Re: Confusion on MB changes (Long)
Robert F. Reeder (rfreeder@QWKSILVR.COM)
Tue, 11 Aug 1998 19:10:32 -0700
Michael Kauffmann wrote:
> I have found that while
> National is good at updating and improving the Boy Scouting
> program, they are absolutely awful at getting the word out to
> the rest of us. I have no doubt that Scouts and Scouters will
> be submitting Eagle applications well after the April 1
> deadline with absolutely no knowledge of the changes in the
> program. Will these applications be tuned down?
I find it hard to believe that anyone who reads Boy's Life, or the
Scouter Magazine, or attends Roundtable, etc etc etc will not be aware
of the changes. Those who are caught unaware have only themselves to
blame Furhtermore, applications SHOULD be turned down if they don't
meet the 1 April deeadline.
> Second, the time limit for the change is way too short.
When I was a scout in 1972, the requirements RADICALLY Changed. Skill
awards were introduced as well as additional merit badges. 24 were
required for Eagle, to include the newly created Personal Management,
Environmental Science, and Citizenship in the World. Additionally,
Emergency Preparedness and Sports (which were also new) become required
optionals. The transition time was 4 months as I recall - September 1
was when the new requirements came into being, and a boy had until
January 1 to complete the old requirements
> Scouts who have spent the last two, four, or even six years
> working towards a specific goal should not be told all their
> plans are for naught.
Their plans ARE NOT for naught. The requirements have changed a little.
Besides, we're talking about something that is OVER 7 months away. Any
boy that is not a Life Scout today (unless they are within a month and a
half) needs to switch to the new requirements now. Any Life Scouts have
7 months to finish their Eagle under the current requirements. This is
not an impossible task.
They must change their plans and
> complete the tasks they've set for themselves in less time
> than originally expected. Yet for years, we've told them
> their only time limit is age eighteen. Don't get me wrong...
> I'm not saying every Scout currently enrolled in the program
> should fall under the old rules for the remainder of his
> tenure. However, one to two years is much more reasonable
> than a few months.
> One last note. I feel the major factor effected here is not
> the merit badges themselves but the Eagle project. Many Life
> Scouts save their Eagle project till last and some Eagle
> projects, especially the tougher ones, take over half a year
> to complete. There's nothing like telling a Scout in the
> middle of a tough Eagle project that he'll either have to
> move his completion date up or he'll have to add a couple
> more merit badges to his list of things to do.
> In the final analysis, we must remember that we're not
> talking about a simple rewrite of some merit badge
> requirements but a change in the advancement program itself.
> In Scouting, we encourage planning and goal setting, and the
> Trail To Eagle is started at the Joining Ceremony. Since this
> usually takes a minimum of two years, it does not seem
> unreasonable to request the same amount of time to implement
> the new system.
Why does a new scout need two years to change to the new system? Start
him out on the requirements as currently printed. Get him to First
Class under the current requirements by April 1. As the new
requirements come to print, ingrain in his head these new requirements.
Get the Life Scouts to Eagle before April 1. Again this is 7 1/2 months
away. National only requires 6 months as a Life Scout, so it is
possible. The First Class and Star Scouts just need to re-orient
themselves to the new requirements. This is NOT an earth shattering
event that we are talking about. In my 12 years of being a Scoutmaster,
I don't know of any boy that I have had in my troops that would have had
serious heartburn over these changes.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City