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RememberSchiff

Should BSA develop a "Classic Scouting"

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Of course not. Earn it as an adult in your troop. Maybe den chiefs could sign off pack leaders! :D

 

Every scout deserves an accountable leader.

 

Wow, I am really not ready to layer another level of bureaucracy for adult leaders. For one thing, it would detract from focusing on the youth.

 

But, IOLS is presumably to tool BSA uses to get adult leaders up to speed on First Class type skills. Perhaps a better mechanism would be to conform IOLS to First Class skills a little more closely and then make IOLS a prerequisite for Wood Badge. As a practical matter, my guess is very few Wood Badge attendess won't have already taken IOLS.

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I am not sure I would reach that conclusion.  It may be that those vague requirements from 1911 were interpreted in radically different ways by SM's and MBC's (if they even had MBC's at the beginning) and a decision was made to make the requirements more specific, such as to require that the camping be a Scouting activity.  It might help to know when that change was made.

 

As a lawyer, I find that more complicated and convoluted language in anything is invariably to product of conflict over simple, more concise wording. I have no doubt that the longer, more verbose wording are an attempt to head off disputes over advancement caused by vague language.

 

However, another laudable goal that might have driven the verbosity is to institute some consistency in the application of requirements.

 

The more verbose "modern" requirements are probably driven by both factors.

 

That having been said, I agree with the sentiment expressed earlier that if you expect 12 year olds to read and understand them, then you have to make it readable and understandable for 12 year olds.

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Well, I don't believe that Bird Study should be an Eagle Requirement. It's too specialized. I do believe that Nature merit badge should be an Eagle Requirement for a similar reason  you think Bird Study should be required.  I also think the Sustainability merit badge should be immediately eliminated as an Eagle required badge--it's just too boring for the boys. 

 

I believe that making the Sustainability MB Eagle required (option, of course) is a symptom of US scouting's departure from the its core mission as originally conceived.

 

National should really sit down and talk to the SMs that give SM conferences. No scout EVER said, "What I enjoyed about scouting was learning about sustainability."  And I will be surprised if any one of them ever does. For one thing, they are inundated with this kind of subject matter in school every day, and even in popular culture. Who needs scouting to learn about "Sustainability"?

 

That's not to say it is unworthy of being the topic of a MB. But, presumably, Eagle-required are such precisely because they are deemed core topics that every Eagle scout should know. Sustainability? Really?

 

Admittedly, I have never had a scout talk about enjoying Citizenship in the World, but at least citizenship has always been a core value of Scouting.

 

And a similar thing can be said about all the "explain", "discuss", "tell", and "speak to" requirements. They get school all day in school. I understand sometimes that is the way to impart necessary knowledge. But there's way to much of it. We need more "doing" and less "explaining".

 

But part of the problem has been that Scouting has evolved by trying to be all things to all people. They want all boys to have access to scouting and an opportunity to succeed in it. That includes urban youth with no or limited access to the outdoors. So, over time, they have watered down the outdoors aspect of scouting and brought in other things. Like STEM. 

 

BSA really needs to figure out whether they want the historical core mission. If they don't, then quit pretending. If they do, then makes some changes to get back to it. Instead of Sustainability and Family Life, perhaps Orienteering, Pioneering, and/or Signals.

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Wow, I am really not ready to layer another level of bureaucracy for adult leaders. For one thing, it would detract from focusing on the youth.

 

But, IOLS is presumably to tool BSA uses to get adult leaders up to speed on First Class type skills. Perhaps a better mechanism would be to conform IOLS to First Class skills a little more closely and then make IOLS a prerequisite for Wood Badge. As a practical matter, my guess is very few Wood Badge attendess won't have already taken IOLS.

Not sure where you're seeing the layer of bureaucracy.

 

One grabs a handbook. Works with fellow moms and dads until skills are mastered. Instead of a weekend away from the troop, they can work on it at a troop adult campsite 100 yards distant from the other patrols. Loan field specs to anyone who needs to observe the youth in action ... youth-focused is instantly increased depending on the quality of the binoculars.

