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Bob White

1st Class / First Year follow-up

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Greetings all,

I wanted to get back with some info that was inquired about during another string, regarding statistics surrounding the effectiveness of the First Class First year emphasis that is supported in the Scoutmaster Handbook, The PAtrol Leader Handook, The Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures manula and the Scoutnaster Leader Specific Training Course.

 

I contacted the national office about three weeks ago and left a request for that information. I was contacted today by Terry Lawson, the Director of Boy Scout Advancement. Teryy apologized for not getting back tyo me sooner. He just returned on Wedneday from medical leave and just now found my request. Terry is working with the statistics office (I didn't know they even had one) to get us the information we requested. I haope to post the answer here soon.

 

Thanks for your patience,

Bob White

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Bob,

Thanks for being so persistent with this. I am looking forward to the results.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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Sorry no,

I started a new project a couple weeks ago and havenot followed up. I will try to call him back this week. sorry for the delay.

Bob

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Bob,

I don't want to beat a dead horse but it seems to me that National either has no statistics on FCFY retention or they don't really care & this is just another program!

 

To all the other's who post here:

 

Does your Troop use the FCFY program? Have you noticed a higher retention rate since you started using FCFY?

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

 

P.S. I am heading to summer camp on Saturday (7/6/2002) so I will be interested to see the results when I get back!

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Ed

We are a new Troop with only 11 year old boys. We are trying to follow the FCFY program. We had 100% attendance at summer camp where all the boys attended the first Year Program (Dan Boone) which is an all week half day session. This program was wonderfull and all the boys made quite a bit of progress on their requirements. If anything holds them back from getting First Class during their first year it will be the swimming requirements. But we will work hard on this.

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Ed,

As I said I have a new project that has made it difficult for me to contact national during business hours, I leave soon for Philmont, and may or may not contact national by then. I don't know if they have current statistics or not. I know there were studies done prior to FCFY emphasis and I know how successfull it has been for units I have seen use it.

 

Although it is the method of scouting described in the Boy Scout handbook, the SM handbook, the PL handbook, the SPL handbook, SM Leader Specific Training and The Advancement Procedures Policies and Procedures manual, don't let that sway your opinion.

You keep doing it whatever way you want. I'm confident you know more about scouting than any number of qualified people who have designed the program over 92 years.

Best of Luck,

 

Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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I put all our new Scouts in a New Scout Patrol shortly after taking over as Scoutmaster about six months ago. I had 8 Scouts in the patrol at the outset. Some were truly "new", and a few had a couple months in the Troop already. I did this based on BSA literature that encourages it, two ASMs I latched onto them, and a heartfelt promise from my newly anointed Troop Guide that he would jump into it with both feet.

 

The Troop Guide piece didn't work out as expected. This older Scout, who's a good kid and completed JLT, has the typical teenage distractions, missed some meetings/activities, and increasingly came to view himself as a "babysitter". This hurt the effort.

 

All the Scouts in the NSP were not a smooth, homogenous, single demographic. They didn't all come from a feeder pack, didn't have universal Cub Scout experience, and weren't all 11 years old.

 

The ASMs, being active duty military guys, weren't at every activity/meeting, either.

 

In short, I sometimes had to "detail" an older Scout or another leader to work with the NSP. Had I assigned them to permanent patrols to begin with, that support system would have been built in and automatic.

 

We also had problems when the NSP competed in interpatrol activities at troop meetings, or at camporee competitions. I had to be very creative when they consistently came up last in events that counted on Scout skills they simply didn't collectively have yet, or physical prowess inherent in the older Scouts in the permanent patrols. To be sure, the part time Troop Guide affected this, but in fairness, no Troop Guide can make an 11 year old perform like a 15 year old in a relay race without performance enhancing drugs -- you get the point. As much as the Scouts pay attention to the competition results, this was a much bigger deal than it may seem to an adult.

 

Since FCFY (as a program) is closely linked in my mind to formation and care/feeding of an NSP, I think it's success is dependent on several things happening simultaneously, and efficiently.

 

1. NSP is formed before summer camp, of boys from the same feeder pack. They will, by definition, know each other and be close in demographics.

 

2. Gotta have a good, dedicated Troop Guide.

 

3. ASM(s) who have both the inclination and the opportunity at the same time.

 

Would I do it again? Not under the same circumstances I had this time around. I believe I can give one or two new Scouts to each permanent patrol, with FCFY tracking sheets to supplement the patrol record book, and let them run it.

