouting. Advancement is a method of Scouting, not an objective of Scouting. Advancement meets the goals of Scouting if it helps Scouts develop their character, citizenship, leadership, mental fitness, and psychical fitness. "Success" is measured in development of character, citizenship, leadership, mental fitness, and psychical fitness, not numbers of baubles, bangles, and beads handed out. Recognition is awarded, when earned, to encourage the Scout recognized, and other Scouts witnessing the recognition, to further development of character, citizenship, leadership, mental fitness, and psychical fitness. Sadly, Advancement has become a metric for measuring counterfeit "success" because it lends itself more to bureaucracy. So at Philmont, I, an adult, or an Eagle Scout's fifteen-year-old brother, had to tie his boots and carry his share of crew gear. Although his mother, the CC, got him Eagle, he had no Scout skills anyone ever noticed, was horribly obese, and cried several times each day. His true success was unrelated to his Eagle badge or thirty-one Merit Badges - it was getting up the side of Urraca Mesa, and his Life Scout brother's great success was the physical and emotional accomplishment of getting Bernie up that section of trail, an act of love and kindness that I will never forget. Having accomplished that, the next day Bernie got up the Tooth, partially on hand and knees. Efficiency had nothing to do with it. Thank God. B.S.A. Guide to Advancement (2019) "The current edition of the Guide to Advancement is the official source for administering advancement in all Boy Scouts of America programs: Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouts. It replaces any previous BSA advancement manuals and previous editions of the Guide to Advancement. . . . Policy on Unauthorized Changes to Advancement Program No council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement requirements. There are limited exceptions relating only to members with special needs. For details see section 10, “Advancement for Members With Special Needs.” [Do people cheat? Sure they do. Do districts and councils cheat? Absolutely. And what do the Scouts learn when they witness adults cheating?] Advancement Is Based on Experiential Learning Everything done to advance—to earn ranks and other awards and recognition—is designed to educate or to otherwise expand horizons. Members learn and develop according to a standard. This is the case from the time a member joins, and then moves through, the programs of Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, and Venturing or Sea Scouts. Experiential learning is the key: Exciting and meaningful activities are offered, and education happens. Learning comes from doing. For example, youth may read about first aid, hear it discussed, and watch others administer it, but they will not learn it until they practice it. Rushing a Scout through requirements to obtain a badge is not the goal. Advancement should be a natural outcome of a well-rounded unit program, rich in opportunities to work toward the ranks. Personal Growth Is the Primary Goal Scouting skills—what a young person learns to do—are important, but not as important as the primary goal of personal growth achieved through participating in a unit program. The concern is for total, well-rounded development. Age-appropriate surmountable hurdles are placed before members, and as they face these challenges they learn about themselves and gain confidence. [Lowering those hurdles is depriving the Scout of that opportunity, as opposed to encouraging him or her to achieve.] . . . We know we are on the right track when we see youth accepting responsibility, demonstrating self-reliance, and caring for themselves and others; when they learn to weave Scouting ideals into their lives; and when we can see they will be positive contributors to our American society. . . . The Scout Learns With learning, a Scout grows in the ability to contribute to the patrol and troop. As Scouts develop knowledge and skills, they are asked to teach others and, in this way, they learn and develop leadership. The Scout Is Tested The unit leader authorizes those who may test and pass the Scout on rank requirements. They might include the patrol leader, the senior patrol leader, the unit leader, an assistant unit leader, or another Scout. Merit badge counselors teach and test Scouts on requirements for merit badges. The Scout Is Reviewed After completing all the requirements for a rank, except Scout rank, a Scout meets with a board of review. For Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, and Life ranks, members of the unit committee conduct it. See “Particulars for Tenderfoot Through Life Ranks,” The Eagle Scout board of review is held in accordance with National Council and local council procedures. The Scout Is Recognized When a Scout has earned the Scout rank or when a board of review has approved advancement, the Scout deserves recognition as soon as possible. This should be done at a ceremony at the next unit meeting. The achievement may be recognized again later, such as during a formal court of honor. After the Scout Is Tested and Recognized After the Scout is tested and recognized, a well-organized unit program will help the Scout practice newly learned skills in different settings and methods: at unit meetings, through various activities and outings, by teaching other Scouts, while enjoying games and leading projects, and so forth. These activities reinforce the learning, show how Scout skills and knowledge are applied, and build confidence. Repetition is the key; this is how retention [of information and skills] is achieved. The Scout fulfills a requirement and then is placed in a situation to put the skills to work. Scouts who have forgotten any skills or information might seek out a friend, leader, or other resource to help refresh their memory. In so doing, these Scouts will continue to grow." [emphasis added]
