Re: Too Many Toys ... Too Fast Advancement
or blackeagle ("Settummanque)
Mon, 22 Jun 1992 10:32:00 EDT
No offense taken. The comments you and several others have expressed are
valid and goes along with the gist of my statements about the "new" Handbook.
We (volunteers) are spending so much of our time preserving the traditions
of Scouting and a group of (excuse me if anyone on this list are lawyers)
lawyers and professionals twice removed from the field are telling us how to
"preserve the heritage" (keep the money and kids rolling in...).
Mind you, lawyers are needed to defend the BSA from those that would want to
ruin its name....or to do harm to its members. Pros are needed to provide that
daily continuation of program while we are making a living for our families
and ourselves. But there was NOTHING WRONG with the advancement stucture,
NOTHING WRONG with the way we advanced Scouts through the first three ranks
(even with the introduction of the Scout Badge), and NOTHING WRONG with the
merit badge program before 1977. It was then that BSA decided that for the
best interest of its national chartered partners that program WILL change to
"meet the demands of youth today".
If those changes were made to "meet the demands of youth today" then why don't
we have a Video Game Merit Badge, a Television Merit badge, changes to the
Music Merit Badge to allow for "listening to 12 popular tunes and identifing
the performer, the type or style of music and the general classification of
the song or tune", or changes to the First Aid Merit Badge to allow Scouts
to explain what to do if they witness a drug overdose or a seizure connected
to illegal drug and/or alcohol use???
(*don't laugh, gang....in 1969, the BSA added the Space Exploration merit
Badge due to youth interest in outer space and the next year, added the
Engineering and Model Design and Building Merit Badges. And Communications
was also added in 1969, and became REQUIRED for Eagle in 1973 as a result of
the societial changes. And don't forget about the changes which made
Emergency Preparness (complete with youth designing the merit badge! *)
The BSA is stating that with its new programs that they are meeting the needs
of youth and encouraging us as volunteers to try and retain those youth longer
so that they could become Eagles. Why are they leaving in the first place??
A study that BSA did in 1975-78 stated that its because its leaders are not
trained. Mike Walton suggests that its not the adults that are not trained,
but the youth that are (supposed to be) the leaders that are NOT trained.
There has not been any studies done on this....but I can tell you from personal
experience that this training can be offered more frequently than once a
year for senior leaders at a cost cheaper than the national average (which is
$85.00). It can also be done on a District wide basis instead of the Council
program at the conclusion or before the start of Summer camp.
The BSA says in the survey that kids want to be challenged and want to do
more exciting programs, yet the BSA also states that ALL programs must be
reviewed for "acceptability" (read this as "risk management") before going.
This cuts out a lot of "impromptu" campouts, hikes, and activities that kids
WANT to do....plan, organize and deliver...just like it says in the books!
Instead, you (there is a two adult rule on this....because we cannot trust
those Scouts that we have invested over $200 a year into to lead and direct!)
have to drive them to a approved site, stay with them and basically chaparone
the entire trip.
And the BSA asks how come we are not keeping many in past First Class??
They get better treatment than this on their school or church fieldtrips!
I do accept the BSA's policies because in many ways they make sence. But I
also accept a large amount of common sence and trust in the boy (youth). IF
I feel that I cannot trust a Scout or Explorer to lead an event or activity,
I'll let them know about it. On the other hand, come on BSA...let the youth
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City