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GaHillBilly

Good, Average, Typical Scout Troops: a List

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Moderators:

I'm posting this here, in I & P, because I suspect this topic will be more disturbing to many Scouters than either the 'Gay Scout' or the AGW topics. However, feel free to move it if you wish.

 

Background:

I'm working on a series of presentations about Scouting, for groups of home school parents. I expect few, if any, of these parents will have had any recent contact with Scouting. Many will come from conservative church backgrounds in which Scouting was not highly respected. But, it appears the groups will be larger than I'd initially expected.

 

The list below, when corrected, will be provided as a part of the advance materials provided to attendees.

 

I have two goals for these meetings.

 

First, I want to help home school parents understand how Scouting -- as it ACTUALLY exists -- can help them educate their sons. I will be providing them with not only Scouting information, but also a troop list. (Ironically, this is something I'll have to compile: it's not available on request from the Council.)

 

Second, I'm hoping to find 4 - 6 boys whose parents are interested in Lone Scouting (an option for home schoolers), so my son and I can create a sort of Lone Scout Patrol. (I do not have the time to start a troop, and be an SM.) My goals for this patrol are reflected in the "Good Troop" list below.

 

 

About the list:

I'm sure many of you will find this list offensive. To be blunt, I'm not trying to be inoffensive here (Surprised?) What I DO care about, is making it as accurate and informative as possible. Collectively, the people here have seen far more troops than I, and can help me improve the list's accuracy.

 

I'm SURE the list has factual errors, and I'm eager to correct them. However, I'm not trying to 'sell' Scouting or make it look better than it is, or make Scouters feel good about themselves.

 

Please note: when I say something like "Be able to . . . " or "Can use . . .", I mean actually use, outside the presence of a Scouter, and more than a day after the last instruction.

 

Thus, if Scouts had tied bowlines successfully an hour after a class, but could not do so the next day, that not show up as an achieved skill. Likewise, I distinguish being able to DO something, and being able to USE it. So, continuing the illustration, if a Scout can tie a bowline, but not actually apply it appropriately, the skill note would be "Able to . . . " and not "Uses . . .".

 

For what it's worth, both of the troops we were actively involved with, fit firmly in the "Typical" category below. We know of some troops that fall into the "Average" category, but they are too far away. I've heard of a couple of troops that fit the "Good" category. From the camporees and other Council events we've attended, I suspect I'm being generous in putting only 60% of troops in the typical category.

 

 

GaHillBilly

 

 

 

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What Can Parents Expect from 3 years of Scouting

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All troops:

+ Cost: $320 - 800 per year (some => $2,400+)

+ Uniform & books: $160 1x

+ Meetings: 2x - 4x per month

+ Outings: 0x - 1x per school month, plus camp

+ Leaders: older Scout parents

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Typical (60% of troops):

 

+ Tent / car camping - 15+ nights [ 6 outings X 1 nights X 3 years ]

+ Scout camp - 18 nights [ 3 X 6 ]

+ Hiked 30+ miles in 3 years

+ Cook a dish on a camp stove

+ Set up a tent with help

+ Have heard of the buddy system.

+ Have participated in 'service projects' of 3 hours or more. - 2x

+ Have 'sold' overpriced popcorn

 

- Has been bullied some, unless strong or 'tough' (I haven't encountered severe bullying.)

- Troop is may be made of boys from some local group or organization (like band); Scouts not part of that group are often excluded.

- Scout tent conversations dominated by scatological or sexual topics; expressed attitude toward girls typically predatory

- Scouts regularly and openly display disrespectful attitudes toward leaders

- Electronics dominate campground atmosphere

- Leaders know little about natural history and have very weak outdoor skills

- Leaders are severely overweight and / or unfit, and incapable of hiking more than a mile or two.

- Has been caught by conflicting troop / Scouter requirements

- Has been typically taught by Scouters / camp staff who are very ignorant / unskilled

- Has come to accept dishonest advancement as 'normal'

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Acceptable (35% of troops):

 

+ Tent camping - 30+ nights [ 6 outings X 2 nights X 3 years)

+ Scout camp - 18 nights [ 3 X 6]

+ Have camped in bad weather - 4 nights

+ Have followed the buddy system under adult direction.

+ Hike 60+ miles

+ Bike 60+ miles

+ Pass swim test

+ Cook a meal on a camp stove

+ Tie a square knot and a clove hitch

+ Handle -- but not use -- a knife safely

+ Handle -- but not use -- a hand axe safely

+ Recognize poison ivy some of the time.

