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When I was a Boy Scout, I was in my high school's marching band and my troop's "Flag Team." In Scouts, my friend and I did teach a clinic about how to do "about face" and which foot to start on; marching band, conversely, was hours of drills. In Scouts, we did not spend hours (or even half an hour) working on drills. Serving on flag team was a big deal in my troop so Scouts wanted to learn how to look sharp and that was what our brief practice session (at the request of the PLC) entailed: sharp turns and sharp salutes. We didn't need hours of training for flag team.


Similarly, when I was a New Zealand Sea Scout, my ship was asked to participate in an ANZAC Day parade and we did spend most of the preceding meeting learning how to march (basically a roll step). However, after ANZAC Day, we never worried about it again. We went back to sailing, pioneering, and doing our flag ceremonies in "The Ship." It was just like Scouting here: we practiced only when we needed to instead of practicing in case we were needed. I think the former is the better approach to take to drill in Scouting. It shouldn't be a program focus but can be used to expand program opportunities.

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A few thoughts.


In reference to Cub Scouts and flag ceremonies, I look to the example of one my scouting mentors, a crusty old, retired USMC SgtMaj who was in three wars: Any time he saw Cubs raising the colors you could see the tears in his eyes on them learning about the country, patriotism, and respect for the flag and what the flag represents.


Now for Boy Scouts he was a little more demanding, especially if they did his first year camper program and knew better. But new scouts, he had the patience of a saint, and in all cases, he worked with the scouts.


Now if you were camp staff, you better have your act together ;)


As for drill, I remember those Silent Scout signs, and actually use a few with my Cubs. The love it. While the marching we did was not up to JROTC standards, we did do it on some occasions with the troop, usually on hikes.


As for Sea Scouts, Yep they use NAVMC2691, and I've seen some Sea Scouts kick JROTC and Sea Cadet butt!

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"As for Sea Scouts, Yep they use NAVMC2691, and I've seen some Sea Scouts kick JROTC and Sea Cadet butt!"


That is a new one that is starting to filter in here. For the longest time most ships used the drill taught in the 1912 Sea Scout manual. It evolved a little over time in each ship though as it was passed along from generation to generation.


Since the Southwestern Rendezvous adopted that Marine Corps drill manual as their standard, some ships have started using it.


As for Boy Scouts doing flag ceremonies, I went to this camporee and all three flag ceremonies we watched were hard to watch. On two of them an adult came out to help them attach the flag to the halyard after the scouts had been struggling for a couple minutes. While the scouts were respectful toward the flag they did not seem to even try too be impressive at all. One of our officers who worked at a summer camp told me that that was pretty normal. Apparently at the camp she works at every day a different troop is responsible for colors.


That was a big surprise for me. In Sea Scouts most color guards do their best to be impressive. This is their time to show off to a bunch of other ships. Of course they also know that if they mess up people will give them a hard time about it for years to come :D.

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NAVMC 2691 was being used in my neck of the woods in the early 90s. Since it is the standard Navy drill manual, I just assumed it was used everywhere. E


My camp staff rotated amongst themselves who would do the colors. We were fortunate in that we had a crusty old retired Marine SgtMaj on staff who worked with us during staff week to get the ceremony down pat at camp, and every staffer was expected to be able to do it. NO ONE wanted to let him down. Cranky yes, demanding yes, but if you needed help he'ld go out of his way to help ya, and everyone loved him. You did NOT disappoint "Sarge."

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If Cub Scouts and Tenderfeet can face the right direction and salute with the proper hand, I'm happy!


But I think older Scouts should all have the basic poise and experience necessary to walk in a straight line, stand at attention, hook the flag to the halyard, raise it quickly and lower it slowly, salute at the right times and fold the flag. And stand up straight.


I don't think that's "drill," just basic respect.


(If my 13-year-old self could read this now, he'd be thinking: " 'Stand up straight'? Geeeeeez, what an old fogie!")(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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For me, one of the major differences between Boy Scouts and Sea Scouts was close order drill. The other differences were uniform inspection, saluting, and 'obeying orders' (from an adult 'officer' or from a senior petty officer).


I don't know how common it was with other Sea Scout Ships of the era (early to mid 80s), but Sea Scouts felt like you were in the Navy or Coast Guard.


Now my Boy Scout troop on the other hand, was a very relaxed group of guys that went camping once in awhile, happened to wear uniforms, and to whom 'drill' WOULD be the twisty thing you use to make a hole in a piece of wood.


Some people liked one experience better, some the other, but for ME, I can't see a place for close order drill in Boy Scouts.

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