Re: BSA Program Changes? (2/2)
settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Sat, 31 Jan 1998 21:52:20 -0600
I wrote earlier:
>However, since *someone else* serving on one of the BSA's many >volunteer
committees has already released some information, and since >some of the
information has previously been released by those in direct >knowledge of
the changes, here's what I've been able to glean back from >October to the
present (last month):
>There's a lot of items:
Boy Scouting Program (continued):
*The elimination of the Junior Assistant Scoutmaster position as a Troop
youth officer. As I've mentioned here, the BSA's Boy Scout Program
Committee has been looking into transforming that youth position to an adult
position to avoid confusion with the BSA's youth protection program and to
allow consistancy in which leaders are allowed to serve as supervisors for
outdoor events and activities. The main problem is that JASM has been a
part of Boy Scouting for 60 years or more, and it was a very hard decision
to recommend removal of this position. For this reason, I *personally
believe* that this position will NOT go away, but rather be transformed into
some kind of special position that Scoutmasters may place special Scouts
with potential to serve their Troops as a future Scoutmaster or those that
have moved away to colleges (like the older College Scouter Reserve
position, which didn't have a patch but in which many Scoutmasters
registered college-aged boys as Assistant Scoutmasters to keep them on the
charter and therefore "active in Scouting"). At any rate, the JASM position
will be removed from the list of leadership positions for Eagle Scout rank;
very few (in total numbers) of Eagle Scouts have served as JASM; most have
served as SPL or ASPL or as instructors.
*The New Scout Patrol concept will be revised and some of the modifications
that previously have been adopted by local Councils will become national
policies or options. Among them are the participation of the WEBELOS Cub
Scout den(s) in host Troop activities (such as joint Pack Meetings/Troop
Courts of Honor, weekend outings involving both Troop and WEBELOS Den(s),
and other short-term events not neccessarily involving overnight camping),
the re-introduction of the WEBELOS Resource person as part of the Troop's
Committee, and the allowing of WEBELOS Den Leaders and Assistants to
participate in and complete Scoutmaster Fundamentals and other Boy Scout
optional training courses (except Wood Badge).
*some changes in merit badges, to include the introduction of several new
badges and renaming of others (unfortunately, Chess as a merit badge subject
hasn't still be recommended for approval!).
*A new Exploring Leader Guide and Sea Exploring Leader Handbook will be
printed and revised. These new guides will have information on all of the
changes to the Exploring program as well as implementation instructions for
transitions from the old "recognition programs" to the new "advancement
Exploring will have an ADVANCEMENT program, and in a lot of ways will evolve
to a point before the 1971 "Contemporary Exploring" program revisions.
*Revisions to the Sea Exploring Manaul will also include revised
requirements for Ordinary, Able and Quartermaster. These requirements have
been approved by the National Exploring Committee and will take effect after
the first of this year (in other words, they are already in effect).
Those Ships using the existing requirements will have a six-month "grace
period" like other advancement "switchovers" in order to finish meeting with
the old requirements or start with the newer ones.
*A new Quartermaster Medal has been designed and ordered. I am not sure of
the change (hey Commodore Bruce, can you help here please??)
*The National Exploring Committee has tentatively approve several national
youth positions to further bring youth representation back into the
Exploring Division. In the past, national youth chairs of various
specialities within Exploring with significant youth numbers were added to
the National Exploring Cabinet and worked closely with National BSA staffers
(how I got *my* start nationally). Those positions were removed in the
early 80s because many Council Scout Executives didn't like "being told what
to do" by influncial youth representatives representing National volunteers
and their professionals. Aviation, Sea, Law and Government and
Communicative Arts all have asked for youth representation. I have still
not found out the status of this, but I do understand that Law and
Government Explorers will be elected their first National Chair in many
years this spring.
However, "Area Exploring Chairs" were NOT approved (to my disappointment)
and each Region still has the option of allowing their Areas to have an
"youth Exploring representative" (the Central and Western Regions are the
only two that allow this across all Areas in their Regions.)
*Aviation and Sea Exploring uniforms will continue to be a local Council and
unit option, again going with the guidance that there are to be no imitation
of official military or Department of Transportation (Coast Guard) uniforms.
If worn, the BSA's Insignia Guide governs where insignia should be placed on
*Again the National Exploring Committee supported the idea of a new square
knot for Wood Badge holders whom are Exploring leaders (the Beads, as worn,
can create a choking hazard among Sea and other Exploring leaders) but the
BSA's Uniform and Insignia Committee still denied the request because of the
specialness of the Wood Badge.
