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Penta

BSA training: Some thoughts from an outsider

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I take everybody's corrective point. Okay, maybe it's not as much of a chicken/egg dilemma.

 

I would argue that there still might be one in a brand new troop without even first-class or second-class scouts, but that's in some ways a separate issue.

 

Given that I'm usually the *optimist* on what kids of any age can do and handle, to find I'm underestimating them is embarrassing to say the least.

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"The public thinks that scouting is about creating a wilderness survivalist with First Aid, Firebuilding, and Knot tying skills. BSA thinks scouting is about developing personal self worth, confidence, and leadership that just happens to take place outdoors."

 

sherminator505 writes:

 

How did this get turned around on us?

 

Because premise of this thread is absolutely wrong:

 

NJCubScouter said: "Personally I think that Scoutmasters and ASM's ... need to be well-trained in outdoor skills AND leadership skills... The two (or more) are not mutually exclusive."

 

Leadership Skills and Scoutcraft Skills ARE mutually exclusive, and they have been since the invention of the so-called "Leadership Development Method:"

 

In general, Patrol Leader training should concentrate on LEADERSHIP SKILLS rather than on Scoutcraft Skills. The Patrol will not rise and fall on the Patrol Leader's ability to cook, follow a map, or do first aid, but it very definitely depends on his LEADERSHIP SKILL.

 

www.inquiry.net/leadership/index.htm

 

This anti-Scoutcraft premise for Leadership Development continues to this day, for instance Wood Badge for the 21st Century (WB21) which removed the last vestiges of Baden-Powell & William Hillcourt's Scoutcraft-based Leadership, and replaced it with Wolf Den Leaders and boxes of tissue.

 

The spawn of WB21, Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills (ITOLS), has nothing to with "Outdoor Leadership," as the name implies. It is a "sign off Tenderfoot through First Class in two days" course, which corresponds to the national trend to sign off "90 percent" of Tenderfoot through First Class requirements in fifteen hours at summer camp.

 

In fact some summer camps now offer ITOLS in the form of adults "sitting side by side" with first-year Scouts as they earn "90%" of Tenderfoot through First Class in fifteen hours.

 

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 (Chief Scout Executive Mazzuca).

 

www.inquiry.net/leadership/sitting_side_by_side_with_adults.htm

 

This on-going hatred of Scoutcraft by outspoken "Leadership Skills" promoters like CSE Mazzuca can be seen in his media blitz to recruit a yearly quota of 100,000 Hispanic boys who hate camping:

 

Camping is not necessarily a big thing with them, as a matter of fact in some cases it is not big at all. So we need to kind of think about, is it more important that we reach that child with the kind of things we have for children and we have for families in CHARACTER development and LEADERSHIP SKILL growth and all of those things? Or is it more important that we get them in a tent next week? And so I think the answer to that is fairly obvious to us.

 

http://inquiry.net/leadership/sitting_side_by_side_with_adults.htm

 

At its core, Leadership Development is based on CEO-cult "outside the box" thinking in which no true believer dares question the premise that you can get something for nothing, and not end up with tens of trillions of dollars in toxic assets, for instance.

 

In Scouting this toxic something-for-nothing Leadership cult thinking translates to the mind-numbing premise that you can take position-specific Scoutcraft training away from Patrol Leaders, enforce their rapid turn-over through the imposition POR requirements for advancement, and then replace Patrol Leader Scoutcraft competency with adult-supervised "controlled failure," without losing millions of Boy Scouts in the process (or that the loss of millions of Boy Scouts is an acceptable trade-off for the CEO "Leadership" Skills that adults find more worthwhile than Scoutcraft).

 

Leadership Skills and the Patrol Method (as defined by Baden-Powell or Green Bar Bill) are also mutually exclusive.

