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Basementdweller

Advancement and Overbearing Parents

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KDD step back relax....It will happen when it does....Your scout is what 11????? Generally our boys don't get to take swimming till their third trip to summer camp???? So they are 13 or so.
If I was his SM, I would slow him way down...... Of course the boys will probably do it for him....

 

We don't utilize the do nothing Positions of Responsibility.........No librarian, No webmaster, no historian.....

 

Advancement is only one method in scouting...

 

Just the way the summer camp our troop has traditionally attended functions.....

 

First year scouts attend the first year program, the CD makes no exceptions.

Second year scouts attend a half day first class program, again no exceptions.

 

Swimming and Lifesaving are held in the morning which the second year scouts are in their program areas.... Outside of summer camp their is no merit badge councilors for swimming outside of troop specific ones....

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I'm starting to seet a picture as you add description to your situation. While I may not have everything right, Here are some thoughts. May or may not apply. I hope that this comes across as a friendly discussion, because that is my intent.

I gather your son is a recent crossover in a new scout patrol. Your son is not one of the popular kids, hence you have a concern that your troop will not give your son (and others with similar personalities) a chance to fill a POR that is needed for advancement.

You would like to see your son get an Eagle by the time he is 14 (in one posting you state the 13 or 14 is not out of line, in another, the troop your son is in scouts typically leave when they are 14. Hence it is important to you that your son not waste potentially 18 months without holding a POR.

Your troop operates with age stratified patrols rather than mixed age patrols.

 

 

 

 

 

Responses and random thoughts in no particular order: Consider the ages and stages of boys.

A new scout gets a good feeling from the recognition of receiving an award whether or not he put in effort to earn it. When he is older, he will not value awards that are not challenging to earn. This may be a contributing factor to your unit being a 14 and out troop.

A new scout feels good about having a title of a POR, but does not understand the responsibilities, doesn't understand the effort required. I've seen and worked with them. They see a PL leader position as one where they get to tell other scouts what to do and they have to do it. If they have not observed and worked for an older boy in a POR, how can he possibly know what scouts are supposed to do in a POR? the written description and/or being told by an adult just arent as effective.

 

I prefer mixed age patrols for a number of reasons, including your desire for more vertical social environment.

 

Scouting is a great environment for helping a geeky loner come out of his shell and blossom. But not if he is forced into positions before he has built up some experience and is ready for them. Otherwise, it will be continued frustration and avoidance of duties.

For the first year, let him learn and become expert at several camping skills – lighting fires (perhaps with a flint and steel), compass/orienteering, cooking, etc. practice and practice and use them frequently for the next year. Then next year, he will be able to teach the new crop of scouts. Becoming the “expert†in their eyes. The guy that knows what to do, how to do it, and is always asking them if there is something that he can help them with. If he does that, he will be looked up to and respected by the new scouts; perhaps even elected to a POR by them, or appointed as a Troop guide by the SM or SPL. That will do much more to achieve the aims and keep him motivated than will a rank that he rushed through, and have signoff on skills that he soon forgets. He will have real pride in himself as he can help the younger scouts.

 

The liikely alternative is that he will learn a lesson that POR's are necessary evils for advancement, where the holders do things that the adults make them do. Becasue a typical scout is just not ready for a POR before they are 13 or 14. I have observed this many many times. Don't give so much weight to advancement as the prime motivating factor. As your son matures, he will be much more interested in achieving things that challenge him than in things that can be whipped out in 6 months.

 

good luck. You may not agree with me now, and tht's OK. But if we were to talk 8 or 10 years from now, with the benefit of hindsight, you will understand what I mean.

 

Welcome to the club!

Excellent post and summation Vivdi

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KDD, you're doing a good job of recognizing the problems, but you need to take the next step and recognize the solution. Your troop is creating a high speed, low drag program which the boys blow through and quit by age 14. The things you describe are exactly the problem. You are right, most boys probably will do better taking Swimming at 13 or 14. That is true of just about every requirement and merit badge in the program. Part of the flexibility of the program is that each unit creates it's own program. In our troop, we encourage the boys to take Swimming their first year of summer camp. We tend to do a lot of aquatics programs and the training they receive in water safety is valuable to us. But no, they're probably not developing the technique the could at a later age. It's trade off we accept.

