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queenj

Boy Scout Skill Awards

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Has anyone heard of these? They are not the merit badges but more like the belt loop program from the Cub Scouts. Apparently my son is working on his First Aid skill award and he needs a first aid kit.

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I earned a few of them back in the late seventies. They did away with them soon after. Havn't heard any word of them bringing them back.

I'd support the idea.

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Skill awards came about in a program shift in the 1970s. Bill "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt's program, which had great emphasis on the Outdoor Method of Scouting, was discarded in the name of "relevance."

 

I was an older youth member at the time. I went to Exploring.

 

I cannot tell you for sure when National dropped them once and for all, but IIRC they were gone forever by 1995.

 

IF your Troop is using them, then either:

 

- It's a local implementation OR

- Your unit serving Scouters have not looked at Boy Scout Requirements (#33215) and the Boy Scout Handbook in a decade.

 

My bet is on the former in this case.

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Skill Awards. I earned them as a scout. I remember going to the 1981 jamboree and having several foreign scouts check out my skill awards on my web belt.

 

Skill Awards were rolled out as part of the 'relavent' scouting program of the early 70s. They finally got rid of them around 1989/90 or so. They were sort of replaced with the 'instant recognition kit'.

 

Hillcourt wanted to get rid of them when he came back and revamped the book in the late 80s, but wasn't able to. He is quoted as saying he wanted to fill a boxcar with all of them and dumb the lot...

 

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I remenber the skill awards from my days as a Scout. If memory serves me correctly, and if I'm wrong I'm sure someone will correct me, certain skill awards were required to earn your rank advancement. They were a great activity to work on during PATROL meetings. From my position now as Avancement Chair it certainly would make it easier to track a scout's advancement through First Class.

 

On a side note, once you had 5 or 6 skill awards on a belt it made a fantastically lethal weapon to swing about.

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From my perspective, they were a substantial watering down of the requirements.

 

Being an Advancment Coordinator, there are better ways to manage advancement, taking advantage of the Troop Scribe in executing his POR is one of them.

 

Besides, they are an extra expense on the Troop Treasury.

 

We need to concentrate more on making sure our young men MASTER the skills they teach others, that our young men teach skills beyond rote memorization to MASTERING THE CONCEPTS, and that our young men cna recalls those skills throughout their lives.

 

Less bauble, more hard skill, more youth leadership!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

They're sorta like red beenies to me... Ding dong the loop is dead, the loop is dead, the loop is dead...

 

Can you tell how I really feel?

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I still have my belt loops- I earned all 12, including the early version of the First Aid skill award with a red cross (can you say trademark infringement). I also have my brother's set- his First Aid has the green cross. I still remember the ping of aluminum on the floor when skill awards were handed out.

 

Skill awards were part of the instant recognition program that came in with the Improved Scouting Program in 1972. Essentially, the first aid requirements for Tenderfoot through First Class were rolled up into the skill award and so forth. You had to earn certain skill awards for each rank, and you had to earn the skill award as a requirement for certain merit badges; for example you had to earn First Aid skill award for First Aid merit badge. As instant recognition, these were handed out during the meetings. These came in 12 packs and units just bought as many as they needed. I don't believe these were reported to council on the advancement reports- they were recored in the Scouts' progress book (a pocket size book to record advancement). Skill awards were discontinued in 1989.

 

But, wait! The BSA does not discard anything. Belt loops made a comeback for Cub Scouting in 1992 for the Cub Scout Academics program and were expanded for the Cub Scout Academics and Sports program in 1996.

 

So- it has been almost two decades since skill awards were discontinued. If you really want some, you can find them on eBay.

 

Your son does have the current Boy Scout Handbook? The tan cover with the eagle; not the two tone green cover.

 

Ed

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In my 80's HB you needed to earn Citizenship and one elective SA for TF, Hiking, First Aid plus 1 elect. for 2C, and Camping, Cooking, plus 1 elect. for 1C ranks. Electives were Communications, Community Living, Conservation, Environment, Family Living (no MB then), Physical Fitness, and Swimming. I liked the Skill Awards as they were actually about as much work to earn as Merit Badges. And yes, they were good for instant recognition between ranks, especially for the new Scouts who are learning the basics still. QueenJ, your son needs to prepare a personal first aid kit as part of todays 2nd Class requirements. I earned 8 Skill Awards in all and still have them. Any way to get the scratches out without taking off the paint?

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Thanks John-in-KC for the history lesson. I remember these skill awards well. I have been saying for years that the Scouting program seemed to take a shift in emphasis in the 70's away from the outdoor exp. It is good to see that it has shifted back making the outdoors an important part of the program.

 

As a Scout I had no love of skill awards. I earned enough to advance to Star. I still have them in the bottom of my scouting stuff drawer.

 

When my oldest son started cub scouts I was amazed of all the changes in the program. I had been away from Scouting for 18 years. What were once skill awards at the Boy Scout level were recycled to a cub award. Some Packs now use segments for each activity that they participate in. When I was a Scout it was a Boy Scout thing but either only in some councils or it was dropped while my family moved and I was in transition between troops and states.

 

 

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Skill Awards were introduced shortly after I joined Boy Scouts. I also have the eight I earned. They're still on the my scout belt (It's a bit small now). I earned the five required as Local1400 describes plus Communications, Physical Fitness, and Swimming. Hey Ed, my First Aid has the red cross too.

 

SWScouter.

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I've only been involved in Scouting since Sept 2002 when my son joined as a Bear; he's in Boy Scouts now.

 

The question I have is are today's Belt loops & pins from the Cub scout Academic & Sports Program actually from an older Boy Scout program? And, if so, why the change? Thanks in advance to anyone who answers my question!

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Judy,

 

The Cub Scout Sports and Academics program is not related to the discontinued Boy Scout Skill Awards. The Boy Scout Skill Awards were basically an immediate recognition form for some of the Tenderfoot through First Class rank requirements. There are a few similarities in the names of some of the awards and even perhaps in some of the requirements. However, the latter can be said for some of the Cub Scout rank requirements and Boy Scout rank requirements too.

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>are today's Belt loops & pins from the Cub scout Academic & Sports Program actually from an older Boy Scout program?

 

The short answer is "no"- they just recycled part of an older concept.

 

The BSA does not throw away concepts, they just stow them away for a while and dust them off when they need them again. Just a few examples:

 

- Boy Scout patrols were originally identified by colored ribbons worn on the shoulder with a brass pin; these were replaced by patches similar to the ones used today. When the Webelos activity pins were developed, the ribbons came back as the Webelos colors. Those patrol ribbons were replaced because they kept falling off- that seems familiar.

 

- Exploring had a Ranger Award from 1944 to 1949; brought back for Venturing in 1998.

 

- Exploring had a Silver Award from 1949 to 1964; brought back for Venturing in 1998.

 

- When Webelos were created in 1941, their emblem was the arrow and rays. The current Webelos emblem was introduced in 1972 and the arrow and rays became the Arrow of Light.

 

- In 1972, the Progress Record Book was introduced for boy Scouting. This was a booklet where you would record all of your advancement so you would not have to carry that big handbook. This went away in the 1980s, but we now have the Boy Scout Mini Handbook for the same purpose.

 

I'm sure I missed some, but it is interesting to see things revolve.

 

Ed

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