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Bugler PoR


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#1 JosephMD

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 09:56 AM

Why does bugler drop from the list of Positions of Responsibility for the Eagle rank?  Why only bugler?  Is there an officially stated reason?  What are your thoughts?

 

Disclosure, my son is a bugler, not a very good one, but, he can do taps and almost play a few other calls.  If I were his SM, I wouldn't count it for anything.  Fortunately, he is a good OA Troop Rep.

 

The if I were SM my expectations for the bugler PoR would be:

 

Attend more than half of the troop's camp outs and at sound calls at the direction of the SPL (work with the SPL to understand the calls you know and when they are appropriate)

Play, Reveille & Taps + two other calls from the list used in the bugling merit badge (I'd really like them to be To the Colors and Retreat, and hear them at flags, but I wouldn't be that specific)

 

Sound like an unreasonable expectation?  Kind of feels like my thoughts on the subject are over adult-ing but then again, for PoR credit, there should be expectations.

 

 

 


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#2 Krampus

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 10:02 AM

Why does bugler drop from the list of Positions of Responsibility for the Eagle rank?  Why only bugler?  Is there an officially stated reason?  What are your thoughts?

 

Your official explanation is here.

 

I suspect that, since most units only use Bugler for morning/evening calls, that's why. I doubt many troops really ever use the POR for anything beyond that, so the POR for Eagle is seen as something more substantial required; though I wonder why Librarian counts if Bugler does not. ;) 


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#3 qwazse

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 11:54 AM

... Why only bugler?  ..

Not just bugler. Musician and Honor Guard don't count either.

 

Let's rephrase the question: why does anything a scout does out of the kindness of his heart have to count for advancement?

 

My crew invented the ad-hoc position of "Pack-Mule" for one well-deserving boy. Should he be able to use that for the trail to Eagle?


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#4 SSScout

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 11:54 AM

Popular name , Joseph.   And another "old Line" stater!    Look for your PM!


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#5 gumbymaster

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 11:57 AM

As with any position, it has everything to do with how it is used (or not).

 

To me, to be a POR the bugler needs to be the unit's clockpiece.  Someone who helps the SPL keep events on time and moving.  He wakes up early to give everyone else the reveille call, or knows when assembly calls are needed.  Maybe he coordinates the honor patrol and flag ceremonies while the SPL gets the rest of the meeting together.

 

As for Eagle POR; again, as most units use the bugler (if they even have one) just to do the flag calls, I can see why it would not count.  I do not know if SM appointed project also counts for an Eagle POR - I thought it did, and if so, this may be part of a back-door way to allow an active bugler to still retain credit - assuming they actually show leadership of others (which is probably why it might not be a POR for Eagle normally).

 

As for the Librarian, Historian, etc.  Once again I think is has to do with how its used.  If the Librarian only has a box of books and they bring it to the meeting (if that) - I might not count it.  If they actively promote getting scouts to check out books from the library - maybe MB pamphlets so the scouts can see that the requirements are not too hard - especially by encouraging younger scouts, then I can see where leadership and responsibility play a role  Even an active management of who has books out, do they get returned on time and in good condition, and how to acquire new needed books - now suddenly, the role of this job is starting to approach that of a junior quartermaster.


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#6 qwazse

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 01:07 PM

... do not know if SM appointed project also counts for an Eagle POR - I thought it did, and if so, this may be part of a back-door way to allow an active bugler to still retain credit - assuming they actually show leadership of others (which is probably why it might not be a POR for Eagle normally)....

It does not. And, I suspect it's to shut the very back door that you're proposing.

 

Frankly, once a bugler is a Life scout, I recommend asking him to become an instructor of music and train one or two first class scouts in the position. These guys can be hard to come by. For years we had 3, now we have none.


Edited by qwazse, 12 May 2016 - 01:08 PM.

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#7 Stosh

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 04:09 PM

Over the years, the functionality of the bugler has been lost.  It's unfortunate because in this day and age of electronics, the role of the bugler can be fulfilled with a smartphone app.  But then again, so can the Librarian and Scribe.  Broadcast email and the Chaplain Aide job can be done with a copy/paste send.  And of course the ever popular PLC with Skype or NetMeeting.

