Jonathan Dixon (dixonj@ROCOCO.COLORADO.EDU)
Fri, 16 Jun 1995 18:32:37 MDT
At the risk of re-stirring up a hornet's nest, when I was home last week I
made a comparison between the current requirements and those of my dad's
(1948 Handbook) to see if there was any justification for claiming that the
current requirements are too easy.
Things present today but not there 45 years ago:
Tenderfoot: explain why we use buddy system, physical fitness tests,
demonstrate Heimlich maneuver
2nd Class: participate in 5 separate scouting activities, participate in
flag ceremony, 1 hour service project, prepare 1st aid kit,
participate in program on drugs, etc.
1st Class: participate in 10 activities, discuss constitutional rights and
obligations, tell signs of heart attack and explain steps for
CPR, swim 100 yards and float for 1 minute
In general, there also seemed to be fewer knots and lashings required in
the requirements about knots.
Things present 45 years ago but not now:
Tenderfoot: tell who leaders in troop are and what they do, explain reqs
for 2nd Class and 1st Class, tell how to contact doctor,
hospital, police, and fire in an emergency
2nd Class: have a savings plan, demonstrate silent scout signals, show
how to purify water, make a latrine, tracking, cook meal on a
5 mile hike
1st Class: have a savings plan, discuss health concerns for campouts,
make map sketch (>2mi.), make tent pegs with axe, identify
several edible plants, Morse code
So overall they are about the same. Interestingly enough, there was very
little in the 1948 requirements which couldn't be done in a fairly short
time (unlike the current 10 activity requirement), so theoretically boys
back then could have gotten to 1st class after just one hike and one
campout with the troop. So much of the complaining by "old-timers" about
the current requirements being much easier than before would seem to be
I was also going to compare with the requirements from my scouting career
('81-'88), but that was when there were skill awards which makes it hard to
do a fair comparison. The differences are a matter of depth vs. breadth
for these two; the only thing that was a bit harder was that we were
required to get 1st Aid MB for 1st Class (which I sometimes think they
shouldn't have changed).
Hope others find this interesting.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City