Re: Increasing the Age of Scouting Enrollment
Judy Harcus (sfryer@COC.POWELL-RIVER.BC.CA)
Thu, 2 Nov 1995 09:35:57 -0800
Stern Dixon commented:
>Steve Tobin of Minnesota recently mentioned in a posting that he thought the
>age of Boy Scouts should be increased to 20 or so. Here Here.
>I have to say I don't know about the Boy Scout program as it exists today,
>but I do feel some form of program along the explorer line would be highly
>beneficial to kids in the 18-21 age group.
referring to Steve Tobin's remark:
>As an aside, I personally like the Canadian age groupings. They make much
>more sense as they agree more closly with the emotional and social
>developement of boys. I also like the idea of continuing the program into
>the 20+ year old age bracket for many reasons.
For those interested, here is the Canadian age groupings:
- Beavers - age 5 - 7
- Wolf Cubs - age 8 - 10
- Scouts - age 11 - 14 (option to age 16 if Venturers not available)
- Venturers - age 14 - 17
- Rovers - age 18 - 26
(Regarding the following: I don't claim to be an expert in all the sections,
but am trying to provide a general idea of the different emphasis as I
There is a noticable difference in the programs for each section. The
emphasis in Beavers is on cooperation/sharing, crafts, nature appreciation,
etc. Cubs start into a badge program, developing creativity and outdoor
skills. The Scout program focuses primarily on the outdoors, developing
leadership and teamwork skills, and community awareness. The Venturer
program promotes community service, reliance on self and teammates,
challenging outdoor activities. Rovers are acting in a mostly adult
capacity with a strong emphasis on community service and the outdoors.
Rovers are frequently also leaders in lower sections while maintaining a
fellowship with other Rovers. My feeling is that a youth that stays in
Scouting into Rovers is probably hooked on Scouting for life.
On the topic of Girls in Boy Scouts -- Canada changed policy not too many
years ago to allow for co-ed Scouting. There is still contention as to
whether this is good or not, for many of the reasons I've seen posted.
Co-ed is not manditory. Each group can make a decision of whether or not
they want to be co-ed in the younger sections (Venturers and Rovers has
always been co-ed). In our (very small) district, there are four groups -
one group is co-ed for those that want that option, the others are not for
those that prefer it that way. (Incidently, although I am female, my troop
is not co-ed). I am personally in favor of co-ed but it is a personal bias
based on my love of the outdoors and the lack of outdoor activities provided
by many leaders in the Girl Guide (Girl Scouts in the States) organization.
I quit Guides as a child in favor of another outdoor organization, although
the scout program had more appeal and I would have joined it if I could. (To
me, the Girl Guide program seems highly variable depending on the interests
of the leaders - the program itself does not appear to 'force' an outdoor
component whereas the Scout program can't be run without outdoor activities.)
Judy Harcus, Troop Scouter, 1st Powell River Scouts
(British Columbia, Canada)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City