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Jameson76

What are the BSA priorities??

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7 hours ago, Treflienne said:

So I have a scout who hates the name "Tenderfoot".  This scout had a lot of camping experience before joining BSA and does not feel like "Tenderfoot" is an appropriate term -- since using the broader meaning of the term, a "tenderfoot" is someone who is inexperienced in the out-of-doors.

Thanks to @HashTagScouts for that ready reference to the history of rank requirements.  Back in BSA early days, 1910-1911, "Tenderfoot" was a very basic rank:  Scout Law, signs, salute; a little flag knowledge.; four knots.   If you go further back,  Baden-Powell in Scouting for Boys in 1908 said that “A Tenderfoot is a boy who is not yet a scout”.

It seems odd, indeed,  that first one becomes a member of BSA, then one becomes a "Scout", and only after that does one become a "Tenderfoot". So I would propose (not that there is any chance in the world that BSA will change) the following:

  1.  Upon paying the registration fee and turning in the required paperwork, the kid becomes a "Tenderfoot", that is someone who has not yet learned those things that even the lowest ranked "Scout" should be expected to know.  No rank badge.
  2.  The first rank to be earned is, as now, "Scout".  All the same requirements and same rank badge as current "Scout" rank.
  3.  The next rank up, while retaining the its requirments and rank badge is renamed to be "3rd class scout", instead of "Tenderfoot"

This would restore the sense of the tenderfoot being a kid who is not yet a scout, and the tenderfoot being the least knowledgeable kid in the troop.

 

Interesting ideas.

Back in the 60's, most troops required that scouts earn Tenderfoot as a prerequisite for  their first campout.  Not hard to do and the name made sense "Tenderfoots on their first campout , where they are working on Second Class " .  The speed of earning Tenderfoot was also gauge of Scout Spirit and Patrol Method.  If the fault of not earning Tenderfoot, in say 2-3 months, was the scout's,  he was usually asked to leave. 

The Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class were  , in part, a common sense skills progression of outdoor skills. Every scout started at the beginning and no scout wanted to be a Tenderfoot  or Second Class  for long, they wanted to be First Class scout. So did their SM and BP. Your experienced scout would advance quickly. 

IMHO, the whole "Scout" rank/non rank is unnecessary confusion for a non-existent problem. Every kid who joins is a scout. Skills mastery was demonstrated by doing and not assumed absorbed from x number of campouts/overnights.

My $0.02,

Edited by RememberSchiff
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7 hours ago, ParkMan said:

It's probably worth noting that while Scout wasn't a true rank until just a few years ago, it has been a badge for some time.  I received it when I started as a Boy Scout in 1984.

...

Actually, I don't really see the distinction about why it wasn't a rank before, but now is. 

Prior to the '80s, only Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, and 1st Class were ranks.

Hillcourt's handbook listed Star, Life, Eagle, and Palms as awards. The term "rank" was hardly used at all. Treating three of those advanced awards as ranks and the forth as "not a rank" was a fairly recent conception. I tend to not harp on language as much as @TAHAWK, but in this case the novel distinction between ranks and awards was used as an argument in favor of insta-palms.

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8 hours ago, ParkMan said:

Here's the history I could find here:

  • 1948 - 1st Class - 1 night of camping
  • 1965 - 1st Class - 2 overnight trips
  • 1972 - no camping requirement
  • 1976 - earn camping skill award ( 2 overnight trips)
  • 1990 - 1 overnight camp for each rank.  3 overnight camps total
  • 2016 - T-1 night. 2nd Class-3 nights.  1st Class-6 nights

If we're at 3 nights now, we didn't even get there until 1990.  Seems to me that we've actually gotten more outdoor focused over time.

 

Seems that 1st class would be 3 nights of camping

  • Tenderfoot now - Spend at least one night on a patrol or troop campout. Sleep in a tent you have helped pitch.
  • Second Class now - Since joining Scouts BSA, participate in five separate troop/patrol activities, at least three of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least two must include overnight camping
  • First Class now - Since joining Scouts BSA, participate in 10 separate troop/patrol activities, at least six of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least three must include overnight camping
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2 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

Back in the 60's, most troops required that scouts earn Tenderfoot as a prerequisite for  their first campout.  Not hard to do and the name made sense "Tenderfoots on their first campout , where they are working on Second Class " .  The speed of earning Tenderfoot was also gauge of Scout Spirit and Patrol Method.  If the fault of not earning Tenderfoot, in say 2-3 months, was the scout's,  he was usually asked to leave. 

