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BAJ

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BAJ last won the day on March 25

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  1. Accepting the critique that I’ve been flagged here as a bad example for the way that I worded my original post, I’m honestly struggling here with how the last few posts have framed service and service hour requirements as distinct from other requirements for advancement in scouting. A central reason particular skills, behaviors or actions are included in requirements for advancement is that they are elements that Scouting seeks to convey to the youth that are participants. Outdoor skills are required for lower rank advancement because that is central to transmitting the core of the outdoor program to young scouts early. Citizenship in the Nation and Personal Management are Eagle required because both the knowledge and skills inherent in both are something that the program believes should be conveyed to every scout on their path to Eagle. And service - implemented as service hours - are required because scouting is seeking to convey a desire to help others and contribute to the community. Certainly, it would be ideal if every scout served more than “required” and yes, many do, unprompted by a requirement to do so, and that there were no scouts who sought opportunities to serve “just for rank advancement.” But I see no reason why that same logic shouldn’t apply to all other requirements as well — all scouts should want to learn knot tying unprompted by a requirement to so. All scouts should want to be engaged in their community, so why require attendance at a city council meeting as merit badge requirements? It seems to me the reason service hours are required is to prompt scouts who wouldn’t organically do them to try. Some will then fully absorb the lesson about service at a deep level, and service will become a core part of their scouting experience and hopefully their adult life. Some won’t, and for them the required hours will be Scouting’s effort to teach a lesson that maybe didn’t fully “take” (just as some scouts come thru scouting and camp “enough” to meet their requirements, but never develop a deep love of being in the outoors.) So, while I am not trying to “just be defensive” about being flagged as a bad example of adult leadership this early in my leadership career, in part I am, since I just don’t see why a scout being prompted to serve because of a requirement to do so or a leader seeking opportunities for them to do so...
  2. My daughter is doing Personal Fitness remotely now. She’d actually met in person with the counselor once before all this started and is now doing tele-meetings every three or four weeks to talk progress on her program and talk through one or more requirements (first one under quarantine was last week, with me hanging by for YPT compliance). His flexibility and hers schedulewise meant that discussion was likely longer and in more depth than it would’ve been with the face to face model. Working really well so far (and doing the fitness program is helping manage the time in stay-at-home mode too.
  3. I certainly agree that the important element is for the scouts to be at home, sheltering in place — since that is what is important for containing this as best we can — and that is fundamentally what I am worrying about, even in asking this question. In our (admittedly small) troop and in the larger troop linked to us, we have been looking for ways some scouting activities can be continued under these conditions. For kids that are likely to be cooped up for weeks most likely, our view was that at least attempting to continue Scouting could be part of giving them a structure and making “doing what they need to do” to minimize spread both more bearable and sustainable. I wasn’t trying to imply that continuing their advancement was more important than public health, our hope is that if we can find ways to facilitate them doing so that could be part of protecting public health.
  4. We have a few scouts who were looking for service opportunities to get service hours for rank before COVID hit. Obviously many of the usual opportunities for troop service are off the table given restrictions on group gatherings and close contact. Does anyone have creative suggestions for ways Scouts could serve under shelter in place or near quarantine conditions? Figuring out a way to reach out via Skype or video to older people who must isolate was one that could be valuable (equivalent to traditional nursing home visits), but it wasn’t obvious how to make that work. Does the collective wisdom here have other ideas how scouts could serve under these uncertain conditions?
  5. The Guide to Advancement says no in most cases — “Once work has begun, the Scout may continue using the requirements he or she started with until completion of the badge. Alternatively, the Scout may choose to switch to the revised requirements. Sometimes, however— especially for more significant changes—the Scouts BSA Handbook, the Scouts BSA Requirements book, www. scouting.org/meritbadges, or official communications from the National Council may set forth a different procedure that must be used and may establish a date by when use of the old requirements must cease.”
  6. Since I expect to get this question from Scouts after an OA election tomorrow, does anyone know whether there is any precedent for change in the ‘OA election is good for one year’ if the Ordeal gets cancelled because of communicable disease concerns?
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