* The Exploring Silver Award will replace the Growth Opportunities in
Leadership Development (G.O.L.D.) Award starting with the 1999 program year.
The requirements are being fielded now, and will be finalized by this
spring. The Award will be universal in that any Explorer, male or female,
regardless of Post or Ship speciality, will be able to meet and complete all
*The "Exploring Knot" (the knot presently used by the G.O.L.D. Award,
previously by the Exploring Acheivement Award, and before that, the Silver,
Ace, and Ranger Awards) has been expanded for usage by those Explorers that
have earned a Young American Award (Council or National), the Congressional
Award, or Exploration Award. Regardless of which awards you have received,
only ONE knot may be worn (there are no devices currently available for
specific awards and nothing to signify earning the older awards from the
*The Seabadge can NOW be worn in the place it's SUPPOSED to be on the field
uniform (going back to tradition). The Seabadge in formal occasions is now
worn centered on the left pocket flap (if the blue uniform is worn, above
the left pocket flap) or for females, may be worn above the left pocket
where the square knot would be worn. The Seabadge may continue to be worn
as a lapel pin with a civilan suit.
*New position badges for Exploring leaders have been created and
distributed, but the position of "Representative" has been once again been
NOT included in the revised position badges. Many Exploring units have
asked for a position for additional leaders that are not a President,
Vice-President, Secretary or Treasurer. One option was a patch without a
position printed on it; the other option was a patch stated "Cabinet Member".
*Creation of the position called "Ambassador" to take the place of National
Members-At-Large. It is hoped that those Council members appointed as
National Council Members-at-large would wear the new position patches,
although none have been shipped to local Councils yet.
*Enhancement of the Quality Unit, District, Council and Region standards to
include membership and outdoor program stats.
*A finalization on the standards in which local Councils will be able to
utilize and market their Councils and their programming via the Internet in
general and on the World Wide Web in particular. This is the final
implementation, which will place local Councils more responsible for content
and resources used via the Web. There is still no standard for using email
officially between BSA Councils and their volunteers and parents in the
field. Look for additional graphics and content to be delivered to local
Councils for specific usage on their webpages and sites.
*A CD index of _Scouting_ and _Boys'_Life_ will be made available at the end
of this year, the first time that such a index will be made available. It
is hoped that editions of _Scouting_ and/or BL will also be make available
to libraries and schools via CD-ROM as well. There were several
suggestions to incorporate the BSA's Library of Literature into a CD-ROM
index of some sort, but I don't believe that's going to work.
*Councils are being asked NOT to use the term "High Adventure" to descirbe
special Council programs for older boys, and the Outdoor and Conservation
Committee has asked all Divisions to use the term "Outdoor Adventure" (a
term which was a previous CSE's "better description" of what goes on at
Philmont, Sea Base, Maine, and Summers Canoe Base) instead. Local Councils
will have to come up with other names that do NOT include the phrase "high
adventure" in them when describing their older youth programs at camps and
other locations (for instance the US Army Ranger training base at Camp Merrill)
*Finally, the BSA will once again go through some slimming down of its
volunteer and professional teams. Local Councils are being asked to
re-evaluate their professional staffs and to reduce the overall number of
professionals to their volunteers. We've already experienced some
consolidations and mergers as far as Councils are concerned.
These are all RECOMMENDATIONS that have been approved by their respective
National volunteer committees. Normally, whatever is being recommended will
be field tested if needed and approved by the BSA's National Executive Board
and distributed out to the field and our usage.
Your local Council will receive SPECIFIC information on these and some
other, lessor programs and program emphasis, much more than what I or anyone
else can unofficially explain here on our forum. I don't have very little
more than what I've already posted here (and in the past).
Again, I emphasize (especially for those that have recently joined us) that
I do NOT work for the BSA, nor do I presently serve on a national committee
or task force; my information came from volunteers and professionals serving
on those committees, as well as from copies of BSA correspondence dealing
with those items which have been shared with me by those volunteers and/or
I hope that this comes to you at a good time so as to help you plan your
unit's program for the coming year, and I apologize to each of you in
advance for the delay in sharing this information with you. I wanted to
insure that I had the most current information which was shared with me, and
as far as I'm aware, all of this stuff is current.
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
241 Fairview Dr., Henderson, KY 42420-4339 firstname.lastname@example.org
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