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Jenn

When is a Scout "Recognized"?

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35 minutes ago, Jenn said:

It's my impression that scouts are encouraged to earn First Class within their first year in the troop.  If Rank badges are only awarded at COH, and our troop only holds 2 COH per year, some scouts will never get a chance to wear each of these!  I know it doesn't prevent them from continuing to work on advancement, but there are some scouts who really look forward to actually wearing the rank badge.

I've known Scouts over the year who did not wear every rank they earned. It was not a big deal to them.  Middle son never got to wear his Second Class rank as he  earned First Class a month later. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jenn said:

... It's my impression that scouts are encouraged to earn First Class within their first year in the troop.  ...

Well, you just pulled the trip line!

One of the more prominent scouting fallacies is "1st Class, 1st Year." A few scouts should be able to move along at that pace. And a troop should be able to provide a range of opportunities so it can happen, but most scouts will take two to three years to master the skills needed to advance those first three ranks.

Now if a bunch of boys rank up every couple of months, then CoHs every three months would be a great idea. But if they aren't, those CoHs will become a nag.

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48 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Well, you just pulled the trip line!

One of the more prominent scouting fallacies is "1st Class, 1st Year." A few scouts should be able to move along at that pace. And a troop should be able to provide a range of opportunities so it can happen, but most scouts will take two to three years to master the skills needed to advance those first three ranks.

Now if a bunch of boys rank up every couple of months, then CoHs every three months would be a great idea. But if they aren't, those CoHs will become a nag.

I’m sorry, but a scout shouldn’t be first class in the first year. I dislike that since some troops force them into doing completing it which I don’t believe in. Scouts should do it at their own pace and time.

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(Resetting the trip line - and adding pink warning tape to it)

COH's held four times a year.  Rank patches are handed out at the next meeting after a BOR (yes, that means someone has to go to the Scout Shop that week).  The rank cards and parent pins (used to be "mother's pin - now we give one to each parent) are handed out at COH.

Merit badges are handed out at COH - but the SPL (not the Scoutmaster) announces at the end of every meeting who has earned a merit badge that week (if any).

POR patches are presented at the Spring and Fall COH - but we also use the COH as the start of someone's term of office.  Regular elections  are held twice a year 3 weeks before the spring and fall COH's.  Appointed positions are appointed two weeks before the COH by the incoming SPL.  The time between election/appointment and the COH is used to transition so that the new Quartermaster, SPL, PL, etc. can hit the ground running.  We have a short ceremony where the outgoing POR holder gives the incoming POR holder the patch for their position - the old Scribe gives the new Scribe his patch, etc.  The ceremony ends with the old SPL giving the new SPL his patch.  If someone is becoming a JASM - they get their patch from the Scoutmaster before the PL's, ASPL and SPL gets their patch.  If someone is re-elected or re-appointed to the same position, it is simply acknowledged during this time.  We make sure all PORs are recognized in some fashion during this period - even Den Chiefs who will get their cords from the SPL.

If a POR changes between these two COH's, the person will get the patch right away and be recognized at the next COH.

(As an aside - once the new SPL gets his patch in that ceremony, he takes over the meeting right away.  This handover is done near the end of the night's COH so the "Old" SPL starts the meeting and the "New" SPL ends the meeting - we find it really drives home the point that there's a new sheriff in town).

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4 hours ago, Jenn said:

Thanks for all the helpful replies.

It's my impression that scouts are encouraged to earn First Class within their first year in the troop.  If Rank badges are only awarded at COH, and our troop only holds 2 COH per year, some scouts will never get a chance to wear each of these!  I know it doesn't prevent them from continuing to work on advancement, but there are some scouts who really look forward to actually wearing the rank badge.

Maybe they will hold more frequent (4x/year) COH if their are more boys advancing.  I suppose I'll wait and see how it goes.  :)

Thanks for the insight.  It's nice to hear how other troops operate.

Hi Jenn,

Our troop used to be a First Class first year troop.  But, then the BSA made the requirements a bit tougher and it's stretched out to 18 months.  We never pushed the boys- we simply had enough opportunities for boys to work on skills and camp that they just got it done.  At an 18 month pace, they earn a rank ever 4-6 months which works out to about one per COH.

As I mentioned before, I'm a big fan on handing out all recognition and POR patches immediately.  The COH is the vehicle by which we recognize scouts.  But, it should not be the gate by which Scouts feel a sense of accomplishment.  In other words - when the scout earns something - get it to him then.  When the next COH occurs make a big deal out of it.