 

Belief in Leadership Skills causes cognitive dissonance. It is physically impossible for anyone who believes in "Leadership" formulas, to perceive (much less acknowledge or explain) why the Patrol Leader and ANY description of a working Patrol have been removed from the Patrol Method presentation of SM & ASM Specific Training (and replaced with Fake Leadership EDGE theory).

 

The Patrol Method Presentation, mind you!

 

Try the scientific method for yourself: Find a Wood Badge Course Director, point out that the Patrol Leader and any description of a working Patrol are missing from the Patrol Method presentation of SM-Specific Training, and see what happens.

 

Physically impossible!

 

Yours at 300 feet,

 

Kudu

 

(This message has been edited by kudu)

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Actually I had always thought that B-P was a master of scouting skills/outdoor skills AND YET he was also a Lieutenant-General (read that as a higher ranking leader) in the British Army.

 

One would think that Leadership skills and his outdoormanship must have both been assets in his Military Career

 

http://www.thescoutingpages.org.uk/audio/mp3/bptalks/bp_public.mp3

 

The above is a link to B-P talking to "the Public" about Boy Scouts, note how many times he talks about Boy Scouts being a School for Charactor and that scouts are training to be Good Citizens

 

I fail to see how teaching Leadership Priciples and educational techniques such as EDGE is contrary to what B-P is taking about, but then again, its only my opinion

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"Resqman: Good corrective re ARC. You're right, the "Roles and Missions" are not very similar. However, ARC is what came to mind first when I was writing. (Idly: While I could never see this happening, I do wonder: If ARC allowed disaster training or deployment for

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I fail to see how teaching Leadership Priciples and educational techniques such as EDGE is contrary to what B-P is taking about

 

It is contrary because as B-P says in the audio clip, "but remember that you can not give them character through ordinary classroom methods."

 

Baden-Powell did not list "Leadership" as a goal of Scouting. "Character" was the direct result of REAL Scoutcraft Competency:

 

1) An individual "Journey" or "Expedition" as the Final Test for Every Badge. Without any Adults or Older Scouts: Eight miles for Second Class, Fifteen miles for First Class, Fifty for King's Scout.

 

http://inquiry.net/advancement/traditional/journey_requirements.htm

 

2) Regular Monthly or Fortnightly Patrol Outings as described in the parent thread. See, for instance, the PLC session in which a Patrol Leader is ridiculed for conducting the same old eight-mile hike too many times:

 

http://inquiry.net/patrol/court_honor/coh_session.htm

 

3) Patrol Leaders Run the Troop: No, really, the Patrol Leaders Run the Troop! That means that Patrols are for Patrol Outings, so a Patrol sticks with the best leader. Service as Patrol Leader does not count toward what we call advancement. Patrols are NOT used to teach "Leadership" formulas. Note also in the above meeting that the Scoutmaster learns FROM the Patrol Leaders which Scouts are now Tenderfoot, Second Class, or First Class. That means no adult-run "Troop Committees," Scoutmaster Conferences, Boards of Review, Blue Cards, or Kiss-My-Ethical-Adult-Ass "Scout Spirit" Requirements.

 

4) Constant Retesting: Each and Every Scoutcraft and Public Service Badge is retested EVERY twelve to eighteen months. This is the EXACT OPPOSITE of "Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle:"

 

#432(2) He must be repassed in all his qualifying badges once between twelve and eighteen months from the date of his being awarded the badge, except in the case of those badges which are marked with an asterisk, i.e., Ambulance Man, Interpreter, Pathfinder, and Signaller, which must be repassed annually in accordance with Rule 436...He must cease to wear the King's Scout badge should he fail in any of them.

 

http://inquiry.net/traditional/por/proficiency_badges.htm

 

Yours at 300 feet,

 

Kudu

 

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Leadership Skills and Scoutcraft Skills are definitely not mutually exclusive. One only has to look at BP, who was offered the supreme commander spot of the British Armed Forces and turned it down to focus on Scouting. He obviously had Leadership and Scoutcraft skills in spades.