 

The nice thing about the bugle, it doesn't need to be plugged in and recharged.


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#8 SSScout

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 08:39 PM

Once upon a time, I was named an Asst. QM as Bugler for a Wood Badge class.  

Course Director had me at his elbow most of the time, I was also expected to carry the "official" time piece (oversize clock duct taped to my wrist) and set the time to "do" things with my calls.  One morning, I got up early, as usual, to play reveille to find most folks were already up and in the wash hut , 10- 15 minutes before the time.  I played Reveille maybe three minutes early (hey, they're all out and about already) and the CD chastised me gently for not being "on time" !

 

At the end of the 2nd course weekend,  the class was asked to fill out some evaluation/comment pages, "why did YOU take WB?  Were you satisfied?  Why should ANYONE take WB? etc.". Among the "learn  new things" "renew my Scout Spirit" "hear it from them that know" kind of comments,  I was gratified to read in one  their reason was "to hear awesome bugling."  

 

Bugling MB every chance I get.....


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#9 Stosh

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 09:07 PM

Do you also play mess call, church call, assembly, to the flag, too. and more importantly, do the participants even know what any of those tunes are and why they're played?  :)  Maybe if we had functional buglers, the art of bugling may come back and be a real POR.


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#10 Chadamus

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 12:21 AM

Agreed, Stosh. I've yet to meet a Scout who can play the Bugle, let alone a MBC who can help!


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#11 blw2

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 08:26 AM

I was told we had a scout working on the Bugle MB when i first signed up for MBC.  I reluctantly agreed to sign on for it.... because the kid needed a counselor and there were none apparently.  I played trumpet as a kid and have dabbled with it a bit since....

I can't really say I'm overly comfortable with the idea since I am not really a bugler....but I figure I can at least work with the scout if he ever does call.  Think interest in it probably died at some point....

 

 

Do you also play mess call, church call, assembly, to the flag, too. and more importantly, do the participants even know what any of those tunes are and why they're played?  :)  Maybe if we had functional buglers, the art of bugling may come back and be a real POR.

Went to a funeral a couple years back.  My wife's uncle had served in the military and had a bugler and flag ceremony at his service.  I'll admit that this    ALWAYS brings a tear to my eye..... but this one lacked a little something.

   The bugle had a speaker in the bell....kinda like lip syncing, only different.

I guess even the US military has a severe shortage of buglers.


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#12 Stosh

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 09:19 AM

A good Scout bugler at a military funeral?  Wow!  and they get paid for it, too.  People are in school and work quite often, but I bet if asked before hand, arrangements could be made to be there for our Veterans.

 

I am not a brass musician, but I am a musician that knows what the Bugler MB. is all about.  During the early wars, young boys were taught the bugle in a matter of days, maybe a week or so, but they got the job done.  It was a lot easier than the drummers.  The number of calls they needed to know was endless.  The skirmishers were 100 yards out in front and on both sides of a marching army, the commander in the column could communicate to the skirmishers to the point he could have them lie down, stand up move forward, begin firing, stop firing and when the column of marching soldiers were bugled into battleline formation, he could signal the skirmishers to RALLY ON THE FLAG to the rear of the battleline and get out o the way, the main fighting was to begin. There were different commands for different movements.  If attacked by cavalry, the infantry skirmisher didn't have time to get back the 100 yards to the safety of the army, they would RALLY BY FOURS, If they had more time to gather up and fight at a company, they RALLY ON THE COMPANY, which would form all the men in a small group in front of the battleline, RALLY ON THE REGIMENT, go back to your original place on the battleline, and RALLY ON THE FLAG, at a dead run get back behind the battleline, all hell is going to break loose.  The bugler needed to know what the right command to play and the soldier needed to know what the call meant, his life depended on it.

