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SpencerCheatham

Eagle or not?

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Ye Lordships, I put it to you a Scout who earns and is awarded his "Scout" Badge. And then I say this Scout joins the semi annual First Aid Merit Badge class held by the ScoutMaster. I put it to you this Scout attends 6 or so after Troop meeting classes and thru dint of effort is awarded his First Aid Merit Badge at a duly convened Court of Honor. Now, I put it to you for consideration: Has this Scout thus concurrently passed the first aid requirements, ipso facto, for the both the Second Class and First Class ranks? And thus should have those requirements signed off in his Book?

What say ye,?

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Ye Lordships, I put it to you a Scout who earns and is awarded his "Scout" Badge. And then I say this Scout joins the semi annual First Aid Merit Badge class held by the ScoutMaster. I put it to you this Scout attends 6 or so after Troop meeting classes and thru dint of effort is awarded his First Aid Merit Badge at a duly convened Court of Honor. Now, I put it to you for consideration: Has this Scout thus concurrently passed the first aid requirements, ipso facto, for the both the Second Class and First Class ranks? And thus should have those requirements signed off in his Book?

What say ye,?

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SSScout - isn't the first requirement for First Aid Merit Badge to satisfy your counselor that you have current knowledge of the first aid requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class ranks? In working with the Scoutmaster and with the Merit Badge Counselor in earning the First Aid Merit Badge, did he not demonstrate that he has current knowledge of the First Aid Requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class ranks?

 

If I were that Scoutmaster, I would have signed off on them as the class was being done.

 

I noticed you didn't mention Tenderfoot so perhaps the question is more about timing - unless they've changed it again, and I didn't see that, a Scout can work on any requirement for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class at anytime during his journey to First Class. You don't have to earn Tenderfoot before you start working on Second Class requirements so a Scout could do all the First Aid requirements and get signed off for all three ranks.

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No, Parkman, I wouldn't like to see age requirements as I don't necessarily see age as a corelating with Scouting advancement. I would like to see the advancement program beefed up which would have that net effect -- multiple POR requirements, for example.

 

OGE -- I think you offer a false choice, although I were to choose a course for my own sons, it would be that of Scout B. I'll read into your hypothetical that Scout B just didn't care much for advancement or jumping through hoops, but that he was engaged in the troop, attended campouts and activities and generally immersed himself in Scouting. I'll move heaven and earth to help a kid like that make Eagle in his remaining 10 months.

 

Now if your hypothetical is that Scout B goes dormant for four year, like Spencer's guy in the OP, well, I don't care much for either.

 

The false choice is that if we use the tools we have (before the next edition of the advancement guide takes them away) we should be able to guide our all-star Scout A to use his enthuasism toward a long, action-pack and rewarding career in Scouting.

 

My point is this -- Scouting is to be experienced, not completed. Experience takes time.

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Success is a youth aging out as an active member of the Troop, showing Scout Spirit and living the Scout Law, prepared to be a responsible, self-sufficient citizen as he enters adulthood.

 

What cloth he has sewn on his uniform (if he even has one) is irrelevant.

 

So, frankly, we should stop worrying about whether so-and-so "earned" this, that, or any other rank.

 

Who. Cares.

 

Focus on the program. Is the way you are using the Advancement method helping young men grow into responsible citizens? If yes, great. If not, think about what changes you can make in your program, but don't waste time worrying about how you can avoid awarding some kid a rank when you suddenly realize you wish you'd challenged him more than you did. That's water under the bridge. Do better next time, but don't try for a do-over on this one.

 

I suppose people get their neckers in a knot over Eagle because it's the end of the road for using Advancement Method with that kid. Ooops, no more ranks to use as encouragement for him. Kid skates to First Class, there's always Star. Gets Star without really doing a whole lot, well, we'll expect more from him for Life. Ah, he wrapped Life up while we were busy with other things, but that's okay, we'll really challenge him for Eagle... Well, now he wants his EBOR and you're out of road to kick the can down.

 

Ranks aren't important, program is. Any time you find yourself staring at the paperwork thinking "well, he's got all of them signed off, but it sure doesn't seem like he earned it..." don't blame - or punish - the Scout. Instead, figure out how the program failed and fix those things.

 

(This message has been edited by JMHawkins)

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The wisest thing I've read in this thread:

 

"Ranks aren't important, program is. Any time you find yourself staring at the paperwork thinking "well, he's got all of them signed off, but it sure doesn't seem like he earned it..." don't blame - or punish - the Scout. Instead, figure out how the program failed and fix those things."

 

 

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The Scouts that won't go camping with us bug me. The ones that won't show up for service bug me too. But,if a Scout completes the requirements, he's an Eagle. I'd grumble too.

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JMHawkins,

Thanks for bringing back the need to fix advancement problems by focusing on program.

 

Because the answer to yuor question " Who. Cares. ", is the rest of the boys in the troop care. They care a lot. It is their troop. The boys have a good understanding of those they can count on. Those that are good citizens of the troop. Those that keep the troop operating; that are there for them the majority of time. Those boys that will help whenever asked, and will offer to help even when not asked.