 

The "Leadership Development Method" is really a fancy way of saying, "The leader doesn't have to be the best at everything and likely won't be the best at everything -- learn how to work well with other people." In other words, the "leadership development method" is exactly what scout leaders should have been (and have been) practicing and learning all this time.

 

Leadership skills can be taught in any setting. In Scouting, they're taught in an "outdoors" setting because of the mystique of the outdoors, the romanticized version of what outdoor living could be (and is). The office is generally a dry place for boys to be, little boys never think to themselve, "When I grow up, I want to sit behind a desk and fill out forms." So we play to their notions, we give them all the cool amazing things that they really want and intermixed with it all comes those leadership skills.

 

The idea that leadership and scoutcraft skills are in any way mutually exclusive is simply untrue.

 

President Monson, the head of the LDS church, said, "If I were a Scoutmaster and ...

had one of my boys who was not active, I would take my senior patrol leader and go to

visit that boy and his dad. I would say: 'Billy, we have a great Scout program in our ward.

We have campouts, go hiking, swimming, play fun games, and all sorts of other

activities.

'We invite you to join with us in our activities.

'In fact, we want you so bad that we have already paid the registration fees.

'We also know that you like to swim and have planned a swimming activity for this

week. Can I come and pick you up?'

And he will join---not to become honest, or to become a better citizen, or to learn to work

hard, or to serve others. He will join because it sounds fun, and boys like to do fun things.

He will also join because he knows that the boys themselves do much of the planning and

carrying out of the activities---and he likes to do that. And in the process, he will learn

what it means to be "trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind," and to do his

duty to God and his country. For he will learn and become a better boy, and in the end, a

better man, by doing and by his association with adults who have a testimony of the

gospel of Jesus Christ and who stand, with the parents, as righteous role models for these

young men. And he will also learn what it means to ... serve and bless the lives of others...

Again, leadership skills can be taught in any setting. We use Scouting and teach scoutcraft because it's amazing and fun. If you want to teach leadership skills in a dry indoor office setting where the boys do nothing but push paper, sure, you can, but you're not going to reach near as many boys as you would with a real scouting program.

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In re B-P: He wasn't, actually, offered the post of Chief of the Imperial General Staff. He was never in contention for such a post, and couldn't have been - without getting too into the politics of the British Army, his military career was on the wrong track entirely. Finally...There are a number of sources for this, but I'll quote Wikipedia:

 

"In 1910 Lieutenant-General Baden-Powell decided to retire from the Army reputedly on the advice of King Edward VII, who suggested that he could better serve his country by promoting Scouting."

 

Furthermore, re WWI, from the same article:

 

"On the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Baden-Powell put himself at the disposal of the War Office. No command, however, was given him, for, as Lord Kitchener said: "he could lay his hand on several competent divisional generals but could find no one who could carry on the invaluable work of the Boy Scouts." It was widely rumoured that Baden-Powell was engaged in spying, and intelligence officers took great care to inculcate the myth."

 

That said, Burt, your point is decently made: The camping is the ice cream - any leadership skills taught are just the vitamins hidden in the ice cream.:)

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BartHumphries writes:

 

Leadership Skills and Scoutcraft Skills are definitely not mutually exclusive. One only has to look at BP, who was offered the supreme commander spot of the British Armed Forces and turned it down to focus on Scouting. He obviously had Leadership and Scoutcraft skills in spades.

 

Baden-Powell's brand of Leadership is based on Scoutcraft Skills. They are not separate things. That is why his Wood Badge is based on Patrol Scoutcraft with the Patrols separated by 300 feet.

 

His program requires the SM to meet separately with the PLC and/or the Patrol when it needs a new PL, then appoint the best leader. The Patrol sticks with him as long as he continues to lead his Patrol on regular monthly or fortnightly adventures without adult supervision. This is the program that William Hillcourt brought with him from Europe to replace in the 1930s the BSA's adult-run Leadership Skills theory called the "Six Principles of Boy-Work."