 

Today it has become strictly ceremonial.  There is no reason it can return to some sort of functionality in the troops today.  If a boy wanders off and gets lost, the call of his bugler might be what it takes to have him know the right direction back to camp.


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Stosh

 

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#13 SSScout

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 11:20 AM

Stosh:  I feel your pain, so to speak.

 

I have gained a bit of reputation herebouts as "the" Bugling MBC.  I am always surprised if not disappointed by the Scouts that sign up and arrive (1) without a horn (the listed prerequisites always mention that) (2) bring one but can't even make a buzz with it (what's a horn for?)  (3) haven't even SEEN the MBBook (that is mentioned in my prerequisites too) but have printed out the MBWorksheet but not even looked at  or filled it out  (4) think the Bugle was invented during the American Revolution (had a Scout say that this past weekend) or some such (5)   I tell them they do not have to memorize the calls (altho most do learn them by "ear" ) but can read the chart.  And then , even if they are in the school band or town orchestra, can't read music!  The look on their face, as if, "you mean this is music?"   (6) I have had Scouts actually admit they came expecting to have the Blue Card signed off for merely coming and listening to me talk and/or play. 

 

And then, I meet the Scout who has practiced, has played at camp, knows why Tattoo is different from Taps, realizes that a silver/chrome trumpet mouthpiece is better than the poor brass mouth piece that came with the bugle.  I had a 6th grade Scout that played cello (!) and wanted to play trumpet.  He was good. Knew both bass clef and treble clef.   After an hour , his tone was better than the kid that played  (so he said) in his 5th grade band.

 

Last MBDay, I had two sessions scheduled, 5 Scouts in each, morning and afternoon. Three showed up in the morning, two in the afternoon. Ten paid the fee, five didn't come. Oh well.

 

The morning three: two had horns , one "oh, I forgot". Only one could make a good tone, much less play any calls. The third "borrowed mine, and had a good tone, but hadn't practiced any of the calls.  We practiced, I demo'd.  Bugle only has five, maybe six or seven (if you are really good) notes in it's scale.  We sat and talked about philosophy (what is music? What does it MEAN to "EARN" a Merit Badge?),   history (ancient Romans, etc. How Taps was created), actually making money as a bugler (Bugles across America),  care and cleaning,  how to make the tones, why bugles are useful,  how they might even go to camp and get PAID to be there if they can play.  I   demo'd the calls and techniques, played my CD (available from , ahem, Scoutstuff) and gave'm small partials .  Call me when you are ready to play the calls, I'm available. 

 

Afternoon pair were better "prepared".  We did all the talking as I described above.  One had a  trumpet, one a real bugle ,  both could "buzz" and make some of the scale.  Both played in school bands . We worked and number two convinced me he could, if he wished, read the music and play the calls. He had played at summer camp for his Troop.  He needed more practice and to develop his stamina. Number one had a better tone, but struggled to make the full five notes.  He needed to hear the calls and connect the notes he heard with the black dots on the page.  Both had written new calls , (req. #2B), this is good!  Neither had the note from their SM about serving as Troop Bugler.  Number two's SM later sent me an email attesting to number two's  Bugling service.

I signed off on #2, gave #1 a partial .  

 

And, yes, if I sign a partial,  some  do call me back to demonstrate the calls. I will meet them at their Troop meetings and listen to them. 

 

And that's what Scouter dot com is really for:  venting and sharing success stories.  

 

See you on the trail.


Edited by SSScout, 22 February 2017 - 11:28 AM.

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#14 Stosh

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 12:11 PM

@SSScout  Here's a bit of history for you.  "Taps" was not played on the bugle it was played on the drum!  :)  After the last bugle call of the evening (LIGHTS OUT) from the regimental bugler, the drummer boy would walk through the camps to make sure the men complied.  Their lights were candles and it was really important to get them out.  A quiet tap on the drum as he walked through the company streets did the trick.  The Fire Guards were those men that were within the camp to stay awake all night to make sure there were no fires.  These tent cities were one tent next to the other and a fire at the foot of the company street provided the only fires.  Men with candles in their tents was a whole different issue.  Even though Butterfield came up with bugle "Taps", it was not widely used until after the war.  Some used Butterfield's "Taps" and others continued with LIGHTS OUT.


