Jump to content
Jameson76

What are the BSA priorities??

Recommended Posts

16 hours ago, Thunderbird said:


I think the BSA is trying to discourage teaching them together, because the overall course goals are different.  At any rate, there seems to be a lot more knot tying in the current Cub Scout program than I remember there being in the old program.

We can't find enough volunteers to help run it. It's hugely disorganized but I'm just trying to, as the old SM minute says, help a few star fish get back into the ocean.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On October 24, 2019 at 6:41 PM, Thunderbird said:


Are you teaching IOLS and BALOO together?

 

On October 24, 2019 at 6:50 PM, MattR said:

Yep. Not my idea. I'm so far from cubs I really don't remember any of it.

Question: who ever actually did 5 miles of land navigation during their IOLS? Measure the width of a ravine? Height of a tree?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/26/2019 at 8:28 AM, qwazse said:

 

Question: who ever actually did 5 miles of land navigation during their IOLS? Measure the width of a ravine? Height of a tree?

When I taught IOLS, we did do height of tree and distance across ravine. But with only 1 hour, could only do basics of map/compass. I focused on how the adults could encourage the scout leaders (youth)  with activities instead of school like instruction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BSAPT is an understandable method - THE method.  However, the "blank check" nature of the required form, while likely due to incompetence rather than conspiracy, is the proverbial "last straw."

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/22/2019 at 6:20 PM, mds3d said:

I think you are looking in the wrong place for traditional scouting values.  They are still there in the aims and methods. 

Of course, YPT is national's highest priority.  The failure of this in the past is the thing most jeopardizing the future of the national organization.  You can't blame the national staff of the present for that (you should blame the perverts of the past though). The background check forms are another step in that process.  I want national to do everything they need to do to protect the existence of the program for future generations.  As long as YPT  (and the legacy of the past) is a problem then it will have to be a function of National.  Abuse scandles are bad press, scouts getting hurt is bad press. Bad press is bad for recruitment. We have half the number of units in our district than we did when I was a scout (not counting LDS). 

The Eagle has been a priority for years.  It was emphasized 20 years ago when I was a scout.  As long as it is viewed as the end goal and a feather on a young person's cap for college and job applications it will be a priority.  I don't see national or councils being the push for this though.  I haven't been to Summit, but I don't have a problem with it.  National is using it (like philmont and sea base) to provide things that local councils simply cannot.  I see no wrong in this as long as it is handled. 

All of the fee discussion has come from panicked scouters and parents.  National should have handled it better, but until the number actually comes out we have no way of knowing how bad it is.  

The outdoor program is supposed to come from the troop. Except for high adventure, it isn't national's job. Except for summer camp, it really isn't the local council's job.  If you see shifting priorities here then it is a Unit problem.    My units still spend a ton of time outside with boys learning great outdoor skills.  

Officially, neither Eagle nor any other "advancement" is a goal of Scouting BSA. Officially, Advancement is merely a tool to achieve the goals of character development, producing good  citizens  who are good leaders and fit in mind and body.  In reality, some forty years ago, BSA misplaced large portions what it says it is about, including many of the official methods.

To wit:

The outdoor program has been deemphasized.  An "overnight campout," includes a weekend "lock-in" playing video games per the BSA Q&A for Journey to "Excellence." Time allocated to courses to train adults  in the outdoor program has been sharply reduced.  Camping requirements for advancement have been sharply reduced.

Merit Badge mills are universally tolerated (also teaching a "lesson" applicable to the "ideals" BSA says we are  developing in youth).  Advancement requirements in general, with few exceptions, have been dumbed down to match the official program offerings.  

BSA has not taught Scouters what the "patrol method" consists of for over forty years.  The BSA model plan for a troop meeting allocates ten minutes to the patrol and there is no training on planning patrol meetings (or other activities) at any level.  There is no recognition for using the patrol method and no discouragement of not using it.  It's troop. troop, troop, and one BSA website offering since 2006 claims that  the "patrol method is one component of what we call a youth-run or youth-led troop."  "Family Camping," where Mom and Dad adults will be in charge, is now emphasized instead of patrol camping.

Leadership development and personal growth is hamstrung by BSAPT's requirement that two "registered adults" be present to "supervise" every single Scout activity (except meetings with a Merit Badge Counselor).  This is matched by the failure to offer guidance to those adults in keeping their thumbs off the process.  Instead, BSA uses "leader' to almost always refer to adults: "There will be a leaders meeting Friday night."

There is no "uniform' - merely a brand of diverse clothing items across a substantial price range.  "Buy BSA."

We had a good run.

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

 

The outdoor program has been deemphasized.  An "overnight campout," includes a weekend "lock-in" playing video games per the BSA Q&A for Journey to "Excellence." Time allocated to courses to train adults  in the outdoor program has been sharply reduced.  Camping requirements for advancement have been sharply reduced.

