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heat4212

Something to give in place of badge at graduation?

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Respectfully, I have to ask how many of you Boy Scout leaders who are chiming in on this discussion have served as a Den Leader under the new requirements that were implemented a year ago? 

I am not a Boy Scout Leader, I am a Committee Chairmen but I am the ACM and Webelos Den Leader

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First off, the handbooks and leaders guides became available to us just weeks before the new program started on June 1st, 2015. 

 

Fourth, by no stretch are the new requirements balanced and equal.  I am quite convinced that the Bear requirements are much more difficult than the Webelos requirements.  How does that make any sense?  Webelos is supposed to be harder, yet it isn't.

 

 

I really wish they had done more 'beta testing' of the requirements with experienced leaders.  If I had been given the chance, I could have fixed 99% of the problems with the new requirements in one good day of editing.

 

 

 

1.  The books might not been available but Everything had been online for many many months prior to the new year.  You could have downloaded it (like we did) to plan our year.  They also had these really nice meeting plans you could use as well. 

 

2. I guess I don't see what you are referring to as far as Bears being harder than Webelos (at least Webs I)

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Respectfully, I have to ask how many of you Boy Scout leaders who are chiming in on this discussion have served as a Den Leader under the new requirements that were implemented a year ago?  First off, the handbooks and leaders guides became available to us just weeks before the new program started on June 1st, 2015.  So we had no time to prepare lesson plans, build events into our annual program plan, schedule summer events to complete requirements, etc.  So for this past year, I won't fault any leaders who struggled to complete the requirements.

The handbooks may have just been released in June last year, but weren't the requirements posted earlier?

 

BTW, the new Boy Scout Handbooks were made available in late January. Our new Scouts showed up then too. Imagine scrambling to put together the new First Year program AND train the Scouts who would be teaching it. We can commiserate, trust me. ;)

 

Second, unless you've studied the requirements, frankly I'm afraid a lot of you don't know what you are talking about.  In their infinite wisdom, the way some of the new requirements were written by national, a kid can't complete them as written if they miss the den meeting where the requirement was covered.

Again, no different that the ranks requirements for Boy Scouts, or merit badges, or PORs or anything else in Scouting. There is always conflict. Miss summer camp and you will have a heck of a time making First Class in 12-14 months.

 

I think our point was that, even though the requirement is difficult, you at least TRY IT before you give up and count it as done. No one is faulting a DL for trying. It was NOT trying and awarding it that is the issue...and always will be.

 

Third, in at least one of the requirements the BSA sets the precedence that "you may skip this requirement."  (Bear Elective Adventure:  Critter Care, requirement 4).  Why is it okay to skip some requirements but not others?  I don't know why they didn't write this as "complete x of the following" instead.

Because it is BSA and they are rarely clear in any given directions or requirements. ;) Isn't the word "elective" meaning that they did not have to do it?

 

Fourth, by no stretch are the new requirements balanced and equal.  I am quite convinced that the Bear requirements are much more difficult than the Webelos requirements.  How does that make any sense?  Webelos is supposed to be harder, yet it isn't.

It was that way when I was a DL too. Bear just seemed, well, a Bear! Webelos was like falling off a log; maybe because it was more like Boy Scouts and I understood that better.

 

I'm not going to pass through some kid who missed half the meetings and didn't put in the effort, but if a kid was sick the day we did the Cub Scout Carnival and the requirement states "Help younger Cub Scouts take part in one of the events at the Cub Scout carnival," you're saying we shouldn't let that boy advance?  This isn't Boy Scouts, this is Cub Scouts, and these new requirements are a mess when it comes to things that can't be done at home, at least as the requirement is written.  Which puts Cub Scout leaders on a slippery slope - if we have to alter half of the requirements to make them achievable if a kid is sick and misses a meeting, then where do the modifications stop?

Agreed. You don't punish him for being sick. You MAY want to have him do something as an alternative so that he at least does something for the requirement. That is within the purview of the leader.

