Re: New First Class Proposal????
Thu, 30 Mar 1995 20:46:52 -0500
>>>LONG POST WARNING!<<<
On Tue, 28 Mar 1995 01:07:16 -0500 Ed Henderson <BigEdBSA@AOL.COM>
forwarded the following message
from John Heavey <JohnH79934@AOL.COM> to the list for our consideration:
<Ed's preamble delted for brevity>
>I have "heard" that there is "National" plan of activities to take a new
>Webelos from Scout thru First Class in 15 - 18 months. The result
>would be a boy who has earned First Class prior to his second year
>of attending Summer Camp.
<stuff on source deleted>
>Now, my question for National is: Does such a plan exist? I would
>expect it would list the requirements to review at each Troop >meeting,
campout and patrol meeting for about 15 months. The >national average I
expect would be 2 Troop meetings and 1 - 2 night >campout a month.
I would say that the "First Class First Year" program has been there
since at least the 'teens, although it wan't packaged as such. I passed my
Tenderfoot requirements in June 1967 as part of my Arrow of Light
requirements back then. By August 1968 I had
earned my First Class. Now, keep in mind that the troop folded for about
four months in between because of loss of sponsor. So, you could say that I
was less than first year to first Class. And that included a total of three
(yes, three! :) months of time in rank to move up to the next one.
Admitted, we had a lot of young Scouts, and a very aggressive outdoor program
(one weekend per month) as well as one meeting each week (4 meetings/month).
Most other troops in Tri-State Area Council had equally aggressive
schedules. Therefore, it was feasible to earn First Class in less time than
Even the much ballyhooed and much-maligned "New Scouting" program of the
early 70s through late 80s enabled First Class to be attained in eight
I see the current program no different, but given that there is now more
outdoor activities required, I see a real drain on the troop's (adult)
resources. The boys can keep up with the program, but I see the adults
dragging it down more than the boys.
The only"new" thing in boy Scouting today is the "New Scout Patrol" program,
which lumps the new boys into one or two patrols, ostensibly so that the boys
can develop their own "patrol identity", or "spirit". IMHBCO, This is a
two-edged sword: no worries about which newbies are going into which patrols,
but the new boys don't get as much exposure to the more experienced patrol
members. Conversely, a potential for leadership development in the patrol is
lost by closing the door to the older Scouts passing on their knowledge to
the younger ones.
I have seen this program work quite well, under the guidance of an
experienced Troop Guide and an Assiststant Scoutmaster. However, neither of
these positions are for neophytes, and it seems that the less experienced
Scouts and Adults get the detail, which sets the program up for failure.
>What I would do with the Plan is present it at a Scout Roundtable >primarly
for those Troops that need help developing a advancement >plan for their new
scouts. The plan would also go to
>the Districts Unit Commissioners as a resource for any of their units
>that may need the plan.
IMHBCO (read "conceited":), the Roundtable would be better spent on
evaluating the pitfalls of administering and maintaining the New Scouts
program, rather than the program itself. Experience and attitude are the key
ingredients for success, especially here.
<more stuff deleted>
Randy Spradling, P.E.
(and a good ole owl, too!)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City