 

 

 

I'm not sure why you chose to quote me for your point, but where did you find this?  I am having a hard time finding this thing about a lock-in in the JTE materials.  

Do you have numbers for the camping requirements?  It doesn't seem to have changed much over my time.  

I am not sure what you mean about adult training?  What did we used to do that isn't done now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, mds3d said:

I'm not sure why you chose to quote me for your point, but where did you find this?  I am having a hard time finding this thing about a lock-in in the JTE materials.  

I  quoted you because i was attempting to reply to your observation.

As for JTE, in the council roll-out the question of what a "weekend campout" came up, and the Area rep had no good explanation.  So i found this:

"BSA OFFICIAL q&a

. . .

"45. Do YMCA lock-ins to work on swimming requirements, lock-ins at indoor climbing

facilities, etc. count as short-term camping for JTE purposes? 

A:  Yes, these activities do  count as long as they’re troop outings." 

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/mission/JTE_FAQs-Unit.pdf  Updated 9-7-2012 

 

Amazed at the inconsistency with every other BSA explanation of "camp," "camping, or "campout," I wrote National and got this above average response:

"Thank you for your treatise below.  It is very well thought out and accurate in its slant. 

 JTE is a recognition program designed to get units more involved, and to improve their program incrementally.  All of the JTE criteria were developed and vetted by a volunteer committee, as were the FAQ’s.  JTE was developed to encourage units to improve.  In some cases, just getting a troop to do anything together, other than their troop meetings, is a challenge.  Some troops are in climates that make outdoor outings almost impossible at certain times during the year, and many troops are small and don’t have the resources that model troops have.  With that in mind, the volunteers who developed JTE saw nothing wrong with rewarding troops who at least make the attempt at an overnight activity, even if it’s a lock in at the YMCA.

 It would be nice if every troop in the BSA was in a location, and strong enough to do all of their activities in the out of doors.  JTE isn’t discouraging that, but is opening up other possibilities to get troops more active hoping that all will become strong enough to have the best program possible.

 Sincerely,

 BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
Mission Impact Team

1325 West Walnut Hill Lane  |  P.O. Box 152079"

On the telephone, I was told by a BSA rep that, after forty-three years as a unit Scouter and district volunteer, "You don't understand how hard it is to get kids to camp outdoors."

Quote

Do you have numbers for the camping requirements?  It doesn't seem to have changed much over my time.  

Ah, yes; "time," as in different values of.

The most recent reduction was in 2017 - just ages ago!  The First Class camping requirement was reduced from six overnighters to three. (It had been that trivial before.)  And remember, for Journey to "Excellence" purposes, all  "campouts" may be indoors.

In my "time," Scout patrols camped every month, alone or in the same area as other patrols.  I knew no patrols in our district that did otherwise.  Under Second Class Requirement II. "Participation, " you were required to "work actively" in that camping program.  No one got by under 50% except in exceptional circumstances (My best friend in the troop got polio, and missed some campouts.  This was accepted as a valid excuse.)  In addition to all that, to achieve First Class, you had to plan and execute your First Class Camp with your patrol or a companion approved by your Scoutmaster (Mine was my Patrol Leader, an Eagle Scout.)  None of this could be indoors.  So, a First Class candidate in my troop, considering summer camp,  typically had 20 or more days and nights of camping when he earned First Class.  This was ages ago, when Scouting reached well over 10x the percentage of eligible youth as it reaches today.

It had not previously been thought necessary to have a camping requirement, any more than a breathing requirement, except for the fourteen mile First Class (crosscountry) Hike "alone or with another Scout.," which could be an overnighter.  After all, kids joined Scouts to camp and hike.  That was a "method," not a hurdle.

Quote

I am not sure what you mean about adult training?  What did we used to do that isn't done now?

The original Wood Badge course (1948-1971), which I staffed as an experimental "Junior Staffer," [QM helper] in 1959, was a seven-complete-day week devoted to what we mostly are told to cover now in one day in Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills - all outdoor skills  up to First Class of that day.  I have been staffing Scouter training at the district, council, section, and area levels ever since, with a break for grad school, marriage, and starting a career from 1967-1981.

Basic Scoutmaster training, which I staffed starting in 1959, expressly covered, in over three hours of genuine interactive discussion, the Patrol Method, with the learning objective that the "learner" be able to "explain the patrol method" as we at least pretend to expect the candidate for Scout Rank to do today.  Current Scoutmaster...Position-Specific Training does not  expressly cover most of the Patrol Method in the  thirty-five minutes allocated, and understanding the Patrol Method is not a learning objective.  Not to say it was not far worse from 2000-2013, when the word "patrol" appeared once in the syllabus section "Working with Youth - the Patrol method," a section that lacked a single sentence on the Patrol Method.