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Stosh

 

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#15 The Latin Scot

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 02:50 PM

Let's not forget however, that Bugler DOES count as a position of responsibility for both Star and Life rank. As one prepares to receive the Eagle rank, fewer positions are serviceable. But it is still an acceptable role for the ante-penultimate/penultimate ranks, so it hasn't lost as much importance as some seem to fear. :-) 


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#16 SSScout

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:29 PM

Stosh:  Absolutely.   "Beat To Quarters"  did not refer to a race for twenty five cents.   :-) 

 

Patrick  Reynolds produces a comic for the Washington Post, here is the best internet version I could find of the "Bugle" strip:

 

http://www.redrosest.../Civil War.html    I pass out copies with my MBclass.  


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#17 Stosh

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:53 PM

Stosh:  Absolutely.   "Beat To Quarters"  did not refer to a race for twenty five cents.   :-) 

 

Patrick  Reynolds produces a comic for the Washington Post, here is the best internet version I could find of the "Bugle" strip:

 

http://www.redrosest.../Civil War.html    I pass out copies with my MBclass.  

 

The "Special" calls mentioned are the ditties.  I mentioned this practice in an earlier post.  A colonel was responsible for 10 companies comprised each of 100 men.  That's one man directing 1,000 soldiers.  He had only one bugler.  The if there was no ditty the command was for the whole 1000 men to follow, if he only wanted 1 company to function and the rest to stand in line, i.e. send out skirmishers, the ditty was played to let the company know which unit was to move out as skirmishers.  I think your boys would totally enjoy the history of the bugle in battle in that huge numbers of men's lives depended on how good the bugler was.  The rank and file fighting of the Napoleonic tactic was to have a solid line that couldn't be broken by an enemy advance.  However a cavalry unit if quick enough could break the line and scatter the men, their fighting ability was now gone.  Flag would run back behind another reserve unit and post a position.  Bugler would sound RALLY ON THE FLAG and all the soldiers would run back and reform on the flags.  Each regiment carried 2 flags, one the national color, the other the regimental color.  Now besides the bugle, one can understand the importance of the patrol flag as well!  )

 

So how important was this bugler???  EVER OFFICER in the army not only knew the bugle calls he also had to be able to PLAY THEM if needed!  In today's scouts that would mean the SPL/ASPL and PL/APL's would be required to bugle! ....or have a whistle which would do the same communication for his men. 


Edited by Stosh, 22 February 2017 - 03:54 PM.

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Stosh

 

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#18 NJCubScouter

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 04:10 PM

In one of my troops as a Scout, we had a very good bugler.  I believe he was a trumpet player in the high school orchestra/band and it was easy for him to transfer his skills to the bugle.

 

In my son's troop there was one kid who was given the position of bugler, but using a saxophone.  He was a very good saxophone player (played 2 or 3 different kinds I think) but the idea of using the sax in place of a bugle did not work out very well.  I think he ended up bringing the sax on only one camping trip.  It was sort of a novelty that wore off quickly, especially for him.


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#19 Stosh

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 05:29 PM

One thing about a bugle, no matter how much i rains, one cannot hurt it.  Rain on a saxophone with its leather pads would be disastrous.

 

Leave the bugle out over night in a rain storm?  Pull the slide, blow out the water, replace the slide and you're good to go!  


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Stosh

 

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#20 TAHAWK

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 06:45 PM

We had a Scout to whom you could hand any bugle and he could immediately play any tune you could whistle.

 

At summer camp handed him a British military bugle.  

 

Whistled "Alarm."  http://www.royalengi...under Arms).mp3

He played it.

 

Found Last Post on line and had him listen to it.

http://www.royalengi...st (Tattoo).mp3

He played it.

 

Took him to the camp Program Director.  By Tues AM he was playing all the calls at camp flag ceremonies.

 

We were so vary sad when he left for college.  We had been spoiled by five years of his talent.


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