Two things I forgot to mention above. Regarding youth signing off on advancement there were two reasons given, both by two adults affected by this apparently.: PLs signing off their buddies for the heck of it and PLs "punishing" Scouts they do not like. From what I am being told, the Scouts in the troop back in the day signed off on their buddies even if they had not mastered the skill and Pls woudl refuse to sign folks off who had mastered the skill. Also the youth on BORs, this was in the 1972 - 1989 time frame when youth were allowed on BORs, would fail those Scouts who they thought were not ready or out of pettiness. One adult mentioned how he failed 3 youth run Tenderfoot BORs, and only when he went before adults the 4th time did he earn Tenderfoot.
Second item was the patrol method. Someone asked if I'm such a big proponent of the patrol method, then why am I against national's current set up of NSP, Regular Patrol, Venture Patrol? had to remind them that A) every unit can adapt elements of BSA's program to meet their needs, i.e. LDS units having 11 years olds in a separate patrol, limited # of campouts, etc; and B) From 1910 to 1989 there was no such thing as a NSP, unless you were in one of the experimental patrols or LDS, and that originally it was only mixed-aged patrols. Needs for older scouts were recognized so Sea Scouts, Explorer patrols, venture crews/patrols had come about over the years. Only since 1989 and Operation First Class has the concept of an NSP with a TG and ASM assigned to them have been around. Adult tried to say I was wrong about the TG and that the NSP worked only with an ASM. I asked can we get the book out to see who is right. Then he backed down.
On a personal note, I think the troop is taking a step in the right direction. But I also think the adults restraining the troop from being a full blown Scout run troop won't be leaving anytime soon. But I'm hoping discussion and compromise can occur. The Scouts themselves have so much potential.