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People Who Are WB Trained Dont Put It To Use

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Ah. A vendetta. How cool.



"Google 'cognitive dissonance:' The Wikipedia account of the 1956 UFO doomsday cult is a good example of my "beef" with the "goals of Scouting."



Your use of this $5.00 term suggests that Scouting says one thing and, in your view, does another, causing you dissonance. But when I read the rest of your post, and other things you have posted in other guises, your basic complaint is that Scouting will not agree with you about what is important in Scouting. This is so much so that you propose that someone start a competing youth organization that follows your opinions as to what Scouting should be.


Why are you here? Shouldn't you be off founding your competeing organization?



"The difference between the BSA in 1962 and in 2008 is that in 1962 the 'game' that you mention was a hard-played game. In 2008 any indoor boy can earn Eagle Scout without EVER walking into the woods with a pack on his back.


Do you think that is an exaggeration? Check the requirements for Camping Merit Badge and then compare the physical exertion and the mastery of basic skills required for Eagle with those required for any school sport and you will understand the true meaning of 'Parlour Scouting.'"



Not an exaggeration. Simply incorrect, misleading, or irrelevant.


"into the woods"? There was no requirement of backpacking to earn Eagle in 1962, or in 1957 when I earned Eagle. There was no backpacking MB then - or for years to come. Hiking MB existed but was not "required." The only "required" "outdoor" MB's were Camping and Cooking. In short, car campin' was just AOK for SLE.


Camping Merit Badge in 2008 is far more demanding, physically and mentally, than it was in 1962 or before. Check the requirements. http://usscouts.org/mb/mb001.asp'>http://usscouts.org/mb/mb001.asp


Cooking MB, "required" back then, could be earned back then in your back yard (or front yard). In 2008, campout cooking is required. Much more information must be learned as compared to the "dumbed down" Cooking MB requirements of 1962.

Check out the requirements: http://usscouts.org/mb/mb001.asp [see fn about preparing food on "trips"]


"School sports"? So Scouting is not as demanding as the varsity football and baseball that I played (as my knees remind me). So what? Varsity football pales in comparision with the requrements to be a Marine. "Sissy stuff, you Marines," the SAS Tropper might say. "Whimps," the Seal might comment.


Scouting is a program for all boys, not an elite few. Health and the physical improvement of millions of boys and girls is the goal, not physical perfection or physical toughness in absolute terms. The boy or girl who needs Scouting the most is far from your ideal. BP discussed this at length in many venues.


What would have been accurate is to say that Eagle is physically easier because since the requirment - with no alternative - of earning the Lifesaving MB went out in 1972. LSMB was the great winnower-out. But that was not a matter of toughness. A friend in my Troop who started at center for a campionship HS football team didn't get Eagle because, at 5'10" and 255 pounds, he was a "sinker" -- barely got Swimming MB. But he could have snapped most of the Troop's adults in half with ease (NOT the marine MGS), and he had five Fifty Miler awards and over 200 days and nights of Scout camping. ("Let Jim carry it. He won't notice.") Another Scouting friend failed LSMB repeatedly due to a Polio-withered leg. But he had three Fifty Miler awards - dragging a leg behind him. Some wimp! I would have changed the requirements for my friends, even though I had to pass LSMB to earn Eagle.



"That is why the two most important Methods of Scouting (the Outdoor Method and the Patrol Method) are infinitely more important than the so-called 'Three Aims of Scouting' (a 1972 invention)."



They are important to you - and to Scouting. But, by definition, methods are subordinate to goals.


As for aims, goals, objectives, or ends, the formulation of "The Aims" in 1972 was just that - a restatement that changed nothing of substance since BP set out the aims of Scouting before the B.S.A. existed.


If you are actually having trouble finding character, citizenship and fitness in BP's writings:


1. "Our aim was to improve the standard of out future citizenhood, especially in CHARACTER and HEALTH. One had to think out the main weak points in our national character and make some effort to eradicate these by substituting equivalent virtues, where the ordinary school curriculum was not in a position to supply them. Outdoor activities, handicrafts, and service for others therefore came into the forefront of our programme.


Attraction. The whole scheme was then planned on the principle of being an educative GAME; a recreation in which the boy would be insensibly led to educate himself. What to call it? There's a lot in a name. Had we called it what it was, viz. a "Society for the Propagation of Moral Attributes," the boy would not exactly have rushed for it. But to call it SCOUTING and give him the chance of becoming an embryo Scout, was quite another pair of shoes. His inherent "gang" instinct would be met by making him a member of a "Troop" and a "Patrol." Give him a uniform to wear, with Badges to be won and worn on it for proficiency in Scoutingand you got him.


