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LeCastor

Boy Scout Handbook--Still Necessary?

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I agree with our responsibility to keep scouting alive and well. It is too bad the handbook has gone downhill over the years. One could argue that this is the cause of the lack of skills etc... If it isn;'t in the book, then how will a scout know about it especially if the adults don't know either. If the BSA wants to keep a flashy handbook, then at least have the real substance in the fieldbook. The FB can be brought on outings and the boys can use it as a resource to things. I really like how my 1952 fieldbook is layed out. Each "Chapter" is a pow-wow and the adventure grows from one to the next. A patrol could do great things just by doing the pow-wows in order. Some would be patrol meetings, some day hikes, other campouts. How each one leads the boys to the next level of adventure and instills the patrol method is so elegant.

 

 

edit: the 1952 fieldbook was written by James West and GBB

 

Yes, DuctTape! I also like how GBB's Scout Field Book finishes each Pow-Wow with a list of activities. That way you read about the skills and then put them into practice. It's one thing to read about lashing but it's another thing to actually lash something together.

 

When I teach knots and rope work at IOLS, most of the adult volunteers (the "learners") haven't tied anything beyond a granny knot in their lives...much less executed a shear lashing. Some have already mentioned how many volunteers were never Scouts as youth and don't necessarily have the skills needed to guide their youth. These old handbooks and fieldbooks are vital to passing that info along and keeping it alive.

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I agree with you Le Castor, there are many new SM's and ASM's who were never boy scouts, especially in LDS troops, who really need some hands on skills training desperately but it is sorely lacking in most councils. A major reason, IMO, why the rates of serious accidents and deaths have increased over the years significantly.

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...edit: the 1952 fieldbook was written by James West and GBB

 

There is no historic evidence that James West helped write the Fieldbook. His name "went on" many publications.

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Yeah, having read quite a bit about West and his involvement in Scouting, I doubt he had any writing responsibility with regards to the Scout Field Book. Despite what the credits say, I'm pretty sure this was Hillcourt's baby. :D

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Sometimes authors use other people's names as an "author" because the majority of ideas in the book are really not the guy who wrote the book, but someone else's. Give credit where credit is due.

 

Stosh

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