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Confusion about examples of living points of Scout Law

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I also just sent this to the same council advancement person:


there is also a debate about the new Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class Scoutmaster conference requirements that Scouts discuss four examples of how they lived up to the points of the Scout Law.


Here are the requirements as written in the new Boy Scout Handbook:


TF 13: "Discuss four specific examples of how you have lived the points of the Scout Law in your daily life."


SC 11: "Discuss four specific examples (different from those used for Tenderfoot requirement 13) of how you lived the points of the Scout Law in your daily life."


FC 12: "Discuss four specific examples (different from those used for Tenderfoot requirements 13 and Second Class requirements 11) of how you have lived the points of the Scout Law in your daily life.


Note that the second two requirements have the word "different" associated with the phrase "specific examples". Some people feel that these can be twelve different examples of living the very same point of the Scout Law. That is what it says. Others feel the intent was to use four Scout laws for Tenderfoot, four different Scout Laws for Second Class, and the remaining Scout Laws for First Class ... but that is not what it says.


To add to the confusion, the web site




lists these requirements using completely different phrases with very different meanings:


TF: "He must also be able to discuss four specific examples of how he lived the points of the Scout Law in his daily life."


SC: "He must again discuss four examples of how he lived four different points of the Scout Law in his daily life."


FC: "He must discuss four more examples of how he lived the remaining four points of the Scout Law in his daily life."


Note that the wording given at scouting.org has the word "different" associated with the four points of the Scout Law. This is VERY different meaning than what is given in the Boy Scout Handbook. They can't change the requirements' in scouting.org without is being an official revision of the requirements.


This confusion needs to be resolved by National as soon as possible!!

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K: Thank you for bringing this up. I know it will be a source of discussion at R/Ts and Committee meetings.


I would also go with what is in the HB. That is what the boy will see and that is what will have the widest reach.

The scouter.org listing , taken all together (all three sentences) "implies" discussing four different points in each rank, but that is NOT very definite to my mind, it is only "implied".

No where does it say 'discuss the way you live any four specific points of the Scout Law, giving specific examples for each'... and then asking the Scout to do the same thing for four different points ... and then four more different points. That would require the SM and/or the Scout keep score thru the years of TF, SC, and FC. nAnd THAT would be tough.

I favor asking the Scout to discuss how he abides by the Scout Law, give me four specific examples and the four SLPoints that apply. If he does four "Helpfuls", that's good; maybe in the SM conference the Scout can be drawn out to see other ways he follows the SL he isn't even aware of. This would certainly not 'add to or subtract from' the requirements, only add to the Scout's growth.


(This message has been edited by SSScout)

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The scouting.org list is a summary of changes, not the exact wording of the requirements. The requirements page has not been updated to the current requirements, probably because today is a holiday. I would hope that by Monday the 2010 requirements will be posted and they will hopefully match those in the Handbook. If it is an issue between now and Monday I would go with the Handbook.


I am certain that the intent is that by the time he reaches FC the scout will have given examples of how he has lived each point of the scout law not twelve different ways in which he has been "clean".


Happy New Year,


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I find it sad indeed that it is necessary to formally require that Scouts follow the Scout Law. Too, the idea that adults might resort to keeping track of when a boy demonstrated a particular point. Is our program implementation so weak that we have to check to see if we're actually doing Scouting?

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Isn't National forgetting the Scout Oath? Shouldn't a scout have to come up 3 or 4 ways of showing that they are Mentally Awake, Morally Straight or helping other people at all times. Do we need to see their report card to judge if he is Mentally awake? Does he have healthy eating habits and exercise daily?


They also forgot Leadership. Will these be added to Star, Life and Eagle? Does the scout take charge of a team he is on or in the school band? They must demonstrate leadership on their service project for Eagle, so does he need to to tell me how he did it and what styles of leadership he used? We should be there for most of it anyway, observing and counselling as needed.


