Re: Foreign Scouts & BSA
Norman J. MacLeod (gaelwolf@MARLIN.SSNET.COM)
Sat, 5 Aug 1995 07:48:06 EDT
You were answering another poster's question about foreign Scouts joining
the BSA while they are living in the USA, and all sounded fine to me until I
hit this part -
>"This procedure applies to all ranks except Eagle. The BSA Eagle rank cannot
>automatically be considered the equivalent of another association's highest
>rank. A scout who holds his association's highest rank might qualify for the
>rank of Life Scout, and the district or council advancement committee should
>prescribe certain merit badges for him to earn before consideration for the
>rank of Eagle Scout. He should also fulfill all other requirements for the
>rank of Eagle Scout."
As a youngster, I am more than a little certain I would have held the
Queen's Scout Award to easily be the equivalent of the Eagle, and would have
been more than a little resentful if I had been told that my Award was
somehow less of an achievement than the Eagle is for someone in the BSA.
Now, I am certain this is not the intent for this policy on the part of the
BSA, but this is certainly the message that a Scout is going to receive as a
result of it.
I have no problem with a review of the work achieved being reviewed to
determine what equivalent rank (in BSA terms) the Scout should hold as a
result of work accomplished in the home Scout Association. What many in the
BSA might not realise is that the Eagle is NOT the most difficult award in
Scouting on a worldwide basis. I would stack up Scouts Canada's Chief Scout
Award against the Eagle any day and find that they are pretty much equal in
many respects. There are some aspects of the CSA that exceed the
requirements for Eagle and vice versa, for instance.
Now, this said, there are some Scout Associations where rank advancement is
not emphasised, and this may be the rationalle behind this policy. The thing
is, the review to determine where the Scout fits in with the BSA rank
structure should be quite able to take care of things without having to add
I feel that a more appropriate policy would be that the review be a
comparison across the board between the BSA requirements and the work the
Scout has had to accomplish in order to reach the achievement level held in
the home Scout Association. Any gaps should be made up by the Scout in order
to qualify for the equivalent BSA badges. Any "overages" and Scouting
accomplishments should be evaluated to see if they meet other BSA
requirements, such as fulfilling leadership and service requirements at the
Star, Life, Eagle levels.
It just seems a wee bit arrogant on the part of the BSA executive leadership
to come across as if they assume that the Eagle is the toughest award to
earn in all of Scouting, but of course, that's only my opinion...
Now, something to consider when you have a Scout from another nation in your
Troop or Post is managing a parallel advancement programme for him or her
with the help of the parents. The Scout can maintain membership in the BSA
as well as in the home Scout Association with your help, and can continue to
adveance with the hom Association's advancement scheme. This would give the
American Scouts in the Troop a deeper appreciation of what Scouting is about
in another country.
Another issue that creeps in to this is how you manage the mandatory
Citizenship badges with a Scout who is not an American citizen. This can
make for a difficult situation, especially in a Troop that is not attuned to
the feelings of a particular Scout in this regard. We have a Scout from
Canada who is transferring from a BSA Troop to our Scout Group because of
the rigidity of a BSA Troop in this regard, apparently having to do with the
Pledge of Allegiance and a few other things...
When we have a Scout coming to a BSA Troop from another Scout Association,
we should be welcoming and flexible enough to accomodate his needs and prior
Scouting achievements, eh?
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City