 

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On 6/12/2018 at 5:40 PM, Jenn said:

Thanks for all the helpful replies.

It's my impression that scouts are encouraged to earn First Class within their first year in the troop.  If Rank badges are only awarded at COH, and our troop only holds 2 COH per year, some scouts will never get a chance to wear each of these!  I know it doesn't prevent them from continuing to work on advancement, but there are some scouts who really look forward to actually wearing the rank badge.

Maybe they will hold more frequent (4x/year) COH if their are more boys advancing.  I suppose I'll wait and see how it goes.  :)

Thanks for the insight.  It's nice to hear how other troops operate.

That's the party line, but it's rarely done. It takes a very dedicated and active Scout to get First Class in the First year.  I've found that 18 months is the reasonable time for an active Scout to get First Class.  Join the committee and see if you can change their minds.  IMHO, two is not enough COH's for a year. IMHO, three is about ideal, but four is what is in the guidelines for a good troop.  

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On 6/12/2018 at 8:16 PM, ItsBrian said:

I’m sorry, but a scout shouldn’t be first class in the first year. I dislike that since some troops force them into doing completing it which I don’t believe in. Scouts should do it at their own pace and time.

I agree with you mostly. I do think that a Troop should be set up so that theoretically a Scout could do First Class in their First year.  By that, I mean that they go on enough campouts and outings so that it would be possible.  In my sons' troop, 16-20 months was a fast time to get First Class.  IMHO, that's about right.  

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On 6/12/2018 at 9:16 PM, ItsBrian said:

I’m sorry, but a scout shouldn’t be first class in the first year. I dislike that since some troops force them into doing completing it which I don’t believe in. Scouts should do it at their own pace and time.

I can't help pointing out the contradiction in this statement. What if a scout's "own pace and time" is to reach First Class in a year? 

I always find it odd that we applaud a certain timeline (a longer one) for advancement while criticizing another (shorter) one, even though neither are encouraged or discouraged by the rank requirements. The time between ranks that occurs because of POR requirements is the only deciding factor. So why do we judge one choice vs. another when neither break any rules or adhere to any BSA standard best-practices? 

One of the most dedicated Scouts I've ever known (and now a highly involved and dedicated Scouter) was a 13-year-old Eagle. This idea that some minimum age beyond the requirements should be arbitrarily applied because of what some people "believe in" is ridiculous. 

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1 hour ago, FireStone said:

I can't help pointing out the contradiction in this statement. What if a scout's "own pace and time" is to reach First Class in a year? 

I always find it odd that we applaud a certain timeline (a longer one) for advancement while criticizing another (shorter) one, even though neither are encouraged or discouraged by the rank requirements. The time between ranks that occurs because of POR requirements is the only deciding factor. So why do we judge one choice vs. another when neither break any rules or adhere to any BSA standard best-practices? 

One of the most dedicated Scouts I've ever known (and now a highly involved and dedicated Scouter) was a 13-year-old Eagle. This idea that some minimum age beyond the requirements should be arbitrarily applied because of what some people "believe in" is ridiculous. 

If I pushed myself, I could’ve got eagle at 14. But I didnt, I wanted to enjoy my time. The reason why I believe that first class should not be achieved in the first year is because then they don’t fully experience and learn completely. Let’s say, first class in a year and a 1/2, they will have a 1/2 year more knowledge in scouting. It may make no sense, but from my youth perspective it does. Many scouts get Eagle and think they are done and leave. (I’m not saying all scouts do that, I know many involved Eagles) Those Scouts will have more knowledge by getting Eagle at 16 rather than 13.

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1 hour ago, FireStone said:

I can't help pointing out the contradiction in this statement. What if a scout's "own pace and time" is to reach First Class in a year? 

Let's be clear: there is nothing stopping any scout from making 1st Class in about 3 months. But ...

FCFY is not about an individual scout's timeline. It's the adult-oriented philosophy that looks at the time minimums in the reqs, and concludes that no boy should waste more than a year of his scouting career mastering 1st class skills.

With it comes other fallacies. FCFY troops won't want a Tenderfoot to be a PL, because those responsibilities will only distract from his progress toward rank while "some other scout needs the PoR." Scouts who picks an MB to earn on day 1 are discouraged instead of referred to a counselor who is skilled with young scouts. Troop backpacking trips have to give way to outings that crossover Johnny can participate in with plenty of older boys to mind him. Swim testing gets done in a pool even though boys usually swim in lakes. A 50% control rate on a one mile orienteering course counts as "complete."

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