 

Too many troops make mistakes, IMO, is by accepting those trade-offs for EVERYTHING. We don't. Our Scouts are allowed -- yes, allowed -- to take at summer camp only those required MB which make sense in a summer camp setting -- Swimming, Life Saving, Camping, EnviroSci. Taking Communications or Personal Management at summer camp is ridiculous. We ask our Scouts to take the remaining required MBs at home with our local counselors. The Scouts have to take the initiative to contact the counselor, make appointments, do the work and meet the requirements. In our troop, we've chosen to draw the line with most of the remaining required MBs. Calling a strange adult and asking them for an appoint can be very intimidating for an 11-year-old. Which is why they need to do it. It is an important life skill they need to master. Does that slow them down? You betcha! Does it push the age of our Scouts out past 13 or 14? You betcha #2! Completing these MBs at 15 or 16 is a different experience than at 12 or 13. I'm not so concerned with WHICH merit badges they earn at an older, more mature level, but THAT they earn some merit badges at a older, more mature level.

 

All of which is to reiterate Basement's advice for you to chill out with your son. Don't plan for the 10-year-old you see now, plan for the 16 year old you want him to be. Or 30 year old. While he may not have the confidence or social skills to go out and win a POR now, wait until you see the confident young man he has become when he EARNS the position at 16 or 17. Your goal shouldn't be to make sure he gets stuff done by 14, but he is building a foundation which will keep him in the program past 14. Scouting is to be experienced, not completed. Experience takes time. "Completing" the program by 14 means he's thrown away half of his Scouting experience.

 

 

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I'm starting to seet a picture as you add description to your situation. While I may not have everything right, Here are some thoughts. May or may not apply. I hope that this comes across as a friendly discussion, because that is my intent.

I gather your son is a recent crossover in a new scout patrol. Your son is not one of the popular kids, hence you have a concern that your troop will not give your son (and others with similar personalities) a chance to fill a POR that is needed for advancement.

You would like to see your son get an Eagle by the time he is 14 (in one posting you state the 13 or 14 is not out of line, in another, the troop your son is in scouts typically leave when they are 14. Hence it is important to you that your son not waste potentially 18 months without holding a POR.

Your troop operates with age stratified patrols rather than mixed age patrols.

 

 

 

 

 

Responses and random thoughts in no particular order: Consider the ages and stages of boys.

A new scout gets a good feeling from the recognition of receiving an award whether or not he put in effort to earn it. When he is older, he will not value awards that are not challenging to earn. This may be a contributing factor to your unit being a 14 and out troop.

A new scout feels good about having a title of a POR, but does not understand the responsibilities, doesn't understand the effort required. I've seen and worked with them. They see a PL leader position as one where they get to tell other scouts what to do and they have to do it. If they have not observed and worked for an older boy in a POR, how can he possibly know what scouts are supposed to do in a POR? the written description and/or being told by an adult just arent as effective.

 

I prefer mixed age patrols for a number of reasons, including your desire for more vertical social environment.

 

Scouting is a great environment for helping a geeky loner come out of his shell and blossom. But not if he is forced into positions before he has built up some experience and is ready for them. Otherwise, it will be continued frustration and avoidance of duties.

For the first year, let him learn and become expert at several camping skills – lighting fires (perhaps with a flint and steel), compass/orienteering, cooking, etc. practice and practice and use them frequently for the next year. Then next year, he will be able to teach the new crop of scouts. Becoming the “expert†in their eyes. The guy that knows what to do, how to do it, and is always asking them if there is something that he can help them with. If he does that, he will be looked up to and respected by the new scouts; perhaps even elected to a POR by them, or appointed as a Troop guide by the SM or SPL. That will do much more to achieve the aims and keep him motivated than will a rank that he rushed through, and have signoff on skills that he soon forgets. He will have real pride in himself as he can help the younger scouts.

