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AltadenaCraig

When was 4th Aim added?

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As a new scouter, I found the Aims and Methods helpful as a summary of the current focus of BSA.   Yes @qwazse the 3 aims are mostly a restatment of what is in the oath.  But (as an outsider) I wanted to know whether the oath was regarded as just a historical relic or whether it was really still emphasized.

And really, the aims of citizenship and character development (and even fitness) go back to the beginning, to Baden-Powell.

Scouting for Boys, p 337 "Peace Scouting is suggested as an attractive means towards developing character and good citizenship"

Aids to Scoutmastership, p21 "The Aim of Scout training is to improve the standard of our future citizenhood, expecially in Character and Health; to replace Self with Service, to make the lads individually efficient, orally and physically, with the object of using that efficiency for service for their fellow-men"

And as far as enumerating the methods, it can be a helpful reminder that, for example,  the Outdoors is a method not an aim.   We are not primarily motivated by producing excellent outdoorsmen, but rather using the outdoors to produce excellent citizens.

I did find it a bit jarring when I learned that "Leadership" had also been promoted to an aim.

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45 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

And as far as enumerating the methods, it can be a helpful reminder that, for example,  the Outdoors is a method not an aim.   We are not primarily motivated by producing excellent outdoorsmen, but rather using the outdoors to produce excellent citizens.

That says it in a nutshell.

Treflienne, I look forward to watching your program.

Barry

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I agree with @Treflienne, @Eagledad, and @AltadenaCraig. The Aims and Methods are more than just fundraising slogans. They are a statement about how the organization works. 

I also believe they are helpful to orienting new adults to the program. Many new adults focus on advancement or uniforms to the detriment of personal growth and leadership. When I first learned about the Aims and Methods at 18 I found it helpful, although not world altering. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Well, here's the problem with the Aims being more than just executive summaries of other literature ... if they are more than that, you will always be left scratching your head about how your program has to change every time BSA rolls out a different version. The addition of leadership is an example. But, let's consider an omission, by taking one item from @Treflienne's quote of B-P's list:

"to replace Self with Service"

Is that not an an aim? Or is implicitly under character? It certainly falls in most closely with my working definition of leadership, so for me the it's now implicitly more strongly in the Aims than before. But was it ever really out? If you had a scouter who said to every family of every scout "Our aim is to replace Self with Service," would he or she be less effective of a scouter than one who said "Our aim is character, personal fitness, and citizenship?" I don't think an ability to quote the three (or four) currently promoted buzzwords will be a deciding factor.

I am glad that aims are separate from methods, because methods are what we have to do with our particular groups. It's nice to know that I don't have to sweat the patrol method with venturers, or that with scouts can be developing leadership whereas venturers should be exercising leadership. It's also nice to know that outdoors isn't a method of cub scouting, but family involvement and serving the community is.

When methods change significantly, I think we need to know. I think the YPT hurdles are changing the ability to implement some methods, and that's very sad.

On the other hand I'm not sure what harm YPT does the aims, it's not like "make the lads individually efficient" has been explicit for quite some time.

Edited by qwazse
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9 minutes ago, qwazse said:

When methods change significantly, I think we need to know.

Well, I'm happy to strongly agree with you on that.

I've been thinking hard about why I'm so worked-up about this.  @qwazse pointed out the Mission of the BSA hasn't changed, so what's the big deal?  That reminded me of what set me off in the first place:  The 2019 Guide to Advancement.  On the facing page to page one, in large bold print, are two statements: the Mission and the (now four) Aims.  Both printed in the same large-bold font, and only these two statements so featured, tells me the BSA places the same value on both.  Well then, either the Aims should't be proclaimed so prominently or they shouldn't be trifled-with.

And with "Leadership" so close to the "Leadership Development", and by burying the Methods among several paragraphs on GTA p. 11, it raised my doubts about National's commitment to Methods as well.

@Eagledad's tale of two Scoutmaster's is cautionary.  Our Aims & Methods are what help us identify true-north Scouters from charismatic posers who are simply winging-it.

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The other thread about the law reminded me of an online reference regarding the evolution of the aims and methods over time:

http://www.inquiry.net/adult/methods/index.htm

I thought there was a way we could grid out these buggers in the current forum software, but I'll have to dig a little.

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On 4/16/2019 at 8:00 PM, RememberSchiff said:

I agree with your concerns. 

Somewhat reminiscent of the mid 80's when suddenly an 8th Method appeared - the Uniform Method. This was unexpected and odd as the uniform was and remains optional.

As do leadership by youth and meeting requirements for advancement remain optional, based on practices tolerated. 

 

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On 4/16/2019 at 7:17 PM, RememberSchiff said:

 

Bylaws, Article 1

Purpose, Section 2

The purpose of the Corporation is as set forth in the original certificate of incorporation under the laws of the District of Columbia, dated February 8, 1910, and restated in the Act of Incorporation enacted by the Congress of the United States of America on June 15, 1916, as follows: “That the purpose of this Corporation shall be to promote, through organization and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in Scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods which are now in common use by Boy Scouts.” In achieving this purpose, emphasis shall be placed upon its educational program and the oaths, promises, and codes of the Scouting program for character development, citizenship training, leadership, and mental and physical fitness.

https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/Charter_and_Bylaws_June_2018.pdf

 

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