 

KS

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Bob,

Cheap shot! I never siad the FCFY program dosen't work. I only stated I don't use it in my Troop. Not all Troops are "cookie cut". There are many differences. Not all programs work or are designed for all Troops. And until the BSA requires I use the FCFY program, I won't. Sorry if this offends you but just because there is a program available doesn't mean it needs to be used by every unit. Enjoy Philmont. I would love to able to afford to go.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Evmori,

I look at it more as accurate and laden with sarcasm. It has become apparent that any similarities between your methods and the Boy Scout Handbook are purely coincidental.

 

I enjoy training new and old leaders, I enjoy answering questions from leaders who want to do the right thing, I enjoy that I learn new skills and new ways of teaching skills nearly every time I meet a scouter.

 

But the night I wrote that last post I had just returned from a council task force meeting on long term program planning for our council. There was a scouter there who had some ideas that were in direct conflict with scouting regualtions. He also had some comments about scout leader training that related to course syllabii we hadn't used in years. One of his complaints was the inaccessible times that training was held. I offered him to name any evening that was good for his committee (he is a troop committee chair) and I would see that a trainer was there to do NLE and then return at their coinvenience to do Troop Committee Challenge. He declined. He prefered complaining to getting trained. His biggest concern was that he would only argue with the trainer. Why, I asked, would he feel compelled to argue with someone sharing the current national program with him? Because, he answered, that is not how we do things.

 

So you see, he he doesn't want to bring the scouting program to his community. He wants to bring "his" scouting program the community. As long as it's his, he gets to be in charge.

 

I invited him several times to come get trained and he declined several times. After all he's been doing it for 15 years. (he's been doing it wrong for 15 years). He has had 8 or 9 Eagles a year. (a number relevant only to the measurement of his ego not to scouting). He knows all about scouting. (when I asked him what the 3 goals of scouting were, he had no idea, but was sure he was doing them.) I asked him if he hunted, he did, so I asked what the first rule of aiming a gun was. He said know what your shooting at. So how is it he can direct a scouting program if he doesn't know what he is supposed to shoot at.

 

You evmori, aknowledge that first class first year works, "I never siad the FCFY program dosen't work yet you don't use it. In previous posts you admit; you don't follow the unit elections methods, the new scout patrol methods, the youth protection guidelines on harrassment, the advancement policies and procedures. All things explained to the scouts and promised to the scouts in the Boy Scout Handbook. Why for pete's sake do even allow them a book?

 

The other scouter at this meeting offered me his uniform. (a sure sign of a dictatorship scouter). I declined, I don't need another uniform, (let alone one so poorly worn). I explained to him what I want is for him to take training and learn the program he is working so hard to avoid.

 

I am not asking you to be a cookie cutter scouter. (I honestly have no idea what that means). I am inviting you to do things the way they are written in the Boy Scout Handbook and taught in the BSA training guides and resources.

 

You don't have to camp where everyone else camps or cook what every one else cooks or use the same gear everyone else uses. I am asking use to use the same rules we are all supposed to be using. That's what makes us a "program". Same game, same rules, different team owners and coaches. But someday down the road when a scout from the troop you serve meets a scout from another troop, they should have something more in common than their shirts looked similar.

 

I have no doubt you are a well meaning volunteer, but if I was buiding a house I would want a carpenter who read and followed the blueprints not just someone who meant well.

 

I see no point in responding to you directly in the future, as I said at the beginning we are worlds apart and at this point I see that as a good thing.

 

Bob White

 

Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Not sure what the hulabaloo was all about between Ed & Bob but;

 

If a scout can become first class within a year of joining Boy Scouts, it shows that he has been involved, went camping, learned basic skills, etc. I don't think that making 1\+{st} Class in the first year in and of itself is such a big deal but if done it usually shows that the scout is progressing nicely, is having fun, attending meetings, etc. If feel that if a boy becomes 1\+{st} Class within a year it is a good indicator that he will remain in scouting for a time (good retention) but not that it was \b{THE} reason for retention.

 

Look at Cub Scouts. The boys who made regular advancement were usually the ones with parental involvement (Cubs is a family based, unlike Boy Scouts) and thus stuck to the program.

