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Jameson76

Interesting observation - rank advancement

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I can't fathom how any unit could hold ten events, six of which must be outdoor events or camping trips, within a three months span. What unit is that active...???

I don't see how anyone could have realistically met that particular requirement between 2/1 and 5/04.

It is possible for her to have achieved this under advancement guidelines, but realistically, the probability of any scout actually doing this is extremely low.

If this girl actually did what she has claimed, I have no doubt that requirements were either overlooked, held to a ridiculously low standard, or her leaders may have allowed her to double-dip, or even triple-dip.

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The success and meaning of the Eagle Scout is based on the integrity of the system.  And there are many posts in the thread that doubt that a girl was able to do what was required in such a quick time, despite lack of evidence to the contrary.   I have to wonder if it is based on concern for the integrity of scouting, or simply continued angst and disagreement with the decision to allow females in scouts.  

If it is the former and short cuts are made, than BSA leadership needs to step up and ensure the process and system remains solid.  If it is the latter, the only results of their efforts will be to further damage the reputation of scouting and Eagle Scout, which I hope is not their intent.   

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1 hour ago, SSF said:

I can't fathom how any unit could hold ten events, six of which must be outdoor events or camping trips, within a three months span. What unit is that active...???

Not so hard:   3 camping overnights,   3 local day hikes,  and four other things:  (help with scout recruiting night?  do ILST?  help with the spring cleanup at the CO? one more? )  And while the girl reaching 1st class has to do all of them,  its not required to pick a day when the entire troop can go.   Get half or more of your patrol and two willing adults (different ones for different activities) and you are all set.   One overnight and two other Saturday mornings per month.

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2 hours ago, SSF said:

I can't fathom how any unit could hold ten events, six of which must be outdoor events or camping trips, within a three months span. What unit is that active...??? 

A bit of a bragging post here, but I just reviewed my son's scout calendar for the past 3 months.

Feb 9: Helped run ex-pack's pinewood derby with other members of his troop
(Outdoors) Feb 10: Patrol day hike
(Outdoors and Overnight) Feb 22-24: Troop snow campout
(Outdoors) Mar 2: Scouting for food service project (fliering)
(Outdoors) Mar 3: District aquatics day
(Outdoors) Mar 9 morning: Scouting for food service project (food pickup)
Mar 9 evening: Troop fundraising project (setting up, serving food, and cleanup for retired teacher's dinner)
Mar 16: 8-hour Red Cross FA/CPR training (technically not a troop/patrol event - but was done in preparation for high adventure trek this summer)
Mar 17: Attended ex-pack's blue and gold ceremony (did crossover ceremony for new scouts)
(Outdoors and Overnight) Mar 22-24: Troop new scout campout
(Outdoors) Mar 31: Troop day hike
(Outdoors and Overnight) April 5-7: District camporee
April 13: Staff meeting for Troop ILST
April 14: Troop ILST
April 20: Attended Eagle court of honor
(Outdoors and Overnight) May 4-5: Troop campout

These activities were all in addition to regularly scheduled troop or patrol meetings.  And he was not even trying to rush to first class.  He actually missed one troop activity in February when he attended a church event instead.

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5 hours ago, SSF said:

I can't fathom how any unit could hold ten events, six of which must be outdoor events or camping trips, within a three months span. What unit is that active...???

I am utterly loathe to call BS on what is possible.  If we had a girl who was interested in accomplishing this, our unit would find a way to make it possible.   At the same time, I know it's uncharitable of me, but I cannot see my way to saying "you go girl!" to those who claim to have accomplished that collection of requirements in 28 days.

What I think concerns me more in the long run, is the number of people who don't see red flags in "girls units are probably focussed heavily on advancement, so it's not surprising that their knocking out requirements really quickly".

We will bend over backwards to make opportunities available for our scouts, and we do - our girls troop is focused on advancement, we're doing everything possible to put advancement opportunities in front of them, and with that focus, we've got probably 40% of them pushing Tenderfoot at this point.

I'll grant that there are undoubtedly units out there that make us look like utter bums, and girls out there who are fanatically driven, but sadly, based on the real progress our scouts are making, I'd bet dollars to donuts that many "girls units that are focussed heavily on advancement", are really functioning as adult-led cub-packs, rather than scout-led BSA troops.  That cheats the girls of exactly the growth opportunities that the rank requirements were supposed to help them experience.

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Posted (edited)

Advancement is only one of eight methods of scouting.  Personal growth is also a method, and I think most would agree it is much more meaningful.  About 30 percent of our Troop is either ADHD, OCD, or ASD.  It has always been this way, and it takes a caring, consideration, and time, to move a Troop forward in this situation, and still have the unit program to be youth led.

Edited by Onslow

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8 hours ago, willray said:

.... That doesn't make it any less demoralizing in the moment, for the girls (or any scouts) be forced to work/participate with other scouts who have obviously taken liberties with requirements and who are being rewarded for it.

The girl whose PL made her clock 92 days of fitness instantly has more pride in herself than some girl whose PL let that one slide. Odds are she'll be more fit. So if she crosses a scout who has shorted her time, all she has to do is say, "Drop and give 20 push-ups, then watch me double it."

Same goes for knots, navigation, swimming, etc ...

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Again, assuming an older, knowledgable, and motivated youth, the trail to first class is pretty easy. And there's a big difference between someone somewhere was able to do this, and the entire unit being able to do this. As long as outliers are actual outliers, there's no reason to be concerned.

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My thoughts.

If she actually met the requirements AS WRITTEN, and truly "Master the Skill" needed for advancement, good for her. Now it's time to give back to her patrol and troop while continuing her journey. 

