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scoutldr

What should BSA change?

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Assuming that the folks in Irving read this forum (they'd be fools not to!), what advice do we have for them to make the program and policies better? WHat do we, the folks on the front lines (aka "Direct Contact Scouters") think needs changing for the good of the mission? I know Kudu wants a return to the original B-P program, so we'll just concede him that point from the get-go.:-)

There are no right or wrong answers, and we don't need a long justification. If anyone feels compelled to argue a suggestion, please spin off a new thread.

 

I'll start:

I would like to see Cooking, Swimming and Lifesaving MB put back on the "Eagle Required List". (Required means REQUIRED...not optional)

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I think the BSA should require all contact leaders to be trained prior to participation with youth and that they should be retrained, or at least pass a "refresher" course every 2 years. (BTW, did I mention to be considered trained you have to pass a test given at the end of the training session?)

 

I think every Scouting unit should be reviewed every 3 years to certify they are offering the program as it is described in the literature.

 

The institutional head of the chartering organization should be required to attend a training sesion similar to new leaders essentials and pass a test on what it means to be a Chartering Organization

 

I think the BSA should announce a uniform redesign by asking scouts to send in designs to Boys Life where the top 5-10 designs are presented and the scouts vote for the one they want in time for the 2010 Jamboree.

 

I think the BSA should do away with adult knots, all adults should be seen as equals and we would do well to dump the "knot harvesters". Silver Beaver , Disitrict Award of Merit, etc all gone, its for the kids, not for us.

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I agree with Kudu.

 

I agree with OGE on certification and many times I have spoke of the ideal once a month training for Scoutmasters for a year.

 

I don't agree with the OGE thing about the knots. Napolean said a soldier would risk much for a small bit of cloth(or something like that). They can tell others if you fell off the turnip truck yesterday or if you have been around awhile. (I feel a thread spin coming)

There should be a knot for Den Chiefs. A year of service, training. Should be like the AOL, forever. Says you knew what service to others was like even as a boy.

 

There has to be integrity in the awarding of advancement. The run thru the car wash and out comes an eagle crap has to stop. Insist on mastery of skills.

 

Make Backpacking required. Nothing, I say nothing can teach you more about the penalties of poor prior planning. This can extend to business, being the man of the family(aren't women always complaining there aren't any men to handle things-maturity) leadership in school, college , sports, heck even packing a picnic lunch.

 

Read page one of the Scout Handbook...read it again.

Are we delivering that??????????

How many people are playing sea lawyer and justifying lowering the bar to give a healthy "normal" kid a pass?

Why keep bullies and malcontents who hamper us in delivering that promise?

 

Why in the world does the Scoutcraft stop at First Class?

 

Patrol leader should be required for Eagle. Untrainable Patrol leaders should be fired.

 

We need more information on Add, ADHD, autism.

 

We need more info on helping the handicapped Scout have a challenging meaningful experience.

 

We need to have back up on requiring the Scouts to be civil, respectful, polite.

 

We need to require that they mentor the younger scouts. Nothing teaches you about something more than having to teach it to others. The younger scouts need peer heroes.

 

Boards of Review should be something that the boy remembers as tough and thorough. As a patrol leader he will insure "his" boys are ready.

 

The Planet is baking, petro stocks are dwindling, most Americans live a life full of enjoyment but one which we must work hard to get what we need. Some think that 20 years from now life will be much harder. Are we helping boys by lowering the bar?

Make a Boy Scout something that is like a seal of approval again. Does anybody that holds down a household think that life isn't demanding. Let's prepare the boys for what life is really like and help them in the process to be the kind of neighbor we would want to have living next door.

 

 

PS I don't really believe the planet is baking.

 

 

 

 

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Like Scoutldr, I want to see Cooking returned to the Eagle Required list. I'd be willing to see the standard bounce to 22 MB, or have an elective MB go away (total of 9 vice 10 now.)

 

Like OGE, mandatory Scouter training and retraining, along with designing and implementing a new basic uniform.

 

I'd like to see more active mentorship in the "Advancement Method." For Star and Life, instead of 1 SM conference at the end of the process, it's one at the midpoint for Star and Life. If the Scout takes his own time, he has to undertake a SM conference every 2-4 months.

 

I'd like to see National dial back the G2SS... which in turn means they underwrite some things... paintball, contact sports for units chartered as Varsity teams, explicit clearance for road rallies for Venturing.

 

 

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Scouting is the best character development program available for young people and I think every boy deserves the chance to be a Scout.

 

Drop the Declaration of Religious Principle as a joining requirement.

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scoutldr writes:

 

I know Kudu wants a return to the original B-P program, so we'll just concede him that point from the get-go.:-)

 

Just to clarify, I advocate that all alternative Scouting associations "return" to B-P's program as it was practiced throughout the British Empire in the early 1960s. The program is copyright-free and even with the benefit of more than six decades of experience since his death, no would-be re-inventors of the wheel are as gifted as Baden-Powell.

 

The problem with the BSA's program is not the program: the problem is the BSA's monopoly on defining the word "Scouting" for Americans. The BSA's destruction of William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt's program in 1972 proves that until Scouting is deregulated, no matter how perfect the BSA might become, somebody will always come along to dumb it down and call it "modern."

 

Like scoutldr, I would like to see Cooking, Swimming and Lifesaving MB put back on the "Eagle Required List."

 

Most important is uz2bnowl's suggestion to make Backpacking required. The lack of progressively difficult "real-world" backpacking tests throughout a Scout's training in Scoutcraft is the fundamental difference between BSA Scouting and what I would call "real" Scouting as it is practiced in B-P's program.