 

I play dual roles now, Webelos Den Leader and Asst. Scoutmaster (actually three as a Unit Commissioner but that is another story) and have learned a lot from my Star scout son about the 1st class requirements. Never to old to learn I say!(This message has been edited by acco40)

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Hey Bob - I've been away from the site for a few months but thought I'd check it out again and what a surprise - E.M. is still being objectionable to you and everything scouting represents. You are such a trooper to still be patiently interacting with him. I admire your perseverence and tolerance. I was hoping, as I know you were, that you would have succeeded in persuading him to give the "real" scouting method a try. He just might find that it works beautifully. I actually felt bad after my very first post (I showed my annoyance) in response to him months ago but now see that my instinct was right. It's just baffling to me that someone would be so openly and publicly defiant about scouting. Anyway, you still have my support and respect for your - as I said before -SUPERIOR KNOWLEDGE!!!

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Bob,

On the attack I see. Purely concidential? Glad to see you crystal ball is working & you can see what I do in my Troop so clearly!

 

Since you have not seen my unit function I take you shots as nothing more than blind babbling. We use the patrol method and it works very well. We don't have a NSP since we only have two new Scouts! Besides, the NSP is only a suggestion in the SM handbook, not a requirement. We also don't shoot for FCFY. If a Scout gets FC in a year, great! Once again, this is only a suggestion in the SM handbook, not a requirement.

 

Yes Bob, my Scouts all own handbooks. We give all the new Scouts handbooks when they join the Troop and are required to bring them to all the Troop meetings & camping trips. Once again, you based your opinion on myth instead of fact.

 

Where did I ever say I don't follow the YPG on harassment? I am YP trained (just completed a follow-up course at summer camp) and follow the guidelines & rules of YP. If you consider left-handed smoke shifter hunts or having to sing for lost gear harassment you should get out Webster's & look up the definition of harasment. To me, neither are harassment. And snipe hunts are no more than bird watching.

 

"Hey Bob - I've been away from the site for a few months but thought I'd check it out again and what a surprise - E.M. is still being objectionable to you and everything scouting represents. You are such a trooper to still be patiently interacting with him. I admire your perseverence and tolerance. I was hoping, as I know you were, that you would have succeeded in persuading him to give the "real" scouting method a try. He just might find that it works beautifully. I actually felt bad after my very first post (I showed my annoyance) in response to him months ago but now see that my instinct was right. It's just baffling to me that someone would be so openly and publicly defiant about scouting. Anyway, you still have my support and respect for your - as I said before -SUPERIOR KNOWLEDGE!!!"

 

mommascout,

Wow! You really know how I run my unit! What insight! NOT! Your shots are cheaper than Bob's! Do you only consider one way to be correct? If so, then you would function well in a dictatorship. Scouting is not a dictatorship. There are policies etched in stone. There are programs units can choose to follow. There are recommendations on how to set up patrols. There are many variables in Scouting. Unless it is a rule or policy etched in stone, I as a unit leader, have the option to use it or not. By deciding to not use it doesn't (except in your mind) make me or anyone else a bad Scouter. Publically defiant about Scouting? Wow you must be using Bob's crystal ball to looking to something I posted that isn't there! My Troop uses the Patrol Method and it works rather well. My Instructor works with the new Scouts (we only have two) and he is doing a fine job and they are learning & moving along nicely!

 

Scarstic? You bet! Honest? You bet! In the best interest of the Scouts in my Troop? You bet! The 1stword in Boy Scouts is Boy!

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

 

 

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Final update,

I met with the Director of Boy Scout Advancement last week at Philmont. He has tried to find the original statistics used several years ago when the First Class Emphasis program was introduced. Neither his department or the Boy Scout's office of statistics has been able to find the original numbers.

 

He made the point, and correctly, that the lack of statistics does not invalidate the program. Over the years the program has proven itself within the units who use it. Those units who use new scout patrols and first class emphasis see a direct and positive connection to the long term tenure of the scout and the retention of new scouts.

 

If anyone wants to ignore First Class emphasis do to the lack of numbers it really doesn't matter. They would have ignored it anyway. The statistics, or lack of them, merely make it more convenient for them to ignore the BSA program that we promise to the boys.

 

If current statistics were the only determination of our program then we would have dropped the Eagle Rank ages ago. Currently over 95% of scouts never achieve the Eagle Rank. We continue to have it because we know the impact that it has on the scouts that achieve it.

 

We have the First Class Emphasis program for the same reason.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Bob White

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