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While I am not as knowledgeable as KUDU is on the early history of the BSA, the YMCA did have a major impact on the BSA initially. If memory serves most of the committee members were involved with the YMCA, and YMCA officials modifed BP's program so that even he commented that it was different than what he envisioned.


It wasn't until the 1920s, that a certain Dane was able to fix some of the differences and get BSA more in line with the original Scouting program. But even Green Bar Bill was 100% successful.


Which proves yet again, the BSA will be in big trouble if we forget our roots, as GBB has "Gone Home."

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A badge fell off that you sewed on, and you were forced to reschedule the BOR. Rule about pinning on the badge, no BSA doesnt have any such rule that Im aware of. I dont know your troop traditions, but this is not the way Id suggest doing things. If its a big deal that the badge is pinned on because of an unforeseen event, Id hand you a needle and thread and say let us know when youre done repairing your uniform. Of course, it could take you 5 mins, or 5 years to sew it on, that ball would be in your court. Every unit is different. Although I would not have handled things the way your troop did, it does not make the troop's decision wrong.



Eagle92 wrote: I would LOVE, repeat LOVE to have youth on the T-2-1 BORs again


Eagle, some of us still do this. The Advancement Chair, or designee, acts as moderator for the senior scouts doing to BOR. Ive never seen the AC, of designee, say more than hello, and thank you for your time.(This message has been edited by Old_OX_Eagle83)

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NJCubScouter asked: "does anyone actually have any BSA literature that says the Troop Committee CANNOT require a uniform?"


Yes. "No council, district, troop, or individual has the authority to add to or subtract from any advancement requirement." (Troop Committee Guidebook) I recall it's also in the advancement policies, but someone 'borrowed' my copy a while ago.


The rank requirement simply says "Complete a Board of Review". In the scout handbook, a scout is advised a board of review is simply a "talk" and "review" that he has met the requirements.


Throwing in a specific detailed requirement to wear the uniform falls under the "add to" category.


As Eagle92 pointed out from the advancement policies and procedures guide, it states the recommended attire for a scout to wear to a BOR is uniform or coat & tie. But it is NOT a REQUIREMENT.


The "no add or subtract" rule is my giant flyswatter I seem to pull out a lot for committee members when they get a bug in their pants to make up some new hoops for the boys to jump through.


The gray area: as the board reviews that the scout has in fact completed the requirements (but not "retesting"), the requirement "Demonstrate scout spirit [...] in your everyday life." might present a challenge to a scout to explain how he met this requirement if he's not in uniform. If you have a good reason you couldn't wear your uniform to your board of review - a scouting activity - then it better be a darn good one. Like stolen, burned up, or doesn't fit and you can't afford a new one. The point being, the BOR is a formal scouting event, and the scout is expected to approach it in a way that shows respect for the board members. But that being said, if the board members are in shorts and flip flops, they cannot expect better from the scout in front of them. The respect should go both ways. One of the better analogies I've heard explained to scouts is to approach their BOR like a job interview. Of course, few of them will know what that means, so you need to teach them. You might also need to teach some of your committee members...


I'm inclined to agree this was probably a troll posting, because I'd like to think a scout would be smart enough to just make a loop of tape (masking tape, duct tape, etc) and stick the badge on for the duration of the BOR. Pin it on? Who carries around pins? Oh wait, I do in my first aid kits. It all just seems like too unlikely of a scenario for a badge to fall off immediately prior to the BOR and there was no way to re-attach it temporarily. Had it fallen off DURING the BOR, now that would have been funny! "See, look, even my uniform thinks I'm ready for the next rank!" How you could argue with that?

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No regulation of the B.S.A. requires wearing the Uniform for any occasion whatsoever.


The instructions for Eagle Boards of Review specifically state that wearing the Uniform is not a requirement for being reviewed for the rank of Eagle Scout.


"Scout Spirit" does not include wearing the Uniform. It consists solely of following the Oath and Law, Motto and Slogan in your daily life. BSHB at p. 30 (and in many previous BSHB's)


Speaking of the Scout Law:


If the Troop has a tradition of Scouts appearing for Boards of Review in complete uniform, would it be courteous to do so?


"A Scout is obedient. A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. . . . If he thinks those rules and laws are unfair, he seeks to have them changed in an orderly way."