Under the term "Scout" one could hold up for his hero worship such men as backwoodsmen, explorers, hunters, seamen, airmen, pioneers and frontiersmen.


Backwoodsmanship could be brought within the grasp of even the town boy through stalking, tracking, camping, pioneering, camp cooking, tree-felling, and other outdoor activities.


These practices all would have their attraction for him, and would at the same time develop in him health, resourcefulness, intelligence, handiness and energy."


BP, "Lessons From the Varsity of Life" [words in all caps by BP].


2. Please note subtitle: "Scouting for Boys, A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship"


3. "Keep before your mind in all your teaching that the whole ulterior [i.e., hidden] object of this scheme is to form character in the boys - to make them good, manly citizens."


4. "When you are trying to get boys to come under good influence you are as a fisherman wishful to catch fish. . . . You therefore use as bait the food that the fish likes."


Scouting for Boys, Part VI


5. "The Aim of the Scout training is to improve the standard of our future citizenhood, especually in cgharacter and health."


BP, Aids to Scoutmastership at 14.


6. The Patrol System as a "school" -- a tool -- to achieve the aims.


Aids to Scoutmastership at 19,



Moreover, BP's view that Scouting was a program to educate boys in the characteristics of "good ciizens" was expressly central to the formation of the B.S.A.:


"The BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA is a corporation formed by a group of men who are anxious that the boys of America should come under the influence of this movement and be built up in all that goes to make character and good citizenship."

Preface, Handbook for Boys, B.S.A. 1911.


Later, BP said:

"The White Stag has a message for you. Hunters of old pursued the miraculous stag, not because they expected to kill it, but because it led them in the joy of the chase to new and fresh adventures, and so to capture happiness. You may look on the White Stag as the true spirit of Scouting, springing forward and upward, ever leading you onward to leap over difficulties, to face new adventures in your active pursuit of the HIGHER AIMS OF SCOUTING aims which bring you happiness. THESE AIMS ARE duty to God, to your country, and to your fellow man by carrying out the Scout Law. In that way you will help to bring about Gods kingdom upon earth the reign of peace and goodwill."


BP to Fourth World Jamboree, 1933 [emphasis added].


So you are clearly out of step with BP and the B.S.A. and have a set pratice of attacking Scouting's aims and methods as applied. Why are you here?



As for Baden-Powell's comments, when B-P spoke about Citizenship as the sole aim of Scouting, he was talking about the direct experience of Citizenship in the Patrol System. The fundamental idea is that Scouting is a game in which Scouts learn citizenship from older Scouts 1) in a primitive environment in which Scout Law is a practical guide for getting along, and 2) by providing "Service for Others" in their community (no counting the hours for advancement, by the way).


He wrote that the Patrol System is the direct opposite of learning Citizenship through 'Instruction.' Therefore his Merit Badges (called Proficiency Badges) are either Scoutcraft Badges (worn on the right side of the Uniform) or Public Service Badges (worn on the left). There are no classroom Merit Badges (including "Citizenship")."



BP famously thought that the patrol in the outdoors was the best venue/tool for learning to be good citzens of the Empire, as well as the best "church."


Those facts do not prove that the reasons why he founded Scouting were somehow less important to him than the methods used to reach those goals. Again, "Scouting for Boys, A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship." BP was very clear as to what he was about. He was not about founding some alternative wilderness-based society of super-survivors.


What are you about?



"For the first decade of its history, the BSA flatly rejected B-P's Patrol System in favor of tightly adult-run model. Among other things this introduced classroom instruction [and] Citizenship Merit Badges: The exact opposite of Scouting, even though the goals sound similar."



This is all vintage history, but I have the 1916 Handbook. It does say that Patrol Leaders may be elected or appointed by the SM.


However, in Scouting for Boys, Part I, BP says the PL's are "appointed."


It would be accurate to say that Scouting in both the UK and US thankfully found its way to elected PL's as the official methodology, in the U.S. and reached that place no later than Bill's HBPL of 1929. Not sure when they got straight about that issue in the UK.


Outdoors only? BP expressly approved indoor Scout Training in Scouting for Boys: "The training is applicable to town or coutry, INDOORS OR OUT." See, the great thing to BP are the goals, even if the teaching has to be experienced in a less-than-idea venue.


Scouting for Boys, Part VI [emphasis added]


But here we are in 2008, when the Patrol Method has been a required method for generations.


If you, or Scouts, have a CD problem -- or any problem -- because an adult's conduct is getting in the way of the Patrol Method, the B.S.A. is on your side in either changing his behavior or changing adult leaders.


