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YouTube Video: BritishBoy Scouts vs. American Boy Scouts


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#1 UncleP

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 03:22 PM

Just for fun, I found a video done by two YouTubers one an Eagle Scout and one a former British Boy Scout discussing the differences between the two organizations.  Both men are now adults.

 

Warning some of the the discussion is a little irreverent (?). 

 

 

 

Apparently, the former British scout was surprised by the religious aspects of BSA and the merit badges involving shooting.

 

The American Boy Scout was surprised by the length of the hikes.

 

From their discussion, it looks like British Boy Scouts does not have a rank similar to Eagle Scout.  From what I have learned, some of the information given in the video is incorrect.


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#2 qwazse

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 09:00 PM

Lots of misinformation from both young men. The British lad clearly wasn't much for advancement, the American lad never took any true wilderness hikes.

But, it is a good lesson on the different "messages" boys get from their scouting career.

Son #s's roommate was an Eagle Scout, and they had fun comparing and contrasting their experiences. It would have been nice to get a video of that.
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#3 Cambridgeskip

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 12:35 AM

Don't have time to watch it now as about to walk out the door to summer camp (Huzzah!)

 

But on a point of fact our equivalent of Eagle Scout is Queen's Scout (I am one!)


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#4 qwazse

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 05:58 AM

Don't have time to watch it now as about to walk out the door to summer camp (Huzzah!)
 
But on a point of fact our equivalent of Eagle Scout is Queen's Scout (I am one!)

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?
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#5 ianwilkins

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Posted 01 August 2016 - 09:21 AM

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"!!!!!

 

Anyway...deep breath...

 

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!

 

Ian


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#6 Pint

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Posted 01 August 2016 - 01:41 PM

There are several different Scouting organisations in the UK,

the largest being the Scout Association (WOSM Member) http://scouts.org.uk/home/

and then the smaller Scouting organisations, none of which I have seen ( so far) anywhere

Baden Powel Scout Assocaiton (BPSA) https://www.traditionalscouting.co.uk/split away sometime in the late 1960's after a disagreement with a modernisation plan ( advanced party review)

The British Boy scouts and British Girl Scouts Assocation http://www.bbsandbgs.org.uk/ split sometime in the early 1900s (1909?)

 The European Scout Federation http://www.fse-scout...ain/index.php  

 

As above, other than the Scout Assocation, i have never seen any of the other minority organisations. However if a group of leaders wants to leave the Scout association theres nothing ( physically ) to stop them setting up with another Scout organisation, or setting up their own independant  Scout organisation  ( except that the Scout association will see them as a closed group, and all assets of that group would then transfer to the Scout association )


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#7 Cambridgeskip

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Posted 02 August 2016 - 11:33 AM

One difference in mentality is that while we use patrols the "esprit de corps" definitely lies at troop level. I think it would be a rare scout that identified themselves as a patrol member first rather than a troop member.

Hello from camp by the way!
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#8 Tampa Turtle

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Posted 02 August 2016 - 01:29 PM

One difference in mentality is that while we use patrols the "esprit de corps" definitely lies at troop level. I think it would be a rare scout that identified themselves as a patrol member first rather than a troop member.

Hello from camp by the way!

 

In our Troop it would be by Patrol for good or bad.


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#9 Pint

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Posted 02 August 2016 - 01:58 PM

I've noticed that BSA troops seem to identify as Troop Number BSA, ie Troop 12345 where as in the UK its more along the lines of 1st Somewhere Scouts, belonging to 1st Somewhere Scout Group.

The Scout group being its own self financing entity, consisting of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, often without any sponsor other than its own committee(s)

 

Hence Why 1st Somewhere Scouts will be the first identifier, and then the patrol will be somewhat further down the list

 

Another difference is that of age, in the UK  (Scout Association) we have Beavers Age from 6-8, Cubs age from 8-10.5 and Scouts age from 10.5 ( or 10)  to 14 ( upto 14.5) then Explorer scouts age from 14 to 18, followed by Scout network ( or notwork depending on how things are going) 18-25

Before the change in age ranges Scouts used to run upto 15/16 then Venture scouts from 16-18/25(?)

This means that the Patrol leaders can be typically between 12-14 years of age in the UK, where as in the USA, as far as i know the age gap runs right up to 18  which, if im correct would mean that a 16/17 year old Patrol leader would be far more experienced and able to run with far less adult input/assistance/help.

 

I'm aware of the BSA having something called a charter organisation, however this concept seems totally alien, as in the UK everything is at Group level.

