Advancement to Eagle -Reply
Stan Hodge (STANH@MAIL.TDOC.TEXAS.GOV)
Wed, 26 Jul 1995 13:43:00 -0600
From what I've seen in advancement in our troop and others the scouts
just seem to memorize what they need to know to make rank or to earn
merit badges... It seem to me that some adult leaders are more concerned
with signing off requirements to rush a boy through the ranks so that he
can earn Eagle, rather than teaching a boy to gain knowledge to make
him a better citizen.
There is much truth in this, but I think the problem is not where it is lain in
this message. It is certainly true that many boys have not retained the
knowledge that was necessary to pass earlier ranks. Remember the
requirements normally say nothing about proficiency. The requirement is
simply for a scout to demonstrate that he can do something at the time he
is passing off the requirement.
The old adage of "use it or lose it" certainly is at work here. Knowledge
quickly gained (and that is the case for most scout requirements) is
quickly lost if not continually reinforced by other experiences. In our
troop we regularly dedicate a part of the meeting to reviewing basic
scout skills. Scouts are required to perform the skills on campouts. They
must be reinforced continually or they will be lost.
So IMHO the problem is not with the mastery of requirements, but with
the troop teaching and RETEACHING basic principles and methods all
year long. It must be planned into the program. Just my thought.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City