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Beavah

Is it time to just shoot FCFY in da head?

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Moose,

 

It was a "suggested" schedule that showed how you could "check off" more than 30--thats right 30- requirements in one campout by careful planning. It was presented by a BSA trainer who helped write a lot of training material for national.

 

I was told BSA policy was "don't hold em back, advance 'em as fast you can".

 

When I said "what if every boy turns into a 13 year old Eagle?" I got "whats wrong with that?".

 

 

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When I said "what if every boy turns into a 13 year old Eagle?" I got "whats wrong with that?"

 

Just playing devil's advocate, but... what is wrong with that?

 

If a Scout is working hard and mastering the skills in question, what basis do you have for not signing off on the requirements?

 

I obviously disagree with the idea that this four-month program was "suggested." And I think the Advancement method needs to be balanced with all of the other methods we use in Scouting - Advancement exists as part of a bigger overall program; the program DOESN'T exist just for the purpose of facilitating advancement.

 

Usually whenever someone comes up with some theory on the fastest way to get to a certain rank, I just dismiss it as an interesting mind game or puzzle - kind of like the "how many people can fit in a telephone booth" puzzle - it's an entertaining exercise, with no practical value :-)

 

Now, while apparently I was incorrect about the origins and rationale behind FCFY, I guess I don't see a huge problem with setting 12-16 months as a target for seeing most of your motivated Scouts get to 1st Class. True, I don't think we want a bunch of 13 year old Eagles... but we also don't want a bunch of 17 year and 364-day old Eagles either, right?

 

It certainly looks like there's no causative relationship between rank advancement rate and retention rate - but I think there can be some causative relationship between rate of advancement and quality of overall program.

 

If you have a troop where Scout's routinely hit First Class within 4-6 months, I'd worry that either a) The advancement method is being over-emphasized to the detriment of other methods; b) Scouts may not be held to a high enough level of proficiency of skills prior to being checked off; c) Scouts aren't being given opportunities to participate in fun and worthwhile activities unless they have some link to advancement. On the other hand, if even highly-motivated Scouts aren't able to hit 1st Class within 12-18 months, I'd worry that a) Advancement is being under-emphasized or b) The troop's program isn't making use of opportunities to enable advancement.

 

I think there's a subtle difference between a troop having a responsibility to advance each Scout to First Class within a year, versus having a responsibility to provide a program which will enable Scouts to earn ranks within a reasonable time frame. And setting the 12-16 month mark as a target for First Class to me honestly doesn't seem that unreasonable.

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Yes, I do beleive we should advance kids as fast as we can, as soon as they demonstrate they know the requirements they get signed off. I don't know about you, but I have heard about some troops/adult leaders who put arbitrary stumbling blocks or outright built in delays to advancement. If the kid knows his stuff he advances, regardless of time frames except where its required. If he doenst know his stuff, he doesnt advance, regardless of time frames. The time frames are meaningless, its having the skill that is the issue

 

If kids don't attend meetings and/or outings they dont advance, this isnt that hard, is it?

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SR540Beaver writes: The only place I ever hear FCFY mentioned is here in this forum. You certainly can't find any mention on scouting.org.

 

What??

 

Shortridge points out two places:First Class - First Year tracking sheet: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/boyscouts/pdf/34118.pdf new Guide to Advancement: "Establish practices that will bring each new BoyScout to First Class rank within a year of joining,and then to Star rank the following year." http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf But there are lots morehttp://olc.scouting.org/resources/TLT.ppt - Troop Guide duties: Helps new Scouts earn First Class rank in their first yearResources for Patrol Leaders - First Class First Year Tracking Sheet - http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/PatrolLeader.aspxThe forms index document again lists the FCFY tracking sheet - http://scouting.org/filestore/pdf/Forms.pdfIntroduction to Leadership Skills for Troops - "Help new Scouts earn the First Class rank in their first year" http://scouting.org/filestore/training/pdf/ILST%20FINALS%202011%20-%20Item%20Number%20511-016.pdfUniversity of Scouting 2011 Course list - "Scouts who attain First Class rank in the first year are well on their way to Eagle. Learn how and why this is important for the boys and your troop." http://councilspd.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Council449/Our%2520Council/Local%2520Training/~/media/Councils/Council449/Training/University%2520of%2520Scouting/2011%2520U%2520of%2520S%2520Class%2520list.ashx

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The occasional exceptional 13 year old is OK but when it is the norm then the Eagle rank is too watered down. We do want to keep the boys as long as possible...

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So the 128,000 dollar question (adjusted for inflation) is, are the requirements too easy or are adults to lenient in accepting work done by the scouts?

 

I know we have a few members here entrenched in the ivy covered walls of Academia. Some would even say the Ivory Towers of Academia but I digress. Can you Academicians tell me what is the current trend in grading? What does an A mean today versus the year 2000, vs 1990 vs 1980 vs 1970?

 

Is it a systems issue or operator error?

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Oak Tree, I looked at the links, I ddn't see where a unit was encouraged to sign off requirements for skills that were not demonstrated. The unit should have a scheduled program that allows a scout to reach first class in a year IF he avails himself of the opportunity, if he doesn't avail himself, he doesnt make it.

