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3 yrs in Boy Scouts, Tenderfoot not awarded..

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concernedparent - So, your son has been a Boy Scout for 5 years now, and still has not earned his Tenderfoot rank?


Why are you still with this Troop?


And, why, after practicing "almost every day" for 5 years, is it that your son still can not do a single pull up?

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No.. he hasn't been doing it for 5 years.. he's been practicing for about 3-4 months now...


A lot has happened in the past 2 years.. (I first posted in 2010) The old Scoutmaster passed away last year. We were hoping that things would get better with the new one but alas, it's not.. so some of the ASM's may be pulling out and starting a new troop and we will be going with them...

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I just want to say this - that I have talked to other local troops about how they handle this and some of them do have the requirement of having them do 1 full pull up.. But to get them there the older boys are teamed up with the younger ones and they do "cheer" each other on and work with each other. I think that if this were to be used then it would be good for all parties involved - the older boys and the younger boys..


Too bad current SM seems to listen but never follows through with things..

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I am seeing a pattern through this whole thread. I don't think the Scouts are really working on this EVERY DAY. Like I mentioned in my previous post. I see this all the time. Everyone wants something for nothing these days or wants to put VERY LITTLE into achieving BIG (Eagle Scout) THINGS! It is no different in Boy Scouts. Some parents don't want to hear any part of it when you try to tell them there kid needs to do this or that and if their kid is misbehaving,,,,,WELL!!!! SOME parents will have no part of that. Becoming an Eagle Scout is not supposed to be easy. Every time a Scout says the Scout Oath and Law, which should be at every meeting in my opinion, they are promising to keep themselves physically fit. It is sad but true, THIS IS NOT THE CASE all the time. It is hard to be a Scout even when you don't have your uniform on, but that is what it's all about. Being a Scout "when no one is watching". If they maintain that attitude they will climb mountains and be doing one armed pullups. Put some responsibility on the Scout and let's quit babying them. They should be being looked up to by people in your communities because they are SCOUTS. And those looking up to them will come in all ages.

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No - they aren't working on it EVERY DAY. I can't speak for the others but I do have my son working on it on Most days.. but like everything else if you continue to do it most days then progress should be made, which is happening. It's slow but it's there.


Rest assured that I am not one to want something for nothing.. and my boys are taught that... and I don't put up with bad behavior... with boys AND parents.


The pull up is only one thing in a long line up of things that they need to do in order to become an Eagle Scout and to do this either the parent has to be really pushing them or the scout has to have the burning desire to do this. But this burning desire, in my opinion, doesn't always happen period and when it does it comes at varying times for each boy... I know that some of the boys are discouraged because they can't advance anymore. But for me - even if they were to only do an improvement and pass I would have my son strive to still do the 1 nonetheless.

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I agree with those who see a problem with the troop leadership rather than with the requirement or the boys. Holding that many boys back over this requirement for this long is a sign of failure at the top.


I had an amusing flashback to a different time and place in reading this thread for the first time. Going through jump school at Father Benning's School for Boys many many years ago, the large highly muscular and otherwise extremely fit trainees had a terrible time with pullups. The scrawny, but also fit, trainees could knock out the pull ups but then had a more serious problem. They were sometimes not heavy enough to actually cause the standard issue parachute to descend. I recall in our last jump observing a guy simply hanging in a modest updraft and floating off to Alabama.

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"Cut them some slack",,,,,Seems as though that is what this is about. Are you gonna "cut them some slack" on the swimming requirement. Then when you have an accident that involves that Scout because you "cut them some slack" who is to blame. Then they need to do something else that they struggle at "cut them some slack". Life is full of "cut them some slack"! I have had two sons so far in the Boy Scout Program. Our Troop sticks by the "you have a year to complete the merit badge". My two sons both had to do Personal Fitness over because they couldn't improve in one of the events. One of them had to do Family Life over because he didn't complete the project he set out to do in that year. Which brings to mind: Personal Fitness, Personal Management, and other minimum 90 day Merit Badges. I have listened to an Area Eagle Coordinator talk and it is obvious that the kids don't do their weekly work out schedule, don't keep track of their money for 90 days, etc. etc. but someone "Cut them some slack". That is sad. How many true Eagle Scouts you really suppose are out there???? I know a Troop Scoutmaster that claims he is running an "Eagle Factory". I knew him to be from the city. I asked him where they went camping and how often. He said at the City Park. I asked him how they cooked. An assistant spoke up and said they ordered pizza and heat up canned goods on the camp stove. I laughed. He knew he had been caught "Cutting them some slack". That is sad.