HOWEVER, if short cuts were made, fudging done to get stuff checked off, and a few other things I've seen done with boy units as well, Then I am strongly opposed to this. And as others have stated it does a disservice not only to the Scout, but others as well who will see her with that First Class Rank, and expect her to have the knowledge, skills, and abilities that rank entails when she does not. I have worked with Scouts who had First Class or higher rank, and couldn't do basic skills like knot tying or first aid. Heck this past weekend at camporee, EVERY SINGLE PATROL needed some instruction to complete the knot tying event I staffed. NSPs I could understand, but we are talking venture patrols ( do they still call the older scout patrol that?) with Life and Eagles in them.

 

Advancement should be a journey, not a race. Eagle is not the goal of Scouting, but rather a recognition. The goal is to produce responsible, informed, and active citizens.

 

 

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In my part of the world, the girls who joined Scouts BSA on Day 1, and their leaders, are go-getters. 

No grass growing under their feet.

They know what they have to do, and they're doing it.  Legitimately.

 

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Posted (edited)

It’s absolutely possible. My daughters schedule could have had her accomplish this had she chosen to do so. She has heard me say for years that advancement is not a race, but a journey, so she is in no hurry.

She is however, both a Venturer and a Scout. Since requirements can be met as part of either, she has had the opportunity for at least 9 outings in that time frame if you include troop (3) crew (4) council(2) and Jamboree training (1). (Two events were same weekend so She had the opportunity for 9 of the 10, she did 5). Even without the crew she could have had 6 events.

This Summer she is registered for 36 nights camping and my son for 28. 

Highly motivated Scouts who love the program can accomplish a great deal.

Edited by HelpfulTracks
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Oh, it is possible.  Take the calendar and mark the days necessary,  scheduling is a real skill inherent in getting things done.

Once upon a time, there was a fairly new Scout Troop that was very active, hiking, camping, going places.  The Scouts made rank along the way, but they were more concerned with DOING Scouting, altho the Scouts didn't call it that at the time, rather than passing requirements. That sort of happened automatically.  The dads all helped, Merit Badges?  Oh yeah, those....

A new kid joined.  His dad was "regular" Navy, an officer.  The new kid announced, publically (!), that he would be Eagle by a certain date, he had done the math, and added some time for "adjustments" and there it was....  The older Scouts soon realized, he could then become the first Eagle of the Troop . How is this possible?  The older Scouts got together and started finding MBCounselors, planning events to help satisfy the upper rank requirements.  The "new" kid, now an active Scout, found that often (as we all know),  "life happens after you make plans".  He eventually became the THIRD Eagle Scout of the Troop..... 

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2 hours ago, qwazse said:

The girl whose PL made her clock 92 days of fitness instantly has more pride in herself than some girl whose PL let that one slide. Odds are she'll be more fit. So if she crosses a scout who has shorted her time, all she has to do is say, "Drop and give 20 push-ups, then watch me double it."

Same goes for knots, navigation, swimming, etc ...

I have quite a lot of respect for your thinking and opinions, and while I've only recently registered on this site I've learned a lot from reading your postings over the years.  However, I think here, you might be bringing a bit more maturity to the analysis than what a 10-year-old AOL crossover comes with 🙂

I think we'll get them there - if we don't, we're not doing our jobs - but at the same time, they were clearly hurt, and hurt in a way that I haven't seen the boys in our boys' troop hurt by suspicions that others were "cheating".

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10 hours ago, Navybone said:

The success and meaning of the Eagle Scout is based on the integrity of the system.  And there are many posts in the thread that doubt that a girl was able to do what was required in such a quick time, despite lack of evidence to the contrary.   I have to wonder if it is based on concern for the integrity of scouting, or simply continued angst and disagreement with the decision to allow females in scouts.  

If it is the former and short cuts are made, than BSA leadership needs to step up and ensure the process and system remains solid.  If it is the latter, the only results of their efforts will be to further damage the reputation of scouting and Eagle Scout, which I hope is not their intent.   

Who is the "their" that you're referring to? BSA or people opposed to girls in Boy Scouts.

Yes, this girl supposedly completed these requirements in very quick time, as you admit. Does it not strike you as odd that girls are racing towards advancement so rapidly?

Correct we have no evidence that she did not complete the requirements properly. We also have no evidence to indicate that she actually did. All of this stems from the girl posting on social media. 

If I were a gambler, I'd wager that some shortcuts were taken.

 

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2 minutes ago, willray said:

I have quite a lot of respect for your thinking and opinions, and while I've only recently registered on this site I've learned a lot from reading your postings over the years.  However, I think here, you might be bringing a bit more maturity to the analysis than what a 10-year-old AOL crossover comes with 🙂

I think we'll get them there - if we don't, we're not doing our jobs - but at the same time, they were clearly hurt, and hurt in a way that I haven't seen the boys in our boys' troop hurt by suspicions that others were "cheating".

Caveat: I've only personally met girls who were on their way to becoming first class (in both concept and patch) at a more average pace, and their leaders were the antithesis of the "high-speed low-drag" types that give most of us scouters headaches.

My guess is that most of the girls who achieve First Class this month are 16+ year-olds doing so legitimately. Like my boys of the same age who noticed the shortcomings of other scouts (usually boys they met at summer camp, or on ordeal, or some other event), I tell them to invite those scouts to whatever skill challenge they are planning in the next month.

It doesn't even have to be a formal competition. It could be building a bridge, setting up a safe swim area, raising flags at a local ball game, conditioning for a hike, etc ... Basically, if they have the patch, invite them to act like it. If they weren't first class (patch notwithstanding) before, they will be it soon enough.

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