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qwazse

Not a rank? No board of review. Since when?

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I never viewed palms as any sort of rank advancement, neither were MB's they were merely requirements for advancement.  Palms are awarded beyond the highest rank (Eagle) as awards based mainly on more required MB's.  It wouldn't bother me one bit if there were or were not BOR's held for them, but they should be optional like all BOR's except for rank.  Palms are not rank.

 

By the way everyone runs around saying Eagle is the highest rank.  Then is Eagle with 1 palm higher?  Nope.

Edited by Stosh

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So, @@Stosh, was your handbook laid out differently than mine?

In mine, the MB requirement for a Palm was #4 of 5.

It told me that there were specific awards on the trail to Eagle, half of which required progress review by an adult committee. Eagle being one of them, Palms being the next.

It never put "rank" and "Eagle" in the same scentence.

 

Maybe some people think more of an Eagle+Bronze than Eagle, maybe not. But, even if the latter is what "everyone runs around saying", when did egalitarianism become any justification for making a BoR optional?

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I'm not disputing the need for any BOR, have as many as one wants, not a problem.  The only one's I thing are important in relationship to this discussion are those BOR's for rank advancement as required in the list of requirements.  If BSA puts that as a requirement for the palm, so be it, it doesn't hurt.  As I have mentioned, I had the boys do a BOR for Scout before it was a rank.  Why?  Because I felt it was important for the boy to learn how to do a BOR before it counted towards ranks.

 

If one thinks having a BOR for a palm is a waste of time, then jump through the hoops and get the palm done.  If it's not going to be required because it's not a rank, then have one anyway if one thinks it's important for the boy.

 

While it is not required, I have a SMC before and after every MB a boy takes.  I believe that this process is important for both the boy and I.  Nothing in the requirements say I have to do it, but I do it anyway.  I guess that process would be the same when it came to the BOR and palms.  After all the verbal recognition from SM and Committee might be something the boy likes because Mom and Dad are going to be proud, but that's what they get paid for.  SM and Committee do it for real. 

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"Eagle Scout Rank," 8.0.3.0.

 

8.0.0.1 Purpose and Timeliness of Boards of Review

After a Scout has completed the requirements for any rank or Eagle Palm, he appears before a board of review. Its purpose is to determine the quality of his experience and decide whether he has fulfilled the requirements for the rank. . . .  Because the board of review date becomes the effective advancement date, boards should be scheduled promptly. . . ."

B.S.A., Guide to Advancement (2017)

 

"Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps in overcoming them through the advancement method. The Boy Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he meets each challenge. The Boy Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a Boy Scout grow in self-reliance and in the ability to help others."

B.S.A. at http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards.aspx(2017)

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Maybe some people think more of an Eagle+Bronze than Eagle, maybe not. But, even if the latter is what "everyone runs around saying", when did egalitarianism become any justification for making a BoR optional?

This is a good discussion. The forum used to have many discussions about ranks and awards way back and they are a good review of what the books say instead of what we often assume. Thanks for the review, qwazse.

 

As a result of these kinds of discussions (reviews), I got in the habit of calling Star through Palms "awards" instead of ranks. Award just seems to fit better to me because scouts in our troop are respected by their maturity and experience, not their rank. Not that rank shouldn't reflect a scout's maturity and experience, but sometimes rank is thrown in the mix of requirements for an activity or position of responsibility simply because it implies a seasoned well experienced scout, when in reality the "award" only acknowledges completing a list of requirements. The Eagle "award" is highly respected in our troop, but we have a lot of First Class, Star and Life scouts who are very respected for their experience and maturity. 

 

I hope we haven't brought any less honor to the Eagle and Palms than they deserve because we sure have a lot of them. But at the same time, those awards are not perceived as the pinnacles of our program either. 

 

Barry

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While it is not required, I have a SMC before and after every MB a boy takes.  I believe that this process is important for both the boy and I.  Nothing in the requirements say I have to do it, but I do it anyway.  I guess that process would be the same when it came to the BOR and palms.  After all the verbal recognition from SM and Committee might be something the boy likes because Mom and Dad are going to be proud, but that's what they get paid for.  SM and Committee do it for real. 

