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Should BSA develop a "Classic Scouting"


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#21 Stosh

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 01:46 PM

 

When I saw Stosh's reference to "Classic Scouting" in the other thread, I thought he was referring to the "membership policies."  Perhaps I was incorrect.

 

There was a bit of the membership issue involved.  Why not go back to before the decline in membership to a program that the boys wanted.  Obviously they were coming in with the numbers in their "heyday".  Did the boys change and the numbers drop or did the program change and the numbers dropped?  I don't think BSA even knows.  

 

With the multiple organizations around "going back to the basics", doing outdoor field work, more camping, etc. I would think it might be a good time to try the old program to see if it was the program or society that changed causing the declining membership. 


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#22 Stosh

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 01:47 PM

It also was normally done by the TLC or PLC, choose your dated acronym.  Leadership skill of major import: learn how to fairly evaluate success or failure of other scouts by peer review.

 

From some of the early literature, the testing for advancement was done by the Commissioners.


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#23 fred johnson

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 03:18 PM

http://www.artofmanl...d-merit-badges/

 

... comparison of old and new camping requirements ... 

 

This is by and far one of the most important needs.  Scout requirements need to be clear, concise and understandable.  Most importantly, they need to be scout sized and not a legalistic contract.  Perhaps, have the BSA annual requirements book have explanations for adult leaders on scope and size of the requirements.  


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#24 perdidochas

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 04:28 PM

As a biologist at heart, I do believe bird study should be required. In recent years, national and local debates about environmental issues are lost on many, simply because they aren't watching the flora and fauna in their community. Any required MB's should focus on mindfulness and observation, less on regurgitating facts.

 

Well, I don't believe that Bird Study should be an Eagle Requirement. It's too specialized. I do believe that Nature merit badge should be an Eagle Requirement for a similar reason  you think Bird Study should be required.  I also think the Sustainability merit badge should be immediately eliminated as an Eagle required badge--it's just too boring for the boys. 


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#25 fred johnson

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 04:45 PM

The social engineers at BSA ...

 

From outside, yes.  But the target isn't just BSA.  It's all groups including clubs, schools, government, churches, etc.  And the pressure to take sides is coming from both the liberal and conservative sides.   

 

From inside, there is no clandestine plot.  BSA is trying to continue a program in a world that is drastically changing:  Technology.  Values.  Institutions.  Population.  Nationalities.  Faiths.  BSA was created before radio was available.  Most people had out houses.  Few homes had electricity.  Flying was still experimental.  Conflict was Protestant versus Catholic. English versus new Irish immigrants, and German immigrants and Swedish and .... Now it's every nation, every faith and technology continues to accelerate.  Every institution today is fighting to adjust.  So is BSA.  

 

Just don't accuse BSA of social engineering.  It's not.  It's about fitting BSA to today's nation.  We can teach 1910 skills, but we can't exist as if it is 1910.   

 

===================================

 

If you want to run what you perceive as a classic scouting program within BSA, you can very much setup your troop that way.  There is little preventing that.  If you want to limit members in your troop to people fitting your charter org, you can do that.  But if you want to force 

 

====================================

 

I agree that there are many things BSA needs to change.  I just don't think there i some magical "classic scouting".


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#26 RememberSchiff

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 05:09 PM

Well, I don't believe that Bird Study should be an Eagle Requirement. It's too specialized. I do believe that Nature merit badge should be an Eagle Requirement for a similar reason  you think Bird Study should be required.  I also think the Sustainability merit badge should be immediately eliminated as an Eagle required badge--it's just too boring for the boys. 

Consider this recent NPR story regarding the ornithological inaccuracy in Hollywood. Surely this a problem that Scouting can solve! :)

 

So we birders are doomed to hear that same Red-tailed Hawk scream every time they show a Bald Eagle or some other raptor, and that same inappropriate Mourning Warbler song every time a commercial wants to convey a suburban atmosphere. That recording really gets around, which is strange because it’s an obscure and uncommon species that you would not hear in suburbia.

 

http://news.wgbh.org...sounds-straight

 

Agree, that Sustainability is unnecessary and Nature MB was once Eagle required and should be again.


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#27 NJCubScouter

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 05:11 PM

Well, I don't believe that Bird Study should be an Eagle Requirement. It's too specialized. I do believe that Nature merit badge should be an Eagle Requirement for a similar reason  you think Bird Study should be required.  I also think the Sustainability merit badge should be immediately eliminated as an Eagle required badge--it's just too boring for the boys. 

