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Ranman328

"Pencil Whipping" Requirements

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So I was asked for some advice by a "new" unit Commissioner of a new (edited by a mod) Scouts BSA troop of girls Unit about Advancement.  It appears that an entire Troop earned the Scout Rank Badge the first day they were in existence.  I find it hard to believe that an entire Troop were able to complete ALL the Scout requirements in one day.  Am I behind the times or being too naive about signing off on requirements.  I am a Scoutmaster and can't for the life of me see how anyone can earn the Scout Rank in one day.

Edited by John-in-KC
Correct terminology

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I think the requirements are achievable in a single meeting, if the Scout has already been taught and kept refreshed on the material previously particularly if they were Webelos.  So that's the real question, did the Scouts really demonstrate that they knew the skills to their Scoutmaster or designated leader per the Scout requirements?

More than ever, with new leaders coming into the fold to lead these girls Troops, it's more important than ever that new leaders are made to understand the Aims and Methods of Scouting and the proper role of advancement. Many will not, and plenty will understand and choose to disregard it so they can race to have one of their girls be "first."  

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I would be curious to learn how much experience the adults have. Aim and Methods are generally learned skills.

Barry 

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There's nothing challenging in those requirements, and of course it may be the first day the troop existed formally, that doesn't mean it's the first  time the troop met, either as Webelos or just as likely as an informal group waiting for d-day.

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2 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

There's nothing challenging in those requirements, and of course it may be the first day the troop existed formally, that doesn't mean it's the first  time the troop met, either as Webelos or just as likely as an informal group waiting for d-day.

Fully agree and very good point.  I'm just going out on a limb here - but as these girls all registered the first day they probably had a plan to do this.  But, even if there was a little exuberance and a few "close enough" so they could achieve this on day one, I wouldn't sweat it.

Honestly - my feedback to the "new" unit commissioner would be to not worry about checking up on the Scoutmaster and instead work to become a trusted adviser instead.  A Scoutmaster needs a friend and adviser way more than someone to check up on them.  When I was troop committee chair our unit commissioner was such a trusted adviser, I took to calling it the "Key Four" meeting.  A unit commissioner focused on adding that kind of value is worth his/her weight in gold.

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Have you read the requirements for the Scout rank recently? It’s a joining patch. There is nothing remotely difficult about it. If you have a determined Scout - as all these first-to-join young ladies are - who has done her or his homework, studied up, read their Handbook, and paid attention, then they can absolutely knock the requirements out in an hour or two. The Cyber Chip instructional component and ropework are the most time-consuming, and even those shouldn’t take very long. Remember many of these girls are older and not your typical 11-year-olds.

I will quote myself from a prior thread discussion:

”What a lot of people seem to forget is that we don’t require that a skill or knowledge be learned within the Scouting program. I’m not going to require an experienced backpacker to sit through my demonstration on packing a backpack. If they come to me and show that they know it and can do it, I’ll sign it off.

“Quite a few of these new Scouts have been camping and hiking for years. They have staffed summer camp and run FYC programs - actually teaching the very skills they must now get signed off - and backpacked stretches of the AT.

“T-2-FC is outdoors 101. They must still demonstrate that they can do it - but actually doing it is child’s play.

“Some of these new patrols and troops have been meeting informally for months and learning these skills on their own.  Not because they want to be “first,” but because they want to be Scouts.

“Unless you were there watching an adult pencil-whip Scouts through the requirements without actually doing them, let’s behave a little more Scoutlike toward our fellow Scouts and not accuse them of cheating, hmm?”

 

 

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41 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

but as these girls all registered the first day they probably had a plan to do this.

Most of the scout rank requirments are "repeat from memory . . .", "explain . . .", "describe . . .", "demonstrate . . .",  "show . . .", "tell . . ."   All these things could have been memorized/learned/mastered prior to 1 February, and simply demonstrated that day.   The three requirements that take more time are #2 (attending one scout meeting) #6 (the YPT pamphlet exercises with a parent, and the cyber chip) and #7 (the scoutmaster conference).    These girls could have been planning and learning for over a year since October 2017!   They could have persuaded their parents and scoutmaster to go along with the extra effort needed by the adults to schedule in time on 1 February for the adults to listen to this all in a single day. (YPT pamphet and all the scoutmaster conferences.)  

Remember, these girls have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting, to be able to join the B.S.A.     15 months can feel like a very long time when it is 10% of your lifetime.

I certainly know of new female scouts who looked ahead last year at the rank requirments, and starting working on learning skills they would need to know to pass them.

Not that my new troop is so organized at the troop @Ranman328 encountered.   As I pointed out to my scouts,  none of them will be able to earn scout rank until after they select a patrol name, emblem, yell, and flag.

Edited by Treflienne
I can't count: two --> three
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1 hour ago, Ranman328 said:

a new Girl Scout Unit

This is not a Girl Scout unit we are talking about. This is a Scouts BSA troop. Accurate language is important. Thanks!