Nothing in the Law about being servile, but what is the most effective way to get change? If you were wrong about something, how would you prefer to be approached about changing your behavior? Telling people they are wrong, especially in front of others, usually makes them defensive, so change is harder to get. Also, you want one-on-one if possible - privacy - to start out trying to convince the person you think will be most open to change. All change starts somewhere. It can begin with, "Mr. X, I want to talk to you about something that is very important to me. Do you have time?"


Someday, you will presumably have a job. If you work for a boss, "right" 99% of the time is what you boss requires of you. That will seem probably offensive to you now and less so years from now.


Eagle 92: "While I am not as knowledgeable as KUDU is on the early history of the BSA,. . ."

Not to worry. Kudu is often. . . emmmm . . . creative about history.



"Those people intend to do you harm, and the "Scout Spirit" wild card is designed to do that."

"Those people intend to do you harm, and the "Scout Spirit" wild card is designed to do that."

"Those people intend to do you harm, and the "Scout Spirit" wild card is designed to do that."



Rick, I guess it's hopeless. You have posted that you expect to see BSA Scouting replaced with something else, but I never thought I'd see you post such a negative, hurtful thing in response to a question from what we have to assume is a Scout.


The Committee persons were out to harm the Scout? People can be wrong, and I think they were wrong, and not intend to be wrong. But you like to play the Evil Beast Card, Rick. Perhaps you do this over and over out of the best of motives, to be sure. But it's still hate, and hate is destructive to all within range, including you. "Ya, kid, they're evil beasts and out to hurt you." Geez!


As a matter of cold, hard fact, subjective, values-based testing for advancement was part of BP's Scouting and part of Scouting here as early as 1911.


BP wrote several times that it was effort, not actual proficiency, that should determine if a "proficiency badge" was awarded by a Scoutmaster (Yes, Scoutmasters awarded the badges.). "Moreover, there is only one standard by which a boy is judged as qualified for a badge, and that is the amount of effort he puts into his work." That, Rick, is a subjective, value-centered standard, not an "objective" one -- rewarding the virtue of trying hard.


BP provided in Scouting For Boys for the expulsion at any time of a Scout who "breaks his word of honor, or otherwise disgraces himself." That would be the enforcement of values. Very little advancement once you have been expelled.


In the United States, the very first set of requirements for First Class, then the highest rank, included: "11. Furnish satisfactory evidence that he has put into practice in his daily life the principles of the scout oath and law." Handbook for Boys, 1911 at p. 18. That would be -- in 1911 -- the "wildcard Scout Spirit requirement" that you say is not "traditional."


As for adults doing the reviewing, that too has been part of Scouting from the start.


"To become a second-class scout, a tenderfoot must pass to the satisfaction of the recognized local scout authorities, the following tests:...." Handbook for Boys, 1911, at p. 17.


I have access to newspaper clippings describing examination of Cleveland District Council Scouts by the District Commissioner in 1912 for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class.


Famously, the first Eagle Scout was reviewed by James E. West, Earnest Thompson Seton, Daniel Carter Beard , and Wilbert E. Longfellow of the U.S. Volunteer Life Saving Corps. Some Board!


Indeed, in the early days and until the 1950's, all merit badge candidates faced the daunting task of examination by the local council or, later, district Court of Honor - a group of adults instead of the single adult we use today. Handbook for Boys, 1911 at p. 23. Council or district-level reviews for rank advancement went on until just before I became a Scout in 1954. I heard horror stories from older Scouts about entering a room to find seven strange old guys sitting behind a table. ("Come to attention! Recite the Oath, Law, Slogan, and Motto in that order!" "You hear a drowning boy call for help. What do you do and in what order?")


That we now use adults from the Troop Committee merely reflects the fact that the adult review now, and for some decades, does not include a retesting of Scoutcraft but is supposed to focus on the general progress of the boy in Scouting, the quality of his experience, and the health of the Troop. The Scoutmaster, an adult, has already certified that the Scout has passed the Scoutcraft and all other requirements and is ready to be reviewed.


The experiment with Scouts sitting on Boards of Review was ended, we were told at the time, due to the Scouts on Boards not following the rules - primarily by retesting the candidates - and not really understanding some of the requirements for the ranks. I witnessed some exceedingly tough examples of those problems in my troop and other troops. My preferred solution was for rigorous training of the Scout leaders. We video-taped boards and reviewed them with the Scout leaders in our district as part of JLOW. I think the Scout leaders sitting as Boards were functioning well in our Troop when the plug was pulled.


Adults or Scouts, paid or volunteer, sometimes we get it wrong. Which would make us human -- or Evil Beasts, trying to do harm, depending on your point-of-view.

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