scoutaholic wrote:Most camps I have seen offer a TFoot-1stClass program, but it is usually not a good program for the boys.
I don't think I have ever taken a boy to summer camp who still needed ALL of the TFoot-1stClass requirements. The program at camp covers everything they can (and sometimes pretends to cover the things they can't) during the week. Why would a 2nd Class scout who has just a few requirements left on 1st Class want to attend 12 hours of classes where they repeat all the things he has already done?
These types of programs would be much more helpful if they would make a schedule where the boys can attend one day to do all the 1st Aid, another for Knots/Lashings, etc.
From what I have seen, the boys would be better served by taking 1st Aid, Pioneering, and Orienteering MBs. This will cover most of the same material, AND get them some MBs. The few TFoot-1stClass requirements not covered by these MBs can be covered individually in camp or with troop at another time.
Our summer camp has a schedule for the requirements that are being covered. Usually in half day blocks. And it is considerably more than 12 hours. More like 30.
I have found them willing to work with a SM who has a Scout below 1st Class that needs to pick up a few requirements. I did it a couple years ago. However, even with the good things, our program still needs work (IMHO).
The effectiveness of the skill instruction varies significantly by instructor and some just don't measure up. They need to work on this. The best way I have found to mitigate this is for SMs to volunteer to help. I also find that even when I don't help (and may not even have a Scout in the program) that I spend some time observing and make sure that I include my feedback in the end of week review that I turn in.
But this is no excuse for Scouts advancing without the appropriate skills. In the program they TEACH (usually). It is still up to the Unit to ensure that the skills are mastered before they are signed off.
So, in short, for our Camp, there is room to improve but the Scouts are learning skills. If they weren't, then I would be sending my Scouts to Merit Badge classes, not wasting their time.