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Rank Requirements


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#1 Adamcp

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 04:27 PM

After having lived with the "new" BSA Rank Requirements for 2016 and now into 2017, I do not see that they have contributed in any positive way to the Scouts' scouting experience. 

 

For example, last year's crossovers blundered through the cyberchip (and/or giggled through the insipid videos). If they missed the meeting where the Scouts did a skit for internet awareness, it added extra confusion for the patrol leaders. I don't see how the additional requirements helped in any manner.

 

Soooo.... how can I change my thinking about these Rank Requirements to make me less frustrated?  Whether or not you agree with my assessment of the changes, I actually WANT to change how I am thinking about these additions so that I have something that can help me be less frustrated.  Any ideas?

 

Thanks. 


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#2 Stosh

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 04:44 PM

One can add anything they want to the requirements as further instructional material or might help the boys retain the material taught.  I for one go beyond the Buddy System requirement that doesn't just mean they have a buddy to swim with and go to the bathroom with without getting lost.  I add the idea that it's the start of leadership, everyone buddies up as someone they are to take care of (Leadership = taking care of your buddies")  Just one other scout, but it's a start.  I also put it into real life and talk about how this is seen outside of scouting.  The focus is on marriage, the taking care of someone other than yourself.  The next step is Patrol Leader who takes care of the boys in his patrol, like a parent takes care of his family.

 

None of that is required, but well into the upper ages of leadership, the boys remember that and demonstrate the buddy system and patrol method much better in that context.

 

All the advancement requirements are meant to enrich the boys understanding of how it applies to real life outside of scouting.  Otherwise, read the answer and check the box and move on.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#3 qwazse

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 04:51 PM

Being surrounded by Venturers, I don't have a good answer for you. I've always made it the older scouts' problem to solve. (They're the one's glued to the hand-held devices anyway.) But, I'll ask the SM/ASM if they do anything in particular for this with the first-years.

 

As an advisor, I should take it a bit more seriously. We've lost some fine young boys in our community to suicide, and social media played a role ... either by allowing them to erode their emotional self-control, or allowing them to drive a guilt train on their family as their last act.


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#4 Col. Flagg

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 04:53 PM

My thoughts...

  • They cyber chip requirement for Boy Scouts shows that whoever created it has not had kids in twenty years.
  • I *do* like the additional camping and service requirements.
  • I would like to see a more concise definition of what constitutes "conservation hours" for those required service hours.

Not sure anything else really sticks out or bugs me.

 

@Adamcp, what bugs you besides the cyber chip?


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#5 Adamcp

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 05:41 PM

My thoughts...

  • They cyber chip requirement for Boy Scouts shows that whoever created it has not had kids in twenty years.
  • I *do* like the additional camping and service requirements.
  • I would like to see a more concise definition of what constitutes "conservation hours" for those required service hours.

Not sure anything else really sticks out or bugs me.

 

@Adamcp, what bugs you besides the cyber chip?

 

I must sound like an old man telling the kids to get off my lawn, but I just keep thinking, "Why didn't they just leave well enough alone?" Who cares what rank the Scouts learn the taut line?

 

But also it is the minutia of things like (for second class):

  1. With your parents or guardian, decide on an amount of money that you would like to earn, based on the cost of a specific item you would like to purchase. Develop a plan written plan to earn the amount agreed upon and follow that plan; it is acceptable to make changes to your plan along the way. Discuss any changes made to your original plan and whether you met your goal.
  2. At a minimum of three locations, compare the cost of the item for which you are saving to determine the best place to purchase it. After completing Second Class requirement 8c, decide if you will use the amount that you earned as originally intended, save all or part of it, or use it for another purpose.

Or for first class:

 

  1. Help plan a menu for one of the above campouts that includes at least one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner and that requires cooking at least two of the meals. Tell how the menu includes the foods from MyPlate or the current USDA nutrition model and how it meets nutritional needs for the planned activity or campout.

Really? Does anyone ... anywhere think about the MyPlate guidelines when they are planning a meal.

 

I think one of the best things that happened in our Troop last year was when one Patrol decided to bring Hot Pockets to a camping trip and cook them over an open fire for dinner.  MANY other adults told me (the SM) that I should tell them that such a meal is not nutritious and that they had to choose something else.  I said that we were using the Patrol Method (ahem ... for real now) and that I had told the Scouts that it was completely on them to choose their meals.  I reminded the adults that even an entire weekend of only Pop Tarts (which the Scouts were actually not planning by the way) would not kill anyone.  After the weekend was over, the Scouts were wholly disappointed by the Hot-Pockets-Over-Open-Flame experiment and, without any intervention from adults, decided to menu plan very differently for the next camping trip.  Problem solved (because it was never a problem).  The chili they made the next time was excellent. But ALL of the above had absolutely nothing to do with the flibberty MyPlate guidelines.  And I think it is a waste of time to go into all that. It is schoolifying the scouting experience.

 

But I am just making it worse for myself now. I don't want to be all grrrrr-ified by all this.  I just want to let these boys ... uh ... youths do their thing, and have Scoutmaster Conferences (my favorite part of being a SM) chatting with scouts who are proud of their accomplishments. SIGH.


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#6 Torchwood

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 08:35 AM

I have been a MB Counselor for Digital Technology since it replaced the Computers MB several years ago, so I have also been dealing with the CyberChip debacle before it became a Rank requirement. When it was an individual certification, the requirements were barely adequate. Cyber Safety and Security are moving targets, and the BSA has a really spotty record with IT anyway. Now, as a Rank requirement, it is wholly inadequate. In my opinion, as someone who works in the field, it should be a youth requirement that is NOT attached to a particular Rank. It should be more like YPT, but learned as a Unit- with a curriculum that changes annually. It should be a group discussion with updated videos and some printed material. I actually have a great handout I give to my Digital Tech Scouts about how to choose strong passwords, and I definitely spend extra time with them about online behaviors and internet safety and security, well above and beyond what the Cyber Chip or the Merit Badge requirements need.


Edited by Torchwood, 17 February 2017 - 08:36 AM.

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#7 Back Pack

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 09:35 AM

@Adamcp, I don't mind those requirements. Frankly the knots should be Tenderfoot as they are basic camping knowledge. I have no issues with the cooking. MyPlate is a joke so my guys follow the pyramid still, but yes they make sure the meals are balanced. No hot dogs or other stuff that's warm and eat. They actually cook unless the activity plan requires something faster or to take with.
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#8 5yearscouter

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 10:45 PM

I laugh a bit that our troop has one of the oldest asms (he's 65 but not really tech savy) as the go to guy to show completion of cyber chip. It should be on the older scouts, but the BSA Cyber Chip program is not good enough to truly teach these guys how to be safe online.  Even after the training, most don't have a clue what a safe password would be, or why in the world anyone would have issue with things like Instagram or snap chat, or why tagging everyone with their full names in pics might be an issue. 


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