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I'm tired.  Forgive me if I babble.  "First Class First Year" ... It's about program planning.   The stats may be self-fulfilling stats.  Motivated scouts rank up quick and stay in.  Scou

Regarding your final statement ... let me reassure you as calmly as possible: First Class First Year is a lie. Tell your crossovers and their parents the truth: it is hard to obtain First

So very, very true.  So much of Scouting today -- rank requirements and merit badges -- is presented in school format. A large part of that is due to how requirements are written. It is wrong, it is s

The New Scout Patrol is supposed to be an interim step.  So you need to ask:  What comes after?  What do the troop's "regular" patrols look like?  How does the interim step help Scouts prepare for the troop's "regular" patrols, and how does the New Scout Patrol help the troop's "regular" patrol system?  How do you integrate the new Scouts into the "regular" patrols at the end of the separation period?  Is that integration after the separation period easier because you have had that interim step?

And you also have to ask:  Does the New Scout Patrol really have anything to do with the troop's "regular" patrol system, or is the NSP just a way to corral the new Scouts and keep them separate from the rest of the troop for a while so you can do whatever it is you want to do with them?  If it is just about keeping the new Scouts separate for a while, what exactly do you want to do with them that requires that you keep them separate from the rest of the troop?  How does that separation help the new Scouts?  How does that separation help the other Scouts in the troop during the separation period? 

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2 hours ago, dkurtenbach said:

So very, very true.  So much of Scouting today -- rank requirements and merit badges -- is presented in school format. A large part of that is due to how requirements are written. It is wrong, it is sad, and it is one of the reasons that Scouting is dying.

This is where BSA training could really help.  What are effective ways to handle advancement without it feeling like school.

 

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1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

This is where BSA training could really help.  What are effective ways to handle advancement without it feeling like school.

How about things like:

  • No sitting during skills training
  • All skills taught by skilled Scout instructors (though the instructors can be trained by adults if necessary)
  • An instructor cannot train more than two Scouts at a time - no group instruction
  • No note taking
  • Instructors and Scouts should always have some relevant gear or item in their hands (piece of rope, knife or axe, bandages, map, compass, fry pan, etc.)
  • At a closing gathering at the end of the campout, event, or meeting where requirements are completed, the Scout instructor calls out Scouts that passed requirements, and they all get a cheer/applause
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2 hours ago, ParkMan said:

This is where BSA training could really help.  What are effective ways to handle advancement without it feeling like school.

IMHO, most of the training should occur while doing the activity.  Canoing strokes, launching, landing, etc should be done while canoeing down a river.  It's a great way to pass time too.  Camping is often best taught by the scoutmaster as part of setting up on campouts.  Friendly pieces of advice.  When it's all offered, then the scout has earned the badge.  Wood carving ... start carving.  Then make sure each scout learns the different parts.  

This gets to a fundamental question that I have that I'll put in a different thread.  

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28 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

IMHO, most of the training should occur while doing the activity.  Canoing strokes, launching, landing, etc should be done while canoeing down a river.  It's a great way to pass time too.  Camping is often best taught by the scoutmaster as part of setting up on campouts.  Friendly pieces of advice.  When it's all offered, then the scout has earned the badge.  Wood carving ... start carving.  Then make sure each scout learns the different parts.  

This gets to a fundamental question that I have that I'll put in a different thread.  

I agree to an extent. The training is done while doing the activity. But this training is not when the requirement has been met. This is the first phase, "A scout Learns". After the scout has learned the skill, taught is to others and feels like he is ready, then he goes to his PL or mB counselor and says, "I'd like to be tested on xyz" . A scout who successfully passes the test, then is recognized as having "earned the badge". 

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3 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

I agree to an extent. The training is done while doing the activity. But this training is not when the requirement has been met. This is the first phase, "A scout Learns". After the scout has learned the skill, taught is to others and feels like he is ready, then he goes to his PL or mB counselor and says, "I'd like to be tested on xyz" . A scout who successfully passes the test, then is recognized as having "earned the badge". 

I often wonder about that.  Does each and every skill have to have a "I'd like to be tested on xyz"?   I remember a scoutmaster who did an annual canoe trip.  He'd get each and every scout up to speed on canoeing before or during that trip.  At the end if they did not have the canoeing MB, he awarded it.  In that case, the SM saw the scout demonstrating the skills.  If a leader (youth or adult) sees the scout do the skill as part of an activity, does the scout really have to say "I'd like to be tested on xyz"?  Or can the leader just immediately sign off the requirement.  

I believe the leader can immediately sign if they have seen the skill without the scout having to ask for it to be "tested".

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One way to make it look less like school: get rid of as much talking as possible and do the activity. Do a lot of it, as a game. Describe, discuss, explain - you've all heard my rant.

I like the idea of the "teacher" planning an activity that disguises the learning. Better leadership. More fun for all. Now getting the scouts to own that.

