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AoL - Cub scout or Boy Scout requirement?

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Okay, a few of you know that I am now also working with a troop as an ASM.


I was assigned to the newest patrol.


What I have been doing right now is just checking boys off when they prove they meet the joining requirements. Also checking off Tenderfoot too.


As is right now, all but one of the new scouts have earned the Scout rank.


Now here is what is going on: Without explicitly saying so, the boy, his parents and his former CM ( from another pack - not mine) feel like he showed that he knew it during hie time as a Webelos, so we should just go ahead and check him off.


They also allude to the fact that Cub Scouts says you only have to "Do your best".


This is where I am taking a stand. I tell them that Boy Scouts is not Cub Scouts. You either do it or you don't. Well specifically, you can either demonstrate it or you can't.


Truth be told, this boy did not know this stuff at the AoL Ceremony that was put on by our Pack.


More iside info: Since some boys from a neighboring pack were going to join our sister troop as were our boys, and since I had it set up so that the OA and OA dance team were going to be there, I invited them to join us in a joint AoL/ Crossover ceremony.


So anyways, at the AoL, this boy said he did not know the Scout Oath. I asked him if he knew the "Boy Scout Promise" and he said yes.


At the time, I figured it to be a simple case of being nervous and that he just called the Scout Oath by Scout Promise. I am now thinking he thought I meant Cub Scout Promise.


NOw I am of the opinion that his den was slid right through. Maybe they kinda knew it, maybe they talked about it. Maybe the DL was just ready to have ALL the boys through since the DL's boy was also part of that den and crossed into our troop.


Maybe the DL felt pity? I don't know.


So anyways, here we are: I have a Boy who really shouldn't have been given his AoL. I say given, not earned.


Now here's the thing: I am not going to challenge him, his parents, his former DL or anybody about his AoL. That's done and over with. Will not benefit anybody if I do.


But, I am not going to "give" him his scout badge by signing off on it.


Either he demonstrates the requirements or he doesn't.





So, here's my real question: Do you consider AoL to be Cub Scout level or Boy Scout level as far as "do your best" or can or can't?


I consider it an award that is given to Cub Scouts who show that they are mentally advanced enough to show that they KNOW the requirements of Boy Scouts, and are therefore let in early.


Kinda like advancing a grade or two in school or being one of those prodigies who go to college when they are only 15 years old.


What sayeth you?



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Demonstrate the skill, no more or less. If dad has an issue with scout not receiving his scout patch. I would call scout and dad a side and tell dad he is not to help and ask scout to recite the oath and law. Either he does it or doesn't it.


If dad sees it he can't possible argue about the knowledge.

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I'm going to add to Basement's post. When you call the two aside, put them at ease first so that it doesn't appear like an inquisition. Tell the father that you only want him to watch and then tell the Scout that all you need him to do is recite the Scout Oath and Law. If the Scout appears to get nervous, tell him to breathe and take his time. Tell him to make the Scout sign and start when he is ready. If he recites it correctly all the way through, then your job is done. However, if he goofs a little bit, wait until he is finished and tell him it is not quite right. Inform him what was wrong and what the correction is. Do not let him do it again at that time. Tell him that you will try it again next week. Be upbeat about it.


Now if the Scout really goofs it or is having a ton of trouble. Politely interrupt him and say, "It is OK if you do not know it right now. Let's work on it because you need to know it correctly. Heck, you will probably be saying it for the rest of your life." Give him some helpful ways to memorize it such as reciting one line at a time and adding the next line (i.e. On my honor. On my honor, I will do my best. On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty. And so on.) Another way is to write down just the first two letters of each word in the Oath as a cheat sheet from which to practice (i.e. On my ho, I wi do my be...) Motivate the Scout to earn his badge and he will. And praise him accordingly when he completes his task.


Does your troop recite the Oath and Law every troop meeting? The more times Scouts recite it correctly, the easier it will become. This is what my Girl Scout troop did right from the beginning when the girls were in kindergarten. We kept reciting it every meeting and had them go home to practice it. They all learned it. I do the same thing with my five-year-old son. We recite the Cub Scout Promise, Law, Motto, and what Webelos means every night at bedtime. My son needs the extra time to learn them so we are starting early.


Good luck,

Chazz Lees

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Everybody starts at the same spot in Boy Scouts, no matter what they did in Cub Scouts. Demonstrate the ability.


Even the boys that came from my pack into the troop had to demonstrate all the requirements before I signed them off, even though I knew they could do it.


While this boy and his den "slid through" the AoL requirements for joining a troop, Oh well, you can't hold it against him. Just have him work on the requirements for a little bit, maybe have one of the other scouts work with him.


It's your call, since your doing the SMC for these boys. Hold them to a higher standard because they deserve that, not because of what Daddy or his CM says. If Daddy wants to cause a fuss, you know where the complaint forms are located.

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You are right. In Cub Scouts all they need is to "do your best". In Boy Scouts the must complete the requirements as written.


But do you realize that they do not need to repeat the Scout Oath and Law from memory for the Scout Badge? They only need to understand and agree to live by them. The Arrow of Light requirements are actually more difficult. It is not until Tenderfoot that they need to repeat from memory.

