Ian Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Wed, 31 Aug 1994 21:42:17 +100
The present system is UK changed substantially in 1966 from that in "
Scouting For Boys ". First it is necessary to look at some philosophical
differences in the current British program .
1. Age groups : Beaver Scouts (6-8) Cub Scouts ( 8 - 10.6)
Scouts ( Air Scouts, Sea Scouts) (10.0 - 15.6)
Venture (Sea/Air) Scouts ( 15.0 - 20)
Units <may> be co-ed. Members transfer +/- six months of 10.6
for Cubs > Scouts and +/- six months of 15.6 from Scouts > Venture
2. Age related training. A Scout joining as a " direct entrant " does not
have to complete the " younger " ranks ; he has to complete two areas,
Scoutcraft and Commitment from the preceding awards as a prerequesite for
earning the award appropriate to his age.
This a Scout joining at say 13 will start off working for the
Explorer Award. A Scout joining at 14 will start off on Chief Scout's
A Scout who falls behind the peer group may be allowed by the PLC to
jump to the next award , e.g. if a kid has been sick , had problems
at home or other special circumstances he can discontinue the previous
award and start afresh at the age-appropriate award. So a kid who is
thirteen but not earned Pathfinder can " jump " to Explorer on his 13th
birthday <if> the PLC agrees.
SO - The " window " for earning the Chief Scout's Award is age fourteen
to sixteen. It is possible to earn it <very soon> after turning
fourteen , but usually the PLC will require a substantial of the award to
be earned after age fourteen.
There are NO RIGID REQUIREMENTS for CSA , unlike the Eagle Scout which
has a set number of well-defined ranks, required MBs , positions filled
--------------------------- CHIEF SCOUT'S AWARD ------------------
The <mimimum> requirements are
Scout Membership badge plus complete the requirements for
Scoutcraft & Commitment from previous award levels
From a list of options :
2 others from any of the above groups at Scout's discretion
Leadership Award - earn three requirements
Proficiency Badge - gain one
Personal project agreed with PLC
The PLC sets the standards for each requirement to suit the individual
and local circumstances. In addition they may write their own requirements
for each section. Let's say , for eample that some British Scouts went to
a BSA camp and earned the Paul Bunyan Axman ; the PLC could legitimately
count that as a Scoutcraft " write in " for the over-14s.
Clearly this system is very alien to BSA thinking. There are <no> adult
boards of review, and certainly no paperwork apart from the Scout's own
record card/book. No advanvcement forms. No cards for proficiency badges
(merit badges). No district-registered counselors who must be used. The
award is entirely in the hands of the Patrol Leaders Council guided by
There are two awards - Venture Scout Award and Queen's Scout Award
The Venture Scout Award and Membership award are prerequisites for the QSA.
For the Venture Award the Venture Scout has to complete a number of areas :
Activity / Community Involvement/ Creativity / Independence /
International Awareness / Leadership / Outdoors and Environment /
Relationships / Values
For the Queen's Scout Award the required areas are :
Community - Training and Involvement / Leadership ( either within
Scouting or in the community) / Pursuit or Interest / Expedition
Assessment " On completion of the above requirements the Venture Scout
must arrange for an informal interview with the District Commissioner to
discuss these achievements and future plans. The DC will pass his comments
to the Unit Executive Committee , who will also consult the Venture Scout
Leader in making their final decision on making the award. "
[ Can you imagine an Eagle Scout candidate having an <informal> interview
with the District Commissioner who then makes a <report> to the PLC which
they can " consider " together with the " recommendation " from the SM ? ]
The actual areas are subjects for the VS to write his (her) own targets.
I guess it's rather like writing a Wood Badge ticket , where you choose
your own targets withinn certain headings. May Venture Scouts actually
earn their Wood Badge as the " training " requirement for the Queen's
Scout award , and then serve as Leaders for the requisite period for the
practical requirement. The Queen's Scout Award is seen as an award for
young adults and the standards are accordingly very high. Great emphasis
is placed on service within the community and the development of skills
outside the Unit. Initiative , personal growth , target setting etc. are the
The Queen's Scout award is not an award which can be eaned by attending
classes at camp and so on. This is not to disparage in any way the Eagle
Scout Award , but clearly there needs to be a difference in standard
betweeen an award which is earned between age fifteen and twenty ( and
usually takes about three to four years to complete) and an award which
can be earned at thirteen or fourteen. The maturity one would expect of an
eighteen year old Queen's Scout would be far greater than , say , the "
position of responsiobility " expected of a fourteen year old Eagle Scout.
( You don't get Eagles serving as Scoutmasters for their position of
responsibility ! )
I would say that a Scout who earns Eagle at sixteen plus probably reaches
the same standard as the Queen's Scout , and the kids who earn it
younger at fourteen or fifteen are probably around the level of the Chief
Scout's Award when one looks at maturity , personal growth and experience.
It is hard to compare Eagle / CSA / QSA because the requirements and
assessment are so different. There are a few kids who have earned both,
e.g. I know of one British boy who lived in the USA , earned his Eagle
Scout award , then the Chief Scout's Award in a British troop. The PLC
had to convert his merit badges and experience, and I believe he only had
to do the Personal Project and learn a slightly different Promise and Law.
AGSL 25th Greenwich (Our Lady of Grace) Scout Group
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City