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1 hour ago, fred8033 said:

I often wonder about that.  Does each and every skill have to have a "I'd like to be tested on xyz"?   I remember a scoutmaster who did an annual canoe trip.  He'd get each and every scout up to speed on canoeing before or during that trip.  At the end if they did not have the canoeing MB, he awarded it.  In that case, the SM saw the scout demonstrating the skills.  If a leader (youth or adult) sees the scout do the skill as part of an activity, does the scout really have to say "I'd like to be tested on xyz"?  Or can the leader just immediately sign off the requirement.  

I believe the leader can immediately sign if they have seen the skill without the scout having to ask for it to be "tested".

I get the point, however in my travels far too often the "scout learns" is the same thing as "the scout is tested". In the learning phase it is expected for the scout to teach others, to develop leadership as well as ensure they have learned the skill. If an adult just signs off because "they saw them do it once" or even without the scout being a significant part of the process, it denies the scout the real benefit of the advancement method and the sign off is the goal, not a method. Without having the scouts "ask" it denies them the opportunity to take ownership of their own journey, grow in self-reliance, and personal responsibility. I can see some instances where the PL could ask one of his scouts to "do xyz " and let him know that this would count as being tested for a tenderfoot requirement. However, as the scout grows, they should be taking more and more responsibility for their own advancement. I am sure this discussion does not come close to dealing with all the iterations and best practices. There are many ways to accomplish it. 

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Curving back a bit toward the original topic, I was taught that one of the Patrol Leader's jobs is to monitor the advancement of each Scout in the patrol so that a Scout having some difficulty will get help, and so that Scouts get credit for what they know and can do.  This a responsibility that would probably fall to the Troop Guide in a New Scout Patrol.  It could be very challenging with a bunch of boys working on Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class, plus merit badges, all at the same time.

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12 hours ago, dkurtenbach said:

Curving back a bit toward the original topic, I was taught that one of the Patrol Leader's jobs is to monitor the advancement of each Scout in the patrol so that a Scout having some difficulty will get help, and so that Scouts get credit for what they know and can do.  This a responsibility that would probably fall to the Troop Guide in a New Scout Patrol.  It could be very challenging with a bunch of boys working on Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class, plus merit badges, all at the same time.

Who said anything about three ranks and MBs all at once? Go back to my mildly highlighted point: 1st class 1st year is a lie, the rank is hard, the skills therein are difficult to master.

If FCFY is not a concern in your troop, then these NSPs will be focused on mastering Tenderfoot skills over about six months. The TG can certainly work toward getting the PL/APL to master those skills. Then the PL can teach and test those skills to each scout. The obvious advantage to the PL is the focused instruction, the disadvantage is the expectation of better performance than his mates. The TG monitors the PL to be sure he's being fair in testing.

Meanwhile at each campout, the SPL, QM, and TG are coming up with suitable adventure for the NSPs.

This goes on for about 6 months of fun and adventure, then the NSP prepares to enter its second year -- either dividing up into existing patrols or holding together.

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14 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Who said anything about three ranks and MBs all at once? Go back to my mildly highlighted point: 1st class 1st year is a lie, the rank is hard, the skills therein are difficult to master.

If FCFY is not a concern in your troop, then these NSPs will be focused on mastering Tenderfoot skills over about six months.

What you are suggesting is (1) holding Scouts back from advancing to Second Class and First Class even if they have the desire and the dedication to do so; (2) lock-step advancement for new Scouts rather than letting them each advance at their own pace; and (3) holding them back from learning advanced skills in specific areas that are at the Second Class and First Class levels.

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33 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

What you are suggesting is (1) holding Scouts back from advancing to Second Class and First Class even if they have the desire and the dedication to do so; (2) lock-step advancement for new Scouts rather than letting them each advance at their own pace; and (3) holding them back from learning advanced skills in specific areas that are at the Second Class and First Class levels.

I should note that, personally, I think it is dumb to be able to work on four ranks at the same time (all seven at once, if you count merit badges).  But that is the current rule.  If BSA wants Scouts to be able to work on all of the ranks at the same time, then just get rid of the ranks below the top.  If BSA wants a series of ranks, then Scouts should only be able to work on one at a time, or the system doesn't mean much.  But again, that isn't the current rule. 

Just another symptom of a sprawling, confused program that needs some serious tightening up, re-arrangement, and focus.

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8 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

I should note that, personally, I think it is dumb to be able to work on four ranks at the same time (all seven at once, if you count merit badges).  But that is the current rule.  If BSA wants Scouts to be able to work on all of the ranks at the same time, then just get rid of the ranks below the top.  If BSA wants a series of ranks, then Scouts should only be able to work on one at a time, or the system doesn't mean much.  But again, that isn't the current rule. 

Just another symptom of a sprawling, confused program that needs some serious tightening up, re-arrangement, and focus.

Yep. It also promotes the "one and done" mentality and worse disincentivizes teaching, leadership and growth. 

 

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