 

OK, what does that mean? One of the requirements to get to First Class is to talk to a civic leader. It means the Troop schedules such a meeting, or it makes sure that the scout knows how to schedule such a meeting. If the meeting is held at a troop meeting and the scout dosent make it, I see no encouragement for the unit to sign the boy off if he is not present. Who are those presuring for First Class in a year? and if we can't stand up to them and say no, the youth dont have the skills or have not completed the requirments what sort of role models are we? Especially to the boys who do show up and do have the skills?

 

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I wonder if the boys themselves ever think about any of these issues at all.

 

One reason why I want scouts to signoff on T-2-1 requirements, especially if they have been trained, know the importance of signing off, and expect the skills to be mastered liek the old BSHB says, or expect the scout to be able to do the skills. i've found boys are harder at times than the adults and expect more.

 

In regards to 30 requirements in a single weekend campout: HORSE HOCKEY. Scouts need to MASTER THE SKILLS and a single weekend won't cover it. That has been the expectation as posted int he BSHB up until this last edition. It needs to be the expectation still, and IMHO a scout being able to do the skill per the G2A is mastering it.

 

Now some scouts getting eagle at 13, I have no problem with as they have mastered the skills. My cousin was one of those. And I have met an occasional one besides him. But I've meet a bunch that I wouldn't trust with my life in the outdoors.

 

FCFY needs a double tap to the head. IMHO it's b/c of FCFY that we get idiotic statements about 30 requirements in a weekend. It's b/c of FCFY that we have adults focusing their units on advancement only, and not letting the scouts grow at their own pace, really learn the skills, let teh kids lead no matter how much of a Chinese firedrill it will be, and most importantly HAVE FUN.

 

 

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Oak Tree,

 

Yes, if you google the term "first class first year", you come up with a handful of references from scouting sites, but not from BSA itself. You are correct, someone provided a couple of PDF's from scouting.org. I based what I said on the fact that I went to scouting.org and actually entered first class first year with and without quotation marks and fcfy and came up empty handed. My point was that when I'm out and about at units, in my district and council in my roles with the OA, Jambo and NYLR, it just isn't a topic of discussion. Now, there may be discussion about how does your unit handle new scouts and the answers are as varied as the units are. Some only get 1 or 2 new scouts a year into a troop of 6 to 8 boys while others get 15 to 20 in a troop of 60. Some intergrate new boys into mixed age patrols after 6 to 9 months in a new scout patrol while others integrate the 1 new boy into the single patrol/troop of 6. Yes, there are worksheets and tracking sheets and plans out there, but I just don't think they are seen as the be all end all of scouting in most units around the country. Here at scouter.com is really the only place I see it discussed in any depth and people act like it is the death of scouting as we know it. Again, from my own personal perspective, I just don't see or hear anything about it in my council. When I ran our new scout program, I took a look at the document that was making the rounds that laid out a 12 month program. where did I hear about it? Here. How long did we seriously fool with it? About a week.

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"Yes, if you google the term "first class first year", you come up with a handful of references from scouting sites, but not from BSA itself."

 

http://www.google.com/search?q=first+class+first+year+site%3Ascouting.org

 

I get 425 results when I google it ....

 

"Again, from my own personal perspective, I just don't see or hear anything about it in my council."

 

I guess that would make me envious. Around here, FCFY is all the rage and is considered a selling point when recruiting Webelos.

 

From my perspective, I don't see how you can call yourself boy-led and have a well-oiled FCFY program.

(This message has been edited by Curious)

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Whether it's a 13-y.o. Eagle, First Class in a year, or 30 requirement in a weekend, the problem is somewhere in that picture is an adult gaming the system.

 

Most adults have been trained to look for solutions, solve problems, eliminate inefficiencies and organize chaos. They pick up their 11-y.o. son's brand new Scout handbook, look at the list of requiements and say to themselves, "This isn't that hard, WE can finish Eagle in a year or so. We'll stack all the first aid requirements together and knock them out on a Sunday afternoon. Better yet, we'll jump right to first aid MB and that will cover the MB and the T-2-1 requirement. Four birds with one stone!

 

"I can plan one campout where we knock out 25 or 30 requirements. Shoot, half the requirements are complete just for showing up. We'll do a 14-man color guard so everyone can complete that. We can hike for five miles (or until the adults get tired) pointing out plants and animals while we pick up trash. That's five requirements right there."

 

Webelos III is so much fun!

 

Boy Scouts, however, is an experience. Experiences require time.

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I'm not sure what we're arguing about. There are clearly some references to the concept in various official BSA publications, but your own experience will vary based on what the people in your council do. I think the biggest place it's currently listed is in the new advancement guide. And no, they don't use the term "First Class First Year" nor do they use the abbreviation FCFY, but they do say "Establish practices that will bring each new Boy Scout to First Class rank within a year".

 

All of the references I gave are from scouting.org.

 

I don't think National really needs to set the expectations for how long it takes to get First Class. It will vary a lot.

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