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Jameson76

Interesting observation - rank advancement

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Posted (edited)

Saw a post on another social media platform.  A young lady was reporting that she has completed 1st class requirements as of May 4th 2019.  I guess congratulations, but I had some observations: 

That means in 92 days (2/1/19 - 5/4/19) she has:

  • Completed all the requirements for Scout / Tenderfoot / Second Class / First Class
  • That is 118 separate items
  • Including:
  • 30 days of record keeping for Tenderfoot physical fitness
  • 4 weeks (28 days) of record keeping for Second Class fitness after Tenderfoot fitness requirement 6C
  • 4 weeks (28 days) of record keeping for First Class fitness after Second class fitness requirement 7A
  • That's minimum of 86 days for those keeping score on the fitness requirements
  • Went to 10 Scout events that do not include troop or patrol meetings.
  • From those 10 - 6 were outdoor events
  • For the outdoor events there were at least 3 overnight campouts where she slept in a tent or structure she put up (the campouts do seem easily attainable if troop camps monthly)
  • Completed the BSA Swim Test

Trust there was nothing more and nothing less required to complete the ranks.

Edited by Jameson76

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It's not as though they did not know what the requirements were in advance.  They could have had a plan mapped out even before 1 Feb.

Here on scouter forum, we've had discussions of highly motivated scouts making fast progress,  and discussions of questionable (biased-in-favor-of-girls) judging at camporees.   But how many of the new girls troops are simply more ordinary?   At three months in (1 May) my troop reached the point where 50% of the scouts had attained Scout rank.  None is a tenderfoot, yet.    

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I find that pace is fairly typical for scouts who join at an older age. Also, in my troop, Feb-May is a fairly active time of year. Moreover, if the scout is also a venturer -- especially an officer -- or camp staff she has connections to other crews and troops. Chances are, she lined up activities for her troop at an informal planning meeting in December.

If a kid isn't playing basketball they can do a lot in terms of advancement. But, if they are student athletes, they should be keeping exercise records. Our off-season soccer included weight training and it was all that I could do, for consecutive years, to keep from screaming at Son #2, "Why aren't you taking Personal Fitness?!"

Ignorance is the biggest challenge. Yesterday I talked to a scout mom who was asking if her boy could get signed off on Lifesaving at summer camp because he was getting his ARC guard certification. I strongly encouraged him to get a blue card from the SM and meet with a counselor in the district ASAP. (One of the ASM's was fiddling with his labtop, so I asked if he could E-mail the family our district's counselor list for that badge.) I basically told him the last thing he wants to do is spend an hour a day at camp listening to someone with the same training as him lecture him on stuff that he just learned.

If scouts think that there is no summer camp from which advancement will be spoon-fed, they could make rank quickly.

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One other motivation could be that she knows exactly how much time she has to reach Eagle including the extension, if she's older. That can light a fire under someone who is motivated by the rank. If she knows she has 20 months, that's a good reason to keep moving along.

Additionally, for the older scouts, especially ones with venture or outdoor focused Girl Scout experience, there's not a lot of difficulty in finishing everything. Its really not that hard.

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Another thought that makes this entirely likely.  You probably know more about this girl than we do, but as designed Scouts BSA girls troops are an independent entity capable of designing their own program.  It is easy to see a new troop designing their early program to focus on helping those girls complete those requirements as they don't have any scouts of higher ranks.  It won't surprise me if this troops turns out several early First Class scouts because their program is focused on that.  

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32 minutes ago, malraux said:

Its really not that hard.

I fully agree.  And a 17 year old scout can knock off lots of requirements quickly because of maturity and the ability to focus.  

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Depressingly, it's also not unheard of that the rank requirements were not exactly adhered to.

We had female scouts with first-class patches on their uniforms at the beginning of March 2019.

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As much as it pains me to say this, at the moment, it's more problematic, even if not more prevalent, with the females than with the males.

Scouts cheating themselves out of program is never a good thing, but with the defined start date of the Girls' troops, there are fairly clear boundaries about what's possible/believable/etc.

It's a serious problem for morale when you've got to explain to the girls in your troop why you're not going to let them short-change themselves just so that they can keep up with the girls they've seen in another troop that is playing a bit faster-and-looser with adherence to the rules.

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1 hour ago, Onslow said:

I smell a little fudge.

Based on what? Bias? Jealousy?

 

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1 hour ago, willray said:

...

It's a serious problem for morale when you've got to explain to the girls in your troop why you're not going to let them short-change themselves just so that they can keep up with the girls they've seen in another troop that is playing a bit faster-and-looser with adherence to the rules.

You know what's hard for morale?  Girls finding out that you unnecessarily gave them a pass.

What's good for morale? Girls knowing you won't skimp on requirements -- theirs or yours.

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Just now, qwazse said:

You know what's hard for morale?  Girls finding out that you unnecessarily gave them a pass.

What's good for morale? Girls knowing you won't skimp on requirements -- theirs or yours.

One's worse in the moment, and the other's worse after some time, maturity and reflection.

Obviously, I opt for the momentary pain and the belief that they'll eventually understand and appreciate the value of the whole process.   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.

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