This is interesting; that is a lot of conferences.

 

I have a completely different perspective about MBs, so I'm curious what you discuss with the scouts before and after they complete the requirements.

 

I used MBs as a tool for scouts to practice making independent decisions and working independently with other adults without Scoutmaster oversight. Of course I work with new scouts to insure they understand the process of finding counselors, communicating with them and filling out the paperwork properly. But they pretty much have that down after two or three badges. After that, I'm pretty much out-of-sight out-of m-mind. I personally think the Scoutmaster signature shouldn't be required after a scout completes the requirements because why should Scoutmasters care?

 

I'm not saying my approach is better, just different. So I'm curious to learn what you discuss with the scouts before and after they complete the requirements. Especially the more experienced older scouts.

 

Barry

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Not remembering any discussion in my youth of ranks vs.awards ... I pulled down my BSHB (9th Ed. -- I now regret not taking it to Jambo and having Bill Hillcourt sign it), so let's see what we've got ...

 

 

Now. Who taught you?

 

 

I'm pretty sure that if I were to find my 8th edition BSHB, it would probably read much the same - of course, that was the 1970's and things tend to change over time.

 

Looking at the most recent guide to advancement and the information available on the BSA's own website, it refers to Scout through Eagle Scout as ranks - not as awards.  It's not about who taught us - it's about keeping up with current information.  My oldest brother (he's 10 years older than me) was taught to dig a trench around his tent when he was a Scout.  I was taught not to dig a trench around my tent.  I remember the BSA Fieldbook I owned still showed trenching - it took awhile for it to catch up. 

 

I know that some folks might think Palms are very important - I also believe that some folks, like me, just see them as JUST a reward for earning more Merit Badges than are required.  I think they can play an important role in retaining Scouts that become Eagle Scout - give them something to work for.  I just happen to be one of those who don't think a BOR is really all that needed for Palms - I'm perfectly fine with Troops using them as a trigger for a BOR but I think it should be optional.

 

I think some of the awards are more important than Palms - ok, Totin' Chip isn't one of them, but the Den Chief Service Award would top my list - it's a perfect award for a Board of Review - a Troop Committee can probably get a lot of useful information about a Den Chief's experience, and how the Troop's program helps or hurts Webelos Den recruitment. 

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As an aside, regarding digging trenches around tents, I am not surprised this was taught in the past, but I am unaware it was in any of the fieldbooks. All of my copies going back to 1948 describe choosing tent locations with good drainage and make no mention of digging trenches. Admittedly I do not own every edition and every printing of the Fieldbook. So I am curious which edition this appeared as it must have been a short lived idea.

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As an aside, regarding digging trenches around tents, I am not surprised this was taught in the past, but I am unaware it was in any of the fieldbooks. All of my copies going back to 1948 describe choosing tent locations with good drainage and make no mention of digging trenches. Admittedly I do not own every edition and every printing of the Fieldbook. So I am curious which edition this appeared as it must have been a short lived idea.

 

My memory may be faulty - it may have not been in the Fieldbook - but I do remember seeing illustrations of tent trenching, and other ideas for campsites, in BSA literature somewhere - perhaps it was an old BSA handbook, or an old merit badge guide.  Of course, way back when trenching was de riguer, it wasn't uncommon for Troops to be using shelter halves (which, when put together, formed a 2-man floorless pup tent).

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My curiosity was piqued by the comment because I have always heard the comment about it being a bsa practice, but never seen it in any literature. In fact even the oldest literature is careful about using proper site selection for drainage as the requirement. I wonder if the practice was taught by military men returning from the wars and continued the military practice in scouts? It would not be the first time that military concepts have crept into scouting even if in conflict with official terms and ideals (eg Class A, B). Just some monday morning ponderings.

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My curiosity was piqued by the comment because I have always heard the comment about it being a bsa practice, but never seen it in any literature. In fact even the oldest literature is careful about using proper site selection for drainage as the requirement. I wonder if the practice was taught by military men returning from the wars and continued the military practice in scouts? It would not be the first time that military concepts have crept into scouting even if in conflict with official terms and ideals (eg Class A, B). Just some monday morning ponderings.