 

Nature was a required MB, 1952-1972.  It became un-required at the same time as Camping and Cooking (both of which have since returned to the list), and at the same time that Swimming and Lifesaving became "optional required" badges. 


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#28 NJCubScouter

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 05:33 PM

Personally I think that tweaking of the required MB list is a really a separate issue from "Classic Scouting."  There have been so many changes to the required list over the years (see http://usscouts.org/...agleHistory.asp) that almost any change could be justified on the basis of "getting back to the good old days."  But as I have said before (probably too many times) I do think the required list has gotten too long and that the BSA should bite the bullet and make the difficult decision about which MB, and probably two, should be de-required.  If it were one, and I had a vote, my vote would be to de-require Family Life, and if there were a second, it would probably be Cit in the World.  They are both nice to have on the list, I would go as far as to say they are important, but they are not absolutely necessary in my opinion.  They both have a history of being both on and off the required list.  (Between 1952 and 1965, an Eagle Scout had to earn three of the four "Citizenship group" MB's, which were Cit in Nation, Cit in the Community, Citizenship in the Home (now called Family Life) and World Brotherhood (now called Cit in the World.)

 

Whether Sustainability remains on the list is irrelevant in my opinion, because it is "optional" with Environmental Science.  I am not really familiar with Sustainability, as I do not think any of the Scouts in my troop have ever earned it, and I have not read the requirements.  If it is so boring, then the vast majority will continue to go for Env Sci, not that that is a thrill-a-minute either.


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#29 qwazse

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 11:37 PM

@RememberSchiff, your graphic is perfect. Succinct. If there was a green LMAO button I would hit it for you.

 

Anyway, that is why my scouts could care less about MBs.

,,,

If classic scouts means let's focus on the big picture then I'm all for it. If it means going back to red tabs on knee high socks, no.

 

That's one more thing that's appealing about the original Camping requirements. There's no pretense about "Boy Scout Camping" or "only one long-term." It's quite clear with 50 nights that camping one week every summer is not gonna get you there, so go ahead count as many of those as you can fit in and still you gotta free up a good many weekends to get it done.  But, if you convince your family to start camping (as son #2's best friend did) you can report that to your counselor as well.

 

Think about that for a second. If your buddies are the odd ducks in your troop who are all about co-ed, go help some girl scouts camp. Earn the badge. If religion is your thing, go sleep under the stars at your church's retreats/missions. Earn the badge. BSA isn't trying to herd you into their corner to bump its participation numbers. If there's a school activity where you could camp at, go for it. Earn the badge.

 

From recruitment requirements to all of the service hour counting. All that "do a favor for your BSA" rhetoric gets pulled.


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#30 ianwilkins

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 02:42 AM

In the UK we have the Baden Powell Scout Association. They split from the main branch of scouting and went their own way in the late 60s, or they would say, they carried on traditional proper scouting that the main branch abandoned. They have some traction where there are enthusiastic leaders. I see pictures and it's all lemon squeezer hats and staffs and shorts and socks with garters. To me, from the outside, it looks like a re-enactment society, though they get quite vexed if you state this. They would maintain they are just following the true path of scouting. Not my cup of tea, but I wish them well with it.

 

Ian


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#31 qwazse

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 07:36 AM

In the UK we have the Baden Powell Scout Association. They split from the main branch of scouting and went their own way in the late 60s, or they would say, they carried on traditional proper scouting that the main branch abandoned. They have some traction where there are enthusiastic leaders. I see pictures and it's all lemon squeezer hats and staffs and shorts and socks with garters. To me, from the outside, it looks like a re-enactment society, though they get quite vexed if you state this. They would maintain they are just following the true path of scouting. Not my cup of tea, but I wish them well with it.

 

Ian

BSA asked BPSA in the US to replace "Scout" with "Service", I have only seen their web presence. Never met any in person.


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#32 NJCubScouter

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 01:59 PM

That's one more thing that's appealing about the original Camping requirements. There's no pretense about "Boy Scout Camping" or "only one long-term." It's quite clear with 50 nights that camping one week every summer is not gonna get you there, so go ahead count as many of those as you can fit in and still you gotta free up a good many weekends to get it done.  But, if you convince your family to start camping (as son #2's best friend did) you can report that to your counselor as well.

 

Think about that for a second. If your buddies are the odd ducks in your troop who are all about co-ed, go help some girl scouts camp. Earn the badge. If religion is your thing, go sleep under the stars at your church's retreats/missions. Earn the badge. BSA isn't trying to herd you into their corner to bump its participation numbers. If there's a school activity where you could camp at, go for it. Earn the badge.

