Back in the 1980s, some research was done on why Scouts stay involved. One of the things the survey harped on was If a Scout gets First Class in the 12 Months, they tend to stay, Hence "OPERATION FIRST CLASS" as it was called in 1989. What the study didn't address was how active was the units these Scouts were in.
I hate to say it, but IMHO "OPERATION FIRST CLASS" was one of the things that has led to the "One and Done" and "pencil whipping" that I see more and more of.
I think the problem was that the BSA was unable to tell the difference between a "cause" and an "effect." Which is ok, a lot of people can't, but it does create an issue when you turn an entire program upside down because you drew an incorrect conclusion from the data. They saw that there was a correlation between Scouts who made FC in 12 months and Scouts who stayed in Scouting (let's call those two things A and B), and they drew the conclusion that A caused B. It probably didn't, and doesn't. In all likelihood, C causes A and B, where C = A highly motivated and interested Scout, especially one in an active unit that follows the program. In other words, if you have a highly motivated and interested Scout, in an active unit that follows the program, it is likely that that Scout will make First Class faster AND will stay in Scouting. A forced-march through the ranks by a Scout who would rather move at a slower pace is not good for anybody. We had a couple transfers in from a troop that took FCFY literally, 11 or barely-12 year olds who had been "advanced" to FC in a year, and I think it took all the fun out of it for them. One of them quit within a year after transferring, the other one kind of moped along through Life and quit at around 16.
And then we had 3 kids who crossed over together, one made FC in 6 months, one in about 8 months and the other in about 9 months. Nobody told them they had to. They wanted to. (And ok, maybe they were in a friendly competition with each other, just a little.) And they all made Eagle and were either SPL or ASPL, for whatever that's worth.
Edited by NJCubScouter, 12 July 2017 - 04:24 PM.