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SN95GT50

Trail to First Class

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In March, we bridged 15 new Scouts into our Troop, all of these Scouts attained the Rank of Scouter by our first Court of Honor in April. In June, most of the new Scouts attended Summer Camp at Camp Geiger in Missouri and participated in the "Trail to First Class". Of the 15 about 12 have completed Tenderfoot requirements except ScoutMaster Conf and B of R. About 5 of them have completed most of Second Class. One of the five has completed all of second class except ScoutMaster Conf and B of R and has one requirement left for first class.

 

So, is this too fast? What is too fast? Is it possible to be too fast?

 

I don't think there is a cut & dry answer to this, just curious to what other Troops are doing. In the past our Scouts usually attained 2nd class in our October or January B of R and 1st class in January or later.

 

Opinions?

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It is very common for first year Scouts to be at or just about at 2nd class after their first summer camp.

 

 

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Who signed off on the requirements? It should have been a patrol leader or SPL who tested them on the task. If they know the material, then it's not to fast. If they don't, oops ...

 

I would make sure the 1st class candidate knows his material before advancing him. It's not like it's taken the kid three years and he would be rusty on some knots in this age of velcro. All of the material should be fresh.

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I guess if your summer camp signs off the requirements it's a done deal.

 

Our camp just fills out of sheet of what they worked on, they then must go back to the troop & demonstrate the newly learned skills..

 

Summer camps are famous for just signing off after your first practice session, not when you demonstrate that you know the skill..

 

Since many troops have complained alot, Camps are now going the route of not truely signing off on it, but leaving it to the SM to decide if summer camp is good enough, or if they need to demonstrate to a troop member for sign-off..

 

my guess would be that this was too fast.. I would be fine with one or two who accelerated at this speed, but with the amount who did, I would suspect corners were cut, and they did not learn the skill, but rather were just introduced to the skills.(This message has been edited by moosetracker)

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Every program is different, but for themost part, unfortunately folks are correct, do it one time and get it signed off. One reason why I like small class sizes at camp.

 

One thing is this,if it is signed off already, my understanding is that you cannot "unsign" it. What you can do is explain the situation to the scout, ask him to work on the skills he should know, and then approach for a BOR when he can do it. But that is me.

 

Question, how many First Year Camper programs take those new Scouts out of the main camp for a day or two? I remember atmy old camp, the program took them out to the wilderness area one afternoon, and they didn't come back until the next afternoon. Staff and extra adults went with them to supervise, but they pretty much had to work by patrols to get things done if memory serves.

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SN9

 

I guess it depends on if you are pushing quantity over quality in the process, rank progression is not supposed to be a race rather the acquiring and retention of scout skills and knowledge at a pace that is right for the boy, not the troop. I am not a big fan of the First Class First Year program for that very reason. Let the boy enjoy his scouting experience, the sudden increase in 13 year old Eagles, IMO, is just bringing the whole program down.

 

Lets be real here, the boy scout program has been losing boys and troops at an alarming rate in recent years caused by poor quality programs and poorly trained leaders, as well as a real shift in emphasis as to what the boy scout program should really be about, downplaying the outdoor emphasis almost entirely.(This message has been edited by BadenP)

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Rank Requirements are authorized to be signed off by the Scoutmaster. So if he authorized someone else to sign the Scouts off, they are signed off. If he did not, they are not. That is his turf.

 

But that is not necessarily the end of the story.

 

If the unit BOR finds out that a Scout has not completed a rank requirement, signed off or not, they have the power to ask the Scout to get the requirement completed and signed off properly.

 

But once the Scout does do the requirement and is tested and signed off by a person authorized by the SM to sign him off. It's done and what is done is done.

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This sounds pretty typical to me.

 

If you give the guys plenty of opportunities to work on the requirements, then you can easily have boys earning first class in eight to ten months.

 

We usually have our fastest Scout earn First Class in less than seven months, while our longest can take a couple years or even longer. The average is about 5 months for Tenderfoot, 5 more months for Second Class, and 5 more months for First Class.

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This is pretty typical for us too. We assign a senior scout as Troop Guide to work with them and the active new scouts will be Tenderfoot before summer camp, 2nd Class after summer camp, and 1st Class in ~ 10 months. Some of the kids who aren't as active take longer, but that's OK too.

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My view is this; It is my job as SM to sign off on the skills. I may delegate the instruction of the skills to an ASM, or an SPL, or even a patrol leader. But I am there to see that the scouts have learned the skill. So I have them demonstrate the skill or explain the information, or whatever.

 

I view the camp staff as people who I can delegate the instruction to. It is still my job to see to it that the skill is learned. I like to meet with the scout the next week and go over the list I get from the camp. If the scout meets the requirement, great, his book is signed. After that it is up pt me to see that the skill is used, either in camp or in patrol games, or somewhere I can find with an application for the skill.

