Consistancy (Was Re: Policy Question re: Delaying Advancement)
settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Tue, 22 Jul 1997 21:27:23 -0500
Cheryl missed another staff meeting. *grinning* (you get that done to you
>Unless I've missed another staff meeting (and, yeah, OK, I've been kinda
>frazzled) aren't there still 5 ranks, each requiring 6-months in-rank
Nope. There are TEN advancement steps but only SIX ranks. The Scout
Badge is NOT a rank; its a recognition of meeting the joining requirements.
Likewise, the Bronze, Gold and Silver Palms are NOT just recognitions, but
actually "toppers" for the Eagle Scout Badge (Eagle Scout with Bronze Palm,
for instance; recognizes acheivement above and beyond the mere earning of
the Eagle Scout Badge).
The ranks are:
Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class (which can presently be worked on in
tandem; it takes roughly six to eight months to earn all three)
Star (which takes roughly four to six months to earn)
Life, Eagle (which takes at least six months apiece to earn)
So easily, an enterprising Scout that WANTS to advance to Eagle as fast as
he can, may indeed earn Eagle in as little as 20 months. (6+6+4+8=24; allow
four months to get the "basic requirements down")
Add on top of this, Cheryl, what we've been talking about: the lack of
consistancy between merit badge counsellors, leaders that are ambitious and
wanting to "get that Eagle credit", and parents simply wanting the kid to
"earn that badge" (read this as "get that badge") and you can see how
fast some Scouts become Eagle Scouts.
Before I hear from those that will write me and tell me that "I'm putting
ALL Eagle Scouts that earn their badges "early" into one bad pot", I'm not.
There's a LOT to be said for personal motivation, and I had a large degree
of it earlier in my own Scouting youth. There's also a LOT to be said for
side-stepping the written requirements and "giving credit on a whim" in
hopes that the kid will become Eagle....with everything that comes with it.
But there's NOTHING that we out "in the field" can do about it. The
requirements are there for the "speed racers" and the "slow slugs". If it
takes seven years to make it to Eagle, that's fine. If it takes a little
less than two years to make it to Eagle, that's also fine. It's the
CONSISTANCY of the meeting of the requirements that have a lot of Scouters
(and some parents and a lot of Scouts) concerned.
CONSISTANCY means that the requirements are met as they are written in the
BSA publications. It means that "show", "display", "write", "perform",
"tie", and all of those other action verbs get USED, not "Okay.
You don't have to tie it, just tell me how you would do it". The Scout
doesn't learn, you don't know if he knows it or just had a massive
speed-reading session and remembered what he's to say (and he only has to
say it ONCE, you know!) and we sign the book and off he goes.
CONSISTANCY means that we apply the age-old application of learning to what
is being learned, and allow him to tie that tent line, to show the water
cycle on a piece of paper, to display 12 different types of tree leaves, and
to write how the police protects us and why that's important in a society.
CONSISTANCY also means that we as "committeemembers" stop trying to play
"Scoutmaster" when we conduct Boards of Review. The Scout has (or should
have) displayed the skills needed for the rank. The Board is time for the
Committee to evaluate his Scouting conduct, his willingness to continue
along the Scouting path, and his committment to the Troop, family, community
and school. Boards of Review tend to make it their business to "find out if
the Scout knows what *I* knew as a Star Scout".
That's NOT the idea of the Board of Review, and there's a lot of
committeemembers out there that think -- and act -- as if it is.
That's what's missing.
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
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