  5. 1 point
    My concerns with "Family Camping" or 'Family Scouting" is based upon what I saw first hand happen too many times over the years. But most significatly with my last troop that was turning every camp out and activity into a family camp out. The parents, two of which were "trained'" constantly kept interfering, would not let the PLs and SPL do their jobs, constantly allowing their sons to sneak out of the tents and/or shelters ( essentially abandoning their tentmate/buddy) and sleep with them, ad nauseum. When counseled and mentored on the problems they were causing, they ignored the SM and ASMs trying to work with them. Finally when corrected, they give ultimatums about leaving, which leaves the troop in a lurch at some activities, or leave altogether. Morale was getting lower and lower among the Scouts, as well as the experienced Scouters. My family left as the older two and I had enough, and I was not about to put the youngest through the hot mess that was the troop. The only thing that saved the troop was the COR getting involved and stating only trained SM and ASMs will be going on trips from now on and not families. COR was a little hesitant to get involved, but knew somehting had to be done to fix the problem or more Scouts and Scouters would have transferred. So I am not "Get over your attitudes ." As others have stated, Scouting is a YOUTH DEVELOPMENT ( emphasis, not shouting) program, and not a family program. Cub Scouts I don't have a problem with family camping, Heck my wife and I enjoyed it. But Scouts BSA, Sea Scouts, and Venturing is pure youth development, and parents and siblings tend to be a hindrance in that.
  6. 1 point
    December, 1910: Wilhelm Bjerregaard read "If you want to be a Scout, you go and make up a patrol and go out scouting.” from a book given to him by his brother that Christmas. In the new year , Wilhelm became a scout. Years later, he would restore Scouting by teaching scouts with his books how to make up a patrol. In the coming year, may all scouts make up their patrols and go out scouting. ~ The moderators of scouter.com https://www.nytimes.com/1979/02/04/archives/new-jersey-pages-a-work-of-love-for-boy-scout-78.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Hillcourt https://web.archive.org/web/20080225035616/http:/www.scouter.com/features/0290.asp
  7. 1 point
    I'm on something like my fourth retirement from various aspects of Scouting that I no longer found fulfilling. The first was Cub Scouting. When I first started, I loved the skits and dumb jokes and costumes and den meetings. But after about a dozen years or so of doing about every job in a couple of different packs, it just didn't hold my interest anymore. By that time I was Scoutmaster of my second troop, and Boy Scouts was my joy. The second was district work. I had been Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner, Unit Commissioner, District Committee member and Vice Chair, and I was still a Scoutmaster, and I just wanted to focus on my troop. So I stepped back from the district stuff for four or five years. The third was Scoutmastering. More and more the parents and other leaders had become focused on doing advancement when I believed it was the natural consequence of doing the fun stuff. And I was tired of dealing with the adult issues. After that, I started re-engaging with district stuff and also got involved at the council level with our camps. After another six or seven years of that, I was tired of struggling against bureaucratic priorities, and my personal life was changing in good ways, which provided a good opportunity to step out of most roles. My main "official" role now is coordinating volunteer service days at one of our camps, mainly doing "handyman" work. And I pop in on some district meetings just to stay on top of things. Popping in on forums like this, only when I feel like it, helps keep me engaged in the Movement without meetings or bureaucracy. When I was Scoutmaster, I saw a need to provide more opportunities for Scouts to just play and work on basic skills which would involve real learning, not "one-and-done" signoffs. They weren't getting it at meetings, and campouts weren't always the best venues for working on skills one-on-one. So I started once-a-week 45 minute sessions at my house: Scouts could come by with a parent, and the parents were invited to bring a chair and watch, and I'd help the Scouts who came with whatever hands-on skills they were interested in: knots, fire building, wood tools, etc. I called it "Garage Scouting," since we were either in the garage or the yard next to it. It was a lot of fun, and I know Scouts and parents appreciated the extra attention.