 

Currently it is possible to earn Camping Merit Badge (and Eagle Scout) without ever (and I do mean ever) having walked into the woods with a pack on your back!

 

Nothing, I say nothing can teach you more about the penalties of poor prior planning than backpacking (uz2bnowl).

 

Kudu

 

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1) I would like to see "Adult Volunteer" added as a registered position. I have tons o'ASMs and tons o'MCs who I can't drag to training even if I did offer to cook a three course meal for lunch and dinner. (Don't get me wrong. I am really glad that we have a plethora of adults Scouters in our Unit. But, with the new Quality Unit patch dependent on adult training in item #1, it bugs me I can't unilaterally move some people into a different position.)

 

2) Cooking for Eagle! It's what most of our Eagle candindates suggest anyway when we ask what badge they would add.

 

3) Get a better shirt. That tan shirt is just yucky.

 

4) And, more Scoutcraft at all levels.

 

 

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Lot's of good suggstions, I agree with most, not with others.

 

Return cooking, swimming, lifesaving and add backpacking to the required list. I'd like to see orienteering added also.

 

Bring back Skill Awards .... They were fun and everyone got a change for immediate recognition, and the scout learned basic skills quickly.

 

SM, ASM and COR training / re-training as suggested. Add CC as well.

All SPL's and PL's should go to JLT as well.

 

Change the uniform, keep or modify switchbacks and do something with the shirt. Let's get a shirt that will stay tucked in, is functional, and looks good.

 

Keep adult knots

No knot for den chief

 

Add some kind of scoutcraft requirements for Star and Life.

 

Keep DRP and G2SS the way they are.

 

Nothing, I say nothing can teach you more about the penalties of poor prior planning than backpacking. This phrase will be routed into a piece of wood and hung up in our meeting place (with uz2bnowl's permission)

 

 

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And around it goes. What would Brianbuf say? I'll agree to get rid of the knots. Some folks I know look like decorated Admirals! Silver Beaver was an honor, not a goal. I am not sure about a test for adult volunteers. Why would you turn away someone who was willing to give their time to enrich some kids life because they can't identify an Eastern Pine from a Red Pine from memory? So long as a person meets the current requirements of volunteering, is following the guidelines AND is fulfilling a vital purpose, why humiliate them with a test? I know a person that can't read but knows many outdoor skills.

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The current uniform is cartoonish and dated. Adopt a new uniform that uses modern outdoor materials, is practical and doesn't stick out like an ad for Geek Squad. Get rid of all recognition patches on the uniform, both youth and adult. Save the unit numbers, council and BSA logo. That's it. Everyone looks the same. (You know, Uniform!). If you want to strut your achievements, use another device.

 

Drop the DRP, already other threads beating this to death.

 

Put age limits on rank advancement. That will help stop the bickering over "paper" Eagles and the raised eyebrows about advancing too quickly.

 

Backpacking should not only be mandatory, it should be the core of the outdoor method. I can't believe you can become an Eagle scout and never put on a backpack.

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Maybe not something the BSA can "regulate" but I think Troops should be more boy led.

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I kind of like the Hiking swimming cycling choice of.l All First class scouts have passed a basic swimming test some areas of the country do not lend themselves to a lot of swimming. Here in Florida we stress swimming, snorkeling, and even scuba. Hiking in Florida is pretty boring there is not much in the way of terrain! The highest point in the state is some 300 feet above sea level. Cooking would be a good idea but the skill is less and less needed in our prepackaged society leave it as an optional one. I to would be in favor of adjusting the DRP to something along the lines of I acknowledge the existence of a power higher than myself. That power may be a traditional God, the ideals of scouting, the federal government or my math teacher. I like the idea of a wearable uniform but we already have that in "class B's" What I would really like to see is more cooperation among the troops in a district instead of competing we should be having more joint events to make better use of the overall skills of the group. For example troop A does a fantastic search and rescue exercise every year rather than that be a troop event invite a team from each troop to come participate.

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Drop the DRG, I don't know. Let's just make changes to it as suggested above. Allow the Athiests to declare what ever it is that they want and not exclude them from Scouts. Some of them are quite the outdoorsmen, just like the illiterate person in the earlier post. Everyone has something beneficial to add to the program.

 

Now let the howling continue.

 

"Duty to God" and "Reverence" today has become a JOKE in Scouting. How many of you actually talk with the Scouts about "Duty to God" and being "Reverent" as part of their advancement? Probably less then half, since a lot of SM's state that it is not their responsibility and they are not going to play Sunday School teacher.

 

So since we have Cit. in the Comm., Nation & World covering "Duty to Country", First Aid for "Helpful & "Help other people at all times", Phys. Fit. MB for Phys. Strong, Mentally Awake and Morally Straight", let's add a Religious Diversity MB as one of the required Eagle MB's to cover "Duty to God" and "Reverence". One of the requirements, Earn your Faith's Religious award (if they have one), if not, only then have a mandatory option. Cub's, Webelos and Venturers all have a religious element as a requirement for rank advancement in some form or another, so why not BS's? The non-religious can still take it if nothing more then a learning experience. Maybe they'll learn something, maybe not. That's not the point.

 

Enough said for now. We just start another heated thread in the near future and drive everyone crazy.(This message has been edited by ASM915)

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The DRP poses an interesting problem in my mind.

 

If you will excuse the overstatement, we don't expect every member of a NSP to be expert backpackers, paramedics, small unit leaders, etc., so why do we expect them to come to us already ordained?

 

From the Christian point of view, isn't the BSA excluding many of the boys who most need the guidance that Scouting has to offer?

 

 

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