Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
LeCastor

Boy Scout Handbook--Still Necessary?

Recommended Posts

 

I didn't mean to come across terse in my previous post. My apologies if it sounded that way.

 

 

 

I agree. I much prefer a physical book to an e-book for anything I'm reading that I might want to remember past tomorrow. I'm not clever enough to mark multiple pages on my e-reader and flip between them like I can with my fingers between pages. I just don't see that with the small sample of youth I deal with regularly.

 

 

 

No doubt about it. I had map/compass and GPSr with me on our BWCAW trip a couple years ago. I was glad to have both.

 

 

 

Like make change? That's probably a different thread.

 

 

DC, I think this and your original post were well said, well spoken--if anything, I was curmudgeonly, thus obscuring the discussion.

 

Making change is a lost art, LOL, even with the registers that tell the cashier exactly how much to give back

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The average teen at the burger joint probably doesn't know that 14 cents plus 86 cents equals one dollar, let alone how to count BACKWARDS to make change. The "change back" nudge is for the accuracy of the bookkeeper in the back.

I have a dictionary on a library stand, it was my grandfathers. Much to my family's embarrassment, I will use it on occasion when my twenty year old Scoutson asks "what does this mean, dad?" as he reads (rarely) thru his philosophy text . from ComCollege and say "let's find out..."

 

I was on the Library Committee for Meeting. I rose at end of meeting once on behalf of the Library Committee and announced the committee had approved the use of a newly announced invention of a way to transmit information among disparate people, over great distances, and time. It needed very little power, was compact, portable by hand, and able to be accessed in the dark with a small appliance. It was durable, comprehendable by anyone with no special training at all. I had the crowd on tenterhooks up to when I held up a book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Either way, no I don't think that's absolutely necessary...unless the requirement for Tenderfoot asks you to dress properly for an overnight campout. In which case, I would argue that you should wear your uniform. Others may suggest puttees and tunics. ;) Used to be you had to explain when it was appropriate and NOT appropriate to wear the uniform. Camping and hiking used to be places where you wore the uniform.

 

Then I would say the handbook is not required for this troop. The handbook clearly explains to the scouts when, what, and where for wearing a proper uniform. But if the troop is going make up their own policies for wearing the uniform, then why not make up all the program policies? Nobody uses a square not in real life, let’s change that skill to proper use of bungee cords. And hey, two pots require less water for KP, lets change to the two pot method.

 

​This discussion goes hand in hand with using the SPL and PL Handbook, either we give the scouts the tools to function independently, or we don't. When a troop decides to ignore the handbooks, direction usually comes from the adults 95% of the time. Adults should not be tempted to lecture a scout on proper uniforming, but instead only need to ask the scout if he is following Scouting policy. Adults should be guides of making right decisions, not creators and dictators of program policy.

 

I know, it’s kind of anal, but how are we supposed to encourage young men to develop habits of making right decisions if the decision changes in the moment?

 

Barry

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Then I would say the handbook is not required for this troop. The handbook clearly explains to the scouts when, what, and where for wearing a proper uniform. But if the troop is going make up their own policies for wearing the uniform, then why not make up all the program policies? Nobody uses a square not in real life, let’s change that skill to proper use of bungee cords. And hey, two pots require less water for KP, lets change to the two pot method.

 

​This discussion goes hand in hand with using the SPL and PL Handbook, either we give the scouts the tools to function independently, or we don't. When a troop decides to ignore the handbooks, direction usually comes from the adults 95% of the time. Adults should not be tempted to lecture a scout on proper uniforming, but instead only need to ask the scout if he is following Scouting policy. Adults should be guides of making right decisions, not creators and dictators of program policy.

 

I know, it’s kind of anal, but how are we supposed to encourage young men to develop habits of making right decisions if the decision changes in the moment?

 

Barry

 

 

Barry, I don't know if you're trying to teach me something here...

 

I'm all in favor of the handbook and don't think it should go anywhere. My Troop isn't making policy. I'm confused and a little on the defensive right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Barry, I don't know if you're trying to teach me something here...