  8. 1 point
    Quite right. There are definitely some advantages to doing the "fair/blitz/midway/university/weekend"....and as long as the event is well organized and MBCs are encouraged to put on a quality class, then the scouts can benefit greatly by being exposed to something they might otherwise not be able to do. A few things that I think could improve MB events: more time: Some MB events have classes as short as 2 hours. Aside from Fingerprinting, no MB can be adequately covered in 2 hours. 6 hours (or perhaps longer) woiuld be good as the "standard" time for a MB class. more "DO" less "LISTEN": Classes where the MBC talks the whole time are inappropriate. They bore the scouts and ignore the requirements (which usually say that the SCOUT should "explain" or "describe", not the MBC). Try to make things hands-on as much as possible. When scouts have to "explain" or "describe", try to have them do it while doing something relevant. get out of classrooms: go do the class in an appropriate setting. For Chemistry, do EVERYTHING in a lab. For Canoeing, do EVERYTHING in a canoe, on the water. Etc., etc. The good MBC will TRY to find places and ways to make the subject exciting and relevant. Scouts spend all week in a classroom. They don't need to be bored on Saturday by sitting in class again...
  9. 1 point
    Great discussion, but @DuctTape has it. Merit Badge "Universities" (or whatever the local term is) circumvents one of the MAIN purposes of the Merit Badge program. It is NOT supposed to be "listen to this group lecture and answer a few questions and get your blue card signed." It is to teach INDIVIDUAL initiative, decision-making, and action. Having Mrs. Billysmom say "OK, Saturday we are going to the MBU and getting some meritbadges and here are all the ones you can get. After all, we need to get you to Eagle by age 16 so it looks good on your college application" Rather, it is: 1. SCOUT decides he needs to earn a MB if he's ever going to advance past First Class. 2. SCOUT approaches SM and says, "Mr SM, I think I would like to take Advanced Nuclear Physics MB" 3. SM says, "That's Great, however...how about something more useful right now, like Dog Care. I hear you have a new puppy?" 4. SCOUT, "Ok, sounds good, what do I need to do?" 5. SM: "Here are some names of the Dog Care MB counselors approved by the District. YOU (NOT YOUR MOM) need to call them and see if one of them has time to work with you". And here's a blue card to give to the counselor. 6 SCOUT: "(calling MB Counselor with parent listening in) Hello, Mr. Dog Care? My name is Billy from Troop XXX. I have a new puppy and would really like to earn the Dog Care MB. My SM recommended I call you." 7. MBC: "Nice to meet you, Billy. How about Saturday at 9 am? Be sure to get a copy of the Dog Care MB Pamphlet and look over the requirements before you come. OH, and please bring a buddy or a parent with you!" 8. SCOUT: "Thanks! I will. See you then!" 9. Scout and MBC then meet (following YPT requirements) as often as necessary to get it done and signed blue card is returned to the SM. The program was NOT designed to be a group effort like a freshman lecture hall in college. It is designed to get the SCOUT to get off his/her keister and take initiative and initiate some "Adult Association" and learn about a topic from a recognized "expert" in the field either by vocation or avocation. It grinds my gears when a troop registers a bunch of parents as MBC without regard to their expertise in the field and are listed in the District as "for Troop XXX only." Then at the EBOR, we observe that NONE of their MB were obtained from outside the troop or summer camp setting. By prodding, pushing and leading scouts to the MB trough and spoonfeeding MB we are cheating the Scout out of one of the most important developmental lessons in becoming adults.
  10. 1 point
    All scouting is local. Guidance like this has been in place in one document or another for decades. The real sea change will come when folks (scouts, parents, and volunteers) heed it.