 

The liikely alternative is that he will learn a lesson that POR's are necessary evils for advancement, where the holders do things that the adults make them do. Becasue a typical scout is just not ready for a POR before they are 13 or 14. I have observed this many many times. Don't give so much weight to advancement as the prime motivating factor. As your son matures, he will be much more interested in achieving things that challenge him than in things that can be whipped out in 6 months.

 

good luck. You may not agree with me now, and tht's OK. But if we were to talk 8 or 10 years from now, with the benefit of hindsight, you will understand what I mean.

 

Welcome to the club!

Bravo, excellent comments.

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"Completing" the program by 14??? Since when does reaching the level of general in the US Army it means it's time to quit? BSA has a serious problem with how it defines itself. It's the same for AOL in the cub program. I'm 62 years old and have been in the program since my Wolf year of cubbing back in the '50's. I haven't found the end of anything as of yet. Maybe it's time to let the BSA know that Scouting isn't the end of anything. And if anyone thinks that 14 years of age is "half way through is Scouting experience" they are simply feeding this misconception. :) I'm not picking on you Twocubdad, I definitely know that's not what you really were trying to say, but it was a message that could easily been interpreted as such.

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Hmmm, I guess old KDD didn't like the advice to relax....Hasn't been back in a while.

 

 

Blake.....I disappeared from scouting while in college and early married years.....I was still active in the outdoors but not within scouting....I rejoined when my 1st grader brought home a flyer.

 

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"Completing" the program by 14??? Since when does reaching the level of general in the US Army it means it's time to quit? BSA has a serious problem with how it defines itself. It's the same for AOL in the cub program. I'm 62 years old and have been in the program since my Wolf year of cubbing back in the '50's. I haven't found the end of anything as of yet. Maybe it's time to let the BSA know that Scouting isn't the end of anything. And if anyone thinks that 14 years of age is "half way through is Scouting experience" they are simply feeding this misconception. :) I'm not picking on you Twocubdad, I definitely know that's not what you really were trying to say, but it was a message that could easily been interpreted as such.
No, that's exactly my point, Stosh and one I've been making here for years. Far too many parents see the program that way. I've had parents tell me they want their son to "finish" scouts by the eighth grade so they can focus on sports in high school or show up their first troop meeting with a 3" binder containing their son's 30 month plan to Eagle. With that as your goal, adults setting up programs like First Year-First Class, merit badge universities and talk of "getting you money's worth of merit badges at summer camp" is just good, efficient, productive time management.

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I think KDD has raised good points in many threads. He is a great addition to this forum and the discussions. I hope he is pre-occupied this week and returns to the forum.

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Still here folks, we had a campout this weekend. One of the parents has a snack route and we used his trailer haul bikes to a park and the boys took 21 or 27 mile ride Saturday. I got a bit ill and stayed at camp but it worked out well because on the the bikes had a non standard valve and we couldn't pressurize it so he used mine.

 

I have read all the posts here at least a couple of times and really appreciate the time you have taken to respond. It has been a lot to think about. I certainly don't want my son to rush through anything and agree completely he need to focus primarily on having fun and mastering Scoutcraft skills. He was patrol grubmaster and due to a rained out event a few weeks ago and moderate attendance this weekend he was assigned to the older scout patrol. He did really well with the cooking with only a couple minor problems. When breaking camp the older boys tried to tell him rolling up his pad and bag were not about strength but skill and tried to show him how as he was holding up breakfast. He got really frustrated and upset because with the equipment he was using it IS about strength. It is hard for me. That can be fixed with a larger stuff sack and a simpler pad. Given the chance for rain and our leaky tents I sent him his moms 3 1/2" REI pad. Great pad, but hard to roll up.

 

I will just have to play it by ear with this troop. Seeing other scouts rush past him can certainly be discouraging, but if he develops true ambition I can't see slowing him down. It will be largely be upmto him if he wants to work on skills and exercise to get his strength up or play video games. (not that there are no limits on video in my house). At this point he excels when given manageable tasks and takes pride in doing a good job, like patrol grubmaster this weekend.