 

From recruitment requirements to all of the service hour counting. All that "do a favor for your BSA" rhetoric gets pulled.

 

I am not sure I would reach that conclusion.  It may be that those vague requirements from 1911 were interpreted in radically different ways by SM's and MBC's (if they even had MBC's at the beginning) and a decision was made to make the requirements more specific, such as to require that the camping be a Scouting activity.  It might help to know when that change was made.


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#33 RememberSchiff

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 02:06 PM

I am not sure I would reach that conclusion.  It may be that those vague requirements from 1911 were interpreted in radically different ways by SM's and MBC's (if they even had MBC's at the beginning) and a decision was made to make the requirements more specific, such as to require that the camping be a Scouting activity.  It might help to know when that change was made.

 

IMO, adult leader judgement was trusted more. My old SM would credit patrol camping in our town woods but not backyard or family camping.


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#34 NJCubScouter

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 02:31 PM

IMO, adult leader judgement was trusted more. My old SM would credit patrol camping in our town woods but not backyard or family camping.

 

I think I had 4 different SM's (including my father) and they probably would have too, but that was in the 60's and 70's, and I suspect that at that time, the requirements did not read as they did in 1911.  I could look that up, but not right now.


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#35 blw2

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 02:40 PM

IMO, adult leader judgement was trusted more. My old SM would credit patrol camping in our town woods but not backyard or family camping.

 

yes, i think that's an important element.  Would require much more significant training and orientation I thing to garner a level of consistency....but that would be a great direction to go in my opinion.

 

If son and I go off for an overnight backpacking trip in the local water management preserve, I would honestly think that should count..... but I can perhaps buy that family tailgate camping at the local state park nor KOA might not....

 

But the whole patrol camping thing you mention really is something I would love to see come alive in our troop.  They just don't think like that.... not independent enough to go out on their own, and certainly doubt that it'll ever happen now that they have forced apart friend groups to form their "traditional patrols"....

   I could imagine some day maybe, that if I were to go out on that backpacking trip taht I mentioned earlier with son, he might be encouraged to invite along his buddies....and then it could almost be classified as a patrol outing perhaps....if I decided to stay home.....except they aren't all in the same patrol.  :confused:


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#36 EmberMike

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 03:47 PM

I think a traditional program would struggle even more than the modern program to keep kids interested, especially over the long stretch of time many kids are in this thing from 1st grade through high school.

 

There's a traditional scouting program in the US. I'm not sure what kids think of it but their membership isn't exactly swelling these days. 


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#37 David CO

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 03:59 PM

If they really feel that a classical scouting program would fail on its own, the liberals ought to give it 100% support, and let it sink or swim.


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#38 Stosh

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 04:16 PM

One of the biggest problems I see with the classic scouting emphasis is that 1) not many of the adults in the program were either not brought up in it so they have no reference and 2) aren't outdoors people in the first place.  It is as if the "leaders" of today would have a difficult time getting through the FC requirements without first having extensive training just for them.

 

Other than starting the grill with lighter fluid, how many people know how to start a fire?  Without a GPS, how many could find their way using a paper map? How many know basic first aid? etc.Knots and lashings?  No clue.  Camping in a tent?  Yeah, right.


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Stosh

 

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#39 NJCubScouter

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 04:17 PM

If they really feel that a classical scouting program would fail on its own, the liberals ought to give it 100% support, and let it sink or swim.

 

Do we really need to put labels on people?

 

Anyway, I haven't noticed anyone in this thread, regardless of supposed ideological orientation, actually opposing a "classical scouting program" in addition to what we have now. No two people seem to agree on what a "classical scouting program" would even look like.  There are more than 100 years worth of options to choose from, and that doesn't even count the mix-and-match varieties.


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#40 qwazse

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 04:18 PM

I think a traditional program would struggle even more than the modern program to keep kids interested, especially over the long stretch of time many kids are in this thing from 1st grade through high school.

 

There's a traditional scouting program in the US. I'm not sure what kids think of it but their membership isn't exactly swelling these days. 

I think you have a point about what seems to be a cradle-to-grave mentality.

The program in the first few decades seemed focused  on engaging 11-14 year-olds ... and their fathers. If a boy had the time to hang around after that, he was welcome to contribute, but there was an acceptance that most boys would move on to other things.

 

Heck, my SM in the 70s just accepted that football players didn't make Eagle ... until one or two did.


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