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Back in my day (Scouting Days) I could do ten easily. Today ZERO! BUT, I proved to the Scouts a couple of years ago that I could improve as well and in 90 days of busting my hump I did TWO. I am not the one earning rank. That is what people have to understand. Now, answer my question. When is BSA gonna make it clear what needs to happen hear instead of some of the Councils saying "it depends on how the SM interprets it"??? Kind of a "cop out" don't you reckon???

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Well, if I were about to cross over to Wood's troop and could do one pull up and new that his line in the sand was "if you do zero, come back and do one, if you do one, come back and do two", I would deliberately do zero, and I would pretty much deliberately do far less than what I was capable of on the other things, especially that stupid standing long jump requirement.


You really have boys that still have the Scout joining patch (it's not a rank) after three years because of this requirement? I'm surprised that they're even still active in your Troop, just as I am surprised that Concerned's son is still involved in Scouts, let alone any of the other cross-overs that haven't advanced in the past few years.


I look at this requirement as a whole - I don't believe the requirement says show improvement in EACH of the activities...after 30 days. It says show improvement in the activities after 30 days. So if I were to see something like this:


10. Record your best in the following tests:

Current results

Push-ups __5__

Pull-ups __1____

Sit-ups __25____

Standing long jump (__3___ ft. __10___ in.)

1⁄4-mile walk/run _____3 mins, 10 seconds_______


30 days later

Push-ups __10____

Pull-ups __1____

Sit-ups __50____

Standing long jump (__3___ ft. __8__ in.)

1⁄4-mile walk/run ___3 mins_______


Then I'm seeing improvement in the activities and I'm signing off on it. Why? Because any decent athletic trainer/coach will know that with 30 days practice on a lot of things, you're going to see faster improvement on some things and slower or no improvement on others - If the 30 days are spent just practicing one of those activities, there should be improvement in just that one activity, but that's not what we're asking here - we're asking for general improvement. As for the slip back in standing long jump - that first 3'10" could have been a "record" for the lad when 3'8" is a more realistic measurement - practicing helps create and perpetuate the normal, the "record" comes with much more time than 30 days. Michael Phelps doesn't swim at record setting paces when he practices - we shouldn't be expecting our Scouts to be practicing at record setting jumps every day (in other words, that whole standing long jump requirement is just plain dumb).

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The requirement is not that he do a push up. The requirement is that he shows progress. Sounds to me like he has, so why not pass him?


Yah, there it is. The dumbed-down subtracting from da requirements routine.


Now, I'm sympathetic for the young fellows. If a troop is running a FCFY program, then da pullup improvement thing ends up mucking up the works (like the swimming thing that woodsrunner1760 mentions). If yeh look at da statistics from the Presidential Fitness Test, for a 10-12 year old, about a third of da boy population can't do a single pull-up. And my tables are old, eh? Probably modern stats are even worse. Lads who are down there in the bottom 20% are goin' to have some work to do before they are able to go up to one, and that's goin' to be quite a bit more work than the boy tryin' to go from 3 to 4 pull-ups. If the lad is substantially overweight, it's also goin' to involve losing a fair bit of weight.


So if da troop is followin' the FCFY/SSY bit, the only way to do it and move boys along "together" is to reduce the requirement. I think tryin' to measure the difference between 1/4 and 1/2 a pull-up is silly, so I suggest to such troops that they use the flexed-arm hang and have kids improve for a few seconds.


Yeh see the same thing in swimming, of course, where lots of kids pass swim checks at summer camp for the "exhausted forward flail" stroke. :p


Now, personally, I think da notion of everyone advancing together on a timetable in Boy Scouting is a product of Cub Scouting creeping in, and there are lots of good ways to work with and encourage boys and families to improve fitness. That's the purpose of Advancement Method, eh? To set goals that require some real effort, but lead to real improvement.


Concernedparent, good on yeh for not dumbing down things for your son. For a 14-15 year old, not being able to do a single pull up is a bottom-2% of the population sort of thing, and if the lad isn't overweight then this is really an issue of learning how to exercise. If yeh have a good personal fitness MB counselor in your area I'd suggest that your son do that MB at the same time, and really develop a solid 3-month fitness plan rather than flailing at pull-ups on his own. Or talk to a coach or trainer at school. This shouldn't be that hard for a boy his age, which suggests he's not goin' about it right.




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It does depend on how the Scoutmaster and others interpret things.


I like Calico Penn's interpretation!


I just don't see the Tenderfoot pull up requirement being all that important. The idea to me is getting boys started in Scouting, not presenting them with a huge road block.


As I said earlier--- work more physical fitness stuff into your troop program --- regular tug 'o wars, Patrol Pullup contests and such. That's the ticket!


So if I'm a slack Scoutmaster (my Scoutmastering days were thirty years ago) Sue me!



[Not that shyster reaching for his word processor, though!]



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