+ Set up a tent.

+ Start a fire with a firestarter.

+ Have participated in 'service projects' of 3 hours or more. - 6x

+ Have 'sold' overpriced popcorn to friends and family

+ Have participated in a not-to-obnoxious fund raiser.

 

+ Some leaders are readily able to bike 20+ miles or hike 10+ on an outing

+ Some leaders have good outdoor skills and natural history knowledge.

 

- Has been bullied rarely.

- Scout tent conversations often contain by scatological or sexual topics; expressed attitude toward girls may be predatory.

- Some Scouts have, but conceal, disrespectful attitudes toward leaders.

- Some leaders are severely overweight and / or unfit, and incapable of hiking more than a mile or two.

- May have been caught by conflicting troop / Scouter requirements

- Has been sometimes taught by Scouters / camp staff who are very ignorant / unskilled

- Is aware of dishonest advancement, but most advancement is 'real'. Has accepted dishonest MB awards.

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Good (less than 10% of troops):

 

"Be able to" INCLUDES "has practiced". I mean, really "able to".

 

+ Tent camping - 40+ nights [ 8 outings X 2 nights X 3 years)

+ Scout camp OR Troop camp - 18 nights [ 3 X 6]

+ Have camped in bad weather - 6 nights

+ Hike 120+ miles

+ Bike 120+ miles

+ Canoe 10+ miles

+ Had high adventure opportunity (white water, caving, climbing, etc.) 2x

+ Is able to pass swim and rescue test

+ Cook all food on a campout using either a camp stove OR fire.

+ Understand and practice basic food and prep sanitation.

+ Understand and practice basic personal hygiene in camp.

+ Understand and practice methods of avoiding inappropriate changes to camp area. (Doesn't hack live trees or chase squirrels randomly!)

+ Understand why most park rangers dislike Scouts; avoids behavior which has created this situation.

+ Uses most Scout knots effectively

+ Uses a knife fairly safely

+ Uses a hand axe fairly safely

+ Know how a knife or axe can be sharpened.

+ Orient a map with a compass quickly.

+ Uses a map and compass to navigate through a series of trails with multiple turns.

+ Has practiced navigating in woods using a compass and natural features to reach a destination.

+ Has gone on a 5+ mile hike with a buddy, but no adults.

+ Sees and recognizes 10 or more local animals.

+ Sees and recognizes 10 or more local trees.

+ Sees and recognizes common local invasive plants.

+ Sees and recognizes poison ivy most of the time.

+ Is able to recognize and respond to other natural hazards, such as ticks, deadfalls, potentially rabid animals, etc.

+ Has practiced appropriate and safe rescue methods for water, fire, heights, etc.

+ Is aware of, and considers, outdoor risks such as drowing, falls, animals, infections, cold, heat, thirst, lighting etc.

+ Able to identify and respond appropriately to most outdoor risks.

+ Possesses a basic understanding of human limits, ie., 15 minutes in freezing water, 3 days w/o water, 3 weeks w/o food, etc.

+ Has utilized basic home first aid skills (small cuts, burns, etc.)

+ Has habitually used the buddy system in activities with risk.

+ Has learned AND practiced emergency skills (first aid, transport, fire response, etc.)

+ Is familiar with, and have practiced, EMS contact and communication.

+ Can set up a tent or emergency shelter under challenging conditions.

+ Starts a fire in difficult conditions with only matches.

+ Is familiar with, and have practiced woods self-rescue techniques.

+ Has participated in useful service projects of 3 hours or more. - 6x

+ Has participated in overnight service trip - 1x

+ Has NOT 'sold' overpriced popcorn to friends and family.

+ Has participated in a fund raiser with community value. (Work, etc.)

 

+ Leaders have strong outdoor skills and natural history knowledge.

+ Leaders are readily able to bike 20+ miles or hike 10+ on an outing

+ Some leaders are able to lead high adventure outings.

 

 

- Older Scouts despise bullying.

- Scout tent conversations may contain by scatalogical or sexual topics; but predatory attitudes toward girls are condemned.

- Scouts do not display, and rarely have, disrespectful attitudes toward leaders

- May have been caught by conflicting troop / Scouter requirements

- Leaderships actively avoids Scouters / camp staff who are very ignorant / unskilled

- Troop rejects dishonest advancement

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Guest OldGreyEagle

Well, GA pretty inflammatory all around. I am not sure why you would do this but sorry, no. I am not going to have this continue.

 

If you like, feel free to contact Terry Howerton, the site owner, and present your case(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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