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SlowDerbyRacer

Informal Poll - Strictness Of Requirements?

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I think Renax is hitting on a disparity that isn't really addressed by the current Cub Scout program..... and I'm guessing is an underlying cause for the OP's question

I know that I am not alone in noticing that much of the cub scout program is really intended for the boys that Renax is writing about....

broken families

uninvolved parents

limited exposure to things....

Boys that need a positive male role model.

 

 

For the sake of discussion I will disagree with the premise that the CS program is intended for boys that come from such households. The very basis of the program is the relationship with Akela, which is supposed to be primarily the parent. Many of the requirements are centered around working with the parents to discuss family relationships, attitudes and activities on various subjects. I'd argue it is Boy Scouts which is more designed for the group you suggest; those disadvantaged boys who have no father or parents. The whole aspect of "adult association" and de-emphasis of the parent role in Boy Scouts seems to confirm this. Of course, that was the old program. I have not looked at the new program to see what BSA has mucked with.

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I think you missed something, the parents would NOT work with the boy at home, heck most of my parents couldn't even be bothered ... it worked for one that really needed some help and now he's in Boy Scouts and loving it, we still talk on the phone regularly and he comes to me for advice on all sorts of stuff. So far as I'm concerned I'd do it again.

OK, I get it: distressed community.

Attending two meetings on the topic is not a Readyman requirement. Knowing the material on emergency preparedness is. I bet latch-key kids are more likely to need to use the material. It sounds like you had a feeling this kid knew the material, you were pressed for time, so you moved on. That's not letting the kid slide, in my book.

 

In general, dens are a victim of a broken program. A den chief could review the material, or the boys in the den could get the boy who missed caught up. Neither is "by the book", but when you're gagging on a smore and that kid is first on the scene, you want that pin to mean something. And if there's an unrwitten strategy that makes it so, all the better!

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OK, I get it: distressed community.

Attending two meetings on the topic is not a Readyman requirement. Knowing the material on emergency preparedness is. I bet latch-key kids are more likely to need to use the material. It sounds like you had a feeling this kid knew the material, you were pressed for time, so you moved on. That's not letting the kid slide, in my book.

 

In general, dens are a victim of a broken program. A den chief could review the material, or the boys in the den could get the boy who missed caught up. Neither is "by the book", but when you're gagging on a smore and that kid is first on the scene, you want that pin to mean something. And if there's an unrwitten strategy that makes it so, all the better!

I'd have killed to have a den chief.  :) Our associated Troop couldn't or wouldn't provide one for whatever reason and the Cub Master didn't want to go outside that troop for political reasons I really didn't care about. 

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I'd have killed to have a den chief.   :) Our associated Troop couldn't or wouldn't provide one for whatever reason and the Cub Master didn't want to go outside that troop for political reasons I really didn't care about. 

And we can't get our associated pack or other packs in the area to return our calls about providing them!

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And we can't get our associated pack or other packs in the area to return our calls about providing them!

 

We visit the packs. We offer first to help teach a skill related to a badge, loop or pin. We show them we are there to support them BEFORE we ask them to embed a DC in their Dens. Many take us up on the offer and then we have DCs in their pack.

 

I sense we are going off on a tangent related to membership and recruitment so I will stop here. ;)

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For the sake of discussion I will disagree with the premise that the CS program is intended for boys that come from such households. The very basis of the program is the relationship with Akela, which is supposed to be primarily the parent. Many of the requirements are centered around working with the parents to discuss family relationships, attitudes and activities on various subjects. I'd argue it is Boy Scouts which is more designed for the group you suggest; those disadvantaged boys who have no father or parents. The whole aspect of "adult association" and de-emphasis of the parent role in Boy Scouts seems to confirm this. Of course, that was the old program. I have not looked at the new program to see what BSA has mucked with.

OK, I'll buy that....  Good Point!

a case of my missing the forest for the trees!

BUT

... I've often had this opinion + I have heard it from a few other parents during post meeting parking lot discussions too.... so it's not just me.

