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LongHaul

"Who Teaches?" "Who Signs?"

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Chippewa29 wrote, concerning Totin' Chip, that an ASM had been teaching the skill. No one jumped on the "the boys should be doing the teaching" soap box. My questions are 1. When it's saftey related such as totin' chip, fireman chit, or stoves and lanterns should an adult present the material or should it be boys only? 2. Who signs off for advancement boys or leaders?

I would like to know some opinions and approaches to these issues.

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In my son's troop, Totin' Chip and Fire' n' Chit we have qualified scouts teach. When you are dealing with fuels however there are specific roles that adults must play according to the safety regulations and so adults and scouts co-teach it.

Bob White

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In my Scoutmaster Fundamentals recently, and at District JLT, our District staff reiterated that Scouts can sign advancements for Scouts lower in rank than they. We've just begun doing that, and based on a small sample so far, they're doing it very responsibly -- guess we shouldn't be surprised.

 

Last time we taught Totin' Chip, a senior Scout taught and ran the ax yard, with an adult leader providing overwatch. The first time a Scout works with stoves, or when an experienced Scout uses a new stove the first time, it's with adult leader instruction, then supervision after that.

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In my Troop, the SPL & ASPL are responsible for teaching totin' Chit & Fire'm Chit. They certify the Scout has earned his chit then I will give the Scout his card. While I am filling out his card, I ask a few questions. If I feel the Scout doesn't understand or really didn't learn anything, I will talk to the teacher before I sign the card. And the card might not get signed!

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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Wow. I've inspired a thread (sort of). In response to the question, there are two reasons why we've had an ASM teaching Totin' Chit. First, my predecessor as SM didn't think Scouts could handle too much and our troop ended up being very much adult run. Also, we currently have no Scouts qualified to teach it. Down the road, one of my goals is for the Scouts in the troop to teach all of the skills needed for at least through first class. Eventually, the only times adults will be teaching is if it is for a merit badge in their specialty that a Scout wouldn't have.

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My son's troop has the older scouts doing most of the teaching and signing off for the younger scouts. Main problem right now is there are so many new scouts. At the troop meeting, the older boys led the new scouts in their physical fitness requirements.

At the campout there were 18 new scouts. A couple of ASM's did the joining requirements, some knots and the totin chip class with the new boys. Not all the older scouts were on the campout, and the ones there got to take a break while the younger ones were busy learning. I think with that many new scouts at one time, the ASM teaching the totin' chip was a good idea.

 

For the most part I think the older scouts will sign off on the lower ranks. I know some of the older scouts were working with a 1-year scout on building the campfire. The older boys also led the campfire program that evening.

 

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When having scouts sign off for ranks lower than theirs who does quality control? If you have several patrols or a large amount of new scouts, as in on reply, how do you insure that each boy is asked to meet the same standard? Yes, Bob, I know the requirements are in the handbook but who decides what tenderfoot requirement 4a. "Demonstrate how to whip and fuse the ends of a rope" actualy means? If the intent was just to do it wouldn't the requirement be "Whip and fuse the ends of a rope" period. Requirement 5. askes the boy to "Explain". How do you insure that Billy and Johnny both were asked to meet the same standard?

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In our troop the older boys teach, but the scoutmaster or asisstant scoutmasters sign off to provide quality control.

 

Personally I always sign with a pencil and then tell the scout that if I ever ask them to do the skill I just signed off and he cant do it, I can always erase my name.

 

That usually gets their attention ;-)

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LongHaul

You asked two excellent questions.

1. Who does quality control?

2. How do you insure that each boy is asked to meet the same standard?

 

First, who does it? Whoever you train to do it. How well will they do? I don't know. How well will you train them?

 

Secondly, The scouting program is very specific, and although some adults do not follow this..there is NO STANDARD for completing an advancement requirewment other than the scout "does his best".

 

No scout is expected to do things exactly the same as anyone else or as good as anyone else. They are expected to "do their best". This is not to say they do not have to complete the requirement. They certainly do, but be careful when you say "insure that Billy and Johnny both were asked to meet the same standard?" The only standard Billy has to meet it that he did Billy's best.

 

In the case you sight of demonstrate it means just that. The scout shows by doing that he can whip the end of the rope. Billy might do it in ten minutes, Johnny in ten seconds. It doesn't matter as long as they both did the best they could. Remember these are just boys, and if they are taught not only how to do the skill but why they need the skill, and are given opportunities to use the skill then it is presumed they will continue to get better at it. They do not need proficiency to complete the requirement or the rank. This is the scouting method.

 

Bob White

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In our troop, the Scouts teach Totin' Chip and the Tenderfoot, Second and First class requirements with adult supervision. The adult only adds in if he feels something wasn't adequately covered.

 

After that, the Scouts (those Star and over) sign off on the requirements.

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Bob, in reference to a boy's best being his standard what happens if no matter how hard he tries he can't whip a rope so that the whipping holds as it should. Do you sign him off for the effort and say he's done and there by allowed to sign off others? When it comes time for him to teach what does he teach, the skill or the skill as best as he can? Won't we eventually loss the "skill" if the standard is only the best you can do taught by someone who is teaching the best that he knows? (That doesn't read like it sounded in my head but I hope you understand my question)

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"what happens if no matter how hard he tries he can't whip a rope so that the whipping holds as it should." As they say in the BSA Trainer Development course, "if the learner hasn't learned then the teached hasn't taught". I would review who, and how the scout was taught. Then I would change the teacher and or the method. I've never met met a scout who was unable to do the requirements leading to First Class unless they had a disability which kept them from completion (with one exception). I've also never seen the "Effective Teaching" method used in scouting fail to work.

 

"what happens if no matter how hard he tries he can't whip a rope so that the whipping holds as it should?" The scout needs to complete the requirement, I never denied that, my only concern is your wanting to compare him to how other scouts performed. As long as the requirement is completed there is no other unit of measure we use.

 

Bob

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Yes Bob,you are 100% correct, failier to learn is the result of failier to teach effectively. What we have done in our troop is to sit down with the senior patrol leader and go over each requirement from Scout to First Class and spell out in detail what the requirement means. These are written down and laminated. Each badge has a binder with the sheets in it and paper for comments. We have not altered these in six years except when the requiirements themselves have changed. It may be over kill but parents as well as boys have asked to see the books and everyone has been satisfied.

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I think we may be collectively confusing a "condition" with a "standard". In the military, when we teach a skill, we prescribe a task, a condition, and a standard. The condition is the end result you want, the standard includes timing, acceptable error, etc. I think, using the rope whipping/fusing as an example, the condition you want to prescribe is that the rope stays whipped when you use it, throw it, smack it, whatever. The standard, if you wanted to prescribe one, could be how long you give the Scout to whip the rope. BW's right, there is no standard, but there is a condition, even if it's only implied with some of these skills.

 

The leaders do the quality control on signing off advancements by making sure the Scouts know what they're doing, and by watching the application of these skills on campouts and outings. As far as consistency, I think you have the same argument for various ASMs within a troop signing off advancements. They're by definition all over the place when it comes to opinions on what constitutes a completed requirement, but since they're grownups, it's not the big deal it seems to be when it's Scouts signing advancements. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

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