Re: BSA Age Sections
Richard A. Thompson (Thompson@AccessCom.net)
Fri Feb 06 11:04:48 1998
You certainly put forward many good ideas about the age groups. What works
for us is a Venture Crew in the Troop from age 14 or 9th grade up to about
16-17, and an Explorer Post for grade 11 and older. There is some age
overlap, depending on interest and friendships, etc. The Crew and the Post
may have some joint high adventure activities; others are separate. Junior
leaders in the Troop may participate in Venture activities, but their
primary responsibility is Troop leadership. The Post does not compete with
the Troop for leaders, as by the time a Scout is 16 or 17 in our Troop, he
has made his leadership contribution, and is usually not very active in
Troop activities anyway. Scouts who are still working on Eagle can maintain
dual registration in both the Troop and the Post and continue to work toward
Eagle until age 18. Since we have moved to this system, we are keeping more
Scouts active at an older age, and it has helped our Troop grow.
Troop 48 / Post 48
New Orleans, La.
From: Alex Chacko John Neroth <aneroth@leland.Stanford.EDU>
To: Multiple recipients of list <email@example.com>
Date: Friday, February 06, 1998 1:12 AM
Subject: BSA Age Sections
>A few weeks ago, there was a discussion about Scoutmasters keeping Scouts
from joining Explorer posts and other issues that
>keep Scouts from becoming Explorers. I'm not an expert at such things, but
I have been in the BSA long enough to have a few
>ideas, and here's one of them:
>I've notived that besides issues of publicity, unity among the different
types of Exploring, etc., two problems with Exploring are that it
>overlaps with Scouting and that it has a very wide age range.
>The four-year overlap of Scouting and Exploring (ages 14-18) causes
Scoutmasters to worry that Explorer Posts are "stealing" their
>boys. Also, the overlap makes it difficult for boys to choose between
Scouting and Exploring. Although a boy can be both a Scout
>and an Explorer, the time committment required to be both at the same time
is tremendous. I know that I didn't have the time to be
>both a Scout and an Explorer while in high school (grades 9-12); it was
only after I came to college and "aged out" of Scouts that I
>was able to find the time to participate in an Explorer post.
>That Exploring has so wide an age group may serve to drive away some people
who would otherwise have joined. A freshman in
>high school and a junior in college may have a lot in common, but they
probably have many differences too. In fact, the interests of
>high-school students and college students can be very different. Many
college students are probably turned off by the idea that
>they would be in a post with kids who just got out of the eighth grade.
>Here's an idea to fix these two problems: Restructure the age groups of
the BSA Divisions. The Cub Scouting ages would stay the
>same, but the Boy Scouting and Exploring ages would be shifted, and perhaps
a Rovering Division would be added. Here's what
>the age break-ups would look like under this plan:
>Tiger Cubs -- Grade 1/6-7 years old
>Cub Scouts -- Grades 2-5/7-11 years old
>(A boy would spend 5 years total in the Cub Scouting Program.)
>Boy Scouts -- Grades 6-10/11-16 years old
>(A boy would spend 5 years total in the Boy Scouting Program.)
>Explorers -- Grade 11-Senior in University/16-22 years old
>(A youth would spend 6 years total in the Exploring Program.)
>Rovers? -- College Graduate/22-28 years old
>(A youth/young adult would spend 6 years total in the Rovering Program, if
it were instituted.)
>Such a restructuring with a tiny bit of overlap would result in an ordered
and peaceful transition between Scouting and Exploring,
>much like the transition between Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting, which
currently works very well.
>One disadvantage of this plan would be that Boy Scouts would have to earn
their Eagle before they turn 16 and complete 10th
>Grade. I know that many -- if not most -- Eagle Scouts earn their Eagles
when they're 17. However, I earned mine when I was 15,
>and I know of quite a few who earned theirs when they were 13 years old.
(Actually, I don't really like the trend of Scouts earning
>their Eagle Scout as early as 13 years old, but I just want to show that
earning the rank before turning 16 is not extraordinarily
>The junior Assistant Scoutmaster (JASM) position could be restructured so
that it is analogous to the Den Chief position. Just as the
>Den Chief is a Boy Scout who helps with a Cub Scout Pack, the JASM would be
n Explorer who helps with a nearby Boy Scout
>Here is a quotation that I got from a page about the Youth Programme of the
European Region of WOSM on WOSM's Web Site
><<In "Aids to Scoutmastership", Baden-Powell wrote: "At this difficult age,
what is good for an adolescent of sixteen is not so good
>for a boy of fifteen and may even be bad for one of thirteen or fourteen...
Even though Scout education has the same four
>ambitions for older and younger boys (character, manual skills, health,
altruism), the details of the action vary according to the
>different stages of development of the child".
>So from the very beginning, the Scout programme was developed in a specific
way for each age section. But which age sections
>should be maintained? The Scout method was originally intended for young
adolescents aged 12 to 16. It was for young people of
>this age that Baden-Powell chose to organise his first experimental camp on
Brownsea Island in 1908. Soon afterwards, a need was
>felt to extend the Movement to younger boys: to "Cubs", originally aged 8
to 11; then to older boys, "Rovers", aged 17 to 20.
>Scouting traditionally identifies three main age sections: childhood
(8-11); adolescence (12-16) and youth (17-20).>>
>How are the age divisions in other National Scouting Organizations (NSOs)?
When I looked at the Web Page of Scouting New
>Zealand <http://www.scouts.org.nz/>, I saw that Scouting is from ages 10.5
to 14.5, Venture Scouting is from 14.5 to 18, and
>Rover Scouting is from ages 18 to 26. How about other NSOs?
>What do you guys think of this idea? Would it work? Would it fail
miserably? :-) I'd like to hear the opinions of both those in the
>BSA and those in other NSOs.
>Sorry for writing such a long e-mail, and thank you for your time!
>BTW, please tell me if the formatting of this message turns out badly.
>Yours in Scouting,
>Alex C. J. Neroth