Re: Too Many Toys (Handbook)
Don Izard (IZARD@UBVM.BITNET)
Wed, 17 Jun 1992 10:54:47 EDT
I read some place that the idea behind the first class emphasis
and/or accerlated advancement, ie. Frist class within the first
year was based on retention figures. Figures that on the
surface would seem to indicate that scouts that have reached
First Class, and were working on merit badges towards, ultimatly
Eagle, STAYED in scouting longer.
However, I wonder if that will remain the case. I wonder if the
kind of youth that used to work hard and long to EARN first class,
under the "older" programs, was just the type of kid that was going
to stay in scouting, and work towards Eagle anyway. I am not
yet convinced that a program that gets most scouts to First class
within a year, will really keep more kids in scouting.
What I have observed this year at OA elections, is troops 'FULL' of
scouts at FIRST CLASS, wiht maybe one or two at Star and maybe one or
two at Life, and MAYBE one Eagle active. This is a general observation
and your troop may of course vary. However, it seems like the
average scout being elected into the OA is now much younger than
say five years ago. But it also seems like the TYPE of scout that
never got to first class under the older programs, is now getting
to First class, and thats it. The LAZY scout, will not go out
of the troop meeting and contact merit badge counselors! And
after a few months, the NEW guys enter the troop, will earn
SECOND class by summer camp, First class by Fall camporee, and
some will be Star by SPRING! The LAZY scout, may be embaressed
that younger scouts are passing him by, and either get a merit
badge or TWO, IF he goes to summer camp, OR QUIT.
I may be WRONG again, these are just observations over a limited
period, and of a limited number of troops, however, I would like to
know if anyone does know if National's figures and/or review of
the newer programs have really worked to retain scouts over the
age of 13? If not, do we face even more changes?
AND, one final observation, IF they expect the scout handbook to
be the scouts "bible" for 3 or 4 years of scouting, then it should
be constructed to last! I have yet to see a NEW handbook retain
is cover and/or unbroken spine, over two summer camps! I even
tried laminated plastic on the covers of my sons, NOW third copy!
don, still scouting since '57
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City