 

Help younger Cub Scouts take part in one of the events at the Cub Scout carnival 

I can completely understand the attitude of "Do Your Best" when it comes to these requirements, because that's the position the BSA left us in.  It's unfortunate, because I suspect many of our local units are taking liberties with the camping requirements, which I think shouldn't be skipped, modified, or otherwise changed.  Like I said, the BSA put us on a slippery slope, and a good technical editor (someone with experience in Scouting and writing requirements) could have alleviated most of the problems.

Liberties can be taken BUT they are usually the exception than the rule. Also, while we might slightly revise the requirement, we ask the Scout to attempt (and usually complete) the requirement nonetheless.

Edited by Krampus

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@@meyerc13

 

I'll take you up on that challenge!  I am not a registered WDL, but right now as SM I am running a program for Webelos boys wanting to get their AOL.  I had 5 months to pull this off.  It was offered to 34 boys.  18 showed up the first session and now we are down to 8 still working on their various requirements and electives.  In 6 hours from now I'm heading out to cover Camping and Into the Woods.  Along with that I am prepared to teach 2 boys Whittling Chip and help 2 boys build bird houses along with a ton of memory work, and catch-up work to make sure these boys have the opportunity to do it right.  It's how I take care of my boys!  These are 10 year olds and the forecast for the weekend is rain, highs in the low 50's and scattered frost in the area, meaning the temp at night is heading to 32oF   Last week we finalized plans for the weekend and the scouts taught the Webelos boys how to set up tents.  The requirement explicitly says NO ADULT HELP in setting up the tents. 

 

The boys in my group will have an AOL strip on their Boy Scout uniform that they are majorly proud of.  They will have earned it.  And yes, it is a lot of work to do the new program.  The leaders are going to need to step up their game if they want their boys to get the most out of the program. 

 

Yes, my boys got the best of everything.  The community leader that came in was a state senator, this weekend's speaker for Into the Woods will be taught by a forester who used to work for the US Forestry Service in Alaska.  And the sleeping bags that were handed out to the boys were US Army surplus winter bags.  Dutch oven cooking is the lesson for Saturday night.

 

Make opportunities, not excuses.

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1.  The books might not been available but Everything had been online for many many months prior to the new year.  You could have downloaded it (like we did) to plan our year.  They also had these really nice meeting plans you could use as well. 

 

2. I guess I don't see what you are referring to as far as Bears being harder than Webelos (at least Webs I)

 

1.)  Not true.  The requirements were available, but not the leader guides or handbooks.  Those weren't available until May.

2.)  In Bears, camping, cooking, weather, knots, and a campfire program are all part of Bear Necessities.  In Webelos, camping and cooking are two separate adventures.  In Bears, animals and plants are both part of Fur, Feathers, and Ferns (not to mention hiking is also included). That's three separate adventures in Webelos (Into the Woods, Into the Wild, Webelos Walkabout).  In Bear, 'Paws for Action' includes law enforcement, history, citizenship, and energy conservation.  In Webelos, that is covered by 'Building a Better World' and 'Build my own Hero'.  While each Webelos adventure may have extra requirements, they are typically things you can do at home on your own.  In Bear, many of the requirements I've outlined here aren't easily done on your own (and in fact some can't be done on your own as they are written because they include statements such as "take turns with your den members."

Edited by meyerc13

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Not true.  The requirements were available, but not the leader guides or handbooks.  Those weren't available until May.

 

So the requirements were available but the "how to" guide books were not available until May last year? So folks had all summer to plan how to attack the requirements during 2015-2016 with a September start date?

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Hmmmm, I guess I've never relied on leader guides.  I just read the requirement, then try and figure out how to get the boys to do it while having fun.

 

20 years ago when I was doing the pins for Webelos, the CM at the Pack meeting when the awards were being handed out asked one of my boys what he did to earn the Readyman pin.  He said he didn't know.  Dead silence, awkward moment, and then I said, Did you do anything for first aid?  And immediately the boy started to rattle on about all the first aid stuff he had done until the CM said that was great and invited him to shut up and sit down.  :)  The next boy had earned Aquanaut.  Same question from the CM, same deer in the headlights look on the boys face and I said, "Did you go swimming?"  After he got the boy to quiet down, the CM quit asking my boys questions about their pins.  :)

 

It's really not all that hard to do.

