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evmori

Why the Rush

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Ed - i agree, but from the other perspective, your boys have advanced to 1st class and they are supposedly hooked on scouting.

 

Like anything, the program should be implemented with the boys in mind - there are some kids that might never make 1st class before dropping out for other activities, and there are others that go all the way to Eagle and then drop out because there is no further mountain to climb (personally i think this is where a venture patrol or venturing crew should step in).

 

One thing that i'm curious about is everyone talking about the new scout patrol being the model - how do you enforce it? Do you enforce it - if it is a boy led troop and the PLC decides to split up the new scouts into existing patrols, how do you tell them that's not what they are "supposed" to do?

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Ed,

Isn't after First Class First Year where the scouts get leadership opportunities, merit badge opportunities, and high adventure activities? Why would they be bored?

 

First Class First year is like Pony League in Little League. It's where you learn the basics of the game so that you can move up and play with the older boys.

 

"Though you can advance at your own pace, most active scouts usually earn First Class within a year of joining a troop." page 14 of the Boy Scout Handbook.

 

Ed, by "being ready" are you refering to maturity? There is no "maturity" requirement in scouting other than living the Oath and Law.

Scouting does not ask the scoutmaster to determine if the scout is "ready" to advance beyond checking to see that all the requirements in the handbook are signed.

 

Bob

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Ok Bob, my overactive little mind read too much into it. We are on the same page.

Whew! I was starting to worry!

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Bob,

So what you are saying is a 12 year old 1st Class is ready to be a leader?

 

In some cases I would agree but in most no. You are correct that maturity is not a requirement for rank. But, common sense tells me that a 12 year old Scout is not mature enough to be a Patrol Leader after only being in the Troop for 1 year. To me, that would be setting the Scout up to fail and I won't do that.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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Ed,

What I'm saying is that an 11 1/2 or 12 year old who has met the requirements in his handbook is ready to be First Class. Whether he is ready to be a Patrol Leader is a decision for his fellow patrol members not his scoutmaster.

His Scoutmasters responsibility is to develop his leadership skills once he is elected, regardless of what age that is.

 

Take a look at the first two paragraphs of page 2 in the Boy Scout Handbook....

Let a First Class Scout tell you about his latest trip: "I've been a scout for almost a year and I've been on plenty of campouts."

 

Nowhere in the BSA program does it say that a scout becomes a leader once the SM thinks he is ready. The program says that the boy is given leadership opportunities and responsibilities and then Scoutmaster trains him how to do the job. If the patrol wants a 12 year old Patrol Leader then that is up to them. Part of the citizenship training ithat scouting provides is learning to select the best person not the most popular. but that's a lesson the boys have to learn on their own.

 

Bob White

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Bob

First Class in a year is not a bad idea, but some troops use it as a start of an Eagle Scout Mill, my own son took 15 months to get 1st class, but he became an Eagle Scout just after his 15th birthday.

He never missed a campout, a backpacking trip, or a service project. He is still very active in scouting

He has had a lot of fun along the way and some real adventure.

 

A new scout needs to feal that he is acheiving something along with having fun. If he dose not get either rank or awards in his first year he will leave the program. Promotion is 2/3 motion!

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Bob,

So what you are saying is all 1st Class Scouts are ready to become a PL because of their rank?

 

If so, I don't agree. I do agree the training takes place after they are elected. I don't agree just because a Scout has reached the rank of 1st Class he is necessarly ready to lead a patrol.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1(This message has been edited by evmori)

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WOW! This topic has gone all over the map! My two cents worth - It is NOT getting to first class in a year that keeps scouts active in your troop. It is an outstanding program that is FUN for the boys. We have

a troop of 30 scouts, half of which are in high school. This ratio has been in effect for a good many years. It is our active program and High Adventure opportunities that retain scouts, not advancement. While we do not discourage the scouts from advancing it is not the cornerstone of our program. We do work on advancement at troop meetings and outings, but the scouts are left pretty much to their own pace. I really don't believe a scout stays in the program because he is learning and gaining life skills, self esteem, or confidence. He stays because IT IS FUN!! If those other things come along, all the better.

 

 

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Ed,

You wrote "So what you are saying is all 1st Class Scouts are ready to become a PL because of their rank?"

 

Where did I say that?

 

I said "Whether he is ready to be a Patrol Leader is a decision for his fellow patrol members not his scoutmaster." Patrol leaders are elected by majority vote of the patrol's members not by any adult.

 

I challenge you to find anything in the BSA Scout Handbook, Scoutmaster Handbook, Junior Leader Handbook, Scoutmaster Leader Specific Training or Wood Badge that says anything to the contrary.

 

A basic premise of scoutings teaching method is that boys learn by doing. they learn to build a fire by building the fire. they learn to lead by leading. It's designed for on the job training.

 

You may not agree that the scoutmasters job is to train them after they get the job, but that is what the Scoutmaster Handbook says, and that is what the junior leader training continuum outlines. So don't feel like you and I disagree. You and the BSA disagree on what the BSA program is.

 

Eagle90 is correct in saying it's fun that keeps boys in scouting. First Class First Year is the scouting blueprint for that first year of fun, and it has been for a long time.

 

Bob White

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Scoutmom,

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to ignore your question. You raise an excellent point. Could I ask you to repost it as a new string? It is worthy of its own conversation.

