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At the risk of starting an all out war, I do have a question. I have seen alot of posts about changes that did or didn't work and if changes should be made. While I fall in the category of being too new to really know which is best so I must stick with the follow the program group, I really would like to know one thing.

"If you could change one BSA policy / regulation or part of the "program" which one would you change and why?" Please give specific examples. And Please, Please, Please don't say the one about homosexuals as that is being discussed in dept elsewhere (and also lets not flip any poor little bobcats).



Still needing uniforms in TN


Uniform Closet

c/o Kristi Cantor

PO BOX 1111

Kodak Tn 37764

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Well, you said one, but I don't really have a major one so I'll mention a few minor ones. And I guess I would classify these not as changes I would definitely make, but as changes I would at least want the BSA to consider. Some if not all of these, I have mentioned in the past in this forum.


I think they should try to develop a new position and/or status within a Boy Scout troop for 18, 19 and 20 year olds to "transition" the young person to "full status" as an Assistant Scoutmaster or Troop Committee Member. Whether this should be mandatory or an option to what currently exists, I don't know. The situation I am particularly aiming at is the young man in the troop who turns 18 and is suddenly an Assistant Scoutmaster, so maybe it doesn't apply to someone (say, a 20-year-old woman who joins as a leader rather than "aging out." I don't know. In considering such a change, they might also see if they could reconcile the status of 18-to-20 year olds in a troop with those of the same age group in a Venturing Crew, to end the anomoly of an 18-year-old being a "youth" one weekend and an "adult" the next, for Youth Protection purposes.


I think they should try to find a new name for the Venture Patrol, so it doesn't get confused with Venturing. (I do realize they have been trying to find the right name for the "older boy" patrol for about the last 50 years, as the Leadership Corps patch on my old uniform will attest.)


I think they should take a fresh look at what merit badges are required for Eagle. Maybe its time to put Cooking back on the list, and if I had to pick one to consider making an optional badge, it might be Citizenship in the World. If that looks like I am trying to undo the changes that were made in the early 70's when I was a Boy Scout, well, it's not my conscious purpose, it's just funny how things work out sometimes.


Now, one might ask, are ANY of these changes really "program"? I don't know the answer to that, either. Having read the recent threads about "program," I think the discussions often get very confusing because, for one thing, different people use the word "program" to mean different things.

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The point that I am trying to make cajoncody is that if the BSA wants to change it it is their program to change. If you want to suggest it great. But until the BSA makes the change it should not be done at the whim of the unit because a volunteer thinks they know better.



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Ill give you two (sorry)


1. Make training mandatory

2. Make the uniform mandatory


Ed, Webelos can attend and participate in Camporees, but, there needs to be program set up for them. The program can parallel the BS program, but it need to be implemented as Webelos program, not a BS program. They cannot attend as Jr. Boy Scouts.


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I was just curious what people saw as things they "would" change, not how they have changed things to suit their purposes. I myself am trying to take my pack "back to the program". I am still relativly new to scouting (this will be my second year)so I don't consider myself knowledgeable enough to change anything. I agree with you. It isn't up to the pack, den, or unit to make changes. My question was like a hypothetical "suggestion box". Other peoples ideas give you a different perspective on them. You didn't say what one thing you would change. I am curious . . .


Great answers and great insight.


As for me, I would require that folks pass down some uniforms. It is such a waste of resources when they are shoved in a box or given to goodwill. Why give them to Goodwill? Why not give them to your pack or a needy pack.

Kristi(This message has been edited by cajuncody)

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I would add assessment to training. Both of, and by, the trainees.


I would help bridge the (we/they) gaps between BSA and local Scouters. For example, I'd create a better plan for gathering innovations/ideas than allowing Scouters to feel the best they can do is share on Scouter.com




BTW, OGE, Councils can mandate Training????? I thought that was a CO local option . . . Can councils alter training and training syllibi????(This message has been edited by johndaigler)

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Well JD, I don't know if Councils CAN mandate training, I can only tell you that the Council I serve did mandate traing, check out on Page 3




this is the Council newsletter. Doesn't give much wiggle room, do it?


Talk about tweaking the program!(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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I dont know what used to happen, but heres an example of how ours worked.


There was a fire building competition for the BSs. Small fire, maybe a 6 inch base, with a string hung down above it. The idea was to see who could make the string catch fire the fastest. For the BSs it was pure competition, maybe with some insight from the station master. For the Webelos it was pure instructional, no competition, but after the concept was taught and demonstrated they did get a chance to time themselves. A parallel activity, at the same location, but separate from the BSs.