As a child of the 60's (I joined, and earned Tenderfoot in 1964), I do not recall ever seeing a scout be asked to leave the troop because it took them too long to earn Tenderfoot.  We were a military family, and as a scout I belonged to three different troops.  Most of us earned Tenderfoot and Second Class fairly quickly. 

It did take me a little longer than some to earn First Class, as I had to learn to swim before that could happen. 😁

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3 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

IMHO, the whole "Scout" rank/non rank is unnecessary confusion for a non-existent problem. Every kid who joins is a scout. Skills mastery was demonstrated by doing and not assumed absorbed from x number of campouts/overnights.

I don't know that the name "Scout" is the best choice.  But the content is a helpful preliminary orientation.  The focus is on understanding how being a scout works:  (scout oath, scout law, "four steps of Scout advancement", what ranks are, what merit badges are, how scouts provide leadership in the troop, the types of patrols in your troop, etc, etc.  And of course going throught the YPT pamphlet with ones parents.)   There is very little in the way of outdoor skills. (3 knots, whip and fuse rope, "tell" about pocketknife safety.)   

So later on when the scout wants to be signed off the very first time they, with help, stumble through a skill activity,  one can ask them whether they remember the "four steps of Scout advancment" in which "You learn" and "You are tesed" are separate steps.

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13 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

Basic Scoutmaster training, which I staffed starting in 1959, expressly covered, in over three hours of genuine interactive discussion, the Patrol Method ....

I would really like to see what was covered in those 3 hours. Typical discussions, problems encountered, push back, examples, all of it. It would be fun to re-create it.

I just helped with IOLS, teaching knife and axe, and all I could think was this should be a week long.

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3 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

Back in the 60's, most troops required that scouts earn Tenderfoot as a prerequisite for  their first campout. 

 

3 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

IMHO, the whole "Scout" rank/non rank is unnecessary confusion for a non-existent problem.

But the "Tenderfoot" rank of the 1960s is, in content, more similar to the "Scout" rank of today than it is to the "Tenderfoot" rank of today.  That is,  today significantly more is required for the Tenderfoot rank that in former years.  Actually, one can argue that today's "Scout" rank is a marginally more difficult rank than the 1960s "Tenderfoot" rank. The only things in the 1960s Tenderfoot rank that are not in today's Scout Rank are the requirments about the uniform, the flag, and the clove hitch.  And today's scout rank has a number of things not in the 1960s Tenderfoot rank. 

From the history of rank requirments, http://www.troop97.net/pdfbin/bsa_ranks.pdf helpfully brought to our attentions by @HashTagScoutswe have the 1965-1970 Tenderfoot

Quote

Tenderfoot
Very minor rearranging & slight adjustments (1965):
1 Know Scout Oath, Law, Motto, Slogan.
2 Give Scout sign, salute, & handclasp.
3 Describe Scout uniform & when to wear it.
4 Describe Scout Badge & explain its meaning.
5 Describe US flag & flag history, when to fly it, how to hoist, lower, display,
fold, salute it. [Pledge of allegiance now assumed as part of Tenderfoot
ceremony]
6 Whip a rope. Tie square knot, sheet bend, clove hitch, two half hitches,
bowline, taut-line hitch.
7 Understand the Outdoor Code.
8 Give your patrol name & yell; describe the importance of the patrol in your
Scout activities.
9 Explain what to do to earn Second Class.

Quote

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

 

Edited by Treflienne

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12 minutes ago, MikeS72 said:

As a child of the 60's (I joined, and earned Tenderfoot in 1964), I do not recall ever seeing a scout be asked to leave the troop because it took them too long to earn Tenderfoot.  We were a military family, and as a scout I belonged to three different troops.  Most of us earned Tenderfoot and Second Class fairly quickly. 

It did take me a little longer than some to earn First Class, as I had to learn to swim before that could happen. 😁

My SM and ASM were no nonsense WW2 veterans. While not an official BSA policy, in my troop, if a scout could not achieve achieve the little asked in Tenderfoot  requirements quickly,  why are you  there?  This was common with other troops at the time, particularly those with waiting lists. 

This may seem unkind today,  but my SM was not there to babysit, he was there to develop first class scouts.  You didn't waste his time . 

I took a long time to earn First Class too.  Somehow, I eventually passed Morse Code after failing, trying Semaphore and failing, and trying Morse code again and again.  I was particularly unskilled at understanding messages. Meanwhile, my Great Lakes  (he said it was a Scout camp :)) trained father tapped away at 20 wpm.  

My $0.02

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11 minutes ago, MattR said:

I would really like to see what was covered in those 3 hours. Typical discussions, problems encountered, push back, examples, all of it. It would be fun to re-create it.