Likely, either the offending adult was not trained (formally or informally), or he does not apply what he was taught. (The adult who wants to be the platoon leader of his Troop is a problem recognized AT LEAST as far back as 1955. It was covered in JLT materials with that date on them.)



"'1972': My complaint about Boy Power/urban-relevant Scouting, which I viewed from outside Scouting and, later, in a historic perspective, is that weakening the outdoor program reduced the attraction of Scouting to urban youth, NOT that any method is more sacred than the goals and objectives."



"In other words: The ends always justify the means. This is a perfect example of cognitive dissonance. In this approach to Scouting (often associated with the fake B-P quote "Scouting is a Game with a Purpose") the 'purpose' of the Outdoor Method is to 'attract' kids to Scouting, and the 'purpose' of the Patrol Method is to teach 'Leadership.' This is exactly backward, because Scouting IS Scoutcraft and the Patrol System. Without them you do not have Scouting, no matter what your 'Mission Statement' says."



Strawmen are so easy to knock down, yes? But some might notice that I never argued that the ends justify the means. I clearly maintained that the ends were not SERVED by the means adopted, temporarily, in 1972 -- starkly different ideas.


In a Scouting context, the only means acceptable are those consistent with the values of Scouting.


Now as to the famous quote, used in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere, I have never been able to find it either. But the above quotes from BP are consistent with the statement that Scouting is a game with a purpose - or, even more acurately, a program with purposes hidden, like the hook, within the bait provided by the game.



"As I outlined in my previous post, to pander to urban youth the BSA removed from the requirements for Eagle ALL of the Merit Badges that required camping. Given the stunning stupidity of such a thing, how can you possibly not recognize that the Outdoor Method is more important than abstract "goals and objectives"? The Outdoor Method and the Patrol Method existed before the so-called "Aims of Scouting," not the other way around."



Scouting changed its methods for the worse in 1972 by deemphasis of the Outdoor Program. Pretty stunning error, given where kids' heads were at then. Wrong tool. Splitting hardwood with a butter knife. Bad results.


Over thee decades ago, seeing its error, Scouting here returned to the pre-1972 emphasis on camping, such as by restoring the Troop goal of a minimum of ten days and nights of camping (pretty modest). Better tool.


The aims of Scouting appear in the very first publication in the UK and the USA. Therefore, it is not accurate to say that the methods predated the aims. The methods were SELECTED by BP to achieve the aims.


But in 2008 WE are here, most of us, to do the job of work that BP set out for us over a century ago. If my Troop was a model of the Outdoor Program in every respect (and it is not) and followed the Patrol method as prescribed by the B.S.A. to a "T," (as it does) AND STILL turned out men who are moral relativists and don't give a hoot about anybody but themselves WE HAVE FAILED ABSOLUTELY.


That one tool is better than another does not chage what is the tool VS what are the goals to be accomplished with that tool.


Why are YOU here?



"Of course the ONLY reason that William Hillcourt was called in to restore the Outdoor Method was that dumbing the program down to attract urban youth did not increase the BSA's overall market-share, in fact the BSA went into a sharp decline. It should be noted that although he did restore most of the camping requirements, Hillcourt was not allowed to touch the new 'Leadership Development Method' which did to his greatest creation--the Patrol Method--what rats and cockroaches had done to the Outdoor Method."



First, the substance of leadership training for Scout leaders did not change between 2008 and my training in JLT almost fifty years ago.


AS for training of Scouters, I was very comfortable taking what was called "440 Training" in my Council in 1983 because it was so like the adult training I took in 1961, even to cooking in an orange peel.


The words change. The subtance does not. There are only so many wasy to slice and dice the behaviors of an effective leader. So BP taught the value of listening to the boys (Aids to Scoutmastership at 17) and the "new" Wood Bage course does the same. The spokes change, but the wheel keeps rolling, even over bumps in the road like "Boy Power," time-serving professionals, adults who can't get out of the "because I'm dad" mode, the ACLU, and disaffected adults who want to remake Scouting into something that is never has been.


Nice touch, that "rats and cockroaches" thing. Dehumanizing the enemy is a cool propaganda trick.



It depends on what you mean by a "trained leader." Hillcourt's Patrol Leader Training (PLT) course trained Patrol Leaders how to be Patrol Leaders. JLT dumbed training down to the least common denominator: Troop Scribes, Librarians, and Historians. I would also note that for it to be a valid comparison, the object of military "Leadership Development" would be to teach everybody how to be a leader and to that end hold regular elections with term limits so that every "sorry" would-be leader in the squad, platoon, company, etc. got an equal opportunity to be voted in to learn "leadership" under fire.