 

I am bothered a bit by the perception that Eagle is the destination and not just one milestone on the Journey. I think part of that is the result of the BSAs heavy emphasis on that brand. There are so many other goals achievements past Eagle that I feel to little emphasis is placed on. For instance the National Outdoor Badge and Nova awards. Our council is having a STEM camp week this summer where one badge or Nova Is worked on each day. A format that allows for more time and focus than traditional summer camp format. First class is required so that will have to wait until next summer. (If he gets there, but I am sure he will).

 

I am curious what T-1 skills are so hard to master in one year ? As long as it a 2 man tent and not some 8 person hotel the tent should be easy enough in a year. The orienteering skills certainly take practice, but is not rocket science. The knots maybe hard for him, but again 15 minutes with some rope a couple of times a week should get it done. If you don't have a fireplace a trash can lid in the driveway should suffice to get some tinder and a few pieces of kindling started. First aid, plants and animals is just memorization. I grill frequently and it is now his job to flip the chicken and burgers. Good time to slow him down and have a chat on the deck. (Why the heck is an instant read thermometer required on the packing list or internal temperature tables in the handbook ? Meat is done when it is done, not how long it has been over heat.)

 

It was mentioned that it is a rare scout that attends meetings, goes camping, participates in activities, and wants to lead if allowed. That is my son, so far he has perfect attendance, only one of the others in the NSP does.

 

Please keep up the conversation. These kinds of topics should always be active.

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KDD step back relax....It will happen when it does....Your scout is what 11????? Generally our boys don't get to take swimming till their third trip to summer camp???? So they are 13 or so.
Are you saying there are no swimming MBCs available in your area. Only ones that will work with scouts in their own troop? Granted swimming takes time but I would be willing to meet with a couple of scouts every few weeks for a half hour and review their progress and offer some tips. Being a weekly swim instructor to them would be asking a bit much I think. But so much of swimming is conditioning and just practice.

 

I am of the option they should have the swimming MB by 11 (sans a perfect whip kick) lifesaving by 13 and be ready for BSA or prefStill here folks, we had a campout this weekend. One of the parents has a snack route and we used his trailer haul bikes to a park and the boys took 21 or 27 mile ride Saturday. I got a bit ill and stayed at camp but it worked out well because on the the bikes had a non standard valve and we couldn't pressurize it so he used mine.

 

I have read all the posts here at least a couple of times and really appreciate the time you have taken to respond. It has been a lot to think about. I certainly don't want my son to rush through anything and agree completely he need to focus primarily on having fun and mastering Scoutcraft skills. He was patrol grubmaster and due to a rained out event a few weeks ago and moderate attendance this weekend he was assigned to the older scout patrol. He did really well with the cooking with only a couple minor problems. When breaking camp the older boys tried to tell him rolling up his pad and bag were not about strength but skill and tried to show him how as he was holding up breakfast. He got really frustrated and upset because with the equipment he was using it IS about strength. It is hard for me. That can be fixed with a larger stuff sack and a simpler pad. Given the chance for rain and our leaky tents I sent him his moms 3 1/2" REI pad. Great pad, but hard to roll up.

 

I will just have to play it by ear with this troop. Seeing other scouts rush past him can certainly be discouraging, but if he develops true ambition I can't see slowing him down. It will be largely be upmto him if he wants to work on skills and exercise to get his strength up or play video games. (not that there are no limits on video in my house). At this point he excels when given manageable tasks and takes pride in doing a good job, like patrol grubmaster this weekend.

 

I am bothered a bit by the perception that Eagle is the destination and not just one milestone on the Journey. I think part of that is the result of the BSAs heavy emphasis on that brand. There are so many other goals achievements past Eagle that I feel to little emphasis is placed on. For instance the National Outdoor Badge and Nova awards. Our council is having a STEM camp week this summer where one badge or Nova Is worked on each day. A format that allows for more time and focus than traditional summer camp format. First class is required so that will have to wait until next summer. (If he gets there, but I am sure he will).