 

My CC has given me grief over not just taking the camp records and just signing off the books. No way. I want the scout to know the skill, not just get a requirement marked off. I do not want to die some day because a scout got a first aid requirement marked off instead of learning how to give CPR. (an extreme example, but it plays well with the scouts.) My CC tries to tell me that I am not trusting the camp councilors to do their jobs. At least my CC gets that. I do not trust a college freshman or high school senior who may or may not have been in scouting to advance my scout, who may have been one in a class of 50 6th graders who sat through an single hour class on first aid.

 

Anyway, our camp councilors do not sign scout handbook requirement pages. They give me a report of the classes the scouts went to. I have sat through some of the classes and I think I can usually trust that if the scout is on the list, he did attend the class. Beyond that, I will see the skills demonstrated.

 

 

 

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The Scout rank should be pretty automatic, if theyre coming to the first four to six meetings after crossover, they should have it all done. This will be reflected by the ability of your Troop Guide to teach the requirements and test them. Thats the only structure Id give the TG when I was SM Make sure they have an exposure at least once to each requirement for Scout rank within the first month of meetings. After that, they were subject to the Patrol leaders schedule.

 

I like to encourage FCFY, but only as a goal. Another goal is I give them to get well into (my subjective call) 2nd Class before summer camp to take a merit badge. Otherwise, they would join in the first year program. So you are doing fine, just make as sure as you can that they are learning the topics as much as possible. Some boys will blast through, others will stroll at their leisure. Let them set their own pace with some training structure (not sign off due dates) from your PL. The enthusiasm will temper as the year goes, so dont burn them out. Keep it fun so they keep coming back, especially when they have to make choices concerning other activities.

 

One thing I insisted they do no later than end of October/early November we would set up a Saturday to do an orienteering course for First Class req #2. The PLC would teach it and lead it, but there was no procrastinating until January for that sucker! I would not accept them trying to learn orienteering out in the fields shivering in sub zero weather and wind trying to count paces to stay on bearing with snow up to their hips.

 

BTW - It's been a long standing practice I instituted long ago that outside of BORs and SM conferences Troop adults aren't allowed to sign book requirements for T-2-1, and that includes summer camp staff. That't the PL's job. I may review the requirements with them at the SMC, but through normal troop activities we have frequent opportunities to demonstrate and practice skills they learned for rank. If we had instances where it was shown a Scout didn't know something he should, his Patrol leader would be tasked to reteach the skill. Some do better than others of course, but I'd rather pass off those roles to the PL and allow them to grow in that respect.

 

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Webelos Scouts who have earned the Arrow of Light Award have also completed the requirements for the Scout badge. This can be presented when the boy has joined a troop and his Scoutmaster has signed for accomplishment in his Boy Scout Handbook.

 

Note the Boy Scout Badge is a badge, (like the Bobcat Badge) not a rank.(This message has been edited by bnelon44)

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Not to be a PITB, but if Bobcat and Scout are "badges," and not ranks, then why does national have them listed as ranks and they are restricted items?

 

http://www.scoutstuff.org/boy-scout-rank-emblem.html

 

http://www.scoutstuff.org/bobcat-rank-emblem.html

 

Back on topic.

In my troop growing up, usually folks got First class in the first 12-18 months, and it was the time requirements for T-2-1 at the time that held folks up.

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I'll be the one to say it -- four months as a Scout and one requirement from First Class IS to fast.

 

Even if this kid is an absolute master of every skill (which I don't believe), one Scout blowing through the requirements leads to a poor troop program. It creates undue competition to advance and puts pressure on the whole program to push Scouts along.

 

It perpetuates the Cub Scout mentality that we don't do anything unless there is a badge at the end or at least a bunch of requirements to be checked off. It leaves boys with a one-and-done attitude about scout skills.

 

Everyone gives lip service to Scouting being about the journey, not the destination. What sort of journey are these boys on?

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Eagle92,

 

I can't speak to what National Supply does on their website however:

 

The Charter and Bylaws of the BSA in Article X, Section 1, Clause 6, states

 

"There shall be the following ranks in Boy Scouting: Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. The requirements shall be those authorized by the Executive Board and set forth in official Scouting publications. Eagle Palms may also be awarded on the basis of requirements authorized by the executive Board and set forth in official Scouting publications."

 

Clause 4, where they talk about Cub Scouts does list Bobcat as a rank. So in that I am mistaken:

 

"There shall be the following ranks in Cub Scouting: Bobcat, Tiger Cub, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and Arrow of Light."

 

So I should have said, "unlike in Cub Scouts where Bobcat is a rank, the Scout badge is not a rank."

 

We use to call the Scout badge the joining badge because it was the badge they got when they satisfied the joining requirements.(This message has been edited by bnelon44)

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