Your counterpoint is valid.... but I still contend that many of the requirements scattered through the current program are geared towards doing stuff with your sons that have already been done many times just in our standard family life.... but I would guess this to not be the case in some poorer &/or broken homes..... so that for boys like my son, the requirements are redundant to the point of being either silly or boring....

 

so I'm extrapolating a bit from the OP, but I suspect this is the spirit behind some of the questioned short cutting.

 

For me, I make strong effort to follow the book, and try to encourage it from others....

I've had conversations with my son about short cutting and pencil whipping.... I'm proud to say that it wasn't something he wanted to do.

 

But I'll admit there have been a few occasions when we short-cutted a bit, and I made a point to address it with my son too, to see if he thought what we were doing addresses the spirit of the requirement.

 

The example that comes to mind was something about recording a week's worth of meals and snacks.

I viewed the spirit of this to be about awareness of what he's eating....

 

So I think what we did was remembered back for the 3 or so previous days what he ate + today.... so that leaves three days to record.  Not a week. and what it really lead to was a discussion about how much junk he has that vs how little good stuff.

 

Which incidentally I believe is something we have done for almost every year in Cub Scouts + countless times he's been taught this stuff in school.... redundant to the point of being silly AND boring.

 

On the flip side, I can remember many times having my son do a certain task that I know that he already knows how to do, just for the sake of doing it under the guise of scouting....

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To clarify my original question, I was referring more to the doing of all the requirements versus the quality of what is done.  I totally get the do your best standard, but I'm talking about how closely others follow the stated requirements.  For example, the Bear Elective for Weather has the following two items:

 

  1. Learn how to read an outdoor thermometer. Put one outdoors and read it at the same time every day for two weeks. Keep a record of each day's temperature and a description of the weather each day (fair skies, rain, fog, snow, etc.).
  2. Build a weather vane. Record wind direction every day at the same hour for two weeks. Keep a record of the weather for each day.

We had a den do a den meeting where the kids learned about reading a thermometer and built rudimentary weather vanes.  The kids were given full credit for completing these items without any need for the two week record keeping.  I have an issue with that and it has nothing to do with do your best.

I have found that the scouts in my den really do not have time to complete the homework I ether skip the home work part or incorporate in to the den meeting or subsitute

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I have found that the scouts in my den really do not have time to complete the homework I either skip the home work part or incorporate in to the den meeting or subsitute

 

Agreed. There are a few scouts who do complete homework in our pack IME, and our den leaders are advised to avoid homework if possible or to duplicate it in the den meetings. This is with the caveat that I am no longer an active leader in the pack and am not familiar with the new program beyond the basics, so no idea if homework is going to be the problem it has been in the old program.

 

As an example of how I might adapt the requirement for the weather BL, I'd probably record weather data at weekly den meetings for a month or so, or longer if it fit well and I could. I would also use weather records to look up wind direction for 14 days, and do a bar graph of the data with the scouts. That seems like it would meet the intent of the requirement.

 

What our pack has not condoned is the actions of one of our den leaders in the previous year. Her den did not complete the Wolf requirements but she said they did. I found out when speaking with a leader from another pack, the family transferred last year. The dad told the new pack that my pack was cheating on requirements, citing the awarding of the Wolf rank as an example. Reputations aside, the situation needn't develop in the first place, there was plenty of time, opportunity and support to finish the last requirement.

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I have found that the scouts in my den really do not have time to complete the homework I ether skip the home work part or incorporate in to the den meeting or subsitute

 

Cubs don't have time to do fun work? I think it is more like they don't make time.

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Agreed. There are a few scouts who do complete homework in our pack IME, and our den leaders are advised to avoid homework if possible or to duplicate it in the den meetings. ...

As an example of how I might adapt the requirement for the weather BL, I'd probably record weather data at weekly den meetings for a month or so, or longer if it fit well and I could. I would also use weather records to look up wind direction for 14 days, and do a bar graph of the data with the scouts. That seems like it would meet the intent of the requirement. ...

