Thanks 'Skip, I figured British scouters could furnish more details and corrections.
We can wait until next week for your reply, or maybe other Brits will round things out.
How much do you think the workings of Scout's UK has penetrated the market? For example, here we can't go two weeks without some reference to "Boy Scout" or "Eagle Scout" in reference to some service project or rescue in news or theatre. It's hard to have a conversation with anyone who doesn't ask "Did you earn Eagle?" the minute they got wind that you were in BSA. (GIrl Scouts, on the other hand aren't nearly as well known for their Gold award.) how widely recognized is queen scout?
Arrrggghhh! That British kid! STOP SAYING "LIKE"!!!!!
Queen's Scout. I would say everyone in Scouting knows about it. I would say most Human Resources/Personnel people in large organisations would have heard of it, and it would be an interesting point to bring up in interviews, and for some it might well be the difference between getting an interview and not. If you spoke to the man on the street, and told them you were a scout, the first question wouldn't be "are you a queen's scout?" they'd probably say with a laugh "DYB DYB DYB eh? Ho ho", last time we did that was in the early 70s I think, but still it lingers somewhat. Do Your Best by the way.
It looks like there's a wide difference between scouts, both within and without countries.
Maybe the main differences between The UK Scout Association* and BSA is girls, and maybe god. We have a version of the promise that is ok for atheists to say. I've just come back from summer camp with my Explorer Scouts (14-17) and we had more girls than boys.
We sort of have skill ranks like you, sort of. The Chief Scout Awards you get as you work through the sections. Beavers can earn Bronze, Cubs Silver, Scouts Gold, Explorers Diamond and Platinum, and then it's Queens Scout Award which you can get in Explorers or Network (18-25).
Like I say, it's a broad church, different groups and troops will have a different approach and a different slant to their activities. We have a local scout shooting club, though we only shoot air rifles (handguns banned in the UK except for fairly specialist olympic pistol sports) we have a climbing tower at our local campsite, so we get to do that, some groups will do the Chief Scout Awards, some won't, same with Duke of Edinburgh awards. Some will do a lot of camping, some, not so much. Some major on teamwork, some play lots of team games, some like to go out in the woods and pretend to be Bear Grylls (up to a point). I know scout groups that have learnt how to construct kitchen cabinets, and learnt tiling and painting, while others are off on bike rides and wide games in the woods.
We have a walking weekend in the "mountains" in south Wales in September, but also a weekend where there are discos and a trip to a theme park, and a weekend helping car parking for a sponsored horse ride. We've just run a summer camp where they did climbing, abseiling, caving, canoeing, a two day hike, and for some of the time were cooking their own dinners on fires, and sometimes cooking and washing up for everyone.
The younger sections are keen on our equivalent of merit badges. Explorers generally are not, but then again, some are!
From what I pick up on here, it's a lot more leader led in the UK, with the leader often setting the programme to an extent, and the patrol leader leading the team in that activity. Once you get to Explorers, there isn't officially patrols, but some Units will run with Patrols because that's how they think it should be done. I personally just make up teams on an ad-hoc basis. Neither is wrong as such. In Explorers we work together with the young people to decide what we're up to for the term, but usually it's the leaders that organise it. Some other units will have more young people running things.
* At the start someone referenced British Boy Scouts. An organisation of that name does exist, a much smaller organisation than the main one. As I understand it, split from the main scout association in the late 60s, still wear shorts, lemon squeezer hats, cut their own staves, long socks with garters. To me, they look like a historical reenactment group, but I'm sure if we sat around the fire we'd find plenty of common ground.
I guess you ask two different people about their scouting, and they'll have two different answers, possibly even if they were in the same troop!