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OGE, my council has adopted training requirements as well. The details such as dates, phasing-in, who must be trained when, etc. are different but obviously the concept is the same. After Sept. 30 of this year, all NEW SM's, CM's, Crew Advisers etc. must complete new leader essentials and position-specific training before taking their position, though there is an exception for Scoutmasters who may complete the outdoor portion at the next available course if scheduling problems prevent doing it earlier. All new leaders in any other position (all "assistant" positions, den leaders, etc.) must be trained within 3 months after taking the position. Effective at the next recharter, which for us is next March, all "required" leaders must be trained (whether new or not.)


I think there was a thread a few months ago in which this was discussed and several people said their council had adopted training requirements.

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Hi All


Hypothetical Pipe Dreams, Cool. I have two.


First, I would take Tigers out of the Cub program and create a new two-year program for kindergarten and first grade aged scouts. The crossover rate of Webelos to Troops is less than 50% of and the Tigers program has the lowest crossover rate of any Cub age.


Many Cub leaders say that the Tiger program is the most demanding part of the pack program because the maturity of Tiger age boys is so different from the rest of the Pack ages. Tiger age scout are at the age where they cant read, write and havent developed the discipline to sit still for more than 10 minutes. And through the years I found the major cause of the Webelos crossover problem is burned out leaders. Experts say that you get less than three years from your better adults in volunteer organizations. The Cub program is five years long with the Webelos program the last two years.


I meet a lot of parents that want some kind of scout program for their kindergarten age sons. The BSA is always looking for ways to recuit numbers and a precub program for kindergarten and First Grade boys would fit better for there maturity. The Girls Scouts do this with great success.


My second change would be retiring the Venture Patrols. I believe them to be the most destructive part of the Troop program because they create a clear division between younger and senior scouts. Not only just in age, but because their very name implies adults and scouts to go into the older scout program with the idea of getting away from the from the rest of troop. These patrols force more adult hands on intervention at all levels of the troop, and they retard scout leadership development and overall scout growth. The troops I see that do best with Venture Patrols are the very large troops, 100 scouts or more, because those troops require a lot of adult intervention anyway to control the scouts.


I would like to see the BSA get back to Leadership patrols for senior scout leaders and create a new type of temporary patrol called Adventure Crews.


Troop Adventure Crews would not be aged based, but instead limited only by the physical and mental requirements needed for that adventure. This would allow any scout to organize a crew for anything from a day at six flags all the way to treks at Philmont or Northern Tier. The crew leaders would have to plan, find adults, and train for the adventure if required.


The advantage of the Adventure Crews are they take away limits and restrictions on the Troop outdoor program and give scouts the ability to plan any adventure they can dream. The crews would expand the opportunities of leadership development, planning skills development and expand scout growth. While I dont like them, you could even have Adventure crews in a troop with aged based patrols.


Troops I know with a similar program have very low turnover at all ages, very high leadership skills and high advancement because now advancement gets back to scouts ranking themselves by skills that they learn, not by the stature of the rank. There is no advantage to adults having to push scouts to advance with in a time limit because the program naturally encourages scouts to learn more skills and advance. It gets back to more boys controlling their personal agendas in the troop. It makes the troop a lot of fun and enhances the methods.




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Barry, I have posted before about why I do not think Tigers (or the BSA "programs" in general) should be expanded to include kindergartners. Wherever that post may be, it is still how I feel.


As for separating Tigers from the Cub Scout pack, isn't that how the Tiger program started? Although this is "before my time" as a leader, it is my understanding that until the late 90's, Tigers were a completely stand-alone program and did not meet with the pack. Then they started meeting with the pack, but still did not have an actual handbook, advancement program, or "den leader." Those points were then changed about 2 or 3 years ago, in an apparent attempt to further "integrate" Tigers into the rest of the Cub Scout pack and program. Most recently, the blue Cub Scout uniform has been introduced to the Tiger level. So the trend seems to be toward eliminating all most all of the distinctions between Tigers and older Cub Scouts.


Plus, if Tigers were again a separate program, I don't see how that eliminates any of the challenges or improves the "leader burnout" situation. It seems to me that it would make leading a Tiger den MORE challenging because you would be removing the "support system" that currently exists in the pack, of the more experienced leaders who can advise and mentor the Tiger leaders. And regardless of whether it is one program or two, chances are that the "Wolf den leader" is going to be the same person who was the Tiger Den Leader, so people would still be spending the same amount of time as a leader and get "burned out" just as fast. (Or faster, if the Tiger program starts in kindergarten.)

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