Skill Award History I
Anthony J. Mako (ajmako@APK.NET)
Sun, 12 Apr 1998 16:13:34 -0400
Having been one who was there from the beginning, I thought the list might
enjoy knowing a little more about the short history of Skill Awards.
Skill Awards were part of the "Urban Emphasis" program changes incorporated
in 1972. They were seen as a form of instant recognition which was seen as a
way to motivate Scouts to advance and stay in the program. Part of the
"Urban Emphasis" was coming up with ways to build self-esteem. Instant
recognition was one way to accomplish this. The requirements for the twelve
awards were taken word for word from the pre-1972 requirements for
Tenderfoot through First Class.
The original use of Skill Awards was considerably different than there use
following the "Back To Basics" emphasis change circa 1980. Here are the 1972
requirements for the first three BSA ranks (called Progress Awards at the
time to minimize the military heritage of Scouting):
Be active as a Scout for 2 months. Show Scout Spirit. Earn Citizenship and
one other Skill Award. Earn Any one Merit Badge. Take part in a Personal
Growth Agreement Conference. Complete a Troop Leaders' Council review.
Be active as a Tenderfoot for 3 months. Show Scout Spirit. Earn three
additional Skill Awards so that you now have a total of five. Earn two
additional Merit Badges so that you now have a total of three. Take part in
a Personal Growth Agreement Conference. Complete a Troop Leaders' Council
Be active as Second Class for 3 months. Show Scout Spirit. Earn three
additional Skill Awards so that you now have a total of eight. Earn two
additional Merit Badges so you now have a total of five. Take part in a
Personal Growth Agreement Conference. Complete a Troop Leaders' Council
Some other interesting notes about the advancement cycle during that era:
* Twenty-four Merit Badges were required for Eagle.
* Star, Life and Eagle required a Troop Committee Review rather than the
Troop Leaders' Review.
* First Aid and Citizenship In The Community had to be earned by Star.
* There was no required swimming anywhere in the advancement system until
1978. At that time a requirement similar to the present day First Class
swimming requirement was added. Since the requirement closely resembled the
100 yard swimming requirement in the Skill Award, many troops simply urged
Scouts to earn the Skill Award.
Anthony J. Mako, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scoutmaster, Troop 381
"Home of the Unofficial Boy Scout Desktop Theme!"
Great Trail Council - Akron, Ohio
"I used to be an Eagle (C-7-97), but I'll always be an Eagle (1981)"
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City