 

I agree this might create some knowledge gaps, but there is a build-in solution that doesn't require entire weekends away from troop and family: round tables. This is where scouters find out who can fill in their skill deficits or give them refreshers. How much more engaging would that be than power-points on internet rechartering?

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.... Instead of Sustainability and Family Life, perhaps Orienteering, Pioneering, and/or Signals.

 

Here here.  Scouts are to be well rounded, but not by pounding boredom into them.  

 

So many of the merit badges are worse than worthless in today's society as the topics are pounded into them by school and other groups.  Asking them to do them in scouts hurts the scouting program.  Scouting covers them in poorer form than it is covered by school.  

 

How about this ?  Add an option for scoutmasters to wave merit badges if they have already been sufficiently covered in the local school or other channels.  If waved, find a challenging MB to replace it.  

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Not sure where you're seeing the layer of bureaucracy.

 

One grabs a handbook. Works with fellow moms and dads until skills are mastered. Instead of a weekend away from the troop, they can work on it at a troop adult campsite 100 yards distant from the other patrols. Loan field specs to anyone who needs to observe the youth in action ... youth-focused is instantly increased depending on the quality of the binoculars.

 

I agree this might create some knowledge gaps, but there is a build-in solution that doesn't require entire weekends away from troop and family: round tables. This is where scouters find out who can fill in their skill deficits or give them refreshers. How much more engaging would that be than power-points on internet rechartering?

 

If we are going to have adults "earn First Class", then there is going to be record keeping. Not to mention, we're going to have people doing the teaching and the signoffs. And those people will have to be vetted and kept in a list somewhere. And so on. To me, that's a layer of bureaucracy.

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Here here.  Scouts are to be well rounded, but not by pounding boredom into them.  

 

So many of the merit badges are worse than worthless in today's society as the topics are pounded into them by school and other groups.  Asking them to do them in scouts hurts the scouting program.  Scouting covers them in poorer form than it is covered by school.  

 

How about this ?  Add an option for scoutmasters to wave merit badges if they have already been sufficiently covered in the local school or other channels.  If waved, find a challenging MB to replace it.  

A dangerous idea. I like it. Maybe the only challenging (not tedious) MB's would be ones we or scouts create. :laugh: Consider that some troops have their own outdoor skills Woodsman/Outdoorman/PaulBunyan/DanielBoone patch.

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One needs to remember that "classic" scouting is not necessarily going to produce classic scouts.  The program of outdoor leadership is not the same thing as STEM laboratory leadership.  Nor is it cyber leadership.  One can also make the case for sports leadership.  Sure, those things are fun, educational, interest boys of this age, but they are already being covered by other programs.  Why can't the Scouts with their outdoor emphasis be the catalyst for a program that BSA used to excel in?  Why does it need to be in competition with every other church, school and community program to the exclusion of the classical approach of the original program that was working well until the powers that be decided to "improve" it?

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If we are going to have adults "earn First Class", then there is going to be record keeping. Not to mention, we're going to have people doing the teaching and the signoffs. And those people will have to be vetted and kept in a list somewhere. And so on. To me, that's a layer of bureaucracy.

 

So ... IOLS now ... isn't a bunch of record-keeping? Plus, money has to exchange hands!

And, is there any real verification of skills mastered? Has anyone flunked an adult from IOLS who couldn't tie a sheet bend the day after it was taught?

 

I mean, seriously, if you're getting that kind of quality instruction and verification out of your district committee (especially considering your troop size and the number of adults you all must be sending to training), please get them on this forum so they can show the rest of the world how it's done.

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So ... IOLS now ... isn't a bunch of record-keeping? Plus, money has to exchange hands!

And, is there any real verification of skills mastered? Has anyone flunked an adult from IOLS who couldn't tie a sheet bend the day after it was taught?

