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SctDad

Boy Scout Belt Loops

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I have a question about the Boy Scout Belt loops. Does anyone remember thes, what were they exactly, and what were some of the requirements.

 

I have a bunch of them and I am kind of looking for some information.

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They were call Skill Awards. You can find the requirements for the Skill Awards in any Boy Scout Handbook circa 1972-1989. There were 12 Skill Awards in all - and they covered basic skills. There were requirements to earn a certain number, as well as certain types to earn T, SC, & FC ranks. Many of those requirements have been re-integrated into the current rank requirements.

 

The 12 Skill Awards were: Camping, Citizenship, Communications, Community Living, Conservation, Cooking, Environment, Family Living, First Aid, Hiking, Physical Fitness and Swimming. I earned all 12 of them as a Scout.

 

Trivia fact: The Original First Aid Skill Award had a red cross on it. The cross was later changed to a green cross.

 

Calico

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I was a scout from 1981 to 1987 and earned most of the skill awards. I still have my old belt with the awards.

I was surprised to find out they had been removed from the program when we got back involved in the late 90s.

 

I wish we still had them. Our new scouts seem to get a big let-down when they transition from cubs. They are used to getting tons of recognition from the pack in the form of pins, belt loops and activity awards. Now, many of them will walk away from a COH without much recognition at all.

 

Before moving a few years ago, our troop in NY awarded patch segments for scouts to acheived milestones that we defined.

 

10 nights of camping

Attend JLT training

SCout spirit award

klondike derby

etc.

 

I know it was outside the BSA program, but it was effective.

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Cave Eagle

 

I like the idea of the patches for certain segments/milestones.

 

I just wish we had the budget, we are still working on fund raisers.

 

I was thinking about getting the boys the Family Camping badge for our campout next month. It will be the First overnigther.

 

I am still looking into it.

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I earned skill awards when I was a scout.

 

Because it took me so long to earn Citizenship (required for Tenderfoot), it took me awhile to advance. Once I got it, I quickly moved to First Class because I had all the other requirements (except time).

 

I recall being at the 1981 Jamboree with my scout belt on with the skill awards, and some foreign scouts (Japanese I think) were marveling at them.

 

Skill awards were go if you are for instant recognition. Most troops kept a supply of skill awards on hand so that they could be handed out at the end of meetings (or at the end of a camping trip).

 

When they got rid of skill awards, they replaced it with the 'instant recognition kit' that was the leather belt tab with the beads. Not sure how well scouts like them. We had several of our older scouts that didn't want to use them. I had to explain that since they were already past First Class, the kit had no purpose for them, so why would they need to use or wear it???

 

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I still have all of my skill awards from back then. My Mom actually saved all of my old Scout stuff and she found them in a box just before Christmas. All of my stuff that I thought had been lost/thrown away, were safely stored away. Talk about lucky.

 

Now if she could just find my huge baseball card collection from 1971 thru 1982.

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Knight said: "They were a relic from the disastrous "Improved Scouting" program"

 

 

I was a Boy Scout from '73 to '77 during that "disaterous" period and I had a great time earning those "relics".

 

 

 

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Ah, the ping of aluminum bouncing on the floor as we tried to put those loops on our belts after closing.

 

I still have my full set of skill awards with the red cross First Aid and my late brother's set with the green cross. I also have a First Aid Skill Book, the pamphlet used to teach the skill award.

 

Skill awards were part of the instant recognition program that came in with the Improved Scouting Program in 1972 (and I still have the ISP guide). Skill awards were discontinued in 1989, but being thrifty, the BSA never throws out an idea. Belt loops returned in 1992 with the Cub Scout Academics program.

 

Ed P.

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I was a Boy Scout from 1968 - 1971 (and Explorer from then to 1974). I was damned glad I didn't have to go through them. I remember looking at some of the First Class kids at the last Ordeal I went to, and wondered WHAT IN THE SAM HILL were these guys doing being qualified for Candidacy???

 

To me, the Boy Scout Skill Award Belt loops were the fast beginning to the era of the Troop Method. They abandoned every good idea Bill Hillcourt ever had.

 

Can you tell I feel about Boy Scout skill award belt loops the way I feel about berets:

 

DING DONG THE BELT LOOPS ARE DEAD!!! THE BELT LOOPS ARE DEAD!!! THE BELT LOOPS ARE DEAD!!!

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"They were a relic from the disastrous "Improved Scouting" program."

 

I was a scout during this "disatrous" period and I liked the skill awards. My patrol would work on these at patrol meetings directed by our PL who was a Star scout at the time. Think about it... Here was curriculum for boys to teach other boys the important skills they would need to earn their next rank. It was a great feeling to receive these at Troop meetings and be recognized on my first steps along the long trail.

 

Today as Advancment chair I would appreciate a concrete way to track a boy's advancment towards FC (Perhaps now we would need an anti-bullying Skill Award ).

 

Oh and did mention once we earned and received five or more skill awards our belt became a lethal weapon.....

 

Ken

 

 

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Of course with the new switchback pants, the internal belt makes it not possible to wear the beltloops. Of course you can always wear an external belt. But the internal belt is sewn in so you are wearing two belts. Unless you snipe the threads keeping the internal belt in place.

 

I earned a handful of skills awards in the 1970's. At the time I equated them to mini-merit badges or merit badge Lite. I still have a few in the back of the drawer.

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Spiney Norman,

 

Advancement Wall Chart. It has a BSA stock number. You buy it at the Scout Shop, you charge your Troop Scribe with keeping it current.

 

You take your laptop, sit in front of the chart, and bang the dates into Troopmaster.

 

 

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John-in-KC

 

We tried the wall chart a couple of years ago. It didn't work too well for us. Firstly, with 30+ scouts someone spent half the meeting updating the chart. Secondly, we are not allowed to have anything permanent at our meeting place which didn't bode well for the condition of the chart.

We do have an old pocket PC though. Perhaps I'll just have to get TM Traveler and do it that way. Or just depend on the SM who always seems to know just exactly where each scout is in his advancement. I honestly do not know how he remembers it all.

 

However, I would still prefer the Skill Awards being resurrected. It is a tangible item the scout could use to track his own progress rather than just some sigs in a book or card. They work especially well for new crossovers that are used to some sort of constant recognition. Otherwise the scout has nothing he can hold in his hands until he starts earning MBs.

 

Ken

 

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I totally agree with you Ken, they should bring back the skill awards. I dug mine out and installed them on my scout belt. I probably not supossed to have them with my Webelos Den Leader uniform, but I busted my ass to earn them when I was a scout in the mid 70's and I'm pretty proud of it. My youngest son is in my webelos den and he loves getting his belt loops. My oldest son is in the boy scouts and is pretty bummed out that they don't offer them anymore.

 

Those skill awards gave the boys pride. They wear their class A's to every meeting, what do they have to show besides rank for their accomplishments?????

 

BRING BACK THE SKILL AWARDS!!!!!!!

 

 

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