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You are both right and wrong on this. Boy Scouts is not Cub Scouts. There are options for physically/mentally disabled youth, but Boy Scouts is a demonstrate knowledge, not an try to do program. A boy that has completed AOL "should" have no problem completing Scout rank. That said, it doesn't mean it is automatic...he still has to DO it.


Now as Neal said...They don't have to have Oath, Law, Motto, etc memorized for Scout rank, they only have to be able to explain an understanding of them and agree to live by them.

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First of all, there is no such thing as the "Scout rank".


The Scout patch is simply a patch that denotes that you have met the Boy Scout joining requirements - not a rank.


It does not matter what this Scout did, or did not do as a Cub Scout. He is not in Cub Scouts any longer.


Cub Scout requirements are completed as Cub Scouts. Boy Scout requirements are completed as Boy Scouts.


The Boy Scout joining requirements differ a bit from the requirements for a Cub Scout to earn AOL.


One of the MAJOR tenets of BSA is that no one is allowed to add to, or subtract from, any BSA requirements.


Boy Scout Joining Requirement #7 -

"Understand and agree to live by the Scout Oath or Promise, Law, motto, and slogan, and the Outdoor Code."


No more. No less.



The Tenderfoot Rank Requirement #7 is - "Repeat from memory and explain in your own words the Scout Oath, Law, motto, and slogan."


You might suggest to your Scoutmaster (SM) that in his SM conference he talk to this Scout about requirements for T-2-1.

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The AoL, mastered, should get a boy a long way down the road to Tenderfoot.

It is proof that the boy did his best. Best for this requirement meaning he recited the Scout Oath and Law while a Webelo. It's very likely the kid managed to do this as a W1, but DL didn't drill it at every meeting.


The boy was victim of "once and done" and now has to pay the piper. Don't make the cost exorbitant.

1. Make sure he knows the meaning of tough words like trustworthy, reverent, and on my honor.

2. Give him the scout patch.

3. Tell him you look forward to hearing him say it all from memory so a PL can sign off that requirement.


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I remember back in the day if you earned the AOL, you automatically got you Scout Badge, and had the 2 month time requirement for Tenderfoot waived,but that is no more.


As others have stated, once in Boy Scouts, you start over. And "Do Your Best" is no longer the standard. According to the GtA, the standard is that the "badge represents what the Scout is capable of doing, not a recognition for what he has done." or similar word.


Be firm, fair, and diplomatic about it. Don't embarrass the scout, but let others work with him. Troop guide would be a good one, or another new scout who can help out.

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Neal is correct. Only an understanding of and an agreement to live by the Oath, Law, Motto, Slogan as well as the Outdoor Code is required. I read the post incorrectly and got fixated on Tenderfoot. When you meet with the Scout, have him open the book and read all of them with you. Then have him explain what it means so that you get that he understands them. If he is not sure about something, the two of you can talk about it until he understands. When you are done, just ask him if he agrees to live by them.


Good luck,

Chazz Lees

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Common confusion especially the AOL/Scout Rank.


We practiced it for a Year in Webelos and the boys still forgot it, we want them to be able to recite even if it means a little prompting or maybe a chart in the room. I can be a little tougher on the Oath, it always seems like the Law takes awhile. Boys learn stuff and then forget it.


We never treat the Scout "joining rank" as an automatic but they do have to go through them all. This last year went great as a ASM worked with the WII's the last month on practicing all the stuff. They were ready!


We have had a few boys lag on Scout Rank.

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"So anyways, here we are: I have a Boy who really shouldn't have been given his AoL. I say given, not earned. "

Maybe, Maybe Not.  Earning the AOL is body of completed achievements and activity badges that goes way beyond the simple rote memorization of the Scout Oath and Law.  Unless his former Webelos DL made him recite the Oath and Law at every den meeting, he is not going to remember them.  He probably did it once to meet the requirement and then it was signed-off. 

It's not much different in Boy Scouts.  Yes, they need to demonstrate that they know the requirements and do them to the satisfaction of their counselor, but once they do them, they are completed.  There is no future re-testing to determine if "they really earned it."

To your question:  The AoL is a Cub Scout level award and the requirements are still under the motto of "Do Your Best."  This is not pencil-whipping the requirements.  A Webelo should demonstrate that he has done his best.


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ya know fish.......



A little research answered the question.....He should receive the Patch. here is teh quote from national...




7. Understand and agree to live by the Scout Oath or Promise, Law, motto, and slogan, and the Outdoor Code.


Helps to actually read requirement.....Yep I am guilty as charged.

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The Oath example I gave was something that happened just before the AoL ceremony....but not the only thing he is having an issue with.


He doesn't / can't name any parts of the scout badge either.



He also has trouble tying a square not too. Well, he will tie it, ask : "Is this it?" , but before you answer, he will untie it and tie a different one and ask if that's it also. Well, it's not that he can't tie it, he can, he just couldn't recognize it from another knot - which is definantly better than not knowing it all.


The problem here is, when the SM presented 3 more badges at the troop meeting, he asked : "Where's my badge?"


Innocent enough question, but dad wonders the same thing. Dad was Cm of neighboring pack, so dad of all people should understand if you ask me. He may be in Cub Scouts ( as am I) but he is in a position he should be able to look at his son's scout book and see what needs to be done.

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