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When, in 1964, I was to sit on my first Board of Review for rank beyond First Class, I was given a set of instructions. I still have them. They say, in part I ws to look for:


"definite, concrete, satisfactory evidence that the Scout has: First actually put into practice in his daily life the ideals and principles of the Scout Oath and Law, the Motto 'Be Prepared,' and the 'Daily good Turn.' Second, maintained an active service relationship to Scouting. Third, made an effort to develop and demonstarte leadership ability."


The document included this statement from the National Council:


"The challenging need of America is leadership - people who have ability and reliability enough to carry responsibility in business, in government, in church, elsewhere."


The document was dated 1946.


IMO, requirements for advancement were more difficult when I was a Scout (starting in 1954). Gear was heavy. Foot wear was "tennis shoes" or "work boots." It was routine to awake from cold before light and watch the sun come up as one huddled around a fire. Tents were cotton and leaked on occasion. No nylon. No polyester. No Thrmorest. The very first plastic sheeting was a wonder. Down was for the few "rich" kids. My Troop camped every month and backpacked half of those weekend "outings" using home-made packboards or rucksacks. We cooked over open fires in No. 10 cans with coathanger bail handles. But I never confused Scouting with an organization whose primary purpose was to teach mastery of outdoor skills. I was taught, and observed, that the purpose of Scouting was to turn out good citizens and good men. It succeeds, or fails, according to whether it accomplishes that purpose. And first we have to "catch" them.


By the way, I think Wilderness Survival should be a required MB for Eagle because it teaches how to respond to unexpected crisis. STOP works as well when the boss tells you the plant is closing as when you find yourself lost - in the woods or the mean streets of a city.



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And we had to walk to school five miles uphill both ways! Advances in a lot of things have made life easier on the one hand but more difficult on the other. The woods was more fascinating than the three channels on our 13" B&W TV but maybe not the 200+ on my current dish. As for wilderness survival MB maybe you should sit in on the class as delivered at the scout camp of your choice it really is not that hard of a MB one night in their improvised shelter.


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Only five miles? What, no packs of wolves? No bloodthirty pirates?


But did you take my somewhat obscured point?


As for my comment on the Wilderness Survival MB, I have been a MB Counselor for this badge since 1982. I am familiar with it's requirements as they have changed somewhat over the years -- and the sad state of the MB book. Two weeks ago, I monitored the sessions for that MB at a camp in W.Va. Crippled by a total lack of gear and supplies (not one magnifying glass, firesteel, or flint and steel set for example) and a near total lack of knowledge by the staff of even the little that is in the MB book, the sessions were fairly disappointing.

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Welcome to the Forums, Tahawk.


You're of the age to have been on my BORs (68-73 or so youth membership).


Lots of us have thoughts on what should be on the Eagle list. My pet rock is Cooking, having been a divorced Dad for 8 years now. Unfortunately, none of us are on the National Advancement Committee.


I find it instructive when I sit EBORs to hear the answers to "You are with the Chief Scout Executive, the National Commissioner, and the President of the BSA. You get to remove 1 MB from the Eagle list. Which MB will it be and why?" (Ditto to add 1 btw).


As for the program, there are things that are more essential to the current era. Frankly, I think Communications needs to be on the Eagle list, and the ability to write a letter needs to replace the old semaphore flags and Morse Code requirements. Our bandwidth is greater, but our teachers do a horrible job of teaching grammar and spelling in the schools.


Again, welcome. We don't always agree around here, but we have fun thinking it through!

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I was taught, and observed, that the purpose of Scouting was to turn out good citizens and good men. It succeeds, or fails, according to whether it accomplishes that purpose.


I think Scouting is Outing, myself.


Lots of programs workin' on developing good citizens and good men. We're associated with doin' that in the outdoors.


Just look at Learning for Life, eh? That's another BSA program to develop citizenship and good men and women with a school curriculum. I don't think it's Scoutin', though.


I bet there's some great ways to use video games to develop good citizenship and good ethical choices too. Some of da networked games are truly astonishing in the level of interaction and adventure they provide. "Do I rescue the princess at risk of the character I spent months to develop, or do I take the gold and run?" "Do I become a Player-Killer, and try to grab the riches other players have accumulated to get rich quick?" :) Playin' soccer for fitness and usin' a video game for citizenship might be very effective. Betcha kids would even learn Signaling if it helped 'em get to the next level, eh? ;)


I don't think it would be Scoutin', though. We do citizenship through Outdoor Adventure.




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In training I've been taught (and I teach in classes), 3/4 of scouting is outing (play on words - number of letters). I usually need to encourage cub leaders to get their boys out, but it's also important to remember that scouting is not ONLY outings.

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I strongly support the outdoor oprogram because it attracts boys to Scouting, is an effective venue to teach what we are hoping to instill, and is, frankly, fun -- even for an old codger. IMO, the deemphasis on the outdoor program in the Boy Power years was a disaster. My special interests and emphasis in my Troop and Council are outdoor skills and the related MB's.


Having said that, from the first - "Scouting for Boys" ("A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship")and consistently thereafter in the U.S., it has been clear that the outdoor skills are not the final objectives.


While I love teaching while camping and backpacking, we can and should teach as well through service to others, education in traditional American values, and the experience of leadership in the indoor program as well as outdoors.


I respectfully submit that we lose more boys through deficiencies in the non-outdoor program than through any problem with the outdoor program -- other than a failure to actually fulfill the promise for an exciting outdoor program at all That is to say, the typical Troop meeting has lots of room for improvement on the "fun, challenging, and exciting" fronts.


Cooking? It's a skill for living. We could make it an objective in our Troops that each Scout earn that MB, whether National makes it "required" or not.


And Communication certainly seems to be one should be required as that skill it is essential to leadership and a fruitful life in general.

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Cooking is indeed a life skill but I am not so sure that the form of cooking the Cooking MB requirements requires is. The focus is upon a patrol cooking camping weekend and a backpacking weekend. As a rule these two situations call for fairly easy to prepare low preparation, waste, and in the case of backpacking weight. They do not consider cost per meal or limit preprepared items. I learned to cook out of necessity as a broke college student and long single adult frankly I did most of the cooking when I was married as well. I actually make things from scratch a lot of the time. Most of todays young adults are content to use prepackaged meals and even when they do cook it is a prepared recipe package. My 10 and 12 year olds do that as well as some light cooking. The art of cooking and making excellent quality meals on a budget is going the way of that 13" B&W TV unfortunately. Those who enjoy cooking will pick it up mostly by trial and error as I did the rest will be content with the prepacks.

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