 

http://inquiry.net/adult/methods/index.htm

 

"Leadership Development" is the exact opposite of that: A specific form of Leadership Skills based on indoor office theory and an outspoken, aggressive, tenacious, and sustained attack on Scoutcraft (as outlined in my previous posts). It takes position-specific Scoutcraft training away from Patrol Leaders, replaces it with EDGE, and imposes POR requirements to encourage a rapid turn-over of Patrol Leaders with the goal of teaching every Scout in a Troop "how to be a leader."

 

BartHumphries writes:

 

The "Leadership Development Method" is really a fancy way of saying, "The leader doesn't have to be the best at everything and likely won't be the best at everything -- learn how to work well with other people."

 

Exactly! Social skills in the place of Scoutcraft Skills. That is why we hear so much about adult-supervised "Controlled Failure" from Wood Badge graduates: An empty virtue based on the incompetence caused by replacing meat & potatoes Scoutcraft with ice cream parlour EDGE.

 

Leadership Development has always consciously opposed Baden-Powell's brand of backwoods Leadership called "Current Scoutcraft Proficiency."

 

Yours at 300 feet,

 

Kudu

 

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If memory serves, when BP was rejected by the Kitchener to go active duty as a LTGEN, he joined one of his old units, I believe the 13th Hussars, where he held an honorary colonelcy. When the Germans found out that he was back on the continent, they went berserk.

 

Also in WWII, if the Nazi's OPERATION SEA LION would have been successfull, BP was on a list to be shot on site.

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Ah, yes, the SEA LION Black Book.

 

Seems the SS thought Boy Scouts were trained spies. Shades of the movie "Red Dawn" there.

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Wow, I did not think I was saying anything really controversial, and this thread in response to what I said is on its third page.

 

Obviously I agree with Bart, OGE and others, training in outdoor skills is not mutually exclusive with training in leadership and related skills. Kudu, you say they are, but all you really "prove" is that perhaps one aspect has been overemphasized at the expense of the other. It does not prove they are mutually exclusive. In other words, training can achieve the right balance, even if one does not believe it necessarily does so now.

 

As for Penta: You make good points, but nobody said this was easy. :) We do the best we can. Some people bring more skills to the table and some bring less, and hopefully the training fills in all or part of the rest.

 

 

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Totally agreed, NJCS. It wasn't til I came to this site that it struck me how much adults pour into Scouting, just to make a basic program work.

 

I think, frankly, the controversy is a good thing - Questioning the volunteer aspect of Scouting is questioning a pretty fundamental aspect of adult participation in the movement.

 

The fact that I was not immediately run off with pitchforks and torches for doing so says many good things, particularly about the posters here.

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My pack's CO is having issues finding a replacement CM as they want someone with either prior Scouting expereince or some military expereince, in order to have the outdoor skills. I keep telling folks that prior experience is not needed as 1) we do provide training 2) you do have folks with experience who are in other roles, i.e. DLs and MCs who do not have the time commitment for being a CM, But can help out and 3) one of the district trainers is in the pack and willing to assist as needed.

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""It is contrary because as B-P says in the audio clip, "but remember that you can not give them character through ordinary classroom methods.""

 

I am not sure I ever said teaching scouts about EDGE, or any educational tool was the same as teaching or giving them character. EDGE is a tool, the same as an Axe, Compass, or stove.

 

It is the duty of the Patrol Leader to bring his Patrol up to the skill level of going on Patrol Outings. To do this, he will have to teach/impart/demonstrate/show skills he has and wants to have the members of his patrol to have. EDGE gives him a plan to do this training. It's not the only Educational Model, perhaps some know of Blooms Taxonomy but I digress.