 

Thanks,

Bob(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Of course, a Scout who makes First Class at 12 -- or even 11 and a half or less -- regardless of whether due to "First Class First Year" or on his own initiative, must perform SOME position of responsibility in order to advance to Star. It does not necessarily have to be patrol leader, it could be troop librarian, scribe or something like that. I'm guessing that few SPL's would want a 12 year old (or less) as their troop quartermaster, but some could probably handle it. Some could probably also handle being PL.

 

Here is an issue I am unsure of. Assistant Patrol Leader does not appear on the positions-of-responsibility list for Star (at least on the web site I just looked at), and yet if a boy makes First Class at 12 or less, it seems to me that APL would be the ideal position for him to learn leadership and advance to Star. I have read in some forums that some troops consider APL to be on the list even though it is not. I am sure some of you Scoutmasters (Commissioners etc.) can tell me more about the APL issue. Seems to me it should be on the list for Star, though maybe not for Life.

 

I have to admit that all this is rather foreign to me, on the basis of my own Scouting experience. My hazy recollection (this is from the early 70s) is that people generally made First Class around 13 or 14, though I remember one 8th grade Eagle who must have made First Class at 12 or so. I was a Patrol Leader at Second Class, but that was because I had quit for a year and a half, joined a new troop in a new town, and was at 14, certainly old enough to be a PL -- but with a few things left to do for First Class. There was, back then, no suggested time period within which you were supposed to make First Class, in fact there were MINIMUM times which now exist only for the higher ranks. In my troop, when you were Star, you were generally considered ready for ASPL or to "retire" to the brand-new Leadership Corps -- so for that purpose, I guess it "helped" that Star seemed to be the point where most guys dropped out, otherwise we would have had an overflow at ASPL, and I never liked the Leadership Corps idea anyway. I think we had 4 SPL's in a row (including me) who were 15 (or maybe 16 in my case) when we became SPL. I take it that SPL's tend to be younger now. We had a well-worn path from PL-ASPL-SPL-JASM with no breaks in between. (This might be less likely in a troop that elects PL's, which for whatever reason we didn't do. We didn't even elect SPL's until I, as ASPL, decided it was time to do so (wink wink) and got the TLC (now PLC) to agree. Also my father had just won a contested election for Scoutmaster if you can believe that, and he told me that if I was going to be SPL we'd better have an election because he did not want to prolong the political ruckus by appointing his son. And besides the book said you were supposed to elect the SPL, and now that I'm SM we're going by the book. He said.)

 

I always wander off-thread when I start reminiscing.

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NJ -

 

In our troop we use the position of Assistant PL

as a leadership position under the "or carry out a Scoutmaster assigned leadership project to help the troop" part of the requirement for Star and Life. For Eagle we naturally use only the listed positions. With a lot of older scouts in the troop we run out of approved leadersdhip positions if we don't use the APL position.

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I have been on both sides of this coin.

 

My son did reach First Class First Year and was elected Patrol Leader at age 12. I was concerned about his leadership abilities and wondered if he could do it but I did not let him know of my doubts. Yes, he fumbled and stumbled in the beginning but he quickly got the hang of it and was a very good leader for only being 12. As Bob said it is on-the-job training and there is no better way to learn than hands-on and through making mistakes. My son is very active so I did not feel that he was rushed - he was very enthusiastic during that first year.

 

On the other side of the coin ... I am a therapeutic foster parent with two boys age 11 (soon to be 12 in May) and 17. I enrolled them in Scouting the first week they lived with me last October 2001. These boys have never experienced anything like Scouting before in their dysfunctional lives but they have both embraced it with open arms and great enthusiasm. As they are emotionally and learning disabled to different degrees in different areas they could never attain the goal of First Class First Year - maybe 18 months or even two years. But it does not matter because they will learn as they go at a pace that works for them.

 

That is the beauty of Scouting. It is not a race and there will be exceptions to many rules when it comes to these challenged boys. Will they ever "master" all the skills? No, but just being exposed to them will broaden their minds. After 5 months they have done so much already and learned so much and received recognition for several things. It makes my job as a foster parent so much more meaningful being able to give these boys Scouting even if it is only for a short time in their lives. I know it is something they will always remember. I don't think they will remember whether or not they achieved the rank in a certain amount of time but rather the campfire, the hike, selling popcorn, and playing crazy games, etc.

 

I understand the push behind attaining the rank the first year but also feel that it is up to the individual scout and how motivated and able they are. As far as keeping the boys - any boys - interested, there has to be lots of FUN!

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Bob,

I agree (as I stated in a previous post) that the training takes place after the Scout is elected. What you are saying - I think - is once a Scout reaches 1st Class he is eligible to be elected to a position of responsibility by the Scouts in his Troop. Correct? I don't feel that a 12 year old Scout who has been in a Troop for 1 year is ready to be a PL, ASPL or SPL. Quartermaster, Scribe, Chaplin Aide yes.

 

I feel to be a good leader in anything you need to be a good follower 1st. If you can't or won't follow, then how can you lead?

 

Yes, a good program is what keeps the Scouts interested. Earning merit badges & advancing in rank is only a part of the program.

 

I don't disagree with the BSA program. I think the program is fantastic!

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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