 

Ditching is described in my old 6th edition handbook . We would ditch our tents where we could NOT select our campsite such as at a open field camporee with rain in the forecast.

 

On the Camping Trail to First Class

Keeping out of the Rain, second, third paragraph,  p263

 

   If you've pitched your tent on a small elevation or on ground that absorbs the water quickly, you'll have little to worry about  Otherwise you may have to ditch your tent on the uphill side. The ditch need be only 4 inches deep and 4 inches wide Cut inside of ditch flush with tent wall. Place the sod you dig up at the outside edge of the ditch, and replace when camp is over.

  Remember that ditching on sloping ground may create an erosion problem - so only ditch in an emergency and not at all if not permitted, as in state and national parks.

Edited by RememberSchiff

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This is interesting; that is a lot of conferences.

 

I have a completely different perspective about MBs, so I'm curious what you discuss with the scouts before and after they complete the requirements.

 

I used MBs as a tool for scouts to practice making independent decisions and working independently with other adults without Scoutmaster oversight. Of course I work with new scouts to insure they understand the process of finding counselors, communicating with them and filling out the paperwork properly. But they pretty much have that down after two or three badges. After that, I'm pretty much out-of-sight out-of m-mind. I personally think the Scoutmaster signature shouldn't be required after a scout completes the requirements because why should Scoutmasters care?

 

I'm not saying my approach is better, just different. So I'm curious to learn what you discuss with the scouts before and after they complete the requirements. Especially the more experienced older scouts.

 

Barry

 

With the younger scouts the pre-SMC deal with expectations on the difficulty involved with the MB.  Having a ton of half done MB's is not something that is effectively providing the right program for the boys.  It's kind of like not wanting to set the boy up for failure.  Sending a new boy off thinking he's going to walk away with the camping MB or Fitness MB at camp isn't going to be a reality for him.  Better to build up the requirements before hand and then take it when the goal is at least on the horizon.  

 

With the younger scouts the post-SMC deal with their evaluation of the material, the MB counselor and whether or not they thought it was a worthwhile effort to have learned.  If there's a kit that went with the MB, then I will do a bit of "ooooh" and "aaaah" over the results of his work.  It's always interesting to see what they did.  I don't want to have the boy just chuck it away in a box somewhere.

 

With the older boys the pre-SMC deals more with expectations more in line with his skill and maturity level.  Fingerprinting, Art, Music, Basketry, Indian Lore, and such just to get an Palm award might involve a little bit more discussion than Welding, Auto Repair, etc.  where the boy is genuinely seeking further knowledge in his Scouting career.

 

With the older boys the post-SMC deals a lot with the evaluation and worth of the MB.  I use the comments from the boys to better pre-SMC with other scouts if a MB they want to take has a history of "no good" with a certain counselor or camp program.  I also encourage the boy if it was a really good experience to talk it up with the other scouts and encourage them to pursue it as well.

 

My SMC's are just as important to me as it is for the boys.  I learn a lot about the different summer camp MB programs from the boys and if the MB's suck, but the shooting sports were fantastic, then I mark it up in my mental database for the next boys coming up in rank.  This allows me to keep a pulse on the MB programs at council and camps.

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Ditching is described in my old 6th edition handbook . We would ditch our tents where we could NOT select our campsite such as at a open field camporee with rain in the forecast.

 

On the Camping Trail to First Class

Keeping out of the Rain, second, third paragraph,  p263

 

   If you've pitched your tent on a small elevation or on ground that absorbs the water quickly, you'll have little to worry about  Otherwise you may have to ditch your tent on the uphill side. The ditch need be only 4 inches deep and 4 inches wide Cut inside of ditch flush with tent wall. Place the sod you dig up at the outside edge of the ditch, and replace when camp is over.

  Remember that ditching on sloping ground may create an erosion problem - so only ditch in an emergency and not at all if not permitted, as in state and national parks.

Thank you. I also found it in my 1965 handbook and noted the "only in emergency" clause.

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