 

I am not sure about all areas in the country but the Junior High and Senior High Schools in my area do not teach instructional methodology. EDGE gives a Patrol Leader a plan to teach his patrol members how to select a campsite, make a fire, cook food, read a map and perform orienteering. Just because a scout has those aforementioned skills does not mean he has an understanding of how to pass along his knowledge.

 

Having the ability and skills to lead a Patrol to do an Outing free of adults and getting it done, now shows character!

 

Having a skill does not translate to having the ability of teaching a skill.

 

"Baden-Powell did not list "Leadership" as a goal of Scouting.Character" was the direct result of REAL Scoutcraft Competency:

 

I am not sure I listed "Leadership" as a goal of Scouting, what I said was:

 

"I fail to see how teaching Leadership Principles and educational techniques..."

 

I am not sure how you surmised I was making teaching Leadership Principles a goal of scouting. I never said that, I said I fail to see how teaching Leadership Principles and educational techniques are contrary with B-P's principles. I did not mention changing any goal of scouting.

 

The following statements are what B-P says about character in the speech

 

"Its school of character of citizenship, of personal efficiency for the good of the community."

 

"But remember, you cannot give them character through ordinary classroom methods"

 

"Their moral character is developed by our method of self government under a code of chivalry in the Scout law."

 

"Their spiritual character is developed by their being brought face to face with the wonders and beauties of nature."

 

"Character is far more essential to a successful career of a man."

 

"Character in its individual members is essential for the character of the nation."

 

"And character in the nation is similarly essential to its welfare."

 

"As a school of character therefore, the Scout movement is non-military, non-sectarian, non-political and non-class."

 

I don't see any comment connecting the statement:

 

"Baden-Powell did not list "Leadership" as a goal of Scouting.Character" was the direct result of REAL Scoutcraft Competency:"

 

with anything B-P said regarding character Please tell me where B-P either says or implies character is the result of REAL Scoutcraft competency

 

 

 

 

(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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Yah, I can see kudu must be back to his usual whipping horse.

 

I agree with everyone else; we do teach leadership in scouting, and it's not exclusive of scout craft.

 

But I disagree with da notion that you can be a leader without knowing what you're doing. Yah, yah, we have Congress to point to... Bunch of folks with a law degree and "people skills", but very little practical expertise in anything. Many never held a real job. Look what it gets us :p

 

So I'd agree with Eagle92's committee. It's best if yeh find a fellow who has outdoor skills and kid skills, because da BSA training isn't sufficient to teach those things. For a pack it's not as important as it is for a troop, I'll grant, but even for a pack yeh find that da most successful packs, and especially webelos programs rely on such people.

 

Same with da kids, eh? They learn leadership in da outdoors because they become skilled and experienced in outdoorsmanship. That gives 'em the background and confidence to move into planning and leading others in the outdoors. Our version of leadership is workin' your way up from the bottom; da fellow who was once a new scout who becomes an SPL is like the fellow who starts on the line and works his way up to CEO because he knows the business from the inside out. He's not like one of these management CEOs with "people skills" who like as not wrecks a company because he doesn't understand da business. After all, when two different people have different ideas, yeh have to decide as a leader, eh? And that takes knowledge and experience in da field, not a leadership seminar.

 

I think that's where Kudu is right, despite his habit of runnin' off da rails. Good scouting starts with outdoor skills. And just like we say adults should be the model for proper uniforming, it's even more important for adults to be the model for outdoorsmanship. Because developing outdoorsmanship takes work, eh? It's not as easy as shelling out some bucks and getting mom to sew. So it's vital that the adults provide an example that it's cool and worthwhile to put in that work to be good at their outdoor skills. Not that they keep one chapter ahead in da book or try to remember the thing they learned at one weekend training.

 

So I'm not sure it requires "professional" scouters. But I reckon it's best when scouters show some signs of professionalism. Since our BSA training doesn't get 'em there, and since training people in outdoor and kid skills takes more time thant the average volunteer is willing to put in, they'd best be recruited for that skill set.

 

Beavah

 

Beavah

 

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