From 1920 until the near-death experience of the "improved Scouting Program" in 1972, Scouting literature, especially training literature emphasized the Patrol Method and it's inventor, Bill Hillcourt was around to keep proselytizing in writing and orally.  The writings of "The Scoutmaster to the World" live on, though he left us in 1992..

BSA HAS FAILED TO COHERENTLY EXPLAIN THE "PATROL METHOD TO ANYONE IN OVER FORTY-FIVE YEARS, although Mark Griffin had the knowledge and the will do do the job.  He snuck in these prescient words in 2014 before being pulled from the project and kicked up to Area leadership:   

"In Scouting, a troop is composed of several patrols. Scouting happens in the context of a patrol. The patrol, a small team of eight or so Scouts, is more than an organizational convenience or a ... version of the Cub Scout den. It is the place where Scouts learn skills, take on leadership responsibilities, and develop friendships that will often last throughout their lifetimes."         B.S.A., Scoutmaster... Position-Specific Training (2018)(current  publication) at p. 20 [emphasis added].

Too bad he was not allowed to complete the job.

The other good words are still here and there, scattered about, if anyone understands their significance, which BSA, as an institution  pretty clearly does not as it does nothing to promote them, recognize their use, or discourage the perfidious "adult-run troop method."

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by TAHAWK
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did find that Q&A as well.  I missed it before.  I do think there is a difference between what they describe (scouting activities) vs what you did, "playing video games."  I have never had a unit use something like you describe to satisfy JTE requirements.  

Quote

The most recent reduction was in 2017 - just ages ago!  The First Class camping requirement was reduced from six overnighters to three. (It had been that trivial before.)  And remember, for Journey to "Excellence" purposes, all  "campouts" may be indoors.

This seems to be wrong.  The farthest that usscouts goes is the 2002-2003 rank requirements (as far as I can tell). First Class requirement #3 reads as follows :"Since joining, have participated in ten separate troop/patrol activities (other than troop/patrol meetings), three of which included camping overnight."

That seems really similar to the current requirement.  

Quote

The original Wood Badge course (1948-1971), which I staffed as an experimental "Junior Staffer," [QM helper] in 1959

I'm glad for context of "my time" vs "your time" as a scout.  I thought my scouting experience in the 90's and early 2000's was pretty great.  I have no reference for scouts was like back then.  That version of scouting has been gone for a while, but it wasn't perfect then either. 

 

BTW, I think our troop ran the patrol method pretty well, as do my troops today (as much as they can within the current YPT guidelines).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, mds3d said:

I did find that Q&A as well.  I missed it before.  I do think there is a difference between what they describe (scouting activities) vs what you did, "playing video games."  I have never had a unit use something like you describe to satisfy JTE requirements.  

This seems to be wrong.  The farthest that usscouts goes is the 2002-2003 rank requirements (as far as I can tell). First Class requirement #3 reads as follows :"Since joining, have participated in ten separate troop/patrol activities (other than troop/patrol meetings), three of which included camping overnight."

That seems really similar to the current requirement.  

I'm glad for context of "my time" vs "your time" as a scout.  I thought my scouting experience in the 90's and early 2000's was pretty great.  I have no reference for scouts was like back then.  That version of scouting has been gone for a while, but it wasn't perfect then either. 

 

BTW, I think our troop ran the patrol method pretty well, as do my troops today (as much as they can within the current YPT guidelines).  

The # of overnights and been increased in 2016, in part to get things back to outdoor emphasis as it had been in prior to the 90's.  It didn't last too long, obviously, before it was changed back down to 3.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, HashTagScouts said:

The # of overnights and been increased in 2016, in part to get things back to outdoor emphasis as it had been in prior to the 90's.  It didn't last too long, obviously, before it was changed back down to 3.  

I did skip over the 2016 list as I was trying to get back as far as I could. I don't think that a one year increase then back to the norm is indicative of  "sharply reduced" camping requirements.  Maybe since the 60's but not in recent memory.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, mds3d said:

I did skip over the 2016 list as I was trying to get back as far as I could. I don't think that a one year increase then back to the norm is indicative of  "sharply reduced" camping requirements.  Maybe since the 60's but not in recent memory.  

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Back then, it was pretty much a "gimme".  I was an Arrow of Light recipient from my Cub Scout years.  So, when I showed up there were a few basic questions and then they handed me the Scout badge at my first meeting.  I believe it was intended to be a way of signifying that I had "become a Scout".  That I knew the same sort of info present in the now rank made it possible for me to participate actively as a Scout. 

Actually, I don't really see the distinction about why it wasn't a rank before, but now is.  Feels a lot like a distinction without a difference to me.  I guess they were trying to beef up the Tenderfoot rank and felt that making Scout a rank made it less likely that troops would rush to award it.  Not sure.  Looks pretty much like the same stuff to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ParkMan said:

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 would describe it as advancement is getting more outdoor focused, but yes on your main point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...