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dan

First Class First Year

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What do you do, when you setup a program which to obtain Firt Class in the First Year, with the troop guides training the scouts at the troop meetings and the campouts that will cover the requirments and some of the scouts (60%) are not there because of other commeiments. Do you set up the program so the requiements are taught 2 to 3 times per year? This does not seem doable, not enough troop guides or time.

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We cover the requirements once but we do it in small chunks so that if you miss the First Aid hurry cases meeting you don't miss all of the First Aid training. (Not that you can teach all the first aid in one meeting anyhow.) The key is to have the program set up so that there are many chances to practice the skill. That gives you some time to help out the guys that need refreshers or just missed the instruction.

 

I usually try to plan a little open time on every campout and we use that time to go over things that the scouts may have missed. This also helps to give the scouts a break from the themed activity. Sometimes it's nice to stop all the knot tying on a poineering themed trip to do a little first aid session or maybe a strecher race (you pick the subject). It's a break but it's a Scout skill break.

 

But most of all if the scout needs something he needs to learn to come forward and say "HEY, HELP ME PLEASE!" Once again we try to keep up with what the boys need but we do what we can to foster initiative.

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Mike raises some excellent points. I'll add one other thought.

Just because the other new scouts did it once doesn't mean they don't need to do it again. This time through let them help the instructors teach. They will not only feel good about there new abilities but it gives them opportunity to practive and improve.

 

One other thought, if 60% absenteeism is common you probably need to look at how you are doing things. Is it hands on, is it fun, is it in short blocks of time that fits the attention span of that age group, do they have an opportunity to use the skill? There are always choices in a boys life, often the deciding factor is "what do I enjoy the most". That level of absenteeism sends up some red flags to me.

 

Bob White

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Oh yeah, repetition is the key to knowledge retention.

 

What I meant was the initial formal instruction happens once but we build upon it during the course of program over time. For example First Aid, one the first things we discuss is shock. The next first aid instruction might be the aformentioned hurry cases. Well, shock is one of the items you treat and look out for no matter what the injury. So when teaching the hurry cases we briefly go over shock again by asking the boys to tell the instructor what shock is and demonstrate treatment and then move on to main focus of that session. So we have taught shock in depth once and touched on it in a later session.

 

Once you have taught a skill bring it back up without warning during one of those "Skill breaks" I mentioned above as a refresher.

 

Actual Scout quote:

"But Mr. Long, we were doing knots, what's with the first aid stuff?"

Be Prepared right?

 

I follow the four plus teaching model:

I do you watch

I do you help

You do I help

You do I watch

Then you go do with someone else watching.

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Not everything has to be taught in a group on Troop meeting night. This is where a few good parents or the older Scouts can help - before/after meetings, Saturdays. Besides, all that info is in the book. They don't have to sit thru a class session to learn it.

 

"60%" - Consistantly? Check the KID FUN factor at your meetings. Is there a crabby adult that needs to be assigned to paperwork duty away from the boys? Are you sure it's conflicts or maybe excuses? Just things to consider. Good luck!

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Lots of good suggestions posted already. Yes, definitely repeat training as often as necessary to get scouts proficient at it. Build on the activity so that it's not repetitive. For example, work on lashing techniques at one event, then build a troop pioneering project at a different event to let the scouts apply what they've learned. I've also discovered that attendance drops if we repeat the same type of campout or events too frequently, so we try to cycle different activities every two to three years. This keeps attendance close to 100% by making it something new for many troop members.

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Attendance is always a problem. Parents and kids have to make choices. By having a fun and interesting program you will get pretty close to 100%. We have a new group of boys that bridged over in Feburary and 100% are going to summer camp. Two boys have each missed a campout. We also have boys that joined to troop a couple months later. They are all on the way to make first class in 1 year.

 

We have a different theme for each month and do some sort of game that revolves around a skill. This keeps all the boys working on the basics. We have a transfer in boy that is a star scout that has problems tieing knots. Now that he is in the troop he is becoming confident. We just make a rotation of the basics as part of the plan.

 

You should always remember that every scout is a guide to someone. When you have the boys working with each other that is when they start to learn.

 

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You also might want to look at the whole "first class first year" mentality.

 

When I joined my Troop we had a terrible scoutmaster, someone who put off signing my requirements for scout, although I knew them from a long time ago (i got the arrow of light, all stuff covered in the scout badge is in there). Finally we got a new Scoutmaster, but leadership changed hands once more...this time we ended up with a great guy, USAF vet who let kids progress as they wanted.

 

From Scout on it was a personal struggle to go to the next rank, overall I used up 3 years before getting first class. And I never regret it once. I had to motivate myself and us initiative to overcome obstacles, something the scouting program is meant to teach.

 

After 1st class I jumped from rank to rank as soon as time would allow, and now I'm planning out my eagle project a couple months after attaining Life rank. I've already earned enough badges that once I get eagle (and complete the other req's) I'll have a bronze palm.

 

Some kids don't fit the mold, so if you find one that doesn't, please don't try to push them in. I personally took my time, set my own pace, and now I have the motivation, self-confidence, and perseverance to do anything in life.(This message has been edited by Venturer2002)

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dan

I think the first class in the first year is doable for the scouts that who have good participation. Not all scouts will achieve it. Sometimes though when they see their buddies advancing before them, they get on the stick. We have a 75% policy. You don't advance without getting to 75% of the meetings and outings. We keep up with it on troopmaster. By the way we understand the importance of their sports and other activities, so as long as they get there, even if they arrive before the closing ceremony with a valid reason, they get credit for attending. That way we know Scouting is important to them. Troop campout absences can be made up with other campouts such as OA or patrol campouts.

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A word of warning ASM7,

There is no attendance requirement for advancement in the Boy Scout Handbook and no person or unit can to or subtract from the advancement requirements, according the the BSA policies on advancement.

 

Some think that they can do it as a part of the show scout spirit requirement but that is incorrect. That requirement as explained in the Boy Scout Handbook refers to the scout displaying the scouting ideals of the Oath and Law in his everday life.

 

Please review the rules on advancement in the Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures manual. I think you will clearly see that what the unit is doing is in violation of the national policies.

 

Bob White

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ASM7,

 

"First Class, First Year" didn't happen for me because I was having too much fun in the program to let advancement get in the way.

 

The push to advance as I got older? came from knowing in my heart that I wanted eagle, and you obviously had to get higher then tenderfoot to get it :-)

 

I was more than active in all of the Troop activities, I just wasn't ready to advance.

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Venturer2002,

the key to the success of First Class First Year is the troop program. In a troop that uses FCFY correctly, advancement takes place naturally as the scout participates. If you were active and did not make 1st Class in 12 to 14 months it was not due to your focus, it was due to the troop program not setting up the learning and application phases of advancement so that as you participated you commpleted the requirements.

 

Bob White

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Bob,

Gotta ask. If a Scout shows up for one meeting and no events and has completed all the requirements for rank, is this showing Scout spirit? Is he living according to the Oath & Law? Should he be advanced like the Scouts who show up for all the meeting & events?

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Ed,

Take a look at the requirements for Tenderfoot to First Class and tell us how a scout can fulfill all the rank requirements without attending ANY events.

 

I think you will answer your own question. (hint- it has nothing to do with scout spirit)(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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