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5 hours ago, shortridge said:

This is not a Girl Scout unit we are talking about. This is a Scouts BSA troop. Accurate language is important. Thanks!

Good reminder. I'm sure many of us continue to slip up on the naming conventions but with the GSUSA is currently suing Scouts BSA over this, we need to be careful. Thanks.

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In addition, if any of the new scouts were previously venturer scouts, the scout rank would be second nature already. 

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9 hours ago, Ranman328 said:

So I was asked for some advice by a "new" unit Commissioner of a new Girl Scout Unit about Advancement.  It appears that an entire Troop earned the Scout Rank Badge the first day they were in existence.  I find it hard to believe that an entire Troop were able to complete ALL the Scout requirements in one day.  Am I behind the times or being too naive about signing off on requirements.  I am a Scoutmaster and can't for the life of me see how anyone can earn the Scout Rank in one day.

Did UC do his/her job visit the troop and meet some of the scouts?

  • Are they acting like they know the scout law, what a patrol is, etc ...? Then they earned the rank. Period. Make sure they know of all of the opportunities the district/council has to offer.
  • Are they acting like they are being pushed around by their leaders/parents and completely clueless about how to order themselves? Then the UC and the unit key three need a sit down to focus on delivering the promise of scouting, not just badges, to these girls.

As to how, if a couple of the girls are venturers or former camp staff, they will know how to move things along. It's likely that they trained the girls well in the previous months, day 1 was electing an SPL/PL, reciting the material they already knew, signing off ranks, and scheduling SMCs. Easy enough starting midnight Thursday, and meeting for breakfast before school on Friday. (Venturers have done stranger things.) Proud SM or CC walks the paperwork to the scout shop, buys patches, done.

Edited by qwazse
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Below are the requirements.  I suspect it could be done in one meeting.  There is the requirement (#2) of "After Attending".  As the rank is to be earned after they joined Scouts BSA, not sure how that would be handled.  One could prep all the others, but that one specifically indicates after.

 

    1. Repeat from memory the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout motto, and Scout slogan. In your own words, explain their meaning.
    2. Explain what Scout spirit is. Describe some ways you have shown Scout spirit by practicing the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout motto, and Scout slogan.
    3. Demonstrate the Boy Scout sign, salute, and handshake. Explain when they should be used.
    4. Describe the First Class Scout badge and tell what each part stands for. Explain the significance of the First Class Scout badge.
    5. Repeat from memory the Outdoor Code. In your own words, explain what the Outdoor Code means to you.
    6. Repeat from memory the Pledge of Allegiance. In your own words, explain its meaning.
  1. After attending at least one Boy Scout troop meeting, do the following:
    1. Describe how the Scouts in the troop provide its leadership.
    2. Describe the four steps of Boy Scout advancement.
    3. Describe what the Boy Scout ranks are and how they are earned.
    4. Describe what merit badges are and how they are earned.
    1. Explain the patrol method. Describe the types of patrols that are used in your troop.
    2. Become familiar with your patrol name, emblem, flag, and yell. Explain how these items create patrol spirit.
    1. Show how to tie a square knot, two half-hitches, and a taut-line hitch. Explain how each knot is used.
    2. Show the proper care of a rope by learning how to whip and fuse the ends of different kinds of rope.
  2. Demonstrate your knowledge of pocketknife safety.
  3. With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet "How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parents Guide" and earn the Cyber Chip Award for your grade. 1
  4. Since joining the troop and while working on the Scout rank, participate in a Scoutmaster conference.

 

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18 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

There is the requirement (#2) of "After Attending".  As the rank is to be earned after they joined Scouts BSA, not sure how that would be handled.  One could prep all the others, but that one specifically indicates after.

You hold the first meeting, take care of everything else, have closing, then have the SM and ASM stay after to sign off on those requirements.

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11 hours ago, Ranman328 said:

So I was asked for some advice by a "new" unit Commissioner of a new Girl Scout Unit about Advancement.  It appears that an entire Troop earned the Scout Rank Badge the first day they were in existence.  I find it hard to believe that an entire Troop were able to complete ALL the Scout requirements in one day.  Am I behind the times or being too naive about signing off on requirements.  I am a Scoutmaster and can't for the life of me see how anyone can earn the Scout Rank in one day.

Correction: Scouts BSA unit. Heard about that lawsuit? 😄

As for the rest, as mentioned it's entirely possible that they met previously, discussed the requirements, maybe went over them and practiced. I see no cause for suspicion here.

Scout rank is the Bobcat badge of the troop level. Definitely achievable after 1 meeting, especially if the scouts spent any time at all prior reading the materials and/or practicing.

Edited by FireStone
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33 minutes ago, shortridge said:

You hold the first meeting, take care of everything else, have closing, then have the SM and ASM stay after to sign off on those requirements.

Or attend another troops meeting before 2/1.  The requirement doesn't state "while a member of a Scouts BSA troop" or "attend a meeting of your Scouts BSA troop".

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