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2016 Boy Scout Requirements

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I personsally am against solo adventures as I beleive in the "Rule of 4:" You always want a minimum of 4 folks when you do adventures. That way 1 can do first aid, and two can go get help.

 

Had a friend who attempted a solo hike in Yellowstone. Despite knowing better, he didn't tell anyone where he was going, when he would be back etc. He just told some folks he was going hiking. Long story short, he had an accident and was stuck on a ledge for a week. Luckily he remembered to pack the 10 essentials, and had his survival kit in his day pack.

 

Yep I had some friendly banter with him when I saw him at summer camp after the incident. BUT when he talked to the Wilderness Survival MB classes veryone was listening.

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Scouts don't have skills commensurate with their rank?   No surprise.  That rock rolled down hill when we stopped the skills testing during boards of review and other arenas.  

 

The kind-hearted but misguided concept of "they earned it, don't make them demonstrate it again because it might stress them out" has ill-served everyone, particularly the scout.  

 

As a scout, there were two motivators that drove me to constantly review my basic scout skills.   One, knowing that during a board of review, a board member could say "there are two hiking staves and some rope in the corner, tie a square lashing right now" or I might have to recite the steps of a first aid procedure.   And it actually happened, except during my Life and Eagle boards.   Two, the SPL was expected to know and teach these skills to the scouts.   The SM didn't teach; he stood quietly in the back and watched.  The quest for credibility requires extra study and review.   Can't teach it if you don't know it.

 

Edited to add:   The best motivator--I actually used the skills in life! :)

Edited by desertrat77
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I personsally am against solo adventures as I beleive in the "Rule of 4:" You always want a minimum of 4 folks when you do adventures. That way 1 can do first aid, and two can go get help.

 

Had a friend who attempted a solo hike in Yellowstone. Despite knowing better, he didn't tell anyone where he was going, when he would be back etc. He just told some folks he was going hiking. Long story short, he had an accident and was stuck on a ledge for a week. Luckily he remembered to pack the 10 essentials, and had his survival kit in his day pack.

 

Yep I had some friendly banter with him when I saw him at summer camp after the incident. BUT when he talked to the Wilderness Survival MB classes veryone was listening.

 

One doesn't need to do a solo expedition into the rain forest of the Amazon or a solo trek to the North Pole here.  I'd say five to ten miles into some nature preserve one has in just about every state in the union.  Around where I live I can find hundreds of places where I can get off the road far enough to not have to listen to the drone of traffic all night long.  

 

A little solitude relying on the skills I have learned to make/put up shelter, build a fire, cook eat and be comfortable with nature for just one night.  Listen and journal all the things I normally miss on a backpacking trek and maybe learn something new about myself along the way.  For a change of pace, I'll canoe/kayak a river and camp along the way on a sand bar doing the same old thing I do in the woods, but maybe fish a bit, too.

 

I do it all the time, have since I was 12 years old, couple times a year.  It's the best medicine in the world for tension headaches and high blood-pressure.

Edited by Stosh

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Some of this is a return to how things were 20-30 years ago.  I don't mind that, in fact, I encourage it.  Frankly, I'd be happy to toss out all changes in the program over the past 20 years and reinvoke the few that were positive.  I don't understand people upset by Scout being a rank -- it's one the boys could earn at their first meeting and get a sense of accomplishment immediately.  I don't like the requirements being shifted from Tenderfoot to Scout precisely because they make it harder to do Scout-on-the-first-night/month.

 

I advised our new parents last night to photocopy or print the advancement pages from the new requirements and stick them in the books they just bought 3-6 months ago.  They can get a new book when it's published if they want and use the current book for reference when the boys go camping (tying a square knot or round lash hasn't changed in decades/centuries), keeping the new book at home and undamaged for recordkeeping and meetings.

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Some of this is a return to how things were 20-30 years ago.  I don't mind that, in fact, I encourage it.  Frankly, I'd be happy to toss out all changes in the program over the past 20 years and reinvoke the few that were positive.  I don't understand people upset by Scout being a rank -- it's one the boys could earn at their first meeting and get a sense of accomplishment immediately.  I don't like the requirements being shifted from Tenderfoot to Scout precisely because they make it harder to do Scout-on-the-first-night/month.

 

The Scout badge requirements have more to do with rote memorization than anything else.  Before, you just had to understand the Oath and agree to live it.  The scout could gain an understanding by reading it over with the SM and talking about each principle.  Now, they've got to memorize the Oath, the Law, the Outdoor code, etc.  Instead of tying a square knot as a symbol of joining (because it's useless for most anything else) they're tacking on two more knots and the proper care and use of rope.  Plus, before, part of the requirement of joining the troop was reviewing the safety exercises.  That forced every scout to do them.  By calling it a rank, it gets slid back into the category of "A Scout advances at his own pace."  You could theoretically have a "Scout" join at 11, and age out without ever receiving the safety training or the "Scout" rank.

