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Eamonn

Dumbed down? Why the rush?

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Qwazse,

 

I agree. We have had few boys have such disabilities that they couldn't get it eventually; usually they are no more than a year or two behind on some issues and if they show up at the events and campouts they usually will master it on their own.

 

We had a few kids that were terrified of the swim test and literally had a ring of adult swimmers around him to get him do it the first time. I have done some knots with some guys dozens of times. It sure is rewarding when they get it.

 

 

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Eamonn, "I'm not so sure about Troops that fail when it comes to basic skills not failing when it also comes to using the methods?"

 

I think a lack of basic skills shows a program that is also lacking in all the other methods.

 

Eamonn,"I also know a lot of kids who once they get their butts kicked are just willing to throw in the towel and leave it at that.

Not all but some kids!"

 

Yep, thats because its the easy way out. Its up to the advisors (SM) to help the young men to step up to the plate and improve their skills. Of course it may mean the advisors have to take a look at the program make what ever adjustments maybe necessary to eliminate the throw in the towel attitude altogether.

 

 

Eamonn, "I'm willing to bet that if the District Camporees that our District has were all about Scout Skill Competitions the same Troop would always win time after time."

 

They set the bar because its important to them. Its up to the other troops to come up to the bar.

 

Eamonn,"Mainly because the adults in that Troop have the skills and have found ways of passing them on and allow Scouts opportunities to use them."

 

I disagree with you here. Its mainly because the adults in the troop have taken the time to learn the skills, have taught the young men the importance of learning the skill instead of just passing off a requirement, and make sure the young men get the opportunities to use the skills.

 

Eamonn, "Some Troops rely on District events as being their entire outdoor program and if the Scouts don't get the opportunity to learn needed skills at these events, then the opportunity is lost."

 

 

Camporee's were never meant to be a opportunity for learning skills. They have always been for showing off what you know or don't know through competition. Believe it or not competition among young men is natural.

 

Tampa Turtle, "I have seen some boys with low self esteem really get discouraged when they get shown up at these things."

 

Only be cause they are not prepared. Just take that same group of young men, help them prepare by learning and perfecting the basic scout skills. I guarantee you that their self esteem will will no longer be low when the kick butt. Even if they don't win each event.

 

Tampa Turtle, "Also some with disabilities. So I wouldn't want to write them off as "too bad, so sad". These are the guys we really need to reach. Need to work with them more (and their Patrol's to help them learn as well)"

 

I'm not talking young men with mental and physical disabilities, these are thing beyond their control, thats a whole different situation.

 

My experience has been that most young men will include and help those with disabilities even if it means losing a competition.

 

 

 

 

 

(This message has been edited by Gary_Miller)

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Gary,

 

I am all for Patrol and skill competitions. It makes learning and practicing the skills relevant. It also flushes out the lazy ones.

 

 

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I love Eamonn's comment:

I much prefer the stealth way of advancement. That's where Scouts do and learn things without any mention or thought about advancement. Still by learning and using the skills they meet the requirements.

 

This is exactly how I would like to see it work. One problem, though, is that training really doesn't prepare you to make it happen, and especially how to get there in a troop currently doing it another way.

 

I understand the frustration with scouts that do not remember how to do something the next month, let alone next year. However, I don't know many adults who remember everything they had learned in school either. It is - use it or lose it. I see our role as making sure the scouts have the chance to use the skills over and over on adventures.

 

Please, please do not go overboard on testing. I shudder at the 100 question/skills test mentioned that one unit does every year. Skills is only one method, advancement another. We left a troop that turned SM conferences into a retest of every scout skill of all previous ranks. A first class SMC was 3 one-hour sessions. They have had a number of scouts transfer to other troops. Sadly, others leave scouting altogether, or stay not knowing that it shouldn't be that way.

 

Where is the fun? All I'm seeing are hoops.

 

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Not sure why? But I always think it's odd when an old thread pops back up again.

 

For my part I tend to be a very local sort of fellow.

Sure I read what's going on in the world, have an idea what's happening in the country.

Watch the local news.

Still I found out a long time ago that I'm not going to fix, mend or repair all the woes of the world.

When there is a big disaster some place I will grab the plastic and send a donation. All to often months later I hear that things haven't changed and my donation really hasn't been put to much good.

So to my mind, rightly or wrongly I'd sooner donate close to home, someplace where I know that my donation is being used for some good.

I don't know much about how kids are being educated in China, California or Ohio. I've never had any dealing with any of that.

I do know what's happening in the school district where I live.

I served at the Area level the committee I was on, at that time covered 13 Councils.

While many faced the same sort of problems, I at times marveled at how many different ways each Council went about fixing these problems. I had at one time or another been in most of the 13 Councils, but to tell the truth I really had no idea of what was going on in these Councils other than the reports I was handed.

The Council I'm in is very small. Even when attending R/T meetings of each District, it became clear that each was different, each had it's own identity and way of doing things. This was also the case of the Troops in the District I served.

Of course there was the material that comes from the BSA, but each Troop operated in different ways.

This is a good thing.

None of us as an individual can fix or repair everything that we see is wrong with Scouts and Scouting.

We can ensure that we set standards that don't allow for corner cutting or cheating.

We can use our skills as leaders to nudge PLC's into following the traditional skills.

When we look at the Methods of Scouting we can use them as goals. There will be times when it will seem that everything is just great but Troops are living things that change and with a few new Scouts things might not be as great as they maybe had been once.

There are times when the stuff that comes down from above seems to get in the way, but with a little imagination even this can be worked with.

The bottom line is that if the program your Scouts are receiving isn't up to par?

Before you blame anyone else, take a long hard look at what your doing.

Ea.

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"Many parents look to the BSA to provide their son with the "Eagle Scout" BSA "Good Housekeeping" seal of approval in the belief that it will help with college entrance or future employment opportunities."

 

Yep...so do some Scouts. Why is that? How about because the SM pushes it that way....heard him say it.

 

I think it's rubbish...especially this day and age.

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I hear we (troop) had a Eagle Candidate actually say recently:

 

Q: "Why do want to be an Eagle?"

A: "It looks good on the college application".

Q:"Any other reasons?"

A:"No, not really. (thinking)My parents wanted it."

 

Had another parent say "He has to get Eagle fast so he can move on to sports later"

 

(Sigh)

 

Kinda discouraging. But then there are a few boys that come along and are enthusiastic, actually go home and do things, and eat it all up. And that makes it worthwhile to keep going. Some kids "get it".

 

 

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Yes---categorizing scouts as "dumbed down" usually indicates an unwillingness on the part of the counselor to adapt scouting to modern kids. It's more of a comment on the adults than the children!

----------------

Tal Almog Romania Hungary Latvia Lithuania Bulgaria

 

 

 

www.myspace.com/584004323

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