 

I am curious what T-1 skills are so hard to master in one year ? As long as it a 2 man tent and not some 8 person hotel the tent should be easy enough in a year. The orienteering skills certainly take practice, but is not rocket science. The knots maybe hard for him, but again 15 minutes with some rope a couple of times a week should get it done. If you don't have a fireplace a trash can lid in the driveway should suffice to get some tinder and a few pieces of kindling started. First aid, plants and animals is just memorization. I grill frequently and it is now his job to flip the chicken and burgers. Good time to slow him down and have a chat on the deck. (Why the heck is an instant read thermometer required on the packing list or internal temperature tables in the handbook ? Meat is done when it is done, not how long it has been over heat.)

 

It was mentioned that it is a rare scout that attends meetings, goes camping, participates in activities, and wants to lead if allowed. That is my son, so far he has perfect attendance, only one of the others in the NSP does.

 

Please keep up the conversation. These kinds of topics should always be active.erably Red Cross Lifeguard at 15 (you need RC for most jobs and can then test out for BSA, besides RC has tougher endurance requirements) What a perfect skill and job for a teenager. Responsibility, good hours and always in demand.

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KDD step back relax....It will happen when it does....Your scout is what 11????? Generally our boys don't get to take swimming till their third trip to summer camp???? So they are 13 or so.
Dang this software is buggy. Added text from another post. Sigh.

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Still here folks, we had a campout this weekend. One of the parents has a snack route and we used his trailer haul bikes to a park and the boys took 21 or 27 mile ride Saturday. I got a bit ill and stayed at camp but it worked out well because on the the bikes had a non standard valve and we couldn't pressurize it so he used mine.

 

I have read all the posts here at least a couple of times and really appreciate the time you have taken to respond. It has been a lot to think about. I certainly don't want my son to rush through anything and agree completely he need to focus primarily on having fun and mastering Scoutcraft skills. He was patrol grubmaster and due to a rained out event a few weeks ago and moderate attendance this weekend he was assigned to the older scout patrol. He did really well with the cooking with only a couple minor problems. When breaking camp the older boys tried to tell him rolling up his pad and bag were not about strength but skill and tried to show him how as he was holding up breakfast. He got really frustrated and upset because with the equipment he was using it IS about strength. It is hard for me. That can be fixed with a larger stuff sack and a simpler pad. Given the chance for rain and our leaky tents I sent him his moms 3 1/2" REI pad. Great pad, but hard to roll up.

 

I will just have to play it by ear with this troop. Seeing other scouts rush past him can certainly be discouraging, but if he develops true ambition I can't see slowing him down. It will be largely be upmto him if he wants to work on skills and exercise to get his strength up or play video games. (not that there are no limits on video in my house). At this point he excels when given manageable tasks and takes pride in doing a good job, like patrol grubmaster this weekend.

 

I am bothered a bit by the perception that Eagle is the destination and not just one milestone on the Journey. I think part of that is the result of the BSAs heavy emphasis on that brand. There are so many other goals achievements past Eagle that I feel to little emphasis is placed on. For instance the National Outdoor Badge and Nova awards. Our council is having a STEM camp week this summer where one badge or Nova Is worked on each day. A format that allows for more time and focus than traditional summer camp format. First class is required so that will have to wait until next summer. (If he gets there, but I am sure he will).

 

I am curious what T-1 skills are so hard to master in one year ? As long as it a 2 man tent and not some 8 person hotel the tent should be easy enough in a year. The orienteering skills certainly take practice, but is not rocket science. The knots maybe hard for him, but again 15 minutes with some rope a couple of times a week should get it done. If you don't have a fireplace a trash can lid in the driveway should suffice to get some tinder and a few pieces of kindling started. First aid, plants and animals is just memorization. I grill frequently and it is now his job to flip the chicken and burgers. Good time to slow him down and have a chat on the deck. (Why the heck is an instant read thermometer required on the packing list or internal temperature tables in the handbook ? Meat is done when it is done, not how long it has been over heat.)

 

It was mentioned that it is a rare scout that attends meetings, goes camping, participates in activities, and wants to lead if allowed. That is my son, so far he has perfect attendance, only one of the others in the NSP does.

 

Please keep up the conversation. These kinds of topics should always be active.

"... 15 minutes with some rope a couple of times a week ... "

You just nailed it. The skill that's hard to master is the one that the boy *will not take time* to practice.