 

I'm all in favor of the handbook and don't think it should go anywhere. My Troop isn't making policy. I'm confused and a little on the defensive right now.

 

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One time my son, then first class, met an older scouter who asked him his rank (he had a jacket on). When my son told him, the scouter asked the boy if he had read all of his scout handbook. My son said no. The scouter said, "How can you be a first class scout if you don't know the handbook?"

 

Or something to that effect...it wasn't said as bluntly as I have written it. But, it made an impression. He has since read the handbook cover to cover, several times, and puts what he has read to use--occasionally correcting me. :-)

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Barry, I don't know if you're trying to teach me something here...

 

I'm all in favor of the handbook and don't think it should go anywhere. My Troop isn't making policy. I'm confused and a little on the defensive right now.

 

 

Well I didn't say your troop, I said “this troop†meaning any troop that makes up its own policies over stated organization policies doesn't really need a book that gives policies. And let’s be fair, how many troops let the handbook be the policy guide? VERY few. But making up policy usually is taking power away from the scouts. It's just our nature, when a policy isn't enforced, the guy with the biggest stick will set the policy. Very very rarely is the guy with the biggest stick a scout. Letting scouts make their own decisions from printed policies, processes and procedures gives them power because nobody can take those guidelines away. But an unprinted made up policy can change in the flash of temptation.

 

Most people here know me as a boy run guy. I believe in boy run because it creates the best environment for scout growth. So where is the scout growth in this one example? Well a lot of it is a scout making the choice to not dress by the handbook guidelines just because he starting to think it nerdy (Typical for 13 to 15 years). If that wrong choice is OK, then what else can chose wrongly just because we aren't in the mood? Is he making a right or wrong choice in the big picture? Is he being a good role model for the younger scouts. In life, we will always have to give some to the man, we can't always rebel against policies, guidelines and laws of the community. So what habits do we want our scouts to develop?

 

It is interesting that enabling scouts with the freedom of choice can sometimes turn into the wrestling with a Tiger because freedom allows the beast of temptation to make a wrong choice. Such was the concern of our PLC who absolutely hated the official BSA scout pants of the mid-1990s. No big deal to me, I wasn’t the enforcer, it was their scout handbook. But this was a big enough problem for them that they called a meeting with the SM (me) to solve the problem of changing the troop uniform policy. Again, no big deal to me because the scouts were responsible for enforcing their policies, they could do what they like and I would allow it. However, they knew I would also ask the question of if they were making a right choice. So, we had a lot of dialog about what they liked and didn’t like, what would be official uniform and what wouldn’t be and so on. In the end, they decided to switch to an Olive Drab Army BDU because it was the same color as the BSA official uniform pant, it was adjustable to four sizes. It came in synthetic material, it had huge cargo pockets (not on scout pants at the time). And they were less than half the price. Pretty impressive research, don’t you think? And I was sold, the OD BDU’s were a great replacement for the BSA pants. But there is still that handbook thing with the official BSA pants. So, I came to an agreement with PLC, if Council would accept the BDUs as an acceptable replacement for our troop, I would gladly accept them as well. I of course knew council would not go against national policy, but I was impressed and proud of how the scouts approached making this change. ACCEPT, council did agree with the scouts. I honestly didn't see it coming.

 

I feel that I did my part to help scouts understand the right and wrong of decisions based from BSA guidelines, not Barry's leveraged suggestions. It was never judgmental, but more of enquiring of their thoughts that made them feel the obligation to get it right. The scouts did their part in going through a process that allowed a different choice without the burden of knowing their choice was wrong. It was the weight of just a few words in their Handbook that held them accountable that forced them to seek a acceptably moral result. Other challenges come up now and then, but that is the one that sticks out in my mind.

 

Barry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And then there's the troop that sets as it's policy of blue jeans and red web belts with the BSA buckle. One can't deny that they don't all looked uniform, but I would venture to say not BSA uniformed. It leaves a lot of grey area in the fuzzy logic area.