If a Scoutmaster is doing the job, they will know if the scout is living up to the Scout Oath and Law. On outings is the boy Cheerful or Helpful? At meetings is the Scout Friendly and Courteous to new scouts and visitors? Does he exhibit the traits of Loyalty to his patrol or family? Does he participate in troop service projects?


It is our job to ensure that the lessons are taught through example, SM minutes, and at a SM conference. Helping each scout to understand the principles behind the Oath and Law are what we are all about. I think the requirement for showing scout spirit comes to mind.


When I hold an SM conference I ask open ended questions on how each scout is doing in school, in the troop and at home. What his plans are for the next rank, Merit Badges he wishes to work on and if he has any ideas for service hours if needed. I want to know what I can do to help him get the most out of the program. I do not need to know how many times he helped an elderly lady across the street, or got Timmy out of the well. These very topics come from the SM handbook.


If the powers that be wish to add or change a requirement that is okay, yet they should look at what is in place (Scout Spirit) and tweak or update as needed. This requirement does nothing more than take away the SM's ability to drive or steer the conversation in the direction it needs to go. Helping the boy grow, the program go and making us better leaders is what an SM conference is for.


Maybe a new point for the law; A scout is Modest. He seeks no reward or recognition for any Good Deed. Sorry thats already there under "Do a Good Turn Daily".





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I teach my boys when it comes to requirements, follow the letter of the law. So if a scout gives me twelve ways he has kept himself clean, I'll sign off TF 13, SC 11, and FC 12. When it comes to life, follow the spirit of the law. So if a boy is a paragon of virtue everywhere except on his Facebook page, he'll hear from me.


In a similar vein, if a boy tells me about how he walked through his entire web browser history with his parents and made sure they were his MySpace and Facebook friends. (Hasn't happened yet.) I might just sign him off on all three.

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Imagine if you will a very prosperous crossover season, and you now have 12 new scouts. Your next 12 to 18 months would be, "Hmm, Johnny did Obedient, or was that Sam? And who was the one that used Thrifty 7 months ago?"


I agree the spirit is to live all 12 points, and be able to report on them by the time he is FC. But we tell the boys what they need to know is in their handbook. If it doesn't say use each only once, then it doesn't say it. Besides, even Mr. Prosperous Scoutmaster should be able to remember if 1 of the 12 is on his eight version of Reverent, and can help steer the conversation to another point.

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"A Scout does a Good Turn daily." Every Good Turn has elements of helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, trustworthy, loyal, cheerful and obedient in them. Now Brave, Clean, Reverent and Thrifty may need some thinking, but part of why we're here is to work on minds full of mush.


We're making Mount Everest out of a little hill here, folks. Talk with the kid. Have his handbook in hand when you do these particular SM conferences. Whether you jot down T, L, H, F, C, K, O, Ch, Th, B, Cl, R or 1-12, jot down something so you and he have a memory aid.


The requirement doesn't call for the Spanish Inquisition ... take a couple youth aside every meeting, talk to them about this. When they've hit 4 that you've bought into for T or 2 or 1, sign off...


If you're a big Troop, have the ASM keeping a weather eye on the particular Patrol do this. If you give it to SPLs, ASPLs and TGs, you're going to have to train them on your expectations first.

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For me, the whole intent of this new requirement is to try to help the scout to focus on these things themselves, rather than our impression as to how he lives up to them. We should already be observing these elements regularly anyway if we are doing our job. This requirement seems to aim the scout to reflect a bit more on the actual meaning of the law, and yes the oath. For many, it is so repetitive, that it almost has no meaning. So, knowing that they will be asked this they may actually begin to think a little more about it directly. Keeping track, as noted already, simply requires a minor notation in the book as to what points they discussed already. That is not exactly a hard thing to do I would not think.


Rather than bloviate about how terrible and difficult this is, simply mold it to your best approach, and keep it consistent. I personally will try to make sure all the points are covered, as that is how I see the intent, but if your approach is different, it is your approach. It is one more way to help the boy think more about his own character and development as a good citizen and person. This cannot be harmful, and certainly is one of the foundation stones of scouting.



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