 

The infamous "pull-up" requirement: 1% of kids might have a real physical disability that impedes their improvement. The other 99% do not devote every day for a month to find a bar, reach up, grab it, and attempt to bend their arms.

Swim tests: 1% kids who can't pass it may have a medical impairment, the other 99% never had training and practice.

Fire: everyone wants to light matches. Nobody wants to gather kindling and tinder in the right proportions.

Orienteering: most boys want you to point them to the trail-head and tell them what color marker to follow. Few will request the map the week before, study it, and come ready with turn-by-turn directions.

 

True, there are some things, like stuff-sacks where the only solution is to get big. Most everything else is a matter of putting in the practice time. As long as your boy keeps that up, he will do well. Oh, and when it comes to getting votes: grub-master is about as responsible a position as it gets.

 

I think you are going to have a fun time watching him and his buddies grow.

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Still here folks, we had a campout this weekend. One of the parents has a snack route and we used his trailer haul bikes to a park and the boys took 21 or 27 mile ride Saturday. I got a bit ill and stayed at camp but it worked out well because on the the bikes had a non standard valve and we couldn't pressurize it so he used mine.

 

I have read all the posts here at least a couple of times and really appreciate the time you have taken to respond. It has been a lot to think about. I certainly don't want my son to rush through anything and agree completely he need to focus primarily on having fun and mastering Scoutcraft skills. He was patrol grubmaster and due to a rained out event a few weeks ago and moderate attendance this weekend he was assigned to the older scout patrol. He did really well with the cooking with only a couple minor problems. When breaking camp the older boys tried to tell him rolling up his pad and bag were not about strength but skill and tried to show him how as he was holding up breakfast. He got really frustrated and upset because with the equipment he was using it IS about strength. It is hard for me. That can be fixed with a larger stuff sack and a simpler pad. Given the chance for rain and our leaky tents I sent him his moms 3 1/2" REI pad. Great pad, but hard to roll up.

 

I will just have to play it by ear with this troop. Seeing other scouts rush past him can certainly be discouraging, but if he develops true ambition I can't see slowing him down. It will be largely be upmto him if he wants to work on skills and exercise to get his strength up or play video games. (not that there are no limits on video in my house). At this point he excels when given manageable tasks and takes pride in doing a good job, like patrol grubmaster this weekend.

 

I am bothered a bit by the perception that Eagle is the destination and not just one milestone on the Journey. I think part of that is the result of the BSAs heavy emphasis on that brand. There are so many other goals achievements past Eagle that I feel to little emphasis is placed on. For instance the National Outdoor Badge and Nova awards. Our council is having a STEM camp week this summer where one badge or Nova Is worked on each day. A format that allows for more time and focus than traditional summer camp format. First class is required so that will have to wait until next summer. (If he gets there, but I am sure he will).

 

I am curious what T-1 skills are so hard to master in one year ? As long as it a 2 man tent and not some 8 person hotel the tent should be easy enough in a year. The orienteering skills certainly take practice, but is not rocket science. The knots maybe hard for him, but again 15 minutes with some rope a couple of times a week should get it done. If you don't have a fireplace a trash can lid in the driveway should suffice to get some tinder and a few pieces of kindling started. First aid, plants and animals is just memorization. I grill frequently and it is now his job to flip the chicken and burgers. Good time to slow him down and have a chat on the deck. (Why the heck is an instant read thermometer required on the packing list or internal temperature tables in the handbook ? Meat is done when it is done, not how long it has been over heat.)

 

It was mentioned that it is a rare scout that attends meetings, goes camping, participates in activities, and wants to lead if allowed. That is my son, so far he has perfect attendance, only one of the others in the NSP does.

 

Please keep up the conversation. These kinds of topics should always be active.

Ya made the mistake with my son and an alps self inflating pad....He just wasn't strong enough to get the air out and rolled up....even with the folding and crushing technique.

 

First Class in a year.........If the PLC is doing the instruction planning it is a problem......Inevitably miss something...... If the adults plan it it probably is pretty easy......

 

Depends on the troop too.....One and done isn't good enough.....generally I sign books after watching the boy put up the patrol tarp using the correct knots in the correct places.....and they function. I observe and sign when skill is displayed in a non test environment......that is mastery in my book.....