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I kind of liked the idea of "Scout" being something that a brand new Scout (especially one who was a Webelos) could earn at his first or second meeting by doing just a few fairly simple things and immediately have a "badge", though not a rank. Ok, you're a Scout now, here's the "Scout" patch to go with it, and it's basically a "blank" patch, with no detail like the rank patches have, to show that almost all of your learning as a Scout is ahead of you.

 

By the way, maybe I missed this, but can a Scout now work on Scout at the same time he is working on T-1? Or does Scout still have to be completed first?

Edited by NJCubScouter

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I agree with your entire post, but I'll argue in some cases that both types of Eagles have not met the requirements.  And I will put most of the blame on what I'm about to say on adult leaders and not the scouts.  Too often I think leaders rubber stamp awards and achievements.  

 

The more I look into requirements of what my son has supposedly accomplished, as well as what a counselor has told him is "all" he needs to do to earn a badge, I see the pencil whipping going on.  What is my son supposed to do about it?  If he was a really awesome scout, he should look into the requirements and insist upon doing them, but he's a boy, with all those other boys around him and he wants the same as them- to be awarded badges and move up through the ranks, so he goes along with it.  When he was a cub scout, this kind of stuff went on and I had the influence to get him to refuse unearned badges.  He would later earn them and accept, but the other boys (the same ones he's with now) would accept the unearned badge and their parents had no problems with it either.  They've all moved to boy scouts now and I'm just in the background.  I don't feel like I can do anything about this other than steer my son for whatever he does at home.  (The Physical Fitness counselor described what son had to do to earn the badge and it's a whole lot watered down than what the requirements say.  I could direct son to go to the counselor listed on his blue card instead, though I have no clue whether that guy requires all the requirements listed or not- and why does my kid want to do the "harder version", when he could get away with the "easy version" the other boys did to be awarded the badge?)  What do you do about this pencil whipping?  I do believe it is more the adults' fault than the boys.  The boys- or at least the ones I've seen are not begging to have the requirements watered down.  I think in many cases they don't even know what the requirements are, just do what the counselor says, and rejoice when the card is signed.  The adult has the power to not sign.  Why are they doing it, if the badge wasn't earned?

Edited by christineka

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My "nephew" just came back from his first boy scout summer camp. He had a great time, and earned four merit badges: Swimming, First Aid, Geology and Archery. Now his troop prides itself and not being an Eagle mill, and the summer camp they attended (Wente Scout Reservation) prides itself on not being a merit badge mill (but they offer 53 merit badges?). So I asked him which merit badge he had the most fun with and he said Archery. I asked him what he did to earn the badge, and he talked about making an arrow (which he showed me), the target shooting he did, and then he said "they even showed us how to make a bow string." "Huh? You didn't make one yourself?" "No, that just showed us how to do it."

 

Now (according to meritbadge.org), requirement 3c says: "Make a bowstring using appropriate materials." So I wonder, what other requirements were skipped? I'm hoping this was an isolated incident, but I think I'm going to be disappointed.

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Anyone ever here of the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) (SP) award?  Wish we could do it here in the US as part of BSA. Alas, alot of what they do is against G2SS.

There is a version of the Duke of Edinburgh award that can be done in the US. However, my understanding is that the Adventurous Journey requirement has been changed from the rest of the world's "must be done WITHOUT adult supervision" too "must be done WITH adult supervision". So very sad.

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My "nephew" just came back from his first boy scout summer camp. He had a great time, and earned four merit badges: Swimming, First Aid, Geology and Archery. Now his troop prides itself and not being an Eagle mill, and the summer camp they attended (Wente Scout Reservation) prides itself on not being a merit badge mill (but they offer 53 merit badges?). So I asked him which merit badge he had the most fun with and he said Archery. I asked him what he did to earn the badge, and he talked about making an arrow (which he showed me), the target shooting he did, and then he said "they even showed us how to make a bow string." "Huh? You didn't make one yourself?" "No, that just showed us how to do it."

 

Now (according to meritbadge.org), requirement 3c says: "Make a bowstring using appropriate materials." So I wonder, what other requirements were skipped? I'm hoping this was an isolated incident, but I think I'm going to be disappointed.