 While Sponsored groups do exist in places they are few and far between, and the level of input in the case of a church sponsored group may just mean a local member of the clergy, or church committee taking part in the Scout group Executive committee meetings, and providing subsidized accommodation/storage ( ie a local church hall) however, in my experience most scout groups ( Beavers/Cubs/Scouts) own their own building and a small plot of land around it


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#10 Cambridgeskip

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 06:20 AM

Back from summer camp and ready to write a bit more....

 

I'd broadly agree with all that Ian and Pint said above, I won't repeat but will try and expand and add.

 

It strikes me that part of the difference lies in the geography of the US and UK. Comparing the two countries I think the UK has a population density something like 5 or 6 times that of the US. And the vast majority of land, particularly in the southern half of the country, outside of towns and cities is farm land. Hence the opportunities to get out and camp in wild country is relatively limited. The areas that aren't farmed are like that for a reason. If you want to camp wild in even the most tame of our wild areas like Exmoor or Bodmin Moor you have got to properly know what you are doing! Start venturing into places like the Cairngorms and you need full on mountain leader experience. We are a country of huge contrasts! Hence most camping is done at scout owned campsites. These vary in nature from a 2 acre field with a tap in the corner to large (in our terms, ie 100-200 acres) campsites with multiple activities like a climbing wall, archery butts, high ropes etc.

 

Which brings me to the differences in the cubs age range.

 

Reading here my understanding is that cubs don't camp without parents. Very different here! Cubs camp regularly and while any given pack might recruit a couple of parents to muck in on camp as cooks or drivers we would certainly not expect all the cubs to bring a parent. When i was a cub leader I actually preferred to avoid too much parent involvement as it sometimes stopped the cubs getting the best experience from camps. Cubs also run on the six system which is like a patrol, and beavers have lodges which is again like a light weight patrol system. A few historic photos of our cubs here,

 

In the scout section where I am we do still use the patrol system as much as we can but as I said above the vast majority of scouts would identify with their troop first and patrol second. Just how it is really. The age of the PLs means that the PLs council doesn't run the troop on a day to day basis. Instead what is more typical is for them to get together every couple of months, probably with me at least sitting in, to make decisions. We had one at summer camp during which they decided on who would be a new PL (we're expanding from 4 to 5 patrols shortly) and new APLs. They fed back on last term's program, gave ideas for the new term program. I advised where necessary, eg they talked about an evening with our local canoe club. I pointed out that when we start back in September sunset will be around 19.40 and getting rapidly earlier. Had anyone considered making it a weekend trip? That's just an example but shows the kind of input that the adults do need to have, simply because of the age of the PLs means they still need that kind of guidance.

 

Girls is an interesting issue.

 

From 1991 each individual group could chose whether to be coed or not. From 2003 all new groups had to be and from 2007 all groups had to be. The group I am at went coed before it was enforced and were in a minority. What has been interesting is that because pre 2007 we had the reputation of being the "go to" group on the north side of Cambridge for girls who wanted to join cubs or scouts rather than brownies or guides we've carried the momentum over. We still have a disproportionate number of girls (around 40% compared to about 20% nationally) with our closest neighbouring group having no girls at all. Despite it coming up to a decade since all groups went coed and 25 years since they had the option it is still common to find that people are surprised that there are girls in scouts. The withering looks that some of my girls give at the suggestion they may want to go to guides could frankly freeze hell over from extreme range.... Girls clearly mature more quickly than boys and that does have to be managed a little bit in terms of who gets the leadership opportunities.

 

I think we are far more social, at least from what I can see here. And I think that again comes from the nature of using scout campsites. You will nearly always find yourself camped within ear shot of another group (very useful when you find you've forgotten that one vital piece of kit!) and friendships between groups often form that way.

 

We have a "young leader" scheme which is like an apprenticeship for Explorer scouts who want to be adult leaders. From 14 they can be a YL with beavers, Cubs or Scouts (although for scouts it's more common for them to wait till they are 15) and can take training courses to turn them into adult leaders when they hit 18. As a group we've always found it very successful and have produced a lot of adults that way. From what I can make out that's not something you have in BSA?

 

Anyway, that's enough rambling from me for the moment. I'm meant to be at work.....


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#11 ianwilkins

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 09:35 AM

Girls is an interesting issue.

 

From 1991 each individual group could chose whether to be coed or not. From 2003 all new groups had to be and from 2007 all groups had to be. 

 

Certainly is! For the first time we had more girls than boys on our explorer summer camp. They're all just "explorers" to me, though one instructor did ask how come girls are in scouts...ooof he got the death stare from some of our young ladies. 

 

Small point of UK order. Ventures, which was a section started in 1967 for 15.5 to 21 year old, that was phased out when Explorers and Network started in 2002/3. Ventures was co-ed from 1976.

 

Ian


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