 

GUIDE to Safe Scouting is looked at not a a guide, but some sort of legal document, but the prescribed inspection sheet is... well just an advisory suggestion when it comes to how to dress as a scout.

 

It's kinda interesting how everyone justifies their agendas.

 

Stosh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to the Insignia Guide:

 

While wearing the uniform is not mandatory,

it is highly encouraged. The leaders of Scoutingâ€â€

both volunteer and professionalâ€â€promote the

wearing of the correct complete uniform on all

suitable occasions.

 

Sorry Stosh. Uniforming is a method, but not a requirement. In this case, Scout Law (a Scout is Thrifty) and the needs of the Troop (wanting those cargo pockets before they were official) beat Supply Division's pricing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With that logic Torchwood, I guess I would prefer the boys to not wear the uniform at all. Of course there will be times when they will not be allowed full participation in the BSA program because of that, but not even the BSA adheres to it's own "methods".

 

So then there's the ramifications of those half hearted gestures towards uniforming. If they just wear the shirt, do they use the scout salute or the civilian hand over heart? What if they are just wearing a BSA hat and BSA pants and no shirt, do they scout or civilian salute? What about if they wear BSA belt and socks but bluejeans and tshirt?

 

Once one deviates from the "promote the wearing of the correct complete uniform on all suitable occasions," then one has nothing more than a free-for all method of whatever wild hair is appropriate today kinda of a justification agenda on uniforming.

 

So A scout is Thrifty, he buys a belt off of E-Bay and now he has his scout uniform. Works for me.

 

Stosh

 

Stosh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure why we started talking about uniforms but please allow me to bring it back to the Handbook.

 

In Green Bar Bill's 7th edition of the Boy Scout Handbook, you find this on uniforming:

 

"Your uniform is part of the thrill of being a Scout. The moment you put it on you feel ready for hike or camp or other vigorous Scout activity.

 

The Scout uniform stands for the Brotherhood of Scouting, for the Scout ideals, and for outdoor life. The color blends with the hues of the forest and field. The design is made for comfort, for freedom of action, and for health. Every Scout wears the same uniform--it is a badge of democracy, and emblem of service.

 

To the public, the uniform proclaims aloud, "Here is boy who is a Scout"--for people know that only a boy who is a full-fledged member of the [bSA] has the right to wear the Boy Scout uniform." (p. 20)

 

Now, let's have a look at the new, 12th edition on uniforming:

 

"The Scout uniform is a symbol of the BSA. It tells others that you are a Scout and represents Scouting's history of service to the nation and the world. Wearing uniforms allows Scouts to show that they are equals and that they share values and beliefs. Your uniform is also a sign that you are a person who can be trusted and that you will lend a hand whenever help is needed. Dressed as a Scout, you will want to act as a Scout." (p.32)

 

Then it goes on to say what the "official uniform" is...But here's the part that interesting when you compare it to the older Handbook:

 

"Proudly wear your uniform to troop meetings, ceremonies such as courts of honor, and most other indoor troop functions. When you're headed outdoors, you can pull on a t-shirt with Scout pants or shorts, or wear other clothing that is right for the events of the day." (p.33)

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's because the uniform is no longer a field uniform, it's too fancy schmancy, blingy thingy to be taken out and actually worn in the woods. Scouting is outing, but not in uniform.

 

Stosh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's because the uniform is no longer a field uniform, it's too fancy schmancy, blingy thingy to be taken out and actually worn in the woods. Scouting is outing, but not in uniform.

 

Stosh

 

Well said!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Stosh and Desert, it doesn't HAVE to be "blingy thingy". ;) Don't put all that junk on your outing uniform...

 

I think there is a contradiction there in the 12th edition between "[d]ressed as a Scout ,you will want to act as a Scout" and "[w]hen you head outdoors you can pull on an t-shirt with the Scout shorts..."

 

So here's another spin my original question: if we're watering down the uniform are we also watering down the Handbook?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×