Chess in Scouting
Thu, 28 Mar 1996 09:30:30 -0400
As I am in the process of trying to convince BSA-National to include
chess in the cub scout sports and academics program, I recently posted a
request for any experiences scouts-l users have had with chess in their
cub scout program, and what they thought about the idea.
Thank you, to those who have responded! I was surprised to see a number
of responses from Boy Scout leaders, and to learn from them that there
is no merit badge for chess.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been in contact with the
United States Chess Federation (USCF), the governing body of chess in
the U.S. Yesterday, I let USCF know that the Boy Scouts, as well as Cub
Scouts, are lacking a chess playing awards program. The USCF said that
they would be glad to expand the scope of their proposal to
BSA-National, to propose a merit badge program for Boy Scouts.
As for those inquiries concerning criteria for awarding a badge, I had
not given the matter much thought, as the sole criteria for cub scout
sports and academics awards are generally 1) duration of participation
(30 hrs. in 90 days), and 2) "doing one's best." For Boy Scouts, more
specific criteria will probably need to be specified.
Some thoughts along those lines: 1) tournament participation, either
USCF-rated or intra-troop; 2) memorization of standard "book" openings
(Ruy Lopez, Queen's Gambit Declined, etc.; 3) solving a standardized set
of chess problems (e.g., "white to move and mate in three"); 4)
demonstration of fundamental tactical devices (knight forks, pins,
discovered check, etc.). In short, there are ways!
PLEASE continue to post your experiences with chess, and your ideas!
Post them to email@example.com, rather than to the scouts-l forum.
Yours in Scouting,
FOR OUR BOYS,
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City