 

I mean, seriously, if you're getting that kind of quality instruction and verification out of your district committee (especially considering your troop size and the number of adults you all must be sending to training), please get them on this forum so they can show the rest of the world how it's done.

 

I think you misunderstand me. Yes, IOLS is a bunch of record keeping. And yes, I agree that IOLS is not currently a good tool for this.

 

My point was that we have IOLS already, and it is kind of, sorta oriented in this direction. So, if you want to make sure that all SMs and ASMs have all the skills of a First Class Scout, why not modify the current IOLS curriculum to do that? 

 

As for quality of instruction, why do you think it will be any better for this First Class achievement than it would be for IOLS? I mean, I don't know anybody who has failed YPT, or hazardous weather, or any of the other adult training, either.

 

Personally, I don't think there is any good way to achieve this goal. Adult leaders will know and/or learn the skills or they won't. Coming up with another "requirement" isn't going to move the ball much in my opinion.

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I look at this a bit differently.  

 

I think Boy Scout leaders are way too overworked today.  We keep adding more things for them to do, piling on even more training isn't going to make things better.  Trying to get some ASM to prove he knows camping skills isn't going to create scouts more in the classic model.

 

If you want troops to create more "classic scouts", you need to really organize troops in that model.  We think "train a Scoutmaster and get him going" is the answer - it isn't.  I know so many long time Scoutmasters who ignore large portions of the program because "they know better".  The ASMs in my son's troop don't teach scouting skills as much as they could because the culture of doing that isn't there.  Culture comes from the top - Scoutmasters/Committee Chairs/Troop Committees.  Get them to better understand how to implement the program and you'll see outdoor skills improve.  Simply doing more training of scout skills for ASMs isn't enough.

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As for quality of instruction, why do you think it will be any better for this First Class achievement than it would be for IOLS? I mean, I don't know anybody who has failed YPT, or hazardous weather, or any of the other adult training, either.

 

Well, one can pass the training and still make grave mistakes in judgement. For example, take weather training. There is a scenario in the module that says to be aware of weather far away from you and the impact it will have on you in your location. The example given is heavy rain up river. Would you still camp in an area that is obviously part of the flood plain even though it is an "approved" camping area by a BSA camp? Training and logic tell you no, yet some folks simply accept "it's a camp site so it must be safe" and camp anyway.

 

Training is no good unless you apply it appropriately. Just yesterday a few storm chasers died in a car crash not directly related to weather conditions. Why? They forgot the basics; something that can happen to any one of us at any time lest we forget.

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I look at this a bit differently.  

 

I think Boy Scout leaders are way too overworked today.  We keep adding more things for them to do, piling on even more training isn't going to make things better.  Trying to get some ASM to prove he knows camping skills isn't going to create scouts more in the classic model.

 

If you want troops to create more "classic scouts", you need to really organize troops in that model.  We think "train a Scoutmaster and get him going" is the answer - it isn't.  I know so many long time Scoutmasters who ignore large portions of the program because "they know better".  The ASMs in my son's troop don't teach scouting skills as much as they could because the culture of doing that isn't there.  Culture comes from the top - Scoutmasters/Committee Chairs/Troop Committees.  Get them to better understand how to implement the program and you'll see outdoor skills improve.  Simply doing more training of scout skills for ASMs isn't enough.

 

The only reason adult leaders are overburdened and burnt out is because they are not applying the boy led part of the program.  1 or 2 ASM's knowledgeable for reference and the boys do the instruction.  That's the classic approach.  In today's culture of adults do it all runs counter to classic scouting, probably one of the biggest problems with the program today.

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The only reason adult leaders are overburdened and burnt out is because they are not applying the boy led part of the program.  1 or 2 ASM's knowledgeable for reference and the boys do the instruction.  That's the classic approach.  In today's culture of adults do it all runs counter to classic scouting, probably one of the biggest problems with the program today.

Much of that I agree with - troops don't know how to implement the program. Is not that adults want to do it all. It's that troops donto know how to do boy led. There's a skill to running a troop that is not taught anywhere.

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