 

The boys see any hypocracy if adults words don't match their actions; i.e., if adults talk charcter, citizenship, fitness, while at the same time implenting an awards program that gives awards to those scouts that the scouts themselves would not choose to give an award to.

 

It is good advice to take a situation like this, analyze it, and fix the program so that advancement becomes an outcome of the program.

 

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M'Lords, I do apologize for the multiple posts. I prithee accept that if the Scout has thus passed the First Aid MB and thus the 2nd and 1st (and by right TF! as so noted by my learned collegue), the Scout has jumped that far ahead of his advancement trail.

Let us now consider how this Scout can jump ahead still further. I put to you a "nature" merit badge class, so construed as to fulfill the appropriate sections of the 2nd and 1st class badges. And thus too, a "Cooking" MB that leads on to the selfsame requirements in the two ranks.

So I have seen a Troop in my pervue thus advance multiple newbie Scouts to First class in less than a year. Spring CoH, the Scout receives Second class, First Class AND a half dozen MBs. Troop does do alot of camping...

At the other end of the spectrum, I knew a very active and supportive Scout (served as a very good SPL) who just couldn't get his last two requirements (recruiting? Nature ID?) from FC. At age 16, he was awarded FC, AND Star at the CoH. Never made Eagle, but had a ball in Socuting. Staffed at Heritage four years that I know of.

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The boys see any hypocracy if adults words don't match their actions; i.e., if adults talk charcter, citizenship, fitness, while at the same time implenting an awards program that gives awards to those scouts that the scouts themselves would not choose to give an award to.

 

Yah, I think VeniVidi has the right of this, eh?

 

The advancement method only works for our aims if we follow the Rules & Regulations that we agreed to, which state that interpretation of all of the advancement requirements must be aligned with the Aims and Goals of Scoutin'.

 

The notion that NJCubScouter expressed - "He MET THE REQUIREMENTS, so he gets the rank. Maybe his leaders don't feel as proud of him as they would if he camped eight times a year and served as SPL and JASM. Maybe he's not proud of himself. It doesn't matter." I think is exactly wrong. That is a violation of the Rules and is Scoutin' at its adult-run worst. To my mind, far from not mattering, it's the only thing that matters.

 

For Eagle or any Advancement to be worth a lick, it must be aligned with the Aims and Goals of Scoutin'. The boy has to genuinely believe he has done something worthwhile that merits recognition. The adult leaders have to genuinely recognize the boy as an example of leadership and citizenship and character. The boy's peers and fellow scouts have to know and look up to the fellow and say "That's what I want to be some day (and I will work hard, and improve my character and skills to get there)". That's how Advancement Method works, eh? It provides a path to genuine social recognition, which the boys crave.

 

There's nothin' that's a bigger failure of Advancement Method than a case where peers and adults and the boy himself feel that he has earned a Paper Eagle. Nuthin' worse for the future of a troop than a big Eagle Banquet where most of the kids go "Who is this guy? I haven't seen him in 4 years. He was never there for me."

 

I've sat with outstanding young scouts who have decided not to go for Eagle because some undeserving boy "earned" it and they were disgusted, and no longer wanted any part of it. They felt betrayed by the adults. They felt lied to. And they were right.

 

That's not what we want in Scoutin'. We want to be able to celebrate real achievement. Pride in himself, pride in his community and Eagle Scout should go hand in hand. If they don't, then like JMHawkins says it's somethin' that yeh have to fix in your program.

 

SSScout

Yeh might want to spin off a new thread for the topic. While I agree with CalicoPenn that in such a case I'd figure the SM should just sign off on T-2-1 at the same time, my real advice to the Scoutmaster and MBC would be that they need to change what they're doin'. Unless the boy has a pair of physicians for parents and came into the troop from his most recent rotation as an ER volunteer, an average 11 year old is not goin' to achieve proficiency in the T-2-1 requirements for first aid in 6 hours, let alone really earn First Aid MB. They're cheatin' their kids by subtractin' from the requirements. Read TwoCubDad's excellent post.

 

Beavah

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Beavah, I am not going to continue an extended dialogue on this issue. I find it sort of funny that in the "Board of Review" thread I am probably being seen as being "too strict" while here I am basically being accused of being "too lenient." (Although I don't think anyone has used those exact words.) I do think that what you are suggesting is adding to the requirements, and perhaps more to the point (since as I said in the other thread, I am just one committee member in one troop) I think that if Spencer's troop did not sign this Scout's application, and he asked council for a BOR anyway, he would be an Eagle Scout, either at the council level or by an appeal to national. So you can quote National's rules and regulations all you want, but I don't think they would interpret the requirements to mean that a boy must be "active" beyond what the requirements say.