 

My boys are averaging a rank about every 10 months or so......

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I don't worry about the merit badges as much as I do the core skills in those first four ranks. Merit Badges are what they are.

 

So, I go over those core skills repeatedly. My Scouts will know all the knots, compass, map reading, outdoor skills, first-aid, safety, etc. when they are adults.

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Still here folks, we had a campout this weekend. One of the parents has a snack route and we used his trailer haul bikes to a park and the boys took 21 or 27 mile ride Saturday. I got a bit ill and stayed at camp but it worked out well because on the the bikes had a non standard valve and we couldn't pressurize it so he used mine.

 

I have read all the posts here at least a couple of times and really appreciate the time you have taken to respond. It has been a lot to think about. I certainly don't want my son to rush through anything and agree completely he need to focus primarily on having fun and mastering Scoutcraft skills. He was patrol grubmaster and due to a rained out event a few weeks ago and moderate attendance this weekend he was assigned to the older scout patrol. He did really well with the cooking with only a couple minor problems. When breaking camp the older boys tried to tell him rolling up his pad and bag were not about strength but skill and tried to show him how as he was holding up breakfast. He got really frustrated and upset because with the equipment he was using it IS about strength. It is hard for me. That can be fixed with a larger stuff sack and a simpler pad. Given the chance for rain and our leaky tents I sent him his moms 3 1/2" REI pad. Great pad, but hard to roll up.

 

I will just have to play it by ear with this troop. Seeing other scouts rush past him can certainly be discouraging, but if he develops true ambition I can't see slowing him down. It will be largely be upmto him if he wants to work on skills and exercise to get his strength up or play video games. (not that there are no limits on video in my house). At this point he excels when given manageable tasks and takes pride in doing a good job, like patrol grubmaster this weekend.

 

I am bothered a bit by the perception that Eagle is the destination and not just one milestone on the Journey. I think part of that is the result of the BSAs heavy emphasis on that brand. There are so many other goals achievements past Eagle that I feel to little emphasis is placed on. For instance the National Outdoor Badge and Nova awards. Our council is having a STEM camp week this summer where one badge or Nova Is worked on each day. A format that allows for more time and focus than traditional summer camp format. First class is required so that will have to wait until next summer. (If he gets there, but I am sure he will).

 

I am curious what T-1 skills are so hard to master in one year ? As long as it a 2 man tent and not some 8 person hotel the tent should be easy enough in a year. The orienteering skills certainly take practice, but is not rocket science. The knots maybe hard for him, but again 15 minutes with some rope a couple of times a week should get it done. If you don't have a fireplace a trash can lid in the driveway should suffice to get some tinder and a few pieces of kindling started. First aid, plants and animals is just memorization. I grill frequently and it is now his job to flip the chicken and burgers. Good time to slow him down and have a chat on the deck. (Why the heck is an instant read thermometer required on the packing list or internal temperature tables in the handbook ? Meat is done when it is done, not how long it has been over heat.)

 

It was mentioned that it is a rare scout that attends meetings, goes camping, participates in activities, and wants to lead if allowed. That is my son, so far he has perfect attendance, only one of the others in the NSP does.

 

Please keep up the conversation. These kinds of topics should always be active.

My plan on the pad was to do it myself, but at the tie. I was busy breaking my own camp. I had given the SPL/PL instructions on the letting my son actually do the cooking and stop him only if he was going to flip the burgers on the ground. I failed to let him know about the bag/pad issues. In general he will use a Ozark Trail blue foam pad, I just need to get a strap or rope for it.

 

I agree on the requirements, one and done is not good enough. However, in our troop SM does not sign requirements, only star and up, so the standards may not be as tough as an adult would prefer. I think one possible solution is to make sure the PLC rotates assignments on campouts so scouts don't get to specialized in their strong areas. Just because Timmycrappycamper is really good at starting fires, he should not get to do it every time. I also think the PLC should be encouraged to schedule short competitions on campouts, such as knot tying games. 15 minutes and move on. I am CPR Pro certified, but if I don't review the material every couple of months I start skipping steps.

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