Scouts-L Mail Archive for September of 1999: Re: What are Varsity Scouts? (1/2)
Re: What are Varsity Scouts? (1/2)
Mon, 6 Sep 1999 12:23:34 CDT
>I have a few questions that I was hoping I could find answers
>to about Varsity Scouts. They are:
>1) What are Varsity Scouts?
Varsity Scouts are boys ONLY in high school (14 and completed the eighth
grade or fifteen regardless of grade) to 18. They are members of a Varsity
Scout Team. The program is part of the Boy Scout Division of the BSA, and
allows for older boys to experience outdoor, social and competitve events
together with other Varsity Scouts or other organizations.
We had struck up a cooperative agreement with a Cadette Girl Scout Troop,
and have invited them to some of our activities and events during the year I
served as Coach. Some came, others didn't. The two Girl Scout adults were
around frequently because one of them was also the wife of my Assistant
Coach and they had a boy in our Team and a girl in the Cadettes.
>2) How does Varsity Scouting work in a Troop?
It doesn't. Varsity Scouting is a separate organization, complete down from
the Chartering partner and Team Committee down to the members of a Team.
There WERE two "versions" of Varsity Scouting:
There was a Troop setting "Varsity Squad" which was part of the Troop's
operation and the Squad Leader being a member of the Troop's Patrol Leader
Council (like today's Venture Patrol). There was also the separate Team
structure, which was first used by the LDS Church as an extension of the Boy
Scout Troop and because of their concerns about the comtemporary Exploring
program and how it didn't meet their needs, but later moved to everyone that
wanted to use it.
The Troop setting Varsity program was removed in the middle 90s and no
longer exists as part of the Varsity program. The separate Team structure is
the ONLY structure used today.
>3) Are there Varsity Scout patrols?
No. There are Varsity Scout SQUADS, however. Each Squad has from three to
eight members, and is led by a Squad Leader and Assistant.
>4) Who is the leader of Varsity Scouts?
The Captain is the leader of the Varsity Scout Team. He may be assisted by
a Co-Captain or Assistant Captain, and by Program Managers for various
activities. The adult advisor to the Team is called a Coach, and must
have Assistant Coaches to help him or her.
>5) What activities are there Varsity Scouts?
Whatever the Team wants to do. Many Varsity Scout Teams do the rugged
outdoor stuff, but also have a bowling team which competes against other
groups in and out of Scouting; others have a swimming squad or a rifle team
or other things related to the overall Scouting program.
>6) Are there awards are specifically for Varsity Scouts?
Nope, other than the Varsity Letter, which is earned by Varsity Scouts
within the first six months of their participation. On the Letter can go a
pin-on of the Varsity Scout's rank. The biggest mistake that the BSA did
with this program was to make the Varsity Letter look more like a patch
instead of going to get *real letters* (like those worn by lettermen in high
school or college) and making insignia to be sewn or attached to the letter.
This, along with a blaze and white or blaze and black letterman's jacket
would have REALLY made the Varsity Scout stand out and I felt would have
helped the acceptance of the Varsity Scout program option!!
There used to be Varsity/Venture Sports Pins which would be able to be
earned and placed onto the letter; not enough Varsity members were
interested in earning those flaky things and the BSA removed them.
There also used to be "year bars" to be worn instead of year pins. Again,
they were made as if they were making patches..the BSA should have taken a
clue from real Letters and made the bars metallic pin-ons for the
letter...would have been cheaper and more accepted.
The Varsity Letter now is worn at the bottom corner of the Merit Badge sash
or on the Varsity jacket. That's how small the letter was. Cheesy.
(I bought our Team REAL Varsity letters, which made the local Council
Executive mad even more at me....but he couldn't explain why of all of the
Varsity Teams, mine was the most active....) Each Varsity member was
responsible for earning/purchasing his own Varsity Jacket. I had one, but
it and my letter is being enjoyed by someone else as it was stolen in Europe
a few years later.
(I had to split this posting up to meet the 200 line limit...the rest of
Richard's questions and my answers are on the followup to this posting!)
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
personal inquiries via email@example.com,
blackeagle@SCOUTER.net or firstname.lastname@example.org
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