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Joe MacDoaks

Bob Birkby

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Bob, Birkby, The author of the last three editions of the Boy Scout Handbook, is going to give a talk in my area in a couple of weeks. Have any of you ever heard him speak and is it worth going to hear him?

 

Thanks for your reply.

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Bob was, I believe, also the author of the staff guide for 21st Century Wood Badge, author of the Fieldbook and may have been author of NYLT staff guide. If nothing else, take some books to have autographed :)

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Drawing on his experiences as a Scout and years as a wilderness guide and trail crew foreman working with young people in parks and forests in many parts of the world, he has helped keep the Handbook on the cutting edge of group leadership and modern adventures while celebrating outdoor skills and caring for the land.

 

Cutting edge. Uh . . . yeah ... that's the ticket.

 

 

Ask him why he messed with a good book to create the current mess.

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"If nothing else, take some books to have autographed"

 

Yeah, maybe Bob Birkby will forge B-P's signature under the fake Baden-Powell quotes that he made up for his official BSA publications.

 

Ask him if young Boy Scouts should follow his example on their term papers by making up phony quotes to give readers the false impression that they actually read the material.

 

"Bob was, I believe, also the author of the staff guide for 21st Century Wood Badge...and may have been author of NYLT staff guide."

 

So the same guy who sets the example for young Boy Scouts on how to lie and cheat LITERALLY "wrote the book" on how to destroy the Patrol Method by removing leadership based on outdoor skills from Wood Badge and Patrol Leader training and replacing it with pop "state-of-the-art one minute manger" techniques that glorify the golden parachute crowd by hyping millionaire CEOs as great "leaders."

 

"We've had CEOs on our board say they want to send their people to Wood Badge, our adult leader training program, because we use state-of-the-art techniques...You can teach a kid about character and leadership using aerospace and computers. The secret is to get them side by side with adults of character" (Robert Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive).

 

Kudu

 

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Kudu, do you have documentation of the faked quotes?

 

This is not a hostile challenge: I'm just wanting to 'reload' my 'Even though I was never a Scout, I know more about Scouting than you' shotgun ;-). I've found this 'shotgun' extremely helpful in my quest to move my son's troop away from its history as a troop-method Webelos III (momma camps with the SPL) troop toward a patrol method troop with strong outdoor skills and a non-bullying SPL.

 

 

GaHillBilly

 

 

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GaHillBilly writes:

 

"Kudu, do you have documentation of the faked quotes?"

 

You should purchase a copy of the two-volume third edition of the Handbook for Scoutmasters.

 

Aphorisms falsely attributed to Baden-Powell such as "Scouting is a Game with a Purpose" (William Hillcourt) and "The Patrol Method is not ONE method in which Scouting can be carried on. It is the ONLY method!" (Roland Phillips) are featured prominently in the third edition, impossible to miss if Bob Birkby, or anyone else at BSA HQ (or any Wood Badge Course Director) had ever skimmed through the BSA's own publications.

 

Baden-Powell never used the term "Patrol Method."

 

Scans of the origin of "A Game with a Purpose" can be found at The Inquiry Net:

 

http://inquiry.net/ideals/scouting_game_purpose.htm

 

William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt's third edition of Handbook for Scoutmasters is the most comprehensive book about Scouting ever written.

 

It is 944 pages longer than the current watered-down edition!

 

This is the book to buy if you want to understand American Scouting.

 

You can find used copies for less than $10 per volume at AddAll.

 

See:

 

http://tinyurl.com/5sjvz3

 

IMPORTANT: To find the correct edition, look for "Volume 1" or "Volume 2" in the description, starting on "page 2" at the above URL!

 

The later 1940s printings of the 3rd edition include the Patrol Leader Training course, "Intensive Training in the Green Bar Patrol":

 

http://inquiry.net/patrol/green_bar/index.htm

 

Kudu

 

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"Aphorisms falsely attributed to Baden-Powell such as "Scouting is a Game with a Purpose" (William Hillcourt) and "The Patrol Method is not ONE method in which Scouting can be carried on. It is the ONLY method!" (Roland Phillips) are featured prominently in the third edition, impossible to miss if Bob Birkby, or anyone else at BSA HQ (or any Wood Badge Course Director) had ever skimmed through the BSA's own publications. "

 

Is that "falsely attributed" or "incorrectly attributed"? There's a difference of intent within the connotations of those two phrases. Perhaps the guy made a mistake. It's up to the editors (BSA) to correct it.

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In reference to Green Bar Bill, how do you know he made inncorrect quotes? GBB had access to BP, and after his death to Lady BP and his papers and letters. That's why his biography is so good. Grant you Jeal made a few good points in his work that GBB was influenced by Lady BP, but still GBB had access to everything Lady BP and others had.

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nolesrule commented,

 

"Is that "falsely attributed" or "incorrectly attributed"? There's a difference of intent within the connotations of those two phrases. Perhaps the guy made a mistake. It's up to the editors (BSA) to correct it."

 

Not sure how you'd want to characterize it . . . but at least in my own industry, these sorts of errors are characteristic of documents with ancestries involving several generations of "professional" writers. Again, in my own industry, I can identify characteristic errors that go back to handbooks and manuals published between 1900 and 1920, that made their way into a series of 'authoritative' compilation handbooks in the 30's and 40's, and thence acquired the status of "things everybody in the industry knows" . . . in spite of being fairly obvious errors.

 

If you want to understand how these sorts of things happen, read Hans Christian Anderson's "The Emperor's New Clothes", first published in 1837.

 

Whether it's 'dishonest' or not is a matter of debate. Personally, I believe it is, but it's the dishonesty of careless habits long indulged. Again, in my opinion, this sort -- the sort Anderson described -- of dishonesty is PRECISELY what is at work when bogus Merit Badges and advancement checkoffs are accepted.

 

At best, being trustworthy is difficult hard work. It is not an area where I've seen the Boy Scouts excel! It's not surprising that the pattern is visible at the top, as well.

 

GaHillBilly

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There was no single author of Wood Badge for the 21st Century. It was a collaboration of of a number of people both in and out of Scouting. I do not believe Birkby was involved.

 

As for the handbook, he wrote the outdoor skills sections which make up the core of the handbook, some of the other materials were re-edited from previous handbooks. He did not write every word of the Handbook.

 

Why did Birkby "mess" with the handbook? I would think the answer was rather obvious and logical. He was hired by the BSA to write a new handbook.

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Even if Birkby was hired to write a new handbook that does not give him or National carte blanche to misquote BP and mess with the original scouting principles set down by the founder, to me it represents a serious lack of ethics on Birkby's part as well as National, since they approved this malicious type of editing. The last two editions of the scout handbook, IMHO leave a lot to be desired anyway presenting a seriously watered down program, and if Kudu's assertions are correct makes Birkby nothing more than a hack.

 

 

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