 

 

  Since I don't know your "nephew", his troop leadership, or the camp that he attended I do not feel qualified to comment there. What I will say is from my expierence in taking the boys to 15+ plus summer camps (22 summer camps altogether at 15 different camps) is be prepared to be disappointed. The main area that I look at are the MBs when camps started offering "first year programs" I looked at them too. For the most part I only found 1 camp that ran any kind of desent first year program. After a couple of years of that I talked it over with the PLC and they came up with a first year trip that we would do locally and have both scouts and at times adults work on T-1st class requirements this way we know what the boys can do. Now merit badges is a whole other ballgame. All camps I've been to pencil whipped these, some more than others. Do not get me wrong some camps try harder at having the scouts work and complete the actual requirements. They are the minority though in my research.

 

  I am not some hard*** but I do expect the scouts to do the requirements. For some badges that many might say aren't Eagle required or fairly easy who cares. On many instances I have talked with Progam Directors and asked them, What gives? I remember 1 guy who asked me to walk outside with him, well each of the areas had their directors and some staff to answer any questions. Well there was only 1 area that had any real number of scouters hanging around and getting kind of loud. He said that the waterfront area and the reason there are so many there is because they give out the most partials. He then said "How many weeks are you going to put up with that"? This is something that National needs to fix. Until National REALLY takes its advancement policies seriously why should we? (I mean this sacastically)

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..."they even showed us how to make a bow string." "Huh? You didn't make one yourself?" "No, that just showed us how to do it." ...

:( A favorite memory was coming home with the bowstring I made at camp and fitting it to an old bow my brother had discarded. I hope you have a chance to provide your scout the opportunity his camp denied him.

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I think it's ironic that we need a bowstring for a my wife's bow, and I find out here that my son, who took archery at camp this summer, can make one. He knows we need a bowstring, but it wasn't until I just asked him if he could make one (after reading Rick's post) that he said he could.

 

Going to put him to work.

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A camp we attended a few years back the Geology MBC discussed Minecraft for four days, then signed blue cards as complete. After Day 1 one of our scouts complained they weren't learning anything so I audited the course. I sat there as he discussed Minecraft. At the break I spoke to him and reminded him of the requirements. I even went to the camp director. Moot. He still taught Minecraft the rest of the week.

 

When we got back we pulled in one of our adults who works in petro chemicals as a geologist, held a one day session where we covered the requirements and signed off on the boys' work. The parents were grateful we cared enough not to award something unearned.

Edited by Bad Wolf

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I kind of liked the idea of "Scout" being something that a brand new Scout (especially one who was a Webelos) could earn at his first or second meeting by doing just a few fairly simple things and immediately have a "badge", though not a rank. Ok, you're a Scout now, here's the "Scout" patch to go with it, and it's basically a "blank" patch, with no detail like the rank patches have, to show that almost all of your learning as a Scout is ahead of you.

 

By the way, maybe I missed this, but can a Scout now work on Scout at the same time he is working on T-1? Or does Scout still have to be completed first?

 

I never understood the non-rank things as a boy

how is it different

requirement done = patch

rank, ok

not a rank, what do ya mean, er... who cares.

 

the Bobcat thing in cubs the same way....

 

It just propagates confusion and adds to all the nonsense language in these requirements.

 

Personally, i like the consistency in calling it a rank.

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The more I look into requirements of what my son has supposedly accomplished, as well as what a counselor has told him is "all" he needs to do to earn a badge, I see the pencil whipping going on.  What is my son supposed to do about it?  If he was a really awesome scout, he should look into the requirements and insist upon doing them, but he's a boy, with all those other boys around him and he wants the same as them- to be awarded badges and move up through the ranks, so he goes along with it.  When he was a cub scout, this kind of stuff went on and I had the influence to get him to refuse unearned badges.  He would later earn them and accept, but the other boys (the same ones he's with now) would accept the unearned badge and their parents had no problems with it either.  They've all moved to boy scouts now and I'm just in the background.  I don't feel like I can do anything about this other than steer my son for whatever he does at home.  (The Physical Fitness counselor described what son had to do to earn the badge and it's a whole lot watered down than what the requirements say.  I could direct son to go to the counselor listed on his blue card instead, though I have no clue whether that guy requires all the requirements listed or not- and why does my kid want to do the "harder version", when he could get away with the "easy version" the other boys did to be awarded the badge?)  What do you do about this pencil whipping?  I do believe it is more the adults' fault than the boys.  The boys- or at least the ones I've seen are not begging to have the requirements watered down.  I think in many cases they don't even know what the requirements are, just do what the counselor says, and rejoice when the card is signed.  The adult has the power to not sign.  Why are they doing it, if the badge wasn't earned?

oh the pencil whipping....

Gives me heartburn....

 

& i think the boys do know it.... well a good many do.

My son sees it.... but it could I suppose be me subconsciously helping him to....

It just boils down to lazy is as lazy does, and lazy will pass along to those that are his (in my opinion)

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