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By the way, on SSScout's point (which initially seemed to be off-topic, though after his second post I am not so sure), I don't think it would be a bad idea to change Requirement 1 for the First Aid MB from:

 

Satisfy your counselor that you have current knowledge of all first aid requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks.

 

to something like, "Before beginning work on this merit badge, pass all of the First Aid requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class ranks." And then Satisfy your counselor that you have current knowledge, etc.

 

The problem with the current requirement is that requirements for a merit badge do not have to be done "in order" (although maybe the MBC can require that they be done in a certain order? Not sure about that and the subject has never come up.) So in theory a Scout can begin working on First Aid MB having not yet passed a single first aid requirement for the first three ranks, and while working on the badge learn and demonstrate knowledge of those requirements. It seems to me that there should be a progression in learning these skills, but it is not currently required.

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I am basically being accused of being "too lenient." (Although I don't think anyone has used those exact words.)

 

Yah, I reckon that the reason no one has used those exact words is because it's not what we really think, eh? ;)

 

I think da fundamental difference in philosophy is that some folks for all practical purposes view "the requirements" as the goal. That group believes that "the requirements" are the goal no matter what "the requirements" are, or how "the requirements" are interpreted, eh?

 

There's reasons for that approach too, eh? It's often because either in reality or in their imagination those folks have experienced a scouter who they felt unfairly judged a lad negatively. Like any coach or referee or teacher, bad calls by scouters do happen in Scouting. We all know that because we all have made bad calls from time to time. So their response is to want discretion removed as much as possible, and want "the requirements" interpreted in da strictest, easiest, most legalese sense.

 

With that approach, if yeh think about it through a kid's eyes, that means the paperwork signifying "the requirements" is the goal. We see that in U.S. Scouting a lot. So long as the paperwork is complete, the requirements are complete, the advancement is complete, nothing can be done, the boy has "earned" advancement, and we have succeeded. A smart lad in such a system should pursue the fastest route to a signature.

 

For the rest of us, the goals really are character and citizenship and skills development, eh? So we see a lad with First Aid MB who can't really do first aid as a failure skills development in our program. We see a boy who doesn't demonstrate loyalty and commitment as a member of a community as a failure of citizenship development in our program. For us, those are also failures of the Advancement Method, because the method failed to motivate, reinforce, and recognize the things that it should have. In fact, we believe the only point of advancement is to motivate and reinforce real learning, real citizenship, real character. If it doesn't do that - if Eagle Scout or Lifesaving MB or whatnot don't mean somethin' real in the eyes of the youth and community, then we might as well do away with it. Sending an Eagle Scout badge to every 13 year old in the nation would do less harm.

 

So us folks in da second group are more comfortable with a non-legalistic interpretation of "the requirements", because in the end we feel that skills and character and citizenship are not a matter of law. We recognize that although bad calls will be made, the overwhelming majority of scouters are good people with caring hearts and some real wisdom for kids, who can be trusted to make those calls. A smart lad in such a system should pay attention to what his scout leaders are tryin' to teach him about behavior and life, and really work to learn skills well, because that's what will be recognized. Perhaps even without paperwork or the presence of three registered committee members. ;) That's why Advancement works.

 

Those two philosophies aren't compatible, eh? Folks will never agree. I personally think the latter is more consistent with the long-time scoutin' program and the Rules, which define the purpose of Advancement (education), the standards for advancement (proficiency), the proper way to interpret guidebooks and requirements (must harmonize with the Aims), and the definition of active (commits himself to regular participation).

 

I think that if Spencer's troop did not sign this Scout's application, and he asked council for a BOR anyway, he would be an Eagle Scout, either at the council level or by an appeal to national.

 

Yah, perhaps. Or perhaps not. SpencerCheatham's unit did meet with the lad well nigh a year in advance, explain that he hadn't yet met and wasn't meeting their active and Scout Spirit requirements, and spelled out clearly what the expectations were. They reinforced that several times. From where I sit, they met all of the unit expectations detailed in the current Guide to Advancement. The lad had every opportunity. So for our council, I'd expect the EBOR and any council-level appeal to say "no".

 

Da real point though is "Who cares?" Who cares what the council or national office does? They're a big corporation, with monetary and other incentives to pass out awards, eh? They'll do whatever they do. The CO shouldn't care, it should act accordin' to its own mission. The unit scouters shouldn't care, they should act accordin' to their own conscience and understandin' of the CO's mission. And if we're honest, the lad himself probably doesn't care. The boy doesn't want a medal mailed in a box from a warehouse at Supply. Not really. He wants the recognition of the adults and peers of his unit.

 

Beavah

 

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"The boy doesn't want a medal mailed in a box from a warehouse at Supply. Not really. He wants the recognition of the adults and peers of his unit."

 

Sadly, a good many don't want a medal mailed in a box. They want "Eagle" on their resume. I think they are a minority, but I know they exist because they have told me so.

 

In contrast, a newly-minted Eagle told me a few weeks ago that he regretted not having had an opportunity to experience being a leader in his adult-run club for boys.

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