Re: Ranger and Silver follow Quartermaster -Reply
Alex Chacko John Neroth (aneroth@leland.Stanford.EDU)
Thu Mar 05 01:15:17 1998
First of all, let me apologize for not having my history straight. I
didn't know that Ranger, Silver (1), and Silver (2) were pretty much
separated chronologically. I had really thought that Silver had always
been _the_ highest award in Exploring and that Ranger and Quartermaster
were both inferior.
Now, let me ask:
1. Why will the Ranger Award and the Silver Award exist
2. Ranger will be intended for mainly Outdoor Venturers (Explorer
3. Will Ranger be available for earning by all Venturers (Explorer
Scouts and Sea Scouts alike)?
4. Will Quartermaster be available for earning by Explorer Scouts
(i.e., Venturers who aren't Sea Scouts)?
5. Will Silver be an achievement award (like GOLD) or an advancement
award (like Ranger and Quartermaster)?
6. Silver will be part of the programs for all Venturers (i.e., it
won't be intended mainly for Explorer Scouts), right?
7. Eagle and Quartermaster are considered equal awards (even though
-- and I agree with you Bill -- Quartermaster looks a lot harder), right?
8. Ranger is intended to be equal to Quartermaster, right?
9. Is Ranger the Explorer Scouting prerequisite for Silver?
10. If 7 and 8 are both true, then why is Ranger the Explorer
Scouting prerequisite for Silver while Able or Ordinary is the Sea Scouting
What I really don't understand is why (from what I've been hearing) Ranger
will be the Explorer Scouting (Outdoor Venturing) prerequisite for Silver
while Ordinary or Able will be the Sea Scouting prerequisite for Silver.
This seems to imply (regardless of whether or not Silver is intended to be
more challenging than Ranger or Quartermaster) that Sea Scouting is somehow
better or more special than Explorer Scouting.
Also, I really hope that Ranger will be designed to be just as difficult
and to have just as much status as Quartermaster. Again, to do otherwise
would be to imply that Sea Scouting, in being the only program with a
highest award that's equal or better than Eagle, is somehow better than the
other types of Venturing. Sea Scouting definitely deserves respect for
being the original Scouting program for older youth, but no one will ever
convince me that Sea Scouting is _better_ than the other kinds of
Venturing. I strongly feel that all the different kinds of Venturing
should be considered equal and should receive equivalent opportunites in
regards to program and advancement.
It has been pointed out that the decision has already been made that either
Able or Ordinary will be the Sea Scouting prerequisite for earning Silver.
Assuming that Ranger will be designed to be just as challenging as
Quartermaster, don't the following two suggestions make sense?
1. The rank advancement program for Explorer Scouting should have 4
ranks, corresponding roughly in difficulty to Apprentice, Ordinary, Able,
2. The rank right before Ranger should be made the Explorer Scouting
prerequisite for Silver (if Able will be the Sea Scouting prerequisite for
Silver), or the rank two before Ranger should be made the prerequisite (if
Ordinary will be the prerequisite).
Bill, I definitely agree that GOLD is less difficult than Eagle and that
GOLD is much less difficult than Quartermaster. I never meant to imply
that GOLD is or should be superior to Quartermaster. I just thought that
Silver (both old and new) used to be and was going to be superior to both
Ranger and Quartermaster. I was wrong, and I'm sorry.
I have the horrible feeling that I just don't understand what the situation
is going to be. If Silver is meant to be on par with Eagle and
Quartermaster, then where does Ranger fit into the scheme?
Oh well. That's enough for one day. What I'd really like, though, is
answers to the questions I have.
Yours in Scouting,
Alex C. J. Neroth
On Wed, 4 Mar 98 06:25:31 CST6CDT, Bruce C Johnson wrote:
>Ok, Ok, Ok. Let's try to get some facts into this discussion.
> The new Silver Award is intended to continue on in the tradition of the
>2nd Silver Award program, available from 1953 or so until 1962. It is
>intended to be on par with Eagle and Quartermaster.
> Let's back up a little and have a history lesson on these awards. I've
>read some pretty incredible stuff about the Senior Scouting awards on this
>list. Let me give everyone some facts.
> Sea Scouting has had the Quartermaster Award since about 1926. While
>its requirements have changed quite a bit over the years, it remains
>fundamentally unchanged both in character and appearance.
> Explorer Scouting's first equivalent was the Ranger Award, which was in
>place from 1941 through early 1948. It was replaced by the 1st Silver
>Award program in mid-1948, and replaced again in 1953 or so by the 2nd
>Silver. I keep saying 'or so' because in all cases there was an overlap of
> Air Scouting's (later Air Exploring's) Ace Award was made available in
>1948 and discontinued in 1958. 1958 was also the year that the Silver
>Award began to be phased out. By 1962, it was completely gone.
> Quartermaster, Ranger, Silver (1st), Silver (2nd), and Ace all had their
>own square knots. Quartermaster continues to use the blue on white knot,
>but BSA hasn't made the white on navy blue or blue on khaki knots since the
>early 80s. BSA decided about 1980 to make the 2nd Silver Award knot stand
>for all the other Exploring awards.
> The first attempt at bringing back a general, earned Exploring award was
>the Exploring Achievment Award, which was available from about 1985 -
>1995. (Here I'm relying on my famously unreliable memory.) This one was
>replaced in 1996 or 97 by the Explorer G.O.L.D. Award. Again, both of
>these awards used the 2nd Silver Award knot.
> The new Silver Award rank is intended to be a direct successor to the
>old Silver Award program and should be a fairly challenging achievement.
>Each specialty will have a component rank as a perrequisite for earning
>Silver. The National Sea Exploring Committee considered that issue last
>fall and (here's where my memory _really_ fails me), we decided on either
>Ordinary or Able. (It wasn't that we even considered whether Quartermaster
>was easier or harder than Silver will be. We felt that that was
> So, you can debate aware about what the Sea Exploring rank requirement
>should be for Silver. The decision was made 6 months ago.
> And as for the knots, I fully agree that there should be knots for the
>new Venturing achievements and recognitions. Discussing it here, though,
>won't get the job done. A formal proposal will need to be taken to the
>National Exploring Committee (or its successor National Venturing
>Committee) with specific recommendations.
> Recommendation on that issue: There is going to be a ton or stuff to do
>between now and August 1st, and the Exploring professional staff is going
>to be up to their armpits with those issues. Square knots aren't likely to
>be high on their list of concerns. I expect that much of the national
>Exploring/Venturing hierarchy will be at the National Conference this
>summer. Have your _specific_ proposal ready then. Maybe even lobby your
>cluster chairs and/or your regional or national Explorer youth
>representatives. Then PUSH at the conference.
>Speaking only for myself,
>Commodore, Sea Exploring
>Northeast Region, BSA