As noted above, JLT considerably predates 1972. I had to take it to be a PL and that was pre-1960. Not everyone from Troop 43 who took the course ended up in a Troop warrant position, but the vast majority did.


The amount of information delivered in training since 1982 greatly exceeds the amount delivered before 1965. (I would even argue that the courses syllabii are unrealistic in that respect - too much stuiff for time allotted, especially when we are to deliver it in "interactive discussion.")


I believe -- you apparently do not believe -- that training in leadership skills helps the trainee, leader or not.


Nowhere does Scouting suggest that the PL slot, much less the SPL slot, should rotate regardless of ability, with the exception of the "new boy patrol," and they have a Guide to keep things on track. I am aware of no Troop in my Council that otherwise rotates leadership positions by design. Some do have terms of office as short as six months (which I don't like much), but the same Scouts are often reelected. Reelection is also very common in my Troop, where the term is one year and where our PLC has determined First Class is the minimum rank for PL or above.



"And I've seen some pretty sorry 'material' do significantly better after leadership training."



Here is where I part company with you. Leadership training should serve the Patrol Method (as in Hillcourt's Methods of Scouting model), not the other way around. To the Wood Badge Brain there would be absolutely nothing wrong with allowing 'some pretty sorry material' lead a squad, platoon, company into fire because the purpose of the new Wood Badge is to teach Leadership to everybody, not to establish working Patrols that always camp 300 feet apart."



Nah. We parted company lifetimes ago. Only a few tangent points.


You must have had one strange WB experience.


Leadership training, whether the older "eleven skills" model that originated defore WWII in Europe and arrived here in the late 1950's, or the management leadership model of today, serves the Patrol Method by making the elected leaders more effective, and thus serves the goals of Scouting.


Or it may not do so if the training is of poor quality or the trainee declines to apply the lessons. I am aware of both failings.


I know what I am doing to try to make training in my Troop, District, and Coucil better. What are you doing? Why are you here?


Speaking, I guess, as a legacy "Wood Badge Brain" and soon to be 21st Century trainee, I am aware of nothing in the literature or training that suggests in any way that all Scouts should receive leadership traning, much less that the unqualified ought to be, as a policy or practice, elevated to leadership positions.


BUT the best leader may be absent or not elected (despite every effort to guide the results). Further, in a given situation, someone unexpected may lead quite well. The "leader" is whoever leads.


Delegation of a "job" (part of leadership) to all Patrol members was in place as a method in 1954 when I joined. Have a policy or practice of leaving them untrained? I don't think so.


Oh, by the way, BP said:


"But most of all we want to raise the lowest to a higher place. 'Go for the worst. . .'"


Scouting for Boys, Part VI.


(I truly don't think you would have liked BP very well.)



"This is another cognitive dissonance based on the conviction that the ends justify the means. To me the pink represents the passive nature of Wood Badge: 1) a 'commitment' to obey anyone who tells them to 'Dumb it Down and Call it Modern!' and 2) a passive approach to leadership in which they work with any sorry material that the Scouts vote into office. If the abstract theories of Wood Badge had any real-world validity what-so-ever, most of the course would be devoted to strategies for Scoutmasters to 1) recognize the very best leaders and 2) reach a consensus with their Patrols that keeps them in power.


I always wear my Beads, but my Beads stand for what Baden-Powell intended them to stand for: An absolute commitment to Scoutcraft and the Patrol System."



You roll out CD and "the ends justify the means" like big clubs.

But there is no shock wave to follow the flash.


The color of the neckerchief (it's tan, according to Gilwell Park) is a symbol to you of a policy or practice that Wood Badge simply does not teach.


So values are inconsistent with blind obedience.


Making a difference is inconsistent with passivity.


"Timeless Values" is inconsistent with going along with anything simply because it is called "modern," "PC," or any other name attractive to the valueless.


When you suggest that we NOT work with boys because they are "sorry," you reject the values of Scouting as articulated by BP ("Go for the worst") and everyone in Scouting since.


Your expressed attitude is also contrary to the Patrol Method in that, after trying to guide the Scouts to select someone in the "range of the acceptable," a Scouter is commited to working to help the elected leaders, NOT to pronouncing them inferior and overriding the decision of the Scouts. You strongly suggest that you would use means NOT approved by the BSA to reach your ends of empowering those who are, in your opinion, ideal leaders.


"Where a man cannot conscientiously take the line required, his one manly course is to put it straight to his Commissioner or to headquarters, and if we cannot meet his views, then to leave the work."


BP Aids to Scoutmastership at 3.


Why are you still here? Why would you have anything to do with Scouting?

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