So, now we know why we need STEM scouts. Because our cubs are not learning the notion of direct observation and scientific integrity.

 

Let me ask, because some have mention concerns about a boy feeling singled out for not making rank ... if all the boys refuse to do daily observations, what's the humiliation in none of the den (aside from the odd boy who actually does the necessary achievement) making rank using that pin?

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So, now we know why we need STEM scouts. Because our cubs are not learning the notion of direct observation and scientific integrity.

 

Let me ask, because some have mention concerns about a boy feeling singled out for not making rank ... if all the boys refuse to do daily observations, what's the humiliation in none of the den (aside from the odd boy who actually does the necessary achievement) making rank using that pin?

It's not the boys refusing to do daily observations. It's the parents who don't support it. So we can modify the requirements so that the scouts can learn about the subject, or we can skip the BL and the scouts learn nothing. I'm not opposed to doing activities without awards, either, but in Cub Scouts it seems silly to come so close and not give the recognition.

 

Please explain to me how there is no scientific integrity in using data collected by other scientists and applying simple statistics to facilitate conclusions? Or are you proposing that scientists are able to use only their own, original data? Because that doesn't jive with my experience as yes, a scientist. I assure you that if the cubs were to publish their conclusions, the National Weather Service would be given due credit.

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Oh dear. Another mine field! 

It's not the boys refusing to do daily observations. It's the parents who don't support it. So we can modify the requirements so that the scouts can learn about the subject, or we can skip the BL and the scouts learn nothing. I'm not opposed to doing activities without awards, either, but in Cub Scouts it seems silly to come so close and not give the recognition.

Nothing silly about it at all. "This month we learned how to compile weather data. Those were fun meetings! Maybe soon some of the boys will get awards once they collect their own data."

Boys look cute. Everybody applauds. And they are all on notice to "observe and report!"

 

Please explain to me how there is no scientific integrity in using data collected by other scientists and applying simple statistics to facilitate conclusions? ... I assure you that if the cubs were to publish their conclusions, the National Weather Service would be given due credit.

That's journalism. A noble field. Our weatherman's a great guy and does a great job. Turns that NWS data into short stories 5 times a day. The boys love him.

 

But, scouting -- the very definition of the term -- implies observation. It is by no means something to be read about. It is something to be practiced. A week's work, imitated by an evening activity: paper belt loop. :(

Edited by qwazse
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Publication is not  journalism, it's integral in the application of the scientific method. And let me remind you, I certainly did include observation in the process. But I am fine with disagreeing with you as to whether my suggestion is a reasonable approach in awarding a belt loop to a Cub Scout.

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Publication is not  journalism, it's integral in the application of the scientific method. And let me remind you, I certainly did include observation in the process. But I am fine with disagreeing with you as to whether my suggestion is a reasonable approach in awarding a belt loop to a Cub Scout.

Ok, next time I have a kid diagraming the scientific method, I'll make sure he draws an additional bubble for "publication." Hopefully his teacher won't dock him for being cynical. ;)

 

So, say all the boys show up for a few meetings for your suggested pencil-whipping, then at pack meeting stand pretty in the picture sporting their newly awarded belt loop. ... What do you award the one boy who actually reads the requirment, goes home, and comes back with a page of readings (on ratty paper, terrible penmanship, clashing colors from grabbing whatever crayon was on top of the heap each day, no bar-graph, ... but compliant to a literal interpretation of the requirements)?

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As a non-cub scouter, take my opinion with a few grains if salt. As I read the weather requirements it seems to me the purpose is for the boys to use the thermometer they mounted, and the weather vane they made to gather the data, and to do this on a daily basis. Not trying does not seem to be fulfilling the spirit if "do your best" and adults providing data or even a website to collect it appears to be adding/subtracting from the requirements. From a Boy Scout Scouter perspective, that type of modification will create problems down tbe road where the boys need to do similar observe, record, etc... in BSA requirements (both rank and MB). My 2cents.

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