 

Right now my ASM printed up a "packet" for each of the boys with the worksheets, instructions, knot diagrams, LNT, etc. and they were handed out to the boys at the beginning.  It had all our emails and phone numbers in case anyone had problems, and those that needed to be done by the parents were flagged and repeatedly asked about each meeting as to their status.  As the worksheets are filled out and handed in they are checked off as done.  We do have one Webelos handbook for reference.  I didn't know there were "leaders guides"  :)

 

I have to admit it is a lot of work for 5 months, but it is doable.

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@@Stosh, that Forester wouldn't happen to be your wife by chance? :)

 

 

Yep! (caught red-handed) and when I talk about the naturalist that does the plant identification, she's a self trained herbologist and Master Gardener.  :)   She can paddle circles around me in a kayak, too.  The only thing she doesn't do is take me to Alaska, the #1 item on my Bucket List!!!!  That's the only reason I married her (at least that's what I keep telling her.)  :)

 

By the way she did work the Reservation rain forests of Southeast Alaska for the US Forestry Service as a helicopter survey crew supervisor, so she knows her way around a hardhat, flannel shirts and hiking boots.  She's kinda like Grizzly Adams without the beard and mustache.  Don't ever tell her I said that, she does a mean job with a double-bit ax.

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If the new books and such weren't available till the last minute, if at all, then all the more reason not to worry about everyone getting a badge.   Award the few that were earned, and focus on other activities during the ceremony.  

 

Take the lessons learned, apply them, and in a couple months, have another ceremony to celebrate the bumper crop of awards.  

 

I still do not understand why there is such a hurry to present all of these awards.   Cub scouting is a very long program today.   Plenty of time to get caught up.  

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I would have found it impossible to do the AOL in 5 months like I am doing had it not been for the fact that I had weekly meetings that didn't include such things as B&G, Derby, etc. That's a weekly meeting for 5 months straight and we're still spending time making up a ton of things this weekend.

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Sounds like fun.  Hard to imagine only 8 out of 34 managed to complete it.

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In Webelos, camping and cooking are two separate adventures.  In Bears, animals and plants are both part of Fur, Feathers, and Ferns (not to mention hiking is also included). That's three separate adventures in Webelos (Into the Woods, Into the Wild, Webelos Walkabout). 

 

You speak of separate adventures, but why are you separating them?  They can and really should be done altogether if you can.  These are all outdoor adventures, cant have camping unless your cooking. 

 

Am I missing something ?

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Sounds like fun.  Hard to imagine only 8 out of 34 managed to complete it.

Then present the 8 completed awards with all due fanfare, and when the others finish, have another ceremony with equal celebration.  

 

I'm obviously missing the point.

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The summary listing of the requirements were available early, although there was some editing supposed to have happened before they were actually printed into the handbooks and there were the warnings that requirements were subject to change.. I haven't compared to see how large the differences, but a lot of packs held off on making plans until they could read it in the handbooks for themselves. And I don't blame them. Like the print of the requirement changes for boy scouts, there were more than one edition of that out on the interwebs for a while which can make it confusing until you actually see it in print. 

 

For cubs with the whole do your best thing, work hard to do it the way written, make minimal changes to make it happen. if it says 'do this achievement with your den' and that is absolutely impossible figure out how the cub can do it with another group, family members, neighbors, friends etc.  This is no different than the requirements that would say 'do this with your family' and den leaders for years had been doing it in the den with a parent present (hopefully) and the other cubs acting as your 'scout family.'

 

National says cub scouts go to the next rank on June 1.  Fudge that date a little bit maybe til the end of June and get it done.

 

Just don't award the badge if they missed the meeting and then didn't do their best to make it up, or if the den as a whole skipped the topic completely. 

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