I just helped with IOLS, teaching knife and axe, and all I could think was this should be a week long.

The typical Scoutmaster back then had a scouting experience as a youth. In fact, most scouters and scoutmasters until the 90s where scouts as youth. Scouting wasn't all that complicated until 90s when YPT and safe scouting guidelines started getting into the weeds of the program. Wood Badge was an advanced leadership course for experienced Scoutmasters. Troops struggle today because most of the scouters joining do not have a scouting experience as a youth. So, they don't have a youth perspective to balance out their adult tendencies. 

Barry 

Edited by Eagledad
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3 minutes ago, Treflienne said:

 

But the "Tenderfoot" rank of the 1960s is, in content, more similar to the "Scout" rank of today than it is to the "Tenderfoot" rank of today.  That is,  today significantly more is required for the Tenderfoot rank that in former years.  Actually, one can argue that today's "Scout" rank is a marginally more difficult rank than the 1960s "Tenderfoot" rank. The only things in the 1960s Tenderfoot rank that are not in today's Scout Rank are the requirments about the uniform, the flag, and the clove hitch.  And today's scout rank has a number of things not in the 1960s Tenderfoot rank. 

From the history of rank requirments, http://www.troop97.net/pdfbin/bsa_ranks.pdf helpfully brought to our attentions by @HashTagScoutswe have the 1965-1970 Tenderfoot

 

Agreed.  My recommendation, go back to old Tenderfoot  requirements with its simple focus of Being Prepared for first campout. Get rid of Scout rank. 

All kids who join are scouts who start work on Tenderfoot requirements. 

Another $0.02

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8 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

I took a long time to earn First Class too.  Somehow, I eventually passed Morse Code after failing, trying Semaphore and failing, and trying Morse code again and again.  I was particularly unskilled at understanding messages. Meanwhile, my Great Lakes  (he said it was a Scout camp :)) trained father tapped away at 20 wpm.  

Yeah, me too. Morse Code held my First Class back a few months. I'm reminded of that every time I have a text discussion with my kids.:o

Barry

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1 minute ago, Eagledad said:

Yeah, me too. Morse Code held my First Class back a few months. I'm reminded of that every time I have a text discussion with my kids.:o

Barry

LOL

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15 hours ago, HashTagScouts said:

history of rank requirements if you are interested: http://www.troop97.net/pdfbin/bsa_ranks.pdf

Thanks for this!  This is really interesting. 

13 hours ago, ParkMan said:

Here's the history I could find here:

  • 1948 - 1st Class - 1 night of camping
  • 1965 - 1st Class - 2 overnight trips
  • 1972 - no camping requirement
  • 1976 - earn camping skill award ( 2 overnight trips)
  • 1990 - 1 overnight camp for each rank.  3 overnight camps total
  • 2016 - T-1 night. 2nd Class-3 nights.  1st Class-6 nights

If we're at 3 nights now, we didn't even get there until 1990.  Seems to me that we've actually gotten more outdoor focused over time.

 

I was just about to do this same thing.  I find it really interesting that it took until 1948 to even have overnight camping as a requirement and that we are actually (with the exception of 2016) at the peak of camping requirements.  

4 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

Seems that 1st class would be 3 nights of camping

  • Tenderfoot now - Spend at least one night on a patrol or troop campout. Sleep in a tent you have helped pitch.
  • Second Class now - Since joining Scouts BSA, participate in five separate troop/patrol activities, at least three of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least two must include overnight camping
  • First Class now - Since joining Scouts BSA, participate in 10 separate troop/patrol activities, at least six of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least three must include overnight camping

He neglected to add that the requirements dropped back down to 3 immediately after in 2017.  2016 was the peak of camping requirements.  

 

 

I also find it interesting the contrast between the nostalgia for the "good old days" in threads like this, and the assertion that YPT has made abuse a problem of the past.  Scouting wasn't perfect then and it isn't perfect now.  The important things to me are - Are scouts learning and growing as people as a result of the program?  Are they safe while doing so?  I think that we are doing a pretty good job of both in many circumstances.  

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17 minutes ago, mds3d said:

I find it really interesting that it took until 1948 to even have overnight camping as a requirement and that we are actually (with the exception of 2016) at the peak of camping requirements.  

Another way to think about this is how unfortunate it is that in 1948 the Boy Scouts had to codify camping as a requirement rather than just operating under the assumption that camping was happening by default.  Being at the peak of camping requirements isn't necessarily a good thing.  I came up during the ISP, we camped all the time, requirements and practice are two different things.

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